Interventionism
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06-09-2014, 12:36 PM
RE: Interventionism
I think we can at least agree, that leaving Iraq in the dirty hands of Saddam after Desert Storm was probably one of the worst military and political decisions since Vietnam. My point on the ISIS thread is similar to this; by leaving Saddam in 1991 to continue murdering his people, we simply postponed a much wider conflict with far greater consequences, which we are still having to deal with. There is a fine line between not wanting to stick our noses in others business, and just plain old appeasement.

I finish my point with a quote from Hitchens: ""However—and here is the clinching and obvious point—Saddam Hussein is not going to survive. His regime is on the verge of implosion. It has long passed the point of diminishing returns. Like the Ceausescu edifice in Romania, it is a pyramid balanced on its apex (its powerbase a minority of the Sunni minority), and when it falls, all the consequences of a post-Saddam Iraq will be with us anyway. To suggest that these consequences—Sunni-Shi’a rivalry, conflict over the boundaries of Kurdistan, possible meddling from Turkey or Iran, vertiginous fluctuations in oil prices and production, social chaos—are attributable only to intervention is to be completely blind to the impending reality. The choices are two and only two—to experience these consequences with an American or international presence or to watch them unfold as if they were none of our business."

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06-09-2014, 12:44 PM
RE: Interventionism
That's a great quote - do you know what year is that from?

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06-09-2014, 12:51 PM
RE: Interventionism
(06-09-2014 12:36 PM)I Slappa DaFace Wrote:  I think we can at least agree, that leaving Iraq in the dirty hands of Saddam after Desert Storm was probably one of the worst military and political decisions since Vietnam. My point on the ISIS thread is similar to this; by leaving Saddam in 1991 to continue murdering his people, we simply postponed a much wider conflict with far greater consequences, which we are still having to deal with. There is a fine line between not wanting to stick our noses in others business, and just plain old appeasement.

I finish my point with a quote from Hitchens: ""However—and here is the clinching and obvious point—Saddam Hussein is not going to survive. His regime is on the verge of implosion. It has long passed the point of diminishing returns. Like the Ceausescu edifice in Romania, it is a pyramid balanced on its apex (its powerbase a minority of the Sunni minority), and when it falls, all the consequences of a post-Saddam Iraq will be with us anyway. To suggest that these consequences—Sunni-Shi’a rivalry, conflict over the boundaries of Kurdistan, possible meddling from Turkey or Iran, vertiginous fluctuations in oil prices and production, social chaos—are attributable only to intervention is to be completely blind to the impending reality. The choices are two and only two—to experience these consequences with an American or international presence or to watch them unfold as if they were none of our business."

I was never with Hitchens on this one, I understood his reasons but he let a sentimental attachment to the Kurds overwhelm his good sense. Isolation was working there was no need to do a full on invasion and regime change. Had the US not decided to invade Iraq for no good reason today Saddam is probably out of power anyway and none of the mess and bloodshed and horror and cost is on our hands. A strong breeze would have toppled Saddam, his powerbase was evaporating and the disaster that was the Iraq war was entirely avoidable.

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06-09-2014, 12:52 PM
RE: Interventionism
(06-09-2014 12:36 PM)I Slappa DaFace Wrote:  I think we can at least agree, that leaving Iraq in the dirty hands of Saddam after Desert Storm was probably one of the worst military and political decisions since Vietnam. My point on the ISIS thread is similar to this; by leaving Saddam in 1991 to continue murdering his people, we simply postponed a much wider conflict with far greater consequences, which we are still having to deal with. There is a fine line between not wanting to stick our noses in others business, and just plain old appeasement.

25 years of hindsight make that an almost pointless thing to say.

(06-09-2014 12:36 PM)I Slappa DaFace Wrote:  I finish my point with a quote from Hitchens: ""However—and here is the clinching and obvious point—Saddam Hussein is not going to survive. His regime is on the verge of implosion. It has long passed the point of diminishing returns. Like the Ceausescu edifice in Romania, it is a pyramid balanced on its apex (its powerbase a minority of the Sunni minority), and when it falls, all the consequences of a post-Saddam Iraq will be with us anyway. To suggest that these consequences—Sunni-Shi’a rivalry, conflict over the boundaries of Kurdistan, possible meddling from Turkey or Iran, vertiginous fluctuations in oil prices and production, social chaos—are attributable only to intervention is to be completely blind to the impending reality. The choices are two and only two—to experience these consequences with an American or international presence or to watch them unfold as if they were none of our business."

Indeed. Can you imagine what would have happened if the Americans didn't invade? Iraq would likely have ended up like its fellow Arab dictatorships; take your pick of strongmen. Perhaps fellow Baathist Assad in Syria. Perhaps Gadaffi in Libya. Perhaps Saleh in Yemen. Perhaps popular unrest might have reached a breaking point. Perhaps people would have taken to the streets. Perhaps violent crackdowns would have ensued.

Why, perhaps Iraq would have ended up a storm of sectarian violence, foreign meddling by bribes and proxies, apathetic and ineffectual government forces, anarchy in Kurdistan and minority areas...

How lucky the Iraqis must surely think themselves, to have escaped such a fate.

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06-09-2014, 12:53 PM
RE: Interventionism
(06-09-2014 12:44 PM)kim Wrote:  That's a great quote - do you know what year is that from?

7th of November, 2002. Smile

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06-09-2014, 12:58 PM
RE: Interventionism
(06-09-2014 12:52 PM)cjlr Wrote:  25 years of hindsight make that an almost pointless thing to say.

Not pointless to me, especially when the Suez Canal is included, and that was a pretty bad show. (Yes, I am aware that Vietnam officially began two years later).

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06-09-2014, 01:02 PM
RE: Interventionism
(06-09-2014 12:58 PM)I Slappa DaFace Wrote:  
(06-09-2014 12:52 PM)cjlr Wrote:  25 years of hindsight make that an almost pointless thing to say.

Not pointless to me, especially when the Suez Canal is included, and that was a pretty bad show. (Yes, I am aware that Vietnam officially began two years later).

What does Suez have to do with anything? I mean, sure, it's responsible for souring much of the Arab world on the West, but...

It's a natural bias, for us humans, to look back on something and imagine it going better.

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06-09-2014, 01:10 PM
RE: Interventionism
(06-09-2014 01:02 PM)cjlr Wrote:  
(06-09-2014 12:58 PM)I Slappa DaFace Wrote:  Not pointless to me, especially when the Suez Canal is included, and that was a pretty bad show. (Yes, I am aware that Vietnam officially began two years later).

What does Suez have to do with anything? I mean, sure, it's responsible for souring much of the Arab world on the West, but...

It's a natural bias, for us humans, to look back on something and imagine it going better.

I'm not referring to it's consequences, but it's decision alone. I am aware of the bias one can accumulate when looking back on an event. That wasn't my main point, though. My main point in that quoted paragraph was that it did nothing but cause more purges and delay the inevitable.

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06-09-2014, 01:54 PM
RE: Interventionism
(06-09-2014 10:24 AM)Revenant77x Wrote:  
(06-09-2014 10:07 AM)Chas Wrote:  Yup.

One caveat: Go in big or stay out.

Addendum to Caveat: Always have an exit strategy.

Other than total victory? Shocking

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06-09-2014, 01:56 PM
RE: Interventionism
(06-09-2014 01:54 PM)Chas Wrote:  
(06-09-2014 10:24 AM)Revenant77x Wrote:  Addendum to Caveat: Always have an exit strategy.

Other than total victory? Shocking

Hope for the best plan for the worst.

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