Niger

Everything That's Wrong with Political Twitter in Two Tweets (Niger Edition)

Tribalism today, tribalism tomorrow, tribalism forever!

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Wikipedia, public domain

As Ed Krayewski has pointed out, Niger, where four American commandos were recently killed, is a scandal, not least of which because there's no clear, compelling national interest to justify a U.S. presence that started in 2005.

That's when George W. Bush dispatched forces to train local military and to support French efforts to combat terrorism. In 2013, Barack Obama sent more troops, for the same basic reasons. In the wake of the new deaths, Bonnie Kristian writes,

Donald Trump seems content to stay the course of under-the-radar escalation. A major U.S. base is under construction to serve as a hub for drone activity throughout the region, while American boots on the ground in Niger are significantly occupied with the arrival of extremists from neighboring Libya, which remains in chaos since the U.S.-facilitated ouster of strongman Moammar Gadhafi in 2011.

The three most recent U.S. presidents thus deserve responsibility for putting Americans in harm's way. But their ability to do so without facing any sort of serious reproach is abetted by the awful one-upmanship that grips political Twitter like grim death itself. For example:

I happen to know and like Stephen Miller and I recommend you follow him on Twitter (he's not the ethno-nationalist who works for President Trump). But the exchange between him and MSNBC's Joy Reid sums up much if not everything wrong with not just Twitter but politics in general. People are so driven by tribal loyalties that virtually all they care about is pulling a gotcha on somebody from the other side of the left-right, liberal-conservative, Democrat-Republican divide. It doesn't matter if you're both wrong and it doesn't matter if fewer and fewer of us want to be associated with either of those sides.

We will not have truly 21st-century politics and policies until we leave behind political groupings that had burned out even before the end of the 20th century. Certainly we will not have a foreign policy that can fake even the smallest coherence until we move beyond petty, stupid, and inaccurate blame-gaming.

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  1. It’s not as if this is unique to ‘political Twitter.’

    See: the following comments.

    1. Why can’t we all just get along?

      1. I’m not your buddy, pal!

    2. Is there an unpolitical twitter? Asking for a friend.

      1. Weird Twitter is basically unpolitical.

      2. All the Japanese porn twitters aren’t political. I know this from a friend.

      3. Your friend is either a raging commie, or a raging alt-right whatever is this weeks insult is.
        To quote the original marketing slogan “Twitter is for Twits”.

      4. Thanks to their ‘Trust and Safety’ council, no.

  2. Certainly we will not have a foreign policy that can fake even the smallest coherence until we move beyond petty, stupid, and inaccurate blame-gaming.

    Which is why I will spend the rest of this article espousing the reasons to bring our troops home from Niger if not Iraq, the ME, and even larger, more conventional installations throughout the world…

    Or was the point of the article “Twitter! Waaaah!”?

  3. “We will not have truly 21st-century politics and policies until we leave behind political groupings that had burned out even before the end of the 20th century.”

    That’s one way to look at it. Alternately, you could say that 21st-century politics is basically being defined before our eyes. And it is being defined as a battle between two mascots that have virtually nothing in common with the people they represent other than a few slogans.

  4. Twitter’s real value is how it enabled millions of people to telegraph how offended they are.

    1. There’s also the fact that you can tweet at the “leader” “of the” “free world” and he will almost immediately respond with an insult.

    2. More to the point, it lets me know who to ignore.

      -jcr

    3. It’s real value is that it allows journalists to reveal how stupid and shallow they are. It really was an invention of evil genius. Before Twitter editors would ensure that journalists didn’t drop the mask. Twitter allows them to broadcast their unedited thoughts to the world. Their egos keep them from resisting. I don’t think any one thing has done more to destroy the credibility of the media than Twitter

    4. Twitter’s real value is how it enabled millions of people to telegraph how offended they are.

      This seems doubl-y wrong. Telegraphs are old and outdated and you had to be connected at both ends (and all points in between) to send/receive signal, interpreting morse code was a skill. I don’t have a Twitter account and even I know that anyone who can’t tweet is a moron.

      Something between ‘project’ and ‘psyonic storm’ seems more accurate.

  5. A couple of guys getting killed doesn’t mean we are wrong to be in Niger. I think the problem here is not so much Twitter but people like Nick who seem only able to think in 145 characters or less. Saying a couple of guys dying is proof positive we should be there no more discussion or thought required is a lot more stupid than pointing out that Obama not Trump sent them there.

    1. C’mon John, Nick can clearly think in more than 145 characters. He published 5 of his own paragraphs! Now, they’re altogether marginally deeper than a 145 character Tweet but the point is he clearly knows more than 145 letters.


      1. …the point is he clearly knows more than 145 letters.

        Nick knows Mandarin? That’s news to me.

        1. Nick knows Mandarin?

          🙂

    2. I don’t understand. Did you expect to read sophisticated political analysis dedicated on Niger when you clicked the article “Everything that’s wrong with Political Twitter in two tweets (Niger Edition)”

      This is a piece about political discourse. He mentioned niger and provided two links to it. Is your comment related to the article at all?

      1. Did you? The entire article is based on the totally unsupported assumption that we should not be there. Are you illiterate or just dense?

        1. Did I what? Comment about the article? What is your question referring too?

          Please point to the unsupported assumption that the “entire article is based on” please. Assuming you read the article and noticed that it is about “People are so driven by tribal loyalties that virtually all they care about is pulling a gotcha on somebody from the other side of the left-right, liberal-conservative, Democrat-Republican divide.” He uses the subject of Niger to conclude something beyond the topic which relates specifically to political discourse in every subject. That’s the whole god damn point.

          I appreciate this unmoderated bullshit from you, I’m so glad we don’t have anyone that could ban you, like every other place on the internet. Glad times.

          1. If you don’t assume we should not be there, the Tweets are not objectionable. It is not hard.

            1. So you’re going to double down and just ignore that both the article and jcw are talking about the “awful one-upmanship that grips political Twitter like grim death itself.” You can focus down on that one aspect that is simply a backdrop to the conversation then blame progressivism for not having the conversation you want it to at this exact moment.

              It doesn’t make you a intellectual libertarian to be willfully obtuse about things.

      2. John never fails to jump at a chance to be a contrarian.

        1. I’m pretty sure that one of the few things we all have more or less in common is that we’re a bunch of contrarians.

          1. No we are not.

            1. Thanks for not disappointing me! ^_^

    3. A sentiment you no doubt held about Benghazi.

      1. There were good reasons not to be there you fucking idiot I

  6. I enjoy it when a critic of the current administration is zinged by a critic of a former administration. It’s all harmless fun, and it serves a purpose. At some point they might just realize they’re all awful, and not in their own unique way.

  7. I happen to know and like Stephen Miller and I recommend you follow him on Twitter (he’s not the ethno-nationalist who works for President Trump).

    Funny, I don’t recall Nick ever calling out Japanese ethno-nationalism. Or the ethno-nationalism of most every people in the world.

    But Stephen Miller, he’s an ethnonationalist.

    Evidence?

    1. There isn’t any. Nick sits fat dumb and happy enjoying all of the benefits of living in this country but then hates anyone who in any way tries to defend it. Nick should move to Egypt or Turkey or some other country to escape the scourge of us ethno nationalism. Good luck with that.

      1. It goes to show how far the Progressitarian rot has spread at Reason.

        Do you know any actual libertarians unwilling to debate ideas? Globalism, Nationalism, Monarchy, Marxism, Welfare Statism, Alt-Right Ethnonationalism, Ethnonationalism generally – we’ll take them all on, and be honest about the facts while doing it.

        Reason won’t take on the Alt-Right. Won’t discuss ethnonationalism generally.

        But they *will* dishonesty paint libertarian *civic nationalists* like Lauren Southern, Milo, and now Stephen Miller as Nazi racist ethnonationalists.

        Won’t discuss principles. Will dishonestly brand their intellectual opponents as racists.

        Doesn’t sound libertarians to me. Sounds like SJWs.

        Reason is rotting.

    2. America, we strive to be just like every country in the world. TM.

      1. Well, somewhat ironically most of the politicians you support would indeed appear to want to be more like Europe in every possible way.

        1. We should steal their best ideas and add them to our exceptionalism, so we can be even more exceptional.

          One of our best ideas was to embrace diversity rather than turn it away at the border, and they could learn that from us too.


          1. We should steal their best ideas and add them to our exceptionalism…

            What, like industrialization that you generally dislike?

            Hmm…

            As is, I’m not going to berate the point since if I drill down further I’m pretty sure I won’t agree with what I find but at least at the surface you’re not necessarily wrong.

            1. Actually I’m a big fan of technological advancement, which is why I advocate for new, clean energy tech in the face of near-unanimous support for the 19th century tech here.

              1. Who knew that fracking was 19th century technology.

                1. You got me there. The earthquakes I’ve been feeling for the past few years, a thousand-fold increase in historical rates, are definitely new.

                  1. When was the modern seismograph, used to measure earthquakes, invented?

                    1. I just assumed Tony was just bragging about a recent uptick in his sex life.

                    2. You aren’t seriously denying that fracking causes quakes.

                    3. It depends on the region, but the idea they are ‘a thousand-fold increase in historical rates’ is only helpful or useful if you know how far back ‘historical rates’ are. Nice try, but I happen to know reports don’t go back much further than the 1800’s for the area and real measurement took until the early 1900’s. So not a very important data segment geologically speaking.

                      They tried to blame fracking on a Dallas quake we had a few years back, yet no one bothered to mention the fault line that’s been active in reports going back as far as the early 1800’s that was right under the area it happened.

                      But a 1000 fold increase? I doubt that very much. I would wager you’re probably near a fault line, but without knowing where you live it’s impossible to say. I’ll admit it’s possible, although unlikely.

                    4. Tony is a fault line.
                      (It’s out fault we cannot avoid responding)

                    5. Fracking also produces cleaner energy than coal; the net environmental benefit of allowing fracking is almost certainly very positive.

                      Also, loving technological development but hating capitalism is like saying you love pizza but hate ovens.

      2. America, we strive to be just like every country in the world. TM.

        I don’t want the US be ethnonationalist like the rest of the world. But I start with the honest facts, including how ethnonationalist the rest of the world is.

        I understand you find a commitment to honesty very alien and incomprehensible, as do all Leftists.

        1. So you use the rest of the world as a baseline?

          1. It provides perspective on all the hysterical pants shitting over ethnonationalism. It’s the human default. Get over it.

            Now how about Reason making a real argument against it, instead of hiking up it’s petticoats and running off shrieking?

            The *only* people actually *arguing* against it are Trump civic nationalists. This isn’t an argument I want to see lost.

    1. Do we really care about that, though, when we sold something to the tune of 20% of American Uranium to Russia? That seems to indicate that we don’t really give a shit. And by ‘we’ in this case I mean ‘the government’, just to clarify that I don’t mean ‘we’ at all.

      1. Actually, it is turning out that we did not so much sell it to them, as a certain extremely careless person of limited technical skills did a magic trick and turned cash into approval.

    2. Weird, I wonder if that’s got something to do with the low-enriched uranium bank?

  8. Just out of curiosity, why is there no compelling reason for us not to be in Niger? The threat of terrorism there is overblown? Their government doesn’t want us to be there? Something?

    1. There government is under real threat and wants us there. But Nick thinks they should just surrender I guess

      1. Why are we there under Niger’s RoE (no armed drones)?

        1. Because it’s theirr country

      2. Then they should hire Blackwater and pay for it with their own money.

      3. So?

        I agree that sprinkling special forces around the world seems like an efficient way to kill people if that is our goal. And I agree that it seems silly to overreact to 4 casualties.

        But why do we care what happens to Niger? Let them hire blackwater. Or France.

      4. Maybe they should fight their own war.

  9. Or we could let grieving mothers of dead soldiers say whatever the fuck they want and leave it at that.

  10. That’s when George W. Bush dispatched forces to train local military and to support French efforts to combat terrorism.

    In case you were wondering why there are so many terrorist attacks in France.

    1. I’m trying to think of another massive conflict we tripped and fell into because of the French…

      1. Hitler!

    2. Something tells me that this may also explain some of France’s issues with Syrian terrorists

      Ehh nevermind, it’s not like the Middle East to hold on to a grudge for decades

  11. Oh, so now “Niger” is an OK word?

    1. I say “the N-country”

    2. We’re only there to empower them in killing Libyans so it’s cool as long as you don’t say it in a denigrating manner.

      1. why are we at war with lesbians? Serious “war on women”!

        1. They might be men, you have to ask to be sure what they are this week; but asking is whatever sexist would be if sex still existed instead of gender.

  12. We have to make the world safe for democracy*, so it falls on us to have troops everywhere at all times

    *Saudis exempt

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