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Thread: Jordan Unleashes Wrath on ISIS

  1. #201
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    Re: Jordan Unleashes Wrath on ISIS

    Quote Originally Posted by Dittohead not! View Post
    WWII had no viable alternative. Wars since then have been optional.
    That is incorrect. WWII did indeed have viable alternatives - not least, for example, was the viable alternative that the Japanese thought we would take (to recognizing their growing power and accede them dominance over their own hemisphere rather than get involved in another World War). The Civil War, too, had a viable alternative (Let the Southern States Go) that formed the nucleus of a major anti-war movement that was led by no less than the former head of the Union Armies, George McClellan. The Revolutionary War also featured a viable alternative (remain part of the British Empire) that at various times was probably the preference of close to (if not full) a plurality of the colonists. Any war that does not feature the binary choice of: 1. Fight a war. or 2. Be immediately killed. has viable alternatives, and even then you do have the alternative (as the pacifists among us would do) to simply accept your fate.

    Which is why when people say "only fight if there is no other other options" or "if there is no other viable option" are merely repeating a simple-minded cliche. What they are really saying is "only fight if there are no better options". Except that this is also ridiculous. When did anyone go to war with the argument "Of course there are a bunch of better paths we could take, I but we say let's have a war just for the hell of it - those tanks are going to rust if they don't get put to good use." So, what they really mean is not "we should fight no war unless there are no better options", which is a useless standard that ultimately means nothing, what they are really saying is "We shouldn't fight a war unless I think there are no better options". Which is in and of itself a not so much useless standard as it is an idiotic and ultimately suicidal one - pure democracy in which every single citizen exercises a complete veto over major foreign policy decisions? No thanks.

    Sarcasm noted, but yes, let's check the intelligence before we go off on another Gulf of Tonkien incident war. You don't (shouldn't anyway) go to war lightly.
    Agreed. Intelligence upon which major decisions are based should be as thorough and as rigorously tested as possible, time permitting.

    If that's the objective, then let's be up front about it.
    concur

    And when the objective has been met, let's go home.
    Sure. But hitting a ball requires follow through. Simply plucking a dude, saying "well, you're in charge now, don't forget to be a (d)emocrat and respect women and stuff like that!" isn't actually achieving the goal anything other than nominally. It's planning to fail.

    Just what was the objective in Iraq, anyway?
    See that earlier bit about regime replacement? US National policy since the Clinton era.

    Then, why is it that the "police action" in Vietnam was never called a "war"?
    Funny. I google "Vietnam War" and all sorts of hits come up. It looks like people got purple hearts for it, we authorized funds for it... there's even a war memorial for it.

    The war in Iraq was at least called that, but there was no commitment on the part of the people of the United States to attack Iraq.
    In May of 2003, no less than 79% of Americans thought the war was Justified. You can't get 79% of Americans to agree that ice cream is delicious. It was authorized in a bi-partisan nature by both Houses of Congress and carried out by a (yes) duly elected Executive.

  2. #202
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    Re: Jordan Unleashes Wrath on ISIS

    Quote Originally Posted by cpwill View Post
    (Had to shorten, sorry. It wouldn't post.) pure democracy in which every single citizen exercises a complete veto over major foreign policy decisions? No thanks.
    Of course, a pure democracy in which every single citizen exercises a complete veto is unworkable regardless of the issue being decided. That's why we have a Constitution that names the commander in chief and gives the power to declare war to Congress.

    No better options... I suppose you could say that. A last and final resort would be better put. We don't go to war except as a last resort, but when we do, we go all the way to win. In WWII, the alternative to war was to let the Imperial Japanese and their allies, the Nazis, to take over the world, which would no doubt have resulted in a war between those two powers eventually. We tried to stay out of it, but were faced with a last resort decision.

    In the civil war, the option was to allow the states to decide whether or not to stay in the union. Are the states now forced to be a part of the US whether they want to or not? It appears that they are.

    As for the revolutionary war, we have a northern neighbor that is now independent, but did not fight a revolution. Was the revolutionary war absolutely necessary? I'd say, no. Whether it was the best option at the time is a matter of conjecture. It was certainly not the last resort.


    Going to war is like going in for major surgery. It's the last resort, could be fatal, is bound to be painful and costly, but may be the best alternative.



    Quote Originally Posted by cpwill View Post
    Agreed. Intelligence upon which major decisions are based should be as thorough and as rigorously tested as possible, time permitting.



    concur



    Sure. But hitting a ball requires follow through. Simply plucking a dude, saying "well, you're in charge now, don't forget to be a (d)emocrat and respect women and stuff like that!" isn't actually achieving the goal anything other than nominally. It's planning to fail.
    If the goal is nation building, then that's true. If that is the goal, then let's say up front that we plan to go in, stay in for decades, and build a democratic nation. It may take a hundred years, as McCain finally said it might, but if that's really the goal, let's go in with that in mind.



    Quote Originally Posted by cpwill View Post
    See that earlier bit about regime replacement? US National policy since the Clinton era.



    Funny. I google "Vietnam War" and all sorts of hits come up. It looks like people got purple hearts for it, we authorized funds for it... there's even a war memorial for it.
    Yep. Nowadays, it's referred to as the war in Vietnam. At the time, it was not officially called a war, as it was unconstitutional and the architects of the war knew it.

    Quote Originally Posted by cpwill View Post
    In May of 2003, no less than 79% of Americans thought the war was Justified. You can't get 79% of Americans to agree that ice cream is delicious. It was authorized in a bi-partisan nature by both Houses of Congress and carried out by a (yes) duly elected Executive.
    Yes, that's true. A vast majority of Americans thought that a war that was only going to last for six weeks or less and in which we'd be greeted as liberators was a good idea. Moreover, we couldn't allow a loose cannon like Saddam to develop nuclear weapons, could we?
    "Donald Trump is a phony, a fraud... [he's] playing the American public for suckers." Mitt Romney

  3. #203
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    Re: Jordan Unleashes Wrath on ISIS

    Quote Originally Posted by JumpinJack View Post
    Yes, they did. A loooooong time ago. But not exactly this....burning a captured man who poses no threat. It's that the timing was bad, and he failed to point out the here and now of the ISIS actions towards innocent people.
    time in history means nothing it happened they did it. there for to point it out should not get anyone upset...

  4. #204
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    Re: Jordan Unleashes Wrath on ISIS

    Quote Originally Posted by Dittohead not! View Post
    Of course, a pure democracy in which every single citizen exercises a complete veto is unworkable regardless of the issue being decided. That's why we have a Constitution that names the commander in chief and gives the power to declare war to Congress.

    No better options... I suppose you could say that. A last and final resort would be better put. We don't go to war except as a last resort, but when we do, we go all the way to win. In WWII, the alternative to war was to let the Imperial Japanese and their allies, the Nazis, to take over the world, which would no doubt have resulted in a war between those two powers eventually. We tried to stay out of it, but were faced with a last resort decision.
    That doesn't work either, you require a "or what". A last resort in order to avoid X. Otherwise you are left (see above) with no situation in which fighting is legitimate. You have to define the X if you want to describe war as the last option that one pursues prior to acceding to it.

    It's like saying "Well, war is still a better option". In some cases (than enslavement, than death, than allowing Japan to attack us without response, than allowing Germany to dominate Europe) that can be true. But you have to lay out the than if you want to have an honest sentence. Otherwise war becomes superior to everything, just as in your formulation it becomes inferior to everything.


    The Vietnam War has more in common than the Korea War than the Iraq War in terms of "better or worse than". You had a northern, Communist neighbor explicitly intending to conquer and absorb it's more western-leaning southern neighbor. In both cases the answer was that war was better than that, but we were successful in our efforts in Korea, while we were unsuccessful in Vietnam. But people take the later loss of Vietnam (and both wars were unpopular) to mean that somehow failed results must flow from failed intentions. That's no more the case in Vietnam than it is that our successful efforts in Korea indicate that our better than was correct in the latter.

    In the civil war, the option was to allow the states to decide whether or not to stay in the union. Are the states now forced to be a part of the US whether they want to or not? It appears that they are.
    True, but letting the southern states leave and slavery continue was a viable option. We chose otherwise, and I, for one, am glad that we did.

    Going to war is like going in for major surgery. It's the last resort, could be fatal, is bound to be painful and costly, but may be the best alternative.
    Again, "last resort" is a cliche that is meaningless. But I like the "surgery" analogy.

    If the goal is nation building, then that's true. If that is the goal, then let's say up front that we plan to go in, stay in for decades, and build a democratic nation. It may take a hundred years, as McCain finally said it might, but if that's really the goal, let's go in with that in mind.
    The question of time should be weighed against commitment. For example, we don't have very many troops in Japan now making sure that they remain a democracy (we have plenty making sure that North Korea and China don't go full nutso). Ditto Germany. Had we remained committed in Iraq, we would have required a relatively light footprint to ensure that AQI/ISIL wasn't able to revive in country and to give us the credibility to shepherd the continuing power-sharing between Sunni, Shia, and Kurd. We lose very few people in South Korea these days, despite those two nations still officially being at war. Committing to a longer tail-end doesn't mean that one will be required to engage in large combat operations ad infinitum.

    Yep. Nowadays, it's referred to as the war in Vietnam. At the time, it was not officially called a war, as it was unconstitutional and the architects of the war knew it.
    Congress authorized it, the President led it. I think you would have a hard case to make that it was unconstitutional.

    Yes, that's true. A vast majority of Americans thought that a war that was only going to last for six weeks or less and in which we'd be greeted as liberators was a good idea. Moreover, we couldn't allow a loose cannon like Saddam to develop nuclear weapons, could we?
    Hm. Where is the polling that says a vast majority thought we would only be there for 6 weeks?

  5. #205
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    Re: Jordan Unleashes Wrath on ISIS

    Quote Originally Posted by cpwill View Post
    That doesn't work either, you require a "or what". A last resort in order to avoid X. Otherwise you are left (see above) with no situation in which fighting is legitimate. You have to define the X if you want to describe war as the last option that one pursues prior to acceding to it.

    It's like saying "Well, war is still a better option". In some cases (than enslavement, than death, than allowing Japan to attack us without response, than allowing Germany to dominate Europe) that can be true. But you have to lay out the than if you want to have an honest sentence. Otherwise war becomes superior to everything, just as in your formulation it becomes inferior to everything.
    War is better than death, enslavement, or allowing Germany and Japan to take over the world, just as major surgery is better than death or disability. War is not better than allowing a war of independence to establish a government with which we disagreed. War is only a viable option when the alternative is worse than war, and few things are worse than war.

    But, yes, death, enslavement, and a world dominated by dictatorship are among those things.


    Quote Originally Posted by cpwill View Post
    The Vietnam War has more in common than the Korea War than the Iraq War in terms of "better or worse than". You had a northern, Communist neighbor explicitly intending to conquer and absorb it's more western-leaning southern neighbor. In both cases the answer was that war was better than that, but we were successful in our efforts in Korea, while we were unsuccessful in Vietnam. But people take the later loss of Vietnam (and both wars were unpopular) to mean that somehow failed results must flow from failed intentions. That's no more the case in Vietnam than it is that our successful efforts in Korea indicate that our better than was correct in the latter.
    Just what were the intentions in Vietnam, anyway? It was never clear just what the objective was to go there in the first place. We didn't know where we were going, so we wound up somewhere else, i.e., on the losing end of a war, and yet none of the dire sky is falling predictions of communism taking over the whole of SE Asia actually happened.

    Quote Originally Posted by cpwill View Post
    True, but letting the southern states leave and slavery continue was a viable option. We chose otherwise, and I, for one, am glad that we did.
    Remember, the civil war was about secession, not about slavery.

    Slavery would not have endured much longer anyway, not in an increasingly industrial world. Whether the confederacy would have rejoined with the north or not, there is no way to know for sure.

    But the states joined the union voluntarily, why shouldn't they be allowed to leave it the same way?



    Quote Originally Posted by cpwill View Post
    gain, "last resort" is a cliche that is meaningless. But I like the "surgery" analogy.



    The question of time should be weighed against commitment. For example, we don't have very many troops in Japan now making sure that they remain a democracy (we have plenty making sure that North Korea and China don't go full nutso). Ditto Germany. Had we remained committed in Iraq, we would have required a relatively light footprint to ensure that AQI/ISIL wasn't able to revive in country and to give us the credibility to shepherd the continuing power-sharing between Sunni, Shia, and Kurd. We lose very few people in South Korea these days, despite those two nations still officially being at war. Committing to a longer tail-end doesn't mean that one will be required to engage in large combat operations ad infinitum.
    Iraq was never at the same level that Japan, Germany, or Korea is. Iraq is not, was not, never has been a unified nation. The only thing holding it together was the power of Saddam Hussain. We'd have been a lot better off to have left it alone. Keeping the peace in such a place would have required combat troops, not just a few soldiers there as an American presence.

    Quote Originally Posted by cpwill View Post
    Congress authorized it, the President led it. I think you would have a hard case to make that it was unconstitutional.
    They did pass the Gulf of Tonkien resolution on the strength of an attack that never happened, to be sure. Never did they declare war on Vietnam, or any other nation since the Second World War.

    Quote Originally Posted by cpwill View Post
    Hm. Where is the polling that says a vast majority thought we would only be there for 6 weeks?
    You got me there. Only the few who actually believed Don Rumsfeld believed that. Probably a lot more believed that the invasion of Iraq was somehow justified by the attacks of 9/11.
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  6. #206
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    Re: Jordan Unleashes Wrath on ISIS

    Quote Originally Posted by Abbazorkzog View Post
    They did, and they have no merit on anything going on at the present moment. If anything they undermine the threat posed to the West by ISIS. Simple as that.
    he was just pointing out a fact of history

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