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Old 07-06-2016, 12:11 PM   #196
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Exactly. It's the distance our military gets to have from the damage and the deaths that tends to particularly bother me with drone strikes. Plus, yeah, drones may be advanced and more precise...but it's still technology, and technology can fail sometimes.

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I think ISIS is a very different animal than anything we've seen in the past. It is so vile and so hated by everyone else, but so capable of spreading itself through pure misery and destruction. Perhaps the fact that it is a reasonably clear target and that its on-the-ground support seems to be motivated by fear more than anything makes it appropriate for there to be some sort of military response (maybe one even greater than the bungled mess of drone strikes and non-allies-being-allies so far).

But, more generally, I find the argument that Western interventionism breeds further terrorism pretty convincing, for a few reasons. First, because terrorists generally cite Western interventionism as their motivator themselves. Second, because we have a nasty tendency towards ill-planned ham-fisted intervention catastrophes that leave behind comparable levels of destruction to what there was when we arrived (it's not a coincidence that ISIS developed half in a country that hosted a messy US intervention and half in a country that has been hosting a disastrous Russian intervention).

But it's hard to make foreign policy off of such convictions. My inclination (not very strongly held) is that ISIS needs to be defeated but there needs to be a general policy of non-intervention after that. But that is easier said that done. Terrorist attacks may happen anyway. There may be ruthless dictatorships and there will be awful religious extremists running the show - not because Islam is a particularly violent or bad religion (which I absolutely do not believe), but because there will be for a long, long time a legacy of destruction and economic misery in the region. Say what you will about the disastrous Iraq invasion, but Saddam Hussein was an *awful* dictator, and it's not hard to understand why people wanted him gone. But is there anything Western intervention can do about it without causing more destruction? And if there are terrorist attacks here, will more intervention (drones or otherwise) solve that or breed more?

Slightly off-topic but related: the most difficult question to me about the region comes from Israel. It's not hard to close your eyes and sympathize with the viewpoint that Israel is not much more than a Western imperial settler-state - especially if you don't happen to be Jewish or Christian. Western support for Israel will always create anger. But it's hard for me to muster up the desire to advocate that the West shouldn't support Israel, or that Israel shouldn't vigorously defend itself, but maybe that's just because I'm too much of a shill for Western liberalism. Regardless, recent right-wing Israeli governments haven't done themselves favors with their colonization of the West Bank.
Completely agreed on all of this.

I think one of our biggest problems with our foreign policy is that we don't really seem to work in connection with the people that live there when we come into a country, or at least, it doesn't feel like we're doing near enough of that. We need to stop trying to set up their governments for them and stop trying to act like we know their area of the world better than they do, 'cause that doesn't seem to really be working. And it makes us come off as incredibly patronizing and arrogant, too.

Instead, if we're going to continue to get involved in foreign conflicts, we need to actually work with the people there. Make it a joint effort to rid their country of terrorists or dictators or whatever other threat they're facing. Because I do think there are ways we can and should help without getting all pushy and imperialistic about it, ways that I think people in those countries would actually appreciate and welcome.

And then we need to let the people decide for themselves how they want to rebuild and reshape their country, and offer help and suggestions only if they want our input. That kind of respect and trust would go a long way, I think, in allowing other countries to look favorably upon us.
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Old 07-06-2016, 12:14 PM   #197
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I think you shouldn't take Donald Trump so seriously. He says half that shit (like targeting terrorists families) right after he pulls the comment out of his ass for a shock factor.

I think that's worse, but to give him credit for having a plan... I wouldn't do so.
Well we really don't know how serious to take him. That's the problem.

He actually said, "I love waterboarding" "I think it's great". No world leader should say that. Will he nuke Europe? We don't know, will he be reasonable or get drunk off power? Will he have a knee jerk reaction because of his paper thin skin? Seriously or not, he's an unknown and that kind of unknown his dangerous, so at the end of the day you have to take that seriously.
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Old 07-06-2016, 12:22 PM   #198
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Well, I know he can't actually DO the things he says. But the only reason he can't is because there are current laws, treaties, guidelines, etc... to keep him from doing it. I do actually think he would do those things if he had free reign.
But you don't have to look any further than in here; his minions want him to have free reign. After 8 years of falsely saying Obama is using too many executive orders blah blah blah, we have his voters saying:
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I can see him ramping up executive orders to satisfy his 'get shit done despite you' Ego.
with glee. His voters are salivating at the thought of an authoritarian state.
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Old 07-06-2016, 12:26 PM   #199
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Well, I know he can't actually DO the things he says. But the only reason he can't is because there are current laws, treaties, guidelines, etc... to keep him from doing it. I do actually think he would do those things if he had free reign.
That's just the thing. We're not suppose to take seriously what he says? OK, then on which basis are we to evaluate his "platform" or policies? If we're not listening to his words, then essentially we're constructing a narrative in our heads which guesses at what he'd actually do if elected.

Now to be fair I don't think it matters as none of us who realize this will probably vote for him. The people voting for him are the ones who are actually taking him seriously and agreeing with him.
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Old 07-06-2016, 12:32 PM   #200
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But you don't have to look any further than in here; his minions want him to have free reign. After 8 years of falsely saying Obama is using too many executive orders blah blah blah, we have his voters saying: with glee. His voters are salivating at the thought of an authoritarian state.
True. Even though existing laws prohibit a lot of his reckless talk. The fear that he could somehow override these is unnerving.
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Old 07-06-2016, 12:46 PM   #201
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That's just the thing. We're not suppose to take seriously what he says? OK, then on which basis are we to evaluate his "platform" or policies? If we're not listening to his words, then essentially we're constructing a narrative in our heads which guesses at what he'd actually do if elected.

Now to be fair I don't think it matters as none of us who realize this will probably vote for him. The people voting for him are the ones who are actually taking him seriously and agreeing with him.
I think I'm getting misunderstood. I take everything that he says seriously. LIke I said, if he had his way, he would do those things in a heartbeat. And yes, that would seem to mean chopping off heads and drowning people.
But currently, a president cannot just make that happen. The Geneva convention is a high hurdle. Not saying he wouldn't try to get around the laws, or put orders in place to circumvent things.

I am first on the list of being terrified of him anywhere near the white house.

On a lighter note.
In his incoherent, unhinged rant of a rally yesterday, he said this

I was the first person to ever use the word 'rigged', everything is rigged...
No one had said that before me. I asked some longtime political pros if anyone had ever used the term 'rigged' before and they said, No, you're the first one.
LMAO!!
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Old 07-06-2016, 12:46 PM   #202
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The US does what it can to avoid collateral damage with Drones. I do not believe that we purposely bomb weddings, schools, missionaries, etc just because. We received what was believed as credible information, and sometimes it's wrong. It's horrible, but inevitable in war.

Drones and the use of special forces have done more to take out terrorists than invading countries and destabilizing the region.

I see it as a middle ground of all out invasion, and complete withdrawal from the region.

I also believe that the US Military goes to great lengths to pay reparations to the families/victims of strikes gone bad. I was listening to a podcast of a former special force vet, who's new job is going around the country doing seminars on leadership (among other traits) who said in Iraq, and other countries, if the US made a mistake and killed innocents, or just destroyed their homes and lively-hood, we made payments, and even tried to help rebuild what was lost.

Does it make up for a death, or even loss of history/home? No, but it's not as brutal as a bunch of grunts coming in, shooting up the place, and then leaving.
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Old 07-06-2016, 12:57 PM   #203
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The US does what it can to avoid collateral damage with Drones. I do not believe that we purposely bomb weddings, schools, missionaries, etc just because. We received what was believed as credible information, and sometimes it's wrong.
I can agree with this, too.

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I also believe that the US Military goes to great lengths to pay reparations to the families/victims of strikes gone bad. I was listening to a podcast of a former special force vet, who's new job is going around the country leading seminars on leadership (among other traits) who said in Iraq, and other countries, if the US made a mistake and killed innocents, or just destroyed their homes and lively-hood, we made payments, and even tried to help rebuild what was lost.
That's pretty admirable. Yeah, concerns about foreign policy and drones aside, I certainly don't want to demonize our soldiers' intentions overseas (obviously we have had examples of soldiers who've behaved hideously, for sure, but I think most soldiers honestly try their best to do good and set a proper example for the military and the U.S. at large).

My mistrust is more related to the U.S. government who makes these foreign policy decisions much of the time. Especially since some of the government officials who make these decisions don't seem to have the military know-how or experience that would be helpful/necessary to make these calls.

Having said that, however, in regards to Obama and his administration, I honestly do believe that he is, like you noted in your post, trying to find a middle ground of keeping us involved while trying to minimize death and destruction as much as possible. I would definitely not place him in the "warmonger" category.
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Old 07-06-2016, 01:03 PM   #204
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Well we really don't know how serious to take him. That's the problem.



He actually said, "I love waterboarding" "I think it's great". No world leader should say that. Will he nuke Europe? We don't know, will he be reasonable or get drunk off power? Will he have a knee jerk reaction because of his paper thin skin? Seriously or not, he's an unknown and that kind of unknown his dangerous, so at the end of the day you have to take that seriously.

Yeah but a week before that he probably said torture is evil.

Obviously we dont know what to take seriously. But if there's one part you should take seriously, it's his tactical placement of wordbombs that make the media freak. I think it's not ridiculous to say Donald Trump lies about all of his extreme viewpoints, minus perhaps his xenophobia. His life leading up to his "republican transformation" is evidence of that.
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Old 07-06-2016, 01:06 PM   #205
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Well, I know he can't actually DO the things he says. But the only reason he can't is because there are current laws, treaties, guidelines, etc... to keep him from doing it. I do actually think he would do those things if he had free reign.

But the fact remains, that you would have someone in office with that level of disgustingness, dangerousness and complete disregard for a real solution. (I know there is probably no REAL solution, but some solutions are much better than others)

Well, I don't think my point was whether or not he could do these things. I was making a point about how everything he says is just a freaking joke. He's got no idea what he's doing. You shouldn't be worried about whether or not he loves waterboarding. We've had presidents waterboard before. You should be worried about how when Donald Trump gets into office, he won't have a fucking clue what he's doing at all. That's what scares me the most.
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Old 07-06-2016, 01:54 PM   #206
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Clinton and her followers are the sick ones.
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Old 07-06-2016, 03:48 PM   #207
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I think I'm getting misunderstood. I take everything that he says seriously. LIke I said, if he had his way, he would do those things in a heartbeat. And yes, that would seem to mean chopping off heads and drowning people.
I think you and I are on the same page, my response was more to LN7 saying that we shouldn't take Trump seriously. Which I agree with in theory, it's just that if we can't take seriously anything he says (because yes, it's ridiculous), then what do we do with him as a candidate? I mean I guess I go back to why the hell is he still up there...
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Old 07-06-2016, 04:02 PM   #208
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I think you and I are on the same page, my response was more to LN7 saying that we shouldn't take Trump seriously. Which I agree with in theory, it's just that if we can't take seriously anything he says (because yes, it's ridiculous), then what do we do with him as a candidate? I mean I guess I go back to why the hell is he still up there...

I suppose I'm not so much saying "don't take him seriously" as I am saying "don't waste your time legitimizing his banter." We should be focusing on how this man is not fit for just about any political office, let alone POTUS. Don't ask yourself whether or not you want a wall that Mexico will pay for. Ask yourself whether or not Donald Trump made that up on the spot... the real danger of Trump isn't his desire to build a wall. It's the fact that he doesn't have a god damn clue what he's doing.
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Old 07-06-2016, 04:07 PM   #209
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I believe this.

Experts: Donald Trump Is Lying About His Fundraising Haul - The Daily Beast
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Old 07-06-2016, 10:07 PM   #210
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Chilcot, anyone?
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