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10/21/2008 05:05:36 PM · #76
Originally posted by JH:


It could be argued that the US response to 9-11 was exactly what Al Queda were hoping for. It drew the US military directly into the Middle East, causing regional instability, which helped promote and reinforce their ideology.


I'd go further and say the US lead invasion of Iraq was probably WAY more than Al Queda could have hoped for. We invaded a middle eastern country that had nothing to do with 9/11, it opened the door in Iraq for Al Queda and Iran to move in, it cost many more lives than were being lost in Afghanistan, and it has severely bled the US economy. And remember, Bin Laden made it very clear that his chief objective was to strike at the US economically (and the towers were a symbol of that).

If we had stayed in Afghanistan it would have cost less in terms of lives and money and at least in Afghanistan we were attacking people and places where people who were actually involved with 9/11 were trained and abetted. Anyone who continues to blend Iraq and Afghanistan with regard to 9/11 is either being willfully deceptive or being an ignorant pawn.
10/21/2008 05:09:21 PM · #77
On a side note.... OMG, I can't believe this is General Discussion rather than Rant. Our standards must be going up for what a rant is.
10/21/2008 05:22:19 PM · #78
Originally posted by Bear_Music:

Originally posted by jjstager2:

Really? The United States is attacked for the first time ever on its native soil


Not quite: Google the War of 1812...

R.


Noted Robert - thanks!

My point that this was a significant attack in our country's history still stands, however.

Does anyone else have a more appropriate solution to the attack on 9/11?

You are President. You now have the benefit of hindsight. What would you have done differently than the evil George Bush?

10/21/2008 05:32:45 PM · #79
Originally posted by jjstager2:

Originally posted by Jac:


But the terrorists didn't come from either of the two countries that are currently invaded by your forces. Weren't the 19 hijackers mostly Saudis? Maybe with their third attempt, they'll get it right and invade a country that deserves it. But until then, there's no way in hell that anyone on this planet will convince me that Iraq and Afghanistan were justifiable options to end terrorism. That is pure bull and whoever believes it is being taken for a fool.


I think you're throwing out a red herring, with your reference to the Saudis, here. The US had a choice to respond to 9-11 or do nothing other than to wait for another attack. The fact that most of the hijacker's are Saudi is less important than the fact that terrorist cell training was occurring and sanctioned by the Taliban government in Afghanistan and represented a clearly defined target. Iraq was next on the list of what posed the greatest threat to our security from terrorist activity.

The real problem you have is with the doctrine of preemption. Obviously you do not believe in it. Lucky for you you do not live in a target environment like we do. I firmly believe that preemption prevents further loss of innocent life. I also reject the notion that we somehow brought this on ourselves. It has always been fashionable for those across the Atlantic to criticize and disparage the United States - whether we are in a war or not.


I don't live in a target environment? I live 40 miles from the US border. I live 400 miles from the city of NY. I think i'm right in the middle of it. If a dirty bomb goes off in NY, I'll definitely run away before I hear of any news on how dirty it was. If it's a nuke.....

I absolutely do not agree that killing people to save other people is the right thing to do. That's barbaric and I'm surprised to read it in this thread. You have been brainwashed by your government into thinking that pre-emptive strikes save lives. Wrong wrong wrong. It's the new catch-phrase to start wars and that's all it is. As for the message being delivered to the terrorists; i'm sure they're laughing at that one daily. Don't attack us or we'll attack some country somewhere.

Pakistan? No terrorist camps there, right? They've all been erased from the sat. images, right? Hope they kept copies for when the tide turns...
10/21/2008 05:50:22 PM · #80
Interestingly, it was Canada that started the whole idea of legally-justified preemptive strikes. It was in the early-to-mid 1800s that a group of Canadian rebels on the Niagra river were being supplied by some Americans who used the ship "Caroline" to supply them. British forces (I believe - but correct me if I'm wrong - that Britain ruled Canada at the time) crossed into the United States and attacked the Americans, took the Caroline, burned it and sent it over the Niagra Falls. Keep in mind that these Americans using the Caroline were not representatives of the United States Government (i.e., soldiers). They just sympathized with these poor, Canadian rebels who wanted greater democracy than they had. So, this was a criminal act on the part of private American citizens, not an act of war by the United States. But British Canada responded as a Government and committed an act of war against the United States.

This was upheld, by the way, in international law. It became known as the legal doctrine of "Anticipatory Self-Defense." (Pre-emptive strike by another name)

So, we have Canada and Great Britain to thank for setting the precedent in international law.
10/21/2008 05:55:47 PM · #81
Originally posted by Jac:


I absolutely do not agree that killing people to save other people is the right thing to do. That's barbaric and I'm surprised to read it in this thread. You have been brainwashed by your government into thinking that pre-emptive strikes save lives.


I think you've led a charmed and easy life sheltered from the harsh realities of life. Come over here to Africa or where I used to be (the Middle East) and see how the non-western world approaches life. It's a dog eat dog world. If you're not a lion, you're a gazelle!

You better believe I'll kill to prevent someone else from killing my people. If you wouldn't, you don't deserve the protections your armed forces give you.
10/21/2008 05:56:20 PM · #82
Originally posted by jjstager2:

Originally posted by Bear_Music:

Originally posted by jjstager2:

Really? The United States is attacked for the first time ever on its native soil


Not quite: Google the War of 1812...

R.


Noted Robert - thanks!

My point that this was a significant attack in our country's history still stands, however.

Does anyone else have a more appropriate solution to the attack on 9/11?

You are President. You now have the benefit of hindsight. What would you have done differently than the evil George Bush?


I wouldn't have abandoned Afghanistan and created the power vacuum that allowed the Taliban to flourish after the Soviets left, but that has nothing to do with GWB.
10/21/2008 07:43:17 PM · #83
Originally posted by OmanOtter:

Originally posted by Jac:


I absolutely do not agree that killing people to save other people is the right thing to do. That's barbaric and I'm surprised to read it in this thread. You have been brainwashed by your government into thinking that pre-emptive strikes save lives.


I think you've led a charmed and easy life sheltered from the harsh realities of life. Come over here to Africa or where I used to be (the Middle East) and see how the non-western world approaches life. It's a dog eat dog world. If you're not a lion, you're a gazelle!

You better believe I'll kill to prevent someone else from killing my people. If you wouldn't, you don't deserve the protections your armed forces give you.


Yes, there are regimes in Africa and the Middle East that are brutal. Does that give any other nation the right to invade and put up the government they feel is the RIGHT government?

ETA: and we, in Canada, are very lucky to live in the society that we do.

Message edited by author 2008-10-21 19:48:12.
10/21/2008 11:18:34 PM · #84
Originally posted by OmanOtter:

Originally posted by Jac:


I absolutely do not agree that killing people to save other people is the right thing to do. That's barbaric and I'm surprised to read it in this thread. You have been brainwashed by your government into thinking that pre-emptive strikes save lives.


I think you've led a charmed and easy life sheltered from the harsh realities of life. Come over here to Africa or where I used to be (the Middle East) and see how the non-western world approaches life. It's a dog eat dog world. If you're not a lion, you're a gazelle!

You better believe I'll kill to prevent someone else from killing my people. If you wouldn't, you don't deserve the protections your armed forces give you.


I didn't know you lived in Africa. I thought you were in the US. I understand your points about protecting yourself from a clear and present danger but going into a country without the proper intel, or not making darn sure the intel you do have is correct and invading that country only because you want to retaliate to show the terrorists you mean business, is wrong, and we have the proof today with the quagmire that has been created in Iraq.
10/22/2008 02:02:39 AM · #85
Originally posted by Jac:


I didn't know you lived in Africa. I thought you were in the US. I understand your points about protecting yourself from a clear and present danger but going into a country without the proper intel, or not making darn sure the intel you do have is correct and invading that country only because you want to retaliate to show the terrorists you mean business, is wrong, and we have the proof today with the quagmire that has been created in Iraq.


Not sure I agree that Iraq is a quagmire. It seems to be going pretty well right now. American casualties have dropped precipitously in the last 8 - 10 months. Overall number of attacks has dropped as well. The Sunnis in Anbar Province (which was the heart of the fight because it was where Saddam was from) have turned against the organization known as Al-Quaida in Iraq and have sided with the United States, the Iraqi Government, and their allies. Things have gotten so much better that the U.S. Marine Corps (which is the service with responsibility for Anbar Province) has moved back to an "overwatch" position (i.e., they now are letting the Iraqi forces take the lead in what fights do occur and serve as a sort of back-up to them rather than taking the lead.) and has even requested to be re-deployed to Afghanistan where there is more fierce fighting of late so that they can be more useful.

Nor would I agree that we invaded Iraq "only because we wanted to retaliate and show the terrorists we mean business." Keep in mind that Saddam had been a thorn in the side of the coalition for a decade between the first Gulf War and our invasion. He routinely shot at U.S. and Coalition aircraft that patrolled the southern and northern no-fly zones. He attempted to assassinate President Bush (Senior) in Kuwait (after the end of the war). He routinely kicked out U.N. weapons inspectors. In short, he ACTED like he still had weapons of mass destruction. In fact, every intelligence agency in the world (including Canada's) believed that he did still have them.

And I sure wouldn't consider 400 miles distance from New York as making you a target!

I lose a lot of respect for Canadians when I see them travelling the world with their flag posted so prominently on their backpacks - as so many of your countrymen do. They are clearly saying "Don't confuse me with an American. I'm just a peaceful Canadian. We never hurt anybody. So, please Mr. Terrorist. Don't kill me; go find an American to kill." All the while they forget that Canada is one of the United States' closest military allies. You're in Afghanistan, by the way, and doing a pretty good job there. Canadian and American forces have fought side-by-side in almost every war for the last 100 years. And, American strength is Canada's primary defense. A population of 30 million of whom 90% live within 100 miles of the U.S. border cannot hope to defend a territory as large as yours. If the USSR had wanted to take Canada during the Cold War, the only thing stopping them was the U.S. Same goes for Russia, China etc... right now. Heck, Finland would stand a pretty good chance without the U.S. backing you. That's not intended as an insult, by the way; it's just a mathematical fact. I have tremendous respect for Canada - but not for that seemingly significant portion of your population that gets this chip on their shoulders trying so hard to assert their differences from Americans when there really aren't many of any significance. And so frequently I hear Canadians making Canada out to be a country that never hurt anyone and was therefore more moral than the United States when Canada, by virtue of its tiny population, simply can't be as visibly involved in world affairs as the United States and therefore doesn't get the opportunity to do things that can lead to criticism and secondly forgetting that Canada is almost ALWAYS in support of U.S. military efforts in one fashion or another. If not with boots on the ground, then in some indirect but significan support. Face it, Canada is a CLOSE U.S. military ally.

Finally, let's not forget the atrocities that Canadian soldiers committed in Somalia.

But I forgive them. And I really do like your country.

Message edited by author 2008-10-22 02:12:37.
10/22/2008 08:03:30 AM · #86
the reasons we invaded Iraq could not be more clear. They were laid out by the Project for a New American Century before Bush took office and put them in power. It is part of an aggressive strategy to make the Middle East more democratic. Don't even bother speculating about why we invaded Iraq until you read the PNAC documents.
10/22/2008 08:49:29 AM · #87
Originally posted by yakatme:

If you find yourself completely disgusted with the way America is being ran, and how we handle things on the global stage, you can leave. Isn't that amazing?


Certainly is... The my way or the highway is a time honoured argument of idiots. Is this in rant? :)
10/22/2008 10:31:18 AM · #88
Originally posted by OmanOtter:

You better believe I'll kill to prevent someone else from killing my people. If you wouldn't, you don't deserve the protections your armed forces give you.

I see. So, in order for the citizenry to enjoy the protection of the armed forces, they must be as willing as soldiers to kill?
10/22/2008 10:43:20 AM · #89
Originally posted by posthumous:

the reasons we invaded Iraq could not be more clear. They were laid out by the Project for a New American Century before Bush took office and put them in power. It is part of an aggressive strategy to make the Middle East more democratic. Don't even bother speculating about why we invaded Iraq until you read the PNAC documents.


Why is it in any way the right of the US to impose their view of democracy on anyone other than themselves?
10/22/2008 11:01:00 AM · #90
Originally posted by OmanOtter:

I lose a lot of respect for Canadians when I see them travelling the world with their flag posted so prominently on their backpacks - as so many of your countrymen do. They are clearly saying "Don't confuse me with an American. I'm just a peaceful Canadian. We never hurt anybody. So, please Mr. Terrorist. Don't kill me; go find an American to kill."

False attribution.

Originally posted by OmanOtter:

You're in Afghanistan, by the way...

And due to the opposition of most of Canadians -- 61% are against Canada's presence there (many of whom may own backpacks) -- they'll be gone in due course. Sooner, if the current minority government is removed by the combined efforts of the the two parties that hold the balance of power and oppose the war: the Bloc and the NDP.

Originally posted by OmanOtter:

And, American strength is Canada's primary defense.

So is Kuwait's, it seems. And Vietnam's. And, looking back, England's, France's, the USSR's, and virtually everything west of Berlin. No country on the planet expects the US to stand idly by while any sovereign nation is invaded by hostile forces. This is the role you have set up for yourselves, so complaining about it, or chastising those who would dissent from the hostile foreign policy the US is currently engaged in, seems rather hypocritical to me.

Originally posted by OmanOtter:

I have tremendous respect for Canada - but not for that seemingly significant portion of your population that gets this chip on their shoulders trying so hard to assert their differences from Americans when there really aren't many of any significance.

Gay marriage. Legalization of pot taken seriously by major political parties. No FCC (saying "fuck" in prime time on the regular channels, or showing boobs, doesn't get the country in the streets with torches). A more secular nation, and 24% atheist. No sense of patriotism that allows a majority of players to assert that dissenters should just leave the country. An overwhelming majority of the populace that is not militaristic, but wishes to the armed forces of this country to peace-keepers, not active engagement soldiers, because our nation knows where our strengths and weaknesses are. We are very, very different from Americans, Sir.

Originally posted by OmanOtter:

Finally, let's not forget the atrocities that Canadian soldiers committed in Somalia.

Kind of a non sequitur, but yes, it's indicative of a systemic problem with armed forces everywhere. I remember reading an article about the alarming number of mentally unstable people and outright psychotics joining the armed forces as an outlet for their mental problems. It explains Somalia, it explains the puppy episode, it explains German soldiers desecrating a skull, it explains a few things, maybe even Haditha, My Lai, maybe a few other American messes. One wonders what your point could be.
10/22/2008 12:08:27 PM · #91
Originally posted by cpanaioti:

Originally posted by posthumous:

the reasons we invaded Iraq could not be more clear. They were laid out by the Project for a New American Century before Bush took office and put them in power. It is part of an aggressive strategy to make the Middle East more democratic. Don't even bother speculating about why we invaded Iraq until you read the PNAC documents.


Why is it in any way the right of the US to impose their view of democracy on anyone other than themselves?


You're not asking me, are you? Ask PNAC. Give Cheney a ring.
10/22/2008 01:22:46 PM · #92
Originally posted by Louis:

Originally posted by OmanOtter:

You better believe I'll kill to prevent someone else from killing my people. If you wouldn't, you don't deserve the protections your armed forces give you.

I see. So, in order for the citizenry to enjoy the protection of the armed forces, they must be as willing as soldiers to kill?


Yes.
10/22/2008 02:04:37 PM · #93
Actually this is a little interesting. The Caroline incident may not stand up in international law as a justification for pre-emptive war. The legal justification was drummed up to smooth things between America and Britain (this was pre-Confederation), but the interesting part was that there was a semi-clandestine group of supporters for the Canadian rebels in many of the northern states, and these were never the target of British military activity. One of the reasons for this group was that many Americans had gone to Upper Canada for cheap land - a sort of post-Empire Loyalist group, and they were similar to the Canadian rebels in their resentment of The Family Compact rule.

Canadians have been sewing their flag to their backpacks since before our worthy friend Oman Otter was born, and when it still had a corner filled with the Union Jack. And if anything, anti-Americanism is less virulent and less hyperbolic than it was 50 years ago. Whether that is because Americans are less ignorant and dismissive of Canada I cannot say. One thing is certain: Canadians have a great sense of humour about themselves, witness the fairly long tradition of TV comedy shows - currently The R C Air Farce (soon to be ended) and This Hour Has 22 Minutes, whose outrageousness gets us through politics and winter.

The history of Western presence in the Middle East predates American involvement. Britain and France are responsible for some serious bungling - bungling which was in Britain's case the result of either ignorance or the failure of government to credit valuable intelligence. And this is true of the Americans as well: the intelligence was there, that Saddam did not have nuclear power at the ready, but British and American intelligence decided to ignore it. (Colin Powell is not a happy man).

Perhaps this is all by the way, and I am killing yet another thread. I think we can argue til doomsday how much force if any is justified and when, but the understanding of history and context should certainly precede if not allay the sententious righteousness of our judgments.

The fact remains that governments make mistakes and when they do it still remains a matter of individual conscience how to behave. This is why I am opposed to the Oath of Allegiance: it takes away my personal responsibility. (Recommended reading: "The Cellist of Sarajevo" by Steven Galloway).

Also recommended reading: "Charlie Wilson's War," by George Crile (2007). What went on in Afganistan.
10/22/2008 02:42:45 PM · #94
Originally posted by OmanOtter:

Originally posted by Louis:

Originally posted by OmanOtter:

You better believe I'll kill to prevent someone else from killing my people. If you wouldn't, you don't deserve the protections your armed forces give you.

I see. So, in order for the citizenry to enjoy the protection of the armed forces, they must be as willing as soldiers to kill?

Yes.

Merely absurd. As nonsensical as suggesting that in order for the citizenry to enjoy the protection of the fire department, they must be willing to expose themselves to the flames.
10/22/2008 03:04:56 PM · #95
Originally posted by OmanOtter:

Originally posted by Louis:

Originally posted by OmanOtter:

You better believe I'll kill to prevent someone else from killing my people. If you wouldn't, you don't deserve the protections your armed forces give you.

I see. So, in order for the citizenry to enjoy the protection of the armed forces, they must be as willing as soldiers to kill?


Yes.


No.

I would not go trying to pull over the speeders that barrel down my street and write them a citation. As with law enforcement, warfighting is something left to the professionals.
10/22/2008 04:02:56 PM · #96
Originally posted by tnun:

The history of Western presence in the Middle East predates American involvement. Britain and France are responsible for some serious bungling - bungling which was in Britain's case the result of either ignorance or the failure of government to credit valuable intelligence. And this is true of the Americans as well: the intelligence was there, that Saddam did not have nuclear power at the ready, but British and American intelligence decided to ignore it. (Colin Powell is not a happy man).


In the Western World the French, The British, the Italians, the Spanish, the Portuguese, the Dutch all engaged in empire building before there WAS a United States. Indeed, the USA itself exists BECAUSE of that empire building, basically. Then, over on the "other side" of the world you had a huge and viable Chinese civilization which was overrun by barbarians who then took the reins and held them for a long time, becoming "civilized" in the process. You got people like Mongols, Huns and Turks attacking Western civilizations, you got Western civilizations engaging on extensive raping and pillaging of the east, and so forth and so on ad nauseum:

and all of this before America came on the scene.

In the Middle East, the current area of prolonged dispute, various Western corporations and/or nations have been pulling strings for a couple of hundred years, essentially draining the resources of this area to foster the rise of the Industrial Revolution. Historically this has not so much been done by negotiating with these peoples as it has been by holding them under our collective thumb. But the people of the Middle East have a very long memory. They (and their religion) have been under attack by the West since at least the time of the expansionist policies of the Holy Roman Empire and, later, the Crusades of the Roman Catholic Church. It's understandable that they, as a people, are very bitter about Western involvement in their region, and Western meddling in their business.

So why do we continue to do it? It's about the oil. It's been about the oil for at least 150 years. All the other rationalizations don't really mean anything; if the Middle east wasn't sitting on top of most of the world's oil, none of this would be happening.

Am I JUSTIFYING terrorism? No, of course not. But I do think I understand where it comes from. And it doesn't seem to me that, in the long run, continuing to maintain a dominant presence in the Middle East, supporting regimes that "agree" with us and working to overthrow those that we perceive as threats, can possibly generate a favorable outcome for Western interests, short of our simply going in and obliterating these nations and these peoples.

So when I read the original post, the soldier's blog entry, where he wants to kill anyone who threatens his family or his home, and where he states that someone "has to be on top" and it might as well be us, well that's why that bothers me so much: because WE (the West) are threatening their families and their homes and their way of life, and have been doing this for hundreds of years. So many natives of the region, quite legitimately (at least as far as we agree this soldier's opinions are legitimate) can say that THEY are willing to kill anyone who threatens etc etc...

And where does that get us? It's an absolute quagmire and we have, IMO, absolutely NO moral basis on which to make our stand. Pragmatic ones, sure, even if I totally don't agree with them. I mean, there's an argument to be made that our "national interest" is inextricably tied up with what goes on in the Middle east, and that we NEED to be in there doing what we're doing or we are up chit creek without the proverbial paddle, but spare me the moral flag waving and righteous cried for "revenge" against "the enemy", because if these people are the enemies of the West it is because the West has made them so, over a very long period of time.

Of course, there ain't no way that I can see to sit everyone down and work out a rational solution. Don't get me wrong, I don't have any answers to this...

But kneejerk patriotism really bothers me, a lot...

R.

Message edited by author 2008-10-22 16:03:16.
10/22/2008 04:38:42 PM · #97
Originally posted by Louis:

Originally posted by OmanOtter:

Originally posted by Louis:

Originally posted by OmanOtter:

You better believe I'll kill to prevent someone else from killing my people. If you wouldn't, you don't deserve the protections your armed forces give you.

I see. So, in order for the citizenry to enjoy the protection of the armed forces, they must be as willing as soldiers to kill?

Yes.

Merely absurd. As nonsensical as suggesting that in order for the citizenry to enjoy the protection of the fire department, they must be willing to expose themselves to the flames.


I agree with your point in general but that wouldn't be a good example to use at least where I live. We have an all volunteer fire department.
10/22/2008 04:43:59 PM · #98
Originally posted by yanko:

Originally posted by Louis:

Originally posted by OmanOtter:

Originally posted by Louis:

Originally posted by OmanOtter:

You better believe I'll kill to prevent someone else from killing my people. If you wouldn't, you don't deserve the protections your armed forces give you.

I see. So, in order for the citizenry to enjoy the protection of the armed forces, they must be as willing as soldiers to kill?

Yes.

Merely absurd. As nonsensical as suggesting that in order for the citizenry to enjoy the protection of the fire department, they must be willing to expose themselves to the flames.


I agree with your point in general but that wouldn't be a good example to use at least where I live. We have an all volunteer fire department.


True, but even then, to be protected by them does not require one to be a volunteer firefighter
10/22/2008 05:01:10 PM · #99
Thank you Bear. I edited out my reference to the crusades, but heck, while we're at maybe it is time to remember that North America was inhabited before "we" came. Our tenure is the result of expedience and force, and how we use this awareness is up to us.
10/22/2008 05:05:37 PM · #100
Originally posted by Bear_Music:



But kneejerk patriotism really bothers me, a lot...

R.


Very well put, Robert.

Let's not lose sight of the fact that the soldier's blog thoughts are his own and not that of President Bush or our commanders. I can only imagine how frustrating it must be for a soldier (who makes so little money from the government he is working for that he is considered to be impoverished) to go out and quite literally put his life on the line every day - and find that politicians and citizens back home are accusing him of killing innocent people and losing the war. He sees the good he and his fellow soldiers are doing - no more rape rooms, girls are allowed to attend school, schools being re-built, infrastructure being rebuilt, adequate security in force that allows commerce to thrive and yet hears non of it in the press. How difficult it must be not to become bitter and say things out of frustration.

Yeah, I get bothered by kneejerk patriotism. But I am even more bothered by the "Blame America First" crowd and those who cannot empathize with just where this now dead soldier's thoughts were coming from.

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