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Thread: What to do About ISIS?

  1. #61
    Quote Originally Posted by concerned View Post
    Clinton not an internationalist? You either have erased him from your memory or you have a very specific and exclusive definition of internationalist to exclude him from your definition. Somalia, Kosovo, Iraq, etc. You are just using a label of McGovernite (whatever you tell us that means.)

    Obama and the US military obviously underestimated the threat from ISIS, and were slow to react. But it is not clear to me that the strategy has not turned a corner. ISIS has significantly less territory than it had a year ago. the Kurds have taken the supply route to Mosul and significant territory in Iraq and Syria near the Turkish border. If the Iraqi's retake Mosul this year after retaking Remadi, esp. without any Shia militia participation, that will be huge.

    ISIS is becoming contained geographically; containing the ability to export terrorism to Europe or the US is much more difficult, and probably can never be completely achieved, esp. without a political solution in Syria.
    The thinking that Isis is being contained geographically is a dangerous one, I hope our foreign policy experts and leadership don't think that way any more.

    Even if the contain the current geographic bounds of the major ISIS action, it will fracture and spread out in a much more smaller cell sort of operation. They are social media savvy and we have seen a number of ISIS motivated incidents in the US already. That part will get worse.




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  2. #62
    Quote Originally Posted by Rocker Ute View Post
    The thinking that Isis is being contained geographically is a dangerous one, I hope our foreign policy experts and leadership don't think that way any more.

    Even if the contain the current geographic bounds of the major ISIS action, it will fracture and spread out in a much more smaller cell sort of operation. They are social media savvy and we have seen a number of ISIS motivated incidents in the US already. That part will get worse.




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    As a state or a caliphate, it is becoming more contained than it was; it isn't expanding into new territory, but is retreating. But you are right, containing ISIS is like squeezing jello in your hand. It is going to leak out somewhere.

  3. #63
    Quote Originally Posted by concerned View Post
    As a state or a caliphate, it is becoming more contained than it was; it isn't expanding into new territory, but is retreating. But you are right, containing ISIS is like squeezing jello in your hand. It is going to leak out somewhere.
    This is true. But it is relatively easy to clamp down on their sources of funding via freezing international banking transfers, and bombing/controlling their oil supply trucking routes as the US, France, and the Kurds have done recently.

    The other thing that needs to happen (and IS happening) is to let the world at large know how horribly ISIL is treating the existing residents of the areas, and also what happens to the people who join JAIL and move to the region (particularly the women, who essentially get forced into marriages to be sexual slaves). If the good people who are getting forced out can tell how horrible the Daesh people really are, then they will gain fewer 'converts' to the Islamic State and the tide of immigrants into the IS areas will slow to a trickle.

  4. #64
    This isn't directly about ISIS/Daesh, but rather about the people running from those animals.

    Scott Carrier is a resident of Utah, a producer of short stories for national radio programs, a former UVU professor, and now produces the Home Of The Brave podcast. (he is also the brother of David Carrier who is a biology prof at Utah).

    He went to Europe to report on the Syrian immigrant crisis, and then travelled the length of the Balkan Route the immigrants are following. He interviewed people from a dozen different countries along the way, and the stories he tells are heartbreaking and compelling.

    Give them a listen, beginning with Episode 25 (through 29). www.homebrave.com. These are perhaps Pullitzer Prize-worthy stories.

    Also listen to his experiences in Afghanistan after the invasion with his young English-speaking translator (episode 6), and the follow-up where he brings the translator to Utah to attend UVU (Episode 7).

    Great stuff. I promise you will enjoy them.

  5. #65
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    What to do About ISIS?

    Der Spiegel on the Syrian debacle:

    The war has long since ceased being solely about Syria. The country has become Ground Zero of global geopolitics, an unholy mixture of Russia’s desired return to superpower status, an increasingly authoritarian Turkey, tentative US foreign policy, the Kurdish conflict, the arch-rivalry between Iran and Saudi Arabia, Islamist terror and the inability of a divided, crisis-ridden EU to do much of anything.

    The war in Syria has transformed from a civil war into a world war.

    It has long since reached Europe in the form of millions of refugees, terror attacks in Paris and attacks on tourists in Tunisia and Istanbul. And America, which has long been the leader of the West and guarantor of security in Europe, has refused to get involved. . . .

    The man who could answer many of these questions is saying very little these days about Syria, despite the recent drama. In the past, Barack Obama has said that Assad must step down and he still refers to him as “a brutal, ruthless dictator.” At the same time, though, Obama is doing nothing to counter him and there are no signs that he has anything up his sleeve either.

    The New York Times recently wrote that it is difficult to distinguish between Putin’s and Obama’s Syria strategies. Meanwhile, historian and journalist Michael Ignatieff and Brookings Institution fellow Leon Wieseltier lamented in the Washington Post, “It’s time for those who care about the moral standing of the United States to say that this policy is shameful.”

    It is very clear at this point that the US has no strategy beyond its half-hearted efforts to provide training and arms to rebels — and to otherwise rely on negotiations. But none of this has born any fruit, as events in early February demonstrated.

    Secretary of State Kerry worked for three months to get the warring parties to a negotiating table under the auspices of the United Nations — moderate rebels, representatives of the regime, Iranians, Saudi Arabians and Russians. But Moscow then turned around and launched its offensive right as the talks began. Within 48 hours, the Russian air force carried out 320 airstrikes in northern Syria alone. It was no coincidence that the storm on Aleppo began at that exact moment. The aim was that of destroying any possibility that the opposition would have a say in Syria’s future.

    “All sides were aware that a continuation of the talks would become increasingly difficult for the opposition as the regime intensified its military offensive,” diplomats in Geneva said. After two days, the UN mediator Staffan de Mistura suspended talks. Right now, it doesn’t look as though the opposition will be prepared to return to Geneva on Feb. 25 as planned. And why should they?
    http://m.spiegel.de/international/wo...m/instapundit/


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    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  6. #66
    Dear der Spiegel;

    Quit bitching about the lack of US involvement as you bang the war drum. You complained nonstop over the last 15 years about US involvement in the Middle East, and now you want America to escalate the situation because you fear Russian involvement? And yet somehow in the same article you claim the US and Russian goals are indistinguishable. The differences should be readily apparent by simply looking at the regimes the US and Russia choose to back, and with whom each country trades goods (and oil).

    The US Military has forged itself into perhaps the most deadly and effective urban war machine in the history of the world. But this comes with a tremendous cost in blood and money, and an especially high cost in the lives of 'collateral damage'.

    ISIS/ISIL/Daesh is at its core an ideology. The ideology spreads by either overrunning a new area, or through missionary propaganda to the outside world. Daesh already uses statements from US politicians and from US tv programs in their propaganda, and increasing the US involvement in the region will only serve to justify their extremist ideologies. Their stated goal is to fight a glorious war vs Western Civilization, which is anathema to their 8th-century CE idealism.

    The best way to rid the world of this cancer is to 1) surgically cut it out where possible; 2) cut off its supply network and seize its assets wherever possible to starve it where it exists; 3) make life better for the oppressed people around the world for whom this movement would be more attractive than their current lives; and 4) get the word out that life under Daesh is horrible, even for true believers.

    Germany is doing yeoman's work by allowing safe harbor for all refugees who can get themselves inside her borders. Continue to tell the horror stories of those who have escaped the atrocities.

    Sincerely,
    'Murrica

  7. #67
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NorthwestUteFan View Post
    Dear der Spiegel;

    Quit bitching about the lack of US involvement as you bang the war drum. You complained nonstop over the last 15 years about US involvement in the Middle East, and now you want America to escalate the situation because you fear Russian involvement? And yet somehow in the same article you claim the US and Russian goals are indistinguishable. The differences should be readily apparent by simply looking at the regimes the US and Russia choose to back, and with whom each country trades goods (and oil).

    The US Military has forged itself into perhaps the most deadly and effective urban war machine in the history of the world. But this comes with a tremendous cost in blood and money, and an especially high cost in the lives of 'collateral damage'.

    ISIS/ISIL/Daesh is at its core an ideology. The ideology spreads by either overrunning a new area, or through missionary propaganda to the outside world. Daesh already uses statements from US politicians and from US tv programs in their propaganda, and increasing the US involvement in the region will only serve to justify their extremist ideologies. Their stated goal is to fight a glorious war vs Western Civilization, which is anathema to their 8th-century CE idealism.

    The best way to rid the world of this cancer is to 1) surgically cut it out where possible; 2) cut off its supply network and seize its assets wherever possible to starve it where it exists; 3) make life better for the oppressed people around the world for whom this movement would be more attractive than their current lives; and 4) get the word out that life under Daesh is horrible, even for true believers.

    Germany is doing yeoman's work by allowing safe harbor for all refugees who can get themselves inside her borders. Continue to tell the horror stories of those who have escaped the atrocities.

    Sincerely,
    'Murrica
    Do you like red or green Kool-Aid? President Obama serves both.

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  8. #68
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    This is an op-ed by that right-wing nut Joe Lieberman:

    The absence of U.S. leadership makes the world more dangerous than ever

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  9. #69
    Today, Vladimir Putin announced that Russia will pull its troops out of Syria. I don't quite know how to take that news, and I have no idea how the events in Syria will play out. It seems this would create a big power vacuum, and that could be a big problem.

    This is huge news.

  10. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by NorthwestUteFan View Post
    Today, Vladimir Putin announced that Russia will pull its troops out of Syria. I don't quite know how to take that news, and I have no idea how the events in Syria will play out. It seems this would create a big power vacuum, and that could be a big problem.

    This is huge news.
    I heard he was leaving forces there, so it doesn't look like a total pullout. He's removing only the “main part” of Russian forces in Syria.
    And the Kremlin made clear it was keeping its new air base in the coastal Mediterranean province of Latakia, in addition to the naval refueling station it has kept nearby in Tartus since Soviet times.

    Mr. Putin has a history of unpredictability and is known for public statements that do not always align with Russia’s actions. In eastern Ukraine, for example, fighting by Moscow-backed rebels has continued even though Mr. Putin has pledged to honor a peace treaty.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/15/wo...awal.html?_r=0

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  11. #71
    It is called playing current US foreign policy like a fiddle.


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  12. #72
    Quote Originally Posted by Rocker Ute View Post
    It is called playing current US foreign policy like a fiddle.


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    What would you do differently?

    Russia obviously has a different set of priorities in Syria. They have an important Mediterranean naval base and an Air Force base in Syria, and of course they want to keep the current regime intact. They see the Assad regime as a valid stabilizing force in the region and as a valuable trade partner, who is under attack by those awful Kurds and other tribes, as well as ISIS. This was Russia's biggest military venture since the fall of the USSR.

    In The West we see Assad as a stabilizing force, who is also a dangerous tyrant who attacks his own people (especially the Kurds), and who is perpetrating the continued occupation of Libya, continues to attack Israel, and is the terror-supporting puppet of Iran's mullahs. And sometimes he deals with trouble from ISIS.

    The truth of Assad lies somewhere in between (and the statements made by Syrian refugees paint him as a monster-with-a-cause in the mold of Pinochet or even Pol Pot).

    -------
    A bit of good news: the top ISIS commander, the Chechen-born Abu Omar al-Shisani (born Tarkhan Batirashvili), was killed in an Air attack this week. Maybe US foreign policy is actually working.

  13. #73
    Quote Originally Posted by NorthwestUteFan View Post

    Maybe US foreign policy is actually working.

    Apparently.

    http://www.cnn.com/2016/03/14/politi...nch/index.html

  14. #74
    Quote Originally Posted by Rocker Ute View Post
    It sure is a good thing our foreign policy (with assistance from England, Germany, France, Russia, and all the IAEA countries) forced Iran to export all of their enriched uranium and to destroy 2/3 of their centrifuges.

  15. #75
    Quote Originally Posted by NorthwestUteFan View Post
    It sure is a good thing our foreign policy (with assistance from England, Germany, France, Russia, and all the IAEA countries) forced Iran to export all of their enriched uranium and to destroy 2/3 of their centrifuges.
    Yes it is.

    So they are testing multi-stage rockets because... Well let's just trust it is what they say it is for, not like they've ever lied in the past.




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  16. #76
    If they are lying and actually put nuclear weapons on that that one rocket and launched it at Tel Aviv, Israel would simply push a few buttons and destroy the entire country of Iran 50 times over in less than 15 min. Iranians are not that stupid, and they know Netanyahu is more than just crazy enough to actually launch against them.

    Back to my original post today, it appears that Russia simply wanted to clear away some of Assad's enemies. I don't know what effect that will have in the region, but I expect a Republican president would go out of his way to put boots on the ground in that region. And that is the last thing we need to do right now.

  17. #77
    Nevermind, redacted. Or as Richard Nixon would say, "<expletive deleted>."
    Last edited by Rocker Ute; 03-15-2016 at 03:55 PM.

  18. #78
    Quote Originally Posted by Rocker Ute View Post
    Nevermind, redacted. Or as Richard Nixon would say, "<expletive deleted>."
    Did you even read the article you posted? Because it doesn't seem as though you read the article. Which you posted.

  19. #79
    Quote Originally Posted by NorthwestUteFan View Post
    Did you even read the article you posted? Because it doesn't seem as though you read the article. Which you posted.
    Yes, but I decided I really was bored 'discussing' it with you so I redacted it.


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  20. #80
    Quote Originally Posted by Rocker Ute View Post
    Yes, but I decided I really was bored 'discussing' it with you so I redacted it.


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    I couldn't tell from your Twitter-style posts whether you really understood any of the issues. No worries.

  21. #81
    Quote Originally Posted by NorthwestUteFan View Post
    I couldn't tell from your Twitter-style posts whether you really understood any of the issues. No worries.
    You can continue to lob insults if you wish, I'm bored discussing it with you.


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  22. #82
    Quote Originally Posted by Rocker Ute View Post
    You can continue to lob insults if you wish, I'm bored discussing it with you.


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    Intent obviously doesn't translate well on a forum. I apologize for offending you.

    This is the way I read it. Again, it is difficult to discern intent based on a few sentence fragment posts.

    You made an assertion and posted a link. The link seemed largely to disprove your assertion. I posted additional facts to refute your assertion. You declared victory over my ignorance, took your ball, and went home. No harm, no foul.

    ________
    Anyway, the top ISIS leader is dead, most of their money supply is drying up, and it seems like they should be circling the drain. Perhaps they are now even desperate and will strike out with greater fury. Time will tell.

  23. #83
    I know you well enough to understand 'intent'. I haven't declare victory (discussions aren't contests with me anyway) and I redacted what I said because frankly I wanted to disengage from the childishness, at least on my part. Apparently you can't accept that which is fine. I am not insulted either, just bored. Let it go.


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  24. #84
    I don't care one way or another. I just wondered how to reach the conclusion you asserted.

    NBD

  25. #85
    Quote Originally Posted by NorthwestUteFan View Post
    I don't care one way or another. I just wondered how to reach the conclusion you asserted.

    NBD
    Lol - okay you want to talk - this feels like when my wife wants to talk and it won't go away until we do.

    Which conclusion? I've reviewed my posts recently.

    First assertion: Putin is playing US Foreign Policy like a fiddle.

    I'll admit this is factually incorrect. He can't be doing that because most experts don't know what our foreign policy is (LA has posted a few articles to that tune).

    I don't really have an interest in reminding you all that has happened in Syria but we can start with the pretend red line and end with the power vacuum now created by the Russian exit. You are familiar enough with the Middle East to know of the usual outcome with a power vacuum. We've already committed to not put boots on the ground in a variety of Middle East incidents (and while I'm not saying we SHOULD I still don't understand why you would ever tell your enemy what you will or will not do).

    You then stated that apparently US foreign policy was working. Thus came my second assertion that it apparently was.

    I was joking mostly because at that very moment were articles coming out from virtually every news source about Iran testing intercontinental missiles. There is a debate as to whether that violates our current agreement (but little doubt it violates other previous agreements) but obviously none of our allies are happy about it. This article of course ends with an Iranian authority mimicking my 5 year old who has stolen her sisters toy and denies it by saying, "What toy? How could I have taken her toy when I don't have that toy and you probably just lost that toy..."

    So after you stated it was a good thing they had nearly no nuclear capability because of our agreement I agreed but stated in an attempt to be humorous that I trusted why they were testing a system to launch 'satellites' you know for fun or whatever, because it isn't like they've ever lied to us in the past. That was my third assertion.

    You retorted that Iran would be stupid to launch a missile at Israel because Israel would bury them 50x over.

    But we all know that isn't the reason that Iran wants a nuclear weapon and I also noted that we aren't exactly dealing with stable and rational folk here.

    But then I went and redacted that because frankly it was silly to discuss any further my general disagreement with our current free form foreign policy. You should also know that my disagreement with current foreign policy isn't an endorsement of previous foreign policy either. If that region is an indication of anything it is that our foreign policy or lack thereof has resulted in the following years and decades of pain.

    So going back to Syria, it benefits Russia a great deal to have Assad in power and as you mentioned their goals are not the same as ours. Their withdrawal essential leaves us holding the bag now and has painted us in a bit of a corner. Allowing Assad to remain is leaving a madman, who you personally equated to Pol Pot, in power. Supporting opposition or putting boots on the ground will be a quagmire ala Iraq with no guarantee things will be better. That is my definition of Putin playing us like a fiddle.

    Iran may not be in technical violation of our current agreement but in my business we would say that isn't an 'act of good faith'. Forgive me for not trusting a country that also claims they have no homosexuals.

    I never really spoke about the current progress with ISIS. Kudos for killing their current head and drying up their resources. Further kudos for keeping it largely regional and mostly out of our country for now. I won't put up the 'Mission Accomplished' banner just yet as we don't know who might step up or what equally or more dangerous groups might come from the fractures. I will also note that the vacuum of peer in Iraq resulted in ISIS (and yes I know the pullout was Bush's plan too) and I fear the same will happen in Syria.

    This is of course all in a nutshell. And just my faulty opinion too. It will be easy for you to pick apart now which I hope gives you the relief for that itch you seem to relentlessly need to scratch.

    I apologize and you can see now why I wanted to stop discussing it. And that'll be the end of my participation on the matter.

    I'll just remind you that I voted for Obama, so I get to complain about him too. It is disheartening to realize that the past 16 years is going to likely be followed by at least 8 more.


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  26. #86
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    A long but really interesting read from The Atlantic:

    What ISIS Really Wants

    http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/...-wants/384980/


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    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  27. #87
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    When you've lost Tom Friedman, you've lost non-flyover country.

    Does Obama Have This Right?

    Snip:

    Obama’s primary goal seems to be to get out of office being able to say that he had shrunk America’s involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan, prevented our involvement on the ground in Syria and Libya, and taught Americans the limits of our ability to fix things we don’t understand, in countries whose leaders we don’t trust, whose fates do not impact us as much as they once did.

    After all, the president indicated, more Americans are killed each year slipping in bathtubs or running into deer with their cars than by any terrorists, so we need to stop wanting to invade the Middle East in response to every threat.

    That all sounds great on paper, until a terrorist attack like the one Tuesday in Brussels comes to our shores. Does the president have this right?
    Last edited by LA Ute; 03-23-2016 at 03:45 PM.

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  28. #88
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    A balanced critique of both right and left:

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/opini...3e7_story.html


    "It's men in shorts." -- Rick Majerus

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  29. #89
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    Some thoughts from a U. of Tennessee law professor:

    Glenn Reynolds: An untraditional war

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinio...lumn/85794088/

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  30. #90
    Quote Originally Posted by LA Ute View Post
    Some thoughts from a U. of Tennessee law professor:

    Glenn Reynolds: An untraditional war


    http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinio...lumn/85794088/
    Wait a minute. I thought the only issue is guns. If we limit gun access these things all go away. Right?

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