Syria

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Seneca
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Re: Syria

Post by Seneca » Mon Sep 09, 2013 1:23 pm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Desert_Fox

Pres. Obama appears to be following a similar playbook.

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Ego
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Re: Syria

Post by Ego » Mon Sep 09, 2013 8:28 pm

Has he purposely boxed himself into a no-lose situation? Are they engineering a lost vote on purpose?

If congress doesn't approve, he gets to say he tried but failed because of the obstructionists. He extracts IOUs in exchange for vote-against passes given to fence-sitters on his team. Later he'll call in those IOUs for votes that really matter. Syria explodes on its own. He has the other side to blame. Or it just slowly falls apart and we all forget about the distraction.

He keeps his promise to go to congress. He comes away looking like he tried, looking like he cares.

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Re: Syria

Post by jacob » Mon Sep 09, 2013 8:56 pm

"Knowing where the trap is that's the first step in evading it. This is like single combat, Son, only on a larger scale a feint within a feint within a feint... seemingly without end."

It's like the Keynesian beauty contest for investing only much harder.

What I'd like to know ... is politics efficient?

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GandK
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Re: Syria

Post by GandK » Tue Sep 10, 2013 11:54 am

I don't see how politics could possibly be efficient compared to the known alternatives. (Not to say it isn't still "better" than, say, dictatorship.)

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Chad
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Re: Syria

Post by Chad » Tue Sep 10, 2013 12:53 pm

You could consider politics efficient, as it's a means to get an agreement on how to use resources. Now, that agreement isn't necessarily the most efficient use of resources, but the other option would be not making a decision and not using the resources at all.

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Dragline
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Re: Syria

Post by Dragline » Tue Sep 10, 2013 1:13 pm

jacob wrote:What I'd like to know ... is politics efficient?
No. Particularly in a system built around "separation of powers", which is inefficient by design.

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JohnnyH
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Re: Syria

Post by JohnnyH » Tue Sep 10, 2013 2:49 pm

I'd agree with Dragline, but then I'd say separation of powers is a thing of the past... It's all about the Executive branch and the special interests that run the POTUS like a moderately priced escort. "Important" legislation can usually be fear-mongered through in a matter of days. So I'd have to say it is tragically efficient.

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Re: Syria

Post by jacob » Wed Sep 11, 2013 6:28 pm

According to the media [by the quantity of articles], the popular opinion seems to be turning solidly against.
It almost looks like it's the demopublican leadership (even the ranks dissent) against the rest of the population.

Interesting how the power structure is revealed.

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Felix
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Re: Syria

Post by Felix » Thu Sep 12, 2013 8:07 am

It's a strange feeling when you realize that an ex-KGB-agent tries keeping a Nobel Peace Price winner from entering a war.

Yes we can, but we won't. :D

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jennypenny
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Re: Syria

Post by jennypenny » Thu Sep 12, 2013 8:24 am

Did you read Putin's op-ed in the Times? http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/12/opini ... times&_r=1&

Strange indeed.

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Chad
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Re: Syria

Post by Chad » Thu Sep 12, 2013 9:46 am

I see no one wanted to argue against my devil's advocate answer on the efficiency of politics. :D

An interesting question, was getting Syria to hand over chemical weapons without using force the goal of Obama the entire time? I'm not convinced it was, as it's a rather slick move, but there is enough evidence to support the idea to some extent.

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Chad
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Re: Syria

Post by Chad » Thu Sep 12, 2013 9:51 am

Felix wrote:It's a strange feeling when you realize that an ex-KGB-agent tries keeping a Nobel Peace Price winner from entering a war.

Yes we can, but we won't. :D
It's not like Putin is doing this out of the goodness of his heart. He has ulterior motives, like any world leader. Syria/Assad is his closest ally in the area and Assad's loss would drastically hurt Russia's Middle East influence.

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Chad
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Re: Syria

Post by Chad » Thu Sep 12, 2013 10:15 am

jennypenny wrote:Did you read Putin's op-ed in the Times? http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/12/opini ... times&_r=1&

Strange indeed.
It's actually kind of funny.

Putin speaking of Democracy? Oh, please. Not that our last two Presidents have much room to talk, but Putin? The guy is basically a dictator. Just a week or two ago he put people in jail for painting rather risque pictures of him.

Also, the UN has always been heavily controlled by the US and ignored by everyone when they don't agree with it. The UN is not going to crumble when the security council vetoes an action of force and someone ignores it for the thousandth time.

"We are not protecting the Syrian government, but international law." Give me a break. What about all our strikes in Yemen? No opposition from Putin there.

He is correct that it could destabilize the region further, as well as help extremists in the rebel ranks to victory. Iraq, Libya, Egypt, etc. are all examples of what happens when those extremists have to cork removed. Bad stuff happens. In the long run, this bad stuff is likely to spill on to the US and Russia.

"It is alarming that military intervention in internal conflicts in foreign countries has become commonplace for the United States."

It is alarming that large scale interventions, ala Iraq, have become common place. However, surgical strikes have been common since I was born 40 years ago and Russia isn't exactly innocent of all of this either. There are tons of them (Grenada, Panama, virtually every Latin American country, Libya - multiple times, Beirut, Iran, etc. and those are only the US ones)

He is correct that we are damaging our credibility with the constant use of force.

The real reason Putin doesn't want the US to take down Assad, which these strikes would surely go a long way towards, is a pipeline or multiple pipelines from the gulf through Turkey to the EU. Specifically, natural gas pipelines, as Russia has a noose around the EU, especially Germany, with natural gas. This is a big stick for Putin to lose.

Obviously, one could write pages of analysis on Putin's NYT article, but those are the big things that jump out at me.

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jennypenny
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Re: Syria

Post by jennypenny » Thu Sep 12, 2013 10:24 am

I think they've fumbled their way through this. The fact that Putin gets to play peacenik in the NYTimes is evidence enough of that.

They misjudged Americans' appetite for further international involvement, regardless of the reason. I think it shows yet again DC's disconnect with the rest of the country (on both sides of the aisle). If you ask someone specifically about Syria or gun violence or racial tension, you'll get the predictable response and appropriate level of outrage. If you just ask them what they're concerned about right now, most will say uncertainty surrounding their jobs and health insurance.

When you're out talking with people, are they talking about Syria? Maybe where you live they are talking about it more? Here, I've heard a few passing comments (usually just that they hope we don't send troops there), but most conversations I've been a part of over the last couple of weeks have revolved around when open enrollment starts and what people have heard from their employers or union reps.

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Felix
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Re: Syria

Post by Felix » Thu Sep 12, 2013 10:31 am

Chad wrote: It's not like Putin is doing this out of the goodness of his heart. He has ulterior motives, like any world leader.
Yes, that's part of what makes this setup so bizarre.

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Ego
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Re: Syria

Post by Ego » Thu Sep 12, 2013 10:33 am

Putin sounds a lot like an American politician appealing to the electorate. I wonder if outsiders are realizing the potential they might have by appealing to Americans as a third-party candidate might.

We've been doing this for years through mouthpiece-ambassadors who get as much press as president or prime minister. The tables have turned.

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JohnnyH
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Re: Syria

Post by JohnnyH » Thu Sep 12, 2013 10:35 am

This must be damaging to the D party when Putin is reasonably cautioning against another war... Seriously, who are the remaining Obama supporters? Is there no abuse/betrayal large enough for them to question their loyalty?

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Chad
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Re: Syria

Post by Chad » Thu Sep 12, 2013 10:37 am

More than likely they fumbled this and did not realize how tired US citizens are of intervening in other countries. I do think the "on purpose" idea is interesting, if unlikely.
jennypenny wrote: When you're out talking with people, are they talking about Syria? Maybe where you live they are talking about it more? Here, I've heard a few passing comments (usually just that they hope we don't send troops there), but most conversations I've been a part of over the last couple of weeks have revolved around when open enrollment starts and what people have heard from their employers or union reps.
I don't consult average people on this stuff (or really care to be honest), as they are clueless. They don't even know the facts about domestic policy, let alone foreign policy. The majority couldn't even find Syria on a map. But, you already know this about me.

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Chad
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Re: Syria

Post by Chad » Thu Sep 12, 2013 10:41 am

Ego wrote:Putin sounds a lot like an American politician appealing to the electorate. I wonder if outsiders are realizing the potential they might have by appealing to Americans as a third-party candidate might.

We've been doing this for years through mouthpiece-ambassadors who get as much press as president or prime minister. The tables have turned.
We have had a basic disdain for soft power since Bush was elected. Interesting that it is now being used so blatantly against our government. I am interested to see how well this letter is received. The majority won't even read it, but will have tons of opinions on it.

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Chad
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Re: Syria

Post by Chad » Thu Sep 12, 2013 10:46 am

Forgot to include this link about the pipelines in my long post:

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/ ... -pipelines

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Felix
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Re: Syria

Post by Felix » Sat Sep 14, 2013 5:54 am


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Chad
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Re: Syria

Post by Chad » Sat Sep 14, 2013 8:27 am


These are so blatant, it's laughable. A former Reagan official releases an anti-Obama opinion on Fox News? Who knew that would happen?

McCain doing the same thing in the Pravda that Putin did in NYT seems like a bad idea. The first move and probable winning move was already made by Putin in this part of the Syrian issue. Continuing to play this game just gives him more credibility and influence. Especially, when he is semi-correct on the Syrian issue (no need to bomb) and the vast majority of the US public agrees that force is not necessary.

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Felix
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Re: Syria

Post by Felix » Wed Oct 02, 2013 5:46 pm


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Chad
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Re: Syria

Post by Chad » Wed Oct 02, 2013 8:48 pm


No less deserving than Obama, which is to say, not deserving. Seems this award has been corrupted too.

The article by the Washington Times interests me more than the actual Putin nomination. The Times is a very conservative paper and seem to be using someone they normally wouldn't help to hurt Obama. Not on the reporting of the nomination, which is fine. In the last part of the article they blatantly make or allow a ridiculous exaggeration:

"Critics of the nomination also say Mr. Putin has led the Russian delegation at the U.N. Security Council into blocking international intervention in Syria that could have prevented the deaths of 100,000-plus civilians."

That's completely ridiculous. The US wasn't going to nuke them. Hate blinds sometimes.

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Felix
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Re: Syria

Post by Felix » Thu Oct 03, 2013 3:13 pm

The great irony I see here is that he is nominated for the peace prize because he prevented the previous winner of the peace price from starting a war. :D

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