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Old 05-31-2010, 12:11 PM
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If you can read this in English thank a veteran. Really?


I have some friends on Facebook who are the sort of mushy thinkers that reflexively spout patriotic banalities and I've seen the, "If you can read this thank a teacher. If you can read it in English, thank a veteran." status a couple of Memorial Days now.

How realistic is that? Who in particular had 1. The ability to invade us. and 2. the inclination to actually attempt changing the official language?

I understand that the standing military made invasion by the Russians less likely, but were they actually interested in a full invasion of the continental US? That really seems unlikely.

Am I missing something?

Also, I am thankful for the work veterans do tracking down AQ in Afghanistan / Pakistan and fixing the mistakes of the last administration. But that doesn't mean we should be hyperbolic in our praise.
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Old 05-31-2010, 12:18 PM
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I guess if you're in the S. West, without the Mexican American war you would've still been in part of Mexico and thus have been speaking Spanish. So I guess the question is less "who would've invaded us" and more "who would we not have invaded that we did".

Though your opportunity to thank a veteran of the Mexican American war has probably passed. I guess if you're in Guam you might be speaking Japanese now if it weren't for the US victory in WWII.
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Old 05-31-2010, 12:39 PM
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Who do I thank if I ever happen to read that bit of glurge in Portugese?

Last edited by El_Kabong; 05-31-2010 at 12:40 PM.
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Old 05-31-2010, 12:43 PM
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Also, since it was written in English, what other language could you possibly read it in? And why should I thank any teacher other than the ones who taught me how to read?
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Old 05-31-2010, 12:44 PM
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No, the idea is nonsense, but it sounds pleasantly vapid and jingoistic, and people love jingoism, so it sticks.

It's not even that practical in a scenario of actual invasion - like when retards tell french people "if it weren't for us you'd be speaking German!" - it's not as if, even if Nazi Germany had continued, then France's native culture and language would've been stamped out.

So when you apply it to the idea that the US is only free due to soldiers to have their own language, it's even more absurd, because no power in the last two centuries has had even the most remote chance of subjugating the US by force (and at the very earliest stages, the biggest threat would be England - and we'd definitely be in for a big change if they made us start speaking their language).

You can pretty much safely chalk up anyone who says this to you as being an idiot.
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Old 05-31-2010, 12:45 PM
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Who do I thank if I ever happen to read that bit of glurge in Portugese?
The Russians? Sooner or later the Nazis would have gotten around to conquering Portugal I'm sure.
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Old 05-31-2010, 12:45 PM
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I understand that the standing military made invasion by the Russians less likely, but were they actually interested in a full invasion of the continental US? That really seems unlikely.
I think it entails a fully de-militarized America and a fully militarized Soviet Union. They did a lot of reorganizing and shuffling of countries that came under their control, language being one item. Imagine no US military from 1948 on, nothing to keep Stalin's ambitions in check. Soviet growth through the fifties, sixties and seventies, and no other superpower to check them. If it weren't for the military, could they have taken over?



(Not sure how the nuclear option fits in, but those were soldiers manning the rockets and flying the planes.)
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Old 05-31-2010, 12:46 PM
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Now now, fellas. Remember how close Mexico came to conquering us during WWII. A close call indeed.
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Old 05-31-2010, 12:55 PM
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I think it entails a fully de-militarized America and a fully militarized Soviet Union. They did a lot of reorganizing and shuffling of countries that came under their control, language being one item. Imagine no US military from 1948 on, nothing to keep Stalin's ambitions in check. Soviet growth through the fifties, sixties and seventies, and no other superpower to check them. If it weren't for the military, could they have taken over?
No.

Amphibious operations are logistically ridiculously difficult. Think about D-Day. The entire might of the largest economy in the world, along with that of GB and the commonwealth, plotted for 3 entire years to land an army on Europe. They built specialized weapons and logistics in order to accomplish this - boats that could land troops and supplies, floating docks that could be set up in days, etc. They trained otherwise idle armies of troops over and over for this specific purpose. They had overwhelming logistical, air, and naval superiority over what amounted to a tiny stretch of water cross. And they were faced up against mostly low tier troops, reserves, training units, etc. when the attention of Germany's army was entire focused away from this theater. And they had the complete element of surprise. And yet, it was precarious - a different German response could've thwarted the entire invasion.

If the most well supplied military units in the world, after having 3 years of prep to cross tiny sliver of water, can barely invade a country where only a small fraction of their troops are dedicated to defending it just barely succeeds in an invasion, then the idea that another power, with lesser industrial and logistical capability could cross the entire ocean (either one) and stage a prolonged campaign on US soil is just absurd. You sometimes hear total dimwits for some odd reason proudly declare that China could take over the US anytime it wanted to! CAUSE LIKE THEY HAVE A BILLION PEOPLE AND SHIT! like they have star trek teleporter technology and they could land 200 million armed men across the country all at once.

No, even if we didn't have a navy, air force, or a significant army (and relied on national guard type units or militia), no one could have even the slightest chance of invading the US. The very idea is ridiculous.
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Old 05-31-2010, 01:16 PM
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Oh yeah, well what about this documentary?!

And as proof that anything's possible, they're even updating it.

...

Do remember that the whole thing is premised on unchecked Soviet expansionism to the limit of what the propagandists taught us in the 80s and mealy-mouthed sissyhood of America--for forty to fifty years.

Over/understate Reagan's and America's role and whatnot, but I dare say we were a necessary element (though not the only necessary element) in keeping the USSR's expansion in check. Imagine fifty years with the Soviet Union in control of virtually all of Europe and a lot more--look at all the mini battles of the Cold War, give them to the Union, and build on the outcome of that.

We were rightly freaked over a presence in Cuba; what if the proxy battles against Latin American Marxism all fell to the Soviets? Yes, Normandy was horrid, but with fifty years to prepare and grow, and with a lot more open territory to move in, and with a policy of uniformity in language amongst its satellites, I'm not so sure they couldn't have done it. (Though they'd have had no hope of converting us to metric.)


Don't forget, another premise is that any militaristic reaction short of mid-western teens calls for hugging your glurge.

I'm not supporting the glurge or beating my chest to its intrinsic truth. Blech. I'm just playing out a thought experiment that could have resulted in a very different world.
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Old 05-31-2010, 01:26 PM
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I agree that it's jingoistic, but:

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So when you apply it to the idea that the US is only free due to soldiers to have their own language, it's even more absurd, because no power in the last two centuries has had even the most remote chance of subjugating the US by force...
Why was there not even a remote chance?

Last edited by John Mace; 05-31-2010 at 01:26 PM.
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Old 05-31-2010, 01:32 PM
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No one since 1810 had a chance of subjugating us? The UK in 1812?

France or the UK circa 1863?

Last edited by Ephemera; 05-31-2010 at 01:33 PM.
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Old 05-31-2010, 01:38 PM
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Oh how cute. The board liberals are playing "Too Cool for School" again. I bet before long they'll start actually bashing veterans. On Memorial Day for Og's sake.
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Old 05-31-2010, 01:41 PM
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Oh how cute. The board liberals are playing "Too Cool for School" again. I bet before long they'll start actually bashing veterans. On Memorial Day for Og's sake.
Any intelligent comments to make or will a single threadshit suffice?

Also, I did say I like veterans. Yay!
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Old 05-31-2010, 01:41 PM
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Oh how cute. The board liberals are playing "Too Cool for School" again. I bet before long they'll start actually bashing veterans. On Memorial Day for Og's sake.
No, that only happens on Veterans Day. And only to those who don't speak English.

Last edited by John Mace; 05-31-2010 at 01:41 PM.
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Old 05-31-2010, 01:41 PM
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Oh how cute. The board liberals are playing "Too Cool for School" again. I bet before long they'll start actually bashing veterans. On Memorial Day for Og's sake.
What the hell does that mean?
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Old 05-31-2010, 01:46 PM
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Well, guys. I think it's time for our biannual veteran-bashing party. Everyone get out your batons.
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Old 05-31-2010, 01:48 PM
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What the hell does that mean?
It means the quality of your worship is inadequate, citizen!
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Old 05-31-2010, 01:53 PM
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It means this is basically a liberal circle jerk. So far.

Back to the OP. So does anyone here doubt the authenticity of the Holocaust?
Do you really find it so hard to believe that the Nazis declaring German as the new world language is any more implausible than the final solution?

Last edited by jimpatro; 05-31-2010 at 01:57 PM.
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Old 05-31-2010, 01:59 PM
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It means this is basically a liberal circle jerk. So far.
Are facts liberal now?

Quote:
Back to the OP. So does anyone here doubt the authenticity of the Holocaust?
Do you really find it so hard to believe that the Nazis declaring German as the new world language is any more implausible than the final solution?
Are you honestly suggesting that the Nazis would or could have taken over the US? How?
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Old 05-31-2010, 02:00 PM
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No.

Amphibious operations are logistically ridiculously difficult.

If the most well supplied military units in the world, after having 3 years of prep to cross tiny sliver of water, can barely invade a country where only a small fraction of their troops are dedicated to defending it just barely succeeds in an invasion, then the idea that another power, with lesser industrial and logistical capability could cross the entire ocean (either one) and stage a prolonged campaign on US soil is just absurd.

No, even if we didn't have a navy, air force, or a significant army (and relied on national guard type units or militia), no one could have even the slightest chance of invading the US. The very idea is ridiculous.
I tend to take a bit of a different set of views.

Firstly, yes DDay was difficult - we were trying to place a lot of boots on the ground, in a fairly short time period, in a restricted area of land, a set of several beaches. It was made very difficult because of the German presence specifically guarding that coastline. The landing area from Cherbourg to le Havre is roughly 200 km.

Secondly, an amphibious attack on the US has 59533 km of shoreline to pick and choose landing zones from. [Note, some of that is actually the shoreline of the Great Lakes, but to be perfectly blunt I don't think shorting the total by at wild guess 10000 km is going to make a rats ass of difference.] There is enough random cargotainer traffic, fishing trawler traffic and random passenger liner traffic on the seas that you could get a fleet within a fairly close distance of the US as Q-ships, military vessels disguised as other purpose ships. Once you had boots on the ground in a decent port city, you can keep landing troops and supplies. Our coasts are pitifully lacking in military buildup, we barely have any of the old gun emplacements left. We would have to depend on satellites and otehr forms of surveillance. The weakness of satellite surveillance is they look where we aim them, There are great swatches of unobserved water on the earth. Heck, for all I know there are ways to make entire cargotainer sized troop ships invisible to random flyovers by satellite by conceiling the heat signatures and coloring them to blend into the water.
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Old 05-31-2010, 02:01 PM
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Oh how cute. The board liberals are playing "Too Cool for School" again. I bet before long they'll start actually bashing veterans. On Memorial Day for Og's sake.
Oakie, look, Shodan has the SDMB Conservasnark franchise, and he's good at it. Stop horning in on his territory with remarks intended to be witticisms and actually only half what you intend.
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Old 05-31-2010, 02:02 PM
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Do you really find it so hard to believe that the Nazis declaring German as the new world language is any more implausible than the final solution?
Yes, mass homicide is much easier to accomplish than completely changing the language of a society.
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Old 05-31-2010, 02:06 PM
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Are facts liberal now?

Are you honestly suggesting that the Nazis would or could have taken over the US? How?
If our men and women in the armed forces hadn't been there to stop them.
Shreibt auf Englisch, nicht Deutsch.
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Old 05-31-2010, 02:08 PM
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Yes, mass homicide is much easier to accomplish than completely changing the language of a society.
Even if you completely obliterate the speakers of a particular language?
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Old 05-31-2010, 02:10 PM
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If our men and women in the armed forces hadn't been there to stop them.
Shreibt auf Englisch, nicht Deutsch.
Explain to me in detail how Hiter's forces take over the US. Kinda hard to do the blitzkrieg across the Atlantic.
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Old 05-31-2010, 02:11 PM
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Explain to me in detail how Hiter's forces take over the US. Kinda hard to do the blitzkrieg across the Atlantic.
Did you just read what I wrote?
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Old 05-31-2010, 02:16 PM
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Did you just read what I wrote?
Ah, what you wrote wasn't clear. I was assuming that you said that our armed forces stopped him in Germany and that without us he would have spread to the US.

Of course if Hitler's army came over and landed in New York they would have been rebuffed by American soldiers. I could see a case for thanking those hypothetical soldiers for not speaking German.

But they don't exist and we, unfortunately live in the real world.
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Old 05-31-2010, 02:16 PM
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Explain to me in detail how Hiter's forces take over the US. Kinda hard to do the blitzkrieg across the Atlantic.
Okay, I'll bite. You do remember those Hiroshima and Nagasaki incidents?
I suppose it would have been, according to you, totally impluasible for the Nazis to develop their own atomic arsenal?

This is all speculation you understand. On your part as well as mine. But not pure fantasy.
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Old 05-31-2010, 02:20 PM
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Oh how cute. The board liberals are playing "Too Cool for School" again. I bet before long they'll start actually bashing veterans. On Memorial Day for Og's sake.
I bet before long a board conservative will start pre-emptively bashing liberals for things they haven't actually said.

Whoops, too late.
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Old 05-31-2010, 02:21 PM
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Okay, I'll bite. You do remember those Hiroshima and Nagasaki incidents?
I suppose it would have been, according to you, totally impluasible for the Nazis to develop their own atomic arsenal?

This is all speculation you understand. On your part as well as mine. But not pure fantasy.
No, but we had them first and would have done this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nbJdMcrJ4uA to an approaching fleet.
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Old 05-31-2010, 02:22 PM
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Ah, what you wrote wasn't clear. I was assuming that you said that our armed forces stopped him in Germany and that without us he would have spread to the US.

Of course if Hitler's army came over and landed in New York they would have been rebuffed by American soldiers. I could see a case for thanking those hypothetical soldiers for not speaking German.

But they don't exist and we, unfortunately live in the real world.
Still speaking English in the real world. Thanks to non-hypothetical armed forces who stopped the Germans, Japanese and Italians before they could take over that real world.

Not sure how old you are. I'm in my fifties so I had no first hand experience in WWII. But my father did and so it's not that distant a war to me to still appreciate
how things are. And how they might be different.
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Old 05-31-2010, 02:24 PM
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Explain to me in detail how Hiter's forces take over the US. Kinda hard to do the blitzkrieg across the Atlantic.
...but the premise of the OP is that we have a military rah rah rah.

It's pretty banal, but that's what it is. Maybe it's awkward because it's so outlandish to imagine a completely de-militarized America --- but if someone says "without soldiers, Germany could have dominated us to the point of changing our language (if they were so inclined)," any reply along the lines of "no, we could have fought off Germany/Russia/Iceland" is outside the scope of the hypothetical.
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Old 05-31-2010, 02:29 PM
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Still speaking English in the real world. Thanks to non-hypothetical armed forces who stopped the Germans, Japanese and Italians before they could take over that real world.

Not sure how old you are. I'm in my fifties so I had no first hand experience in WWII. But my father did and so it's not that distant a war to me to still appreciate
how things are. And how they might be different.
I'm younger still, so I don't remember WWII directly. But Hitler never had a realistic shot at taking over the US. Even if we never got involved in WWII, there is a reasonable shot that the Russians would have gotten him (So I've heard, anyone care to fight my ignorance?).

But as I say, even if Hitler had pushed us back, rebuffed the Russians and solidified his hold on much of Europe. He couldn't land an invasion force worth a poop.

There is no possible hypothetical where the US won't have any army at all. So on some level, yes, they stand between Canada and Mexico from rushing us and picking over our bones. But I'm saying in the real wars that have existed since our founding I'm not seeing a realistic scenario where we are both taken over, and not speaking English.
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Old 05-31-2010, 02:31 PM
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I'm younger still, so I don't remember WWII directly. But Hitler never had a realistic shot at taking over the US. Even if we never got involved in WWII, there is a reasonable shot that the Russians would have gotten him (So I've heard, anyone care to fight my ignorance?).

But as I say, even if Hitler had pushed us back, rebuffed the Russians and solidified his hold on much of Europe. He couldn't land an invasion force worth a poop.

There is no possible hypothetical where the US won't have any army at all. So on some level, yes, they stand between Canada and Mexico from rushing us and picking over our bones. But I'm saying in the real wars that have existed since our founding I'm not seeing a realistic scenario where we are both taken over, and not speaking English.
Yes! Exactly!
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Old 05-31-2010, 02:35 PM
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I agree that it's jingoistic, but:



Why was there not even a remote chance?
I thought I did a decent job of explaining it in my original post. Conducting amphibious, sustained, large scale invasions is extremely difficult. China couldn't even invade Taiwan if they wanted to, and that's trivial compared with them or the USSR crossing the Atlantic or Pacific to conquer a nation with a population and industrial base similar or greater than theirs.

I just... how the hell do people think this is practical? I don't even know where to start explaining it. It takes a ridiculous amount of support and logistics to conduct an oversea invasion. No country in the world has a sealift capability that even remotely approaches what it would take to conduct any significant invasion of the US. You could triple the size of the chinese army and airforce and increase their navy by ten fold and the idea that they could conduct a hostile invasion of the US even if the airforce and navy sat this one out would be silly. And they would even be invading California, where everyone's a pussy!

The world isn't a game of Risk where you can wait 2 turns and move your armies from great britain to island over to the US. The logistical requirements of a modern cross-continent amphibious invasion are staggering.

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No one since 1810 had a chance of subjugating us? The UK in 1812?

France or the UK circa 1863?
I was hesistant to use two centuries because even though it was a round number, it may stretch the edge of implausibility to include the early 1800s. Maybe if the British commited to total war, and no one helped us, and we mismanaged it, and we were willing to surrender relatively easy, just maybe.

But in 1863? No way, that'd just be silly. The full force of the country was used for creating weapons. Millions of men were trained for war, many of them hardened combat veterans. The US was as strong a military power as it had ever been in 1863, despite the losses incurred in the civil war, and there's no way any power would've had a chance at invasion.

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Oh how cute. The board liberals are playing "Too Cool for School" again. I bet before long they'll start actually bashing veterans. On Memorial Day for Og's sake.
What the hell are you talking about? I assume you're talking about me. It kind of cracks me up how I can be labelled ultra-conservative one week and then one of the liberal masses the next week, as a result of a weak world view where there are only two sides and you must absolutely be clearly on one of them.

I didn't bash veterans in any way. I bashed idiots who wrote this jingoistic nonsense. If a veteran wrote it, then he's sort of an egotistical asshole.

Veterans should be thanked for what they do - even when they're asked to do the wrong thing, they're not the ones setting the policy. But the idea that it's them that's protecting us from some ridiculous hypothetical cross-world gigantic military invasion beyond anything the world has ever seen is silly.

If I said that veterans were the only reason an invasion force of aliens made up of super intelligent polar bears haven't taken us over, and I said that there was no such threat, you could say OMG LIBERAL! BASHING THE VETERANS! and it would make only slightly less sense.

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Well, guys. I think it's time for our biannual veteran-bashing party. Everyone get out your batons.
Who did that?

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Originally Posted by jimpatro View Post
It means this is basically a liberal circle jerk. So far.

Back to the OP. So does anyone here doubt the authenticity of the Holocaust?
Do you really find it so hard to believe that the Nazis declaring German as the new world language is any more implausible than the final solution?
Yes. The Nazis did not aim to "take over the world", nor could they have. They couldn't invade England - not even close. The idea of them someday invading North America is comical. And even if they did, they might institute policies that makes it beneficial for people in a country to speak their language, but they wouldn't stamp out the native languages of the places they conquered. They didn't do it with the places they actually conquered.
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Old 05-31-2010, 02:45 PM
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I thought I did a decent job of explaining it in my original post. Conducting amphibious, sustained, large scale invasions is extremely difficult. China couldn't even invade Taiwan if they wanted to, and that's trivial compared with them or the USSR crossing the Atlantic or Pacific to conquer a nation with a population and industrial base similar or greater than theirs.

I just... how the hell do people think this is practical? I don't even know where to start explaining it. It takes a ridiculous amount of support and logistics to conduct an oversea invasion. No country in the world has a sealift capability that even remotely approaches what it would take to conduct any significant invasion of the US. You could triple the size of the chinese army and airforce and increase their navy by ten fold and the idea that they could conduct a hostile invasion of the US even if the airforce and navy sat this one out would be silly. And they would even be invading California, where everyone's a pussy!

The world isn't a game of Risk where you can wait 2 turns and move your armies from great britain to island over to the US. The logistical requirements of a modern cross-continent amphibious invasion are staggering.



I was hesistant to use two centuries because even though it was a round number, it may stretch the edge of implausibility to include the early 1800s. Maybe if the British commited to total war, and no one helped us, and we mismanaged it, and we were willing to surrender relatively easy, just maybe.

But in 1863? No way, that'd just be silly. The full force of the country was used for creating weapons. Millions of men were trained for war, many of them hardened combat veterans. The US was as strong a military power as it had ever been in 1863, despite the losses incurred in the civil war, and there's no way any power would've had a chance at invasion.



What the hell are you talking about? I assume you're talking about me. It kind of cracks me up how I can be labelled ultra-conservative one week and then one of the liberal masses the next week, as a result of a weak world view where there are only two sides and you must absolutely be clearly on one of them.

I didn't bash veterans in any way. I bashed idiots who wrote this jingoistic nonsense. If a veteran wrote it, then he's sort of an egotistical asshole.

Veterans should be thanked for what they do - even when they're asked to do the wrong thing, they're not the ones setting the policy. But the idea that it's them that's protecting us from some ridiculous hypothetical cross-world gigantic military invasion beyond anything the world has ever seen is silly.

If I said that veterans were the only reason an invasion force of aliens made up of super intelligent polar bears haven't taken us over, and I said that there was no such threat, you could say OMG LIBERAL! BASHING THE VETERANS! and it would make only slightly less sense.



Who did that?



Yes. The Nazis did not aim to "take over the world", nor could they have. They couldn't invade England - not even close. The idea of them someday invading North America is comical. And even if they did, they might institute policies that makes it beneficial for people in a country to speak their language, but they wouldn't stamp out the native languages of the places they conquered. They didn't do it with the places they actually conquered.
Didn't do it with the places they actually conquered? After what, five years?
This was the 1000 year reich. And oh yeah, that master race thing.
  #38  
Old 05-31-2010, 02:46 PM
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Oh how cute. The board liberals are playing "Too Cool for School" again. I bet before long they'll start actually bashing veterans. On Memorial Day for Og's sake.
Actually, we honor Vets on Veterans Day. Memorial Day is for decorating the graves of the war dead--or honoring them in more abstract ways.

I remember how chilly it was in the basement of my New England grandma's house when we went down to get baskets for the flowers. (Texas is already hot, this time of year & few Houston houses have basements.) But I don't remember much about my father's gravesite; I was 5 years old. If I could bring back memory, I'd prefer to actually remember him--who had died the previous year. He'd survived being shot down by the Luftwaffe & evaded capture--only to die in a SAC bomber crash during the Cold War.

I've got the flag my daddy wore to his wake. And I hate, hate, hate cheap, meretricious jingoists who drape everything in red, white & blue--& make idiotic statements like the one in the OP. This source gives 4,718 as the current total of Iraq Coalition Military Fatalities to date. (I'm not feeling picky enough to exclude the non-Americans.) And 1,790 in Afghanistan. We had more reason to be there; how many died because Bush & his war criminal cronies decided to divert our national energies to the utterly obscene Iraqi mess?

I also had several relatives who served but lived long enough to die naturally. (Well, the hard drinking & smoking started in the service--but most of them would have been dead by now, anyway.) Yes, spare some thought for the vets. And we keep making more--many with grievous injuries.
  #39  
Old 05-31-2010, 02:48 PM
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I thought I did a decent job of explaining it in my original post. Conducting amphibious, sustained, large scale invasions is extremely difficult. China couldn't even invade Taiwan if they wanted to, and that's trivial compared with them or the USSR crossing the Atlantic or Pacific to conquer a nation with a population and industrial base similar or greater than theirs.

I just... how the hell do people think this is practical? I don't even know where to start explaining it. It takes a ridiculous amount of support and logistics to conduct an oversea invasion. No country in the world has a sealift capability that even remotely approaches what it would take to conduct any significant invasion of the US. You could triple the size of the chinese army and airforce and increase their navy by ten fold and the idea that they could conduct a hostile invasion of the US even if the airforce and navy sat this one out would be silly. And they would even be invading California, where everyone's a pussy!

The world isn't a game of Risk where you can wait 2 turns and move your armies from great britain to island over to the US. The logistical requirements of a modern cross-continent amphibious invasion are staggering.
Why are they staggering? Could it have anything to do with the fact that you have to plan on fighting the native military? If you don't have to fight such a military, then not so staggering.
  #40  
Old 05-31-2010, 02:55 PM
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You'd all be speaking French if it were not for the vets of the Seven Years' War.
  #41  
Old 05-31-2010, 03:01 PM
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There are two distinct elements here.

Could a country have conquered the United States?

and

If a country conquered the United States, could it have changed the language?

Sub to that question is would any country want to change the national language?


As for the first question, there are all sorts of "what if" threads that come and go, and scenarios in which America gets its ass whumped aren't that hard to come by. Forget hiney-whomping for a moment, just being roundly defeated in WWII or due to electoral differences (hey, who's the asshole with the time machine and the animosity for butterflies?!) staying out of it could (note: could) have changed the outcome of the war.

I can't imagine that there aren't many very plausible, very well-researched works of fiction out there.

Now, take a weakened post-war US--one with no Manhattan project--and give the atom bomb to either Germany or the Soviet Union. Both seemed to have little reservations to killing a lot of people who got in their way. Give them ten years to rebuild (whichever country you want to imagine for the moment), a nuclear arsenal, and need/desire for whatever resources we have at the moment.

Why is it such a stretch that if not for a handful of lucky breaks and a lot of sweat the post-war period could have been much different. Perhaps I should post to the "things I was taught that were wrong" thread, but I thought victory in WWII was far from certain.

So is it that implausible that Russia/Germany could have emerged as the sole, dominant, and ambitious superpower after WWII? No.

Is it implausible that the US could have been severely weakened (or never militarized in the build-up to WWII) in the post-war period? no.

Is it implausible that a dispute, real or otherwise, could have sparked an aggressive action against us? No.

Is it implausible that after New York, Washington, Philly, and even Des Moins are irradiated (even with small nuclear bombs) the remaining power structure wouldn't capitulate and surrender? Nyet.

Now what?

I went with the Soviet example because they had a pattern of pushing their language on "host" countries. Why? Stalin was like that. Or maybe there's some other reason. But while they never completely eradicated all native languages, there are some that are lost, and there are tons of people who do not speak (or are relatively just learning to speak) their national language. Again, I doubt they'd have been able to jam the metric system down our throats, but removing the military and playing "what if" games only requires a modicum of imagination to get to that result.
  #42  
Old 05-31-2010, 03:02 PM
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Why are they staggering? Could it have anything to do with the fact that you have to plan on fighting the native military? If you don't have to fight such a military, then not so staggering.
It's staggering just to land and supply an army across those distances with their logistical requirements unopposed. Think about how hard the Berlin airlift was for exmaple, and there weren't Soviet fighters trying to shoot down our planes or ambush us at the airports.

The USSR and China have never had the sort of sealift capability that you'd need. Even if we said "hey, ok, take a free shot at us - we'll let you land as many troops as you can in California for a day without even trying to stop you", how much of a foothold do you think they could establish? How many troops could they land, with how much supply, and how long would it take for the second wave of supplies to arrive? Neither have ever been naval powers, they don't have large enough merchant marines or naval lift capacity.

Even if we had no standing armies or navy or airforce and just used a swiss-style defense force, they'd have no chance. Or are we not even allowing that? Are we talking about a hypothetical example where we have no national guard, no militia units, hell, not even just people with small arms? Because we're getting into pretty silly territory here.

The actual existance of the US hasn't been threatened since - and I'll be generous - 1840 or so. Soldiers who have signed up for the job since then have not been doing so in order to protect the sovereignty of the US homeland. At least not typically - you can make a case for the people in SAC/missile silos/etc doing it. That doesn't mean that veterans haven't done anything worthwhile or that you shouldn't be thankful towards them, but they certainly aren't protecting us from a valid threat of an invasion of our homeland, or UFOs with superintelligent polar bears either.
  #43  
Old 05-31-2010, 03:25 PM
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It's staggering just to land and supply an army across those distances with their logistical requirements unopposed. Think about how hard the Berlin airlift was for exmaple, and there weren't Soviet fighters trying to shoot down our planes or ambush us at the airports.

The USSR and China have never had the sort of sealift capability that you'd need. Even if we said "hey, ok, take a free shot at us - we'll let you land as many troops as you can in California for a day without even trying to stop you", how much of a foothold do you think they could establish? How many troops could they land, with how much supply, and how long would it take for the second wave of supplies to arrive? Neither have ever been naval powers, they don't have large enough merchant marines or naval lift capacity.

Even if we had no standing armies or navy or airforce and just used a swiss-style defense force, they'd have no chance. Or are we not even allowing that? Are we talking about a hypothetical example where we have no national guard, no militia units, hell, not even just people with small arms? Because we're getting into pretty silly territory here.

The actual existance of the US hasn't been threatened since - and I'll be generous - 1840 or so. Soldiers who have signed up for the job since then have not been doing so in order to protect the sovereignty of the US homeland. At least not typically - you can make a case for the people in SAC/missile silos/etc doing it. That doesn't mean that veterans haven't done anything worthwhile or that you shouldn't be thankful towards them, but they certainly aren't protecting us from a valid threat of an invasion of our homeland, or UFOs with superintelligent polar bears either.
When men and women sign up for the armed forces they most certainly do so to protect the sovereignty of our nation and it's stated explicitly in the oath that they take. They protect us from any threat, impending or hypothetical.

Last edited by jimpatro; 05-31-2010 at 03:28 PM.
  #44  
Old 05-31-2010, 03:30 PM
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It's staggering just to land and supply an army across those distances with their logistical requirements unopposed. Think about how hard the Berlin airlift was for exmaple, and there weren't Soviet fighters trying to shoot down our planes or ambush us at the airports.
That was an effort to support a large, civilian population cut off from all other supply lines. Any invasion force into the US would have plenty of pickings available if there were no military to oppose them.

Quote:
The USSR and China have never had the sort of sealift capability that you'd need. Even if we said "hey, ok, take a free shot at us - we'll let you land as many troops as you can in California for a day without even trying to stop you", how much of a foothold do you think they could establish? How many troops could they land, with how much supply, and how long would it take for the second wave of supplies to arrive? Neither have ever been naval powers, they don't have large enough merchant marines or naval lift capacity.

Even if we had no standing armies or navy or airforce and just used a swiss-style defense force, they'd have no chance. Or are we not even allowing that? Are we talking about a hypothetical example where we have no national guard, no militia units, hell, not even just people with small arms? Because we're getting into pretty silly territory here.
I would say we're not allowed to count anyone who would be considered to be veteran afterwards.

Last edited by John Mace; 05-31-2010 at 03:31 PM.
  #45  
Old 05-31-2010, 03:34 PM
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I went with the Soviet example because they had a pattern of pushing their language on "host" countries. Why? Stalin was like that. Or maybe there's some other reason.
I think the primacy of the Russian language and its use as the lingua franca in zones in the Russian sphere of influence is part of Russian nationalism. And it's certainly true that many countries that were part of the Soviet Union (Belarus, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia to name a few) now have significant Russian-speaking populations, and many "ethnic" subdivisions of Russia are now majority Russian-speaking.

But on the other hand, other former Soviet republics have now reasserted the use of their national language, and Russian never displaced the languages of the countries in the Soviet sphere of influence in Central and Eastern Europe. It was widely taught as a second language, but it's not even certain that the citizens of these countries even retained it.

Even if the Soviet Union had occupied the US, which I find to be a preposterous proposition, they couldn't have changed the national language and they probably wouldn't have wanted to. They could have imposed a favoured trading partner relationship between both countries, and they could have imposed the teaching of Russian as a second language in the US, but Russian displacing English as the national language would mean Americans actually embracing it which I just don't see happening. Americans are more numerous than Russians; there's no way immigration alone could change the culture of the country in such a way.
  #46  
Old 05-31-2010, 04:42 PM
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Why is it such a stretch that if not for a handful of lucky breaks and a lot of sweat the post-war period could have been much different. Perhaps I should post to the "things I was taught that were wrong" thread, but I thought victory in WWII was far from certain.

So is it that implausible that Russia/Germany could have emerged as the sole, dominant, and ambitious superpower after WWII? No.

Is it implausible that the US could have been severely weakened (or never militarized in the build-up to WWII) in the post-war period? no.

Is it implausible that a dispute, real or otherwise, could have sparked an aggressive action against us? No.

Is it implausible that after New York, Washington, Philly, and even Des Moins are irradiated (even with small nuclear bombs) the remaining power structure wouldn't capitulate and surrender? Nyet.

Now what?
The US was still going to be a world power from 1945 to now no matter what happened. The industrial and economic power is just too great. Unless you're proposing that the Germans or Russians nuked us constantly for no good reason constantly, our relative importance as a world power isn't going to suddenly become insignificant in this time period.

Are you asking if it's possible that we never developed nukes and Russia or Germany nuked us constantly for years and then once we were non-functional they could build up some naval lift capability and come over and fuck our dead, irradiated corpses? I guess I can't really argue with that, but then you should be thanking Oppenheimer & Friends rather than random soldiers.

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When men and women sign up for the armed forces they most certainly do so to protect the sovereignty of our nation and it's stated explicitly in the oath that they take. They protect us from any threat, impending or hypothetical.
Yeah, I get it. And I have no doubt they would. But that's not what they're actually doing - what they're actually doing is going out and protecting US interests in the world. I'm not even casting a judgement on that in this thread - that may be the best for the country and the world too. But there's simply no realistic threat of military invasion to the US homeland to counter.

Look - when people sign up for the Israeli or South Korean military, in a very practical and immediate way, they're protecting the very existance of their nation. US soldiers? Not so much. This is not a judgement - I have no doubt that soldiers generally serve for what they consider good and noble reasons - but the idea in this thread is that we'd all be speaking another language if not for them, and it's just ridiculous.

I have no doubt our soldiers would fight against the superintelligent alien polar bears too, if they needed to - but I don't need to proclaim that the only reason I haven't been eaten by a superintelligent polar bear was due to the bravery of our soldiers. The threat isn't there.

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That was an effort to support a large, civilian population cut off from all other supply lines. Any invasion force into the US would have plenty of pickings available if there were no military to oppose them.
Out of curiosity, what do you think would happen if for some reason the US didn't field a large professional army? Would we be weaponless and unable and unwilling to fight?

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I would say we're not allowed to count anyone who would be considered to be veteran afterwards.
Well, it's hard to argue from these crazy hypotheticals. This question presumes that we'll have people who fight off a foreign invasion who will then be veterans - and if that's the case, I'm certainly not going to begrudge claiming that they were the reason we defended our country.



Incidentally, do you guys all think that the US could invade and take over China today? In 10 years? Why or why not?

The US is far greater a military power than the world has ever seen before. We're set up to project our force all across the world. If any army in history has been capable of sustaining a large, cross-world invasion, it's the modern US military. So what do you think, could we invade another big country across the world?

Our soldiers are generally good people who want to serve their country. Why do we have to resort to ridiculous hyperbole in order to say they're important?
  #47  
Old 05-31-2010, 05:58 PM
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"At what point shall we expect the approach of danger? By what means shall we fortify against it? Shall we expect some transatlantic military giant to step the ocean and crush us at a blow? Never! All the armies of Europe, Asia, and Africa combined, with all the treasure of the earth (our own excepted) in their military chest, with a Bonaparte for a commander, could not by force take a drink from the Ohio or make a track on the Blue Ridge in a trial of a thousand years.

"At what point, then, is the approach of danger to be expected? I answer, If it ever reach us it must spring up amongst us; it cannot come from abroad. If destruction be our lot we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen we must live through all time, or die by suicide." -- Abraham Lincoln, 1838
  #48  
Old 05-31-2010, 06:04 PM
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"At what point shall we expect the approach of danger? By what means shall we fortify against it? Shall we expect some transatlantic military giant to step the ocean and crush us at a blow? Never! All the armies of Europe, Asia, and Africa combined, with all the treasure of the earth (our own excepted) in their military chest, with a Bonaparte for a commander, could not by force take a drink from the Ohio or make a track on the Blue Ridge in a trial of a thousand years.

"At what point, then, is the approach of danger to be expected? I answer, If it ever reach us it must spring up amongst us; it cannot come from abroad. If destruction be our lot we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen we must live through all time, or die by suicide." -- Abraham Lincoln, 1838
That is beautiful. I've never heard that quote before. Thanks for posting that.
  #49  
Old 05-31-2010, 06:10 PM
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It was featured (or at least a portion thereof) in the Ken Burns documentary The Civil War. (I always hear that quote, and most Lincoln quotes I guess, in the voice of Sam Waterston.)

It's always struck me as one of those eerily prescient quotes, especially since Lincoln said it so far back as 1838. Not that we committed suicide in 1861-1865, but that was the closest we've ever come.
  #50  
Old 05-31-2010, 06:31 PM
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You'd all be speaking French if it were not for the vets of the Seven Years' War.
Ah, bon? Quelle horreur!
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