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9/11 Tenth Anniversary How Things Were/How Things Have Changed/How Things Will Be Rate Topic: -----

#1 User is offline   Warpaint 

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Posted 04 September 2011 - 08:42 AM

As we approach the 10th Anniversary of 9/11, I thought we might discuss where we were and how things were for all of us before and on this date, where we are now and how things have changed, and where do we think we'll go and what changes are in store for us from here. Both a personal, U.S.A., or world perspective would make for interesting conversation.
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#2 User is offline   MaDuce 

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Posted 04 September 2011 - 09:49 AM

We let bin-Laden change the way we live. You don't win by letting your enemy distort your nation's ideals. We let him scare us into shredding the 1st 4th and 5th Amendments for "security." Of which we still have very little, despite the many billions spent. The last three attempted terrorist attacks have not been foiled by TSA scanners, warrantless wiretaps and GPS trackers, but ordinary citizens. We've bogged ourselves down in two undeclared wars. Lost 5000 men and women. Thousands more have been horribly maimed. Exactly as bin Laden predicted we would. And yet there's no end in sight. There's always a new head of al-Qaida to go after. There's no endgame with terrorism. At least not the way our government is fighting it. You don't beat terrorism with tanks and UCAV strikes. That only generates more hatred and resentment and thus more terrorism. You beat terrorism with a superior idea. The pen is mightier than the sword and all that. We have the better idea, but the message gets lost in the Hellfire explosions and the resulting inevitable civilian casualties.

We let bin-Laden change the way we live. We've let him win.

Remember the dead. Rebuild the towers, but a foot taller. Go back to living. That's how you win.
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#3 User is offline   Thalion 

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Posted 04 September 2011 - 04:25 PM

Since MaDuce did a much better job than I could have, I'm going to go with taking his post in quotes.

View PostMaDuce, on 04 September 2011 - 11:49 AM, said:

We let bin-Laden change the way we live. You don't win by letting your enemy distort your nation's ideals. We let him scare us into shredding the 1st 4th and 5th Amendments for "security." Of which we still have very little, despite the many billions spent. The last three attempted terrorist attacks have not been foiled by TSA scanners, warrantless wiretaps and GPS trackers, but ordinary citizens.


This. So much this.

Everything that has changed, changed for mostly the worse. And we never really did get our security.

Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both. - Benjamin Franklin.



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We've bogged ourselves down in two undeclared wars.


More if you count our part of Libya and other operations in the world.


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You don't beat terrorism with tanks and UCAV strikes. That only generates more hatred and resentment and thus more terrorism. You beat terrorism with a superior idea. The pen is mightier than the sword and all that. We have the better idea, but the message gets lost in the Hellfire explosions and the resulting inevitable civilian casualties.


This is the only part where our opinions are going to diverge.

I agree tanks and UCAVs, bullets and bombs, will not defeat terrorism. It's debatable how much of what we do has generated more terrorism, and while we probably created some I think that other factors help contribute to it just as much or more.

I was entirely OK with going to Afghanistan, but after the enemy was severely weakened and longer a real threat we belonged packing our bags and going home. The nation building and overseas adventures has been a total disaster. By sticking around, we gave them time to regroup AND get combat experience. Had we left after kicking their ass, they wouldn't have been able to point to us as an example and provide combat experience.

The reality is we are not going to change everyone's minds to think like us. We shouldn't try to make everyone think like us. There will be always be a section of Islam that absolutely despise the "western" world. And as long as that section cannot act against us over on our soil, we shouldn't care about it one way or the other.
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#4 User is offline   MaDuce 

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Posted 04 September 2011 - 05:24 PM

View PostThalion, on 04 September 2011 - 04:25 PM, said:

The reality is we are not going to change everyone's minds to think like us. We shouldn't try to make everyone think like us. There will be always be a section of Islam that absolutely despise the "western" world. And as long as that section cannot act against us over on our soil, we shouldn't care about it one way or the other.


I agree there is a segment of Islam that that truly does hate the Western World for "our freedoms." But that little Jimmy discovering Maxim magazine does not make an effective recruiting tool. It might concern religious elders and parents, like it does here, but how exactly are you going to convince an urchin wandering a street in Yemen to kill people over that? How do you convince a grad student to abandon his future for that? It's much easier to bring people over to your cause when their mother, father and siblings are splashed in the street because a drone strike missed. When we're over there with troops on their sacred soil, overthrowing their leaders in favor of brutal dictators who ensure our interests in the region are met, providing military support to Israel who enforces what in many ways is apartheid (there's a controversial one! I'll address it below,) it pisses people off. These may have been pragmatic decisions at the time, but they've proved to be horrifyingly imprudent decisions today.

Going back to those who really do hate us for our freedoms, I believe globalization will be the downfall of Jihad. The iPad will bring down religious extremism. When you are able to communicate with millions of others around the globe, when you have unlimited access to another culture and the perception of your culture from millions of others, people find they have more things in common and less reasons to kill each other. And less time to sit on their grandfather's lap and hear why they should hate the Infidel.

As for U.S. support of Israel, my view is complicated. I'm a big fan of Israel. What they have done with that tiny strip of land is remarkable. They're neighbors have repeatedly sought their destruction and with the help of the West, they have done more than prevail. The problem comes when the Israelis decide they don't have to compromise and make concessions with their neighbors, most importantly the Palestinians thanks to unyielding U.S. support. It's like the little kid on the playground who gets picked on, but then that kid gets his older brother to give him a hand. After a while, the kid decides he can get away with anything because big brother is there to back him up.

But it also turns into the tail wagging the dog. Our foreign policy as a nation becomes dictated by Israel's actions due to our relationship with them. In his farewell address, Washington didn't say to avoid permanent alliances, except for those with really cool people. He understood that permanent alliances turn your enemies hatreds into your own, their enemies become your enemies, their wars become your wars.

I don't want any foreign nations lobbying our lawmakers and dictating our actions. AIPAC no more than Pakistan.
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#5 User is offline   Thalion 

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Posted 04 September 2011 - 06:25 PM

View PostMaDuce, on 04 September 2011 - 07:24 PM, said:

I agree there is a segment of Islam that that truly does hate the Western World for "our freedoms." But that little Jimmy discovering Maxim magazine does not make an effective recruiting tool. It might concern religious elders and parents, like it does here, but how exactly are you going to convince an urchin wandering a street in Yemen to kill people over that? How do you convince a grad student to abandon his future for that? It's much easier to bring people over to your cause when their mother, father and siblings are splashed in the street because a drone strike missed. When we're over there with troops on their sacred soil, overthrowing their leaders in favor of brutal dictators who ensure our interests in the region are met, providing military support to Israel who enforces what in many ways is apartheid (there's a controversial one! I'll address it below,) it pisses people off. These may have been pragmatic decisions at the time, but they've proved to be horrifyingly imprudent decisions today.


I wasn't thinking "for our freedoms" per se. More for our lack of adherence to Sharia.

And you're right, it's easier with an enemy at your door. I conceded that as well.

I just said there would be a segment, no matter how small, that would. And as long as they are over there, I don't care what they say, think, or do.

I'll address the Israel bit down where you did.

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Going back to those who really do hate us for our freedoms, I believe globalization will be the downfall of Jihad. The iPad will bring down religious extremism. When you are able to communicate with millions of others around the globe, when you have unlimited access to another culture and the perception of your culture from millions of others, people find they have more things in common and less reasons to kill each other. And less time to sit on their grandfather's lap and hear why they should hate the Infidel.


Only time will tell. You need money to buy that iPad. In the areas that are poorer, they won't be able to get that benefit of globalization, at least not as quickly. Given that, in Israel at least, one of the incentives has been economic (we'll give your family X-thousand dollars to go blow yourself to hell killing Israelis), there seems to be at least some indication the demographic being recruited to "fight the infidel" isn't the demographic playing around with iPads.

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As for U.S. support of Israel, my view is complicated. I'm a big fan of Israel. What they have done with that tiny strip of land is remarkable. They're neighbors have repeatedly sought their destruction and with the help of the West, they have done more than prevail. The problem comes when the Israelis decide they don't have to compromise and make concessions with their neighbors, most importantly the Palestinians thanks to unyielding U.S. support. It's like the little kid on the playground who gets picked on, but then that kid gets his older brother to give him a hand. After a while, the kid decides he can get away with anything because big brother is there to back him up.

But it also turns into the tail wagging the dog. Our foreign policy as a nation becomes dictated by Israel's actions due to our relationship with them. In his farewell address, Washington didn't say to avoid permanent alliances, except for those with really cool people. He understood that permanent alliances turn your enemies hatreds into your own, their enemies become your enemies, their wars become your wars.

I don't want any foreign nations lobbying our lawmakers and dictating our actions. AIPAC no more than Pakistan.


The situation with Israel is more complicated than just a little brother who thinks he can get away with stuff and not have to compromise.

Israel has tried compromising. They've made incremental steps, and it's always gone south. It's always bitten them in the ass. I can't say I blame them for being reluctant to negotiate when it's done so well for them in the past.

They agree to pre-67 lines, Arafat storms out upset (ironically, these days that's what the Palestinians say they want). They withdraw from Gaza; Hamas wins the elections and starts lobbing rockets into southern Israel.

Maintaining commerce with Israel makes sense - they are a fairly innovate nation and as you said, have done a wonderful job with their strip of land. They offer some strategic value.

I don't think we should dictate our policy based on what's in Israel's best interests (we should dictate our policy based on our interests), but I don't think we should cut them off because their neighbors hate them. I don't think leaving them out on their own will gain us any favors with most of Israel's neighbors who hate them.

To quote another founding father, "Commerce with all, alliance with none." Let Israel decide what's best for Israel, America do what's best for America, and trade where strategic. Our relationship with Israel makes sense for the moment, as long as we don't try to get involved in their politics. That, and we need to cut them off our foreign aid. I understand that it's really nice to have, but when we are in deficit spending and have a 14 trillion dollar debt, we really can't afford to be giving out money to anyone, no matter how noble or nice it seems to be.
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#6 User is offline   Warpaint 

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Posted 04 September 2011 - 06:50 PM

View PostWarpaint, on 04 September 2011 - 11:42 AM, said:

As we approach the 10th Anniversary of 9/11, I thought we might discuss where we were and how things were for all of us before and on this date, where we are now and how things have changed, and where do we think we'll go and what changes are in store for us from here. Both a personal, U.S.A., or world perspective would make for interesting conversation.


On that morning, I was at work in PA when the first plane hit. I heard a commotion down the hall, and went out to see what was going on. Several people said an airliner had crashed into a building in New York. We got a small portable TV set up with some improvised rabbit ears, and a few minutes later, watched the second plane strike the other tower. I turned to the site manager and told him we were under attack, and that we should send everyone home...and it wasn't like anything was going to get done that day anyway. He nodded his head at me and and kind of shambled back to his office to make the announcement. We cleared everyone out and all went home, where I was joined by my oldest son and his wife, who had been helping my wife pickup our kids from school. Then like everyone else, we sat mesmerozed as we watched the rest of the day's horrors unfold on TV.

Fortunately, I didn't lose any loved ones that day. I still work for the same company, but as with most businesses, we have a different perspective on and approach to security. Some security changes were made in areas that were lacking, and others are overkill. As a nation, I think we learned that we had become complacent with security, and that even an apparently insignificant opponent can land a sucker punch, like a loud-mouth, out of shape drunk on a barstool. Now I think we're also learning that too much security is just as bad as not enough. We also learned that while many middle eastern countries do commerce with us, they are not necessarily our friends, and few had any real sympathy for us because that kind of event happens every day in their countries. The boundaries of "Freedom of Speech" have tightened, and while addressing one's grievances to the government is still allowed, once those grievances take on a threatening tone, you're on your way to being labelled a terrorist, whether you're capable of carrying out or really intend those threats or not.

Osama bin Laden took terrorism to a new level, but I don''t think he was counting on the response he got. He attacked us because he did not approve of our policy with regard to Israel and what he perceived as preferential treatment, but while his acts of terrorism certainly brought attention to his cause, other than Muslim radicals who bought into his false Jihad crusade against the infidels from the West, he didn't have much impact on our middle eastern policies....we still piss off everyone in the middle east. His quarrel with the U.S. wasn't religious until he realized he had seriously underestimated the resolve and strength of his chosen enemy...then he turned it into a holy war so he could recruit reinforcements. So while Osama caused us to be more vigilant with regards to groups who disagree with our philosophies, policies, or ideologies, he failed in making the radical changes in policy he anticipated. He expected us to cave, but instead he ended up hiding in caves, and eventually trapped in Pakistan with no place else to go.

Looking forward, I think at some point as fear subsides, some security measures will be scaled back. I think we're seeing a bit of that here and there, Just knowing the enemy lurks among us somewhere makes him less effective when he does strike, because we knew he was coming, just like expecting a sucker punch from a loud-mouth drunk on the stool next to you. You may not be able to stop him from throwing the punch, but if you're prepared, you can stop it from landing. Look at what happened on Flight 93. Minutes after they knew what was going on, they forced the terrorists down. Look at the lesson they taught us. Hijacking policy used to be negotiation, but now it's an invitation to someone opening a can of whoop-ass. You get weird on a plane now, and you have about 10 passengers sitting on your chest. Suddenly, flying an airliner into a skyscraper isn't going to be that easy. Why? Because all of us own security now...not just the guys wearing badges and brandishing guns. It's an extention of the neighborhood watch. We're safer when we look after ourselves, than if we leave that to LE and the military. Now if we can ever get our global neighbors to pay more attention to who comes and goes in their neighborhood, terrorists will look for softer victims....like Pakistan maybe.

Terrorists may have changed some things for us, but we're a lot less naive and complacent...and it's true what they say, "That which doesn't kill us, makes us stronger." We didn't back down, when Osama brought it on, we gave it back and then some. All those terrorists out there better think twice...we've been practicing and working out.

;)

This post has been edited by Warpaint: 04 September 2011 - 07:09 PM

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#7 User is offline   MaDuce 

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Posted 04 September 2011 - 07:02 PM

View PostThalion, on 04 September 2011 - 06:25 PM, said:

I wasn't thinking "for our freedoms" per se. More for our lack of adherence to Sharia.


Well, it's our freedom to choose something other than Sharia. But yeah, agreed.


Quote

Only time will tell. You need money to buy that iPad. In the areas that are poorer, they won't be able to get that benefit of globalization, at least not as quickly. Given that, in Israel at least, one of the incentives has been economic (we'll give your family X-thousand dollars to go blow yourself to hell killing Israelis), there seems to be at least some indication the demographic being recruited to "fight the infidel" isn't the demographic playing around with iPads.


True, though I would argue Israeli policy contributes to Palestinian poverty and if some of these policies are reversed, the financial incentives used by Hamas will be curtailed.

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The situation with Israel is more complicated than just a little brother who thinks he can get away with stuff and not have to compromise.

Israel has tried compromising. They've made incremental steps, and it's always gone south. It's always bitten them in the ass. I can't say I blame them for being reluctant to negotiate when it's done so well for them in the past.

They agree to pre-67 lines, Arafat storms out upset (ironically, these days that's what the Palestinians say they want). They withdraw from Gaza; Hamas wins the elections and starts lobbing rockets into southern Israel.


Point well taken. Both sides of the conflict have suffered from horrible leadership. Thankfully, Arafat is gone. However the Israeli position hasn't changed really. Remember in the leaked diplomatic cables a few months back, the Fatah leadership made huge concessions, including allowing Israel to continue occupying disputed sections of Jerusalem. The Israeli leadership wouldn't budge. And recently, Netanyahu ordered our president to resend his '67 borders suggestion and gave the go-ahead for the building of more settlements.

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Maintaining commerce with Israel makes sense - they are a fairly innovate nation and as you said, have done a wonderful job with their strip of land. They offer some strategic value.


I'm all for commerce with everybody, or nearly everybody, like egregious human rights violators like the PRC. It seems to me that most Palestinians are motivated more by real or perceived injustices and lack of economic opportunity than hatred of the Jews.
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#8 User is offline   Thalion 

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Posted 04 September 2011 - 07:51 PM

View PostMaDuce, on 04 September 2011 - 09:02 PM, said:

True, though I would argue Israeli policy contributes to Palestinian poverty and if some of these policies are reversed, the financial incentives used by Hamas will be curtailed.


The bulk of the poverty is currently in Gaza, and a fair amount of humanitarian aid was getting through. The problem is a lot of that aid isn't getting to the people - Hamas controls Gaza, and they control who gets the aid.

Prior to the collapse of Mubarak's regime, Egypt kept just as strict a border with Gaza as Israel, if not stricter.

Currently, Hamas keeps Gaza pretty sealed. I would argue they contribute just as much to or perhaps more to the poverty in Gaza by denying economic opportunities. Israel has done pretty well with a lot (though perhaps not all) Palestinians living in the West Bank. But the Palestinians in the West Bank are a hell of a lot better off than the ones in Gaza.

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Point well taken. Both sides of the conflict have suffered from horrible leadership. Thankfully, Arafat is gone. However the Israeli position hasn't changed really. Remember in the leaked diplomatic cables a few months back, the Fatah leadership made huge concessions, including allowing Israel to continue occupying disputed sections of Jerusalem. The Israeli leadership wouldn't budge. And recently, Netanyahu ordered our president to resend his '67 borders suggestion and gave the go-ahead for the building of more settlements.


I missed those particular cables, but I can believe it.

As far as our president's suggestion goes, I think we really have no business being involved in Israeli-Palestinian relations one way or the other. That's between them, and only them. If we feel we have a right to dictate terms in their relations, then we get the same right to dictate to Russia how to deal with the Chechens, or China how to deal with Tibet. We don't have that right, as I pointed out.

Both sides have their internal problems. Nobody is always right or always wrong.

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I'm all for commerce with everybody, or nearly everybody, like egregious human rights violators like the PRC. It seems to me that most Palestinians are motivated more by real or perceived injustices and lack of economic opportunity than hatred of the Jews.


I'm sure there's a mix of reasons, and everyone is different within the Palestinian community. Some object to the Jews, some to the economic situation, some object because their neighbor is objecting, and some get along just fine.

I will say that the Palestinians who do get access to Palestinian television will hear anti-Israeli, anti-Jewish media, not economic complaints or a list of grievances.
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#9 User is offline   Lt.Col.Vortex 

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Posted 04 September 2011 - 08:39 PM

One thing I have to say...Remember when the world respected the American flag, and when our flag was flown above everyone elses...that was lost after 9/11. Sure it was a long time coming( Vietnam...Korea) but I think the world lost all respect when we re started the war on terror. We should have finished it a long time ago, but when 9/11 happened, we lost a ton of respect in everyone's eyes.

It susck that its been going on for 10 freeking years, but when you let politics run things....well you can see what happens.
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Posted 05 September 2011 - 01:13 AM

View PostLt.Col.Vortex, on 04 September 2011 - 08:39 PM, said:

One thing I have to say...Remember when the world respected the American flag, and when our flag was flown above everyone elses...that was lost after 9/11. Sure it was a long time coming( Vietnam...Korea) but I think the world lost all respect when we re started the war on terror. We should have finished it a long time ago, but when 9/11 happened, we lost a ton of respect in everyone's eyes.

It susck that its been going on for 10 freeking years, but when you let politics run things....well you can see what happens.


How exactly would you fight the War on Terror?

But as far as international respect, the United States lost much of that following the Iraq invasion.

I don't know if you knew this, but in the days after 9/11 tens of thousands in Tehran held a vigil for the 9/11 victims. Their president offered to help us militarily with the Taliban. Then Bush included Iran in his "Axis of Evil." The hardliner, Ahmedinejad was elected and our relationship with Iran is hopeless.
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Posted 05 September 2011 - 07:02 PM

^ And that is why it is so screwed up to try and play ball with only the people you think are "good guys" - because sometimes temporary alliances with less-than-ideal partners ends up being a net benefit.

I'm skeptical of Iran's motives for reaching out to us then, but in the end it doesn't really matter. Tehran is going to ultimately profit the ways they wanted (influence in eastern Iraq and perhaps more of it, they get to become one of the big players in the region just on the opposite side of the table, etc.), and we are down one temporary ally who could have at least been neutral to us if we had responded to their request.

Instead, we made an enemy who has actively sought to arm insurgents fighting against us.

Would I have trusted Iran were I president at the time they sent that request? Absolutely not --- but I would have met their requests and accepted their aid for a short term alliance.


Ironically, we've been throwing more "allies" under the bus in 2011. First we put pressure on Mubarak to step down in Egypt (the same Mubarak that had maintained good relations with Israel and with the US) and then we, along with NATO, turned on Qaddafi in Libya.

The same Qaddafi that, following our invasion of Iraq, decided he was going to play ball with the US, help catch terrorist members in his country, and forget about his nuclear ambitions. He did everything we wanted him to then, and just because world opinion didn't like his flavor of enforcement we threw him under the bus.

It certainly seems that being an ally of the US is almost as dangerous as being our enemy. Perhaps worse.
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#12 User is offline   Lt.Col.Vortex 

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Posted 05 September 2011 - 07:16 PM

Well IMO, Bush senior was doing it right back in the 90's. But he stopped short after chasing "them" into Baghdad( I think, sorry, I'm not as great in my history as I should) We should have kept on going and followed through. The current war on terror is a direct result of unfinished business.

And if you wana really know what I think..in war, there is no neutral parties, your either for or against. There is no neutral.

But there is also the fact that I don think we should be over east anyways. We screwed up some years ago by not following though with things, and it bit our ass. Fine, learn form that, maybe even kick some ass ourselves. But whats this 10 + years crap. We should take it as it was, and leave. And in the case of the soposed "next time", wipe that opposing party out. THats what the world feared about Americans "back in the day". We didn't screw around. If you messed with us, we kicked your butt.


But alas, I digress, and today is a new kinda day, so the old tricks and tactics may not work...but who knows.
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Posted 05 September 2011 - 07:23 PM

Switzerland.
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Posted 05 September 2011 - 07:24 PM

sorry, lost me.
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Posted 05 September 2011 - 07:38 PM

View PostLt.Col.Vortex, on 05 September 2011 - 09:16 PM, said:

Well IMO, Bush senior was doing it right back in the 90's. But he stopped short after chasing "them" into Baghdad( I think, sorry, I'm not as great in my history as I should) We should have kept on going and followed through. The current war on terror is a direct result of unfinished business.


Wrong.

The "war on terror" had its origins with the US responding to Al Qaida's organized attack on September 11, 2001, and had nothing to do with whether or not we removed Saddam Hussein from power during the first Gulf War.

I believe Bush Sr made the right decision to not pursue Saddam. Our goal was clear: get the Iraqi invasion out of Kuwait. We completed that goal. There was no point or purpose in continuing the attack and removing a leader from power within his own sovereign nation.

The Gulf War and the current wars have no common thread, aside from being in the Middle East. One was a clear, achievable plan. The other is goalless, ambiguous, and lasted far far longer.

Quote

And if you wana really know what I think..in war, there is no neutral parties, your either for or against. There is no neutral.


Total fallacy. The "with us or against us" extremism is what pushes neutral nations to side with your enemy. They don't want to be a part of it, but if you're going to treat them as a hostile for doing nothing, then they'll side with your enemy and at least have some hopes of protection in numbers.

There are always neutral parties in war, specifically parties who have no direct stake in the outcome and who are not actively trying to influence the outcome.


EDIT

View PostCuy'val Dar, on 05 September 2011 - 09:23 PM, said:

Switzerland.


:laugh:


Vortex - Link

This post has been edited by Thalion: 05 September 2011 - 07:45 PM

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