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Re: Equities and terrorists
Old 06-20-2004, 12:55 PM   #21
 
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Re: Equities and terrorists

Quote:
Quote:Why isn't there a war on traffic fatalities?
Mainly because the public does not want one! - Most believe that it won't happen to them and they can control the situation (i.e. - only bad drivers get in these accidents) -
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Re: Equities and terrorists
Old 06-20-2004, 01:19 PM   #22
 
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Re: Equities and terrorists

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Mainly because the public does not want one! - Most believe that it won't happen to them and they can control the situation (i.e. - only bad drivers get in these accidents) -
You are missing the point. The public didn't want a war in Iraq either, but this didn't stop the government.
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Re: Equities and terrorists
Old 06-20-2004, 01:57 PM   #23
 
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Re: Equities and terrorists

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You are missing the point. *The public didn't want a war in Iraq either, but this didn't stop the government.
The public was split on the war on Iraq. There is the half that follows 'W' and the half that doesn't.
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Re: Equities and terrorists
Old 06-20-2004, 03:20 PM   #24
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Re: Equities and terrorists

Let me clarify the "unwinnable" comment, because I think the war on terrorism and the war on drugs are both unwinnable, for largely the same reason: failure to resolve the basic "problem".

Drugs will continue to be brought in to this country because people want them, and are willing to pay fairly exhorbitant prices for them. Hence there will always be someone with nothing to lose who will take the risk to bring them in. Several countries have solved the "war on drugs" by attacking the root causes and resolving them, at a fraction of the cost.

Terrorism will continue to be a problem because we face an unstructured enemy that can create "terror" at low cost and with little backing or intelligence. It doesnt take much to run into a shopping mall with a homemade bomb or an assault weapon converted to fully automatic and kill a bunch of people. When we go into a hostile country and kill tens of thousands of terrorists, every member of their family, their friends, neighbors, etc all suddenly have another reason for Jihad.

The former Soviet Union and Israel have both employed highly tuned approaches to dealing with terrorism, and have decades of experience. In the case of the FSU, couple that with an almost complete lack of civil rights. Neither could successfully contain or avert even reasonably determined terrorists.

By using highly integrated intelligence, tracking down and cutting off money supplies, and attacking organized structures such as camps and even supporting governments, we can cut down or slow down the "big attacks".

However, when you've been an imperial republic running around the world meddling in the affairs of a billion people, you're going to leave a few pissed off people hanging around. Couple those with a religious fanatic or two, or a garden variety influential psychopath, a little cash, and a couple of smart people, and you get airplanes flying into buildings.

The upshot though is we're willing to fruitlessly carve into our peoples civil rights, spend trillions in wars and other means to "curb terrorism" and so forth. In the end I think we've achieved a fairly poor return on that investment. You're dealing with an enormously large class of people to whom death is an honor, martyrdom is a big plus, and who can inflict damage at will. Killing half or three quarters of them is hardly going to divert the rest.

To think that in october of 2001, world sentiment was virtually 100% polarized in support of the US, and today that polarization is nearly reversed. That inversion took some fairly masterful planning and effort...or incredible ineptitude.
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Re: Equities and terrorists
Old 06-20-2004, 03:41 PM   #25
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Re: Equities and terrorists

Yawn. Double yawn - my biggest worry is staying off the freeway during rush hours. More scary than terrorists any day.

De Gaul and the Norwegian widow ride on. Heh. heh
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Re: Equities and terrorists
Old 06-20-2004, 04:52 PM   #26
 
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Re: Equities and terrorists

Look folks, the world is screwed up and always has been. The entire history of mankind (an oxymoron)
has been wars, conflict and atrocities. Your government is no better. "Inept" is too kind
and it won't get better no matter who wins in
November. Suck it up and take care of yourselves.

John Galt
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Re: Equities and terrorists
Old 06-20-2004, 08:50 PM   #27
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Re: Equities and terrorists

Quote:
The government doesn't actually want people to drive safely, as this would eliminate a major source of income for the states (traffic tickets). Same with the war on drugs. Confiscation of "drug dealer" property is a major revenue source. Some police departments don't even have an equipment budget from the city. They are expected to outfit their departments with the profits generated by selling confiscated property.
Michael, I'm not sure the economics of the drug war are that simple. While I am not of a mind to defend our government's actions in either war, I do want to point out that my best guess is that the profits generated by selling confiscated property cannot begin to cover the costs of investigating, arresting, detaining, trying, and especially incarcerating all of the people we put behind bars in the "drug war." It is a huge expense, overcrowding our prisons so that there's less room for violent offenders, and frequent new taxes to build more prison cells.

However, I don't want to go on record as defending "our" government's actions in either the drug war or this debacle in Iraq. The war on terrorism is, as TH points out, making more and more of those folks madder and madder at us.

Anne
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Re: Equities and terrorists
Old 06-20-2004, 09:19 PM   #28
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Re: Equities and terrorists

I have not read so much pessimistic and cynical
BS on this forum since I started lurking last year.

What do you guys want to do ........ just roll over?
The way I see it is that we have to take it to the
enemy and destroy them. Better on their land
than ours.

Charlie
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Re: Equities and terrorists
Old 06-20-2004, 10:33 PM   #29
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Re: Equities and terrorists

Quote:
. . . The way I see it is that we have to take it to the
enemy and destroy them. *Better on their land
than ours. *
By all means, let us fight the enemy -- on their land or wherever we have to. But there is no indication that Iraq is or ever was the enemy.
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Re: Equities and terrorists
Old 06-20-2004, 11:29 PM   #30
 
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Re: Equities and terrorists

I noticed that bush began using the optimist vs. the pessimist tactic immediately following the $500M-$1B Reagan funeral. (Hey, wasn't he the one that was for smaller government?)

Of course we shouldn't just roll over. But the current strategy is costing a fortune, eroding civil liberties, and breeding baby terrorists faster than their parents are being killed. What can we do better? For starters, how about trying to understand the root causes and nature of the problem? "They hate us because we are free" is ridiculous. New Zealand is free, are they also a valued target? Do they need to attack Iraq?

What's really the cause? There are surely many, but support for Israel and meddling in the affairs of Arab countries to suit US oil needs is certainly at the top. More of the same (overthrow Saddam) will just make the problem worse.

What can we do (besides bomb them?) For starters, reduce our dependency on oil. In the short term via by reducing consumption, and over the longer term by developing alternative renewable energy technologies. I'm in the camp that believes that we can reduce consumption considerably without having a significant affect on our 'standard of living'.

This endless war sounds more and more like 1984 every day.


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Re: Equities and terrorists
Old 06-21-2004, 04:06 AM   #31
 
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Re: Equities and terrorists

'1984' is your future JohnBlake. Deal with it.

John Galt
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Re: Equities and terrorists
Old 06-21-2004, 05:06 AM   #32
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Re: Equities and terrorists

I have always leaned toward Barry Goldwater's philosophy, but I must say its very disturbing to me to see our country, under Bush's team, go from being one of the most admired in the world, to most despised. I'm with JohnBlake, deal with the root cause and definitely a viable sustainable energy policy and alternative fuel is long overdue.

As to terrorist attacks, don't see it happening until after the election, as we are not Spain. A pre-election attack in USA will play into Bush's hands.

Doug
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Re: Equities and terrorists
Old 06-21-2004, 05:18 AM   #33
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Re: Equities and terrorists

Quote:
...selling confiscated property cannot begin to cover the costs...
Of course not, but the political process does not lead to a lot of rational decisions. Talk to police officers, and they will tell you that the majority of their time is spent on traffic and drugs. These are the two areas that bring in the most revenue to the government. The politicians do not want to lose the votes of drug warriors by suggesting that drug warriors be laid off prior to their being eligible for pensions. They get more votes by continuously expanding the bureaucracy, and finding creative ways to support it. Cost effectiveness is not the point. The point is to buy more votes by giving more and more people secure government jobs.

From the stand point of getting votes, more expenditures is a good thing. Anything that threatens government revenue is a bad thing. However well intentioned something may start out, it tends to turn into a self sustaining bureaucracy once the politicians get involved. The politicians will never adopt a simple, inexpensive, and effective strategy because that approach does not maximize the number of votes. More government employees means more people who depend upon the politicians for their jobs, and will campaign to keep them in office.
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Re: Equities and terrorists
Old 06-21-2004, 06:54 AM   #34
 
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Re: Equities and terrorists

I always thought
most policemen spent their time riding around, sitting
on their asses and eating donuts. Small town cops?
Has to be one of the easiest jobs invented.

John Galt
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Re: Equities and terrorists
Old 06-21-2004, 07:06 AM   #35
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Re: Equities and terrorists

I agree that we need to reduce our dependency on
foriegn oil. Probably everyone agrees with thiis.
The trouble is that we disagree on tactics which
paralizes us. Gentlemen, remember that we must
"hang together or we will surely hang separately."

Charlie
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Re: Equities and terrorists
Old 06-21-2004, 07:12 AM   #36
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Re: Equities and terrorists

Really John?

Next time you talk to one - ask 'em about domestic violence calls - even small towns have 'fun'? And pre-nups don't seem to help much. heh. heh.

heh. heh - in the small town where I grew up had a fourplex across the street - a lot of entertainment in summer with doors/windows open - Growcho and Hanson parked their squad car around the corner and waited for the inevitable. Never asked about doughnuts though.
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Re: Equities and terrorists
Old 06-21-2004, 07:24 AM   #37
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Re: Equities and terrorists

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As to terrorist attacks, don't see it happening until after the election, as we are not Spain. *A pre-election attack in USA will play into Bush's hands.
I believe they want Bush to win. Bush has done more to galvanize terrorists, boost their recruiting efforts, and bring Arab sympathy to their cause than any of their own actions possibly could have.

My guess would be that they plan to attack during the first days of the new Kerry administration, during a fairly vulnerable and chaotic transition period.
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Re: Equities and terrorists
Old 06-21-2004, 07:44 AM   #38
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Re: Equities and terrorists

This discussion reminds me of a friend of mine when asked the reason for buying a house that was, on all outward signs too expensive for him, why he did it.

"We have a system in our family. I take care of all the big problems, (Vietnam, Inflation, stag-flation, etc. etc. My wife takes care of all the small problems, (where we live, the amount of money we spend, where we vacation, etc. etc.)"



















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Re: Equities and terrorists
Old 06-21-2004, 09:07 AM   #39
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Re: Equities and terrorists

Quote:
I have not read so much pessimistic and cynical
BS on this forum since I started lurking last year.

What do you guys want to do ........ just roll over?
The way I see it is that we have to take it to the
enemy and destroy them. Better on their land
than ours.

Charlie
Charlie - you're absolutely right, we have to take it to them. Afghanistan made all the sense in the world.

Iraq...another matter, but the core politics arent particularly evident. Unfortunately a lot of really smart people havent done their reading.

Iraq has historically - for centuries - been a hard place to govern. There are roughly two dozen different "constituencies" that frequently will try to kill each other on sight. Vast differences in religions, economics, ways of life, etc. Severe potential enemies all around from the opportunistic turks to the iranian mullahs to the israelis.

We probably LIKED saddam in his role of iron fisted dictator keeping all these different factions in line and his religion-neutral country as a breakwater in the oil rich region. We liked it because his failure would probably have led to a fractured Iraq, many large portions of which would have been grabbed up by the turks or the iranians. We dont need mass civil war and land grabs in the middle of our oil producing region.

How about a joined iran/iraq run by irans mullahs, sitting on the border of israel and saudi arabia? Yum.

Bearing in mind that we gave Saddam the keys to the city of detroit 20 years ago for his charitable work with a local church...for whatever reason we came to be at odds with him over kuwait. Scuttlebutt says the cia gave him the go-ahead to invade, but then when world reaction turned unfavorable and he wouldnt back out, we had to invade. Would make sense as to why we didnt "finish the job" back in the first gulf war. We wanted him to remain in power as the breakwater in the region.

We subsequently, over a ten year period, weakened him, his military and his country to the point where they were about to disintegrate. My opinion on his "WMD" fake-out? He was so afraid of invasion by a neighbor(s) that he made the bluff to keep them at bay while expecting the UN would keep us from invading. I think it was probably fear his regime would collapse and something unpleasant would fill the void, so we decided to step in and be the void filler ourselves.

But that doesnt have a thing to do with terrorism. And its going to cost us bazillions of dollars and a major distraction of our forces and resources away from fighting the "good fight".

Had we focused our military on continuing to pursue the situation in afghanistan, concentrating our intelligence efforts, and following the money trails and seizing the terrorists assets...we'd be far better off today.

But thats just my opinion...
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Re: Equities and terrorists
Old 06-21-2004, 09:18 AM   #40
 
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Re: Equities and terrorists

Hello Chuck-Lyn, re. "cynical", I am guilty. Cynical to a fault. But not really pessimistic, except about others,
especially government and other "authority figures".
I am completely an optimist regarding what I can do
for myself. Anyway, I've opted out of the struggle.
You may carry on if you wish. And one more thing.......
I believe the founding of this country was one of the greatest achievements in history. However, the
foundation which was laid by men of honor and courage
and vision has been corrupted and polluted beyond
repair IMHO. End of rant.

John Galt
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