Politics (formerly Election 2012)

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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Fivelives » Sat Jun 07, 2014 7:43 pm

Nooska wrote:Continuing the trend from before, playing devils advocate, and grabbing onto a few points (which I don't disagree with) in regards to veterans kniowing more about teh actual goings on;
The right to vote tied to completing basic training - could include other fields that are societally beneficial, a TOD as a nursehelper in an innercity hospital (thatt the ones hat are hard to staff, right?) etc.?
IOW; Qualified Democracy?


That wouldn't fly. I think I mentioned earlier in the thread how I'd like it if civics courses were part of the common core.

KysenMurrin wrote:A question on one point: If veterans are less violent and better able to hold a job, could this be because they're a self-selecting group already predisposed to that?


Judges are still given the option to sentence people to military service instead of jail time. There was a guy in OSUT in 2000 when I switched to driving tanks that had that happen to him. I don't think it's a self-selection process so much as it is constantly getting it drilled into your head that "you're responsible for protecting the rights of the people" mixed with a healthy dose of having some of those rights taken away from you during your time in uniform (for instance, you can get in serious trouble for making public anti-government statements, which is a limitation on your first amendment rights; and you completely waive your 4th amendment right against warrantless search & seizure. There are others that you give up when you serve, but those are the two biggest ones).

Delphineas wrote:What about medical reasons to not serve?


Right now, that's because we have to deny people who want to serve for some reasons. Whether that be "failing" the ASVAB or medical reasons, there are plenty of jobs in the military that can accomodate wide ranges of disabilities. Administrative jobs, finance jobs, hell - there's even an MOS in the Army for book binding. Whatever a person's issue may be, it could limit their ability to serve in a combat role - but it's hard to limit capabilities to serve in non-combat roles.

Koatanga wrote:Fivelives, while I respect your service and your willingness to serve, The point I was trying to get to is that the US is deploying troops and putting them in the line of fire overseas, yet the people in the US tend to go overboard thanking soldiers for protecting US citizens.

Whether or not the US should be putting their men into harm's way in various foreign conflicts is a different question.

Whether or not other countries adequately defend themselves, or spend adequate money on their defense, is largely a moot point. The US has elected to take on that role largely in order to control the strength of foreign armies. I imagine if Germany was to tell the US to pull out all their troops because Germany would like to build up their own military, the US might not take very kindly to it.


Germany and Japan are still occupied countries. Fool us once, shame on us - fool us twice, we bomb you to rubble then occupy your country for the next century after forcing constitutional limitations on the size and capability of your military forces.

There's a good and bad aspect to this. I was actually having this discussion with someone last night - World Police is a shit job. I hate that we do it, I hate that it gets more of our soldiers killed than wars that have directly involved us, and I hate that we're resented and despised all over the globe for it. I also hate that it almost always comes back to bite us in the end (like arming and training the taliban to kick the USSR out of Afghanistan, see how well THAT turned out for us?). Problem is, the job will always fall to the most powerful country in the world - powerful in terms of economic strength and/or military - so would you like to see China as the enforcer of treaties and human rights? Neither would I. Maybe India and Pakistan will eventually quit squabbling and become true forces to reckon with.

So we act in the best of intentions all around the world to prevent worse things from happening - and, aye, for selfish reasons as well to protect our global interests. We act because we're invited in, as was the case with Vietnam and Korea; and, without our trusty crystal ball we can't predict the eventual outcome of our actions, so we act to maintain our power base in order to at least mitigate the damage if and when our actions come back to bite us in the ass.

There's probably something to be said for the fact that, unless it's occasionally exercised, power tends to disappear.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Koatanga » Sat Jun 07, 2014 8:19 pm

It's an odd position for the US to be considering Americans in general tend to be very isolationist. You don't drive the same cars as the rest of the world, fewer Americans as a percentage of population hold passports compared to the norm for Western countries, etc. That's a bit scary for the rest of the world, because there's this great big isolationist behemoth that wants to play world police without really grasping what's going on.

Oh I know there are intelligence briefs happening all the time to keep the Commander-in-Chief in the loop, but the idea of marching into Iraq to take out the most powerful player, in what really boiled down to a civil war, and with no exit strategy of any kind, was always going to end badly, and makes me question that the US really had a good grasp of what it was getting into then, or if it has any better grasp today.

I'd feel a lot more comfortable if a restructured version of the UN had the world police job. The US tends to change its mind about foreign policy every 4 or 8 years, depending on which faction is in charge of things. The UN has had its balls cut off by veto powers and, quite frankly, by countries like the US plowing on with their own agenda in spite of a UN decision.

I also fear the US is in a fairly fragile position at the moment, with increasing ideological division in the population over guns, gays, races, etc., slow recovery from the financial crisis and over-extension of debt. That's not the sort of instability I'd like to see in a global policeman.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Fivelives » Sun Jun 08, 2014 2:11 am

I'm waiting with bated breath to see whether or not we retain our position as the #1 superpower in the world. Considering that we're starting to show weakness on the international stage (backing down in Syria for instance, because Russia threatened to get involved if we did), I expect it'll be relatively soon.

I say "relatively" because we are a behemoth who's been doing the job for a long, long time. In order to fully get rid of Team America: World Police, you'd have to first get rid of all of our overseas military bases. So we may end up just becoming obsolete without really noticing it, as people start simply ignoring us. Someone else will step in to take over, we'll take offense, but just like a stereotypical old man our response by that point will likely be to sit on our porch shaking our walker at them yelling "DAMMIT YOU KIDS GET OFF MY LAWN!"
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Paxen » Sun Jun 08, 2014 5:40 am

Not really a fan of India: World Police. They make the old South Africa seem tolerant.

They do respect religious freedom, but that's because they have bitter experience about the bloodshed you get without it. And unlike Europe, that experience is in living memory.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Koatanga » Sun Jun 08, 2014 5:48 pm

I think if another country was substantially armed and deployed well enough to supplant the US as world police, the ZOMG GLOBAL INVASION alarms would be going off all over the Pentagon.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Fivelives » Sun Jun 08, 2014 7:04 pm

There are many countries that are well enough armed to take over the job, but you have to take economic strength into account as well as military power.

A country with the economic strength to support non-military options of policing (such as the famous "lots of strings attached" aid that the US gives other countries) is the only viable option of replacing the US as Team Whatever: World Police. Otherwise yeah, it would just be a global invasion.

Right now, most world leaders are content to let the US shoulder the burden of the job. But there's some small grumbling going on in some places at the highest levels. Russia and China are who I'm personally the most concerned about right now - they've both got (relatively) thriving economies and the capability to train and arm their militaries to the point where if they were to offer the United States host countries a better deal, it would be tempting as all hell.

The only thing lacking is the will to power. Most countries that are undergoing an economic boom in the wake of the US financial crisis are focusing on the long game. They're busy developing the infrastructure to support a long term period of economic growth. I'm probably just being an alarmist here, though. I am prone to that on occasion and recent history has proven me wrong on a number of accounts.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Nooska » Mon Jun 09, 2014 1:26 am

Well, there is one additional thing to take into consideration, apart from "offering a better deal" - political agreement, as in, how much do you agree (and not insignificantly trust) the one making the offer?
Being host to a military base of foreign troops is essentially inviting in the "enemy", so you have to be able to trust the one invited to not turn on you, as well as have somewhat agreement on overall policy.

I dont' see either China or Russia lifting those 2 burdens in most of the world, Russia in regards to trust and China in regards to agreement on policy (and probably trust too, but mostly due to differing perspectives rather than actual "betrayal", like would be feared from Russia).

Also
Fivelives wrote:
Nooska wrote:Continuing the trend from before, playing devils advocate, and grabbing onto a few points (which I don't disagree with) in regards to veterans kniowing more about teh actual goings on;
The right to vote tied to completing basic training - could include other fields that are societally beneficial, a TOD as a nursehelper in an innercity hospital (thatt the ones hat are hard to staff, right?) etc.?
IOW; Qualified Democracy?

That wouldn't fly. I think I mentioned earlier in the thread how I'd like it if civics courses were part of the common core.

In this case of massively rewriting how things actually work, adding civics courses would not even be a bone of contention I would wager (though "the common core" is not something I'm up to speed on, but from the discussion here my understanding is that is a common basic core of things to be taught in all states and territories, yes? no?)
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Koatanga » Mon Jun 09, 2014 1:58 am

From the point of view of us down here on the bottom of the world, I think China is reasonably well-placed to take over as "the" global superpower. I think the only thing stopping them is traditional isolationism.

They have resources; they have citizens in most parts of the world; they have sufficient military technology; and they trade with many countries around the world. They are not merely producing things for other people anymore - they even export cars now. They have reason to protect the stability of their trade partnerships.

They operate under a different form of government to a country like New Zealand, but we're already so used to dealing with Chinese people that a base here would not ruffle many feathers, I think - no more than having a US base, anyway.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Passionario » Mon Jun 09, 2014 4:35 am

Nooska wrote:Question:
Mandatory for males or mandatory for everyone?

Mandatory for females, forbidden for males. God Emperor of Dune all the way. :D
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Io.Draco » Mon Jun 09, 2014 10:06 am

Personally I think that we are moving away from a single nation taking on the role of World Police and more of a case alliances and multi-national organizations taking on that role.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Sagara » Mon Jun 09, 2014 10:47 am

Io.Draco wrote:Personally I think that we are moving away from a single nation taking on the role of World Police and more of a case alliances and multi-national organizations taking on that role.


Which would be a good 'ole clusterfuck the likes of which have not been seen in... meh, probably last week.
Seriously, the amount of coordination possible between militaries would be pathetic. At best, everyone would stay on his side and link up non-sensitive data

Leads me to a quick question towards you fivelives - have you read the web story "The Salvation Wars"? Ignoring the supernatural elements, how accurate is the author's view on the various nation's capabilities and ability to coordinate?

Nooska, re the LGBT thread
Nooska wrote:Sag, if you could choose between the NVA and the "opposite" (Leftish economical policy and rightwing social policy, neutral on frenchspeaking) - what would you choose? policy you don't agree with, or the one that doesn't like you personally?


I'm really not interested in people I like wearing yellow David stars, if you get my drift.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Nooska » Mon Jun 09, 2014 12:05 pm

I get your drift. And thats you, and thats me, and probably most europeans (especially as endowed as we are with actual choices for who to vote for - now what the actual policies end up being is generally less obvious)

EDIT:
I won't edit the above, but I want to clearly state that I in NO way meant to imply, infer, or otherwise say that non-europeans (by virtue of not being european) subscribe to policies we last saw enacted in the western world under Hitler.
Just want to make that clear - this question sprang from a discussion of how gays could be republican; as in - when you have 2 choices which one do you go with; do you decide based on a single issue (some do) or on most of teh package (some do this too).
I just realized how this could easily be read out of the context in which the original question was asked.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Fivelives » Mon Jun 09, 2014 10:43 pm

Sagara wrote:Leads me to a quick question towards you fivelives - have you read the web story "The Salvation Wars"? Ignoring the supernatural elements, how accurate is the author's view on the various nation's capabilities and ability to coordinate?


I haven't read it, no. But we do a joint live-fire training exercise every 2 years with a bunch of participating countries, and yeah - it goes about as well as can be expected. In other words, it's a series of gigantic clusterfucks and a miracle that it hasn't kicked off any number of international incidents.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Sagara » Mon Jun 09, 2014 11:10 pm

It's basically a what if? where Yahweh announces 2007 Earth that our time's up, the gate of Heaven are closed and Satan will be coming soon to clean up shop. To which the various government offer a big middle finger. With tanks. And missiles. And lots of stuff blowing up. (It's kind of a weapon enthusiast porn, apparently written by someone with a bit of experience in the matter).

Two events that come to mind is how the Israeli are constantly kept apart from the rest, especially from the delicate operation, and how they actually lost a nuclear submarine. Not as in "destroyed". As in "where the hell did I leave my car keys?" And then there's the delicate detailing of the process of nuclear initiation and its various effects on people that he apparently slightly edited to avoid giving too accurate info on those babies.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Ironshield » Tue Jun 10, 2014 2:14 am

China is very quickly building up MASSIVE influence in Africa and much of the third world, not by just dropping in with a big ass military base but by huge infrastructure programs, building roads, schools etc... in return for being allowed to extract some of the resources that weren't being used anyway, or for access to deep water ports, especially in Pakistan / South East Asia. I read an article a while back about how India was properly getting pi$$ed off with them as they had effectively surrounded India with ports capable of taking Aircraft Carriers. The host countries are happy because they got huge multi-lane highways for free, and what do they have to fear from a China with a port in their country that they don't have to fear from a China that just decides to kick their arse anyway?

When the power balance is so skewed anyway, what difference does it make if the country has a base on your territory? After all did Ukraine lose Crimea because Russia already had bases there? Or because Russia wanted Crimea and the only people who could do anything about it decided it wasn't worth the effort? The probably would have been much better off if they'd quietly sold it to Russia for a few decades of free gas or something.
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