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Let this be hard . . .

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Huan Yi
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0 posted 01-18-2006 09:52 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

"ABC News reported that a master bomb maker and chemical weapons expert for Al Qaeda was killed in the attack on the village of Damadola last week. He was identified as Midhat Mursi, also known as Abu Khabab al-Masri, who ran an Al Qaeda training camp and has a $5 million reward on his head. . .

Provincial authorities say the attack killed 18 residents of the Pashtun village, and they also say they believe sympathizers took the bodies of four or five foreign militants to bury them in the mountains, thereby preventing their identification. . .”

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,182071,00.html

Let this be hard . . .

Who and how many are you willing to have your government kill so you and your children can sleep at peace in bed?



Christopher
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1 posted 01-18-2006 11:02 PM       View Profile for Christopher   Email Christopher   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Christopher

quote:
Who and how many are you willing to have your government kill so you and your children can sleep at peace in bed?
If you put it this way, John, then anyone and as many as are necessary.

This doesn't indicate or even imply that I condone assaults on "innocents." Moreover, I don’t believe it is right to attack someone who is simply living their life from a perspective based on culture and/or beliefs.

However, while I recognize the complexity of determining exactly who is “innocent,” anyone who is labeled as a “Master Bomb Maker" is someone I have no qualms putting at the top of the list, regardless of how he perceives his own crusade; no one believes they are evil, but make a bomb that quite possibly could be used on my son and I have nothing put posthumous sympathy for them and their beliefs.
Grinch
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2 posted 01-19-2006 04:59 PM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch


There’s no evidence, as far as I can see, that the US managed to eliminate any terrorists in the attack, there is however conclusive evidence that they did manage to kill 18 innocent people. I presume the attack was meticulously planned and the obvious potential for innocent victims was calculated to be an acceptable price to pay for the chance to take out a terrorist or two but I wonder if the actual cost was considered.

I’m only guessing but isn’t it likely that the family of the victims, their friends and even complete strangers who feel sympathy for the victims are going to be the next bomb makers, hijackers and insurgents?

“but make a bomb that quite possibly could be used on my son and I have nothing put posthumous sympathy for them and their beliefs.”

There’s nothing wrong with this statement – I can even imagine myself saying something along the same lines – the urge to protect family and friends after all is a necessity for society to survive. What I don’t understand is that when this is said by an American it’s classed as patriotism, yet the family and friends of the innocent victims who will probably be saying the same thing round about now will end up being labelled terrorists.

Definition From Wikipedia

"Terrorist attacks" are usually characterized as "indiscriminate," "targeting of civilians," or executed "with disregard" for human life.”

I feel the same way about all acts of terrorism – disgust, dismay and disdain.

serenity blaze
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3 posted 01-19-2006 06:12 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

If it's of any comfort to you--I did find this question hard.

Almost as hard as the .38 kept under my pillow to keep the crackheads out of my house.

Perhaps that's not the best analogy, but I can't deny that it is there. As is my willingness to use it on the first fool dumb enough to put a foot through my window again. And I say this, knowing that if I ever took someone's life, I would condemn myself to Hell on Earth for the guilt. And it doesn't address the innocents, either, and I do not know if that if that would factor hesitation into my choice and right of self-defense.

I hope I never know.
Ringo
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4 posted 01-19-2006 08:09 PM       View Profile for Ringo   Email Ringo   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Ringo

Who and how many are you willing to have your government kill so you and your children can sleep at peace in bed?

Gee... let's think about this for a half a mo...
*scratching chin*
Five terrorists are dead.... result: My 11 y/o daughter sleeps easier and has more peaceful dreams than violent ones....
*thinking really hard*
Uh, yep... *raises hand*... count me in.

*thinking some more*
Kill a few people who were associated with the attacks on non military targets that caused my, then, 12 year old son to wake up screaming and not want to go to bed for fear that his Marine father would be gone when je woke up and dead by the time he got home from school??
hmmmmm.....
Let's think about this a little longer...
If we kill them now then there is less chance they will kill my soon to be high school graduate son who wants to join the Marines....
*raises other hand*
Yep. That's me again.

Any other questions?

"...and as we drift along, I never fail to be astounded by the things we'll do for promises..."
Ronnie James Dio
www.impressionsintime.net

Grinch
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5 posted 01-20-2006 12:56 PM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch


Ringo,

Your answer is fine but seems to avoid a fairly salient point – even IF the air strike killed a terrorist or two it slaughtered 18 innocent people in the process

“Any other questions?”

Yes, I have two.

How many innocent people are you willing to kill.

Are the deaths of innocent people going to make your children more or less safe?
Ringo
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6 posted 01-20-2006 02:09 PM       View Profile for Ringo   Email Ringo   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Ringo

So, you mean that the folks that were harboring the terrorists that died said that innocents were killed???

Oh, please.

"...and as we drift along, I never fail to be astounded by the things we'll do for promises..."
Ronnie James Dio
www.impressionsintime.net

Not A Poet
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7 posted 01-20-2006 02:16 PM       View Profile for Not A Poet   Email Not A Poet   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Not A Poet's Home Page   View IP for Not A Poet

How can you be so certain that innocents were killed but so doubtful that any terrorists were? Sounds like a predisposed position to me.

Ringo
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8 posted 01-20-2006 02:46 PM       View Profile for Ringo   Email Ringo   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Ringo

Exactly, Poet...

At the risk of sounding disrespectful, which is purely not my intention, this is sounding like another anti-war, pro-"innocents" personality from 35 years ago. I am not going to mention which particular one out of respect for those here who were affected by her "truth-telling", however she also went global with how the big, bad, viscious Americans were doing all of these evil things to the poor, little, peace-loving people of the world, and how they were being neddlessly injureed while the American war machine was wantonly destroying the innocent people who were not harboring anyone who was a legitimate military target. And if the "innocents" that might have been killed were not involved, then why would they pull off militant bodies to prevent them from being identified?

Actually, this is sounding pretty close to another protestor we used to have on the site, as well.

Grinch, if you took any offense to this, then you need to realize that was not my intent, then you need to ask yourself why it did bother you if the facts are thast we did, in fact kill innocent civilians without killing our targets as you are claiming.


"...and as we drift along, I never fail to be astounded by the things we'll do for promises..."
Ronnie James Dio www.impressionsintime.net
Mistletoe Angel
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9 posted 01-20-2006 03:02 PM       View Profile for Mistletoe Angel   Email Mistletoe Angel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Mistletoe Angel's Home Page   View IP for Mistletoe Angel

My answer is none.

See, I denounce all these particular acts of violence and retaliation. I denounce everything al-Qaeda, ETA, Hamas, etc. do, while I also denounce it when governments respond to violence and trauma with their own sort of retaliation. It's just an albatross ping-pong match.

I wholeheartedly breathe and believe in the nonviolent philosophy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who, along with Mahatmas Gandhi, was one of the two legendary nonviolence voices of the 20th century.

Terrorism is something we unanimously denounce (no matter how much voices in the corporate media including Chris Matthews, Joe Scarborough, Tucker Carlson, John Gibson, etc. suggest ever since that new bin-Laden tape has been released that those on the left against the war err with the side of bin Laden.) I denounce all acts of violence and retaliation, period. I absolutely believe it when King said, "Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will." I certainly don't consider our own elected leaders terrorists, and simply believe them to be blindly naive about foreign policy, but the bottom line is I believe this war has only brought out the worst in the world, and is only furthering us away from what we all truly believe and losing what we are, especially in the eyes of the world, and there's nothing more tragic and alarming than to have other parts of the world perceive our great country as little more understanding than these terrorists.

I simply also believe it when King said, "Wars are poor chisels for carving out peaceful tomorrows." Ever since World War I, the world has experienced about 200 various violent wars across various regions. All of them certainly hasn't resolved all the deep conflicts of the world, and a number of them have continued to escalate.

I believe we MUST at any rate respond to terror, and I simply believe first things first, defending our nation comes first, and that means building our defense infrastructure without making it feel like a Big Brother environment. Boost the security of our existing nuclear power plants which are ever so vulnerable to their threats. Embrace a nonviolent foreign policy and understand that the primary mission of our young men and women in uniform in which we all honor their service is to defend OUR soils and not to be operated as a global oil security police force. Monitor only those who are truly the known terrorist organizations, NOT peace groups and anti-war groups, and work tirelessly to capture the most infamous names in terror while not jeopardizing our own national security and morality by recklessly going above established law of the land in the process, etc.

I believe the best way you can be "tough" on terror is having a resolve of steel to seriously work to go after the likes of al-Qaeda and bring them to justice, but it is dire that we also act tough in having that same resolve in preserving and living the law of the land and ensuring the fullest promise of liberty all at once. And I certainly believe if our government continues to involve itself in frequent interventionist foreign policy, the more we'll continue to be misunderstood and appear antagonistic in the eyes of the world.

Sincerely,
Noah Eaton


"If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other"

Mother Teresa
Grinch
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10 posted 01-20-2006 04:15 PM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch

Five of the 18, according to reports, were children and the Pakistani Government has reported that 18 innocent people were killed.
I’ve no reason to disbelieve the Pakistani Government; in fact I’d go so far as to say that if they were actually terrorist sympathisers the Pakistani Government would be shouting it loud and clear. They have nothing to gain and possibly everything to lose from the internal backlash innocent deaths would bring. Every reliable source I’ve read has stated that 18 innocent people died, none has said 18 terrorists, I can’t be 100% absolutely sure they were innocent in the same way that I can’t be 100% absolutely sure that Blue Whales exist not having witnessed either with my own eyes. All I can do is make a judgement based on the most reliable information I can find, if everyone I meet tells me Blue Whales exist then I’m willing to accept their existence. If every source, including the Pakistani Government says that 18 innocent people died I’m willing to accept that 18 innocent people died.
If you have any reliable information or evidence to suggest they were anything but innocent I’d be more than willing to listen. If the evidence is compelling enough even in the face of all the reports to the contrary I may even change my opinion.

Ringo,

“Grinch, if you took any offense to this, then you need to realize that was not my intent, then you need to ask yourself why it did bother you if the facts are thast we did, in fact kill innocent civilians without killing our targets as you are claiming.”

I’m not easily offended, I decided at an early age that you don’t actually gain anything by ‘taking’ offence, in fact in most cases you lose things, the first being your temper, shortly followed by your composure and then your dignity.

Why would it bother me that 18 innocent people died?

I think its something to do with the word ‘innocent’, it somehow makes me feel that someone should speak for them instead of talking around them. If you want an example go back to the link originally posted, re-read the article, how much emphasis was on the 18 innocent people who died and how much was focused on the one or two terrorists that may or may not have been killed? It’s like the 18 people don’t matter, that the only news is that two terrorists MAY have been killed, when people stop counting the cost they cease to be people and I think that’s what “bothers” me.

If I offend you, or anyone else, with any of my opinions I apologise.


[This message has been edited by Grinch (01-22-2006 09:22 AM).]

Brad
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11 posted 01-20-2006 05:40 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

quote:
Who and how many are you willing to have your government kill so you and your children can sleep at peace in bed?


As many as it takes.

But does it work? Is it working?

Do you feel safer now?
Christopher
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12 posted 01-20-2006 06:04 PM       View Profile for Christopher   Email Christopher   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Christopher

For my part, Grinch, I'm not offended.

I recognize much of what you say as valid and most definitely even true. The part that leaves me here, with my relatively broad/narrow statement, is that I am limited here to the information I receive in the news vs. my ability to confirm it.

For what it's worth, my brother came back from a year and a half in Baghdad this week. Over the course of his stay and following a long conversation on Monday, I've come to the conclusion that not only are most news reports biased, but they're often grossly inaccurate. Comparing events where he was actually a participant against what was reported and you see some completely different pictures.

So what I'm left with, barring active participation, is accepting what's reported with a grain of salt and leaning toward protecting my family. Does that mean I don't feel some sympathy for those innocents who have lost their lives in this conflict? No, it doesn't. But I also feel sympathy toward those who have lost their lives who are not innocent - as I said before, we don't think of ourselves as evil; we just react based on our upbringing and cultural demands.

I think Spock said it best, eh? "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few." From a wholly simplistic point of view, it can be said that if a few innocent people are killed in order to eliminate the threat of far, far more being murdered in the future, then, while sad, I see it as acceptable.

I will admit, however, that if my son was among those innocents who had to lose their lives in order to protect the greater good, I'd sing an entirely different tune. It may be hypocritical, but there you gots it. *shrug*
Aenimal
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13 posted 01-21-2006 02:01 PM       View Profile for Aenimal   Email Aenimal   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Aenimal

applying 'logic' thrown around here, you've justified terrorist acts as well. you accept that innocents may be lost in the quest to protect your ideology, your way of life, yet terrorists feel equally justified for those very reasons. they act with aggression to protect, what they deem under attack by imperialism, their way of life, their ideology. am i justifying terrorism, no, just noting the hypocrisy of the justifications used. they're not the same thing, yet the lines are blurred when you trying to differentiate between suicide bombing and  carpet bombing villagers
Professor Gloom
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14 posted 01-21-2006 07:16 PM       View Profile for Professor Gloom   Email Professor Gloom   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Professor Gloom's Home Page   View IP for Professor Gloom

If we consider that there is a state of war,
Well then, I say it was pretty mild attack,
Just a few more than a dozen;
Is that all?
Sherman did more destruction than that
Ruining lives, causing starvation, excreta.
Dresden was pretty noteworthy.
You forget what war is,
Destruction and Death.

But some of you might say
“there is no declared war”
Oh yes there is,
The Muslims have a war against the western culture.
They like to capture people and chop off their heads
Or just blow them up while they are waiting in a line
Or just driving down the road.
Now don’t get me wrong
I am not for this war
Thought it was wrong all along,
But we are there fighting it,
We might be here fighting it too
And probably will far too soon.
There is no answer
Pulling out won’t solve anything
Might make it worse, probably would.
Shame we can’t just eliminate the problem
Why can’t we all just get along,
Because they don’t want to
It’s just that simple.
Till we are under their thumb
We are the enemy.
You got a solution?
Or just moaning and crying in your milk?

Gloom
Grinch
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15 posted 01-21-2006 08:01 PM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch


Professor Gloom,

You seem to be suggesting that the west is at war with Muslims in general, could this perhaps explain why the innocent villagers seem to be getting little sympathy?

I understand that opposing sides during war tend to demonise and de-humanise the enemy – it makes it easier to when it comes to actually killing them – but I thought this was terrorists versus the rest of the world not the western world versus Muslims.

Isn’t it dangerous to lump possible allies (like Pakistan) in the column marked “enemy”?
Mistletoe Angel
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16 posted 01-21-2006 08:52 PM       View Profile for Mistletoe Angel   Email Mistletoe Angel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Mistletoe Angel's Home Page   View IP for Mistletoe Angel

I wanted to briefly make an additional point, inspired by Karl Rove's latest statements at a two-day RNC meeting.

He can make any polarizing statements he wants about some living in a pre-911 world and others living in a post-911 world, just as I clearly remember last June when Rove said at a new York Conservative Party conference that "liberals saw the savagery of the 9/11 attacks and wanted to prepare indictments and offer therapy and understanding for our attackers."
http://www.latimesinteractive.com/pdfarchive/stat_sheets/la-timespoll462ss.pdf

But he is rewriting history on purpose. Immediately after 9/11, any poll you look at, including this September 2001 post-911 LA Times poll above, you see a great sense of unity across the board, where support from the left was virtually just as strong than support from the right in taking action against those responsible for the attacks. Liberals and Democrats agreed about just as much as conservatives and Republicans that those who attacked us must be brought to justice, and that is why as far up as June 2002, our president had an approval rating of 75% or more; a vast majority of us put our trust in our president in that he'd go after only precisely who was responsible for attacking us. I recognize on a particular issue like this I'm a little out of the mainstream and was among the minority who approved of how Bush was handling the immediate aftermath but also didn't agree with war as the ideal way to dismantle these terrorist networks and bring them to justice, but I found no use arguing at that time.

Bush's approval rating since then has virtually been chopped in half because he betrayed the trust of many, and rather than keeping his full attention focused on Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda and those truly responsible for the 9/11 tragedies, his administration decided to shift their attention to Iraq; a nation that wasn't connected to the 9/11 attacks. Again, right wen our administration began taking our country into war, a majority put their trust into Bush and the administration because they deceived us with misleading "intelligence" that Saddam was indeed connected with 9/11 and had weapons of mass destruction, and as more and more evidence reveals that there was no connection and the original justifications for war were false, his ratings have understandably fallen to abysmal levels.

*

Both Republicans and Democrats shared an understanding after 9/11 that remains to this day absolutely meaningful; to bring to justice those who were truly responsible for 9/11. The reason liberals, Democrats, independents and a growing number of disillusioned Republicans are losing Bush's support in his handling on the efforts against terrorism is because they wat to KNOW why our administration, rather than keeping their eye on Al-Qaeda, went off to war in Iraq, a country that didn't attack us on 9/11. I've been wanting to understand what Iraq ever had to do with 9/11! And I wish Rove and other administration officials would just please tell us why.

*

Anyway, Rove and other administration officials have continued to exploit the 9/11 tragedy in fueling their excuses and defenses for this red herring war, and the fact he has admitted to using the war on terror as a 2006 campaign issue only reveals how him and others will continue to label those who question and disagree with them as cowards and traitors and claim that our dissent gives comfort to the enemy. Instead of answering criticism, the administration chooses to silence his critics instead. Rather than desiring to keep this unity solid, some in this administration actually want to divide us, and media personalities like Chris Matthews, Bill O'Reilly, John Gibson and Sean Hannity reiterate those types of points. It's a language stamped on those who disagree with the administration to deflect from the full truth, and it only hurts and affects our national security even more.

*

The truth is, I don't feel any safer today than I did the day the war began. In fact, I feel the risk of another attack is more real than ever.
http://tkb.org/AboutTKB.jsp







The MIPT Terrorism Knowledge Base, funded by the Department of Homeland Security, reveals that terrorism hit record levels last year (MIPT began monitoring incidents in 1968). The sum of "international" and "domestic" terrorist attacks in 2005 was 3991, up 51% from the previous year's figure of 2639. The number of deaths that resulted from those attacks was 6872, which is 36% higher than the 5066 that occurred in 2004.

Truly, the point of a "war on terror" is supposed to be to decrease the amount of terrorism worldwide. As I've continued to profess here in many threads, war only generates and creates more tension and chaos, and I feel as long as this war goes on, the number of incidents and casualties will continue to go on and on and remain high.

And while this is happening, our civil liberties are also being infringed upon, from warrantless spying on peace groups and other innocent Americans with not a single connection to terrorist groups, to Middle Eastern students who had cheated on English proficiency exams being charged as terrorists (in 2002, the Administration said it had prosecuted 62 cases of international terrorism, 60 of which were these students).

*

This is exactly why I believe no one is winning this current war.

For those of you here who continue to believe in this war and think otherwise, though I do strongly disagree with your views and find them naive, as always I enjoy talking with each of you and I never would think any of you as unpatriotic or impugn your honor or anything along those lines. I wholeheartedly believe in all I've said here, but desire to treat all as equals while we continue to strongly debate and disagree with one another.

Sincerely,
Noah Eaton

"If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other"

Mother Teresa

Aenimal
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17 posted 01-21-2006 11:10 PM       View Profile for Aenimal   Email Aenimal   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Aenimal

Why can’t we all just get along,
Because they don’t want to
It’s just that simple.
Till we are under their thumb
We are the enemy.


funny they're saying the same thing, nor are they the only ones. blind. absolutely blind

Huan Yi
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18 posted 01-21-2006 11:39 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi


I don’t imagine the majority of Germans were true Nazis
or that the majority of Japanese wanted to kill much less die
for the emperor, yet their attitude, (indifference, complacency?)
was such as aided and abetted men intent on conquest and genocidal
harm or virtual slavery to and for other innocents in other lands.
To get at those few men millions of Germans and Japanese,
(including women and children), were killed, often hideously,
in the process, (Dresden was mentioned, on the night
of March 9-10, 1945  more Japanese were killed, burned to death,
in the fire bombing of Tokyo than died in either Hiroshima or Nagasaki;
indeed the atomic bombs were dropped for fear of the death
cult as faced by the Allies during battles on Pacific islands
before ).   Was that justifiable?

Grinch
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19 posted 01-22-2006 09:09 AM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch


Haun Yi,

“Was that justifiable?”

Yes but for a reason.

I believe you’re confusing two distinct types of conflicts, WWII was a conflict where both sides were clearly defined and both adhered strongly to the Total War principle. To understand the difference requires an understanding of the concept of Total War, once that’s understood the reason why the air strike is different should become clear.

"Total war is distinguished by its unprecedented intensity and extent. Theaters of operations span the globe; the scale of battle is practically limitless. Total war is fought heedless of the restraints of morality, custom, or international law, for the combatants are inspired by hatreds born of modern ideologies. Total war requires the mobilization not only of armed forces but also of whole populations. The most crucial determinant of total war is the widespread, indiscriminate, and deliberate inclusion of civilians as legitimate military targets."

(Roger Chickering's Total War: The German and American Experiences, 1871-1914)

Before the 19th century war generally involved the combatants only, the grand old Duke of York marched his men to the top of a hill fought the opposing side, then marched them down again. The industrialisation and centralisation of societies changed all that; the American Civil War is a prime example. The armaments and military supplies to fight a sustained conflict were centrally produced on an industrial scale - an army may march on its stomach but it needs rifles and bullets to fight - if you can remove the ability to wage war the enemy is defeated. Total War was primarily a concept developed to destroy the ability to wage war, military supplies were not produced at the top of a hill by the grand old Duke or his men, they were produced in towns and cities by civilians. In a situation where Total War is waged the factories and the workers in those factories become legitimate and justifiable targets. It isn’t quite as simple as that, there are valid arguments to include the enemy populace in general as legitimate targets (a sort of justified terrorism), but it should give you the general idea.

The war in Iraq, and the war on terrorism, isn’t a Total War situation; it’s a police action to surgically remove certain individuals who are attempting to wage Total War against any and every society they’ve got a grudge against.

If you want an analogy that fits this situation, and consequently has been used many times, imagine the coalition forces as surgeons attacking a cancer, occasionally in the attempt the patient dies, it’s regrettable perhaps understandable but I wouldn’t class it as justifiable.

When a surgeon losses a patient in this way the surgeon will generally speak to the family and friends of the patient and, the first words out of his/her mouth are likely to be “I’m sorry…”.

I’m only guessing of course but it sounds reasonable, what doesn’t sound reasonable and what isn’t acceptable or justifiable would be if the surgeon said, “ well it’s his own fault for standing next to someone who smoked”. If the surgeon said “I’m sorry” and explained the situation I think I’d be likely to thank him for his time and effort, if he was foolhardy enough to try the alternative I believe I’d be highly likely to drop him where he stood.

You see I’m not a pacifist and fundamentally I have no doubt that civilian casualties are highly probable – it’s the lack of regret I find distasteful.

Someone should rip up that hallmark card on the wall of the White house that says “Being an ally means not having to say you’re sorry” otherwise there’s going to be a queue of irate people looking to take a swing at the US government and the people it represents.

Huan Yi
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20 posted 01-22-2006 09:23 AM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi


I just had a wonder.
What would have happened if 9/11
had occurred not in 2001 but 1941?


icebox
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21 posted 01-22-2006 10:34 AM       View Profile for icebox   Email icebox   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for icebox

1941?

If your reference is Islam, in 1941 there were many who remembered Black Jack Pershing's methods of dealing with fundamentalist Islamic terrorists.  It is very possible his tactics would have been employed without the drooling carping whining of media heads having as much to say about world events or individual anti-terror tactics.

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22 posted 01-22-2006 10:59 AM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch


“I just had a wonder.
What would have happened if 9/11
had occurred not in 2001 but 1941?”

It did, you gave examples, if you want another how about Pearl Harbour – the most effective strategy to remove America’s ability to wage war was for the Japanese to eliminate the American fleet. It could just have easily been an attempt to annihilate Governmental and financial infrastructure.

The difference is that in WWII both sides were committed to the tactic of Total War.

(That’s not quite true, initially Germany was attempting to use blitzkrieg to annex neighbouring countries without destroying the infrastructure and populace of those countries. Its move to Total War was a response to allied bombing of German cities.)

You’ve probably heard claims that the war on terrorism is an asymmetric war, which is true, but it’s asymmetric on two counts, the obvious is imbalance is Americas overwhelming advantage in strength due to numbers and technological superiority but there’s another aspect of asymmetry that’s seldom mentioned. In the war on terror there is also an asymmetry in the methodology or application of war, the terrorists are fighting a Total War and the coalition is attempting a police action. In fact the terrorist are fighting an almost pure form of Total War, avoiding direct military conflict entirely, they have to – the terrorist version of the grand old Duke of York wouldn’t even get his men to a field adjacent to the hill before being annihilated. This form of asymmetry cancels out the advantage given by strength and military superiority and hands the advantage back to the terrorists. To win this type of conflict requires either a move to Total War tactics by the coalition, which isn’t possible because terrorism is non-geographical, or a concerted attempt to win the hearts and minds of potential terrorist while isolating and eliminating any existing terrorist.

If you go back to the cancer analogy we need an anti-smoking campaign to inform people who might develop cancer working alongside sympathetic surgeons who are attacking the cancer.

It could be argued that the air strike is a perverse form of this and that a message is clearly sent out that if you are anywhere near a suspected terrorist it’s likely to detrimental to your health. Ergo being a terrorist or being around a terrorist is a bad idea in the same way that being a smoker or being around a smoker is a bad idea. The problem with this is that it comes across to potential terrorists as, “ well it’s his own fault for standing next to someone who smoked”.

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23 posted 01-22-2006 12:10 PM       View Profile for Ringo   Email Ringo   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Ringo

I believe you’re confusing two distinct types of conflicts, WWII was a conflict where both sides were clearly defined and both adhered strongly to the Total War principle
The war in Iraq, and the war on terrorism, isn’t a Total War situation; it’s a police action to surgically remove certain individuals who are attempting to wage Total War against any and every society they’ve got a grudge against.


No? I believe you are contradicting yourself. You quote Roger Chickering:
Total war is distinguished by its unprecedented intensity and extent. Theaters of operations span the globe; the scale of battle is practically limitless. Total war is fought heedless of the restraints of morality, custom, or international law, for the combatants are inspired by hatreds born of modern ideologies. Total war requires the mobilization not only of armed forces but also of whole populations. The most crucial determinant of total war is the widespread, indiscriminate, and deliberate inclusion of civilians as legitimate military targets.

Then, iin the same post you say that the current war on terror isn't a "total War".
Let's take this quote from Chickering sentence by sentence and see where it leaves us:

Total war is distinguished by its unprecedented intensity and extent
Perhaps this applies to the war on terror, perhaps not. We are fighting a war on fronts, which is a first, as far as I know. There are combat troops from around the world in Iraq and Afghanistan, PLUS people fighing the war on terrorism itself in their homelands. I will leave the opinion as to whether this applies to each individual.

Theaters of operations span the globe; the scale of battle is practically limitless
So far, there have been terrorist attacks in several coutries throughout the Middle East. We are in shooting matches in Iraq and Afghanistan. There have been terrorist attacks in Spain, the United States, Nigeria, Kenya, and several other African countries, not to mention Japan. I am sure there are other countries, however, owing to my recent awakening, and lack of caffeine, I would not swear to it.

Total war is fought heedless of the restraints of morality, custom, or international law, for the combatants are inspired by hatreds born of modern ideologies.
Well, the terrorists, and the enemy insurgents are doing what they are doing out of hatred for the Western way of life. They have declared a jihad (Holy War) against the West. Sounds like hatred born of modern ideology.
Also, the part of war being fought heedless of the morality, etc... Blowing up a wedding reception, blowing up innocent civilians waiting in line, releasing poison gas in a train station, blowing up an embassy... sounds fairly close to what you are describing.

Total war requires the mobilization not only of armed forces but also of whole populations
The American governmenbt has ,in effect, mobilized the entire nation in its war on terror. Americans were, theoretically, being taught how to recognize if something was wrong in their community, and if there were people acting in a manner that would make them suspects, and have been asked to report any such people. The Iraqi citizens are giving coalition forces information on suspected terrorists, and weapons caches... geez, it sounds like mobilization of whole populations.

The most crucial determinant of total war is the widespread, indiscriminate, and deliberate inclusion of civilians as legitimate military targets."
Again, a wedding reception, a school house, a train station, an embassy, people standiing in line... yep... inclusion of civilians.

You stated that this was not a "total War" yet everything about this war is included in your definition. Not only that, you have also admitted that Total War is being waged.
the terrorist are fighting an almost pure form of Total War, avoiding direct military conflict entirely.
How can a Total War not be fought, while a Total war is being fought? You stated that the allies are not fighting a Total War, yet you agree with reports that we have targeted "innocent" civilians (who just happened to drag suspected terrorists away to hide the bodies), which falls into one of Chickering's definitions. As I stated earlier in this thread, Americans and civilians of many other nations are being mobilized by their governments on one way or another. By targeting civilians, are we not violating the laws of morality and war? You also said that the war on terror is spread throughout the globe, which is one of the definitions put aside by Chickering.

While you are sell spoken, and have made what could be considered valid points,. you seem to have made them for both sides of the issue.


To be merciful to the cruel is to be cruel to the merciful.
www.impressionsintime.net

Huan Yi
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since 10-12-2004
Posts 6334
Waukegan


24 posted 01-22-2006 01:10 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi


No, I mean what if instead of a Japan or Germany,
(imagine the Japanese too busy writing haiku and
Hitler, Lenin, and Stalin never born),  Bin Laden and his kind,
(hiding, spread out and situated as they were and are now),
had rammed planes into the buildings, (killing 3,000), of 1941 New York,
of  Franklin Roosevelt.

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