US foreign policy and civil liberties intimately related..

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US foreign policy and civil liberties intimately related..

Postby legolas the elf » Wed Jan 04, 2012 7:10 pm

(I was looking for a Ron Paul thread, but didnt see one.)

The US Setting:
It's my opinion US is dealing with class warfare, as always....rich trying to hold on to what they got, and make more, ad infinitum...that's what they do, and always progressively. (And what's this New World Order stuff? even more complex and integrated at international level....)

Ron Paul:
I don't know what the state of the things would be in reality if Ron Paul's ideas were put forth in action: cutting the subsidies for Dept of Education, Interior (that's our National Parks!!), Energy, etc, but with all branches of the government and Media being bought by the money, I welcome a bit of the ol' radical "change" that would sever the current power holders from the power, a healthy stirring of the compost heap. Many new ideas: no life terms for Congressman, no more career politicians, have normal people serve, put SERVE THE PEOPLE back into the government's agenda rather than swindle the people, etc.

However, there is there is the question: Do Americans even want that kind of responsibility? If they did, I don't think it can just be done overnight by voting, they would simply have another vote recount...the power holders do not let go, just like the Ringbearers don't let go.
----------------------------------------------------
The Topic:

With that, I want to talk about the current foreign policy, how it relates to civil liberties and the new National Defense Act, how Ron Paul's view is awesome, how it is ALL a question of PERSPECTIVE, and finally, how this is ultimately an perspective issue for every single US American. We're dealing with nothing less than the great, fundamental human existential crisis: what is the truth? The solution of all of this lies in understanding the contexts and perspectives of others, because those phony, plastic GOP nominees we see on TV have good intentions, they just aren't open to other perspectives because they're locked into a mindset, for various reasons: money, power, prestige, etc...They ARE career politicians, mind you, and they're oh so human: they mean well, but don't do well. ...which ultimately means, they're hellbent and mad. The things that are going on now...the things I see and hear, I just think: "Really?!"...Like you just don't want to accept that fact that things are that absurd in reality...

In response of recent National Defense Act, i think of the old Ben Franklin quote, about those who give up liberty for security deserve neither....it is true! Human dignity is lost at that point.
Obama claims he is trying to make the Act not apply to US citizens, but that's like cleaning your car as you ride it off a cliff...Obama doesn't make any significant change because he doesn't play outside the limits of the current regime. He is a liberal/social version of George W regime perspective. It's the same perspective... Obama still acknowledges the War on Terror as a real thing.

I like Ron's approach of diffusing the War on Terror and terrorism with common sense and sanity, acknowledging the fear mongering of the Bush Administration that took place. Civil liberties are at stake.

Anyway, my post in response to the National Defense Act 2011 from Facebook:
"Liberty is a gift of God and love, not of anything a group of men (the government) can give. The government we have can merely protect us from ourselves...but of course they would have you think backward and think that the liberty-threat is external and comes from a species of humans called "terrorists" rather than confront and face the complete opposite that liberty is lost internally (same principle with countries as with individual human beings: only you can give your liberty away, no one can take what is your God given liberty). It's an insanely backward foriegn policy leaving US americans that support it with no dignity. The foreward, rather than backward, approach to the 'terrorists' would first be to use common sense and demystify and humanize the terrorists by asking what actions has America taken that has resulted in the motivation of terrorists? Surely a liberty-valuing American could see the hypocrisy. Also regarding foriegn policy, we should stop seeing ourselves as better than other countries; Other countries value individual liberty, too, though their society laws may not reflect it. In those societies we use to boost US in comparison, it's a matter of collective madness that prevents the goodness America once HAD from being present in their society. It is this prideful regarding America as "Light of the world" (Sara Palin) and "American can do no wrong!" that, ironically, is making us decline and diminish in sanity compared to other countries, because we unconsciously justify our actions that are becoming more and more destructive....and THAT is part of our INTERNAL THREAT."


Someone tell me I'm wrong and that the system is just peachy and works ok and that I am only hallucinating the synthetic cheer of the tele-prompt readers on CNN and ABC that only money can buy! (The way they dealt with the "Santorum surge!" was a circus in itself). Comments? Thoughts? Haikus? Brainfarts?

(And, No I'm not drinking again!)
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Postby vison » Wed Jan 04, 2012 7:29 pm

Ron Paul (and Libertarians in general) is vastly appealing to young, somewhat educated white men. Maybe you fit into that category?

Some of the things Mr. Paul and other Libertarians say are not nutz.

Some are.
GM is alive.

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Postby legolas the elf » Wed Jan 04, 2012 7:39 pm

Yeah, but what about the perspective thing on Terror...your thoughts on that? I'm not really questioning who follows Ron Paul. Obviously the least educated don't...they follow the mainstream.

It's frustrating to me because I believe people all basically want peace and love, the good stuff...but they just vary in their perspectives, and they don't recoginize the contexts; and some people don't even know they want peace...they're just on ego trips. People see things based on their own psychological/environmental conditioning, and the politicians themselves are illusionists...so it seems we have this situation set up where the mass of the confused people, unaware of other people's perspectives are looking to these illusionists (the politicians) for answers and explanations of 'the truth,' and the solution, and the politicians and Media just spin these realities for these unaware, blind people. Just seems such a madhouse, especially with the growing complexity of social/economic issues today....people just seem so out of touch with life outside of the Media. I think what i'm getting at in these lines is how powerful the Media is...and how much a part of our thinking lives TV media is.
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Postby vison » Wed Jan 04, 2012 8:08 pm

legolas the elf wrote:Yeah, but what about the perspective thing on Terror...your thoughts on that? I'm not really questioning who follows Ron Paul. Obviously the least educated don't...they follow the mainstream.

It's frustrating to me because I believe people all basically want peace and love, the good stuff...but they just vary in their perspectives, and they don't recoginize the contexts; and some people don't even know they want peace...they're just on ego trips. People see things based on their own psychological/environmental conditioning, and the politicians themselves are illusionists...so it seems we have this situation set up where the mass of the confused people, unaware of other people's perspectives are looking to these illusionists (the politicians) for answers and explanations of 'the truth,' and the solution, and the politicians and Media just spin these realities for these unaware, blind people. Just seems such a madhouse, especially with the growing complexity of social/economic issues today....people just seem so out of touch with life outside of the Media. I think what i'm getting at in these lines is how powerful the Media is...and how much a part of our thinking lives TV media is.


Yes, you are right. And how would it be changed?

I think it's horrible, but I don't see any way of changing it.
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Postby Swordsman_Of_The_Tower » Wed Jan 04, 2012 8:57 pm

Ron Paul is praised for coming out to the public and admitting "Yes, the government is corrupt and the system is awful" - but any fool can see that, yet we've coated him in gold for it and ignored any and all faults. It to be because at least in part that because the American public thinks it's politicians are insane, (we hate congress, but love our congressperson) we're accepting the first one who isn't a complete mainstream mess

And there are a whole lot of people who like him because it's "in" they "get it" and everyone else is a sheep, or a statist of somesuch.
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Postby portia » Wed Jan 04, 2012 9:11 pm

At the risk of repeating myself, I have to ask why you think Ron Paul's election would make any difference to the matters you mention i the first part of the first post. Paul's ideas would meet the same fate that many of Obama's have. They would come up against the fact that there are a lot of centers of power in Washington, other than 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

Putting most of those ideas into effect would take much, much more than an election; it would take a revolution.

Congress votes the budget on those department that Paul wants to trim or abolish; the President does not dictate them. You can be sure that those who benefit from those departments will be working hard to convince their Members of Congress of their value.

And what of the voters? If they vote for a Member of Congress every 2 years, how can his or her term be prevented from being for life, short of a Constitutional Amendment? Will "normal people" be conscripted, and forced to run for office, so that there are not so many "politicians?" Will not these "normal people" become "politicians" as soon as they willingly run for office?

If these ideas have any value, the value is as subjects for academic discussion, not for real-world expectations.
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Postby legolas the elf » Thu Jan 05, 2012 6:25 am

Swordsman_Of_The_Tower wrote:Ron Paul is praised for coming out to the public and admitting "Yes, the government is corrupt and the system is awful" - but any fool can see that, yet we've coated him in gold for it and ignored any and all faults.


Speaking openly about the corrupt government IS golden in the face of other candidates who ignore it. It is not a feat of super-vision to see it, but I think you overestimate the 'fools' out there....many don't see it.

Swordsman_Of_The_Tower wrote:It to be because at least in part that because the American public thinks it's politicians are insane, (we hate congress, but love our congressperson) we're accepting the first one who isn't a complete mainstream mess


First, I want to confirm that politicians ARE insane, in that they are out of touch with reality. Political correctedness is the mode of operation rather than substance and integrity. Second, I agree that there is this sort of 'accepting the least disaster' going on; it is good to keep that in mind. The roots of this is why we the people accept such low standards from the oligarchy? Any nominee that doesn't acknowledge the the power-holds of the oligarchy is a mess...just like all of those GOP puppets, except Paul. The appeal is that he is less tied in with the oligarchy.

Swordsman_Of_The_Tower wrote:And there are a whole lot of people who like him because it's "in" they "get it" and everyone else is a sheep, or a statist of somesuch.


Yeah, people can make an ego trip out of anything. But that doesn't have to discredit what they're tripping over.


portia wrote:At the risk of repeating myself, I have to ask why you think Ron Paul's election would make any difference to the matters you mention i the first part of the first post. Paul's ideas would meet the same fate that many of Obama's have. They would come up against the fact that there are a lot of centers of power in Washington, other than 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

Yeah good point, president is not the dictator, and most of what Paul wants would not come to be. Yeah, I think Obama meant very well, and still does, but it's the damn power centers in Washington.
Agreed...a revolution would be needed: a revolution in the what the people demand. That's all it takes, if the people could just demand.

portia wrote:And what of the voters? If they vote for a Member of Congress every 2 years, how can his or her term be prevented from being for life, short of a Constitutional Amendment? Will "normal people" be conscripted, and forced to run for office, so that there are not so many "politicians?" Will not these "normal people" become "politicians" as soon as they willingly run for office?

I'm not an expert on functioning solutions, I was just bringing up the point that having an entire careers centered around politics is dangerous; sure, we have a democracy in which we elect the people the oligarchy approve of (who they finance the campaigns/publicity for), and once we put the guys into The Club, they become an organized group who's main function is to use state of the art science to swindle the people while trying to make it seem like they are not. Is this a weak, weak form of democracy? The Media, for example, is uber powerful for them.

My point with the career politician thing is that removing it, or by law removing the opportunities it affords them for private personal gain, would put the SERVE THE PEOPLE back into what government positions are supposed to be. But the responsibility is on the people to demand it and decide what we want.
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Re: US foreign policy and civil liberties intimately related

Postby Storyteller » Thu Jan 05, 2012 9:41 am

legolas the elf wrote:Obama claims he is trying to make the Act not apply to US citizens, but that's like cleaning your car as you ride it off a cliff...Obama doesn't make any significant change because he doesn't play outside the limits of the current regime. He is a liberal/social version of George W regime perspective. It's the same perspective... Obama still acknowledges the War on Terror as a real thing.

Could it be because it kind of, you know, is?

"Liberty is a gift of God and love, not of anything a group of men (the government) can give. The government we have can merely protect us from ourselves...but of course they would have you think backward and think that the liberty-threat is external and comes from a species of humans called "terrorists" rather than confront and face the complete opposite that liberty is lost internally (same principle with countries as with individual human beings: only you can give your liberty away, no one can take what is your God given liberty).

Tell that to anyone who's in jail; chances are they will disagree somewhat.

Believing that the only real threats are the ones that come from within is a bad case of political solipsism.


It's an insanely backward foriegn policy leaving US americans that support it with no dignity. The foreward, rather than backward, approach to the 'terrorists' would first be to use common sense and demystify and humanize the terrorists by asking what actions has America taken that has resulted in the motivation of terrorists?

So, the proper, forward approach is to begin the inquiry with assuming yourself to be the cause of all evil and proceding from there? You reckon there's any kind of dignity in humiliating yourself pre-emptively?

Asking how you are to blame does not demystify the terrorists, and projecting your grievances against your own government onto them does not humanize them. it treats them as strictly reactive figures, pawns, whose actions are mere functions of your behavior. Change yourself, and you change them, and everything's so easy to fix. A proper approach would be examining what it is the terrorists actually want, and what it is about you that prevents the terrorists from having what they want. The answers won't agree with the masochistic approach to foreign policy, however.

Also regarding foriegn policy, we should stop seeing ourselves as better than other countries; Other countries value individual liberty, too, though their society laws may not reflect it.

And how is the US NOT better than those countries, then?

Someone tell me I'm wrong and that the system is just peachy and works ok and that I am only hallucinating the synthetic cheer of the tele-prompt readers on CNN and ABC that only money can buy! (The way they dealt with the "Santorum surge!" was a circus in itself). Comments? Thoughts? Haikus? Brainfarts?

(And, No I'm not drinking again!)

Here's a thought; you can be- and are- wrong even if your system isn't peachy and has issues. There's no contradiction between the two.
"...Their aim in war with Germany is nothing more, nothing less than extermination of Hitlerism... There is absolutely no justification for this kind of war. The ideology of Hitlerism, just like any other ideological system, can be accepted or rejected, this is a matter of political views. But everyone grasps, that an ideology can not be exterminated by force, must not be finished off with a war.” - Vyacheslav Molotov, ""On the Foreign Policy of the Soviet Union", 31 October 1939
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Re: US foreign policy and civil liberties intimately related

Postby UtgardLoki » Thu Jan 05, 2012 10:25 am

Storyteller wrote:
legolas the elf wrote:Obama claims he is trying to make the Act not apply to US citizens, but that's like cleaning your car as you ride it off a cliff...Obama doesn't make any significant change because he doesn't play outside the limits of the current regime. He is a liberal/social version of George W regime perspective. It's the same perspective... Obama still acknowledges the War on Terror as a real thing.

Could it be because it kind of, you know, is?
How can one have a "war" against an abstract concept?

Storyteller wrote:
"Liberty is a gift of God and love, not of anything a group of men (the government) can give. The government we have can merely protect us from ourselves...but of course they would have you think backward and think that the liberty-threat is external and comes from a species of humans called "terrorists" rather than confront and face the complete opposite that liberty is lost internally (same principle with countries as with individual human beings: only you can give your liberty away, no one can take what is your God given liberty).

Tell that to anyone who's in jail; chances are they will disagree somewhat.

Believing that the only real threats are the ones that come from within is a bad case of political solipsism.


It's an insanely backward foriegn policy leaving US americans that support it with no dignity. The foreward, rather than backward, approach to the 'terrorists' would first be to use common sense and demystify and humanize the terrorists by asking what actions has America taken that has resulted in the motivation of terrorists?

So, the proper, forward approach is to begin the inquiry with assuming yourself to be the cause of all evil and proceding from there? You reckon there's any kind of dignity in humiliating yourself pre-emptively?
Acknowledging the need to be self critical, rather than blithely believing in fantasy exceptionalism, is not humiliating. It is a first step to reducing tensions. For those without a vested interest in power imbalances, that is a goal worth aiming for.

Storyteller wrote:Asking how you are to blame does not demystify the terrorists, and projecting your grievances against your own government onto them does not humanize them. it treats them as strictly reactive figures, pawns, whose actions are mere functions of your behavior. Change yourself, and you change them, and everything's so easy to fix. A proper approach would be examining what it is the terrorists actually want, and what it is about you that prevents the terrorists from having what they want. The answers won't agree with the masochistic approach to foreign policy, however.
Yet the designation "terrorist" is arbitrarily, selectively, and politically motivated. To deny the motivational impact national actions have is distinctly "one-eyed". Enemies often are reactive.
Determining what the "terrorists" (or "freedom fighters") want is, unfortunately, not undertaken dispassionately. It requires some degree of self analysis. It is far easier to simply dehumanise those who threaten hegemony, and by not admitting the causality of aggressive actions, such as invasion, territorial sequestration, etc, is dishonest.

Storyteller wrote:
Also regarding foriegn policy, we should stop seeing ourselves as better than other countries; Other countries value individual liberty, too, though their society laws may not reflect it.

And how is the US NOT better than those countries, then?
The USA is "better" when the criteria for "betterness(sic)" is determined in such a way that the USA is superior. If "better" was determined as military might, then the USA is better. If "better" is determined as the number of Heads of State who have been women, Pakistan is "better".
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Postby portia » Thu Jan 05, 2012 12:23 pm

"The War on Terror" is just an advertising slogan. First: is should be a "War on terrorists, but that is not as snappy. Second: It is really just law enforcement, writ large and international. Calling it a war gives people who want to expand it more of a chance, psychologically.


Getting rid of career politicians just replaces them with career lobbyists.
My observation of the workings of term limits in CA is that the only people who have careers in state government are the lobbyists. They know their subject better than a legislator can hope to learn; they can help a person who is "termed-out" find a new office to run for or a non-government job.
Term limits have the unintended consequence of establishing lifetime lobbyists with more power, and getting rid of good legislators whom people would like to re-elect.
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Postby Storyteller » Thu Jan 05, 2012 12:30 pm

portia wrote:"The War on Terror" is just an advertising slogan. First: is should be a "War on terrorists, but that is not as snappy. Second: It is really just law enforcement, writ large and international. Calling it a war gives people who want to expand it more of a chance, psychologically.

Law enforcement writ large, using military means because LAPD SWAT would have some difficulty serving warrants in the Talibanistan, where the law needs to be enforced, is a war. Calling it something else would be disingenious.
"...Their aim in war with Germany is nothing more, nothing less than extermination of Hitlerism... There is absolutely no justification for this kind of war. The ideology of Hitlerism, just like any other ideological system, can be accepted or rejected, this is a matter of political views. But everyone grasps, that an ideology can not be exterminated by force, must not be finished off with a war.” - Vyacheslav Molotov, ""On the Foreign Policy of the Soviet Union", 31 October 1939
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Postby UtgardLoki » Thu Jan 05, 2012 12:34 pm

Storyteller wrote:
portia wrote:"The War on Terror" is just an advertising slogan. First: is should be a "War on terrorists, but that is not as snappy. Second: It is really just law enforcement, writ large and international. Calling it a war gives people who want to expand it more of a chance, psychologically.

Law enforcement writ large, using military means because LAPD SWAT would have some difficulty serving warrants in the Talibanistan, where the law needs to be enforced, is a war. Calling it something else would be disingenious.
Then this specific war should be termed the "War on the Taliban". Anders Breivik terrorised Oslo; was this "War on Terror" against him? If not, why not?
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Postby portia » Thu Jan 05, 2012 12:44 pm

Storyteller wrote:
portia wrote:"The War on Terror" is just an advertising slogan. First: is should be a "War on terrorists, but that is not as snappy. Second: It is really just law enforcement, writ large and international. Calling it a war gives people who want to expand it more of a chance, psychologically.

Law enforcement writ large, using military means because LAPD SWAT would have some difficulty serving warrants in the Talibanistan, where the law needs to be enforced, is a war. Calling it something else would be disingenious.


I am not so sure about the bolded part. But they'd need a bigger budget, which is what the "War on Terror" has provided other agencies.
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Postby Storyteller » Thu Jan 05, 2012 1:42 pm

portia wrote:
Storyteller wrote:
portia wrote:"The War on Terror" is just an advertising slogan. First: is should be a "War on terrorists, but that is not as snappy. Second: It is really just law enforcement, writ large and international. Calling it a war gives people who want to expand it more of a chance, psychologically.

Law enforcement writ large, using military means because LAPD SWAT would have some difficulty serving warrants in the Talibanistan, where the law needs to be enforced, is a war. Calling it something else would be disingenious.


I am not so sure about the bolded part.

Why not? You reckon that there's some other way of executing law enforcement operations on hostile territory? Or do you think it is sufficient to just intercept, with varying success, the incoming attacks without ever going after the foreign-based infrastructures from which they originate?
"...Their aim in war with Germany is nothing more, nothing less than extermination of Hitlerism... There is absolutely no justification for this kind of war. The ideology of Hitlerism, just like any other ideological system, can be accepted or rejected, this is a matter of political views. But everyone grasps, that an ideology can not be exterminated by force, must not be finished off with a war.” - Vyacheslav Molotov, ""On the Foreign Policy of the Soviet Union", 31 October 1939
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Postby TheEllipticalDisillusion » Thu Jan 05, 2012 3:01 pm

Ron Paul:
I don't know what the state of the things would be in reality if Ron Paul's ideas were put forth in action: cutting the subsidies for Dept of Education, Interior (that's our National Parks!!), Energy, etc, but with all branches of the government and Media being bought by the money, I welcome a bit of the ol' radical "change" that would sever the current power holders from the power, a healthy stirring of the compost heap. Many new ideas: no life terms for Congressman, no more career politicians, have normal people serve, put SERVE THE PEOPLE back into the government's agenda rather than swindle the people, etc.


It is still a compost heap whether you stir it or not.

With that, I want to talk about the current foreign policy, how it relates to civil liberties and the new National Defense Act, how Ron Paul's view is awesome, how it is ALL a question of PERSPECTIVE, and finally, how this is ultimately an perspective issue for every single US American. We're dealing with nothing less than the great, fundamental human existential crisis: what is the truth? The solution of all of this lies in understanding the contexts and perspectives of others, because those phony, plastic GOP nominees we see on TV have good intentions, they just aren't open to other perspectives because they're locked into a mindset, for various reasons: money, power, prestige, etc...They ARE career politicians, mind you, and they're oh so human: they mean well, but don't do well. ...which ultimately means, they're hellbent and mad. The things that are going on now...the things I see and hear, I just think: "Really?!"...Like you just don't want to accept that fact that things are that absurd in reality...


Today's fundamental human existential crisis is not the nature of truth. The truth has become unimportant. The real question has become, who benefits the most? From NDAA to SOPA to the election of a particular politician... who stands to benefit the most from these actions.
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Postby portia » Fri Jan 06, 2012 10:12 am

Realistically, a nation's writ runs as far as the reach of its weapons, multiplied by its determination. Israelis should certainly know that.

If the LAPD SWAT had a reason to go into Mexico, for example, that was strong enough, it could do so if it had the funding. Not that I'd approve, necessarily. If Seal Team Six didn't exist, the LAPD SWAT might do the job just as well.

But the point is, the process of fighting and eradicating terrorists is not qualitatively different from eradicating the Mafia or the Crips. The difference is scale. On the other hand, the process of eradicating Hitler or Mussolini, or even Pol Pot, is a qualitatively very different process. That is the difference I see between a war and a Law Enforcement process.
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Postby Storyteller » Fri Jan 06, 2012 12:15 pm

portia wrote:Realistically, a nation's writ runs as far as the reach of its weapons, multiplied by its determination. Israelis should certainly know that.

If the LAPD SWAT had a reason to go into Mexico, for example, that was strong enough, it could do so if it had the funding. Not that I'd approve, necessarily. If Seal Team Six didn't exist, the LAPD SWAT might do the job just as well.

But the point is, the process of fighting and eradicating terrorists is not qualitatively different from eradicating the Mafia or the Crips. The difference is scale. On the other hand, the process of eradicating Hitler or Mussolini, or even Pol Pot, is a qualitatively very different process. That is the difference I see between a war and a Law Enforcement process.

OF COURSE it is qualitatively different.

Eradicating groups like Al-Qaeda is not like eradicating a street gang or a crime ring in your hometown. For one, they operate out of other states, where you have neither jurisdiction nor infrastructure to use against them. To set up such infrastructure, you need to occupy the place. The alternative is to get the local government to confront them, but that is conditional on the following:

1) That the territory in question actually has a government .

2) That said government is strong enough- and popular enough- to do the job.

3) That said government is actually interested in cooperating with you in rooting out the terrorists.

None of these conditions were present in Afghanistan before American invasion. None of them are present in Somalia. In places like Iran and Syria, the state actively and openly sponsors terrorists, in Pakistan the state sponsors them covertly, while in Lebanon the terrorists are, to a large and increasing extent, the government.

If there was a county in the US that was actually RUN by a Crips militia armed with heavy machine guns, shaped charge IEDs and missile launchers, it would have had the Marines, not SWAT, sent in to clean it up.
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Postby UtgardLoki » Fri Jan 06, 2012 2:00 pm

Would someone kindly define "terrorist"? Miko Peled writes here
Since my father was a general and I served as a soldier in the IDF terrorist organization...
and as Syria would appear to be the victim of terrorism the whole concept would seem to be a semantic minefield...
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Re: US foreign policy and civil liberties intimately related

Postby Arvegil » Fri Jan 06, 2012 2:16 pm

legolas the elf wrote:Obama doesn't make any significant change because he doesn't play outside the limits of the current regime. He is a liberal/social version of George W regime perspective. It's the same perspective... Obama still acknowledges the War on Terror as a real thing.

I like Ron's approach of diffusing the War on Terror and terrorism with common sense and sanity, acknowledging the fear mongering of the Bush Administration that took place. Civil liberties are at stake.



I have to disagree with you on this point. Not the part about Obama not moving outside of the pre-determined limits; I think that is now obvious at this point. However, I disagree with you about Bush II acting the same way and working within the boundaries he was provided. Bush II and his gang of cronies was all about concentrating power in the executive by any means necessary (up to, and including, turning the DoJ into a farm club for political hacks with questionable academic credentials).

Bush II re-defined the limits of executive power. Just not in a good way.
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Postby portia » Mon Jan 09, 2012 11:22 am

I agree that we should have a public admission of the fear mongering that has gone on and the erosion of Civil Liberties. But we aren't likely to get it until the perceived level of threat goes down. It took many years before the Federal Government--the Supreme Court-- acknowledged the unconstitutionality of the Japanese-American Internment camps. It simply wasn't possible, psychologically and politically, to admit it during the war.

If (I hope it is when) the level of hysteria declines, we can admit the problems, and repeal the laws.
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Postby vison » Mon Jan 09, 2012 11:51 am

portia wrote:I agree that we should have a public admission of the fear mongering that has gone on and the erosion of Civil Liberties. But we aren't likely to get it until the perceived level of threat goes down. It took many years before the Federal Government--the Supreme Court-- acknowledged the unconstitutionality of the Japanese-American Internment camps. It simply wasn't possible, psychologically and politically, to admit it during the war.

If (I hope it is when) the level of hysteria declines, we can admit the problems, and repeal the laws.


Dream on, portia. It won't happen.

The postwar victorious US was a very, very different place than it is now. Now it is 'post 9/11' and since there is not ever going to be a "victory" there will never be any change in the atmosphere.
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Postby UtgardLoki » Mon Jan 09, 2012 6:24 pm

vison wrote:
portia wrote:I agree that we should have a public admission of the fear mongering that has gone on and the erosion of Civil Liberties. But we aren't likely to get it until the perceived level of threat goes down. It took many years before the Federal Government--the Supreme Court-- acknowledged the unconstitutionality of the Japanese-American Internment camps. It simply wasn't possible, psychologically and politically, to admit it during the war.

If (I hope it is when) the level of hysteria declines, we can admit the problems, and repeal the laws.


Dream on, portia. It won't happen.

The postwar victorious US was a very, very different place than it is now. Now it is 'post 9/11' and since there is not ever going to be a "victory" there will never be any change in the atmosphere.
Yes. It is Perpetual War with all its connotations.
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Postby portia » Mon Jan 09, 2012 6:46 pm

It has been a "war" since people began choosing sides and one was stronger than the other. It just has a snappy name and better publicity, now. There has always been terrorism, and there always will be, to some extent.

We are supposed to be thinking beings. We can chose to not be overwhelmed by fear of something that is not, really, very threatening. Any good sized tornado does more damage than a terrorist attack. Do you think the people of Joplin, MO are putting terrorism at the top of their worry list?

Terrorism did not do millions of damage to the National Cathedral; an earthquake did.

We are directing our worry to the wrong place. There are real threats out there, that need the efforts characteristic of a "war," and terrorism is not one of them.
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Postby UtgardLoki » Mon Jan 09, 2012 7:05 pm

portia wrote:It has been a "war" since people began choosing sides and one was stronger than the other. It just has a snappy name and better publicity, now. There has always been terrorism, and there always will be, to some extent.

We are supposed to be thinking beings. We can chose to not be overwhelmed by fear of something that is not, really, very threatening. Any good sized tornado does more damage than a terrorist attack. Do you think the people of Joplin, MO are putting terrorism at the top of their worry list?

Terrorism did not do millions of damage to the National Cathedral; an earthquake did.

We are directing our worry to the wrong place. There are real threats out there, that need the efforts characteristic of a "war," and terrorism is not one of them.
Absolutely right!

The "terrorist" threat is a molehill that those with vested interests turn into a mountain. Why? What is their agenda?
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Postby Storyteller » Mon Jan 09, 2012 10:45 pm

portia wrote:It has been a "war" since people began choosing sides and one was stronger than the other. It just has a snappy name and better publicity, now. There has always been terrorism, and there always will be, to some extent.

We are supposed to be thinking beings. We can chose to not be overwhelmed by fear of something that is not, really, very threatening. Any good sized tornado does more damage than a terrorist attack. Do you think the people of Joplin, MO are putting terrorism at the top of their worry list?

Terrorism did not do millions of damage to the National Cathedral; an earthquake did.

We are directing our worry to the wrong place. There are real threats out there, that need the efforts characteristic of a "war," and terrorism is not one of them.

If your government had the means to prevent tornadoes, and earthquakes, it would have been its obligation to do so.

The first and most important obligation of any government is to provide for common defense against external threats. The moment you declare that terrorist attacks are like natural disasters- just something you need to accept as part of the routine of life- and that your government should not go out of its way to prevent them, you declare your country's sovereignty null and void. Its citizens can be attacked at will; you'll just wipe off the tears, clean up and wait for the next one.
"...Their aim in war with Germany is nothing more, nothing less than extermination of Hitlerism... There is absolutely no justification for this kind of war. The ideology of Hitlerism, just like any other ideological system, can be accepted or rejected, this is a matter of political views. But everyone grasps, that an ideology can not be exterminated by force, must not be finished off with a war.” - Vyacheslav Molotov, ""On the Foreign Policy of the Soviet Union", 31 October 1939
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Postby UtgardLoki » Tue Jan 10, 2012 3:38 am

Storyteller wrote:
portia wrote:It has been a "war" since people began choosing sides and one was stronger than the other. It just has a snappy name and better publicity, now. There has always been terrorism, and there always will be, to some extent.

We are supposed to be thinking beings. We can chose to not be overwhelmed by fear of something that is not, really, very threatening. Any good sized tornado does more damage than a terrorist attack. Do you think the people of Joplin, MO are putting terrorism at the top of their worry list?

Terrorism did not do millions of damage to the National Cathedral; an earthquake did.

We are directing our worry to the wrong place. There are real threats out there, that need the efforts characteristic of a "war," and terrorism is not one of them.

If your government had the means to prevent tornadoes, and earthquakes, it would have been its obligation to do so.

The first and most important obligation of any government is to provide for common defense against external threats. The moment you declare that terrorist attacks are like natural disasters- just something you need to accept as part of the routine of life- and that your government should not go out of its way to prevent them, you declare your country's sovereignty null and void. Its citizens can be attacked at will; you'll just wipe off the tears, clean up and wait for the next one.
I think you miss the point, Storyteller, which is one of proportionality. The focus on terrorism is manifestl;y disproportionate to the threat. It serves those with vested interests to have the threat exaggerated. What I understand portia to be advocating is for a realignment of priorities. I don't think she is advocating ignoring terrorism in toto, merely that resources should be better apportioned. To do so is not declaring sovereignty null and void, but is undertaking a rational reaction to risk.
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Postby Storyteller » Tue Jan 10, 2012 2:44 pm

'It wasn't very civil of you to sit down without being invited,' said the March Hare
"...Their aim in war with Germany is nothing more, nothing less than extermination of Hitlerism... There is absolutely no justification for this kind of war. The ideology of Hitlerism, just like any other ideological system, can be accepted or rejected, this is a matter of political views. But everyone grasps, that an ideology can not be exterminated by force, must not be finished off with a war.” - Vyacheslav Molotov, ""On the Foreign Policy of the Soviet Union", 31 October 1939
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Postby Arvegil » Tue Jan 10, 2012 6:54 pm

Storyteller wrote:If your government had the means to prevent tornadoes, and earthquakes, it would have been its obligation to do so.

The first and most important obligation of any government is to provide for common defense against external threats. The moment you declare that terrorist attacks are like natural disasters- just something you need to accept as part of the routine of life- and that your government should not go out of its way to prevent them, you declare your country's sovereignty null and void. Its citizens can be attacked at will; you'll just wipe off the tears, clean up and wait for the next one.


Well, whether preventing tornadoes or terrorism, all these government activities must be subject to a cost/benefit analysis.

To use an example: if the government could prevent tornadoes, but at a cost of $500 million per life saved, it would not be a responsible use of resources to do the same. Likewise, the question after 9/11 has to be: is the "cure" of the activities undertaken to prevent another 9/11 worse than the evil that these actions are trying to prevent? While I don't think you intended it, your argument could be construed to mean that you advocate any type of action to provide security, regardless of its marginal cost or effect on the polity. Reasonable people know that ruin and police states lie down that road.

The old Benjamin Franklin quote "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety" definitely applies here. I suggest that you, and all of those in power, need to consider whether losing the virtues of the American polity and the personal freedoms of the populace are, in the long run, far worse than getting punked by a few pissed-off Arabs. The way that they will win is not through their actions. 9/11, while a shock and a tragedy, was not nearly destructive enough to damage the United States polity. Sacrificing essential freedoms to a security apparatus, and sending trillions of dollars and thousands of lives into foreign wars of questionable relevance (I am specifically referring to Iraq; Afghanistan is at least arguably related) can damage the United States polity in a way that exceeds what the pissed-off Arabs could accomplish in their wildest dreams.

One of JFK's worst speeches was the famous "pay any price, bear any burden" speech. That mentality leads to injudicious use of resources, and decline in the long run.
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Postby TheEllipticalDisillusion » Tue Jan 10, 2012 8:29 pm

Storyteller wrote:'It wasn't very civil of you to sit down without being invited,' said the March Hare


No room! No room!
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Postby vison » Tue Jan 10, 2012 9:03 pm

Excellent post, Arvegil.
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