Not sure which fairy land world the blogger lives in but someone should explain to him or her that the days when the US could just pick up the ball and go home are long gone. Is he under the impression that if all US forces are returned home our enemies will just go back to whatever they were doing before the war? Did he not hear the ISIS threat of two days ago, “See you in New York”? Or the North Korean general who’s ambition is to “Nuke” Washington before he retires? Or maybe he has the same “I see no ships” attitude as our poorly advised President?
Incidentally, both Germany and the UK paid off their US war debt in 2006. I believe that other countries also have paid off their debt but without further research I am not sure……no time to check now the US/Germany World Soccer Game is about to start…...
If anything are wars in the Middle East have weakened national defense as they sop up finite resources , hamper the modernization, and force us to restructure our military --- all factors that move us away from being able to wage war against a potential enemy such as China.North Korea is a cat's paw for China and exists only with Chinese sufferance.
In my post I decried the constant warfare of the postwar years , most of which ,in my opinion ,could have been avoided. However,I am not opposed to national defense. We do live in a dangerous world. I am opposed to military adventurism and the neocon agenda.Eisenhower, an underappreciated president, was right to oppose what he termed as the military industrial complex.
sorry, passinthru, but your facts are wrong..
as to Britain, how about this: we first of all forgave/wrote off $650 million of the Anglo-American loan, then sold lend lease equipment at no more than 10% of value, writing off another $900 million dollars in equipment....losing just in these two transactions over $1.5 billion dollars...and that was what, sixty years ago.....hardly being paid off i'd say...and of course there's much more about the British debt...
now, as to Germany....what they paid in 2010 was the final payment of their world war debts as described by the external agreement on german debts in 1953...which reduced the size of the total german debt 50% and some 15 billions of gold reichsmarks....once again hardly what i would call being paid off...and theres much more that could be said about the german debt...
as to my world...no, i live on planet earth.....but as a historian can see what has happened repeatedly and believe enough is enough.....pull back and see where the chips fall...couldnt be any worse than whats happening all around the world in those conflicts where we have gotten involved....
Oh, and by the way, passinthru....it is a fact that virtually every foreign bad guy throughout time has very clearly stated his or her desire to destroy the United States...no matter how bi, or small, their army...
in case you have forgotten them, some of the more familiar names of these lunatics being Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, and Iranian Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini ....
in addition every military commander of the armed forces which we were/are actively opposing has said, if not in public then to his commanders that he or she would love to be able to 'nuke' New York City...
finally, I am a strong believer in 'National Defense' when there is something concrete to defend against.....
Regional wrote ‘sorry, passinthru, but your facts are wrong..’ Really? And I thought that facts could not be wrong, but anyway, check these facts:
The Anglo-American Loan Agreement was a post WW11 loan made to the UK by the US on 15 July 1946 and was paid off 29 December 2006” (Wikipedia). In other words the British debt has been paid off. In any case the amounts quoted by you are hardly worth quibbling over, must be about what the IRS or the VA pays in bonuses to its senior staff for the outstanding work it performs!
The London Debt Agreement of 1953 was an agreement to consolidate the many post WWII debts of Germany into one lump sum, agreed to be about 15 billion deutschmarks. This was to be paid off to the recipient countries, including the USA, over 30 years. The final payoff was made in October of 2010 (the later payments being in Euros). In other words the German debt has also been paid off.
Your follow on comments identify a number of individual “bad old guys”, and even manage to spell some of their names correctly, yet also demonstrate that you do not yet understand that today’s bad guys are all playing on the same team while we are a bunch of scattered individuals with no real plan and weak leadership.
"has very clearly stated his or her desire to destroy the United States...no matter how bi, or small, their army..."
so they gotta be gay to wanna blow us up????
The bad guys are playing on more teams than you can shake at sick at ,and that is why the entire region is such a mess.
Here's a piece of advice, Passinthru....
Wikipedia is probably the last place you should quote as a reliable source...for any kind of writing.....as it is almost always unreferenced and unchecked.......Wikipedia is not a primary source document....in other words, it is more often wrong than right.....and it is wrong here....
bottom line here....you seem to think paying a small fraction of what was owed is actually paying off the debt...I think almost everybody would agree that that is getting away with highway robbery.....paying off the debt means repaying the full amount owed, despite what Wikipedia says...
I challenge anyone to go into a bank and borrow a thousand dollars...and then going back and ask them to agree to change the terms so that would accept one hundred dollars as final and full payment.....as Bill Cosby often said in nhis comedy routines..."RIGHT"!!
As to spelling the 'bad guys' names right here's another FYI my friend...I did...I actually spelled their names as they are/were recorded in their own native language....it is the American (and many other nations) press who have repeatedly misspelled their names....it is quite common for writers to get proper names wrong...they've been doing that since history began actually being recorded...
Yes...everyone...sometimes my spelling is, well, bad...turkey, i plead 'not guilty as charged'...hahaha...i meant to spell big...oh well, no ones perfect...i know im certainly not...
and fly...you are so right...theyre like fire ants... all biting away driving you crazy but each of them is so small and there are so many of them you may drive them off for a while but nothing seems to get rid of them forever....sigh
So, Regional, you don’t like Wiki yet give no source to support your rambling opinions and suspect “facts”. Perhaps, instead of dispensing dubious advice, you could provide a source that proves me wrong? Or do you feel that your self-stated title of “historian” is sufficient? Although Wiki does sometimes have its problems it also provides its source data which in this case I found to be authentic.
Fly, what I meant by the bad guys playing for the same team is that the one enemy that we really need to fear is, In my opinion, the Islamic Fundamentalist. In recent times just about all attacks against humanity have been launched by followers of this doctrine or its spin offs. I’m sure that you know their aims and what they have in store for the rest of us, but if not check some of the horror stories born out of the ISIS attempt to found an Islamic Fundamentalist state in Iraq.
The blogger apparently believes that we should pack up our troops, go home and all will be well. The fundamentalists would, I am sure, agree with him.
So, Passin' do you feel we should put boots on the ground in Iraq? Syria? Yemen?
Leave troops in Afghanistan?
The turmoil in the Middle East has existed for hundreds of years just from the religious aspect. Throw in all other factors and the turmoil spans centuries. Exacerbated by European meddling (and some US dabbling)declaring arbitrary boundaries with no respect for historical divisions.
And, Passin' which particular "Islamic Fundamentalist sect" would you focus upon? Only those in the Middle East, or would you include the SE Asian sects.
I agree with Regional, we need to get our troops out of there, now. But we need to ensure a continued flow of HUMINT and not hesitate to use targeted force (yep, drones) when actionable threat intelligence is received and confirmed. We can't just pack up everything like we did in Afghanistan after the Soviet Union withdrew.
passinthru...you are certainly entitled to your opinions...there is an old adage you may have heard...something about rear-ends are like opinions, and everybody has one...
as to my experience as a historian and more....my work in the field spans some forty years...so....I choose to continue to believe what I know to be true....
ask anyone who reads what I write and i think that most would disagree with your atatements that my thoughts are rambling and my deductions are dubious....
once again...you are entitled to your opinions whatever they may be.....have a good life and learn to live in peace...
Drone warfare is a nasty business and represents an America that I do not recognize. Every drone strike may or may not kill an enemy ,but what is certain is that will every strike we make increases our enemies ten fold. Afghanistan is the graveyard of empires.All we have changed by our long years in Afghanistan is a vast increase in opium production which ,by the way, has had a direct effect on the great surge in opiate addiction in the US and in Europe.We have failed and from a military standpoint, commanders who do not know when to retreat are always destroyed.Bring the troops home. Let us focus on rebuilding this country.
Yes, drone warfare is a nasty business. Just like suicide bombers and flying planes into buildings. Most of our enemies no longer wear uniforms or confine themselves to specific geographic locations.
We had specific, actionable intelligence on Osama Bin Laden's whereabouts following the embassy bombings in Africa but both Clinton and Bush failed to act. Would a drone strike have prevented 911? Maybe. I wish one of the CNCs had taken the chance.
Bryant, What makes you think that there are not already “boots on the ground” in those places?
And I did not mention any particular “sect” just the single, worldwide movement of Islamic Fundamentalism which encompasses all the Sharia indoctrinated fanatics that should be tackled as one target, otherwise it will just keep reforming.
The ISIS/ISIL is now seriously eyeing Jordan, which is more than vulnerable. In turn Jordan is calling upon Israel, with whom they have a peace treaty, and the US, with whom they also have a treaty, for help in defending their country. Will Israel offer their help? Can the US refuse to offer help considering the US/Jordan alliance? Particularly if Israel is threatened or involved? Will the US have to return the troops that were prematurely pulled out of Iraq?
The Syrian side of the Golan Heights is mostly in the hands of the anti-Assad rebel forces, including radical Islamist groups, Israel yesterday retaliated against them for an attack upon their country that killed a young boy, the Israeli attack killed 10 rebels.
The chance of an all-out war in the region is increasing, so you and Regional may have to raise your heads out of the sand and consider what the US will really do in that event?
Drone warfare depends upon accurate intelligence ,and therein lies the rub. Some of the data we have compiled has been wildly inaccurate ,and , as a result , there is no telling on the number of innocents we have slaughtered.
Passin' I'm not talking 300 "advisors" when I refer to boots on the ground but large troop mobilization.
And I'm unaware of any troops being prematurely pulled out of Iraq. Prematurely inserted, yes.
And ISIS has already begun to generate resentment in areas previously taken in Iraq.
I think your vision of whose heads are in the sand is myopic. Lumping all sects into Islamic Fundamentalist, as you appear willing to do, is akin to the ignorance shown by the US in believing in communist hegemony in the 50's and 60's.
Fly, give me an alternative which adequately provides safeguards against future attacks.
So that's why certain Islamic Fundamentalists (as Passin' likes to call them) or rebels or freedom fighters or just plain hooligans kill aid workers? Because we don't have a hospital ship.
I often agree with your posts but in this I believe your vision is obscured by those rose tinted glasses. There are elements in the Middle East and SE Asia which will not be mollified by any amount of humanitarian aid. Their perspective of historical events and their warped views of the teachings of Mohammed will simply not allow it.
Another problem with our approach to the Middle East is that we seem to lack any strategic vision. All of our efforts remain at the tactical level.
Fly, agreed. That's why we (until recently) slavishly supported Istael but ignored the anti -American Islamic factoons in Saudi Arabia. Oil and religion (in reverse order obviously) .
Bryant, Oh Bryant, your continuing refusal to recognize the enormity, or even the existence, of the true enemy and its capability to do whatever is necessary to establish a controlling world body dedicated to the strict enforcement of Sharia law and the practice of Islam is almost as incomprehensible as the government attempt to cover up the evidence of this same group by baptizing their terrorist acts with euphemisms such as “workplace violence”
This attitude will only help make the enemy ambition all the more easily attainable, or maybe you think that if you refuse to believe it long enough it will all just go away?.
here's what CNN states: "Emboldened by a weakened Iraqi government that is struggling to stop their murderous advance, the extremists of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria declared over the weekend that they have set up a caliphate spanning large areas of the two countries."
Well, here's one more piece of information...they have announced the new Caliphate state's leader...Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi (this infor can be found at the blaze.com, passinthru.)
OK, so what does establishing a "Caliphate" state mean exactly? According to Al Jazeera (check them out online, Passinthru) this is what this means:
"Al Jazeera's Imran Khan, reporting from Baghdad, said that a caliphate was effectively an Islamic republic led by one leader, regardless of national boundaries. He added however that Sunni groups which have fought with the Islamic State group in Iraq have yet to pledge allegiance. The announcement might cause problems with other Sunni fighters in Iraq, who are fighting the central government of Nouri al-Maliki and not for the caliphate, our correspondent said."
so, to make it more clear, first of all, what does the Caliphate state mean as to rules? Remembering that this area is inhabited by both Sunni and Shia Muslims....Oh-Oh!!! Like it has been forever, these two sects cannot agree on pretty much anything. The difference here is that the Sunnis believe that the Caliph should be elected by the Muslims, while the Shia believe the Caliph should be appointed by Allah through the Ahl ah-Bayt, or the families who are direct descendents of the Prophet Muhammed. I don't think the ISI/ISIL leadership meets those restrictions. Ooops!!
The Qu'ran (not the Koran as the Western press calls it Passinthru) states that "God has promised those of you who have attained to faith and do righteous deeds...(a) Khulifa on earth...He will firmly establish for them the religion which He has been pleased to bestow on them" [24:55] (Surah Al-Nur, Verse 55)
It turns out that some Sunnis believe the application of Sharia Law is appointed by the Caliph in verses of the Qu'ran...however, the majority of the Shia and even many Sunnis disagree....Oh-OH!!
In many Islamic texts the Prophet Muhammed is claimed to have prophesied that "there will be a Caliphate that follows the guidance of Prophethood...then there will be a reign of tyrannical rule....Then, there will be a Caliphate.(in As-Silsilah, vol. 1, no. 5)
So...the ISIS./ISIL leadership is saying that their new Caliphate is this final Calip....which was pre-ordained by Allah through the Prophet Muhammed.
Well.....from what I've read this declaration is going to open up a whole bunch of cans of worms....sigh.....we will just have to wait and see...hopefully, from a distance....the last thing we need to do in my opinion is to add an American presence which will once again unify the Muslims...instead of allowing them to settle the issues by fighting it out between themselves...
Passin', I disagree with your presentation of Islamic radicals as a monolithic threat to our security and your assertion that US military action in the Middle East will effectively address that concern.
There is no global, all encompassing Muslim bugbear hell bent on destroying Western civilization. There are numerous, virulently anti-Western sects of Muslim radicals. Just as there are numerous "Christian militias" within the continental US denying the legitimacy of the US government and threatening (and occasionally using) violence.
Leave them alone unless they directly threaten US soil or foreign interests and they will fight themselves into a stalemate where all sides are dissatisfied but too tired to fight any longer.