May 15 2007 7:47 PM EDT
I've been having this discussion on facebook with a bunch of my friends. 16-20 year olds. They have managed to say many good, interesting, things. And get this, no fighting, name calling, mud slinging. Just good, solid debating.
So, I figured if my high school friends can make me think about something like that, maybe the people in CB can do it to a greater degree. Don't let me down.
I'll start, if nothing else to give someone to attack.
The war in Iraq is, basically, a funnel that America is running the lives of young men and women into, not to mention money, time, and other resources. It hurts me that all these deaths have come from this, and in 20 years, nothing will have changed except the possibilities lost from those who died.
I should write more, but I more want to see you all debate. I'm sure this has been covered, but why not again? Don't let me down CB =D!
Come to Canada, we're just havin fun up here! :D
somethinng will have changed, america will have fuel even cheaper then the rest of us, and the rest of the world will hate america just that little bit more.
May 15 2007 7:55 PM EDT
I believe extended occupation in Iraq is absurd myself. I was a soldier and I believe soldiers are to fight wars, not act as police/targets after them.
cheaper fuel? i don't see that happening. the price of oil by the barrel went down and on the same day the price at the pumps went up.
sorry i wrote that poorly, i meant that it would be even cheaper in comparison to fuel everywhere else, sorry
What's fuel everywhere else? At the pump nearest my house, it's $3.079 /gal. atm...
Problem solved: Zombie Soldiers, We could then just sit at the border and kill any zombie who gets close to the border. =) My military friend and I came up with that after much talking on the phone, =P
The logical side of me says it's horrible. That innocent deaths, or just deaths in general, could have been avoided. That it's useless. that some people don't mind their buisness. That not much will come out of it except for more violence, and Oil for the US.
The instinctive part of me says : ''If we don't take care of this country of fanatics, next bomb could drop on my head, just freaking bomb the entire middle-east.'' Of course, I am certain I'm not the only one with these kind of thoughts in the back of my head.
Thing is, some people let these instinctive voices in their head dictate their actions. And it brings forth the death of innocents.
I respect the soldiers that go to war. When said war is just. When the objective truely is self defence. In the case of Iraq, I'm not sure I know what the true objective is. And I am quite angry at the fact that people, who are willing to give their life for their country, are dragged into a conflict that does not relate to them.
Bleh. There you have it, my thoughts in short, as a 19 year-old Canadian who does not quite get the whole picture.
(Also, might I add, people must do away with the general America bashing that goes around. The entire country can't be held totally responsible for the stupid actions of an inscure and greedy child stuck in the body of a US president.)
fuel here in brisbane is up around $1.35 a litre at the moment, that works out to be:
litre to a gallon is 3.8 x 1.35 = $5.13 au x .83 (au to us) = 4.27 a gallon
Everybody whines about the dead mounting up now . But you have to skim the scum off or it just gets worse . Yes the cost is too high now but the terror religions need to be killed off once and a while.The British nixed the thugies or would you like them still out and about ?? I could probably of said this better eh good enough for now .
Well since it is an opinion piece, I will share mine.
Again simply my opinion.
The was an external terrorist attack on American soil. In response, the americans decided to stop further attacks on American soil. So far it has worked. Regardless of anything else, there has been no external terrorist attacks on American soil.
Granted the methodology could be better. Virtually any attmept can be improved in hindsight, but the truth of the matter is, the world has somehow decided wars need to be fought a certain way, with bullets and explosions. This is stupid and silly. We have much better technology than that, we simply cannot use it all for the name of "humanity". Guess what? War is not humane. It should not be humane, it cannot be humane.
Solution? Nerve Gas. Yep thats right, painless (ok well by comparision to dieing of blood loss from a gut shot or having your leg blown off its painless) virtually undefendable, and just about 100% effective. Again this is war, where you want to kill the enemy. You might say, what about the innocents? You will kill them to!!! I say, you give everyone 30 day notice, then 15 day notice, then 10 day notice, then 5 day notice, then 1 day notice, and anyone left, is not innocent. You might disagree and it is understandable, but this is war. Your objective is to completely wipe out the enemy with as few casualties to your own side. This is the goal of war right? So you gas the whole place, most every living thing dies, and you wipe up with a minor force at best. All the good people return you move on. This is actually more humane than the way we currently fight war, but it is considered less.
Sun Tzu is rolling over in his grave watching America the super power flounder around, mired in some liberal grip that says, treat the guys who want to crash large planes into large buildings killing many innocent people, fairly, with humanity, with kindness. It is the worst part of the whole thing in my opinion. Not that we are in war, but we wont do what it takes to win.
So there is my opinion on Iraq. Right or wrong we went to war. It is done. The terrorist attacks have stopped, now why in the name of Alexander the Great, can we not just win the thing completely, with as much death to the enemy as possible and as much life to our side as well, is beyond me, but at least we retain our humanity??????????????
May 15 2007 8:36 PM EDT
Canada is running Afghanistan like its their colony last I heard. Thank you United States of America, we love you!
Sefton, your opinion is disturbingly logical and makes complete sense.
I understand your view on the humane side of your solution.
But then again, as I said in my own post, you cannot make a whole country full of good people (the amount of ''Good'' people there being entirely debateable) pay for the stupid actions of a ***** fanatic with a frighteningly insane view of his religion. Making 90% of the population leave the place althogether is not fair to them. These people have the RIGHT to be able to live where they want without having people evicting them from their living place.
Anyways, the terrorists are not stupid. They'd just leave the place too, would they not?
Does it not also go against the rules of a certain very important convention? Wouldn't want to set a precedent here.
Well and this is most likely logistically impossible, but ideally it would be a managed exit. See your gas destroys no property. The only thing that can possibly damage property is people. So assuming you can keep your occupying force on program (likely impossible) then you basically ask people to register and you help (read make) them leave. They go where you want and wait, then return when safe. If every person is registered to a specific location, you can make sure only those specific people return. It is MUCH easier to keep people out of some area, than to find them hidden within the area. If you control the center, the border is not as hard to control. If you fear no attack from inside, then concentrating on the outside is easy by comparison. If you do not allow them to carry weapons back in with them, and you have removed all weapons from the area, and then you control entry, you should be able to keep things under control. Take it city by city. Rinse and repeat. Eventally no one will let them in. I mean would you want to go through the inevitable and unstoppable hassle of US occupation of this fashion?
Alexander the Great would go to a country, then a city, and attack without mercy. He would kill every living male, slave and make miserable all females. Then go to next city and say, more of the same, or maybe you just surrender. It usually did not take long for the next city to go, we will just skip the unpleasantries, please install your new governor so we also may become your vassals, please ?
So from the most brutal tactics possible, less lives were lost. Again this is War. Not tea time for the soul. Not bedtime for bonzo. This is kill or be killed. If it is not, then why bother?
May 15 2007 9:16 PM EDT
Yeah, Sefton, I agree that for whatever reason, we're in the war now.
But I don't think that means that we should completely give up on trying to find out why we entered the war in the first place. You'll know the focus of the war has shifted many times and many Americans feel that the troops were tricked and manipulated into a war, without even really knowing the reason for the war.
May 15 2007 9:21 PM EDT
I prophesy here and now that this thread takes a turn for the worse sometime soon. =\
But honestly and seriously. Sure you can look for a reason of why. With I would assume the goal of saying hey if this is not a good reason, then perhaps we can learn how not to do it again like this.
There has not been an original reason for War since the first 20 Cavemen clubbed 10 Cavemen for their cave. They did it a) because lightning struck a tree (religion) b) they wanted the other cave c) to protect their own cave d) they knew they would win or e) some combination or all of the above.
This time we protected our cave (and our oil). Nuff said, now let's get it done.
In the end, you can ask why, in hopes of avoiding it in the future, but it cannot change what is. And even if you do learn the real reason why, and do not like it, you will not be able to stop it from occuring in the future.
Its like gun control, the bad guys are already breaking the rules, what does one more rule do for us?
May 15 2007 9:37 PM EDT
It's principle. There are laws in place to make sure that the President isn't allowed to lie to us about things like this. Which was why Clinton was put in trial for impeachment - because he lied to America. Now, this is much more serious and a extramarital affair and shouldn't be shrugged off with a simple "Who cares? We're already in it. Who cares why?"
And I think gun control is a preventative measure. Also, it doesn't really make sense to me to use that kind of logic. Sure, murder is against the rules, but the murderers are already breaking the rules, so why not make murder legal? That's probably not an exact analogy, but that's how I see it.
But while we are spending our time and effort learning the why of it, WE ARE LOSING. Its one thing to sit back after the job is done, and say, ok what was up with this? It's an entirely different thing to start and then in the middle say, what is up with this? Finish it with the least allied casualties and the most massive enemy casualties possible, then say, hey was this a good idea? Did we do this right? If not, who should be held accountable. I got no problem at all with that. None what so ever.
Last night the Cardinals for the first time all season jumped out to a big lead, on the Dodgers. 8 to 1. The Dodger manager pulled 3 or 4 starters. Suddenly the bases are loaded in the bottom of the ninth, the closer just walked in a run, and who comes to bat? Not Jeff Kent, he was riding the pines. Their back up catcher. Guess what? He did not hit a Grand Slam.
Second guess me after I win, because if I am wrong, it wont hurt so bad :)
The only difference between Gun control and Hammer control is you cannot throw a hammer very far.
I don't really understand how us being in a war in Iraq has anything to do with 3 people slipping onto a plane and bombing a building. How is a war going to stop that? I think the airport security and such has stopped the terrorist attacks.
Using that above logic, I think that this war is pretty stupid, and that good innocent people are losing their lives for the sake of other people who may not even appreciate it, and who may just grow up to be terrorists themselves.
We should have withdrawn a long time ago and set up THEIR military/police/whatever with the equipment possible to defend themselves. Let them die for THEIR country and OUR troops come home and defend OUR country.
May 15 2007 10:04 PM EDT
We are not the troops fighting the war. They are fighting the war. Our job is to try to find out the real reasons behind the war. We dont have to wait until the end of the war to ask why because we can ask why right now.
Exactly. I am not currently shooting anybody. I have all the time in the world to ponder the usefulness of war. That's the job of non-fighters.
Well Red you pose an excellent question. What does 3 people slipping onto a plane have to do with this war?
It all has to do with your last statement. "defend OUR country". This used to be easy, just watch for enemy planes, missles, troops, etc. If you saw them, shoot them. Unfortunately, the enemy, when smaller adapts. So must we. At first it was as simple as watching the radar. Now, unfortunately the war must be taken to them. Their methods avoid our radar. We must disrupt their operations, and end them. We cannot wait for them to come to us. If they do and we catch them, whew, ok we did it. If we do not, lives are lost here at home. Its like playing that old video game missle command. Eventually one slips by, then another, pretty soon, there is nothing left to defend.
Think of it this way if you will. In the history of the modern US, there have been two foreign attacks on American soil. Pearl Harbor and 9/11.
The first example ended (and it was the finisher) with the greatest explosion the planet ever saw. That single brutal horrible awful distructive inhumane act was our Alexander the Great. It killed many many many innocent people, but likely saved many more Americans for fear of its use again.
May 15 2007 10:17 PM EDT
Sefton, with that logic, why don't we go around nuking every other non-UN country? That way we could terrorize the whole world into leaving us alone?
And thus, as they fat pig says, Thhhhatttts All Folks. Because as soon as *we* those who are not fighting, say *they* who are fighting are not us, *we* lose. Because who cares if *they* die, while *we* twiddle our fingers wondering what to do next or how *we* got here. If you are not they, then what are you complaining about? I mean, if you are not the men and women losing their lives, then why do you care if there is or is not a war, besides the men and women losing their lives, how is your life being affected?
Again, I am not saying do not ask why. This is a free country and you can ask why all you want. What I am saying is that the energy spent asking why and the energy spent answering why would be MUCH better spent winning said event.
How the logic of after the Japanese attacked us we bombed them, and by doing so actually ended a war and killed many enemies, and probably prevented future attacks turned into bombing everyone not in the UN is not logic. I do not know what it is, but please do not call it logic.
Here it is as simple as I can say it.
Why oh why did the milk spill.
Asking this question may have actually prevented future milk spills. Better carton or storage systems. Better delivery systems. Better harvesting systems.
Heck even anticpitating where it may spill next, and having spill clean up systems in place ready for it when it does. All of this I give you, but asking why the milk spilled never got it cleaned up, not once, and if you delay cleaning until you know why, it just gets harder and harder to do.
May 15 2007 11:13 PM EDT
Well I guess I'll add my pocket change to the pile:
Just a couple of issues with Sefton's points.
1) "The was an external terrorist attack on American soil. In response, the americans decided to stop further attacks on American soil. So far it has worked. Regardless of anything else, there has been no external terrorist attacks on American soil."
Specifically the 'so far it has worked'. Long ago someone impressed upon me the notion that correlation is not causation. Which is to say the fact that A precedes B does mean that B is a result of A. Who is to say that the invasion of Iraq had anything to do with the absense of terror attacks? Heck, the majority of the 9/11 hijackers were Saudi.
So to repeat:
There is no basis to conclude that invading Iraq has altered America's security status.
On to the second point:
"The first example ended (and it was the finisher) with the greatest explosion the planet ever saw. That single brutal horrible awful distructive inhumane act was our Alexander the Great."
Well first, and most obviously, there were 2 atomic bombs dropped on Japan, the second of these was largely considered to be unnecessary. So while both acts were destructive the second was considerably more inhumane.
Secondly, the atomic bombs were dropped in lieu of other plans with the same objective. Dropping the bombs was considered to be a faster and more efficient (in terms of loss of American life) method of obtaining a complete surrender from the Japanese.
In regards to the plan of using gas one question remains unanswered: 'Who are you trying to defeat?'
Since not Iraq is not the sole source of terrorists (una-bomber & DC snipers and afore mentioned 9/11 hijackers) you could kill every single person in the country and achieve nothing.
And if we are to study history; not all inhumane victories are beneficial. Just ask Pyrrhus.
First off, let me say, again, the why is irrelevant to me. You dont like my answer for the reason why, find your own, I care not. The event has already occured.
Let me toss it right back at you then Lochnivar, I mean its just as fair, this is not court.
There is no basis to conclude that invading Iraq has not altered America's security status. (for the better)
Mine is observational, and yes not perfect. Where is yours?
"Dropping the bombs was considered to be a faster and more efficient (in terms of loss of American life) method of obtaining a complete surrender from the Japanese."
My point Xactly glad we could agree, and history shows it worked. And history also shows that it should not be a surprise that it does.
You are welcome to argue we missed. We may have I have no idea, but we are there, and arguing now we might have missed helps no one, which is my point. Again, not justifying the WHY of the war, trying to justify finishing what is already started.
I before E except after C and species, science, sufficient and a few others. So now you either cannot spell 90% of the words this rule follows because the exceptions bother you, or you can just try to learn the exceptions.
"And if we are to study history; not all inhumane victories are beneficial. Just ask Pyrrhus."
So you pick the one guy known in history as an exception, for which this particular type of exception is named, and say see the whole rule is wrong?
May 16 2007 12:11 AM EDT
I actually was not attempting to comment on the reasons for the war as I, like you, find there is little merit in debating events that have happened.
I only mentioned it because I find the attempt to link war in Iraq and war on terror to be spurious in a forum focused on Iraq.
"There is no basis to conclude that invading Iraq has not altered America's security status. (for the better)"
You are quite right. The evidence will never be conclusive in either case. However, it has been a scant 4 years. Since there have been other periods just as long in the last 30 years with out terrorist attacks I will remain on the skeptical side.
On to the WWII comparisons.
Since we have a similar understanding of the atomic bomb usage I would like to raise the question of how that situation differed from the current one.
The Japanese had a highly centralized and structured society with a defined leadership.
Iraq, quite clearly does not at this point.
The defeat of the the Japanese government and leadership was the goal of the atomic bomb. I ask again, who are we attempting to defeat in this situation?
And as far as Pyhrric victories go. The fact it is an 'exception' is completely irrelevant. The point of mentioning a Pyhrric victory is to point out that there may be too high of a cost in attaining a victory.
May 16 2007 12:21 AM EDT
The givens are confusing.
I won't say "we" or "they". I will play by your rules, Sefton.
How have things changed for me? We'll, for the worse. A busted retard got re-elected President in the name of defense (what else?). A couple of years later, the country retaliated and showed Capitol Hill what it thought. A fairly obvious result, as you might be prone to say.
My world is no better now. And there is more to the world than terrorist attacks. I see a world where my personal freedoms are eroded every day. I see a world where I wear my EFF hat and people ask what that stands for (and their quizzical look doesn't go away when I explain). Yep, I think my digital rights and corporations ruling government are bigger threats right now than terrorism. Huh? Wha? Sutekh, you CRAZY! Not really. I was asked what matters to me and what I want to fight for and I answered.
And my answer didn't involve nerve gas. Fancy that.
Fair enough, you are welcome to say it was as isolated event that security before 9/11 would be sufficient after 9/11, and the results would be the same today. Like you say whats the point of any of that :)
Ahh now I get it. My fault, you think I was suggesting we nuke Iraq. I am not, will not and was not. I think that technology has come and gone personally. I was suggesting that the use of extreme technology like say a well crafted nerve agent, would not be a first, nor would it by default create a "bad" result.
All I am suggesting is, IF you go to war, go to win, go to kill all of them and none of you, and do whatever it takes to achieve that result. Throughout history this has been shown to be an effective means of not only ending the current war, but preventing future ones.
May 16 2007 12:46 AM EDT
You need to read more current history, Seft. Then again, I fear that... You would probably Vietnam me to death, saying we should have nerve-gassed every Communist in the world at that point? How else would we have killed all of them without losing any of ours?
We aren't living in ancient China. The Art of War doesn't quite exactly apply any more. Do you really believe it does?
Is this just an elaborate argument against starting war in the first place? Even if it is, do you really wash your hands of something once the gov'ment starts wheels rolling? Isn't dissent (even after the fact) part of democracy and freedom of speech?
Well OK sut, so your world is bad because of the war I guess, and so you should be in my camp, which is finish it quick and get home.
I am not quite sure how a war caused Bush to be elected, nor how the retaliation on Capital Hill was a bad thing for you, but ok :)
So your personal freedoms are being eroded because of the war in Iraq? So once the war is over you will get them all back? If the answer to to the latter question is yes, I am surprised, and if it is no, then all those things you mentioned are not a big part of a discussion on "Subject: War in Iraq" and more relevant to "Subject: What is wrong with America".
Again how one equates nerve gassing your enemy in a war to nerve gassing every communist in the world, is very much like saying that to nuke Japan is to nuke every non-UN country. Not sure where those fantasies get into things, but again I say to you, gas which shuts down your entire nervous system or lead which disrupts skin, muscle, tissue, organs, why is there a difference?
So the Constitution should not apply either, nor should the Bible, I mean they are old works too and do not exactly apply anymore and should be tossed for our brave new world along with Sun Tzu?
No I am suggesting that while you are dissenting and hemming and hawing on the why and what if, Americans are dieing. Once they stop dieing then I will join with you and we shall together rise up, find the truth of this war, and show the world together how wrong it really was and how Bush was such a bad man. Until the war is over however, where did I put that Sarin?
I hold GW personally responsible for this horror. I will never forgive him.
Bush has power? Since when? I don't support Bush in any way, but he couldn't have started the war without the go-ahead from quite a few people...
(Ash, this is not a reply directed at you, more in general)
"In the case of Iraq, I'm not sure I know what the true objective is."
Very few people actually do. What is most troublesome about every discussion I've ever seen about this "War in Iraq" is not just the total lack of information that the arguing parties have... but the fact that you are the first person I've ever seen to really admit that you don't know what's really going on.
The sad part is that it isn't terribly difficult to educate yourself in terms of what is actually going on. Step 1: turn off the tv. It's a Very Bad Source of Information. That right there is the best way to ensure that you have an accurate picture of what exactly is going on, and who the interested parties are in this "war".
What most people think is that America is fighting Iraq like we have fought other nations in the past -- England, all of the natives, Japan, Germany, etc. We aren't. It's not even our war. What's going on is actually somewhat similar to the French and Indian war of a long time ago, if you really think about it. The point is, though, that there is always talk of "us" verse "them", talk of America losing, talk of the war ON Iraq, the war IN Iraq (*huge* difference), talk about all sorts of incarnations of an older nation vs nation process trying to be applied to a situation that just doesn't fit the old mold.
What I'm getting at is that statements like this from the original post -- "The war in Iraq is, basically, a funnel that America is running the lives of young men and women into, not to mention money, time, and other resources" -- stem purely from not only a total lack of information, but complete obstinence in getting even semi-accurate information. Until people wishing to debate have a solid ground of legitimate information, the entire debate is both useless and disheartening, and serves only as yet another poor excuse that people use to jump on the bandwagon of presidential hatred.
May 16 2007 3:14 AM EDT
Whatever the reasons for it in the first instance, one of the reasons the US and the UK are still in Iraq is purely financial. My cousin goes back to Iraq for the third time in September, and one of my good friends goes in July. Part of their duties is to protect the staff for the oil companies that are working over there.
There are huge financial rewards for anyone brave/foolish to go over there to work. I got offered a job recently with a civil engineering company that would have made me if not rich then financially very well off if I went over for six months. Six months to earn what I earn in the UK in 10 years. And the reason the companies are prepared to pay huge wages is because the long term potential for profit is huge.
May 16 2007 3:38 AM EDT
I'm unsure, why did America go into IRAQ?
I thought Osama Bin Laden, the Afghan dude, not the Iraqi made terrorist attacks on America.
That's all, why are they in Iraq if the Terrorist from Afghanistan bombed them?
I'm probably lacking a lot of information, but It looks like I can gain it here.
Dub M-D's. Or so they said... My money's on black gold.
May 16 2007 4:57 AM EDT
The next time some drugged up junkie holds up the local store in your neighbourhood Sefton I vote we drop a neutron bomb on your town. Of course we'll give everyone 10mins warning to leave first. After all, we gotta get the bad guy...
May 16 2007 5:08 AM EDT
Because idiocy and information are not the same thing. "Here" offers a great deal of one and none of the other. If it is information you seek, look elsewhere.
May 16 2007 7:07 AM EDT
Sefton, we're trying to apply your "Alexander the Great" logic on a larger scale. If bombing Japan scared all the Japanese into not attacking us anymore, why not do it on a global scale and nuke every non-UN country just to be safe? It's not as rational as you seem to think it is.
Sefton, I don't think Sun Tzu would be too impressed by your solution either.
It did remind me of a certain Kenny Everett character :)
GBee, not sure why you would want to apply military tactics to control a civilian population. Certainly the people I think know how to win a war do not suggest that, nor would I, not sure why you would extrapolate there, but do not it for me.
And Bast here offers opinion. You might agree or disagree with the opinions but in the sensee of expression, unless they are incapable of proper expression, then everything they say is "true" information, it may not be good information, but it is true.
Well Juggernaut you failed in your application and did not use logic.
OK well Rubberduck, if you would like me to actually quote the portions of Art of War I think applies to my solution and why I think it applies well, I can and will. Can you on the other hand quote Sun Tzu and show me the opposite. If you can I welcome the opportunity to debate one of the best military minds ever, if not, then perhaps it is you who are not impressed with my solution, not Sun Tzu.
May 16 2007 9:59 AM EDT
Excuse me NS, I give opinion, not fact. But in my opinion, one death is a waste. Or do you think death is a positive thing when unnecessary?
And secondly Bast, forgive me or not, excuse me for believing a group of supposedly intelligent and mature adults could hold a debate without fighting. This was pretty much a test for my own benefit, to confirm or disprove my belief that CB -can- be mature. Can be decent to each other. Guess I was wrong. And Bast, just as a side note, while I do not want everyone to hate me, I feel this must be said. While you may consider yourself mature, you floating around threads and injecting biting little remarks designed to insult and demean does NOT help anything. While you may get laughs, you are actually insulting people. And... forgive me for assuming such things... but I could have swore you were a decent person.
Still though, I love this game. I like most of the people who play it. Just wish you all would start respecting each other. And -none- of you were innocent. Not even me.
Oh, and one last, little point. This is the first time I've ever really been... I guess hurt from reading a post. That my high school friends managed this -same- discussion with less fighting is ridiculous.
P.S. Call me immature all you want. I'm 17. I'm -supposed- to be immature. And it's my job to do stupid things for you all to laugh at and fix. That's okay. But Bast blaming a 17 year old for the behavior of adults.... that's rich. Really, really rich.
May 16 2007 10:04 AM EDT
OK, Godwolf...so what insight or information was gained from your discussion with your friends? Really, I'm all ears. Let us know what y'all figured out without anyone's feelings getting hurt, etc. If your fourth paragraph is the redux of that, then you and I are in violent agreement.
I am engaging Sefton in what I think is a cordial debate. We have also exchanged a few CMs. How is that bad? Who is being hurtful? I am interested in what Sefton has to say and how he is saying it, so I am asking for clarifications and sating my own thoughts on the subject.
What's that if not a discussion? A diesel locomotive?
GW, having not read your other discussion thread I have nothing to compare this one to, but I personally feel this was a very civil discussion. I certainly was not offended by any post. Some were more constructive than others, but nothing here offended me. No one called me a bad person for having my opinion, they may have called my opinion bad, but thats ok. When things break down is when it gets personal. When you say, you are an idiot for thinking that or saying that, this is bad. When you say, what you are saying is idiotic, this is not.
So, if you want me to stop posting, I am sure the thread will die slowly and disappear. I was attempting to fuel the discussion. If you are not pleased with it, no sense in continuing. Again, all the people that I have debated with here, Juggernaut, Rubberduck, Sut, Lochnivar, all of them have done so in a very civil manner, some did better than others, but none called names. I consider the results so far a success. I am sorry you do not feel that way.
May 16 2007 10:23 AM EDT
Sefton, the "given" you are underlying your points with is a given I do not subscribe to. I don't think war is a simple enough phenomenon to say, "Once we are in, we stay in 100%." To do that, one needs trivially clear reasons, trivially clear objectives, and trivially clear methods to reach those objectives. Nerve gas cannot be a method because, as far as I know, it is banned by the Geneva Protocol (1925).
Even if nerve gas were a valid method, it would fail the test for meeting an objective (even a trivial one). How can nerve gas only kill the "bad guys" if the bad guys are in a village full of innocents? If you have an idea on that, let me know. But I'm not sure how that would work. Israel committed 100% to a war to their north a while ago -- should they have laid waste to all of that land, killing everyone because they elected a violent regime? Like I said; the reasons, methods, and objectives of war are not as simple as The Art of War would make them out to be. How would killing large portions of the Iraqi population help the war effort? What do you think our objectives are there? I hope it is something more realistic and elaborate than "kill the bad guys"?
As for my life: my civil rights have been eroded. Not specifically, but in theory. Someone may have already been listening to my phone calls (administration-approved). A lot of my Nat'l Guard is not here (administration-approved), and laws have been passed that diminish due process and civil righths (administration-approved). And no, these rights won't all come flooding back when the war is done (the war on terror is never over!). That's the shame of it, and that's my point. Additionally, my point about this last election day is simply that people voted for change. I'm not going to bore you with my political stance or anything like that, but folks voted for change by drastically shifting the power in a two-party system. That alone speaks volumes to me. Volumes of what, I'm not exactly sure...but folks must be discontent about _something_, in my opinion.
About WW2: I'm not sure I would have supported the war then either. It is easy to look back and see all the things that made it necessary (I even hesitate to use that word...) I am not a war supporter. War is ghastly, devastating, and costly on a generational scale. If a war did come about where all the bad guys wore black, they all sat in a single house full of bad guys, and it was clear they simply all had to be killed to be done with it, then yes -- by all means blow up that house. However, it just so happens that example is very, very silly. No such simplistic scenario for war exists. That's why I am against the war even though we started it (I wish I didn't have to say "we", but I can't really blame it on anyone else, can I?)
Now Sut you have to at least give me, if I can rely on at least in some part in principle, on the Art of War as a method of winning war, and you tell me it is outdated, then is there not equal chance that said Geneva Convention created in 1925 might also be out dated. Where are you drawing the line. Everything after 1900 is up to date? There goes the constitution. Everything after 1700's is up to date, there goes your credibility.
How can a large bomb kill only the bad guy? I suggest that my method, of telling everyone it is coming, with advanced warning, will kill less innocents than simply dropping a bomb near the enemy and hoping for the best. You will say of course we should drop no bombs, and I understand your position, but I personally feel it is a position worth discussing before you enter into a war, not after.
Again, not sure where killing large portions of the Iraqi population entered into my solution. While the practical logistics of the time span for notification has not been thoroughly fleshed out, the general idea would be to kill only those people unwilling to heed your warning. I used 30 days because who could not prepare themselves in 30 days, but in reality it is likely that a shorter time frame is necessary. Regardless of the time frame, I still contend my method would result in more enemy casualties, less allied casualties, cause minimal damage to the existing infrastructure, minor collateral damage to the physical structures, and create a win.
Just because some group of old men weary of fighting a war decided close to 100 years ago this was a bad weapon of war, does not mean it is still a bad weapon of war today. IF you have to use a weapon, why not use one that allows you to kill from a distance, and it pretty much 100% effective, and causes none zip nada damage to physical structures nor creates any long term effect on the the livibility of the area? Heck a mortar shell from WWI will cause more damage than gassing the entire city in terms of what next after you win.
Since I do not believe your freedoms have been affected by the war itself, but instead of an overall climate, I will refrain from that part of the dicsussion, since ending the war wont change your loss of freedom.
All I can say about your WWII comments is, we are different types of people. When I am attacked I will not stop til I am done, or they are done, anything else I believe invites further attack. I am not one to attack first, but I am one to attack last.
May 16 2007 11:36 AM EDT
Sefton, good discussion, and we have more common ground than you might expect... (or maybe you did *smile*)
Yes, the Geneva protocols are old. That is because even with the limited nerve agents and delivery mechanisms of 1925, people still saw the horror of chemical weapons and said "no more". I am not sure what the age of a protocol has to do with anything. As a fairly important man once said, some truths are "self-evident". That also makes them timeless. It was agreed in 1925 that chemical agents were off the table. I completely support your democratic right to try to get that changed -- write your congress-person, start a referendum, what have you. More power to you.
Saying everything after 1900 is up to date does not then mean that anything before 1900 is NOT up to date. If all men wear hats, that doesn't mean someone wearing a hat is automatically a man. I never said anything about time-lines or what is current, etc., and as I state above, if you would like to see the Geneva protocols changed, then by all means go for it.
You say, "...and I understand your position, but I personally feel it is a position worth discussing before you enter into a war, not after." I COULD NOT AGREE MORE! INDEED! I think it would have been wonderful for the administration to have a position/plan BEFORE entering a war and not after! We could not possibly be more in concert on that one, Sefton. The only difference appears to be that I am angry about the fact that no real plan, method, or objective was stated before going to war, and that the reasons for going to war were not even extant. You, on the other hand, say the war-switch has been set to "ON", so now it is full-bore forward no matter how we got there. I can see your point, I just don't agree with it.
You also say, "While the practical logistics of the time span for notification [of nerve-gassing] has not been thoroughly fleshed out..." Is it possible that the devil in those details would be insurmountable? I think so. I can think of a couple things right off the top of my head that would make the logistics impossible and/or futile:
-- There is no way to warn everyone on a short enough time span to be useful, but yet long enough to make sure you tell everyone. Even an advanced system like the emergency broadcast system in this nation would not suffice. We have advanced storm tracking and radar, and still a dozen people died in Kansas during that awful tornado a couple weeks ago. If we can't even get people out of a small town on flat terrain, how do you propose we get people out of remote or less-advanced areas of Iraq before gassing? And where do we put them where they will be safe?
-- (this is kind of a big one): What would stop the "bad guys" from leaving too? How do you make sure only the "good guys" leave the area? Again, the bad guys aren't all wearing black twirling their mustaches. This isn't as simple as herding cattle or isolating a tumor... These are guerrilla terrorists.
A lot of your paragraphs and sentiments end up with the word "win". Can you describe to me what a "win" is in your eyes? Even an overly simplistic (and impossible) goal of "kill all the bad guys" is not currently attainable. New "bad guys" are born every day. Some children are being taught to hate and kill at this very moment. I understand your desire to destroy the enemy and keep allies alive, I'm just not sure what your goal is or where it would stop? Can you elaborate so I can get a feel for what you are going for?
I agree that nerve gas doesn't destroy things. Sadly, I don't care about buildings or infrastructure -- I care about lives. In that case, nerve gas is far more damaging than a WW2 mortar. I don't think we are on the same page yet as far as what we are trying to obliterate and what we are trying to keep intact (which is why I asked if you can elaborate on your objectives above).
Finally, you state, "I am not one to attack first, but I am one to attack last." This is completely consistent with what you have written thus far, so it is a sound statement. I assume you are talking about 9/11 as being the "attack first", and now our actions in Iraq are us "attacking last"? OK. But Oklahoma City was also "attacked first". Do you think the discontent and terrorist sentiment displayed by McVeigh has been 100% eradicated? Are there still some places in our own country we should apply nerve gas to in order to make sure those violent ideals are quelled? That's what Al-Qaeda is, in my opinion -- a set of ideals. It is impossible to eradicate Al-Qaeda by killing, because it is impossible to kill an idea by killing people. Ideas are formed and changed via education, communication, and tolerance (to name a few). Those are three weapons that are lot less destructive than both mortars AND nerve gas.
I agree Sut, I think this is one of the better long term discussions about a fairly hot topic CB has had in a long time :)
No, but if you are going to say Art of War is out of date, which you did, and the Gevena Conventions are not which you didnt come right out and say but implied, I then ask you to say why one is and one is not, when so far the only position you have forwarded is time (out of date)
Right, before a war, there should be much discussion, much planning and much consesus. Without this, your war will have a much smaller chance of success. So like you say we agree. Where we obviously disgree is about how important our soldier's lives are. I consider it to me of the most importance, and would say ONCE those American boots hit foreign soil with the intent to kill and destroy, you can only do it one way from that point forward, which is full bore 100% or you cost American lives, I think the results so far would support my claim. If you say yah well dont send them will save even more lives, I say, you are right. Again, no one asked me would *I* have started this war, because its not relevant, but *I* certainly would have done it much differently.
I would use a leaf drop bomb run, dropping 10's of thousands of pieces of biodegrable recycled paper. When its snowing paper over your city for 3 days straight, your lack of curiosity is your own fault at that point in my opinion. Heck they do it to your car windshield, and they keep doing it, why? Because it works enough to over come the cost :)
Not knowing the objectives set out before the war, I would say a win is to accomplish whatever objectives you set out to do, and then be able to bring a signifficant portion of your force home, leaving a small occupying force to assist. If I had planned the war, the objectives would not be a mystery to the public nor the military.
Well the building is not going to shoot you, the kid on a bicycle just might. Again, if you are willing to shoot a bullet or a bomb at the person, how is killing them by gas different. If you are saying, well dont shoot them, that is different, but if you are willing to fire lead into their bodies with the intent of causing enough disruption of their bodily systems to cause them to no longer function, whats the difference except less risk to the shooter? What if your bullet strikes their spine, but only causes paralysis, the same paralysis my gas will cause, do we need to get the Geneva convention involved???
Again, you are constantly getting me to justify WHY we are in the war, I will not because I do not know. If you are asking me, using my statement, "I am not one to attack first, but I am one to attack last." would you have attacked Iraq because of 9/11, no I would not have. This does not change the fact that if I am attacked first I will finish it. It simply means I am not convinced Iraq are those who attacked first. Just because someone else choose the wrong enemy to shoot does not invalidate the idea that if I am shot, I promise return fire of greater proportion.
As far as domestic terrorism, again, not sure how that applies to a war on Iraq. You cannot deal with domesitic issue militarily, heck in the most ruthless manual on the planet, The Prince doesnt suggest that.
If you can educate, inform, communicate, and instill tolerance in people, as a substitute for going to war, by all means do it. Is it better, yes, it is. But again, this is something you do before you commit the lives of your countryment to war. Once committed that phase of your plan is over, and you are now onto the more deadly phase of execution of war, which we are failing at.
May 16 2007 12:41 PM EDT
I was not even thinking of the Art of War when I mentioned Geneva. I don't think the Art of War is out-dated, per se. War has simply changed a lot, and the book no longer cover all the things we can do (obliterating an entire geographical area with nerve gas or whatever is not something that could have been imagined at the time). The Geneva Protocols, on the other hand, DO still cover current chemical weapons because chemical weapons have not changed much. Their problem is that they are deadly and non-specific. In other words, they kill innocent people. If a child on a bicycle tries to shoot someone, then by all means shoot back. Don't drop leaflets and hope everyone leaves (except the bicyclist, for some unknown reason) and then put in nerve gas. Do you honestly think that is valid military thinking?
(you still don't explain how nerve gas deployment kills only the bad guys)
Guns and shells are used because they can be pointed and shot. They are specific. Bad guy + specific shooting = dead bad guy and only dead bad guy. Carpet bombing and bombing civilians are BAD things. They were realities in WW2, atrocious acts were committed by both sides. Germany rained on London, the Allies burned Dresden to the ground and boiled people in water towers. These are horrible, horrible acts. I still fail to see how dropping paper and then nerve gas is going to improve upon that situation.
I have not once asked you to justify the war. I asked what your objectives would be CURRENTLY. What do we do next, and what is our exit strategy? How is a "win" defined? Do not turn that into me asking for justification, because that is not what I asked you. I asked, because if no objectives can be defined at this point, it is time to leave. You are working under the assumption that there are only two choices:
1. Don't go to war in the first place.
2. If you do go, go all out and stay...until we win (even if we have no definition of "winning")
From there, the logic is very, very tight. We've already gone to war, so choice 2 must be implemented (with or without a "win" definition, apparently). My point is that you missed a viable option in your original choices. Actually, you missed two:
3. Once at war, at all points in fighting, use clear reasoning, methods, and objectives to define what needs to be done. I.e., define a "win".
4. If a win can no longer be defined, or if it can be defined and is achieved, then leave.
Number 4 is where I'm calling from. Just doing more of the same, spending more money, losing more lives -- it's awful, I agree with you. Hell, if I thought nerve gas could stand up to reasoning, methodology, and objectives, I'd agree that we should use it. However, in my eyes it fails in all three, and I haven't heard any ideas yet that make it work.
So, withdrawal is the option I consider viable, and you apparently do not. That's totally fine. But then let's at least discuss objectives (not justifications, objectives) in lieu of withdrawing. I have been trying to divine objectives from the military, the administration, and even my own imagination from the start and am coming up empty. To say that we stay "until the job is done" (a common phrase bandied about by the military and the administration) is like going to a rally that's "about freedom". It's non-specific hand-waving. That's nonsensical and dangerous, in my opinion.
"If I had planned the war, the objectives would not be a mystery to the public nor the military."
There's a very definite reason why many aspects of military engagements are kept secret. I would highly encourage you to learn and understand at least some.
"Excuse me NS, I give opinion, not fact."
You state opinion as fact -- "The war in Iraq is [some bad thing with XYZ consequences]". You do not know what will happen in 20 years. Your statement yourself suggests certain undertones that are reinforced by this question you ask of me:
" But in my opinion, one death is a waste. Or do you think death is a positive thing when unnecessary? "
See, that's what's known as a "loaded question". By answering the question as I must -- No, it's not a positive thing -- I am implicitly stating that the death is unnecessary. It isn't. Only in fairy tales can you go through life without death. It is quite necessary, especially when crazy terrorists are involved whose sole purpose is to die while killing some other person.
I hate loaded questions. Please don't stoop down to asking such things.
Here's the deal, GW. The war is very similar to many things that we go through in this country in that people that represent us make decisions that we do not understand. Since we don't understand them and can only see a very limited view of the results of those decisions, we declare them to be "bad". Moreover, our views of the results, limited as they are, are further skewed by the intentions of the people presenting the view.
Flamey asked several brilliant questions that outwardly showed the level of knowledge that most people really do possess in terms of "the war". I was going to answer him, but I honestly think maybe you should. Take some time to figure out the following:
Why did we invade Iraq?
Why did we remain in Iraq?
Here's the real challenge -- answer those questions without any a priori bias. Answer them as if you are Astinus (Dragonlance reference... he's a guy who writes down everything exactly as it happens. He's an avatar of on of the gods of Krynn. He is as True Neutral as they come.) To really flesh out the answers properly, you will have to reach back pretty far, as this goes way beyond the kickoff point in 2003.
On the issues of nerve gas......
Chemical and biological weapons are outlawed for a reason.
"Whereas the use in war of asphyxiating, poisonous or other gases, and of all analogous liquids, materials or devices, has been justly condemned by the general opinion of the civilised world;"
The civilized world realized as far back as the 1600s that this sort of thing is not a good way to fight (back then, there was some agreement, I forget what it was called, that banned things like poison bullets).
"Terrorists", or universally acclaimed "bad guys", do not have to worry about the concerns of the civilized world. That's one of the perks of being a bad guy. Bad guys can use all sorts of weapons that good guys cannot. That's life. When good guys start using the weapons of bad guys, they start becoming bad guys themselves. America has ALWAYS been in a position where we have to fight with people who can do more than we can. Sometimes things change as a result. I referenced the movie 44 Minutes recently. In that scenario, the police officers were HIGHLY out gunned, and as a result they now have better weapons. They still do not have the level of weaponry that the bad guys did. That's the way it has to be, though.
While misinterpretation is certain possible and I am far from infallible, but here is what you said, directly.
We aren't living in ancient China. The Art of War doesn't quite exactly apply any more. Do you really believe it does?
You tell me how I should interpret that other than, the Art of War is out of date?
LOL, dude, look I wont pretend to be a military weapon expert, but if you really believe that since 1925, chemical warfare has not changed all that much, then your government has you will snowed in. They have been, are now, and will continue to develop and improve that technology, and if you are going to suggest there are very few advancements possible I would say, look at all the tech of 1925 and all the tech of today, you tell me how much advancement we have done. I disagree with you strongly that, "DO still cover current chemical weapons because chemical weapons have not changed much."
Again, are you seriously going to contend that the shells and bullets that are shot by our troops only effect the bad guys? I know you wont, because its absurd. Our own police force cannot avoid shooting kids with water pistols during traffic stops, so how those war based bullets magically only find the enemy is beyond me.
Ask the left wing media how many innocent people have died in Iraq, I bet they will suggest more than one, and guess what not an ounce of nerve gas has been used. So your bullets and shell are by no means infallible either, and I will contend again, they are more so.
Well OK, going completely hypothetical, because basically I have to assume something I do not know to be true, in order to finish my objectives of being there. Again, I myself, would not be there otherwise.
So lets assume I am in Iraq because I know for certain Al Queda is there and operating there with organized force to plot another attack on America, and I am in Iraq to remove the Al Queda threat from the country of Iraq. Lets also assume, the guy before me was a complete bozo, and they fired him, and left me in charge of finishing his mess. So here I am with a force occupying a country, my morale is bad both here and abroad, my people have no clue why they are here or what they are doing.
Let us also assume, that even though I think I am right, the bleeding hearts wont let me use all my technology to win, and I only get to use that technology which somehow made it to the Queensbury rules of Engagement and I must adhere to.
So the first thing I do is say, I want Al Queda out of here, but I cannot tell them by appearance so I want EVERYONE out of here. Door by door, block by block, I physically remove everyone, and take them someplace else. Those that dont move are shot dead. Eventually people will leave on their own, before I even get there, and eventually everyone is out of the city. Now I bring in a massive occupation force. I secure all borders, and create barriers of entry besides my approved routes and screen all entry. Now I let everyone back in, but they are filtered through my screens, anyone attempting to avoid my filters by entering or leaving without permission and by my approved route, will be shot first, then asked why. Now I leave a small skeleton behind to keep my newly conquered city secure, and go to the next city. I do this to every city in Iraq. Now I can be certain that unless they are operating in the desert somewhere my planes, radar, and visual scouts cannot locate, Al Queda is no longer operating with organized force in Iraq. Now I turn over my newly conquered cities to whomever they make me, and leave. Granted, if it was me, I would occupy the cities, I would bring in my own people, and I would add the country of Iraq to the principalities of America and add their oil reserves to mine. But thats another discussion entirely.
I know I know you will say, if you cannot tell them apart forcing them out, how can you tell them apart letting them back in? I say that while it is possible to add 1,2,3 people a day to a large organization of say 100 people covertly, it is virtuall impossible to assemble that covert organization of 100 people 1,2,3 people at a time. Sure, you are fighting gorillas, and sure you cannot kill them all because some of them look and act like the people you are defending, but the kind of disruption my tactic would cause, what are they more likely to do. Individually decide to risk life and limb to slip back inside and then hook up with their buds? Or collectively assemble elsewhere? The latter is much more likely. While I cannot assure this tactic will work, I like its chances.
Again, this is simply how I would go about achieving a goal I ASSUME to be there. If I was in charge from the get go, I would know first, then be there to accomplish my goals.
NS, speaking of learning, you should learn perhaps more about what that statement means from before you assume I mean to give out military detail plans to the public. I of course meant no such thing. I will say if I was planning this war, and someone asked an average person why are we having this war, there would be no question they have the answer available. They may still HATE the reason, but they will have one.
So you outlaw, "Whereas the use in war of asphyxiating, poisonous or other gases, and of all analogous liquids, materials or devices, has been justly condemned by the general opinion of the civilised world;"
But allow me to plant a mine, and blow you to pieces, have parts of your bones and equipment become shrapnel in addition to the shrapnel I add to the mine, to cause collateral damage to anyone within 20 feet, there by horribly maiming one person, crippling another, and scarring the one lucky guy for life. This is more humane that putting them to sleep with nerve gas. So I would then assume all the dogs that the humane society kills are shot, because its the most humane way to kill them, and all criminals executed by our justice system are shot, again, because it is the most humane way to do it. We all agree that there is no better way to kill someone, anyone, than firing a bunch of lead into their bodies, or causing their bodies to come apart via massive concussive force. No better way?
And lastly you do not differentiate yourself from the "bad guys" by the tools you use, but by the methods you employ. Cyanide Gas in and of it self is not "bad" When used to execute a criminal in Texas, some people will think it is good, and when used to kill your neighbor because his tree is growing into your yard, some people will think it is bad. Guess what same gas, just different methods of use. The tools you use are not what defines you good or bad its HOW you use the tools that does. If I use a hammer to build a house, this is good, if I use a hammer to bash someone's skull to get their welfare check, you do not say, BAD hammer, you were bad, you say bad person.
May 16 2007 2:04 PM EDT
I know chemical weapons have probably been made more dangerous over the years. That makes them even sloppier and more innocent-killing. Whatever advances have been made, I am pretty sure a gaseous weapon has not been enhanced to make it more specific or directed, at least not to the point of not being able to wipe out massive areas at one time (otherwise the gas weapons would cease to have a purpose). I didn't mean to say that chemical weapons haven't changed. I meant to say HOW they kill hasn't changed, and how they kill is what Geneva was trying to address. Mass, indiscriminate killing is what such protocols are meant to avoid.
Yes, guns kill innocent people too. Bare hands can even kill innocent people (and do). Neither of those facts give any reason to use something even more lethal and indiscriminate. So in that regard, I still fail to see your logic for using nerve gas.
Your scan-screen plan sounds fine. And it doesn't involve nerve gas. So why use the whole nerve gas angle in the first place? A quarantine/scan/resettlement idea is a logical way to overcome hide-and-seek tactics. Takes massive, massive resources. And you are right, the terrorists will probably simply move elsewhere.
But wasn't the overall objective to secure America?
I guess that leads to a logical question after your massive scan-and-screen operation is completed Iraq-wide: where do we send our troops next? And an ancillary question: how many resources will it take to scan-and-screen the whole world?
May 16 2007 2:11 PM EDT
One more thing: Sefton, if you are serious about the nerve gas angle and think the Geneva ideas are all wet at this point, I will reiterate the fact that you should be starting a grass-roots campaign to allow nerve gas to be used again. There's nothing stopping you, so if you really believe in it, I suggest you and like-minded folks get together and do something about it.
Right and right and right again :)
A gas designed to kill everyone in a 100 yard radius and a bomb (like say a daisy cutter) designed to obliterate everything within a 100 yard radius kills the exact same number of people in the exact same indisriminate way, just one involves lots of linger death as one bleeds to death or suffocates under tons of rubble, and the other puts everyone to death quietly and efficently. Again, why is the bomb "better"?
I am not sure again, you are asking me to define WHY we are in Iraq. I cannot. I do not know the answer and what scares me is I do not think the people in charge do either. So again, before we have acted, I will debate the why with you all day long. We have acted, now we have to move onto the how. If you are asking me how to accomplish an unknown goal, well you cannot be. So you must be asking me how to accomplish a known goal. I stated one hypothetical goal and showed how I would accomplish it. If you KNOW the goal of the US military and ask me how I would accomplish it, this I can also do. But not knowing what they are doing means I cannot suggest how to do it.
The last right goes to the amount of resources and risk my implimented plan contains in going door to door. This would all be avoided with a nerve gas plan, and those troops feet wouldnt hit foreign soil until after the gas did its job. Thus reducing the amount of resource and risk, my troops have in securing and holding said city.
A grassroots campaign begins how? With say a post on a forum board? Looking for like minded individuals? Welcome to my grass roots campaign :)
May 16 2007 2:32 PM EDT
Sefton, please tell me how my example is different from the logic you're using. You're saying nuking Japan was an effective tactic because it prevented them from continuing attacks on us. Then, using the same "logic" (despite you saying it's not logic, it's still the logic you keep saying, but on a larger scale), nuking all non-UN countries would scare all our potential enemies into never messing with us again, or we will have killed all our enemies. How is this any different than your Japan-Alexander the Great logic?
And please, if you're going to say I'm wrong, I'd appreciate it if you told me why I'm wrong, instead of just saying I'm wrong because you want me to be wrong. I don't think I'm wrong. I think I'm showing the exact type of thinking you are, on a larger scale, and showing that it's irrational.
May 16 2007 2:37 PM EDT
Scaling arguments like that doesn't work, Juggernaut.
Like saying burning an ant with a magnifying glass is the same as napalming the whole ant bed.
And yes, I used an analogy where there's nothing wrong with either. They're just ants.
May 16 2007 2:41 PM EDT
I am not like-minded on the nerve gas issue, I'm afraid.
I also don't understand why you keep saying I am asking for you to list justifications. (Can you show me a quote?) I was asking you to list objectives. And you did. Logically, I asked where we would send troops after Iraq is cleared, since you yourself posited that the terrorists would likely leave and regroup elsewhere.
Since we can't seem to agree on definitions for even the simplest of terms/words (like "justification" vs. "objective"), I'm through discussing this.
Good luck on your nerve gas idea.
Sefton I was assuming Sun Tzu's disapproval on the basis that he was a decent thinker about conflict. It is a very long time ago I read the art of war and can offer no quotes. I think that given a basic grasp of the situation he would see that your plan would fall far short of achieving your aims. I'm sure you adhere to principles which are still valid to some degree but I don't see your method of applying them as practical.
May 16 2007 2:55 PM EDT
OB, he used scaling as part of his argument. He's saying Alexander's slaughtering of a city in one area stopped other cities from trying to attack him and his army. Then Sefton showed us that this works on a bigger scale because we bombed Japan and that made them stop attacking us. So why wouldn't it work on an even larger scale?
My point is that attacking an area with a large number of innocent people isn't justified just because it may prevent future attacks.
Sefton, I had a nice response to your post, and then my laptop's battery fell out. So... I'm going to try to reconstruct it. We'll see how well this works.....
"I will say if I was planning this war, and someone asked an average person why are we having this war, there would be no question they have the answer available. They may still HATE the reason, but they will have one."
If you are referring to a much smaller degree of detail, something that can be summarized in one or two lines, then I agree that that is fine. That's already done, however. The issue is not that the average person lacks access to that information (and actually, to a heck of a lot more... I personally think we give out WAY too much information). The issue is more that the average individual chooses tv as a viable source for things like the answers to Flamey's questions. TV is not an unbiased media outlet, so the information that the average person has becomes skewed. If you (the average person) were to take it upon yourself to get the information from the government that they have made public, then it'd be there. You can lead a horse to water, but you can't stop him from drinking beer and soda.
That last line wasn't in my original reply. I just made that up now. I like it :)
Regarding your comparison between chemical weapons and more conventional weapons such as the daisy cutter (a particularly vicious weapon, I might add), the only reason that those are allowed and chemical weapons aren't is that no one made a big convention regarding them. I would happen to agree with you that you could engineer chemical weapons that are more humane or somehow meet some sort of ethical standard for a weapon (though the paradoxical nature of that statement alone is making my head spin). But until someone outlaws the more conventional weapon, that won't happen.
Look at nuclear weaponry. It's been outlawed because of what we did to Japan and how serious that is. People could make very small nuclear weapons (MDK fans -- the World's Smallest Nuclear Explosive!) that had manageable radiation fall out, containable effects, etc etc. They could meet the aforementioned hypothetical ethical standards. You could make ethically acceptable chemical weaponry. It's more common, however, to go overboard and make some massively devastating weaponry (Agent Orange, anyone?). The thing is, though, that it's much easier to just outlaw the whole thing entirely than to piecemeal parts of it and say "this is ok, this isn't."
(Interesting side note regarding small nuclear arms... people did at one time invent a very small nuclear payload delivery mechanism. It was called a nuclear rifle, and it fired a real small nuke (unfortunately, it couldn't fire further than its own blast radius... oops). And to show how much I love the internet... a quick google search points me to the snippet that I happened to see on a very long History Channel special -
The point is that we could refine that technology. For starters, use a much smaller bomb. No one fires a bullet out of an ordinary rifle that's bigger than the rifle itself.)
Regarding your tool explanation, you are correct to a large degree. I use the same argument myself with respect to money when people tell me that money is evil. You're right, it isn't. I don't think that's where I was going, however, saying that the weapon itself was a bad guy. I did mention in one sentence that you can become closer to the bad guys when you use their toys, but I think that it may have been taken out of context. Even in context, it was a small point at best and definitely not the focus of the paragraph. The main thing to take away from what I was saying was that in every realm of good guys vs bad guys, the bad guys have a wider range of toys they can use, things they can do, and rules they can play by. As a good guy, America has to abide by a much more involved set of rules. Look at the early days of the Iraq conflicts (the 80s and 90s era). Saddam would constant conduct military engagements against America, stealing a boat, ambushing some convoy, performing various small surgical strikes. He got away with it being a bad guy. Our hands were tied, however, in terms of how and to what degree we could respond.
Heck, the same thing happens in school growing up, and I for one despise every ounce of it. How many people were somehow antagonized by a bully type of person? Ever notice how once you are provoked enough to respond, YOU are the one who gets in trouble, but everything the bully did receives little or no punishment? It blows. It REALLY blows. That's part of life.
D&D gives another good example. Ever play a Lawful Good Paladin? Ever play a Neutral Evil Thief/Rogue? Enough said (for any D&D fans :)
(It's probably never good when your post is so long that CB logs you out.....)
"They're just ants."
I used to hate it when my sister would stomp on ants. It would make me all sorts of angry that tons of ants were dying simply because she was having fun. Still to this day I'll put them outside instead of killing them.
Thats cool Juggernaut, didnt want to get specific into the flaws of you argument, because they are fundemental. I did not want this to appear to be an attack on you. It is not.
What I said was, we got attacked by Japan. We ended the war by dropping the bomb. Dropping the bottom was our Alexander the Great. Its paraphrased, but its the gist.
You then take that statement and say you apply logic. However, my statement is predicated on several facts your logical extension does not even pretend to be constrained by.
Japan attacked us first. Every non-UN country has not. We officially declared War on Japan for the attack, we have not officially declared war on every non-UN country. We dropped two bombs in close proximity to each other, and it ended the war and at the same time made it UNNECESSARY to drop any more. This is how it is related to Alexander the Great. Not in the horrible destruction, but in the prevention of future destruction by threat of potential acts of violence. If we were to extend my statement logically beyond the scope of the intial and simple declarations of fact, the closest analogy that could be made would be to drop one bomb on Iraq, and watch the rest of the situation resolve itself, for fear of us dropping another.
AGAIN I will say it loud and proud, Nukes are edsels. They are dinosaurs. At the time, when they were used, they were the highest of tech, that was almost 70 years ago. They belong with the jets and planes and tanks of that era, not ours. I will not advocate use of nuclear missles EVEN in response to a nuclear attack on American soil. I mean they are already making my home unlivable, I plan to move into theirs when I win, I do not want it to be radioactive when I get there.
So you did not use logic to extend my simple statements of fact, with the addition of my Alexander the Great opinion, not sure what you did use, but logic it was not.
"So why wouldn't it work on an even larger scale? "
Who's to say it wouldn't work? Narrow your task enough, and it will work just fine. The issues arise when you start putting restrictions on your task for things like collateral damage.
You can kill a mouse with a cannon. If your objective is to kill the mouse, the cannon will accomplish that quite well. If your objective is to surgically remove the mouse from society without disturbing any of the surrounding ecosystem.... good luck with that.
One of the most difficult tasks with waging war is determining the win parameters. To extend your analogy further, we could win a scenario by blowing up the entire planet if it is posed as "Kill the enemy." That would be considered a win. We'd be dead, but the scenario wasn't "Kill the enemy and stay alive." Scenario parameter building is a very niche artform that only a few people are even remotely qualified to practice. The real question you should be asking is, "What are the win and lose scenario parameters for Operation Iraqi Freedom?"
May 16 2007 3:11 PM EDT
Bush and his capitalist lackey warmongers should get out of Iraq and instead concentrate on the real enemies of America - expansionism, McDonalds, Sugar, and Country and Western Music :)
I quite like the idea of Gassing people as a solution - didnt someone else think of that 60 odd years ago ?
Dont think it would be a problem but I hope they let the Brits know in advance - we dont want any accidents now do we.
May 16 2007 3:12 PM EDT
I agree, McDonald's and Country Music should be on the top of the priority list!
"I mean they are already making my home unlivable, I plan to move into theirs when I win, I do not want it to be radioactive when I get there. "
That's GOLD!! hahah.. I'm totally stealing that for myself :)
Sorry Sut I didnt mean to upset you, it was this statement.
"But wasn't the overall objective to secure America?" No, my hypothosized objective was to, "So lets assume I am in Iraq because I know for certain Al Queda is there and operating there with organized force to plot another attack on America, and I am in Iraq to remove the Al Queda threat from the country of Iraq."
So my objective was to remove Al Queda from Iraq. Once that objective was accomplished I could move to the next one. If my next one was to continue to remove Al Queda, I would find where else they might be and go there and do the same thing. I mean you cannot expect me to come up with an entire plan for securing America on a forum board. I am barely able to skecth out broad stroke plans for one achievable hypothetical goal.
But again, I have no objectives, which is why I cannot list them. I am not sure our government has those objectives. If you want to list some objectives and ask how would I accomplish them I can try.
But again, this is all of the why, not how. Objectives are why you go to war, and plan is how you accomplish your objectives. I have no idea why we went to war with Iraq. I cannot offer you one good answer that would persuade anyone, but this does not change the fact that we did, nor does it change that fact that now that we have we must do something while we are there. If it is leave, well, then its leave. I hope thats the last option choosen. I hope there is something else we can do now that we are already there, and I hope we figure it quick, because our fighters are dieing over there while we accomplish the goal of nothing.
I just have to add this.. in the associated videos linked to the one I posted, I saw this:
That video is in the category of "Howto and DIY"
The world is getting scary.
thats odd Rubberduck, here is your only post:
"Rubberduck, 8:07 AM EDT
Sefton, I don't think Sun Tzu would be too impressed by your solution either.
It did remind me of a certain Kenny Everett character :)"
Since you never asked me my aims, how are you certain my plan will fall short of them? Or if I stated any aim it was this,
"the world has somehow decided wars need to be fought a certain way, with bullets and explosions. This is stupid and silly. We have much better technology than that, we simply cannot use it all for the name of "humanity". Guess what? War is not humane. It should not be humane, it cannot be humane.
Solution? Nerve Gas. Yep thats right"
So my aim (if there was one in that paragraph) is to show nerve gas as better than bombs and bullets. I see nothing that would suggest that Sun Tzu would opt to use bow and arrows if he had men trained and able to use flintlocks. So you can suggest Sun Tzu would argue that nerve gas is not of higher tech or of great effect in war I guess, be kind of silly I think though.
Just because you use nice big fat words and wonderful sentence structure does not mean I will be just nod my head and agree. You can couch your own opinion in someone else's like Sun Tzu if you like, but don't be surprised if some one asks you to go ahead and define why your opinion of someone else opinion should be believed.
Well just to point it out again NS, so you understand why I went there, but you included that which you were suggesting as a minor part of your paragraph as one of three main points.
The main thing to take away from what I was saying was that in every realm of good guys vs bad guys, the bad guys have a wider range of toys they can use, things they can do, and rules they can play by.
I will again say, the toys they can use are irrelevant, and only the things they can and will do seperate good from bad.
and yah I understand alignments completely, and played them all once upon a time, so I hear and agree with that part, but again, nerve gas is not bad, only how it is used can be bad.
"Solution? Nerve Gas. Yep thats right, painless (ok well by comparision to dieing of blood loss from a gut shot or having your leg blown off its painless) virtually undefendable, and just about 100% effective. Again this is war, where you want to kill the enemy. You might say, what about the innocents? You will kill them to!!! I say, you give everyone 30 day notice, then 15 day notice, then 10 day notice, then 5 day notice, then 1 day notice, and anyone left, is not innocent. You might disagree and it is understandable, but this is war. Your objective is to completely wipe out the enemy with as few casualties to your own side. This is the goal of war right? So you gas the whole place, most every living thing dies, and you wipe up with a minor force at best. All the good people return you move on. This is actually more humane than the way we currently fight war, but it is considered less. "
Your aims seem perfectly described "kill the enemy"
You want to achieve this by cordoning off an area, deciding who in that area is not your enemy and letting them out then gas the area killing all those left who must be your enemy.
I doubt you can really define your enemy accurately even in theory let alone in practice.
Yes I think the use of nerve gas against a guerrilla enemy in an urban area is silly.
If you think making an example and crushing some enemies with overwhelming force and no mercy a la Alexander is going to make you safe I think again you are misunderstanding your enemy in this case.
now see rubberduck, that I can get my teeth into. That is your opinion, so lets talk about it.
OK let us assume my aim was to kill the enemy. Now lets talk about how wars are fought today, right now. We do not warn first, we simply get intelligence, decide it is credible and push a button, there go some bombs. They hit and decimate the target. How many that the missle killed were planning on killing Americans? See the current method is no better. As Sut says no one has an enemy detector. You cannot say, hey look guys, we are going to blow up this building, if you do not want to die, dont be in there, because they move 300 yards away, and business as usual. You cannot use bombs to cover an area completely without destroying it completely.
But gas you can. You can say look guys, in 10 days any air you breathe in this city will kill you. If you are still breathing air when this occurs you will die. There is no hiding from it, there is no moving down the street, if you are there, you are dead. If you are not there you are not dead. Again, ALL I am doing is changing the weapons of war, not the reason for it, nor the desired outcome. I still cannot see how bullets and bombs are better than gas at killing the right people. I cannot see how gas could kill more of the wrong people than a bomb with the same blast radius as my gas dispersal. All my gas really does is assure that when its over, there is less to rebuild, and that the cost of our own lives and cash is less.
May 16 2007 10:12 PM EDT
Meh, my last and hopefully shortest response:
Sefton I never thought you were suggesting nuking Iraq. I read quite well and am unlikely to confuse Sarin gas attacks with nuclear attacks.
With response to the notion of gassing to get a 'quick win' I must say the efficacy of nerve gas is entirely dependent upon your definition of winning. As I have yet to hear any world leader suggest that killing people is the goal in Iraq the benefit of using gas seems rather vapourous (pardon the pun).
Nerve gas does not stabilize a society, it does not help change attitudes or create hope. These, among other things, have been identified as goals in Iraq.
Perhaps some hold the notion of killing everyone too dumb to move as a definition of success but I am fairly certain they have neither the power nor the audacity to put it into practice.
And with that I think I will no longer contribute anything beyond a response to a direct question in this post.
And I too blame GW for this!
Let's go the 28 Weeks Later route and Fire Bomb the area before releasing poisonous ga onto them all !!!
Yeah, if only we had GA, we could just build our defenses so strong that when we take a hit, they just kill themselves off... :)
May 16 2007 10:46 PM EDT
It would make for compelling TV Zog....
Maybe if CNN were in charge!
(Bonus: they could come up with a catchy banner to alert us to the fact that fire-bombing isn't just normal news).
Or didja just have a good night at the club and forget the "s"? :P
gas, not GA >.<
/me releases Decay onto his keyboard and his drunken mind.
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