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Taliesin
12-13-2007, 10:01 AM
It was reported in one of the UK Newspapers that GWB states that if he hadn't given up drinking he would never have become President.

Which leaves the question "does giving up booze automatically reduce the harm we cause to others?" I'd have to say that George has demonstrated beyond all doubt the answer to that one is NO.

Thoughts

Pierre Kewcharoen
12-13-2007, 11:22 AM
Didn't he get caught for drunk driving when he was governor? He had to give it up. Bad Press.

Mike Sigman
12-13-2007, 02:11 PM
Ah, the spiritual side of Aikido! Harmony with the Liberal Press. ;)

SeiserL
12-13-2007, 03:08 PM
IMHO, if we see the cause and effect causative and contributing factors about the use of intoxicants, it could appear that living clean and sober may provide an opportunity for clearer thinking thus the possibility of reducing the harm we cause.

One way to find out, live without intoxicants for a while and see if your life gets better.

Keith Larman
12-13-2007, 04:55 PM
...Which leaves the question "does giving up booze automatically reduce the harm we cause to others?" I'd have to say that George has demonstrated beyond all doubt the answer to that one is NO.

Thoughts

Sure, but just one. Willfully making gross oversimplifications is the sign of a petty argument. :rolleyes: And keep in mind that I'm no fan of the current president regardless. But geez, come on...

Taliesin
12-14-2007, 09:41 AM
Keith

Sorry about that, but I just couldn't resist it.

Pierre Kewcharoen
12-14-2007, 09:52 AM
IMHO, if we see the cause and effect causative and contributing factors about the use of intoxicants, it could appear that living clean and sober may provide an opportunity for clearer thinking thus the possibility of reducing the harm we cause.

One way to find out, live without intoxicants for a while and see if your life gets better.

Maybe the life is the reason for the use of intoxitants. He may need to change that.

Mike Sigman
12-14-2007, 09:58 AM
Which leaves the question "does giving up booze automatically reduce the harm we cause to others?" I'd have to say that George has demonstrated beyond all doubt the answer to that one is NO.

ThoughtsLessee.... England and France directly and indirectly caused World War II because of their inaction and inability to handle problems in their own backyard. 90% of the Brits were, in fact, in favor of unilateral disarmament as a way to mollify Hitler. All in all, about 50 million people died during WWII. I don't think Bush needs to think about "reducing the harm" as much as the Europeans do, with their typical inaction and inability to handle any problems. So long as Europeans spend only piddling amounts for their own self-defense and depend on the US for emergencies, you'd think they would avoid the constant back-stabbing.

I'm reminded of the fact that Sir John Reith was head of the BBC at the time prior to WWII. According to William Manchester, "Reith saw to it that [Churchill] was seldom heard over the BBC..." In his voluminous diaries Reith wrote of Churchill: "I absolutely hate him."

Why did Reith detest Churchill? In Reith's eyes, Churchill was a warmonger. Reith, not coincidentally, held Hitler in the highest regard. Reith's successors at the BBC follow in his footsteps.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

Jim ashby
12-16-2007, 04:43 PM
Beware trolls!!

Ryan Sanford
12-17-2007, 12:16 AM
Reith, not coincidentally, held Hitler in the highest regard. Reith's successors at the BBC follow in his footsteps.

Could you clarify that?

Oh, and back on the topic: I'm hesitant to condemn all intoxicants since I've finished reading some of Aldous Huxley's works.

SeiserL
12-17-2007, 06:20 AM
Maybe the life is the reason for the use of intoxitants. He may need to change that.
Exactly, change the life to be congruent to what is right and there is no need to cope through intoxicants.

SeiserL
12-17-2007, 06:25 AM
I'm hesitant to condemn all intoxicants since I've finished reading some of Aldous Huxley's works.
IMHO there was supposed to be a huge contextualization and indoctrination prior to the use of altered states of consciousness that later only lead to a popularization and rationalization for the recreational indulgence of intoxicants.
But hey, I actually lived through the 60s (don't remember them, but I am told I was there) and now live clean and sober.

Ryan Sanford
12-17-2007, 02:13 PM
IMHO there was supposed to be a huge contextualization and indoctrination prior to the use of altered states of consciousness that later only lead to a popularization and rationalization for the recreational indulgence of intoxicants.
But hey, I actually lived through the 60s (don't remember them, but I am told I was there) and now live clean and sober.

In your opinion, if rational contextualization was conducted and recreational indulgence was avoided, and instead used but not abused by people with the intent of achieving altered states of conciousness, would said intoxicants be acceptable?

May I add that I enjoy this type of discussion! :D

SeiserL
12-17-2007, 02:53 PM
In your opinion, if rational contextualization was conducted and recreational indulgence was avoided, and instead used but not abused by people with the intent of achieving altered states of conciousness, would said intoxicants be acceptable?
IMHO, they would no longer be necessary or desirable.
(Are there really shortcuts to training?)

Guilty Spark
01-13-2008, 11:34 AM
LOL @ Mike Sigman

Taliesin
01-14-2008, 11:56 AM
Cruel but understandable

George S. Ledyard
01-14-2008, 01:14 PM
Lessee.... England and France directly and indirectly caused World War II because of their inaction and inability to handle problems in their own backyard. 90% of the Brits were, in fact, in favor of unilateral disarmament as a way to mollify Hitler. All in all, about 50 million people died during WWII. I don't think Bush needs to think about "reducing the harm" as much as the Europeans do, with their typical inaction and inability to handle any problems. So long as Europeans spend only piddling amounts for their own self-defense and depend on the US for emergencies, you'd think they would avoid the constant back-stabbing.

I'm reminded of the fact that Sir John Reith was head of the BBC at the time prior to WWII. According to William Manchester, "Reith saw to it that [Churchill] was seldom heard over the BBC..." In his voluminous diaries Reith wrote of Churchill: "I absolutely hate him."

Why did Reith detest Churchill? In Reith's eyes, Churchill was a warmonger. Reith, not coincidentally, held Hitler in the highest regard. Reith's successors at the BBC follow in his footsteps.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

It's always interesting to me when my conservative friends trot out the "appeasement" argument as a "cause" of WWII and an example of how almost "unmanly" the Europeans are.

The reason the Europeans were slow to move towards direct conflict with the Germans was that WWI was still fresh in their minds. They still remembered the cost of going to war. The United Sates has only once experienced conflict at that level on our own shores and that was the Civil War. Not surprisingly, it took 50 plus years before we got into another major conflict after that one (I don't count the Spanish American War). Even then, we only got into WWI reluctantly.

This whole macho thing regarding the Europeans is a fabrication... In the 1930's the American public was overwhelmingly isolationist. We did not wish to get involved in Europe's conflicts at all. It took FDR and his Anglophile administration to, in many cases covertly, give Britain the assistance it needed. Even AFTER Hitler started the war, the vast majority of the American populace wanted to stay out of it. It took Pearl Harbor to change that.

Pulling out individuals as examples of European collusion with Hitler and trying to make the point that they ignored the true threat is simply erroneous if you are trying to contrast that with some imagined American "prescience" on the subject. We had exactly the same mix in America. Charles Linbergh, the greatest American hero of the time was decidedly pro Hiltler. He traveled to Germany and expressed his admiration for Hitler's accomplishments. He was not alone in this. America had a virulent anti-semitism at the time and we generally didn't much give a damn what Hitler was doing with his Jews. There's no way we can paint ourselves as in some way more decisive, more forceful, more prescient, as Americans as compared to the Europeans. That would be a complete distortion of what was happening at the time.

American businesses were doing operating in Germany right up until Pearl Harbor. Ford Motor Company had slave labor supplied by the German repression in their plants. There's no "moral superiority" for us in this at all.

Every time someone tries to opt for a diplomatic solution rather than one in which another group of people somewhere gets slaughtered, our right wing, so-called conservatives call out "appeasement" and haul out the ghost of Chamberlain. Chamberlain got a bad rap. By the time he was negotiating with the Germans, there was no easy, less drastic action than total war. It was total war if Britain and its allies intervened. In that context his attempts to avert war were not only quite understandable and had the support of the vast majority of Europeans but they had the support of the vast majority of American public opinion as well.

The American Right's cavalier attitude about military interventions and the use of force is a direct result of the fact that we don't pay the price that every body else does. I heard Bill Crystal blithely throw out that we "won the cold war without firing a shot"... Was this man living on some other planet? You had a million plus Koreans die in the Korean War, at least 2 million die in SE Asia, hundreds of thousands died in Indonesia, I don't even know if there's a count in what happened in Angola, the number of Cold War casualties in Latin America numbered in the many tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands. The beginning of the conflict in the Middle East and the start of many of the conflicts we currently have there was framed originally as part of the Cold War and has only assumed it's new dimension since the fall of the Soviet Union. All of these folks would have been very surprised that the Cold War took place without a shot.

I am old enough to remember the Cuban Missile Crisis. A bunch of tough guys on both sides took us closer to almost total extinction than either side realized at the time. It's only been with the access to Soviet records that we have come to realize that we were only a hair's breadth away from launching our nukes. Our leaders were essentially playing "chicken" with our lives. This macho, who's tougher, who blinks first attitude almost got us all killed.

After we scared the living hell out of ourselves, the Russian and America leadership made sure that we never went directly head to head again. So other people have paid the price of our battle to maintain our place in the world as top dog. Look at the shock our country went through during Viet Nam when we lost 50,000 American lives. The Vietnamese lost a million, the Cambodians lost a similar number, no one knows how many Laotians... Most of our leaders kids, myself included, were at home with student deferments. You think there might be a different point of view regarding conflict due to the fact that we simply do not pay the same price as everyone else? We lost tens of thousands in WWI and our country was untouched by the war. Europe was devastated and lost an almost an entire generation of males to the war. WWII, we lost many more people but still a small fraction when compared to the casualties, military and civilian, in Europe. Our country was again untouched (other than the base at Pearl Harbor) while Europe was, again, laid waste. You think this might give them an informed perspective about how insane war is as a way to solve problems?

911 happens and our whole country goes nuts... we lost around three thousand people... It's a total shock to us when our conflicts actually come home... Pinochet in Chile alone killed 15 to 20 thousand people as part of our global Cold War with the "Left". Don't you think that the folks who actually live on the ground where these conflicts are fought might have a different, and perfectly understandable outlook on armed conflict?

This right wing "take names and kick ass" attitude towards foreign policy has resulted in our almost total isolation from the democratic countries of the world. Our actual allies tend to be pro- American policy dictatorships, not the democracies we keep saying we are trying to create. When polled, the majority of the citizens of the world rate the US as one of the top threats to Peace. This is due to a fundamental understanding that we have virtually no experience of conflict (since our own Civil War) on our own soil and what conflict really represents to those involved in it.

WWII was not the result of diplomatic appeasement in the thirties. It was the result of vindictive and vengeful thinking after WWI. Had ther been a better diplomacy and healing in the twenties, had Germany been reconstructed rather than humiliated, we might never have seen the rise of a madman like Hitler. The whole "if we were just tougher" idea about Hitler is bogus and out of context historically. it's the result of hindsight that doesn't represent the experience of the time.

Ron Tisdale
01-14-2008, 01:57 PM
Nice post George!

Best,
Ron

Guilty Spark
01-14-2008, 02:42 PM
Great post George!



The reason the Europeans were slow to move towards direct conflict with the Germans was that WWI was still fresh in their minds. They still remembered the cost of going to war. The United Sates has only once experienced conflict at that level on our own shores and that was the Civil War. Not surprisingly, it took 50 plus years before we got into another major conflict after that one (I don't count the Spanish American War). Even then, we only got into WWI reluctantly..

Couldn't agree more.
In arguments I've often heard Americans suggest "We saved your ass in WW2!".
Fair enough.
Anyone playing a video game will tell you it's much easier to raise an army when someone isn't bombing your factories and workers.

If the roles were reversed and WW1 devastated North American towns, cities and surrounding land would they have reacted the same way as Europe to hitlers actions? I think so.

The US joining the war balls to the wall after Pearl Harbor reminds me of movie stars coming down with a disease (let's say cancer) and then all of a sudden, that celebrity just can't wait to tell you how important cancer research is and how they are leading the fight to find a cure bla bla.

On the same note how many lives would have been saved if America joined the war in 1939.

Taliesin
01-15-2008, 03:59 AM
George it is a great post,

I would add two other things - As far as I am aware Chamberlain actually fought in WWI and when the diplomatic options ran out -he is the one who declaired waron Germany.

Mike Sigman
01-15-2008, 05:52 PM
It's always interesting to me when my conservative friends trot out the "appeasement" argument as a "cause" of WWII and an example of how almost "unmanly" the Europeans are.

The reason the Europeans were slow to move towards direct conflict with the Germans was that WWI was still fresh in their minds. They still remembered the cost of going to war. The United Sates has only once experienced conflict at that level on our own shores and that was the Civil War. Not surprisingly, it took 50 plus years before we got into another major conflict after that one (I don't count the Spanish American War). Even then, we only got into WWI reluctantly.

This whole macho thing regarding the Europeans is a fabrication... "Macho"? "Manly"? I just looked back over my post and nowhere did I go off on that tangent, George. Unless you have a quote of something I didn't see in my statement????

Regardless of all else in your tangential arguments, if England and France had called Germany early on in some of the actual and legal transgressions of Germany, there would not have been a World War II. As I mentioned, even Churchill said that and saw that, as did many other Brits in hindsight. Forget all the self-flagellation about dumb ole America... my point was that the Europeans should have acted earlier.

Same with Bosnia.... that was a European problem that they simply couldn't bring themselves to address and finally they got old Arkansas Bill Clinton, who admires their ways, to do it for Europe; after the problem was well out of hand. And the Europeans are *still* preventing any progress there, George! Look it up.

Same way with Iran currently. OK, we've done it the Europeans' way... what single part of the situation has improved in regard to Iran being a threat, with the now 6 years of "diplomacy"? Give me some facts.

Incidentally, you need to read up on the Cuban missile crisis. Some almost-fatal errors were made by the Kennedy administration that led to the Soviets moving missiles into Cuba. It's not the "Camelot" story that you seem to believe it was. ;)

BTW, I hope you don't really believe the myth that Europeans are our allies. Think deGaulle. Think about Helmut Kohl running on an open anti-American platform so soon after WWII. The only thing that has changed about European-US relations is that there is a generation of Americans who have been taught to believe that Europeans are our friends and we should be just like them. They like us when we carry their water for them.... other than that, they take great delight in screwing us.

Take the global-warming treaties and watch them in relation to Europe, George. Much of the EU is on the brink of slipping into third-world status in the next decade... watch how the survivors begin to fight against the social-Democrats once they realize that they're sinking their own ship by curtailing their jobs while the Chinese and India take up the slack. Speaking of which... I see that people are blaming Bush for not signing the Kyoto treaty. Actually, Clinton signed the treaty but never submitted it to the Congress. The Senate had already passed a resolution 98-0 (that means even the Dems voted against it) saying they would never cut America's own throat like that.

I love these hate-America discussions. ;)

Best.

Mike

Mike Sigman
01-15-2008, 05:57 PM
WWII was not the result of diplomatic appeasement in the thirties. It was the result of vindictive and vengeful thinking after WWI. Had ther been a better diplomacy and healing in the twenties, had Germany been reconstructed rather than humiliated, we might never have seen the rise of a madman like Hitler. George, this sort of boggles my mind. I appreciate your view that it was everyone else's fault but Hitler's, but did you ever hear of the Great Depression????? :p

Regards,

Mike

George S. Ledyard
01-15-2008, 06:46 PM
George, this sort of boggles my mind. I appreciate your view that it was everyone else's fault but Hitler's, but did you ever hear of the Great Depression????? :p

Regards,

Mike

Mike,
There's way too much to get into and I don't have time... no one ever changes his mind i these things anyway... I never said everything was somebody else's fault but Hitler's, what I said was that the conditions that made it possible for a group of psychopaths to take over an otherwise civilized country were set in place by the punitive reparations put in place after the Treaty of Versailles.

I am, of course, quite aware of the role that the Depression played in making it possible for Hitler to assume power. But it was the the attempts by Britain and France to keep Germany impoverished as they rebuilt from the war which made the effects of the Depression even worse for the Germans than they were in the other countries (Wilson was astute enough to see that the punitive nature of the Treaty would create problems later).

Mike Sigman
01-15-2008, 07:06 PM
Mike,
There's way too much to get into and I don't have time... no one ever changes his mind i these things anyway... I never said everything was somebody else's fault but Hitler's, ... Well, your posts are in full view. In your comments, Hitler does not take any blame. It's the U.S. My comments that the war could have been prevented by early action against Hitler are borne out by Churchill and a number of others. That's all I said. I am, of course, quite aware of the role that the Depression played in making it possible for Hitler to assume power. But it was the the attempts by Britain and France to keep Germany impoverished as they rebuilt from the war which made the effects of the Depression even worse for the Germans than they were in the other countries (Wilson was astute enough to see that the punitive nature of the Treaty would create problems later). Well, wait a minute. First of all, the great killing of British and French males was the fault of Germany.... that you've already acknowledged and used as an excuse for "appeasement" (which is, to some extent, true, but it's not the forever-excuse that you'd like it to be). But then you suggest that England and France should have been kinder and should not have remembered that killing, via the Treaty of Versailles. Which is it going to be?

The point that you seem to not want to address is that Hitler and Germany violated the treaty and international law a number of times and the Europeans didn't do anything. Ultimately, doing nothing cost the lives of 50 million people. Now that seems to mean nothing to you, but it does to me. What today's fat-dumb-and-happy liberals need is for death to visit a little closer to home before they appreciate the fact that a little pro-action is not a bad thing. Think "Sandy Berger" and why he destroyed papers about inaction by the Clinton administration.

Incidentally.... the Jews. The "virulent hatred" you tried to pin on the U.S. It wasn't there, really. That's why so many Jews fled Germany and went to the U.S., George. However, during that time, many liberals were friends of "Uncle Joe" Stalin and they too didn't care if Jews got killed. But let's not stigmatize the whole country for the opinions of part of the country.

I'm not Jewish and I frankly am not either pro or con on Israel. But I do know when anti-Semitism raises its head. Honestly, it amazes me. Anti-Jewish stuff has become so popular in today's time, despite the massive killings, anti-female, anti-Christian etc., stuff by the Muslims. It's simply fascinating to watch. The "Jews" are kept from Judea, their home country, by essentially liberal sentiment throughout the western world. The UN recognized the State of Israel in 1947, but it's now become that their re-gaining of their own country is called "occupation" by liberals. Germany lost territory after WWII... do we call their lost territory "occupied lands"? What is going on?

Best.

Mike Sigman

George S. Ledyard
01-16-2008, 08:36 AM
Well, your posts are in full view. In your comments, Hitler does not take any blame. It's the U.S. My comments that the war could have been prevented by early action against Hitler are borne out by Churchill and a number of others. That's all I said. Well, wait a minute. First of all, the great killing of British and French males was the fault of Germany.... that you've already acknowledged and used as an excuse for "appeasement" (which is, to some extent, true, but it's not the forever-excuse that you'd like it to be). But then you suggest that England and France should have been kinder and should not have remembered that killing, via the Treaty of Versailles. Which is it going to be?

The point that you seem to not want to address is that Hitler and Germany violated the treaty and international law a number of times and the Europeans didn't do anything. Ultimately, doing nothing cost the lives of 50 million people. Now that seems to mean nothing to you, but it does to me. What today's fat-dumb-and-happy liberals need is for death to visit a little closer to home before they appreciate the fact that a little pro-action is not a bad thing. Think "Sandy Berger" and why he destroyed papers about inaction by the Clinton administration.

Incidentally.... the Jews. The "virulent hatred" you tried to pin on the U.S. It wasn't there, really. That's why so many Jews fled Germany and went to the U.S., George. However, during that time, many liberals were friends of "Uncle Joe" Stalin and they too didn't care if Jews got killed. But let's not stigmatize the whole country for the opinions of part of the country.

I'm not Jewish and I frankly am not either pro or con on Israel. But I do know when anti-Semitism raises its head. Honestly, it amazes me. Anti-Jewish stuff has become so popular in today's time, despite the massive killings, anti-female, anti-Christian etc., stuff by the Muslims. It's simply fascinating to watch. The "Jews" are kept from Judea, their home country, by essentially liberal sentiment throughout the western world. The UN recognized the State of Israel in 1947, but it's now become that their re-gaining of their own country is called "occupation" by liberals. Germany lost territory after WWII... do we call their lost territory "occupied lands"? What is going on?

Best.

Mike Sigman

Ok Mike,
I'm just going to pick one thing ... Anti-semitism was rife in the US. The Ku Klux Klan had a membership of 4 - 5 million in the 1920's. Anti-semitism has always been one of it's fundamental beliefs. At their peak, they staged a huge March right down Pennsylvania Ave.

Henry Ford used his company newspaper to reprint the Protocols of Zion! There were actually quotas in the late 1800's and early 1900's as to how many Jews the elite schools of the nation would accept. Jews were excluded from many clubs, even in my own life time. Charles Lindbergh opposed entry in WWII but implied that if we did, it should be on the German side. The anti defamation league was founded after a Jewish man was lynched in Georgia. As recently as 1991, an anti Jewish riot that lasted three days took place in the Crown heights neighborhood of Brooklyn.

I have direct experience as well. My Great Grandfather lived until I was in high school. He was a veteran of the Spanish American War. My father was raised by him. My great grandfather lived in Brooklyn when the great wave of Jewish immigrants came over... He blamed them for the ghettoization of Flatbush with the resulting loss of property values etc. His attitudes were not at all atypical. My father was actually forbidden to associate with a classmate who was Jewish.

It actually wasn't until the country became aware of the Holocaust that attitudes began to change. Sympathy for what the Jews had gone through largely overcame the really virulent anti-semitism. But bias still remains... my grandfather on my mother's side once called Kissinger that "Jew Boy" in the White House when I happened to be in his hearing.

The fact that we have not had anti semitic attitudes to the extent that they existed / exist in Europe by no means indicates that they don't exist here. That is simply a fiction and can't be borne out by any conceivable reading of history.

Mike Sigman
01-16-2008, 08:45 AM
Ok Mike,
I'm just going to pick one thing ... Anti-semitism was rife in the US. Hi George: Well fine, but the topic was about why the Europeans didn't handle the Germany problem, despite numerous obvious buildups to war (which was against the Treaty of Versailles), incursions into other countries, etc. I don't want to get into another "America Bad!" (a topic that seems to intrigue you). My point was that 50 million people died and that fact warrants a valid criticism of the Europeans, without having to somehow figure out how it was the U.S.'s fault.

The post-WWII Europeans have little empathy with Jews.... because the Jews largely left (the ones that weren't killed). Most Europeans believe the press the Jew-killing Muslims put out, and quite willingly. It's nice to moan and wail about how bad the US was, but to say there was a "virulent" hatred is to far overstate the case.

Best.

Mike

Ron Tisdale
01-16-2008, 08:51 AM
What today's fat-dumb-and-happy liberals need is for death to visit a little closer to home before they appreciate the fact that a little pro-action is not a bad thing.

Hey guys, is it me, or isn't this basically (minus the derogatory label) what George was saying in his first post???

Best,
Ron

Taliesin
01-16-2008, 11:20 AM
To be honest a few armchair generals could do with some better understanding as well.

Mike Sigman
01-16-2008, 11:29 AM
To be honest a few armchair generals could do with some better understanding as well.
Try to argue the issue for a change, David. The U.S. policy since World War II has been that the Europeans cannot be trusted to handle any matter and they will let it needlessly escalate until a bad war erupts. There is not a single instance, including Bosnia and Iran, which has not shown this to be true.

The point everyone seems to want to avoid discussing is the 50 million people that died as a result of a war that the Europeans did not nip in the bud. All I see so far seems to be a number of speculations about how "bad" the U.S. is. Strangely, this is the same attitude that appeared less than a decade after World War II, among the Europeans. How has it changed, for instance, since the days of Charles deGaulle and Helmut Kohl, the anti-Americanism? The only real difference is that U.S. liberals seem to have joined the hate-America chorus. Just goes to show what a few decades of easy living will do to any country.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

Taliesin
01-17-2008, 03:56 AM
LOL - Mike Sigman asking somebody to arge the issue!!!

SeiserL
01-17-2008, 06:38 AM
asking somebody to arge the issue!!!
IMHO. every spectator has an opinion and believes they could do a better job.

I wasn't at these historical events, don't have the information or expertise, so tend to believe they did the best they could. Hind sight is always easier than foresight.

OTOH (and back on topic), I have been historically an active contributing participant in the harm caused by booze (and other intoxicants), can make the cause-and-effect connections, and so choose to live clean and sober.

Mike Sigman
01-17-2008, 10:50 AM
LOL - Mike Sigman asking somebody to arge the issue!!!Arrrrrrrrrrrrrrgh. :D

Mike Sigman
01-17-2008, 11:23 AM
The Europeans doing their usual in the way of being "allies". Of course, they'll suddenly become our pals again when Russia looms a little closer. From today's Washington Post:

Fight in Afghanistan
It's becoming clear that the war must be won by U.S. troops, and not by NATO.

Thursday, January 17, 2008; Page A22

THE BUSH administration's decision to dispatch an additional 3,200 Marines to Afghanistan raises the question of whether NATO's participation in the war has been a failure. Though the United States already provides more than half of the 53,000 foreign troops in Afghanistan, the additional Marines are needed because no other NATO country was willing, despite months of pleading and cajoling by Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, to commit fresh forces to the troubled southern provinces where the Taliban has made a comeback.

What's more, Mr. Gates and other senior Pentagon officials seem to have concluded that the three NATO countries that have been willing to operate in the south -- Britain, Canada and the Netherlands -- have been relatively ineffective. Mr. Gates told the Los Angeles Times this week that "most of the European forces, NATO forces, are not trained in counterinsurgency"; the Pentagon believes they are too averse to casualties, too reluctant to patrol and too dependent on artillery and airstrikes. The Post's Karen DeYoung reported that U.S. commanders criticize British troops for failing to retain control over areas taken from the Taliban and for advancing a "colonial" strategy of backing local militias rather than working with the national Afghan army.

European diplomats and NATO's defenders furiously respond that the American complaints are unfounded. Almost all of the alliance's members have increased their commitment to Afghanistan in the past year, they point out, helping to raise the troop level under NATO command from 33,000 to 41,000. The troubles in the south, they say, are the result of NATO forces penetrating an area that U.S. commanders had neglected, allowing the Taliban to flourish. British officials say their strategy in Helmand province is comparable to the successful U.S. alliances with Sunni militias in Iraq.

Certainly, NATO's involvement in Afghanistan has done some good. Deployments in more peaceful areas of the country, as well as Kabul, fulfill a peacekeeping role that might otherwise fall to American troops. The commitment of 25 other NATO governments (as well as 13 other countries) to the Afghan mission makes the operation more palatable both to Afghans and to Americans. Though many countries restrict their troops from combat, the British, Canadians and Dutch have made contributions in blood, suffering a total of 177 fatalities; 480 U.S. soldiers have been killed.

It nevertheless is a good thing that Marines rather than European soldiers will deploy in Helmand province this spring to head off any Taliban offensive. Defeating the Afghan insurgency will require the United States to take on a larger part of the fighting. Success will also require U.S. commanders to insist that a more coherent, nationwide counterinsurgency strategy be pursued -- including aggressive training of the Afghan army and police, economic development that is centrally coordinated, and a focused attack on the opium business that supplies most of the Taliban's funding. If that means downgrading NATO's role or bruising the feelings of some allied governments, so be it.

Taliesin
01-17-2008, 11:50 AM
Love the Bit about Europeans being "too dependent on artillery and airstrikes". It does reflect the quality and value of the entire arguement. Still if taking over means you kill a few less Brits I don't think we'd mind.

Mike Sigman
01-17-2008, 12:02 PM
Still if taking over means you kill a few less Brits I don't think we'd mind.If it means the Brits and Europeans will take over their own defense (Bwahahahahaha), I don't think many of us would mind either. I hope Gates carries through on his promise to remove the US troops from Bosnia, that "illegal war" that was really just a "civil war" and which the UN didn't give its imprimatur to. Why should the US be the military shield for Europe when they only do token things for us and many substantive things against us?

Mike

Taliesin
01-17-2008, 12:11 PM
You think you're DEFENDING us??? Gee I must get me one of them Mike Sigman Dictonaries

Mike Sigman
01-17-2008, 12:23 PM
You think you're DEFENDING us??? Gee I must get me one of them Mike Sigman Dictonaries

Nah, just see if you can figure out how to work "Google" and look up the Cold War and "missile defense" and so on. You don't need a dictionary; just a history and current affairs tome. ;)

Mike

Guilty Spark
01-17-2008, 05:45 PM
It nevertheless is a good thing that Marines rather than European soldiers will deploy bla bla bla

For sure. Canada, Britian and the Dutch (Who field superior versions of the appache gunships than the Americans) along with the rest of the NATO forces should pull out all their forces and let the US show us how it's done.

Taliesin
01-18-2008, 04:12 AM
Sorry Mike

We are all aware of your skills as a WUM - but 'defending' us against someone who wasn't attacking and didn't plan to is something only you would think is worth boasting about. (Especially as your prime motivation was maintaining power)

As far as 'current affairs' are concerned see if you can dig up any information about an illegal invasion of Iraq. - You might also want to look up US opposition to a combined European Military Source.

BTW - I don't think the Fox News book of world history and current events really counts as a tome

Still it's noce to see you keep ing reallity at bay

Mike Sigman
01-18-2008, 08:53 AM
We are all aware of your skills as a WUM - but 'defending' us against someone who wasn't attacking and didn't plan to is something only you would think is worth boasting about. (Especially as your prime motivation was maintaining power) I see. Next time we should wait until you are attacked before we respond. Sort of like the Brits did for Poland. Are you really this naive? Did you think the Russians brought troops up to western european borders just for something to do? During the Cold War about 42 countries had at one time been converted to Communism through force, local actions, intrigue, etc. You might want to read up on. As far as 'current affairs' are concerned see if you can dig up any information about an illegal invasion of Iraq. - You might also want to look up US opposition to a combined European Military Source.As I said, the US no longer (after 2 really stupid world wars started by the Europeans) thinks the Europeans are capable of handling anything. Can you think of anything more guaranteed to fail than a "European Military Source" controlled by a bunch of bickering and backstabbing Europeans? It's safer to keep what few of them are armed where you can watch them.

BTW, read up on Bosnia and how France was actively supplying intelligence about NATO forces to the Serbs and Russia. Pretty typically European, EU, and all that.

What interests me about this thread is not the current desultory exchange of insults, but that first post of yours to start the thread. I'd encourage people to go read the first post in order to understand your point of view. ;)

Regards,

Mike Sigman

akiy
01-18-2008, 10:37 AM
Thread closed due to personal attacks.

-- Jun