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Gerry Clinchy
12-24-2009, 07:27 AM
http://www.nytimes.com:80/2009/12/24/opinion/24kuperman.html?th&emc=th
NY Times
"There's Only One Way to Stop Iran"

An op-ed piece in the NY Times that criiticizes O's approach to the Iran/nuclear issue. Not what I would expect to see in the NY Times, i.e. advocating a military solution.

Julie R.
12-24-2009, 09:13 AM
I was surprised to read this too, and even that last bastion of One-World love, the Washington Post, has been critical of his no nukes policy. Sorry, but "Let's get rid of all nukes, we'll go first" just isn't gonna cut it. Not when certain Muslim countries have been globe trotting for decades begging, borrowing, buying and stealing plutonium enrichment technology.

From the NY Times article:

PRESIDENT OBAMA should not lament but sigh in relief that Iran has rejected (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/30/world/middleeast/30nuke.html) his nuclear deal, which was ill conceived from the start....

This raises a question: if the deal would have aided Iranís bomb program, why did the United States propose it, and Iran reject it? The main explanation on both sides is domestic politics. President Obama wanted to blunt Republican criticism that his multilateral approach was failing to stem Iranís nuclear program.

The deal would have permitted him to claim, for a year or so, that he had defused the crisis by depriving Iran of sufficient enriched uranium to start a crash program to build one bomb.


But in reality no one ever expected Iran to do that, because such a headlong sprint is the one step most likely to provoke an international military response that could cripple the bomb program before it reaches fruition. Iran is far more likely to engage in ďsalami slicingĒ ó a series of violations each too small to provoke retaliation, but that together will give it a nuclear arsenal. ...

Tehranís rejection of the original proposal is revealing. It shows that Iran, for domestic political reasons, cannot make even temporary concessions on its bomb program, regardless of incentives or sanctions. Since peaceful carrots and sticks cannot work, and an invasion would be foolhardy, the United States faces a stark choice: military air strikes against Iranís nuclear facilities or acquiescence to Iranís acquisition of nuclear weapons.
http://i490.photobucket.com/albums/rr266/MouseOnAFeedsack/Smilies/Army.gif http://i490.photobucket.com/albums/rr266/MouseOnAFeedsack/Smilies/Army.gif Too bad we've become a nation of pantywaists. Bomb them back to the stone age!
http://i490.photobucket.com/albums/rr266/MouseOnAFeedsack/Smilies/HelloPirates.jpg

Of course, it won't happen because this administration is more interested in muzzie coddling than national security.

Roger Perry
12-24-2009, 09:26 AM
I was surprised to read this too, and even that last bastion of One-World love, the Washington Post, has been critical of his no nukes policy. Sorry, but "Let's get rid of all nukes, we'll go first" just isn't gonna cut it. Not when certain Muslim countries have been globe trotting for decades begging, borrowing, buying and stealing plutonium enrichment technology.

From the NY Times article:

http://i490.photobucket.com/albums/rr266/MouseOnAFeedsack/Smilies/Army.gif http://i490.photobucket.com/albums/rr266/MouseOnAFeedsack/Smilies/Army.gif Too bad we've become a nation of pantywaists. Bomb them back to the stone age!
http://i490.photobucket.com/albums/rr266/MouseOnAFeedsack/Smilies/HelloPirates.jpg

Of course, it won't happen because this administration is more interested in muzzie coddling than national security.

So you are suggesting we should start a 3rd war? Our military are too strapped now. No wonder the Mayan calendar stops at December 21 2012.

Uncle Bill
12-24-2009, 11:27 AM
Were you around in '86, Roger? Recall a 'few' bombers dropping a little reminder on Moammar Kadafi that his activities were under scrutiny, and no longer enjoyed by the west? Were you shivering in your booties that we might be entering WW 3 then?

Get real! These tin horn dictators are as cowardly as you are, and I don't see you advocating any war, just blowing your horn about how you perceive not being treated as fairly as your neighbor.

Unlike Kadafi, you are under the radar, except for the few conservatives that populate this BB, so you can continue your cowardly views. Someone ELSE will keep you protected, despite your bitching about how that's done.

UB

Roger Perry
12-24-2009, 12:49 PM
Were you around in '86, Roger? Recall a 'few' bombers dropping a little reminder on Moammar Kadafi that his activities were under scrutiny, and no longer enjoyed by the west? Were you shivering in your booties that we might be entering WW 3 then?

Get real! These tin horn dictators are as cowardly as you are, and I don't see you advocating any war, just blowing your horn about how you perceive not being treated as fairly as your neighbor.

Unlike Kadafi, you are under the radar, except for the few conservatives that populate this BB, so you can continue your cowardly views. Someone ELSE will keep you protected, despite your bitching about how that's done.

UB

Unbelievable, now I'm being called a coward because I do not advocate going to war at a drop of a hat. Don't you think Iran's pal's (Russia and China) could do a little more to put some pressure on Iran to get them to give up their Nuclear ambitions? If Russia and China were to put sanctions on buying oil from Iran, Iran would cave in real quick.

Matt McKenzie
12-24-2009, 12:53 PM
Unbelievable, now I'm being called a coward because I do not advocate going to war at a drop of a hat. Don't you think Iran's pal's (Russia and China) could do a little more to put some pressure on Iran to get them to give up their Nuclear ambitions? If Russia and China were to put sanctions on buying oil from Iran, Iran would cave in real quick.

And how is that working out for us so far?

BonMallari
12-24-2009, 01:45 PM
Part of what makes Nuclear options scary is the implied threat of using those nuclear options...that was all and good when we had them all to ourselves, but everyone has a nuke..its called brinksmanship and whoever blinks first or has that wild eyed crazy look gets it first. but once you unleash the hounds you cant call them back

flattening Iran back to the Dark Ages may sound great and well deserved, but as hawkish as I am I am not willing to eliminate a whole generation of people because they are led by a certified nut case or three..

Sanctions with teeth and drilling and refinement of domestic oil..we made the Middle East zillionaires but the American public has to decide if it has the guts to change their ways and bring it back home...

Gerry Clinchy
12-24-2009, 01:58 PM
So you are suggesting we should start a 3rd war?

It is the NY Times opinion piece that is suggesting there is no alternative other than air strikes against Iran.

YardleyLabs
12-24-2009, 02:11 PM
If I were the leadership of Iran I would welcome a unilateral American airstrike. My current internal political problems would disappear in a second and Arab and Asian countries that now provide at best lukewarm support would rally to my defense. I would receive increased Russian and Chinese aid. European countries that are now pressuring for concessions would back off in many cases to avoid being dragged into another lengthy conflict precipitated by unilateral US action. And through it all, I would rest safe knowing that US forces are already overextended and represent no short or medium term threat.

Gerry Clinchy
12-24-2009, 02:22 PM
Jeff, I think that your assessment is accurate.

I think we need a better mind to handle the situation than the writer of that opinion piece ... and apparently better than what we've got in Washington as well.

Uncle Bill
12-24-2009, 03:12 PM
If I were the leadership of Iran I would welcome a unilateral American airstrike. My current internal political problems would disappear in a second and Arab and Asian countries that now provide at best lukewarm support would rally to my defense. I would receive increased Russian and Chinese aid. European countries that are now pressuring for concessions would back off in many cases to avoid being dragged into another lengthy conflict precipitated by unilateral US action. And through it all, I would rest safe knowing that US forces are already overextended and represent no short or medium term threat.


Refresh my memory, Yardley. How many of the Russians and Chinese got offended and their hackles up when Kadafi got put on notice?

You wimpy libs are all the same. You'll be flapping your gums until Iran's tanks make a left turn down your main street.

It's my guess the U S won't be needed for an initial sortie, the folks with the nads in Israel will handle it just fine.

For those so frightened of how "overextended" we are, I'm betting the USS Ronald Reagan parked in the Persian Gulf next to Kuwait, would be enough of an "extension".

UB

Matt McKenzie
12-24-2009, 03:26 PM
If I were the leadership of Iran I would welcome a unilateral American airstrike. My current internal political problems would disappear in a second and Arab and Asian countries that now provide at best lukewarm support would rally to my defense. I would receive increased Russian and Chinese aid. European countries that are now pressuring for concessions would back off in many cases to avoid being dragged into another lengthy conflict precipitated by unilateral US action. And through it all, I would rest safe knowing that US forces are already overextended and represent no short or medium term threat.

I agree that they would welcome a unilateral American airstrike. It seems sometimes that they are attempting to provoke just that. It would certainly help them politically.
That said, there is no reason to "go to war" with our overextended military (and yes, we are overextended. I feel it every day and will really feel it next Saturday when I deploy back to the region). What will eventually need to be done is someone will need to destroy the facilities in question. We have the ability to do so without committing any troops to the area. What may happen as a result is naval engagement of some sort in the Gulf. That would be very bad for us but worse for them. I'm sure that there are plenty of smart people gaming out all of the posibilities, but of course you can never accurately predict all of the consequences of military action. Plenty of smart people expected Iraq to be a cakewalk. Plenty of stupid people use their 20/20 hindsight and say that they knew all along what would happen. Lets hope that Iran doesn't build nuclear weapons. Lets hope that the Chicoms and the Russians come over to our side to get this resolved. Lets hope that the Israelis don't start a new regional war by taking out the nuclear sites themselves. But while we're hoping, I sure hope somebody has a plan that will actually work.

Julie R.
12-24-2009, 10:42 PM
I want to clarify my flippant comment about bombing them back to the Stone Age; that was meant to rattle Roger's chain. Worked, too; didn't it?
http://i490.photobucket.com/albums/rr266/MouseOnAFeedsack/Smilies/Owned.gif http://i490.photobucket.com/albums/rr266/MouseOnAFeedsack/Smilies/trophyBus.gif
What I meant was I agree with the NY Times' article: take out Iran's enrichment facility out and soon, before they stockpile enough plutonium for a nuke. And I also meant that we've become a nation of PC pantywaists, and that this admin. will do nothing because muzzie coddling is more important than our national security.

dnf777
12-25-2009, 01:46 PM
I was surprised to read this too, and even that last bastion of One-World love, the Washington Post, has been critical of his no nukes policy. Sorry, but "Let's get rid of all nukes, we'll go first" just isn't gonna cut it. Not when certain Muslim countries have been globe trotting for decades begging, borrowing, buying and stealing plutonium enrichment technology.

From the NY Times article:

http://i490.photobucket.com/albums/rr266/MouseOnAFeedsack/Smilies/Army.gif http://i490.photobucket.com/albums/rr266/MouseOnAFeedsack/Smilies/Army.gif Too bad we've become a nation of pantywaists. Bomb them back to the stone age!
http://i490.photobucket.com/albums/rr266/MouseOnAFeedsack/Smilies/HelloPirates.jpg

Of course, it won't happen because this administration is more interested in muzzie coddling than national security.

Paul Tibbets is a personal hero of mine. Not for only bombing Japan "back into the stone age", but for the many other accomplishments he mentions in his book. He passed away without much fanfare this past year. Probably won't make ET's list of celebrity passings for 2009, just as he would prefer, I'm sure. I've read my autographed copy of his book, and spoken with him on the phone. Yes, when you order his book, he still answered his own phone.
If you read his book, you would see his attitude was nothing of the "bomb them to the stone age" mentality. I can't even imagine the burden he carried his entire life, after what he did for his fellow Americans and the rest of the free world. Dropping that bomb was only the beginning of his trials and burdens. I could not have more love and respect for a fellow human being, than Paul Tibbets.

YardleyLabs
12-25-2009, 02:29 PM
It is interesting how our perspectives change over time and as our perceptions of our own self interest shift. Today we condemn "terrorists" and argue that they are arternately "war criminals" or "illegal combatants" who deserve no rights because they target cdivilians with their bombings. In WWII, we deliberately targeted major cities to maximize population loss and create panic that we hoped would induce our enemies to surrender. Were we terrorists then?

As it happens, I tend to believe that terror is an integral part of war. I do not condemn the methods we used in WWII (my father helped with the development of the atomic bomb). As a result, I do not feel I can condemn the methods used by suicide bombers either. Both are acts of war selected based on the capabilities of the perpetrators within the context of an overall commitment to victory. The fact that I agree with our goal of defeating Germany in WWII and disagree with the Palestinian desire to defeat Israel does not change my views on the methods used.

Matt McKenzie
12-25-2009, 04:35 PM
I believe it was William T. Sherman that said, ""War is cruelty. There's no use trying to reform it, the crueler it is, the sooner it will be over." We as Americans worry too much about everything except the only thing that really matters - winning.

Roger Perry
12-25-2009, 04:46 PM
I want to clarify my flippant comment about bombing them back to the Stone Age; that was meant to rattle Roger's chain. Worked, too; didn't it?
http://i490.photobucket.com/albums/rr266/MouseOnAFeedsack/Smilies/Owned.gif http://i490.photobucket.com/albums/rr266/MouseOnAFeedsack/Smilies/trophyBus.gif
What I meant was I agree with the NY Times' article: take out Iran's enrichment facility out and soon, before they stockpile enough plutonium for a nuke. And I also meant that we've become a nation of PC pantywaists, and that this admin. will do nothing because muzzie coddling is more important than our national security.

Why would it rattle my chain. I enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1965-1969 to serve my country. I don't think I ever received a draft lottery number to the best of recollection. I was not sent to viet nam, but if I had been sent there I would have gone without hesitation. I probably could have gotten a derferrment like Cheney did because my father passed away in 1964 and I was the sole provider for my Mother and Sister. I went to high school and worked a full time job.

Pals
12-25-2009, 05:11 PM
There is no comparison of WWII dropping the bomb and todays sucide/homicide bombers. NONE. We dropped that bomb with heavy hearts and tremendous guilt after being pulled into that war-because we as nation value life. We didn't then invade after dropping that bomb and butcher everyone. The islamic terrorists disdain life-purposely targeting innocent humans. Justifying these monsters and their methods in a comparison to WWII is disgusting.

If we didn't value life we would have just nuked the entire mideast long ago and been done with it. Which is exactly what will happen to us if these lunitics get their hands on nukes. They don't care about anyone,themselves included. Their only purpose is to destroy the West at all costs. Big damn difference.

My heartfelt thanks to our soldiers and their families. I've thought often today of the families who are suffering through Christmas without a loved one, lost to this war on terror. I'm sure the current wimps in Washington are of cold comfort to those of us who lost loved ones in 911. May God bless and keep our nation.

I condemn the terrorists and I condemn those who support them-in action, word or by quiiet acceptance.

Uncle Bill
12-25-2009, 05:36 PM
There is no comparison of WWII dropping the bomb and todays sucide/homicide bombers. NONE. We dropped that bomb with heavy hearts and tremndous guilt after being pulled into that war-because we as nation value life. We didn't then invade after dropping that bomb and butcher everyone. The islamic terrorists disdain life-purposely targeting innocent humans. Justifying these monsters and their methods in a comparison to WWII is disgusting.

If we didn't value life we would have just nuked the entire mideast long ago and been done with it. Which is exactly what will happen to us if these lunitics get their hands on nukes. They don't care about anyone,themselves included. Their only purpose is to destroy the West at all costs. Big damn difference.

My heartfelt thanks to our soldiers and their families. I've thought often today of the families who are suffering through Christmas without a loved, lost to this war on terror. I'm sure the current wimps in Washington are of cold comfort to those of us who lost loved ones in 911. May God bless and keep our nation.

I condemn the terrorists and I condemn those who support them-in action, word or by quiiet acceptance.

Thank you for that heart-felt post, Nancy. I too have little respect for the sympathizers that don't seem to realize they are in a war with these Jihadists, regardless of it being declared or not. There are no neutrals...only patriots or ignorants.

UB

YardleyLabs
12-25-2009, 07:07 PM
I gotta say, with a father that served 4 years in the Army Air Corps flying over germany in a great cause. Your post felt like a slap in the face Jeff. Who bombed civilians first in that war? My English mother would have been able to answer that question, that's for sure.
Walt
If you notice, you will see that my Dad was one of those who helped build the atomic bomb. He never felt any regret about the decision to use it and I do not either. However, the fact is that in bombing Nagasaki and Hiroshima, and in bombing Dresden and Hamburg, we were not targeting military installations. We were bombing for maximum casualties to force a surrender. We understood that almost all of those casualties would be civilians. Just as Germany believed that it could force England to submit by bombing London and firing V-2 rockets into civilian areas, we believed that we could do the same. We also believed that these strategies were vital to our survival and the survival of our allies. I do not have a problem with that. I do have a problem when we contend that actions that are "moral" when we do them are immoral when they are done by others for causes that we oppose.

Pals
12-25-2009, 07:29 PM
Please refresh my memory: exactly when did we fly planes into any Afgahn building? When did we send our soliders into supermarkets or wedding receptions and blow everyone including our solider up? Jeez maybe I should start watching CNN as that is what they must be reporting nowadays....

BTW-amazing how people use the "moral" argument in war. We are in a war and the sooner we come to terms with that the better. Loss of life is terrible, the fact that most Americans feel that way is what makes us different/better than the terrorists. They deserve to rot.

YardleyLabs
12-25-2009, 07:47 PM
Please refresh my memory: exactly when did we fly planes into any Afgahn building? When did we send our soliders into supermarkets or wedding receptions and blow everyone including our solider up? Jeez maybe I should start watching CNN as that is what they must be reporting nowadays....
Actually, it's been about 18 months since the Afghan government reported that US bombers had struck a wedding reception killing 47 people (non-combatants) including the bride. There is clearly a fundamental difference in that we do not target civilians in Iraq or Afghanistan while others do. That does not mean that we do not kill civilians on a regular basis. Some level of "collateral damage" is inevitable. The point I made in my post is that we did not always go so far out of our way to avoid civilian casualties and that in fact certain bombings, including those of Nagasaki and Hiroshima, were targeted from the beginning at major population centers.

If we were under attack by a much more powerful enemy and we were unable to wage effective attacks against their military, I would not hesitate to attack their civilian populations if I believed that might weaken their military attacks on us. Would you? Would our attacks under those circumstances be terrorism? Would we be criminals or combatants in a war?

Pals
12-25-2009, 08:09 PM
Jeff-our troops can't even return fire anymore without having to go thru a 12 point DOD bulletin. We are combatants in a war, stymied by wimpy politians and a sense of fair play. If our soliders started burying IED's in market places and mosques-well then you would have an arguement of us being as "immoral" as them. That is how they fight-they brought this fight to our door and extending a hand, hoping they will unclench their fists is an exercise in futility. Dropping a bomb, wiping out an entire population is abhorrant to us, but you know darn well and good they would do it in a heartbeat to us.

YardleyLabs
12-25-2009, 10:35 PM
[/b]

Then it makes no difference to you who strikes first? Just asking, because to me it makes a big difference.
I have to admit to some ambivalence primarily because the perception of faults if often very different depending on where you sit. Four examples:

In a day of infamy, Japan struck a military target after months of discussions in which they had indicated that what they viewed as our transgressions could lead to war but failed to declare war prior to the attack.
On August 7, 1964, Congress passed the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution authorizing the President to launch military operations against North Vietnam in retaliation for strikes against US ships allegedly in international waters. The only problem was that the USS Maddox was actually on a spy mission in North Vietnamese waters and a subsequent attack in international waters never happened. The incident was manufactured as an excuse for war (as admitted by McNamara). Based on this "incident" the US launched air attacks on the North Vietnamese Navy and on North Vietnam.
On June 5, 1967, with forces from both sides gathered on either side of the border, Israel launched a surprise strike against Egypt, beginning what came to be known as the Six Day War during which Israel captured lands that it continues to occupy today having never granted the residents of those lands full rights of citizenship in Israel.
On March 20, 2003, following months of warnings, but with no prior attack or act of aggression by Iraq outside of its own borders, the US invaded Iraq in a war to depose the Iraqi government and replace it.Who were the aggressors in these four cases and how does that affect the legitimacy of the ensuing military actions?

Hew
12-26-2009, 02:09 AM
I think there are two important distinctions between bombing civilians in WWII and terrorist activities today.

1) In a declared war, both sides' civilian populations are obviously on notice that they are fair targets and should understand their risks (particularly if you reside in a country that started the war, eg. Germany & Japan). With terrorists, there's no rhyme or reason to their attacks, and the victims, for the the most part, had no idea they were in harm's way.

2) Bombing civilians in a war was done for tactical and strategic reasons to further the goal of winning a declared war. Terror attacks have little tactical or strategic reasoning (even if you consider instilling fear to be tactical or strategic).

It's interesting that whenever there's a discussion about bombing civilians Dresden always gets mentioned, but hardly ever does Tokyo. We killed 4 or 5x as many civilians when we firebombed Tokyo, yet there never seems to be even 1/5 the handwringing that there is for Dresden. I think part of that has to do with Pearl Harbor and the notion that whatever we did to Japan was deserved because of what they did to us, but an even larger part, IMO, was that Germans looked like us and Japanese didn't. I also don't believe we would have ever dropped atomic bombs on Germany (for the same reason).

Bombing civilians is still "on the table," as our entire nuclear defense policy (and what's kept us safe from nuclear war for 50 years) is based on the premise that if you attack us we will nuke your entire civilian population in retaliation. Which, bringing us back to Iran, is what's so scary about nutjobs like North Korea, Iran, Libya, etc. having access to nukes. They disrupt the "if you nuke us, we'll nuke you" equation because they don't seem to care if they're nuked or not.

Hew
12-26-2009, 02:25 AM
If I were the leadership of Iran I would welcome a unilateral American airstrike. My current internal political problems would disappear in a second and Arab and Asian countries that now provide at best lukewarm support would rally to my defense. I would receive increased Russian and Chinese aid. European countries that are now pressuring for concessions would back off...
There are very few countries that will shed a tear if Iran's nuclear ambitions are stopped at the end of an American or Israeli bomb. Iran's a pariah. They're Perisans; nor Arabs, and the Arab world loathes them, too. Europe, for all their diplomatic doublespeak, is terrified of a nuclear Iran. And the consesssions you speak of Europe wanting from Iran pertain to Iran's nuke program...if we bomb their program back 10 years in progress what concessions will be needed? Sure, in public there'd be a lot of handwringing and tsk tsking, but in private European and Arab leaders would be wearing out their palms high-fiving each other that they don't have to worry about Iran having a nuke.

The problem with attacking Iran is not what other countries think of us, but what Iranians will think of us. There's already a pretty decent movement within the country against the mullahs. Taking out their nukes would probably squash that in a wave of anti-Americanism and anti-Westernism. But if the choices come down to waiting for Iranian dissent to bear fruit 10 years from now or allowing Iran to have nukes one year from now, I know what I think is the prudent choice.

Hew
12-26-2009, 02:36 AM
Paul Tibbets is a personal hero of mine. Not for only bombing Japan "back into the stone age", but for the many other accomplishments he mentions in his book. He passed away without much fanfare this past year. Probably won't make ET's list of celebrity passings for 2009, just as he would prefer, I'm sure. I've read my autographed copy of his book, and spoken with him on the phone. Yes, when you order his book, he still answered his own phone.
If you read his book, you would see his attitude was nothing of the "bomb them to the stone age" mentality. I can't even imagine the burden he carried his entire life, after what he did for his fellow Americans and the rest of the free world. Dropping that bomb was only the beginning of his trials and burdens. I could not have more love and respect for a fellow human being, than Paul Tibbets.
Tibbets is a hero (and a fellow Florida Gator). That guy had the weight of the world on his shoulders and didn't let us down. A great movie about Tibbets is "Above and Beyond." While there's plenty to read about the man, I'd never really considered all the personal pressures that were on him until I'd watched the movie (which is supposed to be a very accurate account of all that went into preparing for delivering the ultimate payload). If you haven't seen it, I'm sure you'd like it. That's incredible that you were able to chat with the guy...a conversation with a living piece of history.

YardleyLabs
12-26-2009, 05:48 AM
So the Japanese attack on Pearl harbor was a result of our transgressions? That they felt threatened by our sanctions so they attacked? I wasn't there so I can't say for sure. But I did train in Oyama karate for 10 years with several Japanese fighters, and I can tell you that their opinion was that the Japanese attacked because the overwhelming majority of their military leaders thought we were weak. The Japanese were the aggressors, our response was appropriate.

My brother served in Vietnam, but I've got nothing on that one.

Arab forces built up on Israel's borders, their leaders bragging about the soon to be annihilation of Israel. That was in May, I think. Who wouldn't take the opportunity to defend yourself in that situation? The Arabs were the aggressors and I think Israel responded appropriately.

Iraq. I can't speak my mind here, my father would spin in his grave and think me a traitor.

If you didn't notice, my posts were more about your comments about WW2.
I think they were unjust to say the least. My mother lost family to the German's bombing of civilians. Our response there was just and appropriate.
Walt
I actually don't disagree with any of your comments. I was simply making the point that who strikes first does not necessarily answer the question of who was in the right. That needs to be answered separately.


I think there are two important distinctions between bombing civilians in WWII and terrorist activities today.

1) In a declared war, both sides' civilian populations are obviously on notice that they are fair targets and should understand their risks (particularly if you reside in a country that started the war, eg. Germany & Japan). With terrorists, there's no rhyme or reason to their attacks, and the victims, for the the most part, had no idea they were in harm's way.

2) Bombing civilians in a war was done for tactical and strategic reasons to further the goal of winning a declared war. Terror attacks have little tactical or strategic reasoning (even if you consider instilling fear to be tactical or strategic).

It's interesting that whenever there's a discussion about bombing civilians Dresden always gets mentioned, but hardly ever does Tokyo. We killed 4 or 5x as many civilians when we firebombed Tokyo, yet there never seems to be even 1/5 the handwringing that there is for Dresden. I think part of that has to do with Pearl Harbor and the notion that whatever we did to Japan was deserved because of what they did to us, but an even larger part, IMO, was that Germans looked like us and Japanese didn't. I also don't believe we would have ever dropped atomic bombs on Germany (for the same reason).

Bombing civilians is still "on the table," as our entire nuclear defense policy (and what's kept us safe from nuclear war for 50 years) is based on the premise that if you attack us we will nuke your entire civilian population in retaliation. Which, bringing us back to Iran, is what's so scary about nutjobs like North Korea, Iran, Libya, etc. having access to nukes. They disrupt the "if you nuke us, we'll nuke you" equation because they don't seem to care if they're nuked or not.
I agree with your comments on Dresden. I mentioned two situations in Germany and two in Japan to avoid the whole issue of why we attacked the civilian populations of Japan so aggressively. I think cultural and perceived racial differences may have been part of it. I accept your statement with respect to declared wars. However, with respect to Jihadists, I believe they have declared war on us and we see them as having done that. The difference is that we have reached a point where we do not believe that we should be at risk even if we are attacking the other. In asymmetric warfare, the weaker party has few ways to bring the reality of war home to the populations of the dominant parties other than terror. They do not own missiles, bombers, tanks, etc. I also think the strategic and tactical objectives are comparable -- winning. If I cannot attack your armies without being destroyed, I attack whatever is most vulnerable: your civilians, your economy, your reputation, etc. For a country that has been on the receiving end of aerial bombings, the niceties differentiating bombs dropped from the air from bombs strapped under garments are lost. You use the weapons you have, whether they be tanks or roadside bombs. If you have the advantage of laser guided weaponry, you try to hit your enemy while missing civilians. If you do not, you hit whatever you can reach.

code3retrievers
12-26-2009, 06:51 AM
I have to admit to some ambivalence primarily because the perception of faults if often very different depending on where you sit. Four examples:

On March 20, 2003, following months of warnings, but with no prior attack or act of aggression by Iraq outside of its own borders, the US invaded Iraq in a war to depose the Iraqi government and replace it.Who were the aggressors in these four cases and how does that affect the legitimacy of the ensuing military actions?

Nice liberal word smithing.

Iraq was a transgressor in a previous war with Kuwait. Iraq was not abiding by its signed agreements after the war ended. Iraq continued to violate the no fly zone and would not allow full inspections.
We held them to the agreement.

"Liberalism, always having to say your sorry"

Roger Perry
12-26-2009, 07:35 AM
Nice liberal word smithing.

Iraq was a transgressor in a previous war with Kuwait. Iraq was not abiding by its signed agreements after the war ended. Iraq continued to violate the no fly zone and would not allow full inspections.
We held them to the agreement.

"Liberalism, always having to say your sorry"

I have tried doing a search where Iraq violated the no fly zone in 2001 and 2002 but could not find any reference to it. Could you show us where you got your material? Just curious.

dnf777
12-26-2009, 08:09 AM
Nice liberal word smithing.

Iraq was a transgressor in a previous war with Kuwait. Iraq was not abiding by its signed agreements after the war ended. Iraq continued to violate the no fly zone and would not allow full inspections.
We held them to the agreement.

"Liberalism, always having to say your sorry"

I was there as part of Operation Southern Watch, patrolling the no-fly zone. We had not ONE incident of violation. Just gettin the facts straight.

Hew
12-26-2009, 02:48 PM
I thought the higher casualty rate in Japan was not from racial hatred but the constructions of their homes. Wood and paper burn a lot better then stone and mortar.
Maybe you guys wouldn't have dropped an A bomb on Germany, but my dad and his buddies would have. Since they were there, and you guys weren't, I think you are wrong.
Walt
Good point about the wood vs. concrete, but I'm not claiming the firebombing of Tokyo revolved around prejudice...just our reaction and rememberance of it relative to what happened in Dresden.

Unless your dad was FDR, Harry S. Truman or Henry Stimson then his opinion wouldn't have counted for much (nor would my grandfather's; who also would have let fly on the Huns). Japan, not Germany, was the intended target for the in-development A-bombs as far back as '43. That intention was reiterated in late '44 in a meeting between FDR and Churchill.

Roger Perry
12-26-2009, 06:39 PM
Nice liberal word smithing.

Iraq was a transgressor in a previous war with Kuwait. Iraq was not abiding by its signed agreements after the war ended. Iraq continued to violate the no fly zone and would not allow full inspections.
We held them to the agreement.

"Liberalism, always having to say your sorry"

I am still waiting to hear from code3retrievers on where he got his information that Iraq was violating the no fly zone in 2001 & 2002. The cat must have gotten his tongue. Can any of you righties help him out? RK, KG, HEW, Uncle Bill?

Hew
12-26-2009, 10:02 PM
I am still waiting to hear from code3retrievers on where he got his information that Iraq was violating the no fly zone in 2001 & 2002. The cat must have gotten his tongue. Can any of you righties help him out? RK, KG, HEW, Uncle Bill?
For starters, Code3 didn't qualify his statement by limiting no fly zone violations to 2001 and 2002. You did.

Secondly, there were indeed numerous Iraqi violations of the no fly zone by Iraq in 2001 and 2002. In well over 100 instances between 2001 and 2002 Iraq tried to shoot down coalition aircraft that were enforcing the no fly zone.

Be careful what you ask for...

K G
12-26-2009, 10:24 PM
That's never stopped Roger before, HEW....sometimes it's fun to just watch his posts flap in the wind. I love when he edits them to solicit more responses..:wink:

kg