Will the U.S. do something stupid Again??

A typical U.S. response to an international crisis is to come in with both guns blazing, killing any living thing in their path. The current network of international terrorists is a widely distributed organization of small, independent cells that are intentionally kept ignorant about one-another’s activities. Thus, it would seem that the traditional U.S. approach of sending in massive amounts of equipment and troups to trounce some geographic location would accomplish little to impact international terrorism.

Will the U.S. stick to its old mode of operation because that’s the way Dubya’s daddy would have handled it? Will they only try to appease the general U.S. public by killing an appropriate number of people labelled by the media as “the enemy”? Does the U.S. leadership have the insight and ability to adapt to the current situation and tailor their approach to apprehend and destroy small groupings of widely distributed terrorists, without enraging much of the world community by invading other countries? I’d like to hear what people think. Personally, I’m scared to death that the U.S. is likely to succeed in making a bad situation worse.


I’m too lazy to provide specific “cites”. Consult any news item on Desert Storm, Vietnam, or Korea.

So in everyone of your instances America just came in and opened fire on anything and everything? You really do need to study your history just a bit more.

Why should anyone debate someone too lazy to back up their own assertions?

You are aware that both the NATO and the ANZUS treaties have been invoked by America’s allies, aren’t you? Both of those treaties require that the US actually consults with the allies supporting it rather than launching unilateral military action.

I think I understand the point you are trying to make, but this is not another Vietnam - if it was, we here in Australia would be running a mile from it.

I’m not much of a Dubbya fan, but I think the US has done very well to date - as far as I’m aware, not a single shot has been fired by the US so far, and it certainly has the capability to have launched an immediate, overwhelming retaliatory strike. The deadline for handing over bin Laden has passed and still the US has resisted the temptation to go in with blazing guns. Surely if what you say in your OP is true, Afghanistan should have been bombed off the map by now. That it hasn’t been says much about the will of the people of the US - much as they are hurting right now, they don’t want their military to launch the kind of indiscriminate action which they have just suffered, and Powell and Bush are very mindful of that.

In the past the US has launched some military actions which IMHO were unwise and unjustified, but unless you have some information about the battle plans for the current campaign which the rest of us are not privy to, please don’t inflame an already tense situation with your speculation - the tabloids are doing a far better job of preying on people’s fear than you ever could.

What I find most curious is the attitude that we can kill kings by halves.

We stopped short with every attack, from Castro to Amin, to Kadaffy, to Sadam, to Milosovich. When will we learn to have a little follow-thru?

In that case, this should perhaps be moved to the Pit, where cites are not considered to be necessary.

I have presented a hyperbole regarding U.S. foreign policy, followed by questions to GD’ers regarding potential U.S. responses to the recent terrible act of terrorism. I could present many “cites” either supporting or rejecting the proposition that the U.S. utilizes fierce displays of military force all too often as a means of dealing with foreign problems. For my purposes, of soliciting opinions regarding the likely U.S response to this situation, I believe a cite would be of little value. I am interested in learning what people think, not what people have read. If anyone wishes to mention something a respected authority has said regarding this topic, fine; however, I will be pleased to learn the thoughts of mere mortals regarding recent events and the possible U.S. responses.

The Straight Dope description of the GD board is:
For long-running discussions of the great questions of our time. This is also the place for religious debates and (if you feel you must) witnessing.

Does one need cites to pose “great questions of our time”? Are personal opinions banned from expression on GD?

Well, considering that Hussein was given months to get the hell out of the country he was vandallizing, and had plenty of time to watch the build-up, which consisted of better than 40 sovereign nations, I’d say that including Desert Storm in the “…come in with both guns blazing, killing any living thing in their path…” group to fairly ignorant.

Korea. Hmmm… One nation violently and without warning invades another, a treaty partner of the US, killing both local and US troops? I’d say that “…come in with both guns blazing, killing any living thing in their path…” is pretty appropriate. Even then, we had the full backing of the UN, and many, many nations spent treasure and blood to see that North Korea got it’s butt kicked.

Vietnam. Well, lesse… First, our some-time friends the French get involved in a nasty little war of independance, and lose. Then the US sends in some instructors in the military arts (50 at first. What an invasion!), who are only equiped with sidearms for self defense. Then, when some of these instructors are killed, we send in a larger force, authorized by the {then legitimate} local gov’t to lead local troops in battle, then, when that doesn’t work, the US, Australia, and Korea (among others) send combat troops to fight directly. It took years to build to that level. Yep, that’s a “…come in with both guns blazing, killing any living thing in their path…” approach. NOT.

If you want to make a point about the US rushing in, you’ll have to pick better examples. Maybe opening up a history book will help…?

Y’know, there are some legitimate things you could have criticize. You could have complained about so many things that our military has mishandled. But instead, you posted a knee-jerk anti-American rant.

Why is it that the people who complain all the time about “hate” and want more “tolerance” are the ones who hate America and can’t tolerate us? Let’s expose the haters and the bigots. And you, Mr. Potter, are a bigot.

And “cite” is not a noun. “Citation” is a noun.

The sentence “A typical U.S. response to an international crisis is to come in with both guns blazing, killing any living thing in their path” is not a question. Please learn the difference between a “question” and an “assertion” before you post further.

Personal opinions are not banned from expression in GD.

However, in your OP you stated the following as fact, not opinion:

When someone presents something like this as a fact, they will almost certainly be asked to back it up with references, preferably online references. If a person can’t back up the disputed facts, it generally blows their credibility all to hell.

Opinions, by their very nature, are typically debateable. Your opening statement was not written as an opinion, but as fact. Since someone has decided to dispute this fact (and with good reason), that person has asked you to support your assertion. That you fail to support your assertion, and instead profess laziness in providing references makes it clear to me that you are not here for a serious debate.

Oh, and I believe it is “hypothesis”, not “hyperbole.”

[hijack to respond to hijack]

Yeah, I believe I started a thread about this a year or two ago. However, it is an excellent example of word drift. As was pointed out to me, “post” wasn’t a noun once upon a time either. However, “cite” as noun is now fairly common on boards like these, and even the revered Cecil Adams has used it.
[/hijack to respond to hijack]

Actually, it was most definitely hyperbole.


I apologize if I mislead some into thinking that I was presenting an opinion as fact. I felt it would be fairly obvious that “coming in with both guns blazing” would not be interpreted as an authoratative opinion. That being said, I would appreciate reflections on what people speculate might be the U.S. response to the current crisis. The movement of a substantial fleet of ships and forces does not appear to be a preparation for a precise series of strikes against scattered, small areas of terrorist activity. There is a chance, however, that the show of force is meant as a diversion, or as a means of intimidating opponents into meeting the demands the U.S. has presented to them. Does anyone care to comment on what they think the actual response of the U.S. is likely to be, or what they think the response should be?

This sounds a lot more like IMHO than a debate, much less a great one.

Already have.