U.S. Sends Ground Troops to Syria. Here Are 3 Reasons Why That's Bad.


On Friday, President Obama announced the deployment of special ops forces in Syria. The decision to commit ground troops stands in direct opposition to his September 2013 speech in which he promised that U.S. military action in Syria would not include a ground war. 

Is this about-face a smart move? Here are 3 Reasons why the U.S. should NOT fight the Islamic State. Originally posted September 2014:

President Obama has effectively declared war on the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, announcing that "we will degrade, and ultimately destroy, ISIS through a comprehensive and sustained counter-terrorism strategy."

But here are three reasons we should not be fighting ISIS in the Middle East.

1. ISIS isn't that powerful.  

War hawks such as Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) claim that "the threat ISIS poses cannot be overstated." That is itself an overstatement. The FBI and Homeland Security both say ISIS isn't a credible threat to the American homeland. The group may be great at using social media to exaggerate its power, but estimates of its troop strength range between 10,000 and 30,000 and most analysts talk about a core group of a few thousand fighters.

2. It's a regional conflict.

ISIS controls territory inside Iraq and Syria. But even President Obama concedes that ISIS does not currently pose a threat "beyond that region."

Iraq and Syria—and their neighbors, including Turkey, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and the Kurds—are the ones that must deal with this problem. Iraq's army has more than one-quarter of a million U.S.-trained troops, the Peshmerga almost as many. Iran's active forces number over half a million.

3. What counts as victory?

In announcing bombing runs and sending more American soliders to the Middle East, President Obama not only failed to call for congressional authorization, he neglected to discuss any sort of exit strategy. That's a prerequisite for any responsible war plan. As important, his definition of success—we will "ultimately destroy" ISIS—is a goal nobody has ever achieved against any terrorist group.

Let's be clear: The U.S. should do everything it can to defend its citizens and its interests.

But if the past dozen years have taught us anything—in Iraq and elsehwere—it's that war is more complicated than our leaders ever want to admit. And it's a lot easier to start wars than to win them—or even know when they're over.

About 2 minutes.

Written by Nick Gillespie and produced by Meredith Bragg. Camera by Todd Krainin and Amanda Winkler.

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  1. Light the SHREEK signal!

    1. But Booooooosssssshhhhhh!!!!!

      1. “No fair!” – shriek

  2. OT: Just imagine an article about Hilldawgs, and Joan Walsh and Amanda Marcotte are both twittering about it at the same time, imagine…

    Heil Hitlary, candidate for the sheeples!

    1. It’s a good thing I was sipping a high alcohol beer when I saw that depiction of Hillary.

      1. If my daughter-in-law would hurry up and get ready so I could to to the store and get some damn beer, I’m about ready to leave these wiminz at home and go by myself.

        1. Go by yourself. You’ll get in and out faster. More time for drinking.

    2. “Pulpy and sexy”?? Egad.

    3. My wife was just channel surfing. In addition to the channel guide there is a little box in the corner that plays the current channel. It happened to have Bill Maher on when she turned the teevee on, so for the few minutes I had to listen to his drivel.

      He and his guests were working themselves into a tither over Booosh! and Koch! and talking about what a great guy George Soros is. The audience was applauding and cheering like mad.

      So, the third presidential campaign after Bush is gone they are still blaming him for everything so ‘vote fascist!’, and it works with their base.

      1. S, living in SF means not finding that ‘unbelievable’. Bush was this horrible warmonger, so we had to replace him with a ‘man of peace’. And we did, and the world is at peace!
        BTW, story regarding Obo’s sending new troops to the near east was buried on page 8 or ten, on the ‘look-back’ page, this morning.
        Try to find any coverage here:

      2. “So, the third presidential campaign after Bush is gone they are still blaming him for everything so ‘vote fascist!’, and it works with their base.”

        Hell, if you sit in on a “progressive” political conversation, you’ll hear them spewing venom about how Reagan is responsible for all these problems today. They apparently believe that Reagan is some kind of phantom who brings pestilence and deregulation from beyond the grave.

    4. Hil ain’t no Summer Glau, that’s for sure.

    5. That autoplay video in the link, showing Hillary deftly deflecting the Black Lives Matter chanters, actually showed her at an advantage. She was friendly, said she agreed, and was going to talk about black lives mattering.

  3. 1. ISIS isn’t that powerful.

    4. All ISIS members have already made the long trek to Germany.

  4. #3 trumps any other reason. If you are going to have a military mission, its objective has to be defined. That means knowing what victory looks like. Otherwise, don’t get involved. The level of ISIS’ power is immaterial; if you are going to send in the troops, then you do it in overwhelming fashion to end a conflict as soon as possible and you go in knowing what you’re trying to accomplish with an idea of how you will know when the objective has been reached.

    This venture does nothing of the kind. It sends in Special Ops types who are behind-enemy-lines troops so there are semantic points of saying “we’re not going to engage in direct combat” in hopes that most people can’t figure the difference between conventional and special forces. In any case, sending in one contingent usually means others will follow because neither politicians nor commanders can help themselves.

    1. Exactly. Committing troops with no clear objective and no idea what victory even looks like is the height of idiocy. Unfortunately it seems to be our national policy. It also goes hand in hand with the erosion of the rule of law, as Congress is simply bypassed in favor of unilateral decision making by the executive. I’m even more worried about that than I am the lack of strategy.

    2. Objective?

      We don’t even know who our enemy is.

      1. that is easy it is the guy telling you who the enemy is. duh!

        War is when your Government tells you who the enemy is. Revolution is when you figure it out for yourself.

  5. OT: Seen in Nashua: An Audi A8 with several bumper stickers on the rear window. One states “TRICKLE DOWN DOESN’T” and the other states “THE LABOR MOVEMENT: The folks that brought you the weekend.” A third was for a politician I haven’t heard of and the fourth had print too small to read. Fat lot of good those two I could read will do you when your fellow travellers fire up the Gulag.

    1. Public school teacher?

      1. That makes sense in a way.

    2. That is why I have added “vehicle must have several bumper stickers” to the list of what makes up my ideal woman.

      1. In other words, next time I see a car like that, if a woman is driving, I should flag her down and say, “A guy I know named Crusty Juggler is interested in you. How do I get you in touch with him?”

        1. I mean, do you really want to talk to someone driving that car with that many bumper stickers? That is not work for the faint of heart.

          1. How bad could it be if I just ask for a phone number to pass on to you?

              1. While I saw the car in New Hampshire, and the car had New Hampshire plates, somehow I doubt the driver has a gun. Thought Cloudbuster below brought a dose of reality to me.

            1. She’s likely to charge you with sexual assault. I’m sure talking to a feminist without permission counts as sexual assault in some circles.

              1. I was having a good day, and you bring reality to me. What a fucking downer.

  6. This one weird trick for getting into a ground war.

    1. “Five Commander in Chief Myths Debunked!”

  7. So Bush started by expanding Medicare part D, started two wars, and continued them on, kept the FED around, expanded the debt, stood by as that fiat paper was further debased, stole from people to bail out companies, and the list goes on.

    Obama continued and expanded the wars adding new ones to the list, helped champion a new disaster healthcare law, blew money on shit shovel ready no jobs, expanded the debt, said nothing about the increases (except when he wasn’t president), supported extending the patriot act, and so on.

    Spends like a Bush, wars like a Bush, expands gov’t like a Bush, wastes like a Bush, takes away liberty like a Bush….Ish a BoOOSh……aren’t they really related?

    1. aren’t they really related?

      There’s likely a woodpile comment in there somewhere. I KNOW there’s a woodchipper comment there too!

  8. So what does the Commentariat think of the Weinberger Doctrine?

    1. The United States should not commit forces to combat unless the vital national interests of the United States or its allies are involved.

    2. U.S. troops should only be committed wholeheartedly and with the clear intention of winning. Otherwise, troops should not be committed.

    3. U.S. combat troops should be committed only with clearly defined political and military objectives and with the capacity to accomplish those objectives.

    4. The relationship between the objectives and the size and composition of the forces committed should be continually reassessed and adjusted if necessary.

    5. U.S. troops should not be committed to battle without a “reasonable assurance” of the support of U.S. public opinion and Congress.

    6. The commitment of U.S. troops should be considered only as a last resort.

    1. +1 ,as it should be

    2. Nearly perfect. I’d add something about an exit strategy, lest you get into “never ending containment” types of strategies.

      The Powell Doctrine states that a list of questions all have to be answered affirmatively before military action is taken by the United States:

      1 Is a vital national security interest threatened?
      2 Do we have a clear attainable objective?
      3 Have the risks and costs been fully and frankly analyzed?
      4 Have all other non-violent policy means been fully exhausted?
      5 Is there a plausible exit strategy to avoid endless entanglement?
      6 Have the consequences of our action been fully considered?
      7 Is the action supported by the American people?
      8 Do we have genuine broad international support?[2]

      Both of these were a direct result of lessons learned from Vietnam. Too bad we forgot and are making the same mistakes all over again.

      1. Obama/Clinton doctrine = R2P.

        Whenever and wherever the US foreign policy elites think there is a possibility of gross human rights violations, the US must bomb that place immediately.

    3. Good, but the “or its allies” leaves a huge loophole. If we define Saudi Arabia as our “ally” then most of the shit we’re doing definitely is in their vital interest.

      “Vital interest” is a stretchable word as well.

      The problem with these things is that the labels sound reasonable but are soon stretched beyond their meaning in the name of political expediency. Same with the constitution.

    4. The only thing I would add is that congress should be the sole arbiter of when troops are sent. If they vote that troops should be sent then, and only then, should the mission be turned over to the CIC.

    5. Congress something something declare war something something.

    6. – “” vital national interests of the United States or its allies””

      you can drive an aircraft carrier through this concept. There is a rainbow of opinion on what’s “Vital” to the US, much less a diverse array of allies. What is existential to Taiwan may not necessarily even be in our interests at all.

      and #6… if the person *actually* means “last resort”…. should probably be #1.

      and it pre-empts a lot of what’s covered in #2 and #3. #5 is some legalistic bullshit which i think doesn’t belong in any ‘doctrine’. Public opinion may not be in support of actual “vital interests” – and if its already the “last resort” , then is it really still something to be trumped by a popularity contest? And congress in theory should already have control, but we all know they’re perfectly happy to renege on their responsibility to declare war and/or cut funding when shit has gone wrong.

      1. So maybe foreign policy isn’t like computer programming with clearly defined variables and Boolean logic. The same interests being threatened may not always call for the same response.
        Maybe it’s situational.

        Doesn’t mean that if there aren’t any vital American interests at stake, we shouldn’t go to war.

        1. Everything is situational. Which is why all foreign policy formulaic theory – *in practice* – tends to boil down to some version of “Realism” anyway.

          I’d probably argue that Libertarians are actually more suited to being “Defensive Realists” than ‘non-interventionists’…. if only because the latter isn’t really a coherent theory at all, and doesn’t really account for any balance-of-interests or clear approach to how diplomacy is supposed to function in a world with carrots and no sticks.

          1. I think I agree.

            I see that “American interests” qualification as a real world burden on the President’s war power.

            If the President can’t articulate to the American people in clear terms why he’s committing troops, then he shouldn’t be committing them, and the more people expect the President to explain “American interests”, I think the less likely the President will be to commit them unnecessarily.

            1. It’s certainly bullshit if the President can get away with committing troops, and we can’t criticize his logic because he’s never even bothered to justify committing them, publicly, in the first place.

            2. “‘If the President can’t articulate to the American people in clear terms why he’s committing troops, then he shouldn’t be committing them”


              But – consistent with my criticism above Weinberger’s “popular support” requirement – the sad fact is that “We Need To Destroy ISIS, Because” is seen by a large majority as sufficient reason to drop bombs, and/or stick our noses into a civil war*

              Similar to my comment yesterday, the requirement that the president articulate a clear “casus belli” is mostly ‘enforced’ by the media

              If the media decides to simply pass-on the claims made by the Administration, and not point out the regularly-shifting narrative & goalpost moving… popular opposition to “limited” policy will never get very far.

              (which is exactly why i believe Obama prefers this endless “sitting on the pot” rather than shitting or moving on – he knows that incremental ‘stuff’ provides the impression of ‘doing something’ without actually making any decision one way or the other)

              I agree that its essential for Presidents, early in their adminstrations, to make clear statements about what certain regional objectives are.

              In Obama’s case, the closest thing we ever got to that was, “I want to GTFO of Iraq and never look back”

              By his own measure, he’s not doing very well

              1. For Obama, I suspect it’s personal, too.

                He’s been upstaged by Putin in Syria.

                Screw America. Maybe Obama can’t handle THAT.

    7. 3. U.S. combat troops should be committed only with clearly defined political and military objectives and with the capacity to accomplish those objectives.

      I would want to either remove or more closely restrict the “political” objectives. I have a hard time envisioning political events being a threat to the US. Internal or external, I don’t think politics is a legitimate reason to go to war.

      1. “War is a mere continuation of politics by other means”

        -some military guy

        1. It’s about time we change that.

          1. A change of the nature of reality is required.

  9. “Here are 3 Reasons why the U.S. should NOT fight the Islamic State.”

    You blew it with that statement. You should have stuck to “Here are [Three] Reasons Why the U.S. Should NOT [Deploy Ground Troops in Syria].

    “What counts as victory?” is a pretty good reason not to send in ground troops. Certainly, Assad winning. rather than ISIS, is no victory for the United States, American security, or American interests. And that’s the case that Obama needs to make–that putting ground troops in Syria is in the United States’ best interests.

    For those who were touting the more (capital “P”) Pragmatic approach from the Obama Administration, this is a major embarrassment. And Obama is violating the Weinberger/Powell Doctrine in so many ways, it isn’t even funny. There is no exit strategy before going in, etc.

    1. I’m still wondering why Assad remaining in power is such a disaster. The regime has been there for decades but now it’s somehow imperative that it be removed? Although Assad appears to be a despicable person, he’s a known quantity and it’s very likely that whoever would replace him would be worse for the United States in just about every respect.

      1. Once again, consider how important it is to Iran that Assad remain in power. Apart from everything else, if Iran believes that Assad staying in power is essential to its own security, then why are you arguing with them?

        Iran has committed its own military to preserving Assad’s rule. Iran has dispatched Hezbollah to defend Assad from the rebels.

        Iran is terrified that the Arab Spring will become a Persian Summer and that what happened to Mubarak, Gaddafi, and in Tunisia will happen to them. Meanwhile Iran’s missile capability continues to improve. They’ve already successfully launched satellites with multistage rockets. ICBMs aren’t far behind.

        Yes, things are coming to a head.

      2. anyone considering the Assad question need only consult the examples of Qaddafi and Saddam. Neither of those ousters turned out well. And it’s like Egypt, post-Mubarak, has disappeared from the map.

        1. So you’re saying the people of Syria should welcome back a vicious dictator that fires on peaceful demonstrators–because other countries fell into chaos after they got rid of their dictator?

          Not very libertarian of you. Tell me, do you think vicious dictators are the solution to any of our problems here in America, or is authoritarianism only the right solution to other people’s problems?

          1. I’ll tell you what’s very goddam libertarian about that – Assad hasn’t aggressed against U.S. citizens, just his own. That makes it NOT our problem. If the Syrians can depose him, or assassinate him, or peacefully vote him out of office – any of which actually improves their own lives, great. Still, NOT our problem.

            You know who has a problem with it not being a U.S. problem? People that think they have sufficient knowledge to solve the problems of people they know not a fucking thing about. That doesn’t sound like libertarians to me.

            1. You don’t seem to understand that I oppose putting boots on the ground in Syria–because it isn’t in our best interests to do so.

              However, proxy wars are the likely alternative to the Non-Proliferation Treaty. Obama (and/or the Pentagon) realize that if you can’t hold Iran to account by way of the Treaty, then they’re going to have to do it with proxy wars.

              People who thought that letting Iran violate the NPT without consequences were ignorant, foolish, naive, and stupid. The NPT was the alternative to war. Refusing to lower the sanctions without Iran capitulating and not letting them enrich their own uranium was the alternative to war.

              Letting Iran enrich their own uranium is the road to decades of proxy wars with the United States. That’s what happened during the Cold War. MAD didn’t stop wars from happening. It made wars proliferate. From Korea to Vietnam, and from Afghanistan to Angola. To think otherwise was just wishful thinking. You know what the road to hell is paved with?

              1. Letting Iran out from under the thumb of the NPT wasn’t the road to peace–just becasue Shika Dalmia said so. I can tell you that.

            2. No, Assad’s been bad for Israel too. But so what? Who isn’t bad for Israel around there?

              1. Assad hasn’t gone to war with Israel in decades. It’s a certainty that whatever nutjob replaces him will be worse for Israel than has been for the last twenty + years/

                1. Why go to war with Israel when you can fund Hezbollah?

                  1. Hezbollah is and always has been an arm of Iran and Syria.

                    “Hezbollah was conceived by Muslim clerics and funded by Iran following the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982, and was primarily formed to offer resistance to the Israeli occupation.[3] Its leaders were followers of Ayatollah Khomeini, and its forces were trained and organized by a contingent of 1,500 Iranian Revolutionary Guards that arrived from Iran with permission from the Syrian government.[20]


                    1. If Hezbollah is too busy to fight Israel right now, it’s because they’re too busy fighting for Assad in Syria. The only thing Hezbollah cares more about than fighting Israel is defending Assad and (of course) Iran.

  10. The other people who should be woefully ashamed of themselves for this are the people who favored Obama letting Iran off the hook for violating the Non-Proliferation Treaty–and letting Iran enrich their own uranium in the future despite having forfeited the right to do so according to the NPT. If there is any American security interest in making sure Assad doesn’t emerge from this conflict triumphant, it’s in depriving a nuclear Iran of a stable ally in the region in the future. Iran certainly thinks their security future is tied to keeping Assad in power, which is why they’ve invested so much in Iranian Army and Hezbollah defending Assad in Syria from the rebels.

    The peaceful means of preventing Iran from developing nuclear weapons capable of hitting the United States was by way of keeping Iran from enriching their own uranium. Now that Obama traded that away for magic beans, our most peaceful means of defending American security from Iran is by way of proxy wars. And when Iran does develop a nuclear capability, you can expect much more in the way of American proxy wars in the future. That’s what happened during the Cold War. It was 40 years of proxy wars from Korea and Vietnam, to Angola, Nicaragua, and Guatemala.

    1. “That’s what happened during the Cold War. It was 40 years of proxy wars from Korea and Vietnam, to Angola, Nicaragua, and Guatemala.”

      Also, Afghanistan, Egypt, Libya, Argentina, Chile, Iran in 1953, etc., etc., etc.

    2. Iran did not violate the NPT. Your statement just isn’t true. Whether or not they were skirting additional protocol violations is debatable.

      But let’s not pretend that the NPT actually means anything. The US and its allies use it as a bludgeon against countries they don’t like, and they look the other way when countries they do like (India, Pakistan, Israel) proceed to flagrantly violate it.

      We need to stay the hell out of that neighborhood. We have two oceans and thousands of strategic nuclear weapons to protect us.

      1. That’s factually incorrect.

        Iran violated the NPT by enriching uranium in secret. The sanctions were put in place specifically because Iran violated the NPT. Iran started enriching uranium in secret again after they had been found to be in violation of the NPT as well. Go look it up. You are factually incorrect.

        1. I get what you are saying, and I guess I should have been more clear. I meant that after 2002/2003, there was no evidence that they were diverting material to a weapons program.

          Their “secret enrichment” is debatable. They did not inform the IAEA about Arak when they were building it, but they had not commenced enrichment there. Of course, US politicians were also doing things like singing about bombing their country at the time, so perhaps the Iranians’ secrecy is understandable.

          1. “IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei reported that Iran had repeatedly and over an extended period failed to meet its safeguards obligations, including by failing to declare its uranium enrichment program.[23] After about two years of EU3-led diplomatic efforts and Iran temporarily suspending its enrichment program,[74] the IAEA Board of Governors, acting under Article XII.C of the IAEA Statute, found in a rare non-consensus decision with 12 abstentions that these failures constituted non-compliance with the IAEA safeguards agreement.[24] This was reported to the UN Security Council in 2006,[75] after which the Security Council passed a resolution demanding that Iran suspend its enrichment.[76] Instead, Iran resumed its enrichment program.[77]”


            Look up all the footnotes yourself.

            Iran enriched uranium, and it did so in violation of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

    3. “We Are the 80s”

      1. Some people think that letting our enemies violate the NPT without consequence or even mutual assured destruction will mean peace.

        They’re tripping balls.

        1. And what about when the US or its allies is/are in violation of the NPT?

          I would love for international law to actually mean something, but it’s clear that there are no repercussions when “the right people” are breaking it.

          And what consequences do you want? Sanctions weren’t stopping enrichment. Would you invade? Nuke them?

          1. “And what about when the US or its allies is/are in violation of the NPT?”

            Has the U.S. been in violation of the NPT? Have any of its allies been in violation of the NPT?

            I’d like to hear about that.

            P.S. I believe the U.S. did offer to provide Iran with all the enriched uranium they need for civilian use. They’d rather suffer ten years of crippling sanctions than give up the right to enrich their own uranium. What does that suggest about the intentions of their program?

            1. It means they want a nuke. I wonder why?

              1. I’d love to go back to 1953 and undo all our mistakes. But some of those “mistakes” are why we won the Cold War without a nuclear exchange, and I wouldn’t want to undo that.

                Besides, time travel is impossible. We have to deal with the world the way it is now, not the way it would be if only we had made any “mistakes” in the past.

                And given the way the world is now, I’m not sure bending over and grabbing our ankles in the name of peace is really in the best interests of American security. I certainly don’t think we should have done so just becasue Barack Obama is a naive narcissist and wanted to make his mark on history.

                In fact, I’m as big a fan of MLK and Gandhi as the next guy, but I’m not sure that works in security policy. Civil disobedience means taking a pounding so that your enemy is exposed as the bad guy and eventually bows to pressure. Security policy is about making sure your people never take a beating.

                If you think we should let Iran spank our butts because we deserve it, then you should come out and say so.

                1. You have to be an idiot to believe that an Iranian nuke is a threat to the U.S.; Europe, yes, Israel, yes, Russia, yes, Saudi Arabia – big fucking yes. Iranians having nukes isn’t about us, and I’m not sure why anyone believes that we have the [legitimate] international authority to deny them.

                  1. “I’m not sure why anyone believes that we have the [legitimate] international authority to deny them.”

                    If our government has any legitimate purpose at all, it’s to protect our rights. Our governments uses treaties, alliances, and a military to protect our rights from threats like Iran. And if that isn’t enough to legitimize defending our rights from our self-avowed enemies, then how about the fact that Iran signed a legitimate Non-Proliferation Treaty–and violated it?

                    “You have to be an idiot to believe that an Iranian nuke is a threat to the U.S.; Europe, yes, Israel, yes, Russia, yes, Saudi Arabia – big fucking yes. Iranians having nukes isn’t about us”

                    While it’s certainly relevant to consider the Iranians current capabilities, we should also consider what they’re likely to be able to do in the future.

                    Their current capabilities include being able to launch orbiting satellites with multistage rockets. They will soon be able to produce ICBMs.


                    Why pretend otherwise?

                  2. Ballistic missiles might differ with your opinion. And the religious theory of Iran is that in exchange for the destruction of the Great Satan they will be destroyed. How do you deter that?

                2. The whole idea behind the NPT was to give the non-nuclear states the “inalienable right” to enrich uranium while the declared states worked to eliminate their nuclear arsenals. The US has never made any effort to dismantle its nuclear arsenal.

                  I don’t happen to agree with dismantling our arsenal, but there it is. If you think we should scrap the treaty completely, then say so. But the whole selective enforcement thing is a mess.

                  1. Both the United States and Russia have made good progress in disarmament.

                    Here’s a graph:


                    The NPT went into effect in 1970, and as you can see in the graph, the number of our nuclear warheads started falling then.

                    Other than that, I don’t know what you mean by selective enforcement.

                    Who has violated the treaty, and how has it been selectively enforced?

                    The right to enrich uranium for civilian purposes is and always was contingent on not enriching uranium in secret. That is what Iran did to violate the treaty–they enriched in secret and continued to do so even after they had been declared in violation of the treaty. The treaty members, including the Security Council with China and Russia, put sanctions on the them for violating the treaty.

                    Who else violated the treaty?

                    Not even North Korea violated the treaty. They simply left the treaty.

                    I’m not the one saying we should scrap the treaty. Quite the opposite. If there aren’t any consequences for violating the treaty, then why have one? What’s its purpose if not to sanction those member states who violate the treaty?

        2. Hey Ken

          Can you tell me what you think Iran will do with a nuke when they have it?

          1. I suspect they’ll use it bring about a MAD scenario, where they can perpetuate their theocratic and totalitarian regime indefinitely–without fear of reprisal from the United States or their regional enemies.

            Once Iran has little or nothing to fear from their external enemies, I suspect they’ll have the cover they need to tell Hezbollah they can take the gloves off with Israel and in Lebanon. Iran will also press their advantage in Saudi Arabia and using conventional means, which has a sizable Shia minority. Hell, Iran is already in proxy war with Saudi Arabia over Yemen.

            I expect we’ll see plenty in the way of conventional wars if and when Iran gets nukes–wars we wouldn’t have had otherwise. I also expect that Iran’s enemies, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Jordan, especially, will all seek nuclear weapons of their own to counter the Iranian nuclear threat–and I think that will lead to all sorts of other problems.

            What do you think will happen?


            1. Once Iran has little or nothing to fear from their external enemies, I suspect they’ll have the cover they need to tell Hezbollah they can take the gloves off with Israel and in Lebanon. Iran will also press their advantage in Saudi Arabia and using conventional means, which has a sizable Shia minority. Hell, Iran is already in proxy war with Saudi Arabia over Yemen.

              Even if true, none is any of our concern.

              I expect we’ll see plenty in the way of conventional wars if and when Iran gets nukes–wars we wouldn’t have had otherwise.

              We? What is this we shit? Ya got a mouse in your pocket? Who fucking cares, anymore, about regional wars in the ME? The dynamic has changed. They no longer have anything we can’t get elsewhere. They can blow each other to hell and gone for all I care.

              Iran wants a nuke because they know countries with nukes don’t get invaded. All else aside, do you see any reason why Iran might be concerned about getting invaded? Any non-nuclear capable country in that region recently get invaded under false pretext?

              Just what are you proposing we do to stop them? Shall we invade because a sovereign nation wants the means to protect itself? Not like they are going to use it.

              You may be partially right. Nukes will increase their ability to regionally dictate terms. Sound like anyone else? I’m shocked. Shocked, I say, that another nation would want to enjoy the same advantage that we have.

              1. “Even if true, none is any of our concern.”

                Since elements of what coalesced into Hezbollah targeted our Marines circa 1982, Hezbollah has never attacked the U.S. directly.

                Why do you think that is?

                Do you think it’s because they’re nice?

                I think it’s because Iran is afraid of what would happen if we took Israel off its leash.

                I think Iran is afraid of what we might do to them if Hezbollah ever did to us what they do to Israelis civilians every single day.

                Iran no longer fearing our reprisals is none of our concern, really?

                1. Ken, why wouldn’t they continue to fear us? We could wipe them from the face of the earth 69 times over.

                  Them having nukes, ups the ante. IF they poke us in the chest AND they have nukes, they have limited our ability to respond conventionally. Meaning poking us in the chest is flirting with nuclear annihilation. Who does that?

                  Nukes have an overall stabilizing effect. The potential outcomes are so catastrophic that nations don’t instigate each other. How many nuclear nations have been to war with each other?

                  No, the US simply doesn’t like the idea of not having the option to invade Iran at our leisure and dictate terms in the region.

                  And the need for the US to dictate terms in the region has gone away. We no longer need their oil. Why do we give a shit?

                  1. “Ken, why wouldn’t they continue to fear us? We could wipe them from the face of the earth 69 times over.”

                    These are people who torture and execute their own for political reasons.

                    These are people who target Israeli civilians every day.

                    If they could drop a nuclear warhead on an American city, we would never engage with them directly for the same reason we didn’t engage with the Soviets directly. That’s how nuclear deterrence works.

                    “Nukes have an overall stabilizing effect.”

                    There is no reason to believe that.

                    Nukes did not have an overall stabilizing effect anywhere in the world outside of the Soviet Union, China, the United States, and Western Europe.

                    Nukes might make a direct engagement between the U.S. and Iran less likely–and dozens of engagements between our proxies absolutely certain. We would likely be drawn into several of those conflicts ourselves–just like we were with Korea and Vietnam.

                    How relevant is it to say that we were “stabilized” becasue we didn’t engage the USSR, we engaged the Vietcong?

                    You’re under a pretty amazing misconception about the Cold War being a period of stability. Go tell the victims of Pinochet or the Cambodians about that!

                    1. “These are people who torture and execute their own for political reasons.

                      These are people who target Israeli civilians every day.”

                      Perhaps I should be more explicit.

                      If they’re willing to murder their own people, if they’re already willing to kill civilians with Hezbollah as their proxy, why wouldn’t they be willing to use the same proxy to attack us?

                      What are we going to do in retaliation?

                      We couldn’t attack Iran if they could hit us with a nuclear warhead, so we’d have to go to war with Hezbollah. And that isn’t an organization I’m making up. They already exist. It’s a terrorist network with hardened regular army that fights proxy wars for Iran and has been doing so since 1982. Why wouldn’t they use them against us if we couldn’t attack Iran directly?

                    2. Jesus Christ, Ken, why would we need to go to war with Hezbollah. We don’t need to be involved in the ME at ALL. Old paradigm. We have no interest there. PERIOD!

                      Do you think they are coming to the US to kill us for leaving them alone? And if they do, fine we’ll retaliate against them if necessary. Whatever else they do isn’t our concern. Leave it alone.

                      You can’t shape the future by intervention. You simply create more messes to clean up, because our values aren’t their values. I give you ISIS. Hell, I give you Al Qaeda. Hell, I give you 90% of the problems in the ME (namely because of Israel).

                      Korea and Vietnam? Those are your examples? Two complete failures? 90,000 dead Americans with what to show for it? The simplest way to avoid proxy wars is to simply not fight them.

                    3. There’s an important vulnerability called International Trade, Frank. Quite a lot of trade goes through the ME–not just oil. Stability in that area is essential to East/West trade as well as trade between the Pacific/Indian oceans and the Mediterranean. We can’t just walk away.

                      Why do we care what happens in Somalia or Yemen? Look where they are on a map. The Levant has always been a crossroads in trade. The Silk Road(s) runs through that region from China through the stans, through Iran, Iraq, the Persian Gulf, the Red Sea and Suez Canal. It’s about trade and capitalism, in general.

                      Think about it.

                    4. And when trade routes are impeded, we un-impede them. Attempting to shape that outcome is an exercise in futility. When force is initiated against you, respond in kind. Until that happens, stay the fuck out of the affairs of others.

                    5. “And when trade routes are impeded, we un-impede them”

                      which is why The 5th Fleet resides where they do

                      Maintaining an active role defending an asset against interference is still often cast as ‘wanton provocation’ by the occasional Febreeze-farting, non-interventionist-purist types.

                    6. Allowing the world to know you are ready for contingencies is not the same as telling sovereign nations how they may defend themselves.

                    7. And when trade routes are impeded, we un-impede them.

                      That’s like saying: “when someone kills you, call the police.” The damage is already done at that point. Because our way of life is dependant on trade, we are extremely vulnerable to attacks on merchant ships all over the world. There is no law and order on the international stage–you either protect yourself, or you lose to every Somali pirate or Russian strong man with an evil eye or a grudge. Retaliation does not reimburse the suppliers and customers who’ve become victims of high seas piracy. Retaliation cannot bring back from the dead those who’ve been attacked on the high seas. A deterrent is needed, and that deterrent–unfortunately–is a police force in the form of navy fleets, etc.

                    8. “Jesus Christ, Ken, why would we need to go to war with Hezbollah. We don’t need to be involved in the ME at ALL. Old paradigm. We have no interest there. PERIOD!

                      As long as they have the potential to attack us, we will have an interest there.

                      You seem to imagine that if only 51% of the American people adopted libertarian ideals and the politicians and the Pentagon all followed suit, suddenly the rest of world–including terrorist militias devoted to our destruction and the destruction of our allies–would realize that we’re really not as bad as we used to be. And then maybe they’ll leave us alone?

                      And what if America doesn’t embrace libertarianism, and what if Iran used its nuclear deterrent and Hezbollah to threaten our rights and our safety even if Americans suddenly did have nothing but peace and good will in our hearts?

                    9. A thing is what it is and not something else. Things are the way they are–not as they should be or as we would like them to be. And that is the world we have to deal with–the one that really exists. Not the fantasy in your head. And given the way the world really is? Our rights would be much better protected from foreign threats if Barack Obama hadn’t sold a substantial chunk of our hard won security to Iran in exchange for magic beans. And I am in no way comforted by the suggestion that although Iran may have held Hezbollah back from attacking us in the past for fear of our retaliation, in the future we can count on them leaving us alone–because of the true goodness in our hearts.

                      Being a libertarian doesn’t mean I have to pretend I’m stupid.

                    10. “We have no interest there. PERIOD!”

                      You should probably explain this to the US Fifth Fleet.

                      What have they been doing all this time?

          2. “Can you tell me what you think Iran will do with a nuke when they have it?”

            Hold the world hostage?

            Its sort of their style. They can’t close the straight of hormuz (despite wanting to) because of the aforementioned 5th Fleet.

            Give them nukes, and a credible ability to make one go off somewhere they want it to, and suddenly they can take a more pro-active role in dictating world affairs.

            1. And when they do…you get to go kill them. Attempting to suppress fires that may never be ignited is a waste of resources and is counterproductive. No one knows the future until it happens. Be ready to counter the worst case and don’t interfere until you’ve actually been transgressed upon.

              At the very least, you have the moral high ground. Best case scenario is that it never happens and you never need to fight at all. Attempting to bend people to your will gets you nothing but resentment and gives the other side something to unite against.

              1. “And when they do…you get to go kill them. Attempting to suppress fires that may never be ignited is a waste of resources and is counterproductive.”

                Deterring attacks by our enemies on American citizens and American territory–before they happen–is the primary legitimate purpose of foreign policy.

                Having no deterrent isn’t just a complete abdication of legitimate libertarian government. It’s also completely irresponsible.

                There is surely a list somewhere of every single potential state sponsored threat to American security ranked by likelihood along with an up to date assessment of precisely how we’re presently countering each and every threat.

                Anything short of that would be profoundly incompetent.

                If you don’t like our military disposition towards the rest of the world now, you’re gonna hate it even more if and when Iran develops a nuclear capability and the means to deliver it to the United States.

                And your assumptions about how the rest of the world would leave us alone if only we didn’t present a threat is ridiculously naive. It doesn’t even work that way on the playground.

                1. You are confusing being prepared to meet a threat with actually responding to it. No one is saying we shouldn’t have the capability to defeat a threat should it be used against us. No one is saying we shouldn’t be able to deter the initiation of force.

                  But that’s completely different from telling another sovereign nation what weapons they can have to defend themselves, and threatening initiation of force to preclude the existence of a threat that we already have and hold in reserve against them.

                  The possibility of the Soviets coming across the Fulda Gap was a legitimate threat. We equipped ourselves and trained to defeat that threat. We didn’t preemptively invade Russia to prevent it from happening. We didn’t demand that the Soviets dismantle their tanks. We prepared to counter the threat should it be used. Moral highground.

                  1. “You are confusing being prepared to meet a threat with actually responding to it.”

                    In order to be prepared to meet a threat, we must have a credible threat of our own. That’s a big part of what our support for Israel is about. They’re a credible threat we keep on a tight leash like a guard dog, to keep our enemies in check. If it weren’t for Israel’s relationship with the United States, Israel would have wiped out the Palestinians, invaded, carpet bombed, and wiped out Hezbollah, and gone to war directly with Iran a long time ago.

                    We have nuclear weapons for pretty much the same reason. Because ultimately, we could do to any of our enemies–like Iran–what we did to Japan. It’s a credible threat.

                    You’re talking about taking both of those threats off the table (withdrawing from the Middle East and giving up our nuclear advantage) in the hope that when we present no threat to Iran, they won’t have any reason to fear us–out of one side of your mouth. And then you claim, out of the other side of your mouth, that we have to be prepared to meet the Iranian threat?

                    Our nuclear superiority is that threat. Our nuclear ally in Israel is that threat.

                    I don’t know what’s worse, imagining that Iran would leave us alone if only we didn’t represent a threat or not realizing that the threats we present are the very ones you want to give away. Regardless, you seem to be arguing both!

                    It’s absurd. You’re being absurd.

                    1. Again, Mutual Assured Destruction does not make peace. It makes conventional war a near certainty. World War III lasted from 1948 to 1989, and it was fought with mostly conventional weapons. The Cold War was not a period of stability, and there is no reason to believe a nuclear standoff in the Middle East would lead to stability either. Peace from MAD is a murderous pipe dream.

                      There is also no reason to believe that if we didn’t present a direct threat to Iran that Iran would leave us or the rest of the world alone. They are actively asserting themselves from Iraq to Syria, Lebanon, Yemen, and the Shia dominated areas of Saudi Arabia. They’re expansionist! They have an army of terrorists called Hezbollah that practically invented modern suicide terrorism, and they continue to use Hezbollah to target civilians assert control over their neighbors. They’re a real state sponsor of terror with a real WMD program.

                      They also hate us and call us the Great Satan, and I don’t care if their historical grievances against us are legitimate or not–IF IF IF you think we should capitulate to Iran and subject ourselves to their mercy because they have some legitimate grievances, you’re out of your mind.

                    2. You know, it’s almost like you seem to think, Franco, that the real threat is the Pentagon, and you’re hoping a nuclear Iran will stymie American ambitions in the region. If that’s what you really think, please don’t say so. Because there’s a really nasty and accurate term for that kind of thinking, and the term isn’t “stupid”. It’s much, much worse than that.

              2. ” Attempting to suppress fires that may never be ignited is a waste of resources and is counterproductive”

                I’ll make sure to inform all the jewelry stores that they’re wasting their money on armed guards, and assure them their money is far better invested on detectives to recover their goods after any potential future robbery. Insurers will also be thrilled to hear this.

                1. Thank you for proving my point.

                  Jewelry stores defend themselves from potential threats. They don’t go kill people who might someday rob them. AND they don’t dictate which weapons people may arm themselves with based upon the remote possibility that they may be used to rob them at some point in the future.

                  1. I was responding to your point on the broader idea re: “pre-emptive” security, and that States are somehow morally-superior for not trying to prevent fires before they break out.

                    Regarding nukes specifically, I have no particular cute-analogy to apply.

                    I’d simply say that no one is ‘dictating’ what weapons Iran can have = they’re simply applying pressures “short of war” to get them to choose otherwise, out of a rational awareness that Iran would be likely to use them in an aggressive fashion compared to other nuclear-armed states.

  11. War hawks such as Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) claim that “the threat ISIS poses cannot be overstated.”


    First, since when is something simply being a threat a justification for war?

    Second, a threat to what? Are they going to employ thousands of nuclear warheads and end human life on earth? Are they going to invade and take over the US, enslave its people and raise the ISIS flag over the White House? Are attacks on innocent US citizens imminent? Are they holding critical US interests, in the area, hostage some how?

    This notion of something being a “threat” justifying military action is akin to the frog in the slowly boiling pot. Twenty-five years ago, going to war in the ME over someone else’s civil war would be a pretty hard sell. Now we bomb pretty much anyone we don’t approve of because they MIGHT, possibly, in our opinion, cause us trouble in the future. It’s obscene. We are becoming that which we allegedly despise.

    1. It would be helpful if congress had a spine. Then they could say something like, “Hey, if you start a war without our say-so, we’ll impeach you.”

      But that’s so 1990s.

  12. “But [America] goes not abroad in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own. She will recommend the general cause, by the countenance of her voice, and the benignant sympathy of her example. She well knows that by once enlisting under other banners than her own, were they even the banners of foreign independence, she would involve herself, beyond the power of extrication, in all the wars of interest and intrigue, of individual avarice, envy, and ambition, which assume the colors and usurp the standard of freedom. The fundamental maxims of her policy would insensibly change from liberty to force. The frontlet upon her brows would no longer beam with the ineffable splendor of freedom and independence; but in its stead would soon be substituted an imperial diadem, flashing in false and tarnished lustre the murky radiance of dominion and power. She might become the dictatress of the world: she would be no longer the ruler of her own spirit.”

    John Quincy Adams July 4, 1821

    1. Yeah, but that guy was probably white and a slaveowner. What the hell does he know?

      1. Adams won the Amistad case. You really couldn’t take two seconds to google to see if he owned slaves? Now you look stupid.

        1. *cringes and sucks in through teeth*

          I don’t think that is what he is saying.

          1. Poe’s Law.

        2. Your sarcasm meter needs recalibration.

          1. You violated Poe’s Law by not making it obvious with a winky face or tag. 😉

      2. “Yeah, but that guy was probably white and a slaveowner. What the hell does he know?”

        I agree! Besides, 1821 was like, 100 years ago.

  13. I keep asking and I get nothing on Syria. No objective, no strategy, no rational. Obumbles himself had Earnest tell us it was happening. He didn’t even bother to explain himself in person. If he has, I missed it.

    In what way is he acting differently than a dictator?

    1. Can’t Congress stop funding his wars and whatever else he wants? Other than that, he is.

      1. Frankly, they can, but they won’t. There are too many political reasons not to even have a vote. If the mission is a success, the pols can claim credit for it. If it’s a failure, they can say they opposed it from the beginning but were deceived by the administration, hamstrung by the machinery of government, misled by gremlins, or whatever. Also, any vote against military action after it is already underway will be spun as a betrayal of the troops and if there’s a sacred duty in politics at this point it’s being seen as “supporting our troops” which strangely is sending them in harm’s way as much as is humanly possible.

  14. OT- No wonder I salivate when I drive by a pasture full of cows: I am white.…..e-of-cows/

    “The social justice movement treats power imbalance and inequality as mere social constructions that people with axes to grind unjustly employ against the hapless and helpless. In order to make an equitable world, privilege and power imbalance must be abandoned, and a raising of consciousness is needed to compel those who have privilege and power to set them aside for good. ”

    Thus, whenever I see a white college student, reeking of privilege, I recall the coincidence (or causal relationship) between white physical features and animal agriculture. It is still a question whether or not evolution endowed Eurasians with skills utilized to capitalize on the good luck of livestock animals, or whether Eurasian features just happen to be a poor man’s clue to agricultural history.”

    1. “Cattle, it was recently discovered, were nearly unable to be domesticated. All the cattle alive today descend from a foundation herd of about 80 animals. It does stand as fact that English colonists in Africa were able to tame zebras to be ridden or driven, and there is a long history of elephant use in Southeast Asia. Yet it is also fact that wild animals in Africa and the New World were left untapped, while some wild Eurasian animals were domesticated.

      Natural inequality ? inequality of history ? isn’t something that can be taken up or abandoned at will. Rather, it gives us history and makes us human.”

      I can also see this growing into blaming whites for the meat rich diet that is killing the planet.

      1. “You go where the FOOD IS aiiieaahh!”

    2. What is interesting to me is that her proggie handlers miss the door she opened for them. She throws around a lot of prog speak and her conclusion twice stated is that equality and social justice will never be achieved through peaceful means. She specifically says it must be coerced. They are blinded by their ability to only see things in one way.

      Many of her detractors openly state that censorship by ‘oppressed’ against ‘oppressors’ is not censorship. The progression has been from ‘blacks can’t be racist’, to ‘you can’t punch down’ to this, that oppressed can’t censor when they are silenced ungoodspeak.

      If up is down then the next thing is that the oppressed committing violence against oppressors is not violence, which is where they have wanted this to lead all along.

      There is no cabal of puppet masters pulling the strings. Labels like nazi, commie, fascist, useful idiot etc don’t apply. These are not the same people and they do things slightly differently, but they are the same kinds of people using the same kinds of ideas and methods. I fear that the progression from counterculture to firing squad is organic and inevitable with these types, it is just baked in.

        1. Yeah. There is so much to that kerfluffle that it would take all day to cover it all. The more you dig the more you find.

          I just found a good take on it from Popehat. Front page a few articles down. I don’t usually get frustrated by Reason’s commenting system but God. Dammit.

          The most interesting thing I find about it is that she is clearly a prog and that her proggy friends missed what she handed them so they attacked her.

          1. is that she is clearly a prog

            With all due respect, Suthen, reading more about the author and re-reading the editorial, I have to say that you’ve misread her…yet stumbled upon a truth at the same time. Take a look at this

            “The main questions floating around my brain have concerned the meaning of having autism and a platform at an Ivy League school, how I can communicate science in a better manner as to engage more people, the nature of liberal creationism and the anti-science left, and whether or not my sixth grade teacher was right about persuasive essay writing.”

            “Liberal creationism” is a term coined by Steve Sailer. I would argue that the op-ed is, in fact, a brilliant piece of Swiftian satire by that even rare creature than the female libertarian unicorn, a female alt right “racial realist”.

            The cruelest of the attacks contain no critique of my arguments, but mere sound and fury against a world growing more skeptical of them,”

            Indeed, she has the neo-reactionary purple prose down to a T. And yet, the fact that out of context she could be read as a Proglodyte proves how true the Horseshoe spectrum model of politics is. What Maier has shown is that when it gets down to brass tacks, the goals of the two groups are really the same, and the argument is merely over tactics.

            1. She makes the point even more brilliantly in another Op-Ed, the topic being that as an autist, she’ll never really understand political correctness.

              By all outward appearances, I want the same world as the most ardent of Brown’s social justice advocates. I want creativity, I want homeless people to have houses, I want to end oppression of women and of the poor, I want science and behavioral genetics to ensure that there will never again be another Ferguson. But I want more people educated and rational. I also want skepticism and logical consistency.

              1. I had mulled that over but decided that wanting the same world as the most ardent of Brown’s SJW makes her a proggy and that anything else was a distinction without a difference. I had missed the part about her being autistic. I had decided that her ‘racial realism’ would make her a racist in a soft sense but that most of the people criticizing her are, in my past experience, hard racists who are in the closet.

                1. So, we’re pretty much in agreement. Though when one writes “I want science and behavioral genetics to ensure that there will never again be another Ferguson,” I’m not sure the adjective “soft” is warranted.

                  1. Now that you point that out…yeah. I change my mind. She isnt a soft racist. She sounds like a pretty solid eugenicist. Even if she isnt, that is where her line of thinking will lead even if she doesn’t intent for it to.

                2. Also,

                  Yet it is also fact that wild animals in Africa and the New World were left untapped, while some wild Eurasian animals were domesticated.

                  She never heard of a llama?

                  1. “This column did not meet The Herald’s standards for writing and clarity, and, more importantly, contained several factual inaccuracies regarding biology and race that cannot be corrected without compromising the argument of the entire column. The column relied on the repeatedly disproven premise that race is a biological category. The Herald regrets the publication of the column. We apologize to our readers for the factual errors and offensive claims made in it and for the shortcomings of our editorial process. In an effort to be transparent about our mistake, we are leaving the column online.”


                    What a cunt. You all offer her too much credit. She’s simply a piece of shit who deserves nothing more than to be flushed and ignored.

                    1. Re – ARW

                      I re-read the disclaimer and noticed the last line : “In an effort to be transparent about our mistake, we are leaving the column online.”

                      Maybe I was wrong. They didn’t miss the door she opened, they just don’t want to be seen stepping through it.

                  2. I think she mentions it offhandedly at some point.

                    It looks to me like she read ‘Guns, Germs, and Steel’ and is drawing a completely different conclusion than Diamond did. She uses the same examples.

                    *related – A friend of mine sent me a picture last week of him drinking coffee by his campfire with his bow hanging on a crudely fashioned rack with the string in a horizontal position. Standing on the string, not ten feet from him, is a wild turkey. He claims the local flock is very tame and comes around begging for food all the time.

                    Most wild animals, if you don’t try to kill them, are fairly easily tamed. This doesn’t mean that we should.

              2. But I want more people educated and rational. I also want skepticism and logical consistency.

                well, you’re not going to find them at Brown University or any similar hothouse of group think.

              3. “as an autist, she’ll never really understand political correctness”

                The Autist Formerly Known as Emma?

                She may be Alt-ritht, as you correctly spot – but just like the proggy-left, the appeal-to-mental-illness is straight out of Tumblr level politics.

                As you note = the horseshoe-spectrum effect is a good explanation.

                re: the “Autist”….

                I have experience with people diagnosed & treated for Autism-related disorders (Asbergers on the low end, and things like Prader-Willi on the severe end… etc)…

                …they don’t run around explaining away their political views as a consequence of their condition, in my experience. She seems to be wearing it like a badge, which is a sign that its complete bullshit.

                1. “She seems to be wearing it like a badge, which is a sign that its complete bullshit.”

                  I did say that differentiating her from a proggy was making a distinction without a difference and that distinction seems to be getting fuzzier and fuzzier.

              4. “”behavioral genetics””


                1. Women like being dominated when in estrus. They look for the most dominat male they can find during that time. What we like to call the “bad boy”.

              5. “I want homeless people to have houses”

                It’s annoying that non-homelesses seem largely incapable of grasping that there is a sizable set of folks who live differently by choice and not because they “fell on hard times” or some such nonsense. The problem isn’t that some people end up homeless, but that homeless folk have become fair game for the authoritarian jerks to harrass, attack, or just nauseously incommode at will, nine times out of ten rationalised as being done in an effort to help them out.

      1. I tried reading the article, but it was too much given that I’m not drinking at the moment.

        1. Slacker! You better up your game, it is long past noon on a sunday.

          1. I have learned the hard way that the all-day drinking thing is not for me.

            1. Starting after noon = not all day

              1. I started at 3pm, I mean WTF, it’s Sunday. I typically don’t drink until after 5pm, but I’m not working today and I’m grilling, so that requires starting early.

            2. Well my drink of choice is vodka, so that might have something to do with it. Six o’clock is a little early for me but since it feels like seven, might as well start.

          2. I needed to sober up after the high alcohol beer I had with lunch. I had to drive back home.

            Another seen in Nashua: Hillary Clinton has a campaign office on Main Street in Nashua. Looking through the window, two things caught my eye.

            The office has a life-size cardboard cut-out of Clinton, just like those cut-outs of Obama. The Obama cut-outs were, intentionally or not, a brilliant way to part fools from their money. Clinton cardboard cut-outs? Lame rip-off.

            The other thing that caught my eye was a hand-written sign that reads, “Chelsea’s Mom for President, 2016!”. Paging Barfman.

            1. Oh, don’t worry. The creepy is just getting cranked up.

              For some reason my damned google won’t work. I get zero results no matter what I search for.

              Someone please remind me, what was the propaganda campaign Obumbles supporters embarked on where they posed making heart symbols with their hands with something painted on them…I can’t remember. Maybe it was ‘I heart Obamacare’?

              1. I never heard of that, and I spent far too much time going out in Cambridge, MA when Obama ran the first time.

                1. Well, in fairness to both of us, there has been so much creepy propaganda from that crowd it is hard to keep it all straight.

              2. SB- I found this.

        2. WTF? You gave up already? I’m just getting started. It’d better be because you had to take a break to beat a few or your orphans who weren’t working hard enough or you’re out of the club, mister!

          1. See my comment above about having to drive home. I’m home now. It’s time to resume.

            1. Ok, you’re excused then, (:

              1. I can only drink the heavier beers in the winter. I mean it needs to get really chilly outside before I get the mood. Right now, it’s about 70 here in Balmer, still lager weather.

                1. It is always stout and porter season for me.

                  However, I might mix some lighter beers in with my stouts and porters during the hotter times of year.

  15. It would be nice if Reason actually wrote a story clarifying how the US (so-called) “ISIS strategy” has gradually morphed and evolved in its chosen methods and stated purpose rather than just re-warm their bland warnings from *september 2014* … as though nothing that has transpired since adds any clarity to the problems involved.

    The cookie-cutter approach is sort of lame.

    Its been my view that US ME policy since 2011 should have been ‘aggressive disengagement’… because trying to pick-winners/losers in the slow-burn Sunni-Shia civil war was going to result in the US being both responsible for everything, in control of nothing, and with no actual allies we can trust. better to let the whole place become a shitstorm and regain some natural balance-of-power rather than try and prop shit up at a distance

    sticking troops in seems like an invitation for Iran/Syria/Someone to ‘accidentally’ drop a bomb on them the way we helped israel target some of their people.

    If there were something troops could actually ‘accomplish’, then you should send a force capable of actually getting something done. but sending 50 guys just seems like an excuse to ‘shore up’ a faltering strategy of supporting Rebel groups that can’t support themselves. Maybe put them in as human shields to discourage Russian bombing of “our people”. I’m not sure that’s the best strategy – given the only dissuasion there is based on the idea that there would be a price to pay if they did so.

    1. How will Reason write such an article if there is no information about that? The only thing we get from the White House is FYTW. They can speculate, that is about it.

      1. There’s a years worth of changing commentary from the Pentagon and Chiefs on “what the strategy is” and why we think some air power campaign was supposed to “degrade and destroy” ISIS… so that (in theory) “The Right People” could begin winning the Syrian Civil war.

        The reason for pointing out this stuff would be to clarify that they don’t seem to have any fucking idea what they’re doing… and have completely abandoned the “Why” part.

        Kerry the other day claimed US force is solely-there to fight ISIS. Yet in 2014, ISIS was the *side-story* compared to our “Assad must Go” policy of supporting Syrian rebels.

        Pols were jumping over each other in 2014 about how we weren’t supporting the rebels *enough* and how we needed to do more more more. Now, we’re sort of pushing the idea of any Syrian coup to the side, and tacitly accepting that there’s no chance of that, and instead pretending that getting rid of ISIS is the priority… assumedly because we’re concerned that sticking ourselves in the middle will somehow prevent Russia & Iran meeting halfway and declaring de-facto control over the entire region.

        that sort of thing. You know, actual ‘analysis’ rather than merely re-hashing the 50,000 foot narrative from last year.

        1. That is pretty good.

          I haven’t kept up so I know next to nothing about tit.

          1. Ugh. That just isnt true. I know plenty about tit.

            1. go on….

            2. Tits make the world go ’round.

  16. 1) It’s not our fight and we have nothing to gain
    2) It’s not our fight and we have nothing to gain
    3) It’s not our fight and we have nothing to gain

    Say that three times into a mirror and BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOSH appears and ruins your day.

  17. Russian officials say Russian plane broke up in mid-air

    All 224 people aboard Kogalymavia Flight 9268 died in the Saturday morning crash that left debris strewn across a remote area of a region plagued by a violent Islamic insurgency.

    The airliner broke into pieces in midair, Russia’s state-run media quoted an aviation official as saying, but there were no additional details.

    “Disintegration of the fuselage took place in the air, and the fragments are scattered around a large area (about 20 square kilometers),” Viktor Sorochenko, executive director of Russia’s Interstate Aviation Committee, told journalists, according to reports.

    A little later in the article:

    The Sinai Peninsula, where Flight 9268 crashed, is home to ISIS-affiliated militants who are locked in a deadly conflict with Egyptian security forces. They appeared to claim responsibility for bringing down the Russian passenger jet in a statement posted online Saturday, but officials in Egypt and Russia dismissed it.


    The Egyptian military said militants in Sinai have shoulder-fired anti-aircraft weapons that only shoot as high as 14,000 feet, far short of the more than 30,000 feet at which Flight 9268 was flying when it dropped off radar.

    1. Well, Russians are pretty good at shooting down commercial airliners, I guess what goes around comes around.

      1. Probably they learnt about it from Americans. See, Iran Air Flight 655.

        1. The Russkies had it down much earlier

          They took out Larry McDonald, president of the John Birch Society , a sitting US Congressman, and a good friend of Ron Paul.

    2. It seems they might have incorrectly repaired a tailstrike 10+ years ago causing a structural failure.

      1. That’s a hell of a mistake.

        1. It wouldn’t be the first time it’s happened.

    3. Where did they get those missiles I wonder. Would they have at some time in the past passed through an embassy that no longer exists?

  18. If congress had a spine, WarBama would have been impeached by now.

    Here is a gift for WarBama…

    Chairborne Ranger Keyboard Commando PVC…..DBNZVN8B8Q

    1. Captain Murderdrone cannot be impeached, on account of being first black president you know. Just think of this as the good ol days before Hitlary starts WW3.

      1. Just think of this as the good ol days before Hitlary starts WW3.

        I am afraid that what you say might come to pass.

        I’m reminded of a bit from Time Enough for Love where Lazarus Long talks about wanting to go back to the pre-WWI United States where he says something along the lines of “in hindsight, this was the last happy time in a dark century”. I spent a little time on Google to find the quote thinking it would be faster than finding my copy of the book, and I couldn’t find the bit.

        1. Hah! Maybe this will be the solution for my current search for a different job. WW3 will erupt and I will get called up with my Army reserve unit. My day job would then be the smallest of my concerns.

          The 21st century sure has ways to re-cast old problems and issues in a new light!

  19. Does this even need explaining? It’s so palpably the king’s adventure to appear kingly in the company of kings, it’s silly to argue in terms of policy.

  20. How about: It’s unconstitutional — the President does not have proper authority to do this and only the Congress can declare war??

    I know that such a thing does not matter to the neocons and other hijackers of our government, but I rather expect Reason to make and defend this principled point upfront. Otherwise, what is the purpose for the magazine and website?

  21. I make up to $90 an hour working from my home. My story is that I quit working at Walmart to work online and with a little effort I easily bring in around $40h to $86h? Someone was good to me by sharing this link with me, so now i am hoping i could help someone else out there by sharing this link… Try it, you won’t regret it!……


    1. Cocaine’s a helluva drug…..

      /R. James

  22. If you look at facts on the ground – US policy is to reduce the Middle East from nations to tribes.

    As for the troops? They appear to be going to Kurdish areas.

    1. “US policy is to reduce the Middle East from nations to tribes.”


      I think that’s an accurate characterization of US Policy effects, if not intentions.

      1. The stated intentions and the real intentions do not match. In war the truth is a precious commodity. It is protected by a bodyguard of lies. We are at war. Undeclared? Well that is another part of the lie.

        Saudi Arabia is openly allied with Israel in order to defeat Iran. True since at least 2006 when it was de facto. That is how far things have come.

        The purpose? Tribes do not build nukes or ICBMs. And it is easier to pit tribe against tribe than it is to go after a nation.

        The question is: How far do the powers intend to go in this retibalization effort. Will the US be reduced to five or so regions? It is obvious that there is an effort on to refragment the remainder of the USSR.

  23. What a lame article. Not only to rehash an article from a year ago–as if the situation were static, but speaking points so flimsy without any noted evidence. Maybe ya’ll should just read Michael Weiss again (?) and come to the same erroneous conclusions.

  24. Howabout one more reason, Reason!
    It’s obvious to me we’re falling into Vladimir Harkonen’s Ras-Putin’s feint-within-a-feint. He wants Russia to become a major blue water naval power but he can’t do that without ice-free, warm water ports. He now has one (again) at Sevastopol Crimea but it is severely limited. The Black Sea Fleet can only exit the Black Sea through Istanbul.
    Putin seeks to drive a wedge between Washington and Istanbul. The alliance has always been fragile at best and, if he can succeed in driving Turkey from NATO, he will have secured entry into the Mediterranean even in the event of a NATO blockade.
    The Kurds and U.S. support of them is key. The Allies, upon defeating the Ottoman Padishaw, partitioned the empire so to break up troublesome ethnic groups between competing states. Kurds have been agitating for their own Kurdistan homeland for as long as I can remember.
    Putin obviously wants the U.S. to piss Turkey off and will gladly use Turkey’s Kurdish minority to do so.
    Another note, Soviet Russian Empire Federation forces wasted no time placing their shiny new K-300P Bastion-P (launching P-800 Yakhont anti-ship cruise missiles) on the Crimean Peninsula. This is a very scary weapon system. Its obvious purpose is to attempt to deprive the U.S. and allies from deploying in the Black Sea.

    So, Russia’s involvement in Syria isn’t about Syria, it’s about the Bosporus Straights, the Dardanelles, and Russia’s access to the Mediterranean.

    1. Good point. Global strategy is far more important than oil, etc. Control/protection of trade is most important–not civil wars or ethnic rivalries. It’s why the Romans fought four wars against the Carthaginians, for Pete’s sake.

    2. I think Turkey might be willing to give in to the Kurds if it means they help defeat Russia and Iran. With a bite out of Iraq at no extra charge. The US is running flights out of Turkey in support of the Kurds – so the decision may have already been made.

      1. @MSimon, Are you saying you think the Turkish Government has conceded that they can trade Kurdish autonomy and is waiting for a politically auspicious point to break it to the populace? That is an interesting idea!
        Of course, Turkish-Russian enmity goes back to the Middle Ages when Tatars (Turkmen from Turkmenistan) took Crimea and used it for a base to seize slaves (Slavs) from Russia.

        1. Think of the advantages for Turkey if they can eventually push the Kurds into Syria and let them have their bits of Iraq and Iran. Then the “Kurdish” problem is moved out of their country.

          1. Where they can launch an invasion to retake Turkish-occupied Kurdistan.

            1. Where they can launch an invasion to retake Turkish-occupied Kurdistan.

              It never ends – this year’s geopolitical advantage is next year’s blowback.

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