American Imperialism


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Re: American Imperialism

Postby TN1965 » Mon Jul 05, 2010 12:45 pm

jazzcyclist wrote:Generally speaking, I believe that the grievee doesn't have the moral authority to tell the griever how they can address their grievance. A couple of months ago, North Korea attacked a South Korean warship killing 46 sailors, and South Korea chose not to respond. In this instance, it seems that the North Koreans correctly predicted the response of the griever South Korea. However, I believe that if South Korean had responded, the people of North Korea would have had it coming no matter how disproportionate the response would have been, and that's exactly how I feel about 9/11.


You mean, the US could have dropped hundreds of nukes on Afghanistan to annihilate the country in retaliation? Could South Korea have invaded into North Korea to unify the Korean Peninsula by force in response to the North Korea's attack? Is there any limit?
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Re: American Imperialism

Postby jazzcyclist » Mon Jul 05, 2010 12:49 pm

Flumpy wrote:I have no idea what you're going on about but you seem to be being particularly hostile for some reason when up until this point I've been agreeing with you :?

I didn't mean to come across as hostile. I guess it was my fault for not ending my post with this :)
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Re: American Imperialism

Postby jazzcyclist » Mon Jul 05, 2010 12:58 pm

TN1965 wrote:You mean, the US could have dropped hundreds of nukes on Afghanistan to annihilate the country in retaliation? Could South Korea have invaded into North Korea to unify the Korean Peninsula by force in response to the North Korea's attack? Is there any limit?

I guess if the U.S. or South Korea thought they could get away with it, the Afghans and the North Koreans would have had it coming. And let's keep in mind that the U.S. is the only country that has ever nuked anybody, so it's not like we haven't been there and done that. My guess is that even W and his neocon flunkies realized that the blowback from nuking Afghanistan would be more than we could handle despite their insistence that they don't believe in blowback. And since more Americans died on 9/11/01 than died on 12/07/41, a credible argument can be made that Kabul was more deserving of being nuked than Hiroshima.
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Re: American Imperialism

Postby TN1965 » Mon Jul 05, 2010 2:05 pm

The consequences of overreacting to others' aggression includes how the act is seen by third parties. In that sense, it cannot be separated from the idea of "morality" or at least perception of it. So while the greivee may not have the moral authority to tell the griever how they address their grievances, that does not mean that the griever can ignore the question of morality.

And leaving the question of morality aside, the griever should certainly be aware of the legality of their action. There is a whole body of literature on the proportionality in international law as well as decisions by the ICJ. It is true that they don't have any enforcement measure, but that does not mean ignoring their decisions has no consequences.
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Re: American Imperialism

Postby Marlow » Mon Jul 05, 2010 3:20 pm

jazzcyclist wrote:since more Americans died on 9/11/01 than died on 12/07/41, a credible argument can be made that Kabul was more deserving of being nuked than Hiroshima.

Apparently you've forgotten that there were other casualties in the war AFTER Pearl Harbor.

Justifying Hiroshima and Nagasaki is a fool's errand, but having served in the military for 20 years, I see exactly how it eventuated. Did you know that there was NEVER any high-level debate on WHETHER we should use the Bomb(s); the discussion was how SOON we could use them. At that point in history there was NO question that if you had the biggest baddest weapon, you used it. Revisionist historians often forget that.
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Re: American Imperialism

Postby Gebrucilassie » Mon Jul 05, 2010 3:33 pm

jazzcyclist wrote:
Gebrucilassie wrote:You are wrongly assuming that I was a Bush supporter, far from it! I never voted or supported his tactics. As far as I'm concerned, his 8 years in office were a dark stain on American history. I also don't agree with us being in Iraq or Afghanistan. The difference is that I am sickened by violence against civilians worldwide, not just overseas! I would never state any civilian "had it coming"! NO innocent person just trying to live their life deserves to die for sins of their government.

I stand corrected on your views and I'm glad to see that we aren't that far apart after all. Of course no innocent civilian deserves to be targeted by unprovoked violence, but in the world we live in, most governments with military capability have targeted civilians at some time in the past, and they'll probably continue to do it in the future. The folks who were in the WTC on 9/11 didn't deserve to die no more than you or I did. They just happen to be the unlucky soles who were made an example of when the blowback that our government created manifested itself. In an ideal world, civilians would never targeted, but as long as the great powers of the world continue to engage in the practice of collective punishment, I accept the fact that civilians will always be targeted. I may not like the rules of the game, but I accept what they are and that we have to play by them.


I wish that all of the little men (and women) who rule countries around the globe would just value life as much as their ego's and sense of power.
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Re: American Imperialism

Postby jazzcyclist » Mon Jul 05, 2010 4:40 pm

Marlow wrote:Apparently you've forgotten that there were other casualties in the war AFTER Pearl Harbor.

Justifying Hiroshima and Nagasaki is a fool's errand, but having served in the military for 20 years, I see exactly how it eventuated. Did you know that there was NEVER any high-level debate on WHETHER we should use the Bomb(s); the discussion was how SOON we could use them. At that point in history there was NO question that if you had the biggest baddest weapon, you used it. Revisionist historians often forget that.

From a moral point of view, I don't believe Pearl Harbor was justifiable. But based on my understanding of history, I agree with you that after Trinity on July 16, 1945, Truman would have paid a steep political price if he hadn't nuked the Japanese into giving us an unconditional surrender. However, I don't think Truman would have suffered politically if he had ordered leaflets dropped over Hiroshima on August 5, 1945 since we had total air superiority at that point, and I also don't think he would have suffered if he had waited a few days longer before bombing Nagasaki, since the Japanese still hadn't had a chance to notify the Emperor about Hiroshima before Nagasaki was hit (news traveled a lot slower 65 years ago).

Furthermore, Truman could have chosen to pay the political price of sparing the Japanese from nuclear annihilation. The only reason LBJ was able to pass Civil Rights legislation in the 1960's is because he was the first President who was willing to pay whatever price was necessary to get the job done, while his predecessors had all decided to kick the can down the road. When Senator Richard Russell warned LBJ that he would lose the South if he pushed the 1964 Civil Rights Bill through, LBJ answered, "If that's the price I've got to pay, I'll pay it gladly."

By the way Marlow, over the last few days I think I've learned to see where you're coming from and I'm able to see the world through your eyes, despite the fact that I still don't agree with your world view.
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Re: American Imperialism

Postby Marlow » Mon Jul 05, 2010 5:06 pm

jazzcyclist wrote:By the way Marlow, over the last few days I think I've learned to see where you're coming from and I'm able to see the world through your eyes, despite the fact that I still don't agree with your world view.

I'm still trying to wrap my head around the 'they deserved it" comment, but our civility has carried us through the rough part of our disagreements. :D
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Re: American Imperialism

Postby jazzcyclist » Mon Jul 05, 2010 5:49 pm

Marlow wrote:I'm still trying to wrap my head around the 'they deserved it" comment, but our civility has carried us through the rough part of our disagreements. :D

I believe I used the phrase "had it coming" not "deserved it". How about if I replace "they had it coming" with "it was appropriate to hold the citizens of that nation-state responsible for the actions of their government"?
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Re: American Imperialism

Postby Pego » Sat Jul 02, 2011 7:45 am

jazzcyclist wrote:
Marlow wrote:I'm still trying to wrap my head around the 'they deserved it" comment, but our civility has carried us through the rough part of our disagreements. :D

I believe I used the phrase "had it coming" not "deserved it". How about if I replace "they had it coming" with "it was appropriate to hold the citizens of that nation-state responsible for the actions of their government"?


Last year I came too late to respond. I am not sure, I agree that the citizens of a country should be held responsible for the actions of their gov. I'll give you a personal example. I hated (still do) the German Nazi gov as much as anybody, yet to this day I find senseless destruction of Dresden appalling. I have major problems with a tit-for-tat behavior.
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Re: American Imperialism

Postby Daisy » Sat Jul 02, 2011 8:06 am

Eye for eye seems to be quite the norm here, even from many professing to be Christian. But shouldn't Christian's throw out the old testament in favor of the new?
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Re: American Imperialism

Postby Marlow » Sat Jul 02, 2011 8:51 am

Daisy wrote:Eye for eye seems to be quite the norm here, even from many professing to be Christian. But shouldn't Christian's throw out the old testament in favor of the new?

Zackly. And since it's FSW, that's my chief objection to SOME C-Fundamentalists: they're more into the FEAR of God, than the LOVE of God. The OT Covenant was about not destroying everybody, the NT Covenant was about redeeming everybody.
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Re: American Imperialism

Postby jazzcyclist » Sat Jul 02, 2011 1:44 pm

Marlow wrote:
Daisy wrote:Eye for eye seems to be quite the norm here, even from many professing to be Christian. But shouldn't Christian's throw out the old testament in favor of the new?

Zackly. And since it's FSW, that's my chief objection to SOME C-Fundamentalists: they're more into the FEAR of God, than the LOVE of God. The OT Covenant was about not destroying everybody, the NT Covenant was about redeeming everybody.

Speaking of Christians, Bill Maher absolutely nails it in this video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KAvDtPz33w0
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Re: American Imperialism

Postby jazzcyclist » Sat Jul 02, 2011 1:54 pm

Pego wrote:
jazzcyclist wrote:How about if I replace "they had it coming" with "it was appropriate to hold the citizens of that nation-state responsible for the actions of their government"?


Last year I came too late to respond. I am not sure, I agree that the citizens of a country should be held responsible for the actions of their gov. I'll give you a personal example. I hated (still do) the German Nazi gov as much as anybody, yet to this day I find senseless destruction of Dresden appalling. I have major problems with a tit-for-tat behavior.

What happened at Dresden, Hiroshima and Nagasaki clearly violated the rules of war, but even before the U.S. resorted to terrorism, the citizens of Germany and Japan had suffered a great deal from the conventional war that was being waged on them. Can you think of any example in history in which war was waged on a nation-state in such a way that the citizens didn't suffer?
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Re: American Imperialism

Postby Pego » Sat Jul 02, 2011 2:05 pm

jazzcyclist wrote: Can you think of any example in history in which war was waged on a nation-state in such a way that the citizens didn't suffer?


No, of course not. I was shaking my head in disbelief over atrocities in the Bosnian civil war. Neighbors living in peace for centuries side-by-side all of a sudden "discovered" grievances against each other. Totally senseless.
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Re: American Imperialism

Postby Conor Dary » Sat Jul 02, 2011 2:26 pm

jazzcyclist wrote:
What happened at Dresden, Hiroshima and Nagasaki clearly violated the rules of war...


Comparing Dresden, which was appalling, with Hiroshima and Nagasaki, is in my opinion, idiotic.

Germany in Feb. 1945, when Dresden was bombed was pretty much done.

Meanwhile the Japanese were still fighting to the end.

The battle of Okinawa in the spring of 1945 had 12,000 American deaths and tens of thousands of casualties. The Japanese were not giving up. An invasion of Japan itself, would have probably had hundreds of thousands of US dead. My father was stationed in the South Pacific and everyone was quite scared of an actual invasion, and people were talking about a war that would go on until 1946 or later. Fortunately, the Bomb put a quick end to the war.

This reminds of a talk I heard David Halberstam gave about 9 years ago in Chicago. A question from the audience brought up this same point and I really could see that Halberstam, hardly a war monger, was pissed off at the question and pretty much said so.
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Re: American Imperialism

Postby Marlow » Sat Jul 02, 2011 3:35 pm

Conor Dary wrote:Comparing Dresden, which was appalling, with Hiroshima and Nagasaki, is in my opinion, idiotic.

This vet will disagree. Both were meant to demoralize (aka terrorize) a dangerous enemy. In war one doesn't wait to see how the enemy is doing. If they haven't surrendered, their intent is still to kill YOU. If you can't kill them all, then you do something to get their attention. None of the three sites were of paramount military importance, but in all cases the message was crystal clear.
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Re: American Imperialism

Postby jazzcyclist » Sat Jul 02, 2011 4:25 pm

Conor Dary wrote:
jazzcyclist wrote:
What happened at Dresden, Hiroshima and Nagasaki clearly violated the rules of war...


Comparing Dresden, which was appalling, with Hiroshima and Nagasaki, is in my opinion, idiotic.

All three incidents were clear violations of the rules of war, and it would take some very Orwellian mental gymnastics to say otherwise with a straight face.

Conor Dary wrote:Germany in Feb. 1945, when Dresden was bombed was pretty much done.

Meanwhile the Japanese were still fighting to the end.

The battle of Okinawa in the spring of 1945 had 12,000 American deaths and tens of thousands of casualties.

But we nuked them in August 1945.
Conor Dary wrote:The Japanese were not giving up.

Dwight Eisenhower and Douglas McArthur both disagreed and called the bombing of Hiroshima unecessary.
In 1945 ... , Secretary of War Stimson visited my headquarters in Germany, [and] informed me that our government was preparing to drop an atomic bomb on Japan. I was one of those who felt that there were a number of cogent reasons to question the wisdom of such an act.... During his recitation of the relevant facts, I had been conscious of a feeling of depression and so I voiced to him my grave misgivings, first on the basis of my belief that Japan was already defeated and that dropping the bomb was completely unnecessary, and second because I thought that our country should avoid shocking world opinion by the use of a weapon whose employment was, I thought, no longer mandatory as a measure to save American lives. It was my belief that Japan was, at that very moment, seeking some way to surrender with a minimum loss of 'face.'

http://nuclearfiles.org/menu/key-issues ... r-bomb.htm
Ronald Takaki wrote, in his article on the sunject in the July 31, 2005 issue of the San Francisco Chronicle, "During the days before that fateful Aug. 6, 1945, Gen. Douglas MacArthur learned that Japan had asked Russia to negotiate a surrender. 'We expected acceptance of the Japanese surrender daily,' one of his staff members recalled. When he was notified that an atomic bomb had been dropped on Hiroshima, the general was livid. MacArthur declared that the atomic attack on Hiroshima was 'completely unnecessary from a military point of view.'"
General Dwight D. Eisenhower, commander of allied forces in Europe and later president of the U.S., also called it "completely unnecessary" and later told an interviewer, " It wasn't necessary to hit them with that awful thing."

http://web.mac.com/rolandgarret/iWeb/si ... gain!.html

http://libcom.org/history/1945-us-respo ... a-nagasaki
Conor Dary wrote:An invasion of Japan itself, would have probably had hundreds of thousands of US dead.

Even if this were true, would it have justified terrorism? Here's the central question: does a nation's unwillingness to take military casualties in order to achieve its objectives give it the moral and/or legal authority to resort to terrorism in order to pursue those objectives?
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Re: American Imperialism

Postby Marlow » Sat Jul 02, 2011 5:30 pm

jazzcyclist wrote:Even if this were true, would it have justified terrorism? Here's the central question: does a nation's unwillingness to take military casualties in order to achieve its objectives give it the moral and/or legal authority to resort to terrorism in order to pursue those objectives?

I'm the most pacifist military guy you'll ever meet, and even I understand that the purpose of war is to win at any cost. An enemy who has not surrendered is a mortal enemy. The massive killing of civilians, as was the case in D, H and N, is indeed unconscionable, but that's what war is . . . :(
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Re: American Imperialism

Postby jazzcyclist » Sat Jul 02, 2011 6:20 pm

Marlow wrote:
jazzcyclist wrote:Even if this were true, would it have justified terrorism? Here's the central question: does a nation's unwillingness to take military casualties in order to achieve its objectives give it the moral and/or legal authority to resort to terrorism in order to pursue those objectives?

I'm the most pacifist military guy you'll ever meet, and even I understand that the purpose of war is to win at any cost. An enemy who has not surrendered is a mortal enemy. The massive killing of civilians, as was the case in D, H and N, is indeed unconscionable, but that's what war is . . . :(

I agree with you 100% Marlow, and just so you know, I'm no pacificist either. I believe that terrorism, like war, is a necessary evil. I just hate it when politicians try to hide behind pious platitudes and fake altruism to justify our military actions, such as concern for Japanese civilians was the motivating factor that led Truman to nuke Japan. Here's what Norman Schwarzkopf once said about going to war:

There's not a General out there today who didn't go through the Vietnam experience. In my case, I happened to go through the Vietnam experience twice, and also Grenada. So we know the horrors of war. And I think that probably you will find that we are greater pacifists than most people you would meet.
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Re: American Imperialism

Postby Conor Dary » Sat Jul 02, 2011 6:34 pm

jazzcyclist wrote:

Dwight Eisenhower and Douglas McArthur both disagreed and called the bombing of Hiroshima unecessary.
MacArthur declared that the atomic attack on Hiroshima was 'completely unnecessary from a military point of view.'"


Using MacArthur is a bit rich.... He was probably upset he would lose out on glory that an invasion would have brought....

"The reclusive dictatorship's dream of a nuclear arsenal dates back half a century, to the years just after the Korean War. Kim Il-sung, North Korea's founder, was acutely aware that Gen. Douglas MacArthur had requested nuclear weapons to use against his country during the (Korean) conflict..."

http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/inte ... index.html
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Re: American Imperialism

Postby kuha » Sat Jul 02, 2011 6:43 pm

Conor Dary wrote:
jazzcyclist wrote:

Dwight Eisenhower and Douglas McArthur both disagreed and called the bombing of Hiroshima unecessary.
MacArthur declared that the atomic attack on Hiroshima was 'completely unnecessary from a military point of view.'"


Using MacArthur is a bit rich....


Indeed.

For what it's worth, I am squarely on the side of not trying to second-guess this history. All things considered, I fully believe the US action (Truman's action) was justified. Was the result pretty or nice? No, it was neither. But the Japanese regime was brutal: look at what they did in China, or to captured US troops. And many people expected that an invasion of their homeland would cost many, many lives--on both sides. It's not a matter of an eye for an eye, but of war being Hell from top to bottom. In that context, the US use of nukes was not something we should either brag about or apologize for.
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Re: American Imperialism

Postby jazzcyclist » Sat Jul 02, 2011 6:57 pm

kuha wrote:For what it's worth, I am squarely on the side of not trying to second-guess this history. All things considered, I fully believe the US action (Truman's action) was justified.

Again I ask, does a nation's unwillingness to take military casualties in order to achieve its objectives give it the moral and/or legal authority to resort to terrorism in order to pursue those objectives?
kuha wrote:Was the result pretty or nice? No, it was neither. But the Japanese regime was brutal: look at what they did in China, or to captured US troops.

:? Are you suggesting that we should calibrate our conduct/moral principles based on that of the folks we're fighting? If not, what difference does it make how brutal the Japanese were?
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Re: American Imperialism

Postby kuha » Sat Jul 02, 2011 7:11 pm

jazzcyclist wrote:
kuha wrote:For what it's worth, I am squarely on the side of not trying to second-guess this history. All things considered, I fully believe the US action (Truman's action) was justified.

Again I ask, does a nation's unwillingness to take military casualties in order to achieve its objectives give it the moral and/or legal authority to resort to terrorism in order to pursue those objectives?
kuha wrote:Was the result pretty or nice? No, it was neither. But the Japanese regime was brutal: look at what they did in China, or to captured US troops.

:? Are you suggesting that we should calibrate our conduct/moral principles based on that of the folks we're fighting? If not, what difference does it make how brutal the Japanese were?


Wow.

"A nation's unwillingness to take military casualties..."? Really? There was no such unwillingness; plenty of casualties were taken. It's entirely reasonable for a nation to work to limit its own carnage. And you are somehow offended by that idea?

What does the word "terrorism" have to do with anything here? That word is too inflected with contemporary meaning to have any use in this historical matter.

I"m honestly not sure what point you are trying to make with the second quote.

What is the point of this discussion, exactly? So that you can feel morally superior to people of 65 years ago who were in positions of responsibility and weight that you--and I--could never imagine? If that makes you feel better--go ahead and feel superior. I have no desire to do so.
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Re: American Imperialism

Postby catson52 » Sat Jul 02, 2011 7:37 pm

Don't usually look at these threads. Some pretty interesting stuff said by many parties. Two points/observations.

(1) There seems to be credible evidence that the Japanese surrendered so quickly, not only because of the two A bombs, but also the fact that Stalin declared war on Japan in that time frame. Within a few days/weeks Russia took over Sakhalin, and the Japanese were concerned what else they may have wanted/grabbed. I am reminded of the tired chestnut that D-Day saved Europe from Hitler. It certainly saved most of western Europe from Stalin.

(2) I saw the statement about Gen. Schwarzkopf going through the Vietnam experience twice. What exactly does that mean? He, of course, remains at the head of all time great generals, having achieved magnificent victories against Saddam's troops and in Grenada.
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Re: American Imperialism

Postby jazzcyclist » Sat Jul 02, 2011 7:37 pm

kuha wrote:Wow.

"A nation's unwillingness to take military casualties..."? Really? There was no such unwillingness; plenty of casualties were taken. It's entirely reasonable for a nation to work to limit its own carnage. And you are somehow offended by that idea?

Okay, now you've gone Orwellian on me. In the context of this discussion, "unwillingness to take military casualties" = "limit its own carnage" IMO, but I'll humor you. But I must point out that you're on a very slippery slope if "limiting its own carnage" is a justiable reason for a nation to attack civilians. For the record, I'm not offended by your position. How can I be? Afterall, I've already said that I believe that terrorism is a necessary evil.
kuha wrote:What does the word "terrorism" have to do with anything here? That word is too inflected with contemporary meaning to have any use in this historical matter.

If massacring hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians in order to break the will of a government is not terrorism, the word has no meaning.

kuha wrote:I"m honestly not sure what point you are trying to make with the second quote.

What is the point of this discussion, exactly? So that you can feel morally superior to people of 65 years ago who were in positions of responsibility and weight that you--and I--could never imagine? If that makes you feel better--go ahead and feel superior. I have no desire to do so.

Gee, you're getting chippy. Come on man, lighten up. :P I just don't understand what the actions of the Japanese have to do with American moral principles, that's all. Perhaps you view our moral principles as something fluid that change based on the situation.
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Re: American Imperialism

Postby shivfan » Sun Jul 03, 2011 4:19 am

There's no black and white answer to foreign wars. The best thing to do is look at it on a case-by-case basis for the past 100 years....

Was the US right to intervene in:

1) World War I? I don't know - it was a bloody pointless war to start with!

2) World War II? definitely! Hitler was pure evil - the US should've entered the war much earlier.

3) Korea? Yes, otherwise the Chinese would've taken over the whole peninsular, and may even have threatened Japan and the Pacific.

4) Vietnam? No, that was a war of independence from the French colonialists - intervention was doomed to fail. If anyone has any doubt, I suggest you watch 'The Quiet American', or read Graham Greene's excellent novel....

5) Kuwait? Yes, because Saddam had invaded Kuwait, and needed to be thrown out - I also believe it was wise not to try to conquer Iraq.

6) Yugoslavia? Yes, because the Serbs were brutally oppressing and slaughtering all the other ethnic groups in the region.

7) Afghanistan? Yes, because al-Qaeda were operating there - however, the US were wrong in trying to set up their puppet Hamid Karzai as president, and that's one of the main reasons why they're losing the civil war that's going on now....

8) Iraq? No, because Saddam was not a threat to world peace - intervention there has destabilised the reason and has created rafts of anti-American feelings in the region.

9) Libya? Yes, because it's in the throes of civil war - however, there is a need to accept that Gaddafi won't be overthrown, and that a division of country between east and west is inevitable.

There are other countries who are deserving of intervention, but who are being ignored - 72 has rightly raised the example of the Congo, which is being torn apart by a brutal civil war. Also, Bahrain is brutally suppressing its people, like Syria is now doing, but Bahrain is our friend, so it's all right....

With regards to bringing democracy to places like Afghanistan, we have to accept whoever they elect, and not tell them you can have democracy, but only if you elect folks we approve of. The Palestinians have elected Hamas in their democracy, but the West doesn't like that. Hell, non-Americans don't like Bush, but we can't tell Americans whom they are allowed to vote for! Karzai's corruption, and those of his dictatorial warlord allies in the districts, is so bad that it's driving rural Afghans into the camps of the Taliban. As long as Karzai remains president, it's inevitable that the Taliban will come to power in Afghanistan. That country is a missed opportunity....
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Re: American Imperialism

Postby Pego » Sun Jul 03, 2011 5:29 am

shivfan wrote:6) Yugoslavia? Yes, because the Serbs were brutally oppressing and slaughtering all the other ethnic groups in the region.


Not quite so simple. I remain unconvinced regarding that NATO intervention.
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Re: American Imperialism

Postby Conor Dary » Sun Jul 03, 2011 8:45 am

jazzcyclist wrote:
If massacring hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians in order to break the will of a government is not terrorism, the word has no meaning.


Is this suppose to be a joke? Terrorism? WWII had lots of 'terrorism' starting with Pearl Harbor, continuing on to the bombing of London, twice, etc.

It is 1945 and Truman has a choice between invading Japan and costing hundreds of thousands of American lives against an enemy that started the whole thing, besides the Bataan death march and other atrocities, Nanking 1937 ring a bell?, Okinawa. And using a weapon that will end the war, which I might add it did. A no brainer, the only choice was where.
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Re: American Imperialism

Postby Marlow » Sun Jul 03, 2011 8:50 am

jazzcyclist wrote: If massacring hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians in order to break the will of a government is not terrorism, the word has no meaning.

The word does NOT have a meaning. Or, more clearly, it has ANY meaning anyone wants to assign it. That's the thing about semantics; people use words differently and then get their panties all bunched up when someone else uses it differently. 'Terrorism' has been evolving very quickly since 9/11 and has been used wildly inappropriately (respective of its pre-9/11 meaning) of late. As with the word 'post-modern' or 'existential', it has almost entirely LOST its meaning.
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Re: American Imperialism

Postby kuha » Sun Jul 03, 2011 8:57 am

Marlow wrote:
jazzcyclist wrote: If massacring hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians in order to break the will of a government is not terrorism, the word has no meaning.

The word does NOT have a meaning. Or, more clearly, it has ANY meaning anyone wants to assign it. That's the thing about semantics; people use words differently and then get their panties all bunched up when someone else uses it differently. 'Terrorism' has been evolving very quickly since 9/11 and has been used wildly inappropriately (respective of its pre-9/11 meaning) of late. As with the word 'post-modern' or 'existential', it has almost entirely LOST its meaning.


I tried to make that point above. The use of that word in relation to official military action--ANY military action since at least 1914--is stupid and potentially deeply offensive. Jazz is a perfectly smart guy, but his whole line of argument above goes absolutely nowhere, leading to no interesting questions or helpful answers.
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Re: American Imperialism

Postby jazzcyclist » Sun Jul 03, 2011 9:11 am

Conor Dary wrote:
jazzcyclist wrote:
If massacring hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians in order to break the will of a government is not terrorism, the word has no meaning.


Is this suppose to be a joke? Terrorism? WWII had lots of 'terrorism' starting with Pearl Harbor, continuing on to the bombing of London, twice, etc.

WWII certainly had plenty of terrorism by all the major players but the attack on Pearl Harbor, a military installation, certainly wasn't one of them.

Conor Dary wrote:It is 1945 and Truman has a choice between invading Japan and costing hundreds of thousands of American lives against an enemy that started the whole thing, besides the Bataan death march and other atrocities, Nanking 1937 ring a bell?, Okinawa. And using a weapon that will end the war, which I might add it did. A no brainer, the only choice was where.

This is nothing more than Orwellian doubletalk and rationalization. In 1945, Truman had several choices since Japan's Navy was at the bottom of the Pacific and it was no longer any sort of threat to the U.S. Truman may not have liked these choices, but that doesn't mean that they didn't exist and weren't presented to him. Certainly Supreme Allied Commander and future President Dwight Eisenhower thought we had other choices and I presume he was in the loop.

Furthermore, the conduct of Japan during the war was irrelevant to our own conduct. It amazes me how folks will use the conduct of people it despise to determine what their own conduct should be. The implication is that if the enemy abides by the Marquis of Queensbury rules, we should fight with one hand tied behind our back. I believe we should be willing to use all the tools in our tool chest regardless of how the enemy conducts themselves.
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Re: American Imperialism

Postby jazzcyclist » Sun Jul 03, 2011 9:21 am

kuha wrote:I tried to make that point above. The use of that word in relation to official military action--ANY military action since at least 1914--is stupid and potentially deeply offensive. Jazz is a perfectly smart guy, but his whole line of argument above goes absolutely nowhere, leading to no interesting questions or helpful answers.

I think what you're getting at is that actions carried out by nation-states can not be classified as terrorism. Do I understand you correctly?

By the way, it goes without saying that views expressed on this forum would be offensive to some people, and that's why gh only unlocks it once a year for a few days. However, I can assure you that my motive wasn't to offend you or anyone else. All I'm doing is taking full advantage of free speech weekend and expressing my views as candidly as I can.
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Re: American Imperialism

Postby Pego » Sun Jul 03, 2011 9:25 am

Marlow wrote: As with the word 'post-modern' or 'existential', it has almost entirely LOST its meaning.


Add "conservative" to this list.
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Re: American Imperialism

Postby jazzcyclist » Sun Jul 03, 2011 9:27 am

Marlow wrote:
jazzcyclist wrote: If massacring hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians in order to break the will of a government is not terrorism, the word has no meaning.

The word does NOT have a meaning. Or, more clearly, it has ANY meaning anyone wants to assign it. That's the thing about semantics; people use words differently and then get their panties all bunched up when someone else uses it differently. 'Terrorism' has been evolving very quickly since 9/11 and has been used wildly inappropriately (respective of its pre-9/11 meaning) of late. As with the word 'post-modern' or 'existential', it has almost entirely LOST its meaning.

Since 9/11, the word "terrorism" has become the most misused word in the English language, but even if you believe that governments can't commit acts of terrorism, can't we at least agree that the in order for an act to be considered terrorism, civilians must be the targets of the act?
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Re: American Imperialism

Postby Marlow » Sun Jul 03, 2011 9:33 am

jazzcyclist wrote:can't we at least agree that the in order for an act to be considered terrorism, civilians must be the targets of the act?

Nah, pre-emptive, unprovoked attacks even on military personnel can be seen as 'terrorism' also, which is why Pearl Harbor can be labelled as such. Problem is, as Japan soon discovered (sleeping giant remark), it had the opposite effect they intended.
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Re: American Imperialism

Postby jazzcyclist » Sun Jul 03, 2011 9:54 am

Marlow wrote:
jazzcyclist wrote:can't we at least agree that the in order for an act to be considered terrorism, civilians must be the targets of the act?

Nah, pre-emptive, unprovoked attacks even on military personnel can be seen as 'terrorism' also, which is why Pearl Harbor can be labelled as such. Problem is, as Japan soon discovered (sleeping giant remark), it had the opposite effect they intended.

So let me get this straight. According you, "pre-emptive, unprovoked" attacks are considered terrorism even when carried out by nation-states against military installations? There are a lot of folks who would be covered by these loopholes whom I am quite sure you didn't intend to be covered.
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Re: American Imperialism

Postby Pego » Sun Jul 03, 2011 1:53 pm

jazzcyclist wrote:the word "terrorism" has become the most misused word in the English language


What is your definition?
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Re: American Imperialism

Postby Marlow » Sun Jul 03, 2011 2:07 pm

jazzcyclist wrote:So let me get this straight. According you, "pre-emptive, unprovoked" attacks are considered terrorism even when carried out by nation-states against military installations? There are a lot of folks who would be covered by these loopholes whom I am quite sure you didn't intend to be covered.

Yup.
Reread my semantics primer above and you will be enlightened, grasshopper.
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Re: American Imperialism

Postby JRM » Sun Jul 03, 2011 2:12 pm

Marlow wrote:
jazzcyclist wrote:can't we at least agree that the in order for an act to be considered terrorism, civilians must be the targets of the act?

Nah, pre-emptive, unprovoked attacks even on military personnel can be seen as 'terrorism' also, which is why Pearl Harbor can be labelled as such.


Oh, nonsense, Marlow! Those are the textbook definition of "acts of war." Unless you believe each side must agree to the attack first? ("Hi, Poland? It's the A-H-man. I'm going to invade on, oh, Sept. 1st or so. Just wanted to give you a heads up, so you don't get the wrong idea about me being a 'terrorist.'").
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