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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-13-2006, 07:03 AM
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I recognize what we Merkins get from the "alliance" (compliant lapdogs and a whiff of legitimacy for our unilateral foreign policy schemes), but what do Urpeons get from the deal, besides a free pass on defense spending? Seems like a great big helping of McHeadache with cheese, and not much else.

I'd personally prefer that ya'll operated more independently, as real competitors in the foreign policy arena. We need and thrive on competition, and have suffered greatly from the lack thereof. It seems the world community would be far better served if there were a real free market of ideas and values competing to see which can best serve our collective and individual interests. Merka's monopolizing influence is an example of market manipulation of the worst sort. Please, stand up and take the lead. We're presently not up to the task...but, that too shall change.

"You can always count on Americans to do the right thing - after they've tried everything else.” -- W. Churchill
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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-13-2006, 07:09 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Zeitgeist
I recognize what we Merkins get from the "alliance" (compliant lapdogs and a whiff of legitimacy for our unilateral foreign policy schemes), but what do Urpeons get from the deal, besides a free pass on defense spending? Seems like a great big helping of McHeadache with cheese, and not much else.

I'd personally prefer that ya'll operated more independently, as real competitors in the foreign policy arena. We need and thrive on competition, and have suffered greatly from the lack thereof. It seems the world community would be far better served if there were a real free market of ideas and values competing to see which can best serve our collective and individual interests. Merka's monopolizing influence is an example of market manipulation of the worst sort. Please, stand up and take the lead. We're presently not up to the task...but, that too shall change.

"You can always count on Americans to do the right thing - after they've tried everything else.” -- W. Churchill
Or it could be that you have a pathological disdain for your own country that unbalances and distorts your view of the world.

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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-13-2006, 07:39 AM
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I have a pathological disdain for demonstrably bad public policy and illegitimate applications of political power...but, you knew that already.
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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-13-2006, 07:59 AM Thread Starter
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I have a pathological disdain for demonstrably bad public policy and illegitimate applications of political power...but, you knew that already.
I recognize that your cynicism toward your own country distorts and amplifies the merits of criticism directed at us from the outside, and from within.

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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-13-2006, 09:04 AM
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Your opinion is duly noted, grandpa.
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post #16 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-13-2006, 11:35 AM Thread Starter
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Your opinion is duly noted, grandpa.
'bout time, sonny.
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post #17 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-14-2006, 07:43 AM
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A very astute guy is Paul Johnson. Here's what he had to say about the current problems in Iraq...

"LONDON--To launch a large-scale opposed landing across many miles of water is the most hazardous of all military operations. Nothing before or since has ever been mounted on the scale of Operation Overlord, though the U.S. invasion of Iraq after the 9/11 outrage employed more firepower. The D-Day landing that began June 6, 1944, involved three services, airborne and glider troops, submarine landing, undercover agents and saboteurs, and an astonishing array of technological gimmicks.

It was the most carefully planned operation in history, and it had to be. So many things could go wrong. Churchill had learned from the bitter experience of Gallipoli 30 years before how easily a big invasion could be pinned down on a narrow beachhead and never break out of it. That nearly ended his political career. The Dieppe rehearsal showed the risks we were taking and the real possibility of a catastrophe. In Italy, we had had another near-disaster at Anzio.

I recall Field Marshal Montgomery (the battle commander of Overlord, under Gen. Eisenhower as the theater supremo) discoursing on the risks: "People say I always demand an overwhelming numerical superiority. Well, I'd be a fool if I didn't. If the resources are there let's have them. I used to point out: We are up against the world's finest professional army, all of whose senior commanders had had years of recent fighting experience. They didn't come any better than Rommel or Runstedt. I knew they were very resourceful gentlemen. All the German divisional commanders in France were good. We needed everything we had got to beat those people.
.........snip.......

Unlike Montgomery in 1944, who never underestimated the German genius for counterattack, and made provision against it, the allies this time did not study and prepare for the peculiar Arab genius for counterattack, which is to carry out prolonged and vicious guerilla warfare, completely disregarding human life, including their own. Moreover they did not study and prepare for the difficulties of meeting this form of counterattack against the political background of a free society at home, reacting nightly to what it sees on TV, and reading highly critical reports from the front written by journalists who have their own opinions and agendas and feel under no obligation to pursue the war (and peace) aims of the allied commanders. Both Mr. Bush and Mr. Blair are currently suffering from their lack of provision and foresight.

Given patience and determination, all will be well in time: Democracy and the rule of law will grow in the Middle East, and the roots of terrorism will be destroyed. But we are learning, once again, that the lessons history has to teach are inexhaustible and that statesmen should never plunge into the future, as we did in Iraq, without first examining what guidance the past could supply."
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post #18 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-15-2006, 06:25 PM Thread Starter
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A very astute guy is Paul Johnson. Here's what he had to say about the current problems in Iraq...

"LONDON--To launch a large-scale opposed landing across many miles of water is the most hazardous of all military operations. Nothing before or since has ever been mounted on the scale of Operation Overlord, though the U.S. invasion of Iraq after the 9/11 outrage employed more firepower. The D-Day landing that began June 6, 1944, involved three services, airborne and glider troops, submarine landing, undercover agents and saboteurs, and an astonishing array of technological gimmicks.

It was the most carefully planned operation in history, and it had to be. So many things could go wrong. Churchill had learned from the bitter experience of Gallipoli 30 years before how easily a big invasion could be pinned down on a narrow beachhead and never break out of it. That nearly ended his political career. The Dieppe rehearsal showed the risks we were taking and the real possibility of a catastrophe. In Italy, we had had another near-disaster at Anzio.

I recall Field Marshal Montgomery (the battle commander of Overlord, under Gen. Eisenhower as the theater supremo) discoursing on the risks: "People say I always demand an overwhelming numerical superiority. Well, I'd be a fool if I didn't. If the resources are there let's have them. I used to point out: We are up against the world's finest professional army, all of whose senior commanders had had years of recent fighting experience. They didn't come any better than Rommel or Runstedt. I knew they were very resourceful gentlemen. All the German divisional commanders in France were good. We needed everything we had got to beat those people.
.........snip.......

Unlike Montgomery in 1944, who never underestimated the German genius for counterattack, and made provision against it, the allies this time did not study and prepare for the peculiar Arab genius for counterattack, which is to carry out prolonged and vicious guerilla warfare, completely disregarding human life, including their own. Moreover they did not study and prepare for the difficulties of meeting this form of counterattack against the political background of a free society at home, reacting nightly to what it sees on TV, and reading highly critical reports from the front written by journalists who have their own opinions and agendas and feel under no obligation to pursue the war (and peace) aims of the allied commanders. Both Mr. Bush and Mr. Blair are currently suffering from their lack of provision and foresight.

Given patience and determination, all will be well in time: Democracy and the rule of law will grow in the Middle East, and the roots of terrorism will be destroyed. But we are learning, once again, that the lessons history has to teach are inexhaustible and that statesmen should never plunge into the future, as we did in Iraq, without first examining what guidance the past could supply."
I love that last paragraph. Timeless.

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