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Is the USA's escalation of its drone attacks necessary?

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Is the USA's escalation of its drone attacks necessary?

Post by sickchip on Mon Jun 11, 2012 9:32 am

This escalation of drone strikes seems callous and unnecessary; and it's hard to fathom what the US are hoping to achieve through these actions. It seems to me that too much collateral damage is incurred in these strikes in terms of civilian casualties, and that rather than discourage 'terrorism' it may well further anti-american sentiment, encourage resentment, fuel anger, and incite further 'terrorist' behaviour.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/may/29/americas-drone-campaign-terror

Extracts from article:

These killings are, in reality, summary executions and widely regarded as potential war crimes by international lawyers.

These are attacks, however, routinely carried out on the basis of false intelligence, in countries such as Pakistan where no war has been declared and without the consent of the elected government.

Lawyers representing victims' families are now preparing legal action against the British government – which carries out its own drone attacks in Afghanistan – for taking part in war crimes by passing GCHQ intelligence to the CIA for its "targeted killings". Parallel cases are also being brought against the Pakistani government and the drone manufacturer General Electric – whose slogan is "we bring good things to life".


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Re: Is the USA's escalation of its drone attacks necessary?

Post by sickchip on Mon Jun 11, 2012 10:45 am

Here is a more shocking expose of this policy. It's typical that these activities aren't widely reported by the more popular western media - how many people in the west know this is being done - supposedly on their behalf, supported with their money, and supposedly in their interests.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/jun/02/drone-age-obama-pakistan

Extract:

Obama first embraced a policy of taking no prisoners in order to avoid the embarrassing sore of Guantánamo. Then he accepted a method for assessing casualties that "counts all military-age males in a strike zone as combatants" unless there is explicit posthumous proof of their innocence – because they are probably "up to no good".

What kind of disgusting reasoning is that? No wonder the US claim there are limited civilian casualties if they assess any male in a strike zone to be combatants regardless of proof, or logic.

Read the full article to witness deaths of children, and innocent workers, being reported as successful strikes against militants by the CIA. And about the unreliability of informants.
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Re: Is the USA's escalation of its drone attacks necessary?

Post by oftenwrong on Mon Jun 11, 2012 2:23 pm

No discussion of the use of drones in the Afghanistan theatre of operations can make any sense without inclusion of the evident fact that neighbouring Pakistan is playing both ends against the middle. Taliban and/or Al Quaida sympathisers are being allowed to shelter there.

Not that any of it will affect the inevitable withdrawal of all foreign armies from Afghanistan within a couple of years.
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Re: Is the USA's escalation of its drone attacks necessary?

Post by Guest on Mon Jun 11, 2012 2:35 pm

sickchip wrote:
This escalation of drone strikes seems callous and unnecessary…

Drone strikes are necessary to kill al qaida. Killing al qaida is necessary to preserve American lives (and British lives, Spanish lives, Kenyan lives, and on and on).

sickchip wrote:
… and it's hard to fathom what the US are hoping to achieve through these actions.

It’s easy “to fathom what the US are hoping to achieve through these actions.” Dead al qaida.

sickchip wrote:
It seems to me that too much collateral damage is incurred in these strikes in terms of civilian casualties…

It seems to me that Hellfire missiles, which are precisely guided missiles, minimize collateral damage as much as is humanly possible; accordingly, responsibility for collateral damage sits squarely on the cowardly shoulders of al qaida.

sickchip wrote:

… and that rather than discourage 'terrorism'…

The word terrorism requires no single quotes. Hellfire missiles are not launched from drones to discourage terrorism; hellfire missiles are launched from drones to kill al qaida, which they do.

sickchip wrote:
… it may well further anti-american sentiment, encourage resentment, fuel anger, and incite further 'terrorist' behaviour.

al qaida does not required hellfire missiles launched from drones to further their anti-American sentiment.

al qaida does not required hellfire missiles launched from drones to encourage resentment.

al qaida does not required hellfire missiles launched from drones to fuel anger.

al qaida does not required hellfire missiles launched from drones to incite further terrorist behavior.

sickchip wrote:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/may/29/americas-drone-campaign-terror

Extracts from article:

These killings are, in reality, summary executions…

These killings are, in reality, making the world better by bringing good into the world. Dead al qaida are good al qaida; as dead al increase, goodness in the world increases.

sickchip wrote:
…and widely regarded as potential war crimes by international lawyers.

al qaida are widely regarded as actual war crimes incarnate by decent folks worldwide.

sickchip wrote:
These are attacks, however, routinely carried out on the basis of false intelligence…

These attacks, however, are routinely carried out on the basis of the superb intelligence generated by the finest intelligence agencies in the world.

sickchip wrote:
… in countries such as Pakistan where no war has been declared and without the consent of the elected government.

These attacks are routinely carried out in Pakistan, the country whose government declared de facto war on decent folks worldwide by providing safe refuge, with consent of the government, for mass exterminator Osama bin Laden.

sickchip wrote:
Lawyers representing victims' families are now preparing legal action against the British government – which carries out its own drone attacks in Afghanistan…

Lawyers representing victims’ families should now be preparing legal action against al qaida and the taliban, which carry out mass exterminations in Afghanistan.

sickchip wrote:
… for taking part in war crimes by passing GCHQ intelligence to the CIA for its "targeted killings".

al qaida and the taliban are war crimes incarnate. The continued existence of each al qaida and taliban member is a war crime.

sickchip wrote:
Parallel cases are also being brought against the Pakistani government…

A parallel case should also be brought against the Pakistani government for providing safe refuge for al qaida and the taliban.

sickchip wrote:
… and the drone manufacturer General Electric – whose slogan is "we bring good things to life".

Dead al qaida are good al qaida; accordingly, as general Electric drones bring dead al qaida “to life”, General Electric’s slogan, “We bring good things [dead al qaida] to life” is accurate.
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Re: Is the USA's escalation of its drone attacks necessary?

Post by Guest on Mon Jun 11, 2012 2:36 pm

quote="sickchip"]
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/jun/02/drone-age-obama-pakistan

Extract:

Obama first embraced a policy of taking no prisoners in order to avoid the embarrassing sore of Guantánamo.
[/quote]

United States Senator Barack Hussein Obama Jr., when asked during a 2008 presidential campaign debate what he would do if he found Osama bin Laden, said “I’ll kill him.”

When President of the United States Barack Hussein Obama Jr. found Osama bin Laden, he killed him.

The man keeps his word.

sickchip wrote:
Then he accepted a method for assessing casualties that "counts all military-age males in a strike zone as combatants" unless there is explicit posthumous proof of their innocence…


Lupe Fiasco - Little Weapon


sickchip wrote:
What kind of disgusting reasoning is that?

No kind of disgusting reason, as the reason is not disgusting.

sickchip wrote:
No wonder the US claim there are limited civilian casualties if they assess any male in a strike zone to be combatants regardless of proof, or logic.

The US claims that there are limited civilian casualties because there are limited civilian casualties.


Last edited by RockOnBrother on Fri Jun 29, 2012 6:36 am; edited 3 times in total
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Re: Is the USA's escalation of its drone attacks necessary?

Post by oftenwrong on Mon Jun 11, 2012 2:51 pm

None of which actually explains what foreign armies think their justification is for occupying tribal homelands which have resisted invasion for Centuries, and will continue to do so whatever rude name we call the inhabitants.
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Re: Is the USA's escalation of its drone attacks necessary?

Post by trevorw2539 on Mon Jun 11, 2012 2:56 pm

Sickchip quote.

Read the full article to witness deaths of children, and innocent workers, being reported as successful strikes against militants by the CIA. And about the unreliability of informants..


Read about the hundreds of women and children, innocent workers, killed by car bombs/suicide bombers planted by Al Queda and the Taliban.
Do you think these groups -Taliban etc - would be above using the same technology if they had it. They are already experimenting with more modern devices for use in blowing up aircraft.
The difference between a drone and a missile/rocket. None. They both kill guilty and innocent alike.
Atrocities are being committed by all sides in the wars, and always have been. That's humanity's rotten way. Crying or Very sad








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Re: Is the USA's escalation of its drone attacks necessary?

Post by Guest on Mon Jun 11, 2012 3:04 pm

oftenwrong wrote:
None of which actually explains what foreign armies think their justification is for occupying tribal homelands which have resisted invasion for Centuries, and will continue to do so whatever rude name we call the inhabitants.

There are two justifications. I’ll be happy to identify both justifications.

  1. To kill al qaida.

  2. To kill taliban.


I fully support both.
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Re: Is the USA's escalation of its drone attacks necessary?

Post by oftenwrong on Mon Jun 11, 2012 5:12 pm

The reverse may also apply.

Without resolving anything.
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Re: Is the USA's escalation of its drone attacks necessary?

Post by Shirina on Mon Jun 11, 2012 5:58 pm

What kind of disgusting reasoning is that? No wonder the US claim there are limited civilian casualties if they assess any male in a strike zone to be combatants regardless of proof, or logic.
At the end of the day, America is still at war. As for it being an undeclared war, well, the last time anyone (aside from a handful of African nations) declared war on someone was Chile declaring war on Japan in April of 1945.

I think sometimes people forget what war actually is. That can happen when you're not actually fighting in it; it's easy to know war when the bombs are raining down on Coventry during the Blitz, but it's more difficult when the war is thousands of miles away and the casualties are relatively few in number. But it's still war. Ever since WWII, the "powers that be" continue adding rules to warfare ... what we can't do, what we can, when we can do it, how to do it, and those rules are growing increasingly narrow. That seems a very responsible thing to do - on paper.

The problem is that our enemies aren't going to follow those rules. I'm not suggesting that our forces be allowed to roll a grenade into a crowded room or to carry out summary battlefield executions. But there is no greater example of how these rules have degraded Western military capability than the lessons of Vietnam. A decade of bloody warfare that could have been solved in a year or less if the gloves had come off. The only time the North came to the negotiating table was when Nixon unleashed the B-52s over Hanoi. If they had been unleashed in 1965, well .... but no, rules of engagement that put the US forces at a severe disadvantage against a cunning enemy that didn't play by ANY rules caused America's strategic defeat. Perhaps it is the only war in human history where one side won all the battles but still lost the war.

I think an F-18 pilot from the USS Independence said it best: "If I have overwhelming power, I'm going to bring overwhelming power to bear on my enemy. This isn't about being fair. I'm not a boxer, I'm a soldier."

I won't argue about whether the drone attacks are necessary. After all, the White House has declined to allow me to sit in on Obama's military briefings, so I really can't say if they are necessary. I do know, however, that I sometimes wonder if the world believes that America is the only nation on earth that uses real bombs and bullets during wartime. Everyone else - including terrorists - seem to get a free pass to kill whomever they wish, but every time a civilian (i.e. anyone not wearing a uniform) is killed by an American attack in some backwater village, it makes the front page news. If some insignificant Afghan tribe had crossed the Pakistan border and killed those same civilians in some ancient tribal conflict, the story would be lucky to see the back page of even the smallest newspaper - if it saw print at all.

The point here is that there is a lot of bias against the US when it comes to reporting this war, a lot of prejudice. It seems to me that much of it comes from America bringing "overwhelming power" against Al Qaeda. I suppose if US soldiers put down the drones and instead went in there with 50 year-old Kalishnakovs and a few IEDs, no one would really care what America was doing. The irony is that the US spends hundreds of billions of dollars per year designing and building weapons that focus on minimizing collateral damage, and those weapons do just that. But war will always see the death of civilians. That is tragic, but that's also the nature of warfare. The US can minimize civilian deaths, but no weapon can distinguish between a real civilian and an Al Qaeda terrorist who simply looks like a civilian.
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Re: Is the USA's escalation of its drone attacks necessary?

Post by Guest on Mon Jun 11, 2012 6:39 pm

Shirina wrote:
… the lessons of Vietnam. A decade of bloody warfare that could have been solved in a year or less if the gloves had come off. The only time the North came to the negotiating table was when Nixon unleashed the B-52s over Hanoi. If they had been unleashed in 1965, well…

Operation Linebacker II

Operation Linebacker II operations were initiated on 18 December 1972… The primary objective of the bombing operation would be to force the North Vietnamese government to enter into purposeful negotiations… The operation employed air power to its maximum capabilities… to destroy all major target complexes such as radio stations, railroads, power plants, and airfields located in the Hanoi and Haiphong areas… Linebacker II… removed many of the restrictions that had previously caused frustration within the Pentagon.

During these operations, Air Force and Navy tactical aircraft and B-52s commenced an around-the-clock bombardment of the North Vietnamese heartland.

The impact of the bombing was obvious in the severe damage to the North Vietnamese logistic and war-support capability. By 29 December 1972, the 700 nighttime sorties flown by B-52s and 650 daytime strikes by fighter and attack aircraft persuaded the North Vietnamese government to return to the conference table.

Full article: http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/ops/linebacker-2.htm
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Re: Is the USA's escalation of its drone attacks necessary?

Post by astradt1 on Mon Jun 11, 2012 9:44 pm

Anyone remember the out cry caused by " Death on the Rock" where a number of IRA bombers were taken out by Drones in the form of Human SAS operatives.....

There was no collateral damage but I seem to remember that the USA were a bit put out by the actions of the then British Government...

The question is "Is there any difference in these attacks?"


Oh and by the way Roc the USA Bombing of North Vietnam was so successful I remember the US Helicopters evacuating the US embassy via the roof...........
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Re: Is the USA's escalation of its drone attacks necessary?

Post by astra on Mon Jun 11, 2012 10:31 pm

I seem to remember the furore in the USA (admittedly, stirred up by 'Brownie' - a certain Mr G. Adams) that the USA was 'decisivly against' the percieved 'Shoot to Kill' policy.

We in the UK said at the time, "If you are stoooooooooooopid enuff to shoot at uniformed and armed soldiers, what do you expect back? Boiled Candys"
Remember also, that our troops had HAD to read a yellow card while the bullets were flying! I would like to see ANY Politician or ANY American do that without needing a change of Nappies (Diapers)

Did this placate US bandstanding? ofcourse it did not. All they said was...."Brits out of Ireland!!!!" I await with intrest to see how the Americans are going to extinguish this problem. Please do not say "We will square the circle by........!"
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Re: Is the USA's escalation of its drone attacks necessary?

Post by oftenwrong on Mon Jun 11, 2012 10:49 pm

But it's all justified if we have God on our side.
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Re: Is the USA's escalation of its drone attacks necessary?

Post by astra on Mon Jun 11, 2012 10:53 pm

OH heck, have you been taking curtain hangers for tablets, OW
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Re: Is the USA's escalation of its drone attacks necessary?

Post by Shirina on Mon Jun 11, 2012 10:53 pm

Oh and by the way Roc the USA Bombing of North Vietnam was so successful I remember the US Helicopters evacuating the US embassy via the roof...........
Ironically, bringing this up kinda proves my point. The reason why the bombing wasn't successful is because we ... uh ... stopped bombing. The B-52s were put back on their leash during the negotiations, at which point the North decided the US lacked resolve. Had the bombing continued throughout the negotiations, things would have been a lot different.
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Re: Is the USA's escalation of its drone attacks necessary?

Post by oftenwrong on Mon Jun 11, 2012 11:00 pm

Bombs away, with Curt LeMay!!

LeMay is quoted as saying his response to North Vietnam would be to demand that "they’ve got to draw in their horns and stop their aggression, or we’re going to bomb them back into the Stone Age."

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Re: Is the USA's escalation of its drone attacks necessary?

Post by sickchip on Mon Jun 11, 2012 11:10 pm

Shirina,

At the end of the day, America is still at war.

...only of it's own making, and desire for conflict.

I repeat:

This escalation of drone strikes seems callous and unnecessary; and it's hard to fathom what the US are hoping to achieve through these actions?

Peace? A solution? Understanding? A reduction in 'terrorist' recruitment? I'd suggest these actions will foster more anti-american sentiment, and serve to create more 'terrorism'; and this war will perpetuate for decades.

I am in no way defending the actions of Al Quaida or the Taliban, but perhaps both sides need to be brave enough to step into one anothers shoes and see one anothers perspectives. There are wrongs on both sides. I guess if, in a hypothetical situation, the US had invaded the UK, bombed and killed one's innocent family/friends, wrecked towns/homes/livelihoods, occupied and policed one's country for years, had previously imposed sanctions that caused death to fellow citizens including children, than UK citizens might feel a tad aggrieved with the US.

An amnesty, ceasefire, negotiations, and agreement are what should be sought; and the US should be big enough to lead by example - rather than simply throwing it's weight around like the playground bully.....that will never solve anything, and will serve only to invoke plots and plans to bring the bully down.

The depiction of fundamentalist 'terrorists' as being evil/fanatical/etc is easy to buy into; and it breeds hatred, where understanding should be sought if solutions are ever to be found. Unfortunately most are too weak, and prejudiced through propaganda, to be brave enough to step into the enemies shoes; and so, as I say, this 'war' will last decades.....indeed it might never end.
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Re: Is the USA's escalation of its drone attacks necessary?

Post by astra on Mon Jun 11, 2012 11:29 pm

or we’re going to bomb them back into the Stone Age."


Hello OW,

Somehow, I always thought that quote was accredited to Ms Madeleine Albright

Good quote though, no matter who said it.
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Re: Is the USA's escalation of its drone attacks necessary?

Post by astra on Mon Jun 11, 2012 11:34 pm

I am in no way defending the actions of Al Quaida or the Taliban


Nobody is Chip, but realistically, the only way to 'sort' the problem is to follow the Nazi example ...........









In Guernica!!
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Re: Is the USA's escalation of its drone attacks necessary?

Post by astradt1 on Mon Jun 11, 2012 11:58 pm

sickchip wrote:
This escalation of drone strikes seems callous and unnecessary…


Roc replied
Drone strikes are necessary to kill al qaida. Killing al qaida is necessary to preserve American lives (and British lives, Spanish lives, Kenyan lives, and on and on).



So far more coalition force members have died than on Sept 11.....

sickchip wrote:
… it may well further anti-american sentiment, encourage resentment, fuel anger, and incite further 'terrorist' behaviour.


Roc replied
al qaida does not required hellfire missiles launched from drones to further their anti-American sentiment.

al qaida does not required hellfire missiles launched from drones to encourage resentment.

al qaida does not required hellfire missiles launched from drones to fuel anger.

al qaida does not required hellfire missiles launched from drones to incite further terrorist behavior.

Al Qaeda may not need reasons to encourage hatred of the USA but the USA is doing a good job in providing reasons and still Americans(USV) wonder why they are hated by many in the Middle East!!!!!

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Re: Is the USA's escalation of its drone attacks necessary?

Post by Guest on Tue Jun 12, 2012 2:01 am

Shirina wrote:
Ironically, bringing this up kinda proves my point. The reason why the bombing wasn't successful is because we ... uh ... stopped bombing. The B-52s were put back on their leash during the negotiations, at which point the North decided the US lacked resolve. Had the bombing continued throughout the negotiations, things would have been a lot different.

During the eleven (11) days of Linebacker II (18-29 December 1972), North Vietnam’s ability to sustain war was virtually extinguished. During the preceding seven years nine months, approximately two thousand eight hundred forty (2,840) days (US Marines came ashore in March 1965), Haiphong was made off limits by “suits” sitting around conference tables in Washington DC.

Linebacker II proved that suits running wars equals soldiers dead; that applies whether the suits are American USV or British.

Desert Storm was ramrodded by two combat veterans that, during the Vietnam War, had been ground commanders of flesh and blood men that died before their eyes. General Colin Powell and General Norman Schwarzkopf ensured that American air power (and British air power) was unleashed without restrictions from Washington DC suits.

Lieutenant General Charles Horner, commander of all Desert Storm coalition air forces (USAF, USN, USMC, RAF, French, and all others), when challenged about the extreme violence of the Basra road airstrike, responded something like this (from memory):

“War is extreme violence. It is the duty of commanders to conduct war with such violence that the enemy is rendered unable to conduct war as quickly as possible.”

Shirina or anyone else, if you can find the exact quote (I heard General Horner’s comment on a Military Channel program), I would appreciate it if you would post it here. I’ve spent the past hour searching for it in print or video form without success.

Had that coldly realistic attitude been the guiding principle of US air forces operations during the Vietnam War, North Vietnam might have been rendered unable to conduct war within two months.
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Re: Is the USA's escalation of its drone attacks necessary?

Post by Shirina on Tue Jun 12, 2012 3:45 am

Shirina or anyone else, if you can find the exact quote

The quote you're looking for is: "War is extreme violence. And the way to halt the suffering is to get the war over as quickly and decisively as you can."

In another instance, Gen. Horner states, "War is extreme violence. You have the moral obligation to get it over with as soon as possible."

Sounds like you had the words pretty much correct ... you just combined two separate quotes into one.

General "Stormin' Norman" Schwarzkopf is one of my favorite generals. He also had a comment about the "Highway of Death" incident: "The object of war is to maximize enemy casualties while minimizing your own. That's what we did."
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Re: Is the USA's escalation of its drone attacks necessary?

Post by Shirina on Tue Jun 12, 2012 4:21 am

...only of it's own making, and desire for conflict.
A desire for conflict only stands to reason after 9/11, don't you think? The average American citizen, without whom a successful war could never be waged, didn't care much about the Middle East, terrorism, Muslims, or Al-Qaeda before 9/11. Joining the military was just a way to get your college tuition paid for once your enlistment was up. No one expected or wanted war. After the Taliban demolished some giant Buddhist statues, my anthropology professor made the prescient comment, "They're [the Taliban] are going to be trouble. Mark my words." She thought for a moment, shook her head, and hissed, "Trouble!" A year later, 9/11 occurred.

On that day, I came home from class to find my mother glued to the television. The first thing she said to me was, "I want war." Those words, coming from my mother's lips, was almost as startling as 9/11 itself ... yet it encapsulates how we all felt. Just like Pearl Harbor, the Taliban managed to do the one thing that can unite a diverse people: Attack us.

But that's Afghanistan ... Iraq, was a conflict of our own making. Well, actually, the making of one George W. Bush who, I think, wanted to eclipse his own father's accomplishment with Desert Storm. If daddy throws a ball, son has to throw it further. Sons always have something to prove to fathers, especially sons in elite, wealthy families.
Peace? A solution? Understanding? A reduction in 'terrorist' recruitment? I'd suggest these actions will foster more anti-american sentiment, and serve to create more 'terrorism'; and this war will perpetuate for decades.
You're right. I think this war will perpetuate for decades. One of the cornerstones of radical religion of any type is having a burning hatred of someone else. In this case, that "someone" is the Western powers. They have been trained to hate us, indoctrinated to hate us from an early age with religion being the central focus. Even if the guys at the top don't care a whit about Islam, the ones wearing the bombs do. One of the big reasons for 9/11, cited by bin Laden himself, was the presence of US troops in Saudi Arabia, site of Islam's holy city of Mecca. Of course, bin Laden shouldn't care one iota if another sovereign nation hosted someone else's military, but it's a super keen way of firing up the suicide bombers and getting them to do his bidding.

The fact of the matter is: The United States had little to do with creating the quagmire we call the Middle East. Most of the mess was created by Britain and France after WWI. America had rejected Wilson's 14 Points, did not join the League of Nations and, being a self-sufficient nation then, turned to isolationism. We didn't care about the Middle East's oil ... but Britain did. That's why Britain reneged on her promises of an independent Arab state after the war. Instead, the Middle East was carved up and parceled out to Britain and France. Thus the hatred of the West began.

After WWII, America arose as the dominant Western power, so their hatred shifted from Britain to America - even though America was largely innocent of any wrongdoing in terms of Middle Eastern politics. Now, after 70 long years of hatred, we have both Israel and religion added to the equation.

If this whole fiasco was just political, we could indeed sit down at a conference table and hammer out a peace. But that's no longer possible since the radical Muslims really DO want to see the West destroyed. Their religious fervor will never be sated with a treaty. Even if you were to get the heads of terrorist organizations to sit down and sign a truce, those heads would be assassinated - just as Anwar Sadat was killed for recognizing the state of Israel.

Peace and understanding would be wonderful, but I fear achieving those things with the sort we're at war with is, well, impossible. Oh, sooner or later, America will pack up and go home. We won't play "whack-a-mole" forever. But whether we stay or go ... whether we have a strong presence there or if we disband our entire military and never step foot there again ... it won't matter. Two generations of hatred with a third on the way, will ensure that America is eventually drawn into another conflict in that region. Their hatred of the US, irrational at first, and totally groundless, necessitated America's involvement, and our involvement fuels their hatred. They asked for this, and brought much of it down upon themselves.
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Re: Is the USA's escalation of its drone attacks necessary?

Post by sickchip on Tue Jun 12, 2012 7:30 am

Shirina,

Good post....sort of.

I appreciate that we have different opinions here. I think it's primarily over the tactics/policy the US are pursuing in the mid-east. You appear to favour the Stormin' Norman approach, and I don't believe that will work here.

In terms of your comment: The average American citizen, without whom a successful war could never be waged, didn't care much about the Middle East, terrorism, Muslims, or Al-Qaeda before 9/11. Perhaps my suggestion of seeing things from the 'enemies' perspective might help the average American understand why 9/11 occured, and why that hatred is there. It's the 'how would I feel' test. Are US citizens aware how many casualties were inflicted on mid-east civilians through US involvement in conflicts, and sanctions, pre 9/11? Regardless of the 'rights' or 'wrongs' of those conflicts/sanctions, I'd suggest if an invader killed US innocents, and people close to you, on US soil you'd probably seek retribution/vengeance.....which you have post 9/11. Are these 'radical terrorists' not really just doing the same? When you speak of the 'radicals' hatred of the west and US Shirina, it might also be said that that hatred is mirrored by many US citizens towards the mid-east, and hence they have scant concern about the deaths/collateral damage inflicted on innocents there, and the wrecking of families and lives of those they can't view as human...nevermind equal. The hatred you speak of seems to be fueled on both sides. Can there ever be an end to this conflict? I fear not in our lifetime - or perhaps we'll reach a juncture whereby the US, UK, etc decide to launch atomic WMD and wipe the whole mid-east region out?

And, BTW, I do agree/acknowledge - this involves the UK and other countries, not just the US. My criticism of US policy applies equally to ourselves here in the UK.


Last edited by sickchip on Tue Jun 12, 2012 10:41 am; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Is the USA's escalation of its drone attacks necessary?

Post by oftenwrong on Tue Jun 12, 2012 10:00 am

RockOnBrother Today at 2:01 am:

"Linebacker II proved that suits running wars equals soldiers dead; that applies whether the suits are American USV or British."

The word "suits" is presumably a pejorative for the elected Civil Government of the USA. Hopefully, the activities of the US military will always be dictated and circumscribed by a civil administration.

The alternative is a Military Government, as in Saddam's Iraq.
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Re: Is the USA's escalation of its drone attacks necessary?

Post by Guest on Tue Jun 12, 2012 2:01 pm


Thank you, Shirina, for the accurate Horner (and Schwarzkopf) quotes. It does appear that I’ve combined them in my mind. You are “right on time”, as all apply to the remainder of this message.

RockOnBrother on Tue 12 June 2012 - 2:01;

Linebacker II proved that suits running wars equals soldiers dead; that applies whether the suits are American USV or British.
oftenwrong on Tue 12 June 2012 - 10:00:

The word "suits" is presumably a pejorative for the elected Civil Government of the USA.

No.

The term “suits” is a term designed to convey deep disgust towards those who, during the Vietnam War, a war from which fifty-eight thousand two hundred seventy-two (58,272) Americans returned in wooden caskets, a war from which countless Americans returned with abiding physical, psychological, and emotional injuries, (1) sat in conference rooms far removed from death and destruction and up close knowledge of death and destruction, and (2) “tied the hands” of the commanders whose sacred duty was to bring Americans home alive and whole.

Read the accurately reproduced words of two commanders who fought in Vietnam and whose hands were not ties in Desert Storm.

Lieutenant General Charles Horner: “War is extreme violence. And the way to halt the suffering is to get the war over as quickly and decisively as you can.”

Lieutenant General Charles Horner: “War is extreme violence. You have the moral obligation to get it over with as soon as possible.”

General Norman Schwarzkopf: “The object of war is to maximize enemy casualties while minimizing your own. That's what we did.”

(Quotes posted by Shirina today, Tuesday, 12 June 2012 at 3:45. Thank you.)

oftenwrong wrote:
Hopefully, the activities of the US military will always be dictated and circumscribed by a civil administration.

Hopefully not. Suits “dictated and circumscribed” US military operations in Vietnam; fifty-eight thousand two hundred seventy-two (58,272) Americans returned home in wooden caskets.

oftenwrong wrote:
The alternative is a Military Government, as in Saddam's Iraq.

No.

The alternative is Desert Storm. The US commander in chief was the highest elected executive of the United States Government, a civilian by mandate of the United States Constitution.
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Re: Is the USA's escalation of its drone attacks necessary?

Post by sickchip on Tue Jun 12, 2012 3:17 pm

Rock,

The term “suits” is a term designed to convey deep disgust towards those who, during the Vietnam War, a war from which fifty-eight thousand two hundred seventy-two (58,272) Americans returned in wooden caskets, a war from which countless Americans returned with abiding physical, psychological, and emotional injuries, (1) sat in conference rooms far removed from death and destruction and up close knowledge of death and destruction, and (2) “tied the hands” of the commanders whose sacred duty was to bring Americans home alive and whole.

I'm sorry to sound blunt - but isn't that generally how wars work? Those in command enlist cannonfodder to die on their behalf? Those who decide to go to war always generally stay a safe distance from carnage and death, and get others to put their lives at risk.
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Re: Is the USA's escalation of its drone attacks necessary?

Post by Shirina on Tue Jun 12, 2012 4:05 pm

I'm sorry to sound blunt - but isn't that generally how wars work? Those in command enlist cannonfodder to die on their behalf? Those who decide to go to war always generally stay a safe distance from carnage and death, and get others to put their lives at risk.
I suppose it depends on who you mean by "those in command." But I'll break this down in a logical format. (I do appreciate your point, but it's a truism that I don't think people really "get.")

First of all, I know many have said that if civilian politicians had to do the fighting, there would be fewer wars. This is amusing to some degree, but the reality is that if the civilian leadership went out and did the fighting - and died - it would be chaos at home. A leaderless, headless nation cannot function, thus the reason why presidents and prime ministers don't pick up weapons and serve in the trenches - nor should they. There will always be war, and I would rather my fate, and the fate of my home, be decided upon the overall military might of home's military - not on whether Putin or Ahmadinejad can whip Obama in a fist fight.

Secondly, the idea of generals staying a safe distance from the fighting is a very modern concept that did not arise until after WWII. By then, technology allowed generals to receive constant updates and accurate information from a distance ... and that's not a bad thing. Leaderless armies are a detriment to everyone ... just ask the British during the American Revolution. Oh how they hated it when US snipers began targeting officers! Remember that there was a time when the king himself would ride at the forefront of his troops and often fell in battle. Richard the Lionheart comes to mind, as well as Edward III during the War of the Roses. To quote another excellent general, James Longstreet: "Can't lead from behind."

I get your point ... I do ... but logically, it would make little sense for commanders all the way to the top to fight in these conflicts in today's wars. It would be a disaster if they were killed or put out of action.
Good post....sort of.
Thanks ... sort of. Laughing
You appear to favour the Stormin' Norman approach, and I don't believe that will work here.
Oh, I agree. His approach is excellent for traditional army vs. army warfare, not for asymmetrical warfare of the type taking place in Afghanistan. For that, a completely different approach is needed.

(Ugh, more later ... gotta run)
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Re: Is the USA's escalation of its drone attacks necessary?

Post by oftenwrong on Tue Jun 12, 2012 5:06 pm

The US commander in chief was the highest elected executive of the United States Government, a civilian by mandate of the United States Constitution.

So the US President may be described dismissively as a "suit".

That's not reassuring for any other inhabitants of the World..
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Re: Is the USA's escalation of its drone attacks necessary?

Post by astradt1 on Tue Jun 12, 2012 5:09 pm

Does anyone else find it ironic that the coalition forces, currently in Afghanistan, will be exiting that country over the same roads as the Russians did after being forced to withdraw by Western backed Terrorists?
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Re: Is the USA's escalation of its drone attacks necessary?

Post by Guest on Tue Jun 12, 2012 5:21 pm

sickchip wrote:
Rock,

The term “suits” is a term designed to convey deep disgust towards those who, during the Vietnam War, a war from which fifty-eight thousand two hundred seventy-two (58,272) Americans returned in wooden caskets, a war from which countless Americans returned with abiding physical, psychological, and emotional injuries, (1) sat in conference rooms far removed from death and destruction and up close knowledge of death and destruction, and (2) “tied the hands” of the commanders whose sacred duty was to bring Americans home alive and whole.
I'm sorry to sound blunt - but isn't that generally how wars work?

Yes, and that’s an aberration of all that’s right.

sickchip wrote:
Those in command enlist cannon fodder to die on their behalf?

Yes.

sickchip wrote:
Those who decide to go to war always generally stay a safe distance from carnage and death, and get others to put their lives at risk.

That’s what the suits did during Vietnam.

I don’t like George H.W. Bush; one reason for the dislike is his involvement in certain CIA actions in the 1970s and 1980s.

Ironically, his CIA “experience” may have contributed to his excellent oversight of Desert Storm. General Powell, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, required of his boss a firm commitment that everything in the US arsenal would be made available to military commanders prior to Powell submitting operational plans to his commander in chief.

Rather than fire his chairman, the president met his chairman’s requirement, and Desert Storm began with a coordinated, methodical destruction of Saddam’s command and control capabilities, conducted F-117 Nighthawk Stealth Fighters. During the Vietnam War, field commanders were often denied use of the most capable tactical bomber in the US arsenal at the time, the FB-111. The difference was a commander in chief that enabled his war commanders to discharge their moral obligation (see General Horner’s comment above).
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Re: Is the USA's escalation of its drone attacks necessary?

Post by Shirina on Tue Jun 12, 2012 5:27 pm

So the US President may be described dismissively as a "suit".

It's the opposite of "The emperor has no clothes."

Only in this case, the clothes have no emperor. Laughing
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Re: Is the USA's escalation of its drone attacks necessary?

Post by Shirina on Tue Jun 12, 2012 5:29 pm

Does anyone else find it ironic that the coalition forces, currently in Afghanistan, will be exiting that country over the same roads as the Russians did after being forced to withdraw by Western backed Terrorists?

Well, uh ... not really, considering Afghanistan doesn't have a plethora of roads to choose from. Cool
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Re: Is the USA's escalation of its drone attacks necessary?

Post by oftenwrong on Tue Jun 12, 2012 5:29 pm

All of which may suggest that the People's Hero LBJ had feet of clay.

http://www.udel.edu/History/garymay/hist311/LBJ_and_Vietnam.pdf
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Re: Is the USA's escalation of its drone attacks necessary?

Post by Guest on Tue Jun 12, 2012 5:43 pm

oftenwrong wrote:
The US commander in chief was the highest elected executive of the United States Government, a civilian by mandate of the United States Constitution.

So the US President may be described dismissively as a "suit".

No.
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Re: Is the USA's escalation of its drone attacks necessary?

Post by Shirina on Wed Jun 13, 2012 5:20 am

Hey Rock,

I was a bit confused why Gen. Horner would begin two different quotes with the same phrase, so I dug around in my archives and found the show you were referring to - Wings Over the Gulf - and retrieved his exact quote from the general himself.

As it turns out, it was all one quote after all, so you remembered it correctly.

The two quotes I gave were verbatim. You just have to stick them together and remove the duplicate phrase from the second quote.

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Re: Is the USA's escalation of its drone attacks necessary?

Post by Guest on Wed Jun 13, 2012 5:47 am

Shirina wrote:
Hey Rock,

I was a bit confused why Gen. Horner would begin two different quotes with the same phrase, so I dug around in my archives and found the show you were referring to - Wings Over the Gulf - and retrieved his exact quote from the general himself.

As it turns out, it was all one quote after all, so you remembered it correctly.

The two quotes I gave were verbatim. You just have to stick them together and remove the duplicate phrase from the second quote.

Ah, HAH! Which ending comes first?
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Re: Is the USA's escalation of its drone attacks necessary?

Post by Shirina on Wed Jun 13, 2012 11:55 am

“War is extreme violence. And the way to halt the suffering is to get the war over as quickly and decisively as you can. You have a moral obligation to get it over with as soon as possible.”

That's exactly how he said it. Very Happy
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Re: Is the USA's escalation of its drone attacks necessary?

Post by Jsmythe on Wed Jun 13, 2012 6:45 pm

"On the other hand,when business is flourishing best keep it running as long as possible"

Exactly how he may have been thinking it. rabbit
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Re: Is the USA's escalation of its drone attacks necessary?

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