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  1. #81  
    Quote Originally Posted by gatorray View Post
    Good analogy. I would like to add another point, though. I will not try to compare WWII with Iraq directly, but bear with me. After WWII, Europe was in turmoil. Our presence there helped stabilize that area, and was tantamount to keeping the peace throughout the Cold War. With Iraq, I think that we would benefit from a military presence in the Middle East.

    Hopefully our military has gathered enough intelligence while on the ground in Iraq and more importantly, learned how to develop human intelligence in the area.

    BTW, I am a vet, served during Gulf 1, and also spent a considerable amount of time in Europe. I applauded our response to 9/11 at first, believing that we had the intelligence to support our actions. My support has lessened considerably since then. I would like to see a solid exit plan (focus on intelligence gathering).
    First of all, thank you for your service! And like you I was also behind our actions in Afghanistan....up until the point our guys were forced by Bush Co. to "retreat" and redeploy to Iraq.

    Second, I get where you're going with this and sure, in an ideal world we could establish a base in Iraq. But as you said there were differences between WWII and Iraq; I feel those differences were quite significant. For one thing we had just liberated all of the countries surrounding Germany whereby one by one we were literally greeted as liberators. The bottom line is that the environment was condusive to supporting a strong US presence because frankly, they loved us back then!

    Times are very different and the middle east is a very different place than Europe. My personal feeling is that we're stuck there now...as Powell warned Bush, "if you break it you own it". That said, I'd bet we'll be no more welcome there than we were in Beirut no matter how well Democracy takes root (which I don't think it will).

    It's a fine mess and our comrade in arms have paid in blood and will for some time to come. Those of us that have been out long enough and are no longer caught up in the whole hoo-rah almost-brainwashing that occurs inside the vaccuum that is our armed forces cannot help but look back in pity. Afterall, once again our government has led us into a bottomless pit of a war with no objectives, not enough troops, equipment, or clear cut mission.
  2. gatorray's Avatar
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    #82  
    Quote Originally Posted by moderateinny View Post
    First of all, thank you for your service! ...
    Right back atcha, my friend. I wish I had the right answer for you on how we can save this situation. We are up against a society that is fighting globalization at every turn. It shouldn't be up to us to bring them into the 21st century.

    That being said, I will never forget a news report I saw after the tsunami a few years ago. One of those suffering the aftermath was screaming into the camera asking "Where is America? Why are they not here helping us?" That was not verbatim, but you get my point. It shows that although we have a bad reputation worldwide (that is media driven for the most part), there is still a belief out there that we are going to be available to save whatever country needs saving.

    I will reach and draw another analogy. People in crime ridden neighborhoods hate LEOs, but when there is a murder or other violent crime, some of those same people cry out "Where are the police officers?" "Why aren't they here protecting us?"
  3. #83  
    Quote Originally Posted by gatorray View Post
    Right back atcha, my friend. I wish I had the right answer for you on how we can save this situation. We are up against a society that is fighting globalization at every turn. It shouldn't be up to us to bring them into the 21st century.

    That being said, I will never forget a news report I saw after the tsunami a few years ago. One of those suffering the aftermath was screaming into the camera asking "Where is America? Why are they not here helping us?" That was not verbatim, but you get my point. It shows that although we have a bad reputation worldwide (that is media driven for the most part), there is still a belief out there that we are going to be available to save whatever country needs saving.

    I will reach and draw another analogy. People in crime ridden neighborhoods hate LEOs, but when there is a murder or other violent crime, some of those same people cry out "Where are the police officers?" "Why aren't they here protecting us?"
    The noble goals which you are referring to, namely restoring a better, more civilized, form of government on a group of people who may not initially like our intervention, but in the long run they will thank us for it - these are the same arguments, that John Stuart Mill (introduced by Bri guy into the discussion) used to defend the policy of British occupation of a number of countries during the 19th century. Iraq was one of those colonies acquired by the British empire, along with India (which included Pakistan) as well as several other parts of the mideast which are now undergoing major serious unrest.

    Americans do not fully realize the historical background of British Imperialism, which Mill defended, that operated under the credo of 'we want to help you, but at the same time, we will help ourselves to your natural resources as compensation for our noble work'. However Iraqis, and the other nations colonized by Britan realize it quite well. I believe this historical background sets the stage for at least some of the resentment and unrest which plagues Iraq right now, and is being used by Al Queda and Iran for political gain. They are painting the American occupation as the return of the British colonizers and emphasizing all of the negative aspects of the colonial experience that linger in the historical minds of the Iraqis. Having Britan as our primary ally in this occupation of course does not help in this regard. Its unfortunate that the neoconservatives choose to paint the rationale for the occupation in the same terms as the British did, the 'we want to help rescue you from despotism and provide you with a superior government'.

    At the same time, there is a great deal of ambiguity as to the true purpose of the invasion of Iraq. Iraqis are not stupid, they are asking: what in it for the US to invade Iraq? Well they realize, just as we do now, that it was not our own national security that was at stake. If you think our saber-rattling about WMDs, which never materialized, links with 911, which were proven to be wrong, were simply a phenomena appreciated only by the American audience, you all are sadly mistaken. Unfortunately, Al-Jezzeera has amply informed the Arab world of these (and I'll try to be fair here) 'mistakes in interpretation' of US and British intelligence. In the Iraqi people's minds, while they are indeed grateful to be out of the yoke of Sadaam's oppression, the ambiguity of the reasons for our continued occupation of Iraq since then, only feeds into their natural suspicion of our true motives. This is reflected by the undisputed overwhelming majority of Iraqis who would like us out of Iraq yesterday, as opposed to today.

    While the ties between Haliburton and vice president Cheney are well known to Iraqis, and unfortunately are used by our enemies to reinforce Iraqi apprehensions about us profiting from thier occupation, the association of the Hunt Oil Corporqtion, who is forming alliances to profit from the oil output of northern Iraq, with President Bush will likewise be exposed sooner or later by Al-Jazeera and unfortunately will likely be used as further confirmation of what Iraqis fear, that the US is hanging around so that they can tap wealth from the natural resouces of their nation. Colonialization by the British all over again.

    Greater appreciation into the historical perspective of Iraq and understanding of how opportunistic we appear to the Iraqi people, will help the US formulate better future policies.
  4. #84  
    In reference to the tsunami comment of "where is America?", I love how American is villianize by many people in other countries, yet when things go to ****, they expect us to make it all better.

    The US give more foreign aid than any other country, much of which is wasted,squandered, and unappreciated.

    And amazing, we just turn the other cheek and keep giving.

    Bottom line - most of the world is jealous of the imperfect yet amazing land of opportunity we have. They may crap all over us, but they would give their left nut to live here.

    I guess it's nice to be desired. ;-)
  5. #85  
    Quote Originally Posted by mikec View Post
    ...

    The US give more foreign aid than any other country, much of which is wasted,squandered, and unappreciated...

    Insisting that I get more rest, my veterinarian has cut me off from access to The Goggle or The Internets, but it is my understanding that you are wrong at least on a per capita and probably even on a gross basis.

    (the stats are from 2002, and maybe not really based on junior's years -- which would likely be worse -- unless you count spending on the Iraq War as foriegn "aid"...)


    Per Capita Foreign Aid Assistance by World's Wealthiest Countries

    Norway 1.02

    Denmark .64

    Sweden .61

    Netherlands .57

    Switzerland .35

    Belgium .28

    Ireland .28

    France .25

    Finland .24

    United Kingdom .23

    Japan .20

    Austria .18

    Germany .18

    Canada .17

    Australia .14

    United States .13
    Last edited by BARYE; 09/20/2007 at 01:15 AM.
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       #86  
    Quote Originally Posted by mikec View Post
    The US give more foreign aid than any other country, much of which is wasted,squandered, and unappreciated.
    ...much of it politically motivated, to countries like Israel and Afghanistan.

    ...much of it in forms that are less than helpful, such as subsidised "dumping" of excess US farm produce, which damages local farmers.

    ...much of it to regimes, like the one in Iraq, that is so systematically corrupt that you must know it will not get through to the people who need it before it is even sent.

    ...and finally, if the US aid programme was so large and efficiently run, how come the response to Katrina, which was frankly a fairly modest disaster in global terms, was so abysmal?

    (I'm not specifically having a go at the US on this, by the way. Change the names and places, and the above could equally apply to my country. The developed world is not, IMO, very charitable.)
    PalmPilot Professional...Palm Vx...Treo 600...Treo 680...HTC Touch HD...iPhone 4S...
  7. #87  
    Quote Originally Posted by tirk View Post
    ...much of it in forms that are less than helpful, such as subsidised "dumping" of excess US farm produce, which damages local farmers...
    very very good observation -- its amazing how corrosive to local indigenous agriculture and economies US "aid" can be.

    And yet this is much of what the right thinks of as american generousity...
    755P Sprint SERO (upgraded from unlocked GSM 650 on T-Mobile)
  8. #88  
    Quote Originally Posted by moderateinny View Post
    Actually you pretty much made my case for me so I'll pass. Each of your statements above are so broad, overreaching, and unsubstantiated that it proves it would be like beating my head against a wall trying to debate with you.

    I'd rather go a few rounds with Hobbes or Shop any day as they can at least articulate their positions...whether I agree with them or not is another matter.
    Seems pretty simple to me, but if can't discuss, that's fine.
  9. #89  
    Quote Originally Posted by BARYE View Post
    mikec, among the reforms IMPOSED upon the Japanese by MacArthur (a VERY conservative republican), was the liberation, suffragization, and empowerment of women; the protection of a free press; the legalization of opposition parties including Communists; protecting the rights of workers to strike and form unions; and the enshrinement as a constitutional requirement that Japan never engage in aggressive non-defensive combat.

    What was it about Japan that you thought we should know ??
    Nothing bad at all; Japan is actually a good example of us decimating an destructive regime, and then rebuilding and help this people. It's pretty much never been done by other nations in modern times. Everyone esle just decide to kick ***, then plunder or walk away, leaving the place in ruins.

    One thing that was done in Japan, that was not done in Afghanistan or Iraq, was completely to pulverize them. (again, see the Fog of War; I think you will see my point). The US, this time around, used proportionality as a rule, which i'm not sure was the best call.
  10. #90  
    Quote Originally Posted by gatorray View Post
    Right back atcha, my friend. I wish I had the right answer for you on how we can save this situation. We are up against a society that is fighting globalization at every turn. It shouldn't be up to us to bring them into the 21st century.

    That being said, I will never forget a news report I saw after the tsunami a few years ago. One of those suffering the aftermath was screaming into the camera asking "Where is America? Why are they not here helping us?" That was not verbatim, but you get my point. It shows that although we have a bad reputation worldwide (that is media driven for the most part), there is still a belief out there that we are going to be available to save whatever country needs saving.

    I will reach and draw another analogy. People in crime ridden neighborhoods hate LEOs, but when there is a murder or other violent crime, some of those same people cry out "Where are the police officers?" "Why aren't they here protecting us?"
    I understand. Nobody likes the police until the need them. Nobody likes Walmart until they have a big sale either. "Free" anything almost always buys you temporary friends. But I'm not sure that should be construed as any sort of moral vindication of some our of our policies nor should that be held up as proof that we are still universally loved.
  11. #91  
    Quote Originally Posted by cellmatrix View Post
    lively discussions are one thing, paranoid rants about how we are on the brink of being taken over by islamofascists in the next 5 minutes are another. Its impossible to carry on a conversation against such a background, only a shouting match.

    I volunteered for military service and served my country for three years of active duty in the 7th Infantry Division some time ago. For the last ten years I have been a physician at a VA hospital, and still am, and I treat the wounded who come back from Iraq, Vietnam, World War II, Korea. These are my friends and colleagues as well as my patients. They are my fellow vets, whom I share a deep and respectful comradery. These experiences have given me a perspective about the role of our military which has served me well much of my life.

    Eisenhower, one of our greatest generals who understand war and the role of the military better than any of us, gave us this advice, which I always remember and which I hope more people can at least try to reflect on because it is very insightful:

    "Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. This is not a way of life at all in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron."
    It's not paranoia when they fly planes into the commerce, military, and Leadership (they tried the white house) hubs of your nation.

    It's not paranoia when the blow up subways, right next to little kids

    It's not paranoia when they bomb trains in Spain.

    It's not paranoia when they cut the heads of civilians, journalists and broadcast it over the world.

    Maybe if people weren't so cocooned in their easy life of iPods, Starbucks, Entertainment, there would be a little more longer vision.
  12. #92  
    Quote Originally Posted by Bri Guy View Post
    Since we're in a quoting mood:

    "War is an ugly thing but not the ugliest of things; the decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feelings which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. A man who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself." --- John Stuart Mill

    In WW2 we lost American lives at a rate of close to 400 per day. Although Japan and Germany posed no immediate threat to our land (i.e., they weren't parachuting into our country a la "Red Dawn"), our Greatest Generation recognized the grave threat they both posed and our men and many women died on foreign soil to preserve the freedom and save the lives of countless people, in America and abroad.

    So here we are again. A new enemy, mostly faceless (or wearing hoods or masks), and apparently far more deadly in that they have no compassion for their victims; men, women, and children alike are fair game. Hitler and the Nazi regime were a great evil, but identifiable --- they wore uniforms and marched under a national flag, likewise Japan. Now, we face an enemy of idiology who wear no uniforms, march under the nebulous flag of radical Islam, and will use any means available to destroy all those who will not embrace their faith. They live in many lands and even live among us. Once again we have taken up arms and fight the enemy on foreign soil that would destroy us.

    If killing Al Q and insurgents (radical Islam) in Iraq and Afghanistan (and anywhere else we can find them) is not protecting us, then I invite the critics to offer a better solution. So far, I've heard none. I've only heard criticism, protest, unashamed accusation that our general in charge is a traitor (how ironic), and not a single breath spent on alternative solutions. The true mindless repetition is found in the cry to "bring the troops home!" before they have finished the job.

    How long will the job take? What if it takes years? Five more years? Ten? Twenty? Is our attention span so short and our lack of courage and heart so complete that we will throw in the towel and bury our heads in the sand until the wolves are at the door? The wolves slipped through the door on 9/11 and are anxious for the door to slip open wider.

    What if we decided to bring the troops home without completing the job fighting Nazi Germany or Imperial Japan? I mean, 400 deaths PER DAY is a hefty price, especially when not a single enemy soldier's boot set foot on our mainland. Or how about our "liberal" Revolutionaries? What if they threw in the towel and called the boys home because there were just too many Brits, too many of our boys were dying, and it just wasn't worth the price?

    Maybe there is no good solution. War is never desirable, but sometimes it is necessary. If we're not willing to do the hard thing, then we SHOULD bring the troops home, open our borders wide, and ask our government to provide every household with prayer mats so we can kneel and pray to Mecca five times a day. If we do nothing, this vision of our future is not nutty, but likely.
    Well said. If WWII happened today, I shudder to think of the level of appeasement that would take place.
  13. #93  
    Quote Originally Posted by moderateinny View Post
    Lovely dissertation. The short answer to your rather narrow view of things is that the war in Iraq was an elective war - not one of necessity, as evidenced by the lack of solid allies and inevitable conclusion that there were no WMDs. Sadly you've taken to that American flag Karl Rove wrapped around you and have bought into the hyperbole that this war is as morally justifiable as was WWII.

    The war against terror is a complex one, full of gray and/or the absence of color. After 8 years of George-simpleton and his black & white cowboy politics I think it's clear that treating the war on terror like it’s a conventional war of yesteryear is a mistake of calamitous proportions.

    Fighting the war on terror requires a chess player, not a checkers player. GW Bush cannot even play checkers – he just throws a hissy fit and tosses the game board off the table and demands a new game be started until he gets the results he desires (or thinks he deserves since he is the ultimate silver-spoon-in-mouth elitist brat).
    Actually, the "War on terror" is not being treated like wars of yesteryear. If it was, we would've firebombed Afghanistan and Iraq into oblivion, ala Japan on WWII (See the Fog of War, people!)

    IMHO, we are going out of our way to be "sensitive" and "nice". Two things that don't work well in war.
  14. #94  
    Quote Originally Posted by mikec View Post
    One thing that was done in Japan, that was not done in Afghanistan or Iraq, was completely to pulverize them. (again, see the Fog of War; I think you will see my point). The US, this time around, used proportionality as a rule, which i'm not sure was the best call.
    Well no...we did pulvarize them. Utterly devasted them in record time. But we had no post war plan. The military did it's job and did it very well. The "decider" failed to provide for a post-war plan and adequate troops to occupy Iraq.
  15. #95  
    Quote Originally Posted by NRG View Post
    Good god, You listen to Micheal Savage, and actually put stock in what he says?
    Who?
  16. #96  
    Quote Originally Posted by mikec View Post
    Actually, the "War on terror" is not being treated like wars of yesteryear. If it was, we would've firebombed Afghanistan and Iraq into oblivion, ala Japan on WWII (See the Fog of War, people!)

    IMHO, we are going out of our way to be "sensitive" and "nice". Two things that don't work well in war.
    Well since they enemy is is not a state; not confined to any one state; does not wear uniforms; are being hidden by partisans throughout many countries (including our own)....well do you think we should do? Again, this requires a chess player and Bush is not even a checkers player.

    Our foriegn policy needs to be far more complex than President simpleton has been able to muster to date. Any ***** can declare war and send their brave troops to battle for them. But it takes someone with far more foriegn policy prowess to truly compile a workable and winnable plan against terrorism.
  17. #97  
    Quote Originally Posted by BARYE View Post
    Insisting that I get more rest, my veterinarian has cut me off from access to The Goggle or The Internets, but it is my understanding that you are wrong at least on a per capita and probably even on a gross basis.

    (the stats are from 2002, and maybe not really based on junior's years -- which would likely be worse -- unless you count spending on the Iraq War as foriegn "aid"...)


    Per Capita Foreign Aid Assistance by World's Wealthiest Countries

    Norway 1.02

    Denmark .64

    Sweden .61

    Netherlands .57

    Switzerland .35

    Belgium .28

    Ireland .28

    France .25

    Finland .24

    United Kingdom .23

    Japan .20

    Austria .18

    Germany .18

    Canada .17

    Australia .14

    United States .13
    Sorry to burst your spin bubble. When I said more, I meant most:

    US gave $22.7B in ODA (Offical Development Assistance) in 2006
    That was the most in the world

    http://www.globalissues.org/TradeRel...hartsandGraphs

    You can use per capita numbers, but that really is pretty irrelevant for this discussion.
  18. #98  
    Quote Originally Posted by tirk View Post
    ...much of it politically motivated, to countries like Israel and Afghanistan.

    ...much of it in forms that are less than helpful, such as subsidised "dumping" of excess US farm produce, which damages local farmers.

    ...much of it to regimes, like the one in Iraq, that is so systematically corrupt that you must know it will not get through to the people who need it before it is even sent.

    ...and finally, if the US aid programme was so large and efficiently run, how come the response to Katrina, which was frankly a fairly modest disaster in global terms, was so abysmal?

    (I'm not specifically having a go at the US on this, by the way. Change the names and places, and the above could equally apply to my country. The developed world is not, IMO, very charitable.)
    Tirk, some sources to back up those statements, please.

    I think you are mistaken:

    http://www.globalissues.org/TradeRel...hartsandGraphs

    Top recipients of US ODA:

    Iraq
    Afghanistan
    Egypt
    Sudan
    Ethiopia
    Jordan
    Columbia
    Palestin Admin Area
    Uganda
    Pakistan

    As far as Katrina, quite frankly, the blame on that lies with the governor of LA and Mayor of New Orleans.

    Their poor planning and decisions created a lot of problems (granted it sucked, but they made it worse).

    EVERYONE knows when it comes to "disasters", help comes from local, state, and feds...in that order! And FEMA is just an ATM card - there is no "army of people" waiting to come on and make everything better.
  19. #99  
    Quote Originally Posted by moderateinny View Post
    Well no...we did pulvarize them. Utterly devasted them in record time. But we had no post war plan. The military did it's job and did it very well. The "decider" failed to provide for a post-war plan and adequate troops to occupy Iraq.
    We did not pulverize them. Hardly.

    Granted, there are issues with Iraq, as they are with every war. Give them as much time as Japan and let's see what happens.

    In the age of instant information, everyone expects everythign to happen at hyperspeed.
  20. #100  
    Quote Originally Posted by moderateinny View Post
    Well since they enemy is is not a state; not confined to any one state; does not wear uniforms; are being hidden by partisans throughout many countries (including our own)....well do you think we should do? Again, this requires a chess player and Bush is not even a checkers player.

    Our foriegn policy needs to be far more complex than President simpleton has been able to muster to date. Any ***** can declare war and send their brave troops to battle for them. But it takes someone with far more foriegn policy prowess to truly compile a workable and winnable plan against terrorism.
    And that plan is....?
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