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44 minutes ago, drewpey said:

Iran deal was better than no deal, which is what we currently have, despite being promised a much much better one.  That being said I think the potential for another deal died with their nuclear scientist.  Warhawks gonna warhawk.

The Iran deal was about as “good” and “effective” as the Paris climate one. All facade, no substance. 

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Want to slash American carbon?  Build nuclear power plants.  

When MSNBC announced Trump's win in Iowa, there was an audible grunt from Rachel Madow. By the sound of it, she apparently sat on her sack wrong. Happens to the best of us.

Found this entertaining Because screw that bitch and her "it's my turn" mentality. Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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1 minute ago, SurelySerious said:

The Iran deal was about as “good” and “effective” as the Paris climate one. All facade, no substance. 

Eh, regardless of the deal the real problem is the US has no framework for how to exercise power in a world where everyone has access to nuclear arms. Essentially we are just delaying the inevitable without addressing how we will affect force on countries that have obtained assured second strike capability. 

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6 hours ago, arg said:

So, let's talk about when Biden is POTUS. We are back in Paris Climate deal, Iran deal, Green new deal etc? $200 tax for so called "assault weapons and mags" he's flip flopped on oil drilling/fracking,Expect pump prices to be $4 a gallon. How much manufacturing will go back to China?

Things like Paris climate and Iran nuclear deals the president has the power to do, although not to the level of signing a treaty so they could be overturned by a subsequent administration. Green New Deal, assault weapons tax, banning fracking, not really within the executive’s purview. Even if Dems win the senate, margins in congress will be razor thin and I wouldn’t expect anything like a Green New Deal to be passed. As far as manufacturing jobs go, the tide has favored them leaving since the 80s. Trump’s statements on bringing them back were largely bluster. How much will go back to China? I’m in the business of moving Chinese goods to North America and I can tell you that the volume of crap coming out of Chinese factories most certainly did not slow down over the last four years. That said, I hope we do realize that there are certain manufacturing segments that the US should retain/rebuild like medical equipment & PPE. I hope congress & the new administration can work together to make that happen. 

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1 hour ago, drewpey said:

Iran deal was better than no deal, which is what we currently have, despite being promised a much much better one.  That being said I think the potential for another deal died with their nuclear scientist.  Warhawks gonna warhawk.

Nah. The best deal is a simple and clear foreign policy that states "You can't have nuclear weapons. And if you build them, we'll take them away from you and destroy your government."

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54 minutes ago, ViperMan said:

Nah. The best deal is a simple and clear foreign policy that states "You can't have nuclear weapons. And if you build them, we'll take them away from you and destroy your government."

So you get to pick between a deal that delays their program or what is likely certain war, and you choose warhawk.

Countries act in their own self interest, and if you threaten them with destruction, and turn the cheek to Israel doing the same shit and sabre rattling then you are only encouraging them to amp up their program.

This is essentially the policy we have set with Iran and NK in the past...and how has that turned out?  Lil Kim's situation is likely looking pretty nice to Iran right now.

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19 minutes ago, drewpey said:

So you get to pick between a deal that delays their program or what is likely certain war, and you choose warhawk.

Countries act in their own self interest, and if you threaten them with destruction, and turn the cheek to Israel doing the same shit and sabre rattling then you are only encouraging them to amp up their program.

This is essentially the policy we have set with Iran and NK in the past...and how has that turned out?  Lil Kim's situation is likely looking pretty nice to Iran right now.

Your “delay” is just that...one that leads to them also developing weapons. Our position is non proliferation, make the consequences dire not soft and laughable. 

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39 minutes ago, drewpey said:

So you get to pick between a deal that delays their program or what is likely certain war, and you choose warhawk.

Countries act in their own self interest, and if you threaten them with destruction, and turn the cheek to Israel doing the same shit and sabre rattling then you are only encouraging them to amp up their program.

This is essentially the policy we have set with Iran and NK in the past...and how has that turned out?  Lil Kim's situation is likely looking pretty nice to Iran right now.

Li'l Kim's situation is looking good because we smashed the last regime to GIVE UP its WMD program...Libya.

Kinda ironic that you think the guy pulling troops out of the Middle East is the warhawk.  Seems to me actions like killing Iran's top terrorist demonstrate reasons why Iran should NOT poke the bear, while giving them pallets of cash encourage them to rattle the saber any time the treasury looks empty...kind of like North Korea.

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37 minutes ago, SurelySerious said:

Your “delay” is just that...one that leads to them also developing weapons. Our position is non proliferation, make the consequences dire not soft and laughable. 

To be fair though, we don't have the power to take nuclear weapons from nK, never did, and we probably don't have it to take them from Iran. So its sort of a poor strategy unless you're willing to sacrifice 51 million souls on the pyre of an unreasonable strategy. Nuclear weapons are 80 year old technology. Its a pandoras box and you wont keep it closed forever. 

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10 hours ago, arg said:

So, let's talk about when Biden is POTUS. We are back in Paris Climate deal, Iran deal, Green new deal etc? $200 tax for so called "assault weapons and mags" he's flip flopped on oil drilling/fracking,Expect pump prices to be $4 a gallon. How much manufacturing will go back to China?

Yeah, that’s all on the wishlist for Biden’s puppet masters.  Hopefully the Republican Party will find their sack again and prevent most of those radical proposals from going through.  I think the Green New Deal is virtually impossible considering the fact that the infamous hated AOC keeps parroting it...Paris climate accord and Iran deal may return and neither is in the best interest of this country. 

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56 minutes ago, FLEA said:

To be fair though, we don't have the power to take nuclear weapons from nK, never did, and we probably don't have it to take them from Iran. So its sort of a poor strategy unless you're willing to sacrifice 51 million souls on the pyre of an unreasonable strategy. Nuclear weapons are 80 year old technology. Its a pandoras box and you wont keep it closed forever. 

May be 80 years old, but still severe enough most of our National security strategy is built around countering countries that possess them. It’s probably best to have less countries to defend against, aside from the pandoras box of gulf nations that will try making them if Iran has them and some weak agreement where they “don’t make any efforts toward weapons” isn’t going to cut it. 

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8 minutes ago, SurelySerious said:

May be 80 years old, but still severe enough most of our National security strategy is built around countering countries that possess them. It’s probably best to have less countries to defend against, aside from the pandoras box of gulf nations that will try making them if Iran has them and some weak agreement where they “don’t make any efforts toward weapons” isn’t going to cut it. 

Not really. You already live under several nuclear umbrellas. Russia for certain, but also China, likely North Korea in a few years. Just because a state has nuclear arms doesn't mean they have the will to use them. States act rational on their own interests. Most fledgling nuclear powers seek an assured second strike capability which is a basic means that ensures their offset to major powers. It's very very unlikely smaller states would develop nuclear weapons to a full warfighting capability. The simple truth is that capability is extraordinarily costly, and requires advanced command and control that requires tactical commanders to have access to make nuclear decisions. Small autocratic dictatorships are unlikely to ever give that level of control to a military commander. We still find ways to protect interest from China, Russia, and North Korea, and even Pakistan when they are against us. All of them are nuclear armed states. 

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5 minutes ago, FLEA said:

Not really. You already live under several nuclear umbrellas. Russia for certain, but also China, likely North Korea in a few years. Just because a state has nuclear arms doesn't mean they have the will to use them. States act rational on their own interests. Most fledgling nuclear powers seek an assured second strike capability which is a basic means that ensures their offset to major powers. It's very very unlikely smaller states would develop nuclear weapons to a full warfighting capability. The simple truth is that capability is extraordinarily costly, and requires advanced command and control that requires tactical commanders to have access to make nuclear decisions. Small autocratic dictatorships are unlikely to ever give that level of control to a military commander. We still find ways to protect interest from China, Russia, and North Korea, and even Pakistan when they are against us. All of them are nuclear armed states. 

It doesn’t seem like you understand our nuclear umbrella that we promise to our allies. 

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23 minutes ago, SurelySerious said:

I think this demonstrates that you don’t. 

In retrospect forget it. It's opening a pandora's box. You have your opinion and I have mine. Ill presume they are both informed. 

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2 hours ago, SurelySerious said:

Your “delay” is just that...one that leads to them also developing weapons. Our position is non proliferation, make the consequences dire not soft and laughable. 

A lot can happen in a decade delay.  Just because it's controlled by a extremely conservative religious group and they want to impose their ideals on others doesn't mean there isn't a younger more forward thinking generation of more liberal minded individuals who will want to go a different direction.  Wait...are we talking Iran still?

2 hours ago, pawnman said:

Li'l Kim's situation is looking good because we smashed the last regime to GIVE UP its WMD program...Libya.

Kinda ironic that you think the guy pulling troops out of the Middle East is the warhawk.  Seems to me actions like killing Iran's top terrorist demonstrate reasons why Iran should NOT poke the bear, while giving them pallets of cash encourage them to rattle the saber any time the treasury looks empty...kind of like North Korea.

Viper is the warhawk, not Trump.  I don't think Trump cares about war unless it makes him look good, gets him rich or reelected. He knows enough to know it does none of those things.  I honestly don't think he even cared about the details of the Iran deal, but he was told to destroy it, and it had Obama's name on it so he broke it with the empty promise of something far greater like he did with literally everything he touched.  Honestly Iran could have nukes right now if they had appealed to Trump's ego 4 years ago like lil Kim did, but the whole saving face thing gets in the way.

I don't disagree with your Libya comments, but in the end I don't think it would have stopped things, it only sped them up.

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21 hours ago, FLEA said:

Hobbes argued in complete monarchy based on the idea that people needed some form of control since they were fundamentally evil. His advocacy for monarchy should not detract from his arguments that people are fundamentally evil. You either believe in altruism, or you don't. I've seen very little evidence for altruism in the world though. Democracy is not perfect, its simply the best system we have. 

If people were fundamentally evil, society would trend downward. It hasn't.

 

There are evil people. There are more good people. Over time the good have beaten the evil. 

 

Our system protects the good from the evil to allow the good to flourish and continue doing good. If you've seen little evidence of altruism, you've been limiting your view to a TV screen. Look around, it's literally everywhere.

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Nuclear umbrella good stuff, but with hyper velocity at the forefront of research/implementation with nothing to catch it or see it in time for anything we must just keep on keeping on. Plenty of “practice targets” around. Besides, Israel will take care of a few things behind the scenes while the Giants lurk around in the background. They always have.

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11 hours ago, drewpey said:

So you get to pick between a deal that delays their program or what is likely certain war, and you choose warhawk.

Countries act in their own self interest, and if you threaten them with destruction, and turn the cheek to Israel doing the same shit and sabre rattling then you are only encouraging them to amp up their program.

This is essentially the policy we have set with Iran and NK in the past...and how has that turned out?  Lil Kim's situation is likely looking pretty nice to Iran right now.

Soooooo...war or war. Ok. We're not threatening them with destruction - we're giving them a choice between pursuing a policy that will result in them possessing something that will result in their upending, or not doing that thing and continuing with the status quo. Right now, they don't possess nuclear weapons, and we're NOT overthrowing them. So the idea that they have a legitimate right to pursue nukes in order for their own security is a non-starter.

NK doesn't give one F about the US - it's a performance. It's a show. We are their boogeyman so they have something to justify their poor existence. 0 reason they actually want to use nukes on us or SK.

Iran views Israel as illegitimate and has made statements to the effect that they should be destroyed. That, combined with a desire to use non-conventional means to implement their policy, puts them into a category altogether different from NK - it makes them an actual threat.

Like it or not, we are the world's police, and the world order is dependent on us - right or wrong, that gives us the responsibility to ensure suitcase nukes don't blow up in Jerusalem. If that pisses off some al-whoevers, IDGAF.

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2 hours ago, ViperMan said:

Soooooo...war or war. Ok. We're not threatening them with destruction - we're giving them a choice between pursuing a policy that will result in them possessing something that will result in their upending, or not doing that thing and continuing with the status quo. Right now, they don't possess nuclear weapons, and we're NOT overthrowing them. So the idea that they have a legitimate right to pursue nukes in order for their own security is a non-starter.

NK doesn't give one F about the US - it's a performance. It's a show. We are their boogeyman so they have something to justify their poor existence. 0 reason they actually want to use nukes on us or SK.

Iran views Israel as illegitimate and has made statements to the effect that they should be destroyed. That, combined with a desire to use non-conventional means to implement their policy, puts them into a category altogether different from NK - it makes them an actual threat.

Like it or not, we are the world's police, and the world order is dependent on us - right or wrong, that gives us the responsibility to ensure suitcase nukes don't blow up in Jerusalem. If that pisses off some al-whoevers, IDGAF.

Yeah NK never made statements that someone should be destroyed or that they would use their weapons preemptively...🙄

You can fantasize all you want about Iran suddenly denuclearizing from a threat, or an all out shooting war with a potential to go nuclear, but the reality is that they will do what they think is best for themselves, and if they continue to feel threatened, by the US, by Israel, by the West, whoever...they will take steps to ensure their safety.  They have seen NK nuclearize after years of empty threats and no repercussions, and as you eluded to before things didn't go well for Libya...so what is their rational choice?

While the JCPOA wasn't great, it at least hit the pause button and pushed the decision until later when hopefully cooler heads prevail or another solution presents itself.  Again I am/was open to Trump reworking the deal to be more advantageous, but he didn't.  Even if the JCPOA did nothing, the only outcome of destroying the deal is a symbolic gesture of hostility towards them to instigate them to nuclearize faster and remove any incentives.  It doesn't make sense and you guys are defending a ridiculous position, but don't let reality get in the way of your fantasies.

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4 hours ago, drewpey said:

While the JCPOA wasn't great, it at least hit the pause button

Did it? Rhetorical...

4 hours ago, drewpey said:

the reality is that they will do what they think is best for themselves

Agreed. 

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16 hours ago, Lord Ratner said:

If people were fundamentally evil, society would trend downward. It hasn't.

 

There are evil people. There are more good people. Over time the good have beaten the evil. 

 

Our system protects the good from the evil to allow the good to flourish and continue doing good. If you've seen little evidence of altruism, you've been limiting your view to a TV screen. Look around, it's literally everywhere.

This is going to sound like a lecture to some. It's not. Just trying to sort through what's happening.  I've got a rural farm and things are A-okay here. But things aren't for a lot of people and it's had me thinking about the subject above.

Totally agree people are not inherently evil. I also agree society hasn't trended downward...lately.

I don't know what the best definitions of good and evil are, but if we aren't talking about fictional heroes and villians, it's sort of hard to pin down. We're not talking about serial killers, rapists, terrorists, etc. Those typically don't last long. As for the rest of the world, one might say good and evil is a sliding scale. On one end, a person acts selflessly and at great sacrifice to themselves to improve the lives of others. In the middle, a person acts in self interest, but also wants the best for others, at the other end, acts to purely out of self interest at great detriment to those around them. Who are the people leading us and where do they fall on the scale?

Prosperity

Principles, morals, values and ethics seem to increase as people are lifted out of poverty and now have options for social behavior. As people treat one another better and have the freedom to honestly work toward their own increasing prosperity, good prevails. However, there are always people who seem to have a massive increase in prosperity without having treated those around them better. It seems that for some people who acquire massive amounts of prosperity, their principles, morals, values, and ethics diminish. If people feel they are moving toward poverty while a few are moving toward wealth and prosperity, perhaps that leads to decrease across the board of "good".

Economics

If prosperity is determined by economics, we can say we've enjoyed the most massive overall increase in wealth in human history over the last few decades. However, the global economy is teetering on the edge of a cliff and has been since 2008. Around 22% of US Dollars in existence have been created in the last 8 months. Around 30% of the US is facing mortgage default or eviction in the next few months. Small businesses are closing at the fastest pace ever while Big Tech has gone parabolic. Everything good and bad in the economy is driven by creation of debt, not creation of wealth. For policy makers, the decision is whether to let the whole thing implode spectacularly, or let it down gradually through devaluation. Either way, none of us regular folks will enjoy our current standard of living in 5 years.

Social Unrest

People are already pissed. A Google News search of "protests" today reveals massive protests around the world. France, UK, Germany, India, Iran, Poland, Belarus, etc. Social issues are at a boiling point. Combined with everything surrounding COVID and an impending personal, regional, national, and global financial crisis (decrease in prosperity), there are no improvements on the horizon. People will act out.

Who is evil?

Being in the airlines, It seems the world follows a similar natural progression: Aggregation and consolidation. In this case, of wealth and power. When an organization or individual achieves these things, what else could they want? More. Why? At some point, you get the idea you may have the resources to make the world a better place. Call me what you will, but the most successful people in the world have looked at the planet and believe the track we are on is an unsustainable path. We have a growing population and decreasing resources. Cultural and political differences are creating conflict. There are massive economic inequalities and suffering. If you have the technological and financial resources, would you attempt to address these problems? Would you stop this train in it's tracks and move it to track in another direction? How would you address it among a population that either doesn't care or doesn't have the same vision of a better world? What lengths would you go to achieve it? How would you bring the USA into the fold?

Good usually does prevail, but not always through peaceful means, and it is often accompanied by a fair amount of bad.

 

 

 

 

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If people were fundamentally evil, society would trend downward. It hasn't.
 
There are evil people. There are more good people. Over time the good have beaten the evil. 


Don't forget that generally the winner in conflicts get to write the history, and pretty much everyone sees themselves as good and their opponents (who lost) as evil. There's a super fine line between a freedom fighter and a terrorist, just depends on if you win or not.

And the US isn't exempt from this either-we've done stuff throughout our history that could be viewed as evil, or at the very least makes us have to question if we were the "good guys" at that point in history in retrospect. Some of that could be tempered by a belief that a state/country will act in its own best interest, and conflict is messy, but to ignore the darker parts of our history allows it to potentially happen again.
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19 hours ago, Lord Ratner said:

If people were fundamentally evil, society would trend downward. It hasn't.

 

There are evil people. There are more good people. Over time the good have beaten the evil. 

 

Our system protects the good from the evil to allow the good to flourish and continue doing good. If you've seen little evidence of altruism, you've been limiting your view to a TV screen. Look around, it's literally everywhere.

Evil might be a poor word choice. Self interested probably describes it better. Society hasnt collapsed because cooperation is still a better security strategy than lone-wolfing it. However, the minute that cooperation begins to stretch a person's values outside their self interest they will cease to cooperate. It doesn't make the world horrible. Its just nature. And people will justify horrendous acts on a platform of moral virtue because they will try to uphold their own self interest. 

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