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Author Topic: Bright lights  (Read 225 times)

Offline starmac

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Bright lights
« on: April 13, 2018, 08:50:35 PM »
It sounds like Trump has lit up the skies over Damascus tonight, it would down right suck to be there.

Offline joasis

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Re: Bright lights
« Reply #1 on: April 14, 2018, 07:27:17 AM »
I think the left, and Rachel Madcow still doesn't get it, or even know where to cream the loudest. Funny to watch the media in melt down moad every day.
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Offline Ox

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Re: Bright lights
« Reply #2 on: April 14, 2018, 07:44:16 AM »
I'm not sure what to think about that as of right now.  Gotta wait to let things boil down a bit until I can let my stupid brain decipher exactly what I think is what.  As usual there are conflicting opinions and conflicting reports and I guess we're supposed to just choose one that follows our own personal agenda and run with it. 

I know the fact that this is meddling with a possible war scenario and this fact makes me uneasy.
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Offline joasis

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Re: Bright lights
« Reply #3 on: April 14, 2018, 11:30:04 AM »
Many believe it is imperialism, or nation building, when we jack around in the Middle East.

What the strategic value really is:

With most of the world's oil supply in the ME, then whoever controls the region, in essence, can control the world. It is easy to say that since we are now producing 100% of what we need to consume, and can for the next several decades, then it should not matter, but it does.

Why? Because, if Russia were to control the oil, then political leverage would be easy. Prices could be manipulated with ease....what would nations pay for oil? Any oil? Would they give trade concessions? Would they bow to political pressure and end NATO, or more, end diplomatic relations with the US? How about simple trade? Crash our economy. So the US could bridge the gap in oil, but for how long? Our own domestic security demand that we do not export oil as we did in the first half of the 20th Century.

If China were to gain total control of the oil, same consequences. Different partner, same objectives.

Remember, Russia already controls the natural gas supply for Europe, and they can shut the valve off any time they wish to create chaos in the populations.

Now, all that aside: Why is it important to retaliate?

One, it is absolutely necessary to instill fear of retaliation for any nation, or any group to use chemical weapons. Since ISIS and it's affiliates cannot manufacture the gasses, then they have to rely on a nation state to produce them, and if you make the nation state pay a cost for engaging in poison gas trading, then in theory, you make the cost to high.

Two: Reagan beat the Soviets in a phantom arms race to the top....if Russia presents a real threat, then the same objective is in play. Crash their economy.

Three, and maybe most importantly: It is the moral thing to do. It sends a strong message, and insures we remain feared. We are not the World's policeman.....and we certainly have no real friends, aside from Israel, but we cannot step back to the 1920s and Isolationism.....it led the way to WWII.
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Offline furu

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Re: Bright lights
« Reply #4 on: April 14, 2018, 01:07:22 PM »
Well  said!
Integrity is not just doing the right thing.
Integrity is not just doing the right thing when no one is looking.
Integrity is doing the right thing when no one else will ever even know.

Offline Ox

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Re: Bright lights
« Reply #5 on: April 15, 2018, 08:14:23 AM »
There are good points there, joasis, and I thank you for taking the time to put them up.  It narrows all the narrative and opinionated stuff we find on the news today.  I can understand the reasons why better now.

Do you have any thoughts on why Putin seemed to be so combative about the U.S. doing anything in the region and why he threatened what was basically the start of a WW3 if we did any military operations in the area?
K.I.S.S. - Keep It Simple Stupid
Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without
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Offline joasis

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Re: Bright lights
« Reply #6 on: April 15, 2018, 11:16:04 AM »
Putin is running a country that is a shell of the former empire. The economy is smaller then Italy. They have little to export, except their own oil, and when prices are low, their economy is in the tank. They are trying to modernize a military that has 50 year old technology with little revenue, and keep a population in compliance. Tall order for a man who sees himself as the next Joseph Stalin.

Now, the Russians cannot play hardball with us, conventionally, they still are the nuclear elephant in the room. But in other considerations, they can and will try to run the Middle East by proxy. Without the US, Russia or China would try to force themselves to be granted favored nation status as trading partners with the ME nations, except Israel, and use arms to promote war that they can intervene in for the ultimate knockout. Russian occupied territory in the ME and controlled trade....they will set the world crude price at $200, $250, or even higher, and control output....like OPEC does now, or tried to until the latest round of enhanced oil in the US changed the game.

Imagine a world where the wealth of nations would only go to Russia....via energy. Sure, the ME nations would get a share, but it would be directed by Mother Russia and the Oligarchs.

Food production world wide.....imagine that. The US would stand alone. Alone. And without us giving up a significant part of our own energy reserves, we will not find a friend anywhere.

The new world order would still see us as powerful, but without a roll in the new world economy...and as other nations line up against us, it would then be an "adapt or die" scenario. Not a pretty picture. 
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Offline Ox

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Re: Bright lights
« Reply #7 on: April 16, 2018, 08:43:34 AM »
I don't know what to say other than thanks for sharing your thoughts.  It's borderline too much for me to think about because of all the manipulating.  It's like watching kids play some strategy game but in real life.  :-\
K.I.S.S. - Keep It Simple Stupid
Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without
1989 GMC 3500 4x4 diesel dump and plow truck, 1964 Oliver 1600 Industrial with Parsons loader and backhoe, 1986 Zetor 5211, Cat's Claw sharpener, single tooth setter, homemade Linn Lumber 1900 style mill, old tools

Offline joasis

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Re: Bright lights
« Reply #8 on: April 16, 2018, 10:19:52 AM »
I don't know what to say other than thanks for sharing your thoughts.  It's borderline too much for me to think about because of all the manipulating.  It's like watching kids play some strategy game but in real life.  :-\

As one Democrat said, it is the economy, stupid!. James Carville.

It is funny how EVERYTHING always comes back to money. EVERYTHING!

It is complex, but in the end, it is about money. Power comes from wealth. Security comes from buying power.

In the most basic terms, imagine if there was no oil in the Middle East. Now, if all the Arabs had no money, then buying weapons to kill anyone would not be possible. They would still be 3rd world enterprises, barely able to feed themselves. Israel would not be under threat in real terms either.

In short, NO ONE WOULD CARE ABOUT THE MIDDLE EAST!

Enter OIL! Now you have the nations that do not use oil controlling it, and the nations with no oil giving their wealth and trade to get oil. The Middle East is a world player with power.

Now comes the rub: They are dependent on others for everything else. Militarily. Now, if they simply wanted to be part of the world, it would be ok....but when you have a lot of spare money, you can pursue ideological ideas. Like killing Israelis. Like making Islam the dominant remigion in the world. Like exporting your brand of BS to the world.

No one cares what poor people think...but if you have money, you have a position.

If you have enough money or resources, you are a target for other predators.

I don't think of America as a predator nation...at least, not for the last 150 years, but we are standing almost alone. So we try and influence the region so they don't end up on the other side of the political spectrum, aligned against us.
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Offline furu

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Re: Bright lights
« Reply #9 on: April 16, 2018, 01:55:43 PM »
Very astute
Integrity is not just doing the right thing.
Integrity is not just doing the right thing when no one is looking.
Integrity is doing the right thing when no one else will ever even know.

Offline Stevem

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Re: Bright lights
« Reply #10 on: April 18, 2018, 01:27:28 AM »
I consider myself a conservative!  I have spent 27 years of my life in the military.  And I do not agree with the current trend of perpetual war. Not what I sign up for.  War is a BIG deal and the American public is becoming inured to it. Our military was designed as a defense force, not an attack force.  People die, people get wounded for ever, and people go nuts from it.  War is not a nice thing on either side.
America has never been good at Empire.  It's not our nature, we don't do it well and yet we have military bases in over 70 nations in the world with 200,000 personal assigned to protect our "none" empire.  (What if Canada or Mexico or Italy wanted to establish a military presence in the USA?  Any body have a problem with that?) What if Canada decided they didn't like Monsanto poisoning our food supply with the roundup they make and bombed their US based chemical plants? (Any problem with that?)
And yet we use military force to impose our ideals in and on other countries.  Sounds like empire building to me! We are imposing our beliefs on others by threat or force of arms.  The big bully on the block is what we have become. It just is not right! It's also too expensive in may ways beyond just dollars and cents.   
Our ideas cannot be transferred to other cultures because they don't have the cultural or moral background to understand them.  In a large part our bases is Judaeo/Christian.  Outside of the western world "they" don't play by our rules.  Never have and never will.  But they know our rules and use them against us.  We arm other countries and then get shot at and attacked by those same arms! Iran still flies F-4 fighters we sold/gave to the Shah.
If we so believe in the free market system why do we need to be so militarily imposing? When you hear we "Ought" to do such and such or they "should" do so and so, that's a moral judgement on the speakers part. No touching pork, eat fish on Friday, and face Mecca to pray, are some others,  Not mine but maybe somebodies elses.  To each his own, right?
In other words, "What in the hell are we doing in Syria?   
Stevem
Because you can doesn't mean you should!

Offline furu

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Re: Bright lights
« Reply #11 on: April 18, 2018, 03:11:36 AM »
Thank you for your 27 years.  I did 25 years active duty and saw and was part of many many things in many parts of the world including many dealings with our "mid-eastern allies."

You bring up many valid points. 
The culture of much of the world is very different than the western "civilized world culture" viewpoint. 
I worked along side our Iranian allies (when we were allies) and with our Saudi buddies along with a few African countries. (Zaire ,now known as the Democratic Republic of the Congo; Nigeria; Kenya)

Their cultures are, to put it mildly, different than ours.  The African ones more similar, the others less so.  The value they put on life and the individual's worth differs from ours but there are also many similarities.

Problem is, if you take your very valid points to their conclusion though you can decide that we should not evaluate any other culture or country by ours or the world's normal acceptable standards.  There are treaties that have been signed by nearly every country in the world. (but not all) 
The use of toxic gas is banned. 
The placement of military targets in or near hospitals, schools etc are banned as are attacks on schools and hospitals unless very specific actions require it (yes the laws of war do allow it but there are prerequisites for that to happen.)
Targeting of civilians as a primary target is prohibited and the effort to avoid but not prevent civilian deaths has to be taken into account when planning military operations.  How much of that part of the world targets civilians as the primary target because they are a soft and easy target? Forget our "values/culture" those are international laws and treaties signed by these very same countries in many/most cases.

If we go back a bit in time we can see where we and other countries did not do anything about another regime and "culture" that was, to be understated, rather brutal and inhumane.  That culture/society tried and came very close to exterminating an entire group of people and many others who were viewed as being a subspecies as well.  Jews, Gypsies, homosexuals, etc.  The majority of the people in that society/country did nothing to stop it, many supported it, and many were instrumental in that activity. 

Initially for several years we held back as it was not our problem.  Great Britain held back for several years but was drug into it 2 years before we were.  The appeasement of Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain has been shown (in hindsight) to have been instrumental in the deaths of millions of people.  It was not their problem, nor was it our problem either, for a while.

The atrocities of the Japanese though out Asia was unspeakable as well.

There are certain activities that can not be tolerated in this world by civilized countries.  If they are, they will spread and consume more and more people and societies. 
The 1930's are never to be allowed to happen again if there is any way to stop it.  That was the period where no one did anything about the start of the atrocities.
Yes there are going to be times that nothing can be done but should we stand by when something can be done?

Now the problem is what is the real truth?
Who is really responsible (which side) ?
It certainly appears that the French and the British think they know who was responsible and apparently so do we. 
Are we jumping the gun? 
Maybe

The problem is there is a history of gas being used in that region by several different countries over the years and  each time it is used the threshold for the next time of use is lowered.

Is it OK to round up women and young girls and rape them?  Sodomize young boys?  That culture not only does not prohibit it but is is condoned in some.

Maybe if they kept their actions and beliefs inside their little domains it would be viewed as "OK" as it does not affect us but it is spreading.  There is a belief in much of that part of the world that they should proselytize their beliefs everywhere and that others should be brought under their laws and methods.  When do you say enough is enough?

That is really the question to me.  Where do we draw the line?
That is a discussion that can be had and vigorously supported and discussed with lots of discussion for how and where that line is drawn. 
It is not a clear line by any means. 
But where is the line?

How will history, in hindsight, look at this period? 
We know how history looks back at the 1930 and early 40's. 
It judges the in-actions of countries pretty harshly.


From the speakings of: Martin Niemoller circa 1946.

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.
Integrity is not just doing the right thing.
Integrity is not just doing the right thing when no one is looking.
Integrity is doing the right thing when no one else will ever even know.

Offline joasis

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Re: Bright lights
« Reply #12 on: April 18, 2018, 07:11:12 AM »
In other words, "What in the hell are we doing in Syria?   


I gave you the simple explanation. The topic is far more complex then can ever be phrased into small bites.

We have moved nearly 100 years past any workable "isolationism" as a means and method of foreign policy.

Picture an economy moving backwards by 50% or more, and then we truly would be on the defense. We could not afford to keep up with technology, could not afford our military, could not buy security even if we kept our wealth.

I did not understand this when I was jockeying UH1Hs though the skies, but I understand it plainly today. I don't like it, I don't advocate it, but it is like castor oil or reality.
Ladwig Construction
Hennessey, Oklahoma
    405 853 1563

If anyone has any issues, I can be reached at the number above, anytime.