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  #51  
Old 12-26-2019, 08:56 PM
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The people we targeted in Afghanistan absolutely did have everything to do with 9/11.
The 9/11 terrorists were Afghani citizens?
  #52  
Old 12-26-2019, 08:59 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.
I'm sorry but this is a bunch of crap. "Terrorists" - poor brown guys 7000 miles away from America who get drone bombed because someone said they were a terrorist. And they are so dangerous that we have to kill 1000s of civilians to get them. Give me a break.
  #53  
Old 12-26-2019, 09:18 PM
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...

None of which, of course, reflects on the soldiers that were just doing their jobs.
If only they had chosen different vocations...
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  #54  
Old 12-26-2019, 11:41 PM
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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.
I wrote a Sci-fi short story a while back along a similar theme (not that it ever got published), involving an enemy supposed to have psychic powers (the ability to get into your mind and provoke mortal terror, but only if you’re already at least a little bit scared), and for the good of the public, veterans of the conflict "must conform to type" (the stereotypical PTSD-ridden veteran) so that at no point can anyone ever be allowed to look at a veteran and feel anything but pity and/or admiration for them. Because god forbid they ever looked at a veteran and saw someone even remotely like themselves. Then THEY might succumb to fear (as a consequence of imagining someone so much like themselves being subjected to so much terror) and then THEY would be at risk of having that fear exploited by the enemy to the point that they might actually refuse to support the conflict—if enough people got like that, the government might have to end the war! The horror...

But of course it doesn’t actually require an alien foe with weaponized psychic powers to cause people to empathize. Or at least it shouldn’t.
  #55  
Old 12-26-2019, 11:46 PM
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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.
It certainly was apparent to some, but in the middle of the depression, America's attitude was very isolationist. The fact that America went to war after Pearl Harbor was not due to shock but because isolationism was no longer an option. In fact, 9/11 is an excellent analogy in this regard because George W. Bush ran on a hands-off foreign policy and intended to devote his presidency to domestic issues, but was forced into engagement by America being directly attacked.

Yes, I will readily admit that the long-term dangers of ignoring the shenanigans of Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan were greater than that of ignoring Al Qaeda. But in both cases, the America of the time was disinclined toward actually addressing them until attacked head-on.

manson1972:

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The 9/11 terrorists were Afghani citizens?
The Afghani government was providing safe haven in Afghanistan for the 9/11 terrorists. As if you didn't know.

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"Terrorists" - poor brown guys 7000 miles away from America who get drone bombed because someone said they were a terrorist.
Give me a break. It had nothing at all to do with the color of their skin and shame on you and anyone who has tried to make this a racial issue. If the masterminds behind the 9/11 terrorists were hiding in Norway with the support of the Norwegian government you can bet your ass that the fjords would have been littered with lily-white blond corpses in pursuit of them.
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  #56  
Old 12-27-2019, 07:43 AM
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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.
@ cmkeller — Review the last half of my #36. When Al-Qaeda leaders were fleeing — and thus no longer "hiding among the general population" — was about when Cheney decided it would be more profitable to attack Iraq instead, and let Bin Laden go.
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Old 12-27-2019, 07:59 AM
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Septimus - at no time in this thread have I been arguing in favor of the war against Iraq. My argument has been purely in favor of attacking Afghanistan over 9/11, which some people in this thread believe was unjustified.
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  #58  
Old 12-27-2019, 08:12 AM
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I thought the 9/11 terrorists died in 9/11, and the AQ leadership lived in Pakistan. Further, I'm pretty sure we had no extradition agreement with the Taliban, and when we requested that they had over bin Laden, they asked to see the evidence, which sounds totes reasonable before you give up a resident alien for execution.
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Old 12-27-2019, 08:46 AM
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18 years ago my sister — normally a smart progressive pacifist — sent me a cartoon. It depicted a B-52 heading for Afghanistan with the caption "The terrorists won the toss and elected to receive." Americans, understandably, had a reptilian appetite for revenge.

Yes, the U.S. had little choice but to attack Afghanistan. But surely there was an option better than an 18-year quagmire that leaves Taliban in power. (And of course the invasion of Iraq was criminal malfeasance.)

The Cheney-Bush over-reaction and misconduct in their Middle East wars was the terrorists' best wet-dream come true.

(Answering OP, the veterans still deserve our praise and sympathy. It wasn't their fault that the country was led by imbeciles and criminals.)
  #60  
Old 12-27-2019, 10:03 AM
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Give me a break. It had nothing at all to do with the color of their skin and shame on you and anyone who has tried to make this a racial issue. If the masterminds behind the 9/11 terrorists were hiding in Norway with the support of the Norwegian government you can bet your ass that the fjords would have been littered with lily-white blond corpses in pursuit of them.
Sure. Keep on thinking that.
  #61  
Old 12-27-2019, 10:05 AM
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l0k1:

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I thought the 9/11 terrorists died in 9/11,
They did.

Quote:
and the AQ leadership lived in Pakistan.
They did not, at the time.

Quote:
Further, I'm pretty sure we had no extradition agreement with the Taliban,
True

Quote:
and when we requested that they had over bin Laden, they asked to see the evidence, which sounds totes reasonable before you give up a resident alien for execution.
There was plenty of evidence, and in addition to whatever evidence the United States and other outside parties had, the Taliban, who were fully in contact with Bin Laden and his people, knew full well with even greater certainty that they were behind it. The Taliban's "request for evidence" was them merely playing games to both manipulate PR and to give bin Laden time and opportunity to escape.
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  #62  
Old 12-27-2019, 11:01 AM
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I thought the 9/11 terrorists died in 9/11
That's like saying that the nine baseball players who were in the line-up at the end of a winning baseball game were the only people who won the game. It ignores the dozens of people who were involved in the planning and preparation for the game, and the hundreds of people in the organization that were responsible for the team being put together and maintained in the first place.

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and the AQ leadership lived in Pakistan.
It's generally agreed that Osama Bin Laden and the rest of the Al Qaeda leadership had gone to ground in the Tora Bora range in eastern Afghanistan at the time of the 9/11 attacks.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tora_Bora

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Further, I'm pretty sure we had no extradition agreement with the Taliban, and when we requested that they had over bin Laden, they asked to see the evidence, which sounds totes reasonable before you give up a resident alien for execution.
There is no international standard whatsoever by which the Taliban government of Afghanistan in 2001 was considered reasonable.
  #63  
Old 12-28-2019, 04:41 AM
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It's generally agreed that Osama Bin Laden and the rest of the Al Qaeda leadership had gone to ground in the Tora Bora range in eastern Afghanistan at the time of the 9/11 attacks.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tora_Bora
Nitpick: This "general agreement" doesn't ring my bell. And, if we stipulate that "December hide-out" and "September hide-out" are two different things, your cited source doesn't obviously join in on that "general agreement" either.

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It was the location of the December 2001 Battle of Tora Bora, and suspected hideout of Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.[4]
  #64  
Old 12-28-2019, 09:30 AM
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There is no international standard whatsoever by which the Taliban government of Afghanistan in 2001 was considered reasonable.
Asking to see the receipts is slightly more reasonable than killing a bunch of innocent civilians. If everyone knew where the AQ leadership was, why didn't we just go pick them up? Why start a neverending crusade?
  #65  
Old 12-28-2019, 03:10 PM
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...

Yes, the U.S. had little choice but to attack Afghanistan. But surely there was an option better than an 18-year quagmire that leaves Taliban in power. (And of course the invasion of Iraq was criminal malfeasance.)...
And yes, those are the issues with Afghanistan.

1. It was a just war, but now we are immersed in a quagmire, just like every other nation that has ventured into Afghanistan.

2. Americans get it mixed up with the Shrubs invasion of Iraq, which was NOT a just war.
  #66  
Old 12-28-2019, 03:13 PM
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Asking to see the receipts is slightly more reasonable than killing a bunch of innocent civilians. If everyone knew where the AQ leadership was, why didn't we just go pick them up? Why start a neverending crusade?
It wasnt just the leadership. The Taliban was actively supporting the terrorism, with terrorist training camps, etc. Besides the Taliban was pretty damn evil, what with the way they treated women, etc.
  #67  
Old 12-28-2019, 03:18 PM
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It certainly was apparent to some, but in the middle of the depression, America's attitude was very isolationist. The fact that America went to war after Pearl Harbor was not due to shock but because isolationism was no longer an option. In fact, 9/11 is an excellent analogy in this regard because George W. Bush ran on a hands-off foreign policy and intended to devote his presidency to domestic issues, but was forced into engagement by America being directly attacked.
But it's the scale of the threats that dictate the nature and size of the response. Sure, both attacks were shocking to the American public, and caught the U.S. dreadfully unawares. To that point they are analogous. The nature of the threat, though, and thus appropriateness of the response are entirely different.

It is now plainly evident that the response to 9/11 was inept. The war in Afghanistan is a disaster, one in which many Americans and Allied men and women have died pointlessly. That is, in large part, due to the imbecilic Iraq War, which was a criminal act and just completely fucked up everything. The entire thing has been a fiasco.

But how will veterans of the wars we regarded? I really don't see any vitriol towards them at all. Soldiers in the USA have never in the history of the country been so respected, and to a large extent that's true in the rest of the English-speaking world, too, and most of those countries were involved in one or the other of those wars.
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Old 12-29-2019, 09:25 PM
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But it's the scale of the threats that dictate the nature and size of the response. Sure, both attacks were shocking to the American public, and caught the U.S. dreadfully unawares. To that point they are analogous. The nature of the threat, though, and thus appropriateness of the response are entirely different.

It is now plainly evident that the response to 9/11 was inept. The war in Afghanistan is a disaster, one in which many Americans and Allied men and women have died pointlessly. That is, in large part, due to the imbecilic Iraq War, which was a criminal act and just completely fucked up everything. The entire thing has been a fiasco.

But how will veterans of the wars we regarded? I really don't see any vitriol towards them at all. Soldiers in the USA have never in the history of the country been so respected, and to a large extent that's true in the rest of the English-speaking world, too, and most of those countries were involved in one or the other of those wars.
This pretty much. Unlike Vietnam, in which the government and soldiers were both viewed negatively, American society nowadays puts a pretty clear divide between the politicians ("bad") and the troops ("good.") The latter does not get blamed for the orders of the former.
  #69  
Old 12-30-2019, 10:24 AM
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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.
All fine and dandy, but where is the source?
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Old 12-30-2019, 10:29 AM
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Given that the veterans of post-Vietnam wars were volunteers, and, in view of the mixed feelings of the public about America's endless wars, perhaps the adulation will diminish, although there will always be a super-patriotic group. We admire people who serve, but far more so if they did so for a reason. And I find little reason for starting the recent wars, let alone continuing them. OK, this is not the fault of the soldiers, they go where they are told to.

And the VA hospitals will continue to fill up.
  #71  
Old 12-30-2019, 10:48 AM
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And the VA hospitals will continue to fill up.
I actually think the opposite will happen, as older draft-era veterans from when the military was much larger, uh... "age out" of their treatment. I go into the VA in a West Texas town (decent sized, but still not a huge metropolitan area) and most of the people I see are what I would call elderly. I’m in my mid-30s, and I very rarely see someone younger-looking than me, or indeed even comparable in age.

Sometimes, I feel like the ever-expanding list of conditions covered by "agent orange" is just a way for certain republican politicians to avoid having to tell their elderly constituents what they tell the younger folks: "Hey, if you want to not die from diabetes, I guess you should have lived more responsibly and set aside money for health care." Because we STILL lack proper healthcare nationwide, but throw in the "but he's a veteran!" plea and suddenly Republican senators start falling all over themselves to show off how patriotic they are by getting them healthcare through the VA.

Because how do you distinguish the one guy or gal who got diabetes or cancer as a result of "agent orange exposure" from the thousand or hundred who would have gotten it anyway? You don’t. And now anyone who has so much seen a drum full of some unspecified substance or served within 200 miles of Vietnam is presumed to have been exposed, and therefore coverage.

Next up on the horizon: Gulf War Syndrome. But at least the population size of Gulf War/GWOT a veterans will be smaller than the population of Vietnam era veterans, which is why I believe overcrowding of the VA will be a passing problem, assuming current levels of infrastructure.

Last edited by ASL v2.0; 12-30-2019 at 10:52 AM.
  #72  
Old 12-30-2019, 11:18 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.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4difPEQ8wA4
  #73  
Old 12-30-2019, 01:17 PM
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But how will veterans of the wars we regarded?
Multiple sources consistently report >40% of post 9/11 vets have disability ratings - vastly higher than previous generations.

Sure - SOME - percentage is undoubtedly due to reduced fatalities from improved care, and improved diagnostic tools. But I suggest it is equally likely that SOME percentage reflects an entitlement attitude by today's vets.
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  #74  
Old 12-30-2019, 02:34 PM
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Multiple sources consistently report >40% of post 9/11 vets have disability ratings - vastly higher than previous generations.

Sure - SOME - percentage is undoubtedly due to reduced fatalities from improved care, and improved diagnostic tools. But I suggest it is equally likely that SOME percentage reflects an entitlement attitude by today's vets.
"Equally likely"? Based on what evidence?
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Old 12-30-2019, 03:42 PM
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IIRC 9/11 perps trained in Afghanistan. And in Germany, Florida, and Arizona. Perps and planners included Saudis, Emiratis, Egyptians, Lebanese, but no Afghans nor Iraqis. So who got invaded?

How will post-draft US vets been seen? Depends on who's considering. I see mostly folks with few options at home; it's better than staying poor. The leadership OTOH has forgotten or neglected how to win wars. Career trumps victory. Climb the uniformed bureaucracy, kiss sufficient ass, and graduate to a nice corporate or think-tank sinecure.

I'm 'Nam-era. I enlisted and bypassed an offer for OCS. I feel for all other enlistees. You're only there because you think it's better than not.

And maybe you actually have a sense of duty, of putting the national interest ahead of your own goals. You put your life on the line for others. That's not noble; it's prudent.
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Old 01-05-2020, 10:41 AM
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Personally I think the notion that Americas worship/revere/respect the military took a major and irreparable hit when John Kerry, a decorated veteran, was successfully swiftboated. It became obvious how contingent and situational this respect is, and how readily it is abandoned when it becomes inconvenient.

Last edited by Bryan Ekers; 01-05-2020 at 10:44 AM.
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Old 01-05-2020, 02:38 PM
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A Presidential candidate is rather a rare thing, though. That's an exception that proves the rule.

Like all things religious, reverence and worship is quite often a matter of convenience and hypocrisy.
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  #78  
Old 01-05-2020, 07:18 PM
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A Presidential candidate is rather a rare thing, though. That's an exception that proves the rule.
Quibble: exceptions TEST and DISPROVE rules. If a rule says such-and-such, and an example violates it, then either the rule is incorrect, or the exception is faulty or misunderstood.

How are veterans seen by the US public? However they're portrayed.
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Old 01-05-2020, 08:10 PM
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RioRico, have you really never heard or read that phrase?
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Old 01-05-2020, 09:19 PM
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Quibble: exceptions TEST and DISPROVE rules.
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RioRico, have you really never heard or read that phrase?
There is even a wiki. I've always liked that phrase.

"The Macedonian nobility were generally xenophobic. Peucestas was the exception that proves the rule."
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