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Author Topic: New Politics Thread 2018  (Read 1484 times)
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Chocolate Shake Man
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« on: March 05, 2018, 05:55:37 AM »

I wanted to start a thread in continuation to something that I wrote about in an on topic discussion.

Around 1990, Noam Chomsky famously said that "If the Nuremberg laws were applied, then every post-war American president would have been hanged." While he was writing in 1990, he has later made a similar case for subsequent presidents. And indeed, Trump is no different in this regard. As I noted in the previous thread, Trump has taken what was already a heinous drone campaign that was knowingly targeted overwhelmingly towards a civilian population and expanded it substantially. As the article that I'm linking to below notes, Obama's air strikes "led to approximately 2,300 to 3,400 civilian deaths" while Trump's "air strikes ... killed between 2,800 and 4,500 civilians" in his first seven months (the article is now over four months old).

Now, in my view, these are grave war crimes and are far more serious than, say, Trump's mannerisms or supposed Russian collusion (which I, thus far, have yet to see convincing evidence of). Now I'm not one to think anybody should be hanged no matter who they are (nor does Chomsky, I'd say) and I would never advocate for that under any circumstance but I do think there should be an equality of treatment for war crimes and war criminals, so in my view prosecution is in order, which would mean imprisonment if the current norms of the ICC were applied. But I am curious on the thoughts of the people here.

Here is the article for those interested: https://theconversation.com/under-the-trump-administration-us-airstrikes-are-killing-more-civilians-85154
« Last Edit: March 05, 2018, 06:06:00 AM by Chocolate Shake Man » Logged
SMiLE Brian
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« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2018, 10:32:44 AM »

I am frankly exhausted from the whole thing....
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« Reply #2 on: March 05, 2018, 10:58:48 AM »

I was really ticked off when Obama announced that the U.S. Would employ drones.
And Trump has ramped it up.
I guess many Americans like drones because it's a "clean kill" that doesn't involve troops. But I consider Syrians, Afghanis, etc to be people too and don't feel comfortable with innocent children being killed.
I read an article not long ago. It was about the people, thousands of miles away, who are involved with sending the drones to their targets. Was horrified to read their response to a drone striking the wrong target - it was along the lines of "oops , my bad." : -(
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Chocolate Shake Man
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« Reply #3 on: March 05, 2018, 11:27:14 AM »

I was really ticked off when Obama announced that the U.S. Would employ drones.
And Trump has ramped it up.
I guess many Americans like drones because it's a "clean kill" that doesn't involve troops. But I consider Syrians, Afghanis, etc to be people too and don't feel comfortable with innocent children being killed.
I read an article not long ago. It was about the people, thousands of miles away, who are involved with sending the drones to their targets. Was horrified to read their response to a drone striking the wrong target - it was along the lines of "oops , my bad." : -(

My thoughts exactly.

I would agree that many consider this to be a "clean" way of fighting warfare but even from a practical standpoint (which, in my view - and seemingly yours too - should not be the main consideration) the drones are an abysmal failure. Even during the Obama years, declassified info showed that the bombs killed innocent people 90% of the time and anyone who studied the effects concluded that they only generated more hostility and increased the threat of violence.
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the captain
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« Reply #4 on: March 06, 2018, 04:13:14 PM »

Unfortunately it's entirely understandable why the drone idea was so appealing, and I think both of you showed you understand it. We want our way internationally, and we don't want to deal with the messiness of American citizens' kids getting killed and maimed at a high enough rate to cause trouble. So, presto, remote control...

I'm not entirely sure they're not an elegant solution if you're going to fight a war regardless. But we, of course, aren't so much fighting wars as fighting semi- and pseudo-wars in nontraditional combat zones against nontraditional opponents. I don't think the drones are so much the problem as military actions without fully fledged wars. Whether we kill civilians along with or instead of purportedly appropriate targets by drone, by the kinds of missiles advertised throughout the first Gulf War, or by whatever other method, the issue is that we're doing it.
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Chocolate Shake Man
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« Reply #5 on: March 07, 2018, 06:15:35 AM »

Unfortunately it's entirely understandable why the drone idea was so appealing, and I think both of you showed you understand it. We want our way internationally, and we don't want to deal with the messiness of American citizens' kids getting killed and maimed at a high enough rate to cause trouble. So, presto, remote control...

I'm not entirely sure they're not an elegant solution if you're going to fight a war regardless. But we, of course, aren't so much fighting wars as fighting semi- and pseudo-wars in nontraditional combat zones against nontraditional opponents. I don't think the drones are so much the problem as military actions without fully fledged wars. Whether we kill civilians along with or instead of purportedly appropriate targets by drone, by the kinds of missiles advertised throughout the first Gulf War, or by whatever other method, the issue is that we're doing it.

I agree. The US has been, by and large, carrying out these actions with much the same results, without drones for decades.
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the captain
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« Reply #6 on: March 07, 2018, 06:31:21 AM »

The biggest difference or change is:
- traditional war: lots of Americans going away, many come back dead
- more modern war: fewer Americans going away, fewer come back dead
- special ops: even fewer and even fewer
- drones: fewer, fewer

Itís easy to ignore the number of enemy or foreign civilian deaths as that trend continues.
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Chocolate Shake Man
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« Reply #7 on: March 07, 2018, 06:49:38 AM »

The biggest difference or change is:
- traditional war: lots of Americans going away, many come back dead
- more modern war: fewer Americans going away, fewer come back dead
- special ops: even fewer and even fewer
- drones: fewer, fewer

Itís easy to ignore the number of enemy or foreign civilian deaths as that trend continues.

Yes, though I might ask if enemy or foreign civilian deaths were ever taken seriously. Even in a severe case like, say, the Vietnam war, a lot of the mainstream media focused on the impact that the war was having on the American soldiers and on the sentiments at home. And even then, this was the conversation that began only after corporate America had taken a position against the war because it was no longer understood to be a good investment. At the popular level, whose positions by and large went unreported, there was an understanding that the Vietnam war was simply as a matter of principle immoral and unethical. But I'd say that this is still the belief within the popular counter-cultural movement today in terms of the drone wars. And, in fact, it might be a position that's more reported now than it was then.
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the captain
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« Reply #8 on: March 07, 2018, 06:54:26 AM »

I donít mean to say weíre increasingly insensitive to those deaths, just that itís increasingly easier to do so.
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« Reply #9 on: March 16, 2018, 08:05:59 AM »

I suppose that the new turnover and rumored impending turnover in the Cabinet warrants discussion. Ugh.

Jeremy Scahill said on Democracy Now! of the change from corporatist Tillerson to hawkish fundamentalist Pompeo "it's just a different kind of bad." That does seem to be the case. It's odd watching the turnover, because a person can almost hope to keep "one kind of bad" over the alternative. (Actually that describes my HRC vote in '16 pretty well...) But I'll say this, if John Bolton replaces Gen. McMaster, all of my relative calm about this administration dissolves. If Pompeo is in State and Bolton is Nat'l Sec. Advisor, jeeeeezus. How long until we initiate wars against both N Korea and Iran? I mean that seriously.
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« Reply #10 on: March 16, 2018, 08:41:06 AM »

Or this for the cabinet.... https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/paloma/daily-202/2018/03/16/daily-202-trump-may-hire-multiple-cable-news-personalities-as-part-of-shake-up/5aab2c5530fb047655a06cdb/?hpid=hp_hp-top-table-main_daily202-908am%3Ahomepage%2Fstory
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And production aside, Iíd so much rather hear a 14 year old David Marks shred some guitar on Chug-a-lug than hear a 51 year old Mike Love sing about bangin some chick in a swimming pool.-rab2591
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« Reply #11 on: March 16, 2018, 08:50:05 AM »

I'll defend Pete Hegseth thusly: he was a really good high school basketball player near here (Forest Lake) and went on to Princeton.

This does not qualify him to lead the VA. I have no doubt that he's smart. He served the country in the military, which many find admirable. But at age 37 and with the bulk of his professional experience being in propaganda-media, I don't see how he's remotely qualified to lead an organization of well over 300,000 working in hundreds of hospitals, clinics, cemeteries, etc., in the care of veterans.

Oh, but he "looks the part," and we know the president is fond of people who look the part. Playing government must be so fun.

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« Reply #12 on: March 16, 2018, 09:39:04 AM »

Fox and Friends is our government since our "leader" has no original ideas and only hates on other people's ideas...
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And production aside, Iíd so much rather hear a 14 year old David Marks shred some guitar on Chug-a-lug than hear a 51 year old Mike Love sing about bangin some chick in a swimming pool.-rab2591
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« Reply #13 on: March 19, 2018, 05:38:14 AM »

I suppose that the new turnover and rumored impending turnover in the Cabinet warrants discussion. Ugh.

Jeremy Scahill said on Democracy Now! of the change from corporatist Tillerson to hawkish fundamentalist Pompeo "it's just a different kind of bad." That does seem to be the case. It's odd watching the turnover, because a person can almost hope to keep "one kind of bad" over the alternative. (Actually that describes my HRC vote in '16 pretty well...) But I'll say this, if John Bolton replaces Gen. McMaster, all of my relative calm about this administration dissolves. If Pompeo is in State and Bolton is Nat'l Sec. Advisor, jeeeeezus. How long until we initiate wars against both N Korea and Iran? I mean that seriously.

Saw the Scahill interview. Scahill is great!

Before the election, I said on here a few times that despite his rhetoric, Trump seemed to me to be offering status quo policies. And apart from a few issues here and there, I think that's been pretty much correct. Unfortunately, the status quo typically ranges from centre-right to far right. However, with the appointment of Pompeo and the potential appointment of Bolten, Trump whether he knows it or not (and I suspect he doesn't really know it) is veering into extremist territory. I agree with you, these choices represent a definite danger to global security.
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thorgil
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« Reply #14 on: March 21, 2018, 06:57:21 AM »

I donít mean to say weíre increasingly insensitive to those deaths, just that itís increasingly easier to do so.

And Heavens know it has always been too easy to begin with...
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DIT, DIT, DIT, HEROES AND VILLAINS...
Chocolate Shake Man
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« Reply #15 on: March 22, 2018, 03:49:12 PM »

Bolton is in. This is a firm commitment to extremism. God help us all.
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SMiLE Brian
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« Reply #16 on: March 22, 2018, 04:31:28 PM »

I hope my draft board hasn't been notified.... Cry
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And production aside, Iíd so much rather hear a 14 year old David Marks shred some guitar on Chug-a-lug than hear a 51 year old Mike Love sing about bangin some chick in a swimming pool.-rab2591
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« Reply #17 on: March 22, 2018, 05:37:27 PM »

I'll say again, and I think anyone who has watched my political statements on any board in the past few years would accept, I have been really quiet about the administration. I have been taking a lot of time to think about politics and society in general. Real self-reflection. I am far, far, far from being an alarmist about this administration, as much as I continue to abhor the president specifically. But this is something that really worries me. I think John Bolton is a terrible, terrible choice for any high office. I fear we're going to engage in unnecessary wars.
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« Reply #18 on: March 23, 2018, 10:26:03 AM »

I'll say again, and I think anyone who has watched my political statements on any board in the past few years would accept, I have been really quiet about the administration. I have been taking a lot of time to think about politics and society in general. Real self-reflection. I am far, far, far from being an alarmist about this administration, as much as I continue to abhor the president specifically. But this is something that really worries me. I think John Bolton is a terrible, terrible choice for any high office. I fear we're going to engage in unnecessary wars.

I agree. My responses can be a bit on the excited side here but from the beginning I was a bit hesitant to join the alarmist response to the Trump Administration for reasons that I had already explained - namely that I didn't find him to be too much of a deviation from the norm in terms of policies (though certainly he always was in terms of his "character"). Though as you know all know, I already found "the norm" to be troubling enough. But these recent moves are of an altogether different nature as far as I'm concerned. I really hope there are demonstrations in the streets over this but that might just be wishful thinking.
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the captain
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« Reply #19 on: March 23, 2018, 10:45:37 AM »

Well the mainstream media is obviously already clearly speaking loudly against Bolton, and while I don't know whether the Democrats or left will be protesting Bolton specifically, there has been no shortage of protest over the past 15 months or so. I think the issue is that when it's from one side, it's a minority, and with the current hyperpartisan and cultural divide, frankly that just makes the other side dig in more. And Bolton's (and Pompeo's) style of tough talk has a lot of fans.

Until we start sending large numbers of troops to fight, kill, and die in Iran and North Korea--which will disproportionately affect conservatives and their families--I doubt we'll see much concern from the right. (Except from the few Rand Pauls of the world, that is.)
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« Reply #20 on: April 09, 2018, 04:31:31 PM »

Kind of a big day today (maybe).

Maybe Pruitt's unethical behavior--and I'm not talking about his policy positions, which of course were to be expected, but rather his actual misuse of his office--will catch up to him.
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/09/climate/epa-ethics-letter-pruitt.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=first-column-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news

And of course Cohen's office was raided by the FBI. Maybe, among many other more substantive things, they'll find some "dear diary" scribblings about why he out of nowhere decided, unbeknownst to the president, to pay off a porn star the president didn't f***.
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/09/us/politics/fbi-raids-office-of-trumps-longtime-lawyer-michael-cohen.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=first-column-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news
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« Reply #21 on: April 11, 2018, 06:10:14 AM »

I don't know about anyone else but I find the new provocative language around Russia to be terrifying. The one thing that was good about Trump was that he was not building up tension with Russia. Now he's done a complete 180 on that.
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the captain
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« Reply #22 on: April 11, 2018, 10:36:31 AM »

Agree entirely. As bad as Twitter tough talk is, however far beneath any adult (much less a president), it was one thing when it was about the (relatively) marginally dangerous N Korea. But directly with/about Russia?

And while maybe itís a cliche, as his domestic and legal troubles mount, I do worry that he may see a war as a way to build support and to distract the population.
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« Reply #23 on: April 14, 2018, 09:50:02 AM »

Well, yesterday's strikes were inevitable, I suppose. Not a lot of criticism from across the political spectrum in the US, either. I guess this is what they call looking presidential.
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« Reply #24 on: May 16, 2018, 06:27:54 PM »

I'm curious what the general feeling is in the US about what's happening in Gaza right now?
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