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The Law of Unintended Consequences

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  • The Law of Unintended Consequences

    or Karma Bites Hard.

    Up to one million migrants could reach Europe from Libya amid collapsing security in the northern African country, the European Union's border agency chief has warned. Frontex executive director Fabrice Leggeri said he expects asylum seekers' crossings to skyrocket in 2015 and urged EU governments to ready themselves to "face a way more difficult situation than last year".

    "We are told there are between 500,000 and one million migrants ready to leave from Libya," Leggeri told Italian news agency Ansa. "We have to be aware of the risks".

    In 2014, more than 173,000 asylum-seekers were rescued in the Mediterranean after they set off from African shores on overcrowded, run-down boats in a bit to reach the Italian coast. At least 3,500 others died at sea. Numbers have increased with human smugglers exploiting the power vacuum caused by the prolonged conflict that has engulfed Libya since the overthrow of late dictator Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

    With the country now locked in a three-way power-struggle pitting government troops against different Islamist groups including Islamic State (Isis) affiliates, fears have been raised that extremists could mingle with the hundreds of migrants crossing by boat every week or drastically increase the number of crossings to strain EU border forces.
    This is why you don't just go in and overthrow dictators without any coherent plan on what to do next.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Paprika View Post
    or Karma Bites Hard.


    This is why you don't just go in and overthrow dictators without any coherent plan on what to do next.
    Right, this human disaster can be laid directly at the feet of the U.N. Clinton and Obama. Gaddafi had the rebellion pretty much squashed until we started using air power.
    Atheism is the cult of death, the death of hope. The universe is doomed, you are doomed, the only thing that remains is to await your execution...

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jbnueb2OI4o&t=3s

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by seer View Post
      Right, this human disaster can be laid directly at the feet of the U.N. Clinton and Obama.
      And similarly, Iraq's with Bush.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Paprika View Post
        And similarly, Iraq's with Bush.
        Well yes and no - at least Bush got a relatively stable government up and running. It really only fell apart after US troops left, though there were problems before that.
        Atheism is the cult of death, the death of hope. The universe is doomed, you are doomed, the only thing that remains is to await your execution...

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jbnueb2OI4o&t=3s

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by seer View Post
          Well yes and no - at least Bush got a relatively stable government up and running. It really only fell apart after US troops left, though there were problems before that.
          It was completely inevitable and predictable that the US would eventually retreat.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Paprika View Post
            It was completely inevitable and predictable that the US would eventually retreat.
            Nothing is inevitable Paprika unless you are a determinist. Of course in hindsight, we should have just sold Saddam more tanks and let him go on his way...
            Atheism is the cult of death, the death of hope. The universe is doomed, you are doomed, the only thing that remains is to await your execution...

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jbnueb2OI4o&t=3s

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by seer View Post
              Nothing is inevitable Paprika unless you are a determinist.
              It's just hyperbole.

              Of course in hindsight, we should have just sold Saddam more tanks and let him go on his way...
              Or you could just have left him alone as a counterbalance to Iran.

              Comment


              • #8
                Iraq was an excellent object lesson on not trying to go traipsing around the globe "nation-building," a lesson the neocons that started that war still haven't learned.

                Libya was an excellent object lesson on not intervening in other countries' civil wars, even on the basis of preventing outright massacres. With Syria and Ukraine, Obama seems to have learned the lesson.

                Not that it's much comfort.
                "I wonder about the trees. / Why do we wish to bear / Forever the noise of these / More than another noise / So close to our dwelling place?" Robert Frost, "The Sound of Trees"

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Sam View Post
                  Iraq was an excellent object lesson on not trying to go traipsing around the globe "nation-building," a lesson the neocons that started that war still haven't learned.
                  Some nation-building can and has worked in the past. The big lesson is to consider the quality of the people involved and the return on investment before attempting any grand projects that worked in 1945 on intelligent and cohesive races but aren't likely to work on the fractious and foolish.

                  Libya was an excellent object lesson on not intervening in other countries' civil wars, even on the basis of preventing outright massacres. With Syria and Ukraine, Obama seems to have learned the lesson.

                  Not that it's much comfort.
                  Intervening in other countries' civil wars to prevent the acquisition of resources by elements like ISIS being a much better reason.

                  Do not go to war without being willing to judge people as a people. It's knee-jerk anti-"racism" and pro-"democracy" thinking that ensures that going, or not going, to war will fail as national policy. If you can't publicly ask a simple question like "Are Iraqis intelligent enough to build a nuke/maintain a Western government" without various anti-racists shouting you out of your career, your problems are internal.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Epoetker View Post
                    Some nation-building can and has worked in the past. The big lesson is to consider the quality of the people involved and the return on investment before attempting any grand projects that worked in 1945 on intelligent and cohesive races but aren't likely to work on the fractious and foolish.
                    I think you had in mind Germany and Japan in 1945 and afterwards. Any other example?



                    Intervening in other countries' civil wars to prevent the acquisition of resources by elements like ISIS being a much better reason.

                    Do not go to war without being willing to judge people as a people. It's knee-jerk anti-"racism" and pro-"democracy" thinking that ensures that going, or not going, to war will fail as national policy. If you can't publicly ask a simple question like "Are Iraqis intelligent enough to build a nuke/maintain a Western government" without various anti-racists shouting you out of your career, your problems are internal.
                    A better question would be, is our government wise enough to know what to do with ISIS or with "civil" wars in far-away lands? ("Civil war" used to mean a war in one nation between groups in that nation fighting to capture its government. After the first Bulll Run battle, Stonewall Jackson proposed that he lead his men to capture Washington D. C. including Lincoln. He would be put on trial as traitor to the ideal of liberty and justice for all. But Jackson was told, no. So, the War Between the States wasn't exactly a civil war, because the South never really tried to capture the government since then. The South only wanted the North to allow the secession to go on.)
                    The greater number of laws . . . , the more thieves . . . there will be. ---- Lao-Tzu

                    [T]he truth Im after and the truth never harmed anyone. What harms us is to persist in self-deceit and ignorance - Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      It seems that US foreign interventions that have worked well have been few and far between. A brief (but far from complete) survey of the general shape of the conflicts shows that US foreign interventions have never been 100% successful, but have often been 100% failures:

                      After WWII there were a long series of disasters during the Cold War, though it began okayish with a successful defense of South Korea against North Korean invasion. But there there were the long series of disastrous CIA operations: Destroying democracy in Iran and Guatemala and triggering a decades-long civil war in the latter. Secret interventions in Tibet and Indonesia that utterly failed. Then a not-so-secret failure as they invaded Cuba at the Bay of Pigs. The later funding of al-Qaeda in the hope they'd attack the Soviets also stands out as a gem among the CIA's operations during this period.

                      The Vietnam War stands out as the defining US military intervention of the Cold War age: A disastrous almost decade-long complete and utter failure.

                      Post Cold-War there was Kuwait (aka "Iraq the first time"), in which the Iraq troops opted for a scorched-earth policy in response to the US successfully pushing them back out of Kuwait, making it a rather mixed victory.

                      Then there was the UN intervention in Somalia, which was hugely successful in saving hundreds of thousands of lives, and deserves sincerely congratulations on that front. However the publicly broadcast deaths of numerous US soldiers during this venture made the public sour on it.

                      Then post 9/11 there was Afghanistan, and 14 years worth of military occupation later, it's not overwhelmingly clear that that country is necessarily all that better for it.

                      And, of course, we have Iraq the Second. Where a war of aggression against a random country in the middle of the most unstable and war-prone region in the world is something you do because it feels good, and because Cheney's pockets needed more money in them. 12 years of military interventionism later, the whole region has been nicely destabilized leading to ISIS. The ongoing solution to ISIS? More bombs, of course.

                      The Libyan intervention deserves congratulations for 1) Having goals that were clear and achievable, and 2) Having them carried out successfully and swiftly. Which seems a whole lot more than can be said for Afghanistan and Iraq. Obama, compared to Bush, deserves credit for intelligently choosing his battles. But as the OP notes, even success can have unintended consequences.

                      It seems to me from history that US military interventionism tends to have been worthwhile in about 1/4 to 1/10th of instances in which it has been done. It's not surprising that when polls ask people around the world to name the country that is the greatest threat to world peace, the most common answer is the US.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Starlight View Post
                        Then there was the UN intervention in Somalia, which was hugely successful in saving hundreds of thousands of lives, and deserves sincerely congratulations on that front. However the publicly broadcast deaths of numerous US soldiers during this venture made the public sour on it.
                        I'm admittedly not greatly familiar with the Somalian situation over the past decades, but I doubt the intervention saved that many lives.




                        Then post 9/11 there was Afghanistan, and 14 years worth of military occupation later, it's not overwhelmingly clear that that country is necessarily all that better for it.
                        I would be more definite and pronounce it a failure, so far.



                        The Libyan intervention deserves congratulations for 1) Having goals that were clear and achievable, and 2) Having them carried out successfully and swiftly. Which seems a whole lot more than can be said for Afghanistan and Iraq. Obama, compared to Bush, deserves credit for intelligently choosing his battles. But as the OP notes, even success can have unintended consequences.
                        It's as though you have not heard of those boats that were overloaded with refugees and capsized. Hundreds of lives lost.
                        The greater number of laws . . . , the more thieves . . . there will be. ---- Lao-Tzu

                        [T]he truth Im after and the truth never harmed anyone. What harms us is to persist in self-deceit and ignorance - Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Truthseeker View Post
                          So, the War Between the States wasn't exactly a civil war, because the South never really tried to capture the government since then. The South only wanted the North to allow the secession to go on.)
                          Yeah, it all fits the pattern of 'invades other territories and while painting one's side to be as virtuous as possible'.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Paprika View Post
                            Yeah, it all fits the pattern of 'invades other territories and while painting one's side to be as virtuous as possible'.
                            ??
                            The South did invade the northern states in the days leading up to Gettysburg. However, the South's reason was a lack of supplies. The only available store of what the South badly needed was up north. So the invasion was really a raid.
                            The greater number of laws . . . , the more thieves . . . there will be. ---- Lao-Tzu

                            [T]he truth Im after and the truth never harmed anyone. What harms us is to persist in self-deceit and ignorance - Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Truthseeker View Post
                              ??
                              The South did invade the northern states in the days leading up to Gettysburg. However, the South's reason was a lack of supplies. The only available store of what the South badly needed was up north. So the invasion was really a raid.
                              I was referring to the Union in this case as the party which invades and then tries to appear as morally virtuous as possible, ie. 'free the slaves!!!'

                              Comment

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