The Enemy of my Enemy is my Friend

Discussion in 'Politics' started by JoeNation, Jan 3, 2020.

  1. JoeNation

    JoeNation Patron Saint of Idiots

    An ancient proverb which suggests that two opposing parties can or should work together against a common enemy. So if you consider that Vladimir Putin interfered in our election to benefit Trump (this isn't in dispute at least according to 17 intelligence agencies and all common sense) and the fact that Russia is a close ally of Iran which is now facing a Trump-lead assault of "maximum pressure" and political assignations, who exactly is the enemy of my enemy here?

    It seems like the only one that is walking away unscathed here is Vladimir Putin once again. If you ask me, the most logical political assassination the U.S. could pull off would be the assassination of Vladimir Putin. It would weaken the Iran/Russian relationship and rid this country of a very destructive chess piece. I mean as long as we are openly assassinating people anyway. Why not?
  2. Mopar Dude

    Mopar Dude Well-Known Member

    Is this a backdoor way of saying that the Iranian general that was responsible for terrorizing our Iraqi diplomatic embassy was assassinated?
  3. JoeNation

    JoeNation Patron Saint of Idiots

    No, not backdoor at all. He was assassinated. We aren't at war with Iran right now. He wasn't killed on the battlefield. Trump gave an order to kill him. He was assassinated. This is by any definition a targeted assassination regardless of what you want to call it. I'm sure this man did plenty of bad things around the Middle East for his country. He was a high ranking military official in an elite unit. Let's just call this what it is and not fool ourselves because we aren't fooling anybody else. If you're not comfortable calling it an assassination, what term would you prefer?
  4. JoeNation

    JoeNation Patron Saint of Idiots

    Assassinations always involve risks. This article is a clear warning from history.

    Thinking Through Assassination

    Amid the jubilation surrounding Osama bin Laden’s death on Monday, which followed closely on the heels of an apparent attempt to take out Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi in an air strike, it’s difficult to remember a time when “assassination” was a dirty word in this country. But it was, and not so long ago. Before the practice becomes a bad habit, we might want to heed the counsel of the past.

    The peak of outrage against government-sponsored assassination was the mid-1970s, when the Senate Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations — better known as the Church committee — spent more than 60 days questioning 75 witnesses about C.I.A. plots of the late 1950s and early 1960s. Back in the darkest days of the cold war, the agency had devoted significant resources and creativity to devising unhappy ends for unsavory or inconvenient foreign leaders. Among those listed for assassination were Patrice Lumumba of the Congo, Ngo Dinh Diem of South Vietnam, Rafael Trujillo of the Dominican Republic and, most famously, Fidel Castro of Cuba, who survived no fewer than eight C.I.A. assassination plots. The senators on the committee were intent on divining the full extent of the government’s role in these plots. How much direct authority, for example, did Presidents Dwight Eisenhower and John Kennedy exert over them? The committee’s conclusions were vague at best. The truth was that neither president would have allowed his hand to show in such affairs..
    Times have changed. Our president now interrupts regularly scheduled broadcasting to announce the news of an assassination himself.
    Clearly, the circumstances surrounding assassinations have evolved over the last 50 years. For one thing, the targets are a sketchier crowd. Bin Laden was a terrorist, not a national leader, and a man so reviled in the West as to make Mr. Castro look cuddly by comparison.
    The method of killing has changed greatly, too. Today’s attacks with laser-guided missiles and Navy Seal commando teams are straight out of a video game. The plots half a century ago were the stuff of B-movies and Saturday morning cartoons. In one of these, the C.I.A. employed the Mafia to arrange a mob hit on Mr. Castro shortly before the Bay of Pigs invasion of April 1961. The Mafia turned out not to be a very reliable partner and the hit never materialized, but the C.I.A. was undeterred. The agency later tried to deliver to Mr. Castro a scuba-diving suit laced with poison. Another plot involved getting Mr. Castro to smoke a toxic cigar.

    At the C.I.A., where many top officials were highly cultivated products of elite boarding schools and Ivy League colleges, assassination may have been in vogue at the time, but it was not a subject for polite discussion. When one C.I.A. official turned in a memo urging the “elimination” not just of Fidel Castro, but of Raul Castro and Che Guevara, too — a sort of assassination triple play — Allen Dulles, the agency’s director, did not balk. But he did cross out “elimination” and pencil in a softer word: “removal.”

    Such squeamishness seems almost quaint by today’s standards. “Targeted killing” is the latest euphemism for assassination. Employed with some regularity since the 1980s, targeted killing has been an especially valued tool of the C.I.A. and Pentagon since 9/11. Several executive orders prohibiting government-sponsored assassination were issued in the aftermath of the Church committee, including one signed by Ronald Reagan in 1981. Reagan himself challenged the order in 1986, when he approved an air attack on Libya — and the implicit attempt on the life of Colonel Qaddafi — as retribution for the bombing of a Berlin discotheque.

    Some United States officials and legal scholars draw a firm distinction between assassinations, which are considered a form of murder, and targeted killings, which are undertaken during war and presumably in self-defense. The problem is that in the war on terrorism — a perpetual war with no foreseeable end — that line is bound to be murky at times. In any case, a spade, no matter what we call it, is still a spade.

    Osama bin Laden clearly presents a special case both morally and practically. There is no conceivable argument against assassination that could stand up to the overwhelming desire in this country to see the man die. But the apparent attack on Colonel Qaddafi two days previously is more troubling.

    American and NATO officials have denied going after Colonel Qaddafi, but that seems disingenuous. Given the sophistication of American intelligence and equipment, it is unlikely the bomb just happened to hit a house where Colonel Qaddafi was staying. Clearly, the air strike missed the Libyan leader only by chance (while killing one of his sons and three of his grandchildren). Colonel Qaddafi poses no direct threat to the United States, or at least did not until NATO forces went into Libya in March. It is hard to understand how poisoning Mr. Castro with a cigar was wrong if blowing up Colonel Qaddafi with a smart bomb is right.

    However Americans feel about assassination, we should define exactly what our policy is going forward. We might consider some of the findings of the Church committee in 1975, starting with the committee’s statement that assassination, with rare exceptions, “violates moral precepts fundamental to our way of life.”

    Even if we put aside morality, let us weigh the committee’s assessment that assassination presents practical risks. There is always the possibility, for instance, that the death of one leader may result in the rise of a leader even less to our liking, or to a state of chaos or vengeance more dangerous than the problem the killing was meant to solve. And always the danger, too, that the assassination bug will spread and lead to “reciprocal action,” in the words of Senator Frank Church, chairman of the committee. Nothing cooled the C.I.A.’s ardor for toxic cigars in the 1960s so quickly as the rash of assassinations that struck our own leaders later in the decade.

    There is no arguing with assassination as a short-term expedient. But ultimately, the wars we are fighting will depend on defeating a violent ideology, not on killing individuals. Osama bin Laden got what he had coming, so let us make an exception in his case. But if we want the rest of the world to believe that the way to justice is law and not cold-blooded killing, then we need to be very careful that the killing we undertake in the name of justice remains the very rare exception, and not the rule.

    Jim Rasenberger is the author of “The Brilliant Disaster: J.F.K., Castro and America’s Doomed Invasion of Cuba’s Bay of Pigs.”
  5. Mopar Dude

    Mopar Dude Well-Known Member

    Well, no I am not buying into this. I just got home from taking a batch of kids to see the Harlem Globetrotters. A true celebration of all things good in America. I realized something while I was there..... We as a society have taken the bait, hook, line and sinker in believing somehow that we as Americans have earned these terrible attacks. Our success is no more than greed, we have felled a tree and upset Mother Earth and as a result have become something short of an evil society.... Well hell no we have not. By golly when an embassy is attacked a damn hard punch in the nose is the right and proper action. When you let a bully get away with a little then you give him license to get away with a lot. Only because this thing was spearheaded by Donald Trump does this get the negative scourge of everyone left of center. Hell no. The man did the right thing. If we allow the thugs of the earth to have their way, in short order you will find them in your neighborhood. Well by golly I will sleep well tonight confident that Mr. Trump has my families safety well in hand. I swear to goodness, the man could fart daisies and be scandalized by every left leaning person alive. Well, go ahead and hug a terrorist and let me know how that goes for ya. Sheesh...
  6. JohnHamilton

    JohnHamilton Well-Known Member

    Running through this list U.S. assassination attempts, there are examples where I agree with the author that killing or attempting to kill those individuals was not a good thing. Bringing down Saddam Hussein took out a counterbalance to Iran, which in retrospect could be viewed as mistake, although his constant attacks on his other neighbors was a concern.

    I differ with him in his blanket assumption that all such actions are unjustified. The only elimination that he grudgingly supports was that of bin Laden. Reading between the lines, he would not have supported that if bin Laden had been a head of state and not a terrorist mastermind. I would not make such a distinction.

    That restriction is too narrow. There are leaders who are rotten to the core and have nothing but death and destruction to mankind. I support the concept that if a despot confines his butchery to his own country, like Pol Pot of Cambodia, that there is argument not have threatened his life, although covert activity might be justified in the name of humanity.

    In the case of Fidel Castro, I strongly disagree with this author. While the attempts to do him in were usually clownish and silly, taking him out was justified.

    I was old enough during the Cuban Missile Crisis to know what was at stake. As a client state of the Soviet Union, Castro intended to make his island a missile base for thermonuclear attacks upon the United States. Had the Soviet Union been able to install those missiles, it would have the given the Russians a launching pad from which they could threatened and blackmailed the United States for years to come. Given the short distance, the missiles could have been launched, and we would have had little to no defense, even to take cover. As such Castro posed a direct threat every American east of the Mississippi.

    In addition, Castro spent considerable time trying to export his revolution to the rest of Central and South America. He was a true believer in the Communist Revolution and was prepared to spread the contagion. While one could argue that the threat came Cuba directly, the sponsor of Cuban adventurism was the Soviet Union. As such one could argue that the Monroe Doctrine applied because an old world state was threatening our position in the Americas.

    As for others on the list, it is interesting to note that Qaddafi, after dipping his toe into the sponsorship of terrorism, went back into his foxhole and refrained from that for the rest of his reign. That could be viewed as a positive development from his near death experience.
  7. JoeNation

    JoeNation Patron Saint of Idiots

    Ask yourself what interest we have in being in the Middle East in the first place or any where else. The only people that spread their military tentacles around the world throughout history are empires. We are an empire just like the Brits were in their day, just like the Romans were in their day and countless other powerful nations throughout recorded history. We are not an exception just because it hurts your pride to believe so. As a nation, our foreign policy is as good as the person leading it. We have a dull-witted, morally vacant, idiot in charge right now and our foreign policy reflects exactly that dynamic. If you can't own the guy you support, don't find solace in blind patriotism as a security blanket.
  8. Mopar Dude

    Mopar Dude Well-Known Member

    Well now wait just one second. We are talking about an embassy here. All nations have embassy’s around the globe. And isn’t an embassy generally regarded as a safe bastion free from conflict? Isn’t an attack on an embassy somewhat akin to an attack on grandma’s house? Why shouldn’t I find that to be reprehensible?
  9. JoeNation

    JoeNation Patron Saint of Idiots

    Why do we have an embassy there?
  10. JohnHamilton

    JohnHamilton Well-Known Member

    The same reason why we have embassies anywhere else in the world. They provide immediate contact points with foreign governments and to provide services to Americans who might be abroad.

    An embassy from the diplomatic perspective is foreign soil in the nation in which is located. From the diplomatic perspective it is not to be attacked or invaded. It can even be used to harbor domestic fugitives from the legal system of the host country.

    Our embassy was attacked on the orders of this Iranian thug who has been responsible for the terrorists’ operations for the Iranian regime. He was responsible for supplying arms to the terrorists who killed the American contractor which got this mess started.

    Instead of playing nice with this pig who was in a country where he didn’t belong with the express purpose of stirring up trouble, he paid for his arrogance with his life. He was vermin. He was responsible for the deaths of many people and helped keep repressive Iranian regime in power. So far as whether or not that was a good strategic move, only time will tell.
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2020
    Mopar Dude likes this.

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