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Posted by Hal Neumann (+10231) 8 years ago
Lots of opinions . . . lots of questions . . . not much in terms of answers or solutions.

“Special Report: How Mosul Fell - An Iraqi General Disputes Baghdad's Story”
By Ned Parker, Isabel Coles And Raheem Salman
REUTERS
October 14, 2014
http://www.reuters.com/ar...Z820141014

“Chechens Lead Way In ISIL War For Dominance”
By John Batchelor
ALJAZEERA AMERICA
October 13, 2014 6:00AM ET
http://america.aljazeera....obane.html

“The Rise of the ISIS Terrorist Army in Iraq and Syria: How Did we Get Here?”
By Brian Glyn Williams
HISTORY NEWS NETWORK
http://historynewsnetwork...cle/157196

“Is There an Answer for Syria?”
By Jessica T. Mathews
NEW YORK REVIEW OF BOOKS
November 6, 2014 Issue
http://www.nybooks.com/ar...wer-syria/
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Posted by Jett (+89) 8 years ago
The answer is the U.S.Marine Corps.
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr. (+15311) 8 years ago
Killing for peace is like procreateing for virginity. It's not going to solve any problems. The US should simply withdraw from the area. Bring every tab airplane and soldier home NOW. Our occupation of the region is a huge problem. We have no business being there.
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Posted by Jett (+89) 8 years ago
It seems to be a huge sand trap for Obama.he`s bunkered.
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Posted by Hal Neumann (+10231) 8 years ago
Myself, I’ve never found that repeating the actions that got me into a bind in the first place, does much to get me out of the bind. Sticking with what works is usually good – sticking with what hasn’t worked, doesn’t make sense. And this just me, I know some folks don’t like change, and that’s their personal call.

Gwynne Dyer, WAR (1985) tell me that the first time in human history that 5,000 (plus) men ever came together in the same place at the same time, it was to wage war. This was around 3,500 years ago. Interestingly enough it was in Levant – interestingly enough it was at Mageddo (often rendered in English as Armageddon, a name derived from the Hebrew "Har Megiddo"). I don’t know that Dyer is spot on in saying that this was the first time that 5,000 got together and waged war, but I’d say industrial-scale warfare (as opposed to lesser battles) has been around for at least 3,500 years.

Some might say that 3,500 years of large-scale war shows we should give it up – it hasn’t solved anything. I’m thinking it shows that war is something that it has been with us for a long damned time and is likely going to be with us for a long damned time to come.

But I also know that history shows us that war is not the only answer. History shows us that solutions can be reached through other means. The Hundred Years War lasted as long as it did mostly because some interest groups profited from it and that made them slow to explore other options to reach a settlement. The Thirty Years War likely would have burnt itself out in less than a decade if outside powers had not intervened for their own reasons and added fuel to the fire to keep it going.

History is full of war and conflict. Wars probably get the most ink because negotiated settlements are just so damned boring to read about. But nonetheless, history is replete with negotiated settlements; cases in which folks explored options and found ways to make things work without killing each other. And just about every war in the book ended with folks sitting down and drafting a treaty to end it.

We’ve been killing people in the Near East and Western & Central Asia, either on our own or through proxies, for longer than I’ve been alive – and we don’t seem any closer to wrapping it up than we were when I was a kid. Right now I’m so disgusted with the mess we’ve help create that if it were up to me, I’d say screw it and withdraw from the entire region. That would likely give us a generation of breathing space while they killed each other, before we’d have to deal with the survivors.

Do I have solutions? Not for the problems that plague the world – not even for the problems that plague the Near East and Central Asia. But it seems to me there are some things we could do to better prepare our Nation to deal with our own issues – maybe that would give us shot at dealing with the Outside. So, this is about the best I can come up with. #5 is probably the item that we need to address most urgently.

1. Stop relying on solutions that created the problem in the first place.
2. Realize that there are still places in the world were blood feuds are a fact of life. Know that causing a death can incur a multi-generational obligation to “right the wrong.”
3. Understand that other people believe just as strongly as we do that their religion, culture, life ways are correct and proper.
4. Understand that people who have very low standards of living are sometimes ready and willing to die/kill for what seems to us to be little or no reason. This is as true of inner city young men who die/kill for turf and respect as it for suicide bomber who die/kill for the jihad.
5. Understand that sound bytes and partisan rancor do not help our Country to address any of the problems we face, foreign or domestic.
6. Understand that many of the problems we and the world face will require decades, perhaps centuries to resolve – running foreign policy on a 4-year election cycle is not likely to work well.
7. Understand that the United States cannot solve every problem in the world. Understand that there are instances when we need allies / coalition partners and that we may not be able to dictate to these partners. We may not always be able to supply the answers and we may not always have the correct answers.

Etc & etc. I wish I actually had a plan that could be implemented today – one that had a chance of succeeding. But even if someone came up with the greatest plan ever, likely as not nothing would come of it if it didn’t involve blaming all the problems on someone else ; -)
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Posted by Jett (+89) 8 years ago
If you had rabid mice in your house and rid the house of the mice,and they came back for a reason other than the mice were there for the first time (say a flood and they came to high ground)would you just live with the mice or would you just move away and pretend there was not a house and there were no mice.
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Posted by Bridgier (+9430) 8 years ago
There's the problem in a nutshell - hal offers a thousand words or so of considered thought on the Middle East, and Jett responds with some confusing bullpoop about mice, which I assume is some sort of stab at a metaphor, but I'm not willing to bet on that.

Procreate it, lets get some more teenagers killed in some foriegn hellhole. why not.
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr. (+15311) 8 years ago
I look forward to the day when MC.COM has a like or I approve button. I approve of Brigdier's post.

[This message has been edited by Richard Bonine, Jr. (10/19/2014)]
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Posted by MilesCity.com Webmaster (+10020) 8 years ago
Richard Bonine, Jr. wrote:
I look forward to the day when MC.COM has a like or I approve button.

The updated site has both "like" and "dislike" buttons. I'm trying to get it done. Almost there.
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Posted by Denise Selk (+1671) 8 years ago
Wonderful post, Hal. Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts.
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Posted by Jeri Dalbec (+3261) 8 years ago
Enjoyed your post, Hal. Reading it brought to mind a book.."Prophets of War: Lockheed Martin and the Making of the Military-Industrial Complex" by William D. Hartung. Well worth the read.
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Posted by Jett (+89) 8 years ago
Many times just a few words to the point are better than expounding ad nauseam.
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Posted by Jett (+89) 8 years ago
Like and dislike buttons.Perfect for a popularity contest.A good way to keep score.Then gang up on the posters with the most dislikes.Watch it happen.Mob mentality coming to a site near you.
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Posted by Bridgier (+9430) 8 years ago
My point, JETT, is that your response WASN'T to the point, no matter the brevity, and was in fact, a complete and utter failure to engage any of the points raised by Hal.

If you're so gung-ho to get your fellow countrymen killed so that the saudi military can keep its own populace under control, then please be the first to get in line to enlist.
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Posted by Jett (+89) 8 years ago
Tell you what.Find a Marine,ANY Marine,and ask that Marine how long it would take them personally to get ready to deploy.
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Posted by Bridgier (+9430) 8 years ago
And that means what? That my tax dollars spent on training has been well spent? What's the ROI on a DEAD soldier vs a merely wounded one? Kind of poopty, to tell you the truth - perhaps we can cut back a little on the PPE. We'll balance this budget AND defeat this weeks hitler. win win.
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Posted by Elizabeth Emilsson (+797) 8 years ago
I wish every pro- war advocate would just sign up and get out there to the front line. Leave our kids alone to be able to enjoy a life without PTSD. Go ahead, Jett and sign up. Uncle Sam could use a few more "know-it-alls".
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Posted by David Schott (+18072) 8 years ago
Wouldn't that make "Jett" one of those lazy, good for nothing government employees?
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Posted by Bridgier (+9430) 8 years ago
They're practically hugged to death by that terrible no good gubmint.

Except for the ones who run over an IED

or those who decide that eating a bullet is a better than living.

here's where I should make a reference to dulce et decorum est, but that's scary furriner talk.
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Posted by Hal Neumann (+10231) 8 years ago
“ISIS is A Monster Created by Many Countries. It Requires an International Solution”
--Commentary by Abolhassan Banisadr, former president of Iran
THE GUARDIAN
October 27, 2014
http://www.theguardian.co...?CMP=fb_gu

“Defeating ISIS: With Whose Boots on the Ground?”
--Graham Allison
THE ATLANTIC
October 27, 2014
http://www.theatlantic.co...ia/381944/

[This message has been edited by Hal Neumann (10/27/2014)]
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Posted by Elizabeth Emilsson (+797) 8 years ago
Thanks for giving us something to "think" about.
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