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The elephant in the room


rkbabang
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Just a friendly reminder that while everyone is arguing on how much they love or hate Trump, the US has stolen 6 trillion dollars and used it to kill half a million human beings.  Rather than get your panties in a bunch over Trump taking the whitehouse press pass from a rude reporter, maybe you should look into the fact that in 2018 Trump dropped even more bombs than Obama did in any one year in Afghanistan.  I know, expecting people to criticize Trump for something that actually matters is a little to much too ask these days when the media is telling you what to be mad about, most people just go with that.  Not only do they tell you what to think, but how to feel.

 

 

U.S. HAS SPENT SIX TRILLION DOLLARS ON WARS THAT KILLED HALF A MILLION PEOPLE SINCE 9/11, REPORT SAYS

https://www.newsweek.com/us-spent-six-trillion-wars-killed-half-million-1215588

 

The U.S. Never Dropped As Many Bombs On Afghanistan As It Did In 2018

https://www.forbes.com/sites/niallmccarthy/2018/11/13/the-u-s-never-dropped-as-many-bombs-on-afghanistan-as-it-did-in-2018-infographic/#3b22c0bd2fae

 

 

I know, I know, nobody cares.  They are fighting for our freedom.  Support the troops.  They hate us for our freedoms.  Etc, etc, etc.

The anti-war movement is completely MIA in the US as the left, the right, and the media on both sides are now all on board the war machine.

 

Now back to your regularly scheduled program...

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Oh I agree it's absurd.

 

At this point, I figure "the war" is an excuse to funnel tax dollars to boys-club contractors, and get any remaining marginal use out of the poor souls who signed up for the military (i.e. the marginal benefit of sending a kid to war is still positive).

 

The same argument still stands: we have enough problems at home to be wasting (T)(B)(M)illions in some desert across the world. I'd argue Trump's domestic policies (tax policy specifically) make the matter even worse but that's a different topic.

 

Also, at this point we are just foreign oppressors. We've killed over half a million people in a war that has so much "thesis drift" it's unbearable to hear justification for. It's been over a decade and we are far beyond the point of causing more problems than we've solved.

 

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Oh and here's a lovely satirical response I saw:

 

That works out to $12,000,000 per kill. If they had hired Mafia hit-men to do the job, at an average of $10,000 per hit, it would have only cost $5,000,000,000, which would have left $5,995,000,000,000 ($5.99 trillion) for universal free healthcare, universal free university education, infrastructure, development, and social security. If they MUST murder so many, can't they find a cheaper way to do it?

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Oh I agree it's absurd.

 

At this point, I figure "the war" is an excuse to funnel tax dollars to boys-club contractors, and get any remaining marginal use out of the poor souls who signed up for the military (i.e. the marginal benefit of sending a kid to war is still positive).

 

The same argument still stands: we have enough problems at home to be wasting (T)(B)(M)illions in some desert across the world. I'd argue Trump's domestic policies (tax policy specifically) make the matter even worse but that's a different topic.

 

Also, at this point we are just foreign oppressors. We've killed over half a million people in a war that has so much "thesis drift" it's unbearable to hear justification for. It's been over a decade and we are far beyond the point of causing more problems than we've solved.

 

 

I agree with everything you've said, including about Trump's tax cut policy.  I'm all for tax cuts (as much and as deep as possible), but they need to be paired with massive spending cuts.  And the best and easiest place to cut would be the military, IMHO.

IMG_1594.jpg.e0438295607627beac374932037d821f.jpg

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No opinion on the matter, but Mark Steyn’s comments on the topic are interesting

 

He speaks mostly about Muslim immigration problems in various countries which is a different topic than whether or not we should be slaughtering them by the hundreds of thousands in their own countries.  But at one point he does say "In Afghanistan we are fighting for something not worth winning"  to which I agree.

 

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Here's another thought, and I apologize in advance for the tangential topic:

 

The USA is a democratic republic. We democratically elect representatives to vote on nationally and internationally important affairs. This mechanism is "American" - one of those founding concepts that is so ingrained in this country's modus operandi that any alternative is immediately scoffed at.

 

But imagine if we needed a fully democratic vote on this topic. Do you think we'd still be at war? I think most likely that after Osama's death, the majority of Americans would've said, "mission accomplished, let's get outta here". Now how many deaths (American and foreign) would that have prevented? Or in other terms, how many people had to die because the Senate can't get its head out of its...?

 

I'd argue in today's day and age, a representative democracy is doing a disservice to America. For certain items, I think they should be put to a truly popular vote.

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Here's another thought, and I apologize in advance for the tangential topic:

 

The USA is a democratic republic. We democratically elect representatives to vote on nationally and internationally important affairs. This mechanism is "American" - one of those founding concepts that is so ingrained in this country's modus operandi that any alternative is immediately scoffed at.

 

But imagine if we needed a fully democratic vote on this topic. Do you think we'd still be at war? I think most likely that after Osama's death, the majority of Americans would've said, "mission accomplished, let's get outta here". Now how many deaths (American and foreign) would that have prevented? Or in other terms, how many people had to die because the Senate can't get its head out of its...?

 

I'd argue in today's day and age, a representative democracy is doing a disservice to America. For certain items, I think they should be put to a truly popular vote.

 

Ballot questions at the national level for certain things?  Interesting.  It would be worth a try, what we have now isn't working. And I suspect you are correct, the public doesn't care enough about this topic to "throw the bums out", but I have to think they would vote against war specifically if given the chance.

 

 

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The last good thing that and US president did in the region was probably Jimmy Carter brokering a peace between Israel and Egypt, which will stands.

 

Anything that has been done in this region had unintended consequences. The freedom fighters in Afghanistan, who got stinger missiles from Ronald Reagan to fight the Soviets, later become Taliban and after the Taliban were destroyed (mostly) they gave rise to ISIS. Saudi Arabia, who used to be our ally managed to kill and chop up the body of a journalist in their embassy in a NATO state. pretty much any country there is also fighting either civil wars or covert wars.

 

The worst mistake the US did was to call a “war on terrorism” after 9/11. You can’t fight a war on terrorism or at least you can’t win it. Army’s are too blunt of a weapon to fight terrorism. When you look at the direct damage the terrorist did on 9/11, it probably amounts to less than $10B. to prevent this from happening again, the US spent $6000B , if Rkbabang number is correct, thats more then 600x the direct damage.

 

I know that doing nothing in the face of it is not an option, but politically it would have been better to just move on, hardening the defenses and find a way to fight the terrorism with counter terrorism in their own playground. That’s not a very American thing to do (just judging from countless movies, where dozens of people die to save a kid or a good looking women), but it would have been more rational. Terrorism in my opinion is a bit like a traffic accidents or a tornadoes, they are rare,  virtually impossible to prevent,  and in the end for the whole nation inconsequential.

 

I am steeping off my soap box now.

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Terrorism in my opinion is a bit like a traffic accidents or a tornadoes, they are rare,  virtually impossible to prevent,  and in the end for the whole nation inconsequential.

 

Exactly my opinion. But no common person will ever agree with you (and those people vote!)

 

You're even missing all the indirect cost in the $600B figure. Airports are so incredibly inefficient now. Try to capitalize all the wasted time at airports since 9/11 I don't even know where to start. Same with delays at borders and most of the money spend on extra security at events have also been proven to be a waste. Oh did I mention the growth in the budget of the NSA and organizations like it worldwide? Mindblowing.

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Wowzy. Libertarians and moderates agreeing on something.  ::) Sign me as +1 re war in Afghanistan.

 

 

You want left to push against war? They could/would/might. I believe Bernie Sanders is against. I believe quite a few of left are against. But you know that it's the third rail. You can't win elections by being against military in US. Maybe elections in Vermont, but not national elections.

 

 

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt4758646/ - not a great movie, but has some topical thoughts.

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Wowzy. Libertarians and moderates agreeing on something.  ::) Sign me as +1 re war in Afghanistan.

 

You want left to push against war? They could/would/might. I believe Bernie Sanders is against. I believe quite a few of left are against. But you know that it's the third rail. You can't win elections by being against military in US. Maybe elections in Vermont, but not national elections.

 

 

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt4758646/ - not a great movie, but has some topical thoughts.

 

Unfortunately you are correct.  The two most anti-war politicians in recent history have been Bernie Sanders and Ron Paul.  It's the one issue where Libertarians and Socialists agree and they are both considered "extremists".

 

BTW "not a great movie" is an understatement.  There are some topical thoughts, a view of the pointlessness and corruption of the Afghanistan war, but the movie is just so bad that I never recommend it to anyone.

 

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No small terrorist group has ever taken over a state (Cronin page 93) and 94% fail to achieve any of their strategic aims (Cronin page 215).

 

https://www.amazon.com/How-Terrorism-Ends-Understanding-Terrorist-ebook/dp/B002WJM6OA/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1542818245&sr=1-1&keywords=How+terrorism+ends

How about the IRA?

 

I just happened to be reading Steven Pinker's book, The Better Angels of Our Nature and I am currently on the chapter dealing with terrorism.  So what I know is what I have read in the last 24 hours. His only comment about the IRA is that "Northern Ireland is still a part of the United Kingdom..." I guess indicating the IRA did not accomplish their goal.

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Here's another thought, and I apologize in advance for the tangential topic:

 

The USA is a democratic republic. We democratically elect representatives to vote on nationally and internationally important affairs. This mechanism is "American" - one of those founding concepts that is so ingrained in this country's modus operandi that any alternative is immediately scoffed at.

 

But imagine if we needed a fully democratic vote on this topic. Do you think we'd still be at war? I think most likely that after Osama's death, the majority of Americans would've said, "mission accomplished, let's get outta here". Now how many deaths (American and foreign) would that have prevented? Or in other terms, how many people had to die because the Senate can't get its head out of its...?

 

I'd argue in today's day and age, a representative democracy is doing a disservice to America. For certain items, I think they should be put to a truly popular vote.

 

Ballot questions at the national level for certain things?  Interesting.  It would be worth a try, what we have now isn't working. And I suspect you are correct, the public doesn't care enough about this topic to "throw the bums out", but I have to think they would vote against war specifically if given the chance.

In my view a vote on whether the US should be at war or not would be useless.

 

Let alone the fact that Americans seem to be in love with the military so I don't think they would vote to tell it what to do. It would also be unenforceable for the most part. You could vote to not be at war in Afghanistan. The US is killing people in a lot of place in the world without being "at war" with them. Even if you try to educate yourself on what's going on you won't know all the places.

 

I think that the only way to have less war is to cut the military budget. Because if you spend so much money on something your gonna use it. 1. Because it's really easy. And 2. Because you kinda look stupid if you don't. So reducing the military budget would be an effective way to have less war.

 

Ideally, what would be great is something like a global START treaty where all the countries agree to lower military spending. That should lead a lot less war globally. It would also lead to a lot of prosperity as well. Because war is bad. And because military spending is the worst spending you could have. You're literally setting money on fire. With the money saved from the military, you can do tax cuts, build infrastructure, improve health care, education etc. All really good things that improve lives.

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No small terrorist group has ever taken over a state (Cronin page 93) and 94% fail to achieve any of their strategic aims (Cronin page 215).

 

https://www.amazon.com/How-Terrorism-Ends-Understanding-Terrorist-ebook/dp/B002WJM6OA/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1542818245&sr=1-1&keywords=How+terrorism+ends

How about the IRA?

 

I just happened to be reading Steven Pinker's book, The Better Angels of Our Nature and I am currently on the chapter dealing with terrorism.  So what I know is what I have read in the last 24 hours. His only comment about the IRA is that "Northern Ireland is still a part of the United Kingdom..." I guess indicating the IRA did not accomplish their goal.

I wasn't talking about the Provisional IRA that operated out of Northern Ireland. I was talking about the original IRA that formed in 1913 and eventually led to the independence of Ireland.

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Here's another thought, and I apologize in advance for the tangential topic:

 

The USA is a democratic republic. We democratically elect representatives to vote on nationally and internationally important affairs. This mechanism is "American" - one of those founding concepts that is so ingrained in this country's modus operandi that any alternative is immediately scoffed at.

 

But imagine if we needed a fully democratic vote on this topic. Do you think we'd still be at war? I think most likely that after Osama's death, the majority of Americans would've said, "mission accomplished, let's get outta here". Now how many deaths (American and foreign) would that have prevented? Or in other terms, how many people had to die because the Senate can't get its head out of its...?

 

I'd argue in today's day and age, a representative democracy is doing a disservice to America. For certain items, I think they should be put to a truly popular vote.

 

Ballot questions at the national level for certain things?  Interesting.  It would be worth a try, what we have now isn't working. And I suspect you are correct, the public doesn't care enough about this topic to "throw the bums out", but I have to think they would vote against war specifically if given the chance.

In my view a vote on whether the US should be at war or not would be useless.

 

Let alone the fact that Americans seem to be in love with the military so I don't think they would vote to tell it what to do. It would also be unenforceable for the most part. You could vote to not be at war in Afghanistan. The US is killing people in a lot of place in the world without being "at war" with them. Even if you try to educate yourself on what's going on you won't know all the places.

 

I think that the only way to have less war is to cut the military budget. Because if you spend so much money on something your gonna use it. 1. Because it's really easy. And 2. Because you kinda look stupid if you don't. So reducing the military budget would be an effective way to have less war.

 

Ideally, what would be great is something like a global START treaty where all the countries agree to lower military spending. That should lead a lot less war globally. It would also lead to a lot of prosperity as well. Because war is bad. And because military spending is the worst spending you could have. You're literally setting money on fire. With the money saved from the military, you can do tax cuts, build infrastructure, improve health care, education etc. All really good things that improve lives.

 

All true, except I'd much rather reduce spending to fund massive across the board tax cuts on everything that is currently taxed and paying down the national debt rather than create more government programs.  Maybe a ballot question to determine the military budget every year.  I don't know, but LC does have a point on representative democracy completely failing in many areas.  Look at Marijuana.  Every state that has legalized it has done it through ballot questions.  Here in New Hampshire the state legislature was the first state legislature to pass it and put it on the governors desk a few years back and she vetoed it.  We still don't have legalization here even though the majority support it.  There are just some areas (mostly those that take some power or money away from state agencies) that the government will resist what the public wants.  No one is going to start a revolution to get legal weed or reduce military spending, but if it was on the ballot in isolation to everything else they would vote for it.

 

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Of course you would favour tax cuts. Others will favour government programs. The tug of war will determine how the money is distributed. My point was that any way it is distributed is a positive and will lead to more wealth because military spending is the most wasteful of all.

 

About ballot measure, i just said I think that ballot measures on military would be ineffective. But I think federal ballot measures are a good idea. Especially in presidential election years since that is the highest turnout election there is. It should help get some things done. Especially those things that 90% of the country wants but politicians just won't do them.

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No small terrorist group has ever taken over a state (Cronin page 93) and 94% fail to achieve any of their strategic aims (Cronin page 215).

 

https://www.amazon.com/How-Terrorism-Ends-Understanding-Terrorist-ebook/dp/B002WJM6OA/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1542818245&sr=1-1&keywords=How+terrorism+ends

How about the IRA?

 

I just happened to be reading Steven Pinker's book, The Better Angels of Our Nature and I am currently on the chapter dealing with terrorism.  So what I know is what I have read in the last 24 hours. His only comment about the IRA is that "Northern Ireland is still a part of the United Kingdom..." I guess indicating the IRA did not accomplish their goal.

I wasn't talking about the Provisional IRA that operated out of Northern Ireland. I was talking about the original IRA that formed in 1913 and eventually led to the independence of Ireland.

 

I didn't even know there was a difference! I need to read Cronin's book to see what he meant.

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No small terrorist group has ever taken over a state (Cronin page 93) and 94% fail to achieve any of their strategic aims (Cronin page 215).

 

Maybe the key word here is small.

 

Overall though the terrorists that take over a state are not called terrorists anymore. They are called independence/freedom/etc. fighters and/or revolutionaries.

 

Exercise of what you should call George Washington and co and Lenin and co is left for the participants of this buuutiful forum.  8)

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