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R21C
When Washington proclaimed neutrality in 1793 towards the problems in Europe, and then officially in his farewell letter or message.

This was discontinued for the last sixty or plus years.

The reason why this all happened was that the US was a young country and needed to develop itself, and Washington didn't think that there was any point in being involved in the world. He had a view that the world went a certain way, and that trying to change the world would be an illusion.

Jefferson didn't share his view, and only did once he won the election in 1800, and the the french republic was overthrown. He then changed his mind at that point.

Washington considererd Thomas's views as dangerous before 1800. Dreams in mens minds. That would usually lead to dissapointment.

Ofcourse, I do think that the neutrality was primarily enforced for the build up of the country, clearly. Many politicians at the time did so.


My question is;

Does anyone support the idea of being neutral in war? Or all wars, or may be even politically.

I do, I agree with what washington had said over two centuries ago.

I know that was a different world, and he was part of the old world. A difficult era to live in.

This view works well, with Afghanistan. None of us, no matter where we live have any right to go into a country and change it, no matter what we think.

Could it be possible again?

We have to face it, the Arms trade makes money. And, for anyone that may of read would realise for as long as people aren't informed and they're government lies and then in some way makes look like there is an enemy when they brought the problem on themselves.

If American bases weren't on Saudi soil, Bush would of probably been out of office by 2005 and 9/11 would never of happened. He wasn't a successful politician.
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ZeeSaga
It was bit bit hard to find the questions in your post but I found em.

Does anyone support the idea of being neutral in war?

Yes, I believe as long as we are not in physical danger we should stay out of wars. I like Switzerland's neutrality policy A LOT. I think our lack of isolationist policies have gotten us into most of the wars/operations that we've engaged in over the last 50 years.

Could it be possible again?

Anything is possible but I don't see it happening anytime soon.
Bikerdad
My question is;

Does anyone support the idea of being neutral in war? Or all wars, or may be even politically.
Sure, I support the idea of being neutral in war. Not in all wars. Show me a war and I'll tell you whether I think we should be neutral or not. As for politically, I'll use basically the same standard of determining neutrality. "How does this affect me and what I believe in?"

QUOTE
This view works well, with Afghanistan. None of us, no matter where we live have any right to go into a country and change it, no matter what we think.
Sure we do. Well, sometimes we do, sometimes we don't. Japan attacked the US in 1941. That attack gave us the right to go and change it, so that they wouldn't attack us again. (Note, this assessment is based on the determination that their attack was unjustified. That determination can be argued, but isn't the subject of this thread.) Ditto Germany. So, in both cases, we went over to their countries and changed them. A lot.

QUOTE
Could it be possible again?
Changing a country? Sure. The United States has changed every country it has interracted with substantially since WW2. Not always the way we intended, not always deliberately, but always. We're kinda like Jupiter. Really big and our gravity has an effect whether we want it to our not.

QUOTE
Could it be possible again?
What, neutrality? Sure, we already do it. Sometimes our neutrality is very strict, other times we try to get the two (or more) sides to stop the fighting and talk, and sometimes we lean on one side diplomatically but don't do anything else.

QUOTE
We have to face it, the Arms trade makes money. And, for anyone that may of read would realise for as long as people aren't informed and they're government lies and then in some way makes look like there is an enemy when they brought the problem on themselves.
huh?

QUOTE
If American bases weren't on Saudi soil, Bush would of probably been out of office by 2005 and 9/11 would never of happened. He wasn't a successful politician.
IF Saddam Hussein had not invaded Kuwait in 1990, then there wouldn't have been any American bases on Saudi soil, therefore, no 9/11, therefor, 9/11 is Saddam Hussein's fault. blink.gif Saddam Hussein wasn't a successful conqueror. As for Bush not "being a successful politician", that's probably one of the stupidest statements I've seen on this board in a long time. You might not like Bush, heck, you might hate his guts, consider him to have been a *** NOTICE: THIS WORD IS AGAINST THE RULES. FAILURE TO REMOVE IT WILL RESULT IN A STRIKE. *** poor President, etc, but he was a very successful politician, even more so than his predecessor. The measure of a politician's success in a democracy is pretty simple. Did he win elections? Bush beat not one, but two candidates who were "better" than him, and he did so both times facing a hostile media. One reason Bush did so is actually pretty simple, both times the opposition underestimated him. "just a dumb frat boy wanna be cowboy trying to ride into the White House on his daddy's name."

Since we've managed to track back to Gulf War I, perhaps we can examine whether or not neutrality then would have been a wise thing...

At least that relates to your topic. whistling.gif
moif
Does anyone support the idea of being neutral in war? Or all wars, or may be even politically.

We tried neutrality in the twentieth century. It didn't work. Twice Germany plundered us, once they invaded.


QUOTE(R21C)
I do, I agree with what washington had said over two centuries ago.

I know that was a different world, and he was part of the old world. A difficult era to live in.

This view works well, with Afghanistan. None of us, no matter where we live have any right to go into a country and change it, no matter what we think.
From whence do rights originate? We have as much right to invade others as they have to invade us. Neutrality in the face of tyranny is abject moral cowardice.

Afghanistan is deemd a direct threat to my country by our democratically elected government, thus we have every right in the world to do as we feel we must to defend ourselves. That we have restrained ourselves, and treated the native population with respect is not a moral obligation but a legal obligation which for internal reasons we impose upon ourselves.


Could it be possible again?

Everything is possible, including war in Europe because people like you prefer to appease tyrants.


QUOTE(R21C)
We have to face it, the Arms trade makes money. And, for anyone that may of read would realise for as long as people aren't informed and they're government lies and then in some way makes look like there is an enemy when they brought the problem on themselves.
The current enemy lives in our midst. They are busy burning Göteborg, Hamburg, and central Copenhagen even as I write. You claim to be 'read'. What have you read? War is brewing right before your eyes but you probably can't see it with your nose buried deep in your anti-American agitprop.


QUOTE(R21C)
If American bases weren't on Saudi soil, Bush would of probably been out of office by 2005 and 9/11 would never of happened. He wasn't a successful politician.
And if the British Empire hadn't annexed one fifth of the worlds territory, Great Britain would be nothing but a miserable wet island off the coast of France and London would be no more influential than Oslo.

AuthorMusician
Does anyone support the idea of being neutral in war?

I support the idea of not starting wars without knowing exactly what we are doing. Fifty years isn't a very long time when taken into the context of history. That only goes back to 1959, and Korea started in 1950, only five years after WW II. That was our first police action, the first hot action in the Cold War. I was not yet born and I'm an old fart.

Could it be possible again?

If we stopped starting wars without knowing exactly what we are getting into, yes. The last eight years laid it out clearly. There's no magic to it. There were no surprises in it for me, other than the utter stupidity of running into Iraq blindfolded. That was simply unbelievable. It turned out badly.

Huh.

Keep it in the context of history, and you'll see. I've learned recently that Alexander the Great (356-323 BCE) had trouble with terrorist tactics, also known as guerrilla warfare. Sneaky locals making raids and then disappearing. We'd do the same if our country were to be invaded.

After his excursion into western India (thinking he was at the end of the world, makes one wonder if he ever thought about silk), his Persian conquest was falling apart. It took a lot of fast footwork to get things sort of under control.

Then he died young, only 33 years old. Reminds me of someone else in history, could just be coincidence.

Japan attacked the US, which got us into WW II. That didn't turn out well for Japan. A couple of nukes later, and they saw. Hitler put a bullet in his head, so the story goes. Or took poison. Or both. Whatever, he died. Didn't turn out well.

Dick Cheney could be thrown into the slammer. He probably won't survive until the 2012 election season, bad ticker and there's only so much robotics can do. He'll die sneering. Not good.

War is hell, it's expensive and it's very uncertain if it ever does any good. It changes things, which is about all that can be said. In the 21st century, war should be avoided until it becomes the very last thing that can be done.

Alexander's father, Phillip the II of Macedon, did unite the warring city states of ancient Greece by the use of his superior war tactics. Big deal, it all fell apart after he died and Alexander went off to pop Darius' butt. Alexander's empire fell apart after he died. Something else took its place, Rome became big, it fell apart. A bunch of other empires happened. They fell apart. Napoleon had his Waterloo and died in exile. The South didn't make it as a confederacy. One should think twice before squeezing the trigger.

History. Keep it in context. What was stupid back then is likely still stupid today.
R21C
QUOTE(Bikerdad @ Sep 13 2009, 10:18 AM) *
My question is;

Does anyone support the idea of being neutral in war? Or all wars, or may be even politically.
Sure, I support the idea of being neutral in war. Not in all wars. Show me a war and I'll tell you whether I think we should be neutral or not. As for politically, I'll use basically the same standard of determining neutrality. "How does this affect me and what I believe in?"

QUOTE
This view works well, with Afghanistan. None of us, no matter where we live have any right to go into a country and change it, no matter what we think.
Sure we do. Well, sometimes we do, sometimes we don't. Japan attacked the US in 1941. That attack gave us the right to go and change it, so that they wouldn't attack us again. (Note, this assessment is based on the determination that their attack was unjustified. That determination can be argued, but isn't the subject of this thread.) Ditto Germany. So, in both cases, we went over to their countries and changed them. A lot.

QUOTE
Could it be possible again?
Changing a country? Sure. The United States has changed every country it has interracted with substantially since WW2. Not always the way we intended, not always deliberately, but always. We're kinda like Jupiter. Really big and our gravity has an effect whether we want it to our not.

QUOTE
Could it be possible again?
What, neutrality? Sure, we already do it. Sometimes our neutrality is very strict, other times we try to get the two (or more) sides to stop the fighting and talk, and sometimes we lean on one side diplomatically but don't do anything else.

QUOTE
We have to face it, the Arms trade makes money. And, for anyone that may of read would realise for as long as people aren't informed and they're government lies and then in some way makes look like there is an enemy when they brought the problem on themselves.
huh?

QUOTE
If American bases weren't on Saudi soil, Bush would of probably been out of office by 2005 and 9/11 would never of happened. He wasn't a successful politician.
IF Saddam Hussein had not invaded Kuwait in 1990, then there wouldn't have been any American bases on Saudi soil, therefore, no 9/11, therefor, 9/11 is Saddam Hussein's fault. blink.gif Saddam Hussein wasn't a successful conqueror. As for Bush not "being a successful politician", that's probably one of the stupidest statements I've seen on this board in a long time. You might not like Bush, heck, you might hate his guts, consider him to have been a *** NOTICE: THIS WORD IS AGAINST THE RULES. FAILURE TO REMOVE IT WILL RESULT IN A STRIKE. *** poor President, etc, but he was a very successful politician, even more so than his predecessor. The measure of a politician's success in a democracy is pretty simple. Did he win elections? Bush beat not one, but two candidates who were "better" than him, and he did so both times facing a hostile media. One reason Bush did so is actually pretty simple, both times the opposition underestimated him. "just a dumb frat boy wanna be cowboy trying to ride into the White House on his daddy's name."

Since we've managed to track back to Gulf War I, perhaps we can examine whether or not neutrality then would have been a wise thing...

At least that relates to your topic. whistling.gif


I ment full neutrality, a little like Ireland, though they aren't neutral. I personally think Prime minister De Valera took that road primarily to copy the example of Washington, and that the obvious fact from Eamon de valera was that a small state should not be involved in war with powers who are superior to them.

Saddam invaded to take control over the crude oil fields.

So you're country would lose the amount of imports. And US training has been going on in the kingdom for a lot longer than 1990.

Long before. Surely you know that?

As for what I said about the Arms trade, meaning war makes money, and then there is the jobs. So if you closed most of America's war racket, bang many people would be out of a job.

If you decided to scale down the CIA or even the FBI eventually, and the pentagon.

In the end as Mr Washington also said, there was no such thing has permanent alliances. Only permanent national interests. No country is commited to peace, I view it that way. They say so, but they only preach and hold no truth to it.

Moif - As for Afghanistan, the exact same tactics are probably being used by the taliban to get rid of the foreigners, the same sort of way Washington held the continental Army in place.

The taliban will run here they'll go there, but the US won't catch up. Just like Washington, expel the French, and then the British.

Just hold the army together, and they'll eventually go. The Taliban are exactly that.
Bikerdad
QUOTE(R21C)
I ment full neutrality, a little like Ireland, though they aren't neutral.
Whaa? Are they fully neutral, or are they not neutral? blink.gif

QUOTE
I personally think Prime minister De Valera took that road primarily to copy the example of Washington, and that the obvious fact from Eamon de valera was that a small state should not be involved in war with powers who are superior to them
Ahhh, now that's a fairly astute observation. A small state should do what it can to avoid tangling with bigger powers. A state, larger or small, should avoid getting into wars where they have little or nothing at stake. For the United States listening to George Washington, both those applied where the European powers were concerned. A resource war in Europe meant nothing to the US, as we had vast untapped resources and what little we didn't have available then we could trade for. A dynastic war meant even less.

Both of these conditions held true, yet we still ended up as a sideshow to war between European powers. The War of 1812 was driven in part because the European powers (England primarily) refused to treat us as neutrals during the Napoleonic Wars that ravaged vast swaths of Europe.

The problem, of course, is that today, we aren't a small power, and resources beyond our borders matter quite a bit to us. And, regretably, we don't have a vast frontier as an outlet for restless energy. Still, when a war breaks out between two powers, even today, we quite often remain neutral. Those, btw, are the wars you don't hear much about here. mellow.gif

QUOTE
Saddam invaded to take control over the crude oil fields.

So you're country would lose the amount of imports.


Not just "our" country. Every country outside of the Middle East. The U.S. isn't the only country that imports oil from the Middle East. Actually, we import less oil (as a % of our total use or total imports) from the Middle East than many European countries. Seriously, have you ever heard of those great French, Spanish, German, or Irish oil fields? Nor was it only about the Kuwaiti fields. It was about the threat that Saddam would, after "digesting" his Kuwaiti conquest, move on to Saudi Arabia. Kinda like the way Hitler took over Czechslovakia, then Poland, then waited through the winter until invading France, Holland, Belgium, Denmark, and Luxembourg. Or like Stalin invaded Poland shortly after the Wehrmacht rolled across the frontier, and then later "annexed" the Baltic States and attacked Finland.

QUOTE
And US training has been going on in the kingdom for a lot longer than 1990.

Long before. Surely you know that?
What exactly are you referring to? To my knowledge, the US had no bases in Saudi Arabia prior to the Gulf War, and we have none there now. If you're referring to the US conducting joint training exercises with the Saudis, it wouldn't surprise me. We've done JTEs with dozens of countries, many where we have no bases. Finally, if you're referring to the thousands of American civilians who have worked in Saudi Arabia training the Saudis how to use and maintain the neato stuff we sell them, well, duh, of course. That's part of the deal. We don't train them, they don't buy it. Not hard to figure out. But the US had no permanent military forces in Saudi Arabia prior to Saddam's invasion of Kuwait, and we have none there now.

QUOTE
As for what I said about the Arms trade, meaning war makes money,

No it doesn't. War costs money. It costs lots of money. That's why most countries don't go to war. Usually, a country will only go to war when they believe the alternative is even more costly. Nor do arms makers really want to see wars. Wars have a nasty habit of exposing flaws in your products and killing customers off. Arms makers would much prefer that the governments of the world act more like gun collectors than hunters. All them guns is pretty to look at, but don't actually use them because doing so will degrade their value.

QUOTE
If you decided to scale down the CIA or even the FBI eventually, and the pentagon.

Well, first off, we have scaled down the CIA, and the current administration seems to be hell bent on gutting it. As for the FBI, why should we scale it down? The FBI is a domestic law enforcement entity. Aside from chasing spies in the US and occasionally following them out of the US, they have no "warmaking" role at all. Moving on the the Pentagon, you do know that we've cut the size of our military by 50% over the last 20 years, right? Even today, the Navy and Air Force are continuing to shrink. That, of course, is taking "the Pentagon" as meaning the US military. Exactly how small do you think our military should be?

QUOTE(AuthorMusician)
I support the idea of not starting wars without knowing exactly what we are doing.

So, you support not starting wars, ever. "No plan of battle ever survives contact with the enemy", a simple recognition of our imperfect knowledge, even under the best of circumstances, means that we'll never know "exactly what we are doing." Even if you do know exactly what you're doing, that doesn't mean you're doing the right thing, in a tactical, operational, strategic, geopolitical, economic, or moral sense. Admiral Ichiro Yamamoto knew exactly what he was doing... and it turned out pretty much exactly the way he predicted. Perhaps you should read or watch The Mouse That Roared to see how even the best laid plans can go awry, and to have a good laugh. thumbsup.gif

QUOTE
War is hell, it's expensive and it's very uncertain if it ever does any good.

Hell, yes. Expensive, almost always. Uncertain if it ever does any good? ermm.gif I encourage you to re-examine the war that gave us the "War is hell" quote. Or ask the South Koreans who are not starving like their North Korean brethren. Or you can ponder the war that gave birth to this country.

Oh, one last thing: Ghandi's non-violent approach would never have worked had it not been for World War Two. So even the pacifists can benefit from war.
moif
QUOTE(R21C @ Sep 13 2009, 06:03 PM) *
Moif - As for Afghanistan, the exact same tactics are probably being used by the taliban to get rid of the foreigners, the same sort of way Washington held the continental Army in place.
huh.gif

What are you talking about? The 'exact same tactics' as?


QUOTE(R21C)
The taliban will run here they'll go there, but the US won't catch up. Just like Washington, expel the French, and then the British.

Just hold the army together, and they'll eventually go. The Taliban are exactly that.
Are you saying the Taliban are like George Washington because they are a guerilla army?

George Washington never had to contend with the long term implications of his own theories

I don't care about the Taliban. As far as I am concerned, they can have Afghanistan if thats what the Afghans want. Just so long as they don't allow their country to become a threat to mine. They did that when they gave sanctuary to their jihadist cousins, and for that they are paying the price.

Certainly they will still be there when we leave. The question is, who will be running Afghanistan? The Taliban or the Afghan people. Given enough time, perhaps the non Taliban Afghan's will come to appreciate their grasp on power.
R21C
Bikerdad - The reason why you're country is in that region because of the oil.

Without that oil, how many people in you're country could stay alive with out petrol farming, modern day farming.

You should perhaps by the book, The party's over oil, war and the fate of industrial societies - Richard Heinberg

Published in 2003, updated in 05 only a little.

Here is a little -

US foreign policy - America's military and espionage budgets respresent a gargantun investment in an eventual Armageddon. The US portrays itself as the global cop keeping order in an otherwise chaotic and dangerous world, but in reality America uses its military might to primarily to maintain dominance over the world's resources.

The Middle east - Next to the oil fields of saudi arabia, the world's largest petroleum reserves are those of iraq, which were more or less withheld from the world market during the decade of sanctions, thus helping to keep global oil prices from falling too low.

Though it is an empire in steep decline, the US as the world's largest energy consumer, the center of the global industrial empire, and the holder of the most powerful store of weaponry in world history- will neverless play a pivotal role in shaping the geopolitics of at least the first decades of the new century.

No the taliban I think are behaving in a similar fashion to the way washington behaved towards the colonials. Keep going, and outlast you're occupier.
Ted
Does anyone support the idea of being neutral in war? Or all wars, or may be even politically.

Neutral in what way? If attacked we respond – most countries that still exist do. If out allies are attacked we come to their aid. As moif has said above neutrality may not be as simple as it sounds – its been tried and failed in the past. To not respond to attack encourages the behavior.

Bi Laden attacked the US and our interests numerous times form Afghanistan and elsewhere and not responding strongly didn’t work well.


Google
R21C
QUOTE(Ted @ Sep 14 2009, 02:03 PM) *
Does anyone support the idea of being neutral in war? Or all wars, or may be even politically.

Neutral in what way? If attacked we respond – most countries that still exist do. If out allies are attacked we come to their aid. As moif has said above neutrality may not be as simple as it sounds – its been tried and failed in the past. To not respond to attack encourages the behavior.

Bi Laden attacked the US and our interests numerous times form Afghanistan and elsewhere and not responding strongly didn’t work well.


But America only looks out for interests, there is no such thing as permanent alliances. No nation does. If the US respected Ireland, they would not land they're soldiers on their soil at shannon airport.

Ireland is a country, not just a bit of land to plot out America's nation interests around the world. These soliders were ferried to Iraq over the years. The Irish politicians are bloody traitors, and are not commited to world peace. There neutrality a fraud.

Being attacked only happens in this world because of the actions of the nation having been interfering somewhere. Why has Ireland not been attacked by the so called terrorists evil dooers? I wouldn't be suprised if they did because the Irish help the US.
Ted
QUOTE
RC12
But America only looks out for interests, there is no such thing as permanent alliances.


And our “interests” include our allies – and yes they may change over time – what’s your point? UK has been an ally for generations.

QUOTE
Ireland is a country, not just a bit of land to plot out America's nation interests around the world. These soliders were ferried to Iraq over the years. The Irish politicians are bloody traitors, and are not commited to world peace. There neutrality a fraud.


The fact that you did not like the Iraq war (which one?) or apparently the government decisions in Ireland does not make the US bad.

QUOTE
Being attacked only happens in this world because of the actions of the nation having been interfering somewhere.


Clearly we are a big player in the world – maybe too big. Bin Laden attacked us (he says) because we have troops in Saudi Arabia and our support of Israel – his hated enemy. Troops were in SA as a result of Gulf I which I considered worth the effort and it was UN.

Could we have let Saddam have Kuwait? Sure – and it surely would have lead to more problems in the region later.

And is oil a factor – of course. We are totally dependant on the would oil market and almost ½ the oil in the world in right there in the ME.
Bikerdad
QUOTE(R21C @ Sep 14 2009, 07:31 AM) *
Bikerdad - The reason why you're country is in that region because of the oil.
It's also the reason your country is in the region. Oh, and the reason why your country released a terrorist responsible for the deaths of 180 Americans, 52 of your countrymen, and dozens of others. So, what's your point? How does this relate to neutrality?

QUOTE
Without that oil, how many people in you're country could stay alive with out petrol farming, modern day farming.

Heck if I know. Assume, for the sake of argument, that all the oil and other hydrocarbons magically disappeared tomorrow.
World population would crash. Not just in the industrialized countries. Not only would we no longer have the multiplicative powers of mechanization to grow food, but we'd lose the tremendous productivity increases we get from fertilizers and pesticides, and then the surpluses (mostly from 1st World countries) that keep hundreds of millions, if not billions, alive in the Third World wouldn't be able to get from the fields to the hungry mouths on the other side of the world. But, just so you know, without that (i.e. Middle Eastern oil), the United States would be able to feed itself just fine. Food would be more expensive, but we'd manage. We import less than 17% of our oil from the Mideast.

QUOTE
You should perhaps by the book, The party's over oil, war and the fate of industrial societies - Richard Heinberg

Published in 2003, updated in 05 only a little.

Here is a little -

US foreign policy - America's military and espionage budgets respresent a gargantun investment in an eventual Armageddon. The US portrays itself as the global cop keeping order in an otherwise chaotic and dangerous world, but in reality America uses its military might to primarily to maintain dominance over the world's resources.

The Middle east - Next to the oil fields of saudi arabia, the world's largest petroleum reserves are those of iraq, which were more or less withheld from the world market during the decade of sanctions, thus helping to keep global oil prices from falling too low.

Uh, actually, the #2 for Proved Oil Reserves is Canada. #3 is Iran. Iraq comes in at #4.

QUOTE
No the taliban I think are behaving in a similar fashion to the way washington behaved towards the colonials. Keep going, and outlast you're occupier.
Sigh. Two points, if I may:
  1. Use proper punctuation and capitalization. Please.
  2. Learn some American (or British, if you will) history, specifically the American Revolution / Colonial Uprising.

QUOTE
If the US respected Ireland, they would not land they're soldiers on their soil at shannon airport.

Ireland is a country, not just a bit of land to plot out America's nation interests around the world. These soliders were ferried to Iraq over the years. The Irish politicians are bloody traitors, and are not commited to world peace. There neutrality a fraud.

Being attacked only happens in this world because of the actions of the nation having been interfering somewhere. Why has Ireland not been attacked by the so called terrorists evil dooers? I wouldn't be suprised if they did because the Irish help the US.

Nice rant. I just read up on Irish neutrality, which has a different flavor than Swiss and Swedish neutrality, and has been Irish policy as long as they've been a nation. I fail to see why you're bagging on them, unless you simply think that they should be just like the Swiss and Swedes. As for "respecting Ireland", if the Irish government didn't permit the refuelings, then we wouldn't land there. As for Irish politicians being "bloody traitors", traitors to what? Ireland? How so?

Why should they be committed to world peace? That's almost as stupid as being committed to whirled peas. Maybe if you expand on that just a bit, it makes more sense. Should they be committed to world peace on the Iranian Mullahs' terms? If you think that, or are even unable to realize that the terms of that world peace are very, very important, then I doubt you'll be able to contribute much of value to discussions of geo-politics.

Not sure how you square the deployment of Irish troops in Eritrea, Kosovo, Iraq, Macedonia, Congo and East Timor with "neutrality", but hey, I'm sure you manage it somehow.
Julian
QUOTE(Bikerdad @ Sep 15 2009, 09:21 AM) *
QUOTE(R21C @ Sep 14 2009, 07:31 AM) *
Bikerdad - The reason why you're country is in that region because of the oil.
It's also the reason your country is in the region. Oh, and the reason why your country released a terrorist responsible for the deaths of 180 Americans, 52 of your countrymen, and dozens of others.


It's a small point of order, but Scotland release the terrorist you refer to, not Ireland and not England. The British government (which has soveriegnty over England and Scotland but only some of Ireland) decided not to put up a barrier to the Scottish Parliament's decision to release, and on a strict interpretation of the terms of Scottish devolution, they were correct to do so (though I don't happen to think they were right, or that the release was).

I'm a Welshman living in England, and I just know that the elected body that authorised this release was not one in which I can vote. This isn't a million miles away from the US system, except that the UK has no Federal prisons. Even if we did, Megrahi would never have been in one, because it was a Libyan precondition of his handover that he be tried under the Scottish legal system. (They were probably hoping for a "not proven" verdict, but what they hey.)

And if R21C is an Irish citizen living in England, he'd have even less cause to be accused of "his" country letting a know terrorist off a prison sentence, since the Republic of Ireland has been a separate sovereign entity from the UK for 80-odd years now.

None of this implies that I agree with R21C about any of his substantive points - I don't.

As to the debate questions:

Does anyone support the idea of being neutral in war?

It very much depends who is fighting whom. If America and China ever come to blows, the rest of the world is probably going to need to pick a side, or stay VERY neutral indeed. The latter will be quite hard to do, I predict. If, on the other hand, Tuvalu and Tonga pick a fight, neutrality will be the easiest thing in the world, indeed, finding out from the mainstream Western media that anything is going on at all will be the most anyone could do.

Could it be possible again?

Hmm. I think that globalisation is the elephant in the room. It's the reason on why major states like the USA will find it next to impossible to be neutral in the isolationist sense of the word - if your biggest iron ore supplier goes to war with your biggest uranium supplier, you'll have an interest in the outcome, so you can't just ignore the conflict.

And because of that, it's also perhaps the best hope of ensuring international peace - if China and India between them end up making most of the cars and consumer goods for sale in the USA, that makes it in the best interests of both parties not to allow any disagreements to escalate into war between you, because nobody has a "complete" economy in their own right any more.

But, and it's a very long-term but, globalisation is in many respects making multinational companies more powerful that nation states. They are bigger than a lot of them, and increasingly they can manipulate tax breaks and loopholes so they are beholden to no jurisdiction. At the moment, they have to be quoted somewhere, but it's only a matter of time before the financial boffins work out a way of having a globalised stock market that isn't resident anywhere in particular (I'm surprised they haven't done it yet, to be honest).

Once they are beyond the reach of national governments, give them a century or so of unfettered growth (in ambition, more than sales) and the big challenge of the 22nd century, assumed we haven't all drowned, blown away or died of thirst, will be surviving the wars between rival global business empires (in the proper Imperial sense).
Vermillion
Neutrality:

Great word, but it means so much and yet so little. So let me throw this at you.

On december 7th 1941, the japanese attacked Pearl harbour, and about 40 minutes after the first bombs fell, japan declared war on the US (It was meant to be simulanious). Immediately thereafter, the US declared war on the empire of Japan.

That war COULD have been over by mid 1943. Seriously, the US could have stepped on japan like an irritating bug. But three days later, something else momentous happened.

On the 10th of December 1941, in a recklessly stupid act which he seriously though would have no repercussions, Hitler declared war on the US, which immidately responded in kind. The US wisely recognised that Germany was a MUCH bigger threat than Japan, and decided to concentrate 2/3 of its manpower, industrial might and strength on germany, leaving only a third to crush Japan.


OK, so that was the history lesson. What is the point? One of my favourite historians asked: What if on December 10th, Hitler had issues a formal comment from the German government condeming the cowardly attack on Pearl Harbour, admonishing the Japanese and offering his condolances to the friends and families of the US dead? OK fine, few would have believed him, but without a declaration of war, the US would NOT have been able to declare war on Germany at that time, as too many Americans were still decidedly Neutral towards the European war, and everyone was gung-ho against Japan.

The US wanted to maintain its neutrality in Europe: its people and its representatives did, overwhelmingly. And has Hitler not declared war, Rooseveldt might not have been able to gather the support to declare war on Germany for a year or two, or maybe more.



That is neutrality. The Swiss got away from being Neutral in WW2 without stain simply because there wasn't much they could have done against Hitler anyways. But Americans, rightly proud of their actions in North Africa, and Italy, and Normandy and Western germany, always wince a little when reminded of the fact that their 'neutrality' kept them uninvolved while Europe fell and the Holocaust began.
Ted
QUOTE
V
German government condeming the cowardly attack on Pearl Harbour, admonishing the Japanese and offering his condolances to the friends and families of the US dead? OK fine, few would have believed him, but without a declaration of war, the US would NOT have been able to declare war on Germany at that time, as too many Americans were still decidedly Neutral towards the European war, and everyone was gung-ho against Japan.


QUOTE
The US wanted to maintain its neutrality in Europe: its people and its representatives did, overwhelmingly. And has Hitler not declared war, Rooseveldt might not have been able to gather the support to declare war on Germany for a year or two, or maybe more.


The question I have for you V is would this have made the overall job of defeating Germany harder? What if Hitler, free of the fear of US opposition, took the UK? Or used more forces against Russia?
R21C
I am a British born citizen, officially a crown subject. Since we have no written constitution. We aren't a republic. I am in favour of three republics on Britain. But I don't know if that would happen. But thats off-topic.

I support the republic campaign, I am a republican by nature. I am half Irish and Spanish.

My ancestors were oppressed by they're colonial masters, England. They taught them many things, alot.

Article 29 of the Irish constitution clearly says, Ireland Affirms its devotion to the ideal of peace and friendly co-operation amongst nations of founded on international justice and morality.

The Irish government did not respect Iraq.

And as was said, yes Irish troops are UN troops, the Irish defence force is now a United Nations army, in the cause of peace, officially since 1993. This Army can't do a dent in anyones army, so what would it be used for? Abolish it like Costa Rica, would be nice.

I don't like it. But the Irish people don't mind it. An admendment should be passed through for neutrality.

The Irish president is a liar to say Ireland is neutral, concerning the UN and the US partnership.

As a British citizen I'd prefer if Britain was neutral, totally. But that won't happen. In this world it will always be a few countries over the little ones or over the world, whatever.

Some people are never curious enough about the world they live in. Bush and Blair are war criminals, and all who follow them. Including the Irish taosigh, pronounced, tee shock, prime minister. Past and present.

Ireland is a parliamentary republic, officially since 1949. The president has no power in politics, just the guardian of the constitution and head of state, one of the most powerless presidents in the world. And at one time, not very busy. Now its just a glitter and glamour monarchy style office in my opinion. The government likes to control it. It isn't open to the people. Its said to be, but the government doesn't want an independent.

Anyway enough with the chatter, and history. Sorry.

Julian
QUOTE(Vermillion @ Sep 15 2009, 01:47 PM) *
On the 10th of December 1941, in a recklessly stupid act which he seriously though would have no repercussions, Hitler declared war on the US, which immidately responded in kind.


Recklessly stupid but also treaty-obligated, Hitler pretty much had to declare war on the USA as soon as the USA declared war on their Axis treaty partner Japan. The only really recklessly stupid thing at that early stage was the Japanese decision to attack Pearl Harbor at that exact time - had they co-ordinated their efforts better, the Axis powers between them could have utterly destroyed the whole of the British Empire outside the Americas.

And even after the USA had entered the war in Europe, it was very far form a froegone conclusion until the point at which Germany tore up the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact and invaded the Soviet Union, which had until that point been "neutral" towards Germent the same way America had been towards Britain (i.e. more or less fully supportive short of supplying troops)

QUOTE
The US wisely recognised that Germany was a MUCH bigger threat than Japan, and decided to concentrate 2/3 of its manpower, industrial might and strength on germany, leaving only a third to crush Japan.


True dat.

QUOTE
OK, so that was the history lesson. What is the point? One of my favourite historians asked: What if on December 10th, Hitler had issues a formal comment from the German government condeming the cowardly attack on Pearl Harbour, admonishing the Japanese and offering his condolances to the friends and families of the US dead? OK fine, few would have believed him, but without a declaration of war, the US would NOT have been able to declare war on Germany at that time, as too many Americans were still decidedly Neutral towards the European war, and everyone was gung-ho against Japan.


Again, had Hitler done that, he would have broken the Axis treaty and Japan would likely have declared war on Germany too. In the scheme of things, that would have been an empty threat, since Germany at the time had no real interest in the Far East. But, had it happened, it's doubtful that the German rocket scientists who put American boots on the moon would have defected ("ein kleiner Schritt für den Mann, ein riesiger Sprung für die Menschheit" anyone?). The nuclear arms race would likely have been won by Nazi Germany also. With exclusive ownership of intercontinental ballistic nuclear weaponry about a decade before anyone else could have developed it (everyone who did used German scientists to some degree, or got passed the technology by people who did e.g. China getting nuke technology from the Russians, who used German expertise just as the USA did), and no friendly European nation to use as a beachhead, the USA would have then been in deep trouble - the US was wise indeed to see Germany as the greater threat.

QUOTE
The US wanted to maintain its neutrality in Europe: its people and its representatives did, overwhelmingly. And has Hitler not declared war, Rooseveldt might not have been able to gather the support to declare war on Germany for a year or two, or maybe more.


Very true, and with hindsight I am very glad that things worked out the way they did.

QUOTE
That is neutrality. The Swiss got away from being Neutral in WW2 without stain simply because there wasn't much they could have done against Hitler anyways.


Not quite without stain - all that Nazi gold and stolen Jewish wealth?

QUOTE
But Americans, rightly proud of their actions in North Africa, and Italy, and Normandy and Western germany, always wince a little when reminded of the fact that their 'neutrality' kept them uninvolved while Europe fell and the Holocaust began.


I think that WW2 was the last war that anyone can be justly and (almost) unequivocally proud of. Most of the rest of the wars that have gone on since then have been grubby little affairs by comparison.

And think - had it not been for American and British capitulation in the face of French thirst for revenge (which in itself was understandable, even justifiable), the Treaty of Versailles might have been less harsh on Germany and the conditions for the rise of Hitler might ever have been in place. AND, the break-up of the Ottoman Empire and colonial humiliation of the centre of the Muslim world, cutlurally and spiritually, would have given today's Muslim world less of a chip on its shoulder.

That's the trouble with history; everything follows on from something else.

QUOTE(R21C @ Sep 15 2009, 02:20 PM) *
I am a British born citizen, officially a crown subject. Since we have no written constitution. We aren't a republic. I am in favour of three republics on Britain. But I don't know if that would happen. But thats off-topic.

I support the republic campaign, I am a republican by nature. I am half Irish and Spanish.


I sympathise on the republican score, but your identification with your underdog oppressed Irish ancestors rather than your exploitative Imperialist Spanish ones makes you more British than you realise wink.gif I don't say that to make fun; I'm in the same boat. I'm Welsh-born and raised, but my father's grandparents were all English, and my mother's grandparents were one Anglicised Welsh woman from Cardiff, a Spanish Jew, and two "proper" Welsh speakers. I don't speak Welsh and don't even have a Welsh accent myself any more, yet I feel very Welsh and don't like to be described as English.

QUOTE
My ancestors were oppressed by they're colonial masters, England. They taught them many things, alot.


The English practiced Empire on the Welsh, Scots and Irish and then, when they'd got it working, exported it to a quarter of the world. Using lots of Welsh, Scots and Irish troops.

QUOTE
I don't like it. But the Irish people don't mind it. An admendment should be passed through for neutrality.


And it's up to them, surely?

QUOTE
Some people are never curious enough about the world they live in. Bush and Blair are war criminals, and all who follow them. Including the Irish taosigh, pronounced, tee shock, prime minister. Past and present.


Irish Gaelic uses the Roman alphabet, so the word is spelled Taoiseach.

QUOTE
Ireland is a parliamentary republic, officially since 1949. The president has no power in politics, just the guardian of the constitution and head of state, one of the most powerless presidents in the world. And at one time, not very busy. Now its just a glitter and glamour monarchy style office in my opinion. The government likes to control it. It isn't open to the people. Its said to be, but the government doesn't want an independent.


Personally, I've always preferred the Irish presidential model for the future British republic that I'm pretty convinced will come into being within 15 years of the death of Mrs E Windsor, our current Head of State. I want sovereign power to rest with the British people, in the shape of a legislative body drawn by lot from the people of the UK (I haven't a clue what it should be called - RGB?) not an elected president, since we know from the American example that even in a strong republican model like the USA, vested interests can draw power to themselves and ignore the people's wishes at least some of the time. The only way I can think of to avoid this is to genuinely make the government "by the people", by putting the people in it.

QUOTE
Anyway enough with the chatter, and history. Sorry.


Don't apologise, it put your earlier comments into useful context.

British debate would now like to hand control back to ad.gif w00t.gif
Vermillion
QUOTE(Julian @ Sep 15 2009, 02:47 PM) *
Recklessly stupid but also treaty-obligated, Hitler pretty much had to declare war on the USA as soon as the USA declared war on their Axis treaty partner Japan. The only really recklessly stupid thing at that early stage was the Japanese decision to attack Pearl Harbor at that exact time - had they co-ordinated their efforts better, the Axis powers between them could have utterly destroyed the whole of the British Empire outside the Americas.


No, there was no treaty obligation whatsoever between japan and Germany. The two countries were never allies, they never signed any kind of treaty or agreement or alliance whatsoever: this is one of the great myths of WW2. The only treaty they had at all was the Anti-Bolshevic pact which pretty much went out the window when the nazis signed an alliance with Russia in August 1939 without even informing the japanese (they read about it in the newspapers). There was no military collusion at any level, not even any military attache's in each others countries. In addition in September 1940 the three did sign a 'tripartite pact', but that was only an agreement to respect each other's undefined spheres of influence.

Japan and Germany were never allies, or even friends, and they certainly never tried to coperate on anything except a few too-little-too-late exchanges of technology and rubber by submarine late in the war

QUOTE
And even after the USA had entered the war in Europe, it was very far form a froegone conclusion until the point at which Germany tore up the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact and invaded the Soviet Union, which had until that point been "neutral" towards Germent the same way America had been towards Britain


You have that backwards: Germany invaded Russia in June 1941, 6 months BEFORE pearl harbour.

QUOTE
Again, had Hitler done that, he would have broken the Axis treaty and Japan would likely have declared war on Germany too. In the scheme of things, that would have been an empty threat, since Germany at the time had no real interest in the Far East. But, had it happened, it's doubtful that the German rocket scientists who put American boots on the moon would have defected ("ein kleiner Schritt für den Mann, ein riesiger Sprung für die Menschheit" anyone?). The nuclear arms race would likely have been won by Nazi Germany also. With exclusive ownership of intercontinental ballistic nuclear weaponry about a decade before anyone else could have developed it (everyone who did used German scientists to some degree, or got passed the technology by people who did e.g. China getting nuke technology from the Russians, who used German expertise just as the USA did), and no friendly European nation to use as a beachhead, the USA would have then been in deep trouble - the US was wise indeed to see Germany as the greater threat.



Firstly, as I said, there was no treaty between germany and Japan.

Secondly, Japan would not have declared war on Germany, they would not have cared. After all japan had already been completely shocked and forced to redraw their entire military strategy based on the German unanounced signing of the Nazi-Soviet pact with japan's traditional enemy, Russia. The Japanese disliked and completely distrusted the Germans after that.

lastly, I wont go into this, but people VASTLY overestimate the effect and importance of the german Rocket program. Yes the technology was impressive, if utterly useless during the war itself, and yes it gave Russia and the US a leg up when it came to borrowing designs, but thats because the Germans had sunk OBSCENE amounts of resources into it, resources which came at the expense of a LOT of much more useful and potentially fruitful programs. In the end germany had rockets and not much else.



QUOTE
And think - had it not been for American and British capitulation in the face of French thirst for revenge (which in itself was understandable, even justifiable), the Treaty of Versailles might have been less harsh on Germany and the conditions for the rise of Hitler might ever have been in place. AND, the break-up of the Ottoman Empire and colonial humiliation of the centre of the Muslim world, cutlurally and spiritually, would have given today's Muslim world less of a chip on its shoulder.


Couple problems: Firstly, Word war 2 myth number 2: The treaty of Versailles was not unusually harsh. The germans certainly claimed it was, and many believed them, but it was LESS harsh than the conditions imposed upon France at the end of the Franco-prussian war: the difference was that was done in the middle of a Boom time for Europe, while Versailles happened not too long before the worst economic crash in world history.

Secondly, the Ottoman empire broke up because of Attaturk before 1918, not because of the British.


[quote=Ted]The question I have for you V is would this have made the overall job of defeating Germany harder? What if Hitler, free of the fear of US opposition, took the UK? Or used more forces against Russia?[quote]

Hitler wasnt going to take the UK. He never seriously even wanted too, and he certainly never had the capacity to. He just wanted the west neutralised temporarily so he could defeat Russia, and he got his wish, Britain was effectively neutralized until late 1943. problem was, Russia didnt fall quite so easily.

Operation Sea lion was a half-baked unplanned thought that ran through his head and was cancelled before any serious steps could be taken. Every general in Germany knew it was not going to happen. MAYBE after Russia was defeated, and a year had been spent planning for the channel crossing, then maybe. But for all the guts and glory of the battle of Britain, in 1940 britain was really in no danger of invasion at all. (Of course, at the time, the British didnt KNOW that...)

Russia... Ok, sorry ted, thats kindof one of my main specialities, and would take pages and pages to answer. Sorry. Suffice to say the odds of germany ever actually defeating Russia were quite small. Not nonexistant, but small. It would have taken EVERYTHING going absolutely perfectly right in 1941, and the German military command making completely different stragetic decisions than they did.
R21C
QUOTE(Julian @ Sep 15 2009, 03:47 PM) *
QUOTE(Vermillion @ Sep 15 2009, 01:47 PM) *
On the 10th of December 1941, in a recklessly stupid act which he seriously though would have no repercussions, Hitler declared war on the US, which immidately responded in kind.


Recklessly stupid but also treaty-obligated, Hitler pretty much had to declare war on the USA as soon as the USA declared war on their Axis treaty partner Japan. The only really recklessly stupid thing at that early stage was the Japanese decision to attack Pearl Harbor at that exact time - had they co-ordinated their efforts better, the Axis powers between them could have utterly destroyed the whole of the British Empire outside the Americas.

And even after the USA had entered the war in Europe, it was very far form a froegone conclusion until the point at which Germany tore up the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact and invaded the Soviet Union, which had until that point been "neutral" towards Germent the same way America had been towards Britain (i.e. more or less fully supportive short of supplying troops)

QUOTE
The US wisely recognised that Germany was a MUCH bigger threat than Japan, and decided to concentrate 2/3 of its manpower, industrial might and strength on germany, leaving only a third to crush Japan.


True dat.

QUOTE
OK, so that was the history lesson. What is the point? One of my favourite historians asked: What if on December 10th, Hitler had issues a formal comment from the German government condeming the cowardly attack on Pearl Harbour, admonishing the Japanese and offering his condolances to the friends and families of the US dead? OK fine, few would have believed him, but without a declaration of war, the US would NOT have been able to declare war on Germany at that time, as too many Americans were still decidedly Neutral towards the European war, and everyone was gung-ho against Japan.


Again, had Hitler done that, he would have broken the Axis treaty and Japan would likely have declared war on Germany too. In the scheme of things, that would have been an empty threat, since Germany at the time had no real interest in the Far East. But, had it happened, it's doubtful that the German rocket scientists who put American boots on the moon would have defected ("ein kleiner Schritt für den Mann, ein riesiger Sprung für die Menschheit" anyone?). The nuclear arms race would likely have been won by Nazi Germany also. With exclusive ownership of intercontinental ballistic nuclear weaponry about a decade before anyone else could have developed it (everyone who did used German scientists to some degree, or got passed the technology by people who did e.g. China getting nuke technology from the Russians, who used German expertise just as the USA did), and no friendly European nation to use as a beachhead, the USA would have then been in deep trouble - the US was wise indeed to see Germany as the greater threat.

QUOTE
The US wanted to maintain its neutrality in Europe: its people and its representatives did, overwhelmingly. And has Hitler not declared war, Rooseveldt might not have been able to gather the support to declare war on Germany for a year or two, or maybe more.


Very true, and with hindsight I am very glad that things worked out the way they did.

QUOTE
That is neutrality. The Swiss got away from being Neutral in WW2 without stain simply because there wasn't much they could have done against Hitler anyways.


Not quite without stain - all that Nazi gold and stolen Jewish wealth?

QUOTE
But Americans, rightly proud of their actions in North Africa, and Italy, and Normandy and Western germany, always wince a little when reminded of the fact that their 'neutrality' kept them uninvolved while Europe fell and the Holocaust began.


I think that WW2 was the last war that anyone can be justly and (almost) unequivocally proud of. Most of the rest of the wars that have gone on since then have been grubby little affairs by comparison.

And think - had it not been for American and British capitulation in the face of French thirst for revenge (which in itself was understandable, even justifiable), the Treaty of Versailles might have been less harsh on Germany and the conditions for the rise of Hitler might ever have been in place. AND, the break-up of the Ottoman Empire and colonial humiliation of the centre of the Muslim world, cutlurally and spiritually, would have given today's Muslim world less of a chip on its shoulder.

That's the trouble with history; everything follows on from something else.

QUOTE(R21C @ Sep 15 2009, 02:20 PM) *
I am a British born citizen, officially a crown subject. Since we have no written constitution. We aren't a republic. I am in favour of three republics on Britain. But I don't know if that would happen. But thats off-topic.

I support the republic campaign, I am a republican by nature. I am half Irish and Spanish.


I sympathise on the republican score, but your identification with your underdog oppressed Irish ancestors rather than your exploitative Imperialist Spanish ones makes you more British than you realise wink.gif I don't say that to make fun; I'm in the same boat. I'm Welsh-born and raised, but my father's grandparents were all English, and my mother's grandparents were one Anglicised Welsh woman from Cardiff, a Spanish Jew, and two "proper" Welsh speakers. I don't speak Welsh and don't even have a Welsh accent myself any more, yet I feel very Welsh and don't like to be described as English.

QUOTE
My ancestors were oppressed by they're colonial masters, England. They taught them many things, alot.


The English practiced Empire on the Welsh, Scots and Irish and then, when they'd got it working, exported it to a quarter of the world. Using lots of Welsh, Scots and Irish troops.

QUOTE
I don't like it. But the Irish people don't mind it. An admendment should be passed through for neutrality.


And it's up to them, surely?

QUOTE
Some people are never curious enough about the world they live in. Bush and Blair are war criminals, and all who follow them. Including the Irish taosigh, pronounced, tee shock, prime minister. Past and present.


Irish Gaelic uses the Roman alphabet, so the word is spelled Taoiseach.

QUOTE
Ireland is a parliamentary republic, officially since 1949. The president has no power in politics, just the guardian of the constitution and head of state, one of the most powerless presidents in the world. And at one time, not very busy. Now its just a glitter and glamour monarchy style office in my opinion. The government likes to control it. It isn't open to the people. Its said to be, but the government doesn't want an independent.


Personally, I've always preferred the Irish presidential model for the future British republic that I'm pretty convinced will come into being within 15 years of the death of Mrs E Windsor, our current Head of State. I want sovereign power to rest with the British people, in the shape of a legislative body drawn by lot from the people of the UK (I haven't a clue what it should be called - RGB?) not an elected president, since we know from the American example that even in a strong republican model like the USA, vested interests can draw power to themselves and ignore the people's wishes at least some of the time. The only way I can think of to avoid this is to genuinely make the government "by the people", by putting the people in it.

QUOTE
Anyway enough with the chatter, and history. Sorry.


Don't apologise, it put your earlier comments into useful context.

British debate would now like to hand control back to ad.gif w00t.gif


Alright so I spelt the Irish PM word wrong.

As for my spanish side, who knows what they did. I don't have any contact much with that side. I guess since the Irish speak English, that is the language I only know, I'm not one for languages.

The Spanish did have a few colonies in Africa.

When you say the people in Ireland there should make a decision on neutrality permanent or whatever, or the slowing down of UN troops. I wonder if enough care.

Why bother with UN peacekeeping, if some of the weapons sold to the same people fighting, are from western countries and then a foreign army rolls in there and tries and keep the peace. It seems a little phoney to me. I guess if you can forsee that, it is pointless.

But...

It is pointless? Eighty six Irish soldiers are dead altogether. And there are memorials in the country, one I believe a burning flame. It would of been nice had that not existed at all.

From reading the book, I actually a got a little bored with it. Irish Army in the Congo 1960- 1964

The Irish's first mission was a disaster, it should never of happened. But the main thing I picked up from the book was. It is in Ireland's interest to have a peaceful world. A Small country like this one is dependent on foreign everything.

Anyway moving on

If I am correct about this, in 1983 US soldiers were on a peacekeeping mission in the Lebanon, whilst at the same time the Irish were first deployed in 1978, and left 23 years later.

The US soldiers were killed, 241 and Reagan withdrew them, saying something along the lines of " I never understood the irrationality of middle eastern politics." I said I would stay the course...

Anyone familiar with this?

And lastly, I doubt officially a country like the Central African republic, can proclaim neutrality in the centre of the continent. That leader there just isn't proactive.

Has anyone noticed I am a total nut about being neutral in war. I guess I just want less people to die. If war is inevitable.
R21C
Countries Like the US and Canada and Russia and Mexico should proclaim neutrality. mellow.gif

Full on Neutrality. shifty.gif
Mrs. Pigpen
QUOTE(R21C @ Sep 12 2009, 03:14 PM) *
Does anyone support the idea of being neutral in war? Or all wars, or may be even politically.


First of all, we'd have to dissolve a heck of a lot of international security agreements to follow Washington's plan.

ALL wars? No. It depends. Furthermore, this would mean we'd have to be completely neutral on foreign policy as well. All bark no bite doesn't make for much negotiation. Sanctions are, or can be, an act of war. Certainly they could lead to war so you wouldn't want those...but trading with the enemy of another country could make you a target so you couldn't do that. Total neutrality, whatever cost, would put a strain on decision-making, trade, even foreign aid for that matter (like Somalia, or any other country with anyone in power who might want to take that shipment upon entry and/or anywhere along the way).

I'm curious about your Lebanon example, R21. What's your point? How many Irish were involved at any one time in peacekeeping activities in Lebanon? A handful or several thousand? Surely you recognize the difference in scale and the potential for escalation.

There will always be unforeseen consequences to each and every action, but people seem to forget in these sorts of discussions that INACTION yields consequences, too. It’s a matter of weighing the potential outcomes, many of which cannot be foreseen.
Bikerdad
QUOTE(R21C)
Has anyone noticed I am a total nut about being neutral in war. I guess I just want less people to die. If war is inevitable.

hmmm.gif A nut? Well, yes. In both sense of the word. Passionate about it, definitely. Nutty, i.e., looney, i.e., crazy, i.e., not reality based, yeah, some.

As Moif pointed out, neutrality doesn't guarantee that fewer people will die. Often, it simply insures that the aggressor gets to pick the time and place of attack. Sometimes, it allows the aggressor to pick off other nations one at a time, nations that collectively could easily defeat the aggressor. Neutrality also means standing aside during something like the Rwandan Genocide, or the Killing Fields.

Neutrality is not a panacea, nor does it automatically lead to peace.


R21C
QUOTE(Mrs. Pigpen @ Sep 19 2009, 03:14 PM) *
QUOTE(R21C @ Sep 12 2009, 03:14 PM) *
Does anyone support the idea of being neutral in war? Or all wars, or may be even politically.


First of all, we'd have to dissolve a heck of a lot of international security agreements to follow Washington's plan.

ALL wars? No. It depends. Furthermore, this would mean we'd have to be completely neutral on foreign policy as well. All bark no bite doesn't make for much negotiation. Sanctions are, or can be, an act of war. Certainly they could lead to war so you wouldn't want those...but trading with the enemy of another country could make you a target so you couldn't do that. Total neutrality, whatever cost, would put a strain on decision-making, trade, even foreign aid for that matter (like Somalia, or any other country with anyone in power who might want to take that shipment upon entry and/or anywhere along the way).

I'm curious about your Lebanon example, R21. What's your point? How many Irish were involved at any one time in peacekeeping activities in Lebanon? A handful or several thousand? Surely you recognize the difference in scale and the potential for escalation.

There will always be unforeseen consequences to each and every action, but people seem to forget in these sorts of discussions that INACTION yields consequences, too. It’s a matter of weighing the potential outcomes, many of which cannot be foreseen.


Several thousand went, the problems in the middle east are the recent mess up of the British and the Americans. I just didn't see any point in them going there.

It looks phoney.

Yes, they did save some handful of civilians. It did give the Irish soldiers some idea of being in a combat zone. The Irish Army itself can't protect the country at all, the US could roll in there. whistling.gif

Ron Paul said that America is neutral in lots of places, he was right just as some of you have said. America may as well have involved itself everywhere to help people, if that is the real interest of the country. When we know it isn't, all countries have a national permanent interest.

I am not that old, but not too long ago I thought that countries and people had always their best interest for everyone. I was wrong. wink.gif

QUOTE(Bikerdad @ Sep 20 2009, 08:17 AM) *
QUOTE(R21C)
Has anyone noticed I am a total nut about being neutral in war. I guess I just want less people to die. If war is inevitable.

hmmm.gif A nut? Well, yes. In both sense of the word. Passionate about it, definitely. Nutty, i.e., looney, i.e., crazy, i.e., not reality based, yeah, some.

As Moif pointed out, neutrality doesn't guarantee that fewer people will die. Often, it simply insures that the aggressor gets to pick the time and place of attack. Sometimes, it allows the aggressor to pick off other nations one at a time, nations that collectively could easily defeat the aggressor. Neutrality also means standing aside during something like the Rwandan Genocide, or the Killing Fields.

Neutrality is not a panacea, nor does it automatically lead to peace.


No it doesn't, you are right.

But very few people died in Ireland during world war 2. I know that Irish men especially left for the British Army. Some people considered them traitors, some say they did it for money or whatever it was path out.

But the problems in Africa are the result of the old ways societies there, and the new clashing. That caused a lot of brake downs.

Afghanistan is a mess, and always has been. John Mccain said he wouldn't of mind to of stayed in Iraq for a century, Afghanistan would be more than that, and for what...

There are enough problems at home, US army is all over the world and probably not enough to protect the country. The US president should be all domestic, and only here and there abroad. If things were ideal. That is only a dream.

The last time the president was at home, the cow boy era was just trying to close up.


True Neutrality only then works for small countries. wink.gif Insignificant islands, too small for an Army.

moif
QUOTE(R21C)
But very few people died in Ireland during world war 2. I know that Irish men especially left for the British Army. Some people considered them traitors, some say they did it for money or whatever it was path out.
Irelands neutrality in World War Two is a moot point. Ireland, like Switzerland was only allowed to remain neutral because its neutrality served the interests of the warring parties. Germany in particular made use of Irish territorial waters to hide the presence of its U boats and to smuggle spies into Britain. In essence, the west Irish coast was a safe route for German U boats moving into the north Atlantic. So much for neutrality. Theres not much new about that though. Ireland has always been a haven of anti British sentiments.

The Irish never joined NATO either, European security not being much of a priority for Eire, though they were more than happy to join the EU and accept billions of European tax money to prop up their economy and play at being European.

Had Ireland been closer to Germany, as Denmark is, its neutrality would have counted for as much as Denmark's did.
R21C
Ireland is a poorly resourced country.

The EU has done a lot for the country. But at the same time there is a price to pay.

Nato is a pointless organisation today.
Ted
QUOTE(R21C @ Sep 20 2009, 12:08 PM) *
Ireland is a poorly resourced country.

The EU has done a lot for the country. But at the same time there is a price to pay.

Nato is a pointless organisation today.

Pointless in what way? Do you think that Russia would be so bold as to storm into a NATO country as they recently did in Georgia?

I kinda doubt it and this is why countries cannot wait to get into NATO. They look out and see Russia as a threat – as in that I agree.
moif
QUOTE(R21C @ Sep 20 2009, 06:08 PM) *
Ireland is a poorly resourced country.
So is Denmark. Whats your point?


QUOTE(R21C)
The EU has done a lot for the country. But at the same time there is a price to pay.
I know, my taxes go towards paying it.


QUOTE(R21C)
Nato is a pointless organisation today.
No organisation is pointless if its members are satisfied with it. Currently there are no member states leaving NATO nor expressing any desire to do so.

The EU on the other hand is barely able to function. It is wasteful, utterly corrupt and unable to generate support for its proposed federal super state. National referendum after national referendum has seen EU proposals to consolidate its power and authority at the expense of Europe's nations, dismissed by the electorate. The Irish might well luxuriate in their European membership, but its always easy to wallow in luxury when some one else's hard labour is footing the bill.

So it is with defence and this notion of neutrality. Neutrality in the face of tyranny only works when some one else is prepared to defend you. For the last six decades, that some one has been the United States and NATO, but that hasn't stopped the self serving politicans in Bruxelles taking credit for the relative peace of western Europe. The Eurocrats do so love to take credit for European peace, though when the Balkans erupted into civil war and genocide it wasn't the EU which did anything to prevent it. Whilst the same self serving politicians in Bruxelles who now speak of the EU as a guarantor for peace, then talked and hesitated, thousands of people went into mass graves all across the former Yugoslavia. Europe said 'Never again' in 1945, but that was shown to be a lie. When Danish UN troops opened fire on Serbs bent on killing Bosnian Muslims, there was no support from the EU, and only condemnation from the UN (another inept, corrupt and essentially pointless organisation). When tyranny again showed its face in Europe, it was NATO, led by the USA which put an end to it.

A decade later though, and the left wing amnesia is back.
Ted
QUOTE(moif @ Sep 20 2009, 08:17 PM) *
QUOTE(R21C @ Sep 20 2009, 06:08 PM) *
Ireland is a poorly resourced country.
So is Denmark. Whats your point?


QUOTE(R21C)
The EU has done a lot for the country. But at the same time there is a price to pay.
I know, my taxes go towards paying it.


QUOTE(R21C)
Nato is a pointless organisation today.
No organisation is pointless if its members are satisfied with it. Currently there are no member states leaving NATO nor expressing any desire to do so.

The EU on the other hand is barely able to function. It is wasteful, utterly corrupt and unable to generate support for its proposed federal super state. National referendum after national referendum has seen EU proposals to consolidate its power and authority at the expense of Europe's nations, dismissed by the electorate. The Irish might well luxuriate in their European membership, but its always easy to wallow in luxury when some one else's hard labour is footing the bill.

So it is with defence and this notion of neutrality. Neutrality in the face of tyranny only works when some one else is prepared to defend you. For the last six decades, that some one has been the United States and NATO, but that hasn't stopped the self serving politicans in Bruxelles taking credit for the relative peace of western Europe. The Eurocrats do so love to take credit for European peace, though when the Balkans erupted into civil war and genocide it wasn't the EU which did anything to prevent it. Whilst the same self serving politicians in Bruxelles who now speak of the EU as a guarantor for peace, then talked and hesitated, thousands of people went into mass graves all across the former Yugoslavia. Europe said 'Never again' in 1945, but that was shown to be a lie. When Danish UN troops opened fire on Serbs bent on killing Bosnian Muslims, there was no support from the EU, and only condemnation from the UN (another inept, corrupt and essentially pointless organisation). When tyranny again showed its face in Europe, it was NATO, led by the USA which put an end to it.

A decade later though, and the left wing amnesia is back.


Well said and to the point moif.

I get more than a little upset about organizations like the UN and the EU when conflict situations arise. They seem to spend most of their time, talking, posturing, debating – and little else.

Whereas NATO is more direct. Come across the border of a member state and you will have all of us (menbers) to contend with.

Vermillion
QUOTE(Ted @ Sep 21 2009, 01:03 AM) *
I get more than a little upset about organizations like the UN and the EU when conflict situations arise. They seem to spend most of their time, talking, posturing, debating – and little else.

Whereas NATO is more direct. Come across the border of a member state and you will have all of us (menbers) to contend with.



Do you get upset when there is an attack on the United States and NAFTA doesnt respond?

Everything in its place Ted. NAFTA, like the EU, are economic arrangements first and foremost. The EU is a customs union, and a common currency (with a few exceptions). yes it has dabbled into the political sphere, and generally the idea of expansion of political powers has been refused. Dont for a moment think that this means the EU itself is not a remarkable force for economic prosperity, which has benefitted its members. Right now there are quite a few countries scrabbling to get in, hardly the sign of a useless organization.

The EU has no common foreign policy, no common defence policy, no treaty of military support. Individual countries can feel free to act or think or do whatever the wish in foreign fields with the exception of economic or trade policy. Dont get mad because an economic organization has not been sufficiently political.
R21C
Nato is a threat to Russia.

I believe during the Bush administration there may of been a plan to dominate the region, possibly Eurasia itself. By having countries gang up against Russia, it wouldn't of stood a chance would it?

Nato is a cold war club.

There are enough problems in Russia to deal with than they trying to control the old areas the old people in Russia did before.

I don't think the EU will last. Nobody wants a powerful EU, otherwise it'll just compete with America.

Ireland should never ever join Nato. I doubt Russia would want Ireland.
Ted
QUOTE
R21C
I believe during the Bush administration there may of been a plan to dominate the region, possibly Eurasia itself. By having countries gang up against Russia, it wouldn't of stood a chance would it?


A plan by whom? The US? Including what NATO allies? Are you joking? Russia has thousands of nuclear weapons and the US and NATO would never try to “dominate” them or anyone else for that matter


QUOTE
V
The EU has no common foreign policy, no common defense policy, and no treaty of military support. Individual countries can feel free to act or think or do whatever the wish in foreign fields with the exception of economic or trade policy. Dont get mad because an economic organization has not been sufficiently political.


OK so they are militarily worthless as a group yet its members including France and Germany have modern military capability.

They and the UN did nothing to deal with the genocide in Bosnia.
R21C
QUOTE
I believe during the Bush administration there may of been a plan to dominate the region, possibly Eurasia itself. By having countries gang up against Russia, it wouldn't of stood a chance would it?

A plan by whom? The US? Including what NATO allies? Are you joking? Russia has thousands of nuclear weapons and the US and NATO would never try to “dominate” them or anyone else for that matter


The US.

I don't know what Nato allies.

I wouldn't hold that view entirely. America is dependent on resources, and having access in some way is totally a national security objective.

If what I have said sounds crazy, then trying to create an Afghan republic is crazy too, it can't work.
Vermillion
QUOTE(Ted @ Sep 21 2009, 12:57 PM) *
OK so they are militarily worthless as a group yet its members including France and Germany have modern military capability.


No, the economic alliance of the EU has no military provisions, nor is it supposed to, nor does it try to.

You say it is militarily worthless yet contains France and Germany. I point out that NAFTA is militarily worthless too, yet contains the US. Your point is irrelevant.


QUOTE
They and the UN did nothing to deal with the genocide in Bosnia.


The UN proposed a peacekeeping force in 1997, but were turned down by everyone. The UN condemned the Racak massacre and deployed OSCE peacekeepers to Kosovo, though not a sufficient number to do very much.

Your expectations of these organizations are somewhat silly. The EU did nothing because it is a strictly economic organization. The UN did act insomuch as it could, but it is a body of nations, and none of the major nations of the world took the events seriously until after they had escalated. What exactly would you have WANTED the UN to do? Deploy its big UN army there?


The other side of it of course, is that many of the major nations of Europe were embarassed by their late action in the Kosovo situation, and that was one of the reasons why there was a (now essentially failed) effort to develop a political structure to the EU that did not previously exist.
Ted
QUOTE(Vermillion @ Sep 21 2009, 09:10 AM) *
QUOTE(Ted @ Sep 21 2009, 12:57 PM) *
OK so they are militarily worthless as a group yet its members including France and Germany have modern military capability.


No, the economic alliance of the EU has no military provisions, nor is it supposed to, nor does it try to.

You say it is militarily worthless yet contains France and Germany. I point out that NAFTA is militarily worthless too, yet contains the US. Your point is irrelevant.


QUOTE
They and the UN did nothing to deal with the genocide in Bosnia.


The UN proposed a peacekeeping force in 1997, but were turned down by everyone. The UN condemned the Racak massacre and deployed OSCE peacekeepers to Kosovo, though not a sufficient number to do very much.

As I said a perfect example of the failure of this organization to deal with conflict.

It’s nice they “condemned the Racak massacre”

They did the same for the Rwanda massacre later………..

I agree the EU is toothless and will reamin so as you point out.
Vermillion
QUOTE(Ted @ Sep 21 2009, 01:20 PM) *
As I said a perfect example of the failure of this organization to deal with conflict.

It’s nice they “condemned the Racak massacre”

They did the same for the Rwanda massacre later………..

I agree the EU is toothless and will reamin so as you point out.


I find it interesting you answered my post yet didnt answer my point or the direct question I asked of you. Perhaps you missed it, so I shall repeat myself.

Your expectations of these organizations are somewhat silly. The EU did nothing because it is a strictly economic organization. The UN did act insomuch as it could, but it is a body of nations, and none of the major nations of the world took the events seriously until after they had escalated. What exactly would you have WANTED the UN to do? Deploy its big UN army there?
Ted
QUOTE(Vermillion @ Sep 21 2009, 10:03 AM) *
QUOTE(Ted @ Sep 21 2009, 01:20 PM) *
As I said a perfect example of the failure of this organization to deal with conflict.

It’s nice they “condemned the Racak massacre”

They did the same for the Rwanda massacre later………..

I agree the EU is toothless and will reamin so as you point out.


I find it interesting you answered my post yet didnt answer my point or the direct question I asked of you. Perhaps you missed it, so I shall repeat myself.

Your expectations of these organizations are somewhat silly. The EU did nothing because it is a strictly economic organization. The UN did act insomuch as it could, but it is a body of nations, and none of the major nations of the world took the events seriously until after they had escalated. What exactly would you have WANTED the UN to do? Deploy its big UN army there?

I agree with your assessment on the EU – they are strictly economic.

Now will you comment on my statement – here let me repeat –
QUOTE
OK so they are militarily worthless as a group yet its members including France and Germany have modern military capability
.

They could have acted unilaterally as the US did when the UN failed to move (as usual).

lederuvdapac
QUOTE(Vermillion)
No, there was no treaty obligation whatsoever between japan and Germany. The two countries were never allies, they never signed any kind of treaty or agreement or alliance whatsoever: this is one of the great myths of WW2. The only treaty they had at all was the Anti-Bolshevic pact which pretty much went out the window when the nazis signed an alliance with Russia in August 1939 without even informing the japanese (they read about it in the newspapers). There was no military collusion at any level, not even any military attache's in each others countries. In addition in September 1940 the three did sign a 'tripartite pact', but that was only an agreement to respect each other's undefined spheres of influence.


That is not correct. The Tripartite Pact DID have a military aspect to it:
QUOTE
ARTICLE 3. Japan, Germany, and Italy agree to cooperate in their efforts on aforesaid lines. They further undertake to assist one another with all political, economic and military means if one of the Contracting Powers is attacked by a Power at present not involved in the European War or in the Japanese-Chinese conflict.


QUOTE(Vermillion)
Japan and Germany were never allies, or even friends, and they certainly never tried to coperate on anything except a few too-little-too-late exchanges of technology and rubber by submarine late in the war


There WAS military collusion. It was actually pretty substantial when it came to aircraft technology.

Japan and Germany both had interests in being partners. Japan may not have attacked the US if not for its alliance with Germany, as 2/3rds of our forces were concentrated in Europe. Germany was hoping that Japan would open a Western Front in Russia. I think you really understate their relationship.

QUOTE(Vermillion)
The treaty of Versailles was not unusually harsh.


From a certain standpoint, you may have a point. But from a geo-political and economic standpoint, this is patently false. Whether the French and the British would like to admit it or not, Germany was the industrial power of Europe. The requirements of Versailles severely weakened the German industrial base and did not allow them to recover from WW1. With French tariffs on German goods, Germany suffered immensely which led to the rise of Naziism and for Germany to rebuild its military and continually break its treaty obligations.

QUOTE(Vermillion)
Hitler wasnt going to take the UK. He never seriously even wanted too, and he certainly never had the capacity to. He just wanted the west neutralised temporarily so he could defeat Russia, and he got his wish, Britain was effectively neutralized until late 1943. problem was, Russia didnt fall quite so easily.


This is absolutely correct. Hitler wrote it all down in Mein Kampf. I mean, the guy said exactly what he was going to do, and he did it. It was just that nobody thought he was that crazy. He intended to be allies with England, he had no desire to be caught up in a war with them.


Does anyone support the idea of being neutral in war? Or all wars, or may be even politically.

I do. I am a strict non-interventionist. Not only does war result in destruction and death, but it leads to an enlarging of the welfare-warfare state here at home. War has always beget new powers for the central government at the expense of the citizenry. It results in massive debts and inflation. The only circumstance where it is acceptable is when under attack by a potential foe.

If you want to discuss neutrality/non-neutrality in the sense that we are not directly related to the conflict - we should still be neutral. Getting involved in foreign conflicts always leads to unintended consequences and blowback. We should heed the words of Jefferson: "Peace, commerce and honest friendship with all nations--entangling alliances with none." If we stuck to that policy, we would all be much better off.
Ultimatejoe
QUOTE
If you want to discuss neutrality/non-neutrality in the sense that we are not directly related to the conflict - we should still be neutral. Getting involved in foreign conflicts always leads to unintended consequences and blowback. We should heed the words of Jefferson: "Peace, commerce and honest friendship with all nations--entangling alliances with none." If we stuck to that policy, we would all be much better off.

Well... except for the fact that the post-war economy which is responsible for much of the wealth that currently exists would never have emerged. Now, I am not suggesting that the world would necessarily be worse off, but it's a bit cavalier to just suggest that you could just rewrite the last 70 years of history and assume that everything would have turned out for the better; don't you think? Or is this another axiom?
lederuvdapac
QUOTE(UJ)
Well... except for the fact that the post-war economy which is responsible for much of the wealth that currently exists would never have emerged. Now, I am not suggesting that the world would necessarily be worse off, but it's a bit cavalier to just suggest that you could just rewrite the last 70 years of history and assume that everything would have turned out for the better; don't you think? Or is this another axiom?


I am putting forth an opinion UJ. Surely, you have opinions? rolleyes.gif The post-war economy resulted in the first Bretton-Woods agreement. This system failed. It led to Bretton-Woods II. This system is in the process of failing. Much of the post-war wealth did occur because of the liberalization of markets - particularly in West Germany, Japan, and South Korea. But a lot of the wealth created is also illusory. The consequences of those policies are being felt today and will continue to be felt for some time. So yes, I am confident to say that a system where countries lived within their means, had a currency that was not depreciated exponentially, and where we were creditors instead of massive debtors would be a much preferable system then out consumer driven, debt soaked, and inflationary economy.
Vermillion
QUOTE(lederuvdapac @ Sep 21 2009, 02:34 PM) *
There WAS military collusion. It was actually pretty substantial when it came to aircraft technology.


The collusion was minor and it was usually initiated by private interests, not the government. They had a few minor exchanges but didnt even have a regular form of communication or update, they left each other completely ignorant of their stragetic plans and intentions, paid no heed whatsoever to any straegic possibilities with each other, and in the case of Hitler, idnt even like each other very much.

QUOTE
Japan and Germany both had interests in being partners. Japan may not have attacked the US if not for its alliance with Germany, as 2/3rds of our forces were concentrated in Europe. Germany was hoping that Japan would open a Western Front in Russia. I think you really understate their relationship.


I think you are a bit confused. At the time Japan attacked the US, the US has NO troops in Europe at all, the decision to commit 2/3 of US resources to Europe came after PH and after the German declaration of war. japan was not allied with germany, and whatever their relationship, it had no bearing whatsoever on the japanese decision to attack the US.

As to Germany hoping japan would attack Russia, japan was ready and willing to attack Russia, in fact that was their entire strategic plan, until germany signed the Nazi-Soviet pact, without even hinting anything to the japanese about it. The japanese were so incensed they stated quite openly they would have nothing more to do with Hitler, the PM swore never to speak of germany again. (That PM didnt last long, but the sentiment remained). japan, seeing that germany had made friends with Rusia, decided in 1941 to sign its OWN non-aggression pact with Russia, and did so just a few months before the Germans attacked. japan never had the slightest clue about what germany was thinking or planning, and vice versa, and both were pretty much happy to keep it that way.


QUOTE
From a certain standpoint, you may have a point. But from a geo-political and economic standpoint, this is patently false. Whether the French and the British would like to admit it or not, Germany was the industrial power of Europe. The requirements of Versailles severely weakened the German industrial base and did not allow them to recover from WW1. With French tariffs on German goods, Germany suffered immensely which led to the rise of Naziism and for Germany to rebuild its military and continually break its treaty obligations.


Those tarfiffs were lower than had existed in 1913. Im sorry, by any standard the versailles treaty economic clauses were severe, but certainly not particularily harsh. Nobody could have predicted the stock market crash of 1929, which compunded the Versailles clauses into disaster.
moif
QUOTE(Vermillion @ Sep 21 2009, 09:34 AM) *
The EU has no common foreign policy, no common defence policy, no treaty of military support. Individual countries can feel free to act or think or do whatever the wish in foreign fields with the exception of economic or trade policy. Dont get mad because an economic organization has not been sufficiently political.
The EU is not simply an 'economic organization', that ended in 1992 with the Maastricht treaty.

The problem with the EU is not its impotence in the face of tyranny, personally I'm not in favour of a strong EU, its the fact that the EU leadership likes to lay claim to having kept the peace of Europe for the last six decades, and uses this claim as a selling point to convince people to vote for more power and enlargement.


QUOTE(Vermillion)
No, the economic alliance of the EU has no military provisions, nor is it supposed to, nor does it try to.
In a cocked hat it doesn't! laugh.gif

QUOTE(Wikipedia)
The creation of the pillar system [of the Maastricht treaty] was the result of the desire by many member states to extend the European Economic Community to the areas of foreign policy, military, criminal justice, judicial cooperation to the European Community and the misgiving of other member states, notably the United Kingdom, to add areas which they considered to be too sensitive to be managed by the supra-national mechanisms of the European Economic Community. The compromise was that instead of renaming the European Economic Community, as the European Union, the treaty would establish a legally separate European Union comprising of the renamed European Economic Community, and of the inter-governmental policy areas of foreign policy, military, criminal justice, judicial cooperation. The structure greatly limited the powers of the European Commission, the European Parliament and the European court of Justice to influence the new intergovernmental policy areas which were to be contained with the second and third pillars: foreign policy and military matters (the CFSP pillar) and criminal justice and cooperation in civil matters (the JHA pillar).
Source.


QUOTE(Vermillion)
Your expectations of these organizations are somewhat silly. The EU did nothing because it is a strictly economic organization. The UN did act insomuch as it could, but it is a body of nations, and none of the major nations of the world took the events seriously until after they had escalated. What exactly would you have WANTED the UN to do? Deploy its big UN army there?
The UN can be forgiven for its initial lethargy. Events on the ground escalated faster than any of the 'experts' foretold.

What cannot be forgiven is how the UN and EU reacted when European troops, on the ground, faced local death squads. The Dutch stood by and watched whilst people were massacred because they were under direct UN orders. Orders which the Dutch government was too soft to regard as the wicked stupidity they were. Thankfully Danish troops, acting with the blessing of the Danish government disregarded the UN's orders and engaged Serbian forces, forcing them to retreat and thus saving hundreds if not thousands of innocent people.

As if that were not bad enough, once the Serbs had been defeated by the Danes, the UN, having already whined about Denmark sending tanks to give Danish troops the strength needed to do the job they were asked to do, then criticised Denmark for having used them.

In order to fully understand Danish foreign policy since then you have to understand the impact that made. Denmark is one of the most enthusiastic member states of the UN, one of the very few to always pays its membership dues and a country often called upon to provide personnel for the UN, and here was Denmark, being criticised for having defended innocent helpless people. To say this went down badly in Denmark would be an understatement. From that point on, Denmark stopped being a neutral observor from the sidelines and the real reason why Danish troops were engaged in Iraq and are in Afghanistan, with broad political support in the Danish Parliment, is all due to the lesson learned in Croatia and Bosnia that the UN, the EU and neutrality in general cannot solve any of the problems which beset us.

People were going into mass graves and the EU, the self described defender of the European peace, was sitting on its hands doing nothing. And please spare me the waffle about member states, both Holland and Denmark are member states of the EU and both sent troops to the Balkans as did a number of other EU countries, independent of Bruxelles.


QUOTE(Vermillion)
The other side of it of course, is that many of the major nations of Europe were embarassed by their late action in the Kosovo situation, and that was one of the reasons why there was a (now essentially failed) effort to develop a political structure to the EU that did not previously exist.
The lack of public support for the Maastricht treatyin 1992 was the reason why the EU military project failed. Kosovo was used as an excuse, but the notion that the EU is interested in anything but posturing is a joke. The EU military battle groups were set up in 1999 with less than 20,000 men (unofficially it is below this number as most states only pay lip service to the EU battle groups). They are parade unit designed for show. To date these units haven't done anything worth mentioning, thats a decade of tax money spent on zero results, but thats SOP for the EU.

Thankfully Denmark opted out of the military aspect of Maastricht so we don't have to pay for the EU battlegroups. We leave to the French and Germans, after all, they've become quite adept at posturing in military uniforms whilst doing nothing useful.


QUOTE(Vermillion)
Your expectations of these organizations are somewhat silly. The EU did nothing because it is a strictly economic organization.
Oh...?
QUOTE(Wikipedia)
Full operational capacity was reached on 1 January 2007, meaning the Union could undertake two battlegroup sized operations concurrently, or deploy them simultaneously into the same field. The battlegroups rotate every 6 months, the roster from 2007 onwards is as follows...
Source.
Not bad for a strictly economic organization. whistling.gif

~~~~~~~~~~



QUOTE(R21C @ Sep 21 2009, 02:30 PM) *
Nato is a threat to Russia.
What rot!

How is NATO a threat to Russia?
Which great NATO army is poised to invade Russia?
How is Russia threatened by its neighbours joining NATO?


QUOTE(R21C)
I believe during the Bush administration there may of been a plan to dominate the region, possibly Eurasia itself. By having countries gang up against Russia, it wouldn't of stood a chance would it?
Beyond Russian posturing and your own paranoia, what do you base this spurious belief upon?


QUOTE(R21C)
Nato is a cold war club.
What does that even mean? What is a 'Cold War club' except a tawdry phrase designed to take the place of an actual argument?


QUOTE(R21C)
There are enough problems in Russia to deal with than they trying to control the old areas the old people in Russia did before.
Russia is irrelevent, which is why they are so belligerent. They know it full well themselves and it hurts their pride. Poor little Super Putin wants to fill the Red Square with his phallic symbols so all the world can tremble before the Motherland again. The sooner the Russians get rid of their former KGB elite, the sooner they can deal witht heir problems.


QUOTE(R21C)
Ireland should never ever join Nato.
They'd be useless anyway.


QUOTE(R21C)
I doubt Russia would want Ireland.
Do you mean like how they didn't want Georgia?


QUOTE(R21C @ Sep 21 2009, 03:05 PM) *
QUOTE
I believe during the Bush administration there may of been a plan to dominate the region, possibly Eurasia itself. By having countries gang up against Russia, it wouldn't of stood a chance would it?

A plan by whom? The US? Including what NATO allies? Are you joking? Russia has thousands of nuclear weapons and the US and NATO would never try to “dominate” them or anyone else for that matter


The US.

I don't know what Nato allies.

I wouldn't hold that view entirely. America is dependent on resources, and having access in some way is totally a national security objective.

If what I have said sounds crazy, then trying to create an Afghan republic is crazy too, it can't work.
That depends on the Afghan people, or are you saying the reason why it can't work is because the Afghan's are not interested in a viable modern state?




lederuvdapac
QUOTE(Vermillion)
The collusion was minor and it was usually initiated by private interests, not the government. They had a few minor exchanges but didnt even have a regular form of communication or update, they left each other completely ignorant of their stragetic plans and intentions, paid no heed whatsoever to any straegic possibilities with each other, and in the case of Hitler, idnt even like each other very much.


The same could be said for Hitler-Mussolini's relationship - doesn't mean that the two weren't colluding. Furthermore, that is not how the rest of the world saw the relationship. The USSR maintained a troop presence on the Pacific front for fear of a Japanese attack. It wasn't until a Soviet spy learned that Japan had no intention of attacking the USSR that Stalin was able to transfer those troops to the Eastern Front and defeat Germany. So obviously there was some concern on the part of the Russians as to whether the Japanese were planning an attack. Furthermore, even if you discount the technology exchanges as minor, how can you discount the industrial and raw material support that Germany provided Japan well into 1944? The answer? Because Hitler wanted to sue for peace with the Allies. He thought that if he was successful at the Battle of the Bulge, that the Americans would sign a peace treaty and end the Western front. The Allies rallied, so this never came to pass, but Hitler certainly had a relationship with Japan in trying to win the war.

QUOTE(Vermillion)
I think you are a bit confused. At the time Japan attacked the US, the US has NO troops in Europe at all, the decision to commit 2/3 of US resources to Europe came after PH and after the German declaration of war. japan was not allied with germany, and whatever their relationship, it had no bearing whatsoever on the japanese decision to attack the US.


There is no confusion. My point was that IF Japan didn't have a military alliance with Germany, it is highly unlikely they would have attacked the US. Even if they completely wiped out our naval fleet, including carriers, at Pearl Harbor, the US still had its Atlantic fleet. If there was no threat from Germany, the fleet would have been transferred to the Pacific in the mean time while the US industrial base built up its armed forces. Japan, like Germany, was hoping to score a peace treaty. They also failed at that.

QUOTE(Vermillion)
As to Germany hoping japan would attack Russia, japan was ready and willing to attack Russia, in fact that was their entire strategic plan, until germany signed the Nazi-Soviet pact, without even hinting anything to the japanese about it. The japanese were so incensed they stated quite openly they would have nothing more to do with Hitler, the PM swore never to speak of germany again. (That PM didnt last long, but the sentiment remained). japan, seeing that germany had made friends with Rusia, decided in 1941 to sign its OWN non-aggression pact with Russia, and did so just a few months before the Germans attacked. japan never had the slightest clue about what germany was thinking or planning, and vice versa, and both were pretty much happy to keep it that way.


I am certainly not saying that they acted as equals at a strategic table. I am not saying they planned attacks together or anything like that. That would be an overstatement. However, I still think you are understating it.


QUOTE(Vermillion)
Those tarfiffs were lower than had existed in 1913. Im sorry, by any standard the versailles treaty economic clauses were severe, but certainly not particularily harsh.


It doesn't matter if it was lower in 1913. What is important is the consequences it had on post-war Germany. France and Britain imposed these penalties and Germany could not repay these debts. France, after already taking Alsace-Lorraine, invaded the Ruhr which was the industrial center of Germany. Even if you want to argue that this action was separate from the Versailles Treaty, it cannot be denied that it is a direct result of it.

In my mind, it is useless to compare Versailles' terms to that of other treaties. What is important is how it impact the geo-political circumstances at the time. Despite its "lack of harshness", it did innumerable damage to Germany and set the stage for WW2.
R21C
QUOTE(moif @ Sep 21 2009, 05:18 PM) *
QUOTE(Vermillion @ Sep 21 2009, 09:34 AM) *
The EU has no common foreign policy, no common defence policy, no treaty of military support. Individual countries can feel free to act or think or do whatever the wish in foreign fields with the exception of economic or trade policy. Dont get mad because an economic organization has not been sufficiently political.
The EU is not simply an 'economic organization', that ended in 1992 with the Maastricht treaty.

The problem with the EU is not its impotence in the face of tyranny, personally I'm not in favour of a strong EU, its the fact that the EU leadership likes to lay claim to having kept the peace of Europe for the last six decades, and uses this claim as a selling point to convince people to vote for more power and enlargement.


QUOTE(Vermillion)
No, the economic alliance of the EU has no military provisions, nor is it supposed to, nor does it try to.
In a cocked hat it doesn't! laugh.gif

QUOTE(Wikipedia)
The creation of the pillar system [of the Maastricht treaty] was the result of the desire by many member states to extend the European Economic Community to the areas of foreign policy, military, criminal justice, judicial cooperation to the European Community and the misgiving of other member states, notably the United Kingdom, to add areas which they considered to be too sensitive to be managed by the supra-national mechanisms of the European Economic Community. The compromise was that instead of renaming the European Economic Community, as the European Union, the treaty would establish a legally separate European Union comprising of the renamed European Economic Community, and of the inter-governmental policy areas of foreign policy, military, criminal justice, judicial cooperation. The structure greatly limited the powers of the European Commission, the European Parliament and the European court of Justice to influence the new intergovernmental policy areas which were to be contained with the second and third pillars: foreign policy and military matters (the CFSP pillar) and criminal justice and cooperation in civil matters (the JHA pillar).
Source.


QUOTE(Vermillion)
Your expectations of these organizations are somewhat silly. The EU did nothing because it is a strictly economic organization. The UN did act insomuch as it could, but it is a body of nations, and none of the major nations of the world took the events seriously until after they had escalated. What exactly would you have WANTED the UN to do? Deploy its big UN army there?
The UN can be forgiven for its initial lethargy. Events on the ground escalated faster than any of the 'experts' foretold.

What cannot be forgiven is how the UN and EU reacted when European troops, on the ground, faced local death squads. The Dutch stood by and watched whilst people were massacred because they were under direct UN orders. Orders which the Dutch government was too soft to regard as the wicked stupidity they were. Thankfully Danish troops, acting with the blessing of the Danish government disregarded the UN's orders and engaged Serbian forces, forcing them to retreat and thus saving hundreds if not thousands of innocent people.

As if that were not bad enough, once the Serbs had been defeated by the Danes, the UN, having already whined about Denmark sending tanks to give Danish troops the strength needed to do the job they were asked to do, then criticised Denmark for having used them.

In order to fully understand Danish foreign policy since then you have to understand the impact that made. Denmark is one of the most enthusiastic member states of the UN, one of the very few to always pays its membership dues and a country often called upon to provide personnel for the UN, and here was Denmark, being criticised for having defended innocent helpless people. To say this went down badly in Denmark would be an understatement. From that point on, Denmark stopped being a neutral observor from the sidelines and the real reason why Danish troops were engaged in Iraq and are in Afghanistan, with broad political support in the Danish Parliment, is all due to the lesson learned in Croatia and Bosnia that the UN, the EU and neutrality in general cannot solve any of the problems which beset us.

People were going into mass graves and the EU, the self described defender of the European peace, was sitting on its hands doing nothing. And please spare me the waffle about member states, both Holland and Denmark are member states of the EU and both sent troops to the Balkans as did a number of other EU countries, independent of Bruxelles.


QUOTE(Vermillion)
The other side of it of course, is that many of the major nations of Europe were embarassed by their late action in the Kosovo situation, and that was one of the reasons why there was a (now essentially failed) effort to develop a political structure to the EU that did not previously exist.
The lack of public support for the Maastricht treatyin 1992 was the reason why the EU military project failed. Kosovo was used as an excuse, but the notion that the EU is interested in anything but posturing is a joke. The EU military battle groups were set up in 1999 with less than 20,000 men (unofficially it is below this number as most states only pay lip service to the EU battle groups). They are parade unit designed for show. To date these units haven't done anything worth mentioning, thats a decade of tax money spent on zero results, but thats SOP for the EU.

Thankfully Denmark opted out of the military aspect of Maastricht so we don't have to pay for the EU battlegroups. We leave to the French and Germans, after all, they've become quite adept at posturing in military uniforms whilst doing nothing useful.


QUOTE(Vermillion)
Your expectations of these organizations are somewhat silly. The EU did nothing because it is a strictly economic organization.
Oh...?
QUOTE(Wikipedia)
Full operational capacity was reached on 1 January 2007, meaning the Union could undertake two battlegroup sized operations concurrently, or deploy them simultaneously into the same field. The battlegroups rotate every 6 months, the roster from 2007 onwards is as follows...
Source.
Not bad for a strictly economic organization. whistling.gif

~~~~~~~~~~



QUOTE(R21C @ Sep 21 2009, 02:30 PM) *
Nato is a threat to Russia.
What rot!

How is NATO a threat to Russia?
Which great NATO army is poised to invade Russia?
How is Russia threatened by its neighbours joining NATO?

Because the US commands Nato or influences it. Don't forget you're country owns the world and is isolated because of it's behaviour.


QUOTE(R21C)
I believe during the Bush administration there may of been a plan to dominate the region, possibly Eurasia itself. By having countries gang up against Russia, it wouldn't of stood a chance would it?
Beyond Russian posturing and your own paranoia, what do you base this spurious belief upon?

This century will be one of resource declines and many other unfortunate changes.

QUOTE(R21C)
Nato is a cold war club.
What does that even mean? What is a 'Cold War club' except a tawdry phrase designed to take the place of an actual argument?

It was designed during the time of near annihalation of life.

QUOTE(R21C)
There are enough problems in Russia to deal with than they trying to control the old areas the old people in Russia did before.
Russia is irrelevent, which is why they are so belligerent. They know it full well themselves and it hurts their pride. Poor little Super Putin wants to fill the Red Square with his phallic symbols so all the world can tremble before the Motherland again. The sooner the Russians get rid of their former KGB elite, the sooner they can deal witht heir problems.

America does similar. Power power, everyone wants some control. A bit like the US closing the CIA, then the problems at home can be focused on.

QUOTE(R21C)
Ireland should never ever join Nato.
They'd be useless anyway.

True, lucky the Irish.

QUOTE(R21C)
I doubt Russia would want Ireland.
Do you mean like how they didn't want Georgia?

Georgia has nothing but some Gas pipe lines going through it. The US or Russia runs that turf. Put it that way, not directly in you're face way but in the background.


QUOTE(R21C @ Sep 21 2009, 03:05 PM) *
QUOTE
I believe during the Bush administration there may of been a plan to dominate the region, possibly Eurasia itself. By having countries gang up against Russia, it wouldn't of stood a chance would it?

A plan by whom? The US? Including what NATO allies? Are you joking? Russia has thousands of nuclear weapons and the US and NATO would never try to “dominate” them or anyone else for that matter


The US.

I don't know what Nato allies.

I wouldn't hold that view entirely. America is dependent on resources, and having access in some way is totally a national security objective.

If what I have said sounds crazy, then trying to create an Afghan republic is crazy too, it can't work.
That depends on the Afghan people, or are you saying the reason why it can't work is because the Afghan's are not interested in a viable modern state?


The Afghans have their own way. Mohammed Miraki was a candidate. His website explained this. www.drmirakiforpresident.com

QUOTE
The tragedy of Afghanistan has been long and painful. It started with the unfulfilled promises of the communist regime and then their subsequent invasion. This tragedy has continued with the invasion in 2001 by the US and her allies (US-Allies). As the US-allies were bombing Afghan cities and villages, their propaganda machine showered the Afghan people with false promises of reconstruction and rehabilitation. Subsequently, at the Bonn conference, it became apparent that the one-sided political representation, and the exclusion of the majority of the Afghan masses, ensured that no long-lasting peace would materialize in Afghan society.

Instead, the continuous military campaigns and humiliation, masked by the rhetoric of democracy and reconstruction, has achieved nothing, and only continues to undermine the Afghans, especially the Pashtuns. Today, Pashtun families, their homes, and their villages are bombed on a daily basis. The loss of thousands of Pashtun civilians is treated as merely collateral damage, or labeled as Taliban or any other reactionary movement. The rhetoric of democracy and self‑determination spoken by the US-allies is viewed as a paradox and as outright falsehood. It is not possible to use the word democracy in the same sentence with the bombing of villages and humiliation of people.

It appears to be difficult if not impossible for the Western world to realize that the Afghan society has an indigenous system of direct democracy that has been in practice for thousands of years. In fact, the emergence of Jerga or assembly is a direct extension of what occurs at the village level. The institution of jerga quelled violence in the past, brought security to unsecured enclaves, and ensured peoples' dignity. The system of jerga is very similar to the direct democracy exercised by the Swiss, but unfortunately since Afghanistan is not situated in Europe, global participators have not studied its rich history with an open mind. The effectiveness of jerga is totally compromised when bombing, extra-judicial killing, and humiliation are practiced by the foreign forces in Afghanistan. In fact, this war is against the Pashtun people, as villages and homes are targeted either from the air or through the unjust, wholesale search-and-seizure operations of the US-Allies.


QUOTE
The so-called reconstruction has been a hollow dream that has turned into a nightmare, becoming more terrifying as time goes on. Not only has it created social ills and infested Afghan society beyond repair; it has also failed to create anything tangible. Furthermore, reconstruction cannot succeed when it is only a foreign-policy instrument, where big power leaders glorify this grand failure as inevitable success.

The classic Western model of success: elections, representative governments, and parliaments does not mean anything to the common man and woman of the Afghan society. The Western powers have failed to take into account the realities of the Afghan society, and have ignored the rich history of independence of the Afghan people.

Our people were eager for an avenue of survival and hope for the future, but see the rhetoric of peace and reconstruction as propaganda aimed at weakening resistance to foreign intervention. When military intervention (masked by rhetoric of reconstruction and democracy) is followed by blatant human rights violations and outright genocide, it is impossible to build on that as success. Violence breeds violence. No one is born a terrorist. Terrorism is an acquired trait caused by the circumstance wherein a person finds himself or herself.

The statistics at hand tell the story of failure; not success. How could we call this a success when there is only one doctor for every 7066 Afghans; while in the foreign military on our land, there is one foreign soldier for every 746 Afghans. Military expenditure outpaces reconstruction by 900 percent. The various claims of the infusion of about $30 billion into Afghanistan do not reconcile with the absence of even 30 large national reconstruction projects.
R21C
http://realclearpolitics.blogs.time.com/20...d-isolationism/

Well, there seems a turn. Non intervention, should be retaken by the Republicans as the Democrat party is now the war party.
ThaSkateguy
I tend to favor the approach that the Swiss have taken successfully for decades. And they live right in the middle of many competing factions. "We are not in the business of Nation Building"---yet there we are just the same.
R21C
A total of eleven countries I think are neutral.

Irish neutrality is gone, so if that is to return and return under the rules of the Hague convention of 1907.

Being part of the EU destroys any sense of being neutral.

There is the concept of the EU becoming a US of E or USE. Many don't support that.

The EU elite are corrupt.
R21C
America's position is neutral concerning Argentina, and the falkland island.

Despite the history, what this proves is Argentina's grab and Britain's for the possible crude oil in the waters.

I was right. wink.gif
rbwinn
QUOTE(R21C @ Sep 12 2009, 07:14 PM) *
When Washington proclaimed neutrality in 1793 towards the problems in Europe, and then officially in his farewell letter or message.

This was discontinued for the last sixty or plus years.

The reason why this all happened was that the US was a young country and needed to develop itself, and Washington didn't think that there was any point in being involved in the world. He had a view that the world went a certain way, and that trying to change the world would be an illusion.

Jefferson didn't share his view, and only did once he won the election in 1800, and the the french republic was overthrown. He then changed his mind at that point.

Washington considererd Thomas's views as dangerous before 1800. Dreams in mens minds. That would usually lead to dissapointment.

Ofcourse, I do think that the neutrality was primarily enforced for the build up of the country, clearly. Many politicians at the time did so.


My question is;

Does anyone support the idea of being neutral in war? Or all wars, or may be even politically.

I do, I agree with what washington had said over two centuries ago.

I know that was a different world, and he was part of the old world. A difficult era to live in.

This view works well, with Afghanistan. None of us, no matter where we live have any right to go into a country and change it, no matter what we think.

Could it be possible again?

We have to face it, the Arms trade makes money. And, for anyone that may of read would realise for as long as people aren't informed and they're government lies and then in some way makes look like there is an enemy when they brought the problem on themselves.

If American bases weren't on Saudi soil, Bush would of probably been out of office by 2005 and 9/11 would never of happened. He wasn't a successful politician.



We are in Afghanistan because the Twin Towers were destroyed by terrorists who came out of Afghanistan. The U.S. was within its rights to do something about Afghanistan. However, it was obvious from the beginning that it was going to be the kind of mess we have today. Instead of declaring war on Al Qaeda when they knew who had made the attacks, Congress gave the President "war powers", whatever those are. Then the President, instead of understanding that Congress was setting him up, said, "This is going to take practically forever," which certainly turned out to be true. It would seem to me that after a while military planners would look at what happened to Germany after it took over almost all of Europe in WWII and start realizing that it is a lot easier to overrun a territory than it is to hold it.
What is the purpose of holding Afghanistan?
Once the immediate problem was taken care of, why not withdraw and see what the Afghans decide to do?
Oh, I forgot. Liberals and conservatives were doing the planning. They think that Afghanistan is a Broadway musical where everything is going to go as planned. Good luck with that.
R21C
No it was Saudi nationalists who were behind those attacks!

They weren't from Afghanistan. Some of those hijackers trained themselves in America. There may of been prior knowledge of a possible attack.

Afghanistan is no threat to anyone, no me, not you, not the country of any which we live in, not even the irish or the Icelandic people. thumbsup.gif
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