Election blather

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668 Replies - 26845 Views - Last Post: 26 September 2017 - 08:48 AM

#661 depricated  Icon User is offline

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Re: Election blather

Posted 24 September 2017 - 06:09 PM

The funneling of weapons to the Syrian rebels in 2011 to encourage the civil war. It wasn't intentional, I think, and she certainly has plausible deniability - she may not have realized where the weapons were going. But I railed on arming the Syrian rebels as it was happening - because they were Al-Qaeda. At the time I kept pointing out that all the news outlets and official statements used "Syrian rebels" instead of naming the group, because of who the group was.

It was way too many hours of reading and sifting through the leaked emails from her private server that I'm not about to do again to find exact ones, but in the wikileaks emails posted last year it was clear she supported arming the rebels and encouraging them to overthrow Assad. She kept citing it as a way to help Israel deal with Iran - help Syria overthrow Assad. And so her people there were funneling weapons to the rebels, and that hasn't been disputed. But no one wants to acknowledge that the rebels were Al-Qaeda. Emails also confirm that, with comments like "in Syria they're on our side" - excusing them as enemy-of-my-enemy.

A lot of this came out in the Benghazi report - shipments of weapons to Libya, and the relationships they'd built with the Muslim Brotherhood "and their allies." The emails spell out intent that the weapons sent to Libya go to those groups to support the overthrow of Assad. But at every corner, except in the emails, euphemisms are used to refer to the Al-Qaeda and ISIS. The emails make it clear that it was known that those "allies" were al-Nusra and al-Qaeda.

And like I said, she by far can't take the full credit. That goes back to Carter and Reagan. I think her intent was to topple Assad and use any means necessary. I think ISIS was an unintended consequence. It's been all over the news for years. Remember Obama saber rattling at Assad about using chemical weapons on civilians and getting support for a program to train and arm rebels? These things have been going on for years, and it's a very simple and straightforward progression, but everyone seems to completely ignore who the rebels were. Newspeak. It's all about the words you use - a rebel in Syria wasn't a terrorist, he was a freedom fighter! Assad is accused of human rights violations and using chemical weapons on civilians! That never happened, not from Assad anyway.
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#662 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is online

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Re: Election blather

Posted 24 September 2017 - 08:37 PM

Wow. Okay, so that's a little bit of a stretch, don't you think? I mean, considering that ISIS was a direct continuation of a group that was founded in 1999?

We can argue about whether US policy with regard to the Syrian opposition was conducted wisely (I generally think it wasn't, but I honestly can't say what I would have done if I'd been in a position to advise at the time) and we can wonder a bit about who was responsible for those decisions (the Secretary of State does NOT generally initiate foreign policy directions on her own, she is generally going to be in consultation with at least the President and the military and intelligence leadership) but clearly "creating ISIS" had already happened.
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#663 depricated  Icon User is offline

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Re: Election blather

Posted 24 September 2017 - 10:28 PM

Well, last I checked the person I placed the most blame on was out of office a decade earlier. But the wikipedia article just reiterates what I said. In Syria they went by al-Nusra, and had sworn allegiance to al-Qaeda. So again, this isn't even something that's disputed or questioned. In the emails they explicitly call out who the Muslim Brotherhood's allies were. She's certainly not the only one involved. Patreus had to be aware, as CIA director, but I'm sure that wheel was turning before he got to it - doesn't absolve him either.

At absolute best she's negligent on a globally catastrophic scale. Like tripping on the big red button catastrophic.

This post has been edited by depricated: 24 September 2017 - 10:41 PM
Reason for edit:: redundency

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#664 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is online

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Re: Election blather

Posted 24 September 2017 - 10:55 PM

Okay, I'm still confused. How do you accuse someone of creating something which had been in existence for twelve years at the time? I mean, yes, there are many ways to read causation and to say that one person "caused" some aspect of the mess in the middle east is patently ridiculous, so obviously you don't mean that Clinton "created" ISIS in any simple way, I get that. But you're saying that Clinton has some share in the blame (you're not clear on what share, but some share) for creating ISIS in 2011, but they were around in 1999, and clearly the groundwork for a movement like ISIS was in place decades before that.

I'm just trying to understand what it is you're claiming here. Obviously, it's not that Clinton created ISIS or had a part in creating ISIS, because causes in general precede effects and 2011 does not precede 1999.
Are you saying that the Obama administration's decision to arm the anti-Assad forces was a mistake because some of those forces were tied to ISIS?
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#665 NeoTifa  Icon User is offline

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Re: Election blather

Posted 25 September 2017 - 06:47 AM

I'd say Bush Sr. and Reagan created them by playing out the Cold War in the Middle East. They didn't like being used as pawns and are trying to get revenge.
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#666 depricated  Icon User is offline

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Re: Election blather

Posted 25 September 2017 - 06:59 AM

More that the foreign policy that she pushed, and the way she pushed it, is the problem - stirring up civil war in Syria and arming the rebels is what handed Syria to ISIS. It's what gave them most of Syria and staging ground to take a significant portion of Iraq.

Don't get me wrong. On the one hand I'm all for toppling an inhumane dictator, but I don't think "at any price." I'm all for arming rebels, even. Just not knowingly arming the ones who've shown, time and again over the course of decades, that they'll happily turn those weapons back on us. And they did without a moments hesitation. The CIA and State Department both knew unequivocally that weapons sent to Lybia were moving on to al-Nusra and al-Qaeda in Syria. I was decrying it at the time, shouting at people "how can you ignore that those 'rebels' are al-Qaeda!?" It wasn't difficult to piece together, the information was everywhere back then, too - people just refused to acknowledge it. Still do.

I mean I'll be the last one to buy into fearmongering over Islam, or paranoia about Muslims - but there's a pretty clear line between a group of people who've sworn non-aggression towards Western powers and have a near century long history of humanitarian work (the Muslim Brotherhood), and a group of people who've declared literal holy war against us (al-Qaeda et al). I think there are a lot of excusable aspects to it, any individual point can be seen as an oversight, or acceptable risk, or even just exploiting an opportunity - but more broadly, the DOS and CIA's involvement is a tableau of clumsy intrigue and ineptitude. The DOS and CIA's bumbling enabled the rise of ISIS to be far more inhumane than Assad ever was. As head of the DOS, part of that falls on her shoulders. And part on Patreus. And a big part on Obama's, though I'd argue in his favor that he likely trusted Clinton with the minutiae and truly didn't have the knowledge that her war included arming and outfitting al-Qaeda.

But the DOS, and the CIA, knew full well who they were working with, and that they were orchestrating the collapse of a government. Power vacuums and succession wars aren't a new concept.
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#667 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is online

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Re: Election blather

Posted 25 September 2017 - 08:17 AM

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stirring up civil war in Syria and arming the rebels is what handed Syria to ISIS.


The civil war was already under way, and nothing we were going to do was going to stop that. The question was whether we would be involved and in what way. This was not a simple question. Should we have stood back and not taken part? What then do we tell Syrians who are after democracy, once the dust settles and the blood dries? In a sense, we've then confirmed the Islamists' argument, that America isn't part of any solution in the middle east and that democratization is done by Islamists.
What then do we tell the Kurds who are part of this rising and also are our allies in Iraq, and who we're hoping will be part of the long-term Iraq solution? What do we tell Israel, now that we've confirmed Assad's lifetime appointment? Looking at the broader picture, if we stand back then we are handing Russia a puppet state in the middle east, which is troubling in terms of their encirclement of Europe, which was a major effort of Russia's at the time and is still looming in the background.
Clearly, there was no stomach for US ground troops. Should we have relied only on diplomatic protests? Assassination? (see Fidel Castro, longevity of) CIA intervention, attempts to disrupt the Syrian state by dirty tricks?
Frankly, the question at the time was whether we preferred to see Assad in charge, or whether we preferred to see the anti-Assad faction, which included Islamist elements, take over the country. A Syria ruled by European-style Social Democrats was not one of the options.
I don't see any good answers in this situation, and I didn't at the time. But it seems to me that of the available options standing back and not getting involved was the easy answer and not in any way a good answer.

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I'd argue in his favor that he likely trusted Clinton with the minutiae and truly didn't have the knowledge that her war included arming and outfitting al-Qaeda.


I think this is pretty unfair to Obama, who always seemed to me like he had a solid grasp on the complexities of the major areas of policy his administration was dealing with. I'm willing to believe that he was blindsided by the IT failures in the Obamacare rollout, because that was truly an implementation detail, but stuff that you and I knew from reading the newspapers I'm going to assume that Obama knew as well. I mean, after all, the fact that the anti-Assad factions included people connected to al Qaeda was not exactly secret.
Also, calling it "her war" puts a lot on Hillary which again seems unjustified. I don't believe that she just sort of went off and did this, for all that your narrative requires her to be a rogue actor. Again, this was an Obama administration action which Hillary as Secretary of State was a major component of. It was not a "Hillary's War".
Also, speaking as an ex-linguist I want to congratulate you on your use of pragmatics to attempt to manipulate. The technique, in case you're curious, is called "implicature" and it's a classic tool of rhetoric. It works by embedding the premise you want to establish as fact as a subsidiary clause within a larger statement. The victim is meant to accept the premise by acclamation as it goes by, and then you have an established fact, for purposes of discussion. Unfortunately, I am an ex-linguist and I did notice that you have Hillary (all on her own! no input or help from anybody! certainly Obama knew nothing about it!) "arming and outfitting al-Qaeda". Not so. At the time, as I recall, al-Qaeda was more or less in disarray, with a number of splinters acting in various theaters and no unified presence in the middle east. The groups that the Obama administration aided comprised a rough coalition, which included among other members, groups which worked with al-Qaeda factions. All of which, needless to say, were already able to acquire weaponry in any case. This is very different from "arming and outfitting al-Qaeda".
In other words, the situation was not nearly as simple or as clear as your slippery summary would have it.
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#668 ArtificialSoldier  Icon User is offline

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Re: Election blather

Posted 25 September 2017 - 11:30 AM

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interesting that once again the sports pages give a useful if somewhat messy overview of where we're at now.

Leave it to Trump to try and make everything about him. I'd be shocked if he understood what the anthem protest was about at all.

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The question was whether we would be involved and in what way. This was not a simple question. Should we have stood back and not taken part?

I was pretty conflicted about that. On one hand, I don't like the idea of Team America: World Police, I think there's a huge list of countries who should also be involved. On the other hand, my admiration for Assad can be quantified by the beadiness of his eyes divided by the strength of his chin. When the Arab Spring started up I was really hoping it was going to reach him and we would see his people bring him down. I guess I would have liked to see us do a little more, maybe a no-fly zone (especially once he started with the barrel bombs), but again, the whole World Police thing.
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#669 ArtificialSoldier  Icon User is offline

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Re: Election blather

Posted 26 September 2017 - 08:48 AM

*ahem*

"Emperor Hirocheeto"

That is all.
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