Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by U.P. Cinnabar » 2019-01-04 04:50pm

Except US meddling in Mideast policy wasn't decades ago, it was ongoing in 2001, and it is ongoing still.
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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2019-01-04 04:53pm

U.P. Cinnabar wrote:
2019-01-04 04:50pm
Except US meddling in Mideast policy wasn't decades ago, it was ongoing in 2001, and it is ongoing still.
Except the US is not currently at war with Iraq, and K.A. Pital explicitly asked whether Iraqis would be justified in revenge killings of Americans over the 2003 invasion.

Now, if the legitimate government of Iraq asks the US to withdraw troops, and the US refused, Iraq would be justified in resisting that occupation by force. For all the good it would do them.
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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by U.P. Cinnabar » 2019-01-04 04:55pm

Fair point, Rom.
"Beware the Beast, Man, for he is the Devil's pawn. Alone amongst God's primates, he kills for sport, for lust, for greed. Yea, he will murder his brother to possess his brother's land. Let him not breed in great numbers, for he will make a desert of his home and yours. Shun him, drive him back into his jungle lair, for he is the harbinger of Death.."
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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by Broomstick » 2019-01-04 05:47pm

Ralin wrote:
2019-01-02 08:46pm
I was goddamn summing up something you just said on this same page.
Fuck you and your "summation". You are putting words in my mouth and trying to make me into something I'm not.
Ralin wrote:
2019-01-02 08:46pm
But to make it clear - I condemn the killing of civilians regardless of who is doing it. I've certainly criticized my own country on this forum, I'm nowhere near a "my country right or wrong" patriot you seem to think I am. I most certainly called bullshit on the "justification" for invading Iraq.
You condemn the results, but the causes?
How about you fucking ASK ME THAT DIRECTLY you ballless wonder instead of shoving words into my mouth?
As long as even American left-wingers are attached to the idea that we could somehow have a kinder, gentler War on Terror that makes the world a better place without causing orders of magnitude more suffering than whatever it was that set us off if only Bush wasn't so stupid or the Republicans weren't so bad there will always, always always be another Iraq or Afghanistan.
The so-called "war on terror" is largely bullshit and most of it is security theater - as I have stated many times before but don't let the facts derail your crazy train.

Taliban controlled Afghanistan was harboring people who fucking attacked the US - boo-fucking-hoo they got hurt. If they had just handed Al Qaeda over there wouldn't have been a shitstorm. Instead, they helped launch a 17 year long war. Good job! Nearly 3,000 people got killed in one morning but you don't give a fuck about them - they had it coming, right? Because killing and maiming Americans is just fine with you (nevermind that a bunch of them weren't Americans). You whine and bitch about civilians getting killed... unless they're American. Then it's OK they're killed.
But NO country can tolerate an actual attack on its own soil. Insisting that the US is immoral for responding as any other nation would do if they possibly could is hypocrisy on your part and just demonstrates what sort of bigot you are - anything American/Western is automatically bad, everyone else good, regardless of actual conduct.
America is no more like any other country than white is just another ethnicity. There's nothing hypocritical for condemning American wars or myriad social problems and not condemning other countries for superficially similar acts because because America's history and disproportionate military and economic power makes them different.
Oh, fuck off - NO empire in history would tolerate that sort of attack. The idea that America is somehow more evil because it did what any other nation would have done is the hypocrisy here.

The US wasn't a world empire until post-WWII, and that largely because Europe fucked itself over. Before that it was the British Empire, and before that it was someone else.

Sure, bitch all you want about how empires and superpowers act, that's your prerogative - but to expect a country NOT to answer an attack is just... stupid. Shows an IQ in the low two digits.
Because there was no possible way that America could invaded Afghanistan in retaliation for 9/11 without causing the mass death and suffering. 'Not supporting' the murder of civilians means nothing when you support thinking that will inevitably lead to the same damned result.
But just fuck all those people killed on September 11 :roll: Their suffering and deaths means nothing to you. The suffering of their families means nothing to you. The people in the World Trade Center somehow, in your mind, deserved to be given a choice of death by fire, death by falling, or death by being crushed in a collapsing building.

You're right - there was no way to go into Afghanistan without causing what is called "collateral damage" which is a euphemism for maiming and killing innocents who had no part in the conflicts that started the war. No one in the World Trade Center was responsible for what was going on in the Middle East why do you think it's OK for THEM to be collateral damage?

That's why there is such focus on the WTC and not the Pentagon - the Pentagon, after all, is the big military administration building, it's an actual military target. Sure, we were pissed about that, too, but there's at least some justification for going after it. We didn't retaliate after the Cole or the bombing of the Beirut Barracks like we did after 9/11 because the military IS a legitimate target and we accept that. Don't like US military "adventures" (another repulsive euphemism)? Sure, strike against the US military. But no, they didn't just do that, they targeted civilians, deliberately causing that collateral damage you so despise. There are people who wanted a war with the US and spent decades poking and prodding until they finally got what they wanted.

You've made it clear that you don't consider Americans as human as you and the rest of the world. Fuck you. Don't expect people to be nice to you when you've made it clear that you'd be cheering if they were maimed or killed. That's not the way people, or the world, works.
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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by Broomstick » 2019-01-04 05:49pm

The Romulan Republic wrote:
2019-01-02 09:04pm
Yeah, by the Iraqi government as well, because governments kind of depend on this whole "monopoly of force" thing. No government wants private citizens going around killing people without its sanction
Yep - that's why bin Laden was exiled by the Saudi government way back in 1992 ,for becoming a private actor in that area. That's how he wound up in Afghanistan (after spending some time in Sudan first).
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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by Broomstick » 2019-01-04 05:57pm

Gandalf wrote:
2019-01-04 07:26am
But expecting Iraq (and other victims of US foreign policy) to sit back and tolerate attacks is totally awesome?
Nope. I totally get why there are, and continue to be, Iraqis and Afghanis violently opposed to US involvement (see - ask a direct question, get a direct answer). We never should have gone into Iraq in any case, so yeah, I get it - they're fighting an invasion. I totally get why a lot of countries through the Cold War and after threw in with USSR (not that that always worked out well, either). We're marching through their home of course they're going to be pissed off about it.

The fact that the mouth-breathers I live among don't get that is hardly my fault.

Frankly, I don't have a good answer for any of this. Maybe that's why I never got into politics.

Fact is, there is no such thing as "international law" as the term "law" is normally used within a country. As I said, international relations tend to be feudal in recent centuries, with a few large powers and many vassals under them. Sure, a country can try to go it alone but unless you're in a place like Switzerland, in a natural mountain fortress, good luck with that. Especially if you have resources of any value to anyone else. I don't like it either, but bitching about reality doesn't change it.
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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by Broomstick » 2019-01-04 05:59pm

K. A. Pital wrote:
2019-01-04 09:12am
The Romulan Republic wrote:
2019-01-02 10:48pm
Blackwater were mercenaries hired by the US government, so they don't really fit either example I listed. They weren't acting (at least generally) without the permission of the US government (which means the US government has a level of responsibility for their actions), so they don't count as private citizens waging war outside government authority, but neither were they being secretly backed by the government to maintain plausible deniability. They were just another government-hired mercenary group in the long history of mercenary groups, unless I'm missing something.
So would you be okay if Black Waters of Iraq, an organization of patriots, took revenge on the US for bombing and invading their country in a war of aggression (an international crime against humanity as set by the precedent at Nürnberg)? (With deniability of course)?
OK with it? No - I'm not OK with my own country's involvement in this shit, much less anyone else's. I'm not OK with killing people.
But I would certainly understand and empathize with why they're doing it. I wouldn't scream about it being unjust or unprovoked.

But TRR might feel differently.
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Now I did a job. I got nothing but trouble since I did it, not to mention more than a few unkind words as regard to my character so let me make this abundantly clear. I do the job. And then I get paid.- Malcolm Reynolds, Captain of Serenity, which sums up my feelings regarding the lawsuit discussed here.

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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by Ralin » 2019-01-04 06:25pm

Broomstick wrote:
2019-01-04 05:47pm
Fuck you and your "summation". You are putting words in my mouth and trying to make me into something I'm not.
How about you fucking ASK ME THAT DIRECTLY you ballless wonder instead of shoving words into my mouth?
Hmm, well let’s see.
Me:
Start talking about Iraqis bombing American cities in retaliation for us raping their country and everyone goes all Game of Thrones/realpolitik and sneering about how the stupid it is for a small pissant country to attack the mighty US and hey morality just doesn't apply to this sort of thing because no one can force America to follow it so what's your point even?
You:
A pissant country like Afghanistan attacking a major power is fucking stupid. It has nothing to do with law or justice. It's like jabbing a tiger or a bear with a pointy stick. No matter how good the reason for doing so it's a stupid act and the jabber is likely to suffer far worse consequences than the jabbee.
You’d already said that. And
If I declared that the few thousand Americans who died on 9/11 had it coming as punishment for decades of harmful policies by the US in the Middle East and other parts of the world TRR and Broomstick would immediately condemn me for condoning the murder of civilians, which is much worse than killing soldiers in specific contexts agreed upon by the US and other countries or killing civilians as the unavoidable and predictable consequence of fighting a war around them.
A couple posts after that you proceeded to say:
But just fuck all those people killed on September 11 Their suffering and deaths means nothing to you. The suffering of their families means nothing to you. The people in the World Trade Center somehow, in your mind, deserved to be given a choice of death by fire, death by falling, or death by being crushed in a collapsing building.

You're right - there was no way to go into Afghanistan without causing what is called "collateral damage" which is a euphemism for maiming and killing innocents who had no part in the conflicts that started the war. No one in the World Trade Center was responsible for what was going on in the Middle East why do you think it's OK for THEM to be collateral damage?

That's why there is such focus on the WTC and not the Pentagon - the Pentagon, after all, is the big military administration building, it's an actual military target. Sure, we were pissed about that, too, but there's at least some justification for going after it. We didn't retaliate after the Cole or the bombing of the Beirut Barracks like we did after 9/11 because the military IS a legitimate target and we accept that. Don't like US military "adventures" (another repulsive euphemism)? Sure, strike against the US military. But no, they didn't just do that, they targeted civilians, deliberately causing that collateral damage you so despise. There are people who wanted a war with the US and spent decades poking and prodding until they finally got what they wanted.

You've made it clear that you don't consider Americans as human as you and the rest of the world. Fuck you. Don't expect people to be nice to you when you've made it clear that you'd be cheering if they were maimed or killed. That's not the way people, or the world, works.
So yeah, I accurately described your position on both counts. Presumption warranted, I will do so in the future. Your failed attempt to be intimidating not withstanding

Now for the rest of your shriek baby rant.
The so-called "war on terror" is largely bullshit and most of it is security theater - as I have stated many times before but don't let the facts derail your crazy train.

Taliban controlled Afghanistan was harboring people who fucking attacked the US - boo-fucking-hoo they got hurt. If they had just handed Al Qaeda over there wouldn't have been a shitstorm. Instead, they helped launch a 17 year long war. Good job! Nearly 3,000 people got killed in one morning but you don't give a fuck about them - they had it coming, right? Because killing and maiming Americans is just fine with you (nevermind that a bunch of them weren't Americans). You whine and bitch about civilians getting killed... unless they're American. Then it's OK they're killed.
Yes, boo hoo who. If all those Afghans who were killed or grew up in the middle of America’s forever war had just handed Al-Qaeda over it wouldn’t have had to be that way. Nearly three thousand people died, and that means that an entire generation had to suffer for it because that’s just how powerful countries roll.

And this is why people don’t care as much about 9/11 as we used to. Hearing people like you use it to justify atrocities over and over again killed that sympathy.
Oh, fuck off - NO empire in history would tolerate that sort of attack. The idea that America is somehow more evil because it did what any other nation would have done is the hypocrisy here.

The US wasn't a world empire until post-WWII, and that largely because Europe fucked itself over. Before that it was the British Empire, and before that it was someone else.

Sure, bitch all you want about how empires and superpowers act, that's your prerogative - but to expect a country NOT to answer an attack is just... stupid. Shows an IQ in the low two digits.
Guys, the US isn’t worse than the British Empire or the French Empire or the Mongol Empire, so that makes it okay. You can’t judge the US or expect it not to juggernaut little pissant countries because that’s just how empires roll. Don’t hate Americans, hate the game, am I right?

Again, you oppose the consequences but the support the causes. No other country has the same military and economic power as post-World War II America and for a number of reasons no other country really has. Between that disproportionate power and the fact that America is the successor to a long history of Euro-American imperialism it is right and appropriate to hold the US to different standards than other countries.

And you just can’t stand that, can you?

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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by Gandalf » 2019-01-05 12:13am

Broomstick wrote:
2019-01-04 05:57pm
Gandalf wrote:
2019-01-04 07:26am
But expecting Iraq (and other victims of US foreign policy) to sit back and tolerate attacks is totally awesome?
Nope. I totally get why there are, and continue to be, Iraqis and Afghanis violently opposed to US involvement (see - ask a direct question, get a direct answer). We never should have gone into Iraq in any case, so yeah, I get it - they're fighting an invasion. I totally get why a lot of countries through the Cold War and after threw in with USSR (not that that always worked out well, either). We're marching through their home of course they're going to be pissed off about it.
So under this rationale, and your repeated insistence that a country shouldn't tolerate attacks, would an attack by Iraqis against the US be reasonable? After all, what better way under your weird realpolitik to ensure that maybe the US doesn't go back to Iraq for another targeted campaign of Halliburton investments?
The fact that the mouth-breathers I live among don't get that is hardly my fault.

Frankly, I don't have a good answer for any of this. Maybe that's why I never got into politics.
Here's an easy answer; when a country violently tears around a part of the world for a few decades in a row, don't be surprised that enough people take it personally to try retaliation.
Fact is, there is no such thing as "international law" as the term "law" is normally used within a country. As I said, international relations tend to be feudal in recent centuries, with a few large powers and many vassals under them. Sure, a country can try to go it alone but unless you're in a place like Switzerland, in a natural mountain fortress, good luck with that. Especially if you have resources of any value to anyone else. I don't like it either, but bitching about reality doesn't change it.
You could say that about laws within a country too. It all depends on the ability and willingness of the local cop shop to keep order, and the nature of said order. But arguably that's a subject for another thread.
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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by Broomstick » 2019-01-05 04:48am

Ralin wrote:
2019-01-04 06:25pm
So yeah, I accurately described your position on both counts. Presumption warranted, I will do so in the future. Your failed attempt to be intimidating not withstanding
You fail to understand that describing reality - a small, weak country attacking a world power for any reason, even a justified one, is fucking stupid - for approval on my part. No, I do not approve of any of this. Of course, there isn't jack shit I, personally, can do about any of this but hey, you're the one making assumptions based on nationality.
Ralin wrote:
2019-01-04 06:25pm
Yes, boo hoo who. If all those Afghans who were killed or grew up in the middle of America’s forever war had just handed Al-Qaeda over it wouldn’t have had to be that way.
Yes, that is one of the tragedies of this mess - if the Afghans had handed over Al Qaeda a shitload of people would probably still be alive, a lot fewer maimed, and a lot less rubble strewn around Afghanistan. Just like if the US hadn't, as you put it, spent decades fucking with other countries 9/11 might not have happened. That's one of the tragedies of war and international conflict, the innocent suffer and die. On both sides.

But you only give a fuck about one side. As far as your concerned killing Americans is no big deal because other human lives are worth more. You've never denied that.
Nearly three thousand people died, and that means that an entire generation had to suffer for it because that’s just how powerful countries roll.
Again, that is reality. The fact that I recognize it and describe it in no way means I approve of it. Yes, that IS how powerful countries roll. Is that OK? No - but it's still the way of the world.
Hearing people like you use it to justify atrocities over and over again killed that sympathy.
Please EXACTLY to where I say any of this is OK or justified. I merely state the obvious - if you attack a country it's going to respond violently. Also, if a small, weak country attacks a world power it's a stupid move, no matter the justification. That's not right, it's no more right than when powerful warlords in Europe with full armor and good weapons would attack peasants armed with whatever agricultural implements they had handy, which is why I describe international "law" as feudal. A peasant attempting to fight back against an armored knight is stupid because it's not going to end well for the peasant.
Ralin wrote:
2019-01-04 06:25pm
Guys, the US isn’t worse than the British Empire or the French Empire or the Mongol Empire, so that makes it okay. You can’t judge the US or expect it not to juggernaut little pissant countries because that’s just how empires roll. Don’t hate Americans, hate the game, am I right?
Right. Hate the game. No, none of it is OK from a moral or ethical viewpoint but it is reality. It's like bitching against cancer - that's not fair, either, it maims and kills, too. OK, we have some treatment for it these days, just like we have some international rules these days, but neither cancer treatment nor diplomacy are guarantees that maiming and death will be avoided.

And no, it's not OK to hate "Americans" because judging people solely on their national origin is bigotry. I no more chose to be born in the US than any random Afghani chose to be born there. Whether or not I agree with what the US does I can't change my place of birth. But you see fit to hate me for that, regardless of anything else I may or may not do in life. THAT is bigotry, plain and simple.
Again, you oppose the consequences but the support the causes.
Again - WHERE, EXACTLY, have I "supported" the causes? You quote my words back at me but fail to point out where I say "yay, this is great!". Because you can't - I have repeatedly stated that none of this is OK. Again, you think describing a situation is that same as approving it. It's not. All your doing is justifying your bigotry and going through life with blinders on.
No other country has the same military and economic power as post-World War II America and for a number of reasons no other country really has.
If America has brought hatred on itself due to its actions in the Middle East then Europe diminished its own power in the world by fucking itself over not once but twice with the two World Wars during which they not only blew the shit out of each other but managed to bring the rest of the world into the mess, too. Hey, let's go back further and find MORE reasons to blame people for this, that, or the other thing! Because it never ends. An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth until everyone is blind and toothless!
Between that disproportionate power and the fact that America is the successor to a long history of Euro-American imperialism it is right and appropriate to hold the US to different standards than other countries.
But it is NOT OK to kill American civilians or value their lives less - which is what you seem to be maintaining. It was never going to be the case that you could level 16 acres in Manhattan, kill 3k people, and put a hole in the Pentagon without a military response from the US. Never. If someone knocked a hole like that in London or Paris you'd also get a response. If someone did that to Moscow or Beijing I wager the response would be at least on the same level as what the US did if not worse.

"Everyone else does it" is not justification for the actions nor does it make them right, but it is what countries do. One more time: describing reality does not mean one approves of it.
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Now I did a job. I got nothing but trouble since I did it, not to mention more than a few unkind words as regard to my character so let me make this abundantly clear. I do the job. And then I get paid.- Malcolm Reynolds, Captain of Serenity, which sums up my feelings regarding the lawsuit discussed here.

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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by Broomstick » 2019-01-05 05:12am

Gandalf wrote:
2019-01-05 12:13am
So under this rationale, and your repeated insistence that a country shouldn't tolerate attacks, would an attack by Iraqis against the US be reasonable?
In this particular case - Iraq attacking the US for fucking it over in 2003 based on false pretenses - I'd say Iraq would be more justified than the US was. Way back in 2003 I was saying we shouldn't go into Iraq, I've been opposed to it from day one. The US shouldn't have done that. It was wrong. How often do I have to say that?

That doesn't mean I'd be OK with Iraqis blowing up innocent American civilians - I'm not OK with the US blowing up innocent Iraqi civilians, either. Really, I'm opposed to war all around. But if war can be justified, fighting back against an invasion would be one of those circumstances.

Reality check, though - in the real, as opposed to abstract, world Iraq doesn't stand a chance against the US. This has, in fact, been demonstrated twice in recent history. What protects smaller nations from being wholly absorbed by bigger powers like the US, Russia, and China is the bigger players being largely disinterested in outright colonization these days - economic exploitation has been found to be less messy, less money, and less blood (at least for the big guys). That doesn't mean life isn't miserable for the banana republics or those with valuable minerals and oil beneath their feet but no powerful armies. I do understand why the folks in the exploited regions of the world engage in terrorist attacks, sabotage, and less direct means of fighting back than open confrontation where they are simply not going to win.
Gandalf wrote:
2019-01-05 12:13am
Broomstick wrote:The fact that the mouth-breathers I live among don't get that is hardly my fault.

Frankly, I don't have a good answer for any of this. Maybe that's why I never got into politics.
Here's an easy answer; when a country violently tears around a part of the world for a few decades in a row, don't be surprised that enough people take it personally to try retaliation.
And when one of those folks in an exploited region plans an attack on that country tearing around a part of the world don't be surprised when the violently tearing country responds with more violence. In general, punching a bully in the teeth is going to get a punch in return - that doesn't make it right, it's just stating how these things work. A skinny little guy going up against a huge bully with lots of muscle is not an equal contest - that's why smaller countries form alliances, or find a different bully to go up against the first (basically, when a small nation plays bigger powers against each other, or becomes vassal to a world power to oppose the influence of another world power). That's the way it is because there are no international police, and no one to force the big boys to behave. No one wants to start an open war with a major world power...except the generations that remember what the world wars actually were like are dying off now and I fear that will lead to someone thinking WWIII would be a good idea somehow.
Gandalf wrote:
2019-01-05 12:13am
Broomstick wrote:Fact is, there is no such thing as "international law" as the term "law" is normally used within a country. As I said, international relations tend to be feudal in recent centuries, with a few large powers and many vassals under them. Sure, a country can try to go it alone but unless you're in a place like Switzerland, in a natural mountain fortress, good luck with that. Especially if you have resources of any value to anyone else. I don't like it either, but bitching about reality doesn't change it.
You could say that about laws within a country too. It all depends on the ability and willingness of the local cop shop to keep order, and the nature of said order. But arguably that's a subject for another thread.
You are correct - the maintenance of domestic order is dependent upon an effective police force and law within that country. Internationally, though, there are no police and no real law, just treaties that depend on the signatories to hold to their word of their own will as there is no one to enforce that from the outside.
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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by Gandalf » 2019-01-05 12:02pm

Broomstick wrote:
2019-01-05 05:12am
In this particular case - Iraq attacking the US for fucking it over in 2003 based on false pretenses - I'd say Iraq would be more justified than the US was. Way back in 2003 I was saying we shouldn't go into Iraq, I've been opposed to it from day one. The US shouldn't have done that. It was wrong. How often do I have to say that?

That doesn't mean I'd be OK with Iraqis blowing up innocent American civilians - I'm not OK with the US blowing up innocent Iraqi civilians, either. Really, I'm opposed to war all around. But if war can be justified, fighting back against an invasion would be one of those circumstances.

Reality check, though - in the real, as opposed to abstract, world Iraq doesn't stand a chance against the US. This has, in fact, been demonstrated twice in recent history. What protects smaller nations from being wholly absorbed by bigger powers like the US, Russia, and China is the bigger players being largely disinterested in outright colonization these days - economic exploitation has been found to be less messy, less money, and less blood (at least for the big guys). That doesn't mean life isn't miserable for the banana republics or those with valuable minerals and oil beneath their feet but no powerful armies. I do understand why the folks in the exploited regions of the world engage in terrorist attacks, sabotage, and less direct means of fighting back than open confrontation where they are simply not going to win.
You misunderstand my question. I was talking about Iraqis as angry citizens, not as part of a vengeful state.
Gandalf wrote:
2019-01-05 12:13am
And when one of those folks in an exploited region plans an attack on that country tearing around a part of the world don't be surprised when the violently tearing country responds with more violence. In general, punching a bully in the teeth is going to get a punch in return - that doesn't make it right, it's just stating how these things work. A skinny little guy going up against a huge bully with lots of muscle is not an equal contest - that's why smaller countries form alliances, or find a different bully to go up against the first (basically, when a small nation plays bigger powers against each other, or becomes vassal to a world power to oppose the influence of another world power). That's the way it is because there are no international police, and no one to force the big boys to behave. No one wants to start an open war with a major world power...except the generations that remember what the world wars actually were like are dying off now and I fear that will lead to someone thinking WWIII would be a good idea somehow.
Uhh, how do NGOs with no real state ties fit into your world view here?
Gandalf wrote:
2019-01-05 12:13am
You are correct - the maintenance of domestic order is dependent upon an effective police force and law within that country. Internationally, though, there are no police and no real law, just treaties that depend on the signatories to hold to their word of their own will as there is no one to enforce that from the outside.
Unless it's a small country and it's time for sanctions. Then suddenly everyone discovers international law.
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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2019-01-05 03:25pm

Broomstick wrote:
2019-01-04 05:59pm
K. A. Pital wrote:
2019-01-04 09:12am
The Romulan Republic wrote:
2019-01-02 10:48pm
Blackwater were mercenaries hired by the US government, so they don't really fit either example I listed. They weren't acting (at least generally) without the permission of the US government (which means the US government has a level of responsibility for their actions), so they don't count as private citizens waging war outside government authority, but neither were they being secretly backed by the government to maintain plausible deniability. They were just another government-hired mercenary group in the long history of mercenary groups, unless I'm missing something.
So would you be okay if Black Waters of Iraq, an organization of patriots, took revenge on the US for bombing and invading their country in a war of aggression (an international crime against humanity as set by the precedent at Nürnberg)? (With deniability of course)?
OK with it? No - I'm not OK with my own country's involvement in this shit, much less anyone else's. I'm not OK with killing people.
But I would certainly understand and empathize with why they're doing it. I wouldn't scream about it being unjust or unprovoked.

But TRR might feel differently.
I'm not okay with wars of revenge for past conflicts, period. If it were a situation where Iraq was attacking America over a current invasion/conflict in which America was the aggressor, my answer would basically be the same as your's. It sucks, but I'd understand why they're doing it and couldn't condemn them for it.
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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by MarxII » 2019-01-08 12:45pm

Ralin wrote:
2019-01-02 06:27pm
Universal human rights and international law are and always have been ideological weapons in the service to Euro-American imperialism. Don't believe anyone who tells you otherwise.
This strikes me as a little bit extreme. You're arguing that these concepts have never once been based on good-faith principle, but always and every time forever a front for imperialist grabs?

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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2019-01-08 02:02pm

What he's really saying is "there are no human rights". But then, Ralin is a whole-hearted advocate of despotism (as long as the perpetrators aren't Westerners).

Honestly, why do you even object to Western Imperialism, Ralin? You have no problem with Imperialism and subjugation by non-Westerners and have outright stated that you don't believe in either international law or human rights, so it can't be out of any moral opposition to oppression or a sense of the value of human life and liberty. Does your thought process go any further than "Western=bad"? Is it that "the ends (defeating Western Imperialism) justify the means (even if the means are condoning, say, the mass torture and murder of children)"? Because it seems like you hate the West for doing things that you have no problem with others doing.

More and more, frankly, I am inclined to suspect that you are simply an ethno-nationalist.
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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by Tribble » 2019-01-08 09:37pm

Hmmm... ethics and legal definitions aside, one could make the argument that everyone who is not actively resisting a government in its wars of aggression is a vailid target, since by their mere existence and their lack of resistance they are effectively supporting the state's actions one way or another.

If I pay taxes and abide by a government knowing full well that said government is going around blowing up other countries, am I not a part of the problem? Or sure, I'm not literally picking up a gun, flying over somewhere and shooting them - but I'm directly and/or indirectly supporting the people and government who do. If I were truly against this aggressive behaviour I would stop what I'm doing, stop paying taxes (or at least the portion of the taxes dedicated to the military) and protest / form organisations to stop my country from attacking others. Violently perhaps if necessary. I should be willing to go to jail, die even. Virtue only being virtue in extremis and all that.

Lots of people (including myself) frequently say "I don't support my country in its war against X" Ok, fine, but what are we really doing about it? We still go to work. We still pay taxes. Our day to day lives continue. We post on boards like this one. Maybe we vote for the party which at least pretends its being more ethical. At most, maybe some of us might form a group and stage a protest or two. But on the whole I'd have to say that we don't a whole lot.

I can see why some people might just lump people like me in as being fair game since I'm still contributing to a government as it is going around oppressing people. To some I am no doubt just another part of the oppressive state apparatus even if I am not the one holding the gun, and as a result I have to go. Kill me, and that's one less person supporting the state. Do it in a big glamourous way that catches a lot of news, and you might even cause far more disruption than my death by itself would normally warrant.

Note that I don't agree with this point of view but I think I can at least understand why some people may follow it, repulsive as it may be.
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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by AniThyng » 2019-01-08 11:15pm

Tribble wrote:
2019-01-08 09:37pm
Hmmm... ethics and legal definitions aside, one could make the argument that everyone who is not actively resisting a government in its wars of aggression is a vailid target, since by their mere existence and their lack of resistance they are effectively supporting the state's actions one way or another.

If I pay taxes and abide by a government knowing full well that said government is going around blowing up other countries, am I not a part of the problem? Or sure, I'm not literally picking up a gun, flying over somewhere and shooting them - but I'm directly and/or indirectly supporting the people and government who do. If I were truly against this aggressive behaviour I would stop what I'm doing, stop paying taxes (or at least the portion of the taxes dedicated to the military) and protest / form organisations to stop my country from attacking others. Violently perhaps if necessary. I should be willing to go to jail, die even. Virtue only being virtue in extremis and all that.

Lots of people (including myself) frequently say "I don't support my country in its war against X" Ok, fine, but what are we really doing about it? We still go to work. We still pay taxes. Our day to day lives continue. We post on boards like this one. Maybe we vote for the party which at least pretends its being more ethical. At most, maybe some of us might form a group and stage a protest or two. But on the whole I'd have to say that we don't a whole lot.

I can see why some people might just lump people like me in as being fair game since I'm still contributing to a government as it is going around oppressing people. To some I am no doubt just another part of the oppressive state apparatus even if I am not the one holding the gun, and as a result I have to go. Kill me, and that's one less person supporting the state. Do it in a big glamourous way that catches a lot of news, and you might even cause far more disruption than my death by itself would normally warrant.

Note that I don't agree with this point of view but I think I can at least understand why some people may follow it, repulsive as it may be.
One could even say, as a citizen of a democracy, you have more agency in the actions of the state than citizens of a dictatorship. After all, the democratic government has legitimacy in a way a dictatorship ostensibly doesn't. For all the posturing against the American military's actions, it still remains true that it was ultimately the civilian US government that sent them into combat.
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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2019-01-09 02:27pm

Tribble wrote:
2019-01-08 09:37pm
Hmmm... ethics and legal definitions aside, one could make the argument that everyone who is not actively resisting a government in its wars of aggression is a vailid target, since by their mere existence and their lack of resistance they are effectively supporting the state's actions one way or another.

If I pay taxes and abide by a government knowing full well that said government is going around blowing up other countries, am I not a part of the problem? Or sure, I'm not literally picking up a gun, flying over somewhere and shooting them - but I'm directly and/or indirectly supporting the people and government who do. If I were truly against this aggressive behaviour I would stop what I'm doing, stop paying taxes (or at least the portion of the taxes dedicated to the military) and protest / form organisations to stop my country from attacking others. Violently perhaps if necessary. I should be willing to go to jail, die even. Virtue only being virtue in extremis and all that.

Lots of people (including myself) frequently say "I don't support my country in its war against X" Ok, fine, but what are we really doing about it? We still go to work. We still pay taxes. Our day to day lives continue. We post on boards like this one. Maybe we vote for the party which at least pretends its being more ethical. At most, maybe some of us might form a group and stage a protest or two. But on the whole I'd have to say that we don't a whole lot.

I can see why some people might just lump people like me in as being fair game since I'm still contributing to a government as it is going around oppressing people. To some I am no doubt just another part of the oppressive state apparatus even if I am not the one holding the gun, and as a result I have to go. Kill me, and that's one less person supporting the state. Do it in a big glamourous way that catches a lot of news, and you might even cause far more disruption than my death by itself would normally warrant.

Note that I don't agree with this point of view but I think I can at least understand why some people may follow it, repulsive as it may be.
Well, that point of view would essentially be saying "there are no civilians, everyone is a soldier for one side or another." It honestly sounds like reenvisioning society as in a perpetual state of total war.

I'd also be curious as to how someone who held this view would expect certain portions of the population to effectively resist. Do small children get an exemption from being legitimate targets? And what qualifies as meaningful resistance? Does someone have to actively take up arms against their government to be considered not a collaborator? Is there an exemption for conscientious objectors/pacifists?

In any case, the people like Ralin who hate Americans and believe any atrocities are justified as long as they undermine America don't even hold this view, as far as I can tell. They neither know nor cares which of the 3,000 people on 9/11 supported foreign interventions. They just think that the American untermensch deserve to die, and that anyone who is against America should get carte blanche to commit atrocities (including against their own people).
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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by Ralin » 2019-01-11 08:15am

Okay, the semester is finally over. So belatedly.
You fail to understand that describing reality - a small, weak country attacking a world power for any reason, even a justified one, is fucking stupid - for approval on my part. No, I do not approve of any of this. Of course, there isn't jack shit I, personally, can do about any of this but hey, you're the one making assumptions based on nationality.
Again, that is reality. The fact that I recognize it and describe it in no way means I approve of it. Yes, that IS how powerful countries roll. Is that OK? No - but it's still the way of the world.
Please EXACTLY to where I say any of this is OK or justified. I merely state the obvious - if you attack a country it's going to respond violently.
Right. Hate the game. No, none of it is OK from a moral or ethical viewpoint but it is reality. It's like bitching against cancer - that's not fair, either, it maims and kills, too. OK, we have some treatment for it these days, just like we have some international rules these days, but neither cancer treatment nor diplomacy are guarantees that maiming and death will be avoided.
What you fail to understand is that describing US wars against Afghanistan and other countries in “that’s just the way the world works” terms is condoning them by treating it like some sort of immutable natural process that can’t be helped. It means that launching a war in Afghanistan that would kill, maim and torment any number of innocent people was as amoral as a wolf killing a wounded deer, and that’s just not true. There is no law of nature that forced George W. Bush to bomb or invade Afghanistan. He could have flat out refused to send a single soldier there and the worst thing that would have happened to him as a result would not being re-elected. Cancer is a mindless collection of mutant cells; governments have choices. Bush had a choice, members of Congress had choices and so did every single soldier who enlisted and followed the orders and policies his government laid down.

Also
And no, it's not OK to hate "Americans" because judging people solely on their national origin is bigotry. I no more chose to be born in the US than any random Afghani chose to be born there. Whether or not I agree with what the US does I can't change my place of birth. But you see fit to hate me for that, regardless of anything else I may or may not do in life. THAT is bigotry, plain and simple.
But it is NOT OK to kill American civilians or value their lives less - which is what you seem to be maintaining. It was never going to be the case that you could level 16 acres in Manhattan, kill 3k people, and put a hole in the Pentagon without a military response from the US. Never. If someone knocked a hole like that in London or Paris you'd also get a response. If someone did that to Moscow or Beijing I wager the response would be at least on the same level as what the US did if not worse.
You drop the whole Game of Thrones realpolitik ‘that’s just the way it is’ reasoning real fast in other situations. Afghans having to suffer because America had to retaliate for terrorist attacks by groups based in their country is amoral, since it might not be right but it’s just the reality and people have to accept it. Blaming you and other Americans for it is wrong. Killing Americans for any number of previous offenses is an atrocity. Launching a war that would inevitably kill many, many times as many Afghans to maybe stop a few more terrorist attacks… that’s just the way the game is played?

Fuck that. There is no kinder, gentler War on Terror. We saw that real clear with Obama.

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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by SCRawl » 2019-01-11 10:20pm

Ralin wrote:
2019-01-11 08:15am
What you fail to understand is that describing US wars against Afghanistan and other countries in “that’s just the way the world works” terms is condoning them by treating it like some sort of immutable natural process that can’t be helped. It means that launching a war in Afghanistan that would kill, maim and torment any number of innocent people was as amoral as a wolf killing a wounded deer, and that’s just not true. There is no law of nature that forced George W. Bush to bomb or invade Afghanistan. He could have flat out refused to send a single soldier there and the worst thing that would have happened to him as a result would not being re-elected. Cancer is a mindless collection of mutant cells; governments have choices. Bush had a choice, members of Congress had choices and so did every single soldier who enlisted and followed the orders and policies his government laid down.
What you're not understanding, or at least feigning not to understand, is that there is no mechanism to prevent someone like W. and the like-thinking politicians (and so on) from carrying out his invasions. Once the decision to go to war is made -- in this case, a more-or-less exclusively internal decision -- there is no external force (other than an opposing actual force) to stop it. And since there is no such force, it happens. Right or wrong, it happens.
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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2019-01-13 03:57pm

So, you know how Trump is totally going to end evil American imperialism? Well, about that...

https://www.cnn.com/2019/01/13/politics ... index.html
Washington (CNN)The White House's National Security Council asked the Pentagon last year for plans for launching a military attack against Iran, the Wall Street Journal reported early Sunday, citing current and former US officials.

The request from the council, which is led by national security adviser John Bolton, came after an attack in September on the US Embassy in Baghdad by a militant group aligned with Iran, according to the Journal.
According to the paper, Mira Ricardel, the former deputy national security adviser, described the attacks in Iraq as "an act of war," and said that the US needed to respond accordingly.
The request was met with concern by both the Pentagon and the State Department, according to the Journal, with one former administration official telling the paper that people were "shocked" by the request.
A senior administration official told CNN on Sunday that it's not accurate to say the Pentagon and State Department were caught off guard by the request, but would not confirm any other details from the Journal's report.
Although the Pentagon obeyed the request by the council, the Journal reported, it is unknown whether or not the plans for striking Iran were ever fully developed or even provided to the White House. The Journal also said that it is unknown whether President Donald Trump had knowledge of the request.
In a statement provided to CNN on Sunday, Garrett Marquis, a spokesman for the council, said that it "coordinates policy and provides the President with options to anticipate and respond to a variety of threats."
"We continue to review the status of our personnel following attempted attacks on our embassy in Baghdad and our Basra consulate, and we will consider a full range of options to preserve their safety and our interests," the statement read. Marquis also provided the Journal with the same response.
Later Sunday, Defense Department spokesman Col. Rob Manning told CNN that the department "is a planning organization and provides the President military options for a variety of threats; routinely reviewing and updating plans and activities to deal with a host of threats, including those posed by Iran, to deter and, if necessary, to respond to aggression."
The Journal, citing conversations with people familiar with the talks, also reported that the council requested options for launching strikes at both Iraq and Syria when they made the request for Iran.
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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by Ralin » 2019-01-13 09:25pm

The Romulan Republic wrote:
2019-01-13 03:57pm
So, you know how Trump is totally going to end evil American imperialism? Well, about that...
End it? No. But in the murky bundle of inconsistent and often contradictory impulses that make up Trump's politics there is a strong streak of isolationism and 'we shouldn't fight stupid wars in the desert for people who don't want us there anyway'-ism. I don't trust or expect him to stick to that, because he doesn't stick to much of any position outside of 'trade wars and tariffs are good.' But those tendencies should be encouraged when they manifest themselves.

Looking at the article, I don't see why this is shocking? Coming up with potential war plans is what the Pentagon does, and the request doesn't even seem to have come from Trump. I'd expect them to have plans ready to fight every relevant country in the Middle East at any given time, and also one floating around for a two front war against Canada and Mexico.

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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2019-01-13 10:27pm

Except it wasn't just some hypothetical exercise the Pentagon came up with- they were specifically requested by the administration to provide options for striking Iran (and Iraq and Syria) in response to a specific event. As the article I cited explicitly stated, which you either missed or deliberately misrepresented.

Figures that the one American you'd make excuses for is Donald Trump. That says a lot about the sincerity of your views, or rather lack thereof.
"I know its easy to be defeatist here because nothing has seemingly reigned Trump in so far. But I will say this: every asshole succeeds until finally, they don't. Again, 18 months before he resigned, Nixon had a sky-high approval rating of 67%. Harvey Weinstein was winning Oscars until one day, he definitely wasn't."-John Oliver: https://youtube.com/watch?v=zxT8CM8XntA

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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by Ralin » 2019-01-13 11:09pm

The Romulan Republic wrote:
2019-01-13 10:27pm
Except it wasn't just some hypothetical exercise the Pentagon came up with- they were specifically requested by the administration to provide options for striking Iran (and Iraq and Syria) in response to a specific event. As the article I cited explicitly stated, which you either missed or deliberately misrepresented.
Yes. As I said. A potential war plan. At the request of someone in Trump's administration. I would be surprised if they hadn't done that for any non-allied country that wasn't in the news at the moment.
Figures that the one American you'd make excuses for is Donald Trump. That says a lot about the sincerity of your views, or rather lack thereof.
Every once in awhile, I run into someone who makes me unironically use the term Trump derangement syndrome. You are one of them.

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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2019-01-13 11:31pm

Ralin wrote:
2019-01-13 11:09pm
The Romulan Republic wrote:
2019-01-13 10:27pm
Except it wasn't just some hypothetical exercise the Pentagon came up with- they were specifically requested by the administration to provide options for striking Iran (and Iraq and Syria) in response to a specific event. As the article I cited explicitly stated, which you either missed or deliberately misrepresented.
Yes. As I said. A potential war plan. At the request of someone in Trump's administration. I would be surprised if they hadn't done that for any non-allied country that wasn't in the news at the moment.
Regardless, this request was significantly more specific than you made it out to be.
Every once in awhile, I run into someone who makes me unironically use the term Trump derangement syndrome. You are one of them.
It also figures that you'd be unable to tell the difference between a rebuttal and a personal attack.
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