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Thread: 2017 American Political Scene

  1. #2146
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    Quote Originally Posted by snapper View Post
    No Ambassador in Kabul - or South Korea for that matter. While I am sure the acting Charges d'Affairs can fulfill the roles it is somewhat remiss surely to not have your own accredited appointed representative to explain your view before taking action. Nor this even a undersecretary of State for the region appointed yet... You Foreign Office is a hollowed out shell and Tillerson largely sidelined according to rumour.
    Tillerson has not been sidelined. However, are you seriously arguing that Trump should let A-stan fester and spiral even more out of control (the ANA and Afghan Police are losing and suffered 16,000 casualties last year) becuase the Senate Dems are blocking nominations with a deliberate slow roll?

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    Quote Originally Posted by zraver View Post
    Tillerson has not been sidelined. However, are you seriously arguing that Trump should let A-stan fester and spiral even more out of control (the ANA and Afghan Police are losing and suffered 16,000 casualties last year) becuase the Senate Dems are blocking nominations with a deliberate slow roll?
    zraver Sir, I merely suggest that the so called new approach (or however you want to dress it up for the press) is not entirely 'comprehensive'. Perhaps it should be? Cart before horse comes to mind. Nor did I ever believe in the Afghan 'mission'. It cannot be won militarily; history has proved it. If we are willing to give a Cold War deployment to Afghanistan - a mission without time limit at all fine we may wear them down but even then the tribes will be tribal and fight among themselves. Some will have leaders of 'moderate' islamic beliefs and others be more 'radical'. Perhaps we should send the Priests? Or the Buddhist monks? "Hearts and minds" needs to go deeper maybe? Souls and minds?

    There are two solutions in my view - apart from the unended commitment; Get the Indians in on a UN deal (or not). They would love it and kill the buggers in numbers. Pile in an overload and set the Taliban back for some years and then get out and let the UN monitor the border. Otherwise it is lose all the way.

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    Quote Originally Posted by snapper View Post
    zraver Sir, I merely suggest that the so called new approach (or however you want to dress it up for the press) is not entirely 'comprehensive'. Perhaps it should be? Cart before horse comes to mind. Nor did I ever believe in the Afghan 'mission'. It cannot be won militarily; history has proved it. If we are willing to give a Cold War deployment to Afghanistan - a mission without time limit at all fine we may wear them down but even then the tribes will be tribal and fight among themselves. Some will have leaders of 'moderate' islamic beliefs and others be more 'radical'. Perhaps we should send the Priests? Or the Buddhist monks? "Hearts and minds" needs to go deeper maybe? Souls and minds?
    When it comes to appointments, he can only move as fast as the Senate will allow. The Senate even used pro forma sessions during its summer recess to block recess appointments. Also the idea that Afghanistan is where Empires go to die is a myth historically. Persia (into modern times in fact) had a large part of A-stan, so did the Macedonians, Mongols, Tamurlane and the British kept them in check more or less by playing tribal politics. They lost some, but won a lot as well. Modern failures in A-stan reflect modern reluctance to really go at them hammer and tongs, not some innate ability of the Afghans to resist.

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    So your 'solution' is "hammer and tongs"? What did the surge achieve?

    I repeat the old British FCO anecdote that I think I said here long ago: "When we (the British) went into Afghanistan we asked the Greeks, they said "Don't bother, it's un - managable". When the Muscovites went in they asked Colonel Blimp of British Imperial days and he said the same as the Greeks, when you lot went in you asked the Muscovites who told you the same advice as the old Greek. Each time 'new technology' or 'professional army' or some such was going to solve tribal problems... all were useless. The tribes are tribes - yes you can broker a peace between them but not impose a 'solution' on any.
    Last edited by snapper; Today at 04:53.

  5. #2150
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    Quote Originally Posted by zraver View Post
    When it comes to appointments, he can only move as fast as the Senate will allow. The Senate even used pro forma sessions during its summer recess to block recess appointments. Also the idea that Afghanistan is where Empires go to die is a myth historically. Persia (into modern times in fact) had a large part of A-stan, so did the Macedonians, Mongols, Tamurlane and the British kept them in check more or less by playing tribal politics. They lost some, but won a lot as well. Modern failures in A-stan reflect modern reluctance to really go at them hammer and tongs, not some innate ability of the Afghans to resist.
    Let’s leave the alternative facts to the paid political mouthpieces: the Senate can’t hold hearings on nominations that haven’t been made. And, bear in mind that the GOPers only need a simple majority to force a vote to confirm. Four years ago, it wasn’t that easy.

    Of course, we could just blame it on the Office of Government Ethics, but that would gloss over the fact that The Trumpet nominates ethically challenged people. The White House also apparently didn’t know about pre-clearance procedures that can help speed things up. The typical clearance takes 40 days.

    How about that Federal Claims Court? You know, the one that President Obama nominated FIVE people to fill seats back in 2014, but the GOPers decided (without taking into consideration any pesky legal issues, such as the fact that the court already exists and is defined in law) there wasn’t enough work for the Claims Court, and refused to hear the nominations. Now, however, they are keen to approve Damien Schiff’s nomination.

    Ambassadors? We’re still waiting for nominations to 56 (30%) posts, but 36 nominees have already been made. As for the other 96 … well, let’s just hope The Trumpet doesn’t realize we actually have an Ambassador to the United Nations for Management & Reform. Among those out of luck (lucky?) are Australia, ASEAN, Austria, Belgium, Egypt, the EU, Germany, India, Jordon, Korea, the OAS, the OECD, the OSCE, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Venezuela and seven (of 11) UN seats. A few of those might be considered kind of important, in a normal presidency.

    But, we did get nominations to the Bahamas, the Holy See, Barbados, Costa Rica, France (and Monaco), Italy (and San Marino), New Zealand (and Samoa), Singapore, oh, and let’s not forget Jobert Wood Johnson IV, the Ambassador to the Court of St. James (he of Johnson & Johnson and the New York Jets).
    Here’s the list, and it isn’t very long: http://www.afsa.org/appointments-donald-j-trump
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  6. #2151
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    Quote Originally Posted by zraver View Post
    When it comes to appointments, he can only move as fast as the Senate will allow. The Senate even used pro forma sessions during its summer recess to block recess appointments. Also the idea that Afghanistan is where Empires go to die is a myth historically. Persia (into modern times in fact) had a large part of A-stan, so did the Macedonians, Mongols, Tamurlane and the British kept them in check more or less by playing tribal politics. They lost some, but won a lot as well. Modern failures in A-stan reflect modern reluctance to really go at them hammer and tongs, not some innate ability of the Afghans to resist.
    Which is the majority party in Senate again?
    "Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?" ~ Epicurus

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    Quote Originally Posted by JAD_333 View Post
    Did you read what he told the people heckling him? Or what he told the media? He's a civil war buff--a reenactor. There are a lot of Civil War buffs out there, including blacks. He should have stayed home.
    I went and looked at that video again. This enactment business confuses me. I always thought you dress up as someone you empathize with.

    I wonder how a 9/11 or a Gulf war "reenactor" from the wrong side would be treated.
    "Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?" ~ Epicurus

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