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(The Daily Beast)   Guess the GOP Senator: "I look back wistfully at the Cold War... mutually assured destruction meant something. It doesn't mean anything anymore. Now we have these people who are not rational, not logical, they're nuts"   (thedailybeast.com) divider line 123
    More: Scary, Cold War, GOP, assured destruction, Buck McKeon, no symbol, Senate Armed Services, satellite state, occupied territories  
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2751 clicks; posted to Politics » on 28 Feb 2014 at 9:12 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



123 Comments   (+0 »)
   
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2014-02-28 04:29:28 AM  
The trap

If you haven't seen an Adam Curtis documentary, start with this.
 
2014-02-28 05:26:18 AM  
Thanks Tenebreux.
 
2014-02-28 08:17:32 AM  
"Now we have these people who are not rational, not logical, they're nuts"

Yes, and we call them Republicans

/you f*cking lunatics
 
2014-02-28 08:21:53 AM  
Cuba having missiles in our backyard was the same as Turkey having missiles in their backyard. THAT was M. A. D. and deterrence, but the US flipped its sh*t and threatened nuclear war. It is ok to ring them with nukes, but if you even pretend to consider a neighbor nation as an ally of 'the enemy'? Oh America starts throwing furniture, smashing dishes, screaming and crying.
 
2014-02-28 08:30:58 AM  
I've always found that M.A.D is a great doctrine to have if in business/politics.
 
2014-02-28 08:37:09 AM  
Damn!  I had McCain.  That was a trick question.
 
2014-02-28 08:47:51 AM  
Having been alive in the 70s and 80s, I can say that we were just as unsure about MAD back then as anyone is now. Not being senile today, I'm reluctant to conclude that MAD "worked"; I think it's at least as likely that we just got lucky.
The past appears certain, but at the time it was just as confusing as the present is now. And it seemed a whole lot more dangerous. Goofy politicians who think fondly of the cold war should try to remember that.
 
vpb [TotalFark]
2014-02-28 08:48:34 AM  
I would have thought that was all of them.
 
2014-02-28 09:02:30 AM  

rumpelstiltskin: Having been alive in the 70s and 80s, I can say that we were just as unsure about MAD back then as anyone is now. Not being senile today, I'm reluctant to conclude that MAD "worked"; I think it's at least as likely that we just got lucky.
The past appears certain, but at the time it was just as confusing as the present is now. And it seemed a whole lot more dangerous. Goofy politicians who think fondly of the cold war should try to remember that.


I think after a certain level of arming up - where we were talking how many times each player could blow up the world - MAD stopped being effective and sanity took over.  The hard part was turning back from the escalation in arms.

MAD's a no win situation.  Once each side can assure destruction once over, arguing over orders of magnitude of how many times over you can assure destruction is no longer useful.  Then you're just swinging your dick.
 
2014-02-28 09:05:46 AM  
It's astounding to me that Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, and Ronald Reagan (to say nothing of the Soviet leaders) had access to nuclear bombs and yet we're still here
 
2014-02-28 09:12:09 AM  
He's partially right. The lack of rational state actors means that situations that arise now are harder to plan for. The USSR and China had nukes, but you knew their command structure was secure enough to keep those weapons in store during a military action. Now we have countries like Pakistan, India, and North Korea with lax control at best and at worst, run by people who are directly connected to irrational actors such as terrorist groups.
 
2014-02-28 09:13:39 AM  
But enough about your caucus.
 
2014-02-28 09:17:10 AM  
hindsight is 20/20 on that, there were at least a few times where we got close to a possible war.
 
2014-02-28 09:18:32 AM  
It's a dangerous world and we are making it more so, because by cutting defense we are totally eliminating Reagan's line 'peace through strength.'"

Every reversal of Reagan era policy is a good thing.
 
2014-02-28 09:19:38 AM  

MaudlinMutantMollusk: "Now we have these people who are not rational, not logical, they're nuts"

Yes, and we call them Republicans

/you f*cking lunatics


Thanks for ruining all the easy jokes.
 
2014-02-28 09:22:15 AM  
So the gop says it's time to triple the National debt again? Praise St Reagan!
 
2014-02-28 09:22:26 AM  
His comment makes perfect sense. The USSR had no desire for nuclear war as they had way too much to lose, which is why MAD worked. Religious or political extremists who are willing to die have no problem setting off a nuke.
 
2014-02-28 09:23:11 AM  

HotWingConspiracy: It's a dangerous world and we are making it more so, because by cutting defense we are totally eliminating Reagan's line 'peace through strength.'"

Every reversal of Reagan era policy is a good thing.


It's a good quote, though.  Very revealing.  These guys have a static model of "strength."  But he's not connecting the dots in his own argument.  It's a different world, with different players who play by different rules.  The old model of "strength" needs to change to address it.

Changing the model of strength to suit our needs doesn't make us weaker.  Inhofe types think otherwise.  It's naive and simplistic.
 
2014-02-28 09:23:14 AM  
"We are weakening ourselves and that it how you get into wars. You don't get into wars if you are strong,"

Explain the last thirteen years, farkface.
 
2014-02-28 09:23:18 AM  

BunkoSquad: It's astounding to me that Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, and Ronald Reagan (to say nothing of the Soviet leaders) had access to nuclear bombs and yet we're still here


That's because they were surrounded by people who were smart enough to whip out something shiney and distract the idiot in chief long enough to hide the nukes when it looked like things would get out of hand. If a Repub were in charge right now he would be surrounded by chickenhawks screaming nuclear football kegger on Friday.
 
2014-02-28 09:24:53 AM  

MaudlinMutantMollusk: "Now we have these people who are not rational, not logical, they're nuts"

Yes, and we call them Republicans

/you f*cking lunatics


cdn.frontpagemag.com

What an idiot he is.
 
2014-02-28 09:26:31 AM  

pueblonative: BunkoSquad: It's astounding to me that Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, and Ronald Reagan (to say nothing of the Soviet leaders) had access to nuclear bombs and yet we're still here

That's because they were surrounded by people who were smart enough to whip out something shiney and distract the idiot in chief long enough to hide the nukes when it looked like things would get out of hand. If a Repub were in charge right now he would be surrounded by chickenhawks screaming nuclear football kegger on Friday.


Oh, I don't think so. I think they're perfectly happy sending troops and tanks and planes and ships around the world like they're playing a huge game of Command & Conquer without resorting to nuclear weapons. Also, our military adventurism is typically to places that have something we want, and turning places into glass parking lots doesn't help with resource extraction.
 
2014-02-28 09:28:05 AM  

WTF Indeed: He's partially right. The lack of rational state actors means that situations that arise now are harder to plan for. The USSR and China had nukes, but you knew their command structure was secure enough to keep those weapons in store during a military action. Now we have countries like Pakistan, India, and North Korea with lax control at best and at worst, run by people who are directly connected to irrational actors such as terrorist groups.


This. The Cold War ment actual competition, which led to things like the space program. We sent a man to the moon to flip the bird at the Soviets. The communists also motivated us to provide compassionate capitalism to undermine their claims. But we don't have a competitor now. The terrorists are loosely organized at best and can't technologically compete with a nation state. We need a rival to motivate us.
/The guy in the article is a loon though.
 
2014-02-28 09:28:17 AM  
Even the freepers were saying how stupid that comment was.
 
2014-02-28 09:28:25 AM  

To The Escape Zeppelin!: His comment makes perfect sense. The USSR had no desire for nuclear war as they had way too much to lose, which is why MAD worked. Religious or political extremists who are willing to die have no problem setting off a nuke.


Yes it would be very scary if the people you imagine to exist were to gain nuclear arms.
 
2014-02-28 09:28:50 AM  

Zeb Hesselgresser: MaudlinMutantMollusk: "Now we have these people who are not rational, not logical, they're nuts"

Yes, and we call them Republicans

/you f*cking lunatics

[cdn.frontpagemag.com image 615x409]

What an idiot he is.


That guy has a nuke? He controls proxy nations? Where are you going with this?
 
2014-02-28 09:30:15 AM  

Diogenes: HotWingConspiracy: It's a dangerous world and we are making it more so, because by cutting defense we are totally eliminating Reagan's line 'peace through strength.'"

Every reversal of Reagan era policy is a good thing.

It's a good quote, though.  Very revealing.  These guys have a static model of "strength."  But he's not connecting the dots in his own argument.  It's a different world, with different players who play by different rules.  The old model of "strength" needs to change to address it.

Changing the model of strength to suit our needs doesn't make us weaker.  Inhofe types think otherwise.  It's naive and simplistic.


BIG BOMB = BIG BOOM = STRONG

As much as I hate Rumsfeld, he was right in that we need a light, limber, adaptable military, not some hulking beast.
 
2014-02-28 09:30:28 AM  
MAD started to fail about the time we fielded MIRVs.  When you no longer went 1-for-1, there was no point in racing.  A single sub was sufficient to guarantee continent-level destruction without a defensive capability.  You basically started adding exponents to the equation and unbalanced the whole damned thing.

Also, fark this guy:

FTA:
"When we used to have superpowers, they would let things go until it looked like it was going to spill over. Then they would step in and stop it," he said. "We can't get any help from Russia now with Iran or Syria, they are just pushing us all over the place. It's a dangerous world and we are making it more so, because by cutting defense we are totally eliminating Reagan's line 'peace through strength.'"

Every Soldier that died in Vietnam is spinning right now.  Fark this guy hard.
 
2014-02-28 09:30:57 AM  

pueblonative: That's because they were surrounded by people who were smart enough to whip out something shiney and distract the idiot in chief long enough to hide the nukes when it looked like things would get out of hand. If a Repub were in charge right now he would be surrounded by chickenhawks screaming nuclear football kegger on Friday.


They also were frequently surrounded by Henry Kissinger, whose argument against Nixon's idea to just bomb Vietnam into dust (I've read) was, no, the world might somehow see you as a bad man if you did that.
 
2014-02-28 09:31:20 AM  

Ned Stark: To The Escape Zeppelin!: His comment makes perfect sense. The USSR had no desire for nuclear war as they had way too much to lose, which is why MAD worked. Religious or political extremists who are willing to die have no problem setting off a nuke.

Yes it would be very scary if the people you imagine to exist were to gain nuclear arms.


Are you asserting that there are absolutely zero religious or political extremists who would set off a nuclear device if they got the opportunity?
 
2014-02-28 09:31:49 AM  

Diogenes: rumpelstiltskin: Having been alive in the 70s and 80s, I can say that we were just as unsure about MAD back then as anyone is now. Not being senile today, I'm reluctant to conclude that MAD "worked"; I think it's at least as likely that we just got lucky.
The past appears certain, but at the time it was just as confusing as the present is now. And it seemed a whole lot more dangerous. Goofy politicians who think fondly of the cold war should try to remember that.

I think after a certain level of arming up - where we were talking how many times each player could blow up the world - MAD stopped being effective and sanity took over.  The hard part was turning back from the escalation in arms.

MAD's a no win situation.  Once each side can assure destruction once over, arguing over orders of magnitude of how many times over you can assure destruction is no longer useful.  Then you're just swinging your dick.


That sort of dick-swinging seems to me a rejection of the structure of the game. If you accept the structure as given, then once you have enough to destroy the world you're done, and you get nothing for building more missiles. If your opponent builds more, then so what, you've already spent enough to get the maximum payoff, so you wouldn't build more. In other words, enough to blow up the world once for each side is a stable Nash equilibrium.
The reason a rational side might decide to build more is to signal to the other side that he doesn't believe MAD is the game (or that he is irrational), but then the rational response to that is to shrug. If you really believe MAD is the game you're playing, that is. You can't do anything to increase your payoff, but if you follow suit, you will increase your costs. At which point the signaling side shrugs as well, and stops building. It gets more complicated when you consider that everyone is playing other games, with other countries, and you might want to signal them as well. But in the end, you conclude that rational sides playing MAD wouldn't get in an arms race like we had.
Obviously, an irrational side might decide for lots of reasons to build more missiles. So if you see an arms race, then you have to conclude that the sides are not rational actors playing MAD. And that's what makes the whole thing a lot more uncertain than the RAND guys would have you believe.
 
2014-02-28 09:31:50 AM  

Diogenes: rumpelstiltskin: Having been alive in the 70s and 80s, I can say that we were just as unsure about MAD back then as anyone is now. Not being senile today, I'm reluctant to conclude that MAD "worked"; I think it's at least as likely that we just got lucky.
The past appears certain, but at the time it was just as confusing as the present is now. And it seemed a whole lot more dangerous. Goofy politicians who think fondly of the cold war should try to remember that.

I think after a certain level of arming up - where we were talking how many times each player could blow up the world - MAD stopped being effective and sanity took over.  The hard part was turning back from the escalation in arms.

MAD's a no win situation.  Once each side can assure destruction once over, arguing over orders of magnitude of how many times over you can assure destruction is no longer useful.  Then you're just swinging your dick.


You're correct. It would be like John Holmes and Ron Jeramy swinging their dicks around. It makes no difference which one is bigger at that point.
 
2014-02-28 09:32:44 AM  
What makes MAD work is the assumption that the other side doesn't want their own nation wiped out. When you're dealing with people who not only don't care about that, but welcome it, it kind of breaks down.
 
2014-02-28 09:33:27 AM  
FTA: "In this administration, we trust all these people," he said, referring to the leaders in Russia, China, and North Korea

Well that's just silly.
 
2014-02-28 09:37:01 AM  
"It's a real scary situation and we kid ourselves when we think we can trust them."

It was a real scary situation when kidded ourselves that we could trust the Soviets.
A vodka soaked Yeltsin wonders if the US launched a nuclear missile from Norway, despite the US telling them weeks before that it would be a scientific test.
Vasili Arkhipov is the one guy on a Russian sub during the Cuban Missile Crisis who stood in the way of launching nukes at the US Navy.

Sure, the present may not be all sunshine, flowers, and purple rainbow sherbert-smelling shiats, but lets not assume the past was any better.
These people really do think that Leave It to Beaver was a documentary, don't they?
 
2014-02-28 09:40:24 AM  
I thought all the old white conservative fuccos in this country sh*t their pants because of their age. Now I find out it's because it makes them feel nostalgic.
 
2014-02-28 09:41:38 AM  
Yeah, the "good old days". I remember being awakened in the wee hours of the morning by a very loud thunderstorm in the fall of 1982. My first thought was that we were having a nuclear war. In one of my high school classes the next day, a girl said the exact same thing before I brought it up. What wonderful times those were.
 
2014-02-28 09:41:57 AM  

To The Escape Zeppelin!: His comment makes perfect sense. The USSR had no desire for nuclear war as they had way too much to lose, which is why MAD worked. Religious or political extremists who are willing to die have no problem setting off a nuke.


And that's the rub.  It wasn't that the Cold War was good, it was that it was mostly predictable between two sides that didn't want their people to die.  Sure the stakes were enormous, but there was at least the backstop of "we both have something to lose."

Religious extremists have nothing to lose, on the other hand.
 
2014-02-28 09:41:58 AM  

Soon Right Away: Explain the last thirteen years, farkface.


Oh come on, now. I was young at the time, but even I remember all the Republicans biatching about Clinton having weakened the military, especially in the late 90's and the run-up to the 2000 election. We had to invade those countries because Clinton made Republicans feel like America had a small penis, 9/11 was just a convenient excuse.
 
2014-02-28 09:43:42 AM  

Repo Man: Yeah, the "good old days". I remember being awakened in the wee hours of the morning by a very loud thunderstorm in the fall of 1982. My first thought was that we were having a nuclear war. In one of my high school classes the next day, a girl said the exact same thing before I brought it up. What wonderful times those were.


I had nightmares for a week after watching The Day After.

I guess in retrospect it was pretty effective.
 
2014-02-28 09:44:42 AM  
i.chzbgr.com

/c'mon. I can't be the only one that thought this...
 
2014-02-28 09:49:16 AM  

jntaylor63: So the gop says it's time to triple the National debt again? Praise St Reagan!


Not while there's a Demmycrat in power, and is planning to use the debt to help poor people.
 
2014-02-28 09:49:17 AM  
What. The. Feck. Is wrong with these people?

And by people, I mean their voting bloc.
 
2014-02-28 09:50:14 AM  
Sounds like a line from Dr. Strangelove II (spoken by the Cheneyesque character).
 
2014-02-28 09:52:16 AM  
Now we have these people who are not rational, not logical, they're nuts

Yeah.  Tea Partiers.
 
2014-02-28 09:52:23 AM  

Karac: It was a real scary situation when kidded ourselves that we could trust the Soviets.
A vodka soaked Yeltsin wonders if the US launched a nuclear missile from Norway, despite the US telling them weeks before that it would be a scientific test.


You know Yeltsin took over after the fall of the USSR, right?
 
2014-02-28 09:52:25 AM  

Iowan73: What makes MAD work is the assumption that the other side doesn't want their own nation wiped out. When you're dealing with people who not only don't care about that, but welcome it, it kind of breaks down.


Which countries welcome it?
 
2014-02-28 09:56:33 AM  
"We can't get any help from Russia now with Iran or Syria,"

Aren't these the same meatheads who were biatching about how Russia stepped in and handled the chemical weapons problem in Syria "and made Obama look foolish?"

I don't think anyone is thinking we can fully trust Iran, China, Russia or North Korea here, so I'm not sure what these guys are jabbering about.
 
2014-02-28 09:57:25 AM  
Oh James inhofe, you scamp.

/my senator
//shutters to think what will replace him
 
2014-02-28 10:00:14 AM  

bdub77: Thanks for ruining all the easy jokes.


Did you see the way that straight line was dressed?

/it was just asking for it
 
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