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> Should we have a military?, Gerardo Sandoval says we don't need one
Sleeper
post Feb 23 2006, 07:55 PM
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Gerardo Sandoval, a San Francisco Supervisor dropped a bomb the other day on Hannity & Colmes.

QUOTE(Gerardo Sandoval)
Conservative co-host Sean Hannity mockingly asked Sandoval whether "America should unilaterally disarm" and discard "our tools of war."

"You know that's a very complicated question," Sandoval replied Tuesday night. "But I would say, yes, we should. We should invest our money in our kids."

At that point Alan Colmes, the liberal co-host, incredulous at what he thought he just heard, jumped in.

Colmes: This is Alan in New York. Should we not have military?

Sandoval: I don't think we should have a military. Absolutely.

Colmes: We shouldn't have a military? Wait a minute. Hold on. The United States should not have a military?

Sandoval: What good has it done for us in the last five years? That's right. What good has it done us...

Hannity: Good grief.

Sandoval: ... in the last five years.

Colmes: Gerardo, wait a second.

Sandoval: We think about the billions that we're spending in Iraq right now, if we spend it on schools. We should not...

Colmes: The United States should not have a military?

Sandoval: That's correct.

Colmes: Are you kidding me?

Sandoval: The United States should not have a military. All in all, we would be in much, much, much better shape.



The conversation goes on to where Sandoval states the Police and Coast Guard should be able to defend the United States if we are attacked.

Questions for debate:

1. Would our country be better off without a military?

2. Would the Coast Guard(which is a division of the military) and police force be able to thwart an attack on the United States?


This post has been edited by Sleeper: Feb 23 2006, 07:58 PM
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AuthorMusician
post Feb 24 2006, 10:29 AM
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Ha, this is funny. Talking heads get all upset with a San Fran city supervisor who has no background for the talking point. Here's what the guy does for a living:

Member, Board of Supervisors
Attorney, City and County of San Francisco
Special Assistant, Budget and Finance Department, Office of the Mayor

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I would say that his opinions on the military are as valid as Joe Schmoe's on the street.

Hey Joe! Do we need a military? No? Ohmegot, dah wurld's fallin' apart. How can you think that way? Do you realize what you are doing to us? Next thing you know some crazy mom will set up camp outside the Prez's ranch, and all hoohaw breaks loose. That already happened? See! It's all YOUR FAULT, JOE!

Let me take a wild swag at this. I bet the guy has budget and finance problems. I bet he looks at our military budget and goes, holly cow! That's a lot of dough. Then he thinks, hey, what's the ROI? This looks like a huge black hole! What about the kids, hey? What about the kids.

Then weeping and moaning, etc. and so on. Typical lib-roll. Bunch of pansies from the land of fruits and nuts. Dismiss them.

Which is what's to be expected, like Harry Browne of the Libertarian party who called for massive military cutbacks in his book, The Great Libertarian Offer. Spend just enough for actual defense, that was his crazy idea.

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Anyway, the take of not needing a military is an extreme, just as it is extreme to nuke Iraq, Iran, N. Korea, China or whomever we deem nukable. Cutting back on the military and putting the money into education isn't extreme, but it isn't popular either. That's one of the reasons Browne only got something like 2% of the vote in 2000.

And I'm not going to lose any sleep over what a San Fran city guy thinks.
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Christopher
post Feb 24 2006, 11:54 AM
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QUOTE
By any chance, have you forgotten about a certain incident in Manhattan about four and a half years ago?
Blackstone, our military could not then prevent 9/11 and it could not now prevent a 9/11. The military can do little at all to prevent a terrorist attack since the terrorists do not come raging down the street in a MadMax styled van screaming at the top of their lungs "Death to the ....." allowing chuck norris to come out of nowhere, say something witty and pull a rocket launcher from his pocket and win the day.

QUOTE
I don't. Again, WW2 is quite instructive. Germany was essentially equal in size to France, equal to England, and smaller than Russia. Yet look how close that was.... Israel is smaller by all measures than the combined Arab nations that threaten it, yet it has managed to beat them 4 times in straight up combat, although the 6 Day War was very close.
BikerDad
There are only 2 ways into our country,north/south. Trying to run a naval procession would again be the traditional turkey shoot and whatever got thru would
learn that Normandy was nothing in comparison.
the land to the north has limited routes that could be used leaving our southern border the prime entry point--and I would gladly pay admission money just to see someone try and invade Texas wacko.gif
I'm fairly certain texas would refuse military aid and just declare a 3 day weekend laugh.gif

QUOTE
No there aren't. Unless the "well armed Americans" are supplied with advanced military grade weapons
Since we would be focusing on a home based guard BD, I would imagine we would take steps to assure the necessary hardware was available.








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Dontreadonme
post Feb 24 2006, 07:29 PM
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1. Would our country be better off without a military?
In a word......hell no. OK that's two, but that's how strongly I feel about the matter. In the interest of full disclosure, for anyone who doesn't know, the military is my employer, so one could say that I have a vested interest in the viability of said military for my paycheck, benefits and future retirement income.

Many have touched on the obvious points already, but I wanted to key in on a couple. The first concerns the institutional knowledge and experience base. If we were to disband the military today, in the theme of 'nobody is really able to invade us', that may be true for the moment, but it won't always be the situation. A simple understanding of history proves that point. For a military to be solvent and capable, it must have a cohesive lineage, with doctrine and training continually updated, as well as the 'lessons learned' from our current and past experiences inputted to the overall psyche.
This has been a systemic problem within the US military until very recently. We had a history of once a war, expedition or police action was complete, we would downsize our manpower and material levels, as would be expected, but we would fail to continue to upgrade that doctrine and equipment, as well as research and development. It was not until the early 1980's that we finally started break out of the post Vietnam malaise and engage in some truly foreword thinking. Unfortunately, we were hamstrung by the cold war mentality, thus leading to some of our fits and starts with Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom.

If our military were to be downsized into a police or paramilitary force, ala Costa Rica, we would find ourselves in the future unable to properly mobilize and train forces in the event of an invasion. Unfortunately, every bubba in America having a shotgun and pistols does not constitute having an appropriate defense in the face of an organized enemy. Firearms are only part of the equation; tactics and leadership within a coherent force are the other components. If we were to downsize our military, we might as well turn over the keys to the country to the oppressive nation of your choice, and save the time and the trouble.

The second point, at the risk of sounding like an Army recruiting commercial, is that currently, and historically, the military has provided a vast influx of technically competent men and women who by and large possess character, integrity and a sense of responsibility, that while found in the civilian sector, isn't found in such concentration. It is no myth that many employers look for and attempt to recruit former military men and women. I believe that absence the leadership and teamwork skills learned in the military would significantly impede the nations ability to function at the level we are currently enjoying.


2. Would the Coast Guard(which is a division of the military) and police force be able to thwart an attack on the United States?
As has already been brought up, the Coastie's aren't technically part of the military, but they are certainly competent in their duties. Those duties by the way, do not include thwarting attacks on the United States.
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SportsLap
post Feb 25 2006, 01:50 AM
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Well, technically, the Coast Guard is a part of the military. It is part of Homeland Security, but is at all times a member of the Armed Forces. The Coast Guard has fought in every armed conflict since 1790, and according to United States Code (U.S.C.) Title 14, Chapter 1, section 1,
""The Coast Guard as established January 28, 1915, shall be a military service and a branch of the armed forces of the United States at all times."
wikihttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U.S._Coast_Guard

That being said, the mission and training have nothing to do with defending against invasion, and the Coast Guard is fitted with aging technology, and is smaller or equal to the size of the NYPD, so there is no way they are capable of defending the coastlines from military attack by themselves.
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skeeterses
post Feb 25 2006, 03:12 AM
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1. Would our country be better off without a military?
It is true that the US military hasn't fought any real threats since the Cold War. However, going without the Military is like going without Fire Insurance. Its one of those things that most people never have to really use, but people need to have it.
With that said, America can have both a military and invest in education for the kids. America needs to cut back its overseas commitments and maintain a balanced force back at home. America also needs to make its social programs more efficient as well. As long as the Federal Government is nationbuilding abroad or giving Social Security checks to people who don't need it, Government will always have money problems.

2. Would the Coast Guard(which is a division of the military) and police force be able to thwart an attack on the United States?
If a foreign country tried to invade America with a real military, with tanks and Missile Ships, the Coast Guard and Police Force would lose in a front line battle.
The real challenge would be holding onto America. Besides having an abundant supply of pawnshops selling rifles, America is a large country with mountains, caves, forests, swamps, cities, suburban complexes, and many other potential hiding places for guerilla fighters. Regardless of how difficult occupying America would be for a foreign country, America should still have an adequate military force and no American should fantasize about being a kid hero from Red Dawn.
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Blackstone
post Feb 25 2006, 05:53 AM
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QUOTE(Dingo @ Feb 24 2006, 04:02 AM)
That begs the question. What is in our interests?

That has to be determined in each situation, but I dare say that we're better equipped to figure that out on our own than a bunch of foreign bureaucrats. I for one am not willing to have them decide what's best for us.

QUOTE
This go it alone invent our own reality and to heck with anybody else leads to things like Iraq and Vietnam.
*

Interestingly enough, our interventions both in Iraq and Vietnam were publicly justified on the grounds of obligations under international bodies - UN Security Council resolutions in the case of Iraq, and SEATO obligations in the case of Vietnam. In both cases, the one and only proper authority should have been a congressional declaration of war as provided by the Constitution. We'd do better to focus on reestablishing that practice, than on sapping our sovereignty with largely unaccountable international bodies that don't have any real loyalty to anyone or anything.

QUOTE(christopher @ Feb 24 2006, 06:54 AM)
Blackstone, our military could not then prevent 9/11 and it could not now prevent a 9/11. The military can do little at all to prevent a terrorist attack since the terrorists do not come raging down the street in a MadMax styled van screaming at the top of their lungs "Death to the ....." allowing chuck norris to come out of nowhere, say something witty and pull a rocket launcher from his pocket and win the day.
*

At #16 you said, "Who can actually attack us? No one!" and now you're saying that not only can we be attacked, but there's nothing we can do to prevent it. If you could make a consistent point, we could continue the discussion from there.
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Dingo
post Feb 25 2006, 07:04 AM
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QUOTE(Blackstone @ Feb 24 2006, 10:53 PM)
QUOTE(Dingo @ Feb 24 2006, 04:02 AM)
That begs the question. What is in our interests?

That has to be determined in each situation, but I dare say that we're better equipped to figure that out on our own than a bunch of foreign bureaucrats.

When it comes to international matters an international solution is better than a unilaterally one in most instances. Certainly in the long run.

QUOTE
QUOTE
This go it alone invent our own reality and to heck with anybody else leads to things like Iraq and Vietnam.

Interestingly enough, our interventions both in Iraq and Vietnam were publicly justified on the grounds of obligations under international bodies - UN Security Council resolutions in the case of Iraq, and SEATO obligations in the case of Vietnam. In both cases, the one and only proper authority should have been a congressional declaration of war as provided by the Constitution. We'd do better to focus on reestablishing that practice, than on sapping our sovereignty with largely unaccountable international bodies that don't have any real loyalty to anyone or anything.

We did not get international sanction (SEATO, give me a break!) or serious broad cooperation in either case. In fact we had most of the world against us, and one can see the results.

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Blackstone
post Feb 25 2006, 08:04 AM
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QUOTE(Dingo @ Feb 25 2006, 02:04 AM)
When it comes to international matters an international solution is better than a unilaterally one in most instances.

Actually, the ethical and responsible solution is better than the unethical and irresponsible one. Internationalizing the decisionmaking process isn't any more likely to result in a better decision than when one country makes the decision on its own after its people and their representatives consult. But it can hamstring us from doing what needs to be done.

QUOTE
(SEATO, give me a break!)

Hey, you brought up NATO. SEATO is just the equivalent of that in another corner of the world.

QUOTE
In fact we had most of the world against us, and one can see the results.
*

Would the results have been better if more countries had approved of the missions? I don't really see how. I do, on the other hand, see how they could have been improved if the whole country had been behind them more. Requiring a solemn declaration of war tends to have the effect of making sure that the country is solidly behind the mission before it begins.
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Christopher
post Feb 25 2006, 11:20 AM
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QUOTE
At #16 you said, "Who can actually attack us? No one!" and now you're saying that not only can we be attacked, but there's nothing we can do to prevent it. If you could make a consistent point, we could continue the discussion from there.

You're kidding right, you can tell the difference right?
Really?
Ri-ight!
Want to explain how the military can stop a terrorist attack?
Take your time.

The military cannot stop a terrorist attack like 9/11, never could never will.
repel a foreign invader nice enough to march their army against us--yes

Stop people already incountry- already seemingly part of our society who instead of driving to work, drive their vehicle into a building and trigger a detonator.

want to explain how the miltary will stop that?

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RedCedar
post Feb 25 2006, 02:12 PM
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Let me ask a question to that question:

Would we be better off spending the $250 Billion we spent in Iraq on roads in the US, universities, alternative fuel research, R&D in general, paying down our debts, cutting our obligations to China and Japan, etc?

And would we be better off reducing the 1/2 trillion dollars spent on many defense programs that are outdated, pure pork, a complete waste of money, to reduce our spending and debt obligations?

And would we be better off not sticking our noses in everyone's business aka Iraq occupation or $100 million for a new campaign to spur democracy in Iran? And reducing our debt obligation?

In other words, how much of our military and occupation costs are worthy of massive borrowing to burden future generations?


Do we need a military? Yes. Do we need a giant defense industrial complex with outrageous expenditures when our economy is faultering? NO. DEFINATELY NOT.

Eliminate? No. Severly cut back? YES.
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Dontreadonme
post Feb 25 2006, 03:22 PM
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QUOTE(RedCedar @ Feb 25 2006, 08:12 AM)

Do we need a military? Yes. Do we need a giant defense industrial complex with outrageous expenditures when our economy is faultering? NO. DEFINATELY NOT.

Eliminate? No. Severly cut back? YES.

It's very easy to state the opinion of severely cutting back on military spending, but my question for you is, where do you make the cuts? To start with, I disagree that our economy is faltering, but I don't believe defense spending (Iraq war aside) is today anymore wasteful than other government programs and bureaucracies.
The line always has to be drawn between frugal use of money and resources, and forward progress in the technological capabilities of our military.
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A left Handed pe...
post Feb 25 2006, 06:55 PM
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Uhhh, who or what is going to protect the Europeans? While they could certainly re-arm in a meaningful way, until they do they remain vulnerable themselves. And this assumes that the Europeans aren't the ones we need support against! As for Canada, they currently can't even defend themselves. The Texas National Guard could motor on up I-35 and conquer Canada all by itself. Seriously, one of the factors (albeit not a big one) in the Liberal defeat in the recent Canadian elections is the sad state of Canadian defense capability. At the end of WW2 they had the 3rd largest navy in the world, today they're not even in the top 10. Their Army and Air Force have been similarily weakened. As long as the Canadien's can rely upon the US to insure the security of North America, they've been willing to spend more on butter than bullets.

I don't deny that Europe contains no super powers, but it houses decently advanced armies and navies (second probably to only our own), with great logistical capabilities. The world contains an integrated economy, and no one with any sanity is going to initiate, or allow warfare that will greatly disrupt the global economy, not even China. Threats are going to come from impulsive dictatorships, and theocracies, and countries of that description simply don't have much money, because they don't care enough about their own economies. Without wealth, military options are limited, oversea logistics are pathetic, and advanced technology is unavailable.

The most plausible scenario of an attack on America would be something like when Argentina invaded the Falkland islands, and frankly, there are at least a dozen countries in Europe capable of easily thwarting such an attack.

You mention us protecting Europe, but now that the USSR has collapsed, what are we protecting them from?

Terrorists have no military strength, and the hard part is finding them, not capturing or killing them.

I can think of no country that could or would attack Europe, so what are you talking about?
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post Feb 25 2006, 07:14 PM
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QUOTE(A left Handed person @ Feb 25 2006, 12:55 PM)

I can think of no country that could or would attack Europe, so what are you talking about?
*




There was this country you might have heard of.. It was called Germany... Where would the world be today if the United States had not had a military when Hitler was attempting world domination?
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post Feb 25 2006, 09:14 PM
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QUOTE(Sleeper @ Feb 23 2006, 02:55 PM)
1. Would our country be better off without a military?

2. Would the Coast Guard(which is a division of the military) and police force be able to thwart an attack on the United States?

*



1.) I actually had the (mis)fortune to watch the original interview and I must say I was rather disgusted by the opinion being expressed. Our country would not be America without a military. Our armed forces keep the country protected against threats, and believe you me: without our military, our country would be attacked quite a bit more than what we saw on 9/11. Call me paranoid, but I think our military by simply existing is keeping away more threats than it is currently fighting.

No one wants to confront the United States because of sheer might or technology. Well, even if they are not in action for us, our military is complementing this nation by being a force for good in other places.

2.) That is like putting a tissue on a paper air plane and launching it at the moon and hoping it explodes. To say that the coast guard, who more or less simply answer phones and occasionally go out to pick a person up (not insulting any former or current coast guardsmen out there, simply saying). They would be unable to break out the AK-47s and protect the country with the same precision or energy that the military might.





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Blackstone
post Feb 26 2006, 04:14 AM
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QUOTE(christopher @ Feb 25 2006, 06:20 AM)
Want to explain how the military can stop a terrorist attack?
*

What I want is for you to stake out a consistent position before we can continue at all with this discussion, because right now, the two positions I quoted from you are diametrically opposite each other.
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RedCedar
post Feb 26 2006, 04:39 AM
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QUOTE(Dontreadonme @ Feb 25 2006, 10:22 AM)
It's very easy to state the opinion of severely cutting back on military spending, but my question for you is, where do you make the cuts? To start with, I disagree that our economy is faltering, but I don't believe defense spending (Iraq war aside) is today anymore wasteful than other government programs and bureaucracies.
The line always has to be drawn between frugal use of money and resources, and forward progress in the technological capabilities of our military.
*



Actually defense cuts are pretty ease to find. I agree, most gov't programs are pork and poorly run. Most are targets for abuse and corruption.

But there is plenty of pork and worthless spending in our defense budget. I can't believe we're increasing spending on defense now, when our biggest threat is a guy coming into our harbor with a nuke in a cargo bin.

Saying we need no defense is just idiocy. But right now we're wasting billions, nearly trillions on worthless defense spending.

And having massive deficits and debts are not a sign of a faltering economy? Last I checked, the folks down the street who did the same thing were not doing well fiscally, in fact they filed for bankruptcy.

I find it unthinkable that we are BORROWING for Iraq as well as unnecessary defense spending.



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post Feb 26 2006, 05:35 AM
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QUOTE(Blackstone @ Feb 25 2006, 01:04 AM)
QUOTE(Dingo @ Feb 25 2006, 02:04 AM)
When it comes to international matters an international solution is better than a unilaterally one in most instances.

Actually, the ethical and responsible solution is better than the unethical and irresponsible one. Internationalizing the decisionmaking process isn't any more likely to result in a better decision than when one country makes the decision on its own after its people and their representatives consult. But it can hamstring us from doing what needs to be done.

Of course an ethical decision is to be preferred over an unethical one. I will add a wise decision is preferable to a dumb one. I think we have finally found an area of agreement. laugh.gif However to me on international matters employing a filter that requires an internationally sanctioned approach is a buffer against the kind of narrowly focused jingoistic decisions that have unleashed such horrors on the world. It wasn't the League of Nations that gave us the 2nd World War. An international body without the pressure of narrow parochial interests and accountable to a multitude of diverse nations is far better positioned to consider matters of international concern than a single nation which is primarily concerned with advancing its own interests.

QUOTE
Hey, you brought up NATO.  SEATO is just the equivalent of that in another corner of the world.

No it was not equivalent. Not even close. Tell me which country in SEATO, besides the US, made a major commitment in the Vietnam conflict? SEATO was little more than window dressing.

QUOTE
QUOTE
In fact we had most of the world against us, and one can see the results.

Would the results have been better if more countries had approved of the missions? I don't really see how.

Well you can start by comparing Gulf War 1 with Gulf War 2. International sanctioned action does more than simply supply help, which is important. It also confers legitimacy. There was real shared responsibility in GW 1, both militarily and financially. I think this country ended up out of pocket very little. And it was successful in its objectives - getting the Iraqis out of Kuwait. When we followed by going into unilateral mode and started PNACing the situation and making the decision to overthrow Saddam instead of working out some modus vivendi as most of the world was prepared to do, then things went all to hell. The appropriate way to go after Saddam would have been through the World Court. But we basically decided to go it alone militarily with a few folks we dragged reluctantly and minimally into the picture. I, at least, get the lesson.

This post has been edited by Dingo: Feb 26 2006, 05:40 AM
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post Feb 26 2006, 06:19 AM
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QUOTE(Dingo @ Feb 26 2006, 12:35 AM)
It wasn't the League of Nations that gave us the 2nd World War.

Nor was it started by a free society consulting its true interests in an open fashion. If you're really trying to compare us to Nazi Germany, I strongly suggest that you not go there.

Interesting that you brought that up, though, seeing as how on the other thread where we conversed you thought we should have intervened in the Spanish Civil War, despite a League of Nations resolution against doing so. Seems that the fine line between "jingoism" and legitimate intervention is very much in the eye of the beholder. I want that "beholder" to be the American people and their representatives, not foreign bureaucrats.

QUOTE
Well you can start by comparing Gulf War 1 with Gulf War 2.
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Yes, let's. In the first one, we left Saddam intact because our coalition was to indecisive to go that far. The result was a decade of UN sanctions which contributed to Arab anger and resulted in one of the most spectacularly corrupt scandals of the century known as "Oil-for-Food", which simultaneously lined the pockets of UN bureaucrats and connected companies, helped Saddam shore up his military machine, and still failed to help the people it was supposedly designed to help.

In the second, we actually removed the oppressor, and made life better for most Iraqis. Yes, there continues to be trouble, but the gloom and doom predictions that have been constantly trotted out over the past three years have not come to fruition, and even still in the face of this latest provocation by some likely terrorist group, are still being held at bay. As I said earlier, it would certainly have been better if a serious declaration of war had been obtained from Congress before going in. That would have conferred far more legitimacy than the benediction of the assembled collection of dictators, oligarchs, kleptocrats, and Saddam-connected politicians that make up the UN.
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Scipio Africanus
post Feb 26 2006, 06:48 AM
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QUOTE(Sleeper @ Feb 23 2006, 12:55 PM)
Gerardo Sandoval, a San Francisco Supervisor dropped a bomb the other day on Hannity & Colmes.

QUOTE(Gerardo Sandoval)
Conservative co-host Sean Hannity mockingly asked Sandoval whether "America should unilaterally disarm" and discard "our tools of war."

"You know that's a very complicated question," Sandoval replied Tuesday night. "But I would say, yes, we should. We should invest our money in our kids."

At that point Alan Colmes, the liberal co-host, incredulous at what he thought he just heard, jumped in.

Colmes: This is Alan in New York. Should we not have military?

Sandoval: I don't think we should have a military. Absolutely.

Colmes: We shouldn't have a military? Wait a minute. Hold on. The United States should not have a military?

Sandoval: What good has it done for us in the last five years? That's right. What good has it done us...

Hannity: Good grief.

Sandoval: ... in the last five years.

Colmes: Gerardo, wait a second.

Sandoval: We think about the billions that we're spending in Iraq right now, if we spend it on schools. We should not...

Colmes: The United States should not have a military?

Sandoval: That's correct.

Colmes: Are you kidding me?

Sandoval: The United States should not have a military. All in all, we would be in much, much, much better shape.



The conversation goes on to where Sandoval states the Police and Coast Guard should be able to defend the United States if we are attacked.

Questions for debate:

1. Would our country be better off without a military?

2. Would the Coast Guard(which is a division of the military) and police force be able to thwart an attack on the United States?

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Off course we should have a military, this should be our defense and not the coast gaurd and police. The coast gaurd and police would be easily overrun and destroyed. A military is a necessity to any nation. It would be truly insane to exist as a nation without a military.
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Christopher
post Feb 26 2006, 11:51 AM
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QUOTE
What I want is for you to stake out a consistent position before we can continue at all with this discussion, because right now, the two positions I quoted from you are diametrically opposite each other.
No they quite simply are not inconsistent. the military can not now or ever stop a terrorist from attacking america. it can not find someone who has lived quietly here unnoticed as a member of our population and just suddenly commits his attack. CIA-maybe, FBI-maybe, local law enforcement maybe. The armed forces - no.
the military is only good against an enemy that is standing around waiting to fight them.
I really cannot say it any simpler for you. Here's your sign.

This post has been edited by christopher: Feb 26 2006, 11:55 AM
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