Tag Archives: ISIL

Talk Ain’t Cheap

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A specter is haunting American elections — the specter of foreign policy. Every election cycle in the US, especially in the presidential election, the two parties do their damnedest to differentiate themselves. In matters where they differ then the tension between opposites helps define a middle ground, a moderate position that adjusts itself to fit popular opinion.

In matters where the two parties agree a more dangerous dynamic presents itself: When they agree on policy they can only differentiate themselves by the extremity of that policy. When we’re discussing the bipartisan consensus on foreign policy, all a politician has to differentiate themself from an opponent is how extreme that policy can be. Continue reading

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If the Friend of my Friend is my Enemy

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Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu has landed in the United States in preparation for a speech Tuesday lecturing the nation on the dangers of making deals with a potentially, sometime in the future, but not-yet-in-any-way-according-to-any-source-no-matter-how-hysterical, nuclear-armed Iran. Bibi is the Prime Minister of Israel, a nation whose own nuclear arsenal is something of a casually open secret in the international community, and who is the only nuclear nation in the Middle East with militarized nuclear capabilites (excepting possibly Pakistan depending on your choice of map book).

Israel is a nuclear state but, unlike the United States, UK, Russia, Syria, Germany, China, Qatar, Mexico, Cuba, or Iran is not a signatory to the internationally recognized Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. Continue reading

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I Would Gladly Pay You Tuesday

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A brand new 2015 Bentley Mulsanne sedan has an MSRP of $300,000, the combined take-home pay of twenty full-time McDonald’s employees. For not even $10 million US dollars you can have yourself 370 acres of lush Whiteland Coppice and white sandy beachfront a leisurely 2 hour catamaran trip from the coast of Grand Bahama. For $3 billion you might’ve been able to snake the Beats Electronics brand from Apple. Beats is primarily known for taking the ubiquitous studio- or “DJ”-style headphone design and redesigning it to be bulkier and dumber looking.

It seems these stratospheric price ranges suffer from a severe degree of diminishing returns. So maybe it’s not a surprise that $1.7 trillion dollars doesn’t afford you much more than an enormous barrel fire for your cash and a contagious cage fight between two of your most reviled enemies. Continue reading

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How Military Action Against ISIL Will Fuel ISIL Part 1: The Costs of Unleashing the Leviathan

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Awakening Leviathan:

On February 12th the Islāmic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIL or ISIS) captured al-Baghdadi, a small village in western Iraq, bringing ISIL troops the closest they have been to U.S. ground troops, stationed only three miles away at Ain al-Asad air base.  And while U.S. troops have authorization to protect themselves if attacked, only the Iraqi military is authorized to conduct offensive operations.  That might soon change, again. Continue reading

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