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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) Trump disappoints on Syria (Read 1,308 times)
Queshank
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Re: Trump disappoints on Syria
Reply #100 - Sep 14th, 2018 at 9:24am
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Limey. wrote on Sep 12th, 2018 at 4:13am:
This is certainly part of the problem we are facing (the problem of regression from democracy).

How much of it is a matter of perception, I don't know, because a large amount of what needs to be looked at is qualitative rather than quantitative and inevitably there will be noise in the signal.

The point you make...

...is a good one.

Getting back to quantitative v qualitative, though, it helps illuminate something that worries me. The 'unhappy with democracy' people have a fairly new commonplace, which is that 'the two parties are the same really'.


You're not getting my message Limey.

If you have 35% of the people, and those 35% are the same people that are always happy, you don't have democracy.  You have an oligarchy.

And that happy oligarchy seems to be very unhappy with people voting in ways that challenge their happiness.

When an oligarchy criticizes people voting as undemocratic, asking which side is truly "regressing from democracy" seems valid.  Because y'see ... one side ... the oligarchy ... already had.  And why not?  It makes them happy to do so.

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I'm not sure this is true. Certainly in UK terms, it really really isn't true at all.


Perhaps.  I'm skeptical. 

How do you feel about Labour Party member Lucy Powell's fight to ban private facebook groups and suggestions that laws need to catch up to the Internet and a "world of online hate?"  She wants to ban private facebook groups because that's where the dissidents are hiding!

How do you feel about this tweet from the South Yorkshire police department?

Quote:
In addition to reporting hate crime, please report non-crime hate incidents, which can include things like offensive or insulting comments, online, in person or in writing. Hate will not be tolerated in South Yorkshire. Report it and put a stop to it #HateHurtsSY


Y'know we have news about England here in the states dude!  Smiley   (Not much but we do!) If that isn't far and away the most Orwellian thing you've heard any government entity suggest in the past few years, you need to broaden your information sources.

So I'm sorry, no ... the UK doesn't get a pass in their anti liberal stances they're adopting.

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Yes, there will be continuity after a change of government in foreign policy, many laws etc., but our two parties are radically opposed on some social, and many economic, issues.

If you were an anti-democrat, say, to pluck a name at random, a Dave Popov or a Jenny Wing-Li, would the meme 'voting doesn't change anything' be a useful one to push?

Reaching for my aluminium foil headgear here, but if you were a fairly high positioned business geezer, would there may be a confluence of interest with Dave and Jenny in that their dream system includes all kinds of benefits to the powerful.


The anti-democracy thing.... bothers me.


Limey, I turned 48 recently.  In 2016 for the first time in my life I stopped voting.

Voting hasn't changed anything in decades.  Is a meme like "voting doesn't change anything" inaccurate?  I voted from 1988 until 2012.  Always for the lesser of two evils.  And then finally we did it.  We reached the "now there's two evils" point.

None of my voting helped.

I won't be voting in the future unless it's to legalize weed and/or for a single payer healthplan.

Consider me among those undemocratic forces I guess.  Am I helping the existing power structure ... the "oligarchy" with that stance?  Or the undemocratic forces made up of people all over the world opposing them that I'm helping?

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« Last Edit: Sep 14th, 2018 at 9:35am by Queshank »  

BowHunter wrote on Nov 30th, 2017 at 10:24am:
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Re: Trump disappoints on Syria
Reply #101 - Sep 14th, 2018 at 9:29am
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Lomelis wrote on Sep 12th, 2018 at 2:26pm:
The reality is that he is not being -forced- to do jack shit.

I do find it interesting that you all of sudden remembered that you were arguing that he is being forced.

You:  He's being forced!

Me:  No he's not.

You:  I never said dat!  U has TDS!

Me:  You've got your head so far up his ass that you are pulling a Wads and can't remember your own argument.

You:  I neva say dat!  Show me da quote!

I show you the quote.

You:  He be forced hard@334!  Arg! MAGA!  Deep state, Fake News Obama, LBJ, Clinton!!#3434

Me:  I certainly hope Wads somehow got a hold of your password or something.


Lomelis.

Jesus.

Slow your roll.  Quit with your anger. 

There in your world, do the laws of physics work the same?

When something is under pressure is it because of the application of force? 

You are literally pretending the word only has one meaning, one connotation.  One interpretation.  I hate to break this to you ... but ... that's a symptom.

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Re: Trump disappoints on Syria
Reply #102 - Sep 14th, 2018 at 9:32am
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Lomelis wrote on Sep 12th, 2018 at 2:31pm:
I don't give a crappity smack about appearing weak or appearing to capitulate to Russia.

I don't think Trump does either.


Did you see how you twisted what I said from caring about "Getting the troops out of Syria" to caring about "Appearing weak or appearing to capitulate to Russia?"

That's a symptom.

Quote:
You've got your head so far up that when I talk shit about Trump you think I'm talking about you.

Now that's bad.


Did you notice that you responded to me saying guys like you are just wasting time because I have to stop and spend 3 pages discussing your TDS (4 pages now) but you twisted it to be "Oh boo hoo poor Trump" and then when I responded that you confused me with Trump you say "You confused you with Trump?"

That's a symptom.

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Re: Trump disappoints on Syria
Reply #103 - Sep 14th, 2018 at 9:46am
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Demos wrote on Sep 12th, 2018 at 12:31pm:
What pundits connect doesn't seem to always be connected within the administration. Several administration officials have made statements limiting any strikes against the regime to retaliation for chemical weapons attacks. So, basically, Assad can retake Idlib (with the help of Russia and Iran) as long as he doesn't use chemical weapons to do it.

And our Syria policy, even this latest pronouncement of an "indefinite" military stay, is definitely more about Iran at this point (as ISIS is really no longer a factor). Even our discussions with Russia are about getting Iran out of Syria (not getting Russia out of Syria). The "indefinite" military stay also has a pretty definite end - when Assad retakes Idlib - since we're not going to actually use military force to overthrow Assad or even remove Iran from Syria. Even as the new strategy was announced, emphasis was placed on "a major diplomatic push to achieve American objectives, according to senior State Department officials," rather than a new military mission  (Source).


You are still connecting the wrong dots.  I don't know how to say this in any other way than I've said it many times already.

Whether the punditry has any impact on the administration is irrelevant.  I mean even exploring that line of thinking is a waste of time I haven't spent any time doing at all. 

Whether the punditry has any impact on the civilian population that votes is what is relevant.

Quote:
What changed when he ordered air strikes against Assad? That's something he had been opposed to at least as far back as 2013, including saying Obama needed Congressional approval for an attack (Source). I don't think domestic politics was a consideration then (reports about the decision suggested it was the result of lobbying from Ivanka and others, as well as showing Trump photos), and I don't think it is now. He's been given the option of sanctions, which he has used in other situations, and I would assume he's been told we will eventually be pulling troops out (since we're realistically not staying there indefinitely).


So was he forced to do it then?  Was he under pressure to do things he didn't want to do? 

You're doing too much assuming in order to reach your conclusions.   Why would you assume he's been told we will eventually be pulling troops out since we're realistically not saying there indefinitely?

U.S. troops could be in Syria indefinitely. Here's why - PBS NewsHour - Jan 19, 2018

US Troops Will Remain In Syria Until Peace Is At Hand - Task & Purpose - Aug 29, 2018

Any doubts that Syria would join Afghanistan and Iraq as another Forever War were laid to rest on Tuesday, when Defense Secretary James Mattis said U.S. troops would stay in that country until the chances for peace improve.

It's as likely to say "I assume Trump has been told US troops have to remain in Syria until this humanitarian crisis is resolved" as it is to say the reverse.

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Honestly, I had to go back and look up that quote to even figure out what it was referring to, so I would need invest a little more time and research to answer that.


Okay and while you're at it.  Look into the tapes from both Nixon and LBJ during VietNam and their railing about the media's coverage of this or that issue and their political opposition FORCING (for you Lomelis) them to make decisions they don't want to make.

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Re: Trump disappoints on Syria
Reply #104 - Sep 14th, 2018 at 9:54am
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Queshank wrote on Sep 14th, 2018 at 9:24am:
Consider me among those undemocratic forces I guess.  Am I helping the existing power structure ... the "oligarchy" with that stance?  Or the undemocratic forces made up of people all over the world opposing them that I'm helping?


Here's the historical lens I've been using for some time now to attempt to figure out where I should be applying what FORCE I can.

If you could go back in time, would it be better to support Julius Caesar as he challenges the Senate-cum-Oligarchy?  Or better to support the Establishment forces that wound up winning the fight and leading to 200 years of internal peace and stability and prosperity, but the abandonment of the Republic and Democracy in favor of perpetual dictatorship and control over the population?

They're all turds.  But which had the potential for being better for the development of civilization?

The problem a lot of people suffering from TDS don't understand is the decision they've rationalized for themselves is that cat shit simply tastes better than dog shit.  From where I sit, both sides look like they're dining on shit with a smile on their faces and just arguing about which diet is more nutritious.

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Re: Trump disappoints on Syria
Reply #105 - Sep 14th, 2018 at 10:12am
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Queshank wrote on Sep 14th, 2018 at 9:46am:
Whether the punditry has any impact on the civilian population that votes is what is relevant.

And there's not really anything to suggest that the public is making any connection between Syria and Russia, particularly in a negative way that would impact the administration.

Quote:
So was he forced to do it then?  Was he under pressure to do things he didn't want to do?

Why would he have to be forced to do it? Couldn't he just be presented with things and change his mind? Like I said before, I don't think he has strong opinions on these issues (or an overarching foreign relations philosophy), and he's changed his mind a number of times on similar things (Iraq - moving from ambivalence to opposition; Libya - moving from support to opposition). Why couldn't that work in reverse? Moving from opposing military action to supporting it (a la the airstrikes). 

Quote:
You're doing too much assuming in order to reach your conclusions.

I'm not making a conclusion as to why he might have changed his mind; just offering some possible explanation. Why conclude that he's being forced to do something he doesn't want when we know he is prone to changing his mind on foreign policy issues?   

Quote:
Any doubts that Syria would join Afghanistan and Iraq as another Forever War were laid to rest on Tuesday, when Defense Secretary James Mattis said U.S. troops would stay in that country until the chances for peace improve.

And if anyone really believes that I have some ocean front property in Arizona for sale. The war in Syria is basically over, and when Assad takes back control of Idlib, there will be "peace" (as in the country will have been pacified). We have not had a large troop presence there, and our military actions have been primarily focused on ISIS, which has pretty much been wiped out in Syria. Furthermore, we have been quite clear that we're only going to act against the regime if chemical weapons are used, and we've let the regime retake other areas of Syria. No new military mission is planned, and the emphasis is being placed on diplomatic measures (e.g., sanctions).
  
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Re: Trump disappoints on Syria
Reply #106 - Sep 14th, 2018 at 10:41am
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Demos wrote on Sep 14th, 2018 at 10:12am:
And there's not really anything to suggest that the public is making any connection between Syria and Russia, particularly in a negative way that would impact the administration.


Then ask yourself this question.

If the Democrats have the opportunity to start hammering Trump for capitulating to Russia if he talks about pulling troops out of Syria ... will they take it?

McCain might have been wrong in thinking it would be enough to FORCE Obama to invade or bomb Syria.  But he obviously saw an opportunity and went for it, correct? 

Whether it worked or not is not relevant to a discussion as to whether or not it was a political calculation.  It is concrete evidence bolstering my position that politicians at the national level play these types of games.  Your argument seems to be dismiss it because "it didn't seem to have much impact so obviously McCain didn't do it."  And I simply don't understand how you make that work.

Quote:
Why would he have to be forced to do it? Couldn't he just be presented with things and change his mind? Like I said before, I don't he has strong opinions on these issues, and he's changed his mind a number of times on similar things (Iraq - moving from ambivalence to opposition; Libya - moving from support to opposition). Why couldn't that work in reverse? Moving from opposing military action to supporting it (a la the airstrikes). 


I doubt he has strong opinions on most issues as well.

That's why I think it's easy to manipulate .. or FORCE ... him to do things.  And why i think the Democrats missed a huge opportunity in not being the last voice Trump hears on most issues. 

It absolutely could work in reverse Demos.   I'm not saying there's only one FORCE at play. But here I'll tie it back to my first post in the thread again.

There are certain FORCES in the United States that have been doing everything they can to FORCE the United States into a position of engagement and conflict wherever possible with Russia. 

Which side are those who oppose Trump on?

I gave my input on page one of this thread.

Queshank wrote on Sep 7th, 2018 at 11:33am:
Our media, our Democrats, and the "anonymous sources working against the president from within" want war with Russia.


Am I being hyperbolic? 

Would I have been hyperbolic in 1997 to suggest that Bill Clinton and his version of the Democratic Party WANT anti democratic forces in Russia to resume power? 

Clinton Urges NATO Expansion in 1999 - New York Times - 1996

If I'd been one of the 40 foreign policy advisors, ex ambassadors, senators and "experts" who signed this letter to Clinton in '97?

Former Policy-Makers Voice Concern Over NATO Expansion -

We, the undersigned, believe that the current U.S.-led effort to expand NATO, the focus of the recent Helsinki and Paris Summits, is a policy error of historic proportions. We believe that NATO expansion will decrease allied security and unsettle European stability for the following reasons:

In Russia, NATO expansion, which continues to be opposed across the entire political spectrum, will strengthen the non-democratic opposition, undercut those who favor reform and cooperation with the West, bring the Russians to question the entire post-Cold War settlement, and galvanize resistance in the Duma to the START II and III treaties;



Or would it have been creepily prescient? 

Russia's 2000 Presidential Elections: Implications for Russian Democracy and U.S.-Russian Relations


Quote:
I'm not making a conclusion as to why he might have changed his mind; just offering some possible explanation. Why conclude that he's being forced to do something he doesn't want when we know he is prone to changing his mind on foreign policy issues?   


That's all I'm doing too Demos.  You can acknowledge they both have merit as I do, or you can support one conclusion uber alles the way you seem to be doing.  You suggest that you're just offering a possible explanation.  Yet you're double downing and ignoring evidence that suggests there are other possible explanations.  You're not presenting it as a "possible explanation."  You are presenting it as THE explanation.

Quote:
And if anyone really believes that I have some ocean front property in Arizona for sale. The war in Syria is basically over, and when Assad takes back control of Idlib, there will be "peace" (as in the country will have been pacified).


And if anyone believes the left is NOT the party agitating for opposition to all things Russian as a result of domestic political considerations (opposition to Trump) I have some ocean front property in Arizona for sale. 

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Re: Trump disappoints on Syria
Reply #107 - Sep 14th, 2018 at 11:49am
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Queshank wrote on Sep 14th, 2018 at 10:41am:
If the Democrats have the opportunity to start hammering Trump for capitulating to Russia if he talks about pulling troops out of Syria ... will they take it?

Doubt they'll make an issue out of Syria at all. If they want to hammer Trump on Russia, there are plenty of others ways to do so without arguing for keeping troops in Syria, which people (particularly their own base) don't really support.

Quote:
McCain might have been wrong in thinking it would be enough to FORCE Obama to invade or bomb Syria.  But he obviously saw an opportunity and went for it, correct?

Because McCain was an avowed interventionist. But how did that ploy work out for him? Obama wouldn't even enforce his own "red line." 

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Whether it worked or not is not relevant to a discussion as to whether or not it was a political calculation.

Seems relevant to whether or not its a calculation worth making if you're the Democrats. This also presumes Democrats actually want us to remain in Syria.

And as far as political calculations go, more people have indicated support for sanctions than any other kind of action on Syria (Source).  So, if the administration is making a political calculation on Syria, maybe they calculated in favor of sanctions.

Quote:
I doubt he has strong opinions on most issues as well.

That's why I think it's easy to manipulate .. or FORCE ... him to do things.

Manipulation and force mean different things to me. Suggesting he was forced seems to imply that he has really strong opinions on an issue, which doesn't seem to be the case in areas outside trade policy. 

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And why i think the Democrats missed a huge opportunity in not being the last voice Trump hears on most issues.

Even when they have tried that (on issues like immigration), they don't seem to be very successful.  

Quote:
Would I have been hyperbolic in 1997 to suggest that Bill Clinton and his version of the Democratic Party WANT anti democratic forces in Russia to resume power?

To say they wanted it; yes, since that wasn't their goal/intent. They just made a big mistake/miscalculation imo. As the saying goes, the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

Quote:
Or would it have been creepily prescient? 

Russia's 2000 Presidential Elections: Implications for Russian Democracy and U.S.-Russian Relations

McFaul's testimony suggest Chechnya, not NATO, was what allowed Putin to win, i.e., Yeltsin and his gang instigated a popular war to benefit Putin. NATO expansion has clearly been an issue for the Russian government, but McFaul's testimony doesn't indicate it as a significant factor in the 2000 election.

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That's all I'm doing too Demos.

I still think you're overplaying the Russian angle and trying to shoehorn it in as a significant factor in Syria policy decision making, when that doesn't seem evident. Polling (cited above) even shows other, more reasonable explanations if you want to suggest the decisions are being made mainly on a political calculation.

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You can acknowledge they both have merit as I do, or you can support one conclusion uber alles the way you seem to be doing.

I can acknowledge other possibilities (as I've done) while concluding - based on my own reading of the situation - that there is a different (even more likely) explanation. 
  
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Re: Trump disappoints on Syria
Reply #108 - Sep 14th, 2018 at 12:07pm
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Queshank wrote on Sep 14th, 2018 at 9:24am:
You're not getting my message Limey.

If you have 35% of the people, and those 35% are the same people that are always happy, you don't have democracy.  You have an oligarchy.

And that happy oligarchy seems to be very unhappy with people voting in ways that challenge their happiness.

When an oligarchy criticizes people voting as undemocratic, asking which side is truly "regressing from democracy" seems valid.  Because y'see ... one side ... the oligarchy ... already had.  And why not?  It makes them happy to do so.


Perhaps.  I'm skeptical. 

How do you feel about Labour Party member Lucy Powell's fight to ban private facebook groups and suggestions that laws need to catch up to the Internet and a "world of online hate?"  She wants to ban private facebook groups because that's where the dissidents are hiding!

How do you feel about this tweet from the South Yorkshire police department?


Y'know we have news about England here in the states dude!  Smiley   (Not much but we do!) If that isn't far and away the most Orwellian thing you've heard any government entity suggest in the past few years, you need to broaden your information sources.

So I'm sorry, no ... the UK doesn't get a pass in their anti liberal stances they're adopting.


Limey, I turned 48 recently.  In 2016 for the first time in my life I stopped voting.

Voting hasn't changed anything in decades.  Is a meme like "voting doesn't change anything" inaccurate?  I voted from 1988 until 2012.  Always for the lesser of two evils.  And then finally we did it.  We reached the "now there's two evils" point.

None of my voting helped.

I won't be voting in the future unless it's to legalize weed and/or for a single payer healthplan.

Consider me among those undemocratic forces I guess.  Am I helping the existing power structure ... the "oligarchy" with that stance?  Or the undemocratic forces made up of people all over the world opposing them that I'm helping?

Queshank





I'd not pretend for a second (unless doing so would get me laid) that I think democracy is perfect.


Far from it; I think it is a terrible way to order our political affairs, it's just that any others that could be made to work here and now are far, far worse.

It's a work in progress. We have only had, what , 3 -5 generations of anything like democracy in most of the West, much less than that in Eastern Europe and none at all over vast swathes of the world.

Of course we haven't got it right.

Your system and the British one deliver, every election, around 35% of people who voted for the winning party, another 35% who voted for someone else, and the rest didn't vote. it's the tiny difference between group A and group B which changes Government, and such tiny changes are a powerful justification for slow paces of change in the way Governments govern.


Not that this justification is always appropriate though. As I said, and I salute your scepticism even though you can't spell it properly, the two - party choice here in UK is stark, with very real differences.

We have more than two parties though; here's a thing - in the last election but one, two parties (UKIP and the Greens) between them got 4.9 million votes - that's around 12% of the total - and gained one seat each i.e. 1/650th of the seats.

Look at the graphs in this link https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/election-2015-32601281

Millions of people vote for positions they earnestly support but have nobody representing that position in our Parliament.

That feeling of frustration and alienation you describe has powerful reasons for it.

Do those reasons justify a step away from democracy as a concept, or do they mean people should work to improve democracy so that it delivers better?

I'd go for the latter of the two. My worry is that many - possibly helped along by forces hostile to democracy, or to a meaningful democracy - are opting for the former.
  

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Re: Trump disappoints on Syria
Reply #109 - Sep 14th, 2018 at 1:15pm
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Demos wrote on Sep 14th, 2018 at 11:49am:
Doubt they'll make an issue out of Syria at all. If they want to hammer Trump on Russia, there are plenty of others ways to do so without arguing for keeping troops in Syria, which people (particularly their own base) don't really support.


And I think you're wrong there.  The calls for Syrian intervention seem to be originating as strongly from the left from where I sit.  It is people on the left I see sharing pictures of what look like blue eyed cute little white kids in Syria being victimized and grandstanding about how something has to be done. 

Are there conservative establishment voices who insist as they always have that we need to stay in Syria and force Russia and Syria's obedience? 

Absolutely. 

And that's what's so disturbing about it.  How many people on the left I see backing the conservative establishment voices all because it is opposition to Trump.  It's a common theme in contemporary politics.

Quote:
Because McCain was an avowed interventionist. But how did that ploy work out for him? Obama wouldn't even enforce his own "red line." 


Are you sure it wasn't a political ploy that didn't work out fantastically for McCain's party?  Are you sure Obama being seen as weak on Syria didn't damage Obama and his party in the elections? 

I would disagree with that analysis on both fronts.  I think Obama made a few political miscalculations there.  The rhetoric calling for a redline in the first place not the least among them.

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Seems relevant to whether or not its a calculation worth making if you're the Democrats. This also presumes Democrats actually want us to remain in Syria.


No.  What it presumes is, that Democrats will be FORCED into doing and making whatever calculations they can to be seen as opposing Trump.  Ergo, if Trump wants to get troops out of Syria, it's because he's a puppet of Putin and it's a win for Putin.  The guy who stole the 2016 election.

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And as far as political calculations go, more people have indicated support for sanctions than any other kind of action on Syria.

Manipulation and force mean different things to me. Suggesting he was forced seems to imply that he has really strong opinions on an issue, which doesn't seem to be the case in areas outside trade policy. 


Again you guys are pretending there's only one way force can be applied. 

It doesn't matter whether Trump has really strong opinions on "an issue."  Trump has very strong opinions when it comes to making political calculations.  And that is what we're talking about.  You can fill in the blanks with pretty near any political issue and the conversation will not change.

While we're talking about polls from politico measuring support for Syrian airstrikes ... these ones from April of 2018 instead of the April 2017 polls you shared have some interesting components:

Majority supports Syrian airstrikes - Politico - April 18, 2018

Poll respondents were asked about Trump’s role in ordering the U.S. military to participate in the strike. <snip> Only 34 percent of voters think the controversies around Trump weren’t a factor at all in his decision to launch airstrikes

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Even when they have tried that (on issues like immigration), they don't seem to be very successful.


I would disagree that debacle was what I'm talking about.

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I still think you're overplaying the Russian angle and trying to shoehorn it in as a significant factor in Syria policy decision making, when that doesn't seem evident. Polling (cited above) even shows other, more reasonable explanations if you want to suggest the decisions are being made mainly on a political calculation.


And I think this is the only reason you're arguing with me.  Because you think I'm trying to shoehorn it as a significant factor in Syria policy decision making. 

And I'm not.

As I've said before it's the elephant in the room that is influencing EVERY policy decision.  Not just the Syrian one.

I think you spend far too much time reading polls and saying "This is what it means" and not enough time considering how the answers will change as the questions asked change.  And considering the ample evidence we can extrapolate from prior answers and prior similar events in presidential history.  You are suggesting that Trump is unique and different than every president that came before him.  I'm arguing he's not really all that much different.  And if anything Trump is more politically calculating than many other presidents have been. 

Quote:
I can acknowledge other possibilities (as I've done) while concluding - based on my own reading of the situation - that there is a different (even more likely) explanation. 


I'm unconvinced.  Not because I don't acknowledge other possibilities.  But because it's not a realm of possibilities we're talking about with only one explanation.  It's a realm of confluent and competing factors all applying pressure (FORCE for the Loms in the audience) on events. 

And I stand by my first comment in the thread.  By staking out ground that says we must oppose anything Trump wants or we are seen as enabling or supporting the president, we are FORCING many events around the world to become different and more complicated and dangerous problems.  Including Syria.

Queshank
  

BowHunter wrote on Nov 30th, 2017 at 10:24am:
I am not aware of any article
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