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[US Foreign Policy] Talk about the Foreign Policy of the United States

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Posts

  • Dongs GaloreDongs Galore Registered User regular
    I agree with you on the dangers of escalation posed by IRBM proliferation, I was only explaining the practical utility of building them.

    of course, as the old Cold War joke goes:
    "What's the definition of a tactical nuke?"
    "One that lands in Germany"

    Commander ZoomKayne Red Robe
  • hippofanthippofant ティンク Registered User regular
    edited October 2018
    I agree with you on the dangers of escalation posed by IRBM proliferation, I was only explaining the practical utility of building them.

    of course, as the old Cold War joke goes:
    "What's the definition of a tactical nuke?"
    "One that lands in Germany"

    Absolutely. I was trying to lay out more details in simpler form for laypeople. (Actually, I'm a layperson too, but whatever.)

    I do find it a little contrary though, that this is being pursued after Trump repeatedly undermined NATO and said things that would lead NATO allies to question whether Trump would respond to Article 5. I mean, why develop intermediate range nuclear missiles if you're going to withdraw US forces from the world, abandon all your alliances unless your allies pay you more money? What are you going to do, nuke Guatemala?

    On the one hand, maybe this makes sense for Trump as he moves to reassure allies to cover his previous statements, that this is part of the whole graft, make NATO allies think that they have to pay the US more to provide their nuclear umbrella "services."

    But also I seriously wonder whether he actually understands what the hell this is about and if perhaps there are just people at DoD working at cross-purposes against him, at least on one angle, to reassure the NATO allies that Trump is putting off, to preserve NATO while framing it all for Trump as being "strong" and "fighting back" against Russia or whatever.

    hippofant on
  • GoumindongGoumindong Registered User regular
    edited October 2018
    Escalation isn’t the issue. It’s discrimination.

    You’re not too worried about someone going “well they used small nukes so let’s use bigger nukes” right on up the chain. That logic holds with bombs as well and the primary determinor of whether or not you decide to go MAD is if you’re pushed so far you don’t believe there is an “out”. In that you believe that you’re going to be overrun anyway. Strategic nukes don’t really modify that much except that they allow more offensive force level targeting (so maybe you get there faster?). IE they let you blow up the opponents army without blowing up their cities.

    The problem is that determining whether a strike is a low yield device or a high yield device is difficult until the device lands. If it’s a high yield device then “when the device lands” is too late for you to effectively retaliate. Such you’re tempted, when seeing intermediate range launches, to immediately retaliate fully if you don’t know whether they’re high or low.

    The distinction that the US has made in the past is “if no one has any intermediate range weapaons which are low yield then it’s easy to determine whether or not a launch is low yield or high yield; because it’s high yield”

    And now we are blowing this up because we are lead by morons

    Edit: basically High yield IRBMs are close to first strike weapons. Because we cannot tell the difference between high and low yield IRBMs until they’re landing (or very very close to) any IRBM launch when a country possesses nuclear capable IRBMs that can hit targets which might reduce second strike capablity looks like a first strike.

    Edit: was confusing the range of IRBMs. Modified yields as appropriate

    Goumindong on
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  • HamHamJHamHamJ Registered User regular
    hippofant wrote: »
    Imagine, for example, NATO seeing a cruise missile launched from a known nuclear weapon site in Russia westwards: they have no idea whether that weapon carries a small nuclear warhead to land on a battlefield or whether it'll carry on to hit Berlin. Then, the appropriate response it is to assume it's hitting Berlin, and counter-fire at Moscow. Oops.

    Why not just wait until it hits?

    While racing light mechs, your Urbanmech comes in second place, but only because it ran out of ammo.
  • CelestialBadgerCelestialBadger Registered User regular
    HamHamJ wrote: »
    hippofant wrote: »
    Imagine, for example, NATO seeing a cruise missile launched from a known nuclear weapon site in Russia westwards: they have no idea whether that weapon carries a small nuclear warhead to land on a battlefield or whether it'll carry on to hit Berlin. Then, the appropriate response it is to assume it's hitting Berlin, and counter-fire at Moscow. Oops.

    Why not just wait until it hits?

    Because to “win” a nuclear war you must destroy the opponent’s nuclear capability within a few minutes.

    GaddezMegaMekMoridin889Magell
  • Mc zanyMc zany Registered User regular
    edited October 2018
    HamHamJ wrote: »
    hippofant wrote: »
    Imagine, for example, NATO seeing a cruise missile launched from a known nuclear weapon site in Russia westwards: they have no idea whether that weapon carries a small nuclear warhead to land on a battlefield or whether it'll carry on to hit Berlin. Then, the appropriate response it is to assume it's hitting Berlin, and counter-fire at Moscow. Oops.

    Why not just wait until it hits?

    Because to “win” a nuclear war you must destroy the opponent’s nuclear capability within a few minutes.

    The only winning move is not to play.

    Mc zany on
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  • HamHamJHamHamJ Registered User regular
    HamHamJ wrote: »
    hippofant wrote: »
    Imagine, for example, NATO seeing a cruise missile launched from a known nuclear weapon site in Russia westwards: they have no idea whether that weapon carries a small nuclear warhead to land on a battlefield or whether it'll carry on to hit Berlin. Then, the appropriate response it is to assume it's hitting Berlin, and counter-fire at Moscow. Oops.

    Why not just wait until it hits?

    Because to “win” a nuclear war you must destroy the opponent’s nuclear capability within a few minutes.

    Except nuking Berlin has no impact on our nuclear capability and don't both sides have enough subs that a knock out first strike is impossible?

    While racing light mechs, your Urbanmech comes in second place, but only because it ran out of ammo.
  • Santa ClaustrophobiaSanta Claustrophobia Ho Ho Ho Disconnecting from Xbox LIVERegistered User regular
    HamHamJ wrote: »
    HamHamJ wrote: »
    hippofant wrote: »
    Imagine, for example, NATO seeing a cruise missile launched from a known nuclear weapon site in Russia westwards: they have no idea whether that weapon carries a small nuclear warhead to land on a battlefield or whether it'll carry on to hit Berlin. Then, the appropriate response it is to assume it's hitting Berlin, and counter-fire at Moscow. Oops.

    Why not just wait until it hits?

    Because to “win” a nuclear war you must destroy the opponent’s nuclear capability within a few minutes.

    Except nuking Berlin has no impact on our nuclear capability and don't both sides have enough subs that a knock out first strike is impossible?

    There are people who believe these are winnable scenarios. Many of them occupy the White House right now.

    Commander ZoomPLATetraRayelectricitylikesmeKristmas KthulhuGnome-InterruptusGaddezGONG-00Ticaldfjamdurandal4532KetBraTNTrooperGennenalyse RuebenOrcamonikerHefflingCantidoJazzMegaMekMoridin889DouglasDangerJaysonFourKruiteShortyboogedybooabotkinvalhalla130Havelock2.0emp123
  • DarkPrimusDarkPrimus Registered User regular
    HamHamJ wrote: »
    HamHamJ wrote: »
    hippofant wrote: »
    Imagine, for example, NATO seeing a cruise missile launched from a known nuclear weapon site in Russia westwards: they have no idea whether that weapon carries a small nuclear warhead to land on a battlefield or whether it'll carry on to hit Berlin. Then, the appropriate response it is to assume it's hitting Berlin, and counter-fire at Moscow. Oops.

    Why not just wait until it hits?

    Because to “win” a nuclear war you must destroy the opponent’s nuclear capability within a few minutes.

    Except nuking Berlin has no impact on our nuclear capability and don't both sides have enough subs that a knock out first strike is impossible?

    There are people who believe these are winnable scenarios. Many of them occupy the White House right now.

    Because they define "winning" as "slightly more of us are left alive than them."

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  • MayabirdMayabird Pecking at the keyboardRegistered User regular
    DarkPrimus wrote: »
    HamHamJ wrote: »
    HamHamJ wrote: »
    hippofant wrote: »
    Imagine, for example, NATO seeing a cruise missile launched from a known nuclear weapon site in Russia westwards: they have no idea whether that weapon carries a small nuclear warhead to land on a battlefield or whether it'll carry on to hit Berlin. Then, the appropriate response it is to assume it's hitting Berlin, and counter-fire at Moscow. Oops.

    Why not just wait until it hits?

    Because to “win” a nuclear war you must destroy the opponent’s nuclear capability within a few minutes.

    Except nuking Berlin has no impact on our nuclear capability and don't both sides have enough subs that a knock out first strike is impossible?

    There are people who believe these are winnable scenarios. Many of them occupy the White House right now.

    Because they define "winning" as "slightly more of us are left alive than them."

    Worse, because a lot of the craziest evangelicals want a nuclear war to trigger their endtimes. "Winning" means "we get magically raptured to Heaven while everybody else suffers, dies, and goes to Hell." Pence may or may not be a believer in this but many of his coreligionists and allies are.

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  • hippofanthippofant ティンク Registered User regular
    edited October 2018
    HamHamJ wrote: »
    hippofant wrote: »
    Imagine, for example, NATO seeing a cruise missile launched from a known nuclear weapon site in Russia westwards: they have no idea whether that weapon carries a small nuclear warhead to land on a battlefield or whether it'll carry on to hit Berlin. Then, the appropriate response it is to assume it's hitting Berlin, and counter-fire at Moscow. Oops.

    Why not just wait until it hits?

    This ties back to European reassurance and who's in charge of which weapons.

    So, hypothetically, imagine all American nuclear weapons are ICBMs located in the continental United States. If Russia were to attack Europe then, either conventionally or using nuclear weapons, NATO's European members would have good reason to wonder whether the US would really go MAD on Russia in response to an invasion of Berlin. Given this doubt, NATO would be undermined and European nations would be motivated to develop their own nuclear weapons. The Americans don't want that.

    So then US nuclear weapons are deployed in various European nations. This includes Turkey, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, and Belgium. These weapons are meant to be fired off if they or any of the other weapons sites are threatened.

    Except there's a major difference between cruise missiles and ICBMs: cruise missiles can change directions in flight. So if Russia were to want to obliterate Berlin and launched ICBMs to do so, theoretically, NATO could identify and calculate that these warheads are aimed at Berlin and not Ramstein, and then choose not to retaliate with nuclear forces, since Ramstein will remain intact. I'm not entirely sure what the command structure/disposition of the nuclear weapons at Rammstein is, whether there are Germans in charge of them, whether they're supposed to fire in response to an attack of Berlin or what, but this is not, I believe, a huge threat: the expectation is that if Russia is nuking Berlin, it's because they want to conquer all of Europe, and Ramstein's going to go down eventually, so use 'em or lose 'em.

    But a cruise missile aimed at Berlin can suddenly change directions and hit Ramstein. The two are only ~600 KM apart. In fact, a nuclear-armed cruise missile could go anywhere, and they may even be nigh untrackable after launch, so it's possible that all NATO would detect would be a launch of cruise missiles from a known Russian nuclear site, and then it'd be entirely speculative where and when they'd land, as well as how heavy their payloads are. This would put extreme pressure on European nuclear missile operators to fire their weapons ASAP lest they themselves be hit.


    Of course, as you suggest, you could wait until they land so long as you have other weapons elsewhere, and both the US and Russia have guaranteed second strike ability, but these are not your established protocols, because, again, MAD is the only real deterrence, so to deter your enemy, you have to set it up so that MAD is guaranteed. You can't arrange it so that if nukes fall on the continental US, you'll evaluate the situation after they land, and then determine whether the nuclear subs launch their weapons; that would set up an possible opportunity for your opponent to believe that they could launch and possibly escape retribution, if your sub commanders decide that the West Coast isn't worth MAD or whatever. So the protocol is if nukes are in flight towards the US, nukes are in flight out of the US. If you launch, we launch, and we're not checking to see how many there are nor how big their warheads are.

    Because remember, despite the other posts above, the goal is to deter the Russians from launching at all (and from launching a conventional assault as well). So whatever consequences you have set up have to be on a hair-trigger. The tit-for-that is set up to be automatic - if you do X, we do Y, so don't do X, because Y is going to be very bad for you. There's no room for consideration of, well after X, do we really still want to do Y? That's not the point. That's not how deterrence works. If you're okay with the Russians nuking Berlin, then you don't set it up so that nukes aimed at Berlin trigger nukes aimed at Moscow, but then you should expect that the Germans will want their own nuclear weapons, because they damn well don't want nukes aimed at Berlin.

    hippofant on
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  • electricitylikesmeelectricitylikesme Registered User regular
    @hippofant I'm not sure I have a full read on your point here - doesn't all this simply imply the IRBMs and other "tactical" systems are pretty much pointless? There's no meaningful distinction between tactical nuclear weapons and strategic nuclear weapons - they all trigger MAD if you think you're opposition has them and think one might be in the air.

  • hippofanthippofant ティンク Registered User regular
    edited October 2018
    hippofant I'm not sure I have a full read on your point here - doesn't all this simply imply the IRBMs and other "tactical" systems are pretty much pointless? There's no meaningful distinction between tactical nuclear weapons and strategic nuclear weapons - they all trigger MAD if you think you're opposition has them and think one might be in the air.

    No. It's more complicated than that. For one, there are other non-nuclear (or at least MAD-incapable) actors that you might want to throw a tactical nuke at, for whatever reason.

    Second, nuclear weapons also serve to deter conventional action. A tactical nuclear weapon could be used on a battlefield, in a "legitimate" manner that may not warrant MAD.

    Third, deterrence has to be credible. The impetus for the American development of such weapons is that the Russians have such weapons, and it may not be credible to believe that the US would respond to a tactical nuke with full on MAD. So having weapons with similar destructive power may actually increase deterrence over weapons of more destructive power, by being more credible. (Alt: it may not be credible that the US would risk MAD over Berlin, so therefore, we're gotta put nukes in Berlin to deter Russia from nuking Berlin but not the US.)


    Note, IRBMs are just intermediate ranged ballistic missiles. There's nothing indicated about what sort of payload they're carrying; they may carry tactical weapons aimed at military installations deep within enemy territory or strategic weapons aimed at enemy population centres. Specifically, the Russians developing intermediate ranged ballistic missiles would suggest they mean to nuke Europe, and not the US (ICBMs) nor the battlefield (short-range missiles). Which then suggests that Europe needs more nukes of their own, to counter the increased Russian threat, and now we're proliferating, with more nuclear weapons on more hair-triggers.

    Like, that's the feedback loop that's the problem. ONE side having "tactical" or "theatre-level" nuclear weapons is an advantage, because it puts pressure on the deterrence capability/credibility of the other side that only has MAD-level weapons. That's precisely the pressure being responded to here, so the OTHER side also develops these weapons, and now the original advantage is negated, but we're all that much closer to accidental MAD.

    But this is also occurring because the Russians are developing intermediate range nuclear cruise missiles, not IRBMs - though the INF treaty was initially intended for IRBMs and covers both - because they want cruise missile-based strategic-level nuclear weapons to counter US development of ABM defenses, which the US wants because they want to prevent the North Koreans from lobbing missiles at California, which the North Koreans want to be able to do to deter the US from nuking/invading them, and this is a textbook demonstration of why proliferation is bad.

    hippofant on
    Elldren
  • ElJeffeElJeffe Moderator, ClubPA mod
    hippofant wrote: »
    But also I seriously wonder whether he actually understands...

    Protip: If a question about Trump starts like this, the answer is "No."

    Maddie: "I named my feet. The left one is flip and the right one is flop. Oh, and also I named my flip-flops."

    I make tweet.
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  • JuliusJulius Registered User regular
    TryCatcher wrote: »
    TryCatcher wrote: »
    Jephery wrote: »
    The arms deals maintain the neo-colonial system. The West sells arms to and guarantees the survival of these shitty regimes so they keep their resources on the world market that the West dominates. The dictators repress their populations so we don't have to do it ourselves. We outsource oppression.

    I'm going to get a lot of flak for this but: Is either that or let China and Russia grab everything not nailed down. I made my choice. You are naive if you think that small countries actually take their own decisions.

    Sort of like: the people in the small countries are going to suffer no matter who's in charge among the USA, China, or Russia, so given that the suffering is unavoidable, might as well be America who benefits from it, since if it were China or Russia, the USA would be worse off?

    Also, you know, that being on the US sphere of influence is better for (most) countries than being on the Russia/China one.

    Yes, I'm saying that there is a "less bad" option.
    Why the hell is it better? Do you think saying it is less bad makes it so?

    FANTOMAS
  • Harry DresdenHarry Dresden Registered User regular
    edited October 2018
    Julius wrote: »
    TryCatcher wrote: »
    TryCatcher wrote: »
    Jephery wrote: »
    The arms deals maintain the neo-colonial system. The West sells arms to and guarantees the survival of these shitty regimes so they keep their resources on the world market that the West dominates. The dictators repress their populations so we don't have to do it ourselves. We outsource oppression.

    I'm going to get a lot of flak for this but: Is either that or let China and Russia grab everything not nailed down. I made my choice. You are naive if you think that small countries actually take their own decisions.

    Sort of like: the people in the small countries are going to suffer no matter who's in charge among the USA, China, or Russia, so given that the suffering is unavoidable, might as well be America who benefits from it, since if it were China or Russia, the USA would be worse off?

    Also, you know, that being on the US sphere of influence is better for (most) countries than being on the Russia/China one.

    Yes, I'm saying that there is a "less bad" option.
    Why the hell is it better? Do you think saying it is less bad makes it so?

    I could ask the same question regarding China or Russia. What makes them any better than the US?

    Policies such as these don't install confidence, and it's not like they didn't do bad shit during the Cold War.

    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-45474279
    In August, a UN committee heard that up to one million Uighur Muslims and other Muslim groups could be being detained in the western Xinjiang region, where they're said to be undergoing "re-education" programmes.
    The claims were made by rights groups, but China denies the allegations. At the same time, there's growing evidence of oppressive surveillance against people living in Xinjiang.

    https://www.aljazeera.com/topics/country/russia.html

    Harry Dresden on
  • NSDFRandNSDFRand FloridaRegistered User regular
    Julius wrote: »
    TryCatcher wrote: »
    TryCatcher wrote: »
    Jephery wrote: »
    The arms deals maintain the neo-colonial system. The West sells arms to and guarantees the survival of these shitty regimes so they keep their resources on the world market that the West dominates. The dictators repress their populations so we don't have to do it ourselves. We outsource oppression.

    I'm going to get a lot of flak for this but: Is either that or let China and Russia grab everything not nailed down. I made my choice. You are naive if you think that small countries actually take their own decisions.

    Sort of like: the people in the small countries are going to suffer no matter who's in charge among the USA, China, or Russia, so given that the suffering is unavoidable, might as well be America who benefits from it, since if it were China or Russia, the USA would be worse off?

    Also, you know, that being on the US sphere of influence is better for (most) countries than being on the Russia/China one.

    Yes, I'm saying that there is a "less bad" option.
    Why the hell is it better? Do you think saying it is less bad makes it so?

    Despite FP establishment "consensus" our system is a lot more open and susceptible to democratic influence. So either domestic politics (not always, because it seems that US voters don't vote primarily on foreign policy issues) or even direct lobbying from parties in the countries affected by our foreign policy can influence FP decisions. The Russian and Chinese systems are immune from this domestic pressure and because of their super presidential and party systems foreign lobbying is likely to be less effective.

    Right now I'm working on a case study on the Sandinistas pre and post governance and the most popular narrative for the end of direct support of the Contras is the Iran-Contra scandal. But that is only one event, one that was primarily a domestic scandal, among many influences on our policy actions involving Nicaragua. In addition to pressure from our own allies in the West because of the power disparity between us and Nicaragua, there were also actors like Paul Reichler working directly for the Sandinista regime (and the Chamorro government which followed, so it's not necessarily an ideological motivation) representing Nicaragua in the ICJ against the US (on harbor mining) and directly lobbying for the Sandinista regime and against congressional support for the Contra militias before the Iran-Contra scandal broke. And there had been a struggle within Congress and between the House and the Executive on our Latin American policy since 1981, roughly two years after the Sandinistas took power and deposed Somoza, six years before Iran-Contra broke, and two years after Reichler began working for the Sandinista government.

    The 2nd Amendment is unarguably one of the most liberal, liberating and radical statements ever made in human history.
  • JuliusJulius Registered User regular
    NSDFRand wrote: »
    Julius wrote: »
    TryCatcher wrote: »
    TryCatcher wrote: »
    Jephery wrote: »
    The arms deals maintain the neo-colonial system. The West sells arms to and guarantees the survival of these shitty regimes so they keep their resources on the world market that the West dominates. The dictators repress their populations so we don't have to do it ourselves. We outsource oppression.

    I'm going to get a lot of flak for this but: Is either that or let China and Russia grab everything not nailed down. I made my choice. You are naive if you think that small countries actually take their own decisions.

    Sort of like: the people in the small countries are going to suffer no matter who's in charge among the USA, China, or Russia, so given that the suffering is unavoidable, might as well be America who benefits from it, since if it were China or Russia, the USA would be worse off?

    Also, you know, that being on the US sphere of influence is better for (most) countries than being on the Russia/China one.

    Yes, I'm saying that there is a "less bad" option.
    Why the hell is it better? Do you think saying it is less bad makes it so?

    Despite FP establishment "consensus" our system is a lot more open and susceptible to democratic influence. So either domestic politics (not always, because it seems that US voters don't vote primarily on foreign policy issues) or even direct lobbying from parties in the countries affected by our foreign policy can influence FP decisions. The Russian and Chinese systems are immune from this domestic pressure and because of their super presidential and party systems foreign lobbying is likely to be less effective.

    The Russian system has this same theoretical openness to domestic pressure, and arguably any government has to deal with pressure from domestic parties (democratic or not) and foreign lobbyist. I don't see how the USA government is somehow more open to listening to foreign governments than Russia or China.

    More importantly, I'd expect something more than some theoretical argument about democracy for how US influence is better. Like maybe examples of the USA not backing brutal dictators and condoning genocides and war crimes. You're not even saying "it's better than being dominated by Russia or China" but "it could be better than being dominated by Russia or China".

    The truth is that they're all shit and "well somebody has to do the imperialism, might as well be us" is a shit justification for condoning atrocities. The USA (much like Russian and China) has backed the overthrow of popular governments by brutal dictators for entirely selfish gain. You're not the less bad option, you're just the one pretending the hardest that they're good.

  • Dongs GaloreDongs Galore Registered User regular
    The Kremlin is nowhere near as susceptible to popular influence. They have far greater control of the media and hence far greater control of popular opinion.

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  • NSDFRandNSDFRand FloridaRegistered User regular
    Julius wrote: »
    NSDFRand wrote: »
    Julius wrote: »
    TryCatcher wrote: »
    TryCatcher wrote: »
    Jephery wrote: »
    The arms deals maintain the neo-colonial system. The West sells arms to and guarantees the survival of these shitty regimes so they keep their resources on the world market that the West dominates. The dictators repress their populations so we don't have to do it ourselves. We outsource oppression.

    I'm going to get a lot of flak for this but: Is either that or let China and Russia grab everything not nailed down. I made my choice. You are naive if you think that small countries actually take their own decisions.

    Sort of like: the people in the small countries are going to suffer no matter who's in charge among the USA, China, or Russia, so given that the suffering is unavoidable, might as well be America who benefits from it, since if it were China or Russia, the USA would be worse off?

    Also, you know, that being on the US sphere of influence is better for (most) countries than being on the Russia/China one.

    Yes, I'm saying that there is a "less bad" option.
    Why the hell is it better? Do you think saying it is less bad makes it so?

    Despite FP establishment "consensus" our system is a lot more open and susceptible to democratic influence. So either domestic politics (not always, because it seems that US voters don't vote primarily on foreign policy issues) or even direct lobbying from parties in the countries affected by our foreign policy can influence FP decisions. The Russian and Chinese systems are immune from this domestic pressure and because of their super presidential and party systems foreign lobbying is likely to be less effective.

    The Russian system has this same theoretical openness to domestic pressure, and arguably any government has to deal with pressure from domestic parties (democratic or not) and foreign lobbyist. I don't see how the USA government is somehow more open to listening to foreign governments than Russia or China.

    More importantly, I'd expect something more than some theoretical argument about democracy for how US influence is better. Like maybe examples of the USA not backing brutal dictators and condoning genocides and war crimes. You're not even saying "it's better than being dominated by Russia or China" but "it could be better than being dominated by Russia or China".

    The truth is that they're all shit and "well somebody has to do the imperialism, might as well be us" is a shit justification for condoning atrocities. The USA (much like Russian and China) has backed the overthrow of popular governments by brutal dictators for entirely selfish gain. You're not the less bad option, you're just the one pretending the hardest that they're good.

    You skipped right over my example with the Sandinista government in Nicaragua in the paragraph you decided not to respond to. Which was why the Iran-Contra scandal was even a scandal.

    The 2nd Amendment is unarguably one of the most liberal, liberating and radical statements ever made in human history.
  • NSDFRandNSDFRand FloridaRegistered User regular
    The Kremlin is nowhere near as susceptible to popular influence. They have far greater control of the media and hence far greater control of popular opinion.

    If you want to see an example of this look at the 2nd Chechen War. The Russians had an extreme level of media control even at that point when Putin had only recently become a prominent national level political actor and Russia was still within a decade of the collapse of the Soviet Union and essentially a civil war.

    The 2nd Amendment is unarguably one of the most liberal, liberating and radical statements ever made in human history.
    Dongs Galoreshryke
  • kaidkaid Registered User regular
    MorganV wrote: »
    btw we're withdrawing from the IRBM Treaty

    Which means instead of trying to push Russia into compliance with the treaty through diplomatic/economic means, in an effort to curb nuclear proliferation, Trump goes "Fuck it, you can develop what you want, and we're not gonna say shit about it.". Because intermediate range weapons aren't really ones that'll potentially be used against the US.

    Way to go, dipshit. Make it clear to Europe that they're definitely on their own. Tough stance against Russia, giving them pretty much exactly what they want.

    Seriously, at what point is this asshole not a domestic enemy, in the "against all enemies, foreign and domestic" part of the Oath of Allegiance?

    Obama also seriously considered withdrawing from the INF treaty when it became clear Russia was blatantly violating it. This does not necessarily signal to Europe that they're "on their own," since it signifies we will also begin developing intermediate-range systems to deploy in Europe.
    Staying in the treaty while Russia ignores it would also be giving Russia exactly what they want. So far, Russian behavior has not been modified by sanctions.

    I'm not saying this is a good idea but it isn't treasonous

    e: also, China is not party to the treaty, and intermediate-range systems would significantly expand our options in the Pacific, where there are vast distances involved

    I don't agree with Trump much but russia has been in clear violation of this treaty so long that I can see the logic of exiting that treaty.

  • Mild ConfusionMild Confusion Smash All Things Registered User regular
    kaid wrote: »
    MorganV wrote: »
    btw we're withdrawing from the IRBM Treaty

    Which means instead of trying to push Russia into compliance with the treaty through diplomatic/economic means, in an effort to curb nuclear proliferation, Trump goes "Fuck it, you can develop what you want, and we're not gonna say shit about it.". Because intermediate range weapons aren't really ones that'll potentially be used against the US.

    Way to go, dipshit. Make it clear to Europe that they're definitely on their own. Tough stance against Russia, giving them pretty much exactly what they want.

    Seriously, at what point is this asshole not a domestic enemy, in the "against all enemies, foreign and domestic" part of the Oath of Allegiance?

    Obama also seriously considered withdrawing from the INF treaty when it became clear Russia was blatantly violating it. This does not necessarily signal to Europe that they're "on their own," since it signifies we will also begin developing intermediate-range systems to deploy in Europe.
    Staying in the treaty while Russia ignores it would also be giving Russia exactly what they want. So far, Russian behavior has not been modified by sanctions.

    I'm not saying this is a good idea but it isn't treasonous

    e: also, China is not party to the treaty, and intermediate-range systems would significantly expand our options in the Pacific, where there are vast distances involved

    I don't agree with Trump much but russia has been in clear violation of this treaty so long that I can see the logic of exiting that treaty.

    Trump’s problem is that he hasn’t earned the benefit of the doubt. On anything.

    For all I know, he could be making the best decision on something, but since what usually ends up happening is we learn that what he does is to enhance his greed or compensation for his Toad-like penis or it’s done for teh evulz or pure incompetence that just happens to blunder into stopped clock territory.

    steam_sig.png

    Battlenet ID: MildC#11186 - If I'm in the game, send me an invite at anytime and I'll play.
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  • MorganVMorganV Registered User regular
    kaid wrote: »
    MorganV wrote: »
    btw we're withdrawing from the IRBM Treaty

    Which means instead of trying to push Russia into compliance with the treaty through diplomatic/economic means, in an effort to curb nuclear proliferation, Trump goes "Fuck it, you can develop what you want, and we're not gonna say shit about it.". Because intermediate range weapons aren't really ones that'll potentially be used against the US.

    Way to go, dipshit. Make it clear to Europe that they're definitely on their own. Tough stance against Russia, giving them pretty much exactly what they want.

    Seriously, at what point is this asshole not a domestic enemy, in the "against all enemies, foreign and domestic" part of the Oath of Allegiance?

    Obama also seriously considered withdrawing from the INF treaty when it became clear Russia was blatantly violating it. This does not necessarily signal to Europe that they're "on their own," since it signifies we will also begin developing intermediate-range systems to deploy in Europe.
    Staying in the treaty while Russia ignores it would also be giving Russia exactly what they want. So far, Russian behavior has not been modified by sanctions.

    I'm not saying this is a good idea but it isn't treasonous

    e: also, China is not party to the treaty, and intermediate-range systems would significantly expand our options in the Pacific, where there are vast distances involved

    I don't agree with Trump much but russia has been in clear violation of this treaty so long that I can see the logic of exiting that treaty.

    Trump’s problem is that he hasn’t earned the benefit of the doubt. On anything.

    For all I know, he could be making the best decision on something, but since what usually ends up happening is we learn that what he does is to enhance his greed or compensation for his Toad-like penis or it’s done for teh evulz or pure incompetence that just happens to blunder into stopped clock territory.

    And it's not JUST Trump. Noone in this administration that has the power to influence policy has shown any real evidence of competence.

    We all had hope Kelly might do that, but that was obviously a mistake.

    That's what sets this apart from Bush Jr. I'm not saying he's even close to as stupid/ignorant/petty/shifty/etc etc etc as Trump. But he still surrounded himself with competent people. I may despise Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, for their political positions and actions, but I don't doubt that they were competent at their jobs.

    Whereas Trump has surrounded himself with morons and/or sycophants at any level that could influence him in any way. It's clownshoes all the way down.

    There are a few people that are trying (for better but more often for worse) like Mattis and Sessions. But they've been clearly marginalized.

    TicaldfjamOrcaCommander ZoomElldrenJazz
  • Dongs GaloreDongs Galore Registered User regular
    edited October 2018
    NSDFRand wrote: »
    The Kremlin is nowhere near as susceptible to popular influence. They have far greater control of the media and hence far greater control of popular opinion.

    If you want to see an example of this look at the 2nd Chechen War. The Russians had an extreme level of media control even at that point when Putin had only recently become a prominent national level political actor and Russia was still within a decade of the collapse of the Soviet Union and essentially a civil war.

    Yes! This actually came up in my thesis. The 1st Chechen War was a disaster in part because the early Russian media was almost totally free and the Army allowed reporters to just walk in and talk to Chechens and see the atrocities being committed and report on them, which contributed to the collapse of public support and military morale. The controls instituted in the 2nd War were a huge leap in Russian strategic messaging capability. The lessons of Chechnya laid the groundwork for their proficiency in manipulating media reporting internationally.

    Dongs Galore on
    NSDFRandSmrtnik
  • JuliusJulius Registered User regular
    The Kremlin is nowhere near as susceptible to popular influence. They have far greater control of the media and hence far greater control of popular opinion.

    Sure, but we were talking about democratic influence. Despite blatant election fraud and pressure, Russia is still democratic and the government subject to democratic pressure. The problem in Russia is that the president and government, or at least their policies, are very popular. Similarly, popular opinion and media are already significantly on the side of Russian conservatism. Press freedom is heavily repressed, and it has been getting worse and worse under Putin, but I doubt more press freedom would change popular opinion regarding general policy much, especially foreign.

    Putin is not repressing people out of fear they would object to his foreign policy, he is doing it out of fear they object to him. (and y'know, his blatant robbing of the country.)

    Which is similar to the US. Yeah the government is way more susceptible to popular influence, but generally only about domestic policy and maybe starting massive unwinnable wars (which Russia and China don't even do anyway). The freedom to oppose is not worth much if nobody cares.

    Which is my point. Theoretically both the USA and Russia are susceptible to popular influence, but on foreign policy in reality they are not.

  • NSDFRandNSDFRand FloridaRegistered User regular
    Julius wrote: »
    The Kremlin is nowhere near as susceptible to popular influence. They have far greater control of the media and hence far greater control of popular opinion.

    Sure, but we were talking about democratic influence. Despite blatant election fraud and pressure, 1. Russia is still democratic and the government subject to democratic pressure. The problem in Russia is that the president and government, or at least their policies, are very popular. Similarly, popular opinion and media are already significantly on the side of Russian conservatism. Press freedom is heavily repressed, and it has been getting worse and worse under Putin, but I doubt more press freedom would change popular opinion regarding general policy much, especially foreign.

    Putin is not repressing people out of fear they would object to his foreign policy, he is doing it out of fear they object to him. (and y'know, his blatant robbing of the country.)

    Which is similar to the US. 2. Yeah the government is way more susceptible to popular influence, but generally only about domestic policy and maybe starting massive unwinnable wars (which Russia and China don't even do anyway). The freedom to oppose is not worth much if nobody cares.

    Which is my point. Theoretically both the USA and Russia are susceptible to popular influence, but on foreign policy in reality they are not.

    1. This is significantly less true in how the super-presidential system the Russians are currently under actually operates compared to their constitutional construction. The government (the executive) determines the agenda and actions of every other institution and most of the political parties. The government determines not only executive policy but literally writes and promotes legislation and the Duma and Federation Council act as rubber stamps. This is largely because Putin exerts control over all national level politics and any sub-federal politician who wants to remain a politician accedes to Putin's influence or control.

    This is not true in the US. The popular narrative here is that POTUS Trump is some kind of authoritarian fascist wielding outsize control over the US, but he isn't even exerting outsize control over the GOP. That there is any legislative or judicial resistance to his administration shows the substantial difference between our system and the current Russian system.

    2. It is generally true that domestic politics are more important for the domestic audience. This holds true in pretty much every case. It is also true that domestic politics can effect foreign policy. In the case of the US we can look at the policy differences (and similarities) between the Obama administration and the Bush 43 administration. Or we can look back at the example I gave which you ignored regarding Nicaragua. In the Nicaragua case if the US was replaced by Russia or China as they exist today, there would have been no such thing as the Iran-Contra Scandal because there would have been no domestic political tension between the legislature and executive and Putin's government and the PRC would have laughed in Paul Reichler's face right before he was in an unfortunate accident in which he fell on a bunch of bullets.

    The 2nd Amendment is unarguably one of the most liberal, liberating and radical statements ever made in human history.
    Gnome-Interruptusvalhalla130
  • CelestialBadgerCelestialBadger Registered User regular
    Russia is not a true democracy. They hold elections but any candidates who might challenge Putin are prevented from running.

    valhalla130
  • rahkeesh2000rahkeesh2000 Registered User regular
    Trump’s problem is that he hasn’t earned the benefit of the doubt. On anything.

    For all I know, he could be making the best decision on something, but since what usually ends up happening is we learn that what he does is to enhance his greed or compensation for his Toad-like penis or it’s done for teh evulz or pure incompetence that just happens to blunder into stopped clock territory.

    When the stopped clock is right, it's still right. You should just ignore it and look for info elsewhere, not take it as some kind of reverse guidance.


  • JuliusJulius Registered User regular
    NSDFRand wrote: »
    Julius wrote: »
    NSDFRand wrote: »
    Julius wrote: »
    TryCatcher wrote: »
    TryCatcher wrote: »
    Jephery wrote: »
    The arms deals maintain the neo-colonial system. The West sells arms to and guarantees the survival of these shitty regimes so they keep their resources on the world market that the West dominates. The dictators repress their populations so we don't have to do it ourselves. We outsource oppression.

    I'm going to get a lot of flak for this but: Is either that or let China and Russia grab everything not nailed down. I made my choice. You are naive if you think that small countries actually take their own decisions.

    Sort of like: the people in the small countries are going to suffer no matter who's in charge among the USA, China, or Russia, so given that the suffering is unavoidable, might as well be America who benefits from it, since if it were China or Russia, the USA would be worse off?

    Also, you know, that being on the US sphere of influence is better for (most) countries than being on the Russia/China one.

    Yes, I'm saying that there is a "less bad" option.
    Why the hell is it better? Do you think saying it is less bad makes it so?

    Despite FP establishment "consensus" our system is a lot more open and susceptible to democratic influence. So either domestic politics (not always, because it seems that US voters don't vote primarily on foreign policy issues) or even direct lobbying from parties in the countries affected by our foreign policy can influence FP decisions. The Russian and Chinese systems are immune from this domestic pressure and because of their super presidential and party systems foreign lobbying is likely to be less effective.

    The Russian system has this same theoretical openness to domestic pressure, and arguably any government has to deal with pressure from domestic parties (democratic or not) and foreign lobbyist. I don't see how the USA government is somehow more open to listening to foreign governments than Russia or China.

    More importantly, I'd expect something more than some theoretical argument about democracy for how US influence is better. Like maybe examples of the USA not backing brutal dictators and condoning genocides and war crimes. You're not even saying "it's better than being dominated by Russia or China" but "it could be better than being dominated by Russia or China".

    The truth is that they're all shit and "well somebody has to do the imperialism, might as well be us" is a shit justification for condoning atrocities. The USA (much like Russian and China) has backed the overthrow of popular governments by brutal dictators for entirely selfish gain. You're not the less bad option, you're just the one pretending the hardest that they're good.

    You skipped right over my example with the Sandinista government in Nicaragua in the paragraph you decided not to respond to. Which was why the Iran-Contra scandal was even a scandal.

    I skipped over it because I fail to see your point. The Iran-Contra affair was a scandal because it involved the illegal sale/trade of arms to Iran and the illegal sale of arms to the Contras by the CIA and government.

    But I don't really see how that in any way can be construed as "better". Selling arms is not something I'd call good. Sure they eventually stopped selling them, but it is a phenomenal stretch to say that makes the USA better.

    I mean, you can't talk about US susceptibility to democratic influence and then point to when the government blatantly ignored it to fund rebels to overthrow communists. Reagan left office with the highest approval rating yet! Everybody got pardons!

  • FencingsaxFencingsax It is difficult to get a man to understand, when his salary depends upon his not understanding GNU Terry PratchettRegistered User regular
    Julius wrote: »
    NSDFRand wrote: »
    Julius wrote: »
    NSDFRand wrote: »
    Julius wrote: »
    TryCatcher wrote: »
    TryCatcher wrote: »
    Jephery wrote: »
    The arms deals maintain the neo-colonial system. The West sells arms to and guarantees the survival of these shitty regimes so they keep their resources on the world market that the West dominates. The dictators repress their populations so we don't have to do it ourselves. We outsource oppression.

    I'm going to get a lot of flak for this but: Is either that or let China and Russia grab everything not nailed down. I made my choice. You are naive if you think that small countries actually take their own decisions.

    Sort of like: the people in the small countries are going to suffer no matter who's in charge among the USA, China, or Russia, so given that the suffering is unavoidable, might as well be America who benefits from it, since if it were China or Russia, the USA would be worse off?

    Also, you know, that being on the US sphere of influence is better for (most) countries than being on the Russia/China one.

    Yes, I'm saying that there is a "less bad" option.
    Why the hell is it better? Do you think saying it is less bad makes it so?

    Despite FP establishment "consensus" our system is a lot more open and susceptible to democratic influence. So either domestic politics (not always, because it seems that US voters don't vote primarily on foreign policy issues) or even direct lobbying from parties in the countries affected by our foreign policy can influence FP decisions. The Russian and Chinese systems are immune from this domestic pressure and because of their super presidential and party systems foreign lobbying is likely to be less effective.

    The Russian system has this same theoretical openness to domestic pressure, and arguably any government has to deal with pressure from domestic parties (democratic or not) and foreign lobbyist. I don't see how the USA government is somehow more open to listening to foreign governments than Russia or China.

    More importantly, I'd expect something more than some theoretical argument about democracy for how US influence is better. Like maybe examples of the USA not backing brutal dictators and condoning genocides and war crimes. You're not even saying "it's better than being dominated by Russia or China" but "it could be better than being dominated by Russia or China".

    The truth is that they're all shit and "well somebody has to do the imperialism, might as well be us" is a shit justification for condoning atrocities. The USA (much like Russian and China) has backed the overthrow of popular governments by brutal dictators for entirely selfish gain. You're not the less bad option, you're just the one pretending the hardest that they're good.

    You skipped right over my example with the Sandinista government in Nicaragua in the paragraph you decided not to respond to. Which was why the Iran-Contra scandal was even a scandal.

    I skipped over it because I fail to see your point. The Iran-Contra affair was a scandal because it involved the illegal sale/trade of arms to Iran and the illegal sale of arms to the Contras by the CIA and government.

    But I don't really see how that in any way can be construed as "better". Selling arms is not something I'd call good. Sure they eventually stopped selling them, but it is a phenomenal stretch to say that makes the USA better.

    I mean, you can't talk about US susceptibility to democratic influence and then point to when the government blatantly ignored it to fund rebels to overthrow communists. Reagan left office with the highest approval rating yet! Everybody got pardons!

    I believe the point is that in Russia, what is legal is not based on what is written, but what Putin wants, so if he wanted to sell arms to whoever, it being illegal would not matter.

    torchlight-sig-80.jpg
  • NSDFRandNSDFRand FloridaRegistered User regular
    edited October 2018
    Julius wrote: »
    NSDFRand wrote: »
    Julius wrote: »
    NSDFRand wrote: »
    Julius wrote: »
    TryCatcher wrote: »
    TryCatcher wrote: »
    Jephery wrote: »
    The arms deals maintain the neo-colonial system. The West sells arms to and guarantees the survival of these shitty regimes so they keep their resources on the world market that the West dominates. The dictators repress their populations so we don't have to do it ourselves. We outsource oppression.

    I'm going to get a lot of flak for this but: Is either that or let China and Russia grab everything not nailed down. I made my choice. You are naive if you think that small countries actually take their own decisions.

    Sort of like: the people in the small countries are going to suffer no matter who's in charge among the USA, China, or Russia, so given that the suffering is unavoidable, might as well be America who benefits from it, since if it were China or Russia, the USA would be worse off?

    Also, you know, that being on the US sphere of influence is better for (most) countries than being on the Russia/China one.

    Yes, I'm saying that there is a "less bad" option.
    Why the hell is it better? Do you think saying it is less bad makes it so?

    Despite FP establishment "consensus" our system is a lot more open and susceptible to democratic influence. So either domestic politics (not always, because it seems that US voters don't vote primarily on foreign policy issues) or even direct lobbying from parties in the countries affected by our foreign policy can influence FP decisions. The Russian and Chinese systems are immune from this domestic pressure and because of their super presidential and party systems foreign lobbying is likely to be less effective.

    The Russian system has this same theoretical openness to domestic pressure, and arguably any government has to deal with pressure from domestic parties (democratic or not) and foreign lobbyist. I don't see how the USA government is somehow more open to listening to foreign governments than Russia or China.

    More importantly, I'd expect something more than some theoretical argument about democracy for how US influence is better. Like maybe examples of the USA not backing brutal dictators and condoning genocides and war crimes. You're not even saying "it's better than being dominated by Russia or China" but "it could be better than being dominated by Russia or China".

    The truth is that they're all shit and "well somebody has to do the imperialism, might as well be us" is a shit justification for condoning atrocities. The USA (much like Russian and China) has backed the overthrow of popular governments by brutal dictators for entirely selfish gain. You're not the less bad option, you're just the one pretending the hardest that they're good.

    You skipped right over my example with the Sandinista government in Nicaragua in the paragraph you decided not to respond to. Which was why the Iran-Contra scandal was even a scandal.

    I skipped over it because I fail to see your point. The Iran-Contra affair was a scandal because it involved the illegal sale/trade of arms to Iran and the illegal sale of arms to the Contras by the CIA and government.

    But I don't really see how that in any way can be construed as "better". Selling arms is not something I'd call good. Sure they eventually stopped selling them, but it is a phenomenal stretch to say that makes the USA better.

    I mean, you can't talk about US susceptibility to democratic influence and then point to when the government blatantly ignored it to fund rebels to overthrow communists. Reagan left office with the highest approval rating yet! Everybody got pardons!

    That democratic systems like the US are more open to influence from domestic actors, or even foreign actors directly affected by US foreign policy. Which is why I outlined exactly how the Sandinitas were able to influence Congress and the international community through actors like Paul Reichler. The Iran-Contra scandal was only a scandal because of the framework of the US system which put an end to overt intervention in Nicaragua.

    You're pointing to a scandal as proof that the US system can't be influenced. A scandal which was only a scandal because the US system was influenced in the first place.

    NSDFRand on
    The 2nd Amendment is unarguably one of the most liberal, liberating and radical statements ever made in human history.
    electricitylikesmevalhalla130PLA
  • hippofanthippofant ティンク Registered User regular
    Julius wrote: »
    NSDFRand wrote: »
    Julius wrote: »
    NSDFRand wrote: »
    Julius wrote: »
    TryCatcher wrote: »
    TryCatcher wrote: »
    Jephery wrote: »
    The arms deals maintain the neo-colonial system. The West sells arms to and guarantees the survival of these shitty regimes so they keep their resources on the world market that the West dominates. The dictators repress their populations so we don't have to do it ourselves. We outsource oppression.

    I'm going to get a lot of flak for this but: Is either that or let China and Russia grab everything not nailed down. I made my choice. You are naive if you think that small countries actually take their own decisions.

    Sort of like: the people in the small countries are going to suffer no matter who's in charge among the USA, China, or Russia, so given that the suffering is unavoidable, might as well be America who benefits from it, since if it were China or Russia, the USA would be worse off?

    Also, you know, that being on the US sphere of influence is better for (most) countries than being on the Russia/China one.

    Yes, I'm saying that there is a "less bad" option.
    Why the hell is it better? Do you think saying it is less bad makes it so?

    Despite FP establishment "consensus" our system is a lot more open and susceptible to democratic influence. So either domestic politics (not always, because it seems that US voters don't vote primarily on foreign policy issues) or even direct lobbying from parties in the countries affected by our foreign policy can influence FP decisions. The Russian and Chinese systems are immune from this domestic pressure and because of their super presidential and party systems foreign lobbying is likely to be less effective.

    The Russian system has this same theoretical openness to domestic pressure, and arguably any government has to deal with pressure from domestic parties (democratic or not) and foreign lobbyist. I don't see how the USA government is somehow more open to listening to foreign governments than Russia or China.

    More importantly, I'd expect something more than some theoretical argument about democracy for how US influence is better. Like maybe examples of the USA not backing brutal dictators and condoning genocides and war crimes. You're not even saying "it's better than being dominated by Russia or China" but "it could be better than being dominated by Russia or China".

    The truth is that they're all shit and "well somebody has to do the imperialism, might as well be us" is a shit justification for condoning atrocities. The USA (much like Russian and China) has backed the overthrow of popular governments by brutal dictators for entirely selfish gain. You're not the less bad option, you're just the one pretending the hardest that they're good.

    You skipped right over my example with the Sandinista government in Nicaragua in the paragraph you decided not to respond to. Which was why the Iran-Contra scandal was even a scandal.

    I skipped over it because I fail to see your point. The Iran-Contra affair was a scandal because it involved the illegal sale/trade of arms to Iran and the illegal sale of arms to the Contras by the CIA and government.

    But I don't really see how that in any way can be construed as "better". Selling arms is not something I'd call good. Sure they eventually stopped selling them, but it is a phenomenal stretch to say that makes the USA better.

    I mean, you can't talk about US susceptibility to democratic influence and then point to when the government blatantly ignored it to fund rebels to overthrow communists. Reagan left office with the highest approval rating yet! Everybody got pardons!

    Your argument is that democracy isn't working because Reagan was popular? Wut.

    electricitylikesme
  • GaddezGaddez Registered User regular
    Russia is not a true democracy. They hold elections but any candidates who might challenge Putin are prevented from running.

    Even if they could, every possible step is taken to cripple their campaign; their advertisements are censored, they can't hold public gatherings to stump, everywhere you will ever be is bugged to shit and you might actually be straight up assassinated while jogging.

    The country is for all intents and purposes a banana republic.

    Richy wrote: »
    But I think the resistance I’m getting more has to do with “rawr! Loklar said it! Rage!” than anything else.

    No, it has to do with the fact that you're done nothing but throw lies, blatant flasehoods, and downright dumb statements at us so far.
    DoodmannDongs GaloreCommander ZoomGnome-InterruptusCelestialBadgerMayabirdSmrtnikDacvalhalla130
  • MeeqeMeeqe Lord of the pants most fancy Someplace amazingRegistered User regular
    The point that is being made is that the Iran Contra scandal is evidence of that a check on powers within the US foreign policy establishment exists. If no such check existed then the US simply would have sold the arms and it either wouldn't have been illegal or no one cared or could realisticly complain. The existence of domestic backlash is solid proof that the US, at least at the time, wasn't functioning under a unitary executive, something that cannot be said of Russian and Chinese leadership, regardless of what their governing documents say should happen.

    America's government has repeatedly fucked up on the global stage, but a decent chunk of the American populace does in fact care about being a moral actor on the world stage and has the political clout to move the needle on occasion. That kind of check doesn't appear to be the case in Russia and China, either there is no opposition to their horrid human rights policy or it is so defanged that it might as well not exist. In the US its a major issue, even if it doesn't always fully slow the roll of immoral actors in the US government.

    In a world of grey on grey morality, you can in fact choose the lesser evil, while still condemning it as evil. The US has been an evil authoritarian nightmare for the world when it was the hegemony, but I'd pick it over the other options while still wanting better choices.

    At least this was my mindset. Then Trump happened, and All. Bets. Are. Off. The new normal is really in flux, with the collapse of US soft power and our unchecked current leadership I don't know what the least worst option is anymore. Its looking like a quad polar world is emerging (The EU, Russia, China and the US) but I'm leery of all of them. The EU might be the best bet, but Europe's imperial history is as full of horror as you could ever want, just a few, but only by a generation or two, years more removed from current events.

    I like children. Provided they go home with their parents at the end of the day.
    Dongs GaloreGnome-Interruptusvalhalla130
  • Dongs GaloreDongs Galore Registered User regular
    edited October 2018
    Gaddez wrote: »
    Russia is not a true democracy. They hold elections but any candidates who might challenge Putin are prevented from running.

    Even if they could, every possible step is taken to cripple their campaign; their advertisements are censored, they can't hold public gatherings to stump, everywhere you will ever be is bugged to shit and you might actually be straight up assassinated while jogging.

    The country is for all intents and purposes a banana republic.

    ^For all America's many problems, the federal elections are freely and fairly contested to a degree impossible in Putin's Russia.
    Russia has had massive popular protests roughly every two years since 2008 (the year United Russia amended the constitution to allow Putin to effectively swap places with Medvedev every twelve years in perpetuity), and to my knowledge these have not resulted in any major correction of government policy.

    The real reason American popular opinion rarely modifies foreign policy at the electoral level is because frankly people don't often vote based on foreign policy. If they did, Bush 1 would have had two terms for presiding over the end of the Cold War, instead he lost because he didn't know the price of milk.

    Dongs Galore on
    NSDFRandRchanenJuliusSmrtnikelectricitylikesmeshrykeCptKemzikElldrenSolar
  • Commander ZoomCommander Zoom Registered User regular
    hippofant wrote: »
    Julius wrote: »
    NSDFRand wrote: »
    Julius wrote: »
    NSDFRand wrote: »
    Julius wrote: »
    TryCatcher wrote: »
    TryCatcher wrote: »
    Jephery wrote: »
    The arms deals maintain the neo-colonial system. The West sells arms to and guarantees the survival of these shitty regimes so they keep their resources on the world market that the West dominates. The dictators repress their populations so we don't have to do it ourselves. We outsource oppression.

    I'm going to get a lot of flak for this but: Is either that or let China and Russia grab everything not nailed down. I made my choice. You are naive if you think that small countries actually take their own decisions.

    Sort of like: the people in the small countries are going to suffer no matter who's in charge among the USA, China, or Russia, so given that the suffering is unavoidable, might as well be America who benefits from it, since if it were China or Russia, the USA would be worse off?

    Also, you know, that being on the US sphere of influence is better for (most) countries than being on the Russia/China one.

    Yes, I'm saying that there is a "less bad" option.
    Why the hell is it better? Do you think saying it is less bad makes it so?

    Despite FP establishment "consensus" our system is a lot more open and susceptible to democratic influence. So either domestic politics (not always, because it seems that US voters don't vote primarily on foreign policy issues) or even direct lobbying from parties in the countries affected by our foreign policy can influence FP decisions. The Russian and Chinese systems are immune from this domestic pressure and because of their super presidential and party systems foreign lobbying is likely to be less effective.

    The Russian system has this same theoretical openness to domestic pressure, and arguably any government has to deal with pressure from domestic parties (democratic or not) and foreign lobbyist. I don't see how the USA government is somehow more open to listening to foreign governments than Russia or China.

    More importantly, I'd expect something more than some theoretical argument about democracy for how US influence is better. Like maybe examples of the USA not backing brutal dictators and condoning genocides and war crimes. You're not even saying "it's better than being dominated by Russia or China" but "it could be better than being dominated by Russia or China".

    The truth is that they're all shit and "well somebody has to do the imperialism, might as well be us" is a shit justification for condoning atrocities. The USA (much like Russian and China) has backed the overthrow of popular governments by brutal dictators for entirely selfish gain. You're not the less bad option, you're just the one pretending the hardest that they're good.

    You skipped right over my example with the Sandinista government in Nicaragua in the paragraph you decided not to respond to. Which was why the Iran-Contra scandal was even a scandal.

    I skipped over it because I fail to see your point. The Iran-Contra affair was a scandal because it involved the illegal sale/trade of arms to Iran and the illegal sale of arms to the Contras by the CIA and government.

    But I don't really see how that in any way can be construed as "better". Selling arms is not something I'd call good. Sure they eventually stopped selling them, but it is a phenomenal stretch to say that makes the USA better.

    I mean, you can't talk about US susceptibility to democratic influence and then point to when the government blatantly ignored it to fund rebels to overthrow communists. Reagan left office with the highest approval rating yet! Everybody got pardons!

    Your argument is that democracy isn't working because Reagan was popular? Wut.

    But Russia totally is, despite Putin. Really.

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  • JuliusJulius Registered User regular
    hippofant wrote: »
    Julius wrote: »
    NSDFRand wrote: »
    Julius wrote: »
    NSDFRand wrote: »
    Julius wrote: »
    TryCatcher wrote: »
    TryCatcher wrote: »
    Jephery wrote: »
    The arms deals maintain the neo-colonial system. The West sells arms to and guarantees the survival of these shitty regimes so they keep their resources on the world market that the West dominates. The dictators repress their populations so we don't have to do it ourselves. We outsource oppression.

    I'm going to get a lot of flak for this but: Is either that or let China and Russia grab everything not nailed down. I made my choice. You are naive if you think that small countries actually take their own decisions.

    Sort of like: the people in the small countries are going to suffer no matter who's in charge among the USA, China, or Russia, so given that the suffering is unavoidable, might as well be America who benefits from it, since if it were China or Russia, the USA would be worse off?

    Also, you know, that being on the US sphere of influence is better for (most) countries than being on the Russia/China one.

    Yes, I'm saying that there is a "less bad" option.
    Why the hell is it better? Do you think saying it is less bad makes it so?

    Despite FP establishment "consensus" our system is a lot more open and susceptible to democratic influence. So either domestic politics (not always, because it seems that US voters don't vote primarily on foreign policy issues) or even direct lobbying from parties in the countries affected by our foreign policy can influence FP decisions. The Russian and Chinese systems are immune from this domestic pressure and because of their super presidential and party systems foreign lobbying is likely to be less effective.

    The Russian system has this same theoretical openness to domestic pressure, and arguably any government has to deal with pressure from domestic parties (democratic or not) and foreign lobbyist. I don't see how the USA government is somehow more open to listening to foreign governments than Russia or China.

    More importantly, I'd expect something more than some theoretical argument about democracy for how US influence is better. Like maybe examples of the USA not backing brutal dictators and condoning genocides and war crimes. You're not even saying "it's better than being dominated by Russia or China" but "it could be better than being dominated by Russia or China".

    The truth is that they're all shit and "well somebody has to do the imperialism, might as well be us" is a shit justification for condoning atrocities. The USA (much like Russian and China) has backed the overthrow of popular governments by brutal dictators for entirely selfish gain. You're not the less bad option, you're just the one pretending the hardest that they're good.

    You skipped right over my example with the Sandinista government in Nicaragua in the paragraph you decided not to respond to. Which was why the Iran-Contra scandal was even a scandal.

    I skipped over it because I fail to see your point. The Iran-Contra affair was a scandal because it involved the illegal sale/trade of arms to Iran and the illegal sale of arms to the Contras by the CIA and government.

    But I don't really see how that in any way can be construed as "better". Selling arms is not something I'd call good. Sure they eventually stopped selling them, but it is a phenomenal stretch to say that makes the USA better.

    I mean, you can't talk about US susceptibility to democratic influence and then point to when the government blatantly ignored it to fund rebels to overthrow communists. Reagan left office with the highest approval rating yet! Everybody got pardons!

    Your argument is that democracy isn't working because Reagan was popular? Wut.

    My argument should be very clear and obvious.

    If "democratic influence" is why the USA is better than Russia as a meddling force,

    then that time Reagan flat out ignored such democratic influence, and got away with it, should not be considered as an argument in favour of that proposition.

  • Dongs GaloreDongs Galore Registered User regular
    edited October 2018
    Julius wrote: »
    hippofant wrote: »
    Julius wrote: »
    NSDFRand wrote: »
    Julius wrote: »
    NSDFRand wrote: »
    Julius wrote: »
    TryCatcher wrote: »
    TryCatcher wrote: »
    Jephery wrote: »
    The arms deals maintain the neo-colonial system. The West sells arms to and guarantees the survival of these shitty regimes so they keep their resources on the world market that the West dominates. The dictators repress their populations so we don't have to do it ourselves. We outsource oppression.

    I'm going to get a lot of flak for this but: Is either that or let China and Russia grab everything not nailed down. I made my choice. You are naive if you think that small countries actually take their own decisions.

    Sort of like: the people in the small countries are going to suffer no matter who's in charge among the USA, China, or Russia, so given that the suffering is unavoidable, might as well be America who benefits from it, since if it were China or Russia, the USA would be worse off?

    Also, you know, that being on the US sphere of influence is better for (most) countries than being on the Russia/China one.

    Yes, I'm saying that there is a "less bad" option.
    Why the hell is it better? Do you think saying it is less bad makes it so?

    Despite FP establishment "consensus" our system is a lot more open and susceptible to democratic influence. So either domestic politics (not always, because it seems that US voters don't vote primarily on foreign policy issues) or even direct lobbying from parties in the countries affected by our foreign policy can influence FP decisions. The Russian and Chinese systems are immune from this domestic pressure and because of their super presidential and party systems foreign lobbying is likely to be less effective.

    The Russian system has this same theoretical openness to domestic pressure, and arguably any government has to deal with pressure from domestic parties (democratic or not) and foreign lobbyist. I don't see how the USA government is somehow more open to listening to foreign governments than Russia or China.

    More importantly, I'd expect something more than some theoretical argument about democracy for how US influence is better. Like maybe examples of the USA not backing brutal dictators and condoning genocides and war crimes. You're not even saying "it's better than being dominated by Russia or China" but "it could be better than being dominated by Russia or China".

    The truth is that they're all shit and "well somebody has to do the imperialism, might as well be us" is a shit justification for condoning atrocities. The USA (much like Russian and China) has backed the overthrow of popular governments by brutal dictators for entirely selfish gain. You're not the less bad option, you're just the one pretending the hardest that they're good.

    You skipped right over my example with the Sandinista government in Nicaragua in the paragraph you decided not to respond to. Which was why the Iran-Contra scandal was even a scandal.

    I skipped over it because I fail to see your point. The Iran-Contra affair was a scandal because it involved the illegal sale/trade of arms to Iran and the illegal sale of arms to the Contras by the CIA and government.

    But I don't really see how that in any way can be construed as "better". Selling arms is not something I'd call good. Sure they eventually stopped selling them, but it is a phenomenal stretch to say that makes the USA better.

    I mean, you can't talk about US susceptibility to democratic influence and then point to when the government blatantly ignored it to fund rebels to overthrow communists. Reagan left office with the highest approval rating yet! Everybody got pardons!

    Your argument is that democracy isn't working because Reagan was popular? Wut.

    My argument should be very clear and obvious.

    If "democratic influence" is why the USA is better than Russia as a meddling force,

    then that time Reagan flat out ignored such democratic influence, and got away with it, should not be considered as an argument in favour of that proposition.

    The arms sales were reported on November 3, 1986. Reagan publicly apologized on November 13. Talks had been ongoing at the time of the leak, and a shipment of TOWs had gone through on October 26 just a week earlier.

    So, yes: when secrecy failed, the free press and popular opinion did force Reagan to immediately modify his policy. That he was able to escape criminal charges through Ollie North's fuckery is immaterial. Had the same thing happened in Putin's Russia, the story would be quashed and protests forcibly dispersed. Putin would neither publicly express regret nor modify his policy. (indeed it is unlikely the Duma would have passed a Boland amendment restricting Putin's power in the first place)

    Dongs Galore on
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  • JuliusJulius Registered User regular
    NSDFRand wrote: »
    Julius wrote: »
    The Kremlin is nowhere near as susceptible to popular influence. They have far greater control of the media and hence far greater control of popular opinion.

    Sure, but we were talking about democratic influence. Despite blatant election fraud and pressure, 1. Russia is still democratic and the government subject to democratic pressure. The problem in Russia is that the president and government, or at least their policies, are very popular. Similarly, popular opinion and media are already significantly on the side of Russian conservatism. Press freedom is heavily repressed, and it has been getting worse and worse under Putin, but I doubt more press freedom would change popular opinion regarding general policy much, especially foreign.

    Putin is not repressing people out of fear they would object to his foreign policy, he is doing it out of fear they object to him. (and y'know, his blatant robbing of the country.)

    Which is similar to the US. 2. Yeah the government is way more susceptible to popular influence, but generally only about domestic policy and maybe starting massive unwinnable wars (which Russia and China don't even do anyway). The freedom to oppose is not worth much if nobody cares.

    Which is my point. Theoretically both the USA and Russia are susceptible to popular influence, but on foreign policy in reality they are not.

    1. This is significantly less true in how the super-presidential system the Russians are currently under actually operates compared to their constitutional construction. The government (the executive) determines the agenda and actions of every other institution and most of the political parties. The government determines not only executive policy but literally writes and promotes legislation and the Duma and Federation Council act as rubber stamps. This is largely because Putin exerts control over all national level politics and any sub-federal politician who wants to remain a politician accedes to Putin's influence or control.

    This is not true in the US. The popular narrative here is that POTUS Trump is some kind of authoritarian fascist wielding outsize control over the US, but he isn't even exerting outsize control over the GOP. That there is any legislative or judicial resistance to his administration shows the substantial difference between our system and the current Russian system.

    oh shit yeah I forgot about all those times Republican congress members really resisted instead of just going along with it.

    get real dude. there is no meaningfull resistance within the GOP because these fuckers are completely behind this regressive agenda. Ben Sasse ranting about decency doesn't mean he actually votes against Trump.


    2. It is generally true that domestic politics are more important for the domestic audience. This holds true in pretty much every case. It is also true that domestic politics can effect foreign policy. In the case of the US we can look at the policy differences (and similarities) between the Obama administration and the Bush 43 administration. Or we can look back at the example I gave which you ignored regarding Nicaragua. In the Nicaragua case if the US was replaced by Russia or China as they exist today, there would have been no such thing as the Iran-Contra Scandal because there would have been no domestic political tension between the legislature and executive and Putin's government and the PRC would have laughed in Paul Reichler's face right before he was in an unfortunate accident in which he fell on a bunch of bullets.

    ok but you realise how this is not meaningfully different for the people getting bombed, right? like, they never stopped arming the guys. Reagan not even getting punished for it is not consolation.

This discussion has been closed.