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Thread: Politics

  1. #1351
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    I think he certainly intended to put his life on the line for his country when he signed up, but that's not what he ended up doing, through no fault of his own. He ended up just taking part in an arbitrary foreign policy conflict 6,000 miles away that ended up costing several thousand American lives, <insert latest estimate> Iraqi lives, plunging the region into chaos and gifting an entirely new state to terrorists. The war on terror has been the greatest benefactor of terrorism in the whole of human history.

  2. #1352
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    You can't put that on one soldier, no matter who they are. You can put it on top level politicians who told us all a lot of lies to get the country to go along with the war. He was risking his life and he almost certainly thought he was protecting his country, in contradiction of the graphic.

  3. #1353
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    I did say, "through no fault of his own." The graphic does not address what he thought he was doing, only what he actually did. Of course you can't pin it on one person and that isn't the intention, the graphic is merely to draw a contrast.

  4. #1354
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    Quote Originally Posted by LHutton View Post
    The war on terror has been the greatest benefactor of terrorism in the whole of human history.
    Not entirely unlike the war on drugs.

    Weird, right?

  5. #1355
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    Quote Originally Posted by thesameguy View Post
    Not entirely unlike the war on drugs.

    Weird, right?
    True to a point, but Columbia has shown that even without drugs, the drug cartels continue with criminality. They've mainly moved into sex trafficking (often underage), kidnapping, people smuggling and other heinous shit now and the drugs have mainly moved to Mexico. They're the sort of problems that you can't legalise but pursuing their end too tenaciously is counter-productive and ineffective. I wouldn't say the war on drugs produced more drug dealers though (they just swapped around a lot), which is where the war on terror differs.

  6. #1356
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    The US is a huge market for drugs, and aggressive law enforcement has resulted in increased resistance and increased prices which ultimately puts more money and more tools into the hands of the cartels - and like any organization of size the cartels have branched out into vertical markets. We saw the same behavior during Prohibition. The efforts against drugs have resulted in businesses being forced to grow to keep equilibrium - it's not like people are going to stop buying drugs any more than they stopped buying alcohol. In hindsight, it probably would have been better to work on establishing equilibrium pre-escalation - but of course law enforcement loved the big budgets and once it began escalation was inevitable. While it's possible that drug cartels could have been squashed and flamed out, it just seems really unlikely that was going to the result.

    While it's certainly not the same process that caused anti-terrorism to lead to terrorism, I think the lessons are the same: Unless you are 100% confident you can win a fight quickly, you really need to think about what the long-term effects of a continual back-and-forth are going to be. "We" could someday win out against terrorists and "we" could someday win out against drugs, but is it likely in a reasonable period of time? What are the mid- and long-term effects of the fight? In both cases, it's ultimately the creation of a huge power vacuum that someone is going to fill...

  7. #1357
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  8. #1358
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    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/27/us...?smid=pl-share

    The political network overseen by the conservative billionaires Charles G. and David H. Koch plans to spend close to $900 million on the 2016 campaign, an unparalleled effort by coordinated outside groups to shape a presidential election that is already on track to be the most expensive in history.

    The spending goal, revealed Monday at the Kochs’ annual winter donor retreat near Palm Springs, Calif., would allow their political organization to operate at the same financial scale as the Democratic and Republican Parties. It would require a significant financial commitment from the Kochs and roughly 300 other donors they have recruited over the years, and covers both the presidential and congressional races. In the last presidential election, the Republican National Committee and the party’s two congressional campaign committees spent a total of $657 million.

  9. #1359
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    Quote Originally Posted by thesameguy View Post
    The US is a huge market for drugs, and aggressive law enforcement has resulted in increased resistance and increased prices which ultimately puts more money and more tools into the hands of the cartels - and like any organization of size the cartels have branched out into vertical markets. We saw the same behavior during Prohibition. The efforts against drugs have resulted in businesses being forced to grow to keep equilibrium - it's not like people are going to stop buying drugs any more than they stopped buying alcohol. In hindsight, it probably would have been better to work on establishing equilibrium pre-escalation - but of course law enforcement loved the big budgets and once it began escalation was inevitable. While it's possible that drug cartels could have been squashed and flamed out, it just seems really unlikely that was going to the result.

    While it's certainly not the same process that caused anti-terrorism to lead to terrorism, I think the lessons are the same: Unless you are 100% confident you can win a fight quickly, you really need to think about what the long-term effects of a continual back-and-forth are going to be. "We" could someday win out against terrorists and "we" could someday win out against drugs, but is it likely in a reasonable period of time? What are the mid- and long-term effects of the fight? In both cases, it's ultimately the creation of a huge power vacuum that someone is going to fill...
    Did it put more money in the hands of drug cartels? The reason the price went up was because it was costing more to produce and deliver, largely because people were getting arrested/shot and shipments were being seized. The overall profit didn't necessarily increase. If new recruits joined the drug gangs it was due to local poverty. Nobody said, "hey, look what America is doing, this is terrible, let's help these drug lords out." It was more a case of desperation and vacancies created by the war on drugs. Ultimately you can't win against drugs whilst there is still a market for it though, and the cost of fighting it often hasn't been worth it. Where there is demand without supply that represents a market opportunity. So whilst the war on drugs succeeded to a point in Columbia, it just sprung up elsewhere in Mexico when people spotted the opportunity. Drug running has moved from boat to plane to mule and finally to small submarines. It's just a problem that continues to move and mutate.

    Why is there a market for drugs? Well that depends on the drugs but it's often been said that cocaine is nature's way of telling someone that they have too much money, which is particularly prevalent in the case of people in the financial sector, who persistently get away with other larger crimes like global financial fraud, with no legal response other than a pitiful fine on the parent company. Perhaps if some people started going to prison it would begin to fix two problems.

  10. #1360
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    Oh that's gold, US opts out of UN FCCC and Emissions Trading Schemes, but taxes solar energy. Now I understand that solar panels cause problems on a grid that's designed for centralised power generation but ultimately that grid needs to be changed anyway because the future will necessarily involve more distributed power generation and grid interconnections lower down the distribution tree. Perhaps if they had adopted an ETS, that would have produced the funding for such changes from polluters instead of taxing individuals who are trying to produce clean energy.

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