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Has the USA learned from the mistakes of other nations?

 

Most posters here were fervent supporters of the invasion of Iraq and only turned against it because Trump said it was bad. I'm not expecting them to provide any substantive foreign policy advice and I'm definitely not commenting on this thread anymore.

Are you sure the turnaround was with Trump in 2016? I recall reading an old thread that involved intense discussion between them about the Iraq War with one poster not around anymore and before my time (Rocky Davis IIRC). Was around 2010.

 

Its really bad if stated recalloctions are so badly off the mark.

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Has the USA learned from the mistakes of other nations?

 

Most posters here were fervent supporters of the invasion of Iraq and only turned against it because Trump said it was bad. I'm not expecting them to provide any substantive foreign policy advice and I'm definitely not commenting on this thread anymore.

 

I wasn't a member for the run up and through the initial invasion, but I can assure you I never thought it a good idea and I thought Powell was a fool for going before the UN with that amateurish "intelligence." For that matter, neither did I think the "righteous" war on Afghanistan was a good idea. Still don't. I do concede nationalistic pride in not wanting the results in Iraq to go south, but that doesn't mean I ever thought the war on both Iraq and Afghanistan were good ideas.

Why not continue commenting on this thread? Caught between the proverbial rock and a hard place? If you support the thesis that the United States shouldn't involve itself in the ME, you're tacitly supporting Trump. If you disagree with Trump, that the US should withdraw from Syria, you are tacitly giving credence to the idea that the United States should start a war against a NATO ally.

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Many members just focus their strong anti-Americanism on Trump, because he is doing his best to make America powerful again, while they want to see America down in the dirt. #sad

 

How is withdrawing from the world, throwing Allies under the bus, and enhancing the strategic posture of America's enemies making America powerful? That really is counter intuitive in a 'war is peace, ignorance is strength' kind of way.

Pence in Turkey demanding a ceasefire, Trump announces at the same time 'it's not our problem'. Smart power 2019 Edition.

America has no allies, every ally is also a competitor and most have been sucking resources from the US for decades. America first must be the basic principle for every decision.

Take a look at the casualty list from Afghanistan and Iraq, and keep chanting that nonsense to yourself. It still won't be true no matter how many times you do it.

 

America first and only got America Pearl Harbor and World Trade Center totalled. Good luck with that doctrine.

No and no.

 

Pearl happened because the USA intervened in Asian affairs, namely trying to get Japan to quit China.

 

9-11 happened because the USA had been intervening in Middle East affairs, supporting dictatorships in order to have stability.

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Says here the average number of ambassadors that are political appointees is 30 percent. Under Trump currently it's 45 percent.

https://www.politico.eu/article/donald-trump-impeachment-fight-deepens-a-rift-among-ambassadors/

What makes someone a political appointee? Whether or not the person deciding that they were appointed for good reasons that they approved of or that they disliked and which case they're obviously a political appointee?

 

 

I thought one of Trump's "failures" was not appointing enough ambassadors, now they are saying too many were?

 

 

I personally was simply commenting on something that both parties do. I in no way wanted to specifically associate it with Trump. There are many things about him I am not a fan of; this one is universal across party boundaries.

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9-11 happened because the USA had been intervening in Middle East affairs, supporting dictatorships in order to have stability.

9-11 happened because Europe stopped the invasion of the Ottoman Caliphate at Vienna on September 12, 1683.

 

September 11, 1683 was the last day of expansion of the Islamic world. After the defeat of the Ottomans, the percentage of the world's territory under Islamic rule began shrinking.

 

OBL had Salafist beliefs, including supremacist Islam.

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9-11 happened because the USA had been intervening in Middle East affairs, supporting dictatorships in order to have stability.

9-11 happened because Europe stopped the invasion of the Ottoman Caliphate at Vienna on September 12, 1683.

 

September 11, 1683 was the last day of expansion of the Islamic world. After the defeat of the Ottomans, the percentage of the world's territory under Islamic rule began shrinking.

 

OBL had Salafist beliefs, including supremacist Islam.

 

9-11 may have happened specifically on 9-11 because of a 400 year historical event, but it happened to the USA specifically because of previous 20th C interventions in the Middle East.

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9-11 happened because the USA had been intervening in Middle East affairs, supporting dictatorships in order to have stability.

9-11 happened because Europe stopped the invasion of the Ottoman Caliphate at Vienna on September 12, 1683.

 

September 11, 1683 was the last day of expansion of the Islamic world. After the defeat of the Ottomans, the percentage of the world's territory under Islamic rule began shrinking.

 

OBL had Salafist beliefs, including supremacist Islam.

 

 

Well I'm glad the US had nothing do with it. Yay!

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9-11 happened because the USA had been intervening in Middle East affairs, supporting dictatorships in order to have stability.

9-11 happened because Europe stopped the invasion of the Ottoman Caliphate at Vienna on September 12, 1683.

 

September 11, 1683 was the last day of expansion of the Islamic world. After the defeat of the Ottomans, the percentage of the world's territory under Islamic rule began shrinking.

 

OBL had Salafist beliefs, including supremacist Islam.

Hadn't Spain already pushed Islamists out of the Iberian peninsula before that?

Edited by Tim Sielbeck
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9-11 happened because the USA had been intervening in Middle East affairs, supporting dictatorships in order to have stability.

9-11 happened because Europe stopped the invasion of the Ottoman Caliphate at Vienna on September 12, 1683.

 

September 11, 1683 was the last day of expansion of the Islamic world. After the defeat of the Ottomans, the percentage of the world's territory under Islamic rule began shrinking.

 

OBL had Salafist beliefs, including supremacist Islam.

Hadnt Spain already pushed Islamists out of the Iberian peninsula before that?

 

 

Yes, on 1492/1/2 Granada was finally taken by the catholic monarch couple. But those were moor not arab rulers. The Vienna sieges are much more prominent in the mind of muslims I think. Also the ottoman empire existed for some centuries after that, so could ponder its defeat.

 

 

Though I don't know if the date was really chosen out of historical symbolic significance or just happenstance of how schedules came together.

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The White House presents: Letters from a fifth-grader.

 

EHBwvqGXUAAVpKg.jpg

 

Is this legit? I can get the letterhead of the White house too and fake my own letters.

 

 

Its legit, its been confirmed on CNN. In fact, Trump announced he would release it.

 

'You can make a great deal'. It sounds like he is trying to sell him a fucking golf course.

Edited by Stuart Galbraith
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9-11 happened because the USA had been intervening in Middle East affairs, supporting dictatorships in order to have stability.

9-11 happened because Europe stopped the invasion of the Ottoman Caliphate at Vienna on September 12, 1683.

 

September 11, 1683 was the last day of expansion of the Islamic world. After the defeat of the Ottomans, the percentage of the world's territory under Islamic rule began shrinking.

 

OBL had Salafist beliefs, including supremacist Islam.

 

 

Well I'm glad the US had nothing do with it. Yay!

 

 

Well, you didn't help either so I suppose most of Europe shouldn't help in any crisis now :D :P

 

/R

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Yeah, it comes across as genuine doesnt it. You can tell nobody at all assisted him in it.

 

The Presidents Syria policy fails to meet universal acclaim. Erm, nothing like universal acclaim in fact.

 

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7582693/President-Trump-accuses-Democrats-hypocrites-opposing-withdrawal-Syria.html

In a late-night Twitter rant, Donald Trump vented his frustration after a day that saw a number of usually loyal Republicans cross party lines to join Democrats over the issue of American troops leaving their Kurdish counterparts behind on the Turkey/Syrian border.

'I am the only person who can fight for the safety of our troops & bring them home from the ridiculous & costly Endless Wars, and be scorned. Democrats always liked that position, until I took it. Democrats always liked Walls, until I built them. Do you see what's happening here?'

The tweets served as the culmination of a bruising day for the President.

During a meeting on Wednesday, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi told reporters at the White House she thought the president was shaken by a vote in the House of Representatives that saw the President lose support over the Syrian situation.

The vote saw 129 Republicans join Democrats to condemn Trump's decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria in a 354 to 60 vote.

In a second tweet sent after midnight Eastern time, President Trump continued to poured fuel on the fire.

''About 500,000 human beings were killed in Syria while Barack Obama was president & leading for a 'political settlement' to that civil war. Media has been more outraged in the last 72 hours over our Syria policy than they were at any point during 7 years of slaughter,' Trump tweeted attempting to focus some of the blame on the former administration.

Earlier on Wednesday, he lashed out at Democrats during a closed-door White House meeting before sparring publicly with Republican allies.

Congressional Democrats say the president ended up using the meeting to vent his fury at Democrats and former administration officials.

At one point he is said to have called Speaker Pelosi a 'third-rate politician' and former Defense Secretary James Mattis 'the world's most overrated general.'

'What we witnessed on the part of the president was a meltdown, sad to say,' Pelosi went on to tell reporters after she left the meeting with Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer.

'We have to pray for his health because this was a very serious meltdown on the part of the president,' she added after returning to the Capitol.

Trump ended up infuriating Republicans after he dismissed the Kurds during an Oval Office meeting by saying they were 'no angels.'

He then went onto downplayed the need for the U.S. to become involved with Turkey's military invasion of Syria, saying 'it's not our border.'

Even the usually loyal Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Trump's decision to pull back troops was a 'mistake'.

I don't know how many times I need to say it, and I think I'm speaking for most members of my conference, that this was a mistake and I hope it can be repaired,' McConnell said.

'Abandoning them was a very dark moment in American history,' Utah Senator Mitt Romney added. 'The door was opened for what is occurring by the decision taken by the administration. So for us to be shocked and to look at Turkey and say, 'My goodness, we can't believe what you're doing' — we were the ones who opened that door.'

The Republican pushback is quite the U-turn from Tuesday when Republicans looked to be attempting to make more of an effort to align themselves with the President.

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.....

Trump unleashed his fury at Pelosi during a briefing for top congressional leaders on the situation in Syria following Turkey's assault on Kurdish anti-ISIS allies abandoned by Trump.

"What we witnessed on the part of the President was a meltdown, sad to say," said the California Democrat, who colleagues said the President blasted as a "third-rate politician."

The showdown followed a vote in the House that overwhelmingly condemned Trump for paving the way for the Turkish invasion, in which many Republicans broke with their standard compliance and lined up against the President.

"We were offended deeply by his treatment of the speaker of the House of Representatives, said Pelosi's No. 2, Steny Hoyer of Maryland.

White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham described the meeting differently, saying in a statement that Trump had been "measured" and "decisive" and that Pelosi "had no intention of listening."

After the meeting, the President tweeted several photos of the gathering, including one of Pelosi that he captioned, "Nervous Nancy's unhinged meltdown!" The speaker retaliated by turning the picture into her Twitter cover shot.

Trump then tweeted, "Nancy Pelosi needs help fast! There is either something wrong with her 'upstairs,' or she just plain doesn't like our great Country. She had a total meltdown in the White House today. It was very sad to watch. Pray for her, she is a very sick person!"

For all the bitter political battles between Republicans and Democrats in the post-9/11 era, there has never been this level of personal animosity between a President and his enemies.

Trump's fury at the impeachment probe had been in evidence earlier in two White House press events with Italy's President.

"People, like, that are testifying -- I don't even know who they are. I never even heard of some of them, most of them," Trump told reporters in the Oval Office.

CNN has reported that the White House is frustrated that it cannot get a handle on the impeachment drama because it learns of developments only when they seep out of closed hearings.

"I have all these people testifying. And then they leak out. They don't say the good parts, they only say the bad parts," the President said, complaining that he was not allowed lawyers in the depositions. "The Democrats are treating the Republicans very, very badly."

The case against the White House appears to have darkened this week with testimony by the White House's former top Russia official, Fiona Hill, and several career diplomats.

Hill testified that she had been advised by then-national security adviser John Bolton to inform White House lawyers of her alarm at activity by Giuliani and others, sources have told CNN.

One source said that Hill, a Trump appointee, had seen "wrongdoing" in the White House approach to Ukraine and tried to report it to officials. She was concerned that Giuliani was circumventing the State Department by seeking the removal of then-US Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch and pushing for Ukraine to open an investigation into the former vice president and his son Hunter Biden. There is no evidence of wrongdoing in Ukraine by either Biden.

Democratic investigators will also want to ask Sondland about new details of Hill's testimony reported in The New York Times. The paper reported that Hill had said Sondland revealed in a meeting that Trump would meet Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky if his government opened the investigation he wanted.

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Many members just focus their strong anti-Americanism on Trump, because he is doing his best to make America powerful again, while they want to see America down in the dirt. #sad

How is withdrawing from the world, throwing Allies under the bus, and enhancing the strategic posture of America's enemies making America powerful? That really is counter intuitive in a 'war is peace, ignorance is strength' kind of way.

Pence in Turkey demanding a ceasefire, Trump announces at the same time 'it's not our problem'. Smart power 2019 Edition.

America has no allies, every ally is also a competitor and most have been sucking resources from the US for decades. America first must be the basic principle for every decision.

Take a look at the casualty list from Afghanistan and Iraq, and keep chanting that nonsense to yourself. It still won't be true no matter how many times you do it.

 

America first and only got America Pearl Harbor and World Trade Center totalled. Good luck with that doctrine.

No and no.

 

Pearl happened because the USA intervened in Asian affairs, namely trying to get Japan to quit China.

 

9-11 happened because the USA had been intervening in Middle East affairs, supporting dictatorships in order to have stability.

 

 

And what was going to stop Imperial Japan interfering in US affairs, such as the Philippines, when they were done with China? Because if they wanted to be wholly self sufficient, they would have had to have taken the southern pacific sooner or later. The only way they could have got it was through taking the Phillipines.

 

Japan wanted a place in the world, and was not worried about who it shoved out the way to get it. Roosevelt I think was right in trying to nip that ambition in the bud at an early stage, where he was wrong perhaps is not in determining the Japanese navy was as strong as it was. The idea the us could stay out of the way is illusory, because it is self evidently, even today, a Pacific Power. Does one seriously suggest nobody has concerns what happens on your own doorstep?

 

 

 

911 occurred after the US had not intervened in the middle east since 1991. Previous to that attack and subsequent to 1991, all they did was maintain a no fly zone (protecting the Kurds incidentally) and launching attacks on the Iraqi's when they attacked allied fighters. And that was a UN resolution the US was upholding BTW. The myth that the US was all over the middle east like a rash does not stand up. The reason the US was attacked was because Bin Laden felt slighted through his non participation in the Iraq war (his support was turned down by the Saudi's), and because he wanted a good enemy to justify his existence perhaps. The US did nothing, absolutely nothing to deserve it.

 

I would go so far to say, if Bill Clinton had grown a pair of balls and intervened in Afghanistan BEFORE 911, 911 would not have occurred at all. Instead, he plinked cruise missiles from afar and let Al Qaeda know (through their Pakistani intermediaries) the damn things were coming. The results reflected it.

 

 

If there are a gang of thugs at the end of the street with petrol bombs, do you deal with the problem by calling the police, or waiting till they set fire to your house before addressing the problem? 911 was a classic example of the latter solution. If you embrace the Clinton doctrine, which is what Trump is essentially espousing, hilariously, you will for sure get far more of it.

But hey, dont take my word for it. listen to what the Republican party is saying on this point.

Edited by Stuart Galbraith
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FYI: The Philippines were on path towards independence. A later Japanese annexation would not have affected the U.S. noticeably.

 

Your 9/11 prevention fantasy is unconvincing.

 

The cause of 9/11 was in large part that the U.S. thought the Iraq thing to be unfinished when in fact it was finished the second the last Iraqi soldier left Kuwait or was POW. All ambitions beyond "liberating" Kuwait were extremist.

The continued basing of American troops in S-A enraged UBL and gave him the fuel for his propaganda and recruitment / radicalization drive. They were there because certain influential Americans couldn't stop fantasizing about war with iraq or Iran. All those fantasies have so far enriched a couple pols and lobbyists, but not provide the smallest of benefits to the country as a whole - after decades of expenses!

Well, that and the general context of unconditional and substantial American support for a country in perpetual conflict with Arabs and Muslims.

 

War does hardly ever prevent war. To not meddle in distant affairs keeps a country quite reliably out of distant wars.

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FYI: The Philippines were on path towards independence. A later Japanese annexation would not have affected the U.S. noticeably.

 

Your 9/11 prevention fantasy is unconvincing.

 

The cause of 9/11 was in large part that the U.S. thought the Iraq thing to be unfinished when in fact it was finished the second the last Iraqi soldier left Kuwait or was POW. All ambitions beyond "liberating" Kuwait were extremist.

The continued basing of American troops in S-A enraged UBL and gave him the fuel for his propaganda and recruitment / radicalization drive. They were there because certain influential Americans couldn't stop fantasizing about war with iraq or Iran. All those fantasies have so far enriched a couple pols and lobbyists, but not provide the smallest of benefits to the country as a whole - after decades of expenses!

Well, that and the general context of unconditional and substantial American support for a country in perpetual conflict with Arabs and Muslims.

 

War does hardly ever prevent war. To not meddle in distant affairs keeps a country quite reliably out of distant wars.

 

The problem with that, and ill happily admit im not expert on Philippine independence, it seemed like our presence in India, Philippine independence was sped up by the effects of the war. How do we know the US would have been so receptive if the war had been delayed? They had after all, greatly invested in holding onto it.

 

And more to the point, why would the Japanese delay, when they saw the European Empires teetering? Im sure the lack of oil sped up the ambition, but if Japan wanted a secure Empire, there was only one way to go, south. And the best time to do that was when the European Empires were still fighting Germany. Either way, within a year or two, the US would have faced the same problem, because they were in the way of Japanese ambitions. The only way to avoid that was to avoid any presence outside the US borders at all, a point that had been passed a good 40 years befoer when they first built their fleet.

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This is my means of breaking up the wall of text Im blamed for. I know of no other way of putting down so many points, because these are complex issues and there is no binary way of expressing them.

 

Ok, lets break that down on 911, because you conflate several points and I think they need to be seperated.

 

The nearest Clinton got to do something about Bin laden was the cruise missile attack. I seem to recall the military or somebody urged him to intervene more forcefully via special forces, and he demurred. .Presumably because post the Lewinsky affair he wanted to keep his nose clean.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Infinite_Reach

 

If Bin Laden was dead, there would have been no Al Qaeda, no 911. Prevention was missed, and so as a result the US spent the better part of the next 20 years in the sandpit blaming everyone else, when the only opportunity missed to do something was missed by the US itself. There is nothing fantastical about this, its bleeding self evident.

 

You either meddle in distant lands, or distant lands meddle in you. This is a self evident fact of the increasingly smaller world in which we live. Terrorism is just an overnight plane ride away, and dont kid yourself homeland security is in any way competent.

 

Whilst I would be the first to admit the interventions we make need to be smarter and more calculated, the real issue is not that we intervene, but that we allow problems to materialize where intervention remains the only solution, and usually a bad one. There have been alternatives, and they have been missed, largely as a desire to not interfere. Basically, our desire to not interfere, is what drives the demand to interfere later as problems metastasize.

If you want a prime example of that, look at ISIS, which only arose as the issue it did due to Obama's desire to non intervene in Syria, and by pulling out of Iraq. A mistake Trump has just made again in Syria, again 'because its not our problem'.

 

 

Yes, the continued US presence in Kuwait was probably a drive towards Bin Laden. But that was down to the Kuwait's wanting to be defended. And call me irish, I dont see pulling out and allowing Iraq to invade again, requiring another million man coalition to expel him has much to commend it as a policy, do you? No to mention the gitters it would have given to the oil market. There is an excellent book by Jane Corbin on the rise of Al Qaeda called 'The Base', and the reasons are, in addition to the one you make,

 

1 Bin laden had a power base that had to do something to remain in being. It had been assembled in the Afghan war to fight the Soviets, lacking an enemy he had to make one.

2 He was humbled by the house of Saud, that laughed at him when he claimed his men could liberate Kuwait. So he had a chip on his shoulder with the US.

3 The US was an ally of Israel. Evil Joos bad.

 

You can stick other things on that pile, sure, the 1991 Iraq war being another reason. The lack of support for a Palestinian peace effort.The presence of Westerners in Saudi Arabia, particularly to do their fighting for them. But it amounts to the same thing, the US was not intervening prior to 2001 at anything like the level they have been ascribed to have been. We make Al Qaeda's arguments for them, somehow make out the US and its allies were responsible, when as far as I can see the only mistake we ever made was being liberal, democratic and free. And boy, doesn't that piss some people off.

Edited by Stuart Galbraith
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