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View Diary: My Journey as a 9/11 Republican Turned Modern Progressive (263 comments)

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  •  OK, but... (11+ / 0-)
    But the world knows what we are capable of.
    .... what exactly does that get us.  So now the world knows that if attacked by terrorists we will (1) attack the country that harbored the terrorists and (2) attack one other country completely unrelated to those attacks.  So how does #2 help us?

    ....no longer in SF.... -9.00, -7.38

    by TFinSF on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 05:02:48 AM PST

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    •  I guess it's a game theory thing (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      peregrinus

      The element of unpredictability that we've maintained historically (dropping the nuke, carpet bombing vietnam et al, hunting down and torturing islamic fundamentalists) is something that has advantages that go unappreciated in other encounters with foreign entities.

      Yea, things got a little crazy and still are a little crazy, but that's what I think is right for America. To show the world you never mess with us, and to respect us, because we run the show.

      There's something about that which is a lot more respectable than the way Spain, for example, responded to the Madrid bombing by cowering to the demands of the islamists.

      •  I see no advantages or any good from torture (15+ / 0-)

        ever. I am from a military family and we are very anti torture.  I am glad my parents are not alive to have seen that this country would approve of torture.  Many in the military are against torture for obvious reasons, we do not want to see our loved ones torture or they were tortured themselves in previous wars.

        Nothing will ever change my mind about Torture. Americans are supposed to be better than that. I consider it one of the most shameful things our country ever did.

        Follow PA Keystone Liberals on Twitter: @KeystoneLibs

        by wishingwell on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 05:50:01 AM PST

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      •  So you are somewhat still a bit of war hawk ? (8+ / 0-)
        Yea, things got a little crazy and still are a little crazy, but that's what I think is right for America. To show the world you never mess with us, and to respect us, because we run the show.

        There's something about that which is a lot more respectable than the way Spain, for example, responded to the Madrid bombing by cowering to the demands of the islamists.

        Follow PA Keystone Liberals on Twitter: @KeystoneLibs

        by wishingwell on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 05:51:20 AM PST

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        •  What made you think otherwise? (7+ / 0-)

          Obama's doing just fine with his drone attacks, I have little to complain about in that area.

          But I think the main focus now should be divesting the military and investing in domestic programs and infrastructure.

          I think the response and the tension that we bring should be relative to the facts of the risks we face. Right now we're in peacetime and we should fund the military with that fact in mind.

          For example, I don't think we should be messing with Iran. I am a supporter of Hagel's views in that area. I think also that we should be viewing Israel with extreme suspicion and demanding that they disarm their nuclear weapons.

          So, in some areas, like the response to 9/11, i'm a hawk still. But going forward I don't think I would be labeled as such.

          Again, this is all about labels though right? It doesn't mean much, except to put people in a box and say "oh, you're a hawk in this area, so let me put up a straw man that assumes you believe X in some other policy area". So if anything I've learned just how destructive labels can be sometimes, while I recognize their importance as well in classifying areas of opinion.

          •  You are t hen no longer a hawk, Bravo,cool! (0+ / 0-)

            Follow PA Keystone Liberals on Twitter: @KeystoneLibs

            by wishingwell on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 06:20:55 AM PST

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          •  The disagreement over response to 911 (6+ / 0-)

            wasn't hawk vs. dove.  That misses the entire argument.  It was and is about smart and strong vs. stupid and weak.

            Had Bush gone into Afghanistan with overwhelming force, swiftly destroyed Al Qaeda, and then gotten the fuck out in less than a year, that would have been smart and strong.  Terrorists would have learned there was a price for attacking the US.  Instead Bush gave the terrorists the chance to bleed our nation's wealth in two lengthy Asian land wars.  He didn't even nail Al Qaeda's leader!  That's stupid and weak.  

            There were a few doves after 911, but they were not a significant voice.  I personally knew of no liberals who advocated letting Al Qaeda get away with 911.  The only major political player who didn't care about nailing Bin Laden was your boy Bush, who said he didn't think much about him when asked how the hunt for him was going.  

            You really need to come to terms with the damage  Bush's wars caused the US.  20 years from now we will still be paying the price for Bush's follies.

            "When I was an alien, cultures weren't opinions" ~ Kurt Cobain, Territorial Pissings

            by Subterranean on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 10:57:04 AM PST

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            •  Well said Sub, I agree, I was just using hawk in (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Subterranean

              reference to 2004 well after Bush invaded Iraq and we knew about his pre emptive war strategy and also voting for McCain who is a well known war hawk. But you totally hit the nail on the head about the reaction to 9-11.

              Follow PA Keystone Liberals on Twitter: @KeystoneLibs

              by wishingwell on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 01:51:06 PM PST

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      •  I disagree (15+ / 0-)

        The Iraq war showed our weakness.  Right when OBL was trapped in Tora Bora, someone pointed at a new shiny object, and super-genius George W. Bush went chasing after it like a cat who just saw a dot from a laser pointer.  We showed the world that we have no attention span, no patience, and no critical thinking skills.  Obama is only beginning to remedy that (but is also making some mistakes of his own by stepping over the line on covert attacks).

        ....no longer in SF.... -9.00, -7.38

        by TFinSF on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 06:01:16 AM PST

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      •  what we are capable of (4+ / 0-)

        this seems a good place to ask you about your views on climate change and how they may have evolved over this period. It was not mentioned in your diary.
        That 'element of unpredictability' is actually called 'brinksmanship' and has been one of the most destructive policies of the US since becoming a superpower in WWII.
        It is now the default position we are taking regarding any action on climate change; insisting we will do nothing until all other nations do something.
        It sounds as if you still embrace the American Exceptionalism idea, not to mention more than a little of the "with us or against us" vomit spewed by W. How can that possibly coexist with the New You?

        Last full month in which the average daily temperature did not exceed twentieth-century norms: 2/1985 - Harper's Index, 2/2013

        by kamarvt on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 06:10:14 AM PST

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        •  Never cared much for climate skeptics (4+ / 0-)

          The science always seemed generally accepted, and I've always thought newer, cleaner energy and technology was good.

          I wouldn't say climate change is an issue that I really prioritize though. But I like the EPA and reducing pollution as much as possible.

          In college I even took a couple pro-enviro classes as electives. I guess it just never really hit me to be passionate one way or another about climate change.

          I'm certainly not hysterical over its impacts, but I wouldn't dare associate myself with the major skeptics who are trying to deny any man-made impact on the trend of a warmer planet.

          I also don't point to any hurricane or tumultuous weather and say "LOOK, GLOBAL WARMING!" Because the evidence there is quite thin as well. Let's just develop better, renewable energy, and stop being so wasteful in general.

          That's something that I grew up with and never really had any impact regarding political views because it's not really a political issue.

          Regarding being a hawk, I disagree with your assessment that brinksmanship has been the most destructive of policies. It's hard to imagine now, but the threat of communism spreading was very real, and containment wasn't a bad policy in and of itself.

          I'm not a neo-conservative level hawk, but I supported the actions, and still support that we performed the actions, but we still went too far, and that's easy to say in hindsight, but you can't with any certainty say that it hasn't dissuaded others, when faced with what we're capable of.

          I'm not a typical Kossian left-wing Progressive. I think this is what the country needs now in general, but I'm very much a hawk historically on some issues, but want us to behave more rationally in peace time and wind down the MIC and focus on domestic issues.

          I'm a moderate, meaning i think Bush went a bit too far, but I think the general actions were what the whole country wanted, and it's what we got.

      •  It's not too late (10+ / 0-)

        By my math you're roughly 28 years old.

        I'm sure the Army could use someone who's as, ahem, motivated as yourself to show the world "you never mess with us".

        If the pilot's good, see, I mean if he's reeeally sharp, he can barrel that baby in so low... oh you oughta see it sometime. It's a sight. A big plane like a '52... varrrooom! Its jet exhaust... frying chickens in the barnyard!

        by Major Kong on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 06:12:08 AM PST

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      •  You've progressed (16+ / 0-)

        but I think you've got quite a ways to go on foreign policy.

        To show the world you never mess with us, and to respect us, because we run the show.
        Fear is not respect, and "running the show" just indicates  disrespect for others.  People who want to be the world's bully also need to step up and start paying for it, not drain the rest of us.   You start a war of choice that has added trillions to the national debt, and now the people that even in hindsight you would vote for again, want to cut that debt by breaking the social contract we have for social and medical security.  The US spends more on the military than the next 15 countries combined.   When politicians and talking heads compare our tax rate with other countries, I never hear them say that we need a tax surcharge to cover being the world's police force.

        You know how the people who don't have trillions of dollars for weapons to show that "you never mess with us"?  They do what they can afford to do.  They use IEDs and terrorism.  

        Before you speak, ask yourself: Is it kind, is it true, is it necessary. Does it improve the silence. (Courtesy Kos)

        by Scioto on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 06:27:57 AM PST

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      •  Here's a fun little exercise (15+ / 0-)

        Let's take some of your foreign policy positions and substitute "China" for "United States" and see if they still sound as good.

        If the pilot's good, see, I mean if he's reeeally sharp, he can barrel that baby in so low... oh you oughta see it sometime. It's a sight. A big plane like a '52... varrrooom! Its jet exhaust... frying chickens in the barnyard!

        by Major Kong on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 06:52:45 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Poor example and lazying thinking (10+ / 0-)

        A better example of how to handle a terrorist bombing is the Brit reaction to the London underground bombing.

        And what is unpredictable about our behavior, anyway? All the examples you gave, and our continued actions, are of the same and are predictable.

        And there is nothing, n-o-t-h-i-n-g, respectable about torture of anyone and about intentional killing of innocents. And this is not just on a compassion level - I include here aspects of realpolitik, too.

        But hey, I'm glad you're not a 100% asshole any more. Welcome to the club. I usually run about 70% asshole.  ;)

      •  Do you subscribe to the "mad man" theory? (0+ / 0-)
        •  To an extent (0+ / 0-)

          Yes. I think it brings an element of fear to potential rivals.

          I believe America is great precisely because of the variety of personalities and values we bring.

          We need the crazy warmongers as much as we need the pacifists.

          Together we are Americans.

          •  I'm shocked that you lived in Europe (7+ / 0-)

            and still have such a hawkish, "American exceptionalism" focused view.  Did you leave Northern Europe at all?  Have you traveled to other places, or did you just stay on campus and the local pub?  The world is full of countries with just as may personalities and values.  

            With all due respect, you have every right to your opinions and to express them, but you are FAR from progressive.  The value of human life seems pretty low to you.  I'd suggest some real traveling, on your own dime this time, to some places that aren't in the Lonely Planet guide books.

            "Kindly go render the fat in your head in a large kettle of boiling water. Thank you." - Bumblebums -7.38, -6.46

            by balancedscales on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 11:24:14 AM PST

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            •  On my own dime? (0+ / 0-)

              How exactly did i get here to begin with? lol.

              Do you even know how European campuses work? Rarely is there student housing on campus.

              Maybe you should do a little traveling yourself, eh?

              I'm not saying a diversity of ideas is unique to America, i'm saying that the competition of ideas is a historical tradition in our country.

              Your comments are all loaded with strange implications, but I respect your opposition.

              How I viewed things in the past and what I've done in the past doesn't define who I am today and how I look at things now.

      •  Wow, had to remove rec and tip (7+ / 0-)

        after seeing this.  Sorry.  The rest of the world will respect us when we earn it.  And we do not run the show.

      •  Bin Laden's goal with 911 (4+ / 0-)

        was to draw the US into an Asian land war so he could bleed our treasury dry.

        Your boy Bush served up Bin Laden's wishes on a silver platter.  Unpredictable?  Iraq certainly was, but  predictably that war made us a less wealthy nation and lowered respect for the US in the world.  

        "When I was an alien, cultures weren't opinions" ~ Kurt Cobain, Territorial Pissings

        by Subterranean on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 10:50:37 AM PST

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        •  al-Qaeda's chief strategist wanted an Iraq war (4+ / 0-)

          He predicted ahead of time that it would be the best thing that could happen for al-Qaeda.

          After the occupation began, Zawahiri publicly thanked God for it.

          Generals, spies, and other experts warned against the Iraq fiasco at the top of their lungs.

          The units that had been hunting bin Laden in Afghanistan were pulled out to move to Iraq.

          Our military's readiness was reduced.

          A strategic bulwark against Iran was destroyed.

          By 2004, there was one, and only one, reason to vote for Bush. In your self-examination, please work out how you came to have such bitter, twisted, soul-blackening hatred for America so that you can overcome it.

    •  Believe it or not (0+ / 0-)

      our perseverance in Iraq lent other's in the middle east empowerment to democratic reform.
      Tunisia, Egypt Libya Syria... The Arab spring is not occurring in a vacuum.
      Previously the U.S. and western powers were known for abandoning democratic insurgency in the middle east. Iran (undermining it) in Afghanistan after the Soviet occupation, The Kurds Bush I. And, our support for authoritarian regimes across the region.

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