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Tags Venezuela incidents , Venezuela issues , Venezuela politics

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Old 22nd October 2018, 03:20 PM   #321
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In a perfect world, the US would simply be the military wing of the UN Nation Building Agency. Go in, kick over the ant-hill, smash the queen, and then step back out of the way. The UN Nation Builders go in and maintain law and order while they work with the locals to establish a nice representative democracy with all the bells and whistles including culturally-appropriate institutional values.
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Old 22nd October 2018, 05:09 PM   #322
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
In a perfect world, the US would simply be the military wing of the UN Nation Building Agency. Go in, kick over the ant-hill, smash the queen, and then step back out of the way. The UN Nation Builders go in and maintain law and order while they work with the locals to establish a nice representative democracy with all the bells and whistles including culturally-appropriate institutional values.
That's essentially what the neo-cons were aiming for.
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Old 22nd October 2018, 05:24 PM   #323
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Originally Posted by LSSBB View Post
That's essentially what the neo-cons were aiming for.
Too bad it's not a perfect world, and the UN would never have played along and done their part anyway.
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Old 22nd October 2018, 07:22 PM   #324
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Too bad it's not a perfect world, and the UN would never have played along and done their part anyway.
The biggest problem is that forcing people to be the way you want them to be tends to backfire.
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Old 23rd October 2018, 02:19 AM   #325
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Originally Posted by LSSBB View Post
The biggest problem is that forcing people to be the way you want them to be tends to backfire.

Agreed. It's like Marxism-Leninism had taught nothing
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Old 23rd October 2018, 02:34 AM   #326
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Originally Posted by LSSBB View Post
The biggest problem is that forcing people to be the way you want them to be tends to backfire.
Seemed to go alright in Japan and West Germany.
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Old 23rd October 2018, 05:53 AM   #327
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Seemed to go alright in Japan and West Germany.
Those are outliers.
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Old 23rd October 2018, 06:08 AM   #328
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At school in our class there was a student from Venezuela, he said crime was sky-high.

I hope he is doing alright.
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Old 23rd October 2018, 01:13 PM   #329
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Seemed to go alright in Japan and West Germany.
Only because ever since then, everybody's been trying to get the same results without putting in the same effort.

The successful pattern seems to be:

Fight > Win > Occupy > Martial Law > New Institutions > Self Rule

Iraq 2.0 tried to breeze through Martial Law and New Instutions with fingers crossed, hoping that Self Rule would go back and complete the unfinished work of the previous steps.

A lot of people seem to assume against all evidence to the contrary that if the Palestinians are given enough self rule, they'll produce new and peaceful institutions on their own.

The Korean peninsula could look like Japan today, except that apparently the coalition decided to half-ass it instead.

The general perception seems to be that occupation, martial law, and imposing new institutions are problematic, and that real positive change is best achieved by avoiding those things. And in a lot of cases (most cases?) that's probably a good perception. But in some cases, to get the positive change you need, to put a stop to the ongoing human cost of not getting that change, I think that those are probably the most important steps to take.
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Old 23rd October 2018, 02:31 PM   #330
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Oh, that nasty tendency of the peoples to do their own will... how wrong they can be
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Old 23rd October 2018, 06:29 PM   #331
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Only because ever since then, everybody's been trying to get the same results without putting in the same effort.

The successful pattern seems to be:

Fight > Win > Occupy > Martial Law > New Institutions > Self Rule

Iraq 2.0 tried to breeze through Martial Law and New Instutions with fingers crossed, hoping that Self Rule would go back and complete the unfinished work of the previous steps.

A lot of people seem to assume against all evidence to the contrary that if the Palestinians are given enough self rule, they'll produce new and peaceful institutions on their own.

The Korean peninsula could look like Japan today, except that apparently the coalition decided to half-ass it instead.

The general perception seems to be that occupation, martial law, and imposing new institutions are problematic, and that real positive change is best achieved by avoiding those things. And in a lot of cases (most cases?) that's probably a good perception. But in some cases, to get the positive change you need, to put a stop to the ongoing human cost of not getting that change, I think that those are probably the most important steps to take.
Japan and Germany were aggressor nations that essentially had to be wiped out down to the root - Germany more so than Japan, and Japan only after dropping nuclear weapons.

Iraq in 1990 was an aggressor nation. If Bush Sr. had gone in to take out Saddam at that time, maybe things would have been different. He certainly would have had more coalition backing than W when it came to stabilization, and probably more boots on the ground to stabilize given the cold-war size of the U.S. military.

So yes, outliers.


I'm surprised you didn't mention Panama and Noriega. I believe you would have more of a case. But Panama was easy, comparatively.
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Old 24th October 2018, 02:54 PM   #332
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Originally Posted by LSSBB View Post
The biggest problem is that forcing people to be the way you want them to be tends to backfire.
There is a old saying...which I think has a lot of truth to it...that people would rather be badly ruled by one of their own then be well ruled by an outsider.
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Old 24th October 2018, 02:55 PM   #333
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I think it is clear Venezuela is going down the tube. Only question is the rate of speed at which it is going.
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Old 24th October 2018, 03:16 PM   #334
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Originally Posted by dudalb View Post
There is a old saying...which I think has a lot of truth to it...that people would rather be badly ruled by one of their own then be well ruled by an outsider.
Not only that, but it is a fundamental principle of democracy as an institution, that it is morally preferable for people to rule themselves badly than submit to the good rule of an invader.
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Old 24th October 2018, 03:18 PM   #335
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Originally Posted by LSSBB View Post
Japan and Germany were aggressor nations that essentially had to be wiped out down to the root - Germany more so than Japan, and Japan only after dropping nuclear weapons.

Iraq in 1990 was an aggressor nation. If Bush Sr. had gone in to take out Saddam at that time, maybe things would have been different. He certainly would have had more coalition backing than W when it came to stabilization, and probably more boots on the ground to stabilize given the cold-war size of the U.S. military.

So yes, outliers.
Outliers because the method is rarely applied, not because the method is flawed.

There's a huge difference between, "we try this all the time, and it hardly ever works", and, "we hardly ever try this, even though it seems to work pretty well when we do".

ETA: Also, I think it's reasonable to characterize the current Venezuelan regime as an "aggressor". Even if the victim of their attack is their own people.

Last edited by theprestige; 24th October 2018 at 03:21 PM.
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Old 25th October 2018, 12:39 AM   #336
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Seemed to go alright in Japan and West Germany.
Japan was definitely special case.
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Old 25th October 2018, 02:08 PM   #337
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Outliers because the method is rarely applied, not because the method is flawed.

There's a huge difference between, "we try this all the time, and it hardly ever works", and, "we hardly ever try this, even though it seems to work pretty well when we do".

ETA: Also, I think it's reasonable to characterize the current Venezuelan regime as an "aggressor". Even if the victim of their attack is their own people.
Rarely applied? Are you counting the times it was considered as an option and discarded? Are you also counting:
  • Iraq (2nd time)
  • Afghanistan
  • Cuba (aborted)
  • Vietnam (failed)
  • North Korea (failed)
  • Canada (failed - war of 1812)
  • Granada (success, but jeez, it's a tiny Caribbean island)
  • Phillipines (unless you count a dictatorship as a success)
  • Hawaii (success, kind of - the natives have mostly been displaced by an Asian population anyway)

Thise are just off the top of my admittedly pointy head...
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Old 26th October 2018, 04:52 AM   #338
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Inflation in Venezuela:


September = 233%
January-September = 81,043%
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Old 26th October 2018, 06:43 AM   #339
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Originally Posted by aleCcowaN View Post
Inflation in Venezuela:


September = 233%
January-September = 81,043%


Great news if you have a mortgage.


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Old 26th October 2018, 06:55 AM   #340
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
In a perfect world, the US would simply be the military wing of the UN Nation Building Agency. Go in, kick over the ant-hill, smash the queen, and then step back out of the way. The UN Nation Builders go in and maintain law and order while they work with the locals to establish a nice representative democracy with all the bells and whistles including culturally-appropriate institutional values.
This is a terrible idea. First of all, the UN doesn’t do occupation missions, it does peacekeeping. For this to work there needs to be a semblance of order and desire to work towards something. If you smash all the existing order all you do is create chaos and a power vacuum that makes the subsequent peacekeeping all but impossible.
Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Seemed to go alright in Japan and West Germany.
Those countries that already had stable government systems in place. In Germany’s case government institutions may have been heavily damaged by the war but the tradition and people were there to re-established them fairly quickly. In Japan the existing government structure was largely kept in with the US stepping into the overall governance role that had previously been held by the Japanese military. No one was trying to build a democracy from ground up in either case.
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Old 26th October 2018, 07:31 AM   #341
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Originally Posted by Eddie Dane View Post
Great news if you have a mortgage.
Good new/bad news. The good news is your mortgage in Venezuelan Bolivar is now trivial to pay off. The bad news is your house is in Venezuela.
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Old 26th October 2018, 08:41 AM   #342
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Originally Posted by Eddie Dane View Post
Great news if you have a mortgage.
Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
Good new/bad news. The good news is your mortgage in Venezuelan Bolivar is now trivial to pay off. The bad news is your house is in Venezuela.
If there's any mortgage left (I really doubt it), it's in U$S. Mortgages can be in local currency but at a variable interest rate, or at a fixed rate but applied on an imaginary currency that follows inflation. Also, the mortgage style with a fund to repay and easy foreclosure on delinquent debts doesn't match Latin laws, Continental laws and pretty much the whole world's.

And in countries with persistent hyperinflation, the bank system collapses and disappears.

You really cannot fathom what is to live and life in general in a country like Venezuela or Honduras or anything different than the Anglosphere (nor it looks that you're trying). Expecting them to have mortgages in local currency is just ... an americanada (this demonym is used on purpose, part of the americanada itself).

Other people who should read this thread attentively and learn is commenting what John Wayne would have done instead.
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Old 26th October 2018, 08:47 AM   #343
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Originally Posted by aleCcowaN View Post
You really cannot fathom what is to live and life in general in a country like Venezuela or Honduras or anything different than the Anglosphere (nor it looks that you're trying). Expecting them to have mortgages in local currency is just ... an americanada (this demonym is used on purpose, part of the americanada itself).
It was a joke. And obviously so, mine even had a punchline. While I'm not versed on the details of Latin American mortgage procedures, I never actually expected it to work like a typical fixed rate 30-year USD mortgage.
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Old 26th October 2018, 09:08 AM   #344
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
It was a joke. And obviously so, mine even had a punchline. While I'm not versed on the details of Latin American mortgage procedures, I never actually expected it to work like a typical fixed rate 30-year USD mortgage.


Yes, I was joking.

And no, I have no idea what it is to live with these problems. I live in a utopia of stability.

Such high inflation would make life totally impossible.

I recently watched a video about Brazil. Apparently they just make electronics twice as expensive and you get to pay in parts. The number of payments is indicated on the price sticker.


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Old 26th October 2018, 11:28 AM   #345
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Originally Posted by LSSBB View Post
Rarely applied? Are you counting the times it was considered as an option and discarded?
My thesis is that it has worked when tried in the past, and should not be so hastily discarded. I'm explicitly not counting the times it was discarded. It would make no sense to count the opposite of a policy as an example of the policy.

Quote:
Are you also counting:[*]Iraq (2nd time)
No. I actually examined Iraq 2.0 specifically earlier in the thread, and assessed it as a botched attempt. I feel like you haven't been reading my posts very closely.
Quote:
[*]Afghanistan[*]Cuba (aborted)
I'm not counting situations where the policy was not attempted as examples of the policy.
Quote:
[*]Vietnam (failed)[*]North Korea (failed)[*]Canada (failed - war of 1812)
The policy was not attempted in any of those nations. In Vietnam, specifically, the US entered the war not as occupiers, but as allies of South Vietnam. North Vietnam was never occupied by US forces, let alone subjected to the policy I described. So of course I don't count it as an example of the policy.
Quote:
[*]Granada (success, but jeez, it's a tiny Caribbean island)
Feel free to count Granada if you like.
Quote:
[*]Phillipines (unless you count a dictatorship as a success)
I'd count the Philippines as a qualified success.
Quote:
[*]Hawaii (success, kind of - the natives have mostly been displaced by an Asian population anyway)
Hawaii is a huge success, though perhaps not exactly an example of the policy we're discussing.
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Old 26th October 2018, 11:37 AM   #346
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Originally Posted by lomiller View Post
This is a terrible idea.
Like Communism, it's a great idea in a perfect world, and a terrible idea otherwise.

Quote:
First of all, the UN doesn’t do occupation missions, it does peacekeeping.
Not occupation. Nation building.

Quote:
For this to work there needs to be a semblance of order and desire to work towards something. If you smash all the existing order all you do is create chaos and a power vacuum that makes the subsequent peacekeeping all but impossible.
Martial law has historically been an effective tool for occupiers seeking to maintain order while they rebuild the occupied territory.

I had proposed the UN as the right entity to take on such a heavy responsibility. However, I'm open to the argument that the UN lacks the necessary semblance of order and desire to work towards something.

Quote:
Those countries that already had stable government systems in place. In Germany’s case government institutions may have been heavily damaged by the war but the tradition and people were there to re-established them fairly quickly. In Japan the existing government structure was largely kept in with the US stepping into the overall governance role that had previously been held by the Japanese military. No one was trying to build a democracy from ground up in either case.
Nobody would have to build a democracy from the ground up in Venezuela, either.

And I'm not actually advocating "smash everything". I'm saying, smash what needs smashing, keep as much as you can, use martial law to shore up the edifice while you rebuild the broken bits, and partner with the peace-loving citizens themselves to hand over self-rule in a timely manner and with a country that has been given a good start towards a better tomorrow.
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Old 26th October 2018, 03:34 PM   #347
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
My thesis is that it has worked when tried in the past, and should not be so hastily discarded. I'm explicitly not counting the times it was discarded. It would make no sense to count the opposite of a policy as an example of the policy.


No. I actually examined Iraq 2.0 specifically earlier in the thread, and assessed it as a botched attempt. I feel like you haven't been reading my posts very closely.

I'm not counting situations where the policy was not attempted as examples of the policy.

The policy was not attempted in any of those nations. In Vietnam, specifically, the US entered the war not as occupiers, but as allies of South Vietnam. North Vietnam was never occupied by US forces, let alone subjected to the policy I described. So of course I don't count it as an example of the policy.

Feel free to count Granada if you like.

I'd count the Philippines as a qualified success.

Hawaii is a huge success, though perhaps not exactly an example of the policy we're discussing.
I see, you count successes, and not failures it appears to me.

I got another one: Nicaragua.

ETA: and call some failures successes, ala the Philippines, which didn't really become a democracy until Aquino, I believe.
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Old 26th October 2018, 04:20 PM   #348
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Originally Posted by LSSBB View Post
I see, you count successes, and not failures it appears to me.
Most of the stuff on your list wasn't even attempts. I'm not going to count as "failures" things that weren't even attempted.

Quote:
I got another one: Nicaragua.
Why? Remember, the process I'm looking at is:

Fight > Win > Occupy > Martial Law > New Institutions > Self Rule

And I'm looking at the process in the context of restoring peace and prosperity to an erstwhile enemy and/or failed state. Just because the US occupied Nicaragua, that doesn't mean they were attempting to achieve the outcome I'm interested in.

Again, I'm not going to judge the success or failure of something that wasn't even attempted.

Quote:
ETA: and call some failures successes, ala the Philippines, which didn't really become a democracy until Aquino, I believe.
Assuming the US followed the process I outlined, in an attempt to achieve the outcome I'm interested in, then yeah, maybe it's not reasonable to judge the Philippines even a qualified success.

But given the examples you've been citing, I'm pretty sure you're not actually talking about the same thing I'm talking about. In fact, I'm kinda concerned that you don't actually understand what I'm talking about.
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Old 26th October 2018, 06:39 PM   #349
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Most of the stuff on your list wasn't even attempts. I'm not going to count as "failures" things that weren't even attempted.


Why? Remember, the process I'm looking at is:

Fight > Win > Occupy > Martial Law > New Institutions > Self Rule

And I'm looking at the process in the context of restoring peace and prosperity to an erstwhile enemy and/or failed state. Just because the US occupied Nicaragua, that doesn't mean they were attempting to achieve the outcome I'm interested in.

Again, I'm not going to judge the success or failure of something that wasn't even attempted.


Assuming the US followed the process I outlined, in an attempt to achieve the outcome I'm interested in, then yeah, maybe it's not reasonable to judge the Philippines even a qualified success.

But given the examples you've been citing, I'm pretty sure you're not actually talking about the same thing I'm talking about. In fact, I'm kinda concerned that you don't actually understand what I'm talking about.
I believe I do - the attempts though tend to either fail or stalemate at the Fight step in the process, the Win step, the Occupy step, the Martial Law a step, or the New Institutions step.

ETA: and I do consider the institution of a dictatorship as any kind of success.
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Last edited by LSSBB; 26th October 2018 at 06:40 PM.
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Old 27th October 2018, 06:32 AM   #350
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Originally Posted by Eddie Dane View Post
Great news if you have a mortgage.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Great news for any sort of borrower. It makes me want to finance my next car through a Venezuelan bank. No matter what the cost today, I'll be able to pay it off in a couple months with pocket change.
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Old 27th October 2018, 08:50 AM   #351
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Originally Posted by Mycroft View Post
Great news for any sort of borrower. It makes me want to finance my next car through a Venezuelan bank. No matter what the cost today, I'll be able to pay it off in a couple months with pocket change.
I honestly wonder how an economy can function with high inflation. Did pre-Euro Italians just wait until inflation ate their debts?

Venezuela is too extreme, nobody even accepts that currency unless they lost their monopoly money or they want something fun to throw at strippers.
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Old 1st November 2018, 09:48 AM   #352
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Originally Posted by Eddie Dane View Post
I honestly wonder how an economy can function with high inflation.
It largely doesn't.

Quote:
Did pre-Euro Italians just wait until inflation ate their debts?
I don't know specifically about Italians, but I would expect most lenders working in a high-inflation economy would index their interest rates to the inflation rate, precisely so borrowers cannot do that.

Oh, and some good news about Venezuela, they now have a new export besides oil and refugees: infectious disease.
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Old 1st November 2018, 10:27 AM   #353
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Like Communism, it's a great idea in a perfect world, and a terrible idea otherwise.
And bunnies, don’t forget the role of bunnies in all this. They aren’t just cute like everyone supposes you know.
Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Not occupation. Nation building.
Call it whatever you want, I doubt the UN is interested in going in to countries to try can clean up after the messes the US makes.
Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Martial law has historically been an effective tool for occupiers seeking to maintain order while they rebuild the occupied territory.
Martial law is when the country’s own leaders impose it. When someone from the outside does it, it’s called occupation and it seldom ends well for anyone.
Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
I had proposed the UN as the right entity to take on such a heavy responsibility. However, I'm open to the argument that the UN lacks the necessary semblance of order and desire to work towards something.
No, you proposed the UN because you have no idea what follows and just want to have someone else deal with it.
Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Nobody would have to build a democracy from the ground up in Venezuela, either.
If you “smash” the current government you’d have little choice.
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Old 1st November 2018, 10:44 AM   #354
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Originally Posted by lomiller View Post
Martial law is when the country’s own leaders impose it. When someone from the outside does it, it’s called occupation and it seldom ends well for anyone.
Nope. Martial law simply means direct military control over civilians. That can be done internally by an country's existing government, but it can also be done by an invading army in concert with occupation.
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Old 1st November 2018, 12:20 PM   #355
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ANybody else getting the sick feeling that Bolton with his trio of tyranny speech is setting up the next War?
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Old 1st November 2018, 12:50 PM   #356
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
Nope. Martial law simply means direct military control over civilians. That can be done internally by an country's existing government, but it can also be done by an invading army in concert with occupation.
Hair splitting side, this seems to suggest you agree with me that this would in fact involve an occupation force.
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Old 1st November 2018, 12:55 PM   #357
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Originally Posted by dudalb View Post
ANybody else getting the sick feeling that Bolton with his trio of tyranny speech is setting up the next War?
No. Venezuela is a **** storm, but it's not Iraq 2.0. We don't have a similar stake in the outcome.
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Old 1st November 2018, 12:57 PM   #358
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Originally Posted by lomiller View Post
Hair splitting side, this seems to suggest you agree with me that this would in fact involve an occupation force.
For anyone other than Venezuela to impose martial law in Venezuela would obviously require an occupation as well.
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Old 1st November 2018, 01:07 PM   #359
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Originally Posted by lomiller View Post
Call it whatever you want, I doubt the UN is interested in going in to countries to try can clean up after the messes the US makes.
Oh, I know the UN isn't interested in cleaning up messes. But my proposal is that the UN would have a military arm that can create the necessary conditions for the UN to come in and clean up a mess already made by one of its members. Regime change and nation-building in Venezuela, for example. Or North Korea. But like you said, the UN isn't interested in that kind of thing.

Quote:
Martial law is when the country’s own leaders impose it. When someone from the outside does it, it’s called occupation and it seldom ends well for anyone.
Semantic quibble aside, it ended pretty well for Japan and West Germany. Occupation an nation building can be blessings for a failed state. But the occupiers have to really commit to the project, and they have to do it for the right reasons. The Soviet occupation and "nation building" in East Germany don't condemn the corresponding allied efforts on the other side of the Curtain. Just as what the US did in Japan doesn't excuse what the US did in Iraq, or what China did in Tibet.

Quote:
No, you proposed the UN because you have no idea what follows and just want to have someone else deal with it.
I'd be content to have the US deal with it, but I think it would be more palatable if the nation-building were a collective effort of the UN, rather than one nation unilaterally deciding what was "right".

Quote:
If you “smash” the current government you’d have little choice.
I disagree. We smashed the German Nazi and Japanese Imperial governments, but didn't have to rebuild democratic institutions completely from scratch to get those countries back on their feet again.
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Old 1st November 2018, 01:16 PM   #360
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Originally Posted by lomiller View Post
Hair splitting side, this seems to suggest you agree with me that this would in fact involve an occupation force.
Enh. It was a nuanced distinction I was making in response to something LSSSB had said.

If it helps clarify the point and avoid unnecessary argument, I'm happy to stipulate that any UN program to rebuild a failed state would necessarily include both an occupation element and a nation-building element.

For example, a coalition of belligerents under the aegis of a UNSC resolution to depose the offending regime, secure the country, and provide a temporary system of order under martial law; and a UN Peacekeeper mission that comes into the country to help rebuild it and set it on a footing where it is once again on the road to success.
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