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Howcome there are so many Conservative Wackos out there?

Discussion in 'The OT' started by Jack White, Aug 4, 2005.

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  1. RichW

    RichW Hall Of Fame/Supporter DBSTalk Gold Club

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    And now they will get Iraq as an ally.
     
  2. jonstad

    jonstad Hall Of Fame

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    I don't doubt Reza Pavlavi needed treatment for cancer, although with the CIA involved, anything's possible.!devil12: But the ease with which the Ayatollah and his minions "siezed power", and the Shah's seeming reticense to return to Iran and fight for his position implies he was not clueless about what was going to happen or the possible consequences to his person should he try to return. If I'm not mistaken, the go ahead for Khomeini to return from exile was granted before the Shah was taken for treatment. It may have been decided this was a good time NOT to be present in Iran.

    I didn't mean to imply the student hostage-takers didn't have Khomeini's blessing, only that he did not specifically order or command it and was ignorant of the plan until it occured. As far as we know.:shrug::D

    Although the hostages were initially to ransom the Shah, by the time of his death it had taken on other dimensions. It had become a media event and political football(soccer ball if you please:)) here AND in Iran. Or look at it this way. Would George Bush have been dissuaded from invading Afganistan if the Taliban had initially refused to hand over bin Laden and then announced his death from kidney disease? Probably not. It would have been too little too late. We would have felt cheated and not very satisfied with the result. I imagine by the time the Shah died a pariah in Cairo, many Iranians felt the same way.
     
  3. jonstad

    jonstad Hall Of Fame

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    Yes, I recall this report. But I also recall the next day forensic facial experts declaring that the newly elected Iranian President was likely NOT one of the captors. At least none of those captured on film at the time. Twenty five years later, recollections under duress may have been a little foggy. I assume this is why in news busuness parlance, this story "didn't have legs".

    As for "torture", I already placed the disclaimer that the American hostages did not appear to be tortured, PHYSICALLY AT LEAST. Just being a captive is alone enough to be mental torture. And I'm sure their captors verbally abused and harangued them at times. However, we might recall that some of us refused to acknowledge naked human pyramids, dog leashes, hoods and electrodes as actual "torture". I don't recall reports of any of these things, or anything similar that the American hostages in Tehran were subjected to, let alone graphic images of any such occurances.

    So not by my standards, but by your own and many others on this board, I stand by my statement the American hostages were NOT tortured, at least not physically. If you care to redefine what happened at Abu Ghraib as torture, I will be happy to amend my definition also.
     
  4. rickfromthesticks

    rickfromthesticks AllStar

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    I don't know if Pakistan is any more of a threat than the others talked about here, N. Korea, China and the collective Mid East are all problems. I think that any of these countries can buy what they need with enough money. They don't need to develop their own technologies. Then we have the possibility of rogues gaining power or even buying what they want themselves.

    I have seen some of this rhetoric about a new nuclear holocaust in a lot of places. It is very difficult to separate the "extremeists" and the liars and those caught up in a panic to find something to worry about. We really don't know who has what for sure, our intelligence is sorely lacking everywhere. What I don't understand is why don't other countries have better intelligence than we do? I know Clinton's cutbacks and a general distain for intelligence gathering methods have handcuffed us, but why is that the case in Great Britain or Israel? Why does it seem that everyone is suffering from intelligence deprivation at the same time? Prehaps there is a conspiracy here....

    Rick
     
  5. Bogy

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    What makes Pakistan a primary threat is that they have been the source of technology for those who didn't want to/couldn't develop their own.
     
  6. Geronimo

    Geronimo Native American Potentate DBSTalk Gold Club

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    I thought that only the Reagan administration was hopeful about making contact with the moderates in Iran. Any country getting nuclear weapons is destabilizing. In the case of Iran and to a lesser extent Pakistan, one of the fears has to be the bomb making its way into the hands of a faction that is even more hostile to western interests than the current government.
     
  7. jonstad

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    Again, what needs to be remembered is "intelligence agencies" across the globe are and always have been political tools, as well as information gathering mechanisms. And their primary purpose and value may in fact be the political factor with information gathering secondary.

    Was this ever more obvious than in the lead-up to the last war where "slam-dunk" assurances were made for "intelliegence" that it turns out now could not possibily have been true? And yet, to bring it up one more time, the author of this totally falacious "slam-dunk" intelligence was awarded the highest civilian medal this nation offers. For what? Certainly NOT for the job of providing ACCURATE information, but for the job of providing USEFUL information, useful for political ends.

    And again we return to "it's all Clinton's fault!":sure:

    Whatever "Clinton's cutbacks and a general distain for intelligence gathering methods" may have been, it does not appear Bush immediately acted to restore the "cutbacks" or was any less disdainful. In fact from multiple sources it appears the Bush administration was disdainful of and mostly ignored what intelligence the Clinton administration tried to pass along to them on leaving office.

    And what interest would Great Britain or Israel have in debunking the notion of Saddam's WMD and nuclear programs? There are probably not any two nations we work closer with, especially in the "intelligence" areas. They certainly knew the goal was to prove Iraq DID have these weapons and programs and information to the contrary would not be pleasing to US, nor serve common purposes.

    You need to be a bit more cynical, stop watching James Bond movies and try to understand how and why these things work as they do.
     
  8. rickfromthesticks

    rickfromthesticks AllStar

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    Hey! James Bond is my buddy.

    And I thought I was surprisingly cynical, at least to myself.

    I understand your political motivation for intelligence, but at some point it becomes national security for any nation. Israel certainly has a great need for good intel, and would have to weigh heavily the repercussions of letting us jump into the middle of the Middle East with guns blazing. Remember, it was Israel, not the US that saw incoming missles during the Gulf War.

    And, revisionism is at work here if you think Clinton didn't cut back in that area. How do you think he was the first president to cut the Federal payroll? Social service workers laid off? Staff cuts? No, he got rid of something like 1/3 of the military personnel. (I can't remember the right numbers, but it was a lot.) 9-11 was eight months into Bush's presidency and it was five years in the planning, do the math.
     
  9. bobsupra

    bobsupra Work In Progress DBSTalk Gold Club

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    I'd like the source for Clinton cuts in military personnel.

    As to implication that Clinton was responsible for the intelligence/security failures that allowed Sept 11, I have trouble with the conclusion. Bush's team ignored the outgoing administration's experience. It seems they were "hell bent" for a regime change in Iraq.

    I will read with interest Bush's autobio in a few years...but I can predict now what it will say. Anything that went wrong (assuming he admits to any failures) were the fault of the democrats. This is consistent behavior...acknowledge no error, blame the other side.
     
  10. Bogy

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    Rick, speaking of revisionist history, you need to go back a few years to find the beginning of downsizing our military and intelligence. It began during Bush 1. Cheney and Rumsfeld were both very proud of the large cuts they made in military and intelligence spending. Since Bush 1 only had one term, much of the cuts did not really begin kicking in until Clinton was in office. If you want to fault Clinton, it has to be that he continued what Bush, a Republican, began.
     
  11. markh

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    Also, Donald Rumsfeld is one of the biggest proponents of the "smaller, more capable force". It was during Bush 41 (no disrespect intended) that the decision was made to use less manpower and use technology to create a more lethal force. The concept has been proven in Iraq. It works great for warfare. The problem with less troops comes with an occupation where there is no substitute for numbers.
     
  12. pjmrt

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    First, you are mixing two items which I don't think you can support. Intelligence budgets I believe are classified, so I'm not sure how Bush, Clinton, Bush faired in that category. There are probably some speculated numbers floating around, but I'm not sure if there is solid numbers in the public domain. I think Kerry did introduce a bill to cut the intelligence budget in the senate.

    Military spending ramped up under Reagan, to recover from the neglect by several administrations and their democratic congress. The numbers say spending dropped under Bush Sr. Remember the peace dividend? Reagan's strong stand helped bring down the Berlin Wall and the Soviet system. There wasn't the need - any more that there was the need in 1947-48 for the same budgets during WWII. The Bush budget was lower until the Iraq invasion of Kuwait. Clinton's budgets seem to be dropping - for reasons which escape me.
    http://www.cdi.org/issues/milspend.html
     
  13. Bogy

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    Kerry voted to SUPPORT the spending cuts suggested by Cheney. Thats what Democrats get for trying to support what Republicans do, get blamed for it later by Republicans. And how could Kerry have introduced such a bill if the intelligence budgets were classified? :lol:

    Incredible. Bush Sr. lowering military spending is understandable because there was no need for the continued huge spending levels that were built up over 8 years. (There was only one four year term where a Democrat held office during the previous 12 years.) However, four years later, all the cuts needed have evidently been made, and any further cuts during Clinton's administration are unexplainable. :lol:

    Imagine what your reasoning would be like if you were a partisan. :lol:
     
  14. jonstad

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    Yet, dispite how Clinton had "decimated" our military, within 9 months of taking office George Bush was able to launch the first of two major wars, and not a year and a half later, the second one. Go figure!:grin:

    And as has been pointed out, it was the likes of Rumsfield and Cheney who insisted on invading with the absolute minimum necessary to conquer Iraq, but woefully inadequate to occupy it. We(and the Iraqis) are living with the results today.:nono2:

    Intelligence? OK, fine. Certainly there is a national security component and the ostensive reason they exist in the first place. I'm not suggesting we don't need intelligence agencies and operatives. However, if you direct them and have access to their capabilities, there is a great temptation, probably an overwhelming one, to use them to advance political agandas. The beauty being you can often disguise your agenda as actually being national security.:sure:

    This certainly appears to be the case in the latest Iraq war. From all indications, the CIA, etc. were instructed to find reasons to believe Saddam had WMD and nuclear programs and capabilities and to ignore any reason to believe otherwise. Therefore sources of dubious repute, disgruntled Iraqi expatriates and fellas wioth code names like "curveball", were given credence and UN weapons inspectors and Saddam's own brother-in-law were dismissed as naive, inelp and/or incompetent.

    I don't want intelligence agencies who will supply the reasons to go to war on command, whether or not that intelligence is reliable and true. I want intelligence agencies that will deliver the unvarnished truth so we can avoid war if possible and go to war only when it is justifiably necessary.
     
  15. Nick

    Nick Retired, part-time PITA DBSTalk Club

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    The...
    Whoops, you forgot to mention one obscure precipitating event - 9/11. :rolleyes:
     
  16. Bogy

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    How did an attack on two buildings in New York and the Pentagon suddenly rejuvenate the military in a matter of months? It may have been the reason for the war in Afghanistan, if not Iraq, but it didn't magically supply people and resources.
     
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