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Thread: Iran & Nuclear Enrichment

  1. #21
    Senior Member Pals's Avatar
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    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.
    Last edited by Pals; 12-25-2009 at 07:49 PM. Reason: loss of words for this one....

  2. #22
    Senior Member YardleyLabs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pals View Post
    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?

  3. #23
    Senior Member Pals's Avatar
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    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.

  4. #24
    Senior Member YardleyLabs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by walt8@cox.net View Post
    [/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?

  5. #25
    Senior Member Hew's Avatar
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    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'll take the river down to still water and ride a pack of dogs.

  6. #26
    Senior Member Hew's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by YardleyLabs View Post
    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.
    I'll take the river down to still water and ride a pack of dogs.

  7. #27
    Senior Member Hew's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dnf777 View Post
    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.
    I'll take the river down to still water and ride a pack of dogs.

  8. #28
    Senior Member YardleyLabs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by walt8@cox.net View Post
    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hew View Post
    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.

  9. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by YardleyLabs View Post
    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"

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by code3retrievers View Post
    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.

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