[ExI] This will not help the Libertarian candidate

spike spike66 at att.net
Fri Sep 9 01:08:10 UTC 2016



From: extropy-chat [mailto:extropy-chat-bounces at lists.extropy.org] On Behalf Of Adrian Tymes

>…Is Aleppo - not Syria in general, but specifically Aleppo - notable enough that it would even have been mentioned in a one or even two hour talk summarizing all the important things in world affairs right now?  It feels like most Americans would say no.  Adrian



I would say no; in the current situation definitely not.  I know there is a chaotic civil war and a lot of the action is in Aleppo, but we face a lot of risk here with our upcoming elections.  We have a warhawk candidate who systematically disregarded law, another warhawk candidate who systematically says scary stuff, and the peaceful candidate who didn’t know what is Aleppo.  US presidents are not running for president of the world; they really aren’t.  That whole mindset of USA as world policeman has attracted corrupt power grabbers.  Now we suffer.


Paradoxically, not knowing Aleppo has put Johnson on the map, which is a better outcome than he could have expected, had he turned out to be a whiz on Aleppo.  Bad headlines are better than no headlines.


Let us take a lesson from American history, shall we?  


At the outbreak of the American Civil War, representatives from England and France (the two superpowers of the day) sent observers, who were officially neutral but generally sided with the Confederacy, since both countries were heavily dependent on cotton and tobacco grown in the south.  They may have seen the north as industrial competitors.  


They assessed the order of battle, and went back to Europe to report that the Union had a big advantage with the industrial base, a fierce navy which was already powerful and growing, and the open ports for immigration.  This in itself was a good reason to stay out of this conflict, but an item which turned up in both reports, and not widely known in the States, was that both superpowers viewed the Confederacy as potentially several separate powers.  There were individual state governments, and there were groups unaligned with either the Union or the Confederacy or any state government.  I am not speaking of the Kentucky Wildcats, who had their own agenda, but for example the Kanawhans, who wished to form their own nation along the Kanawha River in what is now West Virginia.  I know a lot about that, for my own great^4 grandfather was a leading voice in the Kanawhans, and was a fiery anti-slavery orator.  


At the run-up to the elections of 1860, the Kanawhans had little interest in slavery either way, since they didn’t have or need slaves up that way.  My own G^4G made the agonizing decision to go with the anti-slavery Republicans and join forces with the union, voting to disband the Kanawhans, rather than risk helping the pro-slavery Democrat south.  The outcome was the formation of the anti-slavery state of West Virginia.  He became a representative to the state legislature, then served a term as state senator.


Maine was another case where they saw little difference between the two warring capitals, but grudgingly went with the Union for its anti-slavery stance, popular in Maine because of its heavily Republican population.


There were more than two sides in the US Civil War.  The Kentucky Wildcats and plenty of other what we could call third parties disliked both sides and had little interest in the question of slavery.  Europe (France and England) decided that allying with the south would put them at enmity with several smaller groups, which were numerous and dangerous, although American history mostly downplays their significance and strength.


Today, there is the government of Syria being supported by Russia, and this is a bad thing.  But the rebel factions are many and mutually hostile.  Arming one is fighting the other (rebel faction.)  Arming both leading rebel factions is fighting both leading rebel factions, in addition to fighting Putin and Syria.  Selling arms to Syrian rebels is the most hawkish act the US could do.  Secretly selling arms to Syrian rebels still creates plenty of enmity everywhere.  Does that view explain some of what we have seen and what we are now seeing?


I would welcome a president who does not know what Aleppo is and has no intentions of intervening.  We need to get out of that mess and stay out, as Britain and France decided a century and a half ago with regard to our domestic troubles.  We cannot take their refugees, because we have taken up arms against them, and we have guns here.  It’s too dangerous.  We cannot take sides, because we don’t even understand what the sides are or even how many there are; we have nothing to gain and much to lose.  It’s too dangerous.


Remind me again, why should Johnson know anything about Aleppo for the job he wants?



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