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Romney/Ryan 2012
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Brad Fisher
(wufpackfn)

Locale: NC/TN/VA Mountains
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Single entity as judge, jury, executioner on 11/14/2012 07:44:40 MST Print View

"yeah, what do you have against Susan Rice?

Intelligent

Calm/diplomatic - as opposed to that awful John Bolton, for example"

Really outside Libya incident what do you know about her and her qualifications. Only thing I have to base it on is her handling of the Libya incident and she completely screwed it up. I'm sure we have plenty of other capable people why not pick one of them instead? Just seems odd to pick someone controversial and shove it down their throat.

"Black and a woman - if we had more diversity we would have better ideas, for example getting into fewer wars"

Based on that statement he should pick a Republican for Sec of State. As you say diversity would create better ideas.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Single entity as judge, jury, executioner on 11/14/2012 08:28:30 MST Print View

"My point is four more years of the same from both parties."

I have hope things will be a little different, call me Polyana. We will see within a few weeks.

The Republicans can not simply have the position that their number one priority is making sure Obama doesn't get re-elected.


"When you involve the media/public then things go in the crapper pretty quick."

When the Republican politicians refuse to un-do the unfair, unpaid for tax cuts to rich people, Obama has to take it to the people who are in favor of this, to pressure them.

And same thing with other issues.


Regarding Susan Rice - she successfully got the unprecedented Iran sanctions, and negotiated the Libya action. Not successful in Syria (yet?). In her business, success is almost impossible and even just a few successes is pretty good. Her talk is quite blunt - not a push-over - yet she doesn't provoke escalation or bully people like that awful John Bolton.

Regarding Benghazi, in the immediate period after the attack, she incorrectly said it was not a pre-planned action. So what? Immediately after something like this the story changes as new information comes in. What's important is was there insufficient security before, did we respond immediately, are we investigating completely or just hiding the truth, are we taking actions to avoid in the future, did we honor those that behaved heroically,... nothing critical about Rice in all of this.

Ben Crocker
(alexdrewreed) - M

Locale: Kentucky
Hillary on 11/14/2012 08:41:34 MST Print View

Its more than a little funny to me when the conservatives want to keep Hillary in as Sec. of State.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Hillary on 11/14/2012 09:21:20 MST Print View

Charlie Rose and Norah ODonnel were interviewing John McCain on CBS This Morning

McCain acknowledged that the CIA had a report 3 days later that said Benghazi was spontaneous, but there was another report later that said it wasn't, and then Susan Rice said it was spontaneous. So, she should have believed the later report and not the earlier. I don't see the big deal.

Then McCain said it was obviously not spontaneous - that makes no sense - Susan Rice shouldn't be making statements based on what seems obvious to her at some moment, she should be reading reports from the CIA and others

Then McCain said "4 Americans died, someone has to pay". That is a common theme by Republicans - when something bad happens, find someone to punish, and then move on.

But, then whenever something bad happens, everyone will clam up for fear the punishment finger will point to them.

Better to have an attitude of lets figure out what went wrong and then change the policies so it doesn't happen again. Then people will open up more because they won't fear being punished.

And McCain always seems bitter because he got beat by Obama and is trying to get even.

Edited by retiredjerry on 11/14/2012 09:22:11 MST.

Brad Fisher
(wufpackfn)

Locale: NC/TN/VA Mountains
Re: Re: Single entity as judge, jury, executioner on 11/14/2012 10:05:10 MST Print View

"When the Republican politicians refuse to un-do the unfair, unpaid for tax cuts to rich people, Obama has to take it to the people who are in favor of this, to pressure them."

You defend him to the bitter end. How about we have some meetings first and see if we can make any progress before going straight to the media.

- Go to the media with 1.6T in more tax revenue over the next 10 years
- Projection shows this year's fiscal deficit will be another trillion for the 5th straight year
- To make the math easy let's say 160 billion a year in more revenue. Where is the other 840 billon going to come from?
- You can say the economy is going to improve and make up the difference, but we are not really seeing much evidence of that
- Why isn't he using the media to help him with spending cuts for entitlement programs. Seems like that is his strategy to pressure the Rep, how about pressuring the Dems. He can't do that because it will upset his supporters

You can keep going on and on and on about blaming Bush, etc, but at some point the president is elected to lead the country out of this mess. Sure past administrations are to blame for where we are at, but sitting around blaming doesn't solve the problem.

I don't understand you trying to defend Rice. You know that he could select a very capable and less controversial candidate. You know she screwed up going with half truths to the talk show circuit. A more measure and prudent approach would have been to wait and evaluate the information and not a knee jerk reaction. Is that the kind of person we want as Sec of State?

Brad Fisher
(wufpackfn)

Locale: NC/TN/VA Mountains
Re: Re: Single entity as judge, jury, executioner on 11/14/2012 10:18:30 MST Print View

"Her talk is quite blunt - not a push-over - yet she doesn't provoke escalation or bully people like that awful John Bolton."

Jerry I respect and appreciate your comments, but I have a question. Why are a lot of your responses like this one. Rice is obviously not a good candidate and the president should pick someone else. However you try to defend him/her by comparing to a more extreme character like Bolton. Bolton wasn't even in the conversation nor was I suggesting someone like him. I'm not a Hillary fan, but I thought she did a good job in the role.

BTW, I thought foreign policy would be one of Obama's weaknesses when first elected. He has done a good job in this area, so why make a misstep.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Re: Re: Single entity as judge, jury, executioner on 11/14/2012 11:07:08 MST Print View

I respect and appreciate your comments Brad : )

I think Rice is a great candidate

I think a lot of the "controversy" is manufactured by the right. That's a tactic they use to weaken Obama. Daryl Issa said right after Obama was first elected that this would be the most investigated president ever. They did the same thing to Clinton.

Bolton was ambassador to U.N., as is Rice, which is why it's an appropriate comparison, although I agree, extreme

Comparison to Bush and other previous presidents? - you can't look at Obama in a vacuum, you have to compare to others. For one thing, it would be easy for you or I to be dictator, but it's much more difficult to be president for 8 years and have to work with Republican and Democratic politicians and so many different citizens and political contributors.

For example, maybe a "Medicare for all" type health plan would be better, but when Clinton pushed it, the health insurance companies that faced extinction fought back and defeated it. Obamacare isn't perfect, but it's what was possible and fixed a lot of problems.

Brad Fisher
(wufpackfn)

Locale: NC/TN/VA Mountains
Re: Re: Re: Re: Single entity as judge, jury, executioner on 11/14/2012 12:30:49 MST Print View

Why is it important to compare Obama to other presidents? What purpose does that serve when evaluating his job performance? President's voluntarily chose to run for a position that requires them to lead the country and solve problems. They should be graded on their performance of doing the job they signed up for. If they don't think they are capable of working with the other party and getting things done, then why sign up for the job in the first place (goes for all politicians )?

It would be like me having a sales rep in a territory that met 25% of his quote. Then replace him with another rep who does 45% of his quote. When evaluating the two say well the second guy is doing much better compared to the first guy so lets keep him. That would be crazy.

Let's just disagree on Rice. Because you know the "left" would never manufacturer anything like the "right". I hate the self-rightousness of both parties.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Single entity as judge, jury, executioner on 11/14/2012 12:59:19 MST Print View

If one person does 25% of quota and the other 45%, maybe your quota is unreasonable - perfect example of how you have to compare

The right has made an art form of manufacturing scandal. Hopefully the left won't copy them.

For example, did the left ever investigate Bush/Cheney/Rove for "outing" Valerie Plame? Scooter Libby was convicted. Fitzgerald chose to not indict anyone else even though there was evidence Rove and Cheney were envolved. The left could have had investigated further. If it had been the other way around, the right would have had further investigations for sure.

Brad Fisher
(wufpackfn)

Locale: NC/TN/VA Mountains
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Single entity as judge, jury, executioner on 11/14/2012 13:58:18 MST Print View

"If one person does 25% of quota and the other 45%, maybe your quota is unreasonable - perfect example of how you have to compare "

That's surprising. As opposed to seeing this as a lack of productivity you look to blame someone else. That's the very reason we are in the current situation is because nobody wants to be accountable and just blame everyone else.

But based on your response I take it that we shouldn't really expect Obama to fix any of the problems, just understand he will not do as bad as other presidents. So that's ok and the measuring stick we will use for evaluating his presidency. Wow. Wish I had a job like that.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Single entity as judge, jury, executioner on 11/14/2012 14:23:20 MST Print View

I am a "cup half full" type of person - I hope Obama will continue to do better than most other presidents but realize that in politics, things can be difficult.

I think Obama has done pretty good so far - turned around a fincial collapse, ended one war, path to ending another war (a bit slowly but that might be one of those difficult political things), crippled Al Queda, passed a plan to provide health care for almost everyone (which presidents since Truman have tried to do), ended discrimination against gaY people in the military, hired more women and minorities into high level positions,...

If your quota is such that one person does 25% and another 40%, then your quota must be overly agressive. Of course, if you brought in several other people that exceeded quota, I'de have a different opinion. Or, if you produced data that said people had to meet quota to make a viable business, then we'de have to discuss how to enable people to sell more, fire those salesmen and hire new ones, reduce expenses, close the business,...

Dean F.
(acrosome) - MLife

Locale: Back in the Front Range
Valid combatant targets on 11/14/2012 15:22:37 MST Print View

Well, I'll just mention that in my personal opinion all of the stink about Benghazi is politically motivated. I tend to be a realist and to accept that one cannot prepare for EVERY eventuality. That said, I'm puzzled at Brad's opposition to Rice, too. It seems clear to me that the whole "spontaneous" vs "not spontaneous" issue was a communications snafu, and all the subsequent angst over it is ridiculous. Everyone now acknowledges that nefarious people were Up To Something that night- but that's hindsight. IIRC she was initially (around 5 days afterwards) saying something like "We think the protests were spontaneous and that extremist elements then took advantage of them"- which isn't exactly lying, y'know? Commo snafu, early in the crisis, with incomplete information. And she's in the Cabinet- hitting the talk shows is part of her job. For a Democratic appointee, I'd take her- she was pretty hard-line with Libya, etc. But, yes, the prospect of Republicans fighting to keep Clinton in the post strikes me as nothing short of hilarious!

But I really just want to respond to James and Tom, then I'm probably out of the debate. Actually, I was going to post a reply almost identical to Bucktoof's- then I saw Bucktoof's- so you can guess what's coming...

I am not a pacifist- just to put that out there. I am not naïve enough to believe that there is always a nonviolent solution. There are Bad People in the world with whom it is impossible to negotiate and who will ONLY respond to violence. I'll go so far as to state that IMO if you do not agree with that last statement that you are delusional. (I had to throw the "IMO" in there to avoid an informal fallacy, but I feel pretty strongly about the issue.)

Ergo, it follows that I accept that war is to some extent inevitable, and that it is possible to have a "just war", or perhaps a "just conflict" since al-Qaeda et al aren't national entities. And, I accept that Bad Things will happen to Innocent People during war, though it is of course tragic. Nonetheless, I believe that those innocent deaths are the fault of the Bad People in question, NOT those resisting them. (I'll not debate whether our current conflicts are "just", so don't try- that's a LONG debate, and frankly my views might surprise a lot of people here.)

So, would you require a legal proceeding for every Talib killed? That would clearly be ridiculous. So if not, why is al-Awlaki different? Just because he's an American? Well, I've already explained why I dismiss that argument- he is in active armed conflict with the United States, so even if he is an American citizen he is a valid target of military action. That is my (and IIRC the U.S. Attourney General's) position on the matter. Being an American is frankly NOT that special- if a NON-American is not in armed conflict with us we should not kill them, for example- the same rules apply. So, he's an American? Meh. I'll grant that it would be desirable to capture him and hold a trial, just as with any non-American terrorist, but it's far from required.

I don't think that our international conventions forbidding assassination really apply. They are sort of outdated, meant to forbid politically motivated assassination of nonmilitary national leaders and the like, for instance killing of the Soviet Premier or Hugo Chavez, etc. And, yes, I'd generally oppose assassinating the political leaders of a hostile government. But a hostile COMBATANT leader during time of armed conflict is ALWAYS a valid target- though this is where the prohibitions are outdated, since it is getting harder and harder to distinguish a protected civilian leader from someone who is helping to direct the conflict. But it is PERFECTLY LEGAL to bomb a general's headquarters with the intent of killing the general, for instance, AND ALWAYS HAS BEEN. Our prohibitions on assassination were never meant to forbid this, because this ISN'T assassination- it is a legitimate attack on a C2 target during combat. We killed Yamamoto on purpose- and yes that was debated but IMO any reasonable person will accept the validity of doing that. We don't live in the Napoleonic era, after all, where masses of conscripts were directed by "gentleman" officers who would avoid targeting one another while a multitude of their soldiers died horribly around them.

Al-Awlaki is the same. IMO the only legitimate objection to his killing involves the whole "is terrorism warfare or simply criminal" argument, on which I stand firmly of the opinion "yes." By which I mean that due to it's special armed and combatant nature it is both. If you consider it merely criminal go ahead and object- and I vehemently disagree with you. Otherwise I don't believe that in this case there is a legitimate objection. On other issues about the wars, sure, but not this one.

And, yes, to a certain extent we must "trust" those making such attacks against hostile combatants. Otherwise we are reduced to the absurdity I mentioned- soldiers unable to return fire until a legal proceeding has found the Talib in question guilty, or being unable to shoot a suicide bomber until after he had detonated and thus proved his guilt. And let me assure you- I would have no objection to a drone strike against Haqqani or al-Zawahiri, for instance, without a trial. They are combatant leaders. IMO the same holds for anyone financing and planning bombings, suicide attacks, assassinations, etc., like al-Awlaki. Who, in addition to being an unrepentant killer was also a bit of a creep and scumbag- soliciting prostitutes and lying to get scholarship money, etc.

So I guess that I hereby claim that the "slippery slope" argument works in my favor in this case.

Final trivia bit- I actually KNOW Nidal Hasan. He was in my medical school class. Quiet guy, kept to himself- all the usual tropes apply. I was in a few study groups with him, have barbequed with him, etc. I've considered going to visit him but I figured that might land me in a tiny well-drained room having a frank discussion with a gentleman holding a cattle prod... But, anyway, if we play "Six Degrees of Anwar al-Awlaki" I think I'd win.

So, regarding the "unsheathing the sword" thing and having a high standard for it- yes, I'll agree with that. There was a character that Bruce Willis played in "The Siege" who was an Army general and who expressed trepidation at the suggestion that the Army be deployed inside the U.S. under martial law. He said something like "I'm a broadsword, not a scalpel." I thought that was a pretty cogent statement.

But then you have to argue over the standard for when it is appropriate to unsheath the broadsword, and I suspect that we'll disagree on that issue. Suffice to say that I was moderately opposed to the Iraq invasion but support the legitimacy of our invasion of Afghanistan in pursuit of Bin Laden and al-Qaeda by way of the Taliban. (And this was even back when we all believed the evidence about WMDs in Iraq.) Don't get me wrong- I don't weep for the Ba'ath party, but I am nonetheless quite glad that through sheer chance I have only ever been deployed to Afghanistan and never to Iraq, thus avoiding a personal moral dilemma. I also know from first hand experience that the Taliban are patently EVIL people (outshining even Cheney) and frankly shooting is too good for them. Being shot is a soldier's death- they should at the least be hanged. There most certainly ARE issues where this gets sticky- recall that I just mentioned having first hand experience- but I'll reserve that discussion for later, if anyone cares about it.

Edited by acrosome on 11/14/2012 17:00:05 MST.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: Single entity as judge, jury, executioner on 11/14/2012 17:12:01 MST Print View

"The Republicans can not simply have the position that their number one priority is making sure Obama doesn't get re-elected."

Given the low morale within the GOP, I'd say making sure Obama doesn't get reelected
is a pretty good way to start the rebuilding process. ;)

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Valid combatant targets @ Dean on 11/14/2012 17:51:30 MST Print View

"I am not a pacifist- just to put that out there. I am not naïve enough to believe that there is always a nonviolent solution. There are Bad People in the world with whom it is impossible to negotiate and who will ONLY respond to violence."

Nor am I, Dean. It is as you say, however much I might wish it were otherwise. During my years in Iraq and Iran I saw enough stone killers to disabuse me of any such notion. Also, IMO, al Awlaki got pretty much what he deserved, as have a number of others.

"Ergo, it follows that I accept that war is to some extent inevitable, and that it is possible to have a "just war", or perhaps a "just conflict" since al-Qaeda et al aren't national entities. And, I accept that Bad Things will happen to Innocent People during war, though it is of course tragic."

No argument here.

"Nonetheless, I believe that those innocent deaths are the fault of the Bad People in question, NOT those resisting them."

This is where it gets sticky for me. In the case of the initial phases of the Afghan campaign, I would agree. After it settled into a war of attrition, far too many civilians perished due to NATO efforts to get at Talibs hiding amonst them, with a predictable turning of the civilian population against us. The Taliban are equally guilty of killing civilians, as were the Viet Cong in an earlier war, but that does not excuse us. IMO, there is ample blame to go around.

"(I'll not debate whether our current conflicts are "just", so don't try- that's a LONG debate, and frankly my views might surprise a lot of people here.)"

I'll bet you'd find we're not all that far apart on this one, and probably for similar reasons, at least in part.

"And, yes, to a certain extent we must "trust" those making such attacks against hostile combatants."

Absolutely! My comments were directed at those making the decision to commit our military to a war in the first place. Once the fighting starts, as I said, civilian casualties are inevitable.

"But then you have to argue over the standard for when it is appropriate to unsheath the broadsword, and I suspect that we'll disagree on that issue. Suffice to say that I was moderately opposed to the Iraq invasion but support the legitimacy of our invasion of Afghanistan in pursuit of Bin Laden and al-Qaeda by way of the Taliban."

I, too, supported the invasion to oust the Taliban and go after al Qaeda. It had to be done, and any president failing to act would deservedly been impeached. Would that it had it ended there; instead we fell into the same trap that others have down thru the millenia, with the same predictable results and so much human suffering, as you know far better than I. It became an unwinnable war the moment it was transformed into a war of liberation. As for when it is appropiate, we may not disagree as much as you think. I base this on your reservations about the Iraq war.
My real concern is that the American people do not ask the hard questions when our leaders start beating the war drums in the name of ill defined "national interests", nor do they demand an accounting when those who have dragged us into unnecessary conflicts at such terrible cost are exposed as unprincipled liars. Think Gulf of Tonkin or WMD's.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: Valid combatant targets @ Dean on 11/14/2012 18:31:48 MST Print View

"Would that it had it ended there; instead we fell into the same trap that others have down thru the millenia, with the same predictable results and so much human suffering, as you know far better than I. It became an unwinnable war the moment it was transformed into a war of liberation."

Great conversation gentlemen!

We should only being going to war when we have been attacked (as in invaded). I can maybe make a case for involvement in the European theater in WWII. Every war since then has been wrong, except we should have handled Afghanistan as Tom presented it.

Katharina ....
(Kat_P) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Coast
Re: Re: Valid combatant targets @ Dean on 11/14/2012 21:34:16 MST Print View

I just find it interesting that Israel's latest attacks, which they called " surgical", killed 2 children out of 8 people. If that is surgical, I would hate to see what a hack job looks like.

Ps. "Interesting" isn't the right word. I am at a loos of words when it comes to this particular subject, I guess.

Edited by Kat_P on 11/14/2012 21:36:24 MST.

Michael L
(mpl_35) - MLife

Locale: The Palouse
Re: Re: Re: Valid combatant targets @ Dean on 11/15/2012 12:06:44 MST Print View

@kat

To see what hack jobs look like look at the 750 rocket attacks gaza has launched into Israel this year alone.

Katharina ....
(Kat_P) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Coast
Re: Re: Re: Re: Valid combatant targets @ Dean on 11/15/2012 12:28:11 MST Print View

@Michael,
Yes, but we don't support that.

Since 1987 the death ratio Israeli vs Palestinian is about 1 to 5.

Edited by Kat_P on 11/15/2012 12:33:39 MST.

Diplomatic Mike
(MikefaeDundee)

Locale: Under a bush in Scotland
Mmmm on 11/15/2012 12:50:51 MST Print View

If someone invaded my land, i would be firing rockets at them too. Especially if the invaders were ignoring UN resolutions.

Michael L
(mpl_35) - MLife

Locale: The Palouse
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Valid combatant targets @ Dean on 11/15/2012 16:04:57 MST Print View

Tap the brakes guys.

You asked for a hack job versus surgical. Just helping out. Don't need anti Jewish propaganda.

I could have also brought up cluster bombs but that wasn't in the paper I had in front of me.