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#49903 - 12/02/09 11:31 PM Re: letter to the Red States :-) [Re: talus]
Daniel Offline
veteran

Registered: 05/23/01
Posts: 1515
Originally Posted By: talus
Back from Iraq now heading to Afgan.
That's some change! so one term


I think that's too harsh. There is at least an attempt at a timeline to start transitioning responsibility to the Afghan government. Now perhaps the Afghan government will be able to handle it, perhaps not. If not, then we will have to see if Obama is willing to say "we did what we can do, but we can't stay indefinitely, so it's time to go," or whether he'll argue that the area is too important to abandon (remember it affects Pakistan too).

I heard someone in the military quoted as saying that we haven't fought an eight year war in Afghanistan, we've fought a one year war for eight years in a row. I'm willing to give the locals one more shot; with a serious prospect of a drawdown, maybe they'll do a better job of getting their act together. If it looks like we're going to stay regardless, then we can start talking "quagmire."

As for change...he did run on Afghanistan being the "good" war. One may disagree with the policy, but his decision here shouldn't be a surprise.

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#49904 - 12/02/09 11:38 PM Re: letter to the Red States :-) [Re: Daniel]
oenophore Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/24/01
Posts: 5963
Loc: 212 land
The more I read of what the president has done or hasn't done, the more convinced I am that my voting for Nader was the right thing to do.
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#49905 - 12/03/09 12:29 AM Re: letter to the Red States :-) [Re: Daniel]
talus Offline
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Registered: 08/23/04
Posts: 1259
So the initial surge of troops, equipment etc would be just a big waste of money and US troops. Well I hope the best for US troops standing up for Our country.
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#49908 - 12/03/09 03:37 AM Re: letter to the Red States :-) [Re: talus]
Daniel Offline
veteran

Registered: 05/23/01
Posts: 1515
Originally Posted By: talus
So the initial surge of troops, equipment etc would be just a big waste of money and US troops. Well I hope the best for US troops standing up for Our country.


Just because something may not work out doesn't mean it isn't worth trying. Some things you can't know unless you make the attempt (climbers should know this), and eventual failure doesn't mean that the choice to try was incorrect.

The question is whether the odds of success, to the extent we can determine them (and depending on what the goals are), are worth the lives and expense. I don't think it's an easy call, but I also think it's too easy to say we should just get out. Perhaps we should just get out, but it's a complicated question and I think reasonable minds can differ.

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#49909 - 12/03/09 03:51 AM Re: letter to the Red States :-) [Re: oenophore]
Daniel Offline
veteran

Registered: 05/23/01
Posts: 1515
Originally Posted By: oenophore
The more I read of what the president has done or hasn't done, the more convinced I am that my voting for Nader was the right thing to do.


Some people think that avoiding a full scale global meltdown, getting a somewhat effective stimulus package passed, repositioning the nation's foreign policy approaches, and being close to at least some degree of health care reform (a goal that has eluded so many predecessors) isn't half bad for one year. One commentator says it's the most any first-year president has accomplished since FDR. Sure, I'd like to see more, but presidents operate in the political realities they were given, and the many messes are going to take time to unwind. At least the big issues of the day which have been festering for over a decade--health care, energy, and I hear fiscal policy will be on the table for next year--are being addressed instead of being ignored and allowed to fester for another four years.

And if enough people agreed that voting for Nader was the right thing to do and had acted accordingly, we'd have President McCain (and VP Palin). Think about how he would have handled the economy, or where we'd be on health care today, or what his approach to Afghanistan would have been.

I have my ideals and goals. But politics is the art of the possible.

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#49910 - 12/03/09 10:52 AM Re: letter to the Red States :-) [Re: Daniel]
oenophore Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/24/01
Posts: 5963
Loc: 212 land
And if enough people agreed that voting for Nader was the right thing to do and had acted accordingly, we'd have President McCain (and VP Palin).

If enough people agreed that voting for Nader was the right thing to do and had acted accordingly, Nader would be president -- after all, that's what one wishes for in voting for a candidate. It is better, in my opinion, not to be intimidated into voting for a so-called lesser evil by the specter of indirectly voting in the greater one.
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#49912 - 12/03/09 01:52 PM Re: letter to the Red States :-) [Re: Daniel]
talus Offline
veteran

Registered: 08/23/04
Posts: 1259
Originally Posted By: Daniel

Just because something may not work out doesn't mean it isn't worth trying. Some things you can't know unless you make the attempt (climbers should know this), and eventual failure doesn't mean that the choice to try was incorrect.


As you gain experience you know well it's not going to work out. Plus who are we to go in tell other countries how to live. We should be at home protecting our own.
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#49913 - 12/03/09 03:06 PM Re: letter to the Red States :-) [Re: talus]
Daniel Offline
veteran

Registered: 05/23/01
Posts: 1515
Originally Posted By: talus
As you gain experience you know well it's not going to work out. Plus who are we to go in tell other countries how to live. We should be at home protecting our own.


As I wrote, I think reasonable people can disagree as to how well we "know" whether it's going to work out. And I also think one can't disregard the possible consequences of abandonment, though that may not be enough of an argument to stay.

Also, I don't think we're telling Afghanis "how to live." My understanding is that most of them don't want to live under the Taliban. Whether the central or local governments can provide an alternative is an unanswered question, and one that Obama wants to provide 20 months to try to get an answer. I understand why some people think it's not worth even trying to get an answer, but I also understand why some people think it's worth one last shot--assuming it stays a last shot.

Moreover, Obama claims his plan is about protecting "our own," that there is a link between what happens there and what happens here. Again, people disagree about the link, but my understanding is that this is not a humanitarian mission.

I think this Slate article has a good discussion on the difficulties of any approach in Afghanistan.

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#49914 - 12/03/09 03:14 PM Re: letter to the Red States :-) [Re: oenophore]
Daniel Offline
veteran

Registered: 05/23/01
Posts: 1515
Originally Posted By: oenophore
If enough people agreed that voting for Nader was the right thing to do and had acted accordingly, Nader would be president -- after all, that's what one wishes for in voting for a candidate. It is better, in my opinion, not to be intimidated into voting for a so-called lesser evil by the specter of indirectly voting in the greater one.


Yeah, but he's got to build a greater platform first if he's going to be anything but a spoiler. In my opinion, such candidates cause more harm than good unless they have a reasonable shot to begin with, and one can create a reasonable basis for success without running for office and making things worse for everyone. I mean, 8 years of Bush? That wasn't just the worse of two evils; that was an unmitigated disaster that endangered the very constitutional basis of our government.

Nader said that he ran because he wanted to move the Democratic party to the left. But if you move the party to the left without moving the public to the left, you're just ceding territory to the opposition (much like the Republican party may be doing in reverse today). If Nader had used his considerable skills and resources to move public opinion first, maybe he would have had more support. But I think he harmed himself by taking the approach he did.

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#49915 - 12/03/09 03:26 PM Re: letter to the Red States :-) [Re: Daniel]
talus Offline
veteran

Registered: 08/23/04
Posts: 1259
Originally Posted By: Daniel

Also, I don't think we're telling Afghanis "how to live." My understanding is that most of them don't want to live under the Taliban. Whether the central or local governments can provide an alternative is an unanswered question, and one that Obama wants to provide 20 months to try to get an answer. I understand why some people think it's not worth even trying to get an answer, but I also understand why some people think it's worth one last shot--assuming it stays a last shot.


Then if they don't want live under Taliban let them fight their own civil war. No need for the US to go over.

Obama really has you mesmerized that everything he does is right, kind of scary.
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