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Re: What should Bush say tomorrow
Old 01-11-2007, 04:58 PM   #61
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Re: What should Bush say tomorrow

Quote:
Originally Posted by saluki9
We already tried that with Clinton.



Nothing creates safety like weakness right?
Rubbish! Bullshit! You seem to have lost track of the fact pattern here -- Iraq, for example, was no threat at all to American safety. I don't know how old you are. But I remember so well growing up listening to what a menace "Red China" was to the USA. This was 1950. They were no threat at all, unless they were going to come after us in rowboats. Logcal response -- Korean war. And then there was Vietnam, a "logical response" in view of the idiotic domino theory. The Suez crisis. Medaling in Iran when they threatened to cross BP on oil rights. Launching our former friend Sadam as a CIA assasin. Arming him. Then Gulf 1, Gulf 2, "no-fly," various incursions into Lebanon, Haiti, Grenada, Bosnia, and so on ad nauseum to the point of vomit. None of these places was a threat to our safety. And now lining up Iran in our gunsights.

"Thou shalt not kill" -- God

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Re: What should Bush say tomorrow
Old 01-11-2007, 05:02 PM   #62
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Re: What should Bush say tomorrow

Hey Jeff...aren't you the guy who frequently complains about how threads seem to always turn political?

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Re: What should Bush say tomorrow
Old 01-11-2007, 05:05 PM   #63
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Re: What should Bush say tomorrow

Yes I am. But I am fed up with spin garbage posted for public consumption by smirking right-wing shitheads.

This will be my last post for a while
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Re: What should Bush say tomorrow
Old 01-11-2007, 05:08 PM   #64
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Re: What should Bush say tomorrow

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Originally Posted by jeff2006

This will be my last post for a while
Sounds like a wise decision.

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Re: What should Bush say tomorrow
Old 01-11-2007, 05:53 PM   #65
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Re: What should Bush say tomorrow


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If the people don't want you there, you are either going to lose or commit genocide to win. I'm glad we chose to lose.
I am in total agreement with your feelings here, Lawrence, but would gently suggest that the U.S. did not DECIDE to lose, and that it did not do so for humanitarian reasons.

Westmorland's stated aim was to reach the "crossover point" at which the enemy's casualties exceeded their replacements, as measured by enemy body count. This in turn led to the "mere g**k rule" whereby ANY dead Vietnamese -- old man, woman, or child -- could be added to the tally. (profound apologies for repeating this hideous slur, but this is the degree to which human beings are de-humanized in wartime.)

As Jefipius points out, Westmorland worked hard at achieving his objective:
Quote:
They lost ~5M people which is comparable to Germany's losses in WWII but with 1/4 the population. The US dropped approximately 5x the tonnage of bombs than dropped on Germany in WWII. The country of Vietnam was by any measure completely devastated, but the North never capitulated.
To the suggestion that even MORE devasation might have helped we have this counterargument: "...bombing campaigns against North Vietnam -- even if radically escalated -- could not have stopped the relatively small amounts of supplies (twenty-five tons a day in 1967 -- a load readily handled by a few dozen pickup trucks) our enemies needed to support the war in the South." (From The Perfect War - Technowar in Vietnam, by James William Gibson.)

What must we conclude? That the United States won every battle in Vietnam, dropped an unimaginable number of bombs on the indigenous people, devastated the population and the land itself, but could not prevail against a nation of peasant farmers who did not want to be subdued. Even if "radically escalated," this carnage could not have prevented us from losing.
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Re: What should Bush say tomorrow
Old 01-11-2007, 06:27 PM   #66
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Re: What should Bush say tomorrow

Good post!
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Re: What should Bush say tomorrow
Old 01-11-2007, 08:14 PM   #67
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Re: What should Bush say tomorrow

Always funny how many "progressives" and "liberals" tend to use obnoxious and hateful language here ...


Regarding the Viet Nam debate, redux ... truth on both sides. It is a fact that the war was clearly limited for political reasons, and run foolishly by politicians more than generals. Really, too many moving variables to resolve the debate ... and hindsight is always 20:20.


Our country / the U.S., would however be better off if we took Washington's parting advice more to heart ... George Washington's Farewell Address
Quote:
Hence, likewise, they will avoid the necessity of those overgrown military establishments, which, under any form of government, are inauspicious to liberty, and which are to be regarded as particularly hostile to republican liberty.
and ...
Quote:
The duty of holding a neutral conduct may be inferred, without any thing more, from the obligation which justice and humanity impose on every nation, in cases in which it is free to act, to maintain inviolate the relations of peace and amity towards other nations.
and so on. Quite a speech.

Course, perhaps even George would have some empathy for our dilemma with the rise of radical Islam, and what it means to our republic these days.
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Re: What should Bush say tomorrow
Old 01-11-2007, 09:24 PM   #68
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Re: What should Bush say tomorrow

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeff2006
Rubbish! Bull****! You seem to have lost track of the fact pattern here -- Iraq, for example, was no threat at all to American safety. I don't know how old you are. But I remember so well growing up listening to what a menace "Red China" was to the USA. This was 1950. They were no threat at all, unless they were going to come after us in rowboats. Logcal response -- Korean war. And then there was Vietnam, a "logical response" in view of the idiotic domino theory. The Suez crisis. Medaling in Iran when they threatened to cross BP on oil rights. Launching our former friend Sadam as a CIA assasin. Arming him. Then Gulf 1, Gulf 2, "no-fly," various incursions into Lebanon, Haiti, Grenada, Bosnia, and so on ad nauseum to the point of vomit. None of these places was a threat to our safety. And now lining up Iran in our gunsights.

"Thou shalt not kill" -- God

What does that have to do with what I posted? I simply stated a fact that Bill Clinton as a president cut the crap out of our military. It's not like that is a debatable opinion

Also, you need to check up on your Hebrew translation. Thou shalt not MURDER. Check out the old testament some time, there is a big difference in killing for the hell of it, and doing so for a richeous purpose.

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Re: What should Bush say tomorrow
Old 01-11-2007, 09:30 PM   #69
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Re: What should Bush say tomorrow

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Originally Posted by Charles
Always funny how many "progressives" and "liberals" tend to use obnoxious and hateful language here ...
Spend enough time around their type and you will find out that liberals are progressive and understanding as long as you think exactly like they do (or are at least homosexual). However, if you are a white male and happen to practice one of the two evil great western religions (muslims are just misunderstood in their book) you will soon find out how truly intolerant most liberals are.

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Re: What should Bush say tomorrow
Old 01-12-2007, 06:35 AM   #70
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Re: What should Bush say tomorrow

To all those complaining about "half-measures"..

Did you find that Bush's speech actually described a "new way forward"? The only aspects I found that could have been described as positive or in any way "different" were those that should have been obvious in 2003-2004 and conceivably the minimum of what we could/should have been doing all along (IF you assume as a given that the war was "necessary"). In the best of lights, it's still a recipe for un-ending disaster because it simply does not involve the number of troops necessary to secure the country, or seriously take into account the centuries-old Sunni-Shiite divide.

IF (as stated in the US gov't.'s own military analyses pre-2003) it would take a half-million troops to achieve Bush's stated goals in Iraq, why was there not a draft? Why are tax cuts more important than body armor and armored vehicles? IF this war "will determine the direction of the global war on terror -- and our safety here at home", why is it still being managed so poorly? How can war supporters bear all of this so lightly?

I'm not an historian, but I would welcome those whose command of history is greater than mine to point out any time in modern Western history in which an invading force has truly won out over an indigenous guerilla war or insurgency.

Jeff.. sorry to see you're bowing out of the political discussions; I quite like the cut of your jib. [I'm not going to weigh in on what God has to say on the subject.. I find it quite depressing enough that our military adventures rarely hold water either from a logical or a even a political standpoint.. much less a moral one. :
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Re: What should Bush say tomorrow
Old 01-12-2007, 06:38 AM   #71
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Re: What should Bush say tomorrow

I figured my last post would cause a bit of a stir, but I hate editing something after it's been posted. As some of you have pointed out, and was the original intent of my comments, we fought a very limited war in Vietnam, that was run by politicians from Washington. If you reread my last post you'll see I never said we would have won Vietnam, only that we did not do the things necessary to win. We fought a defensive war. By fighting a defensive war you can only lose. The what if's about escalating the war in Vietnam are too varied and there were too many strong countries backing the North to really be able to determine an outcome. If Russia became openly involved, nukes probably would have been deployed so that, I my book, would have made everyone a loser.

Caroline--Air power is outstanding for softening a target, but it takes ground troops to take and hold land. There are way too many variables to really make a good argument one way or the other about the effecitveness of using ground troops in North Vietnam 30 or 40 years after the fact.
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Re: What should Bush say tomorrow
Old 01-12-2007, 06:49 AM   #72
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Re: What should Bush say tomorrow

Quote:
Originally Posted by ladelfina
IF (as stated in the US gov't.'s own military analyses pre-2003) it would take a half-million troops to achieve Bush's stated goals in Iraq, why was there not a draft?
We relied upon our allies to help make up the difference and the generals in planning stated we need this many and that many were deployed. A draft was not necessary because they thought we had enough people. Only after the fact did they realize they had too few.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ladelfina
Why are tax cuts more important than body armor and armored vehicles?
Why is welfare more important that these items. Even if Bush ordered them today it would take several months to deploy all of the resources. Also one thing many people fail to realize it the weight factor. The aircraft bringing in supplies can only hold so much weight. When an armored Humvee weighs in at 2X the weight of an unarmored the space fills up quickly. Not to mention the troops still need their beans and bullets, which also takes up a lot of space.
On a personal note the weight factor for the ground troops also must be taken into account. you can say it's only and extra 6 or 12 pounds they can carry it. But when you realized they are already carrying 50-70 lbs of stuff needed to do their jobs that extra 6 or 12 pounds hurts. A slow moving target is much easier to hit than a fast one. Also there is an increased probability of a soldier receiving a non-combat injury due to the extra weight.
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Re: What should Bush say tomorrow
Old 01-12-2007, 07:33 AM   #73
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Re: What should Bush say tomorrow

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Originally Posted by ladelfina
Did you find that Bush's speech actually described a "new way forward"?
Nope. Seems like a poorly thought-out rehas h of what has already been tried.

Now we need Congress to exercise the power of the purse.
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Re: What should Bush say tomorrow
Old 01-12-2007, 01:06 PM   #74
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Re: What should Bush say tomorrow

I would like to reiterate what many commentors said after the Bush speech, that there is no military solution in Iraq. It seems that this viewpoint is becoming increasingly true for all violent conflicts. As the opposition increasingly uses terrorist tactics, it becomes more apparent that conventional military reponses only decrease the attacks temporarily until further recruits can be trained to carry out more terrorism. Radical Islam seems determined to continue the fight against us because, to them, becoming overpowered by the west is a spiritual death. Consequently, they have no incentive for compromise.

(Now I'm going to wax philosophical.) If what I have said is true, then military force cannot succeed in creating peace, and it would make sense to avoid using that force in the first place. Some kind of radical new approach to international relations needs to come forward so that we can all live together without sparking wars with each other. I'm not talking about world peace, only relatively peaceful co-existence.

As Caroline put forward so eloquently, our country needs to extricate itself from dependence on oil from the mideast so that we are not drawn into their mess. If we weren't spending hundreds of billions making war, we could spend the money inventing new energies to replace oil. Our standard of living would very likely increase dramatically and we would experience the flowering of a new renaissance that would be the envy of the world!

If that seems too idealistic to those who promote war as the solution, then I would ask you to remember the 1980s pre-Internet. Who would have predicted how radically the world has changed because of technology? Anything is possible.
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Re: What should Bush say tomorrow
Old 01-12-2007, 01:22 PM   #75
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Re: What should Bush say tomorrow

One of Osama's key recruiting points was the presence of foriegn infidel troops in holy lands.

Devil Worshiping Marylin Manson listening rebels and End-times predicting Fundamentalists/Evangelicals need each other because the presence of the other validates their own position/existence.

I think Starbucks and cheap DVD players will succeed where "boots on the ground" failed.
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Re: What should Bush say tomorrow
Old 01-12-2007, 01:50 PM   #76
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Re: What should Bush say tomorrow

Quote:
Originally Posted by Laurence


I think Starbucks and cheap DVD players will succeed where "boots on the ground" failed.
That's a much classier way of describing my solution. I always figured they just needed booze and a little porn.

Try it next time you feel like blowing up a holy shrine. Have a couple of brews, watch some Jenna Jameson, then tell me if you feel like cutting sombody's head off?
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Re: What should Bush say tomorrow
Old 01-12-2007, 01:52 PM   #77
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Re: What should Bush say tomorrow



MMMM....Jenna....er, who's that?
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Re: What should Bush say tomorrow
Old 01-12-2007, 04:07 PM   #78
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Re: What should Bush say tomorrow

Quote:
Originally Posted by ladelfina

I'm not an historian, but I would welcome those whose command of history is greater than mine to point out any time in modern Western history in which an invading force has truly won out over an indigenous guerilla war or insurgency.
I don't claim to be a historian, but here's a data input: Nearly every conventional military victory is followed by at least a limited guerilla war/insurgency/partisan battle, etc. We only think of the ones that have escalated into long-running wars, where the insurgents put up a fight strong enough to give the regular forces a real fight.
- Malaya: This is the most often cited example of a successful counterinsurgency campaign. British, Malayan Government, Australian forces waged a successful, comprehensive (read "hearts and minds" campaign against indigenous (though largely ethnic Chinese) communist insurgents. (You asked for "western" examples, but I figured Malaya was as "western" as Iraq, and thus germane)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malayan_Emergency

- German occupation of France in WW-II: Though it was no doubt a resistance movenment, there's no indication it ever caused occupying German forces any serious problems. I think the German forces would still be sipping wine on the Seine if they had not been dislodged by conventional forces.

- United States: While maybe stretching your "modern" criteria a bit, there's no doubt that the native American insurgency has been fairly well beaten by conventional forces.

I'm sure there are better examples, but these come to mind.

************************************************** *******
oldbabe wrote
"I would like to reiterate what many commentors said after the Bush speech, that there is no military solution in Iraq.

I think it is obvious that Iraq is not amenable to a strictly military solution-and that no one in a position of responsibility ever claimed that the military should be the only tool used. Military strength can only be effective there (as in most other places) together with the other normal tools of national power. To think that military forces can win this conflict without an awful lot of supporting economic, social, diplomatic, and political efforts is, IMO, as wrong and simplistic as thinking that they shouldn't be part of the solution.

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Re: What should Bush say tomorrow
Old 01-14-2007, 06:00 AM   #79
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Re: What should Bush say tomorrow

Thanks samclem.. I'd probably not count the Native Americans only because of the long time frame involved, the great disparity in numbers and weapons, and the fact that it was a kind of piece-meal driving out.. from place to place, over hundreds of years, until there was nowhere left to go. We weren't seriously offering the option of keeping the natives under the roof of US society.

Your France example is a good one, and I really know v. little about Malayasia other than that they have their own issues with Islam and religious repression at this point in time.

I guess my point is that, still, the vast majority of foreign military excursions don't end up succeeding. Despite the (still plentiful) riches annexed during the colonial era, most colonizers eventually pulled out because the locals were too troublesome. I don't see that anything has particularly changed on that score since the times of the Roman Empire. They, too, could never get a handle on Persia, it seems.
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Re: What should Bush say tomorrow
Old 01-14-2007, 10:28 AM   #80
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Re: What should Bush say tomorrow

I agree, ladelfina. Only strategies that really work for occupying forces / "victors" are to either practice genocide, or give the indigenous people a better life. The latter is obviously our only solution.

A critical part of winning the war against Islamic radicalism / fascism is winning over moderate Muslims ... an area where we can and must do much better.

In the end (and this will be a very long war ... perhaps the rest of many of our lives), the majority of Muslims must decide they want peace, and can live together ... and with us.


Regardless of our mistakes, I still love and admire my country ... the USA is a great nation, built on fine principles, and it is a nation which has accomplished great things and helped many people to a better life. Perhaps if Americans can focus on that truth, and respectfully debate her course, then we'll get through all of this in fine trim.
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