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John Cuthber

terminology of terror

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who did Afghanistan invade?

 

That is the point of this entire discussion. GWB announced US policy within a few days of 9/11 that we would hold nations who harbor terrorists accountable for the actions of those terrorists.

 

There really is no alternative. If a government can turn the other eye, or even lend some impossible to prove support, to terrorists as they cook up dirty bombs or 9/11 plots.

 

You wouldn't have invaded afghanistan??

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Haezed

 

No-one is suggesting that 9/11 should have been left with no punitive action.

 

The suggestion is being made by others than yourself that 9/11 was no worse than ordinary crimes which we weather in our day to day lives. My post merely pointed out there are other impacts than 3,000+ lives lost.

 

I'm not sure the point that is being made by this comparison. If I view this as no worse than typical crime, I really can't justify doing much of anything. Let's let the normal criminal processes handle the problem along with the CIA. No worries. That's the logical, if unstated, conclusion of the argument.

 

However, there are many forms of response, and going to war is ALWAYS a mistake.

 

ALWAYS? You assume there is always a choice

 

Osama and his allies need to be stopped, or at least slowed down drastically. So lets use proper action targetted to them, and not attack whole nations.

 

If war is always a mistake, you would not have invaded Afghanistan to take out the Taliban? Recall that GWB gave them ample time to turn over the 9/11 culprits. They refused.

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Well stopping drugs production in Afghanistan was bound to get the Taliban bombed. The drug Mafia is so powerful. I think they really didnt realize what would happen if the forced people to stop heroine production

 

Oh please, the mafia has even less influence on government than opium producers. Might as well claim the Masons were responsible.

 

 

OK' date=' Germany invaded Poland etc., Iraq invaded Kuwait. The international community responded to both those acts.

Remind me; who did Afghanistan invade?

 

I realise they are a thoroughly unpleasant lot but that's a slightly different kettle of fish from invading another country.[/quote']

 

So we agree on "invading the invaders", for lack of a better term, right? I'm not trying to bludgeon you for mis-speaking in your previous post (everyone throws a misstatement now and then, no harm in that), I just want to make sure we're on the same page there.

 

Anyway, Afghanistan wasn't invaded because they were "thoroughly unpleasant", they were invaded because they sponsored and supported the organization that attacked the United States on 9/11. We had sufficient international agreement, and we decided to do something about it. (Please see also Jackson33's response to you here.)

 

I fully conceed, by the way, that it's a bit ridiculous that we can take care of an Afghanistan, but leave a Darfur unrepaired. But I note that Afghanistan doesn't have any oil, and the point pharmacol made about opium is just not substantiable, so let's face it -- we made a statement there, and that statement was heard.

 

It's really a shame we undermined that statement by invading Iraq. Had we stopped at that point, we would have had a vast amount of international clout to throw around, and able to do good deeds all over the place. Which is exactly as it should be.

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Yes, invading Afghanistan was, indeed, a mistake. There is great historical back-up to this. The British Raj tried to invade Afghanistan and got their tails whipped, even though they were, at the time, the most powerful military force in the world. The Soviets tried to invade Afganistan and got their tails whipped. The USA was a bit smarter, and carried out its invasion as an ally of one of the Afghani factions.

 

However, history is repeating itself. Afganistan is working up to whipping America's tail also.

 

It was not needed. One point I made earlier was that the easiest war to win is one of punishment, not invasion. America could have made the Taliban suffer without putting a single American soldier on the ground.

 

There are always alternatives. If Bush junior had considered the Al Qaeda to be the equivalent of the Mafia, and set out to carry out an international police action, and capture or kill its operatives, war would not have been needed. OK, it would have been difficult. But it would have caused far less damage to innocent people.

 

9/11 has been followed by terrible consequences. And by far the greatest consequences have come from Bush junior going to war. Iraq will (over 20 years) cost the USA two trillion dollars. And according to the Lancet, it has already cost 650,000 Iraqi lives.

 

Osama is laughing into his beard. The twin towers attack has harmed the American economy a hundred times more than the mere damage of two aircraft crashing.

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What makes you think we could have captured or killed its operatives more effectively without an invasion? I point out that not all of them have been captured or caught even WITH an invasion. Do you really think that could have been MORE successfull WITHOUT an invasion?

 

I respect your opinion more than most, SkepticLance, and no different here -- we'll probably have to agree to disagree. But I think the evidence that invasion was a success here is more than adequate. We toppled a hostile enemy government to the overwhelming relief and appreciation of the local population. What happens after is another story, and simply has zero bearing on that issue.

 

The Japanese were laughing after Pearl Harbor too. Just not for long. And not all Germans were Nazis, but we sure killed a lot of Germans in the early 1940s. Wanna take that one back too?

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Pangloss

When it comes to dealing with terrorists, there are no easy answers, and no perfect solutions.

 

All we can do is strive for actions that hurt as few people as possible, and hopefully put a bit of a crimp in the terrorists lives. Wars achieve maximum harm to innocents, and do not appear to confer much of an advantage in slowing terrorists. The war in Iraq has converted a nation that did not support Al Qaeda into a nation that is now the number 1 recruiting ground anywhere in the world. Literally hundreds of thousands of Sunni Muslims in Iraq now support Al Qaeda.

 

The Afghanistan war kicked Al Qaeda ass for sure. However, the cost was enormous. The result to date is that Al Qaeda has now moved into the hill country overlapping Afghanistan and Pakistan, and is stronger than ever from increased recruitment. The Taliban has lost much of the country but is fighting back from the support base of a large number of the tribes.

 

The real enemy was Al Qaeda, which has gained. The Taliban is much weaker, but far from dead. Thousands of people are dead who did not deserve to die.

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Pangloss

When it comes to dealing with terrorists, there are no easy answers, and no perfect solutions.

 

I agree.

 

 

All we can do is strive for actions that hurt as few people as possible, and hopefully put a bit of a crimp in the terrorists lives. Wars achieve maximum harm to innocents, and do not appear to confer much of an advantage in slowing terrorists. The war in Iraq has converted a nation that did not support Al Qaeda into a nation that is now the number 1 recruiting ground anywhere in the world. Literally hundreds of thousands of Sunni Muslims in Iraq now support Al Qaeda.

 

Well here I disagree, I'm afraid, except insofar as it pertains to Iraq. This statement also seems to break your own rule about there being no easy answers. Didn't WW2 prove that it's possible to reach a point where war is the ONLY answer? I agree that that was not the case when it comes to Iraq. I think it's a reasonably debatable point (with valid points raised by both sides) when it comes to Afghanistan, and my opinion is that war was a valid response in that case.

 

At any rate, the purpose of the war in Afghanistan was not to stop terrorism, it was to put an end to one particular state's sponsorship of terrorism. In that regard it was 100% successful -- Afghanistan no longer has nationally-supported terrorist capability.

 

Is that the prefered way to deal with state-sponsorship of terrorism? Absolutely not.

 

 

The Afghanistan war kicked Al Qaeda ass for sure. However, the cost was enormous.

 

Not really. I think it was pretty darn near negligible. And you're welcome to put up the numbers and I'll happily repeat that statement right in the face of those numbers, including human cost, if you're determined to make me look inhumane (at which point I'll go on to explain why I'm not the inhumane one). We've been around this block before and I think we know how this argument goes.

 

As you say, there is no easy solution. Just as war is not an easy solution, neither is ignoring a problem hoping it will go a way, nor are "sanctions" that are regularly and consistently undermined.

 

 

The result to date is that Al Qaeda has now moved into the hill country overlapping Afghanistan and Pakistan, and is stronger than ever from increased recruitment. The Taliban has lost much of the country but is fighting back from the support base of a large number of the tribes.

 

The real enemy was Al Qaeda, which has gained. The Taliban is much weaker, but far from dead. Thousands of people are dead who did not deserve to die.

 

But the Taliban is no longer in charge of the country. That fact was directly achieved by that war. Whether the Taliban RETURNS to power is an absolutely open question, but you know what? That could just as well be the case had we not invaded Afghanistan but somehow, miraculously, managed to remove them from power by some other means.

 

 

But here's the thing I want to know -- do you actually believe that the Taliban would NOT be in power today had we not invaded? Isn't it more likely that they would still be in power, and that Al Qaeda would be a much stronger entity today if that were the case?

 

I totally get your point about it not eliminating Al Qaeda or the Taliban, and I'm right there with you about war not being an easy solution to this problem. But I think if you declare that you're not ever going to use war under any circumstances then you take most of your peaceful negotiating power right off the table. Why should any government ever comply with international demands when it knows full well that those demands will never be backed up with power?

 

A civilization that isn't willing to go to war to defend itself and what it believes cannot survive, even in these enlightened times. We're simply not there yet, and we've got a long way to go.

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Pangloss said :

 

Didn't WW2 prove that it's possible to reach a point where war is the ONLY answer?

 

Hard to argue with that. Let me re-phrase my earlier statement which undoubtedly was too absolute. War should be engaged in only as an absolute last resort.

 

Where is war justified? A difficult question. One clear cut example is if your country is invaded. If my country was invaded, I would be on a cliff top with a rifle trying to take out the enemy, and I suspect lots more would be with me.

 

What if an ally is invaded? eg. Kuwait. Then, by extention, you can justify action. Under the terms of a military alliance, if the ally is invaded, it is the same as if your own country is invaded, and you are justified in taking up arms.

 

This is the justification of WWII. However, the war in Afghanistan was different. That is more like a criminal hides in a third country and we invade to get the criminal. Hard to justify.

 

Pangloss also said :

 

the purpose of the war in Afghanistan was not to stop terrorism, it was to put an end to one particular state's sponsorship of terrorism. In that regard it was 100% successfu

 

Where do you draw the line? There are lots of countries in the world that have horrible leadership. Why not invade Myanmar? Their military dictators are doing terrible harm and are anti-American. Why not invade Zimbabwe and do away with that evil dictator Robert Mugabe? Why not invade the Sudan? That government sponsors the Janjaweed who are carrying out a campaign of genocide - doing far more humanitarian harm than 9/11 ever did.

The list is long.

 

Pangloss also said :

 

Not really. I think it was pretty darn near negligible

 

I do hope your definition of harm is not restricted only to Americans. The war in Afghanistan has carried a small casualty rate to Americans, but thousands of Afghanis have died.

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However, the war in Afghanistan was different. That is more like a criminal hides in a third country and we invade to get the criminal. Hard to justify.

 

That's not quite what it was, though. Al Qaeda wasn't justing hiding in Afghanistan, it was being actively supported by the Taliban, which I think changes things. An analogy to WW2 is actually somewhat apt: the United States declared war on Germany upon being attacked by Japan. It's true the analogy isn't perfect since Al Qaeda isn't a country, but it is more justifiable than the circumstances you are presenting.

 

Where do you draw the line? There are lots of countries in the world that have horrible leadership...

 

It wasn't about horrible leadership. (It was horrible, as horrible as any state at the time, but you're absolutely right in asking where to draw the line.) It was about that country actively (if indirectly) supporting violence against civilians in our and our allies' countries.

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Believe me, Lance, I hear your Skepticism (what a witicism on my part! <back-pat, back-pat>). You ask why not invade other nations, and I'm with you in that skepticism 100%. We can't be hypocritical about the use of violence, and we should think long and hard about each case.

 

We should be prepared to use EVERY weapon in our formidable arsenal of diplomatic, military and economic assets. We like to talk about learning the lessons of history, well we should be willing to put our money where our mouth is and be willing to flex ALL those muscles -- not just the military ones.

 

It certainly can happen through peaceful means. South Korea is a prime example -- a brutal dictatorship turned into a thriving democracy through the means of near-infinite patience. It took decades for that to happen, but eventually they came around. There's no reason to think that can't happen again.

 

 

The war in Afghanistan has carried a small casualty rate to Americans, but thousands of Afghanis have died.

 

They sure did. Human life is infinitely precious. Which is why we have to honor them by recognizing that they died for a higher purpose. Our problem isn't that people are dying all over the world. It's that they too often die for stupid reasons like money or power or entertainment. There are also GOOD reasons to die. GOOD causes to die for. We can't be so afraid of death that we're unwilling to let people truly live.

 

Those people are noble martyrs and heroes. Painting them as victims robs them of the only coin that any of us ever truly have to spend.

 

"Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori."

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Terror:

 

Abu Graib.

 

Hoods and electrodes.

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Yes, invading Afghanistan was, indeed, a mistake.

 

We see here the inherent advantage of the critic over the those who act. If a person in authority takes decisive action, it is easy to point out how the status quo compares unfavorably to a hypothetical world where action had not been taken. In that alternate reality, problems would have resolved themselves with patience, international cooperation (*cough*darfur*cough*) and simply a better approach in general of which the critic is only too keen to share in detail.

 

This discussion is a good one because it reminds us that it was not a given that GWB would act decively in Afghanistan and we are left to wonder what the world look like if the Taliban had continued to allow terrorism fester in its borders. Other related questions: What if Saddam was still in power? What if Libya had never turned over its nuclear secrets?

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We see here the inherent advantage of the critic over the those who act. If a person in authority takes decisive action, it is easy to point out how the status quo compares unfavorably to a hypothetical world where action had not been taken. In that alternate reality, problems would have resolved themselves with patience, international cooperation (*cough*darfur*cough*) and simply a better approach in general of which the critic is only too keen to share in detail.

 

This discussion is a good one because it reminds us that it was not a given that GWB would act decively in Afghanistan and we are left to wonder what the world look like if the Taliban had continued to allow terrorism fester in its borders. Other related questions: What if Saddam was still in power? What if Libya had never turned over its nuclear secrets?

 

Acting decisively is neither positive or negative in itself. It's understanding the consequences of that action is what's important. Easy to be decisive for the Third Reich to invade the USSR or for the USA to invade Iraq... in neither incident did 'decisive' action result in anything less than a disaster. Great leaders like FDR and Churchill (and I'd add a great foreign policy president, Nixon) understood that simplistic solutions to complicated international situations is like signing a contract without reading it first and understanding the fine print. unfortunatel George W Bush, to quote Pat Buchanan:

 

'had no clue about what he was getting us into when he authorized the invasion of Iraq and his ignorance has destroyed the credibility of the United States.'

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Acting decisively is neither positive or negative in itself. It's understanding the consequences of that action is what's important. Easy to be decisive for the Third Reich to invade the USSR or for the USA to invade Iraq... in neither incident did 'decisive' action result in anything less than a disaster. Great leaders like FDR and Churchill (and I'd add a great foreign policy president, Nixon) understood that simplistic solutions to complicated international situations is like signing a contract without reading it first and understanding the fine print. unfortunatel George W Bush, to quote Pat Buchanan:

 

'had no clue about what he was getting us into when he authorized the invasion of Iraq and his ignorance has destroyed the credibility of the United States.'

 

I'll go along with that.

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Haezed said :

 

We see here the inherent advantage of the critic over the those who act. If a person in authority takes decisive action, it is easy to point out how the status quo compares unfavorably to a hypothetical world where action had not been taken.

 

But deciding NOT to invade is just as much a decisive action as its opposite. And deciding against war means with 100% certainty, even in foresight, that an awful lot of people are not going to die.

 

I have never suggested that we should not take action. Just that invading another country as an act of war is almost always a mistake, and can be a dreadful mistake, as with Iraq. If you don't believe me, take a look at recent US history!

 

There are many alternatives. We can support an alternative faction - just as Bush junior supported the Northern Alliance in Afghanistan. We can apply sanctions. We can use covert action. We can introduce spies and even assassins. We can even ingratiate ourselves with the nation concerned to increase our powers of influence.

 

To cure a cancer, we treat it with a scalpel, not a stick of dynamite.

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I am sure that terror act is a universal concept should be used criticizing all horrifying acts despite who committed, so the greatest part of world outside the western countries see many of the following as acts of terror....

 

forcibly displacing millions of palestinians out of their land palestine & bringing millions of peoples from different parts of world ( white, black, brown.....)claiming that palestine were land of their ancestors who departed it before centuries to settle them in palestine is terror & who struggle against this unjustice is nationally resistant

 

bombing nagasaki & hiroshima using nuclear weapons killing hundreds of thousands in a war were just about to finish is a terror

 

occupying Iraq based on claims ,all were proved to be wrong & fabricated resulting in a state more miserable than the civil war itself is a terror

 

Abu graib prison scandal & several massacres commited against Arab sunni in Iraq by the hands of us soldiers & iraqi allied government because they refuse occpation is a terror

 

contaminating world with industrial polluting products, & so increasing suffering of poor nations as a result of drought is a terror

 

believing of superiority over other nations is a terror

 

what happened to original inhabitants of America is terror

 

& if we wont to continue in enumerate the will be long

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But deciding NOT to invade is just as much a decisive action as its opposite. And deciding against war means with 100% certainty, even in foresight, that an awful lot of people are not going to die.

 

Not true. If we didn't go to war against the Axis powers lots of more people could have died. By not acting, you can cause more death as well. Why do you think Europe was so adimant in getting us involved in WWII?

 

I'm sorry, but these blanket statements about "no war ever" and "nothing gets solved with war" is just naive and wrong. It may not be admirable and it may not be a good idea 99% of the time - but it does solve things, and it is necessary sometimes. You can make plenty of arguments against war without making these fallacious statements.

 

There are many alternatives. We can support an alternative faction - just as Bush junior supported the Northern Alliance in Afghanistan.

 

This is the same thing that has happened to us all over the middle east. We align ourselves with some faction that shares our desired end and support them (ie..Osama Bin Laden). Then they become our enemy years later - then everyone says how stupid we are and how we trained them and sold them stuff and blah blah blah...(again...Osama Bin Laden)

 

How many times do we need to train and sell stuff to future enemies before we stop training and selling stuff to future enemies?

 

We can apply sanctions.

 

And indirectly murder mainly civilians. Great plan. Sorry, but war is more humane. I'd rather kill some civilians rather than only civilians...

 

We can use covert action. We can introduce spies and even assassins.

 

I recommend Phi's ninjas. We suck at covert stuff.

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bombing nagasaki & hiroshima using nuclear weapons killing hundreds of thousands in a war were just about to finish is a terror

 

The reasoning behind this statement is a *slap* to the face. The war was far from over, and I'm quite sure that the fire bombings could be considered more of an act of terror than the use of the mystical power that is the A-bomb.

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forcibly displacing millions of palestinians out of their land palestine & bringing millions of peoples from different parts of world ( white, black, brown.....)claiming that palestine were land of their ancestors who departed it before centuries to settle them in palestine is terror & who struggle against this unjustice is nationally resistant

 

No, that's not terror. That's immigration. We have people here who say similar things and they are called the Ku Klux Klan, Black Panthers...etc.

 

Those who take land and fight for it are called human beings. Land doesn't belong to anyone - you have to take it. That's what countries are.

 

bombing nagasaki & hiroshima using nuclear weapons killing hundreds of thousands in a war were just about to finish is a terror

 

No, bombing a country and killing over two thousand people without provocation is terror - Ie..pearl harbor. Bombing that country in return - to spare your own country's lives - is practical. Why should we risk a single american life for a conflict we didn't start?

 

occupying Iraq based on claims ,all were proved to be wrong & fabricated resulting in a state more miserable than the civil war itself is a terror

 

No..that's not terror. The claims weren't proven to be wrong. We have the receipts for the stuff we sold him - the only debate is where he put them or if he used them already.

 

Abu graib prison scandal & several massacres commited against Arab sunni in Iraq by the hands of us soldiers & iraqi allied government because they refuse occpation is a terror

 

Could be some terror there, if there's any truth to it. Although none of it compares to Saddam's gassing of the Kurds.

 

contaminating world with industrial polluting products, & so increasing suffering of poor nations as a result of drought is a terror

 

Nope..not terror. This same industry is responsible for building the stuff the world uses to live. The stuff we use to help other countries during catastrophes. The stuff we used to fight WWII. The stuff we use to physically trade goods between nations. The stuff you take for granted. The stuff you used to make that post...

 

believing of superiority over other nations is a terror

 

Nope, not terror. That's misguided prejudice or racism - imperialistic character. It's ugly but it's not terror. It's terror when those countries build bombs and target innocent people to perpetuate their "superiority" beliefs. We completely agree. Islamofacist racist murder clubs should not be allowed to continue this superiority exercise. We're not doing a very good job though. But then, neither has anyone else...

 

what happened to original inhabitants of America is terror

 

Now that's terror. We took the land, like humans do, but we killed needlessly and irreverantly. Nasty chapter in history, that's for sure.

 

Edit: Something I'm confused about...What about people who choose guns over food at the expense of their starving citizens? What's that called?

 

Also, what's it called when people spend the majority of their energy on killing other people who "deserve" it, rather than spending that energy on feeding themselves and building things?

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I recommend Phi's ninjas. We suck at covert stuff.
Why is that? I've always wondered why we write blank checks to our covert agencies and then hear (after a big failure) that our intelligence was faulty, that the agency wasn't prepared and that our training and procedures were outdated.

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Why is that? I've always wondered why we write blank checks to our covert agencies and then hear (after a big failure) that our intelligence was faulty, that the agency wasn't prepared and that our training and procedures were outdated.

 

I don't know why. But I don't like thinking that covert agencies have procedures. I mean really. Doesn't the word "procedure", imply a repetitious behavior or system? Systems have loop holes. Repetitious systems are predictable and can be easily thwarted the better the system is followed.

 

Do you ever hear about "procedures" with ninjas? Hell no. Ninjas don't have procedures, systems and etc. They have "training", but that's even covert. Ninjas don't mess around with "flowchart" thinking. I think that's why we suck at it and they're bad ass. Once a spy or something sees our flowchart procedure, we're done for...

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But deciding NOT to invade is just as much a decisive action as its opposite. And deciding against war means with 100% certainty, even in foresight, that an awful lot of people are not going to die.

 

The number of people who die in a just cause is irrelevent.

 

I'm not callous about death, in fact I think I respect it more than someone who's unwilling to let people expend it on something so important. But regardless of how you feel about death, it's quite clear that the number of people who are going to die should never be an overwhelmingly preventative dictate in foreign policy. If it is then you might as well fold the tent and go home, because you're simply not going to have any impact on international affairs.

 

That is the ugly truth of the world.

 

 

I have never suggested that we should not take action. Just that invading another country as an act of war is almost always a mistake, and can be a dreadful mistake, as with Iraq. If you don't believe me, take a look at recent US history!

 

It's really not, it just seems that way because people think it would be so awful for people in their own situation to die. You know, people who live in a democratic, free, economically successful region. Such a death is just too awful to countenance. Such a death just has to be wrong, and avoided at all costs.

 

That's why those of us who are smart enough to know better (scientists and engineers) have to step up and point out what that cost truly is. We have to be better than trendy social memes and media-driven panic modes. We're the intelligent ones -- we're supposed to avoid these kinds of mental traps.

 

 

 

There are many alternatives. We can support an alternative faction - just as Bush junior supported the Northern Alliance in Afghanistan. We can apply sanctions. We can use covert action. We can introduce spies and even assassins. We can even ingratiate ourselves with the nation concerned to increase our powers of influence.

 

To cure a cancer, we treat it with a scalpel, not a stick of dynamite.

 

Interesting choice of metaphor, because surgery and chemotherapy are pretty drastic, life-threatening treatments. Perhaps you meant "drugs", which would certainly be a preferable cancer treatment. So I get your point, but I think it's worth noting that when all of those things fail, how do we treat cancer then? By any means necessary. No matter how drastic.

 

You're right about alternatives -- they should all be tried. Yup. And then we have to be ready to go for the tough stuff. We did all of that with Iraq, and it didn't do any good. IMO we should not have gone in at that point. But you can't argue we didn't try other tactics first.

 

---------

 

Let me give you an example of where I think force could and should be immediately used: The Sudan. The quickest and easiest way to solve the problem of genocide in the Sudan would be for an international force to immediately invade that country and replace the current government. A large peacekeeping force should remain in the country until a new government is established, then it should leave.

 

If the same thing happens again, another force should immediately come in and do the same thing all over again, until these people get the idea and solve the problem.

 

If we do that, a large number of people will die. But here's the most relevent question you can ask yourself today: SO WHAT? Far larger numbers have died already while we sat by and tried all those other methods you talked about earlier. They did no good because the Sudanese government knew full well that we weren't about to invade their country. They still know that, and that's why civilians keep dying.

 

THAT's why people die in Darfur. Not because the Sudanese government is killing them, but because the rest of the world, in the final analysis, is unwilling to fight for them.

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Paranoia: "Not true. If we didn't go to war against the Axis powers lots of more people could have died. By not acting, you can cause more death as well."

 

Actually FDR understood in 1939 that NO, it was not the time to declare war. There was no moral imperative and the American people were AGAINST participation in another European conflict. FDR had the sense to understand that the American people would put their heart and soul into the conflict only if the USA was seen as being on the side of the guys wearing the white hats. It wasn't easy to tell American families to send their sons to die for the British Empire when that empire was ruling a 'pink' map from india to Africa to Malaysia, etc.

 

Real events like Pearl Harbor and 9/11 are what people will sink their teeth into. Not trumped up evidence of phantom WMDs that have baloney all over them. In the 21st century with 24 hour news service in every niche of the world, people want concrete reasons to go off to war to kill people and not neocon ad campaigns.

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Paranoia: "Not true. If we didn't go to war against the Axis powers lots of more people could have died. By not acting, you can cause more death as well."

 

Actually FDR understood in 1939 that NO, it was not the time to declare war. There was no moral imperative and the American people were AGAINST participation in another European conflict. FDR had the sense to understand that the American people would put their heart and soul into the conflict only if the USA was seen as being on the side of the guys wearing the white hats. It wasn't easy to tell American families to send their sons to die for the British Empire when that empire was ruling a 'pink' map from india to Africa to Malaysia, etc.

 

Real events like Pearl Harbor and 9/11 are what people will sink their teeth into. Not trumped up evidence of phantom WMDs that have baloney all over them. In the 21st century with 24 hour news service in every niche of the world, people want concrete reasons to go off to war to kill people and not neocon ad campaigns.

 

Sounds right to me. What exactly did you take issue with in my statement? You haven't countered a single part of it...

 

Oh and in the 21st century of technology and weaponry, I doubt you're going to get to many chances to enjoy the privilege of waiting to be attacked first before you pull your head out of the sand and quit pretending like your neighbor isn't actively plotting your death. With today's technology, there might not be enough of your country left to fight with...

 

But hey, we'll certainly be wearing the white hats huh? Just nobody left to actually put them on their head...

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The number of people who die in a just cause is irrelevent.

 

I'm not callous about death, in fact I think I respect it more than someone who's unwilling to let people expend it on something so important. But regardless of how you feel about death, it's quite clear that the number of people who are going to die should never be an overwhelmingly preventative dictate in foreign policy. If it is then you might as well fold the tent and go home, because you're simply not going to have any impact on international affairs.

 

That is the ugly truth of the world.

 

I disagree. I think it is a cost/benefit decision like anything else. Trouble is that the costs are difficult to measure and the benefits even more so. That is why we invade Iraq and not Korea or Darfur. The perceived costs were low when compared to the perceived benefits.

 

 

 

THAT's why people die in Darfur. Not because the Sudanese government is killing them, but because the rest of the world, in the final analysis, is unwilling to fight for them.

 

Maybe we should get involved, but we can't fix all injustices, especially those of the mind and spirit.

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