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  1. #241
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    Quote Originally Posted by Augustus View Post
    It's not reasonable to think that every nation can do the same things as can the world's largest economy. The US can twist some arms that Canada cannot.
    Right, and the problem the US has in 'twisting arms' right now is that the rotw knows that you can talk the talk, but can't really walk the walk. You've blown your wad, the country is war weary, you have no fresh troops, and your economy is treading water.

    Republican or Democrat, any US leadership would be in the same boat here. I get why the republicans are using this, that's politics, but let's not pretend that it's anything more than that. That's why Vin and ctc are so adverse to offering specific responses, because there really aren't any.

    Sell natural gas to Europe to offset sanctions by Europe? How much does that drive up the cost of natural gas? With winters we've been having, and people are paying double or triple to heat their homes every month, what's going to happen election day?

    Of course Canada isn't taken seriously in the arm twisting business, (unless we're going up against Trinidad and Tobago), but the thing everyone seems to be missing is that RIGHT NOW, the US hasn't got any monetary or military capital to spend.
    "the blade itself incites to violence." - Homer

    --

    "There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old's life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs." - Kung fu Monkey

  2. #242
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    Quote Originally Posted by CalgaryHawkFan View Post
    RIGHT NOW, the US hasn't got any monetary or military capital to spend.
    Or moral capital. "Don't invade other countries because its wrong... oh wait... "
    "What's so funny about peace , love and understanding?" - Elvis Costello

  3. #243
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    Quote Originally Posted by CalgaryHawkFan View Post
    Right, and the problem the US has in 'twisting arms' right now is that the rotw knows that you can talk the talk, but can't really walk the walk.
    There's a wide spectrum that can be applied to that statement. If you mean the US cannot push around everyone else and shape the world to its liking, you are right. If you mean the US must resign itself to being pushed around by winds of change without ability to affect the environment in which it finds itself, you are wrong. It doesn't follow that if Iran wants nukes, it gets them and there isn't a damn thing the US can do to deny them, etc.

  4. #244
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    Quote Originally Posted by Augustus View Post
    There's a wide spectrum that can be applied to that statement. If you mean the US cannot push around everyone else and shape the world to its liking, you are right. If you mean the US must resign itself to being pushed around by winds of change without ability to affect the environment in which it finds itself, you are wrong. It doesn't follow that if Iran wants nukes, it gets them and there isn't a damn thing the US can do to deny them, etc.
    I agree that the US isn't powerless but it also isn't omnopotent and knowing what the limits of our power is will help us define our real options.
    The trouble with the world today is the intelligent people are full of doubt and the dumb people are full of confidence - Charles Bukowski

  5. #245
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    Quote Originally Posted by flyerhawk View Post
    I agree that the US isn't powerless but it also isn't omnopotent and knowing what the limits of our power is will help us define our real options.
    We seem to be saying the same thing, although you seem to focus more on the US' limitations while I prefer to focus more on its abilities.

  6. #246
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    Quote Originally Posted by Augustus View Post
    We seem to be saying the same thing, although you seem to focus more on the US' limitations while I prefer to focus more on its abilities.
    I'm fine with either approach as long as you are identifying actual abilities rather than desired abilities.
    The trouble with the world today is the intelligent people are full of doubt and the dumb people are full of confidence - Charles Bukowski

  7. #247
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    And here is an interesting essay on Obama's foreign policy vis-a-vis Syria and Russia.

    http://www.foreignpolicy.com/article...r_putin_crimea

    My point, then, is not that Obama's detractors don't realize what a fine job he's doing, but that his failures are not failures of nerve. Had he followed a more confrontational policy toward Russia from the outset, as conservative critics wish he had, he might not have gained the cooperation he got on arms control, Afghanistan, and Iran -- and he would have played into Putin's fantasy of a battle of equals between the two countries, which in turn would have helped him gin up even more vociferous Russian nationalism in the face of unacceptable threats like the incorporation of Ukraine into Europe. I dearly wish that Obama had agreed two years ago to train, fund, and equip the Syrian rebels, and I believe his failure to intervene there will be a lasting stain on his presidency. But I wish he had done so to rescue the Syrian people from a monster, not to create a demonstration project for Putin.
    That is a fair criticism that doesn't pivot around some fantasy view of the world in which the President pulls the strings of the world.
    The trouble with the world today is the intelligent people are full of doubt and the dumb people are full of confidence - Charles Bukowski

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