1. What is to be done?

          We have to admit we were wrong.

          We shouldn’t have gone into Iraq, or tried to topple governments in Libya or Syria. We should not have taken sides between Suni Saudi Arabia and Shite Iran, We should not have stayed in Afghanistan longer than we needed to kill those who attacked us and punished those who sheltered them.

          We have to admit that Russia has bigger and more direct interests in Syria than we do, and leave the place in their care.

          We have to tell all those parents, children and spouses we got killed trying to remake the middle east in our image that their loved ones lives were wasted on a fool’s errand.

          Then we have to get out in an orderly manner and mind our own business in the future.

          But we can’t do those things because whoever admits the truth first will be blasted by the other side, even though both parties got us into this mess.

          Liked by 3 people

          1. @Tabor

            I had to read your post twice, and found myself in agreement with most every issues you raised.

            While I could pontificate on the whys and wherefores and attach blame specifically, I’ll settle for condemning the big money influences of military spending associated with extreme profit making.

            Yes, a “mess”.

            Liked by 3 people

          2. @Jimmie

            You left out big oil….but Don is right. However, there has to be a better way. But allowing Russia free reign in the Middle East is not, IMHO, the way to do it.

            Putin has been cultivating relationships in the region for over 10 years now. We have done a poor job of anything like that because the trigger happy folks, regardless of party, haven’t considered sitting down and TALKING!. The way things are these days, we may even lose the close relationship with Israel because of Putin’s charm offensive there.


  1. I’m not sure a debate stage can provide much opportunity for in-depth discussion of the 100 year history of Kurdish abuse by us or others.

    I would agree it has been shameful on both sides, but today is a new opportunity to change course if we have the will…

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I suspect the good news in all of this is that there aren’t 6 million Kurds to be had. OTOH, the Turks have done quite well in that department before.

      Armenians… Americans… Armenians… Americans…

      Wow! I hope the Turkish militias don’t receive orders written in English… with only 250 left to protect oil wells (naturally) there could be another mistake the likes of Beirut. Only difference is we cut and ran AFTER the bombing in Lebanon.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. The usual pattern around here is to post a link, plus an introductory word or two to indicate why the poster thinks the link is important or merits attention.

    The pattern is not a rule so much as simply an effective communications approach. After all, the most interesting thing about the Forum is the opinions and thinking of the participants themselves, not the opinions and thinking of the links.

    With that in mind, I ask: What is in the Intercept link that merits our attention and contemplation?


    1. In my opinion, it appears Mr. Chandler is in agreement with the article he posted. Perhaps he felt it was not necessary to include “introductory words” to go with it. Maybe a “Yeah, what they said” would have been appropriate.


      1. RE: “so you could simply take down the many posts that don’t meet your discriminating tastes.”

        Why would I bother to do that, even if I had the power?

        Besides — as stated — I’m interested in your thoughts, not those of your links, which I could look up for myself, were I so inclined.


      2. I think a reasonable person would understand that posting a link would indicate that you/anybody thought it was worthy of consideration and maybe comment.

        FWIW; I don’t think a comment by the poster is mandatory for anyone else to opine if they wish..

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Actually, I have asked Todd and Len to volunteer to help me with moderation, but that is not the basis we use.

        Moderation is only to be used in the event of personal attacks, or blatant thread hijacking.

        We haven’t actually removed any posts as yet, only issued guidance statements.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. RE: “I don’t think a comment by the poster is mandatory for anyone else to opine if they wish.”

        I don’t think so, either. But again, the poster makes the post interesting, not the link.


  3. I couldn’t help but note the irony in this sentence:

    “So if you care about them, get ready for much higher taxes and your kids dying in Rojava.”

    Seriously, we haven’t raised taxes to wage war since 1941. We borrow to fight. The most egregious example was our invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan. Bush, Jr. cut taxes and doubled the national debt in that maligned effort.

    A closed second, was Reagan who cut taxes also and then ramped up military spending to “win” the Cold War.

    American need to be told the truth. “We are considering a war and it will cost everyone a tax hike of 10-50% to pay for it.”

    “All those in favor…”

    Put the tax cutters in the spotlight. “You want war or money in your pocket? Can’t have both.”

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Reagan cut tax RATES but spurred by a rejuvenated economy, tax collections grew, from about $500billion to $1Trillion by 1990 (constant dollars)

      The increase in the deficit in those years was the result of even faster spending increases by the Democratic Congress, forced on Reagan by a succession of government shutdowns.

      The increases in collections more than paid for Reagan’s increase in military spending(which ended the Cold War) but increases in domestic spending in good times wiped out the increased revenue.



      1. ”The near tripling of the national debt was mostly due to Reagan’s defense spending.”

        I think the article made my case which was about “war” borrowing rather than raising taxes. Yes, there were some pluses with Reagan. He made huge tax cuts, but then had to push through the biggest tax hike in history since revenues tanked. Voodoo economics per Bush the Elder.

        Yes, again, the economy was certainly better after the 70’s.

        The article put a nice right wing spin on a story with at least two sides.


        Liked by 2 people

        1. The article counts ALL defense spending, not just the in crease under Reagan. Yes, Reagan spent $1.72Trillion on defense, but even without Reagan’s increases we would have spent at least $900Billion under prior budgeting.

          Reagan’s increase cost just about 3 years of the revenue increase, and the end of the Cold War made it possible for Clinton to almost balance the budget with greatly reduced defense spending.

          Defense spending as a share of GDP fell from 5.5% to 3.5% between 1990 and 2000. Those savings on Clinton’s watch pretty much cancelled out Reagan’s increased spending while lifting the threat of nuclear anihiation.

          There really aren’t two sides to that.


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