I'm sick of American Presidents using freedom as a excuse for war. — Brooklynian

I'm sick of American Presidents using freedom as a excuse for war.

If it was true we should bomb the oil kingdoms there too, who also shoot their own citizens. But since they are good American lackeys you won't hear about freedom and change. Now that's change you can't believe in.

The big winners in this are the arms industry in US and Europe. North Korean is now more sure than ever that having nukes is the right thing to do. hey look at Saddam and now Libya, whom gave up nukes to join the international community lol. The jokes on Gadhafi.

This would make Iran wish to have nukes faster not to join the ranks of those who defied the west without nukes or face their wraith.

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Comments

  • It makes me sick too. The hypocrisy of Obama claiming that we're defending the freedom and right to protest of people in Libya while completely ignoring protesters getting shot down in place like Bahrain is mind-bogglingly hypocritical.

    Everyone knows we're in Libya b/c of their oil and b/c we have a personal vendetta against Gaddafi.

    His words are meaningless, just like Bush before him, and so on and so on.

    I don't know how Obama can take himself seriously.

    And you're right, for dictators and military leaders the world over, one of the main lessons of Libya is: if you have nukes, we'll leave you alone.

  • Once they start arming rebels its even more money for the arms industry.

  • nothing has ever good came out of western "adventures". just look at Libya itself and all this is cause by the west to begin with isn't that funny.

    Its like a thief, stealing, looting, robbing, killing and leaving. years later the west become the cops, now coming to save their victims from themselves and probably give arms to the population, whom will probably use these arms against themselves or others. ah the cycle begins again.

  • my favorite picture lol. I always say don't vote for either party, basically the same damn party with just minor differences to fool the public in voting for one and next few years the other. No real changes can be had when they are always the incumbents.

  • Depends on what you're talking about, but sure.

    To be fair, Democrats would've never wasted billions of dollars and a million lives in Iraq.

  • To be fair, Democrats would've never wasted billions of dollars and a million lives in Iraq.

    in fact they voted for it, they were the party in charge of congress at the time. no real changes, hell they want to invade Iran along with the republican party lol.

    When it comes to wars, Democracts use military option as much as the republicans if not more so, so they can show the American people they too can be tough and look mean etc....

  • Now you're just kind of exaggerating.

    When's the last time a Democrat started a war of choice?

    When did Democrats lead the charge to pressure everyone in the country, from Congress to CNN, to want to fight a war of choice?

    Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Feith, et al had been planning the Iraq War for literally decades. It was a hallmark agenda by the modern Republican Party.

    The Democratic Party has neither the will nor the intelligence to pull something like that off.

    There are a million ways that Dems & Repubs are identical. Wars of choice, including ground invasions and occupations like Iraq are not one of them.

  • Boygabriel said:

    Now you're just kind of exaggerating.

    When's the last time a Democrat started a war of choice?

    When did Democrats lead the charge to pressure everyone in the country, from Congress to CNN, to want to fight a war of choice?

    Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Feith, et al had been planning the Iraq War for literally decades. It was a hallmark agenda by the modern Republican Party.

    The Democratic Party has neither the will nor the intelligence to pull something like that off.

    There are a million ways that Dems & Repubs are identical. Wars of choice, including ground invasions and occupations like Iraq are not one of them.

    I'm curious about your term "war of choice" regarding Dems.

    JFK & Lyndon Johnson pretty much got the Vietnam War going. Harry Truman sent in troops for the Korean War. Albeit under a UN guise. And it seems Obama is sending in the war planes to specifically topple Khaddafi. Which, btw, I'm not against. Too be honest, Reagan should have finished the job back in 1986. Bush 41 certainly should have had him executed during his term after Lockerbie. Obama, hopefully, will finish this guy off. Something the past four presidents should have seen to, instead of swapping diplomats and allowing hospice care to mass murderer.

    BTW, is there a "delete" option concerning double posts?

  • You make good points, yes indeed I'd agree those were Democratic wars of choice.

    My commentary on warmongering by either party I guess is focused on the two parties in their modern incarnations, especially post cold war.

    And yeah Obama is most certainly using force in Libya. I'd agree with the statement that either party enjoys sending in planes and predator drones to bomb wedding parties on the Af-Pak border or whathaveyou.

    But my comment above, I highlight at least one significant difference between today's Repub and Dem parties, which is that the Repubs would mastermind and marshal a full scale ground invasion and occupation, with 100,000 troops and many billions of dollars.

    I do not see Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, or any other recent major Dem leader or candidate doing anything like that, as a war of choice.

  • Boygabriel said:

    You make good points, yes indeed I'd agree those were Democratic wars of choice.

    My commentary on warmongering by either party I guess is focused on the two parties in their modern incarnations, especially post cold war.

    And yeah Obama is most certainly using force in Libya. I'd agree with the statement that either party enjoys sending in planes and predator drones to bomb wedding parties on the Af-Pak border or whathaveyou.

    But my comment above, I highlight at least one significant difference between today's Repub and Dem parties, which is that the Repubs would mastermind and marshal a full scale ground invasion and occupation, with 100,000 troops and many billions of dollars.

    I do not see Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, or any other recent major Dem leader or candidate doing anything like that, as a war of choice.

    What about voting for the war of choice? Hillary Clinton and John Kerry certainly supported the 2003 Iraqi invasion, no questions asked. In fact, ironically enough, most Democratic presidential hopefuls supported the war, except for Obama. I'm not trying to start an argument, it's just IMO, it's hard telling the difference between a leader and his eager underlings, now or days. It's probably why I like Ron Paul so much when it comes to domestic/social and foreign policy.

  • bill Clinton and former Yugoslavia.

  • Yes, they all did and they all bear responsibility for it.

    But does voting for it have the same implications of what your party would do in the White House, to me, as when it was an active agenda, led by leaders in your party, for over two decades?

    No, not even close.

    Despite voting for the Iraq War resolution, I do not think that absent the Iraq Cabal of Cheney, Rummy, Wolfy & Co, that President Hillary Clinton, President John Kerry, President Obama or any other Dem would have invaded Iraq, or any other similar action.

  • armchair_warrior said:

    bill Clinton and former Yugoslavia.

    Armchair are you equating the Yugoslavia operation with the Iraq War, a war which is still going on today?

  • Hillary Clinton is a hawk in guise, she has more balls than Obama has lol.

  • Hillary Clinton would not have invaded Iraq.

    Period.

  • here is something most american's don't know about the peace maker Bill Cliton

    A European defense publication reported:

    It should be noted that, in an interview with the author, NATO spokesman Lee McClenny confirmed that the targeting information did not go through JTF NOBLE ANVIL, or any other NATO structure, in contrast to Tennet's [sic] official public statements. Instead, the co-ordinates were passed directly from the CIA to Whiteman Air Force Base, the home of the 509th Bomb Wing, where it was programmed into the JDAMs. Mr McClenny asserted that the entire process had remained 'Stateside', hence the failure of NATO staff to 'scrub' the target to check its accuracy, authenticity and location.

    When asked, the CIA again asserted that the story given by Tennet [sic] to the House Committee was true, but claimed that the targeting information went from the CIA to the Pentagon to be processed. The Pentagon was only prepared to say that "some of the F-117 and B-2 missions were used as 'national assets' and therefore did not pass through NATO command structures", despite the requirement under the NATO charter to clear all missions carried out under NATO auspices with the NATO general council ... [Previously reported in Venik's Aviation web site, citing a May 2000 report in Air Forces Monthly; link no longer valid.]

    According to The Observer, a US officer airily dismissed the handwringing of his NATO associates:

    British, Canadian and French air targeteers rounded on an American colonel on the morning of May 8. Angrily they denounced the "cock-up". The US colonel was relaxed. "Bullshit," he replied to the complaints. "That was great targeting ... we put three JDAMs down into the [military] attache's office and took out the exact room we wanted

    http://www.atimes.com/atimes/China/MA29Ad01.html

  • you said Dems don't start wars :p, i said they do.

  • She might or might not have invaded Iraq but she would sure start a war with Iran.

  • I said Dems don't start major wars of choice.

    There was nothing major about the US commitment to Yugoslavia.

  • It's probably why I like Ron Paul so much when it comes to domestic/social and foreign policy.

    totally agree, at least guy says and does the same damn thing he says he would. unlike all other politicans so far.

  • armchair_warrior said:

    She might or might not have invaded Iraq but she would sure start a war with Iran.

    No, there is no confusion about it. A Democratic president would not have invaded Iraq.

    Period.

    A Democratic President might bomb Iran, but they would not send in 100,000 ground troops. They would not invade or occupy.

  • Democratic presidents have gone to war for less than oil.

    ....didn't they play a role in the whole Vietnam debacle?

    Have the democrats changed?

  • Yes, it's almost as if that point was raised and I gave my opinion on it.

  • the change is permanent?

    the parties are different?

    the two parties define "defending american interests abroad" and "fledgeling democracies" and "human rights" as meaning different things?

    The two parties won't take the same steps to impose their views?

    ...I'm not as sure, BG.

  • whynot_31 said:

    the change is permanent?

    Who knows? But the original point was "Dems and Repubs are identical".

    To which I respond: if you are in a the voting booth any time soon, one thing you can be sure of is that Republicans are infinitely more likely to invade countries for open-ended wars of choice than Democrats are.

    That is a significant point, IMO. I think the Armed Forces and the entire nation of Iraq would agree with me.

    the parties are different?

    When it comes to invading nations with 100,000's of troops for a war of choice? Yes. Most certainly yes.

  • back to my original point dems and reps are the same damn thing.

    there is no difference between bombing folks and sending land troops etc.. at the end of the day alot of dead people.

  • Except for health care policy.

    Except for support for unions.

    Except for support for a woman's right to choose.

    Except for social programs.

    Except for invading countries with 100,000 troops.

    Except for budget and deficit policies.

    Except for support of Social Security.

    There are many practical and significant ways they are different, and many ways they are similar.

    there is no difference between bombing folks and sending land troops etc.. at the end of the day alot of dead people.

    That's like arguing that someone who kills 100 people is the same as someone who kills 1,000,000 people.

    Generalized and oversimplified to the point of being useless.

  • armchair, they aren't the same on all issues.

    ...but they are certainly the same in many.

    This seems to be something they have in common.

    Note: I have yet to say whether it is "bad"

  • minor issues differences.

    major issues where they stay the same is.

    no real reform to the military budget or medicaid or ss.

    no real reform the the financial industry.

    no real reform to reform tax code where the rich/companies could use loop holes to not really pay taxes. who can blame them for using loop holes. I mean if i could afford it i would do it too.

    no real reform in campaign fiance reform . It takes more and more money to field candidates. both sides spends tons of money to distract the public on the minor differences and if you try to vote for 3rd party guy, both sides fool the public, by saying you are just throwing away your vote.

    you are always ask to choose between the lesser of two evils. since they make any 3rd party guy even worse LOL. Few years later you get sick of voting for party A, you choose party B. and vice versa. But both sides always rather you pick either of them vs some unknown.

  • It's funny that you call issues "minor" which don't effect your life specifically.

  • money is the root of all evil or good etc.. fix the money first in a market economy the rest would be easier to fix.

    people rob people for money, people kill for money, people work for money, people marry for money etc....

    Once those issues are fix, money would be use more wisely etc...

  • Nah, even if everyone had the same amount of money, we'd still fight.

    Upon meeting you, I could determine that I wanted to have more money than you ....then rob you of yours. (robbing someone is a lot like war)

    Under the same circumstances, I can't imagine that a democrat would not rob me if they could.

    Under the same circumstances, I can't imagine that a republican would not rob me if they could.

    .....we are all the same.

    It seems we are also the same with regard to what we will do when we feel someone's freedom is at stake overseas.

    ...or they have oil.

    I don't care which political party it is, or what form of government they practice:

    If they have a military, they will use it.

    If they don't have a military, and can build one, they will.

  • I find it ironic that our country, modeled on captalism, tries to conquer through brute force and religion. While a country built on wholesale slaughter and waging war, like China, now conquers through foreign investment and infrastructure.

  • The more things change, the more they stay the same

  • The modern US economy was most certainly built on brute force and war.

  • Boygabriel said:

    The modern US economy was most certainly built on brute force and war.

    Well, most economies were built on brute force. I should clarify that I'm speaking about modern times, 1989 through today. Outside of China gentrifying Tibet with Han, and Russia being involved with a couple of civil wars and Georgia, they're pretty much becoming powerful through international loans and infrastructure investment. Our debt to China and Atlantic Yards being local examples, respectively.

  • armchair_warrior said:

    money is the root of all evil or good etc.. fix the money first in a market economy the rest would be easier to fix.

    people rob people for money, people kill for money, people work for money, people marry for money etc....

    Once those issues are fix, money would be use more wisely

    etc...

    If it wasn't money then it would be something else. Possession of every thing is innate human nature. Women, wine or song, ya know?

  • +1

    China is presently giving away infrastructure investments throughout the world. ....um, it ain't free.

  • infrastructure is a investment to make, no real straight money to the dictators coffers etc... china gets resources in return. win win.

    The us and the west can learn something from this, instead of all the free aid, do something with it. alot of the aid is wasted on expensive expats from us and the west, employing them as the bosses and housing from in nice places etc.. at the end of the day the poor is giving a penitence to their begging bowl and no changes are made.

    A begging bowl still a begging bowl, nothing learn or gained. I remember watching a show about scariest places to drive(forget name of the show)this one show takes place about in Africa (i think the congo), some african said to the camera, ask the white man to come back and fix the roads, he mentions they build it half a century ago etc.. I'm thinking learn the fix the roads yourself!! instead of waiting for the white man to come back.

  • Good times. Now lets cut food stamps!

    http://gizmodo.com/#!5787548/six-days-in-libya-cost-the-us-400-million

    Six Days in Libya Cost the US $400 Million

    Sam Biddle — All those Tomahawk missiles and F-15 strikes don't come cheap (especially when they crash)—says the Congressional Research Service's report on Operation Odyssey Dawn. The CRS paper pegs the American price tag at $400 mil for just the first six days, rising to an estimated $1 billion soon. [via FAS]

  • I like i said those who are in the arms industry in europe and america is the only real winners and North Korea in this whole thing.

  • It's amazing how the American public generally refuses to talk about war costs, yet can't cut social services and food stamps fast enough.

  • people should look carefully at all programs, even in social services people abuse all programs, since its not politicians money or the people who work for the state, they really don't care how money is spent.

    people who vote for the same two parties are just end of the day fools. spend money on money losing ventures, includes both military and corporate and poor. both parties give blank checks to all the 3 mention above without thinking hard on what they spend on in detail.

  • That's not true at all. Republican voters tend to feel very strongly about cutting social services and government programs.

    What they don't look carefully at is defense spending.

  • Democratic voters tend to feel very strongly about cutting defense.

    What they don't look carefully at is social service spending.

  • Do you have polls showing that's true? I'm not sure how many Americans really feel strongly about national defense spending, Democrat or otherwise.

    As I said, it's something that's generally left out of budget coverage, by all sides.

    Also congressmen actually cut social programs. Only a couple of major defense spending projects have ever been cut, and that was done very recently by the Obama Administration, and over all defense spending hasn't really changed. In fact, as I posted, Obama just got us involved in yet another conflict that could cost as much as $1,000,000,000. Meanwhile, wait to see what's cut by the "budget deal" that will go through soon to avoid a shut down.

    Hint: Defense spending is off the table.

  • I've reached the conclusion that there is lots of waste in both defense and social services.

    I hope they are both cut to a level that reduces this waste.

    ....it doesn't matter to me which cut comes first, as long as the other one is cut second.

    I don't believe our government is competent enough to cut two things at the same time.

  • And yet as a country we really only talk about waste in social services.

    Like I said, the cost of wars is rarely discussed.

  • I disagree.

    ...but I am likely biased by who I hang out with and what media sources I consume.

  • I mean, at what point during the planning for Iraq, Afghanistan, or Libya were costs honestly debated or planned to be paid for?

    When are they ever mentioned as part of budget negotiations or balancing the deficit?

    You'll notice that budget proposals from either party never NEVER include significant national defense cuts, if any.

  • As the son of a Colonel in the Marines, I was taught to measure the cost of wars in terms of deaths to our soldiers, the soldiers on the other side, and civilians.

    Disorders such as PTSD also were given weight.

    These costs were measured against gains to be achieved by the military action.

    I argue that these costs exceed that which can be measured fiscally.

    These costs are debated and planned for by those who carry out our nation's conflicts; the fiscal impact of the conflicts receive less attention.

    To be fair,

    Those in favor of social service programs also focus on the social benefits their programs are designed to deliver, and are equally unconcerned with the monetary cost.

    (I don't hang out with people who focus on money; I try to read my media sources with a different lens)

  • I argue that these costs exceed that which can be measured fiscally.

    I don't disagree. But that doesn't really disagree with my point which is that for some reason this country is myopic when it comes to national defense spending.



    These costs are debated and planned for by those who carry out our nations conflicts; the fiscal impact of the conflicts receive less attention.

    The Armed Forces does, but I'd highly dispute that such considerations were given their proper due by the highest civilian leaders before Iraq or Afghanistan.

  • The armed forces argues that they should have the best equipment available, and that cost should not be a factor.

    Better equipment = less lives lost.

    As a result of seeing this logic, many in the Executive and Legislative branches (whether they be democrats or republican) will never cut the defense budget; They are convinced the costs of cutting the budget are too great. They do not perceive themselves as "myopic".

    For better or worse, the military can effectively lay down an ace and win the game.


  • Yes.

    And the defense industry is job welfare for communities across the country (and more importantly, wealthy defense contractors).

    AND defense industry lobbyists are so in bed with various congressmen I'm surprised they don't shop for curtains together.

    We can never honestly look at our spending and budget priorities if we don't tackle national defense spending.

    I refuse to take anyone seriously who says that defense spending is off the table when it comes to budgeting.

    In other words, there's basically no congressperson I take seriously on budget matters.

  • ....if you have ever had a friend or family member die in a conflict, you might find yourself defending the military's "ace".

    The friends and families, along with those actually serving, don't get to care if a conflict is "just" or not. ....they only get to care that their loved one comes home.

    The politicians (as you point out) often have different priorities entirely. Armchair and I perceive the political parties to be very similar as result. You now admit that you trust neither party when it comes to the defense budget.

    Does this leaves you in the position of stating that the democrats will build and support a large military, yet not use it? Somehow the democrats are exempt from Einstein's assertion that "we can not simultaneously prepare for war and work for peace", yet the republicans are not?

    Social Services advocates have no such "ace", and likely never will.

  • You're generalizing and oversimplifying as if arguing against the F22 program is the same as arguing against body armor for soldiers in Baghdad.

    You can do better. I know you can.

    Also - I have family members, co-workers and friends in the Armed Services both past and present, but I appreciate your friendly advice.

    The politicians (as you point out) often have different priorities entirely. Armchair and I perceive the political parties to be very similar as result. (a point you seem to now give validity to at least in regard to the defense budget....)

    I never said otherwise.

    In fact it was you who said that Democratic voters are critical of defense spending, something I don't think is true.

    I've admitted from the very first post that Dems & Repubs are identical on most issues, especially something like deficit reduction and defense spending.

    Social Services advocates have no such "ace", and likely never will.

    Sad but pathetically true. This country simply doesn't look honestly at the federal budget.

  • You're generalizing and oversimplifying as if arguing against the F22 program is the same as arguing against body armor for soldiers in Baghdad.

    I make no such arguments, but the same arguments are used to justify each. Everyone would prefer to use an expensive fighter jet, than depend upon body armor.

    I'm told, even when it works, depending upon body armor is a really bad idea.

    As you are aware, most people in the military vote republican. As a result of being a partisan "voting block", every election there is a battle over "where" they get to vote and whether their votes should count.

    Active and retired military is a huge segment of the republican's support, and they are also a huge segment of american society.

    You know how republicans are against the people who only register to vote as a result of "motor voter" efforts? Democrats do a very similar act when it comes to military votes ...they don't want them to vote, because they know how they are going to vote.

    In addition to wanting (or not wanting....) their vote, republicans and democrats love the revenue that comes from having a base in their district, but if there is one who is less supportive (aka "more critical") of defense spending, it is the democrats.

    ....as you are aware, there are not enough democrats critical of the defense budget to currently make a difference. Although you may be able to find years in which defense spending is cut, the trend line is consistently toward higher spending.

    When enough people believe that "the politicians will not use our military in the future for stupid wars", they will cut defense spending.

    Politicians who are opposed to stupid wars even vote for more military spending because they believe some other politician will successfully get our troops into war.

    (welcome to what is discussed on holidays with Dad. The conversation concludes with us both agreeing that this country is insane but that it will never change. Then we have our 4th beer, and conclude we are again going to hold our nose when we vote in the next election.)

    As Armchair points out, both parties are very similar in that they often "suck". They may suck for different reasons, but I can relate to him thinking those are minor.

  • I think in terms of spending, debt, national defense costs, regulation, finance, etc etc they are painfully indistinguishable.

    I think if I was a poor woman of color, to name one example, instead of a privileged white male, I might be more willing to recognize differences.



    I make no such arguments, but the same arguments are used to justify each.

    Right, and that's part of the problem.

  • ah, the F22. Dare I draw an analogy to health care?

    ....in the same way that the military uses its ace of "more expensive equipment saves lives who cares what it costs", can you see a parallel in the behavior health care advocates?

    In the same way this country is blinded by the fear of a needless military or civilian death, we are also blinded by the fact that grandma's death is actually unpreventable despite how much we spend....

    Another similarity is that pesky Kruger health care scandal that sounds a lot like the defense industry incest you refer to above.

    more and more spending results.

    ...the white voter decides the Tea Party may be nutty, but might be a better option the existing two.

    ...the less privileged end up with the now pathetic ACORN, and still pathetic Working Families Parties.

    Yet we stumble forward. Why can't someone invent an icon for that? I could post it like I did the ace.

  • Yes, by a wide margin health care and national defense are the two biggest costs in this county. Yet watching our current deficit and budget debates, especially the threatened shut down from the Tea Crazies, you wouldn't know it.

    Any public figure who submits a proposal that doesn't address these two issues (which is most of them), shouldn't be taken seriously.

    And yes, the are myriad parallels to the F22. Programs that are of questionable value yet have runaway costs, with seemingly nobody caring whatsoever, everyone happy to just keep handing money over.

    Funny how fears of communism are used to stoke angry apathy about wasteful spending of both.

  • And ACORN actually did a lot for communities. Mainly job training and the like.

    If they hadn't been grossly misrepresented by the extremely deceptive video perpetrated on the country by Breitbart & Co, they'd still be doing a lot of good in communities across the country.

    Sadly, the damage has already been done, and all those people who were so angry about ACORN can't be bothered in the slightest to take responsibility for the lies they acted upon. Strangely enough, few of these people are poor people of color living in urban areas.

    Hmmmmm.

  • If American's don't rein in in both parties wasteful spending. This would be the last generation of excess, other nations and peoples have learn what makes the world go around.

    The rest has risen. No longer a American driver or waiter or mechanic is worth more than some doctor or physicist from some other country. in the past your blue collar worker here would be worth much more than some other guy in some a other country's doctor etc...

    People should realize what they are really worth. Instead of squandering the great wealth that was generated on waste, use it wisely. Other wise This is American Empire in decline.

  • armchair_warrior said:

    If American's don't rein in in both parties wasteful spending. This would be the last generation of excess, other nations and peoples have learn what makes the world go around.

    The rest has risen. No longer a American driver or waiter or mechanic is worth more than some doctor or physicist from some other country. in the past your blue collar worker here would be worth much more than some other guy in some a other country's doctor etc...

    People should realize what they are really worth. Instead of squandering the great wealth that was generated on waste, use it wisely. Other wise This is American Empire in decline.

    You kind of lost me on this one, AW. Are you speaking about blue collars paid by the government or blue collars in general? Or, maybe unionized blue collar? I don't begrudge anyone a high salary that doesn't involve my tax dollars. And, if they do earn high salary based on tax revenue, they better make at least a 5% net profit for us.

  • unionize blue collar, I'm just taking a pure capitalistic view of labor as a world market. people should realize its no longer localized.

  • I totally agree AW. The american unions have made the labor of their members too expensive by failing to realize this.

    I hope it is not too late for them to make the adjustments necessary to bring jobs back.

    After all, if a plant or industry can leave the US because labor is too expensive, if may be willing to return to US if labor prices decrease. Change does not have to be permanent.

    ...and China's labor costs are slowly increasing. At some point it might become more profitable to produce in the US again.

  • Most would agree that lowering costs to remain competitive is a must.

    However the single biggest employment cost in this country is health care. Many of the biggest employers were actually in favor of things like the public option or single-payer.

    Automakers in other countries for example, face a fraction of the health care costs, allowing them to dramatically undercut the American auto industry.

  • Actually, I'd say a lot of unionized (and non-union alike) American companies are losing out because they build crap products, or they're being absorbed/merged by bigger companies to get rid of competition. GM is certainly a prime example of building sub-par products. McDonnel Douglas was a fine builder of aeronautic products, until Boeing took them over. Now, most if none of their crafts are used and are relegated to spare parts and the archives. Ford on the other hand is pretty much catching up with the Asian market in quality and popularity.

    I'm not sure I agree you, AW,with the pay scale unionized workers get as too high, barring the $40-an hour light bulb changer. I will say that unions do drive up costs in other ways such as dictating what type of equipment companies can use, who can do what. etc. Basically tying the hands of the Man who runs the company. And I believe we all know about corruption on the inside.

  • So, we seem to agree that companies locate elsewhere because it is cheaper ....but then differ over why it is so expensive (is it how much union workers make? Is it union corruption? is it health care costs? bad engineering? is it government regulations or taxes?).

    Meanwhile, as a fictional company, I am moving.

    I don't care which cost you lower. I only care that my costs of producing in the US get lower. ....let me know when you work it out.

    Armchair, can you teach me mandarin?

  • Companies locate elsewhere because their all-in costs are significantly lower. To say it another way, there are no unions so employees can be paid pennies for work, there are no health care costs, there is no OSHA, no ADA, no FMLA, etc. Nothing. No 40 hr workweek, no lunch hour, no fire inspections, or any other disruptions which would keep people from creating the crap Americans crave. Its so cheap to make things in some of these countries that they will even build dormitories and cover the housing costs for all the workers so that factories can run 24/7.

    In addition, if I move my headquarters from the US to a european country I can also reduce my tax burden by paying taxes only on the sales side in the US, not on corporate earnings (which are significantly greater).

    Its more expensive here, because American workers want to do more than make money at any costs. They want to be able to spend time with their families. They want to come home from a dangerous job with all their fingers and toes. They want to be able to sleep when they are tired and eat when they are hungry without having to beg for time off the line. And the competition is not some guy who snuck into this country from Mexico, but its someone in rural China for whom working 12 hours straight and then stumbling back to the dormitory to sleep is still better than life in a small cabin with no running water, no heat and family all sleeping on the floor.

  • I completely agree Homeowner.

    Please note that I am not moving to China, I am just moving my fictional company there.

    Ain't no way I am working that hard, and giving up the wonderful life we have here.

    hmmmm

  • Idlewild said:

    Actually, I'd say a lot of unionized (and non-union alike) American companies are losing out because they build crap products, or they're being absorbed/merged by bigger companies to get rid of competition. GM is certainly a prime example of building sub-par products. McDonnel Douglas was a fine builder of aeronautic products, until Boeing took them over. Now, most if none of their crafts are used and are relegated to spare parts and the archives. Ford on the other hand is pretty much catching up with the Asian market in quality and popularity.

    As the son of an auto mechanic, nobody has less respect for American-made cars than I do.

    However there isn't a whole lot of evidence that the crappy cars they produce are a major reason for loss of revenue.

    Labor costs (incl. health care) are an exponentially bigger factor.

  • whynot_31 said:

    So, we seem to agree that companies locate elsewhere because it is cheaper ....but then differ over why it is so expensive (is it how much union workers make? Is it union corruption? is it health care costs? bad engineering? is it government regulations or taxes?).

    Meanwhile, as a fictional company, I am moving.

    I don't care which cost you lower. I only care that my costs of producing in the US get lower. ....let me know when you work it out.

    Armchair, can you teach me mandarin?

    Absolutely.

    Does anyone know if the BMW plant in South Carolina is unionized?

  • You invade Bahrain. We take out Muammar Gaddafi in Libya. This, in short, is the essence of a deal struck between the Barack Obama administration and the House of Saud. Two diplomatic sources at the United Nations independently confirmed that Washington, via Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, gave the go-ahead for Saudi Arabia to invade Bahrain and crush the pro-democracy movement in their neighbor in exchange for a "yes"

    vote by the Arab League for a no-fly zone over Libya - the main rationale that led to United Nations Security Council resolution 1973.

    The revelation came from two different diplomats, a European and a member of the BRIC group, and was made separately to a US scholar and Asia Times Online. According to diplomatic protocol, their names cannot be disclosed. One of the diplomats said, "This is the reason why we could not support resolution 1973. We were arguing that Libya, Bahrain and Yemen were similar cases, and calling for a fact-finding mission. We maintain our official position that the resolution is not clear, and may be interpreted in a belligerent manner."

    As Asia Times Online has reported, a full Arab League endorsement of a no-fly zone is a myth. Of the 22 full members, only 11 were present at the voting. Six of them were Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) members, the US-supported club of Gulf kingdoms/sheikhdoms, of which Saudi Arabia is the top dog. Syria and Algeria were against it. Saudi Arabia only had to "seduce" three other members to get the vote.

    http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/MD02Ak01.html

  • mandarin isn't my native language, I learn it in college, I am very rusty can understand some words of it and speak a bit lol.

  • whynot_31 said:

    So, we seem to agree that companies locate elsewhere because it is cheaper ....but then differ over why it is so expensive (is it how much union workers make? Is it union corruption? is it health care costs? bad engineering? is it government regulations or taxes?).

    Meanwhile, as a fictional company, I am moving.

    I don't care which cost you lower. I only care that my costs of producing in the US get lower. ....let me know when you work it out.

    Armchair, can you teach me mandarin?

    armchair_warrior said:

    mandarin isn't my native language, I learn it in college, I am very rusty can understand some words of it and speak a bit lol.

    Fine. I'll stay here and wait for China's labor and benefits cost to rise.

    I wish I didn't understand how markets work, so I could hate asians.

    ---- By the way, as I get older, I keep running out of people to hate. However, I see lots of old people who hate. What is this about? ----

  • armchair_warrior said:

    You invade Bahrain. We take out Muammar Gaddafi in Libya. This, in short, is the essence of a deal struck between the Barack Obama administration and the House of Saud. Two diplomatic sources at the United Nations independently confirmed that Washington, via Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, gave the go-ahead for Saudi Arabia to invade Bahrain and crush the pro-democracy movement in their neighbor in exchange for a "yes"

    vote by the Arab League for a no-fly zone over Libya - the main rationale that led to United Nations Security Council resolution 1973.

    The revelation came from two different diplomats, a European and a member of the BRIC group, and was made separately to a US scholar and Asia Times Online. According to diplomatic protocol, their names cannot be disclosed. One of the diplomats said, "This is the reason why we could not support resolution 1973. We were arguing that Libya, Bahrain and Yemen were similar cases, and calling for a fact-finding mission. We maintain our official position that the resolution is not clear, and may be interpreted in a belligerent manner."

    As Asia Times Online has reported, a full Arab League endorsement of a no-fly zone is a myth. Of the 22 full members, only 11 were present at the voting. Six of them were Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) members, the US-supported club of Gulf kingdoms/sheikhdoms, of which Saudi Arabia is the top dog. Syria and Algeria were against it. Saudi Arabia only had to "seduce" three other members to get the vote.

    http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/MD02Ak01.html

    Yup, the rank hypocrisy of American foreign policy.

    Where were most of the 9/11 attackers from? where is one of the global centers of middle east extremism? where is there no democracy?

    Saudi Arabia.

    Do we apply pressure? Invade? Nope. We make them one of our closest allies in the region.

    Protesters shot in Bahrain, just like in Libya. Do we offer military support? Nope.

    100,000's die in Sudan. Many at the hands of the Sudanese Air Force. Were there widespread calls for no fly zones? Nope. In fact, what does Bush/Cheney do? Invite the Sudanese president Omar Al Bashir to the US as a guest of the state.

    But the THREAT of attacks in Libya? The US can't provide support fast enough to get that evil bad man Gaddafi. Is Gaddafi more evil than the murderers in power in Sudan? Nope.

    American foreign policy:

    oil & US capitalism.

    Anything else is lies.

  • I often wonder the same about myself.

    When I was younger, I used to volunteer a lot more than I do now. Now, I sit back and wonder why that was the case.

    Did I have more free time? Maybe.

    Did I care more about the causes (hunger, oppression, war, trees, freedom) the volunteering was meant to address? No

    Then I look at some of the other reasons I used to volunteer:

    -As a single straight guy, I liked to be near women who were single and my age.

    -I liked free and low cost t-shirts far more than I do now.

    Is there anything wrong with volunteering for the "good cause" that is likely to put you in the company of attractive potential sex partners? ...even if it leaves similar causes desperate for volunteers, or completely unsupported?

    Could it be that the government of the US is very similar?

    As a politician, is there anything wrong with asking yourself "what will my constituents say if I enter this conflict, lose american lives and have nothing to bring home?"

    ...you, know, like a tshirt, ally/sexual partner or oil?"

    Is it wrong for a politician to know that s/he will likely lose popular support for a war that does not involve benefits for the american public, and therefore refuse to enter such conflicts because they are deemed unachievable?

    Is there any basis to expect the country (its politicians, corporations and citizens) to act differently that I do?

    Are we often altruistic only in our imaginations, and the imaginations of others?

  • So the driving force behind US foreign policy is a desire to meet girls?

    Finally I understand!

  • booklaw wrote: Finally I understand!

    glad I could help.

  • its all about the bitches man!! more nookie from the cookie or what ever the saying was :p.

  • Thanks guys!

    I'm glad I have accomplished moving you from one simplistic explanation to the next

    :)

    ....we are making progress!

  • oops WN I hid your previous post by accident, meant to quote it. Looking into fixing it now.

    Anyway, you wrote:

    "Is it wrong for a politician to know that s/he will likely lose popular support for a war that does not involve benefits for the american public, and therefore refuse to enter such conflicts because they are deemed unachievable?

    A politician's job is to LEAD. Sometimes that means doing precisely what your constituents' polling tells you. Sometimes you must lead the way, even if it's unpopular (crazy but true).

    Had more LEADERS LED 100,000 Iraqis wouldn't have died, with another 1-2,000,000 maimed or injured.

    Had Bill Clinton, Madeline Albright and Warren Christopher LED in 1994, 1 million Rwandans might not have died.

    Do I expect such leadership from today's dysfunctional United States government & electorate? No.

    Does that mean I don't still vote, rally, think and talk about it? Being heavily critical? No.

    Is there any basis to expect the country (its politicians, corporations and citizens) to act differently that I do?

    Um, given the difference in stakes? (WN's 20-something exploits vs dead American soldiers) YES.

    Are we often altruistic only in our imaginations, and the imaginations of others? "

    Oh how I do love your rhetorical (?) questions.

  • America's foreign policy is indeed a joke, one thing I wholeheartedly agree w/BG on.

    I find people who think otherwise are just uncomfortable with confronting the ugliness of it all. The whole premise of how the country was founded, built & established as a superpower is ugly and set the precedent for many of the problems we have now (US's relationship with black people, US's failed manipulations of foreign powers biting us back in the ass, US sense of imminent domain & moral superiority over everyone)... it's all a big joke.

  • The politicians are constrained by the complex forces we've discussed.

    Yet, you would like our leaders to be able to somehow overcome these biases and make the decisions that you agree with.

    ....but we all expect this. And we all have differing opinions.

    Does this mean we are always screwed? Or does this mean that the ideal leader is a dictator, or merely a super hero?

    Everyone knows how one ends up with a dictator, but how does one get a super hero to take a low paid position where most people hate him/her?

    We all seem to want a leader who feels guilty about people being slaughtered in Africa, yet is smart enough to not enter conflicts that are not winnable. How would we know ahead of time that our new leader would be a good one?

    Is there a human who doesn't say a version of the serenity prayer on a daily basis?

    God grant me the serenity

    to accept the things I cannot change;

    courage to change the things I can;

    and wisdom to know the difference.

    Although I perceive politicians as human, your belief that they can somehow rise above and "Lead" makes me wonder if you do.

    Do people become unhuman once they become politicians, or are they unhuman before hand?

    You seem to believe that Democrats are somehow wiser that the Republicans at the moment, was there a divine intervention that I missed?

    BTW, Here's the answer to the question I asked above:

    Yes, we are altruistic only in our imaginations and the imaginations of others.

    I'll answer the others if you like.

  • You seem to believe that Democrats are somehow wiser that the Republicans at the moment, was there a divine intervention that I missed?

    Whoa. Wait. No.

    Only in some instances. In foreign policy, everything short of full-scale 150,000-troop invasions-post-cold-war, no, both are failures.

    As for everything else: I don't accept failure, failure to act, failure to reform, failure to lead, failure to educate, failure to stand up for simple competency (against Iraq, saving 500,000-1,000,000 Sudanese lives).

    You seem to feel otherwise. Not sure what to say.

  • Given the constraints, you are correct: I actually do think we are doing remarkably well.

    (and, no, these are not the whimsies of someone who is on too many anti-depressants. Unfortunately.)

    Is there a human who doesn't say a version of the serenity prayer on a daily basis? No.

    And, to bring it full circle: I can't think of better reason to go to war than "freedom".

    ...but I also have no idea what freedom means, and I think that (no matter how one defines it) one person's freedom often conflicts with another's.

  • Passenger on the Bus of Life:

    Please ask whoever is driving this bus called "life" where the hell we are going.

    2 minutes later:

    Huh, what do you mean there is no driver?

  • And, to bring it full circle: I can't think of better reason to go to war than "freedom".

    In my opinion this was Bush and the United States' fundamental error in Iraq, and our entire way of viewing the world.

    Some people and cultures don't tend to value freedom above all else. They value justice.

    Failure to understand this is why Iraq was one gigantic failure, among many other reasons.

  • Like "Freedom", "Justice" also has as many definitions as there are people in the world.

    ....actually both terms may have more definition than that, because individual people definition change their minds about what each means regularly.

    Perhaps the great philosopher, leader and superhero known as Spiderman said it best:

    "With great power, comes great responsibility."

  • Definitions of these words are not so impossible that it becomes unclear whether Iraq was a mistake before, during and after, or whether the US is hypocritical when it chooses to bomb Libya, but not help out in Sudan or Ivory Coast.

  • hindsight is sometimes easy.

    Sometimes it is even even accurate

    ...but it is not always helpful.

  • Unless you're Bush, hindsight isn't necessary for Iraq or Sudan.

  • Unless you are in the future, hindsight isn't possible for anyone.

  • How fortuitous then that there were many ways, with no need for hindsight, for Bush and Congress to know that Iraq was a disaster waiting to happen, or that up to 1,000,000 were going to die in Sudan, or that an imminent humanitarian crisis just like the one in Libya is about to unfold in Ivory Coast.

    In fact, it has already started.

    No hindsight necessary! Crazy!

  • When it comes to operation freedom, it's either all, none, or some w/a clear & honest statement on why (i.e. "we went to Iraq for GWB to complete his dad's legacy; we didn't go to Saudi Arabia because of oil")

    As is it's a mishmash.

  • Are we certain that involvement in Africa would have stabilized them?

    If we tie up our military there, doesn't is mean that we can't use it somewhere else? ....somewhere that might have been even "more worthy" of intervention?

    As discussed above, we often put a price on lives saved and lives lost.

    Nope, it isn't crazy.

    It is actually quite rational.

  • Do you want to discuss specifics or is that just a fun string of rhetorical questions?

    I am more than happy to address specific African situations, as that was a field of study of mine, and also talk about American use of financial and military resources.

    But to answer your question yes, in Rwanda and Sudan specifically, comparatively very little money, resources and servicepeople could have saved 100,000's of lives, perhaps even 500,000 to 2,000,000.

    The hypocrisy of US international policy that CTK, AW and I referenced is alive and well.

  • Boygabriel said:

    The hypocrisy of US international policy that CTK, AW and I referenced is alive and well.

    I believe I am on this thread to dispute your assertion that the Democrats are different from the Republicans.

    ....that the democrats are somehow exempt from the forces that affect everyone else on the planet (including republicans), and/or somehow wise enough to avoid getting us involved in massive, unnecessary, un-winable conflicts.

    Are you writing to me from the future?

  • If you're implying that Sudan, Rwanda or Ivory Coast would be 'unwinnable', we should discuss specifics rather than rhetorical points.

    Outside of that, as we've already established repeatedly, I agree with your assertion that Dems & Repubs aren't that different, if at all (outside of propensity to invade Muslim nations, which we don't agree on).

This discussion has been closed.