Should America/NATO support Syrian resistance the way it did in Libya?

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Re: Should America/NATO support Syrian resistance the way it did in Libya?

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Wed Sep 11, 2013 9:51 pm

reality on the ground both in Syria and countries where dictators were actually overthrown is a lot more complicated. There's plenty of evidence that if Assad is overthrown, the people who establish a new government would be just as anti-American. Except they'd also probably be Islamists- Eldo

Id agree with the first statement, less so with the second and not at all with the last.
They are Islamist fundamentalists now because of how badly this has been handled by the world. Now the opposition has been compromised and taken over by incoming fighters from outside their borders- and those who originally rose up in the hope of something better (you dont rise up without that hope) have been overrun or replaced with elements we do not now want to win.
I think the world has missed a golden opportunity with the Arab Spring, when finally those moderate muslims, the majority, who just want peace and to watch tv and raise a family, have schools and jobs for themselves and their kids, food on the table, when they tried to make their stand, we didn't hear them and let it all collapse into chaos.

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Re: Should America/NATO support Syrian resistance the way it did in Libya?

Post by halfwise on Wed Sep 11, 2013 9:59 pm

you've finally discovered the American crabbit vein, Petty.

"I think the world has missed a golden opportunity with the Arab Spring, when finally those moderate muslims, the majority, who just want peace and to watch tv and raise a family, have schools and jobs for themselves and their kids, food on the table, when they tried to make their stand, we didn't hear them and let it all collapse into chaos."

We Americans used to believe that kind of thing, but after Iraq and Afghanistan we just can't anymore.  Yes, yes...different scenarios but if you combine Iraq and Afghanistan with elements of the cold war patronage system (which America remember was in the thick of) then we just have a hard time believing choosing sides for benevolent interference can do any good.

The difference is that with the Arab Spring we may think we are lending a benevolent hand (as opposed to the self serving cold war and gulf wars), but you just never know if your freedom fighters will turn into Taliban.

A decade ago we might have had your sunny disposition, but now it's all crabbit with us.

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Re: Should America/NATO support Syrian resistance the way it did in Libya?

Post by Eldorion on Wed Sep 11, 2013 10:02 pm

Even if there was a window of opportunity at the beginning of the Arab Spring, that was two and a half years ago so I think my point still stands. Also, what Halfwise said.
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Re: Should America/NATO support Syrian resistance the way it did in Libya?

Post by David H on Thu Sep 12, 2013 2:44 am

Solidarity w/ Eldo and Halfy. Metal USA Metal 
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Re: Should America/NATO support Syrian resistance the way it did in Libya?

Post by Lancebloke on Thu Sep 12, 2013 7:06 am

I think the whole thing is pretty self serving by everyone now. The Russians are clearly trying to get their investments through the other side in tact. Obama looks like he has been taken aback by the lack of support from allies or the US public for another war. Except France (who seem a bit on their own now), Europe seems to want to make all the right noises but not do anything about it. Those in the thick of it in Syria seem to have multiple and varied agendas.

About time they took the U out of the UN isnt it?
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Re: Should America/NATO support Syrian resistance the way it did in Libya?

Post by halfwise on Thu Sep 12, 2013 12:19 pm

Obama allies cite PR missteps in bid for Syria hit

CHARLES BABINGTON 3 hours ago

WASHINGTON (AP) — Some of President Barack Obama's top allies say the president misread a few crucial political forces when he asked Congress to support his bid to strike Syria.

Chief among Obama's missteps, they say, was underestimating the nation's profound weariness with military entanglements in the Middle East, fed by residual anger over the Iraq war's origins, and overestimating lawmakers' willingness to make risky votes 14 months before the next congressional elections.

"I can't understand the White House these days," said Rep. Jim Moran, D-Va., an early and enthusiastic endorser of a strike against Syria over last month's chemical weapons attack. Rather than unexpectedly asking for Congress' blessing on Aug. 31, Moran said, Obama might have quietly called House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi to say, "'I'm thinking of sending this vote to the Congress. How do you think it might turn out?'"

"She would have said, 'You've got to be kidding,'" Moran said. "She knows where the votes stand."

In recent days, Obama put military decisions on hold and asked Congress to halt plans to vote on a strike authorization while diplomats explore Russia's proposal to put Syria's chemical weapons under international control. The pause has given the president's friends time to ponder why Congress, and especially the House, seemed to be moving against his push for military action against Syria's government.

Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., said calls and emails from his Baltimore district were running about 99-1 against military intervention in Syria. Many House colleagues, he said, report feedback nearly as one-sided.

Cummings said he told Obama at a recent meeting of the Congressional Black Caucus that "once he asked for Congress to give its consent, he also asked for the public's consent." Americans aren't willing to grant it, Cummings said. And it's asking too much of re-election-seeking lawmakers to defy such overwhelming emotions back home, he said.

"My constituents love the president," Cummings added. "They are just tired of war."

He said he also told Obama, "You've got to understand, you and future presidents will be held to a higher standard whenever the issue of using military force is concerned." The main reason, Cummings said, is the nation's unwillingness to forgive or forget President George W. Bush's decision to invade Iraq on eventually discredited claims about weapons of mass destruction and the likelihood of easy U.S. success.

If Obama had any hope of overcoming the reluctance by the public and Congress to strike Syria, several lawmakers said this week, he needed a concise, compelling argument. His team failed to marshal it, they said. They cited Secretary of State John Kerry's assurance of an "unbelievably small" U.S. military strike as one example of comments that left people scratching their heads.

"In times of crisis, the more clarity the better," said Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., a strong supporter of U.S. intervention in Syria. "This has been confusing. For those who are inclined to support the president, it's been pretty hard to nail down what the purpose of a military strike is."

Graham said he thinks the White House "overestimated the revulsion people would have toward a chemical attack" that the administration blamed on President Bashar Assad's government and said killed more than 1,400 Syrians, including hundreds of children. The administration, he said, didn't adequately explain why Americans should be morally outraged — and militarily involved — by that chemical weapons attack on Aug. 21 after the United States stood by as an estimated 100,000 Syrians were killed by convention weapons during a 2½-year civil war.

"Is it really about HOW people died?" Graham said.

As the U.S. debate over Syria grew, public sentiment increasingly turned against the military role Obama advocated. A four-day Pew Research Center survey, which ended the day after Obama asked for congressional approval, found 48 percent of Americans opposed to airstrikes against Syria. A Pew poll conducted a week later found 63 percent of Americans opposed to the idea.

The White House says Obama fully understood the public relations difficulties he faced. The president knows "the American people and their representatives are understandably and justifiably weary of military conflict and wary of new military conflict," White House press secretary Jay Carney said Wednesday.

"The president acknowledged from the beginning that this would be a challenge," Carney said. Obama used his nationally televised address Tuesday night, he said, "to lay out for the American people why Syria and the use of chemical weapons in Syria matter to the United States."

Obama supporters cite other hurdles he faced. They include the tendency of many House Republicans to oppose almost anything Obama proposes, even if GOP leaders embrace it.

Obama quickly won support for a Syria strike from House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va. Nonetheless, scores of House Republicans say they are certain or likely to vote against the president's request if it reaches the House floor.

Rep. Peter King, a New York Republican who backs military action in Syria, told reporters, "A number of Republicans don't have faith in President Obama's ability to carry out the attacks."

The White House says several Republican senators once advocated U.S. intervention in Syria, but they opposed Obama's specific proposal.

Rep. Peter Welch, D-Vt., said Obama was confronting public sentiments that may be insurmountable.

"The country is war-weary, and it's very powerful," Welch said. "People are burned by Iraq and Afghanistan." Trying to explain how Syria would be different, he said, "is a tough lift."

___

Associated Press writer Donna Cassata and News Survey Specialist Dennis Junius contributed to this report.

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Re: Should America/NATO support Syrian resistance the way it did in Libya?

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Thu Sep 12, 2013 12:28 pm

Then the statement said by (um Putin, Assad?) that "this marked the beginning of the American retreat" would seem to be true.

"Even if there was a window of opportunity at the beginning of the Arab Spring, that was two and a half years ago so I think my point still stands."- Eldo

The window has moved, its not gone.
The people who started this uprising were almost certainly the salaried middle classes- revolutions always start there, then the poor and working class are enlisted to fight for a better future, more equality ect.
Those middle classes for the most part got out and are now refugees.
The people we should be talking to are the people in tents. The lawyers, the doctors, the teachers, the scientists. They are our friends and our best hope for the future in the area. We should not be spending money on war in the region but solely on reaching out and providing for these people- the refugees.
The two factions left fighting are for the most part people opposed to western thinking.
Arming rebels made up of such people would be fool hardy, and trusting treaties signed by the other side equally so.

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Re: Should America/NATO support Syrian resistance the way it did in Libya?

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Thu Sep 12, 2013 12:52 pm

Putin has decided to speak to the American people via the New York Times, I include the full message-

"RECENT events surrounding Syria have prompted me to speak directly to the American people and their political leaders. It is important to do so at a time of insufficient communication between our societies.
Relations between us have passed through different stages. We stood against each other during the cold war. But we were also allies once, and defeated the Nazis together. The universal international organization — the United Nations — was then established to prevent such devastation from ever happening again.

The United Nations’ founders understood that decisions affecting war and peace should happen only by consensus, and with America’s consent the veto by Security Council permanent members was enshrined in the United Nations Charter. The profound wisdom of this has underpinned the stability of international relations for decades.

No one wants the United Nations to suffer the fate of the League of Nations, which collapsed because it lacked real leverage. This is possible if influential countries bypass the United Nations and take military action without Security Council authorization.

The potential strike by the United States against Syria, despite strong opposition from many countries and major political and religious leaders, including the pope, will result in more innocent victims and escalation, potentially spreading the conflict far beyond Syria’s borders. A strike would increase violence and unleash a new wave of terrorism. It could undermine multilateral efforts to resolve the Iranian nuclear problem and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and further destabilize the Middle East and North Africa. It could throw the entire system of international law and order out of balance.

Syria is not witnessing a battle for democracy, but an armed conflict between government and opposition in a multireligious country. There are few champions of democracy in Syria. But there are more than enough Qaeda fighters and extremists of all stripes battling the government. The United States State Department has designated Al Nusra Front and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, fighting with the opposition, as terrorist organizations. This internal conflict, fueled by foreign weapons supplied to the opposition, is one of the bloodiest in the world.

Mercenaries from Arab countries fighting there, and hundreds of militants from Western countries and even Russia, are an issue of our deep concern. Might they not return to our countries with experience acquired in Syria? After all, after fighting in Libya, extremists moved on to Mali. This threatens us all.

From the outset, Russia has advocated peaceful dialogue enabling Syrians to develop a compromise plan for their own future. We are not protecting the Syrian government, but international law. We need to use the United Nations Security Council and believe that preserving law and order in today’s complex and turbulent world is one of the few ways to keep international relations from sliding into chaos. The law is still the law, and we must follow it whether we like it or not. Under current international law, force is permitted only in self-defense or by the decision of the Security Council. Anything else is unacceptable under the United Nations Charter and would constitute an act of aggression.

No one doubts that poison gas was used in Syria. But there is every reason to believe it was used not by the Syrian Army, but by opposition forces, to provoke intervention by their powerful foreign patrons, who would be siding with the fundamentalists. Reports that militants are preparing another attack — this time against Israel — cannot be ignored.

It is alarming that military intervention in internal conflicts in foreign countries has become commonplace for the United States. Is it in America’s long-term interest? I doubt it. Millions around the world increasingly see America not as a model of democracy but as relying solely on brute force, cobbling coalitions together under the slogan “you’re either with us or against us.”

But force has proved ineffective and pointless. Afghanistan is reeling, and no one can say what will happen after international forces withdraw. Libya is divided into tribes and clans. In Iraq the civil war continues, with dozens killed each day. In the United States, many draw an analogy between Iraq and Syria, and ask why their government would want to repeat recent mistakes.

No matter how targeted the strikes or how sophisticated the weapons, civilian casualties are inevitable, including the elderly and children, whom the strikes are meant to protect.

The world reacts by asking: if you cannot count on international law, then you must find other ways to ensure your security. Thus a growing number of countries seek to acquire weapons of mass destruction. This is logical: if you have the bomb, no one will touch you. We are left with talk of the need to strengthen nonproliferation, when in reality this is being eroded.

We must stop using the language of force and return to the path of civilized diplomatic and political settlement.

A new opportunity to avoid military action has emerged in the past few days. The United States, Russia and all members of the international community must take advantage of the Syrian government’s willingness to place its chemical arsenal under international control for subsequent destruction. Judging by the statements of President Obama, the United States sees this as an alternative to military action.

I welcome the president’s interest in continuing the dialogue with Russia on Syria. We must work together to keep this hope alive, as we agreed to at the Group of 8 meeting in Lough Erne in Northern Ireland in June, and steer the discussion back toward negotiations.

If we can avoid force against Syria, this will improve the atmosphere in international affairs and strengthen mutual trust. It will be our shared success and open the door to cooperation on other critical issues.

My working and personal relationship with President Obama is marked by growing trust. I appreciate this. I carefully studied his address to the nation on Tuesday. And I would rather disagree with a case he made on American exceptionalism, stating that the United States’ policy is “what makes America different. It’s what makes us exceptional.” It is extremely dangerous to encourage people to see themselves as exceptional, whatever the motivation. There are big countries and small countries, rich and poor, those with long democratic traditions and those still finding their way to democracy. Their policies differ, too. We are all different, but when we ask for the Lord’s blessings, we must not forget that God created us equal. '

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/12/opinion/putin-plea-for-caution-from-russia-on-syria.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0


Meanwhile-
the PLAN-

Mr Lavrov told a news conference in Kazakhstan that both sides were bringing teams of specialists and experts to the meeting to thrash out the technical details of the plan.
He outlined three main phases of the proposal:

   Syria joins the Chemical Weapons Convention, which outlaws the production and use of the weapons
   Syria reveals where its chemical weapons are stored and gives details of its programme
   Experts decide on the specific measures to be taken

Mr Lavrov did not mention the destruction of the weapons, which is thought to be a sticking point in Moscow's negotiations with Damascus.
Diplomats predict that talks at the UN Security Council will continue for several days after the Geneva meeting before any resolution can be put to a vote.
France has already been working on a draft resolution that would be enforced by Chapter VII of the UN charter, which would in effect sanction the use of force if Syria failed in its obligations.
However, Russia has already indicated that this would be unacceptable, as would any resolution blaming the Syrian government for chemical attacks. Russia, supported by China, has blocked three draft resolutions condemning the Assad government.
More than 100,000 people have died since the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad began.
As the diplomatic efforts continue, the Syrian army has been trying to retake the Christian town of Maaloula, which was overrun at the weekend by rebel forces, including members of the al-Qaeda-linked al-Nusra Front."- BBC

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Re: Should America/NATO support Syrian resistance the way it did in Libya?

Post by halfwise on Thu Sep 12, 2013 1:58 pm

Putin writes well and definitely scores some points.  And yet, the chemical weapons deal in the works would not have happened without the threat of force, and such a threat would not have come through the UN in any foreseeable future.

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Re: Should America/NATO support Syrian resistance the way it did in Libya?

Post by David H on Thu Sep 12, 2013 4:04 pm

Good for Putin!  If there's a constructive path forward, it's going to involve bilateral disarmament of the militants in Syria and empowering the moderates. That's never going to happen if the US and Russia are each supporting their favorite army.  

I'm sincerely hoping for a "Strategic Arms Limitation Talks" model in which the US and Russia together broker a gradual regional disarmament, starting with the chemical weapons. Wouldn't that be cool!Nod
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Re: Should America/NATO support Syrian resistance the way it did in Libya?

Post by Mrs Figg on Thu Sep 12, 2013 7:24 pm

Putin is going up in my estimation

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Re: Should America/NATO support Syrian resistance the way it did in Libya?

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Thu Sep 12, 2013 7:27 pm

Thats the plan. He's played a blinder, got to admire it.

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Re: Should America/NATO support Syrian resistance the way it did in Libya?

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Fri Sep 13, 2013 12:49 am

"Are you nuts, Mr. Putin? The United States is exceptional

President Putin, the United States is exceptional among the world’s nations.

This is not the usual jingoism you may hear from the citizen of any nation – the type of jingoism, incidentally, in which Russia excels.
My parents and I arrived in the United States with $90 in our pockets, speaking not a word of English and stripped of any nation’s citizenship.
We came here because life in the Soviet Union, which you served so faithfully as a KGB colonel, was incompatible with basic human dignity.  
We came here because generations of our family had been killed, abused and disenfranchised simply because of our religious identity.  
To us, what was exceptional was that a world power would provide a new life for us without asking about our ethnicity, whether we were members of the right political party or whether we associated with those who spoke out against the government." - an idiot, Fox News

Ok do the people who write this stuff not understand how insulting and ridiculous it sounds to countries like the UK where the fight for the right to religious and political freedom was won before there was a USA?
What about all the other democratic countries in Europe who have freedom of religion? Free speech? Human Rights? And that's just Europe. Its not a good way to maintain alliances going about insulting other countries and claiming some moral superiority over everyone.

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Re: Should America/NATO support Syrian resistance the way it did in Libya?

Post by David H on Fri Sep 13, 2013 1:29 am

Ok do the people who write this stuff not understand how insulting and ridiculous it sounds
Of course they do, in the same way that a sports fan knows how insulting their taunts of the rival team are. That's kind of the point actually. Especially if you work for FOX!
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Re: Should America/NATO support Syrian resistance the way it did in Libya?

Post by bungobaggins on Fri Sep 13, 2013 2:09 am

I just don't understand. What is it with Americans and wanting to be the most-speicalest countwy in da wowld? Was this something that was taught as a fact at one point in time? I learned (objectively, I must add) about "manifest destiny" and "American exceptionalism" in high school. But it was never pounded into my head that this was a truth. We learned more of the seedy side of American history.

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Re: Should America/NATO support Syrian resistance the way it did in Libya?

Post by halfwise on Fri Sep 13, 2013 3:42 am

Oh Lord, too many American-hating commie twits on this site. Mad I'll have to pack up and move to ToRN; at least folks there are team players. Rolling Eyes I think they've even got Kool-aid....clown 

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Re: Should America/NATO support Syrian resistance the way it did in Libya?

Post by Eldorion on Fri Sep 13, 2013 4:51 am

bungobaggins wrote:I just don't understand. What is it with Americans and wanting to be the most-speicalest countwy in da wowld?
White man's burden / Wilsonian obsession with spreading democracy / Legacy of the Puritan "city on a hill" idea / Plain old greed / Imperial legacy inherited from Britain / Chauvinism / Ignorance / Centuries of ingrained ways of thinking

Was this something that was taught as a fact at one point in time?
Are you kidding? Laughing It still is taught as fact all over this country.
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Re: Should America/NATO support Syrian resistance the way it did in Libya?

Post by RA on Fri Sep 13, 2013 6:44 am

Lancebloke wrote:Obama looks like he has been taken aback by the lack of support from allies or the US public for another war.
I think the public is tired.

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Re: Should America/NATO support Syrian resistance the way it did in Libya?

Post by Lancebloke on Fri Sep 13, 2013 8:17 am

Eldorion wrote:
bungobaggins wrote:I just don't understand. What is it with Americans and wanting to be the most-speicalest countwy in da wowld?
White man's burden / Wilsonian obsession with spreading democracy / Legacy of the Puritan "city on a hill" idea / Plain old greed / Imperial legacy inherited from Britain / Chauvinism / Ignorance / Centuries of ingrained ways of thinking

Was this something that was taught as a fact at one point in time?
Are you kidding? :lol:It still is taught as fact all over this country.
'inside every gook is an american waiting to get out'

I assume that 'gook' is interchangeable depending on who you are fighting.

Re exceptionalism, it always gets on my nerves when anyone pulls that card. You Americans are particularly good at it (obviously stereotyping here) but it seems everyone loves a bit. The amount of 'greatest Olympics ever' or 'London is the best city in the world' or 'Britain is truly great' crap I hear out of peoples mouths here always gets a big sigh from me.

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Re: Should America/NATO support Syrian resistance the way it did in Libya?

Post by halfwise on Fri Sep 13, 2013 12:47 pm

You....you mean we're not God's gift to the world? Shrugging  I'll have to go wake up Reagan and let him know. He'll be pissed.

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Re: Should America/NATO support Syrian resistance the way it did in Libya?

Post by Mrs Figg on Fri Sep 13, 2013 1:44 pm

I think thats North Korea

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Re: Should America/NATO support Syrian resistance the way it did in Libya?

Post by halfwise on Fri Sep 13, 2013 2:04 pm

Lancebloke wrote:
'inside every gook is an american waiting to get out'
lol!

But you'd be surprised at how many people over here believe that.

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Re: Should America/NATO support Syrian resistance the way it did in Libya?

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Fri Sep 13, 2013 3:27 pm

The British Empire went forth to conquer with the best of interests- we the British had achieved civilization, income tax and invented rice pudding and it wasnt fair on all the brown and black people that they were still living like primitives without even a post office- so for their own good we gave them what we had, even if we had to destroy all their old structures and society first to build it all.
Sadly whilst the early leaders of Empire had an abundance of zeal, righteous certainty and the belief a super powerful deity had choosen them for the task, they also had an abundance of ignorance about other countries, and didnt realise that other cultures might have worth and value too even without a Post Office.

American Exceptionalism seems worrying close to this sort of thinking.

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Re: Should America/NATO support Syrian resistance the way it did in Libya?

Post by Eldorion on Fri Sep 13, 2013 5:11 pm

Yeah, it's my opinion that the Wilsonian ideal of "spreading democracy" is largely based on the same notions of the "white man's burden", just dressed up with different ideals.  Which is not to say that everyone who wants to advocate for democracy around the world is a racist or anything, but a lot of the most vocal advocates tend to act in a chauvinistic and clueluess manner (eg, "we'll be greeted as liberators").  {{{But don't tell Orwell I said this. Shocked}}}

That said, we inherited a lot of things from Britain. Very Happy Some of the imperialist language was more explicit around the beginning of the 20th century when we were just starting off in the world of subjugating other nations (see: Ten Thousand Miles from Tip to Tip, following the Spanish-American War). After World War II though, when we had taken the title of "world's most powerful nation" from Britain and appointed ourselves "leader of the free world" during the Cold War, American intervention and exceptionalism took on a new level of anti-Communist ideology that also gave a lot of Americans a sense of moral purpose when mucking around in other countries (the domino theory and Vietnam, for example).
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Re: Should America/NATO support Syrian resistance the way it did in Libya?

Post by Mrs Figg on Fri Sep 13, 2013 6:49 pm

when you look at the world and see the literal hell on earth the people of some countries have made for themselves, ie large parts of Africa and the Middle East, where there is constant genocide, corruption, massive poverty, basically the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse have been there, done that, got the T-shirt. It makes me weirdly glad that the US is still a major power, its comforting they are allies in this brutal world we live in its nice to have someone out there to help if the shit hits the fan. Simplistic, or naive, I know, but still I am glad Amaericer is there doing its thing.

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