In reading these comments it is easy to see that most people do not fully understand this problem and neither do I. We have been handed so many opinions but little facts in regard to the people involved. It seems like a very dangerous situation similar to Vietnam and it's civil war between the north and south. There is also the religious element which also muddies the water. I intend to inform myself better about what is going on. One fact I know is that under no circumstances do I believe we should send troops over there.
On that basis, North Korea's regime shouldn't be around after all these years. Incidentally, for how many years has the world been largely civilized? Personally, I associate globally predominant "civilization" with selectively enforced rule of law by hegemonic states and their proxies/client states.
Read for my old warn-out saw? Okey-dokey, here goes…The demonic clowns elected to congress accurately reflect the values and desires of the American people - they are the after-effect of the glorification of ignorance and the regional Balkanization of North America. If we want more rational politicians all we need to do is find a more rational population of voters. How easy is that?
It's good to see an article comparing incomes that include government benefits. You don't see many articles that cover a 30 year span. It's not world equality but at least developed countries in Europe are finally catching up and our neighbor to the North has finally tied the incomes of our middle class. Well done.
First off, McCain was dropping bombs on innocent men women and children in populated areas in north Viet Nam, so who is he to talk about torture. One man's torture is another man's war I guess. Second -- the NYT helped get us into that war over there. Talk about hypocrisy Third--The CIA fights blood thirsty psychopaths in the Middle East and they do a pretty good job of it.They are heroes every one.
Indeed, Nixon did this.But, for those of us from the North who lived in the South at the time, the "Democrat" had two entirely different meanings -1. The FDR New Deal Democrat (Northern/Western,etc..2. The Southern Dixiecrat (Wallace, Thurmond, etc.)Johnson realized, for better or worse, that endorsing Civil Rights eventually would be Pyrrhic victory.Thus conflating the two "Democrats" is like comparing Republicans and the Whigs.One survived, one died.
You are right about Vietnam and wrong about Iraq. Your analysis for Vietnam dovetails better with the situation in Korea where North Korea had tried to hijack the nationalist narrative with a liberal dose of communism. the North Korean attempt was a lot less successful than Vietnam largely because of the economic success of its southern counterpart.ISIS is a different ball game. In the middle east sectarian thinking prevails over nationalism of any sort. The Americans got it wrong by trying to supplant the Saddam regime by a Shiite one. Saddam represented the numerically weaker but socially aggressive Sunnis and had ruled Iraq with an iron hand. the Iraqi army under him was almost exclusively Sunni. Given their mutual distrust a Shia ruled Baghdad failed to retain the loyalty of the predominantly Sunni Army resulting in many of its officers and soldiers turning renegades. These are the guys at the forefront of the ISIS phenomenon. The foreign jihadis are getting a lot of media attention but they do not constitute the core of ISIS.You are right about a Sunni-Shia struggle being played out with Iraq as the wrestling ground. It is a more violent version of the "sphere of influence" doctrine of an earlier era. The main combatants here are Saudi Arabia and Qatar on one side with turkey as a silent supporter and the Iranians on the other.
"Allies are enemies of your enemies."Let's hope all the moderates--despite sectarian differences--can find in their common barbaric enemy hope for future peace and prosperity.And that their new common "enemy" finally displaces (North) America.
A different response to paying or not paying the ransom might be targeting the kidnappers with special operations forces. After many of the al-queda kidnappers were killed, perhaps this would be a less lucrative operation for them. France could mount small-scale offensives and probably get the approval of the Algerian or Malinese governments, given the history of the French in North Africa. These countries are battling al-qaeda as well.
S0, I will ask you what you would do? Would you start another war in the middle east? Just who are the "good guys"? How did Iraq and Afghanistan turn out? Oh, yes did we show a smart move in Viet Nam? Or lets even go back to the 50's and look at our great victory in Korea-we showed those north Koreans who's boss.So we should have sent troops to Crimea and started a war with Russia?Yes the idea of not doing stupid stuff has been illustrated throughout history. Obama, who is the most capable leader we have had since LBJ is showing this every day every way.