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Old 12-08-2007, 02:08 PM   #41
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There was loud and clear dissent prior to the start of the war; I witnessed firsthand the massive protests in the streets of New York, and I know there were others throughout the country. But "The Decider" ignored them and Congress sold out for perceived political gain. (One of the reasons I would find it very difficult to vote for Hillary Clinton is her vote on the war.)

As to whether dissent should continue -- a mature, robust democracy ought to be able to tolerate dissent, even during war. It is usually your more authoritarian regimes that stifle the voices of the people. But I respect your opinion and will simply agree to disagree on that point.
It to me seems interesting that the Dems got control of the Senate and House, and pledged action and inquiries and investigations and perhaps impeachment proceedings...........but a little over a year later I am still waiting.....and Congress still approves the war spending with hardly a whimper of dissent.

One would think if the left has the same thoughts as Gumby, they would either cut the war funding or stalemate it...........
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Old 12-08-2007, 03:13 PM   #42
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I believe you missed my point or ignored it. There was dissent, our elected official made a decision. There are and will always be those that don't like the decisions made. There continued dissent put our sons and daughters in harms way. You should know this but you appear blinded to it.
The problem with your theory that all dissent should stop once we are at war is that there is no ending point. President Bush has said that we are in the Global War on Terror, which is expected to last for the rest of our lives. When will it end so that we can go back to complaining about the government? And even if we are no longer allowed to revisit the decision to go to war in the first place, are we allowed to criticize the way it is conducted? And what if we realize that it has been a mistake and we should stop? Must we continue on until the last drop of blood is spilled because once the decision is made it must never be questioned? Can we never change our mind?

Frankly, the thing putting our troops at risk are people with guns and bombs, not legitimate dissent among the American people. If your vision of protecting our country calls for turning it into a fascist dictatorship, you can count me out.
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Old 12-08-2007, 03:15 PM   #43
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It to me seems interesting that the Dems got control of the Senate and House, and pledged action and inquiries and investigations and perhaps impeachment proceedings...........but a little over a year later I am still waiting.....and Congress still approves the war spending with hardly a whimper of dissent.

One would think if the left has the same thoughts as Gumby, they would either cut the war funding or stalemate it...........
The Democrats in Congress have hardly been profiles in courage. I am tremendously disappointed in them.
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Old 12-08-2007, 03:25 PM   #44
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That would put John Kerry and John Edwards in the same light, in your eyes...........
It does. Right now, my choice would be Barack Obama, and even though I disagree with him on many other things, I have great respect for Ron Paul as a consequence of his opposition to the war.

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on what I've gleaned here, the ONLY war that was worth fighting since 1919 was the 2nd World War, in a lot of folks eyes...........

That to mean, seems a sad commentary on the USA............
WWII was forced on us and was a war of national survival. It was necessary and I'm glad we won. All our other wars since then have been wars of choice. I take no pride in the fact that we have chosen to wage pointless wars in places and for causes that have little or no relationship to our national security.
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Old 12-08-2007, 03:54 PM   #45
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WWII was forced on us and was a war of national survival.
Generally agree. However, the case can be made that had we accelerated a defense buildup early on and not supported the UK, we might have been successful in staying out of the war, eventually winding up in cold war but with Germany/Japan instead of the USSR.
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I take no pride in the fact that we have chosen to wage pointless wars in places and for causes that have little on no relationship to our national security.
Would you have been OK with allowing Saddam to have Kuwait? I'm kind of mixed on that one myself.......
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Old 12-08-2007, 04:12 PM   #46
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Generally agree. However, the case can be made that had we accelerated a defense buildup early on and not supported the UK, we might have been successful in staying out of the war, eventually winding up in cold war but with Germany/Japan instead of the USSR. Would you have been OK with allowing Saddam to have Kuwait? I'm kind of mixed on that one myself.......
I did not then and do not now care who runs Kuwait and didn't see that the question involved our essential national interests. But I must admit that is the selfish view of an American national (me). If we mean to have a peaceful world, we all probably do need to work together to prevent countries from invading their smaller and weaker neighbors. So, like you, I am of mixed mind on that.
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Old 12-08-2007, 04:47 PM   #47
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If we mean to have a peaceful world, we all probably do need to work together to prevent countries from invading their smaller and weaker neighbors.
Agree, if this can be done diplomatically. I am radically in disagreement with regional policing as a casus belli. Let regions police themselves. Our only criterion for going to war should be whether it furthers an important narrowly defined national interest, and can we afford it.

For the most part we cannot afford war, so IMO we should learn to live within our means and face reality. Even our excellent military could be put out of business quickly by OPEC. Or even Russia No shots need be fired, just some crude held back.

Where would you rather live, Switzerland or the US? Which country fights more wars?

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Old 12-08-2007, 04:52 PM   #48
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So if the duly elected official don't do what you want then it is a "fascist dictatorship". Sounds a little like your opinion is a "fascist dictatorship". In this country we hold elections. It seems your side lost, and now you are trying to get your way through protest no matter the consequence, and camouflage it in a Vail of 'We are more patriotic' Give me a break! We will have another election in about 10 months. So I suggest your get out their and support your candidate of choice. However, don't be surprised if they don't pull out of the middle east, and if they don't I sure expect to hear the protest from you on this board.
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Old 12-08-2007, 06:26 PM   #49
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Now it is your turn to misunderstand. I never claimed that elected officials not doing what I want is tantamount to a fascist dictatorship. What I object to is the contention that if you support the war and I oppose it, once the troops are committed, I must shut my mouth and never raise the issue again, because that would giving aid and comfort to the enemy. That, my friend, is the hallmark of an authoritarian regime.

I respect your right to argue that we did precisely the right thing by invading Iraq. I disagree, but you are free to make that argument. I would ask only that you extend the same courtesy to me and not try to stifle my opposition in the guise of supporting the troops.

And you can count on me to scream long and loud if the Democrats gain the White House and do not immediately start withdrawing our troops. My opposition to the war does not turn on which party is in power.
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Old 12-08-2007, 07:51 PM   #50
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All our other wars since then have been wars of choice. I take no pride in the fact that we have chosen to wage pointless wars in places and for causes that have little or no relationship to our national security.
Actually all American war have been wars of choice. WWII is the sole exception, and I can easily make the argument that we could have easily prevented Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor.

All the US would have had to do is turned blind eye to Japan's invasion China. Not screamed bloody murder about the Rape of Nanking (Nanjing). If we hadn't protested their occupation of French Indonesia (Vietnam), by cutting of all strategic materials, and organizing a world wide oil embargo against the country, they wouldn't have had any reason to attack us.

In fact, pretty much since 1812 if we had just ignored the rest of the world we probably wouldn't have had to fight a single war. The civil war certainly could have been avoided if the silly northern folks had simply accepted the fact Negros were better off as slaves. Similarly the mistreatment of the Filipinos by the Spanish, the attacks on Belgium, France and Russia by Kaiser's German, the slaughter of Ethiopians by Mussolini, and all of Hitler various actions, weren't directly threatening the US national security.

Clearly almost nothing since WWII other than sticking nuclear missiles in Cuba was a direct threat to us folks living in the US. Who cares who runs South Korea, Kosovo, Kuwait, Panama etc., life sure would be simpler if the US acted like Switzerland. Plus maybe we could take a page from Swiss, and turn our soldiers into mercenaries available to the highest bidders. Certainly, there is no need ask prying questions like where did you get all of those teeth with gold filling, or rings with fingers attached, just happily open up bank accounts no questions asked. No wonder the Swiss are so wealthy.

Now it is true that every country acted like Switzerland there would be no need for country like the US or prior to that Great Britain to get involved in the affairs of other countries. I imagine that if all of the people in this country behaved like most of the members on the forums we wouldn't need cops either. Course the real world is different than that.

I recently watch South Park Team America: World Police and the final speech about P*, D*, and A*hole was hilarious but largely true.

I have no problem with people continuing to voice dissent even while troops are oversees fighting. As former sailor Gumby has more than earned his right. However like Jeannette Rankin history isn't always kind to pacifist.
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Old 12-08-2007, 08:50 PM   #51
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Clifp:

I see that you are a student of history. I have often wondered how things might have turned out if we did not impose an oil and steel embargo on the Japanese in 1941. I suspect that Japan may not have attacked Pearl Harbor, and isolationist sentiment was strong enough here that we may not have gone to war against Germany if they had not declared war on us on December 8th. As youbet suggests, we might well have ended up in a cold war with Germany and Japan (a cold war in which I would certainly have been a part, only with my sub's missiles aimed at Berlin and Tokyo instead of Moscow and Leningrad). One of the things I enjoy are "alternate histories" such as this.

But surely you don't mean to suggest that we started the Spanish-American War to relieve the suffering of the Filipinos, or that we fought Mussolini to succor the Ethiopians. And as a student of history, I'm certain you would never reduce the causes or motivations of the US Civil War to a simple "war to free the slaves".

To be clear, I am not a pacifist. But I do believe that going to war is the single most momentous act that a nation can take. The toll is horrific and it is never a decision to be taken lightly. If and when our nation is in clear and present danger, you can count on me to stand shoulder to shoulder with you in our defense. Many years ago, I was prepared to give my life in defense of this country. Even more importantly, I was prepared to kill a lot of people in her defense. I am still prepared to do so. But I am not prepared to blindly accept the dictates of a government that appears unable to properly identify and pursue our national interest.
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Old 12-08-2007, 09:20 PM   #52
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It must be that the submarine force is not put in harms way so you can't see that continued protest kills Marines, Airman, and Soldiers and Surface Sailors. My point is not your right to protest but that you acknowledge that just as in Vietnam when the communist continued their war after Tett because they were winning in the streets in Washington what they had lost on the battlefield. Your right to protest gets GI's killed! And as a father of one of those GI's it is personal with me. So therefore you will not change my mind, EVER!

Bill Clinton committed US troops to numerous causes. I was against several, however, once he and the congress put those troops in harms way I shut up! I quietly voted against him and those that I could that sent those troops into action.
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Old 12-08-2007, 11:29 PM   #53
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Your right to protest gets GI's killed!
I need proof, not just your unsubstantiated opinion.
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Old 12-09-2007, 07:50 AM   #54
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So therefore you will not change my mind, EVER!
Well, I tried my best and it wasn't good enough, so I guess I should stop. One last thought -- John Mayard Keynes, the famous economist, once said "When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do sir."

Ever is a long time.
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Old 12-09-2007, 11:12 AM   #55
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If you need proof look to North Vietnam! Jane Fonda and others that used the same line you use i.e. "we are the patriots" gave the north the needed encouragement to continue.

There are many references on the web, some creditable some not, as to the effect of the anti-war movement on the Vietnam war.

Article

Is one that appears to be creditable, however, I will not guarantee it.

For me, it is only common sense. There is also writings on the anti-war movement in the Soviet Union over Afghanistan, and it's effects on the Afghan war.
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Old 12-09-2007, 01:41 PM   #56
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So Gumby you say we're not at war. Tell it to the people who died on 9/11. Tell it to the Marines who died in Lebanon in 1984, Tell it to the sailors on the USS Cole. Iraq is but one front in this war on terror. You may not like that we went there but we are there and to protest is to prolong this portion of the conflict. Are you opposed to our actions in Afghanistan also?

Like it or not we are in a struggle for the existence of western civilization. To the radical Muslims the only good infidel is a dead one. Should we turn the other cheek and get our throats cut because the alternative is unpleasant?
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Old 12-09-2007, 01:46 PM   #57
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According to the US government violence in Iraq has diminished recently. That’s proof that the increasingly vocal opposition to the war is having an effect.
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Old 12-09-2007, 03:01 PM   #58
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The civil war certainly could have been avoided if the silly northern folks had simply accepted the fact Negros were better off as slaves.
Remember that essentially all jurisdictions in the new world which had the agricultural conditions to support a plantation economy employed slaves. Remember also that all these countries and colonies save the US freed the slaves without armed conflict about the same time that the Union aggressed on the South and fought the War Between The States.

So economic and political changes already were afoot to accomplish the freeing of the slaves; bloodlessly and perhaps with far fewer long term negative consequences. Mechanized agriculture was rapidly making slave ownership an intolerable economic burden on the planter, not a valuable labor source.

Which country has more difficulty with ongoing racial strife, the US, or Brazil? Which country fought a "civil war" to free slaves?
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Old 12-09-2007, 04:01 PM   #59
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And you can count on me to scream long and loud if the Democrats gain the White House and do not immediately start withdrawing our troops. My opposition to the war does not turn on which party is in power.
Not to throw hot water on the fighting dogs, but.......

I do respect that Gumby. And my own observation of your posts is that you do put your own moral/philosophical outlook on a subject ahead of loyalty to one set of politicians. I respect that. It's unusual. I try to do the same, but catch myself failing sometimes.

Now, back to the feud.
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Old 12-09-2007, 04:04 PM   #60
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So Gumby you say we're not at war. Tell it to the people who died on 9/11. Tell it to the Marines who died in Lebanon in 1984, Tell it to the sailors on the USS Cole. Iraq is but one front in this war on terror. You may not like that we went there but we are there and to protest is to prolong this portion of the conflict. Are you opposed to our actions in Afghanistan also?

Like it or not we are in a struggle for the existence of western civilization. To the radical Muslims the only good infidel is a dead one. Should we turn the other cheek and get our throats cut because the alternative is unpleasant?
I never said we weren't at war. We clearly are. I have been rather consistent in saying only that I saw no reason to invade Iraq, which, to the best of anyone's knowledge, had nothing to do with the other items you cited.

Where were you on September 11th? Experiencing that thrilling frisson of fear as you watched on TV, all the while knowing that you were safe out there in Washington state? I was in my office in Manhattan watching out my window in living color and real time as the World Trade Center burned and collapsed. I don't really need a lecture about what happened that day. Using the attack on September 11th as a license to justify any and every action of a rogue administration actually dishonors the memory of the people who died.

And frankly, Western Christendom has been more or less at war with Islam for the last 1300 years. You're not telling me anything new there. If you are really serious about going after the radical Muslims, why not hunt them down and kill them retail, like Mossad does. You don't need to get bogged down invading and occupying an entire country, especially one that wasn't involved.

You know, I am reminded of the words of Jesus in the Book of Mattthew: For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? (Matthew 16:26). The same holds true with nations as with men; it does no good for us to destroy the islamofascists if in the process we become fascists ourselves. Free and open debate by the people is one of the things that make this country great. It is messy and inefficient, but it is the absolute essence of democracy. If you really wanted the most efficient warfighting capability, you might opt for an authoritarian military dictatorship -- but would you really want to live there?
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