NATO is looking better and better

If Putin’s goal was to give NATO a fresh reason to exist then the invasion of Ukraine has already been a success. Through half a century of Cold War Sweden and Finland were fiercely resistant to the alliance. Things have changed.

Finland is publically renouncing their neutrality, clarifying that they are aligned, if not formally allied, with NATO. Joining NATO remains an option on the table.

Sweden is making plans to ramp up military spending. They are exploring the possibility of initiating NATO membership.

NATO is becoming fashionable again.

About

Chris Ladd is a Texan living in the Chicago area. He has been involved in grassroots Republican politics for most of his life. He is a Republican precinct committeeman in suburban Chicago.

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218 comments on “NATO is looking better and better
  1. way2gosassy says:

    I am by no means a geopolitical expert but this is what I see.

    Crimea was a part of Russia ( not USSR ) for over 300 years therefore the majority of the people there are in fact ethnic Russians. When the USSR collapsed ( again may not be 100% accurate) it is my understanding that Crimea became a part of the Ukraine by a treaty that came with the caveat that Ukraine would not become a NATO member. Two countries in the old Soviet Bloc, Ukraine and Georgia were a part of that treaty agreement. Both have had weak and corrupt government since that time. The people of those two countries in recent years have decided that they wanted a more western style of government but what they lack is any strong or clear leadership that can move their countries toward that goal out of fear of retaliation from Russia.

    Back here in the US we are debating whether we should become involved in their politics and to what extent. Bush did very little when Russia invaded Georgia and that was ok. All politics ended at the waters edge when it came to any dissent about what he might or might not have done about the invasion of Georgia. Personally I don’t disagree with a lack of action on Russia. This is in my opinion “regional” politics and should be handled by NATO, not the USA alone. At this point what does Russia have to do with the safety and security of the US? I would think that what they do or not do would have a much more immediate affect on European Nations than us, other than those private corporations from the US who chose to do business there.

    To the point of the article, I find it rather strange that Finland and Sweden have chosen all these years to reap the benefits of NATO protections without assuming any of it’s responsibilities. Fear of the bogey man in Moscow is now driving a renewed interest in NATO when there are more credible threats out there that didn’t. Self serving is the phrase that comes to mind.

    • John Galt says:

      For some bizarre reason, probably involving a lot of vodka, Krushchev transferred the Crimean peninsula to the SSR that was Ukraine in 1954. Putin has claimed this was “unconstitutional” as if that mattered in the USSR in 1954. If one were looking for the flimsiest ground on which to base this invasion, that would be it.

  2. Texan5142 says:

    kabuzz61 says:
    March 20, 2014 at 6:25 am
    Texan, you are a vocal God hater.

    First off, can’t hate something that does not exist, second, I was brought up in the church until I reached the age of reason so I might know a little bit about what I am talking about. You are no christian, you are just an asshole who picks and chooses what part of the Bible to follow. What I hate more than anything is someone who claims to be a christian, but by words and action proves that they are not. Now GFYS!

    • kabuzz61 says:

      I can sit in a garage for twenty years but it doesn’t make me a car.

      I will lose no sleep over your judgment of what and what is not a Christian. Like I said before, no one knows us on the boards enough to make a judgment such as yours. It is obvious you have no understanding about the soul and heart. You haven’t a clue. I would tell you to get one, but what would be the point?

      • Texan5142 says:

        kabuzz61 says:
        March 20, 2014 at 9:34 am
        ” Like I said before, no one knows us on the boards enough to make a judgment such as yours”

        And yet you have judged me and others many times on this blog, something about that in the Bible I believe. Matthew 7:1

        My irony meter just exploded.

      • texan5142 says:

        kabuzxz wrote
        ” Like I said before, no one knows us on the boards enough to make a judgment such as yours.”

        and then he judges me

        ” It is obvious you have no understanding about the soul and heart. ”

        Who is the idiot now cat.

  3. kabuzz61 says:

    Full Definition of IDIOT

    1

    usually offensive : a person affected with extreme mental retardation

    2

    : a foolish or stupid person (See Texan)

    — idiot adjective

    I was really surprised at this definition. Who knew.

    • bubbabobcat says:

      kabuzz61 says:
      March 20, 2014 at 6:33 am

      “But I appreciate the attempt to bring civility to the classroom.”

      “I have to say it fell on deaf ears.”

      Yes it did.

      Your clamoring for “civility” lasted less than a complete hour buzzy before you violated your own faux meaningless entreaties. Bravo.

      Consummate inveterate blatant hypocrites you and your ilk are buzzy. Wear it loud and proud.

  4. John Galt says:

    Sternn and I got off to a rousing exchange below that is getting too long to follow. Crogged posted a link (below) to an article that asserts we do not have the financial resources to assist the Ukraine. This is nonsense. Let’s be perfectly clear. The U.S. could in one second give the Ukraine an amount of money equal to their entire GDP ($175B) and there would be no negative consequences for us. In fact, the markets would probably shoot through the roof. Even if we paid for this entirely out of debt, it would add 1% to our total. I’m not saying we should do anything of this magnitude, but we can afford it. What are the chances that the rest of Ukraine has anything to do with Russia after a commitment like that? Or half that?

    At the end of WWII, a war in which we went deeply in debt to win, we embarked on what would today be a preposterous plan to rebuild the countries we had just destroyed. The Marshall Plan (and other aid that had preceded the MP) totaled close to $30 billion over an 8 year period, which is roughly $300 billion today. This was about 1% of US GDP over that period and did not include the amount spent to aid to Japan. Today, that would be an outlay of $160 billion/year. It is a shame that we would not even be able to have a discussion about this today.

    http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2014/03/america-is-too-broke-to-rescue-ukraine/284463/

    • Crogged says:

      Precisely.

      But we aren’t dealing with those for whom there is examination of thought, but an endless, mindless, defense of ‘principles’. Helping people saps incentive, invading countries is the only way to defend our own freedom.

      http://equitablegrowth.org/2014/03/19/2297/in-which-i-try-and-fail-to-understand-the-current-state-of-right-wing-monetary-economics-wednesday-focus-march-19-2014

    • kabuzz61 says:

      There is a difference. In regards to the Marshall Plan, we were also accorded temporary governance while we rebuilt the country and helped them establish a peoples government. We did this in Japan also.

      The Ukraine is not offering us this important role. If we have buy in, we have to have a partnership.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Buzz…I’m assuming you are just pointing out the differences, not actually advocating that we take on governance of another country.

        Heck, we cannot govern our own country, much less anyone else’s.

      • kabuzz61 says:

        Help establish a government like we did in Germany and Japan.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        kabuzz, rejoin reality. The Marshall plan gave more money to France than to West Germany… yet we had no say in the French government. It also gave money to Ireland, the U.K., Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Belgium, the Netherlands, Portugal, Switzerland, Greece, and Turkey, and we didn’t have governmental oversight there, either.

    • CaptSternn says:

      Don’t think it was about giving them money, but about taking military action. Giving them money wouldn’t do anything, unless they would use it to hire some other military, private or national. That was proven wrong when Obama deployed troops to Libya. But at least you agree that the article was a load of … garbage.

      Speaking of rebuilding and staying in nations after defeating them in war, we are still in Germany and Japan. We reforged them to our benefit, and we stay there and refuse to allow them any real offensive military might. We also keep others out, providing the military protection for them and guard our interests. We should be doing the same with Iraq, but the current administration abandoned Iraq, surrenered it to al Qaeda and other forces. Doesn’t seem to be the right that doesn’t learn from history.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Exactly who are we protecting Germany and Japan from?

        Bless you stern…you are one of the few people I know suggesting real nation building in Iraq.

        I completely disagree with that approach (no one has been able to nation build there), but interesting to hear the other side.

        I think you would have to be a bit fairer regarding the current administration abandoning Iraq. The previous administration (or even the Romney administration) would be abandon it as well.

      • John Galt says:

        The Iraqis refused to adopt a status of forces agreement, which would have put our troops at unnecessary risk. So we left, and good riddance.

        It suits American strategic interests to remain in Germany and Japan and those countries tolerate it (though the Okinawans aren’t too happy). The Japanese are currently debating the pacifist nature of their post-war constitution, with some ambivalence, and the U.S. has encouraged them to take baby steps to a more active role in the Western Pacific.

    • John Galt says:

      The two biggest recipients of Marshall Plan aid were France and the UK. It may surprise Kabuzz to learn that the U.S. was not accorded temporary governance of either of these allies. Nor would we need it in the Ukraine to make a significant difference.

  5. kabuzz61 says:

    The act of marrying, or the state of being married; legal union of a man and a woman for life, as husband and wife; wedlock; matrimony.
    Marriage is honorable in all.

    The formal union of a man and a woman, typically recognized by law, by which they become husband and wife:
    ‘a happy marriage’

    ‘the children from his first marriage’

    a (1) : the state of being united to a person of the opposite sex as husband or wife in a consensual and contractual relationship recognized by law

    Since some of you liberals love defining issues, here is what marriage is defined as. Should we change the dictionaries?

    • Texan5142 says:

      Yes, definitions can change over time and when gay marriage is legal I am sure the dictionaries will adjust accordingly.

      • kabuzz61 says:

        Texan, you are a vocal God hater. What would make any of us think you know anything about the Bible and what it is in context? You’re shooting blanks. You don’t even know how to read a dictionary. There is reasons for the numbers.

        If I had a failed, hate filled blog that was roundly glad it disappeared, I would be bitter too Desp. It figures Texas (of Mr. Youtube) is on your side. Birds of a feather.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        kabuzz, the Bible has little or nothing to do with the dictionary, other than often sitting near to it on a reference shelf.

        Dictionaries represent current usage: they do not prevent changes in language.

        Marriage ALREADY refers, in many countries and many American states, to any committed legal union between two adult partners, regardless of gender.

        Next thing you know, you’ll be insisting to us that “computer” is a job title for a professional woman, and that should never change.

    • desperado says:

      Yep, the hell with what the Constitution says, let’s leave it up to Webster’s. Idiot.

      • texan5142 says:

        des,
        From Webster,
        mar·riage

        noun \ˈmer-ij, ˈma-rij\
        : the relationship that exists between a husband and a wife

        : a similar relationship between people of the same sex

        : a ceremony in which two people are married to each other

        The cat pick and chose what suits him just like the Bible.

      • lomamonster says:

        Yep, and let bygones be – – – just bygones. Bygonit!

    • Owl of Bellaire says:

      The definition of marriage has changed, is changing, and will change in the future.

      Dictionaries reflect current practice, not eternal truths.

    • texan5142 says:

      I also found this definition,
      “a combination or mixture of two or more elements.”

      And from Webster,

      mar·riage

      noun \ˈmer-ij, ˈma-rij\
      : the relationship that exists between a husband and a wife

      : a similar relationship between people of the same sex

      : a ceremony in which two people are married to each other

    • John Galt says:

      Of all the possible arguments against gay marriage, the dictionary definition one (in some dictionaries, at least), has to be the stupidest.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        JG…I have to respectfully disagree. As monumentally silly as the dictionary definition argument is, the “it will ruin the sanctity of marriage” argument really, really is stupid.

  6. DanMan says:

    horror vacui – Nature abhors a vacuum.

    Lacking leadership in the west, Putin fills it from the east. Flexibility!

    • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

      Here here…where is the leadership from Germany, Italy, France, Spain, and Great Britain on this?

      No doubt all these little pesky sovereign nations must abhor not being lead by the west

      • DanMan says:

        We will see where they are very soon, I doubt they have any trust in the current administration and even further mistrust of the American people. They now know we are as feckless as they have been.

        I happen to agree with our host. NATO is suddenly popular. Let’s see how they behave without America taking the lead. They have a lot to worry about. Having Germany and Great Britain take the lead in a military alliance is going to be interesting. France is still following through on delivering two huge warships to Russia. So far.

        Having Kerry represent us on the world stage is tragically comical. Our Winter Soldier has risen to his penultimate role. Can’t wait to see how he handles it.

      • objv says:

        Homer: Since DanMan and bubba are male, it would not be logical to think of them as a heterosexual couple bickering on whether to order sushi at dinner. Why act all innocent? Unless, I’m missing something, neither DanMan or bubba would take the role of the female in the couple.

      • objv says:

        Whoops, that comment was supposed to go under another below. Hate this format!

      • texan5142 says:

        It is not the format Objective, it is you. ;)

      • objv says:

        OK, Texan. It’s me. ;)

      • bubbabobcat says:

        But OV you are wrong yet again. Everyone can read Danny/Daniela/Rayon as a transvestite/transsexual/transgender female yearning to break free from his right wing conservative “macho” facade he hides behind.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Bubba…I’m struggling with the right words for this, so I’m likely to jumble it up. I hope it comes out as moderately coherent.

        I don’t think you think Dan is gay. I think you think he is a homophobic bigot (that is probably redundant), but I don’t think you actually think he is gay. I don’t disagree that he quickly and oddly leaps to gay issues, but I don’t think you really believe he is a closeted gay man.

        You are using Dan being gay as a way to put him down or as a way to tease him. By using it that way, you are using being gay as a bad or derogatory thing, about which Dan should feel bad or ashamed.

        Telling a guy he, “throws like a girl” is saying that being a girl is a bad thing, and I would argue that Lisa Fernandez and Jennie Finch throw a ball better than 90% of the male population. You “run like a girl” is kinda stupid when you think of Gail Devers and Joan Benoit.

        Teasing someone about the idea of them being gay is kinda stupid and makes it seem as though you think being gay is tease-worthy. I don’t think you think that. I think you are just reacting to Dan’s homophobia and bigotry, but that is what it seems.

        Now, if you do really believe Dan is a closeted gay man, then I think you probably could be a little more supportive, back off, and let him handle it on his own terms.

        We certainly do not want Dan to be telling folks how to live their sexual lives, and we probably should try to tell Dan either.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        I can’t type well or come up with the right words. That last line should be:

        “probably should not try to tell Dan either.”

      • CaptSternn says:

        HT, you and I disagree a lot, but I do have respect for you for calling out others on inappropriate behavior, people often considered to be on the left, generally on your side (though that might be a stretch with Bubba, no offense intended). You called out GG, as did Fly, for her inappropriate questions about myself and Tutt (especially Tutt).

        I don’t want to even get near this relationship Dan and Bubba have, and I understand you aren’t defending Dan so much as homosexuals and females with this comment of yours. Good and wise words on your part, sir.

      • bubbabobcat says:

        Houston, I can understand your concerns that my making Dan squirm may come across as anti gay but that is definitely NOT my intention and let me try to clarify my intent and purpose. I personally could not care less whether Dan is gay or not and I honestly don’t know whether he is a closeted gay or not and both are moot points anyway. What I am trying to highlight is Dan’s typical right wing “conservative” homophobic anti-gay agenda manifesting itself as an insultingly hateful and demeaning “ick” factor (as he disdainfully describes “butt sex” elsewhere in another of Chris’ blogs) and it is clearly uncomfortably “icky” to him in his attempts to return the same in his “insults” of me (and you by the way). If you will scroll all the way down, I never deny, I don’t posture, or over macholy preen as Dan does but merely embrace my “gayness” Dan tries to paint me with in turn. Whether I am gay or not, it does not bother me one whit for him to characterize me as gay, effeminate, or whatever negative stereotype he has of gays. And for him to squirm and try to prove otherwise (his “hot cars” and the “hot women” he claims to ensnare “easily”) as I characterize him stereotypically as such is to mock and render impotent the “ickiness” of his anti-gay agenda. If Dan feels “bad”, “ashamed”, or “uncomfortable”, my point is that is HIS wrong headed issue borne of his narrow minded “conservatism”.

        As for whether Dan is a closeted gay or not, even if he is, I have no sympathy for him or his “issues” to deal with as he mockingly spews his homophobic hate agenda. Just as I have no sympathy for a Larry “wide stance” Craig who legislates against gays, a Jewish neo-Nazi, or a Clarence Thomas. They are all detriments to equal rights to those they are kindred souls with, regardless of their own “personal issues”.

        I hope that helps assuage your concerns and clarifies your perspective of my intent. Of course now that Dan is aware of my tactics not by of his own self actualization, that will have minimized the effectiveness of any future endeavor. I will just have to get the juices flowing further and be a little more creative from here on in. ;-)

      • bubbabobcat says:

        And Cappy, get off your fake hypocritically pigheaded cross also. Houston was not “defending females” and there were none to defend. It’s called an illustrative analogy you clueless nitwit troll.

      • kabuzz61 says:

        Homer, I appreciate also your attempt at mitigating the homosexual slurs that Bubba throws out. After reading his response, I have to say it fell on deaf ears.

        One thing is for sure, most of us do not know the kind of life we lead, our race or our hearts. For instance, Texas is an atheist which is his right, but you can be an atheist without putting down those that believe.

        But I appreciate the attempt to bring civility to the classroom. :)

      • bubbabobcat says:

        “Bring civility to the classroom”…which you are all for buzzy as long as you and your side are exempt. Can your fake hypocritical self righteousness buzzy. You just can’t take that which you dish out.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Buzz (and Stern), there really was no attempt to bring civility.

        We are all big boys and girls who can take care of themselves, it just takes away from the discussion, and we then have to scroll down a few feet to find any real thought.

        I don’t think you could pay me enough to try to defend Dan. I doubt he is a closeted gay man struggling to come out. I have no doubt that he is an ass who likes being negative with people.

        Frankly, I cringe when “my side” does it for the very simple fact that I then get to watch Buzz post eighteen comments about how the left does nothing but hurl personal insults rather than argue the facts. The irony of those claims is so astoundingly huge that it defies additional comment.

        I just get tired of the martyrdom and faux persecution, so the less ammunition “my side” provides, the less eye rolling I have to do.

        One of my Lenten objectives was to be less snarky and try to be more objective and rational with folks, and as always, we humans do not always live up to our objectives.

      • Tuttabella says:

        HT, you’re normally kind and courteous, but I do notice a definite change in your approach recently — even more conciliatory and diplomatic than usual to the “other side,” although, come to think of it, you’ve been using the F word, which I don’t think I’d ever seen from you before, and just the other day you went on and on about butt sex (BS for short), so now I’m not so sure.

        I myself had made a Lenten vow of silence, which meant no posting of comments for 6 1/2 weeks, and I actually managed to abstain from surfing the internet entirely for a week and a half (except for work emails and my Kindle e-reader), and I even stopped listening to music (another form of “silence”). It was a quiet, peaceful time — less noise, less internal mental chatter, no internet snark and fighting to witness. Even though I broke my vow, it’s still Lent, and I can still go back to my vow of silence and stop surfing the web entirely and cut down on noise in general.

        Thanks for the reminder about Lent.

      • kabuzz61 says:

        Homer, I don’t get your martyrdom, persecution reference. I don’t think that word means what you think it means.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Tutt…not sure what my deal was with the F-ing and the butt sex. Just an odd couple of days for me.

        Actually, the butt sex rant was because of how childish it is.

        When talking about gay folks and gay marriage, it takes all of about four seconds for some idiot to bring up some aspect of their sex lives. We talk about straight folks getting married all the time, and almost no one brings up their sex lives.

        We (well, the media) had two months of breathless anticipation and discussion of the most recent royal wedding, and I do not remember many comments about their penis in vagina sex.

        A discussion of Ellen DeGeneres and whoever she is married to or dating will require all of maybe 10 seconds before someone says, “huh, huh, well I guess I know who is on top when they do it”, and it is twice as fast and twice as bad when discussing two gay men.

        I think devolving to discussions of sex acts (sex acts in which the vast majority of the world’s population happily engages) when talking about gay marriage highlights a point that Owl often makes. It is the “icky” factor that drives the opposition to gay marriage for at least some people.

    • DanMan says:

      ha! good one from the little ‘ol loser from Pasadena…

    • bubbabobcat says:

      “Loser” spaketh the hypocritically consummate inveterate flamer (in a multitude manner of speaking) troll.

    • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

      The only moderately decent analogy I can come up with for you two is that you are like ex-lovers showing up at the same party and bringing the evening down for everyone.

    • DanMan says:

      the usual chorus from the gay brigade, keep us posted on your proclivities girls

    • desperado says:

      To avoid being brought down, might I suggest you utilize the scroll bar located on the right side.

    • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

      Wow Dan…I think I could have written that comment a dozen times, and the heteronormativity of the world had me picturing a guy and a girl bickering through dinner and everyone rolling their eyes at them.

      You…however, really, really make some odd jumps into some pretty dark places.

      You might want to have someone look into that.

    • Texan5142 says:

      It is called projection HT.

    • objv says:

      Aha! Apparently, while I’ve been gone, DanMan has taken my place in bubba’s affections. I wish I could say that I’m jealous, but I realize, it’s for the best. With bubba’s antiquated and misogynistic views on women, it’s better for him to focus on bromance rather than feminist issues.

      DanMan, my sympathies go out to you. Bubba is not the type to send flowers.

      Well, back to the rock quarry (aka my back yard). After delivery of 13 semi truckloads of gravel, river rock and a few really cool looking boulders, my little acre of land is looking more and more like the place Fred Flinstone works.

      Carry on everyone…

    • desperado says:

      objv, you have no idea what you’re talking about. Not that that’s anything new.

    • objv says:

      Well, if it isn’t desperado. Stop being such an old, crusty, cantankerous, curmudgeon. Relax. Live a little. All that bitterness will get to you in the end.

    • bubbabobcat says:

      And OV steps in to fling her feces indiscriminately too. Now we have a party.

      Hey OV, still no response to this?

      DanMan says:
      February 26, 2014 at 5:06 pm
      oh yeaeth! the frozen one celebrates teh gheys court victory!
      bake me a cake twinkle toes

      Give it a rest and off your fake cross you hypocritical consummate faux victimization whiner.

    • bubbabobcat says:

      And Danny Denial is still self flagellating I see. In a multitude manner of speaking. I’ve told you several times Danny that liberals embrace gays as one of us and it does nothing whatsoever to our “manhood” to insinuate that we may be gay or effeminate or whatever.

      However, seeing you pathetically and vainly attempting to mask YOUR insecure closet homosexual tendencies in a right wing protective shell of denial and your squirming in our noting YOUR fondness for homosexuality leaking out in all your flaming troll posts is a treat in itself.

      To paraphrase Adele Dazzeem one more time, let it go Danny, let it go and let your true Rayon self out to express herself unfettered.

      You’ll be much happier and at peace with yourself for it. And even possibly less of a troll.

    • objv says:

      Bubba, I haven’t kept up with Lifer’s blog over the past week, so I don’t know exactly what you and DanMan have going on between you, but it seems that you BOTH have been flinging out stuff like this at each other. Why exactly do you come sniveling and crying to me? Why not deal with him directly as I deal with you? Grow up.

    • bubbabobcat says:

      Okay, let’s add willfully obtuse to OV’s character “qualities”. OV, you NEVER know what’s “exactly going on” with ANYTHING.

      Liz Cheney is NOT the lesbian daughter of gay hater Dick. Ingmar Bergman is NOT Ingrid Bergman. You cannot eat as many eggs as you want and not get high cholesterol. Need I continue?

      You whine INCESSANTLY about my purported “misogyny” just because you don’t have the brains or desire to learn sarcasm or nuance and yet because DanTroll agrees with you politically he gets a free pass for the same comment you keep nailing yourself to that fake cross on for EVERY DAMN WHINY POST of yours.

      Willfully stupid and hypocritically whiny is not a good way to go through life OV. Thankfully it’s your life and yours only you are embarrassing yourself with.

    • DanMan says:

      I have no idea why bubba’s mind works like it does but didn’t both bubba and homer proudly declare their homo-ness already? Both of these cupcakes infer I’m as gay as they are so I’m not getting the effort to insult me for being gay. I really don’t care who, what or how they screw but they sure seem to go there a lot don’t they?

    • objv says:

      They sure do, DanMan. I actually enjoy getting bubba all wound up. Does that make me a bad person?

    • bubbabobcat says:

      You are soooooo tragically repressed Danny/Daniela/Rayon.

      You really should “proudly declare your homo-ness already” as I have. Danny. Boy.

      The truth shall set you free.

    • bubbabobcat says:

      “I actually enjoy getting bubba all wound up. Does that make me a bad person?”

      No OV, by your friend Tutt’s definition that just makes you merely a deluxe troll.

      However, everything else about you does make you a bad person though. Hope that makes you feel better now.

    • lomamonster says:

      How vacuous…

  7. Texan5142 says:

    I am going to be a troll and go off topic, just thought you should know that the “police state” may have officially arrived.

    http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2014/03/19/kansas-retaliation-bill-would-allow-police-to-arrest-people-who-complain-about-officers/

    • Tuttabella says:

      If a troll is anyone who goes off topic, then we are all trolls.

    • Tuttabella says:

      Agreed, and some of us are more trollish than others.

    • Tuttabella says:

      HT, you troll, you’ve gotten too big for your “bridges!”

      • kabuzz61 says:

        Now that was funny.

      • objv says:

        Agreed, Kabuzz!

        Tuttabella, you’re right. Most of the people here have written intentional and deliberately provocative comments. When I think of trolls, I remember the old group we used to interact with. Many of them wrote disruptive posts but they were so good-natured and hysterically funny, no one except those completely lacking a sense of humor minded.

      • texan5142 says:

        Yes it was kabuzz.

      • Tuttabella says:

        Welcome back, OV! Actually, I was referring to the general tendency of posters and bloggers to go off topic, and how some people consider going off topic to be trolling. If that’s the case, then you were being a troll just now simply by talking about the gravel in your yard.

        I think it’s funny how the word “trolling” has so many different interpretations. For me, “trolling” is posting a comment with the sole purpose of getting an emotional reaction, with no earnest effort to contribute something worthwhile to the discussion. I know legitimate comments are often upsetting, but they don’t count as trolling, since the emotional reaction is just a byproduct.

      • bubbabobcat says:

        “For me, ‘trolling’ is posting a comment with the sole purpose of getting an emotional reaction, with no earnest effort to contribute something worthwhile to the discussion. ”

        Well then Tutt, by your definition OV is definitely a consummate troll. Joining a blog about NATO (or any blog topic) to whine for the umpteenth time about a non existent “misogyny” sounds like 100% pure trollin’, trollin’ trollin’ to me. By your definition.

        Thank you for clarifying that Tutt.

      • objv says:

        TRIP TRAP went his hooves.

        “Who’s that tripping over my bridge?” roared the Troll. “Now I’m coming to gobble you up,”
        ———————————————————–
        I used to love hearing my mom read “The Three Billy Goats Gruff.” Being small, I always figured I would be the one let go by the troll.

        Here, on Lifer’s blog, I would be “trolling” by almost everyone’s definition. The ironic thing is that Cap seems to be one of the most sincere people that write here – and he is the one accused of being a troll – while some of the others who are deliberately provoking others or going off-topic get off Scot free.

        Oh, well! I was intending just to read the blog and not comment today. That obviously hasn’t happened. All the best to you and Cap!

      • bubbabobcat says:

        “Oh, well! I was intending just to read the blog and not comment today. That obviously hasn’t happened.”

        Suuuuuuure that was your intention OV.

        As she gleefully posts elsewhere on this blog:

        objv says:
        March 19, 2014 at 3:35 pm
        “I actually enjoy getting bubba all wound up.”

        Trollin’, trollin’, trollin.

        As you deny and admit it out of both sides of your mouth.

        Hypocrisy becomes you so well OV. But then again that surprise no one in particular.

        You actually soil the lips of decent human beings with that twisted mouth of yours OV? Probably not since decent human beings do not normally dwell beneath bridges anyways.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Well thans, OV. Hope you and yours are doing well also. Good luck with your rocks and boulders.

      • bubbabobcat says:

        “Oh, well! I was intending just to read the blog and not comment today. That obviously hasn’t happened.”

        Sure that was your intention OV.

        As she gleefully posts elsewhere on this blog:

        objv says:
        March 19, 2014 at 3:35 pm
        “I actually enjoy getting bubba all wound up.”

        Trollin’, trollin’, trollin.

        As you deny and admit it out of both sides of your mouth.

        Hypocrisy becomes you so well OV. But then again that surprise no one in particular.

        You actually soil the lips of decent human beings with that twisted mouth of yours OV? Probably not since decent human beings do not normally dwell beneath bridges anyways.

  8. CaptSternn says:

    Ok, Crogged, after all the bickering about the actual cost vs the imangined, made up costs, of Iraq and Afghanistan, we still need to come back to reality of those costs.

    Over the course of 13 years, the wars (started by others) come up to less than $2 trillion, less than $200 billion per year. Federal spending, total, is almost $4 trillion per year, or about $45 trillion for the time period in question.

    The imaginary numbers, up to $6 trillion, would be over the next 40, 50 or 60 years. Let us go with 50, and no increases in federal spending. That would put us at about 63 years of $4 trillion per year. We are looking at about $250 trillion in federal spending. But hey, it is the less than $2 trillion that broke the bank, or even the imaginary $6 trillion that broke the bank.

    And THAT is why we can’t do anything about Russia invading and taking Crimea.

    Really?

    • CaptSternn says:

      Why does the left have to go around making things up that have no basis in reality?

      The general idea is correct as shown by Reagan in the 1980s, but many of the numbers are simply fabricated out of thin air.

      • bubbabobcat says:

        Cappy, Jimmy Carter initiated and bankrolled the Mujaheddin covert war in Afghanistan against the Soviet Union. And inadvertently trained and created al Qaeda.

        Credit where credit is due Cappy.

      • Crogged says:

        Ok, you are close to 2 trillion dollars, as what has been spent so far. What does your source estimate as to any future spending (such as on wounded veterans) directly as a result of the war? Did it calculate the interest to be paid, since we didn’t sell bonds or raise taxes?

      • CaptSternn says:

        That’s under $2 trillion for almost 13 years. Less than $200 billion per year. Federal spending is almost $4 triliion per year total. That would be close to $45 trillion over that period of time. Put things in perspective, at least a little? The wars were funded, and veterans get benefits even when there is no war.

      • Crogged says:

        If servicemen receiving paychecks is ‘funding’, then you are correct.

      • kabuzz61 says:

        Crogged are you saying when there is no war we close the VA’s around the country and lay off all the staff? Is that your point?

      • John Galt says:

        Some things the federal government spends less than $200 billion per year on…

        Food stamps ($76 B)
        Non-defense R&D ($70B)
        Transportation infrastructure (less than $70B)
        Dept. of Justice ($34B)
        Customs and Border Protection ($13B)

        It’s a matter of priorities, of course, but you have protested some of these, yet you dismiss criticism of a $200 billion/year outlay, at least half of which is of questionable justification, as irrelevant.

      • CaptSternn says:

        *sigh* John, why do I protest some of those things, say welfare at the federal level? I will give you a hint, it isn’t always about the spending. In fact, my biggest complaint about welfare isn’t the spending at all.

      • John Galt says:

        I would think that Food Stamps would fit quite comfortably in the General Welfare clause, since there childhood malnutrition is not part of my idea of good welfare. It certainly seems more justifiable than a trillion dollar hunt for mystery WMDs.

      • CaptSternn says:

        If the general welfare clause covered things like that, the rest of the constitution is invalid, including the entire Bill of Rights and all other amendments.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Oh, and John, it wasn’t about physical weapons of mass destruction, it was about the violations of the cease-fire and ongoing war Iraq was waging against us and our allies, the ongoing threat against Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Israel.

        You know, I don’t question the intelligence of the people here that comment on this blog, or even the author of this blog, but I do often have to wonder why such intelligent people are so uninformed. I mean, the information is there for people that can get past a headline, bumper sticker or short soundbyte.

        Here, http://georgewbush-whitehouse.archives.gov/news/releases/2002/10/20021002-2.html , are the reasons listed, passed into law, signed by the president.

        Yes, the weapons, the inspections, the verifications, all that was part of the cease-fire. But that wasn’t the only thing the cease-fire covered. Compliance was not optional. It was imposed because of the invasion of Kuwait. Iraq was required to come up with the proof, required to fully comply.

        Much like a convicted felon out on parole, violations of the parole will send them back to prison. There is no new trial, just back to prison. The Hussein regime was put on parole, violations would mean the removal of the Hussein regime.

        So why are such intelligent people so poorly informed and still talking about WMD not being found?

      • John Galt says:

        Sometimes, Sternn, when you question the intelligence of certain posters here you might want to ask yourself whether there could be another explanation. Just perhaps, why someone wouldn’t consider the George W. Bush presidential library as the historically definitive source for why we went to war in Iraq (again). Just perhaps, why someone might find potential sources of bias in that source and seek to validate it through unaffiliated records.

        And even if we went to war due to various UN violations and the sort (which was not a primary contemporary justification), was it worth it? Was turning Iraq from a murderous (but, in 2002, ultimately harmless to all but its own people) dictatorship to a murderous sectarian cesspool worth thousands of American lives, tens of thousands of Iraqi ones, and a trillion dollars (not counting the residual damage to veterans or perpetual interest payments on the money that we borrowed to do it)?

      • flypusher says:

        “..but I do often have to wonder why such intelligent people are so uninformed. I mean, the information is there for people that can get past a headline, bumper sticker or short soundbyte.”

        You wonder because you are working off a very bad assumption. Our arguments are not based on headlines, bumper stickers, or sound bytes. Most if not all of us are old enough to have followed events concerning Iraq as they unfolded. To say we are misinformed is to be in error. You wonder why we harp on WMD not being found? Blame Bush. Seriously. He made them the linchpin in his case for war. His primary selling point (and the reason he got so many people to initially buy in) wasn’t cease fire violations, nor was it any threat to Saudi Arabia, nor was it freeing the Iraqi people from a scumbag dictator. It was a threat to the United States. It was the notion that this war would prevent another 9/11. When he made that claim, he assumed a burden of proof. He needed to produce evidence of active WMD programs or ties to al qaeda. He failed to do either, and we have every right to question the wisdom of this war.

      • CaptSternn says:

        John, you can find the text of te law passed by a bipartisan congress in many places. It isn’t something the Bush administration wrote up after the fact. Iraq was far from harmless, not to mention other consequences of the attempted containment, like having al Qaeda turn against us eventually leading to the terrorist attacks in 2001. Yes, it was worth it to remove the Hussein regime, demonstrate U.S. military might, the will to use it and to choose the main battle ground for the war on terror instead of allowing al Qaeda to choose it. Al Qaeda was defeated in Iraq and on the run everywhere else. That is something Obama has changed.

        Fly, the burden of proof was on Iraq under the terms of teh cease-fire. The connections with al Qaeda were uncovered in the 1990s by the Clinton administation They were collarborating on an active chemical weapons program using a factory in Sudan. In 1998, Clinton used that as justification to bomb the factory in Sudan, fire missiles into Afghanistan and launch Desert Fox against Iraq. He did not do those things, killing hundreds of people, including dozens of U.S. citizens, just to distract people from Monica’s blue dress. The weapons inspectors were not allowed back into Iraq after 1998, violation of the cease-fire. They did get back into Iraq in late 2002, and by 2003 they reported that Iraq was not in compliance with the cease-fire and in material breach of UN Res 1441.

        Many of you act as if Iraq only became an issue in late 2002, just because Bush43 decided on it after throwing darts at a map. You ignore the history, ignore the facts, and fail to see the larger strategy in play. Seems the only reason for that is deliberate ignorance or a blind hatred of Bush43.

      • flypusher says:

        ” You ignore the history, ignore the facts, and fail to see the larger strategy in play. Seems the only reason for that is deliberate ignorance or a blind hatred of Bush43.”

        Wrong again. We are very much aware of the history. We watched most of it. We just don’t agree with your interpretation. And as for blindly hating Bush43, if that were true, then we’d be just as against the war in Afghanistan. But most of the people who are anti-Iraq war are not. So what does that mean? Here’s a hint, you’re making another false assumption.

        “Fly, the burden of proof was on Iraq under the terms of teh cease-fire. ”

        Which in no way alters the fact that when Bush43 choose to make an extraordinary claim (Iraq is a threat to the US) as the major rationale for the war, he assumed his own burden of proof.

      • CaptSternn says:

        No, he didn’t. The burden of proof was always on Iraq. The only proof the U.S. needed was to show that Iraq was in violation of the cease-fire. And it was.

        The left originally claimed that the invasion of Afghanistan was done because Bush43 wanted a natural gas pipeline through it. But once the invasion of Iraq took place, the rhetoric changed to claim that Bush invaded the wrong nation, claiming he invaded Iraq because of 9/11/2001. That was years after claiming he wanted to remove the Hussein regime before he was even elected. History is brushed aside, facts ignored and the story changes to fit the emotional state of the left.

      • John Galt says:

        “Good morning. American and coalition forces have begun a concerted campaign against the regime of Saddam Hussein. In this war, our coalition is broad, more than 40 countries from across the globe. Our cause is just, the security of the nations we serve and the peace of the world. And our mission is clear, to disarm Iraq of weapons of mass destruction, to end Saddam Hussein’s support for terrorism, and to free the Iraqi people…Our nation entered this conflict reluctantly, yet with a clear and firm purpose. The people of the United States and our friends and allies will not live at the mercy of an outlaw regime that threatens the peace with weapons of mass murder. Now that conflict has come, the only way to limit its duration is to apply decisive force. This will not be a campaign of half-measures. It is a fight for the security of our nation and the peace of the world, and we will accept no outcome but victory.”

        President Bush’s radio address, March 22, 2003.

        http://georgewbush-whitehouse.archives.gov/news/releases/2003/03/20030322.html

        We knew then and know now that there was no imminent threat from Iraq. Alternative means of enforcing compliance with UN orders could have been successful, had they been tried. Increasingly severe sanctions have resulted in progress in Iran. Yes, it is slower than tomahawk missiles, but it’s cheaper and fewer American soldiers die.

        We knew then and know now that Iraq as a state sponsor of terrorism was far less active than Iran, far less than Saudi Arabia for goodness sake.

        But what gets me the most about the Iraq War was the staggering incompetence of the aftermath. Anyone with any sense of Islamic history should have known that removing a repressive dictator would have the effect of releasing centuries of sectarian conflict suppressed by the dominant party. We could know this because it is exactly what happened in the Balkans. And, gee, I’m thinking if you’re about to invade a place, you might want to read up on the people you’ll soon be administering. The war cost vastly more, in lives and treasure, than it should have because of this.

      • John Galt says:

        For the record, since Sternn wants us to be numerically accurate, federal spending from 2001-2013 was $36.7 trillion. If $2 trillion of that was the Iraqi and Afghan wars, that would be 5.4% of spending in that time. I maintain that we’d be in a hell of a lot better shape had anything close to $2 trillion had been spent on infrastructure and R&D during that period.

      • CaptSternn says:

        “Alternative means of enforcing compliance with UN orders could have been successful, had they been tried.”

        12 years of continnious war and other consequences, like al Qaeda turning against us, showed otherwise. FYI, neither Iran nor Saudi Arabia are under strict terms of a cease-fire imposed on them for invading Kuwait.

        Yes, disbanding the military and police was a costly mistakke. That is hindsight. But consider that Hussein was a fan of Hitler and wanted his Ba’ath party to emulate the Nazi party, would you have considered it a good idea to remove Hitler and leave the Nazis in charge of Germany?

        The fighting amongst different factions in Iraq is not something unleashed by removing the Hussein regime either. That was happening all along, since Iraq was created. And it is not restricted to Iraq. But Iraq is no longer looking to invade Iran, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia or others in order to gain control of more oil. And Iraq is no longer waging war against the U.S. or our allies. Too bad Obama decided to hand it over to al Qaeda, though.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Ok John, we will go with your number, $36.7 trillion. The bulk of that was in domestic spending, but it was the $2 trillion for the war cause that bankrupted the nation. Still not buying it and prevents us from doing anything about Crimea, not that I think we should but that was the claim in the article.

      • John Galt says:

        Department of Defense spending over that period, including the wars, runs to $7.2 trillion, or just about 20% of the total. This does not include NSA, CSA, CBP or other arms of the national security apparatus (a total that is classified but thought to be ~$50 billion per year) and it does not include veterans benefits and medical care ($160 billion). All of these numbers – even when the explicit costs of the wars has been excluded – have doubled or more since 2001. This spending far exceeds all other federal discretionary spending combined. Yet this is a sacred cow for many on the right – even earning Sternn’s defense.

      • CaptSternn says:

        National defense is a constitutional granted power, John. One of the reasons the Union was formed, mutual defense. Still, most of it is domestic spending. Entitlement spending is the elephant in the room the left never likes to talk about.

        And still, it was the less than $2 trillion for wars that broke the nation and allowed Russia to retake Crimea. Why, if we had just spent it on infrastructure and not bothered with Iraq or al Qaeda, Russia wouldn’t have done anything about Crimea. For some reason I am still not buying that.

      • John Galt says:

        So we should overspend on something because it is a constitutional power?

        I was not attempting to connect war spending or infrastructure spending to the situation in the Crimea or our ability to deal with that. That has no military answer at the moment. The Russian annexation is a fait accompli. We should now do our best, including direct support, to persuade the remains of the Ukraine that their future lies with the West and not Russia. That would be an easier sell if our economy and federal budget were in better shape and there weren’t knee jerk reactions to new spending.

        I agree we need to deal with entitlements. But any time social security reform comes up, people on the right and left who benefit from it have a conniption. Kabuzz has posted here before that there is plenty of revenue to continue fully paying his benefits, as long as we drop most everything else.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Do we over spend on defense? Depends on who you ask. But the linked article that spawned this part of the discussion stated that we are financially unable to do anything because the war funding broke the nation, and it fabricated numbers in an attempt to back that claim while ignoring all the rest of the spending.

        Entitlement programs need to be phased out. I supported Bush43’s idea, and that would have affected me and my benefits.

      • kabuzz61 says:

        JohnGalt, first off you lie. I never said any such thing, but I’ll get to that.

        Captain showed you many times the costs of the wars. But that military would have been paid regardless. The Naval Fleets would be cruising regardless. But Welfare is always going out the chute with no return.

        You quoted the ‘general welfare’ clause for some costly items but Captain rightly informed you is the clause meant what you think it meant we wouldn’t need the Bill of Rights so obviously the framers did not consider that clause to mean what you think it does.

        On Social Security, I said I was for revamping SS for people who are 55 and younger because it can’t just keep going on as is. It is a word you lefties hate which is unsustainable. Some lefties on this site took my meaning to be like ‘well I got mine but to hell with others’ which is just BS and frankly surprised you would lower yourself to do that. I expect it from Turtle.

    • Crogged says:

      I don’t understand, what was made up and what did “Reagan” prove?

      • CaptSternn says:

        Escalating the conflict in Iraq to finally remove the Hussien regime came with the expense of about $1 trillion, not $6 trillion.

        Reagan convinced congress to increase spending on the military, backed by our capitalist economy. That, and our help in Afghanistan against the USSR, is what brought down the USSR in the end. Their communist economy simply couldn’t keep up.

        We do have economic problems, but that is due to domestic policies and spending.

      • bubbabobcat says:

        Wrong thread. Here is where my response belongs:

        Cappy, Jimmy Carter initiated and bankrolled the Mujaheddin covert war in Afghanistan against the Soviet Union. And inadvertently trained and created al Qaeda.

        Credit where credit is due Cappy.

      • Texan5142 says:

        “The U.S. wars in Afghanistan and Iraq will cost taxpayers $4 trillion to $6 trillion, taking into account the medical care of wounded veterans and expensive repairs to a force depleted by more than a decade of fighting, according to a new study by a Harvard researcher.”

        http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/study-iraq-afghan-war-costs-to-top-4-trillion/2013/03/28/b82a5dce-97ed-11e2-814b-063623d80a60_story.html

        Now what were you saying about the cost Cappy?

      • texan5142 says:

        “Why does the left have to go around making things up that have no basis in reality?”

        Really, how about use your search engine before you go spouting off.

        http://www.costsofwar.org/

      • CaptSternn says:

        I am saying those numbers are made up on the fly, Texan. Fabricated, false. Again, it tries to count veterans’ benefits, which don’t fall under that cost because veterans get benefits anyway, have for a very long time now.

        FYI, the wars didn’t start in 2001. Iraq started in 1990, and with al Qaeda in 1993. Don’t you have any doubt at all when your source starts off with false claims, uninformed people or people that simply don’t care about facts or reality?

      • Crogged says:

        When you aren’t using ammunition or soldiers, war is much cheaper.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Crogged, the military uses soldiers and ammunition on a daily basis, mostly outside of any war zone.

      • texan5142 says:

        “Don’t you have any doubt at all when your source starts off with false claims, uninformed people or people that simply don’t care about facts or reality?”

        What false claims Cappy? What is false abut this,

        “The U.S. wars in Afghanistan and Iraq will cost taxpayers $4 trillion to $6 trillion, taking into account the medical care of wounded veterans and expensive repairs to a force depleted by more than a decade of fighting, according to a new study by a Harvard researcher.”

        If there was no war there would be no spending and expense of wounded veterans or the need for “repairs to a force depleted by more than a decade of fighting”.

        “Y’all act like veterans’ benefits just started in 2001. That is not the case. That is an expense that would exist anyway. Same with the rest of the military budget.”

        The expense of wounded veterans( more than one million) would not exist if not for the war. Are you just hardheaded are plain old stubborn?

        http://www.forbes.com/sites/rebeccaruiz/2013/11/04/report-a-million-veterans-injured-in-iraq-afghanistan-wars/

      • CaptSternn says:

        Texan, troops are wounded and killed when there is no war, and outside of war zones when there is. Those expenses would exist anyway. The actual cost of Iraq, rthe real cost, is a little under $1 trillion. So far, for Afghanistan a little over $700 billion. In that time period the U.S. federal spending has been about $45 trillion. The deficit in Obama’s first year, three years into democrats controllling spending, was more than the cost of both wars combined at the time.

      • Crogged says:

        Captain, really, if it weren’t for Iraq/Afghanistan thousands of American citizens would have lost their limbs anyway? They would have been firing their guns (at each other?). We were spending a lot of money anyway, so why not another 2 trillion and what you seem to think is ‘change’ (future costs) because we weren’t wasting enough money on not killing people?

      • texan5142 says:

        “Texan, troops are wounded and killed when there is no war, and outside of war zones when there is. Those expenses would exist anyway. ”

        Yes they are but not one million.

        ” the military uses soldiers and ammunition on a daily basis, mostly outside of any war zone.”

        Some yes, but not the volume that of use that would be used in war, and I do not think they are firing off tomahawks on a daily basis. (AGM-109H/L version to $1.45 million Tactical version (2011).)

        You are full of shit, can not admit when you are wrong, and always go to the “Fabricated, false.” without any information to back it up. Show us the data instead of just posting fabricated, false. Show us your links to your assertion.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Crogged, you would rather have done nothing about al Qaeda and Iraq, just give up and let them have their way and kill people, including U.S. citizens? I say no, our actions were necessary and justified. Did it cost money? Of course it did, under $2 trillion for over a decade of conflict. Not $ 6 trillion for Iraq, and more for Afghanistan.

        Then the claim that the U.S. is broke because of under $200 billion per year when federal spending is almost $4 trillion per year? Social Security is getting to be around $1 trillion per year, Medicare is quickly catching up. Yet the only thing you seem to focus on was costing less than $200 billion per year at its peak, and much less now.

        Seems this hand-wringing is again based more on emotion than logic or facts.

      • Crogged says:

        Texan, first I want to see Captain apply some common sense, then I’ll worry about attribution of sources.

      • Crogged says:

        I didn’t imply either Captain and don’t want to rehash old tired arguments about what happened in those two countries. I will gladly discuss how spending ‘only’ 2 trillion and future costs, including all the lives torn to pieces, is making the choice to spend ‘only’ billions and lives again for Crimstonikistan a much harder sell.

        And no, the miracle missiles from space wouldn’t have stopped Putin.

      • CaptSternn says:

        I was not advocating doing anything about Crimea, Crogged. A projection of U.S. power in the region, missile defense system, might have caused Putin to decide not to invade, or it might not have made a difference.

      • Crogged says:

        Captain, American “power” is already projected, we can blow up anyone, anywhere, at anytime and then watch HD video of it on our computers. You can’t reason with the unreasonable…….wait a minute, there’s a lesson I may be ignoring……..

        We are alert, ready and mostly unwilling to spend only trillions and lives more. I’m good with it.

      • texan5142 says:

        “Seems this hand-wringing is again based more on emotion than logic or facts.”

        Where are your facts Cappy? Back up what you have said , if there is any “hand-wringing ” it is because you have yet to back up your assertion with ANY cold hard facts. Logic tells me if there were no wars, we would not have the cost of over one million wounded, that is not emotion, that is logic. Those cost are directly related to the war.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Veterans’ benefits exist even without war, including the VA Hospitals. Veterans can go to those without having ever been wounded in combat and get health care. There are also VA home loans, prescriptions, college and many other expenses. All that exists outside of war and for all qualifying veterans.

      • flypusher says:

        “Texan, troops are wounded and killed when there is no war, and outside of war zones when there is. ”

        How many lose limbs? How many have traumatic brain injuries? How many are paralyzed? How many have PTSD? Just as many as when there is a war? Get real.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Fly, a quick search on the number of troops wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan comes up with about 50,000 by 2012. Not even close to the 1 million that has been claimed here. As you say, “Get real”.

    • Crogged says:

      You didn’t account for Afghanistan when discussing increased military spending-what does your source show as the cumulative spending for it?

      Perhaps the citizens of the USSR, East Germany, Poland et al cited ‘American military spending’ when they were putting their own lives on the line about their lack of freedom. I don’t know, but I think the Afghans think they had more to do with the USSR abandoning their adventure than the Americans, however appreciative they were of our help.

      • CaptSternn says:

        The cost for Afghanistan so far is about $700 billion. That covers almost 13 years.

      • Turtles Run says:

        And those cost will continue to grow. For example we need to rebuild and re-equip the military after the war ends and there is the cost of treating soldiers back home.

        We are still paying for the cost of soldiers here because of injuries from WW2, Korea, and Vietnam even though those conflicts are long over. Your view of costs is much to limited. $6TN sounds about right and even conservative publications are promoting that amount. If they are wrong then please refute (or refudiate in tea-bonics) the evidence.

        http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/study-iraq-afghan-war-costs-to-top-4-trillion/2013/03/28/b82a5dce-97ed-11e2-814b-063623d80a60_story.html

      • Crogged says:

        My favorite dream of the past, Part 23,0904, from the Washington Post article.

        “Both figures are dramatically higher than what U.S. officials projected they would spend when they were planning to go to war in Iraq. Stephen Friedman, a senior White House official, left government in 2002 after irking his colleagues by publicly estimating that the Iraq war could end up costing up to $200 billion.”

      • CaptSternn says:

        No, Turtles, only the cost of Afghanistan continues to grow because we are still there. Iraq is over with, for teh moment. The cost is done, over with.

        Y’all act like veterans’ benefits just started in 2001. That is not the case. That is an expense that would exist anyway. Same with the rest of the military budget.

      • Crogged says:

        How about the expenses those soldiers face only because they served in Iraq or Afghanistan?

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        A few hundred billion dollars for war is really not a big deal when you are talking about the size of our overall budget.

        A few hundred billion dollars for welfare is the end of the fucking world.

      • CaptSternn says:

        HT, that whooshing sound was the point going over your head.

      • kabuzz61 says:

        Apparently the person the wrote about the military being a ‘gateway’ to jobs is not telling the whole story. A full volunteer military with high tech weapons and vehicles need smart kids. Back in the day, you take your APGAR test and they military places you where you would be most efficient. Now you take it to see if you can even get in. Now the front line grunt soldier is where most would qualify if they just wanted in to the military but bring no skill set or self discipline. Now this military will be paid by us if they were in war or not. The VA is still treating World War II, Korea and Vietnam veterans, as we should. Stop all this naïve hand wringing over wounded veterans. All veterans know and knew the risk when we signed up. We’ll take care of the ones that need it.

        I also have to say people on the left only seem to care about the veteran when they are trying to make a political point.

      • way2gosassy says:

        “I also have to say people on the left only seem to care about the veteran when they are trying to make a political point.”

        I’m calling that absolute bullshit Kabuzz!

      • kabuzz61 says:

        Truth hurts Way2. The liberals certainly aren’t the darlings of support the military can depend on.

      • Turtles Run says:

        The only support the right seems to give the military is the right to enter more wars.

    • kabuzz61 says:

      Fly, you are simply wrong. I too listened to every argument for or against to invade Iraq. You and the left push the bumper sticker ‘rush to war’ when there was no such thing. I watched the entire presentation to the UN with Colin Powel. I listened to the debates even the famous ‘I was against the war before I was for it’ line.

      Now this may be difficult for you and the left, but when you research history, perspective is everything. We had all just faced a very traumatic event that played out on our televisions. The GWT started and it was a game changer. Most our military contingencies did not have strategic scenario’s for this action. Major changes had to take place and take place quickly, which is not a word used by our government often. The main thing I remember GW Bush saying: “We cannot wait until Iraq becomes an imminent threat.” You on the left tried and for the dumbed down voter swallowed that GW Bush said “Iraq IS an imminent threat.”

      Were mistakes made? No doubt. The intelligence failure was huge. Disbanding the Iraqi army was huge. Contrary to the left’s belief Halliburton was at the time the only government contractor that could provide immediate services to support the operations.

      So yes, I am aware what went down. As with anything, it is so easy to sit in our chairs and play twenty/twenty hindsight but in the real world, decisions have to be made on the fly.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Buzz…you remember Bush saying, “We cannot wait until Iraq becomes an imminent threat”.

        Interesting that you remember that because Bush never said that.

        You say the dumbed down voters swallowed a lie. I wonder why these dumb Americans would think the administration viewed Iraq as an imminent threat. Let’s see:

        Iraqi regime could launch a biological or chemical attack in as little as 45 minutes after the orders were given. • President Bush, 9/27/02

        “This is about imminent threat.” • White House spokesman Scott McClellan, 2/10/03

        “Well, of course he is.” • White House Communications Director Dan Bartlett responding to the question “is Saddam an imminent threat to U.S. interests”, 1/26/03

        “The world is also uniting to answer the unique and urgent threat posed by Iraq.” • President Bush, 11/23/02

        “I would look you in the eye and I would say, go back before September 11 and ask yourself this question: Was the attack that took place on September 11 an imminent threat the month before or two months before or three months before or six months before? When did the attack on September 11 become an imminent threat? Now, transport yourself forward a year, two years or a week or a month…So the question is, when is it such an immediate threat that you must do something?” • Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, 11/14/02

        “The Iraqi regime is a threat of unique urgency.”
        • President Bush, 10/2/02

        “No terrorist state poses a greater or more immediate threat” • Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, 9/19/02

        “Some have argued that the nuclear threat from Iraq is not imminent – that Saddam is at least 5-7 years away from having nuclear weapons. I would not be so certain. And we should be just as concerned about the immediate threat from biological weapons. Iraq has these weapons.” • Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, 9/18/02

        Hmmm…seems like a few folks in the administration used the term “imminent”, but hey, let’s go with being technically correct that Bush did not say Iraq was an “imminent threat”.

        Now, he did say they could launch an attack in 45 minutes, which seems to suggest it could at least be kinda imminent. Sure, he said an “urgent threat” or an “immediate threat”, and left it up to Rumsfeld to opine on what the definition of imminent might really mean.

        I guess you would have to be pretty dumb to think the administration believed Iraq was an imminent threat. I mean, sure it was an immediate and urgent threat that could attack us in 45 minutes, but hey, that isn’t imminent.

      • CaptSternn says:

        “Now, he did say they could launch an attack in 45 minutes …”

        It was the British government that said it.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Yep Stern…that Bush repeated out loud into a microphone. Then the administration put that on the official White House website without attribution to the British.

        Hey Buzz…a point of agreement. Halliburton was/is one of maybe two or three companies in the world that can provide that kind of infrastructure support. Halliburton and its predecessors had been doing that kind of work for the gov’t since Cheney was in diapers. Sure, it was an absolute boondoggle and highly profitable for them, but it wasn’t a Cheney thing.

      • kabuzz61 says:

        Again, HT, you miss the point. The left said BUSH said Iraq was an imminent threat. The dumbed down voter does not follow news shows, watch Pentagon or State Department news briefings. They follow what the ‘news’ shows say or guest say. The sad thing is YOU know this but want to keep the lie alive.

        Also, name the other two that could operate at a moments notice to fully support our troops needs?

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Buzz…you don’t have to fight me on everything. I actually am agreeing with you that Halliburton was absolutely the right choice to do that work.

        If you are asking just to be informational, Bechtel does pretty well in this arena and won many contracts that Halliburton did not win. Fluor would have a shot at some of the work, but not the scope that Bechtel or Halliburton would have. There are a few European companies that could wade into that arena, but again they wouldn’t have the scope of Halliburton/KBR and Bechtel.

        I’ll happily argue your silly point that “the left said BUSH said x, y, or z”.

        Bush only said Iraq was an urgent and immediate threat and that they could launch weapons in 45 minutes. Only his press secretary, spokesperson, and Secretary of Defense used the words imminent, so only stupid people would claim Bush said the threat was imminent.

        But hey, I’m telling you that you are wonderfully correct.

        Bush didn’t say the word “imminent”. Sure, he used synonyms and people speaking for Bush said “imminent”, but yep, you are 100% correct only a stupid person would interpret it that way.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Buzz…you know, the more I think about Bush saying “imminent”, the more I think you may have a point, and dumb folks should just get over it.

        I think Obama said something like, “If you like your plan, you can keep it”.

        Interestingly, he didn’t say how long you could keep it. I think everyone was able to keep their plan for at least a few minutes after his statement, so I guess we just have to accept the fact that Obama was correct all along.

      • bubbabobcat says:

        “I watched the entire presentation to the UN with Colin Powel. [sic]”

        Buzzy, a speech Powell later acknowledged he regretted making because he was lied to and also not provided all the facts by the draft dodging insider cabal of hypocritical warmongers in the Bush administration.

      • kabuzz61 says:

        HT, Bush said to congress when requesting funding for the Iraq war that we can’t wait for Iraq to become an imminent threat, meaning stop his capabilities now.

      • Turtles Run says:

        So you agree that it was a pre-emptive strike against a country that was not a threat at that moment.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Buzz…except, he didn’t exactly say that, and we know what kind of a stickler you are for precision in language when talking about the words coming out of Bush’s mouth.

        Even if he had said what you think you heard, he and his administration then went out and said a few dozen other things.

        Seriously, you cannot read all of things things and come away saying, “they never said it was imminent” unless you really want to plant the flag on one specific word coming out of his mouth.

      • CaptSternn says:

        “So you agree that it was a pre-emptive strike against a country that was not a threat at that moment.”

        It was a reactive war to the invasion of Kuwait, Turtles. Iraq proved that it was a threat with that move.

      • kabuzz61 says:

        Homer, you and the left side stated boldly and loudly that Halliburton was the reason Cheney wanted to go to war. Which is a terrible thing to say but you did. We heard it constantly.

        Captain already set Turtles straight, but I do not know why you supposedly brilliant liberals can’t understand that the Iraq war wasn’t started in 2002. The original Iraq operations were on hold.

        And again, I will state, perspective is everything.

        Bubbo is a perfect example of the hate filled rhetoric the left keeps spewing. It is false and cheapens your argument.

        I will agree there were two major mistakes. Disbanding the army. Not protecting the artifacts.

        And Colin Powell, the man involved in the intelligence briefings, knows military tactics, very familiar with Iraq and Saddam’s use of weapons presented what he and many countries intelligence services stated, which is Saddam was nearing weaponizing WMD’s.

        To this day I think Powel is a coward and is a wandering generality. His favorite color is plaid. He should won up to his report and the war. He is disgusting.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Buzz…just when I think you and I can actually talk to one another and make some headway…slam goes the door.

        You, and those on the right, loudly and constantly talk about gay people being pedophiles, horrible people, and a fundamental threat to the American way of life. You, and those on the religious right have often said that God punishes the US because of gays. You, and those on the religious right have recently said gay activism and legalized abortion are responsible for tornadoes, dementia, and autism because they have aroused God’s wrath.

        It is a really terrible thing to say, but we hear it constantly.

        Now, I don’t believe that, and I’ve never said that, but it is no different than what you write about me and “the left”.

      • bubbabobcat says:

        So buzzy, by your own verbatim words, “And Colin Powell, the man involved in the intelligence briefings, knows military tactics, very familiar with Iraq and Saddam’s use of weapons” who stated he was lied to about the existence of WMD is now a “coward” and liar just because you believe what you want to believe from media reports you so deride (when they don’t agree with you) and Cheney/Bush/Rumsfeld/Wolfowitz propaganda?

        And you somehow know MORE than Colin Powell with all his vast inside knowledge and experience that you just acknowledged to make that assessment? Based on your buying spoon fed propaganda that are proven lies? Did I understand you correctly buzzy?

        Thank you for painting yourself into a logical and factual corner yet again buzzy.

      • kabuzz61 says:

        Bubba, bubba, take some time off. You are a very bitter, bitter man.

        I did say Powell is intelligent, knows history, served in the first Gulf War, talked with all the nations intelligence leaders, presents his case and you believe he was lied to? Gosh! He is either incredibly smart or stupid, which one is he? I think he is smart. He went the political route to salvage any political career he may have. But fortunately for us and the country, he has none and our country is better off without him.

        HT, I cede your point, so open the door. :)

  9. Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

    Did I miss something where some folks are actually talking about missile defense system?

    I am certainly not up to speed on military technology, but I thought we gave up on that a while ago.

    Is this is a thing again?

    • CaptSternn says:

      The concept or installing it in Europe? The concept has been developed. Obama decided not to install the systems in Europe. That plan was moving forward Under Bush43.

    • John Galt says:

      This is not the “Star Wars” of Reagan fame. It is designed to intercept incoming ballistic missiles using ground based missiles. There are several versions of this, one is ship-based (Aegis), another is ground based in Alaska and California, and a third is a souped up version of the Patriot anti-missile system you may remember from the first Gulf war that was deployed in Israel. There has been a 10-year running soap opera of putting a ground-based system in Poland, ostensibly to counter the threat of Iranian ballistic missiles. The Russians have not been pleased with that, issuing a number of blustery threats. The present administration plans to deploy a ship-based system in the Med.

  10. John Galt says:

    Crude oil, yes. Refined products and natural gas, no. The crude oil ban is an anachronism deriving from the OPEC embargoes of the ’70s that should be repealed.

    We’re not going nuclear over the Crimean peninsula.

    • John Galt says:

      Sorry, this was supposed to be in response to a Sternn comment below about shipping fossil fuels to Europe and the long-standing and currently pointless ban on crude oil exports.

      • way2gosassy says:

        My reply to him also ended up on the top of the thread.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        “We’re not going nuclear over the Crimean peninsula.”

        But, but, I was totally imagining a direct-to-video release chronicling the exploits of a bunch of British SAS soldiers, air-dropped into the ruins of an atomic-blasted Sevastopol. There they encounter relentless swarms of mutant, mobile mushrooms that proceed to munch one by one on the squad members throughout the film.

        The title, of course: *Criminey, Crimean Cremini!*

        But now you’ve ruined it, and my vision will never bear fruit.

      • John Galt says:

        And in the process of screwing up the response, I also repeated much of what you had said, Sassy. Strike two.

      • way2gosassy says:

        I don’t see a screw up here. Just two people with the same facts! =)

    • CaptSternn says:

      Of course we won’t go using nuclear weapons over it, just as Russia didn’t use nuclear weapons over Afghanistan in the 1980s, or use nuclear weapons over anything else we have done. Russia also does not use direct military force against us, nor we them.

      So Putin has signed off on annexing Crimea, and the Russian government is prepared to approve. Russia just expanded its map. Putin declared that he is only trying to restore and preserve traditional Russian borders, the Union. He claims that the secession of Soviet States was and is illegal. Sound familiar?

    • way2gosassy says:

      I’ll have to look John but I think there may be something moving through the legislative process to lift the ban in regards to Europe to reduce their dependance on Russian crude.

  11. way2gosassy says:

    Sternn says “There is also this issue that we, the States, are unable to legally export oil to those other nations.”

    The ban on the export of U.S. crude oil stems from the 1920 Mineral Leasing Act (authorizing the federal government to manage exploration and exploitation of minerals on public lands), the 1975 Energy Policy Conservation Act and the 1979 Export Administration Act (the latter two further limiting crude oil exports as a direct response to the 1973 oil crisis). The Export Administration Regulations spell out the details of the “short-supply” controls.

    One major issue is the vagueness of the export ban; it is not a total prohibition. Exports of crude oil to Canada are allowed as long as the oil is used there, as are exports of Alaskan oil using the Trans-Alaskan pipeline and small amounts of specific heavy Californian crude oil. Moreover, companies may request an exemption, which you may grant if the exports are deemed in “the national interest.” This concept, however, seems to be open to multiple interpretations.

    This vague legislative framework has discouraged crude oil export requests. As the limits apply only to crude exports, the surge in domestic oil production has resulted in a major increase in the amount of exported refined products (no export restrictions apply to refined products), e.g., petrol and diesel, to a staggering 1.7 million barrels per day in 2012. This benefits primarily a handful of refineries on the Gulf Coast that are equipped to process light and sweet crude oil.

    And this, From the Congressional Research Service http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R42465.pdf

    U.S. oil exports, made up almost entirely of petroleum products, averaged 2.9 Mb/d in 2011. This
    is up from export of 1.2 Mb/d in 2005, led by growing export of distillates (diesel and related
    fuels) and gasoline. More than 60% of U.S. exports went to countries in the Western Hemisphere,
    particularly to countries such as Mexico and Canada from which the U.S. imports crude oil.
    Exports occur largely as a result of commercial decisions by oil market participants which reflect
    current oil market conditions as well as past investment in refining.

    While it is true that we have a “ban” on exportation of unrefined crude with a few exceptions there is no ban on refined petroleum products.

    Makes perfect sense to me that we retain the higher profit on refined products for our own economy versus the lesser profit from unrefined crude.

  12. kabuzz61 says:

    This is very rich. Way2 warns and defines what an internet troll is basically leading people off topic which she did. It is very funny. And she doesn’t even know she did what a troll would do.

    The accepted term of a troll is someone who does those things but are not usually a consistent commenter on the blog. If we have to go by chapter and verse of the definition, we are all trolls including Chris. Now, how about we get Way2 back on topic?

    • way2gosassy says:

      To make it purrrfectly clear to the obtuse kitty it was in fact Sternn who insisted on the definition. I simply gave him what he asked for. Now since the conversation was initially between me and Sternn over a simple comment that I made directed at no one in particular but which he felt compelled to take personally maybe you should direct your suggestion to him.

      • kabuzz61 says:

        Your words. Now you have gone and done it! Created a new troller coaster!

        Not a word about the topic of the post. But keep doubling down on the troll issue.

        I also think you should give attribution to your comments when needed.

      • Tuttabella says:

        “Purrrfectly!” I love it!

      • way2gosassy says:

        Who is it off topic now? Move on little kitty. Oh and by the way you might want to heed your own advice on that attribution thingy…….

  13. bubbabobcat says:

    Having served under NATO Command during the Cold War, all I can say is what took youse guys so long?

    The whole point of NATO was safety in numbers so that the big bullies (Soviets and Warsaw Bloc) didn’t pick on the skinny little kids (Belgium, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Denmark, etc.) because they had their own hulking My Bodyguard (US mostly but also UK and France). Geopolitics makes for some strange bedfellows though. Neighboring Greeks and Turks hate each other with a passion and have for ages, but they are ostensibly “allies” under NATO. Ironic that since the fall of the Soviet Union and end of the Cold War, nearly half of the NATO member countries are now from former Soviet Warsaw Bloc countries and territories.

  14. way2gosassy says:

    Now you have gone and done it! Created a new troller coaster!

    • CaptSternn says:

      I think you should look up the definition of an internet troll.

      • way2gosassy says:

        From the urban dictionary,

        Internet Troll
        A person whose sole purpose in life is to seek out people to argue with on the internet over extremely trivial issues. Such arguments can happen on blogs, Facebook, Myspace and a host of others.
        The best thing you can do to fight an internet troll is to not answer..or report them.

        From Wiki,

        In Internet slang, a troll (/ˈtroʊl/, /ˈtrɒl/) is a person who sows discord on the Internet by starting arguments or upsetting people,[1] by posting inflammatory,[2] extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community (such as a forum, chat room, or blog), either accidentally[3][4] or with the deliberate intent of provoking readers into an emotional response[5] or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion.[6]

        This sense of the word troll and its associated verb trolling are associated with Internet discourse, but have been used more widely. Media attention in recent years has equated trolling with online harassment. For example, mass media has used troll to describe “a person who defaces Internet tribute sites with the aim of causing grief to families.”[7][8]

        From word IQ,

        The term trolling, like the term flamebait, originated as a fishing metaphor: like people who troll for fish, people on the internet were dragging a conversational lure through a group, baiting for a particular response, often anger or argument. Later, the verb became a noun, as a trolling person was labeled a troll. In its noun form, troll picked up the association of the monster trolls in folklore.

        I think I have it covered.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Way, you first have to understand what an internet troll is.

        “In Internet slang, a troll (/’tro?l/, /’tr?l/) is a person who sows discord on the Internet by starting arguments or upsetting people,[1] by posting inflammatory,[2] extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community (such as a forum, chat room, or blog), either accidentally[3][4] or with the deliberate intent of provoking readers into an emotional response[5] or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion.[6]” – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Troll_(Internet)

        Lifer is “is a person who sows discord on the Internet by starting arguments or upsetting … people by posting inflammatory, extraneous … messages in an online community (such as a forum, chat room, or blog), … with the deliberate intent of provoking readers into an emotional response.”

        There is another person that sometimes posts comments here that fits the full definition, and is proud of doing so. Some accuse him of having a posse. But I won’t name names.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Yeah, I thought of that post before, then deleted it. But saved it in text form. you fel right into it, Way. Congrats.

      • Houston-Stay-at-Homer says:

        Stern…am I following you correctly in that your opinion is that lifer is the troll here on his own blog?

        I mean it is hard to have extraneous and off topic messages when you get to control the topics.

        Lifer is the one sowing discord in the comments?

        Oh, I think you might be able to think of a few more folks here that better fit that description.

      • way2gosassy says:

        Fell into what? Exposing some people for who they truly are? Sternn you my friend are such a ninny. One could almost describe you as a troll as you have repeatedly gone off topic with you’re senseless droning about “slavery” and “your” rights. Accusing people of lying because they don’t march in lockstep with your convoluted reasoning. However we do kinda give you a pass on the “trolling” label and since I didn’t name any names all I can say now is “if the shoe fits”…..

        Oh and what HT said!

      • flypusher says:

        ‘ Lifer is “is a person who sows discord on the Internet by starting arguments or upsetting … people by posting inflammatory, extraneous … messages in an online community (such as a forum, chat room, or blog), … with the deliberate intent of provoking readers into an emotional response.” ‘

        Wow. That just may be the most clueless posting to this blog, ever. It’s just so perfectly……..wrong.

        Maybe YOU get upset that people dare to express disagreement with something you’ve posted, but most of us here seem to understand that that’s part of the idea exchange process.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Y’all are funny.

      • way2gosassy says:

        I think it is you my freind that is bereft of understanding.

      • way2gosassy says:

        “friend”

      • kabuzz61 says:

        I know Captain. They are being very funny today. I know they don’t get it and that’s the funniest part.

      • Tuttabella says:

        I suggest each of us be a troll for a day, to illustrate our own definition of what we think a troll is, just for fun.

  15. CaptSternn says:

    Think we could use that latest actions by Russia to get that missile defense system back on track and installed? Probably not as long as a democrat or GOP establishment person is in charge.

    Not that I really have an issue with Russia’s actions regarding Crimea. Seems Crimea welcomes it. Gerogia was a much more serious issue. But really, what would we do about it? Sure, get the missile defense system in place ahead of time, but otherwise the U.S. is not going to war with Russia any more than Russia is going to war with the U.S.. Not even over Iraq or Afghanistan. Did the Cold War actually end, or just shift into new territory?

    What happens if Russia starts to rebuild the USSR? Wouldn’t the left just see that as “Preserving the Union”? Or would they claim Putin is starting a war of agression to end slavery?

    • Bart-1 says:

      Obama has no intention of replacing the missile defense shield in Poland he so eloquently promised Medvedev in his ‘more flexibility” off mic gaffe. I doubt GOP establishment types like Chris would promote a US centric military solution/response either. What is sad is that they didn’t support romney or palin with their astute predictions.

      • bubbabobcat says:

        What is sad is the couch military “genius” bart-1/seriouscynic/usincrisis ascribing some type of foreign policy prescience to a couple of clueless self serving money and attention grubbing lightweights. I guess Sarah Palin saw the invasion of Ukraine from Alaska huh?

        That “prediction” has already been thoroughly debunked bart. Still clinging to straws I see. Let it go.

        “A US centric military solution/response” eh bart? Been there done that (disastrously) by a cabal of gutless draft dodgers and why Obama has been re-elected twice.

        Glad you, Sarah and religious deferment Mitt have no say in US military and foreign policy matters other than to fling your own feces from the sidelines bart.

      • flypusher says:

        “A US centric military solution/response”

        But don’t you DARE raise taxes to pay for any of that!

    • John Galt says:

      Russia has one and only one ace in the hole – they supply much of the natural gas Europe burns to stay warm (with a healthy supply from the North Sea, too). Without that, Russia’s economy would be in shatters. Russia’s military is ill-equipped and ill-trained and is not capable of far-flung adventuring. Perhaps this will focus European (and American) minds on alternative sources, such as the South Stream pipeline from the middle east and LNG export terminals in the US, plus an interest in fracking in Northern Europe.

      What the heck do you mean by “starting a war of aggression [sic] to end slavery?”

      • CaptSternn says:

        Russia has more than that, John. Russia has nuclear weapons, and its military is no pushover. Sure, the U.S. military is far superior, but others would crumble before Russia. There is also this issue that we, the States, are unable to legally export oil to those other nations.

      • Turtles Run says:

        The EU would squash the Russian military.

        What does the inability to export crude have to do with LNG? Why would we want to export our crude when we still have to import oil into this nation to meet our demand.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        Russia can’t use its nuclear weapons without receiving more and worse in kind. They are as much a strategic liability as a benefit.

      • CaptSternn says:

        The EU military, Turtles? A hodge-podge of weak nations that spend little to nothing on their militaries. Only the U.K. might have a little military might, but no match for Russia.

      • Turtles Run says:

        Militaries that use modern weapons and are well-equipped and trained versus a decaying Russian force relying on Soviet technology.

        As stated before even the Turkish navy outguns the Russians.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Turtles, Russia ranks as the 2nd strongest military in the world, Turkey ranks 8th.

        http://www.globalfirepower.com/countries-comparison.asp

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        Sternn, you only seem to pick metrics that agree with you, ignoring any other information even if it contradicts you massively.

        Your own site identifies Russia as having the NINTH largest military in terms of number of servicemembers fit for service. China, India, and the U.S. take the top spots. Indonesia, Brazil, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Mexico all beat out Russia, too.

        Your Cold War paranoia would be cute if it weren’t so goofily out-dated. The Russians are a paper tiger to anyone but minor powers.

      • way2gosassy says:

        But then we are talking about Sternn……

      • CaptSternn says:

        Owl, North Korea has one of the largest, if not the largest, military in the world because virtually the entire population is in the military. Doesn’t make North Korea the most powerful. Numbers are only part of the equation. But go ahead and find a site that ranks militaries differently, one where Turkey is rated as stronger than Russia as Turtles claimed.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        Turkey is a NATO member.

        There’s no way Russia would attack them, regardless of the relative sizes of those two nations’ militaries, because to do so would be to risk a larger war with multiple global (and nuclear) powers.

        Again, Russia is a paper tiger to everyone except minor, unallied powers. Like Ukraine, unfortunately.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Who said anything about Russia attacking Turkey? Turtles claimed it would be the other way around.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        Would Turkey attack Russia without first obtaining NATO support and justification?

        Your ignorance of the ways of global geopolitics is amusing, but hardly uplifting.

      • CaptSternn says:

        You will have to get with Tyrtles on that one, Owl. So far I don’t see any of those weak nations making military moves against Russia. They rely heavily on the U.S. and U.K..

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