Page 3 of 4 FirstFirst 1234 LastLast
Results 41 to 60 of 61

Thread: Farsighted academics

  1. #41
    Council Member
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    4,021

    Default OK, Fuchs,

    you have presented your position as to Q1 - adequately (IMO) - which does not mean I agree with you.

    Now, how about Q2 & Q3:

    2. What has Europe (or individual Euro states) done to address the degradation ?

    3. What should Europe (or individual Euro states) do to address the degradation ?

  2. #42
    Council Member
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    4,021

    Default Reference sources post

    The present Grundgesetz is here. Its Wiki article is here, and describes its background:

    The Basic Law for the Federal Republic of Germany (German: Grundgesetz für die Bundesrepublik Deutschland) is the constitution[1] of Germany. It was formally approved on May 8, 1949 and, with the signature of the Allies, came into effect on May 23, 1949 as the de facto constitution of West Germany.

    The German word Grundgesetz may be translated as either Basic Law or Fundamental Law. The term Verfassung (constitution) was not used, as the drafters regarded the Grundgesetz as a provisional document, to be replaced by the constitution of a future united Germany. This was not possible in the context of the Cold War and the communist orientation of the Soviet occupation zone, which later in 1949 proclaimed itself the German Democratic Republic, dividing Germany into two states.

    Forty years later, in 1990, Germany finally reunified when the GDR peacefully joined the West German Federal Republic of Germany. After reunification, the Basic Law remained in force, having proved itself as a stable foundation for the thriving democracy in West Germany that had emerged from the ruins of World War II. Some changes were made to the law in 1990, mostly pertaining to reunification, such as to the preamble. Additional major amendments to and modifications of the Basic Law were made in 1994, 2002 and 2006.
    and adds:

    The idea for the creation of the Basic Law came originally from the three western occupying powers. In view of the Nazi usurpation of Germany's prewar Weimar Constitution, they made their approval of the creation of a new German state conditional on:

    a complete rejection of the ideology that the German people are a master race (German: Herrenrasse) — superior to others, born to be leaders, and entitled to commit genocide, or barbaric treatment of those not belonging to it;

    an unequivocal commitment to the inviolability and inalienability of human rights.
    Unfortunately, Wiki cites no source for the interplay between the 3 Allied Powers and the soon to be revived German state.

    Shades of "The Third Man" - yes, I know that was Vienna, but the post-WWII - pre-Cold War interval was a complicated interlude - and "Young Frankenstein" - coming back to haunt us.

  3. #43
    Council Member Surferbeetle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    1,111

    Default Sidebar and backgrounder...

    Quote Originally Posted by jmm99 View Post
    Shades of "The Third Man" - yes, I know that was Vienna, but the post-WWII - pre-Cold War interval was a complicated interlude - and "Young Frankenstein" - coming back to haunt us.
    Young Frankenstein...a true classic!

    While wandering around the internet I stumbled across The National Interest website (I make no claims about this website one way or the other - but find that some of the articles on Germany and Russia, in particular, intelligently provide some background and points/counterpoints to consider on our topic)

    Ich Bin Ein Berliner?
    by Donald K. Bandler and A. Wess Mitchel

    Even if the new administration makes progress on all of these fronts, it is unlikely to be able to restore U.S.-German cooperation to its previous levels anytime soon. For the first time in more than a generation, seismic geopolitical shifts—a restive Russia, a stalling EU and an over-stretched America—have begun to change, perhaps fundamentally, the way America’s German ally looks at itself and its role on the wider transatlantic stage. Eventually, President Obama should be prepared to confront these challenges head-on and engage Berlin in a comprehensive discussion about the fundamentals of the relationship. For now, it will be enough to get the two talking and acting constructively again
    Unfortunately I can no longer provide a working link to the articles on Russia at this website which I was able to read yesterday; Dimitri K. Simes as well as Clifford G. Gaddy and Barry W. Ickes had articles available. Suffice to say they intelligently challenge my view of Russia.
    Sapere Aude

  4. #44
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    1,444

    Default

    The latest issue also has a good article by "evil neocon" Richard Perle, discussing the debate surrounding why we went into Iraq. I'm pretty sure it's available to non-subscribers.

    http://www.nationalinterest.org/Article.aspx?id=20486

    So if it was not a neocon master plan, how did we end up invading Iraq? What were the considerations that led Bush to bring down Saddam Hussein’s regime by force? What was the role of neoconservatives in his decision to go to war in Iraq? Many people believe they know the answer to these questions because so much has been written, with seeming authority, by so many commentators. Could 50 million blogs be wrong?

  5. #45
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Mid Atlantic
    Posts
    26

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Fuchs View Post
    I believe you take too much for granted.

    This "being different" taken to extremes and the well-demonstrated lack of respect for others and international law could lead to an isolated USA in less than a generation. Seriously, a McCain term could have accomplished that.

    You don't seem to have an idea how poor the USA would be off without the European allies. No, this is not a text about European power; it's a text about how too much seems to be taken for granted.
    I'm willing to accept that Europeans have a more cynical view of war due to differing experiences. But those experiences didn't seem give them any clarity after WWI, which was at least as devastating as WWII. I find it odd that Europe "got smart" about war precisely at the time they lost the capability to wage it on any significant scale. (It didn't, however, prevent France from sending Bob Denard all over Africa) I sense a bit of geopolitical "penis envy" in the European political class, which is reflected in the common culture.

    And will it be possible, politically, for European countries to maintain large standing armies with capabilities similar to what the US has in the region? It seems to me that we are subsidizing your defense. The characterization of Russian conflicts as manufactured by US badgering ignores hundreds of years of Russian history, though I agree that said badgering was not in anybody's best interest. Russia will continue to behave as Russia always has, regardless of what particular flavor of government by which they identify themselves.

    Finally, on the issue of respect for European prerogatives, I think multilateralism is important. But there is a certain sting to the bitter and rancorous European criticism, when there are still plenty of Americans that were dragged into TWO incredibly destructive and pointless European conflicts that aren't even in the ground yet. And funny that most of our recent "wars of aggression" take place in dysfunctional former European colonies.

    I suspect that when Europe becomes a more reliable and proactive partner in international security, the US will defer to them more often. I hope this happens.

  6. #46
    Council Member
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    4,021

    Default Richard Perle ....

    got this right (IMO):

    (article linked by Schmedlap)
    The seminal error was, in my view, the failure to turn Iraq over to the Iraqis immediately after Saddam’s regime collapsed. History does not allow instant replays so we will never know whether that policy could have averted the disastrous insurgency—carried out by Saddam loyalists and foreign jihadists—sustained by terror, the incitement of confessional and ethnic divisions, and outside assistance. Had Iraq been enabled to stand up an interim government pending free elections to be held in, say, eighteen months, we might well have escaped the invidious role of an occupier. In blundering from liberation to occupation, we opened the way to nearly five years of suffering that only now, with the progress of the “surge,” is finally subsiding.
    Perle, however, follows this up with the argument that Iraqi governance ought to have been turned over to the "DoD Iraqi Exile Group" - Ahmad Chalabi and others. There are many negative takes on Chalabi (including the agency's burn notice of many years standing).

    One is found in Operation Hotel California, which is here - read the sans serif typeface portion by Sam Faddis & chose to ignore or read the rest by his co-author. Faddis tells quite a bit about the runup to Gulf II (OIF I) - AQ WMD production in Kurdistan, WMD intelligence from Iraq, incompetent Iraqi exiles, etc.

    Sam Faddis has a blog - local home town type - which is here. This guy seems credible (also a fav comment by at least one ex-agency person who disagreed with him about Panetta).

    PS: Sbee - I like Steve Cohen's stuff on Russia - which is a bit strange given my own politics. In any event, he is here and here - and quite a few other places.
    Last edited by jmm99; 01-26-2009 at 01:58 AM. Reason: add PS

  7. #47
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    1,457

    Default

    Fuchs,

    You are a moving target in this thread, and have completely derailed it from the original post you made about listening to 33 academics who signed a letter before OIF. When confronted with counterarguments, you've ignored most and simply switched to something else. We're on Nato now, which is the several iterations down the line. If you can't be bothered to answer criticism made against your assertions, then what is the point?

  8. #48
    Council Member RTK's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Wherever my stuff is
    Posts
    823

    Default

    Entropy - Don't hold your breathe. You'll probably get a response like this one.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fuchs View Post
    That were very poor questions that didn't really deserve an answer in my opinion.

    Yay, one more who will never become a friend of mine.
    Example is better than precept.

  9. #49
    Council Member
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    4,021

    Default Hey Entropy,

    if you ever shot running boar (target shooting), you'd appreciate the situation.

    Seriously, I and RTK asked the most-current questions about NATO - and Fuchs responded to them.

    Also seriously, the German view of Iraq is important (see article by Sbee) and it has launched the most serious legal attack on the validity of the Iraq invasion. I don't buy the German position from a legal standpoint, but that part is certainly on topic.

    I'd cut him a little (wee little bitsy) slack - until his next post.

    PS: RTK posted while I was writing - Yup, I'll have to admit he has a talent for attacking the ad hominem capillaries - hit a couple of mine already, but they don't bleed much.
    Last edited by jmm99; 01-26-2009 at 02:13 AM.

  10. #50
    Council Member bourbon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Boston, MA
    Posts
    903

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jmm99 View Post
    Perle, however, follows this up with the argument that Iraqi governance ought to have been turned over to the "DoD Iraqi Exile Group" - Ahmad Chalabi and others. There are many negative takes on Chalabi (including the agency's burn notice of many years standing).
    Ahmad Chalabi is at best an Iranian agent of influence, and his organization was reportedly penetrated on every level by the Iranian's. (Jeff Stein reported on Chalabi's recent activities in October.)

    After all that has since come out about Chalabi and company, Richard Perle still says this is the guy/group we should have handed the country over to. Richard Perle has no shame.

  11. #51
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    8,060

    Default Perle also knows little more than you or I about who did what

    to who. Or why. I'm not a fan and never have been, he was not particularly effective as the ASecDef for International Security Policy in the Reagan Admin.

    However, I do agree with him that staying to 'occupy' Iraq was not a good idea and I agree that the guy who messed it up -- Bremer -- was not one of Perle's in-crowd. As for Chalibi, more to him than that. He's a chameleon, no question but the CIA had and has their own agenda...

  12. #52
    Council Member
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    4,021

    Default Agency agenda

    After reading over (several times) the Faddis portion of the book, it is not at all clear what the CIA HQs' overall agenda for Iraq was - except as it related to his in-country team.

    Beyond the Iraq’s Weapons of Mass Destruction report, which is here, and associated WMD stuff, including the Niger stuff,

    1. How much agency involvement was there in the run-up to OIF1 ?

    2. Did it have an overall agenda in that situation ?

  13. #53
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    8,060

    Default Cannot answer either question but I can say IMO

    the overall -- as opposed to some teams, cells or branches -- object of Langley was to avoid commitment of the Armed Forces for several reasons, mostly to avoid the turmoil and resultant disruption of some of their long term plans and then current operations in the area.

    They also, I believe, wanted badly to to discredit the Administration. I believe that was due to great internal upset over getting blamed for dropping the ball in the summer and fall of 2001 -- a legitimate gripe on their part, I think, because they did their thing in the lead up fairly well but because the whole community was bureaucratically hogtied, they got blamed for some stuff not their fault. Add pressure to change findings and they had a complaint or two. They're easily the best and dirtiest bureaucratic games player in Washington...

    Did I ever tell you how much damage Jimmy Carter did...

  14. #54
    Council Member
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    4,021

    Default You probably have ...

    Did I ever tell you how much damage Jimmy Carter did...
    but right now my picture of the Carter administration (beyond a big fire in the desert) is a blur. Wait, I see an attack by a wabid wabbit. You didn't! How could you !

    I'm going to attach a couple of zip files of .html files I downloaded in Mar-Apr 2003. Supposedly, the "intel" in them came from the GRU - although a lot of it seems more like Baghdad Bob. At about the time he faded from our TV screens, the website closed down and went 404 (explanation in last .html).

    These are really funny - we were getting our clocks cleaned - like I said, Baghdad Bob. You all may find them enjoyable.

    Earliest file is attached first (starts at bottom - single file)

    The other file should unzip to 16 files. Packed by WinRAR 3.62 - if any unzip problems, let me know.

    Best save these to a directory (folder) and then unzip there.
    Attached Files Attached Files
    Last edited by jmm99; 01-26-2009 at 05:59 AM.

  15. #55
    Council Member Ratzel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    81

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Fuchs View Post
    The majority of Europeans was smarter than the Bush team, but since the U.S.Americans don't listen to Europeans they could at least choose their experts wisely.
    Don't mistake European weakness and decadence for wisdom. For 500 years the Europeans were intervening across the globe and then became "smarter" after they tore each other to shreds in WWII. The fact is, the Europeans would still be playing power politics if they could, but now that they can't, they claim enlightenment.

    Now Europe is so sad it can't even stop foreign extremists from burning the place down. Old ladies get started on fire in France and if anyone complains, they get charged for "inciting intolerance." In fifty years, when the Koln Cathedral is transformed into a Mosque and European women walk with their faces covered I'm sure you'll be back here explaining how much smarter you all are?

    So maybe we should choose our experts more wisely? But under no circumstances should these experts be people from your dying Continent; especially Germany, and place where its soldiers aren't even allowed to fight in Afghanistan. Just as a clock is right twice a day, its not surprising Europeans pointed out the challenges of Iraq. But again, while I can't claim to be an "expert" in anything, I am confident in telling you this:

    DON'T CONFUSE YOUR DECDENCE AND WEAKNESS FOR WISDOM.
    "Politics are too important to leave to the politicians"

  16. #56
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Montreal
    Posts
    1,602

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Ratzel View Post
    So maybe we should choose our experts more wisely? But under no circumstances should these experts be people from your dying Continent; especially Germany, and place where its soldiers aren't even allowed to fight in Afghanistan. Just as a clock is right twice a day, its not surprising Europeans pointed out the challenges of Iraq. But again, while I can't claim to be an "expert" in anything, I am confident in telling you this:

    DON'T CONFUSE YOUR DECDENCE AND WEAKNESS FOR WISDOM.
    Thank you contributing to the quality of the discussion in such a productive and enlightening way. Personally, I always come away from "US versus Europe" arguments (or vice-versa) feeling intellectually uplifted.

  17. #57
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    1,444

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Ratzel View Post
    Just as a clock is right twice a day, its not surprising Europeans pointed out the challenges of Iraq.
    That kind of brings the thread back on topic. Indeed, it is not surprising that the Europeans or anyone else pointed out some challenges in Iraq. But the important question remains: so what? So they pointed out short-term challenges for a long-term endeavor. And?

  18. #58
    Council Member William F. Owen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    The State of Partachia, at the eastern end of the Mediterranean
    Posts
    3,947

    Default

    Personally, I think this thread has degenerated to a degree where a cease fire might, unusually, be useful.
    Infinity Journal "I don't care if this works in practice. I want to see it work in theory!"

    - The job of the British Army out here is to kill or capture Communist Terrorists in Malaya.
    - If we can double the ratio of kills per contact, we will soon put an end to the shooting in Malaya.
    Sir Gerald Templer, foreword to the "Conduct of Anti-Terrorist Operations in Malaya," 1958 Edition

  19. #59
    Moderator Steve Blair's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Montana
    Posts
    3,195

    Default

    Concur. If we don't see a return to useful discourse this one might just end up locked.
    "On the plains and mountains of the American West, the United States Army had once learned everything there was to learn about hit-and-run tactics and guerrilla warfare."
    T.R. Fehrenbach This Kind of War

  20. #60
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    8,060

    Default I made the third post on the thread and have

    made as many as anyone on it or nearly so and I don't really recall any useful discourse.

Similar Threads

  1. Vietnam collection (lessons plus)
    By SWJED in forum Training & Education
    Replies: 140
    Last Post: 06-27-2014, 04:40 AM
  2. Social Scientists Work Being Involuntarily Classified
    By Abu Suleyman in forum Social Sciences, Moral, and Religious
    Replies: 54
    Last Post: 07-11-2008, 06:37 PM
  3. The Dangerous Militarisation of Anthropology
    By SWJED in forum Social Sciences, Moral, and Religious
    Replies: 51
    Last Post: 06-26-2007, 06:16 PM
  4. Thoughts?
    By LawVol in forum US Policy, Interest, and Endgame
    Replies: 23
    Last Post: 04-22-2007, 01:38 AM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •