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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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skepticasm
post Feb 26 2006, 10:53 PM
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QUOTE(Sleeper @ Feb 23 2006, 02:55 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?

*



1. Would our country be better off without a military?
Answer: No. I believe our country would be better off if our military were actively engaged in protecting us.
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?
Answer: No. Not unless, the military (USN, USA, USAF, USMC) personnel and resources were to become the US Coast Guard.
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Dingo
post Feb 27 2006, 01:33 AM
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QUOTE(Blackstone @ Feb 25 2006, 11:19 PM)
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.

Frankly I don't know what you are talking about. I simply said the League of Nations didn't start any war. It was individual nations like Germany operating outside the authority of the League that did. I don't what kind of track you want to take that on. Comparing us to Nazi Germany? Where did you come up with that one?

QUOTE
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.

The Spanish Gov. representative came to the League of Nation and appealed to them for support under the international principle of "collective defense" which the League was suppose to sponsor. England's narrow nationalism prevailed and made it impossible for the League to fulfill its contract. I understand that the League did oppose all foreign intervention which would have applied to Germany, Italy and Portugal as well. The US in intervening on the side of the Republican government would have very much been operating in the spirit of the League charter, ie collective defense of an invaded country that was a member of the League. Unfortunately once again narrow nationalism prevailed when applied to an international crisis and once again we and others payed the horrible price.

QUOTE
QUOTE
Well you can start by comparing Gulf War 1 with Gulf War 2.

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.


This is what I wrote and I'll stand by it.
QUOTE
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.


Funny thing about the UN oil-for-food-scandal. UN haters act like they were the only players in the game. It was the various countries and companies with their unprincipled greed that drove the scandal. Somehow the UN backbiters seem to want to forget that. The answer to the UN side of the problem, like with any organization, is to do a better job of hiring and monitoring. Only folks who want to delegitimatize the UN as a body try to use their corruption as a basis for general condemnation. They don't do that with their own countries or the much greater corruption that now exists in Iraq. Curious isn't it?

Saddam's military machine was forth rate, barely enough to maintain military control within his own country where the alliance would let him. He was flat bottled up. The war was a success in terms of its objectives and we had Arab and world backing for the most part at that time. Obviously things weren't necessarily that great if you were an Iraqi. Overall, for what it intended, Gulf 1 was a success. It was the transition after that where things got unilateralized that largely led to the cess pool we are in now

As for GW 2, life is better for some Iraqis and a lot worse for others and that's after 400 + billion in taxpayer money thrown into this mess, with corruption and terrorists running wild. Spare me the pollyanna hype about a unilateral policy that is coming apart at the seams. More important the policy has been awful for the US and has weakened us in practically every way around the world and in our own country. Calling Gulf War 2 a success is nothing more than a bad joke. Like Vietnam, it is a standing example of the failure of unilateralist policies that thumb their nose at the world.

This post has been edited by Dingo: Feb 27 2006, 02:15 AM
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Blackstone
post Feb 27 2006, 04:17 AM
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QUOTE(Dingo @ Feb 26 2006, 08:33 PM)
The answer to the UN side of the problem, like with any organization, is to do a better job of hiring and monitoring.

Yes, like with any other organization, including the U.S., wherever it went wrong. That was exactly my point that you laughed at earlier, which is that we need to focus on making sure we make the best decsions we can, not delegating the decisionmaking to the UN, where there's far less accountability than there is in our own public affairs here at home.

QUOTE
The war was a success in terms of its objectives and we had Arab and world backing for the most part at that time. Obviously things weren't necessarily that great if you were an Iraqi. Overall, for what it intended, Gulf 1 was a success. It was the transition after that where things got unilateralized that largely led to the cess pool we are in now

Wrong. Al-Qaeda was able to ratchet up hatred against the West in the Middle East in large part because of the multilateral UN decision to impose crushing sanctions on the Iraqi people, and because, thanks to the multilateral indecisiveness that prevented us from taking Baghdad at the time, it became necessary to station troops in Saudi Arabia over the course of the decade. If we had gone in at the time of the first war, we'd be faced with a lot fewer headaches in Iraq than we are now.

The unilateralization you refer to didn't happen until after the attacks on 9-11-01, brought about in part by the failure of UN policy towards Iraq.

QUOTE
As for GW 2, life is better for some Iraqis and a lot worse for others and that's after  400 + billion in taxpayer money thrown into this mess, with corruption and terrorists running wild.
*

And if we had intervened in the Spanish Civil War and secured a victory for the Republicans, you'd probably be able to make the same assessment of the aftermath of that as well. I agree that things in Iraq could be better, and that the Bush Administration screwed a few things up. But it also could be a lot worse, like the way the UN screwed things up the first time around, and like they screwed up Somalia and Kosovo as well.
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Dingo
post Feb 27 2006, 08:50 AM
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QUOTE(Blackstone @ Feb 26 2006, 09:17 PM)
QUOTE(Dingo @ Feb 26 2006, 08:33 PM)
The answer to the UN side of the problem, like with any organization, is to do a better job of hiring and monitoring.

Yes, like with any other organization, including the U.S., wherever it went wrong. That was exactly my point that you laughed at earlier, which is that we need to focus on making sure we make the best decsions we can, not delegating the decisionmaking to the UN, where there's far less accountability than there is in our own public affairs here at home.

You may be addressing some point but its not mine. I'm saying we need international solutions to international problem. Focusing on the international agencies failings in order to cripple it with the same standards not being applied to national agencies only betrays the arguers bias.

QUOTE
QUOTE
The war was a success in terms of its objectives and we had Arab and world backing for the most part at that time. Obviously things weren't necessarily that great if you were an Iraqi. Overall, for what it intended, Gulf 1 was a success. It was the transition after that where things got unilateralized that largely led to the cess pool we are in now

Wrong. Al-Qaeda was able to ratchet up hatred against the West in the Middle East in large part because of the multilateral UN decision to impose crushing sanctions on the Iraqi people, and because, thanks to the multilateral indecisiveness that prevented us from taking Baghdad at the time, it became necessary to station troops in Saudi Arabia over the course of the decade. If we had gone in at the time of the first war, we'd be faced with a lot fewer headaches in Iraq than we are now.

We didn't belong in Saudi Arabia. Deploy our forces if necessary in the open sea. Another nationalistic mistake in dealing with an international issue - overseas oil. To the extent policies were being followed to bring extreme pressure on Iraq to the extent of causing great civilian harm I think this reflected nationalistic concerns to remove SH. I think a genuine UN generated policy would have been far different and I frankly don't have the expertise to separate out what was imposed by countries like the United States and what was an honestly internationally generated policy to remove the threat by Iraq but to also not harm civilians. The inspections were good and they were from the UN. They were removed according to Scott Ritter because the CIA was trying to nationalistically employ them as spies.

QUOTE
The unilateralization you refer to didn't happen until after the attacks on 9-11-01, brought about in part by the failure of UN policy towards Iraq.

9-ll had a lot more to do with Saudi Arabia and Israel than Iraq. SH was death on the jihadists. As I said the bad part of sanction policy appears to have been to a major degree due to the pressures of countries like the US and Britain.

QUOTE
QUOTE
As for GW 2, life is better for some Iraqis and a lot worse for others and that's after  400 + billion in taxpayer money thrown into this mess, with corruption and terrorists running wild.
*

And if we had intervened in the Spanish Civil War and secured a victory for the Republicans, you'd probably be able to make the same assessment of the aftermath of that as well. I agree that things in Iraq could be better, and that the Bush Administration screwed a few things up. But it also could be a lot worse, like the way the UN screwed things up the first time around, and like they screwed up Somalia and Kosovo as well.

Somalia and Kosovo by the standard of Iraq are monumental successes. In Somalia the humanitarian mission was carried out and when it became clear the mission was no longer viable we left. As far as the problems please don't compare a mouse with an elephant.

A Spanish victory would have left a viable government as they had one before Franco revolted. There is no comparison with Iraq which had its government destroyed.

Internationalism wins in every instance.
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CruisingRam
post Feb 27 2006, 11:34 AM
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1. Would our country be better off without a military?

Well, in a word- no. However- redifining "military" to TRUE defensive capability instead of the "policeman of the world" mission we are trying to carry out now MAY have been the context of what he was getting at. To that, I don't disagree. In fact, I think we are LESS ready for a true invasion, should a mythical country try to invade us, that prior to 9/11 and GW2. We are stretched pretty thin with too many obligations right now. But since I don't think the EU, Russia and China are going to gang up on us and attack us next week, the point is pretty moot there as well- we are our own worst enenmy in regards to deployments.

But to go to pre-WW2 levels of military, with our being lulled into thinking we truly had a "war to end all wars" is disastrous as well.

We do need to stop being the worlds bully or proffesional cop, depending on your POV, and start concentrating on true domestic safety and protection.

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?

Well, depends on how you think of this problem- let's say, we took the entire navy and made it "the coast guard"- mission accomplisheder, right GW? LOL- there is some strategic and good sense if you really think it out and not in "bumper sticker" analogies- for instance- if we took the entire Naval fleet and all it's assets and used it on port security, I believe we may actually have port security! w00t.gif - same with the Army- if we took the 100K+ troops from the gulf, and use them in airport and border security- with all those military assets as back up- but trained them still as the army and navy trains today- we might actually be safer.

Pulling all the money out of the middle east- including aide to Isreal, Hamas and everyone else- and let them settle thier issues on thier terms- we might have some real homeland security- let them kill each other off and deal with those left standing for our oil or whatever.

Genocide is a horrible thing- BUT- it is secondary to actual homeland security for Americans. Genocide in WW2 coincided with an actual attack on our shores, a military attack, not a guerilla bombing- so either state sponsored terrorism or state to state agression can be dealt with on those terms.

Sounds horrible- but those countries are not my concern until, as a nation, they attempt to harm us. At that time, we don't try to "HOLD" the country- but rather, take away thier assets to make war against us, then leave.

The major problem we have with our foriegn policy is not democrat vs republican (though the current policy is probably the stupidest EVER) - it is our cultural belief that we have some moral or ethical imperitive to "fix" other countries problems, and that somehow, we are morally superior and have the ability to be "big brother" to them. That is why we end up so evil in so many of our encounters. We just can't mind our own darn biz and take care of our own instead of running around like a hyperactive church lady.

However- DTOM and others are right in the fact that we mustn't lose our ability to make war when we need it to protect ourselves either.
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theironman
post Feb 27 2006, 05:31 PM
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QUOTE(dingo)
You may be addressing some point but its not mine. I'm saying we need international solutions to international problem. Focusing on the international agencies failings in order to cripple it with the same standards not being applied to national agencies only betrays the arguers bias.


Internationals interests do not necessarily allign with American interests. This being said, our interests would not necessarily be secured by defering our military capacity to international agencies with poor records on international dispute settlements.

QUOTE(dingo)
We didn't belong in Saudi Arabia. Deploy our forces if necessary in the open sea. Another nationalistic mistake in dealing with an international issue - overseas oil. To the extent policies were being followed to bring extreme pressure on Iraq to the extent of causing great civilian harm I think this reflected nationalistic concerns to remove SH. I think a genuine UN generated policy would have been far different and I frankly don't have the expertise to separate out what was imposed by countries like the United States and what was an honestly internationally generated policy to remove the threat by Iraq but to also not harm civilians. The inspections were good and they were from the UN. They were removed according to Scott Ritter because the CIA was trying to nationalistically employ them as spies.


UN imposed mandates were responsible for far more Iraqi civilian casualties then US detractors have been willing to acknowledge. Furthermore, the issues surrounding overseas oil are far too divisive to attain any true multilateral consensus without later resorting to tradtional forms of power politics.

QUOTE
Somalia and Kosovo by the standard of Iraq are monumental successes. In Somalia the humanitarian mission was carried out and when it became clear the mission was no longer viable we left. As far as the problems please don't compare a mouse with an elephant.

A Spanish victory would have left a viable government as they had one before Franco revolted. There is no comparison with Iraq which had its government destroyed.


NATO acted without the consent of the UN to intervene in Kosovo, and the comparison between Kosovo and Iraq simply doesn't exist. Humanitarian missions that can achieve relatively high levels of consensus cannot and should not be compared to enforcements of internationally sanctionned resolutions on a mildly developed Middle-Eastern country.

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Ted
post Feb 27 2006, 07:26 PM
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QUOTE
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?


If history tells us anything it is that we would not exist as a free nation without the means to defend ourselves. I heard Mr. Sandoval make the ludicrous statements quoted above and even Colmes was flabbergasted.

I guess his city of residence says it all. This man is a complete idiot.

The “coast guard” would have trouble defending us from third world nations – their effectiveness against major (esp. nuclear) powers would be nil.
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Dingo
post Feb 27 2006, 08:13 PM
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QUOTE(theironman @ Feb 27 2006, 10:31 AM)
Internationals interests do not necessarily allign with American interests. This being said, our interests would not necessarily be secured by defering our military capacity to international agencies with poor records on international dispute settlements.

To define national interests apart from the filter of an international confirming process is to ultimately shoot ourselves in the foot. The Shah was in our narrow national interest and we got Khomenie as a result. Saddam Hussein was useful to us against Khomenie and we got the Kuwait invasion as a result. Getting rid of Hussein was perceived as in our narrow national interest and we got what we have now in Iraq where even neocons are bailing. Supporting the Saudi dictatorship was in our narrow national interest and we got murderous Wahabism and bin Laden as a result. Backing the insurgents against the Soviets in Afghanistan and then leaving the country high and dry when the Soviets left was in our narrow national interest but we trained and layed the foundation for violent Islamist revolution as a result. We back the Israeli occupation in the West Bank against international opinion and we are out mucho bucks and become recruiters for Al Qaeda and Hamas suicide bombers. The record is overwhelming. It is in our interests on international matters to heavily factor in international opinion.

QUOTE
UN imposed mandates were responsible for far more Iraqi civilian casualties then US detractors have been willing to acknowledge. Furthermore, the issues surrounding overseas oil are far too divisive to attain any true multilateral consensus without later resorting to tradtional forms of power politics.

In dealing with UN imposed policies we have to recognize a spectrum of influences. The oil-for-food program as badly as it was carried out and Blix UN inspectors represented in principle the type of approach one expects from an international agency. The American approach of screwing up the inspections process by planting spies and engaging in attempts to overthrow a standing government was the nationalistic side of the equation. One wonders what would have been the outcome if we had worked with Hussein in a more upfront way while guarding against his acquiring WMDs. I realize the devastation that was caused by the sanctions but was that due more to the nationalist or internationalist side of the equation. I think more the former.

QUOTE
NATO acted without the consent of the UN to intervene in Kosovo, 

I consider NATO a quasi-international outfit. Certainly it is better to work with NATO than go it alone. UN responsibility for the occupation followed shortly on the heels of the NATO success.

QUOTE
and the comparison between Kosovo and Iraq simply doesn't exist. Humanitarian missions that can achieve relatively high levels of consensus cannot and should not be compared to enforcements of internationally sanctionned resolutions on a mildly developed Middle-Eastern country.

I really haven't a clue what you are talking about here. Perhaps you could restate your point.
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theironman
post Feb 27 2006, 10:07 PM
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QUOTE
To define national interests apart from the filter of an international confirming process is to ultimately shoot ourselves in the foot. The Shah was in our narrow national interest and we got Khomenie as a result. Saddam Hussein was useful to us against Khomenie and we got the Kuwait invasion as a result. Getting rid of Hussein was perceived as in our narrow national interest and we got what we have now in Iraq where even neocons are bailing. Supporting the Saudi dictatorship was in our narrow national interest and we got murderous Wahabism and bin Laden as a result. Backing the insurgents against the Soviets in Afghanistan and then leaving the country high and dry when the Soviets left was in our narrow national interest but we trained and layed the foundation for violent Islamist revolution as a result. We back the Israeli occupation in the West Bank against international opinion and we are out mucho bucks and become recruiters for Al Qaeda and Hamas suicide bombers. The record is overwhelming. It is in our interests on international matters to heavily factor in international opinion.


This is so short-sighted.

All of the above examples you cited were often the best choice out of several options availible. You can't simply say in retrospect that these "narrow interests" as you've defined them were wrong because they purportedly resulted in "x" without first considering the effects that other foreign policy choices might have had and how it could have altered the current geopolitical climate. Similarly, what effect does international opinion have except being a convenient way of moralizing collective aims?

QUOTE
In dealing with UN imposed policies we have to recognize a spectrum of influences. The oil-for-food program as badly as it was carried out and Blix UN inspectors represented in principle the type of approach one expects from an international agency. The American approach of screwing up the inspections process by planting spies and engaging in attempts to overthrow a standing government was the nationalistic side of the equation. One wonders what would have been the outcome if we had worked with Hussein in a more upfront way while guarding against his acquiring WMDs. I realize the devastation that was caused by the sanctions but was that due more to the nationalist or internationalist side of the equation. I think more the former.


Right, because Hussein was so cooperative and forthcoming with the state of his weapons programme?

International agencies have many more politicians to appease than a national congress. With so many competing interests at stake, true multilateralism is simply a pipe dream and hardly desirable since, as we've seen with the Security Council, the UN becomes a pawn for the stronger powers to assert their authority on a moral basis through this supposed 'multilateral consenus' we keep hearing about.

QUOTE
I consider NATO a quasi-international outfit. Certainly it is better to work with NATO than go it alone. UN responsibility for the occupation followed shortly on the heels of the NATO success.


Of course, it is preferable to work within an international agency when there is significant common ground, but it's hardly a requirement.

QUOTE
I really haven't a clue what you are talking about here. Perhaps you could restate your point.


You can't compare the successes of international campaigns of relatively small-scale to a full-fledged war of occupation where a tentative socio-ethnic arrangement exists.

This post has been edited by theironman: Feb 27 2006, 10:09 PM
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KivrotHaTaavah
post Feb 28 2006, 01:02 AM
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First, two items, offered for clarification and edification:

1) He who rules the seas, rules the world. Just ask the British. The sun never set on the British Empire because the sun never set on Her Majesty's Navy. But if the British don't work for you, simply recall Teddy Roosevelt sending the fleet around the world. It wasn't a world-wide holiday cruise. So we need the largest and best-equipped Navy that we can afford. Much of our current limitation with respect to military and other options is simply because we don't have the Navy to do the job [our capacity to conduct amphibious operations, for instance, is quite nearly non-existent, so pray that we never find as an enemy someone that we will need to invade via an amphibious landing, or more simply, I doubt whether we could even accomplish so much as another Inchon]. The Army and the Air Force are not doing any better in that regard, as it has and will take months for us to airlift a force of any decent size to just about anywhere in the world. And that's one reason why we had cruise missiles in Afghanistan following Nairobi and Dar Es Salaam. It took 3,000+ dead before we could get the nerve to make the effort required because of our deficiency in this regard.

2) NATO. Well, NATO, colonialism/imperialism, and US troops in Saudi Arabia. Nice of Osama to want to kill us all for having troops in Saudi, but if such is the correct attitude, then why aren't some Europeans flying fuel-laden passenger jumbo jets into our skyscrapers? We've been "occupying" Germany far longer than we have been "occupying" Saudi, but I don't see any Germans crashing into the Empire State building [though one (Mattias Rust) did take his own little Cessna and fly it and himself into Red Square, the glorious lunatic; oh, and note the Soviet response versus our likely response, which is to say that some rather high up in the chain of command were sent packing]. With the point being, don't give NATO more credit than NATO deserves. NATO came into being simply because the Europeans had need of some security arrangement with the US lest the Soviets come and eat them up like chocolate covered cherries. And the simple reason why it was more than just some money, some equipment, and a security guarantee is because the Europeans did not trust us. So to make up for the deficient trust, they welcomed US troops on their soil. Which is another way of saying that with our troops on the ground, any Soviet move in western Europe would have resulted in coffins draped with the American flag appearing on your and my nightly news. And that was the guarantee that our European friends were looking for. We may not die for them, maybe not even for a few of our own, but hundreds, and maybe thousands, well, then we're good to go.


Now, do we need a military? See the above. Can the Coast Guard and the cops do the job? Apparently, SF does not have the same gang problem as LA did when I lived there, or else someone's neurons aren't quite firing properly. Re the Coast Guard. Well, I don't want to demean a good service that performs rather brilliantly in most every other capacity, but if the CG can't stop some Columbian drugs lords, well, you get the point.


Lastly, re SF and the USS Iowa. Not money, or so Ken Garcia of the SF Examiner reported. According to him, it was "instruments of war" and some vague references to the war in Iraq. Of course, SF didn't deserve her anyway, seeing as how they also rejected the previous opportunity to have a rather special ship serve as a floating museum and tourist attraction. More specifically, our friends from SF gave the big thumbs down to CV-6, the USS Enterprise, ever so lucky talisman of the US Navy during WWII, otherwise known to those who love[d] her as The Big E. The Big E partipicated in every carrier action of that war but one [the Battle of the Coral Sea; she was a day's sailing away when the battle ended]. She and her crew otherwise earned 20 out of a possible 22 battle stars, and she was the most decorated ship of that war and quite possibly the most decorated ship in US Navy history. And not that they necessarily could have known it at that time, but given that the USS Enterprise is, well, you know where I'm going with this, but I would invite you all to check the Trekkie blogs and see for yourself how, in trying to determine why that name, some have educated themselves as concerns our history and The Big E. But anyway, here she is, entering Pearl just following her rush home from her aborted attempt to participate at the Coral Sea, and rushed so that she would be ready for Midway:

http://www.history.navy.mil/photos/images/g60000/g66121.jpg

And here she is after just having launched Scouting Squadran Six and Bombing Squadron Six, who would not so long thereafter be taking out His Imperial Majesty's Akagi and Kaga at Midway:

http://www.cv6.org/1942/midway/midway_2.htm [actually, a photo taken a bit later than the one orginally posted, as the torpedo bombers are now ready to launch]

Sorry, some more, to be fair. SF made the wrong move, and I'm not blaming them for it, but as reported, they took CV-12, the USS Hornet. Only problem is that CV-8, the Hornet previous [as it were], had the shortest career of any carrier in US Navy history, commissioning in October of 1941 and being sunk in October 1942 during the Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands. CV-12 is otherwise reported to be haunted, and so she's called the Grey Ghost [or Haunted Hornet]. Word on the street is otherwise that she had the highest suicide rate in the US Navy and also lost a few sailors to decapitation owing to snapped arresting wire cables. So maybe that explains why no one is beating down the door to tour the gal. That being said, while her forbear was sunk during the Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands, the Big E too took some bomb hits, but as always, she lived to tell the tale. Here she is during that battle, and no, though she has been hit, she's not listing as a result of bomb damage and flooding, instead, good gal that she was, she's merely twisting and turning to avoid the untoward advances of her pursuers:

http://www.cv6.org/1942/santacruz/santacruz_3.htm [second photo on page]

And, truly lastly, it was this bomb hit, in May of 1945 off Okinawa, that ended her war. The explosion resulting from a bomb-laden kamikaze that had crashed-dived her caused the forward elevator to be "thrown" 700 or so feet skyward:

http://www.navweaps.com/index_tech/tech-042.htm [second photo on page]

But she did make it back, though, to our shame as a nation, no one wanted her and so she was later sold as scrap. Now, if we'd given her to the Coast Guard, well, then maybe they'd be in a better position to fight that naval war that our friend from SF wants them to fight....

Edited to add: Sorry about the prior links, apparently, one must first go the site and then double-click the photo before one can have access to the same. And, sorry, one more, here she is when she was the ONLY carrier in the US fleet in the Pacific [first photo, on the right]:

http://www.cv6.org/1942/santacruz/santacruz_4.htm

And re the national shame [and a portent of things to come]:

"Perhaps her two most prestigious tributes were received after she left the war. In August 1945, Secretary of the Navy James Forrestal cited Enterprise as the "one vessel that most nearly symbolizes the history of the Navy in this war." Two months later, following the Navy Day celebration in New York in October 1945, Secretary Forrestal recommended to President Truman that Enterprise, unable to operate the heavier, faster aircraft then entering service, be preserved "as a visible symbol of American valor and tenacity in war, and of our will to fight all enemies who assail us...."

http://www.cv6.org/decoration/decoration.htm

And note the receipt British Admiralty Pennant, so she's the only lady outside the Royal Navy to have one...and given the British experience at sea, that pretty much says it all...

This post has been edited by KivrotHaTaavah: Feb 28 2006, 05:06 AM
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Blackstone
post Feb 28 2006, 04:42 AM
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QUOTE(Dingo @ Feb 27 2006, 03:50 AM)
I'm saying we need international solutions to international problem. Focusing on the international agencies failings in order to cripple it with the same standards not being applied to national agencies only betrays the arguers bias.

You have a really annoying habit of putting words in my mouth. I acknowledge problems that have taken place with both approaches, and you come back with talk of different "standards" being applied. It's very simple, now: You began with the claim that the international approach is inherently better, I point out where it had some serious problems, and you simply respond that it needs to be done better. Well, the same argument can be made in regard to the unilateral approach: it simply needs to be done better. In other words, saying that it needs to be done better is does not constitute an argument, because it can be made in regard to any approach whatsoever. You've yet to show that the international approach inherently leads to better results. It's only as good as the people who make it up.

QUOTE
I think a genuine UN generated policy would have been far different and I frankly don't have the expertise to separate out what was imposed by countries like the United States and what was an honestly internationally generated policy to remove the threat by Iraq but to also not harm civilians.

Like I said, only as good as the people who make it up. It seems that to you, a "genuine" UN generated policy is one that's designed primarily by other countries. But you've yet to explain how they're any better at coming up with political and military strategies than we are.

QUOTE
QUOTE
The unilateralization you refer to didn't happen until after the attacks on 9-11-01, brought about in part by the failure of UN policy towards Iraq.

9-ll had a lot more to do with Saudi Arabia and Israel than Iraq.

It had plenty to do with Iraq. There was a huge amount of anger in the Arab world over that. And al-Qaeda's statements right after 9/11 barely even mentioned Israel.

QUOTE
Somalia and Kosovo by the standard of Iraq are monumental successes. In Somalia the humanitarian mission was carried out and when it became clear the mission was no longer viable we left. As far as the problems please don't compare a mouse with an elephant.

Somalia was much more successful before Clinton turned over the reins to the UN than after. The attacks on our men were a huge morale booster for al-Qaeda, and some time after we left, the UN declared Somalia a hopelessly "failed state" and withdrew as well. And then, things actually began to improve!

As for Kosovo, attacks on Serb civilians by Albanian thugs which K-For does next to nothing about don't get the same kind of press as the violence in Iraq, but it's certainly real, along with the huge sex slave trade that UN soldiers have been so graciously patronizing. The body count per capita I'm sure is higher in Iraq, but the deck was already much more stacked against Iraq to begin with than against Kosovo. The UN has a comparatively easier job in Kosovo, but can't seem to do it right.

QUOTE
A Spanish victory would have left a viable government as they had one before Franco revolted. There is no comparison with Iraq which had its government destroyed.

And of course the "viable government" in Spain wouldn't have undertaken any bloody reprisals similar to the ones that they instigated at the beginning of the conflict, and there wouldn't have been continued guerrilla activity by the Phalangists, and there wouldn't have been any hanky-panky when it came to who got ownership of the property confiscated from the church and royals and businesses. Not to mention the prolonging of the war, and with it all the additional lives lost, that would very likely have resulted from our intervention...

QUOTE
Internationalism wins in every instance.
*


...or is that all these things that I mentioned would have been justified, because the response was "international"? Is ideology everything, or is reality allowed to have its say as well?
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A left Handed pe...
post Feb 28 2006, 04:14 PM
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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?

Your not answering my question. Who today would and could successfully invade Europe?

Russia and china might barely fulfill the could requirement of that question, but they certainly don't fulfill the would, as it would be economic suicide for either of them, and of course, we have MAD (Mutually assured destruction) working around the area. Warfare between nuke armed countries just doesn't happen, because its well known it will only hurt both sides. There are a great many good reasons, why first world countries have for the past half century, ceased going to war with eachother.

WW2 occurred in a different era, and in a different setting.



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post Feb 28 2006, 05:46 PM
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left handed person

Warfare between nuke armed countries just doesn't happen, because its well known it will only hurt both sides. There are a great many good reasons, why first world countries have for the past half century, ceased going to war with eachother.

Right but lets remember that nukes and their delivery systems etc. are part and parcel of the “military”. No military – no nukes.

In addition a country needs more than nukes to defend its vital interests. You cannot “nuke” everyone who threatens your interests or yourself (as Iraq did) but you can use your Navy to coerce them and your marines and Army and Air Force to further back up your demands. Thus a “military” will always be required.
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post Feb 28 2006, 08:23 PM
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QUOTE(theironman @ Feb 27 2006, 03:07 PM)
This is so short-sighted.

All of the above examples you cited were often the best choice out of several options availible. You can't simply say in retrospect that these "narrow interests" as you've defined them were wrong because they purportedly resulted in "x" without first considering the effects that other foreign policy choices might have had and how it could have altered the current geopolitical climate. Similarly, what effect does international opinion have except being a convenient way of moralizing collective aims?

Best choices? How did you arrive at that conclusion? What were the alternative choices? Well Gorbachev warned us that the manner in which we were dealing with the Afghan war would lead to the conclusion it did. He offered a Soviet pull out but on a different timetable and in a more orderly manner. But our nationalistic arrogance caused us to thumb our nose at him. How come he was so prescient and we weren't? Perhaps he had had some experience dealing with a native Muslim population. One obvious purpose of using an international filter like the UN is to draw on the experience of people who know about matters that we don't. It is really curious that after enumerating all these examples of blowback from our narrow parochial policies you would refer to them as "best choice" options. That is a perspective of despair. From your vantage point we might as well start digging our grave now.

QUOTE
QUOTE
In dealing with UN imposed policies we have to recognize a spectrum of influences. The oil-for-food program as badly as it was carried out and Blix UN inspectors represented in principle the type of approach one expects from an international agency. The American approach of screwing up the inspections process by planting spies and engaging in attempts to overthrow a standing government was the nationalistic side of the equation. One wonders what would have been the outcome if we had worked with Hussein in a more upfront way while guarding against his acquiring WMDs. I realize the devastation that was caused by the sanctions but was that due more to the nationalist or internationalist side of the equation. I think more the former.


Right, because Hussein was so cooperative and forthcoming with the state of his weapons programme?

To the extent that he thought it would lead to some greater independence and backing off on the sanctions, my understanding is he was willing to cooperate. But we were unilaterally committed to regime change.

QUOTE
International agencies have many more politicians to appease than a national congress. With so many competing interests at stake, true multilateralism is simply a pipe dream and hardly desirable since, as we've seen with the Security Council, the UN becomes a pawn for the stronger powers to assert their authority on a moral basis through this supposed 'multilateral consenus' we keep hearing about.

Internationally arrived at policies take in broader considerations and that multilateralism is a strength. Instead of win-lose it becomes win-win. They also carry a legitimacy which policies of narrow self-interest don't. And yes I agree that to the extent UN policies are more driven by big power considerations that they carry less legitimacy than if there is real international consensus. Nevertheless even then by using international processes they still show some respect for the principle of internationalism and as such garner more respect and cooperation.

QUOTE
QUOTE
I consider NATO a quasi-international outfit. Certainly it is better to work with NATO than go it alone. UN responsibility for the occupation followed shortly on the heels of the NATO success.


Of course, it is preferable to work within an international agency when there is significant common ground, but it's hardly a requirement.

If the human race is going to survive we may ultimately have to make it a requirement that international standards rule in major international disputes.

QUOTE
QUOTE
I really haven't a clue what you are talking about here. Perhaps you could restate your point.

You can't compare the successes of international campaigns of relatively small-scale to a full-fledged war of occupation where a tentative socio-ethnic arrangement exists.


Major ethnic and religious antagonism were also present in the Bosnian and Kosovo theatre and these were not small scale. If anything civil war had broken out to a greater degree than in Iraq when we came into the picture. The relative success of one and relative failure of the other is in fact very instructive when it comes to comparing broad cooperation with unilateral arrogance.
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post Mar 1 2006, 05:22 PM
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Dingo
Major ethnic and religious antagonism were also present in the Bosnian and Kosovo theatre and these were not small scale. If anything civil war had broken out to a greater degree than in Iraq when we came into the picture. The relative success of one and relative failure of the other is in fact very instructive when it comes to comparing broad cooperation with unilateral arrogance.


What “arrogance” are you speaking of? The US arrogance in defending those being murdered in Bosnia while the UN did squat? Some say we should have been as “arrogant” in Rwanda and saved the lives of 800,000 people instead of just watch it happen and actually prevent UN forces in the country from intervening as Koffie did.

The UN is a good to mediocre organization when dealing with humanitarian requirements and a total and abysmal failure dealing with international conflict. To trust any small part of our “security” to this organization would be the height of folly.

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Vermillion
post Mar 1 2006, 06:45 PM
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QUOTE(Ted @ Mar 1 2006, 05:22 PM)
What “arrogance” are you speaking of?  The US arrogance in defending those being murdered in Bosnia while the UN did squat?    Some say we should have been as “arrogant” in Rwanda and saved the lives of 800,000 people instead of just watch it happen and actually prevent UN forces in the country from intervening as Koffie did.


The failure of Europe to intervent in the Kosovo crisis more rapidly has been seen as a failure of Europe by all Europeans. There is no question that they faild to react rapidly enough to a conflict in their own back yard. Thats not the UN, mind you, but still, a failure.

Rwanda however, is yet another one of those situations where you should not be QUITE so quick to throw stones there Ted.

"Despite reports of mass killings, the UN failed to take immediate action to stop the massacres, due to opposition from France and the US. Around 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus were killed within 100 days, and over three million people fled to neighboring countries."

http://www.globalpolicy.org/security/issues/rwanindx.htm

"In March of 1998, on a visit to Rwanda, President Clinton issued what would later be known as the "Clinton apology," which was actually a carefully hedged acknowledgment. "We come here today partly in recognition of the fact that we in the United States and the world community did not do as much as we could have and should have done to try to limit what occurred" in Rwanda.

This implied that the United States had done a good deal but not quite enough. In reality the United States did much more than fail to send troops. It led a successful effort to remove most of the UN peacekeepers who were already in Rwanda. It aggressively worked to block the subsequent authorization of UN reinforcements. It refused to use its technology to jam radio broadcasts that were a crucial instrument in the coordination and perpetuation of the genocide. And even as, on average, 8,000 Rwandans were being butchered each day, U.S. officials shunned the term "genocide," for fear of being obliged to act."

http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200109/power-genocide


Yes the UN did not react fast enough to Rwanda, but it was certainly not helped by the truculence of the United States. There is more than enough blame to go around on that one Ted, and a lot of it belongs to the US.


Mind you, as I have maintained on this forum before, in reality there was nothing that COULD have been done about Rwanda, it was not practically stoppable. So in fact your steriotypes anti-UN railings are in error on two levels...




This post has been edited by Vermillion: Mar 1 2006, 06:46 PM
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post Mar 1 2006, 07:55 PM
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QUOTE(Vermillion @ Mar 1 2006, 12:45 PM)
Yes the UN did not react fast enough to Rwanda, but it was certainly not helped by the truculence of the United States. There is more than enough blame to go around on that one Ted, and a lot of it belongs to the US.

Mind you, as I have maintained on this forum before, in reality there was nothing that COULD have been done about Rwanda, it was not practically stoppable. So in fact your steriotypes anti-UN railings are in error on two levels...
*



I disagree with the latter portion, in that I believe that the belief that nothing could've been done is an avenue by which western society passes the blame...it's far easier to state that we couldn't have helped than to fess up to the notion that this happened when we could've intervened. I, of course, have seen what one Marine fire team can do to an indigenous force. Success wouldn't necessarily have been clear cut or easily attained due to a number of factors, but heck... what did we try? Nada... I'm obviously biased when it comes to military intervention, but from my perspective if we'd have saved 100 or 1000 people it wouldn't matter to anyone but those that we saved.

I'd have to say that in Rwanda, the genocide happened predominantly by laymen armed with rudamentary weapons (clubs, machetes, etc). It's hard to say that we could've stopped all murders, but frankly a battalion of Rangers or Marines could've put a dent in the progress.

I would say that in general that the United States should've been involved. Numerous analysts believed that it had to do with our lack of economic investment in Rwanda, and our lack of interest in the stability in the region. I personally wasn't in the service then, but had I been called would've gladly gone if it were to happen now.

Frankly, I'd venture to state that many people outside of the US, and even in the US don't know to what degree our military is used in international ventures. We send Marines to central America all the time, and my unit was even deployed to Nicaragua just before I was assigned.

It's appalling that the military is used for nearly anything (bridge building in Belize for instance) but not one body was sent to Rwanda... it's something we should've been ashamed of.
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post Mar 1 2006, 08:13 PM
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QUOTE(aevans176 @ Mar 1 2006, 07:55 PM)
I'd have to say that in Rwanda, the genocide happened predominantly by laymen armed with rudamentary weapons (clubs, machetes, etc). It's hard to say that we could've stopped all murders, but frankly a battalion of Rangers or Marines could've put a dent in the progress.


This may be a debate for another thread, and I do agree that there would certainly have been merit in trying, but I have to disagree about the practicality of what could have happened. Keep in mind a few factors:
-The entire event, from when it becamse known to the general world public, was over within 70 days.
-The majority of the killing, over two-thirds, was over within 25 days of it going public.
-Rwanda is landlocked in the middle of Africa, and most of the neighbouring countries would not have allowed US landings or overflights.
-The killing was widespread, in the entire country (a jungle/mountain country) by neighbour against neighbour, it was not an army, its was individual groups without uniform or distinguising marks killing individual groups.
-There WERE armed forces on the ground. Canadian, Belgians and a few others, and they were helpless to act. One group of Belgians that tried was massacred. Rifles are great, but not in enclosed spaces against 1000 machetes.
-The Canadian commander, when at one point he was considering acting, was told that tribesmen were running in front of the soldiers carrying one or two young children as hostages/shields, and that this was quite common. The fact that these children probably died anyways still does not make it possible for soldiers to shoot them even to defend themselves.

I will refrain from taking this further of topic, but the point is I just do not think any military intervention was posible, not getting there in time, and not able to do much even if they could....
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post Mar 1 2006, 08:31 PM
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QUOTE(Vermillion @ Mar 1 2006, 02:13 PM)
I will refrain from taking this further of topic, but the point is I just do not think any military intervention was posible, not getting there in time, and not able to do much even if they could....
*



Sure, but something to consider was that the UN forces weren't well equipped, largely outnumbered, not covered by air support, etc.

The point I was eluding to is that the US military during the 90's was used predominantly in the vain of "flag waving" as opposed to effective military ventures. Going into an African nation to save a non-caucasian population (or attempt to of course) might've gained us some brownie points on the international scene. We could've flown a handful of Chinooks or Marine Sea Knights in from Uganda or Kenya and provided some type of support.... and like I said, and this may sound marginally "bleeding heart liberal", but if we'd saved 100 or 1000 people, every single person that survived would be a testament to our dedication... while providing endless "good guy" stories about the US Military...
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post Mar 1 2006, 09:37 PM
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QUOTE
Best choices? How did you arrive at that conclusion? What were the alternative choices? Well Gorbachev warned us that the manner in which we were dealing with the Afghan war would lead to the conclusion it did. He offered a Soviet pull out but on a different timetable and in a more orderly manner. But our nationalistic arrogance caused us to thumb our nose at him. How come he was so prescient and we weren't? Perhaps he had had some experience dealing with a native Muslim population. One obvious purpose of using an international filter like the UN is to draw on the experience of people who know about matters that we don't. It is really curious that after enumerating all these examples of blowback from our narrow parochial policies you would refer to them as "best choice" options. That is a perspective of despair. From your vantage point we might as well start digging our grave now.


How on earth does the U.N. know any more about dealing with Muslim populations than the U.S. does?

Where is the proof that Gorbachev was prescient of the fact that the Mujahadeen and its modern offshoot would attack the U.S. more than a decade after the fall of the Soviet Union, or this alleged timetable that Gorbachev put forward? If indeed Gorbachev was prescient of this attack, logic tells me that he would have encouraged the American response that supposedly resulted in the 9/11 attacks. Lastly, how do I suggest we start digging our grave now? All I said was given the circumstances of the time, those actions were justified by the fact that they were the best choices availible then.

QUOTE
To the extent that he thought it would lead to some greater independence and backing off on the sanctions, my understanding is he was willing to cooperate. But we were unilaterally committed to regime change.


If he was so cooperative, what led to the unfulfillment of more than a dozen U.N. resolutions on the state of his W.M.D. arsenal protracted over more than a decade?

QUOTE
Internationally arrived at policies take in broader considerations and that multilateralism is a strength. Instead of win-lose it becomes win-win. They also carry a legitimacy which policies of narrow self-interest don't. And yes I agree that to the extent UN policies are more driven by big power considerations that they carry less legitimacy than if there is real international consensus. Nevertheless even then by using international processes they still show some respect for the principle of internationalism and as such garner more respect and cooperation.


What? Win-win? The legitimacy of Israel was chystalized with a U.N. resolution which obviously was a loss for the Arab countries. And since when do greater numbers result in greater legitimacy? More people agree therefore said action is correct? Moreover, does "international consensus" transgress narrow interests, and since when did internationalism become the poster boy for idealism?

And by the way, who did you vote for to represent your interests at the U.N.?

QUOTE
If the human race is going to survive we may ultimately have to make it a requirement that international standards rule in major international disputes.


You assume that for the human race to survive we need international rules. The human race has survived for tens of thousands of years without international rules. Therefore, your logic is faulty or needs to be adjusted.

QUOTE
Major ethnic and religious antagonism were also present in the Bosnian and Kosovo theatre and these were not small scale. If anything civil war had broken out to a greater degree than in Iraq when we came into the picture. The relative success of one and relative failure of the other is in fact very instructive when it comes to comparing broad cooperation with unilateral arrogance.


Well, the theatre of combat was small scale. Kosovo and Bosnia are poor examples because N.A.T.O. assumed a non-conventional presence in those areas. Furthermore, do you honestly think a U.N. seal of approval would make all the problems of Iraq wither away?

This post has been edited by theironman: Mar 1 2006, 09:38 PM
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