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I'll Buy Mad Mike A Christmas Present If He Doesn't Like This Video. Really. (Or: You Like Ron Paul, Except On Foreign Policy.)


Hubbs

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Allow me to first state that I'm breaking one of my own rules by making this thread.

There have been times when I've actually PMed other libertarian-y members of this board and suggested that they not start any threads about Ron Paul for a while. That's because I know the reputation of Paul supporters, especially online. They often anger the very people they're trying to win over. They're too enthusiastic, too rabid. Some members of this board have said that Paul's fans can seem cult-like at times, and quite honestly, those members are frequently correct. There's far too much of a tendency to bombard everyone else, not realizing that most of "everyone else" has a limit when it comes to the sheer volume of this stuff, and going past that limit does harm rather than good.

I have a rule about starting a thread about Ron Paul when there's recently been another thread about Ron Paul in the Tailgate. The rule is simple: Don't do it. I actually don't believe I've ever been forced to refer myself to this rule, because while I've joined in on countless conversations/debates/whatevers about Paul, I don't remember ever starting one of those threads myself. (It's certainly quite possible, but off the top of my head I can't think of any.)

Today, I'm breaking my pattern, as well as my rule, for a reason. It's the same reason that's motivating me to make an offer to Mike, who, as those who follow Tailgate political threads should know, couldn't possibly disagree with Paul more on foreign policy. I want to be very clear: This is not a call-out thread. I'm not doing this to call Mike stupid, or even to say that he's wrong. I have no wish to attack him in any way with this post. I truly want nothing more than to make him an offer. And I'm making him this offer knowing that he doesn't even fit the secondary thread title. He doesn't like Ron Paul, except on foreign policy. As far as I know, he doesn't like Ron Paul's positions on practically anything. :ols:

I'm making this a public thread, rather than a PM, because I'm hoping that many others will watch this video as well. And I'm making the offer itself public not only because I hope it will show Mike how serious I am, but also because I hope it will show how much I mean what I'm about to say: I have never seen anything like this video. I very much believe that if I were able to show it to the audience of the GOP debate in South Carolina, the same audience that forcefully booed Ron Paul four years ago, it would cause many of the audience members to at least reconsider many aspects of his foreign policy. I've shown it to my own family, which is mostly made up of standard Republicans, and they thought it was fantastic. I've shown it to people who aren't even interested in politics, telling them that they could at any time say they'd seen enough and didn't want to watch the rest, and they watched the whole thing through (and I know them well enough to know that they'd have no problem telling me to press stop and leave them alone). I realize that it's 13 minutes long. That kept me from watching it for a couple days after I first heard about it. I wished it hadn't as soon as I finished watching it for the first time. It's worth a whole lot more than 13 minutes.

So Mike, my offer is simple: If you're willing to commit 13 minutes of your time to watching this video—really watching it, not merely playing it while you write an email and the TV is on 10 feet away—and you don't like it, I'll buy you any item that costs $20 or less and ship it to you at my own expense, provided the item is not illegal, does not require me to perform some sort of extra task (such as eating a dozen super-hot wings or joining the Polar Bear club), and would not involve some sort of personal embarrassment in the purchase (so no weird sex toys, even online, as I know several people who have been a victim of identity theft and don't want to add the potential that someone could put that info out there with my name attached). You don't have to offer any proof that you actually watched the video. I'll take you at your word. You can PM me your address, or a P.O. Box, or whatever. This doesn't mean that I'll buy you a gift if you say that you weren't instantly convinced that Ron Paul is the greatest person ever, or if you don't suddenly agree that a non-interventionist policy is the way to go. This isn't about changing your mind. It's simply about whether or not you like the video. Anything else is gravy.

To everyone else: I'm sorry I can't buy you all a present. :ols: But if you want to know why Ron Paul has more campaign donations from the military than all of the other GOP candidates combined, watch the video. If you want to know why I believe that I can say I think he's mostly right about foreign policy, and it's not because I think terrorists would cease to exist and Iran would celebrate the 4th of July if we'd just stop trying to bomb the rest of the world with democracy, watch the video. If you want to know why I'm breaking my rule, watch the video. If you're just curious as to why this one thing is causing me to make a bet that's probably got the same odds as a bet that Jerry Jones will be rooting for the Giants this weekend, watch the video. Oh, and please be sure to note the credentials of the people who appear in the video when those credentials are displayed.

Merry Christmas and happy holidays. :)

I8NhRPo0WAo

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I absolutely agree with some of the video's key points, e.g., people, groups, and states react, oftentimes poorly, to the actions of the United States government and the US government often sticks its nose where it does not belong, spends too much on defense, and is too quick to try to fix complex problems with military force.

However, Ron Paul's knee-jerk reaction to any actual or proposed use of force is, for lack of a better word, annoying. Correct me if I am wrong, but doesn't Ron Paul believe we should never have fought the Nazis in World War II and that stopping the Holocaust was none of our business? It's that lunacy that drives me up the ****ing wall.

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I absolutely agree with the fundamental premise of the video, i.e., people, groups, and states react, oftentimes poorly, to the actions of the United States government. I also agree the US government often sticks its nose where it does not belong, spends too much on defense, and is too quick to try to fix complex problems with military force.

However, Ron Paul's knee-jerk reaction to any actual or proposed use of force is, for lack of a better word, annoying. Correct me if I am wrong, but doesn't Ron Paul believe we should never have fought the Nazis in World War II and that stopping the Holocaust was none of our business? It's that lunacy that drives me up the ****ing wall.

I actually agree with you. In my opinion, Ron Paul goes about 5% too far on many issues, this being one of them. (I'm sure many will say that he goes 500% too far. :ols: I'm strictly talking about myself here.) But as far as the WWII claims go, I believe the notion that Paul wouldn't have fought the Nazis has been suggested by the disgruntled former staffer who's been saying all sorts of things to the media about Ron Paul and Jewish people the past couple of days, and most of it has seemed extremely slanderous with the intent of making it seem like Paul really did write those newsletters. For example, he claims that Paul "wishes Israel didn't exist." Another former staffer (and one with far more credentials, if I'm remembering the story correctly) quickly came out in Paul's defense, saying that was very untrue and that the other guy was completely twisting Paul's views, which are related to his stance on WWII. I'll give those views to you from the horse's mouth:

2k0u_v9T0F8

He "doesn't think we should have fought WWII," and he "doesn't think that Israel should exist," in the sense that he doesn't think we should have been involved in WWI, which led to the Treaty of Versailles, which led to the rise of Hitler, which led to the Holocaust, which led to the push to establish a Jewish state in the Middle East. So if you connect all the dots, you come away with the understanding that the things the former staffer have been saying aren't true in the way the staffer is trying to imply, they're only "true" in that they're extensions of what Paul thinks the world would be like if we didn't make certain earlier decisions that he believes were mistakes. In Paul's ideal world, Israel wouldn't exist only because there wouldn't have been a reason to create it in the first place.

Also, you have to remember that Congress declared war on Germany, and in his opinion that would mean that the president has to go all-in and try to win the war decisively. Now, would a President Paul have been lobbying to declare war on Germany after Pearl Harbor? He probably wouldn't have been thrilled, but seeing as Germany also declared war on us, I doubt he would have seen any other choice. But Paul has a problem with how he expresses his views. He often doesn't say everything I just wrote. He just says the final conclusion of his train of thought, without explaining how he got there. And that can leave people saying, "My God, this man wants to get rid of Israel! Unbelievable!"

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This video is filled with all sorts of awesome. No surprise I had the most success with this when I showed other military members i know

One more surprise to me in 2012 has also been the sudden hawkishness I have observed in my more liberal friends. My conservative friends for the most part have stayed consistant the last 4 years, but the dramatic (and I mean dramatic) hawkish turn in my more liberal friends have been surprising.

Then again my views on the rest of the world changed around this time in 2007, so people have the right to change their mind :)

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I absolutely agree with some of the video's key points, e.g., people, groups, and states react, oftentimes poorly, to the actions of the United States government and the US government often sticks its nose where it does not belong, spends too much on defense, and is too quick to try to fix complex problems with military force.

However, Ron Paul's knee-jerk reaction to any actual or proposed use of force is, for lack of a better word, annoying. Correct me if I am wrong, but doesn't Ron Paul believe we should never have fought the Nazis in World War II and that stopping the Holocaust was none of our business? It's that lunacy that drives me up the ****ing wall.

I'm quoting you again so it'll show up in your notifications.

Just happened to stumble upon some better information to add onto my earlier answer. The "better-credentialed" former staffer was actually Dr. Leon Hadar, who's an Israeli citizen, and who was a foreign policy advisor to Paul back in 2008. Haaretz, a major Israeli newspaper, interviewed him in the wake of that disgruntled staffer's comments, and he said, among other things, that Paul "is against Israel as I am against January." (And just to be clear, Hadar does not hate the month of January. :ols:) The whole story, in English and with more quotes, is up on Haaretz's website right here.

I know you were asking about WWII, and I think my earlier post better addressed that element of this whole conversation. I wanted to throw this in as well because I think it helps to illustrate that the "lunacy that drives you up a ****ing wall" can often be nothing more than a misunderstood and erroneous explanation of Paul's actual views, which in turn is often Paul's own fault because he doesn't always do a great job of articulating those views.

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I wanted to throw this in as well because I think it helps to illustrate that the "lunacy that drives you up a ****ing wall" can often be nothing more than a misunderstood and erroneous explanation of Paul's actual views, which in turn is often Paul's own fault because he doesn't always do a great job of articulating those views.

But isn't a major role of the President to effectively articulate his views? A President can have all the good ideas and good intentions in the world, but if he isn't able to garner support through persuasive communication from the bully pulpit, his effectiveness as a leader is diminished. Reagan was a master. It's a valuable skill for the office holder to have.

I will say that it seems as if Ron Paul has improved somewhat in this area in recent weeks. Maybe he's becoming more at ease as the repetition of public speaking at countless debates and public appearances hones his communication skills. One thing I've noticed is that he's able to more succinctly get his point across, which helps him in the debate setting, so he doesn't appear quite as rambling as before.

(Sorry to derail about style over substance. But it does matter.)

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Damn. What a day. First looooooong day of a mentally demanding new job w/ a long commute. I've been fighting a headache from lack of sleep (nerves) and getting up early. A late dinner. Fighting an iffy internet connection and getting testy w/ tech support. And the fist thing I see is this thread on top of the landing page. :ols:

Hubbs. I appreciate the tone of your comment but I'm too tired to read or watch anything about him right now. I'm afraid anything Ron Paul related will make my brain bleed. So I guess you're off the hook for that present.

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But isn't a major role of the President to effectively articulate his views? A President can have all the good ideas and good intentions in the world, but if he isn't able to garner support through persuasive communication from the bully pulpit, his effectiveness as a leader is diminished. Reagan was a master. It's a valuable skill for the office holder to have.

I will say that it seems as if Ron Paul has improved somewhat in this area in recent weeks. Maybe he's becoming more at ease as the repetition of public speaking at countless debates and public appearances hones his communication skills. One thing I've noticed is that he's able to more succinctly get his point across, which helps him in the debate setting, so he doesn't appear quite as rambling as before.

(Sorry to derail about style over substance. But it does matter.)

Which to me is a further credit to Paul that he is able to get such traction with his crazy, kooky and clearly unpolished speaking/communication style.

For someone like myself, Paul represents a conversation changer. I don't expect him to get the nomination, I'll work like hell to help it happen though, but I want the conversation changed.

We are entirely too content as a nation of spending 600 billion on defense and financing thru China a social welfare system which fails to deliver. The status quo of Bush 2-Obama is simply unacceptable

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Damn. What a day. First looooooong day of a mentally demanding new job w/ a long commute. I've been fighting a headache from lack of sleep (nerves) and getting up early. A late dinner. Fighting an iffy internet connection and getting testy w/ tech support. And the fist thing I see is this thread on top of the landing page. :ols:

Hubbs. I appreciate the tone of your comment but I'm too tired to read or watch anything about him right now. I'm afraid anything Ron Paul related will make my brain bleed. So I guess you're off the hook for that present.

Aw, c'mon Mike. Thirteen minutes. That'll buy you a Costco-sized container of Advil for your headache. Or a bottle of cheap booze. It's an interesting video. Maybe tomorrow, huh?

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Hubbs:

I do not think Ron Paul is anti-semitic and I hope you did not think I was implying as much in my prior post. FWIW, I agree with his views on Israel, and the ME more broadly, and I am certainly not anti-semitic.

My beef with Ron Paul is that he is too isolationist and, at times, appears incapable of departing from the standard response, "We should not be involved in X." For example, I absolutely agree with Ron Paul that we have far too many troops stationed abroad. I cannot figure out why we still appear to be defending the Fulda Gap against a Soviet invasion. As bad as the Nazi Germany and Imperial Japanese armies were, I think it's safe to withdraw the 100,000 troops we have stationed in Germany and Japan.

However, I think we would be reckless to withdraw all of the troops we have in South Korea (which is facing a very real threat). Why should we defend South Korea? Principally for two reasons - (1) we signed a treaty pledging to defend them and (2) a North Korean invasion of South Korean would shake the global economy. As you may know, Ron Paul disagrees with me and argues we should promptly withdraw our troops from South Korea.

In short, I am sympathetic to Ron Paul's views, but he just goes too far.

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People build a world in their mind based on his views which are purely libertarian. This world seems scary and impractical to them. To much of a change to far of a change.

This makes him impossible to support for some.

Others understand that liberty is more of a direction then some sort of claim to utopia. Trying to justify this hypothetical Ron Paul-libertarian world is irrelevant.

We will never get to a Ron Paul world even if hes voted in. We will just start moving that way decisively.

What other candidate do you think has the will to truly change the machine that is crushing us, from within the office?

He is the only one with the courage to do LESS not more. IMO

"I want to use all my strength, to resist the notion that I can run your lives, or run the economy, or run the world. I want to use that strength to repeal and reject that notion, and stand up and defend the principles of liberty." -Congressman Ron Paul

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But isn't a major role of the President to effectively articulate his views? A President can have all the good ideas and good intentions in the world, but if he isn't able to garner support through persuasive communication from the bully pulpit, his effectiveness as a leader is diminished. Reagan was a master. It's a valuable skill for the office holder to have.

I will say that it seems as if Ron Paul has improved somewhat in this area in recent weeks. Maybe he's becoming more at ease as the repetition of public speaking at countless debates and public appearances hones his communication skills. One thing I've noticed is that he's able to more succinctly get his point across, which helps him in the debate setting, so he doesn't appear quite as rambling as before.

(Sorry to derail about style over substance. But it does matter.)

Oh, of course it does. And believe me, I couldn't agree with you more. Communicating is extremely important, and Paul is not a good communicator. He's not even the best communicator out of the people who hold libertarian views, serve in Congress, and have the last name "Paul," even though he has the advantage of much more experience. :ols: If someone articulating similar views in a much more effective manner were to run, I'd actually want Paul to exit the stage so as to avoid splitting up the vote. (And no, I never considered Gary Johnson to be that guy, but we don't really need to get into that right now.)

But if I have to choose between a good communicator who's going to perpetuate the many things that I feel are damaging the country, and a bad communicator who will put a stop to those things, the bad communicator wins every time. Plus, Paul does have the advantage of supporters who are much better communicators, understand his positions, and are extremely committed to the cause. I like to think that I'm one of those people. I also like to think that it's an advantage when those people are willing to say that they disagree with Paul on certain things. It shows that the policies, not the person, are what matter most.

Damn. What a day. First looooooong day of a mentally demanding new job w/ a long commute. I've been fighting a headache from lack of sleep (nerves) and getting up early. A late dinner. Fighting an iffy internet connection and getting testy w/ tech support. And the fist thing I see is this thread on top of the landing page. :ols:

Hubbs. I appreciate the tone of your comment but I'm too tired to read or watch anything about him right now. I'm afraid anything Ron Paul related will make my brain bleed. So I guess you're off the hook for that present.

I didn't say you had to watch it right away, or even today. This is an open offer. Sorry you had to be working so soon after Christmas.

Hubbs:

I do not think Ron Paul is anti-semitic and I hope you did not think I was implying as much in my prior post. FWIW, I agree with his views on Israel, and the ME more broadly, and I am certainly not anti-semitic.

Oh no, I didn't think that at all, I just wanted to clarify for anyone else who might have thought that due to the combination of those awful newsletters and the disgruntled staffer. The staffer either has a grudge because he was fired or just plain doesn't understand what the hell he's talking about, but it's good for everyone to know specifically what the truth is as well.

My beef with Ron Paul is that he is too isolationist and, at times, appears incapable of departing from the standard response, "We should not be involved in X." For example, I absolutely agree with Ron Paul that we have far too many troops stationed abroad. I cannot figure out why we still appear to be defending the Fulda Gap against a Soviet invasion. As bad as the Nazi Germany and Imperial Japanese armies were, I think it's safe to withdraw the 100,000 troops we have stationed in Germany and Japan.

However, I think we would be reckless to withdraw all of the troops we have in South Korea (which is facing a very real threat). Why should we defend South Korea? Principally for two reasons - (1) we signed a treaty pledging to defend them and (2) a North Korean invasion of South Korean would shake the global economy. As you may know, Ron Paul disagrees with me and argues we should promptly withdraw our troops from South Korea.

In short, I am sympathetic to Ron Paul's views, but he just goes too far.

First of all, I completely agree, the continued defense of maintaining our bases that are protecting Europe against a potential invasion by a Soviet army that's time-traveled decades into the future is baffling. The excuses are ridiculous. I particularly enjoy the one about how we use those bases to transport men and equipment to the Middle East. Of course we do. It's often more convenient than the vast array of other ways we have of transporting men and equipment to the Middle East. We would be insane to just ignore the bases completely. If that's a necessary element when it comes to determining which bases to close, we wouldn't close any, ever.

Second, I also agree that Paul wants to go a bit too far with the closings. For example, I would not close Diego Garcia. Paul apparently would. But I support the vast majority of his foreign policy. There's no such thing as a candidate who will mirror your every position down to the very last detail.

Third, as someone with far too many nerdy interests, including military history, military technology, and military information in general, I've actually studied Korea quite a bit. And here's the thing about our presence there: Not only is it no longer necessary for South Korea to successfully repel a North Korean invasion (and then finally defeat the North for good), and not only is it no longer necessary for us to aid South Korea in that effort, but in all likelihood those bases wouldn't make a lick of difference. We have around 30,000 troops in Korea, many of them non-combat personnel. A second Korean War would be fought between armies numbering in the millions. If it happens, our primary aid to South Korea will be exactly the same as it was 60 years ago: We'll start shipping troops over there, an ability we'll have whether we maintain our current bases or not.

But back to the first two points. In the first Korean War, the South barely had a military at all when the North invaded. Today, the South Korean military is not only one of the largest on Earth, the technology gap between the South and the North has been growing for decades, all of it in the South's favor. If war started tomorrow, it would be a fight between modern armed forces and an invading army that's overwhelmingly stuck with equipment that was obsolete 30 years ago. Some of it was even used in World War II. Moreover, both our own intel and publicly confirmed actions by Russia suggest that much of North Korea's equipment is in a tremendous state of disrepair. The North doesn't make many of the replacement parts necessary for its tanks, its fighters, and so on. The Soviet Union did... back when it needed them, too. Today, Russia doesn't, not just because North Korea has become more of a pain than an ally, but also because Russia stopped using many of the North's particular types of equipment years ago, and often decades ago. The North has attempted to recreate those parts, and these efforts have generally resulted in various degrees of failure. In some cases China makes the parts, but there isn't much indication that China is supplying many to the North, probably because China no longer wants the North to conquer the South, because the South is an infinitely larger trade partner. In fact, North Korea is essentially a drain on China's supplies of food and oil. China only wants North Korea around as a thorn in our side. The North's training is also vastly inferior in many respects. Various estimates of the amount of hours North Korean pilots actually fly every year range from around 20 all the way down to less than 10, and the shortage of fuel results in reduced practicing of vehicular maneuvers. In 2010, when tensions were high and the North scrambled part of its air force as a show of intimidation, South Korean observers said the results were actually comical, and there were reports of multiple crashes and near-misses. Not only that, but many—IIRC, most—of North Korea's aircraft are ill-equipped to fight at night. This is also true of their land vehicles. Then there's the little matter of not being able to feed soldiers enough to remain healthy and strong. Supposedly, Northern pilots get "preferred" rations among the military. Those rations are less than 1,000 calories a day.

The Northern military is a dilapidated shell of a fighting force, with its only remaining strength likely resting in the sheer number of men that could be thrown at South Korea, but this, too, could be very misleading. Remember, the Iraqi military was supposedly the "fourth largest in the world" prior to Desert Storm. But it turns out that when your enormous army is mostly made up of half-trained, poorly organized conscripts armed with outdated equipment, they're much more effective at marching in parades than fighting. That's not to say the North could do no damage; it could do quite a lot. But, again, that's mostly because of the total volume of the initial thrust of the aforementioned half-trained conscripts (they'll be perfectly willing to follow orders on Day One), against which our bases add very little to South Korea's defenses, and the fact that North Korean artillery units can hit Seoul from where they currently sit, which our bases can't prevent. If another war happens, however, we could bomb the North with B-2s and B-52s from a variety of bases outside of the peninsula (indeed, the plan would never be to use our Korean bases for those aircraft). We could fire hundreds of cruise missiles into the North from our submarines, and from our surface ships. We would immediately send multiple carrier battle groups to within striking range of the North, each of which would be carrying several dozen aircraft. With the aid of mid-air refueling, we could hit the North with even more aircraft from Okinawa. We could launch a bevy of special forces raids into the North, destroying vital equipment, disrupting or even eliminating supply chains, and killing high-ranking officers. We could send in stealth drones that can fly for days to destroy strategic targets without risking pilots. We could immediately begin taking advantage of the world's largest military transportation force to get our men over there. And we could do all of that... without our current bases. Plus, that's just the stuff we know about. We're definitely working on, and may already have deployed, ICBMs with conventional warheads that we could launch if we feel that we've eliminated their ability to launch nukes in response. There was an incident last year when Robert Gates said that we have them, rather than that we're merely developing them. We're "working on" a hypersonic bomber. We're "working on" intercontinental hypersonic cruise missiles. God only know what some of our black projects can do.

In other words, what this very long post is trying to say is that you may not need to worry so much about closing our bases in South Korea after all. :)

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Damn. What a day. First looooooong day of a mentally demanding new job w/ a long commute. I've been fighting a headache from lack of sleep (nerves) and getting up early. A late dinner. Fighting an iffy internet connection and getting testy w/ tech support. And the fist thing I see is this thread on top of the landing page. :ols:

Hubbs. I appreciate the tone of your comment but I'm too tired to read or watch anything about him right now. I'm afraid anything Ron Paul related will make my brain bleed. So I guess you're off the hook for that present.

congrats on the new Job Mike

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I use to say the PotUS only has two main jobs and all the things everybody fears about Paul, aren't one of them. But after the last two PotUSs it seem he can do anything he wants. I know that would change if Paul had the job, but whatever. It's not going back to America any time soon.

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Wow I have never seen this video. I already had this position on FP though and knew about blowback from all the history classes I took (thanks college).

If you consider the view point of North Korea, hell yeah I would want a nuke. I would be effing terrified of the West and what they can do. They have no hesitation to bomb the hell out of your country or even invade it.

"Speak softly but carry a big stick" is a policy that does not work as well anymore. We must speak loud but in worst case scenario respond with force.

Too many in Washington are too quick to tap into that military might we have.

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This video is filled with all sorts of awesome. No surprise I had the most success with this when I showed other military members i know

One more surprise to me in 2012 has also been the sudden hawkishness I have observed in my more liberal friends. My conservative friends for the most part have stayed consistant the last 4 years, but the dramatic (and I mean dramatic) hawkish turn in my more liberal friends have been surprising.

Then again my views on the rest of the world changed around this time in 2007, so people have the right to change their mind :)

GREAT VID! I'm going to try this with some family today (neo-con central)

I often pray that they have the same epiphany on the warfare state that I did back in 2004. It was the most difficult admission that I ever had, and I think its the most profound change in paradigm that most on the right could have.

Thanks for posting this Hubbs (and I too hope that maybe it will open some minds like Mike's, who is a good guy, with passion for his beliefs)

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First of all, I completely agree, the continued defense of maintaining our bases that are protecting Europe against a potential invasion by a Soviet army that's time-traveled decades into the future is baffling. The excuses are ridiculous. I particularly enjoy the one about how we use those bases to transport men and equipment to the Middle East. Of course we do. It's often more convenient than the vast array of other ways we have of transporting men and equipment to the Middle East. We would be insane to just ignore the bases completely. If that's a necessary element when it comes to determining which bases to close, we wouldn't close any, ever.

Second, I also agree that Paul wants to go a bit too far with the closings. For example, I would not close Diego Garcia. Paul apparently would. But I support the vast majority of his foreign policy. There's no such thing as a candidate who will mirror your every position down to the very last detail.

Agreed on all counts, I and really agree with your agreement with me. :pfft:

Third, as someone with far too many nerdy interests, including military history, military technology, and military information in general, I've actually studied Korea quite a bit. And here's the thing about our presence there: Not only is it no longer necessary for South Korea to successfully repel a North Korean invasion (and then finally defeat the North for good), and not only is it no longer necessary for us to aid South Korea in that effort, but in all likelihood those bases wouldn't make a lick of difference. We have around 30,000 troops in Korea, many of them non-combat personnel. A second Korean War would be fought between armies numbering in the millions. If it happens, our primary aid to South Korea will be exactly the same as it was 60 years ago: We'll start shipping troops over there, an ability we'll have whether we maintain our current bases or not.

[i have omitted the remainder of your post, but will respond to some of your points]

I was a history major in college, I am very much interested in military history and technology and, in the interest of full disclosure, I am half Korean. My grandfather worked as a Korean civilian for the CIA during the Korean War and was attached to the X Corps, 1st Marine Division during 1950 and 1951. I still don't know exactly what he did (I suspect he helped with interrogations and interpreting since he spoke Korean, English, Japanese, and Mandarin Chinese), but I've heard many stories about the Frozen Chosin Reservoir and other battles.

In any event, I am aware that the North Korean military is not nearly as powerful as its size suggests. I am also aware that we can support South Korea with airpower deployed from bases outside South Korea. I also agree that if North Korea were to invade the South the 25,000+ US troops stationed near the DMZ would essentially amount to a speed bump.

However, I think they serve as the biggest deterrent to North Korean invading the South. The North Koreans know that, if they invade the South, they are going to have to kill or capture thousands upon thousands of US soldiers, airmen, marines, and sailors. I suspect they also know that doing so would unquestionably result in a full blown commitment by the US to kick the ever loving **** out of them. I do not think the promise to launch airstrikes or send troops in the event of an invasion has nearly the same deterrent effect.

In other words, what this very long post is trying to say is that you may not need to worry so much about closing our bases in South Korea after all. :)

I think the benefits of maintaining a fairly small force in South Korea outweighs the relatively small cost to do so. Can we reduce our presence there? I think so (at least, after the dust has settled on Kim Jong Il's grave). However, in my admittedly biased opinion, I think it is irresponsible to call for the prompt and full withdrawal of all forces from South Korea (as Ron Paul has).

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I was a history major in college, I am very much interested in military history and technology and, in the interest of full disclosure, I am half Korean. My grandfather worked as a Korean civilian for the CIA during the Korean War and was attached to the X Corps, 1st Marine Division during 1950 and 1951. I still don't know exactly what he did (I suspect he helped with interrogations and interpreting since he spoke Korean, English, Japanese, and Mandarin Chinese), but I've heard many stories about the Frozen Chosin Reservoir and other battles.

In any event, I am aware that the North Korean military is not nearly as powerful as its size suggests. I am also aware that we can support South Korea with airpower deployed from bases outside South Korea. I also agree that if North Korea were to invade the South the 25,000+ US troops stationed near the DMZ would essentially amount to a speed bump.

However, I think they serve as the biggest deterrent to North Korean invading the South. The North Koreans know that, if they invade the South, they are going to have to kill or capture thousands upon thousands of US soldiers, airmen, marines, and sailors. I suspect they also know that doing so would unquestionably result in a full blown commitment by the US to kick the ever loving **** out of them. I do not think the promise to launch airstrikes or send troops in the event of an invasion has nearly the same deterrent effect.

Then I have a much more fundamental problem with stationing a small number of troops in Korea. I have a problem, as I have always had a problem, with the "tripwire" theory. I have a problem with the notion that we're sending our own soldiers to the most militarized area on Earth, putting them directly in the sights of thousands of pre-positioned artillery pieces, and saying that they're not there to make a decisive impact in the event of a second Korean War. Rather, they're there to die. That's their purpose in a second conflict. To die. So we'll be extra-super-hyper pissed off.

I also have a problem with the suggestion that we'd respond differently to a second Northern invasion if we shut down our bases sometime over the next five years than if we don't, even in the ridiculously unlikely scenario that Ron Paul is elected president. I don't think Congress would hesitate to declare war if it was understood that President Paul really, truly would not act without such a declaration. Ironically, I think the situation is much clearer today than it was in 1950.

I think the benefits of maintaining a fairly small force in South Korea outweighs the relatively small cost to do so. Can we reduce our presence there? I think so (at least, after the dust has settled on Kim Jong Il's grave). However, in my admittedly biased opinion, I think it is irresponsible to call for the prompt and full withdrawal of all forces from South Korea (as Ron Paul has).

And I think it's irresponsible to use the children, brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, and friends of American citizens as "tripwires."

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Then I have a much more fundamental problem with stationing a small number of troops in Korea. I have a problem, as I have always had a problem, with the "tripwire" theory. I have a problem with the notion that we're sending our own soldiers to the most militarized area on Earth, putting them directly in the sights of thousands of pre-positioned artillery pieces, and saying that they're not there to make a decisive impact in the event of a second Korean War. Rather, they're there to die. That's their purpose in a second conflict. To die. So we'll be extra-super-hyper pissed off.

I thought I made it pretty clear that (1) the North Koreans would not invade the South if they believed such an invasion would result in a full blown war with the US, (2) the North Koreans must know that, given the US military presence in South Korea, any invasion of the South would result in a full blown war with the US and (3) therefore, the North Koreans will not invade the South and the US troops stationed in South Korea are not sacrificial lambs. Setting aside the other issues you raised and which I address below, do you disagree with any of the three points listed above?

I also have a problem with the suggestion that we'd respond differently to a second Northern invasion if we shut down our bases sometime over the next five years than if we don't, even in the ridiculously unlikely scenario that Ron Paul is elected president. I don't think Congress would hesitate to declare war if it was understood that President Paul really, truly would not act without such a declaration. Ironically, I think the situation is much clearer today than it was in 1950.

I think the American people, and Congress, would react very differently to the following two situations: (1) North Korea invades South Korea despite the presence of US military bases (which is, for the reasons I discussed above, extremely unlikely) and US forces are engaged in combat with North Korean forces in the air and on land and sea; and (2) North Korea invades South Korea and we're launching air sorties from bases in Diego Garcia to try to slow or stop it. In the former situation, I think a full blown commitment of US troops is inevitable. In the latter situation, I think it is very plausible that the US would limit its involvement to air sorties.

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I too often find it humorous that people think having our military scatter the globe for preemptive measures is worth the debt and sacrifices to our own safety and infrastructure.

It's as if people really think we can't default. I bet these same people once said the price of a house would never decline. Don't look at Rome or the USER. They didn't have American Exceptionalism on their side.

:doh:

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I too often find it humorous that people think having our military scatter the globe for preemptive measures is worth the debt and sacrifices to our own safety and infrastructure.

I find it equally humorous that many people think that, because our military is too large and overextended, the solution to the problem is to never use our military forces absent a Red Dawn-style invasion or station them abroad.

It's as if people really think we can't default. I bet these same people once said the price of a house would never decline. Don't look at Rome or the USER. They didn't have American Exceptionalism on their side.

:doh:

I think we can default and I never said the price of a house would never decline.

GF, I like you and I do not mean to sound like a world class ****, but it's posts that ^ that make me skeptical of anything Ron Paul supporters say. Ron Paul supporters seem incapable of recognizing nuance, drawing distinctions, and seeing the world in anything but black/white terms. I'll grant you that we spend far too much on defense and have far too many troops stationed abroad, but that doesn't mean I am going to respond to proposed or actual uses of military force with a swift jerk of my knee. I can't say the same for Ron Paul or his supporters.

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I watched, still disagree with him on FP even though I agree we have erred in the past.

The genie ain't going back in the bottle

The definition of insanity is, repeating the same action and expecting a different result.

As per Ron Paul, if I could vote for his military foreign policy I would, his domestic policy is where we part company.

---------- Post added December-29th-2011 at 12:13 PM ----------

Too many in Washington are too quick to tap into that military might we have.

Which is exactly what President (General) Dwight D. Eisenhower said in his farewell address as he warned the American people about the Military Industrial Complex.....we didn't listen.

Why We Fight.

c_VD0pE37vo

This should be required viewing.

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I find it equally humorous that many people think that, because our military is too large and overextended, the solution to the problem is to never use our military forces absent a Red Dawn-style invasion or station them abroad. .

Here's a secret many may not know about me. I love being the big bad proactive government that controls the world. There are real benefits to me personally, not being in the military industrial complex but living near DC. It's not that I am against American Exceptionalism. I completely understand it. I understand that we don't want NK or Iran to become more powerful, it's not in our interest.

However, I understand the far bigger threat to our way of life is ourselves. Not NK, not Iran, but our money. We are running out. No one wants to face the real problems we face and too many are acting like the problems we have aren't real. It's very frustrating. I'm all for pulling out of everywhere and waiting to see what happens. I'm against continuing this insane status quo.

I think we can default and I never said the price of a house would never decline.

GF, I like you and I do not mean to sound like a world class ****, but it's posts that ^ that make me skeptical of anything Ron Paul supporters say. Ron Paul supporters seem incapable of recognizing nuance, drawing distinctions, and seeing the world in anything but black/white terms. I'll grant you that we spend far too much on defense and have far too many troops stationed abroad, but that doesn't mean I am going to respond to proposed or actual uses of military force with a swift jerk of my knee. I can't say the same for Ron Paul or his supporters.

I'm not really concerned. I've read your posts and you are clearly on the other side of the foreign policy debate. We will never see eye to eye on that. I'd much rather have a strong home front than nothing. You advocate continuing the way things are which is simply unsustainable. We would have much larger issues than those we think we face today.

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