March 25, 2011
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March 22, 2011
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Here is the site.
Below is the list.
Coalition Forces / Iraq vs. Libya
Coalition Countries – Iraq – 2003
[Source: US State Department]
Coalition – Libya – 2011
United Arab Emirate
October 10, 2009
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The other day, Rush Limbaugh was talking about polling and the organizations that conduct them. My summary is that polls are used to advance agendas of the news organizations conducting the polls.
Now, the Rutland Herald probably does not have much influence on foreign policy in Washington, but consider the (unscientific) polling that they’ve done on their website and I think it serves as a microcosm of what goes on in a larger scale in the nation.
Who isn’t concerned about going to war? There is no way to answer this poll for reasonable people who might disagree about the appropriate use of force (read: war) to best meet our national defense needs. If I answer “Yes” (as I hope most sane people would), I’ll be lumped in with a lot of people who think that war should never be considered as a tool of diplomacy. If I answer “No”, then I’ll appear unconcerned about either Iranians or Americans. If I answer “I don’t know”, then it will appear that I’m aloof and that I haven’t really given the matter any thought.
So, how should I vote?
So I can paste a picture of the results (as of today at roughly 9am), I will vote “Yes”, because whether I like the idea of going to war with Iran or not, I am concerned because it will mean lives lost and life is precious. Here are the results:
Wow! I’m surprised to see how many voted “No”.
Granted, this poll will probably not be used to influence anyone, I think that it is still an example of how polling (more often than not) serves the agenda of the pollster through wording that limits the possible answers.
October 9, 2009
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In particular, some foreign policy analysts say the prize announced Friday may complicate his efforts to wind down the war in Iraq and his decision on whether to ramp up the war in Afghanistan.
September 3, 2009
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This is the summary paragraph from VDH’s post:
The cycle [of appeasement and war] will play out as in the past, because, in this age of enlightenment, affluence, and leisure, we just cannot accept that human nature remains the same and thus predictable. It remains too depressing to concede that for a few evil opportunists good will is seen not as magnanimity to be appreciated, but as weakness to be tested. And who but a dunce would believe that continual military preparedness is far cheaper — and more humane — than the perpetual “peace dividend” and lowering of our defenses?
February 21, 2009
I’m not going to get too worked up about this, but I wanted to throw it out there because it came to mind as I was perusing the news. This was from a UK Telegraph article on the return of a bust of Winston Churchill that resided in the Oval Office as a gift on loan from the British government:
Churchill has less happy connotations for Mr Obama than those American politicians who celebrate his wartime leadership. It was during Churchill’s second premiership that Britain suppressed Kenya’s Mau Mau rebellion. Among Kenyans allegedly tortured by the colonial regime included one Hussein Onyango Obama, the President’s grandfather.
So, should we be worried about going to war with the British? If I followed the same demented logic of our liberal brethren we might at least pause to wonder if a coming conflict with Britain is in the works. You see, Bush allegedly went to war with Iraq to avenge the attempted assassination of his father (among other reasons). Will Obama, as he assumes the mantles of power, march us off to war with the UK because of what they did to his grandfather half a century ago? Maybe just a trade war, or war of words, but a war nonetheless. Will he be vilified just as his predecessor was for such familial back-scratching?
Like I said, I’m not really going to get worked up about this, but I thought I would throw it out there into cyberspace for anyone who is looking for the latest conspiracy theory.
October 2, 2008
For those people looking for Biden to wipe the debate stage with Palin, I think they were handed a disappointing evening. I don’t think it much matters whether Palin or Biden “won” the debate. They are the VP candidates after all and not the Presidential candidates. What I do find significant is that whether you thought Biden or Palin won, I don’t think it can be denied that conventional wisdom expecting Palin to get beaten badly by Biden was way off the mark.
I can’t decide if I liked Palin looking at the camera the whole time. I realize she was “looking” at her broader TV audience, but I am not a big fan of the detachment from her immediate environment that is induced by looking into the cameras. Style, not substance I realize.
Speaking of substance, Palin was served a perfect set for spiking with the question about the cause of the current financial crisis. She should have at least hinted at the government holding a majority share in this mess before turning to the folks on Wall Street. She didn’t need to dwell on who did what when, but a passing reference to the boondoggle that is Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac would have gone a long way to inform the public of government largesse and put her Democratic oponent on the ropes.
I thought she was solid on the war and national security issues. Had the debate lingered there, I think she could have been declared a winner without question. The timeline as a white flag comment was good.
Style…when Biden was emotional in his reflection on raising a family as a single parent, I think it would have been classy of Palin to acknowledge Biden’s courage in his personal life. I think she missed an opportunity to attract swing voters there.
Style or substance? How many times in what span of time did Joe Biden say, “George Bush”? I thought it was a little strange like a momentary lapse of sanity. I half expected his head to start spinning around.
From a somewhat bipartisan perspective…why can’t politicians give straight answers? I know they are trying to attract voters and all, but seriously…a moderately intelligent electorate (that is paying attention, at least) can see that they are pandering for votes rather than actually staking out a position. I suppose a complimentary question would be, who (or what) impels politicians to answer obliquely? Are there that many voters who will change their minds because of one position posited by their candidate? (If so, I imagine that it wouldn’t be terribly difficult to change that mind back into the camp.) I don’t really care that McCain calls himself a maverick and frankly I’m getting really tired of hearing the word, but I am not going to change my vote because he or Palin used the word maverick one too many times. Palin talks about global warming in a way that I don’t really agree, but again, I am not going to change my vote over her stance. It does, however, bug me that she (and McCain) seem to be pandering to the “Save the Environment” movement.
I thought both did well and the debate went on with decorum and an almost pleasant atmosphere. Both candidates handled criticism with ease and did not let the disagreements elevate into ire. I hope that the next two presidential debates prove to be as interesting (and orderly) as this one was to watch.