Author Topic: Legitimate criticisms of each 2016 Presidential Candidate  (Read 509301 times)

Yaeger

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Re: Legitimate criticisms of each 2016 Presidential Candidate
« Reply #2650 on: July 30, 2016, 02:13:52 PM »
1. Her speaking fees, and Bill Clinton's are in the market price range for speakers of their caliber. Jerry Seinfeld gets about $200k a pop, Charlie Rose gets $50k a pop, Condoleeza Rice gets $150k a pop. Donald Trump has received up to $1.5 million for a talk (which was a real estate conference, so may have also been a skim as he is prone to do). Most of the individual speeches fell in the $150 to $200K range.

I think there's a substantial difference between a private party (Jerry Seinfeld) charging a fee for a speech and a representative of the government charging a fee. The government representative is a servant of the people, is earning a salary to serve the people, and shouldn't be profiting from their position when he/she is employed by the government. That's the problem people have, it's not that she made money and gave it to charity, it's that she did by leveraging her government position and public trust.

I know that it happens all over the government and I protest that more than I do Hillary, because she's just a small representation of cronyism within government.

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Re: Legitimate criticisms of each 2016 Presidential Candidate
« Reply #2651 on: July 30, 2016, 02:32:10 PM »
...
Substantial difference between a private party (Jerry Seinfeld) charging a fee for a speech and a representative of the government charging a fee. The government representative is a servant of the people, is earning a salary to serve the people, and shouldn't be profiting from their position when he/she is employed by the government. That's the problem people have, it's not that she made money and gave it to charity, it's that she did by leveraging her government position and public trust.

I know that it happens all over the government and I protest that more than I do Hillary, because she's just a small representation of cronyism within government.

To me it does seem like a practice that should be more restricted for our upper-tier federal employees, but currently it is completely legal.  As such, I have a hard time demonizing someone for using the legal opportunities available to them to earn money.  They did give ~10% of their post-tax income to charity (albeit mostly to the Clinton Foundation), so there is that.  After taxes and charitable donations their income was around $10MM - certainly enough to put them in the 0.1% but still orders of magnitude off what the billionaire-class can earn per year.

I am curious - do you think the ongoing business deals of Trump (which he describes frquently as earning him "Billions") are also an area of concern? Should Trump win, is it ethically permissible for him to keep earning money from his businesses while making decisions that might enrich himself and (potentially) detract from competitors?
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dramaman

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Re: Legitimate criticisms of each 2016 Presidential Candidate
« Reply #2652 on: July 30, 2016, 02:42:43 PM »
Cute. I see that I haven't been very clear, and I'm sorry about that. I didn't mean to be frustrating. I do think that it was a quid pro quo: money for influence. And I think she probably did end up favorably disposed to that company when she gave her input into the administration's decision. I can't prove that, though I still think it's pretty obvious that it is what happened. But I see that you all aren't going for that. So, in response, I make another claim: it's bad enough that she took the money while having the kind of influence that she had. You all seem to think that's not that bad if I can't prove quid pro quo. We just disagree about that. So hopefully we all at least understand where we disagree at this point.

On the quid pro quo point, not only can't your prove your assertion, but your opinion actually conflicts with the known facts. The fact that Bill Clinton was paid for a speech in no way invalidates the logic for why the Obama Administration would have wanted Ericcson and other cell phone technology providers exporting their technology to Iran support the civilian cell phone infrastructure.

On your second point, I doubt any of us think its necessarily a good thing when a politician or a politician's family gets entangled financially in a company or interest that the politician has some oversight over. The fact is, however, that this is not illegal and THIS HAPPENS ALL THE TIME. I think our only complaint is that you are singling out Clinton when there is nothing really unique about this situation nor any evidence that the money had any undue influence. In that context, it just becomes another generic complaint about the Clintons by people who don't like the Clintons.

Yaeger

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Re: Legitimate criticisms of each 2016 Presidential Candidate
« Reply #2653 on: July 30, 2016, 02:47:11 PM »
I am curious - do you think the ongoing business deals of Trump (which he describes frquently as earning him "Billions") are also an area of concern? Should Trump win, is it ethically permissible for him to keep earning money from his businesses while making decisions that might enrich himself and (potentially) detract from competitors?

Yes, I'd accept Trump assuming a passive role in his businesses and profiting from a purely passive interaction. However, while elected as President it would be a conflict of interest to become actively involved, promote, or legislate/regulate in the interest of his businesses. I wouldn't hesitate at recommending impeachment for a President that uses his/her position to enrich themselves at the expense of the public.

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Re: Legitimate criticisms of each 2016 Presidential Candidate
« Reply #2654 on: July 30, 2016, 02:51:46 PM »
I am curious - do you think the ongoing business deals of Trump (which he describes frquently as earning him "Billions") are also an area of concern? Should Trump win, is it ethically permissible for him to keep earning money from his businesses while making decisions that might enrich himself and (potentially) detract from competitors?

Yes, I'd accept Trump assuming a passive role in his businesses and profiting from a purely passive interaction. However, while elected as President it would be a conflict of interest to become actively involved, promote, or legislate/regulate in the interest of his businesses. I wouldn't hesitate at recommending impeachment for a President that uses his/her position to enrich themselves at the expense of the public.

The problem that I have even with him taking a "passive" role in his business (for example, letting Eric run the company) is that he will still be responsible for signing legislation and (to his own platform) pushing for new trade deals. So while he might not be actively running his companies, he is shaping the laws in a way that could benefit him and his family.

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Yaeger

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Re: Legitimate criticisms of each 2016 Presidential Candidate
« Reply #2655 on: July 30, 2016, 03:01:13 PM »
The problem that I have even with him taking a "passive" role in his business (for example, letting Eric run the company) is that he will still be responsible for signing legislation and (to his own platform) pushing for new trade deals. So while he might not be actively running his companies, he is shaping the laws in a way that could benefit him and his family.

It's not possible to eliminate ALL perceptions self-interest, but we can make a reasonable attempt. Trump isn't the only elected official with significant prior private-party holdings, businesses, or non-profits. He won't be the last.

Plus, I seriously doubt that if he's elected people won't be scrutinizing these connections.

forummm

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Re: Legitimate criticisms of each 2016 Presidential Candidate
« Reply #2656 on: July 30, 2016, 07:04:48 PM »
1. Her speaking fees, and Bill Clinton's are in the market price range for speakers of their caliber. Jerry Seinfeld gets about $200k a pop, Charlie Rose gets $50k a pop, Condoleeza Rice gets $150k a pop. Donald Trump has received up to $1.5 million for a talk (which was a real estate conference, so may have also been a skim as he is prone to do). Most of the individual speeches fell in the $150 to $200K range.

I think there's a substantial difference between a private party (Jerry Seinfeld) charging a fee for a speech and a representative of the government charging a fee. The government representative is a servant of the people, is earning a salary to serve the people, and shouldn't be profiting from their position when he/she is employed by the government. That's the problem people have, it's not that she made money and gave it to charity, it's that she did by leveraging her government position and public trust.

I know that it happens all over the government and I protest that more than I do Hillary, because she's just a small representation of cronyism within government.

At the time Hillary was giving paid speeches, she was not employed by the government in any capacity. As private citizens they could do whatever they wanted. Federal employees are not allowed to accept money for activities that might pertain in any way to their official job (even using similar skills) without receiving explicit approval from a federal ethics board.

I'm sure you are at least as outraged about Scalia getting lots of free luxury vacations from people who had cases before SCOTUS. And Thomas' wife being employed to work on issues that also came before SCOTUS. She was making around a million bucks for just her ACA opposition.

arebelspy

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Re: Legitimate criticisms of each 2016 Presidential Candidate
« Reply #2657 on: July 30, 2016, 07:26:09 PM »
I'm sure you are at least as outraged about Scalia getting lots of free luxury vacations from people who had cases before SCOTUS. And Thomas' wife being employed to work on issues that also came before SCOTUS. She was making around a million bucks for just her ACA opposition.

Surely you can't be saying that because other people do it, it's okay?

And to answer your question, yes, I don't care for those behaviors either, and if those individuals were up for election (especially to the highest elected position in the land), it would be a big negative for me.
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dramaman

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Re: Legitimate criticisms of each 2016 Presidential Candidate
« Reply #2658 on: July 31, 2016, 06:49:56 AM »
I'm sure you are at least as outraged about Scalia getting lots of free luxury vacations from people who had cases before SCOTUS. And Thomas' wife being employed to work on issues that also came before SCOTUS. She was making around a million bucks for just her ACA opposition.

Surely you can't be saying that because other people do it, it's okay?

And to answer your question, yes, I don't care for those behaviors either, and if those individuals were up for election (especially to the highest elected position in the land), it would be a big negative for me.

Honestly it IS a big negative.  It is a big negative for EVERYONE. It is SYSTEMIC. Sorry, but I've just become really jaded on this subject over the years. IMO only a truly naive person thinks that the person they are voting for won't be participating in this part of money politics and given Trump's history of dishonest dealings, it is guaranteed that he and all the little Trumps will have their heads buried in the money trough.

forummm

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Re: Legitimate criticisms of each 2016 Presidential Candidate
« Reply #2659 on: July 31, 2016, 11:24:52 AM »
I'm sure you are at least as outraged about Scalia getting lots of free luxury vacations from people who had cases before SCOTUS. And Thomas' wife being employed to work on issues that also came before SCOTUS. She was making around a million bucks for just her ACA opposition.

Surely you can't be saying that because other people do it, it's okay?

And to answer your question, yes, I don't care for those behaviors either, and if those individuals were up for election (especially to the highest elected position in the land), it would be a big negative for me.

No, that wasn't what I was saying at all. Although, in this case, Clinton doing paid speeches while not holding any office is definitely far less problematic than Scalia and Thomas actively getting paid while in office and while cases with the payers' interests are before them.

I find that people have a strange tendency to make a big deal about perceived flaws in people who are on the wrong "team" while ignoring the same or worse in someone on their "team". In this case people on the right think Scalia was a saint, when his ethics were highly questionable.

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Re: Legitimate criticisms of each 2016 Presidential Candidate
« Reply #2660 on: July 31, 2016, 11:31:27 AM »


Surely you can't be saying that because other people...

Whoa.... barely recognized you 'rebs! New photo, eh?
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nereo

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Re: Legitimate criticisms of each 2016 Presidential Candidate
« Reply #2661 on: July 31, 2016, 12:35:26 PM »
Trump has taken to calling himself the "Law and Order candidate." That in and of itself is not a criticism. 

However, he's begun to publicaly spar with fire marshals for enforcing the fire codes by not allowing more people into his rallies than the building permits.

The latest:
Quote from: Trump
"We have a fire marshal that said we can't allow more people... The reason they can't let them in is because they don't know what they're doing. [Fire Marshal Brett Lacy is] probably a Democrat, probably a guy that doesn't get it... This is the kind of thing we have in federal government also, by the way, and then you wonder why we’re going to hell. That’s why we’re going to hell."

First Marshal Lacy was recently awarded the "Civilian of the Year" award in Colorado for his role in a pair of mass shootings.
I guess his message is that he's the law and order candidate unless the laws are inconvenient to him.
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forummm

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Re: Legitimate criticisms of each 2016 Presidential Candidate
« Reply #2662 on: July 31, 2016, 12:47:38 PM »
Trump has taken to calling himself the "Law and Order candidate." That in and of itself is not a criticism. 

Except that it's widely known to be a racial dog whistle. Part of the "southern strategy" tactics that two prior chairmen of the RNC have apologized for.

arebelspy

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Re: Legitimate criticisms of each 2016 Presidential Candidate
« Reply #2663 on: July 31, 2016, 03:33:19 PM »
Whoa.... barely recognized you 'rebs! New photo, eh?

Yeah, cropped my face from this recent family photo from Camp Mustache 3:
http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/journals/where-in-the-world-is-arebelspy/msg1122763/#msg1122763

:)
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thd7t

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Re: Legitimate criticisms of each 2016 Presidential Candidate
« Reply #2664 on: August 01, 2016, 06:08:04 AM »
Trump has taken to calling himself the "Law and Order candidate." That in and of itself is not a criticism. 

However, he's begun to publicaly spar with fire marshals for enforcing the fire codes by not allowing more people into his rallies than the building permits.

The latest:
Quote from: Trump
"We have a fire marshal that said we can't allow more people... The reason they can't let them in is because they don't know what they're doing. [Fire Marshal Brett Lacy is] probably a Democrat, probably a guy that doesn't get it... This is the kind of thing we have in federal government also, by the way, and then you wonder why we’re going to hell. That’s why we’re going to hell."

First Marshal Lacy was recently awarded the "Civilian of the Year" award in Colorado for his role in a pair of mass shootings.
I guess his message is that he's the law and order candidate unless the laws are inconvenient to him.
Fin addition, who pulled Trump and eight other people out of the top hatch of a stuck elevator the same day? Colorado Springs FD. Trump has gone after a number of fire marshal.

Roland of Gilead

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Re: Legitimate criticisms of each 2016 Presidential Candidate
« Reply #2665 on: August 01, 2016, 08:12:01 PM »
There is something funny in there somewhere about a fire marshal not letting people into a building illegally and Trump not wanting to let people into the country illegally.  It isn't of course nearly the same but it does somewhat rhyme.  There probably is a good reason for the laws regarding occupancy of a building and probably a good reason for the legal immigration process.

nereo

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Re: Legitimate criticisms of each 2016 Presidential Candidate
« Reply #2666 on: August 02, 2016, 05:56:51 AM »
There is something funny in there somewhere about a fire marshal not letting people into a building illegally and Trump not wanting to let people into the country illegally.  It isn't of course nearly the same but it does somewhat rhyme.  There probably is a good reason for the laws regarding occupancy of a building and probably a good reason for the legal immigration process.

Yeah... my basic point was the hypocrisy of declaring ones self the 'law and order candidate' and then railing on officials for enforcing the law. 
...I do understand the nut's point about it being a racial dog-whistle, but to me what's worse is Trump's apparent belief that laws shouldn't apply to him.
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deadlymonkey

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Re: Legitimate criticisms of each 2016 Presidential Candidate
« Reply #2667 on: August 02, 2016, 07:50:48 AM »
Trump has taken to calling himself the "Law and Order candidate." That in and of itself is not a criticism. 

However, he's begun to publicaly spar with fire marshals for enforcing the fire codes by not allowing more people into his rallies than the building permits.

The latest:
Quote from: Trump
"We have a fire marshal that said we can't allow more people... The reason they can't let them in is because they don't know what they're doing. [Fire Marshal Brett Lacy is] probably a Democrat, probably a guy that doesn't get it... This is the kind of thing we have in federal government also, by the way, and then you wonder why we’re going to hell. That’s why we’re going to hell."

First Marshal Lacy was recently awarded the "Civilian of the Year" award in Colorado for his role in a pair of mass shootings.
I guess his message is that he's the law and order candidate unless the laws are inconvenient to him.
Fin addition, who pulled Trump and eight other people out of the top hatch of a stuck elevator the same day? Colorado Springs FD. Trump has gone after a number of fire marshal.

The best part of that story is why the elevator broke.  The trump team demanded the key for manual operation of the elevator.  The elevator broke because someone used the manual key while the elevator was in motion.....so they broke their own elevator and needed to be rescued.  Accident....but funny.

nereo

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Re: Legitimate criticisms of each 2016 Presidential Candidate
« Reply #2668 on: August 02, 2016, 07:52:37 AM »
(no text necessary)
"Do not confuse complexity with superiority"

deadlymonkey

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Re: Legitimate criticisms of each 2016 Presidential Candidate
« Reply #2669 on: August 02, 2016, 07:54:53 AM »
(no text necessary)


That reminds me of eating at Naval OCS.  When you start you are not allowed to use any utensils except a spoon, and you cannot look at your food while eating.  Do you know how hard it is to eat fried chicken (because that's all they served one day) with a spoon and not looking at it?

nereo

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Re: Legitimate criticisms of each 2016 Presidential Candidate
« Reply #2670 on: August 02, 2016, 07:58:43 AM »
That reminds me of eating at Naval OCS.  When you start you are not allowed to use any utensils except a spoon, and you cannot look at your food while eating.  Do you know how hard it is to eat fried chicken (because that's all they served one day) with a spoon and not looking at it?

I've heard about that, but I don't understand it.  Why do they make you eat with only a spoon at first and prevent you from looking at your food?  What's the point/idea/message?
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deadlymonkey

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Re: Legitimate criticisms of each 2016 Presidential Candidate
« Reply #2671 on: August 02, 2016, 08:02:15 AM »
That reminds me of eating at Naval OCS.  When you start you are not allowed to use any utensils except a spoon, and you cannot look at your food while eating.  Do you know how hard it is to eat fried chicken (because that's all they served one day) with a spoon and not looking at it?

I've heard about that, but I don't understand it.  Why do they make you eat with only a spoon at first and prevent you from looking at your food?  What's the point/idea/message?

shared misery and learning to follow complex rules/regulations consistently.  We had like a 4 or 5 page book on proper way to enter the mess, order food, sit and eat.  Violation of any rule resulted in immediate punishment.  It is part of the training to break someone down and then over the course of a few months build them back up.  After a few weeks we got fork and knife privileges but still not allowed to look until you are the senior class.

Jack

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Re: Legitimate criticisms of each 2016 Presidential Candidate
« Reply #2672 on: August 02, 2016, 09:16:41 AM »
That reminds me of eating at Naval OCS.  When you start you are not allowed to use any utensils except a spoon, and you cannot look at your food while eating.  Do you know how hard it is to eat fried chicken (because that's all they served one day) with a spoon and not looking at it?

Fried chicken is correctly eaten with just your hands, so having only a spoon wouldn't be a problem. Not being allowed to look at it could be an issue though since it's hard to aim for the meat and away from the bone/gristle without looking (and also because holding it up to your mouth might lead to accusations of cheating).

(I also don't entirely understand why the picture belongs in this thread. What's the problem, the incongruity between stereotypically-low-class KFC being eaten in a private jet? The fact that fake-working-class-pretender Trump apparently does know how to correctly eat fried chicken? There is a galaxy of legitimate criticisms of Trump, but I'm not sure that picture is among them.)



Anyway, back to the topic:

Quote from: John Oliver, host of Last Week Tonight
Honestly, the main takeaway from these two weeks is that, incredibly, we may be on the brink of electing such a damaged, sociopathic narcissist, that the simple presidential duty of comforting the families of fallen soldiers may actually be beyond his capabilities, and I genuinely did not think that was a part of the job that someone could be bad at.

It's hard to believe something like that could be a legitimate criticism, but somehow it is. The mind boggles.

dramaman

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Re: Legitimate criticisms of each 2016 Presidential Candidate
« Reply #2673 on: August 02, 2016, 09:29:53 AM »
That reminds me of eating at Naval OCS.  When you start you are not allowed to use any utensils except a spoon, and you cannot look at your food while eating.  Do you know how hard it is to eat fried chicken (because that's all they served one day) with a spoon and not looking at it?

I've heard about that, but I don't understand it.  Why do they make you eat with only a spoon at first and prevent you from looking at your food?  What's the point/idea/message?

In college, I lived onsite at the Air Force Academy attending a week-long conference held there. Freshman there had to endure the same kind of harassment.  One of the coping strategies that a Freshman I met shared with me was that he would let his weight fall below such a level that the nurses had him placed at a special table free from that kind of nonsense to help fatten him back up. From there it was simply a matter of making sure he never gained too much weight to lose his place at the table.

shared misery and learning to follow complex rules/regulations consistently.  We had like a 4 or 5 page book on proper way to enter the mess, order food, sit and eat.  Violation of any rule resulted in immediate punishment.  It is part of the training to break someone down and then over the course of a few months build them back up.  After a few weeks we got fork and knife privileges but still not allowed to look until you are the senior class.

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: Legitimate criticisms of each 2016 Presidential Candidate
« Reply #2674 on: August 02, 2016, 01:00:13 PM »
There's a new bombing campaign in Libya.

Thanks, Hillary!

nereo

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Re: Legitimate criticisms of each 2016 Presidential Candidate
« Reply #2675 on: August 02, 2016, 01:02:19 PM »
There's a new bombing campaign in Libya.

Thanks, Hillary!
Hillary?
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dramaman

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Re: Legitimate criticisms of each 2016 Presidential Candidate
« Reply #2676 on: August 02, 2016, 01:05:16 PM »
There's a new bombing campaign in Libya.

Thanks, Hillary!
Hillary?

Of course, Hillary is to blame for everything that is wrong in Libya, including (but not limited to) the First Barbary War. I'm told she consulted with Thomas Jefferson. ;)

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: Legitimate criticisms of each 2016 Presidential Candidate
« Reply #2677 on: August 02, 2016, 01:07:52 PM »
There's a new bombing campaign in Libya.

Thanks, Hillary!
Hillary?

Yes. She was one of the major drivers in the USA's participation in Libya's destruction.

dramaman

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Re: Legitimate criticisms of each 2016 Presidential Candidate
« Reply #2678 on: August 02, 2016, 01:10:24 PM »
There's a new bombing campaign in Libya.

Thanks, Hillary!
Hillary?

Yes. She was one of the major drivers in the USA's participation in Libya's self-destruction.

Corrected that for you...

nereo

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Re: Legitimate criticisms of each 2016 Presidential Candidate
« Reply #2679 on: August 02, 2016, 01:21:16 PM »
There's a new bombing campaign in Libya.

Thanks, Hillary!
Hillary?

Yes. She was one of the major drivers in the USA's participation in Libya's destruction.
Ah - so you are connecting today's bombing campaign with her actions as SoS (which ended in 2013).
As the US was largely responsible for the no-fly zone and air-refueling and little else in ousting Muammar el-Qaddafi, is your criticism that we got involved too much in Libya or not enough?

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Jack

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Re: Legitimate criticisms of each 2016 Presidential Candidate
« Reply #2680 on: August 02, 2016, 01:30:31 PM »
...is your criticism that we got involved too much in Libya or not enough?

No reason it can't be both. Either butting out completely or total war and occupation would have worked; the half-assed "destabilize the country but fail to finish the job" plan we've been doing all over the world since Vietnam is what's doomed to failure.

(Note: this post isn't about Clinton specifically, even though that's what promoted the discussion.)

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Re: Legitimate criticisms of each 2016 Presidential Candidate
« Reply #2681 on: August 02, 2016, 01:36:06 PM »
...is your criticism that we got involved too much in Libya or not enough?

No reason it can't be both. Either butting out completely or total war and occupation would have worked; the half-assed "destabilize the country but fail to finish the job" plan we've been doing all over the world since Vietnam is what's doomed to failure.

(Note: this post isn't about Clinton specifically, even though that's what promoted the discussion.)

So to be clear your conclusion is that Libya would be better off today if we had done either less OR more, and ISIS/ISIL wouldn't be there now?
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dramaman

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Re: Legitimate criticisms of each 2016 Presidential Candidate
« Reply #2682 on: August 02, 2016, 01:48:00 PM »
...is your criticism that we got involved too much in Libya or not enough?

No reason it can't be both. Either butting out completely or total war and occupation would have worked; the half-assed "destabilize the country but fail to finish the job" plan we've been doing all over the world since Vietnam is what's doomed to failure.

(Note: this post isn't about Clinton specifically, even though that's what promoted the discussion.)

I think you are being a bit too simplistic if you think 'destabilize the country but fail to finish the job' sums up US military policy from Vietnam onward. To be able to interpret every conflict through that lens, someone could make a similar argument for almost ANY U.S. war and military engagement..

Korean War - we never finished that job. We left a divided Korea and a North Korea that still poses a world threat today.
WWII - we left that conflict with the Soviets taking half of Europe leaving the foundation for possible total world annihilation and the communists in position to take China.
WWI - we left that conflict with Europe totally screwed up such that EVERYONE knew that another war was just a matter of time.

And it goes on and on and on.

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: Legitimate criticisms of each 2016 Presidential Candidate
« Reply #2683 on: August 02, 2016, 01:49:07 PM »
There's a new bombing campaign in Libya.

Thanks, Hillary!
Hillary?

Yes. She was one of the major drivers in the USA's participation in Libya's self-destruction.

Corrected that for you...

What's your point?

There's a new bombing campaign in Libya.

Thanks, Hillary!
Hillary?

Yes. She was one of the major drivers in the USA's participation in Libya's destruction.
Ah - so you are connecting today's bombing campaign with her actions as SoS (which ended in 2013).

You connect our current operations in Iraq to the Bush administration's invasion of Iraq, right? If Condoleezza Rice were running for President, would you use the current state of Iraq against her? I hope so.

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As the US was largely responsible for the no-fly zone and air-refueling and little else in ousting Muammar el-Qaddafi, is your criticism that we got involved too much in Libya or not enough?

We participated in lethal activities that served no purpose and did not accomplish anything good. We killed for no reason. We shouldn't have invaded at all, but as Jack points out the colonialist approach we took with Afghanistan and Iraq at least recognized some accountability for the nations whose institutions (bad as they were) we destroyed - in Libya we just signed off with a "FTFY!"

Specifically to Clinton, she voted to invade Iraq, which went horribly, and then she didn't learn her lesson - she encouraged the US to attack Libya as well.

Jack

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Re: Legitimate criticisms of each 2016 Presidential Candidate
« Reply #2684 on: August 02, 2016, 02:11:46 PM »
So to be clear your conclusion is that Libya would be better off today if we had done either less OR more...

Sort of. Replace "less" with "nothing" and "more" with "a lot more, including being willing to massively occupy the country with millions of troops for decades if necessary" and you've got it.

...and ISIS/ISIL wouldn't be there now?

Depends. In the "nothing" scenario, that would depend on Gaddafi. In the "everything" scenario, it would depend on how well the US occupation would have managed to mollify and respect the wishes of the Libyan public while still maintaining safety and security -- it'd be an extraordinarily difficult tightrope to walk. It's safe to say that ISIL could be limited to guerilla tactics and acts of sabotage as opposed to open warfare, but stamping them out entirely without creating a totalitarian dystopia in the process would be almost impossible.



I think you are being a bit too simplistic if you think 'destabilize the country but fail to finish the job' sums up US military policy [only] from Vietnam onward. To be able to interpret every conflict through that lens, someone could make a similar argument for almost ANY U.S. war and military engagement.

I concede your point, although I do think the US did a pretty good job with western Europe and Japan after WWII -- the main mistake there was not immediately confronting the USSR (or perhaps attempting some sort of diplomatic reconciliation post-Stalin; I don't know).



We participated in lethal activities that served no purpose and did not accomplish anything good. We killed for no reason. We shouldn't have invaded at all, but as Jack points out the colonialist approach we took with Afghanistan and Iraq at least recognized some accountability for the nations whose institutions (bad as they were) we destroyed - in Libya we just signed off with a "FTFY!"

I think you might be misreading my comment. Afghanistan and Iraq are clusterfucks at least on par with Libya. On the spectrum of interventionism, I think it probably gets worse as you intervene more, until you reach "enough" -- and in Afghanistan and Iraq we intervened more, but clearly did not reach "enough."

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: Legitimate criticisms of each 2016 Presidential Candidate
« Reply #2685 on: August 02, 2016, 02:21:06 PM »
We participated in lethal activities that served no purpose and did not accomplish anything good. We killed for no reason. We shouldn't have invaded at all, but as Jack points out the colonialist approach we took with Afghanistan and Iraq at least recognized some accountability for the nations whose institutions (bad as they were) we destroyed - in Libya we just signed off with a "FTFY!"

I think you might be misreading my comment. Afghanistan and Iraq are clusterfucks at least on par with Libya. On the spectrum of interventionism, I think it probably gets worse as you intervene more, until you reach "enough" -- and in Afghanistan and Iraq we intervened more, but clearly did not reach "enough."

I think we agree, though I don't think there's an "enough" that doesn't involve serious war crimes.

dramaman

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Re: Legitimate criticisms of each 2016 Presidential Candidate
« Reply #2686 on: August 02, 2016, 02:33:22 PM »
There's a new bombing campaign in Libya.

Thanks, Hillary!
Hillary?

Yes. She was one of the major drivers in the USA's participation in Libya's self-destruction.

Corrected that for you...

What's your point?

Just wanting to correct your oversight in failing to recognize that Libya was already well on its way to destruction before the US ever got involved.

Even without US participation, Ghaddaffi could still have fallen and even if he had held on to power, Libya might simply have turned into another Syria in which case you would perhaps be making sarcastic comments blaming Hillary Clinton for THAT outcome. The idea that Libya would be a stable country if not for the intervention of Hillary Clinton is a naive one.

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: Legitimate criticisms of each 2016 Presidential Candidate
« Reply #2687 on: August 02, 2016, 05:36:40 PM »
Just wanted to correct your oversight in failing to recognize that Libya was already well on its way to destruction before the US ever got involved.

Even without US participation, Ghaddaffi could still have fallen and even if he had held on to power, Libya might simply have turned into another Syria in which case you would perhaps be making sarcastic comments blaming Hillary Clinton for THAT outcome. The idea that Libya would be a stable country if not for the intervention of Hillary Clinton is a naive one.

Have I ever said that Libya would be puppies and rainbows if Clinton hadn't encouraged bombing it? I really doubt that I have. Libya is a basket case, and it was when Ghaddaffi was in charge too. I opposed bombing it then, and I oppose further intervention.

I am upset that the United States government killed people in Libya to no end. We intervened and the worst-case-scenario - total national collapse - happened anyways. Our violence served no purpose, and if you're surprised, you weren't paying attention at the time. The administration should have known better. Clinton should have known better.

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Re: Legitimate criticisms of each 2016 Presidential Candidate
« Reply #2688 on: August 02, 2016, 06:37:18 PM »
Just wanted to correct your oversight in failing to recognize that Libya was already well on its way to destruction before the US ever got involved.

Even without US participation, Ghaddaffi could still have fallen and even if he had held on to power, Libya might simply have turned into another Syria in which case you would perhaps be making sarcastic comments blaming Hillary Clinton for THAT outcome. The idea that Libya would be a stable country if not for the intervention of Hillary Clinton is a naive one.

Have I ever said that Libya would be puppies and rainbows if Clinton hadn't encouraged bombing it? I really doubt that I have. Libya is a basket case, and it was when Ghaddaffi was in charge too. I opposed bombing it then, and I oppose further intervention.

That's a fair and respectable position to have.  I was just asking for clarification on your stance, because there are many that blame our leaders for having any involvement with Libya, and others that blame us for taking a rather passive role (as military interventions go), letting the French and British take the lead and failing to support the militias fighting Ghadaffi.

Personally I'm undecided about whether our involvement was a net positive or negative, and I don't think we'll really be able to evaluate it until 5-10 years have passed (i.e. not before 2018). Certainly the cost to the US was tiny, both in terms of blood and treasure. We killed people which I am always against, but the counter argument is that the no-fly zone and active destruction (by NATO) of heavy artillery might have prevented bloodshed orders of magnitude worse. A strong case can be made that it's never our place to interfere in civil wars, but the UN only intervened after literally thousands of civilians had been killed and many feared the government might kill tens of thousands more to regain control.

So yes, I evaluate Clinton partly on her support of the Libyan intervention, just as I would evaluate Rice should she run for high office.  The case with Rice is a bit different; there's no doubt in my mind that Hussien was an even bigger evil bastard than Ghadaffi, having exterminated hundreds of thousands of people. But I also have to evaluate that against its cost to the US (huge both in blood and treasure), its stability 5-10 years later (still horrible) and whether the people living in Iraq would have suffered greatly had we not intervened at all (again, questionable - some greatly so, others would almost certainly have been better off today had no invasion taken place).
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ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: Legitimate criticisms of each 2016 Presidential Candidate
« Reply #2689 on: August 02, 2016, 08:48:42 PM »
Personally I'm undecided about whether our involvement was a net positive or negative, and I don't think we'll really be able to evaluate it until 5-10 years have passed (i.e. not before 2018).

Why? None of the groups we hoped would take over Libya really succeeded at doing so. What are you waiting for to evaluate the success or failure of the effort?

The people our government killed all died in 2013.

Also - the intervention was in 2011, so by the standard you give here the time to begin evaluating success or failure is - now.

(Ten years is a long time to wait! Pearl Harbor was in 1942 and Japan surrendered in 1945.)

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Certainly the cost to the US was tiny, both in terms of blood and treasure.
This is not the right way to evaluate the morality of a war! Libyan lives are not less morally valuable than American ones. Living, breathing human beings died in real life, killed by our government. It is a serious thing.

Quote
We killed people which I am always against, but the counter argument is that the no-fly zone and active destruction (by NATO) of heavy artillery might have prevented bloodshed orders of magnitude worse. A strong case can be made that it's never our place to interfere in civil wars, but the UN only intervened after literally thousands of civilians had been killed and many feared the government might kill tens of thousands more to regain control.
Around 15,000 appear to have died so far in the civil war. (The misery of living in a failed state is harder to quantify.) The population of Libya in 2011 seems to have been around 6 million. "Orders of magnitude worse" would have been some medieval shit.

The justification at the time was to stop a massacre in Benghazi. But destroying the units advancing on Benghazi didn't take very long, and NATO kept blowing up loyalist positions (and, naturally, things and people near them) further and further from Benghazi until the rebels gained complete control. At that point we were simply taking sides in a civil war with seriously bad dudes on both sides.

dramaman

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Re: Legitimate criticisms of each 2016 Presidential Candidate
« Reply #2690 on: August 02, 2016, 09:43:09 PM »
Just wanted to correct your oversight in failing to recognize that Libya was already well on its way to destruction before the US ever got involved.

Even without US participation, Ghaddaffi could still have fallen and even if he had held on to power, Libya might simply have turned into another Syria in which case you would perhaps be making sarcastic comments blaming Hillary Clinton for THAT outcome. The idea that Libya would be a stable country if not for the intervention of Hillary Clinton is a naive one.

Have I ever said that Libya would be puppies and rainbows if Clinton hadn't encouraged bombing it? I really doubt that I have. Libya is a basket case, and it was when Ghaddaffi was in charge too. I opposed bombing it then, and I oppose further intervention.

Funny that you didn't feel fit to provide that kind of context in your original comment. Something like:

"There's a new bombing campaign in Libya. Hillary was part of the decision apparatus that decided to intervene that arguably resulted in the overthrow of Ghaddafi, who was already fighting to hold on to power in a civil war. The end result was an unstable country that left inroads for ISIS. Maybe that would have happened anyway, but we'll never know. Thanks Hillary."

But then that wouldn't be nearly as pithy as "There's a new bombing campaign in Libya. Thanks Hillary."

I am upset that the United States government killed people in Libya to no end. We intervened and the worst-case-scenario - total national collapse - happened anyways. Our violence served no purpose, and if you're surprised, you weren't paying attention at the time. The administration should have known better. Clinton should have known better.

Did the US intervention serve no purpose? My original understanding is that we intervened to save lives. Are you arguing that no lives were saved? Or are you arguing that saving lives is meaningless?

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: Legitimate criticisms of each 2016 Presidential Candidate
« Reply #2691 on: August 02, 2016, 10:04:18 PM »
Just wanted to correct your oversight in failing to recognize that Libya was already well on its way to destruction before the US ever got involved.

Even without US participation, Ghaddaffi could still have fallen and even if he had held on to power, Libya might simply have turned into another Syria in which case you would perhaps be making sarcastic comments blaming Hillary Clinton for THAT outcome. The idea that Libya would be a stable country if not for the intervention of Hillary Clinton is a naive one.

Have I ever said that Libya would be puppies and rainbows if Clinton hadn't encouraged bombing it? I really doubt that I have. Libya is a basket case, and it was when Ghaddaffi was in charge too. I opposed bombing it then, and I oppose further intervention.

Funny that you didn't feel fit to provide that kind of context in your original comment. Something like:

"There's a new bombing campaign in Libya. Hillary was part of the decision apparatus that decided to intervene that arguably resulted in the overthrow of Ghaddafi, who was already fighting to hold on to power in a civil war. The end result was an unstable country that left inroads for ISIS. Maybe that would have happened anyway, but we'll never know. Thanks Hillary."

But then that wouldn't be nearly as pithy as "There's a new bombing campaign in Libya. Thanks Hillary."

Don't put words in my mouth. It didn't "arguably result in the overthrow of Ghaddafi" - it totally changed the direction the war was heading. I have written a lot about Libya in this thread.

Quote
I am upset that the United States government killed people in Libya to no end. We intervened and the worst-case-scenario - total national collapse - happened anyways. Our violence served no purpose, and if you're surprised, you weren't paying attention at the time. The administration should have known better. Clinton should have known better.

Did the US intervention serve no purpose? My original understanding is that we intervened to save lives. Are you arguing that no lives were saved? Or are you arguing that saving lives is meaningless?

There's no reason to believe we saved any net lives. We definitely ended some, though; that part is inescapable.

Jack

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Re: Legitimate criticisms of each 2016 Presidential Candidate
« Reply #2692 on: August 02, 2016, 10:27:59 PM »
I think we agree, though I don't think there's an "enough" that doesn't involve serious war crimes.

How so? I don't see why -- at least in theory -- a sufficiently-disciplined army couldn't occupy a country while restraining itself from abusing its inhabitants. At least nothing in the list appears to prohibit an occupation itself. The current US military isn't anywhere near well-trained enough, as proven by Abu Ghraib and I'm sure a thousand other incidents that are less infamous, but that doesn't mean it couldn't be. The massive shift from current military culture and training to something more resembling, for example, that of the UK's police force would be challenging, but technically not impossible.

The key would be to (1) destroy organized opposition (the part the current US military is good at), (2) commit enough troops to secure all parts of the country at once and destroy any insurgency (which in the case of a Middle Eastern country where the general attitude towards the US is negative could mean flooding the place with as many US soldiers as there are people in the country being occupied in the worst-case scenario, i.e., a truly massive number of troops), and (3) spend an equally-massive amount of money on rebuilding the infrastructure and industry to a better state than it was before, while respecting the native cultural beliefs and governmental preferences to the maximum extent possible, so that no rational person in the country would be able to find an excuse to support ISIS -- "kill them with kindness," so to speak.

So: tens of millions of Americans (so many that we'd probably have to fire up the draft) and an order of magnitude (or two) more money then we're spending now, and I think we could actually stabilize and maybe even nominally-democratize Iraq or Afghanistan or Libya over a period of several decades. No chance we could afford to do all three at once, of course! We'd also need greater political will than the support for the WWII war effort or the moon landing (or maybe both combined), sustained over a longer duration....

dramaman

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Re: Legitimate criticisms of each 2016 Presidential Candidate
« Reply #2693 on: August 02, 2016, 10:55:26 PM »
Just wanted to correct your oversight in failing to recognize that Libya was already well on its way to destruction before the US ever got involved.

Even without US participation, Ghaddaffi could still have fallen and even if he had held on to power, Libya might simply have turned into another Syria in which case you would perhaps be making sarcastic comments blaming Hillary Clinton for THAT outcome. The idea that Libya would be a stable country if not for the intervention of Hillary Clinton is a naive one.

Have I ever said that Libya would be puppies and rainbows if Clinton hadn't encouraged bombing it? I really doubt that I have. Libya is a basket case, and it was when Ghaddaffi was in charge too. I opposed bombing it then, and I oppose further intervention.

Funny that you didn't feel fit to provide that kind of context in your original comment. Something like:

"There's a new bombing campaign in Libya. Hillary was part of the decision apparatus that decided to intervene that arguably resulted in the overthrow of Ghaddafi, who was already fighting to hold on to power in a civil war. The end result was an unstable country that left inroads for ISIS. Maybe that would have happened anyway, but we'll never know. Thanks Hillary."

But then that wouldn't be nearly as pithy as "There's a new bombing campaign in Libya. Thanks Hillary."

Don't put words in my mouth. It didn't "arguably result in the overthrow of Ghaddafi" - it totally changed the direction the war was heading. I have written a lot about Libya in this thread.

By all means, whatever choice of words you want to explain the situation. The fact remains, however, that your original choice of words in the most recent comments on Libya contained no context whatsoever.

Quote
I am upset that the United States government killed people in Libya to no end. We intervened and the worst-case-scenario - total national collapse - happened anyways. Our violence served no purpose, and if you're surprised, you weren't paying attention at the time. The administration should have known better. Clinton should have known better.

Did the US intervention serve no purpose? My original understanding is that we intervened to save lives. Are you arguing that no lives were saved? Or are you arguing that saving lives is meaningless?

There's no reason to believe we saved any net lives. We definitely ended some, though; that part is inescapable.

In other words, you really don't know. You simply are more comfortable assuming that because it fits the narrative that you have embraced.

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: Legitimate criticisms of each 2016 Presidential Candidate
« Reply #2694 on: August 03, 2016, 05:15:08 AM »
By all means, whatever choice of words you want to explain the situation. The fact remains, however, that your original choice of words in the most recent comments on Libya contained no context whatsoever.

Clinton's experience is one of the big arguments for why she should be President, right? She was one of the main guiders of foreign policy during the portion of the Obama administration in question. If we can't criticize decisions made during that time that we know she encouraged without emphasizing that It Wasn't All Her Fault, that makes it seem like her experience didn't mean much. You can't have it both ways - either her experience was meaningful and failures during that time are fair game, or she's not qualified to be President.

(In the beginning there was darkness. Then, Hillary Clinton was one of the leaders of a team who decided to kill some Libyans. Since then, Libya has not known peace. Context!)

Quote
Quote
I am upset that the United States government killed people in Libya to no end. We intervened and the worst-case-scenario - total national collapse - happened anyways. Our violence served no purpose, and if you're surprised, you weren't paying attention at the time. The administration should have known better. Clinton should have known better.

Did the US intervention serve no purpose? My original understanding is that we intervened to save lives. Are you arguing that no lives were saved? Or are you arguing that saving lives is meaningless?

There's no reason to believe we saved any net lives. We definitely ended some, though; that part is inescapable.

In other words, you really don't know. You simply are more comfortable assuming that because it fits the narrative that you have embraced.

You don't know either! What we do know is that we caused a lot of deaths - and that they haven't led to peace.

Do you actually believe the Libya intervention was a success and a good idea? Or are you just responding to criticism of Clinton reflexively?

(Hint: President Obama has said Libya was the biggest mistake of his administration.)

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Re: Legitimate criticisms of each 2016 Presidential Candidate
« Reply #2695 on: August 03, 2016, 10:59:50 AM »
As we contemplate if Trump or Clinton would be a better commander in chief, this seems relevant.
http://www.cnbc.com/2016/08/03/trump-asks-why-us-cant-use-nukes-msnbcs-joe-scarborough-reports.htm

Not understanding why we cannot use nukes is beyond terrifying. We may be beyond the cold war, but nuclear proliferation is a very, very serious issue. Not even understanding the political ramifications is stunning. And if we are worried about civilian deaths (as mentioned in the Libya discussion above), this seems pretty clear cut.
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Northwestie

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Re: Legitimate criticisms of each 2016 Presidential Candidate
« Reply #2696 on: August 03, 2016, 11:13:03 AM »
As we contemplate if Trump or Clinton would be a better commander in chief, this seems relevant.
http://www.cnbc.com/2016/08/03/trump-asks-why-us-cant-use-nukes-msnbcs-joe-scarborough-reports.htm

Not understanding why we cannot use nukes is beyond terrifying. We may be beyond the cold war, but nuclear proliferation is a very, very serious issue. Not even understanding the political ramifications is stunning. And if we are worried about civilian deaths (as mentioned in the Libya discussion above), this seems pretty clear cut.

Uninformed, ego-laden, moron.

Roland of Gilead

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Re: Legitimate criticisms of each 2016 Presidential Candidate
« Reply #2697 on: August 03, 2016, 02:36:25 PM »
As bad as that sounds, Hillary is possibly more likely to get into a conflict with Russia.  Trump would be more isolationist and let Russia expand into the Baltics.  It is looking similar to 1930s Germany in Russia.

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Re: Legitimate criticisms of each 2016 Presidential Candidate
« Reply #2698 on: August 03, 2016, 02:47:15 PM »
As bad as that sounds, Hillary is possibly more likely to get into a conflict with Russia.  Trump would be more isolationist and let Russia expand into the Baltics.  It is looking similar to 1930s Germany in Russia.
This depends critically on how we interact with NATO and honor our treaty obligations. The USA does not operate in a vacuum. This also applies to the retroactive assessment of Libya, where our allies were also involved in the decision (particularly France).
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nereo

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Re: Legitimate criticisms of each 2016 Presidential Candidate
« Reply #2699 on: August 03, 2016, 02:51:20 PM »
As bad as that sounds, Hillary is possibly more likely to get into a conflict with Russia.  Trump would be more isolationist and let Russia expand into the Baltics.  It is looking similar to 1930s Germany in Russia.

Interesting hypothesis.  Had the US and League of Nations prevented Germany's rearmament around 1934 and/or intervened when Germany annexed Austria and Czechoslovakia in 1938 they almost certainly wouldn't have been powerful enough to wage the bloodiest war ever a few years later.
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