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Thread: I hereby open a debate

  1. #41

    Default Re: I hereby open a debate

    What did Trump change? NK is back to testing missles and trying to develop nukes. The brief detente lasted all of 3 news cycles.

  2. #42

    Default Re: I hereby open a debate

    Quote Originally Posted by 95thrifleman View Post
    What did Trump change? NK is back to testing missles and trying to develop nukes. The brief detente lasted all of 3 news cycles.
    Well of course that's what the LIBERAL MEDIA want you to think. Actually our Great Leader completely disarmed North Korea by himself.

    But in all seriousness, his supporters don't care what he does or if it makes the nation less secure or their lives worse. They only care about "owning the libs." As long as they think he's upsetting those they hate, they'll love him.

  3. #43

    Default Re: I hereby open a debate

    Quote Originally Posted by 95thrifleman View Post
    What did Trump change? NK is back to testing missles and trying to develop nukes. The brief detente lasted all of 3 news cycles.
    Source?

  4. #44

    Default Re: I hereby open a debate

    Quote Originally Posted by Heathen Hammer View Post
    Source?
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/20...defence-report

  5. #45
    Legio_Italica's Avatar Lost in Limbo
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    Default Re: I hereby open a debate

    Quote Originally Posted by Coughdrop addict View Post
    I wonder how many decades it will take the US to recover from Trump and his death cult, or if it's even possible to recover.

    It would take decades of aggressively successful foreign policy, fortuitous implosion by US adversaries, or another world war in which the US is the only major power left mostly unscathed like last time. The US didn’t get in this situation overnight and it won’t be a quick fix either.


    In any case, I’ve no doubt Trump will be lionized as Reaganesque in the history books. US decline will appear to have been inevitable in the hindsight of history, and any role Trump or Trumpism played in that decline will be downplayed in favor of effusive praise for his unorthodoxy and aggressive, can-do attitude. Americans don’t like writing history in which we are responsible for any of our own problems.

  6. #46
    Carmen Sylva's Avatar Domesticus
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    Default Re: I hereby open a debate

    Quote Originally Posted by Legio_Italica View Post
    ...
    In any case, I’ve no doubt Trump will be lionized as Reaganesque in the history books. US decline will appear to have been inevitable in the hindsight of history, and any role Trump or Trumpism played in that decline will be downplayed in favor of effusive praise for his unorthodoxy and aggressive, can-do attitude. Americans don’t like writing history in which we are responsible for any of our own problems.
    I see one or two Hollywood movies coming, in which a lonesome hero president fight a brave and victorious trade war against the evil yellow reds, till the hidden military industrial complex topples him in a secret conspiracy...
    Christ was crucified, Socrates was poisoned, Phidias was accused of theft - it is almost an honor to be abused by contemporaries.

    Carmen Sylva (1843 - 1916), actually Princess Elisabeth Pauline Ottilie Luise zu Wied VA (Royal Order of Victoria and Albert), German writer and lyricist, by marriage Queen Elizabeth of Romania

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  7. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carmen Sylva View Post
    I see one or two Hollywood movies coming, in which a lonesome hero president fight a brave and victorious trade war against the evil yellow reds, till the hidden military industrial complex topples him in a secret conspiracy...

    Don’t forget the part where Hillary, Obama and the pizza parlor pedophiles rob the protagonist of his Nobel Peace Prize for having tricked Kim Jong Un into taking a romantic stroll across the DMZ while Special Forces swapped out the nukes with Trump brand friendship bracelets.

  8. #48
    Carmen Sylva's Avatar Domesticus
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    Default Re: I hereby open a debate

    Quote Originally Posted by Legio_Italica View Post
    Don’t forget the part where Hillary, Obama and the pizza parlor pedophiles rob the protagonist of his Nobel Peace Prize for having tricked Kim Jong Un into taking a romantic stroll across the DMZ while Special Forces swapped out the nukes with Trump brand friendship bracelets.
    Hmm, i could see this bromance as "Return to Brokeback mountain" sequel too...

    Or as "You've got Email by Kim"...
    Christ was crucified, Socrates was poisoned, Phidias was accused of theft - it is almost an honor to be abused by contemporaries.

    Carmen Sylva (1843 - 1916), actually Princess Elisabeth Pauline Ottilie Luise zu Wied VA (Royal Order of Victoria and Albert), German writer and lyricist, by marriage Queen Elizabeth of Romania

    Proud Non-Citizen / End of Time / Unschuldsengel / My Mods

  9. #49

    Default Re: I hereby open a debate

    Quote Originally Posted by Legio_Italica View Post
    It would take decades of aggressively successful foreign policy, fortuitous implosion by US adversaries, or another world war in which the US is the only major power left mostly unscathed like last time. The US didn’t get in this situation overnight and it won’t be a quick fix either.
    I have to believe we can rebuild. I know the Republicans will fight us every step of the way, but we have to try. I don't want to live in a world where the only choices are be a vassal of either totalitarian China or Mafia-state Russia.

  10. #50
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    Default Re: I hereby open a debate

    Quote Originally Posted by Coughdrop addict View Post
    I have to believe we can rebuild. I know the Republicans will fight us every step of the way, but we have to try. I don't want to live in a world where the only choices are be a vassal of either totalitarian China or Mafia-state Russia.
    It’s not even about D and R at this point. The US and its allies aren’t on the same page on fundamental issues, and it shows. Europe and Asia have no appetite to fight communism anymore, and don’t consider Iran and its proxy terrorists to be a problem. Trump is fighting everyone at once at a time when we need to close ranks with our allies more than ever. The US does not have the measure of international goodwill and trust in leadership that we had 15-20 years ago. US voters would rather be Switzerland than be America. Competent US leadership is being aged out of service, or quitting in frustration, replaced by political hacks. The situation is not sustainable, in many ways, would take alot of dumb luck to reverse.

  11. #51

    Default Re: I hereby open a debate

    Quote Originally Posted by Legio_Italica View Post
    The US and its allies aren’t on the same page on fundamental issues, and it shows. Europe and Asia have no appetite to fight communism anymore
    No appetite to fight Communism? My God, my time machine works! It really is 1955!

    Right. I'm off to play some Chuck Berry records at the Enchantment under the Sea Dance...

  12. #52
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    Default Re: I hereby open a debate

    Quote Originally Posted by TheLeft View Post
    No appetite to fight Communism? My God, my time machine works! It really is 1955!
    Quote Originally Posted by TheLeft View Post


    Right. I'm off to play some Chuck Berry records at the Enchantment under the Sea Dance...

    If you prefer a different parlance, call it totalitarianism and the “free world’s” apparent indifference to it. The Chinese Politburo is publicly seeking to control all of East Asia and dominate the world militarily and economically. Putin, former KGB officer, called the fall of the USSR “the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the century,” which throws his military invasions of and espionage operations in former USSR territories into a fairly grim light.


    The response of most if not all major US allies to these developments has been “meh.” US corporations, along with most European and Asian powers, would rather have access to Iranian and Russian oil and gas, Chinese cash and slave-made cheap goods, than go along with “disruptive” US policies. Preservation of democratic norms aren’t as important a motivation as they were when the Soviets were breathing down everyone’s neck. But hey, Chuck Berry is a legend. Don’t let me get in the way of good music.

  13. #53
    Carmen Sylva's Avatar Domesticus
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    Default Re: I hereby open a debate

    Ngô Đěnh Diệm and the following by the US supported military junta presidents weren't also the lighthouses of democracy in southeast asia.

    And i'm talking not from the caribic and central america yet.

    As 45 year old European i'm sceptical with american black and white painting.
    Last edited by Carmen Sylva; August 28, 2019 at 10:09 AM.
    Christ was crucified, Socrates was poisoned, Phidias was accused of theft - it is almost an honor to be abused by contemporaries.

    Carmen Sylva (1843 - 1916), actually Princess Elisabeth Pauline Ottilie Luise zu Wied VA (Royal Order of Victoria and Albert), German writer and lyricist, by marriage Queen Elizabeth of Romania

    Proud Non-Citizen / End of Time / Unschuldsengel / My Mods

  14. #54
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    Default Re: I hereby open a debate

    Quote Originally Posted by Carmen Sylva View Post
    Ngô Đěnh Diệm and the following by the US supported military junta presidents weren't also the lighthouses of democracy in southeast asia.
    Quote Originally Posted by Carmen Sylva View Post


    And i'm talking not from the caribic and central america yet.


    As 45 year old European i'm sceptical with american black and white painting.

    The alternative to these situations was world communism. At the time, things were indeed “black and white.” We can all say in hindsight that the fall of the USSR was inevitable and therefore US containment policy was imperialist or this or that, but there was no such guarantee of victory. During the Cold War, the US backed pretty much anyone with the political ability to block Soviet intervention and sympathizers in these respective countries, which of course leads to moral contradictions.


    People used to generally agree that the US was, at the very least, the lesser of all evils. Now, with the fear of totalitarianism fading from popular culture after 30-40 years of Pax Americana, the US no longer has the luxury of assuming people necessarily fear the prospect of being dominated by the interests and priorities of authoritarian regimes. In many ways, the US is the victim of its own success.

  15. #55
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    Default Re: I hereby open a debate

    Jim Mattis in the WSJ today. I highlighted some interesting parts, but it's all good.

    Jim Mattis: Duty, Democracy and the Threat of Tribalism - WSJ (paywall)

    In late November 2016, I was enjoying Thanksgiving break in my hometown on the Columbia River in Washington state when I received an unexpected call from Vice President-elect Mike Pence. Would I meet with President-elect Donald Trump to discuss the job of secretary of defense?

    I had taken no part in the election campaign and had never met or spoken to Mr. Trump, so to say that I was surprised is an understatement. Further, I knew that, absent a congressional waiver, federal law prohibited a former military officer from serving as secretary of defense within seven years of departing military service. Given that no wavier had been authorized since Gen. George Marshall was made secretary in 1950, and I’d been out for only 3˝ years, I doubted I was a viable candidate. Nonetheless, I felt I should go to Bedminster, N.J., for the interview.

    I had time on the cross-country flight to ponder how to encapsulate my view of America’s role in the world. On my flight out of Denver, the flight attendant’s standard safety briefing caught my attention: If cabin pressure is lost, masks will fall…Put your own mask on first, then help others around you. In that moment, those familiar words seemed like a metaphor: To preserve our leadership role, we needed to get our own country’s act together first, especially if we were to help others.

    The next day, I was driven to the Trump National Golf Club and, entering a side door, waited about 20 minutes before I was ushered into a modest conference room. I was introduced to the president-elect, the vice president-elect, the incoming White House chief of staff and a handful of others. We talked about the state of our military, where our views aligned and where they differed. Mr. Trump led the wide-ranging, 40-minute discussion, and the tone was amiable.

    Afterward, the president-elect escorted me out to the front steps of the colonnaded clubhouse, where the press was gathered. I assumed that I would be on my way back to Stanford University’s Hoover Institution, where I’d spent the past few years doing research. I figured that my strong support of NATO and my dismissal of the use of torture on prisoners would have the president-elect looking for another candidate.

    Standing beside him on the steps as photographers snapped away, I was surprised for the second time that week when he characterized me to the reporters as “the real deal.” Days later, I was formally nominated.

    During the interview, Mr. Trump had asked me if I could do the job. I said I could. I’d never aspired to be secretary of defense and took the opportunity to suggest several other candidates I thought highly capable. Still, having been raised by the Greatest Generation, by two parents who had served in World War II, and subsequently shaped by more than four decades in the Marine Corps, I considered government service to be both honor and duty. When the president asks you to do something, you don’t play Hamlet on the wall, wringing your hands. To quote a great American company’s slogan, you “just do it.” So long as you are prepared, you say yes.

    When it comes to the defense of our experiment in democracy and our way of life, ideology should have nothing to do with it. Whether asked to serve by a Democratic or a Republican, you serve. “Politics ends at the water’s edge”: That ethos has shaped and defined me, and I wasn’t going to betray it, no matter how much I was enjoying my life west of the Rockies and spending time with a family I had neglected during my 40-plus years in the Marines.

    When I said I could do the job, I meant I felt prepared. I knew the job intimately. In the late 1990s, I had served as the executive secretary to two secretaries of defense, William Perry and William Cohen. In close quarters, I had gained a personal grasp of the immensity and gravity of a “secdef’s” responsibilities. The job is tough: Our first secretary of defense, James Forrestal, committed suicide, and few have emerged from the job unscathed, either legally or politically.

    We were at war, amid the longest continuous stretch of armed conflict in our nation’s history. I’d signed enough letters to next of kin about the death of a loved one to understand the consequences of leading a department on a war footing when the rest of the country was not. The Department of Defense’s millions of devoted troops and civilians spread around the world carried out their mission with a budget larger than the GDPs of all but two dozen countries.

    On a personal level, I had no great desire to return to Washington, D.C. I drew no energy from the turmoil and politics that animate our capital. Yet I didn’t feel overwhelmed by the job’s immensities. I also felt confident that I could gain bipartisan support for the Department of Defense despite the political fratricide practiced in Washington.

    My career in the Marines brought me to that moment and prepared me to say yes to a job of that magnitude. The Marines teach you, above all, how to adapt, improvise and overcome. But they expect you to have done your homework, to have mastered your profession. Amateur performance is anathema.

    The Marines are bluntly critical of falling short, satisfied only with 100% effort and commitment. Yet over the course of my career, every time I made a mistake—and I made many—the Marines promoted me. They recognized that these mistakes were part of my tuition and a necessary bridge to learning how to do things right. Year in and year out, the Marines had trained me in skills they knew I needed, while educating me to deal with the unexpected.

    Beneath its Prussian exterior of short haircuts, crisp uniforms and exacting standards, the Corps nurtured some of the strangest mavericks and most original thinkers I encountered in my journey through multiple commands and dozens of countries. The Marines’ military excellence does not suffocate intellectual freedom or substitute regimented dogma for imaginative solutions. They know their doctrine, often derived from lessons learned in combat and written in blood, but refuse to let that turn into dogma.

    Woe to the unimaginative one who, in after-action reviews, takes refuge in doctrine. The critiques in the field, in the classroom or at happy hour are blunt for good reasons. Personal sensitivities are irrelevant. No effort is made to ease you through your midlife crisis when peers, seniors or subordinates offer more cunning or historically proven options, even when out of step with doctrine.

    In any organization, it’s all about selecting the right team. The two qualities I was taught to value most were initiative and aggressiveness. Institutions get the behaviors they reward.

    During my monthlong preparation for my Senate confirmation hearings, I read many excellent intelligence briefings. I was struck by the degree to which our competitive military edge was eroding, including our technological advantage. We would have to focus on regaining the edge.

    I had been fighting terrorism in the Middle East during my last decade of military service. During that time, and in the three years since I had left active duty, haphazard funding had significantly worsened the situation, doing more damage to our current and future military readiness than any enemy in the field.


    I could see that the background drummed into me as a Marine would need to be adapted to fit my role as a civilian secretary. It now became even clearer to me why the Marines assign an expanded reading list to everyone promoted to a new rank: That reading gives historical depth that lights the path ahead. Books like the “Personal Memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant,” “Sherman” by B.H. Liddell Hart and Field Marshal William Slim’s “Defeat Into Victory” illustrated that we could always develop options no matter how worrisome the situation. Slowly but surely, we learned there was nothing new under the sun: Properly informed, we weren’t victims—we could always create options.

    Fate, Providence or the chance assignments of a military career had me as ready as I could be when tapped on the shoulder. Without arrogance or ignorance, I could answer yes when asked to serve one more time.

    When I served as Supreme Allied Commander Transformation, a new post created in 2002 to help streamline and reform NATO’s command structure, I served with a brilliant admiral from a European nation. He looked and acted every inch the forceful leader. Too forceful: He yelled, dressing officers down in front of others, and publicly mocked reports that he considered shallow instead of clarifying what he wanted. He was harsh and inconsiderate, and his subordinates were fearful.

    I called in the admiral and carefully explained why I disapproved of his leadership. “Your staff resents you,” I said. “You’re disappointed in their input. OK. But your criticism makes that input worse, not better. You’re going the wrong way. You cannot allow your passion for excellence to destroy your compassion for them as human beings.” This was a point I had always driven home to my subordinates.

    “Change your leadership style,” I continued. “Coach and encourage; don’t berate, least of all in public.”

    But he soon reverted to demeaning his subordinates. I shouldn’t have been surprised. When for decades you have been rewarded and promoted, it’s difficult to break the habits you’ve acquired, regardless of how they may have worked in another setting. Finally, I told him to go home.

    An oft-spoken admonition in the Marines is this: When you’re going to a gunfight, bring all your friends with guns. Having fought many times in coalitions, I believe that we need every ally we can bring to the fight. From imaginative military solutions to their country’s vote in the U.N., the more allies the better. I have never been on a crowded battlefield, and there is always room for those who want to be there alongside us.

    A wise leader must deal with reality and state what he intends, and what level of commitment he is willing to invest in achieving that end. He then has to trust that his subordinates know how to carry that out. Wise leadership requires collaboration; otherwise, it will lead to failure.

    Nations with allies thrive, and those without them wither. Alone, America cannot protect our people and our economy. At this time, we can see storm clouds gathering. A polemicist’s role is not sufficient for a leader. A leader must display strategic acumen that incorporates respect for those nations that have stood with us when trouble loomed. Returning to a strategic stance that includes the interests of as many nations as we can make common cause with, we can better deal with this imperfect world we occupy together. Absent this, we will occupy an increasingly lonely position, one that puts us at increasing risk in the world.

    It never dawned on me that I would serve again in a government post after retiring from active duty. But the phone call came, and on a Saturday morning in late 2017, I walked into the secretary of defense’s office, which I had first entered as a colonel on staff 20 years earlier. Using every skill I had learned during my decades as a Marine, I did as well as I could for as long as I could. When my concrete solutions and strategic advice, especially keeping faith with our allies, no longer resonated, it was time to resign, despite the limitless joy I felt serving alongside our troops in defense of our Constitution.

    Unlike in the past, where we were unified and drew in allies, currently our own commons seems to be breaking apart. What concerns me most as a military man is not our external adversaries; it is our internal divisiveness. We are dividing into hostile tribes cheering against each other, fueled by emotion and a mutual disdain that jeopardizes our future, instead of rediscovering our common ground and finding solutions.

    All Americans need to recognize that our democracy is an experiment—and one that can be reversed. We all know that we’re better than our current politics. Tribalism must not be allowed to destroy our experiment.


    Toward the end of the Marjah, Afghanistan, battle in 2010, I encountered a Marine and a Navy corpsman, both sopping wet, having just cooled off by relaxing in the adjacent irrigation ditch. I gave them my usual: “How’s it going, young men?”

    “Living the dream, sir!” the Marine shouted. “No Maserati, no problem,” the sailor added with a smile.

    Their nonchalance and good cheer, even as they lived one day at a time under austere conditions, reminded me how unimportant are many of the things back home that can divide us if we let them.

    On each of our coins is inscribed America’s de facto motto, “E Pluribus Unum”—from many, one. For our experiment in democracy to survive, we must live that motto.

    —Gen. Mattis served as secretary of defense during the Trump administration and served in the U.S. Marine Corps for more than four decades. This essay is adapted from his forthcoming book “Call Sign Chaos: Learning to Lead,” co-authored with Bing West, which will be published Sept. 3 by Random House.

  16. #56
    Legio_Italica's Avatar Lost in Limbo
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    Default Re: I hereby open a debate

    I’d never aspired to be secretary of defense and took the opportunity to suggest several other candidates I thought highly capable. Still, having been raised by the Greatest Generation, by two parents who had served in World War II, and subsequently shaped by more than four decades in the Marine Corps, I considered government service to be both honor and duty. When the president asks you to do something, you don’t play Hamlet on the wall, wringing your hands. To quote a great American company’s slogan, you “just do it.” So long as you are prepared, you say yes.
    When it comes to the defense of our experiment in democracy and our way of life, ideology should have nothing to do with it. Whether asked to serve by a Democratic or a Republican, you serve. “Politics ends at the water’s edge”
    Mattis is a dying breed, which is the main reason I’m fairly pessimistic about US prospects. He was way too deferential to Trump IMO, but he’s a soldier after all, and a true servant of the Republic. If the American electorate voted like Jim talks, the US would be unstoppable. I’m reminded of the sermon by Samuel Danforth, admonishing his parishioners for neglecting the cause which drew them to America in the first place:


    “To what purpose came we into this place, and what expectation drew us hither? Surely, not the expectation of ludicrous Levity. Not the expectation of Courtly Pomp and Delicacy. We came not hither to see men clothed like Courtiers. We came not hither to see a Reed shaken with the wind. Then let us not be Reeds, light, empty, vain, hollow-hearted Professors, shaken with every wind of Temptation: but solid, serious and sober....constant and stedfast in the Profession and Practice of the Truth without wavering.”

  17. #57

    Default Re: I hereby open a debate

    Quote Originally Posted by Legio_Italica View Post
    It’s not even about D and R at this point.
    I have to disagree. When one side takes sadistic glee in locking children up indefinitely for (let's be honest) their skin color, demands their political opponents be jailed for daring to run against them ("Lock her up!), can be easily led to believe ridiculous lies (birtherism, pizzagate, Qanon, great replacement), and scorns democracy and praises brutal dictators, they are objectively worse people than their opponents and their ideas are the worse choice for the nation.

  18. #58
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    Default Re: I hereby open a debate

    Quote Originally Posted by Coughdrop addict View Post
    I have to disagree. When one side takes sadistic glee in locking children up indefinitely for (let's be honest) their skin color, demands their political opponents be jailed for daring to run against them ("Lock her up!), can be easily led to believe ridiculous lies (birtherism, pizzagate, Qanon, great replacement), and scorns democracy and praises brutal dictators, they are objectively worse people than their opponents and their ideas are the worse choice for the nation.
    You’ll find no quarrel with me regarding the toxicity of the Republican party. I’m mostly a single issue voter: foreign policy. Domestic policy can change with the tides. If you don’t like one guy, vote for a different one next time, etc. There’s no such flexibility on foreign policy experimentation. America will live with its ups forever. Both Progressive Dems and Republicans are adopting the Eric Cartman approach to foreign policy going forward. By the time voters remember why we have a State Department, a CIA, a military, etc 2-4 election cycles from now, the world will have moved on to a new paradigm without US input.

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