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 Post subject: vietnam vs. iraq
PostPosted: Wed Oct 25, 2006 9:44 pm 
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John,

It seems like you lean a little to the proverbial "right" regarding the US military and foreign affairs,

(pragmatical centrist leaning a bit right)
so I'll pose this thread to you. The other day I was out at dinner with

some friends and the Iraq War became the topic of conversation. Anyway, both my friend and I are anti-Bush (this has nothing to do with party affiliation or ideologies, just simple compitency), but we found we disagreed 180 degrees on the topic of withdrawal from our current situation.

He took the position that to pull out now would only signal a major victory to the terrorists, leave a vacuum in Iraq, and lose credibility around the world. These are the party-lines within the military hierarchy as well as the Executive Branch these days.

I can tell you right now, that I found his arguement so lame with "what ifs" that it made me want to throw up. There were no tangibles to support this line of reasoning in my book. Let me take it by the point: will the terrorists consider this a victory? Probably, but so what? Does anyone think that by staying in this no-win environment that we will suddenly make terrorism go away? Be serious and wake up world. I'll tell you how to stop terrorism against the US....start sending the terrorists money and weapons like France, China, and N. Korea, and denounce Israel. Then they'll leave you alone. Staying, or withdrawing from Iraq won't mean a thing. Doesn't remind us of the old Dominoe Theory back in the days of the Cold War? If we leave Vietnam, all of SE Asia will go communist. Burma, India, and the Middle East would be next. Once again, guess what? We left in 1973, and it never happened! In fact, one could argue that Communism was on a decline from that point on.

(As I noted in my post i view Israel as a state created by the UN which the see as an unnaceptable Crusader State)

Second point....we'll leave a power vacuum in Iraq. Guess what? There already is. We went in and got Saddam out of power, but now we are smack dab in a middle of a civil war which there is no winner. They won't stop fighting there because just like in Vietnam, all they have is TIME. They are under no political or social rush to conclude this war. WE, on the other hand, are. We are fighting and dying for a thought that was never clear, and thus, impossible to attain. We couldn't get the Vietnamese to love us, nor can we get the Iraqis to love us. There is so much more time invested in hate there then we acknowledge, that it would take decades of reeducation (sound like Vietnam) before we could start with a clean slate in the Middle East.

(I do not agree that military victory was or is unattainable in either war-the question is : Is it worth it ? )

Lastly, our prestige around the globe would be threatened? I can't believe anyone would care. WE ARE NOT in a Cold War anymore. We are not competing for spheres of influence with the Soviet Union, instead, we are all by ourselves in the class of "Superpower". If we pulled out all of our forces now, first of all, we could still leave enough naval and air presence in the area to deal with any threat, but more importantly, do we really care that France would think less of us? Oh my God, Sierra Leone, thinks we're weak! They are laughing at us in Iceland. The only people this would hurt is the Republican Party because they are in power at present. This is a world economy that depends on the US. The world will continue to trade, etc. regardless of what we do here. We had a lot more prestige to lose in Vietnam, and we did, but we bounced back in short time, but this time stronger and presumably a the "Big Guy on the Block", somehow we are not going to learn by history. Instead, we'll make the same mistakes and honor the dead later.

(I am confused, is Vietnam not like Iraq because it was during a Cold War time frame, or vice versa? I do not think we had more prestige on the line in Vietnam. )

What a shame!

mike


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 Post subject: Oops
PostPosted: Thu Oct 26, 2006 4:21 pm 
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Sorry Mike, I posted my response, in error, in another thread. "the Left and The Right".

Best

John

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 Post subject: John Thurston's Reply
PostPosted: Thu Oct 26, 2006 6:06 pm 
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I am copying John's response here so I can follow the thread in one place. I apologize if this violates any sort of forum protocol.

Sincerely,
Norm Abrahamson
---------------------------------

The Left & The Right
Hi Mike:

Yes, reluctantly I suppose I lean to the right in this arena.

I guess I was moved a bit further to the right by Albright's statement that US policy in Korea worked during the Clinton administration because "there were no nuclear tests during the Clinton administration"

Ok. I guess there weren't, but I don't buy the reasoning or the conclusion.

It seems clear that the North will do what it has decided to do regardless of what the US might like.

The Koreans hate the Japanese still. so I doubt that any Japanese "involvement" would produce other than a massive backlash.

The Chinese, despite their attack into the south in 1950, have historically (see "The Cyclical Theory of History China" and "The Kuomintang Debacle" which I read years ago so I don't think you will actually be able to find them) not varied from their historical goals of 'maintaining self sufficiency', 'maintaining the Chinese sphere of interest' , maintaining the 'integrity of the Chinese 'Land"; adherence to Confucianism and "following the Mandate of Heaven"..

In terms ofUS relations with China, because of their present stability and their historical tendencies and ours, I suppose you could say I lean to the left.

I disagree with your analysis of the relative importance of the Vietnam War vs. The War in Iraq.

Vietnam was and will remain a historical sideshow to be likened to the Spanish Civil War where the "Soviet" version of socialism was cleanly arrayed against The German view.

The National Socialist version triumphed.

Clearly backing either side heavily, nonetheless, could only be seen as a lose lose situation for the US.

Francisco Franco eventually passed away and with him passed the iron rule of socialism in Spain.

It seems that getting involved in idealogical Civil Wars in smal countries should remain a "bad idea" from our point of view.

It should be noted that perhaps neither the continued existence of Franco's long lived repressive regimein Spain nor the Loss in Vietnam seriously affected our own long term national interest.

Is this view leftist or rightist?

One pundit noted that disagreement with the War in Iraq has not translated into the ugly treatment of our troops manifested in the Anti War movement of the Vietnam era.

Is oppostion to such ugly treatment leftist or rightist?

Historically one view of the Vietnam War simply views it as lost battle of the "containment" doctrine vis a vis Communism.

The Battle was lost but the "War" was not, if you will, else the Berlin Wall would not have fallen.

The Wars in Iraq and Afganistan migh be viewed as battles "battles" in the War on Terror.

So far it is a split decision.

Is it leftist or rightist to be unhappy with a loss in either battle, despite the fact that neither may be determinant of the Defense Against Terror?

Such a view might be termed "Pragmatic and Bismarkian" but not, I think, tainted with the smell of leftist or rightist 'views' of history.

I suppose 'liberal' veiws of History may not view such a position as Rightist, but I do not.

I am not smart enough to judge how many battles in the war we can afford to win or lose as the outcome of the conflict may depend on simple overall staying power.

I support our troops, but do not necessarily think the war in Iraq "a good idea".

I believe fundamentalist Radicalism in the Arab world willl eventually fade regardless of the outcome of these battles.

Our support of Israel, and of the "Jewish State" or "Jewish Homeland" (Israeli words not mine) is not entirely "rational'.

The Arab world's view of the "Jewish State" as a "Crusader Enclave" simply seems to jump around from group from one to Arab group to another and from one Arab Nation to another, depending-------on what?

4000 years ago the battle between the Hebrews and the Phillistines (palestinians) began and the outcome is not decided yet.

Do I believe our support of Israel is a moral imperative that counters a more 'pragmatic' view of the actual consequences to the US should Israel be destroyed?

Maybe i am rightist here-just not as far right as some "Born Again" groups.

Another view is that the UN created the Jewish State and the Arab world has never bought into that decision.

Perhaps we could survive in the face of another "holocaust".

Iran's leaders preach that the 'holocaust' never happened "how real is that"?

The US survived a holocaust in China in the 30's, although we eventually did get involved. (because of FDR's imposition of 'sanctions' against Japan)

The US clearly feels the de facto 'holocaust' against non Muslim Sudanese can be tolerated, but 'ethnic cleansing' against the Moslem peoples of the Balkans could not?????

The West has opposed the destruction of "the Weak man of Europe" (Turkey) since 1854 and at the same time succored and supported the Hellenic State since the Greek Rebellion against Ottoman Rule in 1830.

(Lord Byron died as a volunteer in that War---)

So, sure, as long as our armed forces remain intact as well as our will to use them, the US will survive any number of "failed adventures'.

I am surely not certain that an invasion of Iraq served our long term interests at all.

"Can not we fertilize the Desert" with other than blood?

Clearly the Israelis will ever say no and others will say------We are not Sure.

Is this a rightist or leftist view?

After all, there was no 911 during the Clinton administration.

Nonetheless Bill Clinton's view of the Arab world did not lack realism as witnessed by his "Open Letter to the Arab Peoples":

"What have you exported to the rest of the world other than Oil and terror in the past 75 years??"

Well, pistachios I guess, but Iran, the major exporter of this commodity is not really"arab" .

John
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 27, 2006 2:51 am 
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John,

I started the thread with an observation of your leanings. It was by no means the gist of the thread, only a catalyst to what I was speaking about regarding the Iraqi war vs. the Vietnam War.

<<I guess I was moved a bit further to the right by Albright's statement that US policy in Korea worked during the Clinton administration because "there were no nuclear tests during the Clinton administration" >>

I understand what you are saying here, but a totally different conversation and/or thread.
(I beleive you opend the door to the issue of competency councilor)

<<The Koreans hate the Japanese still. so I doubt that any Japanese "involvement" would produce other than a massive backlash. >>

(Just as an aside, I don't think the Japanese think much of the Koreans either and I would pity North Koreans if they tick off the Japanese to the point where they amend their current constitution (which is quite possible with this new Prime Minister).

(no, no real diagreement here)

<<The Chinese, despite their attack into the south in 1950, have historically (see "The Cyclical Theory of History China" and "The Kuomintang Debacle" which I read years ago so I don't think you will actually be able to find them) not varied from their historical goals of 'maintaining self sufficiency', 'maintaining the Chinese sphere of interest' , maintaining the 'integrity of the Chinese 'Land"; adherence to Confucianism and "following the Mandate of Heaven".>>

Again, I don't understand where this fits into my thread.

(I can see where the connection is unclear. The point to be made is that the Chinese were our bitter enemies in Vietnam, but I believe that their tendency to return to THEIR basics puts them in an "WE DON"T REALLY CARE MODE" vis a vis Iraq. Both Vietnam and Korea were withing their sphere of influence)


<<I disagree with your analysis of the relative importance of the Vietnam War vs. The War in Iraq. >>

Ok

<<It seems that getting involved in idealogical Civil Wars in smal countries should remain a "bad idea" from our point of view. >>

And yet, we still do.

<<It should be noted that perhaps neither the continued existence of Franco's long lived repressive regimein Spain nor the Loss in Vietnam seriously affected our own long term national interest. >>

I don't see the comparison here as we did not get involved in the Spanish Civil War officially as we did in Vietnam and Iraq

(I am merely trying to point to two example of Civil WAr where our national interests were not at risk, until we got involved)

<<One pundit noted that disagreement with the War in Iraq has not translated into the ugly treatment of our troops manifested in the Anti War movement of the Vietnam era. >>

Again, off target I think, but just to make an observation here, I believe that the American public at large has learned a big lesson from Vietnam and their collective treatment of the GIs who fought there. I think that most people today do not find the major fault with the fighting man, but with the policy makers. Therefore, the GIs don't come home to angry crowds and protests.

(Well, I was trying to point out a distinction between Vietnam and Iraq. You opened the door one this one a as well mike: "Vietnam vs Iraq")

<<Historically one view of the Vietnam War simply views it as lost battle of the "containment" doctrine vis a vis Communism. >>

Tell that to the veterans who fought there.

(Please do not lay that one on me my freind. A lost battle is a lost battle)<<

The Battle was lost but the "War" was not, if you will, else the Berlin Wall would not have fallen. >>

That's a stretch in my opinion. The topic is war, a "Hot War" not a Cold War in which the final outcome was determined by economics more than military might.

(Mike, the Cold war was never totally cold, alway flames brewing on the edges and I think that although this "battle of Iraq" appears HOT. there are other elements. Also, it will NOT be the only battle The difference is the CORE dispute, our systme of beliefs versus those of the radical fundamentalts backed by wealthy Arab Nations)
<<The Wars in Iraq and Afganistan migh be viewed as battles "battles" in the War on Terror. >>

The difference here is that the fight against communism was ideological. Do you really think that the war on terrorism is ideological in nature?

(ABSOLUTELY!!!!)

<<I support our troops, but do not necessarily think the war in Iraq "a good idea". >>

I agree with you, but from your previous posts I thought you were on the pro side. I guess that's why people shouldn't assume things.

<<I believe fundamentalist Radicalism in the Arab world willl eventually fade regardless of the outcome of these battles.>>

What do you base that feeling on? Centuries old hatred now coupled with modern weapondry doesn't seem to lend creedence to that hope.


(I understand, of course if Iran Nukes Israel I will be proven wrong. In the Short run, Israel will officially announce (as if it had too) that it has Nuclear weapons and will ask for ABM tecnology from us, a request that I see being granted as the price for not-pre-empting Iran---and you raised the subject of Israel)

<<Iran's leaders preach that the 'holocaust' never happened "how real is that"?>>

So doesn't the Neo-Nazi movement here in the US. However, I'm sure how this statement relates to the topic either.

(Perhaps it doesn't. But inaccurate world views start wars)


<<The US clearly feels the de facto 'holocaust' against non Muslim Sudanese can be tolerated, but 'ethnic cleansing' against the Moslem peoples of the Balkans could not????? >>

Gosh, maybe it's all about money? Although I would have to take a more historical look at the Balkans since two major wars have erupted in this area of the world.


<<So, sure, as long as our armed forces remain intact as well as our will to use them, the US will survive any number of "failed adventures'. >>

My point exactly.

<<I am surely not certain that an invasion of Iraq served our long term interests at all. >>

And the more time that goes by, the more we see that as a nation (at least according to Pres. Bush's favorbility polls)

I'm looking forward to your response on the topic I posed.

thanks,

mike


Thank you Mike, sorry to respond in this particular fashion


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 Post subject: Vietnam vs. Iraq
PostPosted: Sat Oct 28, 2006 9:55 am 
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Hi Mike:

Sorry I made my response to your last post in the fashion I did, and sorry also that my comments on the main point of your thread seemd so diffuse.

Overall, I must say that, of course, the Vietnam War is different than Iraqi Freedom.

Having said that I must also say that although the wars are different such an opinion is based on a particular way of viewing matters,

In a civil trial, for example, the Plaintiff (and the defendant) must prove his case based on establishing that the "preponderance of evidence" favors his position.

In a criminal trial the Complainant (Plaintiff-sort of ie: the "Commonwealth of Massachusetts if the 'Trial' is in this state) must establish its case 'beyond a reasonable doubt".

Your case for proving contention that the two conflicts are different is proven based on the "prepondernce" of evidence ie: the weight of evidence is in favor of your contention.

If the 'higher standard" of proof is required, then I think the contention is "not completely proven".

There are many differences between the two conflicts, and many, but fewer, similarities.

Please pardon the semi legal sophistries.

examples:

The war in Iraq is smaller, in terms of the number of troops deployed.
(favors your contention)

Both Wars have an idealogical root (against your contention) but the competing idealogies are very different. (favors your contention)

Both Wars could be viewed as part of a larger Struggle but the driving forces of the "virtual" combatants are quite different. This thereom would,on balance, favor your contention.

. I am positive you could set forward many more examples that favor your contention.

It is frustrating to attempt to make a clean comparison.

Many of the points I raised seemed valid to me, but admittedley they were not directly on point.

However, if you made reference to a particular scenario, example or point, for example; the cutting off of our support to the state of Israel, I tried to respond:

I am sure that cutting off our support of Israel would defuse the "cassus belli" of many terrorist groups and I felt obliged to say that our support of Israel was not to be judged on the basis of that outcome alone.

To return to the main point; the geopolitical situations and backgrounds of the two conflicts are very different.

So, yes I agree that the conflicts are quite different and I could have responded to your post simply by saying that, but, what fun would that have been?

I saying this I do not mean to make light of the ultimate gravity of your thread.

JT

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 30, 2006 3:56 pm 
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If you don't mind, I'd like to raise a few points.

RIGHT VS. LEFT

Since when are political views on a single dimension? If that was the case, then you'd find me with one foot cleanly in the right, and another cleanly in the left. It's one thing to hear Democrats and Republicans try to peg issues either as "Conservative" or "Liberal." I can understand that, because they're trying to create a clear dichotomy so voters will choose between "us" and "them." But the voters and educators in this country should know better.

In another thread I posted a quiz which allowed folks to measure their political views on two different dimensions. The extremes are liberal, conservative, populist, and libertarian. One obviously can be centrist, and can exist in different levels in either dimension.

Can we as a community dispense with the right vs. left thinking? It serves no useful purpose, unless you're running for office.

Mike wrote:

I can tell you right now, that I found his arguement so lame with "what ifs" that it made me want to throw up.

I'd like to recommend Covey's book "Seven Habits of Highly Successful People." One of Covey's seven habits (paraphrasing here) is Seek first to understand, and then to be understood. Ponder that for a bit. Educated people can differ. We each have unique walks of life. Politics and political views are regional phenomena both in the literal and figurative sense.

Be careful not to presume that someone else is wrong because they hold a different point of view on a complex matter. Walk a mile in their shoes...
Mike wrote:

We couldn't get the Vietnamese to love us, nor can we get the Iraqis to love us.

If you think this is the U.S. goal in Iraq, then I agree with you that we will fail. However that isn't the goal, nor should it ever be.

The first goal is achieved - removing a very bad man who engaged in ethnic cleansing as well as overt acts of terrorism in the Middle East. The urgency of the threat turned out not to be there, but the inevitability always was. Right now the fate of this man is in the hands of his people - as it should be.

The second goal is to leave with a representational government intact. It is NOT to create a pro-US government. That will never happen if we make it a goal, and we most definitely would be considered evil if that was our goal. Iraqis should decide the fate of Iraq - not the U.S., al qaeda, Syria, Iran, or any other external power.

HOW that happens is the tough part. Numerous wars in the region created a country where ties didn't exist. The Kurds, the Shia Arabs, and the Sunni Arabs don't particularly like each other, and yet the world community insists on throwing them in together and calling it a country. Al qaeda knows this, and so tries to fan the flames of ethnic and religious hatred. If there wasn't oil in that country - in amounts unequally distributed amongst the ethnic groups - then there wouldn't be as much furor over dividing the country up as there is.

A Balkanization may be the result of the Iraqi situation. A second more acceptable solution is a Republic with a loose association between the three geographic regions. The sticky part is figuring out who owns the oil that isn't equally distributed underground. Without that sticky question, the problem probably would have been solved long ago.

We in the U.S. need to get out of the mindset of creating a "friend" in the Middle East. Rather the better goal is to help Iraqis create a representational government. This is the right thing to do, whether or not it is in our immediate best interest. But fighting for the right solution is in our best long term interest.

I often tell my older (teenage) son that my job isn't to make him love or like me, but to do what I believe is best for him and by him. And by doing so, I show my love for him. I don't try to buy his favor like a divorced parent riddled with guilt. I do the right thing, and let the chips fall where they may. It means I will have bad days, but the alternative in my view is much worse.

Mike wrote:

I'll tell you how to stop terrorism against the US....start sending the terrorists money and weapons like France, China, and N. Korea, and denounce Israel. Then they'll leave you alone.

You are entitled to your views, Mike. Personally I'd rather die than give up my principles. So too did the founders of this country.

I also believe we shouldn't let minorities suffer for political expediency. To allow ethnic cleansing anywhere in the world is something I can't live with. It was wrong when The Third Reich engaged in it. It was wrong when Pol Pot did after we left a power vacuum in Southeast Asia. It was wrong in the Balkan region. It was wrong when Lenin engaged in it. It is wrong in the Sudan today.

We can't solve all the world's problems. To think we can is naive. But we can choose our battles. We can light a candle, and light up the world through our example.

It's worth mentioning that this kind of thinking brought on 9/11 in the first place. We supported the mujahadin so they would kick the Soviets out of Afghanistan. We allowed them to use whatever means necessary for them to accomplish this task. Then we walked away, and left that country to the sons of bitches we once called our friends. Should we be surprised that they turned on us? That terrorists camps sprung up which brought about a series of vile attacks against innocent civilians on our own soil - on the other side of the earth? It doesn't shock me.

It's also worth mentioning that this kind of thinking brought on the son of a bitch that we needed to remove in Iraq. We and the Brits gave Saddam what he wanted to go kill a million (1,000,000) Iranians. We were pissed at them after all for taking our embassy hostage and creating an Islamic theocracy. Should we be surprised then that he invaded Kuwait to pay for his failed adventure in Iran? Should we be surprised that he used the WMD technology he got from the West on his own people? I'm not.

I'm a big believer in delayed gratification to the extent that it is on the side of what I (we) believe is the right thing to do. Intelligent people will disagree on the particulars, but the principles of how to treat our fellow man should never be in question.
Mike wrote:

Lastly, our prestige around the globe would be threatened? I can't believe anyone would care.

I personally don't give a damn what anyone in the world thinks of us. Many groups will hate us no matter what. It is the nature of humankind.

All that matters is that we are respected. It is also human nature to want to be left alone.

Vietnam vs. Iraq

One major difference exists which is often glossed over. Vietnam was fought with draftees. Iraq is being fought with a "volunteer" army. (I use the term loosely, because some are being called back after they were promised otherwise.) This is a big reason why orders of magnitude fewer troops are being lost in that conflict. It's also one of many reasons why we now treat our troops better. Been there, done that. My draft number was 19, and didn't go only because it was the first year that they stopped sending people. The youth of that generation didn't think much of their government telling them what to do. Nothing's changed on that account.

Those who do go are the best trained and best motivated that ever have fought a war. They are professionals in every sense of the word. And those left at home to do what they want to do feel it's a lot easier to support those who do go - because choice was involved. Going to fight doesn't mean an individual is selling out a cause. Refusing to fight doesn't mean one is a traitor to one's country. Everyone gets to do what they want to do and what they are best at. This makes empathy (support for our troops) and duty (fighting for those at home) work together much better.

- Bill


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 Post subject: Factors to Be Considered
PostPosted: Mon Oct 30, 2006 5:49 pm 
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Sensei Bill:

Thank you for wighing in on this matter.

I agree with you on the point, especially, that we should not care what others think of us, with the only amendment that I surely do not want us to be thought of as "an easy target".

That is the crux. If we 'lose' in Afgahanistan or Iraq, what conclusions would the world draw might take a back seat to what conclusions Al Queda might continue to draw.

I think Saddam was induced to open the First Gulf War based in part on a mistake, that of A US ambassaor's quip that we did not really care about what he might do in Kuwait.

Perjhaps you can recall the exact source of that impression conveyed to Saddam.

The Afghans might or might not be more or less inclined to chuck us out if we do not persevere in Iraq. I can.t say for sure.

The Afghan have indicated that if things don't "improve for them" and/or if the suppression of the Taliban proved to bloody for them. The source i recall as saying "perhaps we could live with the Beards and a strict Taliban rule, but we are not prepared to live in this continued state of war.

The Northern Alliance, which was led by "the Lion of the Panishir" Massood, a famous and doughty opponent of Soviet occupation, surely was turned indefinetly against Al Queada when Osama had Massood assassinated.

So, regardless of what one faction might say, the Northern Alliance is unlikely to back any government with ties to Al-Quaeda.

That position might give the rest of Afganistan pause before they act against NATO forces, especially as it should become clear that if the fight against the Taliban was given up, the Northern Alliance might not go along, and the fighting might get worse. It might even mean Civil War could erupt.

One should expect prodding and complaining from other forces within Afghanistan.

I dislike the fact that the decision process regarding the prosecution of either War seems a matter drawn along partisan party lines.

If a party presented a course of action that would clearly make the US more safe rather than more vulnerable, I would go with that party, just as Michael J. Fox would go with any candidate that supported stem cell research.

Before any decisions are made one should look at the "Killing Fields" of Cambodia which, some argue, resulted from a US pullback from southeast Asia, as you pointed out.

Thanks

JT

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 30, 2006 7:27 pm 
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Bill,

For a guy who doesn't like to get into this debate, you always seem to make it here. Ok, I'll bite (should we agree to disagree already?)


<<RIGHT VS. LEFT

Since when are political views on a single dimension? If that was the case, then you'd find me with one foot cleanly in the right, and another cleanly in the left. It's one thing to hear Democrats and Republicans try to peg issues either as "Conservative" or "Liberal." I can understand that, because they're trying to create a clear dichotomy so voters will choose between "us" and "them." But the voters and educators in this country should know better.>>

The comment was used in the most superficial and stereotypical way. Should I have said, "Pro-Bush" to make it politically correct? Whether you like it or not, or agree or not, people (I'm talking about the silent majority) understand the definition of "right" or "left" in terms of ideology. It doesn't matter what your personal definition is, it matters what the majority thinks.


<<Can we as a community dispense with the right vs. left thinking? It serves no useful purpose, unless you're running for office. >>

No we can't, unless you have a way of making the rest of the country understand what you stated. Good luck!



quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Originally posted by Mike

I can tell you right now, that I found his arguement so lame with "what ifs" that it made me want to throw up.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


<<I'd like to recommend Covey's book "Seven Habits of Highly Successful People." One of Covey's seven habits (paraphrasing here) is Seek first to understand, and then to be understood. Ponder that for a bit. Educated people can differ. We each have unique walks of life. Politics and political views are regional phenomena both in the literal and figurative sense. >>

We can all differ in our opinions Bill. This comment was not meant as a knock at John. We have known each other way too long to worry about trivial things as that.

quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Originally posted by Mike

We couldn't get the Vietnamese to love us, nor can we get the Iraqis to love us.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


<<If you think this is the U.S. goal in Iraq, then I agree with you that we will fail. However that isn't the goal, nor should it ever be. >>

You know the goal for Iraq? Wow, because you would be the first. Last I checked there was no clear objective to this war other than the nasty WMD which you refuse to acknowledge.

<<The first goal is achieved - removing a very bad man who engaged in ethnic cleansing as well as overt acts of terrorism in the Middle East. The urgency of the threat turned out not to be there, but the inevitability always was. Right now the fate of this man is in the hands of his people - as it should be.>>

First goal, what about the WMD?

<<The second goal is to leave with a representational government intact. It is NOT to create a pro-US government. That will never happen if we make it a goal, and we most definitely would be considered evil if that was our goal. Iraqis should decide the fate of Iraq - not the U.S., al qaeda, Syria, Iran, or any other external power. >>

Some people call this nation building. You don't think that we are trying to shape their government? Be serious. Iraqis should decide the fate of Iraq as you state. Too bad that's not happening. We are stuck in a civil war that we are not going to change no matter how long we stay, so why stay? The Iraqis will decide their own fate whether we are there or not, but we not like the outcome. So what then? You would have thought we'd have learned our lesson.

<<HOW that happens is the tough part. Numerous wars in the region created a country where ties didn't exist. The Kurds, the Shia Arabs, and the Sunni Arabs don't particularly like each other, and yet the world community insists on throwing them in together and calling it a country. Al qaeda knows this, and so tries to fan the flames of ethnic and religious hatred. If there wasn't oil in that country - in amounts unequally distributed amongst the ethnic groups - then there wouldn't be as much furor over dividing the country up as there is. >>

Is this said from the person who stated that we did not go there because of the oil? Regardless, you are perfectly correct. It's all about the oil. When that ceases to be the issue, then there there will be no need for us to stay there. Borders mean nothing here.

<<A Balkanization may be the result of the Iraqi situation. A second more acceptable solution is a Republic with a loose association between the three geographic regions. The sticky part is figuring out who owns the oil that isn't equally distributed underground. Without that sticky question, the problem probably would have been solved long ago. >>

How well did that work for the Balkans? You just don't want to look at history. There will be no peace between those groups no matter how you group them together.

<<We in the U.S. need to get out of the mindset of creating a "friend" in the Middle East. Rather the better goal is to help Iraqis create a representational government. This is the right thing to do, whether or not it is in our immediate best interest. But fighting for the right solution is in our best long term interest. >>

Yep, create a government like the US? I thought you said we shouldn't be doing that? And what if the Iraqis don't want a representative government? I guess you are all for pushing it down their throats. There is nothing here that's in our best interest. We tried it before and failed. A different time and place, but the same results. Nothing you have said changes that tune.

<<I often tell my older (teenage) son that my job isn't to make him love or like me, but to do what I believe is best for him and by him. And by doing so, I show my love for him. I don't try to buy his favor like a divorced parent riddled with guilt. I do the right thing, and let the chips fall where they may. It means I will have bad days, but the alternative in my view is much worse. >>

This has nothing to do with the US and Iraq. We are not Iraq's family. We don't have an ethnic, social, or even political tie with this country. There is no innate love of the people or their country by anyone here then or now. Do the right thing? I agree. Get out and let them decide their own course and future.


quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Originally posted by Mike

I'll tell you how to stop terrorism against the US....start sending the terrorists money and weapons like France, China, and N. Korea, and denounce Israel. Then they'll leave you alone.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


<<You are entitled to your views, Mike. Personally I'd rather die than give up my principles. So too did the founders of this country. >>

Hell, sign up, go over there and protect what you consider your principles then. Your principles are your alone. But as you said before, you don't have a problem sending all those other boys (or your own) to do a job that the majority of this representative government doesn't believe in for goals that are undefined (regardless of what you stated above), and no solution in sight.

<<I also believe we shouldn't let minorities suffer for political expediency. To allow ethnic cleansing anywhere in the world is something I can't live with. It was wrong when The Third Reich engaged in it. It was wrong when Pol Pot did after we left a power vacuum in Southeast Asia. It was wrong in the Balkan region. It was wrong when Lenin engaged in it. It is wrong in the Sudan today. >>

So why are we everywhere then? Should we be in Sudan too? You know the answer as well as anyone does. There is no oil there and no vital interest for the US. It's definately a problem, but unless the international community helps out together, not riding it out solo, nothing will get accomplished.

<<We can't solve all the world's problems. To think we can is naive. But we can choose our battles. We can light a candle, and light up the world through our example. >>

Where have we lighted any candles lately? We go into Iraq against the wishes of the international community to depose a tyrant. The world doesn't help us out because we have no goals, we have no exit plan, hell, we practically have no more allies there as well (except for those 100 Mongolian troopers - thank God, I feel relieved). You live in a very idealistic world if you think we have lit up the world in any way other than anger and mistrust.

<<It's worth mentioning that this kind of thinking brought on 9/11 in the first place. We supported the mujahadin so they would kick the Soviets out of Afghanistan. We allowed them to use whatever means necessary for them to accomplish this task. Then we walked away, and left that country to the sons of bitches we once called our friends. Should we be surprised that they turned on us? That terrorists camps sprung up which brought about a series of vile attacks against innocent civilians on our own soil - on the other side of the earth? It doesn't shock me. >>

So we learn by our mistakes huh? I guess we should have just stayed in your self-proclaimed success story, Afghanistan? Well we are there now, and things are that great over there. Thinking about making that a vacation spot in the near future? We'll leave there too and it will still be a mess.

<<It's also worth mentioning that this kind of thinking brought on the son of a bitch that we needed to remove in Iraq. We and the Brits gave Saddam what he wanted to go kill a million (1,000,000) Iranians. We were pissed at them after all for taking our embassy hostage and creating an Islamic theocracy. Should we be surprised then that he invaded Kuwait to pay for his failed adventure in Iran? Should we be surprised that he used the WMD technology he got from the West on his own people? I'm not. >>

I agree. We shouldn't have supported him in the first place. Nothing was gained and all we did was help kill millions of people.


<<I'm a big believer in delayed gratification to the extent that it is on the side of what I (we) believe is the right thing to do. Intelligent people will disagree on the particulars, but the principles of how to treat our fellow man should never be in question. >>

Here is where we agree finally. Treat our fellow man the way we wish to be treated. True respect. Too bad the US government hasn't learned that most basic of lessons.

quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Originally posted by Mike

Lastly, our prestige around the globe would be threatened? I can't believe anyone would care.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


<<I personally don't give a damn what anyone in the world thinks of us. Many groups will hate us no matter what. It is the nature of humankind.

All that matters is that we are respected. It is also human nature to want to be left alone. >>

Respected through fear? That's all we are getting right now.


<<Vietnam vs. Iraq

One major difference exists which is often glossed over. Vietnam was fought with draftees. Iraq is being fought with a "volunteer" army. (I use the term loosely, because some are being called back after they were promised otherwise.) This is a big reason why orders of magnitude fewer troops are being lost in that conflict. It's also one of many reasons why we now treat our troops better. Been there, done that. My draft number was 19, and didn't go only because it was the first year that they stopped sending people. The youth of that generation didn't think much of their government telling them what to do. Nothing's changed on that account. >>

There are many other differences, I only mentioned a few.

<<Those who do go are the best trained and best motivated that ever have fought a war. They are professionals in every sense of the word. And those left at home to do what they want to do feel it's a lot easier to support those who do go - because choice was involved. Going to fight doesn't mean an individual is selling out a cause. Refusing to fight doesn't mean one is a traitor to one's country. Everyone gets to do what they want to do and what they are best at. This makes empathy (support for our troops) and duty (fighting for those at home) work together much better. >>

I have nothing to say against the troops. I will support the fighting soldier always. I will, however, have something to say about the defective policy that sends so many men and women to their death needlessly. I would be careful to put them all in the "professional in every sense" frame since all we hear about in the news is the professional soldier on trial for one thing or another. Perception is everything. Believe it not, but the US govenment makes it share of mistakes, and this happens to be a doozy!

mike


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 30, 2006 9:00 pm 
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Bill,

I would like to address some of the points you made in your post insomuch as they relate to the differences or similarities between U.S. involvement in Iraq and Vietnam.

You wrote:

_________________________________
The first goal is achieved - removing a very bad man who engaged in ethnic cleansing as well as overt acts of terrorism in the Middle East. The urgency of the threat turned out not to be there, but the inevitability always was. Right now the fate of this man is in the hands of his people - as it should be.
____________________________________

Of course, that was not the “first goal” as expressed the administration in selling the war to the U.S. (and world) public. The principal reason we were going to war was to remove the threat of weapons of mass destruction against the U.S. or our allies. Many people, myself included, now believe that this was a pretext to convince Congress to write a blank check to the President to allow the invasion. Remember, we already had sanctions and a no fly zone in force in Iraq. Although we were not in a state of war, we certainly were not at peace with Iraq. This parallels an incident that led to the expansion of U.S. forces in Vietnam; the Tonkin Gulf Resolution. A pretext was used to convince Congress to give the President the power to expand the use of U.S. troops in a region. (The fact that Congress has not learned to stand on its hind legs regarding it’s war declaration power is a discussion for another thread.)

I don’t for a minute believe that the administration was willing to go to war only to remove “a very bad man who engaged in ethnic cleansing as well as overt acts of terrorism in the Middle East.” There are men who fit that description currently in power in Iran and Jordan. There is a madman ruling North Korea, a despot in Cuba, ethnic cleansing in the Sudan, and the list goes on.

__________________________
The second goal is to leave with a representational government intact. It is NOT to create a pro-US government. That will never happen if we make it a goal, and we most definitely would be considered evil if that was our goal. Iraqis should decide the fate of Iraq - not the U.S., al qaeda, Syria, Iran, or any other external power.
_____________________________________

Why do you believe that it is a U.S. goal to leave a “representational government intact” rather than to leave a pro U.S. government? Our history is that we not only tolerate, but promote non-representational governments if they are sufficiently pro U.S. The Shah in Iran; the Saud Family in Saudi Arabia; the Jordanian Royal Family; the Sultanates in Dubai and Qatar. A democratically elected government in Iraq that supports the goals of Al Queda or fundamental Islamists is of no use to the U.S. You mention the “Balkanization” of Iraq as a possible outcome of U.S. involvement due to the various ethnic groups in the region. Look how well the Balkanization of the Balkans worked out. That region has been a cradle of warfare, ethic cleansing and strife for most of the past century.

______________________________________
We in the U.S. need to get out of the mindset of creating a "friend" in the Middle East. Rather the better goal is to help Iraqis create a representational government. This is the right thing to do, whether or not it is in our immediate best interest. But fighting for the right solution is in our best long term interest.
____________________________________

Our government generally is not, nor should it be, interested in doing what is “right” if it is not in our national best interest. I don’t believe that the U.S. ever went to war to prevent a genocide. We entered WWII several years after genocide in Germany began, and only after Pearl Harbor. We did not attempt to stop atrocities under Stalin or Pol Pot. We did not attempt to stop atrocities between Tutsis and Hutus. We will not act unless it is perceived to be in our national interest. Stability in an oil rich country in a volatile area of the world will trump the suffering of Africans who are not major trade partners. Stability in Europe will trump abuses of human rights. Remember, we did not go to war against the Soviets to stop the subjugation of native populations in Poland or East Germany or any other SSR. It’s comforting to think we are in Iraq simply to right a wrong, but that isn’t the case. Our presence may ultimately achieve some good, but that will be happenstance.

I believe the administration has had an agenda to get rid of Saddam Hussein; prove that the “Rumsfield Doctrine” of stripped down warfare and occupation is viable; expand the war against Al Queda; and prove to the world that we can go it alone. Unfortunately, the administration was not honest about its goals and assessments. This too I would argue parallels Vietnam. The administrations involved had agendas to expand a war and wear down an enemy (Communists). The Johnson and Nixon Administrations were not honest with the American public about their desires to expand the war or in the conduct of the war. I think that the U.S. public learned lessons that the Bush Administration has not, and that is why we are seeing a growth in public sentiment against the war in Iraq much more quickly than the U.S. public turned against involvement in Vietnam.

In both instances, democratically elected administrations failed to act democratically. In both instances, the results are disastrous in terms of lives and prestige.

Sincerely,

Norm Abrahamson


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 Post subject: More Parallels
PostPosted: Mon Oct 30, 2006 10:39 pm 
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Hi:

Well, this is a truly debatable matter.

I can only note that our only prior efforts at Nation Building were successful in Germany and in South Korea (perhaps the latter is more on the Idea of 'Nation Saving"?)

Both have only been upheld, so to speak, by the continued Garrisoning of 'foreign territory' by the US, GB and France for over 60 years with respect to the former and the latter upheld by a continued US presence since 1950.

So, choose your poison, perhaps, a failed effort vs. an ad infinitum US presence.

NATO now has "its fist in the Tar Baby" as well.

Perhaps "you just can't get there from here".

Choose your poison boys.

The danger in an all volunteer Professional Army is theoretically, that, war powers act notwithstanding, an executive may use the standing force until stopped.

Great Britain, NB, survived this situation from time immemorial until two years into "The Great War".

This did not prevent British Ladies from accosting service age males in the street with" why aren't you in Uniform?' until the number of volunteers would no longer sustain the British army in the field and conscription was instituted.

In 1917 Americans simply did not have a chance to 'volunteer' as conscription was started immediately.

Despite an absolutely deplorable social system, The Roman Principiate survived with a Professional Army from the time of Augustus "until the end" four centuries later.

i realize that historical parallels are not completely understood.

"History Does not Repeat itself, but historical situations re-occur" (Edmund Burke)

jt

_________________
"All Enlightenment Gratefully Accepted"


Last edited by JOHN THURSTON on Mon Oct 30, 2006 10:55 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 30, 2006 10:40 pm 
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Lots of stuff.

First, I don't pretend that I'll ever change Mike Murphy's mind about many things political in nature. That's fine by me. But clarity of position is paramount here.
Mike wrote:

Should I have said, "Pro-Bush" to make it politically correct? Whether you like it or not, or agree or not, people (I'm talking about the silent majority) understand the definition of "right" or "left" in terms of ideology. It doesn't matter what your personal definition is, it matters what the majority thinks.

Saying "pro-Bush" doesn't help a lot. To start with, Bush could hardly be called "rightist" given his propensity to spend money. And yet you want to call that "the right." This is not only inprecise, from a fiscal point of view it's downright incorrect.

Being fiscally conservative or liberal has little to do with a desire to enter the fray in Iraq.

Wanting greater or fewer social restrictions (abortion, gay marriage, etc.) has little to do with a desire to enter the fray in Iraq.

I don't go with "what the majority thinks" when "what the majority thinks" is downright wrong. The "majority" once thought the earth was flat, and was responsible for ruining the lives of outstanding scientists because of their boneheaded ideas.

Let's be more precise. So far I can't tell what you mean, Mike, other than the fact that being "on the right" seems to be a position you disagree with. It would be more accurate to label this a "pro-Mike" or "anti-Mike" position.
Mike wrote:

You know the goal for Iraq?

Yes.
Mike wrote:

Some people call this nation building.

Read up on your international law, Mike. If you break a country (thorugh invasion), you are responsible for putting it back together again before you leave. That's common sense to me. I don't need international law to tell me it's the right thing to do - whether or not you agree invasion was right in the first place.
Mike wrote:

Is this said from the person who stated that we did not go there because of the oil? Regardless, you are perfectly correct. It's all about the oil.

Do not mischaracterize what I said. Please re-read what I typed. It's still there for all to read.
Mike wrote:

How well did that work for the Balkans? You just don't want to look at history. There will be no peace between those groups no matter how you group them together.

Please explain to me how your last sentence has anything to do with my use of the term "Balkanization" or whether or not I do or don't look at history.
Mike wrote:

Yep, create a government like the US? I thought you said we shouldn't be doing that? And what if the Iraqis don't want a representative government? I guess you are all for pushing it down their throats.

This is insulting and undignified, Mike.

You don't have to agree with my view of the world, and frankly I don't care if you do or don't. I prefer the world think in general in terms of regional best interest. But mischaracterizing what I said is uncalled for. Stop it, Mike!
Mike wrote:

Do the right thing? I agree. Get out and let them decide their own course and future.

Easier said than done. But then that's the whole reason you started the thread, right? You got into a discussion with someone who disagreed with you on this, and it bothers you.

It doesn't bother me that you think the way you do, Mike. I can live with it. But I will vote my own views and preferences.

As for a "representational government", well it is what it is. What the Iraqis have created to date (the definition of a representational government) is not like our U.S. form of government. For one, it is based upon Islamic law (read the constitution, Mike). For another, they voted for their constitution and their representatives in numbers that far exceed voter turnouts in this country. And they did it while having to WALK to the polls. Imagine the whining in this country if we asked voters to do the same.

A U.S.-like government? Hardly...
Mike wrote:

Hell, sign up, go over there and protect what you consider your principles then. Your principles are your alone. But as you said before, you don't have a problem sending all those other boys (or your own) to do a job that the majority of this representative government doesn't believe in for goals that are undefined (regardless of what you stated above), and no solution in sight.

This is more of the same, Mike.
Mike wrote:

Should we be in Sudan too?

We were there, Mike. Condi has paid several visits already. We're getting the UN involved - to the extent that it will acknowledge a problem exists.

As to why we aren't everywhere, the succinct answer is that we must choose our battles carefully. We are in Iraq primarily because Saddam violated 17 UN mandates. We wouldn't be there if he hadn't.

WMDs is something you and the rest of the world can argue about. I've discussed it many times, as have others.
Mike wrote:

We go into Iraq against the wishes of the international community..

Not true. There wasn't a consensus one way or another. There were those for and those against. And there were the 17 UN mandates violated, one of which had language which can reasonably be interpreted (or not) as giving license to take extreme measures.
Mike wrote:

So we learn by our mistakes huh? I guess we should have just stayed in your self-proclaimed success story, Afghanistan?

More of the same, Mike. I won't dignify this with a response.
Mike wrote:

Respected through fear? That's all we are getting right now.

Obvious hyperbole.

But fear works where/when other methods don't.
Mike wrote:

since all we hear about in the news is the professional soldier on trial for one thing or another

First, this isn't just hyperbole; this is is just plain wrong. And quite frankly you insult many of our Uechika who are either serving our country now or involved in training them. Think carefully before you type, Mike.

Second, don't believe everything you read in the newspapers or hear on the TV/Radio. Consider the sources. CNN? Fox News? New York Times? New York Post? Wall Street Journal? Washington Post? Washington Times? FWIW, I make it a habit to scan various opposing journalistic sources. Try it some time. You'll be surprised at what you learn.

- Bill


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 30, 2006 11:06 pm 
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Norm

I addressed some of the issues you brought up in my response to Mike's post.
Norm wrote:

Of course, that was not the “first goal” as expressed the administration in selling the war to the U.S. (and world) public. The principal reason we were going to war was to remove the threat of weapons of mass destruction against the U.S. or our allies.

I disagree. They violated UN mandates (17 I believe) was the justification. Process matters in law, right? It made a difference here. WMD was just the sizzle in the steak.

A policeman who fires on someone reaching into their jacket will not be prosecuted if there was no weapon as long as said policeman believed his life was in danger. Reaching inside your jacket when a policeman is confronting you is a pretty stupid thing to do. Doing it intentionally to provoke a response (or prove you can) wins you a ticket to the morgue.

We can debate from now until the cows come home as to why Saddam toyed with the international community. Some think he did it to make the rest of the world (especially Iran, his blood enemy) think he was prepared to unleash hell on earth. After all, he had already killed 1 million Iranians. Some think Saddam didn't know what he had, because his own scientists were lieing to him (to save their own asses). We did find - and confiscate - lots of yellowcake. We knew it was there and where it was before we invaded. That's a matter of record.

Meanwhile he was buying time and influence with the "oil credits" in the "oil for food" program. The whole situation was one big clusterf***. Saddam was eventually going to get what he wanted, just as the Iranians and North Koreans are trying to today. Only Saddam had a much nastier history vis-a-vis the international community. I shed no tears for him, regardless of what we did or didn't find when we got there. And IMO we did the right thing. It wasn't a matter of if; it was only a matter of when and how.

At this point, it's water under the bridge. An entirely different situation exists now that we are there and the various forces are exerting their wishes via myriad means.
Norm wrote:

Why do you believe that it is a U.S. goal to leave a “representational government intact” rather than to leave a pro U.S. government? Our history is...

I'm well aware of our history, Norm, and I am glad we aren't repeating it.

The short answer to your question is that creating representational governements is in our long term best interest. Ask Germany and Japan today if this is the case.

I could care less about the other sons of bitches in the Middle East. For example, it's only a matter of time before the House of Saud gets theirs. We'd best either not overtly support them, or stay out of their affairs. If they want to sell oil to us, then fine. We do business with the Chinese too, in spite of their oppressive government. But a gentle tug on their people via example doesn't hurt...
Norm wrote:

Our government generally is not, nor should it be, interested in doing what is “right” if it is not in our national best interest.

The same is true in business, Norm. But you know what? As a senior scientist I make it a point not to get involved in projects that aren't BOTH the right thing to do AND in the best interest of the company. That is my personal ethic which I bring to business and science.

Doing the right thing often can be found to be in our best interest. The gratification may be delayed, but the consequence is one I can live with.
Norm wrote:

In both instances (Vietnam and Iraq), democratically elected administrations failed to act democratically. In both instances, the results are disastrous in terms of lives and prestige.

This is a matter of opinion, and not a matter of fact. FWIW... But I respect your opinion. I just don't happen to agree.

Were mistakes made in both situations? Absolutely. BIG time... Did/have we learn/learned from both? You bet. Will we make more mistakes in the future? Hopefully as few as possible.

But don't hold your breath.

- Bill


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 31, 2006 3:41 am 
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Bill,



Quote:
First, I don't pretend that I'll ever change Mike Murphy's mind about many things political in nature. That's fine by me. But clarity of position is paramount here.

quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Clarity would be nice Bill. How about some?


Quote:
Saying "pro-Bush" doesn't help a lot. To start with, Bush could hardly be called "rightist" given his propensity to spend money. And yet you want to call that "the right." This is not only inprecise, from a fiscal point of view it's downright incorrect
.

I guess you wouldn't call Reagan "rightist" either with his propensity to spend money? Either way, if you bothered to read the initial post, my comment on right or left was based on the stereotypical viewpoint on the spectrum and nothing else. John made it something it wasn't and you are continueing that argument. Have a blast if you wish, but it had nothing to do with the thread really.


Quote:
I don't go with "what the majority thinks" when "what the majority thinks" is downright wrong.


Didn't you just tell me..."Be careful not to presume that someone else is wrong because they hold a different point of view on a complex matter. Walk a mile in their shoes..." I guess I don't have to go any further with that.


Quote:
Let's be more precise. So far I can't tell what you mean, Mike, other than the fact that being "on the right" seems to be a position you disagree with. It would be more accurate to label this a "pro-Mike" or "anti-Mike" position.


I would expect a comment such as this from the man who continues to flip-flop on this particular topic. It's like watching a tennis match.
quote:


Quote:
Read up on your international law, Mike. If you break a country (thorugh invasion), you are responsible for putting it back together again before you leave. That's common sense to me. I don't need international law to tell me it's the right thing to do - whether or not you agree invasion was right in the first place
.


Well, obviously Bill, I'm not an expert on International Law like yourself (Gosh, where do you find the time). I don't want to bore you with history or anything so trivial (hell, it's not international law), so I won't mention all the examples of countries who haven't put back together a country that they invaded. BTW, when does common sense or right or wrong ever have anything to do with law or international law for that matter?


Quote:
Do not mischaracterize what I said. Please re-read what I typed. It's still there for all to read.


No one is mischaracterizing what you say and don't say. Your premise changes like the wind.


Quote:
This is insulting and undignified, Mike.

You don't have to agree with my view of the world, and frankly I don't care if you do or don't. I prefer the world think in general in terms of regional best interest. But mischaracterizing what I said is uncalled for. Stop it, Mike!


Insulting and undignified? You need to look in the mirror Bill. You tend to revel at insulting people who do not agree with your opinion. You don't wish to be mischaracterized, then do what you tell everyone else, and read the post clearly to see what people are saying. There was nothing insulting or undignified that I stated to you. If you wish to take it that way, then perhaps you should stay clear of this topic.



Quote:
Easier said than done. But then that's the whole reason you started the thread, right? You got into a discussion with someone who disagreed with you on this, and it bothers you.


No Bill, it's quite easy; in fact, if it wasn't for this international opinion we seem so worried about, all the president has to do is order it. Simple! As for what bothers me, READ THE ORIGINAL POST!


Quote:
As for a "representational government", well it is what it is. What the Iraqis have created to date (the definition of a representational government) is not like our U.S. form of government. For one, it is based upon Islamic law (read the constitution, Mike). For another, they voted for their constitution and their representatives in numbers that far exceed voter turnouts in this country. And they did it while having to WALK to the polls. Imagine the whining in this country if we asked voters to do the same.


The proof is in its longevity Bill, not how many people came to the polls. What has this government done thus far? How long do you think it will last? I wondered why they walked to the polls instead of using all that subsidized oil we purchase for them to put in their cars? (rhetorical)



quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Originally posted by Mike

Hell, sign up, go over there and protect what you consider your principles then. Your principles are your alone. But as you said before, you don't have a problem sending all those other boys (or your own) to do a job that the majority of this representative government doesn't believe in for goals that are undefined (regardless of what you stated above), and no solution in sight.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Quote:
This is more of the same, Mike.



More of the truth, don't you just hate it?


Quote:
We were there, Mike. Condi has paid several visits already. We're getting the UN involved - to the extent that it will acknowledge a problem exists.


Well I guess the people of Sudan are better off now, huh? Thanks Condi!


Quote:
As to why we aren't everywhere, the succinct answer is that we must choose our battles carefully. We are in Iraq primarily because Saddam violated 17 UN mandates. We wouldn't be there if he hadn't.

WMDs is something you and the rest of the world can argue about. I've discussed it many times, as have others.


Because Saddam violated 17 UN mandates? I wonder how many other countries have violated mandates? If it was such a problem, why didn't the UN vote to intercede? Here is your chance to badmouth the UN Bill.

Why you can dismiss the WMD is simply amazing. It must be lonely on that Island.



Quote:
Not true. There wasn't a consensus one way or another. There were those for and those against. And there were the 17 UN mandates violated, one of which had language which can reasonably be interpreted (or not) as giving license to take extreme measures.



And yet, in the end, Bush couldn't form a coalition as daddy did? Oh, I forgot those Mongolians (that's something dad couldn't do). And even the one's he did get to join in, where are they now?


Quote:
More of the same, Mike. I won't dignify this with a response.


Is there one?



Quote:
But fear works where/when other methods don't.



So, when all else fails, scare them and threaten them until you get your way? Where are those precious principles?


Quote:
First, this isn't just hyperbole; this is is just plain wrong. And quite frankly you insult many of our Uechika who are either serving our country now or involved in training them. Think carefully before you type, Mike.


Oh spare me, I have insulted no one. Read the newspaper or watch the news. I didn't make it up, nor do I wish any of it happened. Does it mean that all the soldiers there did something wrong? Absolutely not. I have spoken with quite a few returning soldiers, and many of them have witnessed something they wish they haven't from some of their own. It happens in war, but to pretend it doesn't Bill, is insulting to everyone, Uechika or not.


mike


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 31, 2006 5:38 am 
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Mike wrote:

Clarity would be nice Bill. How about some?

I presume by “clarity” you really mean “agreeing with Mike.” Perhaps I’ve fallen short…
Mike wrote:

if you bothered to read the initial post, my comment on right or left was based on the stereotypical viewpoint on the spectrum and nothing else. John made it something it wasn't and you are continueing (sic) that argument.

It appears to me then that there’s a consensus. Perhaps the viewpoint wasn’t helpful.
Mike wrote:

Bill wrote:

I don't go with "what the majority thinks" when "what the majority thinks" is downright wrong.


Didn't you just tell me..."Be careful not to presume that someone else is wrong because they hold a different point of view on a complex matter. Walk a mile in their shoes..." I guess I don't have to go any further with that.

Non sequitur.
Mike wrote:

I would expect a comment such as this from the man who continues to flip-flop on this particular topic. It's like watching a tennis match.

My comments are here for all to read. From my perspective, it appears my views don’t fit your characterization of them. Perhaps that’s why you’re confused.

Just a thought…
Mike wrote:

Well, obviously Bill, I'm not an expert on International Law like yourself (Gosh, where do you find the time).

Actually I credit Dana with mentioning this in a thread which was going on (on my forum) before the start of Operation Iraqi Freedom. At the time, I too didn’t think much of “nation building.” Unfortunately when you invade a country and break its government and defenses, this is what you are charged with doing.

Learn something new every day – if the cup is empty enough… ;)
Mike wrote:


Bill wrote:

This is insulting and undignified, Mike.

You don't have to agree with my view of the world, and frankly I don't care if you do or don't. I prefer the world think in general in terms of regional best interest. But mischaracterizing what I said is uncalled for. Stop it, Mike!


Insulting and undignified? You need to look in the mirror Bill. You tend to revel at insulting people who do not agree with your opinion.

Oh really?

Who was it that stated the following about a discussion with his "friend"?
Mike wrote:

I found his argument (sic) so lame with "what ifs" that it made me want to throw up.

I believe this was in the post which started the thread.

I have no problem with you having a different point of view, Mike. I can sleep at night. For all I know, I may change my mind over time (it happened to most of a country during the Vietnam era from pre to post “Tet offensive”) and come to a position closer to yours. (Or not…) Consequently I respect that you have a point of view different than my own.

It does appear however that it bothers you when others disagree with you on this subject – to the point that you experience a visceral response. This isn’t my assessment, Mike. It’s right there in your own words.
Mike wrote:

You don't wish to be mischaracterized…

Exactly. End of story.
Mike wrote:

If you wish to take it that way, then perhaps you should stay clear of this topic.

It’s not my nature to cut and run. :roll:

Sorry, I was bad. Mea culpa. ;)
Mike wrote:

As for what bothers me, READ THE ORIGINAL POST!

I did. As I quoted above…
Mike wrote:

I found his argument (sic) so lame with "what ifs" that it made me want to throw up.

Your words, Mike.
Mike wrote:

Bill wrote:

As for a "representational government", well it is what it is. What the Iraqis have created to date (the definition of a representational government) is not like our U.S. form of government. For one, it is based upon Islamic law (read the constitution, Mike). For another, they voted for their constitution and their representatives in numbers that far exceed voter turnouts in this country. And they did it while having to WALK to the polls. Imagine the whining in this country if we asked voters to do the same.


The proof is in its longevity Bill.

I expect no more from the Iraqis than what we were able to accomplish between 1776 and … oh … maybe about 1865.

You want instant solutions? Watch 1-hour TV shows.
Mike wrote:

More of the truth, don't you just hate it?

I know truth. I make a living seeking truth. Truth is my friend.

When it comes to political discussions... you, sir, are no friend of truth.

(With apologies to Senator Benson... ;))

If I’m mistaken, you’d rather “win.”

"Call it" yourself and walk away if it makes you feel better.
Mike wrote:

Well I guess the people of Sudan are better off now, huh? Thanks Condi!

No thanks to most of the world.

Cxt (one of your buddies) and I constantly brought up the ethnic cleansing going on in Sudan. It bothered us. It bothered some in the present administration enough that they lobbied the UN rather vigorously for a response. It bothered some in the administration enough that they got off their butts and went over there.

Can you quote me ANYWHERE on these forums, Mike, where you expressed a concern for the welfare of innocent Sudanese being slaughtered? Where is the outrage?

If not, save the sarcasm. It isn’t very flattering.
Mike wrote:

If it was such a problem, why didn't the UN vote to intercede?

Depending upon your interpretation, they DID vote to intercede. Check out the most recent mandates before Operation Iraqi Freedom where “consequences” were mentioned.

I rest my case.
Mike wrote:

Why you can dismiss the WMD is simply amazing. It must be lonely on that Island.

A case was made for invasion without WMD. That was just the “sizzle” in the steak. Even without existing germ and chemical labs, the case was made.

But if it makes you feel better, we did confiscate a seriously large quantity of yellowcake. It’s a matter of public record, Mike.
Mike wrote:

Bush couldn't form a coalition as daddy did?

Not as large as papa Bush’s coalition, but a coalition nonetheless.
Mike wrote:

So, when all else fails, scare them and threaten them until you get your way? Where are those precious principles?

Why do you study martial arts, Mike? Is it for all that peaceful mind stuff?

Gimme a break! :roll:
Mike wrote:

Bill wrote:

First, this isn't just hyperbole; this is is just plain wrong. And quite frankly you insult many of our Uechika who are either serving our country now or involved in training them. Think carefully before you type, Mike.




Oh spare me, I have insulted no one.

These are your words, Mike.
Mike wrote:

since all we hear about in the news is the professional soldier on trial for one thing or another

This was both wrong AND insulting. If you don’t find this insulting to the men and women in uniform, then perhaps you might feel differently if I poll a few and ask them to express how they feel.

- Bill


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 31, 2006 12:14 pm 
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Bill,



Quote:
My comments are here for all to read. From my perspective, it appears my views don’t fit your characterization of them. Perhaps that’s why you’re confused
.

You're right, they are there for all to read. My point.


Quote:
Actually I credit Dana with mentioning this in a thread which was going on (on my forum) before the start of Operation Iraqi Freedom. At the time, I too didn’t think much of “nation building.” Unfortunately when you invade a country and break its government and defenses, this is what you are charged with doing.


By whom?





Quote:
Insulting and undignified? You need to look in the mirror Bill. You tend to revel at insulting people who do not agree with your opinion.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Quote:
Oh really?


Yep!


quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Originally posted by Mike

I found his argument (sic) so lame with "what ifs" that it made me want to throw up.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Quote:
I believe this was in the post which started the thread.


First of all, since all you seem to get out of the original post is this comment, was directed at the argument I used as an example, not John. Second, if John thought it was insulting to him, he would have told me so as he not against letting someone know that. This was not directed at you, so let it go and move on. You've already made it out to be something it's not.



Quote:
It does appear however that it bothers you when others disagree with you on this subject – to the point that you experience a visceral response. This isn’t my assessment, Mike. It’s right there in your own words.


No Bill, this is you playing psychologist again. Stop trying to read into what you think people mean when they comment. When you get that Psych degree, then I'll come sit on your couch, but until that time stick to the topic at hand. It would be helpful for the discussion.




quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Originally posted by Mike

As for what bothers me, READ THE ORIGINAL POST!
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Quote:
I did. As I quoted above…


quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Originally posted by Mike

I found his argument (sic) so lame with "what ifs" that it made me want to throw up.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Once again, nothing to do with the topic, only you trying to make something out of nothing. Not your argument here. If you wish to discuss that the above discussion wasn't lame, then by all means please do so, otherwise, it's a moot point.



Quote:
I expect no more from the Iraqis than what we were able to accomplish between 1776 and … oh … maybe about 1865.


You expect a lot. Good luck. There is no evidence out there that would give me any suggestion that the fragmented people of Iraq (Kurds, Sunnis, Shiites, etc) will live together peacefully. You keep relating it to the US system, but unfortunately, there is little in similarity.


Quote:
You want instant solutions? Watch 1-hour TV shows.


I do. "Lost", "ER", "Law and Order"





Quote:
I know truth. I make a living seeking truth. Truth is my friend.

When it comes to political discussions... you, sir, are no friend of truth.

(With apologies to Senator Benson... )



"Truth? You can't handle the truth!" Enough said there.


quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Originally posted by Mike

Well I guess the people of Sudan are better off now, huh? Thanks Condi!
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Quote:
No thanks to most of the world.


Yes, you are right again. Thanks to most of the world 300,000 people dead; three million driven from their homes and a country at war with itself.
Let’s face it. Darfur is the most systematic and planned annihilation of a Muslim population in the 21st century. Between 300,000 and 500,000 black-skinned Africans in Darfur have died already. Countless women have been raped and tortured, some killed. Three million are homeless. No wonder the UN describes it as “the world’s worst humanitarian disaster”. Your logic astounds me.


Quote:
Cxt (one of your buddies) and I constantly brought up the ethnic cleansing going on in Sudan. It bothered us. It bothered some in the present administration enough that they lobbied the UN rather vigorously for a response. It bothered some in the administration enough that they got off their butts and went over there.


One of my buddies because he is constantly taking a stand against your "truth." You can't convert everyone you know. Not everyone will take what you say at face value. It's called the real world.


Quote:
Can you quote me ANYWHERE on these forums, Mike, where you expressed a concern for the welfare of innocent Sudanese being slaughtered? Where is the outrage?

If not, save the sarcasm. It isn’t very flattering
.

Talk about hypocracy. I'm not going to go back and find the one or two times I've mentioned Sudan, but understand something. I talk about it almost daily with high school kids. Do you get out of your lab to discuss this with anyone constructively or do you simply preach from the pulpit? Furthermore, what is your opinion of Sudan Bill? You talk about how right it was for us to go into Afghanistan and Iraq to depose the respective regimes, while in the process killing thousands of innocent people, but have said nothing about saving the genocide in Sudan. Do you suddenly, from you last statement, feel "concern for the welfare of Sudanese?" Are you outraged Bill? On one hand, you advocate the continued killing in Iraq (American or Iraqi), while on the other hand, you seem to be saying you want the massacre stopped in Sudan? Can you clear this up Bill?


Quote:
Depending upon your interpretation, they DID vote to intercede. Check out the most recent mandates before Operation Iraqi Freedom where “consequences” were mentioned.



God I love that answer. "Depending on your interpretation." For the book Bill, they didn't intercede. The US and there few allies went in alone without the support of the UN.



Quote:
I rest my case.


What case?



Quote:
A case was made for invasion without WMD. That was just the “sizzle” in the steak. Even without existing germ and chemical labs, the case was made.


You can make any pro-present administration excuse you wish Bill, but they made the argument that it was WMD we were looking for. I even remember a pseudo-mea culpa about faulty intelligence as one reason. (sizzle, sizzle, sizzle)




Quote:
Not as large as papa Bush’s coalition, but a coalition nonetheless
.


Yep, not even close. (But he does have the 100 Mongolian Soldiers. Don't want to leave them out. How often do we get to praise Mongolians - what a coalition!)




Quote:
Why do you study martial arts, Mike? Is it for all that peaceful mind stuff?


Yes Bill, it's for the peaceful mind stuff. It's called Budo. Maybe you ought to check it out before commenting on others. I learn budo so that I don't have to use what skills I have acquired. I don't believe in bullying and sticking my chest out Bill. And because of that belief, I don't believe the US government should use their military might to do the same. Live and let live, right? Respect for our neighbors. Etc., etc., etc.


Quote:
Gimme a break!


I'm sorry, I didn't know you knew so much about me Bill that you can magically determine why I study the martial arts? There is so much more to you than meets the eye. What talent!

quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Originally posted by Mike

since all we hear about in the news is the professional soldier on trial for one thing or another
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Quote:
This was both wrong AND insulting. If you don’t find this insulting to the men and women in uniform, then perhaps you might feel differently if I poll a few and ask them to express how they feel.



Poll as many people as you wish if it makes you feel better. It doesn't change the facts that are all over the media. Or are you saying that the media is making all this up? Is this a conspiracy of the liberal media again or are you condoning the actions of these soldiers? I find it insulting that anyone would do what those who have been caught and tried have done, whether they are in uniform or not. There is no difference to me. Wrong is wrong no matter what vocation you practice. When you do the poll, ask those people in uniform whether or not they agree with the acts of those who have been tried. I'm guessing that they will not. But once again, let's make it CLEAR. Is this an indictment on all men and women in uniform. NO! But it's there, it happened, and you can't wish it away by diverting attention with some lame statement as "you are insulting the men and women of the armed services."


mike[/quote]


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