How is BHO Regarded ...

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Barry
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Re: How is BHO Regarded ...

Post by Barry » Mon Dec 20, 2010 9:54 pm

jbuck919 wrote:... Not to dismiss a military response, but also not to expect immediate, unswerving, and wholehearted unity behind whatever president thinks it's a good idea to send us off to war yet one more time.
I have no problem with that statement. And it's fine for people in our position to take whatever position we want. But when people in positions of leadership wear the fact that there is virtually nothing short of an attack on our homeland that can get them to use force, it's a provocation to all sorts of nasty regimes to start thinking about what they can and can't get away with. As I said, there have been presidents who were able to project strength without taking us to war (Ike and Reagan come to mind; but even Nixon was able to accomplish what he did in terms of diplomacy with the Chinese and Soviets because he had demonstrated over a period of many years that he was a tough SOB).
I don't think most left wing Democrats truly appreciate how important it is for our President to be able to project strength and how dangerous advertising your pacifism is when you're in a position of leadership in a world power.

And I'm not backing away from my position that the threshold for getting the country to unify behind a war effort is different today than it was around the time of WW II.
"If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee." - Abraham Lincoln

"Although prepared for martyrdom, I preferred that it be postponed." - Winston Churchill

"Before I refuse to take your questions, I have an opening statement." - Ronald Reagan

http://www.davidstuff.com/political/wmdquotes.htm
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pbp0hur ... re=related

jbuck919
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Re: How is BHO Regarded ...

Post by jbuck919 » Mon Dec 20, 2010 10:06 pm

Barry wrote:
jbuck919 wrote:... Not to dismiss a military response, but also not to expect immediate, unswerving, and wholehearted unity behind whatever president thinks it's a good idea to send us off to war yet one more time.
I have no problem with that statement. And it's fine for people in our position to take whatever position we want. But when people in positions of leadership wear the fact that there is virtually nothing short of an attack on our homeland that can get them to use force, it's a provocation to all sorts of nasty regimes to start thinking about what they can and can't get away with. As I said, there have been presidents who were able to project strength without taking us to war (Ike and Reagan come to mind; but even Nixon was able to accomplish what he did in terms of diplomacy with the Chinese and Soviets because he had demonstrated over a period of many years that he was a tough SOB).
I don't think most left wing Democrats truly appreciate how important it is for our President to be able to project strength and how dangerous advertising your pacifism is when you're in a position of leadership in a world power.
The actions of the United States for the last 60 years indicate anything but a reluctance to use military response up to the level of war to project power for motives short of protecting immediate territorial interests. If anything, we must appear a bit trigger happy. I can think of no example of a situation where we were threatened in a way we would not have been under more macho leadership (I can imagine certain prices we might not have had to pay if we had been more circumspect about a few things) . The terrorist threat is precisely an effort to circumvent the obstacles presented by the ubiquitous projection of our belligerent specter.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

living_stradivarius
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Re: How is BHO Regarded ...

Post by living_stradivarius » Mon Dec 20, 2010 11:09 pm

Y'all know that nothing will really change if you just post your opinions here. Take action. Good luck, have fun! 8)

For example: http://www.time.com/time/nation/article ... tml?hpt=T2
Image

Barry
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Re: How is BHO Regarded ...

Post by Barry » Tue Dec 21, 2010 9:04 am

jbuck919 wrote: I can think of no example of a situation where we were threatened in a way we would not have been under more macho leadership.
Check your memory banks. No way Iran holds onto those hostages, holding us up as a paper tiger for all of the other regimes in the world (like the Russians, who had no qualms about invading Afghanistan) if a Reagan or even a Nixon were president instead of someone like Carter. In fact, they couldn't wait to give us back the hostages virtually the minute Reagan became president. You don't think that may have had a little to do with their realization that Reagan wouldn't sit back for more months without taking some sort of military action, do you?

But you don't need to limit yourself to the U.S. to test the principle I'm espousing. Hitler obviously had no qualms about invading certain countries in his neighborhood during the early portion of the War at least in part because it was obvious that men like those who were running Britain and France at the time were prepared to do virtually anything to avoid fighting him.

Those are two famous examples, but I'm sure there are many more throughout history.
Leaders who radiate weakness (or disarm to too great of an extent) invite troubles, not only for us, but for those who count on us to deter their enemies as well.
"If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee." - Abraham Lincoln

"Although prepared for martyrdom, I preferred that it be postponed." - Winston Churchill

"Before I refuse to take your questions, I have an opening statement." - Ronald Reagan

http://www.davidstuff.com/political/wmdquotes.htm
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pbp0hur ... re=related

JackC
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Re: How is BHO Regarded ...

Post by JackC » Tue Dec 21, 2010 9:31 am

Barry wrote:
jbuck919 wrote: I can think of no example of a situation where we were threatened in a way we would not have been under more macho leadership.
Check your memory banks. No way Iran holds onto those hostages, holding us up as a paper tiger for all of the other regimes in the world (like the Russians, who had no qualms about invading Afghanistan) if a Reagan or even a Nixon were president instead of someone like Carter. In fact, they couldn't wait to give us back the hostages virtually the minute Reagan became president. You don't think that may have had a little to do with their realization that Reagan wouldn't sit back for more months without taking some sort of military action, do you?

But you don't need to limit yourself to the U.S. to test the principle I'm espousing. Hitler obviously had no qualms about invading certain countries in his neighborhood during the early portion of the War at least in part because it was obvious that men like those who were running Britain and France at the time were prepared to do virtually anything to avoid fighting him.

Those are two famous examples, but I'm sure there are many more throughout history.
Leaders who radiate weakness invite troubles, not only for us, but for those who count on us to deter their enemies as well.

I think a more telling example is the Cubam missile crisis. After the missiles were in, Kenndedy acted wonderfully and we all owe a lot to the wisdom he displayed. This ended up being his "finest hour".

Still when one looks at the facts that led up to the crisis, a more complex analysis is needed. Crucially, why did the Soviets try to put nuclear missiles in Cuba in the first place??

Most of what I have read concludes that the reason the Soviets tried to place missiles in Cuba was that, whether justified or not, Khrushchev had come to conclude that Kennedy was weak and, hence, the Soviets could get away with placing missiles in Cuba because Kennedy would not risk action needed to remove them. The missiles were only pulled out because Khrushchev was convinced that we were about to go to war, i.e., airstrikes and invasion, to get rid of them (and the US offered a face saving private deal).

Khrushchev would never have attempted such a bold/aggressive move against some one like Eisenhower. So the fact seems to be that we were only taken to the brink of nuclear war because our President, rightly or wrongly, was viewed as weak by our adversary.

Stated otherwise --and contrary to jbuck's contention - this is an "example of a situation where we were threatened in a way we would not have been under more macho leadership".

Barry
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Re: How is BHO Regarded ...

Post by Barry » Tue Dec 21, 2010 9:40 am

JackC wrote: I think a more telling example is the Cubam missile crisis. After the missiles were in, Kenndedy acted wonderfully and we all owe a lot to the wisdom he displayed. This ended up being his "finest hour".

Still when one looks at the facts that led up to the crisis, a more complex analysis is needed. Crucially, why did the Soviets try to put nuclear missiles in Cuba in the first place??

Most of what I have read concludes that the reason the Soviets tried to place missiles in Cuba was that, whether justified or not, Khrushchev had come to conclude that Kennedy was weak and, hence, the Soviets could get away with placing missiles in Cuba because Kennedy would not risk action needed to remove them. The missiles were only pulled out because Khrushchev was convinced that we were about to go to war, i.e., airstrikes and invasion, to get rid of them (and the US offered a face saving private deal).

Khrushchev would never have attempted such a bold/aggressive move against some one like Eisenhower. So the fact seems to be that we were only taken to the brink of nuclear war because our President, rightly or wrongly, was viewed as weak by our adversary.

Stated otherwise --and contrary to jbuck's contention - this is an "example of a situation where we were threatened in a way we would not have been under more macho leadership".
Very good example that slipped my mind. Part of the reason Krushchev thought Kennedy was "weak" was because JFK let himself get bullied all over the place when he met Krushchev in Vienna at their one summit. Krushchev treated JFK with absolute disrespect at that summit and Kennedy just sat back and took it for the most part. As you indicate, there were major consequences as a result of Kennedy coming off as weak. Thankfully, in the end, the Russians misjudged him. But things likely never would have reached that point if not for JFK giving Kruschev that impression.
"If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee." - Abraham Lincoln

"Although prepared for martyrdom, I preferred that it be postponed." - Winston Churchill

"Before I refuse to take your questions, I have an opening statement." - Ronald Reagan

http://www.davidstuff.com/political/wmdquotes.htm
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pbp0hur ... re=related

JackC
Posts: 2987
Joined: Tue May 20, 2003 10:57 am

Re: How is BHO Regarded ...

Post by JackC » Tue Dec 21, 2010 9:54 am

Barry wrote:
JackC wrote: I think a more telling example is the Cubam missile crisis. After the missiles were in, Kenndedy acted wonderfully and we all owe a lot to the wisdom he displayed. This ended up being his "finest hour".

Still when one looks at the facts that led up to the crisis, a more complex analysis is needed. Crucially, why did the Soviets try to put nuclear missiles in Cuba in the first place??

Most of what I have read concludes that the reason the Soviets tried to place missiles in Cuba was that, whether justified or not, Khrushchev had come to conclude that Kennedy was weak and, hence, the Soviets could get away with placing missiles in Cuba because Kennedy would not risk action needed to remove them. The missiles were only pulled out because Khrushchev was convinced that we were about to go to war, i.e., airstrikes and invasion, to get rid of them (and the US offered a face saving private deal).

Khrushchev would never have attempted such a bold/aggressive move against some one like Eisenhower. So the fact seems to be that we were only taken to the brink of nuclear war because our President, rightly or wrongly, was viewed as weak by our adversary.

Stated otherwise --and contrary to jbuck's contention - this is an "example of a situation where we were threatened in a way we would not have been under more macho leadership".
Very good example that slipped my mind. Part of the reason Krushchev thought Kennedy was "weak" was because JFK let himself get bullied all over the place when he met Krushchev in Vienna at their one summit. Krushchev treated JFK with absolute disrespect at that summit and Kennedy just sat back and took it for the most part. As you indicate, there were major consequences as a result of Kennedy coming off as weak. Thankfully, in the end, the Russians misjudged him. But things likely never would have reached that point if not for JFK giving Kruschev that impression.

The Cuban missiles crisis is instructive in many ways. For example, Adlai Stevenson wanted to enter into negotiations over the missiles and trade them away, i.e. a "Munich II."

Some further to the Left did not see the placing of nuclear missiles in Cuba as a big deal at all, certainly not enough to risk nuclear war, because the Soviets had submarines that could launch a strike off the east coast any way and had plently of ability to launch nuclear missles at us generally. Moreover, we did, after all, try to overthrow Castro.

You can always argue that you should back down because if you don't, you risk horrible consequences. That is what aggressors always count on. The lesson of human history (and unfortunately we all are not and never will be saints) is that backing down in the face of naked aggression does NOT avoid the horrible consequences. It only delays them, and often makes them worse later. It's a regrettable fact, but it is still a fact.

What is instructive - and dangerous - is the mindset that in the face of aggession ALWAYS seems to lead some people to react in ways that only encourages further aggression, as if one could wish away the nature of one's adversaries.

HoustonDavid
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Re: How is BHO Regarded ...

Post by HoustonDavid » Tue Dec 21, 2010 12:47 pm

Actually, at the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962, the Russians were much
further behind the United States in their ability to wage nuclear war. Khrushchev was
gambling on a "Munich II" response from President Kennedy, probably based upon his
inaction to support the Bay of Pigs fiasco in the first weeks of his presidency, and his
seeming "weakness" at their summit meeting. The Soviet "justification" for building
missile sites in Cuba was the presence of U.S. offensive MRBM missiles in Europe and
Turkey, within range of the Soviet Union.

History tells us that the Soviets had imported longer range missiles as well as the smaller
missiles discovered by U-2 overflights. These missiles were capable of reaching over 80%
of the continental U.S. They also had submarines with nuclear weapons aboard - but not
attack missiles - in the thick of our naval blockade. Their captains had orders to "blow" if
they were attacked, which certainly would have prompted a similar response from the U.S.
and triggered the threatened nuclear war.

I was intimately involved in the Cuban Missile Crisis, as most of you know from many threads
on that subject, so I have studied it more than most. I am also not a great fan of "posturing"
strength to frighten our enemies. Our enemies know that we are not in any military or political
position to take on another war; our armed forces are already over-stretched . They also know
that we do have the nuclear capability to respond to any WMD actions they might take. I am
comfortable with our "international military crisis" position at the moment, but not overly so.
President Obama may not - yet - be a Truman or a Kennedy, but he is also not a Carter.
"May You be born in interesting (maybe confusing?) times" - Chinese Proverb (or Curse)

jbuck919
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Re: How is BHO Regarded ...

Post by jbuck919 » Tue Dec 21, 2010 3:53 pm

Barry wrote:
jbuck919 wrote: I can think of no example of a situation where we were threatened in a way we would not have been under more macho leadership.
Check your memory banks. No way Iran holds onto those hostages, holding us up as a paper tiger for all of the other regimes in the world (like the Russians, who had no qualms about invading Afghanistan) if a Reagan or even a Nixon were president instead of someone like Carter. In fact, they couldn't wait to give us back the hostages virtually the minute Reagan became president. You don't think that may have had a little to do with their realization that Reagan wouldn't sit back for more months without taking some sort of military action, do you?
Nobody has ever offered a satisfactory explanation of that timing, and your interpretation is an assumption. At the time I believed it was an attempt by Iran, a successful one I might add, to show that it had the power to influence an American election. In addition it seems likely that the timing was a matter of personal retribution against Carter, not for being a softy, but because he was the one who allowed the Shah into the US; we tend to forget that such a seemingly trivial thing was the biggest of big deals to the Iranian revolutionary government.

The Cuban Missile Crisis example is more to the point, but it is an illustration of a gross misprision by Krushchev rather than a failure of Kennedy to beat his chest with sufficient vigor. That Kennedy may have sent signals that lent themselves to the wrong interpretation means mainly that we can't always second guess our rivals; Pearl Harbor was also a drastic misunderstaing of the U.S. that would have been hard to predict and prevent. Unless it is your wish for every president to make an example of just how mean he can be immediately upon entering office (you know, following the splendid example of Kim Jong Un), our potential adversaries are going to have to use the ample other signs of determination that the United States under every president has regularly and constantly provided to assess our determination not to be intimidated.

The example of appeasing Hitler is wholly irrelevant. I was speaking only of US history, and unless you care to go back a ways and cite James Buchanan there is no example that comes remotely close to the US allowing itself to be bullied by a potential aggressor; there are many examples of refusal to do so.

With those examples thus disposed of, your concerns about pacifist elements having undue influence in American politics and exercising it by co-opting one of the major political parties seems not to reflect historic or political reality. True pacifism will always be a fringe position, but a prudent wariness about committing to war should always be in the forefront of policy.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

HoustonDavid
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Re: How is BHO Regarded ...

Post by HoustonDavid » Tue Dec 21, 2010 5:46 pm

How times (and Party positions) have changed. According to Wikipedia:

Lend-Lease

Lend-Lease (Public Law 77-11)[1] was the name of the program under which the United States of America supplied the United Kingdom, the Soviet Union, China, France and other Allied nations with vast amounts of war material between 1941 and 1945. It was signed into law on 11 March 1941, over 18 months after the outbreak of the European war in September 1939, but before the U.S. entrance into the war in December 1941. It was called An Act Further to Promote the Defense of the United States.

Political background

The American position was to help the British but not enter the war. In early February 1941 a Gallup poll revealed that 54 percent of Americans were unqualifiedly in favor of Lend-Lease. A further 15 percent were in favor with qualifications such as: "If it doesn't get us into war," or "If the British can give us some security for what we give them." Only 22 percent were unqualifiedly against the President's proposal. When poll participants were asked their party affiliation, the poll revealed a sharp political divide: 69 percent of Democrats were unqualifiedly in favor of Lend-Lease, whereas only 38 percent of Republicans favored the bill without qualification. A poll spokesperson also noted that, "approximately twice as many Republicans" gave "qualfied answers as...Democrats."[9]

Opposition to the Lend-Lease bill was strongest among isolationist Republicans in Congress, who feared that the measure would be "the longest single step this nation has yet taken toward direct involvement in the war abroad." When the House of Representatives finally took a roll call vote on 9 February 1941, the 260 to 165 vote fell largely along party lines. Democrats voted 238 to 25 in favor and Republicans 24 in favor and 135 against.[10]

The vote in the Senate, which took place a month later, revealed a similar partisan divide. 49 Democrats (79 percent) voted "aye" with only 13 Democrats (21 percent) voting "nay." In contrast, 17 Republicans (63 percent) voted "nay." Only 10 Senate Republicans (37 percent) sided with the Democrats to pass the bill.[11]

President Roosevelt signed the Lend-Lease bill into law on 11 March 1941. It permitted him to "sell, transfer title to, exchange, lease, lend, or otherwise dispose of, to any such government [whose defense the President deems vital to the defense of the United States] any defense article". In April, this policy was extended to China as well.[12] Roosevelt approved US $1 billion in Lend-Lease aid to Britain at the end of October 1941."

It was the isolationists in the Republican Party who most strongly objected to the
United States supporting European countries warring with Germany, in fear of becoming
involved in the war. Today and going back to President Carter, it is largely the liberal
wing of the Democratic Party who would like to shut down the on-going wars in Iraq and
Afghanistan. Might this be a rebirth of the "isolationism" of the '30's, or just exhaustion
with never-ending wars?
"May You be born in interesting (maybe confusing?) times" - Chinese Proverb (or Curse)

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