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  • Officer of Engineers
    replied
    Originally posted by GVChamp View Post
    Yeah, in the context of 1981, you would arm the Mujahdeen, and you might even keep doing it in 1989, but with hindsight 20/20, you aren't accomplishing anything. By 1991 the Soviet Union doesn't even exist and Russia doesn't even border Afghanistan, and even if it did, Russia can't even stomp out insurgents in its own country. You just don't get anything, and you make it easier for the Taliban to take hold in the 90s. We'd be way better off if Afghanistan had turned into something like Uzbekistan as opposed to the hellhole it is now. It's not like the Red Army can use it as a springboard to invade Iran or Pakistan.
    In context, you need a Stalin to win Afghanistan and I don't know if that would be a good thing for us in the West.

    Do recall how the last time Afghanistan was conquered - by Genghis Khan. His soldiers, on the penalty of death for failure, were ordered to collect 300 heads each. That's men, women, and children. If he/she had a head, he/she was going to lose it or the soldier lost his.

    Stalin got rid of his Chechen problem by deporting the population to Siberia and he emptied Central Asia of men of fighting age into his WWII armies by threatening their families with the same Siberia deportation. I don't think even Putin got the stomach for this kind of butchering.

    Within context, a man such as Stalin would not only have conquered Afghanistan but would also have kept the USSR AND the Warsaw Pact together. As bad as Afghanistan is, it ain't nowhere close to the 39,000+ nukes aiming at us.

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  • snapper
    replied
    Originally posted by GVChamp View Post
    The Soviets aren't the first to coup one of their erstwhile allies during a counter-insurgency campaign. The US did the same thing in Vietnam because the ruling government was ridiculously corrupt and incompetent. If you aren't holding that against the US, you can't hold it against the USSR.
    Berlin Wall collapsed in 1989. By 1989 Solidary was leading the governing coalition in Poland. The Baltic human chains were around that time as well, but can't remember the exact year.
    Yeah, in the context of 1981, you would arm the Mujahdeen, and you might even keep doing it in 1989, but with hindsight 20/20, you aren't accomplishing anything. By 1991 the Soviet Union doesn't even exist and Russia doesn't even border Afghanistan, and even if it did, Russia can't even stomp out insurgents in its own country. You just don't get anything, and you make it easier for the Taliban to take hold in the 90s. We'd be way better off if Afghanistan had turned into something like Uzbekistan as opposed to the hellhole it is now. It's not like the Red Army can use it as a springboard to invade Iran or Pakistan.
    Who else staged a raid on their own puppet? The Polish elections were in June 1989 and only two years later did Soviet forces begin withdrawing. Then the Hungarians opened the border - after the Solidarity victory in Poland. Putin was still in Dresden though when the Berlin Wall fell. Gorbachev came to power in 1985 being pivotal to all. Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan started in May 1989.

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  • GVChamp
    replied
    Originally posted by astralis View Post
    i could say the same for the GOP and Schwarzenegger...oh wait, I -did- vote for him, lol.



    an odd group of folks to be pissed off about...none of them evoke much emotion from me. all of them standard Dem, policies won't vary much. AFAIK the only person in that whole bunch that evokes more than a "meh" reaction for me is Gillibrand (and that in a negative way).
    Most of the front-runners are all conservative bugbears, which is essentially the position you get yourself into when you start running for President in 2017 (or earlier, in the case of Warren). Sherrod Brown is just another trade-nativist and the MN Senator is skeezy as hell. Absent any of the other bologna, and taking out Biden, the best of the bunch is probably Booker.

    I admit that O'Rourke's fanbase annoys me far more than O'Rourke himself does and it's difficult for me to separate the two. I suspect he, along with Booker, would hopefully direct the nation in a way that's not too ridiculously left, as opposed to Harris or Warren. I also suspect he would be much less effective than Booker, though that may just because he looks like a nerd that you'd give swirlies too and Booker looks like he can go a round or two in the UFC ring.

    Originally posted by snapper View Post
    The Soviets staged their own coup against their own puppet Hafizullah Amin for being "too commie". Do some reading.

    Nor were they withdrawing from Poland.. they were there to help impose martial law from 1981-83.
    The Soviets aren't the first to coup one of their erstwhile allies during a counter-insurgency campaign. The US did the same thing in Vietnam because the ruling government was ridiculously corrupt and incompetent. If you aren't holding that against the US, you can't hold it against the USSR.
    Berlin Wall collapsed in 1989. By 1989 Solidary was leading the governing coalition in Poland. The Baltic human chains were around that time as well, but can't remember the exact year.
    Yeah, in the context of 1981, you would arm the Mujahdeen, and you might even keep doing it in 1989, but with hindsight 20/20, you aren't accomplishing anything. By 1991 the Soviet Union doesn't even exist and Russia doesn't even border Afghanistan, and even if it did, Russia can't even stomp out insurgents in its own country. You just don't get anything, and you make it easier for the Taliban to take hold in the 90s. We'd be way better off if Afghanistan had turned into something like Uzbekistan as opposed to the hellhole it is now. It's not like the Red Army can use it as a springboard to invade Iran or Pakistan.

    Leave a comment:


  • Bigfella
    replied
    Originally posted by DOR View Post
    It is really hard to get terribly excited about Middle-of-the-Roaders like the list above (with the exception of Warren, who's left-of-center).
    And, that's one of the biggest problems in American politics today: there is no excitement about normal, centrist politicians.
    If you're not bat-shit crazy, you're ignored by the media.
    Sad.
    Warren would excite me if I were a Trump voter. A poster child for 'ivory tower elites' (read: people with a tertiary education who don't vote GOP) who spent ages telling people she was native American, and with worse political instincts than a house plant. She or Bernie would be a godsend to him - fortunately he appears to be struggling already.

    I wouldn't worry too much about an 'excitement deficit' this far out. The credible ones will start to emerge by mid year.

    Leave a comment:


  • DOR
    replied
    Originally posted by GVChamp View Post
    Pretty sure most of my hair will be gray by the end of the year. At this point I expect this "trade war" to continue spiraling out of control. Would not be surprised to see full-blown Constiutional crisis depending on the Mueller Report. I really wouldn't be shocked to see enough GOPers defect and start nuking the Presidency so someone could get set-up for a 2020 run.

    Dem hopefuls to declare this year?
    -Warren (obviously already running)
    -Beto (I don't see why he wouldn't at this point)
    -Booker
    -Harris
    -Gillibrand
    -Biden
    -Brown
    -Klobuchar? (she's slimy as shit, but seems to be pretty much Teflon, at least in MN)

    I don't vote for Democrats, but I'll totally make an exception for The Rock (even though he's already decided not to run). The least offensive of the above candidates is probably Biden, who is also the least likely to run. The rest of them piss me off more than Obama or HRC ever did.
    It is really hard to get terribly excited about Middle-of-the-Roaders like the list above (with the exception of Warren, who's left-of-center).
    And, that's one of the biggest problems in American politics today: there is no excitement about normal, centrist politicians.
    If you're not bat-shit crazy, you're ignored by the media.
    Sad.

    Leave a comment:


  • antimony
    replied
    Originally posted by GVChamp View Post
    Pretty sure most of my hair will be gray by the end of the year. At this point I expect this "trade war" to continue spiraling out of control. Would not be surprised to see full-blown Constiutional crisis depending on the Mueller Report. I really wouldn't be shocked to see enough GOPers defect and start nuking the Presidency so someone could get set-up for a 2020 run.

    Dem hopefuls to declare this year?
    -Warren (obviously already running)
    -Beto (I don't see why he wouldn't at this point)
    -Booker
    -Harris
    -Gillibrand
    -Biden
    -Brown
    -Klobuchar? (she's slimy as shit, but seems to be pretty much Teflon, at least in MN)

    I don't vote for Democrats, but I'll totally make an exception for The Rock (even though he's already decided not to run). The least offensive of the above candidates is probably Biden, who is also the least likely to run. The rest of them piss me off more than Obama or HRC ever did.
    This is why I want Trump to win another term. The Country should get the benefit of the person they voted for. Just like (an odd aside here) Britain should get to leave EU (leave means leave) and enjoy the benefits of that.

    Leave a comment:


  • tbm3fan
    replied
    Originally posted by snapper View Post
    The Soviets staged their own coup against their own puppet Hafizullah Amin for being "too commie". Do some reading.

    Nor were they withdrawing from Poland.. they were there to help impose martial law from 1981-83.
    I do believe he said "late" 80s as opposed to early 80s

    Leave a comment:


  • snapper
    replied
    Originally posted by GVChamp View Post
    The Soviet intervention of Afghanistan was totally reasonable (from the perspective of non-Cold War, non-great power politics, so don't take a US view on this) and basically in the same ballpark as Syria invading Lebanon in 1976. Afghanistan was a Soviet ally that was quickly destablizing and the likely replacement was going to be proto-Islamic radicals. We're not talking about replacing a shining Democratic regime with Soviet oppression, we're talking about bolstering a standard Soviet authoritarian regime against proto-tribal-Taliban. In retrospect, it was counter-productive to oppose the Soviet intervention, since they were going to collapse in short order anyways. You can't know that in the 1980s, but you have the benefit of retrospect in 2019, and the only narrative on Soviet intervention in Afghanistan we have now is basically a Late Cold War myth, akin to George Washington chopping down a Cherry Tree, but with Stinger missiles instead.

    Ask yourself "what did we get out of our Afghanistan intervention"? Great, the Soviets pulled out Afghanistan. They were pulling out of Poland by the late 80s, and by the early 90s they were pulling out of Chechnya. You did not need to give weapons to the Mujahdeen to get the Soviets out of Afghanistan, because they were already screwed.
    The Soviets staged their own coup against their own puppet Hafizullah Amin for being "too commie". Do some reading.

    Nor were they withdrawing from Poland.. they were there to help impose martial law from 1981-83.

    Leave a comment:


  • astralis
    replied
    I don't vote for Democrats, but I'll totally make an exception for The Rock (even though he's already decided not to run).
    i could say the same for the GOP and Schwarzenegger...oh wait, I -did- vote for him, lol.

    The rest of them piss me off more than Obama or HRC ever did.
    an odd group of folks to be pissed off about...none of them evoke much emotion from me. all of them standard Dem, policies won't vary much. AFAIK the only person in that whole bunch that evokes more than a "meh" reaction for me is Gillibrand (and that in a negative way).

    Leave a comment:


  • GVChamp
    replied
    Originally posted by astralis View Post
    not sure how this connects with -praising- the Soviet invasion, though, as a righteous response to "terrorists going in to Russia", which isn't a true statement.

    IE the USSR invasion to uphold a puppet Communist regime isn't the same as the US invasion to defeat a political group sheltering terrorists who -did- attack the US.

    makes even less sense for POTUS to say this now with US troops in country. completely clueless on multiple levels. w
    Trump's wrong, but it's not clear to me who I should be rooting for if I am not a Cold War American. Afghanistan would be better off if the Soviets had somehow "won" and created a shithole state like Ethiopia or Cuba. Maybe that's impossible to do, but the Mujahdeen did a whole bunch of nothing, and the failure of the Soviet government turned Afghanistan into literally the worst place on Earth. The Soviets couldn't have turned into paradise, but the metric of success is basically anything other than "shittiest place on Earth."

    Leave a comment:


  • astralis
    replied
    The Soviet intervention of Afghanistan was totally reasonable (from the perspective of non-Cold War, non-great power politics, so don't take a US view on this) and basically in the same ballpark as Syria invading Lebanon in 1976. Afghanistan was a Soviet ally that was quickly destablizing and the likely replacement was going to be proto-Islamic radicals. We're not talking about replacing a shining Democratic regime with Soviet oppression, we're talking about bolstering a standard Soviet authoritarian regime against proto-tribal-Taliban. In retrospect, it was counter-productive to oppose the Soviet intervention, since they were going to collapse in short order anyways. You can't know that in the 1980s, but you have the benefit of retrospect in 2019, and the only narrative on Soviet intervention in Afghanistan we have now is basically a Late Cold War myth, akin to George Washington chopping down a Cherry Tree, but with Stinger missiles instead.

    Ask yourself "what did we get out of our Afghanistan intervention"? Great, the Soviets pulled out Afghanistan. They were pulling out of Poland by the late 80s, and by the early 90s they were pulling out of Chechnya. You did not need to give weapons to the Mujahdeen to get the Soviets out of Afghanistan, because they were already screwed.
    not sure how this connects with -praising- the Soviet invasion, though, as a righteous response to "terrorists going in to Russia", which isn't a true statement.

    IE the USSR invasion to uphold a puppet Communist regime isn't the same as the US invasion to defeat a political group sheltering terrorists who -did- attack the US.

    makes even less sense for POTUS to say this now with US troops in country. completely clueless on multiple levels. w

    Leave a comment:


  • GVChamp
    replied
    Originally posted by Skywatcher View Post
    He's also claimed he fired Mattis.

    And praised the Soviets for invading Afghanistan back in 1979.
    The Soviet intervention of Afghanistan was totally reasonable (from the perspective of non-Cold War, non-great power politics, so don't take a US view on this) and basically in the same ballpark as Syria invading Lebanon in 1976. Afghanistan was a Soviet ally that was quickly destablizing and the likely replacement was going to be proto-Islamic radicals. We're not talking about replacing a shining Democratic regime with Soviet oppression, we're talking about bolstering a standard Soviet authoritarian regime against proto-tribal-Taliban. In retrospect, it was counter-productive to oppose the Soviet intervention, since they were going to collapse in short order anyways. You can't know that in the 1980s, but you have the benefit of retrospect in 2019, and the only narrative on Soviet intervention in Afghanistan we have now is basically a Late Cold War myth, akin to George Washington chopping down a Cherry Tree, but with Stinger missiles instead.

    Ask yourself "what did we get out of our Afghanistan intervention"? Great, the Soviets pulled out Afghanistan. They were pulling out of Poland by the late 80s, and by the early 90s they were pulling out of Chechnya. You did not need to give weapons to the Mujahdeen to get the Soviets out of Afghanistan, because they were already screwed.
    Last edited by GVChamp; 04 Jan 19,, 16:02.

    Leave a comment:


  • GVChamp
    replied
    Pretty sure most of my hair will be gray by the end of the year. At this point I expect this "trade war" to continue spiraling out of control. Would not be surprised to see full-blown Constiutional crisis depending on the Mueller Report. I really wouldn't be shocked to see enough GOPers defect and start nuking the Presidency so someone could get set-up for a 2020 run.

    Dem hopefuls to declare this year?
    -Warren (obviously already running)
    -Beto (I don't see why he wouldn't at this point)
    -Booker
    -Harris
    -Gillibrand
    -Biden
    -Brown
    -Klobuchar? (she's slimy as shit, but seems to be pretty much Teflon, at least in MN)

    I don't vote for Democrats, but I'll totally make an exception for The Rock (even though he's already decided not to run). The least offensive of the above candidates is probably Biden, who is also the least likely to run. The rest of them piss me off more than Obama or HRC ever did.

    Leave a comment:


  • astralis
    replied
    What's your assessment of the progressive caucus and their potential to break solidarity with the moderate Dems? Lots of new Freshmen reps in the House.
    not high. they want to be the kingmakers, the lefty equivalent of the Freedom Caucus, which essentially paralyzed Paul Ryan and John Boehner before him.

    however, that's not likely going to happen because Dems have a different party structure from the GOP. also, Nancy Pelosi is a more talented politico than either Ryan or Boehner; she completely crushed the recent challenge to her leadership.

    even more importantly, the -GOP- has no give on any of the major issues. they simply have no flexibility to make offers to the moderate Dems to isolate the progressive caucus, so Pelosi has plenty of space to apply her Party whip in both directions.

    Leave a comment:


  • Red Team
    replied
    Originally posted by astralis View Post

    there's also interesting considerations from the purely political angle, on the House Democratic side. Nancy Pelosi now leads a group that's more politically coherent compared to her last go-around as Majority Leader. Dems' gains in the last midterms have resulted in an urban/suburban split, which is a considerably less glaring divide than the previous urban/rural split.
    What's your assessment of the progressive caucus and their potential to break solidarity with the moderate Dems? Lots of new Freshmen reps in the House.

    Leave a comment:

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