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Old 12-23-2019, 10:44 PM
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How will people view the Afghanistan and Iraq wars and their veterans?


The West lost those two wasteful wars.

The Iraq War was based on lies.

The Afghanistan War was based on lies, and the US government lied, as revealed in December 2019.

Post-1975, American Vietnam War veterans were spit on and mocked by some anti-war protesters.

https://slate.com/human-interest/201...etnam-war.html

As more and more of these men and women return home to their Western nations, how will they be received and how will people view the war and the veterans?
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Old 12-23-2019, 11:13 PM
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There seems to be some controversy over your premise that vets were ever spat upon.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/13/o...protester.html
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Old 12-23-2019, 11:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Yankees 1996 Champs View Post
The West lost those two wasteful wars.

The Iraq War was based on lies.

The Afghanistan War was based on lies, and the US government lied, as revealed in December 2019.

Post-1975, American Vietnam War veterans were spit on and mocked by some anti-war protesters.

https://slate.com/human-interest/201...etnam-war.html

As more and more of these men and women return home to their Western nations, how will they be received and how will people view the war and the veterans?
You only have to go to a baseball game to find out.

The US has oddly tied their jingoistic nonsense with their sports venture.

Now we have jets flying over....a veteran walks across the field.....we cheer him...we take our hats off and gaze lovingly at the flag while the National Anthem is played...the vet throws out the first ball....we stand for God Bless Fucking America...

You tell me how these vets who get special parking places, special discounts, dont have to pay taxes in some places...and further deified on Memorial Day, and Veterans Day will get treated?

WOULD YOU LIKE TO KNOW MORE?
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Old 12-24-2019, 12:32 AM
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The specific soldiers who are known to have committed torture of prisoners or other war crimes will probably remain not very popular with a large section of the public.

But AFAICT the average American who's disillusioned about the wars in Iraq or Afghanistan tends to regard the average servicemember as a fellow victim of the war-hawks' scam rather than as a perpetrator of it.
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Old 12-24-2019, 07:51 AM
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With what people know about the Taliban and Isis I dont think anyone would have trouble with anyone who had fought them.
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Old 12-24-2019, 08:02 AM
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Yankees 1996 Champs:

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The Afghanistan War was based on lies, and the US government lied, as revealed in December 2019.
Care to elaborate on that? Were the then-rulers of Afghanistan not harboring the group that committed the 09/11/2001 attack on America?
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Old 12-24-2019, 08:59 AM
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My hope is we stop with this imperial worship of veterans and the military. There was a brief moment after Vietnam where we had some contrition and reflection. But my guess is that we'll make a hundred action movies in which muscled men that don't act well kill a bunch of Iraqis and/or Afghans. We talk about how the fault with those wars lie with civilians that didn't care enough about them, and we finally build a fascist arch on the National Mall to commemorate the veterans.
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Old 12-24-2019, 09:22 AM
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The new PC is Patriotically Correct. Troops are to be worshipped. Nobody else is to be revered and honored. When a celebrity dies, immediately people have to whine about why nobody remembers Joe Schmoe who died in Afghanistan "last week" where in reality it as 15 years ago. The flag and the national anthem are theirs and theirs alone, and if you don't stand up put your hand over your heart and think gushy thoughts about [/swooning] the troops [\swooning] then you are an ungrateful bastard who should leave the US immediately. When our 55th president thinks about withdrawing from Afghanistan, there will be massive outcries. This war is eternal even though it can never be won and that land can never be governed.
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Old 12-24-2019, 09:33 AM
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The new PC is Patriotically Correct. Troops are to be worshipped. Nobody else is to be revered and honored.
Not exactly new. After GHWB invaded Iraq we needed to do huge parades with fireworks and any protest that didn't start and end with a statement of support for our troops was seditious.
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Old 12-24-2019, 09:38 AM
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My hope is we stop with this imperial worship of veterans and the military. There was a brief moment after Vietnam where we had some contrition and reflection. But my guess is that we'll make a hundred action movies in which muscled men that don't act well kill a bunch of Iraqis and/or Afghans. We talk about how the fault with those wars lie with civilians that didn't care enough about them, and we finally build a fascist arch on the National Mall to commemorate the veterans.
It's not worship. Its called respect for sacrifice. A lot of Americans are not strong enough to serve. They don't have the guts. Americans don't worship bureaucrats. They worship people that actually do the battle.
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Old 12-24-2019, 10:10 AM
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It's not worship. Its called respect for sacrifice. A lot of Americans are not strong enough to serve. They don't have the guts. Americans don't worship bureaucrats. They worship people that actually do the battle.
Iím not particularly satisfied that most veterans engage in exceptional sacrifice, only that they are told that they do, to the point that many of them come to believe it, and even see it as right that they should be so revered. But this canít go on forever, if nothing more than because war ainít what it used to be.

I predict that some day, perhaps in the not too distant future, as war deaths from honest to god enemy action become even less common than they are today, we will find ourselves not only venerating veterans classified as MIA from past wars (the numbers of whom are legion) or showing up to the occasional funeral for a veteran who died without next of kin as a show of patriotism and support, but combining the two ceremonies to bury an empty coffin for a veteran that literally no one can name, and possibly didnít even exist, just so we can fulfill our "obligation" to venerate the troops.

This will become the new way, and at some point will even be seen as preferable to just doing things for living veterans, as living veterans can be corrupted (may have always been), but an empty coffin dedicated to the idea of "the self-sacrificing veteran" may live on forever in our hearts as something to aspire to. And then the patriotic display will be right and truly perfected as a metaphor for itself: an empty coffin for an empty gesture.
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Old 12-24-2019, 10:24 AM
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It's not worship. Its called respect for sacrifice. A lot of Americans are not strong enough to serve. They don't have the guts. ...
I disagree strongly. These vets volunteered for various reasons. Now, as a group they are grabbing with both hands, assuming they are entitled to a perpetual privileged status.

Some limited action in Afghanistan was likely called for, but centuries have consistently told the folly of attempting "nation-building" in that tribal quagmire. And invasion of Irag was inexcusable. If some idiot signed up because he/she supported those actions, he/she was a fool - or worse. And the fact that someone voluntarily agrees to support an inexcusable action doe not earn them any plusses in my book. A good number of folk signed up for less than noble reasons, ranging from prejudice and a desire for revenge, to personal economic advantage. Their choice of a job ought not entitle them to ongoing special consideration. And- IMO&E, a HUGE percentage of these whiners claiming PTSD are simply whores milking the system.

You asked.
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Old 12-24-2019, 10:52 AM
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The Taliban was out of power within six months. Not sure what we've been trying to accomplish since.

Wapo has had a series this month on the subsequent boondoggle.
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Old 12-24-2019, 10:58 AM
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Some limited action in Afghanistan was likely called for, but centuries have consistently told the folly of attempting "nation-building" in that tribal quagmire.
What are the alternatives, given that "limited action" was called for? Deposing their government and then walking away, leaving anarchy and chaos behind in a strongest-takes-all civil war (incidentally likely to have been the government that had just been deposed)? Outright takeover? Attempting to create a friendly but independent native government was the least worst option.
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Old 12-24-2019, 11:06 AM
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The specific soldiers who are known to have committed torture of prisoners or other war crimes will probably remain not very popular with a large section of the public.

But AFAICT the average American who's disillusioned about the wars in Iraq or Afghanistan tends to regard the average servicemember as a fellow victim of the war-hawks' scam rather than as a perpetrator of it.
One of the biggest criticisms of the war was "Stop Loss", which was specifically pointing out how soldiers were being forced to serve beyond the terms they signed up for. The media used to talk a lot about soldiers suffering from PTSD (and in sympathetic terms).

I think the current crop of military officers are (in general) seen as professionals. They didn't want to be micromanaged by Obama, and they are shocked at Trump's incompetence (such as abandoning the Kurds or protecting war criminals).
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Old 12-24-2019, 12:50 PM
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It's not worship. Its called respect for sacrifice. A lot of Americans are not strong enough to serve. They don't have the guts. Americans don't worship bureaucrats. They worship people that actually do the battle.
Bullshit. Lots of people sacrifice, but we only stop military in airports to say "Thank you for your service."

And really, what service? I live in Baltimore. ISIS, the Taliban, Al Queada, none of them are any more of a threat to me than the Viet Cong.

If I don't give special thanks to, and forgive the war crimes of US marines, then a bunch of goat herders are going to what?
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Old 12-24-2019, 12:57 PM
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I live in Baltimore....the Taliban, Al Queada, none of them are any more of a threat to me than the Viet Cong.
I live in New York City, and they very much were, and would continue to be if the US military (and its international allies) did not keep them under control. If that seems too far away for you to care about, you might think of the Pentagon, only an hour's drive away from you, which they also attacked.
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Old 12-24-2019, 01:04 PM
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I live in New York City, and they very much were, and would continue to be if the US military (and its international allies) did not keep them under control. If that seems too far away for you to care about, you might think of the Pentagon, only an hour's drive away from you, which they also attacked.
Do you really think the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have made terrorist attacks against the US less likely? Osama bin Laden didn't give a shit about you or me or anyone in the US until the first war in Iraq. These wars do not and have not protected us from engagement, they have only draw us further in. I live in Baltimore now, but I'm from DC. I had people in both New York and DC on 9/11. I know survivors. Using war crimes to radicalizing shepherds makes me feel less safe.
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Old 12-24-2019, 01:28 PM
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l0k1:

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Do you really think the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have made terrorist attacks against the US less likely?
The one in Afghanistan, absolutely. I am making no arguments for Iraq (the second Iraq).

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Osama bin Laden didn't give a shit about you or me or anyone in the US until the first war in Iraq.
That might be true (if we can trust what bin Laden said about his own motivation)...but what's also true is that the US military's presence in Saudi Arabia, the matter that he claims as his motivation, was at the request of the Kuwaiti and Saudi government because they were scared of Saddam. Should the US have refused requests of its allies because some (then-unknown) terrorist would take offense? I do not think that that can reasonably be thought of as something that was necessarily more likely to put America in harm's way.
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Last edited by cmkeller; 12-24-2019 at 01:29 PM.
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Old 12-24-2019, 01:30 PM
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I live in New York City, and they very much were, and would continue to be if the US military (and its international allies) did not keep them under control.
The threat was miniscule to begin with. We started locking the cockpit door to make it even smaller.
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Old 12-24-2019, 02:38 PM
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That's just one mode of attack prevented simply by cockpit-door defense. Al Qaeda had, both before and after 09/11/2001, carried out other attacks against Western targets. The only way to stop those are to take out the perpetrators at the source and make sure they don't feel they can attack our citizens with impunity.
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Old 12-24-2019, 02:49 PM
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What are the alternatives, given that "limited action" was called for? Deposing their government and then walking away, leaving anarchy and chaos behind in a strongest-takes-all civil war (incidentally likely to have been the government that had just been deposed)? Outright takeover? Attempting to create a friendly but independent native government was the least worst option.
I'm FAR from an expert, but have we accomplished much more now, 18 yrs later? Or did it just take us too long to decide to walk away?
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Old 12-24-2019, 02:56 PM
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In regard to the Afghan government, I'd say...we probably provided the softest possible landing for the Afghan people. I don't know that the current government is that friendly to US interests, but I think the Afghans overall suffered way less under the US nation-building attempts than they would have under the type of wars for control that would have happened had the US pulled out as soon as they had deposed the Taliban.
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Old 12-24-2019, 03:13 PM
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I did two civilian deployments to Iraq, and had decided that the war there was a mistake even before I volunteered. But I thought if we broke it, we should fix it, so I wanted to help out with that. Obviously, I'm disappointed in how things there have turned out.

I have never received anything but sincere, polite praise for serving, from any of my friends. Even hardcore liberals invariably told me, "Thank you for your service".
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Old 12-24-2019, 03:28 PM
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The West lost those two wasteful wars.

The Iraq War was based on lies.

The Afghanistan War was based on lies, and the US government lied, as revealed in December 2019.

...

Iraq was based on lies, but Afghanistan wasnt. In fact the USA had widespread international support for that action. In any case, it wasnt a war per se. We went in support of one side of a civil war, against the Taliban who had almost no International recognition of being the legit government.

Yes, the Govt lied about the progress of the war, but not about the reasons.
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/09/w...documents.html

The issue is that Afghanistan just will not end, just as many military experts said would happen.
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Old 12-24-2019, 03:32 PM
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Care to elaborate on that? Were the then-rulers of Afghanistan not harboring the group that committed the 09/11/2001 attack on America?
They were. But the govt did post overly optimistic "lies' about how the war was progressing. So, that is sorta a lie. But the war itself was not in any way shape or form "
based" on a lie.
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Old 12-24-2019, 03:41 PM
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That's just one mode of attack prevented simply by cockpit-door defense. Al Qaeda had, both before and after 09/11/2001, carried out other attacks against Western targets. The only way to stop those are to take out the perpetrators at the source and make sure they don't feel they can attack our citizens with impunity.
Al Qaeda is not, and has never been, a significant threat to your or my life. And certainly not one worth spending hundreds of billions of dollars on. Not that much of our effort in Afghanistan even focuses on anti-terrorism. I wonder what else we could have done with that money...
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Old 12-24-2019, 03:59 PM
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Al Qaeda...has never been, a significant threat to your or my life.
Hard disagree. I was only a few blocks away from the World Trade Center on 09/11/2001.
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Old 12-24-2019, 04:37 PM
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Hard disagree. I was only a few blocks away from the World Trade Center on 09/11/2001.
That you find your proximity relevant is telling. This is why we should teach children about rational risk assessment. Might save us some money once they start voting.

Now bees and dogs, those will get ya. I live with both sometimes
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Old 12-24-2019, 04:47 PM
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That you find your proximity relevant is telling.
I'd say the same thing for an attack anywhere on American territory, the immediacy of the proximity was simply a refutation of the statement I was responding to in the most literal sense.

We went to war with Japan and Germany over the deaths of 2/3 the amount of people in an attack on America that was against a military base far away from the mainland. An attack against civilians on the American mainland is certainly justification for an all-out campaign against those behind the attack. Rational risk assessment? Makes sense for allocating resources toward preventive measures before anything happens. Once an attack has been made, a country has to retaliate, otherwise it's just sending a signal that it's open season on its citizens.
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Old 12-24-2019, 05:20 PM
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I'd say the same thing for an attack anywhere on American territory, the immediacy of the proximity was simply a refutation of the statement I was responding to in the most literal sense.
A refutation, you say. Shark attacks are an insignificant risk to Americans. Had you been at a beach on the day of one of these rare attacks, that would not refute the truth that shark attacks are an insignificant risk to you or me.

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We went to war with Japan and Germany over the deaths of 2/3 the amount of people in an attack on America that was against a military base far away from the mainland. An attack against civilians on the American mainland is certainly justification for an all-out campaign against those behind the attack. Rational risk assessment? Makes sense for allocating resources toward preventive measures before anything happens. Once an attack has been made, a country has to retaliate, otherwise it's just sending a signal that it's open season on its citizens.
We went to war with Japan and Germany for many reasons. Last I checked, there was never any danger of a bunch of rag-tag goat fuckers taking over Europe and Asia. And even if there were, they and their hosts were out of power within 6 months.
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Old 12-24-2019, 05:38 PM
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Had you been at a beach on the day of one of these rare attacks, that would not refute the truth that shark attacks are an insignificant risk to you or me.
It would refute a statement that "sharks never have been a significant threat to my life". You did not use the word "risk" in your earlier statement, which makes a difference.

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We went to war with Japan and Germany for many reasons.
There were plenty of good reasons to, but we most certainly did not actually mobilize our military until Pearl Harbor was attacked.

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Last I checked, there was never any danger of a bunch of rag-tag goat fuckers
Wow. Just, wow.

Osama bin Laden comes from a wealthy family that owns an international construction corporation. The actual 9/11 terrorists went to pilot school. (Maybe they just took a crash course?) Stereotype much?

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And even if there were, they and their hosts were out of power within 6 months.
Because we attacked them, rather than just installed better locks on our cockpits and called it a day. They weren't going to be out of power just in the natural course of events.
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Old 12-24-2019, 05:41 PM
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It's not worship. Its called respect for sacrifice. A lot of Americans are not strong enough to serve. They don't have the guts. Americans don't worship bureaucrats. They worship people that actually do the battle.
Its jingoism to distract people from doing their duty as citizens to oversee when a nation goes to war. Soldiers go to war because politicians tell them to. The reason a politician tells them to can be varied, and some reasons are very unethical.

its much easier to just shout slogans and tell people to stop thinking and support the troops, and refuse to do any oversight of the politicians who actually decide where and when we go to war.

Also most people in the military function in support roles, not combat roles.
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Old 12-24-2019, 06:06 PM
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It would refute a statement that "sharks never have been a significant threat to my life". You did not use the word "risk" in your earlier statement, which makes a difference.
It does not. They're not a threat either, nor have they been, just because you were near one. But if you want to quibble about threat vs risk, it seems you agree that there is no significant risk from shark attacks. If true, then there must also be no significant threat from terrorism.

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Osama bin Laden comes from a wealthy family that owns an international construction corporation. The actual 9/11 terrorists went to pilot school. (Maybe they just took a crash course?) Stereotype much?
He didn't have access to his family's wealth. We're talking a few rural training camps compared to some of the largest militaries the world had ever seen. Losers who scraped together some money to send a few of their gang to flight school vs major modern armies. There was no danger of them taking over the world. Deaths are bad. But when animals kill more people, on average, let's stay rational. So yeah, compared to Germany and Japan back then, AQ was indeed a bunch of goatfuckers who exploited a one-time loophole.


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Because we attacked them, rather than just installed better locks on our cockpits and called it a day. They weren't going to be out of power just in the natural course of events.
And then we stuck around, got more Americans killed in the process than they ever killed. Spent hundreds of billions of borrowed dollars. Killed more civilians than bin Laden ever dreamed of killing. And we're still at it.

Or we could have just locked the doors and let someone even try to pull a box cutter on a plane and see how that goes for them. Hell their plan stopped working once the passengers on one plane even found out what was going on. It would have been a lot cheaper than the boondoggle we're still spending and killing on.
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Old 12-24-2019, 06:17 PM
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The only way to stop those are to take out the perpetrators at the source and make sure they don't feel they can attack our citizens with impunity.
That's not a justification for launching actual wars against nations and their entire populations. Terrorist attacks need to be countered by better domestic and international policing, not by military attacks and wholesale destruction that just make the locals more sympathetic to terroristic hatred of the attackers.

Terrorists aren't like a nest of hornets that you can "take out" and thereby eliminate the threat. They're an ideological movement that is strengthened when attacking armies wreak wholesale destruction on civilians, thus validating the terrorist propaganda about the attackers. If you "take out" 300 terrorists with wanton general slaughter and thereby create 3000 more terrorists enraged against your nation, you have not really made any headway against your terrorism problem.

Nor are terrorists like ordinary political/military entities to whom concepts such as deterrence can be rationally applied. The idea that suicide-attack terrorists care one whit about preserving their own "impunity" is laughable on its face.

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Originally Posted by Yankees 1996 Champs
It's not worship. Its called respect for sacrifice. [...] Americans don't worship bureaucrats. They worship people that actually do the battle.
You don't make a very convincing case for this attitude towards the military not being "worship" when you yourself are calling it "worship" a few sentences later.
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Old 12-25-2019, 01:26 AM
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For a short thread, this one is filled with confusions and half-truths.

Many soldiers who served in Afghanistan hoped for a peace-time job. Many, especially blacks, turned to the military as one way to escape poverty. It is quite wrong to refer to the majority of these soldiers as either heroes or as war-criminals. Instead hundreds of thousands of these soldiers are themselves victims, suffering stress-related problems. I think a large majority of Americans appreciate and commend the soldiers' service whether the war has been fought intelligently or not.

Eighteen years after the start of America's war, intended to defeat the Taliban, the Taliban and its allies control almost half the country; that power will grow when U.S. withdraws. On average the Taliban still kills almost 1000 Afghanis per month.

Even the very reason for this 18-year American war is unclear.
Quote:
Originally Posted by George W. Bush, Sept. 2001
The most important thing is for us to find Osama bin Laden. It is our number one priority and we will not rest until we find him.
Bush let Bin Laden slip away to be embraced by our "ally" Pakistan, whereupon his tune changed:
Quote:
Originally Posted by George W. Bush, March 2002
I don't know where bin Laden is. I have no idea and really don't care. It's not that important. It's not our priority.
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Old 12-25-2019, 11:04 AM
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It's funny what's happened to the veterans in this thread - they've been forgotten.
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Old 12-25-2019, 12:08 PM
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Remember everyone, if you don't begin and end each comment in this thread with "Thank you for your service." then you're a seditious unamerican traitor that is giving aid and comfort to our enemies. Our troops fought and died so that you would feel too guilty to ever criticize government military interventions.
  #39  
Old 12-26-2019, 02:36 PM
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I don't let my opposition to the various wars get in the way of honoring the grunts who were also victims of the politican's mendacity. That said, I did not oppose the invasion of Afghanistan, but I strongly opposed invading Iraq. Incidentally, but for that, we might not have dropped the ball so badly in Afghanistan.
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Old 12-26-2019, 03:15 PM
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At times I wonder if folk had refused to volunteer, whether that would have restricted the admin's ability to pursue these inexcusable (and horrifically costly) wars.

I view the vast majority of individual vets as mercenaries - nothing more, nothing less. They weren't protecting any values I hold dear, and were advancing many I abhor.
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Old 12-26-2019, 04:11 PM
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Ruken:

Quote:
But if you want to quibble about threat vs risk, it seems you agree that there is no significant risk from shark attacks. If true, then there must also be no significant threat from terrorism.
The before-occurrence risk is low such that risk-reward calculations about preventive measures are justified. AFTER an occurrence happens, the perpetrators must be identified and stopped from causing more occurrences. A specific malicious individual or organization is not some random risk like a shark attack. If he (pronoun used for convenience) bears ill will, and has attempted and succeeded in causing harm, then it is necessary to act against him or else he will plan to cause harm again.

Quote:
He didn't have access to his family's wealth.
But he wasn't some stereotype nomadic goat-herd. He was educated and trained in all ways the Western world considers advantageous. And even without his family's actual financial support, he had connections from that part of his life that he was able to exploit.

Quote:
There was no danger of them taking over the world.
A country's military is charged with protecting its own citizens from acts of foreign aggression. It doesn't need to limit itself to world-conquest danger levels.

Quote:
Deaths are bad. But when animals kill more people, on average, let's stay rational.
There is nothing irrational about a government using its military to go after a foreign entity that has demonstrated the desire and the ability to harm its citizens.

Quote:
So yeah, compared to Germany and Japan back then, AQ was indeed a bunch of goatfuckers who exploited a one-time loophole.
They exploited multiple loopholes, changing attack strategies every time. The September 11 attacks were hardly the first Al Qaeda action, nor the last. The only thing "one-time" about them was that they happened on actual American soil.

Quote:
And then we stuck around, got more Americans killed in the process than they ever killed. Spent hundreds of billions of borrowed dollars. Killed more civilians than bin Laden ever dreamed of killing. And we're still at it.
Yeah, we did that. Deposing a nation's government in order to root out a terrorist group is hardly any help if you leave a power vacuum which almost certainly leads to the worst and most violent elements taking over. It's a messy situation, but it's better than sending the message that America will do absolutely nothing against them when they kill American citizens.

Kimstu:

Quote:
That's not a justification for launching actual wars against nations and their entire populations. Terrorist attacks need to be countered by better domestic and international policing, not by military attacks and wholesale destruction that just make the locals more sympathetic to terroristic hatred of the attackers.
What exactly is "international policing" if not military attacks? If the Taliban were willing to either root out Al Qaeda for America or even to allow America to come in to capture them without actively hindering the effort, perhaps such attacks could have been avoided and the goal accomplished. But that was not the situation. The only way America was getting at Bin Laden and Al Qaeda high command was by forcing the Taliban out of the way.

Quote:
Terrorists aren't like a nest of hornets that you can "take out" and thereby eliminate the threat. They're an ideological movement that is strengthened when attacking armies wreak wholesale destruction on civilians, thus validating the terrorist propaganda about the attackers. If you "take out" 300 terrorists with wanton general slaughter and thereby create 3000 more terrorists enraged against your nation, you have not really made any headway against your terrorism problem.
Yes, that's true...the strategy of modern terrorists is to hide behind civilian populations such that getting at the terrorists is impossible without civilian casualties. It's a consequence that America tried to counteract in Afghanistan through their nation-building efforts after the fact, and it's not entirely successful. But it's a damned if you do, damned if you don't situation, and ultimately one or the other has to be chosen.

Quote:
Nor are terrorists like ordinary political/military entities to whom concepts such as deterrence can be rationally applied. The idea that suicide-attack terrorists care one whit about preserving their own "impunity" is laughable on its face.
First of all, just because the leaders of the movement are happy to convince their followers to sacrifice their lives doesn't mean that they themselves are down with the suicide/martyrdom idea. Secondly, those who have bought into martyrdom as an ideal want to go down accomplishing their goal, not dying just for their enemies to win. And thirdly, there could be other hostile entities whose agendas are not so ideologically driven and who may have been emboldened by an unanswered attack but cowed by one that has consequences.
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Old 12-26-2019, 04:55 PM
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Are you saying that in order to show China that we are not weak, we needed to answer 9/11 by killing a whole bunch of people that had nothing to do with it? I guess China now realizes that if they attack us we'll bomb the shit out of Thailand for 20 years. Take that Putin!
  #43  
Old 12-26-2019, 05:00 PM
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l0k1:

Quote:
Are you saying that in order to show China that we are not weak, we needed to answer 9/11 by killing a whole bunch of people that had nothing to do with it?
The people we targeted in Afghanistan absolutely did have everything to do with 9/11.
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  #44  
Old 12-26-2019, 05:04 PM
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We sure didn't target them very well. Everytime we hit the target we killed a thousand innocent bystanders and destroyed what little civilian infrastructure existed. Maybe we should invest in better scopes.
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Old 12-26-2019, 05:11 PM
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That's called collateral damage, and it happens in every war. With terrorists who hide among the general population, there's a higher ratio of that than with old-style wars involving standing armies facing one another in open battlefields. Doesn't change the fact that Al Qaeda and the Taliban government in Afghanistan who supported them were the correct and justified entities to attack in the aftermath of 9/11.
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  #46  
Old 12-26-2019, 05:19 PM
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After the Jspanese attacked Pearl Harbor, how many Afghans did we kill?
  #47  
Old 12-26-2019, 05:27 PM
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What the heck kind of question is that? Of course we didn't kill any Afghans over Pearl Harbor. But certainly a lot of civilians, not only Japanese but also Filipino, Pacific Islander (of varied nations) and whatever other places battles between the US and Japan occurred were killed, simply because they were in the way of the battles that needed to be fought to stop Japanese aggression, and not because they were actual members of the army that attacked Pearl Harbor. And we also took on battles against Japan's allies because of the attack from Japan, which didn't include Afghanistan, but included Germany and Italy and would cause civilian casualties all over Europe and North Africa.
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  #48  
Old 12-26-2019, 05:55 PM
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Re: ObL

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruken View Post
He didn't have access to his family's wealth.
Quote:
Originally Posted by cmkeller View Post
And even without his family's actual financial support, he had connections from that part of his life that he was able to exploit.
Just to be clear he didn't have access to all of his family's resources( which were staggering ), but he did inherit a tiny fraction of them. A tiny fraction that purportedly ran well over $10 million. For that matter it is claimed he left $29 million( stashed in Sudan )to al Qaeda in his will. He was not a pauper and the fact that he was wealthy was a big part of how he became so important in creating al Qaeda in the first place.

Not that MHO is particularly important, but I actually do have very different opinions about Afghanistan versus Iraq. I had particular no issue with Bush jr. retaliating against the Taliban after they insisted on sheltering ObL. Shelter a mass-murdering terrorist, reap the whirlwind. How exactly that played out I might have more quibbles with. But the intent to respond forcefully in some manner did not bother me.

Contrariwise the Iraq venture was sheer fucking idiocy from the get go. In just about every facet from conception, to justification, to execution.

None of which, of course, reflects on the soldiers that were just doing their jobs.

Last edited by Tamerlane; 12-26-2019 at 05:57 PM.
  #49  
Old 12-26-2019, 06:50 PM
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Originally Posted by BobLibDem View Post
The new PC is Patriotically Correct. Troops are to be worshipped. Nobody else is to be revered and honored. When a celebrity dies, immediately people have to whine about why nobody remembers Joe Schmoe who died in Afghanistan "last week" where in reality it as 15 years ago. The flag and the national anthem are theirs and theirs alone, and if you don't stand up put your hand over your heart and think gushy thoughts about [/swooning] the troops [\swooning] then you are an ungrateful bastard who should leave the US immediately. When our 55th president thinks about withdrawing from Afghanistan, there will be massive outcries. This war is eternal even though it can never be won and that land can never be governed.
"Patriotically Correct." I'm stealing that. Those types are always "patriots" with a capital P who somehow NEVER read the Constitution.

This one-size-fits-all hero worship actually dehumanizes troops and shortchanges all of us. There's guys who folded cots; there's women who were in combat. There's men who befriended and respected Iraqis and Afghanis; then there's the likes of Lynndie England and too many Gitmo interrogators, who tortured people just like Saddam Hussein did. Worse, even, because we should know better, if we actually read our own Constitution. There's been several cases of female interrogators at Gitmo taunting captives with what they claimed to be menstrual blood or semen-stained clothing.

We need a word for all the Sprint clerks and kindergaarten teachers and book store managers and fast food drivethrough servers who were utterly terrified, still did the job, and have the guts to say later, "I was shit scared."

There's a base level that is expected of every soldier, sailor, Marine, airmen, and Coast Guard. Be professional. Do your job. Refuse unlawful orders. Protect the innocents. Work your ass off. Uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States of America against allenemies, both foreign and domestic. That worshipful attitude toward troops doesn't seem to include any real, down-to-earth practical understanding of what soldiers do and who they are.

There was a lady at a bus stop once who told me, "Oh, I could never do that." She shuddered delicately. Well, you know what? Yes, you could. Training gives you skills and confidence, changes your work ethic. You just don't want to. She probably felt that war is wrong and all that, but you know what? There will always be wars, and we need to look at how we view and treat the military, because very few people serve these days. We also need to decide how those wars will be fought by our side. Now, instead of reacting to another war that seems to come out of nowhere.

I think that slavish fetishization is related to what this lady was saying, though I don't know if she realized how her statement felt.Somebody's gotta do that ugly job, let's not think about what that really means, who those somebodies will be, what they will face, what they will endure, and what it will do to them. If we don't think about who's fighting our wars, it's so much easier to send them off, unseen and forgotten. The "respect the troops" types sure don't respect you once they figure out you have differing political opinions, but they like to cover it up with that, "I respect your service." (They don't.) And that phrase? It only comes out when they've discovered you're The Other, so you can't possibly be a real soldier. It's the political equivalent of, "I'm not saying this buuuuuut...." goes on to....say "this."

Real respecting the troops would look a lot like really loving your country, which is not that "Love it or leave it" mindset. Loving your country is like loving your parents. When you're a toddler, they're awe-inspiring, terrible Gods, who can do magic and move mountains. When you're an adullt, they're human beings, and you see all their flaws and how they did the best they could, and even had sex a few times. They're vulnerable and scared and one day you'll have to take care of them and it's scary.

If we looked at soldiers the same way, we'd see Bob the accountant and Jane the nurse, and know that we're sending them off to face terrors and bombs and bullets and amputations and possible death. So we call them "heroes" and that makes them myths instead of neighbors and coworkers. And we get to never truly think about what our responsibilities to them are. The social contract ain't squat these days.
  #50  
Old 12-26-2019, 06:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yankees 1996 Champs View Post
It's not worship. Its called respect for sacrifice. A lot of Americans are not strong enough to serve. They don't have the guts.
No, it's bordering on worship if it's not already there. The US venerates soldiers to an extent unprecedented in its history, and quite unusual for a civilian-run, democratic nation.

It is plainly obvious, incidentally, that it does not take extraordinary stuff to be a competent soldier. For one thing, I was a soldier, and I am a dolt. For another, in times of massive national crisis, the USA and other countries have been able to find truly immense numbers of capable soldiers, often ones who had to be drafted.

People generally do not join the armed services because they are exceptionally brave.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cmkeller
We went to war with Japan and Germany over the deaths of 2/3 the amount of people in an attack on America that was against a military base far away from the mainland.
This isn't true, though, and the truth illustrates the reason this is a terrible analogy. The Japanese did not just attack Pearl Harbor; they launched an attack on American possessions and forces throughout the Pacific, and against other Western powers in a manner clearly a threat to the USA. They did so in a context of a world in which Japan was a military superpower that was openly hostile to the United States and acting in a manner threatening to American interests, and was allied with Nazi Germany, another threatening military superpower that the USA was already in an undeclared naval war with and was quite obviously going to be in a full scale war with within months anyway. Those adversaries clearly could not be dealt with in any manner except full scale warfare and that had been increasingly evident for some time going into December 7, 1941. The moment was a shock, but the direction America was headed in was already apparent.
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