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Neil Mick
08-02-2005, 05:03 PM
Let's face it: American's love war. This prosaic notion that we are a "peace-loving nation" is propagandistic hooey. We have allowed our government to violently intercede in countries all around the globe, nearly from the get-go, (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_U.S._military_history_events) and we're OK with that, so long as the reality of it is not too apparent.

This idea that we somehow invade for the "improvement" of the host-country is also easily disproven, on its face. Just compare the nations with the most US interference with their state of affairs today. The chaos in Haiti comes to mind, with its only constitutionally represented President kidnapped by the US, "in service to a modern-day coup." Or, Puerto Rico, Afghanistan (of course, Russia has a lot to answer for that one, as well), Nicaragua, or Vietnam (which lost whole generations of ppl, in our misguided attempt to "stop communism").

Sure, we can exclaim that the historical ideology at the time created a "necessity" to invade: but isn't that always the way of things? Find a reason, ramp up public support, lie, and then invade, under the banner of outraged popular opinion. This oft-repeated formula has been used by Presidents as far back as Jefferson.

But, parodoxically, while we love war: we are allergic to catching the "war disease." 9-11 and the Kent State massacre in '68 were both reminders of what war really is about--killing. The perfidy of the US gov't is like a cheating husband, who promises to his long-suffering American-public wife that he really DOES love her (and loves peace) down "where it counts," but he just can't get enough of that floozy down the street.

In fact, our current way of life thrives on war. Our economy is buttressed by it; our leaders make money from it, our largest corporations get rich by it (and thoughtfully supply gov't'l leaders from its ranks, if not their sons and daughters); but one thing we DON'T want from it is to be pushed too close to the floozy's face. We might love the theory of war, but we don't want to see it in its full glory, warts and all. The Bush-faithful don't want the American public to see the real horrors of war on our TV's because American's get skittish. We get very uncomfortable when our sons and daughters become statistics in the sanitized and abstracted presentation of war.

Now, on top of a sanitized and meek corporate newsmedia rolling over and presenting Whitehouse press releases as news, we get this from the DoD. In the face of declining Army enrollment, the DoD is getting progressively more creative in finding recruits for their dirty and illicit world affairs. They abstract even further the divide between the harsh reality of war and the "fun" propaganda they offer as reality via video-games. Consider this:

War is Fun (http://www.alternet.org/story/23840/)

"America's Army" offers a range of games that kids can download or play online. Although the games are violent, with plenty of opportunities to shoot and blow things up, they avoid graphic images of death or other ugliness of war, offering instead a sanitized, Tom Clancy version of fantasy combat. Overmatch, for example, promises "a contest in which one opponent is distinctly superior... with specialized skills and superior technology ... OVERMATCH: few soldiers, certain victory" (more or less the same overconfident message that helped lead us into Iraq).

Ubisoft, the company contracted to develop the DoD's games, also sponsors the "Frag Dolls," a real-world group of attractive, young women gamers who go by names such as "Eekers," "Valkyrie" and "Jinx" and are paid to promote Ubisoft products. At a computer gaming conference earlier this year, the Frag Dolls were deployed as booth babes at the America's Army demo, where they played the game and posed for photos and video (now available on the America's Army website). On the Frag Dolls blog, Eekers described her turn at the "Combat Convoy Experience":

"You have this gigantic Hummer in a tent loaded with guns, a rotatable turret, and a huge screen in front of it. Jinx took the wheel and drove us around this virtual war zone while shooting people with a pistol, and I switched off from the SAW turret on the top of the vehicle to riding passenger with an M4."

And then there's the militarization of American society, to consider. War hides safely masked within our Hummer's, our language, our entertainment: we love to see mega-explosions and violence, so long as it isn't anyone we know, or care about. We drive around in huge, gas-guzzling pseudo-tanks and call this destructive behavior "patriotic" (yes, I am quoting). We call success "making a killing;" failure as "getting slaughtered;" or an unpleasant experience as "murder." We have a wide range of metaphors for premeditated destruction, yet few for merciful, peaceful action. And, to use a linguistic theorem: language is thought. How you phrase reality reflects how you view the world.

It's no wonder that the pro-war types can sit there and declare that we're "winning" this war. Mostly, they haven't a clue what it really is. They aren't typing or talking with some of their limbs or livelihoods gone. Their standard of winning this War of Terror is that the US hasn't been attacked since 9-11, or they resort to abstract nonsense like "US World Domination = Freedom" (both statements are direct quotes).

So long as the US keeps all of it out of our faces: that's OK, because our illusion of war being fun, is maintained. :dead: Truly, it is a sad thing, for a nation with such promise to behave in such an unevolved and delusional manner.

Thoughts?

Joe Bowen
08-03-2005, 12:06 AM
I'm an US citizen living in a foreign country. I know that the US is not perfect, and I'm not naive enough to believe that it is anywhere close to a utopian society, but having lived and visited a variety of countries outside the US, I can tell you that it is far better than most. Our shared military history is neither the most violent nor the longest in the history of this planet. We are but children (perhaps one of the strongest, most deadly) when compared to the history of other nations and cultures. Do not forget that most of our culture is inherited from places far older than us. Perhaps a wider view of the inhumanity that humankind has inflicted upon itself might make you temper your rash judgment....And this is but a watered-down sample...Think of the monstrous acts committed by the Nazis, Khmer Rouge and even the Japanese during WWII. The US is not unique in its violent history, or even in its violent present......

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_History_of_India India has a long military history dating back to over 6000 years. A long time strewn with violence...and don't forget the constant tension with Pakistan on the Kashmere border....or the recent Nuclear testing....

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_history_of_China The military history of China extends from around 1500 BCE to the present day. China has the longest period of continuous development of military culture of any civilization in world history.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_history_of_Japan Until recently, these periods were believed to be completely absent of war, up until the Emperor became the ruler of Japan and succession wars began to be fought. Recent archaeological digs, however, uncovered traces of wars even as far back as the Jomon period (about 10,000 BC to 300 BC), now that's a long time as well...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_history_of_Greece This is a pretty long list as well....

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_history_of_Rome Rome was a militarized state whose history was often closely entwined with its military history over the 1228 years that the Roman state is traditionally said to have existed.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_military_history British military history is a long and varied topic, extending from the prehistoric and ancient historic period, through the Roman invasions of Julius Cζsar and Claudius and subsequent Roman occupation; warfare in the Mediaeval period, including the invasions of the Saxons and the Vikings in the Dark Ages, the Norman Conquest, and wars against France; through the Early Modern period, wars against Spain and France, and the English Civil War, and the beginnings of the colonial British Empire in India, the USA and Canada; and into the Modern period with the wars of Marlborough and against Napoleon, the Crimean War and into the 20th century with the Boer War, World War I and World War II, the Cold War the Korean War; and, most recently, Northern Ireland, the Falklands War and military operations in the Balkans and the Middle East.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_history_of_France Starting in the early 16th century, much of France's military efforts were put behind securing its overseas possessions and putting down dissent among both French colonists and native populations.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_history_of_the_Soviet_Union A short live nation forged out of violence....

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_history_of_Australia Another nation with a short history shorn with violent conflicts....

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_history_of_Canada OK, maybe not a good example....

eyrie
08-03-2005, 03:18 AM
Nonsense.... War is good for the economy! Nothing like a war to give the economy a quick kick start in the guts. Also helps if you buy up as many defence services and oil shares before hand..... ;)

Huker
08-03-2005, 10:29 AM
I agree completely with Niel. But, it isn't just Americans that love war. Most citizens who live in Canada, US, and Britain don't understand what war is all about. I don't fully understand, myself, having never experienced it, but I work at a place where lots of veterans come to share their war stories. Some of the things I hear are very frightening.
Unfortunately, the realities of war are so downplayed that they've become a source of entertainment. Games and movies are becoming so real that it actually looks like you're killing a real person. I believe that this whole process is part of the militarization of society. It is a type of brainwashing...putting you in the right state of mind for soldiery. This isn't really a new thing. How many movies have you seen from 10 years ago where the "terrorists" were Russians? Now the movies are chaging their tune against the current "enemy of the free world". Propaganda runs deep, but it all has the goal of making war the "right thing to do".

Neil Mick
08-03-2005, 02:51 PM
The US is not unique in its violent history, or even in its violent present......

Yes, true: and you make some good points. But, none of the nations you mentioned (OK, maybe the Soviet Union, but there are some flaws of comparison, even there) can match the US in foreign invasions in our short, 229 year history.

There has not been a single year we've been a country in which we weren't invading someone, somewhere. Sure, other nations have deplorable human rights records, but none of the others can match our non-stop invasion record, comparatively speaking. None of the others have built as large a war-machine as ours (the largest ever built, before or since), none have built as many permanent military bases in foreign lands, have spent as much in "defence," are responsible for most of the small and large arms trade in the world; nor have they dropped atomic bombs on civilian cities, or continue to use nuclear weapons on the battlefield, as we do, today.

The other nations, even with their bloody pasts, cannot hold a candle to the contributions of violence that our gov't (and people) make in the world, today.

It is a type of brainwashing...putting you in the right state of mind for soldiery. This isn't really a new thing. How many movies have you seen from 10 years ago where the "terrorists" were Russians? Now the movies are chaging their tune against the current "enemy of the free world". Propaganda runs deep, but it all has the goal of making war the "right thing to do".

Yes, good points.

Hogan
08-03-2005, 03:16 PM
...There has not been a single year we've been a country in which we weren't invading someone, somewhere....

Your own link that shows our wars shows that not to be true, Neil.

Dirk Hanss
08-03-2005, 04:45 PM
Well, Germany has not proved to be a peaceful nation, although I hope we improved a little bit the recent 60 years.
As Tanner pointed out well, most citizen do not really understand, what is going on. The American Nation does not love war, as hardly any nation does. But it is so easy to convince people that a war is necessary, even when it turns out that the original "necessity" was just a lie, just as my grandfathers were told "at 5:45 we started to shoot back".
While we can argue a lot on both sides about the "liberation" of Utah, Texas, California, Hawaii, supporting mean dictators and terrorists against Communism, etc., I think Americqa is well in a row with most Western countries, not better, not worse. But it is obviously the strongest, the only remaining super power. So there is no regulative force and thus the responisiblility in "doing right" is the highest.

So while we are thankful, that the USA granted peace in most of Europe for a so long time, many of us are a little bit worried about waht is going on at the moment and how it could evolve.

Strength an love are not contradictory, but they have only a small path in common and there is no objective border. Most of us can tell you, when it is far out of order, but when does it start and when is the last chance to return?

I do not want to blame anyone, but my opininon is that the United States has already gone too far, and I can only hope that they are not beyond the point of no return and they will not reach there.

I wish a peaceful future to everyone all over the world.

Dirk

Neil Mick
08-03-2005, 06:19 PM
Your own link that shows our wars shows that not to be true, Neil.

Fine. Let's just stick with this list, (http://www.zmag.org/CrisesCurEvts/interventions.htm) agree that the US is now the leading arms distributor of the world, and conclude that we're a violent, hypocritical nation: touting peace, while hawking war.

OK by you? :cool:

Joe Bowen
08-04-2005, 12:39 AM
No, its not OK by me.

I will concede a few points.

Yes, the current state of military technology allows for weapons with a much greater destructive potential then has previously been in existence.

There is no denying that the US dropped the only atomic bombs to every be used in war.

There is no denying that the US utilizes Nuclear powered ships in order to project its military presence across the globe.

True the threat of nuclear retaliation against the USSR when it existed was the mainstay of the Cold War (the insane idea of Mutually Assured Destruction) . But...I do not recall the US actually employing any nuclear weapons in an armed conflict.
And aside from the use of "Agent Orange" to defoliate the jungles of Vietnam, I do not recall the active use of chemical or biological agents being employed by the US in any of its recent military activities.

With the type of weaponry available to it the US military has the potential to inflict much more damage than it has in its short history. Human beings as a whole are guilty of innumerable transgressions upon themselves. But, the US is not bent upon world domination and subjugation as you would have it seem.

The Romans attempted and pretty much succeeded in dominating the civilized world of their time. As did the Greeks, Alexander the Great, and Genghis Khan. Hitler and arguably Stalin tried, but were stopped. Could you imagine what these peoples could have done if they had the weapons at hand? The will to conquer knows no pity or remorse.

Now, I am not a fan of President Bush nor of his present administration; however, there has been a great deal of restraint exhibited if you consider the total destructive power available for use. If there was no concern for collateral civilian lives lost, or damage to another countries infrastructure, a lot more damage and death could have resulted.

One could argue ad infinitum about the rationale for the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan. As well as the rationale for remaining in those specific countries now. We are there now and to pull out without regard of the consequences would be equally irresponsible as the actual invasion. And potentially do more harm. Dirk's points are well taken, how far is too far? How much is too much? World opinion of the US is not favorable, and at what point do we cross that line from "helping" or "liberating" to "dominating"? It is something that we would do well to consider.

You stereotypically label Americans as violent and hypocritical. But, you should also consider the importance of the United States in establishing the idea of basic human rights and promoting the libertarian form of government. Before the existence of the US, these were not highly considered. Marvel at the genius of the founding documents of our country, The Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Marvel at the progress made in the way of civil rights and equality by our leaders, like Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson, George Washington and Martin Luther King. Think for a minute what the world would be like if such men had not existed or lived in a society that did not permit them to do the work that they have done. Yet, none of them were saints. All had their flaws, and as a nation so do we. As a nation, we have caused some harm in the world and have also done some good. That statement applies on a personal level to me as well as to you. In my life I have both harmed and helped others.

So, the question remains what are you going to do about it? Living in the democratic free society that you are, you have options for participating in the government of the nation that you so vehemently decry. Will you run for public office and become one of the elected government in hopes that you can shape the policy and reduce the hypocrisy? Or, will you just continue to voice your opinion in open public forums labeling your fellow citizens as violent hypocrites? Which has a greater chance of success?

Robert Rumpf
08-04-2005, 07:50 AM
Are there any countries that don't love war? If they don't love it this year, I'm sure they loved it 100 years ago. They certainly love war when they can win, or at least kill lots of their opponents with losses that don't strain them.

Countries especially love wars that are not fought on their soil. Of course, its a luxury that few can afford these days with us at the top of the heap, blocking out our competitors... Of course, if it wasn't us, it would be someone else.

I guess the Europeans are finally sinking into peacefulness... but it took a hell of a lot of bloodshed to get them there. Likewise with the Japanese. Is it any coincidence that their demographic changes and economic changes are mirroring this cultural change?

I wonder what the future holds for them, since their current course seems unsustainable.

In my opinion, human beings love war. That's why Aikido is so interesting and potentially important.

Hogan
08-04-2005, 07:58 AM
....I guess the Europeans are finally sinking into peacefulness... but it took a hell of a lot of bloodshed to get them there. Likewise with the Japanese. Is it any coincidence that their demographic changes and economic changes are mirroring this cultural change? ....

Due to the protection of the american military umbrella.... and to the war loving americans writing the Japanese consititution that gave them their peace.

Hogan
08-04-2005, 07:59 AM
Fine. Let's just stick with this list, (http://www.zmag.org/CrisesCurEvts/interventions.htm) agree that the US is now the leading arms distributor of the world, and conclude that we're a violent, hypocritical nation: touting peace, while hawking war.

OK by you? :cool:

Ummmm, no.

Neil Mick
08-04-2005, 05:15 PM
I do not recall the US actually employing any nuclear weapons in an armed conflict.

Then you must not be considering the origins of dU ammunition.

And aside from the use of "Agent Orange" to defoliate the jungles of Vietnam, I do not recall the active use of chemical or biological agents being employed by the US in any of its recent military activities.

Whom do you think sold Hussein all of those much-touted chemical weapons, in the '80's? Or, does it not count if we only supplied the murderers with the tools, rather than pointing and shooting the chemicals, ourselves?

Or, what about the announcement recently made about producing a whole new line of anti-personnel mines? Or, the attempt by the Bush Administration to walk away from the Test Ban Treaty, and create a whole new generation of "battlefield nuc's?"

Hello?

With the type of weaponry available to it the US military has the potential to inflict much more damage than it has in its short history. Human beings as a whole are guilty of innumerable transgressions upon themselves. But, the US is not bent upon world domination and subjugation as you would have it seem.

I'm sorry, but you are sadly mistaken. Our recent position papers from the extremists in the Executive Office state their position, clearly. Just look at the Project for a New American Century, (http://www.newamericancentury.org/RebuildingAmericasDefenses.pdf) which states that

At present the United States faces no global rival. America's grand strategy should aim to preserve and extend this advantageous position as far into the future as possible.

Now, if you take the time to read this document, you realize that "preserving and extending this advantageous position" does not mean that the US plans to pie their competitors with cherry cream banana: it means more war.

Does the term "Full Spectrum Dominance" mean anything?

The President remains committed to the failed policy of pre-emptive attack. He said it himself, in his National Security Strategy: (http://www.whitehouse.gov/nsc/nss5.html)

To support preemptive options, we will:

build better, more integrated intelligence capabilities to provide timely, accurate information on threats, wherever they may emerge;
coordinate closely with allies to form a common assessment of the most dangerous threats; and
continue to transform our military forces to ensure our ability to conduct rapid and precise operations to achieve decisive results.

I think that we're all in agreement, that the Iraq occupation is neither rapid, nor decisive. CERTAINLY, it's not "Mission Accomplished." :disgust:

The Romans attempted and pretty much succeeded in dominating the civilized world of their time. As did the Greeks, Alexander the Great, and Genghis Khan. Hitler and arguably Stalin tried, but were stopped. Could you imagine what these peoples could have done if they had the weapons at hand? The will to conquer knows no pity or remorse.

Great, but you're talking about empires thousands of years old. Rome itself had its Pax Romana. in which there were few military engagements for over 200 years.

The US, on the other hand, has hardly been OUT of war, since we declared independence. If you want to know the real history of the US, try reading A People's History of the US, (http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Zinn/WarHealth_PeoplesHx.html) by Howard Zinn. It should make clear that the US has a bloody, rarely examined history, a dirty underside little discussed or taught in High Schools.

Now, I am not a fan of President Bush nor of his present administration; however, there has been a great deal of restraint exhibited if you consider the total destructive power available for use. If there was no concern for collateral civilian lives lost, or damage to another countries infrastructure, a lot more damage and death could have resulted.

With respect, this argument is absurd, on its face. We DID use a great deal of needless, destructive power in our invasion of Iraq. Remember the Baghdad Museum, looted because no guards were posted? Or, the contamination of the site of Babylon, the first city? Or, the total destruction of civil records, while the Ministry of Oil remained safely guarded? Or, the dropping of cluster bombs on civilians, "Shock and Awe" (a clear terrorist act, designed to scare the Iraqi's into accepting the invasion), widespread and systematic prison-abuse (Abu Ghraib, et al), or the two horrible, punitive and largely unreported assaults on Fallujah, creating many thousands of refugee's, to this day?

Merely because we do not engage in wholesale and complete destruction of a nation as we brutally occupy it, doth not "restraint," make.

We are there now and to pull out without regard of the consequences would be equally irresponsible as the actual invasion. And potentially do more harm.

We can agree to disagree.

World opinion of the US is not favorable, and at what point do we cross that line from "helping" or "liberating" to "dominating"? It is something that we would do well to consider.

Yes, true enough.

You stereotypically label Americans as violent and hypocritical. But, you should also consider the importance of the United States in establishing the idea of basic human rights and promoting the libertarian form of government.

"Libertarian?" Uhh, if you say so (more like: "Corporate Oligarchy," IMO). :freaky: But, I DID talk about the promise of America in my last sentence, of the OP:

Truly, it is a sad thing, for a nation with such promise to behave in such an unevolved and delusional manner.

We ARE a great nation: but a great nation doing evil things does not make these actions less evil.

Before the existence of the US, these were not highly considered. Marvel at the genius of the founding documents of our country, The Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Marvel at the progress made in the way of civil rights and equality by our leaders, like Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson, George Washington and Martin Luther King. Think for a minute what the world would be like if such men had not existed or lived in a society that did not permit them to do the work that they have done.

Yes, yes: I'm getting ready to stand up and sing anthems with you. We're great, because we have lofty words on papers and we had some great leaders (BTW, I'd take a second look at Lincoln's history, if I were you. A good leader he was, but a great leader of civil rights, he wasn't). But words and a pedigree do not mean a thing, if we refuse to abide by, or allow our leaders to corrupt, our principles.

You might think that this post is about "America-bashing," but it just ain't so. Our leaders project us as some sort of world uber-power, with the moral authority to go into others' countries and dictate everything from their governance policies to how they vote, when even WE cannot get our voting procedures right.

There's a word for this: it's called hypocrisy. If we're going to go out to change the world based upon lies and misinformation, we need to take a good, hard look at our society.

I think, deep down: you know this, and this is why this thread bothers you.

So, the question remains what are you going to do about it? Living in the democratic free society that you are, you have options for participating in the government of the nation that you so vehemently decry. Will you run for public office and become one of the elected government in hopes that you can shape the policy and reduce the hypocrisy? Or, will you just continue to voice your opinion in open public forums labeling your fellow citizens as violent hypocrites? Which has a greater chance of success?

Two days after the announcement of this illegal invasion: I went right down to the nearest recruitment office and was arrested (with 12 others) for blockading it. I still have the fading misdemeanor ticket on my wall (charges were later dropped).

I also write my Congressmen often (to the point that they send ME news and position-papers), participate in marches and die-in's, and speak out where appropriate. The whole way we found ourselves in this mess was in allowing these murderous foreign policies to progress in our name, and in the caving-in of a cowed, corporate media.

So, Joe: what will YOU do, now? Will you do your part to fight this somnolent slide into laissez-faire brutality (masquerading as foreign policy), or will you continue to mislabel this thread as diatribe?

Which do YOU think will have the most success? Again, I suspect that you KNOW that I am right: and this is why this topic upsets you.

Neil Mick
08-04-2005, 05:23 PM
In my opinion, human beings love war. That's why Aikido is so interesting and potentially important.

Nope, and I can prove this, to the contrary. As even John Hogan can tell you: the US pulled out of Vietnam, partly due to popular protest and outrage over what they saw on their TV's, of the war.

If human beings all love war: these images wouldn't have made any difference to them. IMO, human beings are hardwired into loving each other.

But this doesn't mean that we cannot be deceived, deluded, or convinced to hating and killing each other. If you look at the propaganda-machine of Nazi Germany, for instance: the Third Reich was literally deluging their populace with anti-Semite diatribes, nearly day and night, in the beginning. They hardly got any peace. Merely because humans can be deceived into acting against their nature, does not mean that violence and war IS their nature. If this were not true, the US would have no concept of "hate crime;" lynchings would still be a factor of daily life, and the US wouldn't have to keep its "detention facilities" secret: we'd all be in approval.

The only time violence is socially acceptable is when that society is deceived, or deceiving itself. Which, IMO, is exactly what the US public is doing, today.

americans writing the Japanese consititution that gave them their peace.

Yeah, one of those (few) times we actually got it right.

Neil Mick
08-04-2005, 05:35 PM
Fine. Let's just stick with this list, agree that the US is now the leading arms distributor of the world, and conclude that we're a violent, hypocritical nation: touting peace, while hawking war.

OK by you?


Ummmm, no.

But of course: you cannot disprove anything I've stated, in the previous sentence. We ARE the leading arms distributor of the world and we HAVE engaged in a nearly unending series of conflicts, since 1840.

More than half of our personal income taxes go to the Pentagon, and our military budget is greater than the next six-largest military budgets, put together. Our economy thrives on the military, with the Pentagon serving as an economic pump for the economy, since WW2.

If war were magically erased from the world tomorrow, the US economy would collapse.

Joe Bowen
08-05-2005, 01:01 AM
Then you must not be considering the origins of dU ammunition. Or, the attempt by the Bush Administration to walk away from the Test Ban Treaty, and create a whole new generation of "battlefield nuc's?"

Depleted uranium is almost entirely made up of U238, which has a much longer half-life than U235, and therefore the nuclei decay much more slowly and emit much less radiation per pound of the stuff than U235. U235 spontaneously decays fast enough to be useful in making nuclear fuel for reactors or for weapons. Naturally-occurring uranium is mostly U238, with a small amount of U235 mixed in. The U235 may be separated out to make nuclear fuel, and the remaining U238 is a waste product, which is mostly useless. It is a bit less radioactive than natural uranium. It is dense, hard, and not too expensive, and so putting U238 in ammunition instead of making bullets entirely out of the much softer metal lead, sounds like a good idea if you want to make bullets that can punch through armor. U235 yields nuclear weapons; dU ammo should not be considered "Nuclear", radioactive, maybe but not nuclear.
When I speak about Nuclear weapons, I'm talking about things that result in nuclear detonations. True the US has small yield nuclear devices and may even still have in its arsenal artillery rounds with nuclear warheads (I'm not sure if any remain, but I know they existed during the cold war); however, having served in the US Military, I can tell you that the employment of "battlefield nukes" is not really a viable option given the amount of contamination that would result in the battle space after denotation. Employment of "battlefield nukes" would only happen if the US was losing really badly, and to the extent of my knowledge none have been used. Tested, yes, developed, yes, but not actually employed. The Bush administrations decision to walk away from the Test Ban Treaty is somewhat regrettable; however, some of the objections to the Test Ban Treaty are not wholly unreasonable. The quote below is from this article http://www.heritage.org/Research/MissileDefense/BG1330.cfm#pgfId=1047267#pgfId=1047267 written in the 90's under the Clinton administration. It outlines some reasons why the Test Ban Treaty was flawed and should not be ratified.
The Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) contains a host of serious flaws. It is not verifiable, for example, because the seismic monitoring system for detecting nuclear tests will not be able to detect prohibited tests of very low yields. 1 The CTBT is not enforceable because ultimate enforcement powers are lodged in the United Nations Security Council, where China and Russia can veto effective responses to non-compliance.
The author of this article is one Baker Spring, a Research Fellow in the Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis International Studies Center at The Heritage Foundation. You might find him a bit too "right-wing" but he brings up some valid points.
Whom do you think sold Hussein all of those much-touted chemical weapons, in the '80's? Or, does it not count if we only supplied the murderers with the tools, rather than pointing and shooting the chemicals, ourselves? Or, what about the announcement recently made about producing a whole new line of anti-personnel mines?

Hindsight is always 20/20, while foresight never is. Yes, the US should not have supported the rise of Saddam, and they probably did not accurately evaluate his character when they chose to help him in his war with Iran. Should we have given Saddam chemical munitions? Probably not. Did the US direct him to use his chemical munitions against his own people? No. But, by this rationale, you probably blame Remington and Winchester for the deaths of countless people because they sell guns...
Anti-personnel mines are a different animal altogether. The US military employs mines more responsibly and arguable more effectively than any other nation. Mines are emplaced as a defensive obstacle and over watched after being put into place. Current military practice is to remove the mines when the Unit departs. Primarily to prevent our crafty opponents from utilizing the mines for their own, as well as to prevent them from harming non-combatants after the US has departed. The mine fields that the US helps defuse in SE Asia, where put in place by others.

I'm sorry, but you are sadly mistaken. Our recent position papers from the extremists in the Executive Office state their position, clearly. Just look at the Project for a New American Century, (http://www.newamericancentury.org/RebuildingAmericasDefenses.pdf) which states that

This website you quote is not associated with the US government, nor does it outline official US policy. The "New American Century" is a private "non-profit" organization. But, in your mind it is probably part of the "great, right-wing, ultra-conservative conspiracy" which grips our nation.

Now, if you take the time to read this document, you realize that "preserving and extending this advantageous position" does not mean that the US plans to pie their competitors with cherry cream banana: it means more war. Does the term "Full Spectrum Dominance" mean anything?

Actually, this is not the case. The US rose to its "advantageous position" through its economic development. "Full Spectrum Dominance" is one of those catch phrases like "asymmetric warfare" that different people use to conclude different things. From an intelligence perspective "full spectrum dominance" would mean utilizing all of the available collection capabilities in order to ascertain information. From a policy perspective, it could be taken to mean maintaining our economic advantage as well as our technological and military advantage. It does not reasonably equate to "more war".

The President remains committed to the failed policy of pre-emptive attack. He said it himself, in his National Security Strategy: (http://www.whitehouse.gov/nsc/nss5.html)

Ok, here you've missed the first part of the paragraph that puts your "quote" in a bit of a different context...

The United States will not use force in all cases to preempt emerging threats, nor should nations use preemption as a pretext for aggression. Yet in an age where the enemies of civilization openly and actively seek the world's most destructive technologies, the United States cannot remain idle while dangers gather. We will always proceed deliberately, weighing the consequences of our actions. To support preemptive options, we will:...

Great, but you're talking about empires thousands of years old. Rome itself had its Pax Romana. in which there were few military engagements for over 200 years. The US, on the other hand, has hardly been OUT of war, since we declared independence. If you want to know the real history of the US, try reading A People's History of the US, (http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Zinn/WarHealth_PeoplesHx.html) by Howard Zinn. It should make clear that the US has a bloody, rarely examined history, a dirty underside little discussed or taught in High Schools.

Do you know why the death and casualty rate was so high during the US Civil War? Because technology outstripped the tactics. Far more accurate weapons were used with tactics that were developed for less accurate weapons. The main point of the comparison with Rome was to compare the intent of the leaders. "Pax Romana" existed because Rome had already subjugated everyone else. If that mindset really exists today, as you would have us believe, we would be seeing much more death and destruction. Comparing our 200+ years to the centuries-long domination of Rome, I'd say we were doing pretty well.

With respect, this argument is absurd, on its face. We DID use a great deal of needless, destructive power in our invasion of Iraq. Remember the Baghdad Museum, looted because no guards were posted? Or, the contamination of the site of Babylon, the first city? Or, the total destruction of civil records, while the Ministry of Oil remained safely guarded? Or, the dropping of cluster bombs on civilians, "Shock and Awe" (a clear terrorist act, designed to scare the Iraqi's into accepting the invasion), widespread and systematic prison-abuse (Abu Ghraib, et al), or the two horrible, punitive and largely unreported assaults on Fallujah, creating many thousands of refugee's, to this day? Merely because we do not engage in wholesale and complete destruction of a nation as we brutally occupy it, doth not "restraint," make.

Again you missed the point. If the US wanted to destroy the infrastructure of Iraq or Afghanistan, it could have been done. Baghdad could have been destroyed completely much like Nagasaki or Hiroshima. But, it was not. There is restraint there. Stating the Iraqi looting of its own museum is an act of US aggression merely because we did not guard it, indicates your lack of knowledge on how to conduct military operations. Protecting the Oil fields and its infrastructure will provide some sort of revenue for the developing Iraq. If we had not protected those, where do you suppose the Iraq economy, such as it is, would come from?

Yes, yes: I'm getting ready to stand up and sing anthems with you. We're great, because we have lofty words on papers and we had some great leaders (BTW, I'd take a second look at Lincoln's history, if I were you. A good leader he was, but a great leader of civil rights, he wasn't). But words and a pedigree do not mean a thing, if we refuse to abide by, or allow our leaders to corrupt, our principles.

Actually, I'm well versed with President Lincoln and his life. He was human. His suspension of many of the tenants in the Bill of Rights during the Civil War was quite controversial, and a dangerous precedent which is probably used to justify certain aspects of the Patriot Act. However, if you read many of Lincoln's writings prior to assuming the office of his presidency, you will find that not only was he a great leader of a nation facing a unique crisis, but quite the humanist. He did what he felt or believe was necessary. But, comparing Lincoln to Bush is not equitable. Bush pales in comparison and literary capability.

You might think that this post is about "America-bashing," but it just ain't so. Our leaders project us as some sort of world uber-power, with the moral authority to go into others' countries and dictate everything from their governance policies to how they vote, when even WE cannot get our voting procedures right. There's a word for this: it's called hypocrisy. If we're going to go out to change the world based upon lies and misinformation, we need to take a good, hard look at our society.

If calling American society, "violent" and "hypocritical" isn't "America-bashing" then what is it? Constructive criticism? Do you feel the problem is with American Society or with the present administration? Are the American peoples just blind lemmings, following the evil piper to their own doom? (no offense intended to the lemmings out there) How do your statements help better us as a society? Do you realize that most of the "liberal-leftist" things you tout as true are as much fiction as the truths coming from the "ultra-conservative-right"? Both sides lie, and use misinformation.

Two days after the announcement of this illegal invasion: I went right down to the nearest recruitment office and was arrested (with 12 others) for blockading it. I still have the fading misdemeanor ticket on my wall (charges were later dropped). I also write my Congressmen often (to the point that they send ME news and position-papers), participate in marches and die-in's, and speak out where appropriate. The whole way we found ourselves in this mess was in allowing these murderous foreign policies to progress in our name, and in the caving-in of a cowed, corporate media.

So, Illegal activity is ok in the name of what you feel is just? Lucky for you the DA decided not to prosecute. I applaud you for writing your Congressmen; too few Americans exercise their voice in this manner. But, what is a die-in? Never mind, I don't really care.

So, Joe: what will YOU do, now? Will you do your part to fight this somnolent slide into laissez-faire brutality (masquerading as foreign policy), or will you continue to mislabel this thread as diatribe? Which do YOU think will have the most success?

Personally, I will continue my own self education on matters that I deem are important to myself, my family and my country. I will continue in my own self-development, and not be swayed in my opinions by either leftist or rightist propaganda. I never used the label of diatribe, but since you bring it up it does seem to fit. As far as my part in this fight, I'm doing it already. I'm listening to BOTH sides of the story and ascertaining for myself the truth.

Again, I suspect that you KNOW that I am right: and this is why this topic upsets you.

Actually, this topic is not upsetting to me, and I KNOW you are wrong. It is somewhat disappointing to see an individual buy so wholeheartedly into such a small minded understanding of the way our world works. But, fare thee well in your quest, as I will no longer entertain our "discussion", I know when someone is not listening.....

Thomas Ambrose
08-05-2005, 03:10 AM
Not to threadjack here, but I am going to put in my piece. I don't think it is war that Americans tend to like per se, but drama (use any connotation you like). Not just Americans, but humans in general. We seem so interested in who Britney Spears is marrying, how involved Tom Cruise is with Scientology, and two families's once-private dispute over what to do about Terry Shiavo. All these things are none of our business, yet we tend to want to know. Not only that, we are opinionated, and want to play a part in other people's affairs that are really none of our business. The examples so far may seem to have nothing to do with war, but honestly, the obsession with war is just the same trait again, manifest on a much larger, and uglier scale. In fact, War represents one of the highest dramas available. Entire nations of people effected, life, death, etc. Our leaders on both sides of the aisle, being affected by this same trait, get involved and entangled in the affairs of other nations.

I honestly think "The War" has been raging since humans first started getting wide spread enough to have distinct groups. During any given times, the most powerful nations put their stakes into the continuing struggle to rearrange the balance of power in their regions, or the world. Right now, the that country is the USA.

The only change in the continueing wars and struggles throughout history was been who has been fighting, how powerful the fighting techniques and technologies have become, and the increasingly more global scale of it.

I am not saying that I like war, nor do I say that it is right, but I do accept and understand its existence. In some cases even, I think it is well justified and even necessary. World War II, absolutely. The various "influences" from the US during the Cold War, maybe. Afghanistan, maybe. Action in Yugoslavia, Iraq, Vietnam, Korea, I am not so sure. But the media loves it... :rolleyes:

Anyway, those are just my thoughts to weigh in on the issue. This addressed to nobody, but just to provide my own response and perspectives to the topic raised.

Hogan
08-05-2005, 06:13 AM
But of course: you cannot disprove anything I've stated, in the previous sentence. We ARE the leading arms distributor of the world and we HAVE engaged in a nearly unending series of conflicts, since 1840.

Ummm, no, again. Now you revise your statement to "nearly unending" whereas before you said EVERY YR OF OUR EXISTENCE. I proved you wrong there.

And your chart also counts the Cold War as a war.... please....

Some of the wars listed were humatarian missions, some had UN approval, and some were peacekeeing missions - do you not like these either ?

Are there any of these 'wars' good enough to support in your eyes ? Or would you have protested every one ? How about WWII ? The Civil War ? Gulf War I ? Revolutionary War ? Any of them ? You are already on record as saying you were one of those 'better red than dead' people (where you would rather live under communism rather than fight for your freedom and possibly die); is there anything you would take up arms against or for ? Even CO Sgt. York fought and killed. Would you ?

More than half of our personal income taxes go to the Pentagon, and our military budget is greater than the next six-largest military budgets, put together....

I would hope are budget is bigger. How can you fight a world war without money ? How can you protect and serve without money ? How can you WIN without money ? Since defense is one of the main missions of a federal government, I would hope there is money to back it up.

James Davis
08-05-2005, 10:31 AM
Nope, and I can prove this, to the contrary. As even John Hogan can tell you: the US pulled out of Vietnam, partly due to popular protest and outrage over what they saw on their TV's, of the war.

If human beings all love war: these images wouldn't have made any difference to them. IMO, human beings are hardwired into loving each other.



Neil, look at the first sentence in your original post. :confused:

Neil Mick
08-05-2005, 03:30 PM
Neil, look at the first sentence in your original post. :confused:

James, follow the bouncing logical ball...

1. American's = human beings
2. But, not all human beings are American.

3. American's "love" war, in the sense that it is abstracted in an unrealistic, second-hand way.

4. Human beings are not naturally violent, and war-loving. They need to be deluded, or deceived, to wish harm upon a people.

Therefore,

A. American's "love" war,

and

B. Human beings are not naturally violent,

are not contradictory statements. I hope that this clarifies.

Neil Mick
08-05-2005, 03:50 PM
Ummm, no, again. Now you revise your statement to "nearly unending" whereas before you said EVERY YR OF OUR EXISTENCE. I proved you wrong there.

And your chart also counts the Cold War as a war.... please....

Some of the wars listed were humatarian missions, some had UN approval, and some were peacekeeing missions - do you not like these either ?

The chart did not include all of the minor engagements, "hidden wars," police-actions and other aggressive operations we made. Given enough time (which is short, at present): I am sure that I could find a list of US engagements, that show us in an unending dance with war.

Are there any of these 'wars' good enough to support in your eyes ? Or would you have protested every one ? How about WWII ? The Civil War ? Gulf War I ? Revolutionary War ? Any of them ?

WW2: Begun on a lie, to get the unwilling US public to commit. IMO, this is the only "good" war in which we participated, to date. Hindsight is 20/20 tho: if I knew it all, I would have protested only the bombing of Hiroshima, and the detention of Japanese American's.

The Civil War: A sticky issue, as it is so caught up in mistaken notions of slave emancipation. I would have protested that one, but only with minor participation (leaflets, etc). There were more effective ways to do it, other than burning down most of the South, and murdering a generation.

Gulf War 1: Don't make me laugh. Hussein could have been diverted from invasion, through diplomacy and bluff. Yes, yes: here comes the usual Hogan guffaw...wait for it...

Revolutionary War: technically not a US war. We were colonies then, and our initial stance was for Britain to accept American representation, in Parliament. Had they done so, the Revolutionary War wouldn't have happened. Read Barbara Tuchman's "The March of Folly," for a study of how Parliament engaged in folly, on this one.

I noticed you forgot Vietnam, the Philippines, Hawaii, the Boxer Rebellion, Haiti, Nicaragua, Russia (yes, we had troops bumbling around in Russia from 1916-1921), Guatamala, Chile, Mexico (annexation, anyone?), Puerto Rico (or, perhaps you thought that they simply gave up their autonomy, in the face of a greater, superior nation...not), all of the Amerindian nations (in which we broke every single treaty we signed with them), and so on.


You are already on record as saying you were one of those 'better red than dead' people (where you would rather live under communism rather than fight for your freedom and possibly die);

Again, you misquote. Here, let me assist:

I said I'd rather be "red" than dead.

"Better Red than Dead" does not = "Rather living under communism than fighting for freedom, possibly dying"

Honestly, John: why do you do this? Why do you keep misinterpreting what I say?

is there anything you would take up arms against or for ? Even CO Sgt. York fought and killed. Would you ?

If it fails the "human rights" test: I wouldn't fight for it.

The ends do NOT justify the means.

I would hope are budget is bigger. How can you fight a world war without money ?

How can you fight a "war" with no clear goal, or objective? How can you throw $4Billion a MONTH, have no clear objective, and yet claim that we are "winning the war on terror?"

How can you protect and serve without money ? How can you WIN without money ? Since defense is one of the main missions of a federal government, I would hope there is money to back it up.

Not at the expense of everything else (healthcare, schools, infrastructure, and yes: police. I have no idea why you imply that I am opposed to having the police funded. True, they need to get their priorities adjusted, but I have no problems with providing funding to police dept's).

Hogan
08-05-2005, 04:01 PM
James, follow the bouncing logical ball.......


:D :D

Hogan
08-05-2005, 04:06 PM
...Revolutionary War: technically not a US war. We were colonies then, and our initial stance was for Britain to accept American representation, in Parliament. Had they done so, the Revolutionary War wouldn't have happened. Read Barbara Tuchman's "The March of Folly," for a study of how Parliament engaged in folly, on this one.
But would you have fought for independence ?

Again, you misquote. Here, let me assist:

I said I'd rather be "red" than dead.
That's exactly what I said. I said that you were one of those people that would rather be red than dead.

And yes, it DOES mean:

"Better Red than Dead" does not = "Rather living under communism than fighting for freedom, possibly dying"


Not at the expense of everything else (healthcare, schools, infrastructure, and yes: police. I have no idea why you imply that I am opposed to having the police funded. True, they need to get their priorities adjusted, but I have no problems with providing funding to police dept's).

Well, there isn't an unlimited amount of money. To increase one thing, you have to cut another. And I never implied you were against police funding. Honestly, Neil: why do you do this? Why do you keep misinterpreting what I say?

Neil Mick
08-05-2005, 04:53 PM
putting U238 in ammunition instead of making bullets entirely out of the much softer metal lead, sounds like a good idea if you want to make bullets that can punch through armor. U235 yields nuclear weapons; dU ammo should not be considered "Nuclear", radioactive, maybe but not nuclear.

When I speak about Nuclear weapons, I'm talking about things that result in nuclear detonations.

That's nice, but a nuclear weapon, is a nuclear weapon. When a dU bullet hits armor, it creates a small ignition which spreads the dU in dust form all around the battlefield, infecting soldiers, the wounded, passersby, or anyone who breathes it in.

Since the invasion, the US has used about 900 TONS of the stuff, spreading all of that radiation around Iraq. As such, leukemia and chancer-related illnesses have gone up 6-9x in affected areas of Iraq.

If it spreads nuclear radiation, it's a nuclear weapon. Merely because it does not have a giant mushroom cloud attached is, IMO: a semantical quibble, at best. It causes radiation-related illnesses, and it is deadly to humans. These facts are undeniable (except, of course, to apologists).

Employment of "battlefield nukes" would only happen if the US was losing really badly, and to the extent of my knowledge none have been used. Tested, yes, developed, yes, but not actually employed.

Somehow, your assurance does not leave me feeling consoled. Especially considering how little regard our beloved Leader considers the outlooks of others.

The Bush administrations decision to walk away from the Test Ban Treaty is somewhat regrettable; however, some of the objections to the Test Ban Treaty are not wholly unreasonable. The quote below is from this article http://www.heritage.org/Research/MissileDefense/BG1330.cfm#pgfId=1047267#pgfId=1047267 written in the 90's under the Clinton administration. It outlines some reasons why the Test Ban Treaty was flawed and should not be ratified.

Now why am I spectacularly unsurprised, that the Heritage Foundation finds fault with the Test Ban Treaty? Could it be that

Our Mission
Founded in 1973, The Heritage Foundation is a research and educational institute - a think tank - whose mission is to formulate and promote conservative public policies based on the principles of free enterprise, limited government, individual freedom, traditional American values, and a strong national defense.

Nahh, they were simply taking the data on its face, and making an objective, nonpartisan assessment. Yeah, that's gotta be it. :rolleyes:

The author of this article is one Baker Spring, a Research Fellow in the Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis International Studies Center at The Heritage Foundation. You might find him a bit too "right-wing" but he brings up some valid points.

Maybe so: I shall read it, when I have more time. No treaty is perfect, after all.

The US military employs mines more responsibly and arguable more effectively than any other nation.

I don't care if the US puts a pillow and a complimentary mint, next to each mine: mines causes hundreds of civilian deaths each year. The US was not a signatory of the treaty to ban mines.

To me, this fails the human rights test.

This website you quote is not associated with the US government, nor does it outline official US policy. The "New American Century" is a private "non-profit" organization. But, in your mind it is probably part of the "great, right-wing, ultra-conservative conspiracy" which grips our nation.

Ah yes: another Conservative who claims the amazing power to read my mind.

Well, while you were exercising your amazing skill (ahem): you might have missed the signers of this "non-official" document. Just a few guys who gathered around the beerhall and decided to knock off a paper about some ideas they had, right? Their governmental positions have NOTHING to do with their views, and CERTAINLY nothing at all to do with policy (are you getting the sarcasm here? I hope so).

Elliott Abrams Gary Bauer William J. Bennett Jeb Bush

Dick Cheney Eliot A. Cohen Midge Decter Paula Dobriansky Steve Forbes

Aaron Friedberg Francis Fukuyama Frank Gaffney Fred C. Ikle

Donald Kagan Zalmay Khalilzad I. Lewis Libby Norman Podhoretz

Dan Quayle Peter W. Rodman Stephen P. Rosen Henry S. Rowen

Donald Rumsfeld Vin Weber George Weigel Paul Wolfowitz

Actually, this is not the case. The US rose to its "advantageous position" through its economic development. "Full Spectrum Dominance" is one of those catch phrases like "asymmetric warfare" that different people use to conclude different things. From an intelligence perspective "full spectrum dominance" would mean utilizing all of the available collection capabilities in order to ascertain information. From a policy perspective, it could be taken to mean maintaining our economic advantage as well as our technological and military advantage. It does not reasonably equate to "more war".

If you believe this, I have some dU-infected land to sell you.

Joint Vision 2020 (http://www.defenselink.mil/news/Jun2000/n06022000_20006025.html)

Full-spectrum dominance means the ability of U.S. forces,
operating alone or with allies, to defeat any adversary and
control any situation across the range of military operations

Ok, here you've missed the first part of the paragraph that puts your "quote" in a bit of a different context...

The United States will not use force in all cases to preempt emerging threats, nor should nations use preemption as a pretext for aggression. Yet in an age where the enemies of civilization openly and actively seek the world's most destructive technologies, the United States cannot remain idle while dangers gather. We will always proceed deliberately, weighing the consequences of our actions. To support preemptive options, we will:...

A lie exposed, when the Downing Street Memo surfaced. Bush said that he was "weighing all options," even as the memo reported that the US was "dead set on war." No, the first paragraph changes very little in context, if you consider the memo.

Comparing our 200+ years to the centuries-long domination of Rome, I'd say we were doing pretty well.

But that's my point: you CAN'T compare the US to Rome. Not in this context. A more apropos comparison would be to compare the first 230 years of Rome, to the first 230 years of the US.

Try it.

(Concerning Lincoln) He did what he felt or believe was necessary. But, comparing Lincoln to Bush is not equitable. Bush pales in comparison and literary capability.

No, I wouldn't compare Bush to Lincoln. A better comparison would be the corruption-ridden regime to Grant, to Bush.

But, my point was that Lincoln was not a Great Emancipator of the slaves. That's a myth. And, whatever his private thoughts on the matter, he was hesitant to take emancipation on, directly. This is why I do not think he should be listed as a crusader for civil rights.

Again you missed the point. If the US wanted to destroy the infrastructure of Iraq or Afghanistan, it could have been done. Baghdad could have been destroyed completely much like Nagasaki or Hiroshima. But, it was not. There is restraint there.

I'm sorry, but we disagree on the term "restraint:" or at least its measure. Sure, the US could have nuked Baghdad. But the fact that they didn't is hardly "restraint," IMO.

The US could well have nuked San Francisco, when we were all out protesting the war: the fact that they did not is a pretty tortured idea of "restraint," IMO.

Stating the Iraqi looting of its own museum is an act of US aggression merely because we did not guard it, indicates your lack of knowledge on how to conduct military operations. Protecting the Oil fields and its infrastructure will provide some sort of revenue for the developing Iraq. If we had not protected those, where do you suppose the Iraq economy, such as it is, would come from?

Forgive this ignorant student of military history: but doesn't it seem rather absurd that the mightiest army in the world could not spare one little company (or less), to halt the looting?

There was a reporter (Robert Fisk) on the scene, while the museum was looted. He watched the looting, and he went over to the nearby Ministry of Oil to report what he saw. The Army did nothing.

With respect, I think it is you, that is missing a few salient facts.


If calling American society, "violent" and "hypocritical" isn't "America-bashing" then what is it? Constructive criticism?

Bingo: got it in one. And, I defy you to come up with a comprehensive definition of what "anti-American" really is.

Sorry, but I can criticize a friend for getting drunk at a party and acting reprehensible. If he denies the behavior, I can still call him "violent and hypocritical," and still be his friend.

By the same token, I can call the delusional policies of "eternal war for eternal peace" as hypocritical and violent, yet still not be "anti-American," whatever that means.

Do you feel the problem is with American Society or with the present administration?

American society has been addicted to simulated violence and foreign wars for a long, long time: thus, my timeline. The Bush Administration is merely a pariah cynically feeding on our fears and addictions for its own personal, short-term gain.

Are the American peoples just blind lemmings, following the evil piper to their own doom?

No, just look at all the anti-war movements out there. Suggesting that American people are simply sheep, is too simplistic.

How do your statements help better us as a society?

Taking a good, hard look at ourselves is always beneficial, esp when American society is on such a misguided path.

Do you realize that most of the "liberal-leftist" things you tout as true are as much fiction as the truths coming from the "ultra-conservative-right"? Both sides lie, and use misinformation.

Nonsense. I have presented factual information that you have yet to discredit. I do not support a leader that lies repeatedly, and often: to buttress his case.

And, your statement beggars belief. I have trouble remembering when Leftists assumed control of the White House, pushed for a war with Iraq within hours of taking office, lied repeatedly and often to make unconscious connections btw 9-11, al Qaeda, and Iraq; allowed torture, secret extradition and extended detainment (often, with no concept of habeas corpus, the foundation of the US legal system) to become US policy; defied international law; put a CIA operative in harm's way by "outing" her, as revenge for discounting the 16 fateful words in Bush's SoTU, etc.

I didn't call John McCain's adopted daughter an "illicit love-child," I didn't call a paraplegic Vietnam vet a "traitor;" I do not attempt to censor and limit right-wing speakers onto my college campus (as what happened to Michael Moore); no.

Worst of all: I do not attempt to silence the meaning or value of all those deaths, represented by the numbers in my sig. To suggest that I could hold a match to the volumes of lies spewed forth by this Administration and its cronies is also absurd on its face.

So, Illegal activity is ok in the name of what you feel is just?

Yeah, and I don't appear to be alone. Martin Luther King, Daniel Berrigan, SNCC, and a lot of other patriots all seem to agree with me, on this one.

Actually, this topic is not upsetting to me, and I KNOW you are wrong. It is somewhat disappointing to see an individual buy so wholeheartedly into such a small minded understanding of the way our world works. But, fare thee well in your quest, as I will no longer entertain our "discussion", I know when someone is not listening.....

Considering the range of half-truths you presented this far: I'd say you have a looong way to go...

Neil Mick
08-05-2005, 05:00 PM
But would you have fought for independence?

Since the Revolutionary War started out as a form of protest: I could see myself involved in some of the earlier struggles, sure.

But who knows? An earlier version of me might have been caught up in Shay's Rebellion, for all I know.

That's exactly what I said. I said that you were one of those people that would rather be red than dead.

And yes, it DOES mean:

"Better Red than Dead" does not = "Rather living under communism than fighting for freedom, possibly dying"

No, it does not. "Better Red than Dead" means that I would rather be breathing and living in nearly any sort of gov't; than not breathing, at all.

The rest of it is your attempt to stuff words into my mouth.

And failing.


Well, there isn't an unlimited amount of money. To increase one thing, you have to cut another.

Let's cut out the agency which seems to lose billions of dollars and can present no yardstick for progress in Iraq, rather than schools, police, fire, health, and pensions, first.

That's my strategy.

And I never implied you were against police funding.

You DID imply that I favored cutting "police," when you said

I would hope are budget is bigger. How can you fight a world war without money ? How can you protect and serve without money?

But, let's move on. I accept that this may well have been my inference, and not your implication.

Honestly, Neil: why do you do this? Why do you keep misinterpreting what I say?

Honestly, John: why do you keep mimicking me, in place of a rational response?

dan guthrie
08-05-2005, 08:44 PM
Ducking in

Neil, nuclear weapons use radiation to kill directly. Your definition includes radiation therapy, nuclear reactors and dentist x-rays. Depleted uranium vapor is a hazard, not a nuclear weapon.

Ducking back out

Neil Mick
08-05-2005, 09:25 PM
Ducking in

Neil, nuclear weapons use radiation to kill directly. Your definition includes radiation therapy, nuclear reactors and dentist x-rays. Depleted uranium vapor is a hazard, not a nuclear weapon.

Ducking back out

Nope. But, I give you points for style.

Emphasis is on the word weapon. Radiation therapy, nuclear reactors and dentist x-rays are not weapons (OK, maybe in the hands of a few dentists I've known).

dU is used as a weapon; and it's nuclear: ergo...

(but, I admit: it's a bit of a grey area, whether it's a hazard or a weapon. It's a little of both.

The leukemia, and related illnesses it causes, however: are not grey areas, at all).

But, I'll stand with wikipedia's (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_weapon) definition of a nuclear weapon, in which dU fits, nicely:

A nuclear weapon is a weapon that derives its energy from the nuclear reactions of fission and/or fusion.

But, I am not alone in considering dU as a nuclear weapon:

Dr. Helen Caldicott (http://www.peacehost.net/PacifistNation/CaldicottAndDU.htm)

DU (Depleted Uranium) was used for the first time in history by the US military in the Persian Gulf War against Iraq in 1991. It constitutes the first introduction of a nuclear weapon into the "conventional battlefield," and is a technical breach of all the non-proliferation treaties that the US has signed. The Pentagon, of course, would dispute this characterization of these facts.

P.S. Oh, BTW: since we're on the subject--tomorrow is the 60th anniversary of Hiroshima. Light a candle, attend a march (there is one going on at the Lawrence Livermore Labs (http://www.trivalleycares.org/aug6-2005.asp)); or whatever you feel appropriate, to commemorate this dark day in US history.

Erik
08-06-2005, 04:12 PM
Joseph,

For what it's worth, nice stuff.

I gave up on Neil Mick as, really, his entire reason for being is to troll these sorts of discussions. By entering into debate with him I figure that it validates what is basically, abject nonsense. I'd rather, for the most part, ignore it (which I've done with his ID) and consign it to the irrelevancy bin where it belongs.

Once again, nice work.

Neil Mick
08-06-2005, 05:22 PM
Joseph,

For what it's worth, nice stuff.

I gave up on Neil Mick as, really, his entire reason for being is to troll these sorts of discussions. By entering into debate with him I figure that it validates what is basically, abject nonsense. I'd rather, for the most part, ignore it (which I've done with his ID) and consign it to the irrelevancy bin where it belongs.

Once again, nice work.

Garbage. I resent the "troll" moniker: uncalled for.

We debated: you turned out to be wrong, from the wmd on down. End of story.

Neil Mick
08-06-2005, 06:04 PM
But, let me bring this discussion up to speed:

Thus far, I have presented a thesis, an idea, on how American's "love" war. One of my criteria for how "warlike" we are, is how many wars we've been in, since this country began.

Also thus far: my opposing debaters have produced little to counter the central theme, other than quibbling over small details (i.e., whether or not the US HAS actually been in wars, every year since it started; or whether or not, well: other countries are warlike, too). Notice, neither debater confronted the central issue:

-Are American's a warlike society? Do we not fetish-ize the military? Do militaristic metaphors not fill our language, our literature, our movies? And, are we not the primary merchants of war, in the world today? Have we not oftern entered into war for profit, with a sham lie promoted by the leaders to cow a frightened populace?

As Deep Throat said: follow the money. Which nation trades the most in arms in the world? More specifically, tho: which industries within that nation, are benefitting from war, the most? Which nation (and its industries), having 2500 nuclear weapons still on hair-trigger alert, cries "foul" and illegally invades another country for fear that they may obtain one bomb within 5 years? My worthy debatee's cannot seem to answer to these central questions.

Sure, other nations act warlike, and have fetishized war, in their pasts. Early 20Th C Japan, Germany, Italy, and 19th C England all come to mind. But, the defence of "well, other nations idolized the military, so what?" falls flat when you consider the dark times these nations were in, when they were paying homage to their military. Civil liberties were curtailed, dissidents jailed, and their colonial subjects were demonized, or subhumanized, in the yellow presses. These comparisons are not exactly models of world-citizen behavior.

In the end, war, as General Smedley Butler said, is a racket. The leaders and media hawk it to us as some sort of clean, sanitized war (I remember Brian H. talking with pride about how "surgical" our bombs are); they pump us full of hyperkinetic entertainment and lull us into thinking about one (pre-selected) enemy at a time; and then they make the profits, pat us on the back for our good patriotism, and laugh all the way to the bank.

General Smedley Butler (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smedley_Butler)

I spent 33 years and four months in active military service and during that period I spent most of my time as a high class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism. I helped make Mexico and especially Tampico safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National city Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street. I helped purify Nicaragua for the International Banking House of Brown Brothers in 1902–1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for the American sugar interests in 1916. I helped make Honduras right for the American fruit companies in 1903. In China in 1927 I helped see to it that Standard Oil went on its way unmolested.

But, if someone is making money: someone else has to be paying. Who? All the rest of us, that's who. But, the people who pay the worst of all are the soldiers, and the civilians where this only-seen-in-media-glimpses battlefield is taking place.

War Is A Racket (http://lexrex.com/enlightened/articles/warisaracket.htm)

Who provides the profits – these nice little profits of 20, 100, 300, 1,500 and 1,800 per cent? We all pay them – in taxation. We paid the bankers their profits when we bought Liberty Bonds at $100.00 and sold them back at $84 or $86 to the bankers. These bankers collected $100 plus. It was a simple manipulation. The bankers control the security marts. It was easy for them to depress the price of these bonds. Then all of us – the people – got frightened and sold the bonds at $84 or $86. The bankers bought them. Then these same bankers stimulated a boom and government bonds went to par – and above. Then the bankers collected their profits.

But the soldier pays the biggest part of the bill.

As do those playing host, to the battlefields abroad. The rest of us pay out of our pockets and our ignorance.

Hogan
08-08-2005, 07:25 AM
....No, it does not. "Better Red than Dead" means that I would rather be breathing and living in nearly any sort of gov't; than not breathing, at all. ...

Sorry, but the phrase was concocted during the struggle between communism and democracy, when people who did not want to fight for democracy was said to favor being 'better red than dead'.

http://www.newcriterion.com/archive/21/jan03/hobsbawm.htm

"Pacifists and Soviet apologists coined the slogan "Better red than dead" in order to persuade the West not to defend itself with nuclear weapons."




You DID imply that I favored cutting "police," when you said
No, protect and serve as in the federal government protecting and serving its people, not the police. You assumed I meant police.


But, let's move on. I accept that this may well have been my inference, and not your implication.
Well, there ya' go.


Honestly, John: why do you keep mimicking me, in place of a rational response?
ahahah... because you are not rational.

mj
08-08-2005, 09:55 AM
"Pacifists and Soviet apologists coined the slogan "Better red than dead" in order to persuade the West not to defend itself with nuclear weapons."
This would be around the same time that the US inserted the words 'under God' into the pledge of allegiance.

'defending yourself' with nukes...what an interesting statement :rolleyes:

Hogan
08-08-2005, 10:21 AM
This would be around the same time that the US inserted the words 'under God' into the pledge of allegiance.

'defending yourself' with nukes...what an interesting statement :rolleyes:

Yes:
In 1954, after a campaign initiated by the Roman Catholic Knights of Columbus, Senator Homer Ferguson of Michigan sponsored a bill to amend the pledge to include the words under God, to distinguish the U.S. from the officially atheist Soviet Union, and to remove the appearance of flag and nation worship.

However, it is not new:
The phrase "nation, under God" previously appeared in Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, and echoes the Declaration of Independence.

As you can see, 'under god' made a MUCH earlier appearence than the appearance of nukes.

Neil Mick
08-08-2005, 03:06 PM
ahahah... because you are not rational.

Well, it takes one to know one... ;)

Neil Mick
08-10-2005, 11:32 PM
And, perhaps in footnote:

I just came across this speech by Chris Hedges (NYT reporter), in a book, today. He gave this commencement speech at Rockford College, in 2003. His microphone was cut twice, and he was booed off the stage. (http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=03/05/21/1711227&mode=thread&tid=11)

He makes my point far better than I:

War and Empire (http://www.rrstar.com/localnews/your_community/rockford/0521hedgesspeech.shtml)

We have lost touch with the essence of war. Following our defeat in Vietnam we became a better nation. We were humbled, even humiliated. We asked questions about ourselves we had not asked before.

We were forced to see ourselves as others saw us and the sight was not always a pretty one. We were forced to confront our own capacity for a atrocity -- for evil -- and in this we understood not only war but more about ourselves. But that humility is gone.

War, we have come to believe, is a spectator sport. The military and the press -- remember in wartime the press is always part of the problem -- have turned war into a vast video arcade came. Its very essence -- death -- is hidden from public view.

There was no more candor in the Persian Gulf War or the War in Afghanistan or the War in Iraq than there was in Vietnam. But in the age of live feeds and satellite television, the state and the military have perfected the appearance of candor.

Because we no longer understand war, we no longer understand that it can all go horribly wrong. We no longer understand that war begins by calling for the annihilation of others but ends if we do not know when to make or maintain peace with self-annihilation. We flirt, given the potency of modern weapons, with our own destruction.