US Defense Secretary Mattis Resigns

Arkage

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Why would you say that? I think that had a lot to do with it. Pres. Trump was elected in part because he explicitly rejected how neoconservatives and other groups see the world. Doesn't seem too controversial.


In any event, given all the spin I'm hearing from some Americans about the benefits of what's going on such as stopping humans rights violations and keeping the fight out of their country....maybe you're right and I'm living in the twilight zone.

At the end of the day, after years of failure what are the limits:
  • How many people have to die in these wars?
  • How long will these conflicts go on?
  • How much money are you willing to spend on this vs. other things?
  • How many people have to emigrate because of the spillover effects of your actions and support?
I don't know...maybe there's a fantasy world where the US was doing a fantastic job and on the right track in the Middle East.

However, I think if you take a step back and look around, then you'd see millions of people at home and abroad have had their lives turned upside down or are dead because of an awful worldview about the international role the US ought to have.
He won an election based upon #lockherup and #birtherism and #emails. His foreign policy positions may have slight differentiated him during the Republican primary but that certainly wasn't the factor that motivated his base.
 

Rentahamster

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He won an election based upon #lockherup and #birtherism and #emails. His foreign policy positions may have slight differentiated him during the Republican primary but that certainly wasn't the factor that motivated his base.
Looking at the usual pro-Trump places on the internet, there is a lot of support for this decision. If that's not his base, then what is?
 
Nov 23, 2010
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He won an election based upon #lockherup and #birtherism and #emails. His foreign policy positions may have slight differentiated him during the Republican primary but that certainly wasn't the factor that motivated his base.
Whatever you say I suppose.

Moving on, I've been watching pundits who stand against Pres. Trump talk on TV about the withdrawal. Apparently, some Americans feel the US gov't is making folks better off in the Middle East at a low cost. Accordingly, in those circles, American interventions are "preventing another 9/11", maintaining geopolitical alliances, and keeping foreigners like Russia and Iran from doing as they please.

In other words, the benefits of US intervention are high, the costs are low, and ultimately it's all worth it.

Is it really?

100s of thousands dead. Millions emigrating and forced to leave their home. Trillions spent. One country is in others using military force nearly 10-20 years at a time depending on the place. Dozens of deadly attacks by radical Islamic crazies at home and abroad since 2001.

I'm not a calculator but I'm not seeing the net benefit from where I sit. How are your actions and what you believe making the world a better place? A region is destabilized. Millions traumatized. Pres. Trump gets elected saying he knows how to clean up your mess. Seems like you made a bigly mistake, but I guess not.
 

Arkage

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Looking at the usual pro-Trump places on the internet, there is a lot of support for this decision. If that's not his base, then what is?
The pro-Trump places will be pro-Trump period. He's Mr. "I could shoot someone on 5th avenue and lose no voters". He's built a cult of personality beyond Obamas wildest dreams.

Whatever you say I suppose.

Moving on, I've been watching pundits who stand against Pres. Trump talk on TV about the withdrawal. Apparently, some Americans feel the US gov't is making folks better off in the Middle East at a low cost. Accordingly, in those circles, American interventions are "preventing another 9/11", maintaining geopolitical alliances, and keeping foreigners like Russia and Iran from doing as they please.

In other words, the benefits of US intervention are high, the costs are low, and ultimately it's all worth it.

Is it really?

100s of thousands dead. Millions emigrating and forced to leave their home. Trillions spent. One country is in others using military force nearly 10-20 years at a time depending on the place. Dozens of deadly attacks by radical Islamic crazies at home and abroad since 2001.

I'm not a calculator but I'm not seeing the net benefit from where I sit. How are your actions and what you believe making the world a better place? A region is destabilized. Millions traumatized. Pres. Trump gets elected saying he knows how to clean up your mess. Seems like you made a bigly mistake, but I guess not.
The costs for Syria in particular are likely worth it. Especially since we pledged to be there for allies who want us there and are now betraying that.
 
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Rentahamster

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The pro-Trump places will be pro-Trump period. He's Mr. "I could shoot someone on 5th avenue and lose no voters". He's built a cult of personality beyond Obamas wildest dreams.
So you agree that his anti-interventionist soundbites had appeal to his base before the election too, yes?
 

Arkage

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So you agree that his anti-interventionist soundbites had appeal to his base before the election too, yes?
The sound bites likely had a net-neutral influence as Republicans are still broadly hawkish McCain types. See them cheer his aggressive stance toward China or baiting Kim to use nuclear weaponry over twitter, or shrug when he dramatically increases drone bombing, or trash valued allies and alliances. The soundbites might’ve helped him get some moderates during the primaries but it was hardly a tent pole issue when running against Hillary, and hardly a convincing issue now.
 
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Rentahamster

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Yes, I see his base cheering those things too. But if you acknowledge them cheering on those things, you're also going to have to acknowledge them cheering the non-interventionist policies and actions too. Because it has happened in the past, and it is happening now.
 
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The costs for Syria in particular are likely worth it. Especially since we pledged to be there for allies who want us there and are now betraying that.
Why are the costs worth it because you made a pledge to factions in a proxy war? Where's your congressional authorization and blessing from a renowned international body to be involved in Syria?

If that's all you got, then it's a good thing Pres. Trump is in the driver's seat.

Keep in mind, you've been messing around off and on in Syria since the 1940s after WWII. And the results haven't been good.

In any event, seems like the main thing holding things up is might makes right and inertia. You're definitely not a good guy or making sense from a cost-benefit perspective to me.

People are hopping up and down for Pres. Trump to go through the 'proper channels" but the whole intervention paradigm in which supporters operate is fundamentally broken. If he does it the way you want, then what started in 2014 could easily continue on to 2024…2034...2044...and so on. Someone with power has to break the whole thing up.
 

Arkage

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Why are the costs worth it because you made a pledge to factions in a proxy war? Where's your congressional authorization and blessing from a renowned international body to be involved in Syria?

If that's all you got, then it's a good thing Pres. Trump is in the driver's seat.

Keep in mind, you've been messing around off and on in Syria since the 1940s after WWII. And the results haven't been good.

In any event, seems like the main thing holding things up is might makes right and inertia. You're definitely not a good guy or making sense from a cost-benefit perspective to me.

People are hopping up and down for Pres. Trump to go through the 'proper channels" but the whole intervention paradigm in which supporters operate is fundamentally broken. If he does it the way you want, then what started in 2014 could easily continue on to 2024…2034...2044...and so on. Someone with power has to break the whole thing up.
Fascinating how you’re OK with us betraying an ally allowing their inevitable wholesale slaughter while Russia and the dictator of Syria takes over. Because of some generic “”intervention bad! Iraq!” hot take. Trump lost top military men over his idiocy and will replace them a bunch of yes-men that bend to his incompetent flippant strategies. But I guess that’s what people like you asked for. I mean even fucking Noam Chomsky thinks intervention in Syria is good and he views America as an evil invading military empire.

In any case I’m done arguing this thread since it’s boring. Feel free to have the last word.
 
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Yes, I see his base cheering those things too. But if you acknowledge them cheering on those things, you're also going to have to acknowledge them cheering the non-interventionist policies and actions too. Because it has happened in the past, and it is happening now.
Isn't the occam's razor conclusion that his base just cheers no matter what he does? Because we seem to be left instead with the idea that his base has some magically perfect mix of isolationist and interventionist viewpoints so that they agree with all his actions for different independently reached reasons that have nothing to do with their faith in the man.
That seems pretty ridiculous to me but ymmv I guess.
 

Rentahamster

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Isn't the occam's razor conclusion that his base just cheers no matter what he does? Because we seem to be left instead with the idea that his base has some magically perfect mix of isolationist and interventionist viewpoints so that they agree with all his actions for different independently reached reasons that have nothing to do with their faith in the man.
That seems pretty ridiculous to me but ymmv I guess.
That wouldn't be a useful application of Occam's razor since there are a lot of "simple" explanations that can explain it. Why do you think there are still so many "explanations" flying around of why things happened the way they did in 2016. Who's to say that the simplest explanation isn't that people have a diversity of opinion? Some of the base like some stuff, others like other stuff. It's more practical to just look at the tape, shall we? @Arkage this is for you too.

https://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2016/09/26/trump_we_spent_6_trillion_in_the_middle_east_we_could_have_rebuilt_our_country_twice.html

TRUMP: When we are $20 trillion in debt and our country is a mess. It's one thing to hav$20 trillion in debt and our airports and roads are good and -- our airports are like from a third world country. You land at Laguardia, Newark, L.A.X., and you come in from dubai and Qatar, you come in from China, you see these incredible airports, we've become a third-world country.

So the worst of all things have happened. We owe $20 trial KREN trillion and we're a mess. Whether it's six or five but it looks like it's 6, $6 trillion in the Middle East we could have rebuilt our country twice and it's really a shame and it's politicians like secretary Clinton that have caused this problem. Our country has tremendous problems. We're a debtor nation, we're a serious debtor nation and we need new bridges, airports, schools, new hospitals and we don't have the money because it's been squandered on so many of your ideas.
Here we see a general election debate, not a primary debate. If Trump was only using this rhetoric to win points in the primary, he wouldn't be saying this during a general election debate. What's even more telling is that if you watch her response, Clinton doesn't agree with this traditionally leftist stance, she instead deflects to say that we can't afford the Middle East conflicts because Trump doesn't pay his taxes.
 

JimmyJones

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Assad did nothing wrong. What do these maniacs want? The middle east is fucked as it is. They got rid of Saddam and Gaddafi and made things ten times worse.
 

Sub_Level

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Assad did nothing wrong. What do these maniacs want? The middle east is fucked as it is. They got rid of Saddam and Gaddafi and made things ten times worse.
I fully support Trump's decision to withdraw and am very glad he is breaking away from the status quo that has gripped both republicans and democrats for decades. But no need to whitewash Assad by saying he "did nothing wrong". He slaughtered many of his own people with little regard for innocent life. He can simultaneously be a piece of shit and also be the best realistic option for Syria.
 
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Fascinating how you’re OK with us betraying an ally allowing their inevitable wholesale slaughter while Russia and the dictator of Syria takes over. Because of some generic “”intervention bad! Iraq!” hot take. Trump lost top military men over his idiocy and will replace them a bunch of yes-men that bend to his incompetent flippant strategies. But I guess that’s what people like you asked for. I mean even fucking Noam Chomsky thinks intervention in Syria is good and he views America as an evil invading military empire.

In any case I’m done arguing this thread since it’s boring. Feel free to have the last word.
Thank you.

Turkey is a NATO ally and argues those Kurdish fighters are terrorists. So, I'm not sure why some Americans feel they're more valuable than all of the Americans and innocent civilians who have died to date. Plus, all the folks compelled to leave their homes.

Noam Chomsky can believe whatever he pleases. That doesn't make him right or suggest what you're doing is morally permissible/rational. I think if people sit down and consider the costs and benefits of US involvement, then they will arrive at the conclusion that it doesn't makes sense. If the US's Congress instructs Pres. Trump to use force in Syria and an international body like the UN says it's permitted, then that would change the dynamics of the situation. But intervention supporters don't even have that AFAIK. Yet they hop up and down about "process" and doing things the "right way". It's BS.

Edit: And I forgot to mention Trump's travel ban to keep radical Islamic terrorists out of the US. He wouldn't need to do that if proxy wars and causing collateral damage kept the fight out of the US. In reality, things like vetting, intelligence sharing, port screening, informants and tips from Muslims in local communities is what prevents another 9/11. It's hard to get into the US and if you do manage to slip through, then it's hard to do something like that ever again. That's how Pres. Trump and others keep America safe.
 
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Sep 16, 2012
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That wouldn't be a useful application of Occam's razor since there are a lot of "simple" explanations that can explain it. Why do you think there are still so many "explanations" flying around of why things happened the way they did in 2016. Who's to say that the simplest explanation isn't that people have a diversity of opinion? Some of the base like some stuff, others like other stuff. It's more practical to just look at the tape, shall we? @Arkage this is for you too.

https://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2016/09/26/trump_we_spent_6_trillion_in_the_middle_east_we_could_have_rebuilt_our_country_twice.html



Here we see a general election debate, not a primary debate. If Trump was only using this rhetoric to win points in the primary, he wouldn't be saying this during a general election debate. What's even more telling is that if you watch her response, Clinton doesn't agree with this traditionally leftist stance, she instead deflects to say that we can't afford the Middle East conflicts because Trump doesn't pay his taxes.
I have no idea what your trying to prove here.
He is pulling the oldest policital trick in the book by saying he would have spent money better then his predecessors given hindsight.
She is pointing out that if he was so interested in helping out america why does he not pay his taxes.
Enough people didnt buy it.

I'm taking about foreign policy. Saying the Iraq war was a money sink is not a leftist position and I'm not really sure it's a policy so I am left confused.
 

MDS

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The Kurds were depending upon the US as allies to prevent their wholesale slaughter by Turkey and Assad. In fact Trump pledged to support them a few months ago.

Throwing your hands up and saying "ah well, not our problem" is not a working military strategy to use for allies you pledge support to. Mattis quite obviously, and correctly, considers this a betrayal.
I'll temporarily accept your premise that the US is staying in Syria to protect the Kurds and ask you when exactly could we stop doing that? Turkey has been consistently hostile to the Kurds for generations and there's no hopeful positive changes going on with that attitude. If anything its getting worse. There is also no foreseeable future where a Kurdish statelet could protect itself against Turkish aggression. Staying in Syria until Kurds have security against the Turks is staying there indefinitely.

Now lets drop the charade:

The US is not in Syria because of the Kurds. The US is not in Syria because of ISIS either. The US is in Syria as part of an anti-Assad strategy that goes back to before the start of the Syrian Civil War. We were providing funding to Syrian anti-regime forces and had covert forces in the country from nearly the very start. We worked hard to help unleash the whirlwind of full Civil War without a care about the Syrian populace and now, after half a million dead, we want to pretend that we have forces squatting in Syria out of genuine humanitarian concern. It's ridiculous.

You know what kept the Kurds in Syria safe from Turkish aggression historically? A Syria that wasn't a bombed out ruin. The power vacuum that has drawn in ISIS/Turks/AQ is literally why the Kurds are in danger. The only longterm fix to the Kurds situation is the end of the power vacuum through the reestablishment of a functioning Syrian state. If we cared about the Kurds, we would be supporting them in their current negotiations to rejoin the Syrian state on favorable terms. We are not doing so, we are still working to cripple Syria long after there was any point in doing so. This is because our goal is our own, not the ad campaign about preventing genocide. If we cared about genocide it would take less then zero effort to stop the one in Yemen.
 
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infinitys_7th

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We worked hard to help unleash the whirlwind of full Civil War without a care about the Syrian populace and now, after half a million dead, we want to pretend that we have forces squatting in Syria out of genuine humanitarian concern. It's ridiculous.
This is a beautifully succinct summary of US foreign policy when it comes to "helping people". We destabilize places where people are generally much better off than the surroundings, then our media vultures swoop in and take some pictures to drum up sympathy for the problems we just caused and cry for "change".
 

Rentahamster

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I have no idea what your trying to prove here.
I'm responding to your statement that no, it's not that ridiculous to believe that Trump's base values both anti-interventionist policies and pro-military policies.

Even Bush 2 campaigned on "no more nation building" until he changed his mind.
 
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I'm responding to your statement that no, it's not that ridiculous to believe that Trump's base values both anti-interventionist policies and pro-military policies.

Even Bush 2 campaigned on "no more nation building" until he changed his mind.
Yeah, because they aren't firm convictions these people hold without their president tells them what is important. That's my point
Or are you of the opinion that this administration has had a cohesive foreign policy, if that's the case I'm not really sure how we can have a conversation about the topic.
 

Rentahamster

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Yeah, because they aren't firm convictions these people hold without their president tells them what is important. That's my point
Or are you of the opinion that this administration has had a cohesive foreign policy, if that's the case I'm not really sure how we can have a conversation about the topic.
You can't just keep moving the goalposts when I portray an accurate representation of 2015 - 2016. Just because it doesn't make sense to you, doesn't mean it didn't happen.
 
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You can't just keep moving the goalposts when I portray an accurate representation of 2015 - 2016. Just because it doesn't make sense to you, doesn't mean it didn't happen.
Yeah I can. I don't care about the election, I care about what he's done in office. The pivot away from nuance and promising a more anti-establishment anti-intervention foreign policy supports my claim as well because only a places like pol and rtd were even the least bit conflicted about Syria before falling in line the next day.
 

Dude Abides

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Heh, Trump got salty when he saw Mattis's letter on TV and did the whole "you can't breaking up with me, I'm breaking up with you!" thing.