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Thread: Obama has drunk the Kool-aid - Page 5







Post#101 at 09-24-2014 08:55 AM by Mikebert [at Kalamazoo MI joined Jul 2001 #posts 4,501]
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Quote Originally Posted by playwrite View Post
We were much more dependent on ME oil at that time, and the House of Saud was truly concerned that they were next on Saddam's hit list.
Of course the Saudis were concerned. They are big boys with a huge war chest. The could hire a mercenary army to defend their country. I recall concern voiced about the possibility of religiously-fueled unrest stemming from the presence of American soldiers in the Muslim holy land. A mercenary army of Westerners would not be problem since there is a long tradition of non Muslims serving under Muslim command operating in the Islamic world. The Saudis could have made OBL and his Afghan veterans into a battalion of "special forces" i.e. jihad specialists, who might be asked to infiltrate Iraq. With any luck OBL would get killed.

But this would take time, effort and most of all lot's of money. The Americans were just offering to do the whole job for them for free. So of course they took the easy out and booted OBL out of the country. OBL wanted payback, and get started getting it as early as two years after. In 1995 and 1996 he struck at Americans in his homeland. In 1996 and 1998 he issued his war declarations and sought US targets farther abroad, attempted to strike within the US in very late 1999 and successfully in 2001.

It's pretty clear just what set off 911 (referenced below).

Also, I've always found it silly to suggest Saddam thought he got the US big go-ahead to invade because Glaspie said we didn't want to weigh in on a local border dispute.
The US did not give a go-ahead. The US failed to communicate to Iraq that the US does NOT want to see ANY redrawing of border in the Middle East. You do not promote stability by not having an opinion on border disputes.

Saddam needed to sell oil to maintain his rule, so did the Kuwaitis. Both were going to sell the US as much oil as it wanted to buy at the market price. Both Iraq and the US knew that. The border dispute was about oil; an outcome favorable to Iraq could be expected to result in increased oil prices. Iraq wanted them higher, the US did not. What Saddam was trying to feel out was how strongly did the US feel about this. What we communicated was we would not be bothered. After all the extra dollars Iraq gained from oil sales after the dispute resolution would liked be spent buying arms from the US. But the US lied. it turned out that they felt VERY strongly about the prospect of high oil prices and were willing to go to war to stop Iraq. had they just SAID that, there would have been no war and no 911.

And that retreat is exactly what OBL referenced when he convinced his following that we were weak and vulnerable, and likely to collapse in fear over the planned 9/11 attack.
And I suppose you believed the Iraq war was really about WMDs. Is your bullshit detector on the fritz?

Yes, that was smart game playing. Too bad he didn't understand he was setting us up for OBL's 9/11 visit.
It didn't set up anything. Now you are making no sense at all. It is pretty clear from the timeline, what set OBL on the path to 911:

1990 US troops go to SA; OBL strongly objects
1991 Gulf War, US presence to remain in SA for the no-fly operation. OBL expelled from SA
1993 First AQ attack
1995 Carbombing
1996 Khobar Towers bombing; OBL issued his declaration of war
1998 African embassy bombings, AQ issues declaration of war (al-Zwahiri signs this one). Clinton tries to kill OBL
1999 Millennium plot
2000 US Cole Attack
2001 911

911 had nothing to do with US support of Saddam in 1984.

The Bushes' calling card is massive boots-on-the-ground; I don't think Spock plays that.
First Spock said (correctly) that ISIS is a second rate force about which we did not need to worry. And he (correctly) took no role in the Syrian civil war.

But then he was successfully baited by ISIS and is now launching ineffectual attacks on them. Clinton's airstrikes did not stop AQ. A decade of embargo and no-fly operation failed to dislodge Saddam from power; I doubt it would have gotten him out of Kuwait either. Resolution of those messes without looking "weak" (whatever that means) required massive boots on the ground.

So now what happens after two years and ISIS is still chopping off heads on video and laughing at the US? How long until ineffectual airstrikes start to "look weak" and the drumbeat for ground forces rises. How then will you draw the line. IMO, its better not to start on that path.


but if that hadn't tipped him into following the glory trail most likely something else would have - he needed his Satan, whatever Satan did would eventually yield OBL's MacGuffin. Remember that need to better understand psychopaths?
This is nonsense. OBL wanted to set up a Caliphate in Saudi Arabia. That was his goal. He knew America was a staunch ally of Israel. In 1991 he saw that the mighty US (who had helped the Islamists defeat the Soviets in Afghanistan) would leap to the Saudi royals defense whenever they were threatened. Hence what the Islamists had accomplished against the Soviets would have to be duplicated with the US. When AQ was based in Sudan he targeted Americans in Africa and SA. When AQ became established in Afghanistan he decided that the best way to get the US out of SA might be to get them to quit the ME altogether by seriously ramping up the cost to the US. A team special forces operatives were sent to the US where they launched attacks on the economic, military and political centers of power.

OBL got what he wanted and the US went into Afghanistan, a repeat of the 1980's war against the only remaining super power.. I think the rapidity at which the Northern alliance overran Afghanistan took him by surprise. He nearly was killed at Tora Bora, and had the American president the stones, it all would have ended right there. But he wasn't and AQ continued and the jihad movement OBL had begun spread elsewhere.

When the US invaded Iraq this created a second place where other Arab jihadists could test their mettle. Although Islamist groups exist elsewhere, they are not Arabs. Saudi Arabia, Syria and Iraq (the successive centers of the Caliphate and associated Arabian empire) do not hold special significance for them. Their interests are local and not in the Middle East. And not being in the oil patch they are of less interest to America as well.

So we have been battling Arab jihadists in Yemen, and now we are engaging with ISIS in Syria-Iraq. There are lots of opportunities for young Arabs to test their mettle as warriors. Our aggressive attention to these groups since 2001 has not suppressed them. Our aggressive attentions against the ISIS predecessor was likewise ineffective, until we bribed the Sunni tribal leaders to turn on them. The recent success in Iraq also reflects the support of the Sunni tribal leaders, who provided the bulk of the forces used.

By bombing Syrian position we now join al Assad in raining death down the sky. Jihadists can now attribute Syrian air attacks that kill massive numbers of civilians to the Americans and so inflame passions against the Americans. I suspect this was the reason Obama initially stuck to hitting targets in Iraq. Doing this would link America to the hated Iraqi government, but we were already linked to them (having set them up in the first place). But now we are linked to Assad. And what he does from the air gets owned by us. It's not rational, but then "death panels" and "Obama is a secret Muslim" are not rational either, and these are widespread beliefs.







Post#102 at 09-24-2014 10:12 AM by radind [at Alabama joined Sep 2009 #posts 1,595]
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Quote Originally Posted by Mikebert View Post
Of course the Saudis were concerned. They are big boys with a huge war chest. The could hire a mercenary army to defend their country. I recall concern voiced about the possibility of religiously-fueled unrest stemming from the presence of American soldiers in the Muslim holy land. A mercenary army of Westerners would not be problem since there is a long tradition of non Muslims serving under Muslim command operating in the Islamic world. The Saudis could have made OBL and his Afghan veterans into a battalion of "special forces" i.e. jihad specialists, who might be asked to infiltrate Iraq. With any luck OBL would get killed.

But this would take time, effort and most of all lot's of money. The Americans were just offering to do the whole job for them for free. So of course they took the easy out and booted OBL out of the country. OBL wanted payback, and get started getting it as early as two years after. In 1995 and 1996 he struck at Americans in his homeland. In 1996 and 1998 he issued his war declarations and sought US targets farther abroad, attempted to strike within the US in very late 1999 and successfully in 2001.

It's pretty clear just what set off 911 (referenced below).


The US did not give a go-ahead. The US failed to communicate to Iraq that the US does NOT want to see ANY redrawing of border in the Middle East. You do not promote stability by not having an opinion on border disputes.

Saddam needed to sell oil to maintain his rule, so did the Kuwaitis. Both were going to sell the US as much oil as it wanted to buy at the market price. Both Iraq and the US knew that. The border dispute was about oil; an outcome favorable to Iraq could be expected to result in increased oil prices. Iraq wanted them higher, the US did not. What Saddam was trying to feel out was how strongly did the US feel about this. What we communicated was we would not be bothered. After all the extra dollars Iraq gained from oil sales after the dispute resolution would liked be spent buying arms from the US. But the US lied. it turned out that they felt VERY strongly about the prospect of high oil prices and were willing to go to war to stop Iraq. had they just SAID that, there would have been no war and no 911.


And I suppose you believed the Iraq war was really about WMDs. Is your bullshit detector on the fritz?


It didn't set up anything. Now you are making no sense at all. It is pretty clear from the timeline, what set OBL on the path to 911:

1990 US troops go to SA; OBL strongly objects
1991 Gulf War, US presence to remain in SA for the no-fly operation. OBL expelled from SA
1993 First AQ attack
1995 Carbombing
1996 Khobar Towers bombing; OBL issued his declaration of war
1998 African embassy bombings, AQ issues declaration of war (al-Zwahiri signs this one). Clinton tries to kill OBL
1999 Millennium plot
2000 US Cole Attack
2001 911

911 had nothing to do with US support of Saddam in 1984.



First Spock said (correctly) that ISIS is a second rate force about which we did not need to worry. And he (correctly) took no role in the Syrian civil war.

But then he was successfully baited by ISIS and is now launching ineffectual attacks on them. Clinton's airstrikes did not stop AQ. A decade of embargo and no-fly operation failed to dislodge Saddam from power; I doubt it would have gotten him out of Kuwait either. Resolution of those messes without looking "weak" (whatever that means) required massive boots on the ground.

So now what happens after two years and ISIS is still chopping off heads on video and laughing at the US? How long until ineffectual airstrikes start to "look weak" and the drumbeat for ground forces rises. How then will you draw the line. IMO, its better not to start on that path.



This is nonsense. OBL wanted to set up a Caliphate in Saudi Arabia. That was his goal. He knew America was a staunch ally of Israel. In 1991 he saw that the mighty US (who had helped the Islamists defeat the Soviets in Afghanistan) would leap to the Saudi royals defense whenever they were threatened. Hence what the Islamists had accomplished against the Soviets would have to be duplicated with the US. When AQ was based in Sudan he targeted Americans in Africa and SA. When AQ became established in Afghanistan he decided that the best way to get the US out of SA might be to get them to quit the ME altogether by seriously ramping up the cost to the US. A team special forces operatives were sent to the US where they launched attacks on the economic, military and political centers of power.

OBL got what he wanted and the US went into Afghanistan, a repeat of the 1980's war against the only remaining super power.. I think the rapidity at which the Northern alliance overran Afghanistan took him by surprise. He nearly was killed at Tora Bora, and had the American president the stones, it all would have ended right there. But he wasn't and AQ continued and the jihad movement OBL had begun spread elsewhere.

When the US invaded Iraq this created a second place where other Arab jihadists could test their mettle. Although Islamist groups exist elsewhere, they are not Arabs. Saudi Arabia, Syria and Iraq (the successive centers of the Caliphate and associated Arabian empire) do not hold special significance for them. Their interests are local and not in the Middle East. And not being in the oil patch they are of less interest to America as well.

So we have been battling Arab jihadists in Yemen, and now we are engaging with ISIS in Syria-Iraq. There are lots of opportunities for young Arabs to test their mettle as warriors. Our aggressive attention to these groups since 2001 has not suppressed them. Our aggressive attentions against the ISIS predecessor was likewise ineffective, until we bribed the Sunni tribal leaders to turn on them. The recent success in Iraq also reflects the support of the Sunni tribal leaders, who provided the bulk of the forces used.

By bombing Syrian position we now join al Assad in raining death down the sky. Jihadists can now attribute Syrian air attacks that kill massive numbers of civilians to the Americans and so inflame passions against the Americans. I suspect this was the reason Obama initially stuck to hitting targets in Iraq. Doing this would link America to the hated Iraqi government, but we were already linked to them (having set them up in the first place). But now we are linked to Assad. And what he does from the air gets owned by us. It's not rational, but then "death panels" and "Obama is a secret Muslim" are not rational either, and these are widespread beliefs.
Very interesting analysis. After the 911 attack, I was in favor of the US attack on OBL. but, all the invasions and occcupations after that were clearly a mistake.
What would you have proposed that the US do after 911?







Post#103 at 09-24-2014 12:38 PM by Kepi [at Northern, VA joined Nov 2012 #posts 3,664]
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09-24-2014, 12:38 PM #103
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Quote Originally Posted by radind View Post
Very interesting analysis. After the 911 attack, I was in favor of the US attack on OBL. but, all the invasions and occcupations after that were clearly a mistake.
What would you have proposed that the US do after 911?
I know what I would have done... Let a matter of law enforcement be a matter of law enforcement.







Post#104 at 09-24-2014 02:20 PM by Mikebert [at Kalamazoo MI joined Jul 2001 #posts 4,501]
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Quote Originally Posted by radind View Post
Very interesting analysis. After the 911 attack, I was in favor of the US attack on OBL. but, all the invasions and occcupations after that were clearly a mistake.
What would you have proposed that the US do after 911?
If I were Bush I would have quietly ordered an acceleration of the Clinton armed drone program, which has been put in the slow lane with the administration change because the Bush folks thought the Clintonite tool OBL way too seriously. (Note: this was done). I would then appoint a Presidential 911 commission to look into the causes of the attack and await their report (A 911 commission was actually appointed) As a Republican, I can get away with doing what Reagan did and not immediately make war in random directions. I would try in every way to take a measured even pacifistic, approach, and call for apprehension. trial and conviction of the criminals--not terrorists--but perps, who did this. That is, give every indication that as far as I was concerned this was a matter for law enforcement.

Meanwhile I would continue the Clinton program of drone surveillance of Afghanistan, replacing surveillance drones with armed ones as soon as they became available. I would give every impression that the old program of observation with possible air strikes 5-6 hours later continued (which would give al Qaeda's allies in the Pakistani military plenty of time to warn them). That is I would give no indication that anything had changed, hoping to embolden OBL to showing his ugly face above ground. And then I would wait until we got OBL in our sights, as the Clinton folks had done a year or two earlier (it was this observation that led Clinton to authorizing the armed drone program). And when we did, nail the bastard right out of the blue. Then I would announce that the Presidential 911 commission had reported their findings to him and sentence had been carried out. That is send the simple message that if you fuck with us, we will end you. And we will do it quietly, even embarrassingly, so as to not augment your stature after your death.

While the 911 commission is working, a second, top-secret team is working on a on a way to assassinate Saddam Hussein. If a solid assassination plan is formulated and the kill-OBL program was coming up empty, carry out the assassination, and if successful have the commission report that they had found that Saddam Hussein was responsible for 911, with a (subordinate) operational role played by AQ.

Here we deal with OBL not by killing him, by making him look like Saddam's stooge. He of course can claim it was all his doing, but nobody will believe him and we will lose his prestige as the guy behind 911.

A third secret team would be working on trying to find a Baathist general who could replace Hussein. If this group comes in with a plan and the kill-Osama and kill-Saddam teams have bupkis, then have the commission announce Hussein's complicity, and go to Congress with war plans based on the same silly pretext of WMDs that was used as cover for the actual invasion. This time everyone will see that the WMDs are just an excuse, the real objective is payback for 911. (In actuality, polls of servicemen shortly after the war began showed that a majority believed the war was about 911 payback, so this line would be easily sold).

And we do just that. After we run Saddam out of town, Garner or his equivalent gets with the general and helps set him up. The army is not disbanded, but instead called back into service, where they must swear loyalty to the new man in order to get paid. The government remains in place. There is no Bremer, no de-Baathification. We hand over a big pile of "development money" to help pay their salaries for the first six months plus hefty bribes to key Baathist leaders to shift from Saddam to the new guy. We end the no-fly zone and the embargo. The economic boost from this should help the new guy's popularity ratings so he can hold things together while we get the hell out of there.

All the attention will be focused on Iraq and again OBL will be the forgotten man. We'll keep looking for him of course, and eventually we would probably nail his ass, as we actually did. And when we kill him, no hoopla, keep it really low key.
Last edited by Mikebert; 09-24-2014 at 02:43 PM.







Post#105 at 09-24-2014 03:26 PM by radind [at Alabama joined Sep 2009 #posts 1,595]
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Quote Originally Posted by Mikebert View Post
If I were Bush I would have quietly ordered an acceleration of the Clinton armed drone program, which has been put in the slow lane with the administration change because the Bush folks thought the Clintonite tool OBL way too seriously. (Note: this was done). I would then appoint a Presidential 911 commission to look into the causes of the attack and await their report (A 911 commission was actually appointed) As a Republican, I can get away with doing what Reagan did and not immediately make war in random directions. I would try in every way to take a measured even pacifistic, approach, and call for apprehension. trial and conviction of the criminals--not terrorists--but perps, who did this. That is, give every indication that as far as I was concerned this was a matter for law enforcement.

Meanwhile I would continue the Clinton program of drone surveillance of Afghanistan, replacing surveillance drones with armed ones as soon as they became available. I would give every impression that the old program of observation with possible air strikes 5-6 hours later continued (which would give al Qaeda's allies in the Pakistani military plenty of time to warn them). That is I would give no indication that anything had changed, hoping to embolden OBL to showing his ugly face above ground. And then I would wait until we got OBL in our sights, as the Clinton folks had done a year or two earlier (it was this observation that led Clinton to authorizing the armed drone program). And when we did, nail the bastard right out of the blue. Then I would announce that the Presidential 911 commission had reported their findings to him and sentence had been carried out. That is send the simple message that if you fuck with us, we will end you. And we will do it quietly, even embarrassingly, so as to not augment your stature after your death.

While the 911 commission is working, a second, top-secret team is working on a on a way to assassinate Saddam Hussein. If a solid assassination plan is formulated and the kill-OBL program was coming up empty, carry out the assassination, and if successful have the commission report that they had found that Saddam Hussein was responsible for 911, with a (subordinate) operational role played by AQ.

Here we deal with OBL not by killing him, by making him look like Saddam's stooge. He of course can claim it was all his doing, but nobody will believe him and we will lose his prestige as the guy behind 911.

A third secret team would be working on trying to find a Baathist general who could replace Hussein. If this group comes in with a plan and the kill-Osama and kill-Saddam teams have bupkis, then have the commission announce Hussein's complicity, and go to Congress with war plans based on the same silly pretext of WMDs that was used as cover for the actual invasion. This time everyone will see that the WMDs are just an excuse, the real objective is payback for 911. (In actuality, polls of servicemen shortly after the war began showed that a majority believed the war was about 911 payback, so this line would be easily sold).

And we do just that. After we run Saddam out of town, Garner or his equivalent gets with the general and helps set him up. The army is not disbanded, but instead called back into service, where they must swear loyalty to the new man in order to get paid. The government remains in place. There is no Bremer, no de-Baathification. We hand over a big pile of "development money" to help pay their salaries for the first six months plus hefty bribes to key Baathist leaders to shift from Saddam to the new guy. We end the no-fly zone and the embargo. The economic boost from this should help the new guy's popularity ratings so he can hold things together while we get the hell out of there.

All the attention will be focused on Iraq and again OBL will be the forgotten man. We'll keep looking for him of course, and eventually we would probably nail his ass, as we actually did. And when we kill him, no hoopla, keep it really low key.
I disagree with treating terrorism as a law enforcement issue. Also, I would have left Saddam in place under close scrutiny. I don't think Iraq was ever a threat to the USA. It is nice to know the causes of an attack, but a 911 type attack deserves a strong response. Then we could take our time investigating causes.







Post#106 at 09-24-2014 04:44 PM by Marx & Lennon [at '47 cohort still lost in Falwelland joined Sep 2001 #posts 16,709]
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Quote Originally Posted by Mikebert View Post
I... After we run Saddam out of town, Garner or his equivalent gets with the general and helps set him up. The army is not disbanded, but instead called back into service, where they must swear loyalty to the new man in order to get paid. The government remains in place. There is no Bremer, no de-Baathification. We hand over a big pile of "development money" to help pay their salaries for the first six months plus hefty bribes to key Baathist leaders to shift from Saddam to the new guy. We end the no-fly zone and the embargo. The economic boost from this should help the new guy's popularity ratings so he can hold things together while we get the hell out of there.

All the attention will be focused on Iraq and again OBL will be the forgotten man. We'll keep looking for him of course, and eventually we would probably nail his ass, as we actually did. And when we kill him, no hoopla, keep it really low key.
I don't like this at all. If the Eisenhower handling of Mohammad Mosaddegh, is any indication of how screwed-up this would be, then let's never do anything that dumb again. Killing him would have been no better, IMO.

The best answer to 9/11 was the initial action we actually took in Afghanistan completed as planned. We should have left the Taliban in place and ignored Saddam completely. If this had been even slightly surgical, we would have accomplished the goal of letting our enemies know that they are not safe when they screw with us, and done it on the cheap.

I can't see Cheney allowing that, or Bush finding it fulfilling either. Too bad. It was the best of the bad options.
Marx: Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies.
Lennon: You either get tired fighting for peace, or you die.







Post#107 at 09-24-2014 04:59 PM by Kepi [at Northern, VA joined Nov 2012 #posts 3,664]
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Quote Originally Posted by radind View Post
I disagree with treating terrorism as a law enforcement issue. Also, I would have left Saddam in place under close scrutiny. I don't think Iraq was ever a threat to the USA. It is nice to know the causes of an attack, but a 911 type attack deserves a strong response. Then we could take our time investigating causes.
So if Neo-Nazis blow up the Taj Mahal, they should declare war on us?







Post#108 at 09-24-2014 06:25 PM by playwrite [at NYC joined Jul 2005 #posts 10,443]
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Quote Originally Posted by Mikebert View Post
... The Saudis could have made OBL and his Afghan veterans into a battalion of "special forces" i.e. jihad specialists, who might be asked to infiltrate Iraq.
One could only begin to imagine how much that would have swollen the psychotic head of OBL and the damages he could have caused with that level of available resources - probable had made 9/11 just a footnote. Pretty terrifying scenario. The King knew OBL's family and likely OBL directly himself - I think he's pretty comfortable with the decision he made.

Quote Originally Posted by Mikebert View Post
The US did not give a go-ahead. The US failed to communicate to Iraq that the US does NOT want to see ANY redrawing of border in the Middle East. You do not promote stability by not having an opinion on border disputes.
Sounds like an implicit argument for maintaining hegmon status.

By the way the Kuwaitis didn't have clean hands on this; they were using horizontal drilling to drain oil out of Iraqi's bordering reserves. Nasty ("there will be blood") business.

Quote Originally Posted by Mikebert View Post
And I suppose you believed the Iraq war was really about WMDs. Is your bullshit detector on the fritz?
Now don't get silly on me. I have enough posts taking on the Cheney's WMD lies to put me in the top 10 posters here (just look up responses to Glick posts )

On the other hand, OBL attributing his motivations to the burning towers during the 1982 Beirut Siege and Israeli bombings of dense residential area IS A DIRECT QUOTE FROM DA MAN.


Quote Originally Posted by Mikebert View Post
It didn't set up anything. Now you are making no sense at all. It is pretty clear from the timeline, what set OBL on the path to 911:

1990 US troops go to SA; OBL strongly objects
1991 Gulf War, US presence to remain in SA for the no-fly operation. OBL expelled from SA
1993 First AQ attack
1995 Carbombing
1996 Khobar Towers bombing; OBL issued his declaration of war
1998 African embassy bombings, AQ issues declaration of war (al-Zwahiri signs this one). Clinton tries to kill OBL
1999 Millennium plot
2000 US Cole Attack
2001 911

911 had nothing to do with US support of Saddam in 1984.
Ah, you can't talk about the influence of a decade by only examining other decades.

Again, we have OBL's Beirut 1982 motivation quote. We also have recorded discussions from his compatriots attributing his sense of US vulnerability to the 1983 Marine Barracks bombing and Ray-gun's ineffectual response of shelling the hills above the city with a WW2 era battleship before turning tail for home, which OBL said was symbolic of how bloated, ineffectual, and easy-to-quite we had become. We also know that one of OBL's earliest senior team members was the guy who masterminded the ' 83 barracks bombing and was with him up until we took him out in 1996. I have personal reasons for knowing more about what happened in '83 than most people, including having it follow me home just blocks away on 9/11/01.


Quote Originally Posted by Mikebert View Post
First Spock said (correctly) that ISIS is a second rate force about which we did not need to worry. And he (correctly) took no role in the Syrian civil war.

But then he was successfully baited by ISIS and is now launching ineffectual attacks on them. Clinton's airstrikes did not stop AQ. A decade of embargo and no-fly operation failed to dislodge Saddam from power; I doubt it would have gotten him out of Kuwait either. Resolution of those messes without looking "weak" (whatever that means) required massive boots on the ground.

So now what happens after two years and ISIS is still chopping off heads on video and laughing at the US? How long until ineffectual airstrikes start to "look weak" and the drumbeat for ground forces rises. How then will you draw the line. IMO, its better not to start on that path.
Without going into it, I disagree. Basically, I think we have very different ideas as to what is success. My bar is much lower and I believe it is exactly what Spock has in mind. I'm okay with that - I don't expect Kumbaya and Magic Ponies here so why would I expect it there. Again, we'll just have to wait and see.


Quote Originally Posted by Mikebert View Post
This is nonsense.
I guess we can both pretend to know what a psychopath thinks. You can think he'd be satisfied to not bother the US if we just left; and I can think he would still want to bloody us. Obviously, I'm more comfortable with my pretending than with yours.


Quote Originally Posted by Mikebert View Post
OBL wanted to set up a Caliphate in Saudi Arabia. That was his goal.
Yep, but not sure he would be just satisfied with that - ISIL, for example, seems to want more, a lot more.

Quote Originally Posted by Mikebert View Post
He knew America was a staunch ally of Israel. In 1991 he saw that the mighty US (who had helped the Islamists defeat the Soviets in Afghanistan) would leap to the Saudi royals defense whenever they were threatened. Hence what the Islamists had accomplished against the Soviets would have to be duplicated with the US. When AQ was based in Sudan he targeted Americans in Africa and SA. When AQ became established in Afghanistan he decided that the best way to get the US out of SA might be to get them to quit the ME altogether by seriously ramping up the cost to the US. A team special forces operatives were sent to the US where they launched attacks on the economic, military and political centers of power.

OBL got what he wanted and the US went into Afghanistan, a repeat of the 1980's war against the only remaining super power.. I think the rapidity at which the Northern alliance overran Afghanistan took him by surprise. He nearly was killed at Tora Bora, and had the American president the stones, it all would have ended right there. But he wasn't and AQ continued and the jihad movement OBL had begun spread elsewhere.
Sounds about right. So?

Quote Originally Posted by Mikebert View Post
When the US invaded Iraq this created a second place where other Arab jihadists could test their mettle.
I'm not going to defend that mistake - probable one of the top three US geopolitical blunders in history.

Quote Originally Posted by Mikebert View Post
Although Islamist groups exist elsewhere, they are not Arabs. Saudi Arabia, Syria and Iraq (the successive centers of the Caliphate and associated Arabian empire) do not hold special significance for them. Their interests are local and not in the Middle East. And not being in the oil patch they are of less interest to America as well.

So we have been battling Arab jihadists in Yemen, and now we are engaging with ISIS in Syria-Iraq. There are lots of opportunities for young Arabs to test their mettle as warriors.
Again, sounds about right. So?

Quote Originally Posted by Mikebert View Post
Our aggressive attention to these groups since 2001 has not suppressed them. Our aggressive attentions against the ISIS predecessor was likewise ineffective, until we bribed the Sunni tribal leaders to turn on them. The recent success in Iraq also reflects the support of the Sunni tribal leaders, who provided the bulk of the forces used.
Ah, so now we've got to it - we have "not suppressed them." What does that mean exactly? Compared to what? I can certainly give you time periods where their actions were a lot less suppressed than they are now. And I believe soon ISIL will be much more suppressed than they are now and that other groups currently there will also be shown to be on the same trajectory. That doesn't mean still more groups will not pop up; some reaching a level that will invoke some attitude adjustments (i.e., suppression) as well. What exactly is your benchmark? Do you want to be able to travel to these areas and be invited to dinner for some good laughs?

More fundamental, it's a different argument to argue effectiveness of suppression than it is to argue no need for our involvement in the suppression.

Quote Originally Posted by Mikebert View Post
By bombing Syrian position we now join al Assad in raining death down the sky. Jihadists can now attribute Syrian air attacks that kill massive numbers of civilians to the Americans and so inflame passions against the Americans. I suspect this was the reason Obama initially stuck to hitting targets in Iraq. Doing this would link America to the hated Iraqi government, but we were already linked to them (having set them up in the first place). But now we are linked to Assad. And what he does from the air gets owned by us. It's not rational, but then "death panels" and "Obama is a secret Muslim" are not rational either, and these are widespread beliefs.
Yep, the game is not easy.

I'm just wondering how far down this rabbit hole you'll go. Do we get to the point of giving up Nevada because Cliven Bundy waves a gun around? Your Fortress America seems like it could have a slippery slope. Or, do you think our "fundies" are that different from their "fundies" and will also remain so?
"The Devil enters the prompter's box and the play is ready to start" - R. Service

Its not tax money. The banks have accounts with the Fed so, to lend to a bank, we simply use the computer to mark up the size of the account that they have with the Fed. Its much more akin to printing money. - B.Bernanke


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Post#109 at 09-24-2014 11:47 PM by radind [at Alabama joined Sep 2009 #posts 1,595]
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Quote Originally Posted by Marx & Lennon View Post
I don't like this at all. If the Eisenhower handling of Mohammad Mosaddegh, is any indication of how screwed-up this would be, then let's never do anything that dumb again. Killing him would have been no better, IMO.

The best answer to 9/11 was the initial action we actually took in Afghanistan completed as planned. We should have left the Taliban in place and ignored Saddam completely. If this had been even slightly surgical, we would have accomplished the goal of letting our enemies know that they are not safe when they screw with us, and done it on the cheap.

I can't see Cheney allowing that, or Bush finding it fulfilling either. Too bad. It was the best of the bad options.
Yes, too bad that so few saw that the 'best of bad options' was the best strategy.
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Post#110 at 09-25-2014 04:01 AM by '58 Flat [at Hardhat From Central Jersey joined Jul 2001 #posts 3,300]
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A few thoughts are in order:

First, this is 4T - and not the other turnings in which the Cold War was fought. And in a 4T, your enemy's enemy is your friend - period, end of story, no ifs, ands, or buts.

Second, since we're supposed to be fighting "radical" - read "orthodox" - Islam, shouldn't we be encouraging "reform" Islam, like that of the Alawites?

And third, containment is not an option in 4T. The only appropriate strategy is rollback - if not, indeed, total obliteration.
But maybe if the putative Robin Hoods stopped trying to take from law-abiding citizens and give to criminals, take from men and give to women, take from believers and give to anti-believers, take from citizens and give to "undocumented" immigrants, and take from heterosexuals and give to homosexuals, they might have a lot more success in taking from the rich and giving to everyone else.

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Post#111 at 09-25-2014 06:44 AM by Mikebert [at Kalamazoo MI joined Jul 2001 #posts 4,501]
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Quote Originally Posted by playwrite View Post
On the other hand, OBL attributing his motivations to the burning towers during the 1982 Beirut Siege and Israeli bombings of dense residential area IS A DIRECT QUOTE FROM DA MAN.
And the BS about the WMDs was a direct quote from the man. How do you know that the man isn't lying?

Ah, you can't talk about the influence of a decade by only examining other decades.
Suppose I implement a process change and nothing happens over the next week. I then try a different change and shortly after I observe a change in process output. It makes more sense to say the second change was responsible for the shift in outcome than to say that the second change had no effect; it was a delayed effect of the first change.

I simply pointed out that OBL went from being a rich sympathizer and funder of terrorists (of which there are many in SA) to becoming a terrorist himself very shortly after he was expelled from SA. It makes sense that this was the main causal factor. Of the many things one can find fault with the US, to single out the presence of a handful of US operatives in an airbase on SA is sort of bizarre. Yet that was he key issue in his 1996 jihad (the one he did on his own). The list expanded to three in the 1998 jihad (the one with five signatories). Had he been writing a document with as many signatories as our Declaration of Independence (which has a laundry list of charges against the king), I would imagine that the list of pretexts in the jihad would be more than three. As there are more signatories are added there are more concerns added. Since the document with just one signatory gives just one pretext, it stands to reason that this pretext is the most important one from that person. If the motivation for jihad were what you say it is then pretext #3 in the 1998 jihad would be the pretext given in the 1996 jihad and not pretext #1.

Again, we have OBL's Beirut 1982 motivation quote. We also have recorded discussions from his compatriots attributing his sense of US vulnerability to the 1983 Marine Barracks bombing and Ray-gun's ineffectual response of shelling the hills above the city with a WW2 era battleship before turning tail for home, which OBL said was symbolic of how bloated, ineffectual, and easy-to-quite we had become.
OBL was going to throw red meat in from the biggest lion around. It is a lot easy to argue that the effeminate Americans won't even respond to their attack that to try to argue that when we do respond why will be able to beat us military. If YOU were trying to get people on board to carry out such a provocative attack, wouldn't you try to make it seem as doable as possible. So OBL spins this story of how if the US is attacked we won't react as a real man would (hunt them down and kill all of them and their families) but that our response will be weak and ineffectual. OBL needed allies in his crusade.

Ah, so now we've got to it - we have "not suppressed them." What does that mean exactly?
Compared to the level in the pre-1990 period.

Yep, the game is not easy.
Precisely why we should play

I'm just wondering how far down this rabbit hole you'll go. Do we get to the point of giving up Nevada because Cliven Bundy waves a gun around? Your Fortress America seems like it could have a slippery slope. Or, do you think our "fundies" are that different from their "fundies" and will also remain so?
We only started the play the game in the 1880's, so we have a whole century before that when we did not play the game. During that time we fought off a foreign invasion, engaged on numerous wars of conquest, and fought a civil war during which we were briefly had the most powerful army in the world. It's not like we did not fight. We even did a little bit of power projection in the Tripolitan war. But for the most part we did not fight in the Old World.

I am not saying we should never get involved. I am saying it shouldn't be easy to get involved. We should not be mobilized for war at all times. Since we are already on a war footing, there is no barrier to engaging in war all the time, other than the fairly predictable blowback from the other superpower. When we faced the USSR who could destroy us and we them, and who maintained military superiority over us in their chosen realm and we in ours then we played the game much more carefully. That we were mobilized for war did not get us into any new wars after 1950 (we got involved in Vietnam in 1949 and the Korean War in 1960).

When the other superpower went away, we lost that restraint and we now have all these wars with jihadists. We need to go back to our pre-hegemonic (pre-1940) or pre-Great Power (pre-1885) stance.

I'm suggesting maybe the Monroe Doctrine is not such a bad idea. Mess with the Western hemisphere and you are asking for a fight. Stick to the Eastern and we will be much less concerned.
Last edited by Mikebert; 09-25-2014 at 08:26 AM.







Post#112 at 09-25-2014 08:01 AM by Mikebert [at Kalamazoo MI joined Jul 2001 #posts 4,501]
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Quote Originally Posted by Marx & Lennon View Post
I don't like this at all.
I don't like it either. I was giving a response to what do I think should have been done.

The way I answer this is to put myself in Bush's shoes and then decide what I would have done, as the head of a Republican administration staffed with folks from the Bush '41 administration (like Dick Cheney) in the world of 2001.

If Gore had won the election and I was in HIS shoes then I would be the head of a Democratic administration staffed with folks from the Clinton administration.

I might have already prevented 911. The armed drone program would have remained fast-tracked in a Democratic administration and if we had gotten lucky we might have already nailed OBL before September. Or when the intelligence that bin Laden was determined to strike at the US came in, I would have shaken the trees, as Clinton did with the Millennium plot because the Clinton guys in my administration (and I too) would be much more paranoid about OBL that the Bush '41 guys were.

If 911 had nevertheless happened I would need to bring it to a close ASAP because it is a political liability for a Democrat. The response in Afghanistan would not be that different. What we did in 2001-2 under Bush was pretty much what could be done with the assets on hand. The country is landlocked, and none of the adjacent countries were reliable allies of the US. So the Afghan war in its early stages would be the same no matter what the president's party.

My big difference from what Bush did would be that I would have pursued OBL at Tora Bora, because I have to. If I failed to do so and let him get away, I would lose the 2004 election. If tried to get him; failed, and he gets away I would lose the 2004 election. Bush on the other hand would face no consequences for letting him go, and gain little for nailing him. He would win in 2004 either way. The worst outcome be getting a bunch of Americans killed failing to get him, in which case unpleasant comparisons can be made with Carter's failed attempt to rescue hostages. He can avoid that outcome by doing nothing, which is what he did.

A Republican is perceived as "strong" no matter what he does and so he can get away with acting "weak" like Reagan after the Lebanon bombing. A Democrat is perceived as "weak" no matter what he does.

When faced with the choice of taking a risky shot at killing OBL that might go badly the Republican will take the safe bet For example, when asked in 2008 if he would go after OBL in Pakistan, McCain said he would not, while Obama said he would. And when later on he was given this chance he did.

McCain (and Bush) risked nothing by not taking out OBL, they will still be seen as strong not matter how "weak" they act. Obama (or Gore for the matter) would get pilloried for not trying to kill OBL and for trying to kill OBL (and failing). The only way to avoid being pilloried is to try to kill him and succeeding. So Democrats have to roll the dice.

As a Democrat I too would roll the dice at Tora Bora, and if I got lucky end the matter there, and maybe get back to the pre-2001 status quo. If not I would lose the 2004 election and so it would be moot.
Last edited by Mikebert; 09-25-2014 at 08:17 AM.







Post#113 at 09-25-2014 08:55 AM by Marx & Lennon [at '47 cohort still lost in Falwelland joined Sep 2001 #posts 16,709]
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Quote Originally Posted by '58 Flat View Post
A few thoughts are in order:

First, this is 4T - and not the other turnings in which the Cold War was fought. And in a 4T, your enemy's enemy is your friend - period, end of story, no ifs, ands, or buts.

Second, since we're supposed to be fighting "radical" - read "orthodox" - Islam, shouldn't we be encouraging "reform" Islam, like that of the Alawites?

And third, containment is not an option in 4T. The only appropriate strategy is rollback - if not, indeed, total obliteration.
When those most directly affected refuse to take the lead (or even follow closely), why should we? The middle east is a cesspool, and we gain nothing by using it as a swimming hole. Let Turkey or Egypt lead, if that's important to them. If it's not, then why is it important to us?

I suspect that the eventual battle with Islam, if there ever is one, will involve India and China. They represent 40% of the entire world's population. That should do it.
Marx: Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies.
Lennon: You either get tired fighting for peace, or you die.







Post#114 at 09-25-2014 12:05 PM by playwrite [at NYC joined Jul 2005 #posts 10,443]
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Quote Originally Posted by Mikebert View Post
And the BS about the WMDs was a direct quote from the man. How do you know that the man isn't lying?
Motive, context and necessity. Cheney needed to lie to get what he wanted. For OBL, on the other hand, what did it matter if he was motivated by Beirut at the time of its occurrence or a decade later - either provides the motivation for him and his followers. Typically, when lying or not makes no difference to outcome one can be more assured of hearing the truth. What we do know for sure is he was in Beirut in /82 and '83 during these events. Seeing towers burn and collapse in NYC sure as hell motivated us, why would you think OBL seeing something similar would not?

Quote Originally Posted by Mikebert View Post
... OBL went from being a rich sympathizer and funder of terrorists (of which there are many in SA) to becoming a terrorist himself very shortly after he was expelled from SA....
I'm not a sympathizer and funder of terrorist; you? Not seeing rich sympathizer and funder as being on the path to terrorist leader (I don't think OBL ever offered to actually be in one of those 9/11 planes himself) is kind of like saying its pretty typical to be a coke head and that condition really had nothing to do with eventually becoming a crack head.

Quote Originally Posted by Mikebert View Post
... It is a lot easy to argue that the effeminate Americans won't even respond to their attack that to try to argue that when we do respond why will be able to beat us military. If YOU were trying to get people on board to carry out such a provocative attack, wouldn't you try to make it seem as doable as possible. So OBL spins this story of how if the US is attacked we won't react as a real man would (hunt them down and kill all of them and their families) but that our response will be weak and ineffectual. OBL needed allies in his crusade.
Exactly, and whether he formulated that sitting on a Beirut patio in '83 watching the battleship lob rounds into the surrounding hills before heading home or a decade latter while trying to convince some psychopathic sheeple to fly into buildings, the outcome is the same. Ray-gun set up the perfect rationale that OBL needed, just as you described.


Quote Originally Posted by Mikebert View Post
Compared to the level in the pre-1990 period.
The 1983 bombing was the deadliest single-day death toll for the Marines since the World War II battle of Iwo Jima and the deadliest for the U.S. military since the 1968 Tet offensive in Vietnam. And again, the flaccid response either immediately set OBL on his 9/11 course or gave him tremendous rationale a decade later to get his sheeple believing.

Running home to avoid the school bully only works for so long.


Quote Originally Posted by Mikebert View Post
We only started the play the game in the 1880's, so we have a whole century before that when we did not play the game. During that time we fought off a foreign invasion, engaged on numerous wars of conquest, and fought a civil war during which we were briefly had the most powerful army in the world. It's not like we did not fight. We even did a little bit of power projection in the Tripolitan war. But for the most part we did not fight in the Old World.
I've been binging lately on "Hell on Wheels" - the storyline centers on the building of the Union Pacific across the continent. I was struck by the head rail builder's verbose attempt to fire-up investors by having them imaging what it would mean to cross the Nation in 7 days rather than 6 months. Do lessons from that world speak to a world where oceans are crossed in hours and a e-virus from the other side of the world can bring down critical infrastructure in a nano-second???

Quote Originally Posted by Mikebert View Post
I am not saying we should never get involved. I am saying it shouldn't be easy to get involved. We should not be mobilized for war at all times.
Until ISIL cropped up, we were definitely winding down; I know a lot of military officers very disgruntled about losing their career paths. We'll get on that path again eventually - unless we elect another GOP Prez, and I include Rand Paul in that bucket - people forget how much W was against international involvement before 9/11 gave the neoCons the upper hand.

Quote Originally Posted by Mikebert View Post
Since we are already on a war footing, there is no barrier to engaging in war all the time, other than the fairly predictable blowback from the other superpower. When we faced the USSR who could destroy us and we them, and who maintained military superiority over us in their chosen realm and we in ours then we played the game much more carefully. That we were mobilized for war did not get us into any new wars after 1950 (we got involved in Vietnam in 1949 and the Korean War in 1960).
All in all, I think it worked out better for the typical American than for the typical Russian.

Quote Originally Posted by Mikebert View Post
When the other superpower went away, we lost that restraint and we now have all these wars with jihadists. We need to go back to our pre-hegemonic (pre-1940) or pre-Great Power (pre-1885) stance.

I'm suggesting maybe the Monroe Doctrine is not such a bad idea. Mess with the Western hemisphere and you are asking for a fight. Stick to the Eastern and we will be much less concerned.
Sounds great!

At least until you start working the contemporary specifics: genocide, civil war in the ME resulting in dramatic global economic/market impacts and increased potential for nuclear exchange; a free-for-all around the China Sea resulting in dramatic global economic/market impacts and increased potential for nuclear exchange; and Russia having its way again with Eastern Europe resulting in dramatic global economic/market impacts and increased potential for nuclear exchange.

After all that, we can then start to dismantle the order here at home as well. I'd actually like to keep Nevada even if it comes with the Bundy crowd, but giving away Oklahoma would be at the top of my list.
Last edited by playwrite; 09-25-2014 at 12:08 PM.
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Post#115 at 09-25-2014 02:27 PM by Mikebert [at Kalamazoo MI joined Jul 2001 #posts 4,501]
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Quote Originally Posted by playwrite View Post
The 1983 bombing was the deadliest single-day death toll for the Marines since the World War II battle of Iwo Jima and the deadliest for the U.S. military since the 1968 Tet offensive in Vietnam.
Two of these three are not terrorist events, and the post-1990 911 event is bigger than all three combined. And if we go back further we will see one-day losses larger than 1983 in WW I and the Civil War too. We experienced plenty of violence back in the pre-great power days. All I am saying is maybe John Q was right and America should not venture abroad in search of monsters to slay.

And I would point out that The 1983 wouldn't have happened if we had not been meddling in Lebanon. Why were they there? We were told they were there for vital national interests, but when they were withdrawn nothing happened that threated our vitality (i.e. our lives). So the "vital interests" were just more BS like WMDs in Iraq.

Do lessons from that world speak to a world where oceans are crossed in hours and a e-virus from the other side of the world can bring down critical infrastructure in a nano-second?
They can, if the governing mechanisms behind terrorism are still human actions which operate at human timescales, which have not changed.

Until ISIL cropped up, we were definitely winding down.
That happened after Vietnam and the Gulf War, didn't last. Didn't even get started this time

We'll get on that path again eventually
Not for any length of time

- unless we elect another GOP Prez,
When did God say HE was going to prevent Republicans from being president? And if not, then of course another GOP president is going to get elected.

At least until you start working the contemporary specifics: genocide, civil war...
This is new?

...resulting in dramatic global economic/market impacts
By dramatic market impacts I assume you mean crashes. If a market get too overvalued, they crash. If there is some external event that occurs around the time of a crash, and people will blame the event. And if there is no event when the market crashes they will blame something else, Obama perhaps, or Benghazi.

...and increased potential for nuclear exchange
I have lived my entire life in a period of increased potential for nuclear exchange. On the other had, I did not get my ass shot off in a Third World War in Europe, so maybe that's not such a bad thing.

a free-for-all around the China Sea and Russia having its way again with Eastern Europe
All of which affect neighboring countries more than us. Why aren't these their problem?

After all that, we can then start to dismantle the order here at home as well. I'd actually like to keep Nevada even if it comes with the Bundy crowd, but giving away Oklahoma would be at the top of my list.
Where did this nonsense come from? The pre-great power era includes the Civil War where we went to the biggest war in our history to prevent just this sort of thing.
Last edited by Mikebert; 09-25-2014 at 02:36 PM.







Post#116 at 09-25-2014 05:06 PM by playwrite [at NYC joined Jul 2005 #posts 10,443]
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Quote Originally Posted by Mikebert View Post
Two of these three are not terrorist event, and the post-1990 911 event is bigger than all three combined. And if we go back further we will seen one-days losses that dwarf 1983 in WW I and the Civil War too. We experienced plenty of violence back in those days. It just was not from foreign terrorists.
You had made the point that not much was happening with terror groups before the 1990s. My point here is that the 1980s had the largest terror attack on the military - the comparisons to WW2 and Nam were only to give a sense of scale.

Quote Originally Posted by Mikebert View Post
And I would point out that The 1983 wouldn't have happened if we had not been meddling in Lebanon. Why were they there? We were told they were there for vital national interests, but when they were withdrawn nothing happened that threated our vitality (i.e. our lives). So the "vital interests" were just more BS like WMDs in Iraq.
And the point here is it can take a couple of decades for blowback to come to fruition; if we retreat to Fortress America, we could be in for some serious blowback until the cooler heads prevail or at least hot heads decide to instead target someone else. 20 years of turning the other check? I don't think so.


Quote Originally Posted by Mikebert View Post
They can, if the governing mechanisms behind terrorism are still human actions which operate at human timescales, which have not changed.
Kind of hard to imagine a steam train slamming into a 100-story tower or a telegraph message taking down our communication satellites.


Quote Originally Posted by Mikebert View Post
That happened after Vietnam and the Gulf War, didn't last. Didn't even get started this time
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/24/us...-ii-level.html

Pentagon Plans to Shrink Army to Pre-World War II Level

WASHINGTON Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel plans to shrink the United States Army to its smallest force since before the World War II buildup and eliminate an entire class of Air Force attack jets in a new spending proposal that officials describe as the first Pentagon budget to aggressively push the military off the war footing adopted after the terror attacks of 2001.
Quote Originally Posted by Mikebert View Post
Not for any length of time
I'll grant you that.


Quote Originally Posted by Mikebert View Post
When did God say HE was going to prevent Republicans from being president? And if not, then of course another GOP president is going to get elected. Wouldn't electing a Republican president be a stupid thing to do? I would say yes, and this means that's what we'll do!
The Big Guy and I talked. He agreed to let us be less stupid if it would be okay to send t-baggers down to that other Big Guy - I, of course, agreed.


Quote Originally Posted by Mikebert View Post
This is new?
Just a reminder to stay specific.


Quote Originally Posted by Mikebert View Post
By dramatic market impacts I assume you mean crashes. If market get too high, they crash. if these is some external event that occurs during a time when markets are too high, it may well trigger a crash, and people will blame the event. And if there is no event the market will crash anyways and people will blame something else, maybe Benghazi!, that seems to work for a lot of things nowadays.
I'm thinking more soup lines if oil quadruples, and I believe any one of these regional conflicts could balloon to that level of conflict without our presence.


Quote Originally Posted by Mikebert View Post
I have lived my entire life in a period of "increased potential for nuclear exchange. On the other had, I did not get my ass shot off in a Third World War in Europe, so maybe that's not such a bad thing.
I think the progression of US, Russia, England, France and even China is a lot different than India, Pakistan, Israel, Iran, Saudi Arabia, ISIL(!), etc., etc.

Even if you want to believe its not, you're still increasing the odds of a cluster-F bigger than any cluster-F in history.


Quote Originally Posted by Mikebert View Post
All of which effect neighboring countries more than us. Why isn't it their problem?
It is THEIR problem; it's our's too. It's just that they have different capacities for dealing with it.


Quote Originally Posted by Mikebert View Post
Where did this nonsense come from? The pre-great power era specifically included the Civil War where we went to the biggest war in our history to prevent just this sort of thing.
Just trying to see if in your desired retreat you draw a line between foreign and domestic. Or, do you believe we will never grow our own psychopaths wanting their own land to impose their belief systems? Have you been to Idaho?
"The Devil enters the prompter's box and the play is ready to start" - R. Service

Its not tax money. The banks have accounts with the Fed so, to lend to a bank, we simply use the computer to mark up the size of the account that they have with the Fed. Its much more akin to printing money. - B.Bernanke


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Post#117 at 09-25-2014 11:45 PM by Eric the Green [at San Jose CA joined Jul 2001 #posts 22,504]
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Quote Originally Posted by '58 Flat View Post
A few thoughts are in order:

First, this is 4T - and not the other turnings in which the Cold War was fought. And in a 4T, your enemy's enemy is your friend - period, end of story, no ifs, ands, or buts.
OK then, let's help ISIS defeat Assad.

Sorry, there have to be buts to that idea.

Second, since we're supposed to be fighting "radical" - read "orthodox" - Islam, shouldn't we be encouraging "reform" Islam, like that of the Alawites?
There is nothing orthodox about the IS militants. They are misguided fanatics, and do not represent Islam of any kind.

And third, containment is not an option in 4T. The only appropriate strategy is rollback - if not, indeed, total obliteration.
That's true. This campaign has some potential as a unifying regeneracy generator, along with the current thrust toward action on climate change. Obama is now taking some leadership on both these issues. The other great issue is inequality. That issue is more divisive, but 4Ts are about taking sides, not about total unity of opinion.
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive,

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Post#118 at 09-26-2014 07:54 AM by Mikebert [at Kalamazoo MI joined Jul 2001 #posts 4,501]
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Quote Originally Posted by playwrite View Post
And the point here is it can take a couple of decades for blowback to come to fruition;
You haven't established that. I think your argument that the precursor to 911 is 1983 Lebanon, not 1991 Saudi Arabia is stretched. 15 of the 911 hijackers were Saudi, how many were from the Levant?

Kind of hard to imagine a steam train slamming into a 100-story tower or a telegraph message taking down our communication satellites.
Kind of easy to imagine a plan flying into the World trade Center in the 1970's, when anti-American terrorists abounded, many of them Palestinian. Not only that, but there were lots of terrorist-backing states including two nuclear states, whereas today there is only puny Iran, who are enemies of ISIS and al Qaeda.

But it didn't happen then. Terrorists today and yesterday require media attention. But the content of the shows then and now are different: the 1970's terrorists went out of their way not to kill civilians; today's terrorists thrive on it. There's a reason for this.

I'm thinking more soup lines if oil quadruples, and I believe any one of these regional conflicts could balloon to that level of conflict without our presence.
Oil quadrupled in the 1970's and we didn't have soup lines. We were far more dependent on oil then than now. About a quarter of oil was used industrially then, the rest for transportation. We dramatically cut use of oil, mostly my finding alternatives to oil in industrial use. Today we use little oil industrially, its mostly for transportation fuel. Back then there was little that could be done to make vehicles more fuel efficient and there were no alternates to oil-based fuels. That is not the case today. There are a host of ready-to-go technologies that simply cannot compete with current cheap oil. But if oil prices rose, and there was an expectation that they would stay high, this would ignite a whole set of leading sectors in the energy/conservation area. The economic drag caused by high prices for gasoline, diesel and aviation fuel would be offset by the boom created by new rising sectors. There would be trillions of dollars seeking investment in those parts of the world that are stable (i.e. here) and a huge source of demand of investment (the new energy infrastructure).

The thing you cite as a problem is the fucking solution to our real problems. Look you know that most of the oil that is in the ground now is going to have stay there if we are going to avoid to worst effects of global warming. Well how in the hell is that going to happen? The people who own that oil are going to want to pump it and out unless they can't because of political instability. The money power that transnational corporations and investors wield only works when political* power has been tamed (i.e. we have "stability").

International stability is not the norm and the US has not really achieved it. The principal benefit of a national state is to promote internal stability. So just because its the Wild West in the ME doesn't mean there isn't stability here.

*here I am using political power in the Maoist sense

I think the progression of US, Russia, England, France and even China is a lot different than India, Pakistan, Israel, Iran, Saudi Arabia, ISIL(!), etc., etc.
Oh. So ISIL is somehow worse than Hitler? Pakistan's leaders and the Iranian mullahs are somehow more scary than Stalin or Mao (the two greatest mass murders in history who rule great-Power class states with nuclear arsenal)? India? Really?

It is THEIR problem; it's ours too. It's just that they have different capacities for dealing with it.
I don't think it is our problem. You're right, we do have different capabilities. Theirs are greater than ours, which is why I think our meddling can only come to grief.



Just trying to see if in your desired retreat you draw a line between foreign and domestic. Or, do you believe we will never grow our own psychopaths wanting their own land to impose their belief systems? Have you been to Idaho?
The Constitution calls for the government to suppress insurrections and repel invasions. Before we joined the Great Power club that's pretty much all we focused on wrt to other great powers. We fought one war against a Great power and that was to repel an invasion. We also fought a massive civil war to suppress an insurrection. The Constitution also empowers Congress to declare war. We fought one war of conquest against Mexico and acquired New Mexico, Arizona, and California as a result. We also fought a whole series of undeclared wars of conquest against indigenous peoples, similar those fought by the Russians a couple of centuries earlier. During that time we developed the largest economy in the world. In short we were a plenty belligerent nation that had accomplished quite a lot without ever having to play the game.

You could argue we didn't need to play the game back then, but I would point out that other nations at a similar level of development to us DID play the game. And its not like being in Europe meant you had to play the game. Switzerland chose to not play when other countries its size still were playing, and Sweden did play the game (and quite well) and then wisely chose to retire before she got worn down. And what is the quality of life for modern day Swiss or Swedes? Germany and Japan also seem to have retired after being some of the most energetic player. And how is life for a German or Japanese?
Last edited by Mikebert; 09-26-2014 at 08:00 AM.







Post#119 at 09-27-2014 05:52 AM by '58 Flat [at Hardhat From Central Jersey joined Jul 2001 #posts 3,300]
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Quote Originally Posted by Marx & Lennon View Post
When those most directly affected refuse to take the lead (or even follow closely), why should we? The middle east is a cesspool, and we gain nothing by using it as a swimming hole. Let Turkey or Egypt lead, if that's important to them. If it's not, then why is it important to us?

I suspect that the eventual battle with Islam, if there ever is one, will involve India and China. They represent 40% of the entire world's population. That should do it.


I do eventually foresee, at least, the closest thing to a purely religious war since the Thirty Years' War: Very soon after the Crash of (for historical symmetry's sake, October) 2019, demagogues on either or both sides of the Muslim/Judeo-Christian divide will foment a war (knowing how well "military Keynesianism" works), which will quickly spread and entail just about all of the world's major religions aligning against the Muslims, with opportunists harboring localized grievances piggybacking those grievances onto the conflict, especially in the Balkans (surprise, surprise). And when the Muslims lose - which I'm guessing will happen in mid-2025 - it will result in an array of boundary changes, with coincident mass forced population transfers, throughout the Afro-Eurasian hemisphere. In the Middle East, for example, Israel will permanently annex Judea, Samaria, Gaza, and the Sinai after Egypt joins the conflict on the Muslim side (which the Israeli hardliners are clandestinely hoping Egypt does, so that Israel can re-take the Sinai), with Israel even winning a narrow, Stettin-to-Swinemunde-style "beachhead" west of the Suez Canal. Greece will achieve its 2,000-year-old dream of Cyprian enosis with it, Cyprus' Turkish population being expelled to mainland Turkey. In the Balkans, Serbia will re-annex Kosovo, and Serbia and Croatia will also annex the majority-Serb and majority-Croat regions of Bosnia, leaving a rump Bosnian state for the Muslim population. Turkey will likely lose eastern Thrace, meaning that Istanbul will revert to its earlier name of Constantinople (and Bulgaria also taking some land). Various outcomes are possible in Africa and Asia, where a "Greater Singapore" might emerge from the addition of mainland sections of just-barely-majority-Muslim Malaysia, which may implode altogether (the Philippines also picking up some islands, either from Malaysia or Indonesia). And it pretty much goes without saying that India will formally take over Jammu and Kashmir for good, and forcibly expel, if not obliterate, its Muslim population. Russia may also re-take parts of some or all of the "Five Stans" and/or Azerbaijan.

But just as Catholic France actually fought on the Protestant side in the Thirty Years' War, some countries are likely to "defect" this time around too. The most likely candidates to do so include the Kurds and the Palestinians (who may be induced to betray their fellow Muslims in exchange for taking over Jordan, with its Hashemite monarchy being sacrificed by the Western side in order to get the Palestinians to do so). There are also likely to be some "wild card" scenarios, such as either the Tutsis or (more likely) the Hutus in Rwanda-Burundi throwing in with the Muslims, even though neither are actually Muslim.

In any event, it is going to be a mess - one bloody mess.
Last edited by '58 Flat; 09-27-2014 at 06:11 AM.
But maybe if the putative Robin Hoods stopped trying to take from law-abiding citizens and give to criminals, take from men and give to women, take from believers and give to anti-believers, take from citizens and give to "undocumented" immigrants, and take from heterosexuals and give to homosexuals, they might have a lot more success in taking from the rich and giving to everyone else.

Don't blame me - I'm a Baby Buster!







Post#120 at 09-27-2014 10:25 AM by Bad Dog [at joined Dec 2012 #posts 2,156]
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Quote Originally Posted by Marx & Lennon View Post
When those most directly affected refuse to take the lead (or even follow closely), why should we? The middle east is a cesspool, and we gain nothing by using it as a swimming hole. Let Turkey or Egypt lead, if that's important to them. If it's not, then why is it important to us?

I suspect that the eventual battle with Islam, if there ever is one, will involve India and China. They represent 40% of the entire world's population. That should do it.
And neither of them wants Islam dominant, to say the least.







Post#121 at 09-29-2014 09:30 AM by playwrite [at NYC joined Jul 2005 #posts 10,443]
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Quote Originally Posted by Mikebert View Post
You haven't established that. I think your argument that the precursor to 911 is 1983 Lebanon, not 1991 Saudi Arabia is stretched. 15 of the 911 hijackers were Saudi, how many were from the Levant?
So the coke head who became the crack head who killed his elderly parents to pay for another hit was not on the path until he took his first hit on the crack pipe? I'm skeptical.

But putting that aside you are implying that 10 years of not responding to blow-back sucker punches is acceptable while 20 years is not. Not going to happen.

Also, when does the clock start? Do you think its just when we close our embassies and send a forgiveness card to current and future terrorists? Or for ISIS, do we have to allow them to execute a battalion of Marines or can we get away with just beheading Obama and Bush on television?

Quote Originally Posted by Mikebert View Post
Kind of easy to imagine a plan flying into the World trade Center in the 1970's, when anti-American terrorists abounded, many of them Palestinian.
Well, at least we got you into the last 40 years that may have some bearing on the present - prior to that, I'm pretty sure the typical 1960s airline would have bounced off the Empire State Building; however, I'm still not sure how a 1990s' telephone could disrupt infrastructure.

Quote Originally Posted by Mikebert View Post
Not only that, but there were lots of terrorist-backing states including two nuclear states, whereas today there is only puny Iran, who are enemies of ISIS and al Qaeda.

But it didn't happen then. Terrorists today and yesterday require media attention. But the content of the shows then and now are different: the 1970's terrorists went out of their way not to kill civilians; today's terrorists thrive on it. There's a reason for this.
I think it's plausible to talk about why terrorists target the US, but I think it's far too overly simplistic to attribute changes in their methods solely to US involvement - sort of completely ignores everything else that has happened in the world over the last 40 years - you know, like this new fangled thing call the Internet and Youtube?


Quote Originally Posted by Mikebert View Post
Oil quadrupled in the 1970's and we didn't have soup lines. We were far more dependent on oil then than now. About a quarter of oil was used industrially then, the rest for transportation. We dramatically cut use of oil, mostly my finding alternatives to oil in industrial use. Today we use little oil industrially, its mostly for transportation fuel. Back then there was little that could be done to make vehicles more fuel efficient and there were no alternates to oil-based fuels. That is not the case today. There are a host of ready-to-go technologies that simply cannot compete with current cheap oil. But if oil prices rose, and there was an expectation that they would stay high, this would ignite a whole set of leading sectors in the energy/conservation area. The economic drag caused by high prices for gasoline, diesel and aviation fuel would be offset by the boom created by new rising sectors. There would be trillions of dollars seeking investment in those parts of the world that are stable (i.e. here) and a huge source of demand of investment (the new energy infrastructure).

The thing you cite as a problem is the fucking solution to our real problems. Look you know that most of the oil that is in the ground now is going to have stay there if we are going to avoid to worst effects of global warming. Well how in the hell is that going to happen? The people who own that oil are going to want to pump it and out unless they can't because of political instability. The money power that transnational corporations and investors wield only works when political* power has been tamed (i.e. we have "stability").
We both know that oil prices are fungible on a global level; the degree of dependency or not on foreign oil is generally irrelevant; it is a financial inter-dependency on a global scale.

But I think the primary difference between us on this is time frame. I'm thinking on the timescale of years similar to the 2007/08 financial meltdown that is just now having diminishing impacts on us 7-8 years later - a lot of unemployed, lost household wealth, lack of public investment, and continuing uncertainty. You keep responding with longer term adjustments - at a minimum the 7-8 years out if not decades. Like the man said, in the long run...

Quote Originally Posted by Mikebert View Post
International stability is not the norm and the US has not really achieved it. The principal benefit of a national state is to promote internal stability. So just because its the Wild West in the ME doesn't mean there isn't stability here.
International stability as compared to what? We can all guess what the level of international stability would have been absence the US present for any post WW2 decade. Yes, I believe the difference has diminished with each decade, but I don't think it is nil, far from it. I've actually given you three major regional areas (i.e. the ME, Eastern Europe, the China Sea) where US influence has kept a lid on the worst of instabilities and instabilities that would have domestic impacts for at least a decade. You have presented nothing that would suggest otherwise - broad appeals of some highly academic gloss over of historic empires doesn't cut it.

Quote Originally Posted by Mikebert View Post
Oh. So ISIL is somehow worse than Hitler? Pakistan's leaders and the Iranian mullahs are somehow more scary than Stalin or Mao (the two greatest mass murders in history who rule great-Power class states with nuclear arsenal)? India? Really?
Hitler's Germany was not a nuclear power. Under Stalin's final 3 years, the Soviets exploded an atomic device and then their first h-bomb a few months before his death, neither were militarized under Stalin. Yes, under Mao, China exploded nuclear devices, but their delivery systems remained questionable and the US counter was orders of magnitude larger in deliverable destruction.

Not only has the technology available to nuclear powers, for delivery in particular, changed dramatically but much more importantly the targets. Potentials for Pakistan/India, China/India and Iran/Israel exchanges are completely different dynamics including religious fundamentalism that was never really present in either a Russia/US, China/US or even Russia/China exchanges. To ignore these fundamental differences sets up the potential for a lot of hurt on a global ecological (including food networks) let alone economic level.

Quote Originally Posted by Mikebert View Post
I don't think it is our problem. You're right, we do have different capabilities. Theirs are greater than ours, which is why I think our meddling can only come to grief.
There is no military capacity like that of the US. You can argue that different capacities are needed for a particular problem, but that is just recognizing the different capacities.

Quote Originally Posted by Mikebert View Post
The Constitution calls for the government to suppress insurrections and repel invasions. Before we joined the Great Power club that's pretty much all we focused on wrt to other great powers. We fought one war against a Great power and that was to repel an invasion. We also fought a massive civil war to suppress an insurrection. The Constitution also empowers Congress to declare war. We fought one war of conquest against Mexico and acquired New Mexico, Arizona, and California as a result. We also fought a whole series of undeclared wars of conquest against indigenous peoples, similar those fought by the Russians a couple of centuries earlier. During that time we developed the largest economy in the world. In short we were a plenty belligerent nation that had accomplished quite a lot without ever having to play the game.

You could argue we didn't need to play the game back then, but I would point out that other nations at a similar level of development to us DID play the game. And its not like being in Europe meant you had to play the game. Switzerland chose to not play when other countries its size still were playing, and Sweden did play the game (and quite well) and then wisely chose to retire before she got worn down. And what is the quality of life for modern day Swiss or Swedes? Germany and Japan also seem to have retired after being some of the most energetic player. And how is life for a German or Japanese?
Again, I don't think lessons of empire prior to WW2 offer much instructive today with global guerrillas on the lose. As noted, maybe motivations of those global guerrillas can come from the 1980s or even 1000 years ago, but today's modes and methods have very little to do with what came before the Marine Barracks explosion in 1983 with the one possible exception being maybe Munich 1972.
Last edited by playwrite; 09-29-2014 at 09:33 AM.
"The Devil enters the prompter's box and the play is ready to start" - R. Service

Its not tax money. The banks have accounts with the Fed so, to lend to a bank, we simply use the computer to mark up the size of the account that they have with the Fed. Its much more akin to printing money. - B.Bernanke


"Keep your filthy hands off my guns while I decide what you can & can't do with your uterus" - Sarah Silverman

If you meet a magic pony on the road, kill it. - Playwrite







Post#122 at 09-29-2014 03:21 PM by Mikebert [at Kalamazoo MI joined Jul 2001 #posts 4,501]
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Quote Originally Posted by playwrite View Post
But putting that aside you are implying that 10 years of not responding to blow-back sucker punches is acceptable while 20 years is not.
Ten years? It was fouryears, as opposed to 18 years. The 1983 event only makes sense of the US is target, and then only in a context relevant to Lebanon. The first response that counts in 2001, 18 years later, which is your argument.

The 1991 makes sense of either the US or Saudi Arabia is the target. AQ struck in Saudi Arabia in 1995, just four years after OBL's expulsion from SA in 1991.

But I think the primary difference between us on this is time frame.
No the difference is you that if the US military kills enough people over there this will somehow prevents things like 2008 from happening. I note that we were engaged in two wars and had killed a shitload of people over there and 2008 still happened.

I've actually given you three major regional areas (i.e. the ME, Eastern Europe, the China Sea) where US influence has kept a lid on the worst of instabilities and instabilities that would have domestic impacts for at least a decade.
You are assuming that the negative effect of instability is greater than the negative effect of stability. It amounts to an argument about insurance. If the insurance to smooth out bumps caused by unforeseen events is bankrupting the company, it isn't worth it. I maintain that the "stability fetish" is bankrupting America' middle class by creating a nice safe world for the international assets of the wealthy.

Hitler's Germany was not a nuclear power. Under Stalin's final 3 years, the Soviets exploded an atomic device and then their first h-bomb a few months before his death, neither were militarized under Stalin. Yes, under Mao, China exploded nuclear devices, but their delivery systems remained questionable and the US counter was orders of magnitude larger in deliverable destruction.
The comparison is made between the capability of Russia and China relative to to the United States, compared to Pakistan/Iran relative to Israel.

Potentials for Pakistan/India, China/India and Iran/Israel exchanges are completely different dynamics including religious fundamentalism that was never really present in either a Russia/US, China/US or even Russia/China exchanges.
Huh? Russia and China were at time totalitarian states, which is at least as dangerous religious fundamentalism.

There is no military capacity like that of the US. You can argue that different capacities are needed for a particular problem, but that is just recognizing the different capacities.
No. If you are trying to remove a Phillips screw, the number of hammer you have doesn't matter. If military power was effective at "promoting stability" in the modern Middle East, then that region of the world would be as calm as a millpond. It isn't.

This reflects my key point, which you have never addressed directly. You seem to believe that military power works to promote stability as advertised. If this is so, the why do all the other nations behave as though it is not. If this is so, why is our overwhelming military power so ineffective at getting the stability it is supposed to achieve?

Again, I don't think lessons of empire prior to WW2 offer much instructive today with global guerrillas on the lose. As noted, maybe motivations of those global guerrillas can come from the 1980s or even 1000 years ago, but today's modes and methods have very little to do with what came before the Marine Barracks explosion in 1983 with the one possible exception being maybe Munich 1972.
This seems to be a type "this time its different argument".

I note that the "moderate" Syrian rebels who are supposed to be on our side, have an object to our attacks in Syria .
Last edited by Mikebert; 09-29-2014 at 09:34 PM.







Post#123 at 09-30-2014 10:52 AM by herbal tee [at joined Dec 2005 #posts 7,115]
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Quote Originally Posted by nihilist moron View Post
Stephen Colbert is really pissed that Obomber has been plagiarizing Dubya's rhetoric.
It only took six years for the politics of hope to fully revert back to the politics of fear.
Not too surprising considering that systems tend to revert to their default programming. See also Alien and Sedition Acts, Black Codes and McCarthy, Joseph.







Post#124 at 09-30-2014 12:41 PM by XYMOX_4AD_84 [at joined Nov 2012 #posts 3,073]
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Quote Originally Posted by herbal tee View Post
Not too surprising considering that systems tend to revert to their default programming. See also Alien and Sedition Acts, Black Codes and McCarthy, Joseph.

Well this time around the sharp knives are headed our way and this is not merely a figure of speech. There are actual sharp knives that will behead some of us. They said it, and they will do it.







Post#125 at 09-30-2014 12:44 PM by Kepi [at Northern, VA joined Nov 2012 #posts 3,664]
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Quote Originally Posted by XYMOX_4AD_84 View Post
Well this time around the sharp knives are headed our way and this is not merely a figure of speech. There are actual sharp knives that will behead some of us. They said it, and they will do it.
Once they can pony up for the airfare.
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