3 of 4
3
Islam and terrorism
Posted: 17 February 2005 10:37 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 31 ]  
Jr. Member
RankRank
Total Posts:  87
Joined  2004-12-30
[quote author=“global village idiot”]No, it isn’t. It’s just a run of the mill nation-state doing what all nation-states, without exception, do, to the extent its resources allow it to do so. An empire seizes territory, holds it against all comers, replaces the indigenous population with immigrants from the home country, forces locals into slave labor, executes or exiles those who don’t sign on to the empire’s ideology, and so on.

You have a strange notion of empire, satisfied by very few actual empires.  The British didn’t replace the indigenous population of India with immigrants and force the locals into slave labor, yet they were an empire.  Same with the Romans.  They ruled over territories, but didn’t replace the indigenous populations. 

The U.S. empire has no need to actually occupy countries, if they can accomplish the same using invasions, and political and economic subversions.

Proof please.

Rebuilding America’s Defenses from the Project for a New American Century, a think-tank several of whose members are in the current administration.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 17 February 2005 10:39 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 32 ]  
Member
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  369
Joined  2005-02-07

[quote author=“dchoweller”]I take it from this, then that you extrapolate wildly about what other people think and say.

This may be a fair charge in your case, since I don’t know you. But it’s born from having this discussion endlessly with people who never make explicit what they’re alternative, realistic policy is.

So, in the interest of fairness, I’ll ask: what should we be doing instead of what we’re doing now? What’s you’re alternative policy?

Profile
 
 
Posted: 17 February 2005 10:43 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 33 ]  
Jr. Member
RankRank
Total Posts:  87
Joined  2004-12-30

[quote author=“global village idiot”]Do we sit around and wait for the madmen to come to power in a place like Pakistan, which has nukes, or Iraq, the second-holiest land in Islam and center of an enormous industrial capacity; or do we destroy them now, while it’s easier and costs fewer lives.

Who is against destroying the terrorists.  But that’s not what we’re doing.  We’re invading Iraq instead, while ignoring nuclear proliferation elsewhere.

To wit, do we destroy the Nazis before or after they come to power.

Sure, destroy them by all means.  But what does that have to do with Iraq, and having permanent military bases there?

Everything you’ve written here about “imperialism” carries a tone of moral indignation that suggests these problems would vanish if a leash were put on American power.

I suggest that American power be used to go after terrorists, rather than support our empire.  Our military is more suited to our empire than going after terrorists.  This indicates to me our real priorities.

Which essentially means you’re arguing we should do nothing.

Why don’t you actually find out what I’m arguing before drawing conclusions.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 17 February 2005 10:44 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 34 ]  
Member
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  369
Joined  2005-02-07

[quote author=“dchoweller”]You have a strange notion of empire, satisfied by very few actual empires.

Nah, just a strict definition.

The British didn’t replace the indigenous population of India with immigrants and force the locals into slave labor, yet they were an empire.

So they said. But it should be noted that the British did, in fact, emigrate many of their citizens to the colonies, and that their colonies were directly ruled by citizens of Britain. Unlike what we do.

Same with the Romans.  They ruled over territories, but didn’t replace the indigenous populations.

Um, yes they did. They tried to, for a very long time.

The U.S. empire has no need to actually occupy countries, if they can accomplish the same using invasions, and political and economic subversions.

That may be condemnable, but it’s not imperialism. Not all efforts by nation-states to advance their perceived interests is imperialism. If everything is imperialism, then nothing is, and our ability to recognize the real thing when we encounter it is thus weakened.

Rebuilding America’s Defenses from the Project for a New American Century, a think-tank several of whose members are in the current administration.

I’ve read it, and from what I remember, it doesn’t say what you’re implying it does. But I’ll get back to you.

And even if it does, that begs an even bigger question: why is empire bad? Might there not be fates worse than American hegemony?

[ Edited: 17 February 2005 11:05 AM by ]
Profile
 
 
Posted: 17 February 2005 11:02 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 35 ]  
Member
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  369
Joined  2005-02-07

[quote author=“dchoweller”]Who is against destroying the terrorists.  But that’s not what we’re doing.  We’re invading Iraq instead, while ignoring nuclear proliferation elsewhere.

Maybe so. I’m not here specifically defending the invasion of Iraq (though I do think it was pretty much inevitable, sooner or later, given the 12-year history of confrontation and the widespread belief—at the time, without the hindsight we have now—of most of the world’s intelligence agencies that Saddam was working on nukes). But what is the specific policy to pursue instead? Not talking in generalities, but specifics. Ultimately, any policy we pursue to fight terrorism and nuclear proliferation will realistically include invading someone at some point, or bombing them. And on the basis of previous experience with people who make the arguments you’re making (one of them being my former self), I can’t help thinking that if it came to that, you’d suddenly scream “imperialism” again. The rubber has to hit the road at some point, and we can’t do the things you suggest we do without bombing and killing, many times unilaterally.

Sure, destroy them by all means.  But what does that have to do with Iraq, and having permanent military bases there?

Iraq was Weimar Germany, to speak analogously. Saddam’s collapse was inevitable, and he was already allowing his govt to be heavily influenced by the Religious Right, regularly playing to the propaganda of jihad while pursuing divide-and-rule tactics that were driving the country into ruin. Upon his death, we’d either see the splitting of the country between his two rival sons, or an outright civil war in which the most well-heeled factions were the Ba’athist regime and the jihadist militias, with the Kurds caught in the middle. And then, there’d be cries for intervention all around, and, inevitably, a U.S. military presence of some kind. Without it, the only possible outcomes were an ethnic war that spread more widely into the region, or the rise of an expansionist Islamist state.

Given all that, at some point, we’d be doing what we’re doing now. Perhaps with more support from other nations, but the end was pretty much inevitable.

I suggest that American power be used to go after terrorists, rather than support our empire.  Our military is more suited to our empire than going after terrorists.  This indicates to me our real priorities.

We’re restructuring our military to deal with assymetric warfare, but when the problem of terrorism is increasingly tied up with the problem of nuclear proliferation, it’s unrealistic to think we won’t still need a more conventional structure, as well. And you still haven’t convinced me that if we did what you’re demaning, you’d be able to tell the difference. I submit, in fact, that doing what you’re demanding would look a helluva lot like what we’re already doing.

Why don’t you actually find out what I’m arguing before drawing conclusions.

I’m trying.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 17 February 2005 12:31 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 36 ]  
Member
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  369
Joined  2005-02-07

A country whose planners say that they need control of Iraq, whether or not Saddam is in power, and who then use the “catalyzing event” of 9/11 to go ahead and do what they wanted to anyway, is an empire.

When asked for proof, you cited

Rebuilding America’s Defenses from the Project for a New American Century, a think-tank several of whose members are in the current administration.

And of course, I was right. The document in question—http://newamericancentury.org/RebuildingAmericasDefenses.pdf—doesn’t say what you claim it does.

The document begins not with a statement of goals to be achieved, but rather an assessment of a state of affairs that already exists: America is the sole remaining superpower, and the peace and stability of much of the world will thus depend more heavily in the future upon it. Given the poor performance of the U.N. In places like the Balkans and Rwanda, the world will likely turn increasingly to the United States for help in addressing the new threats to peace and stability. To adjust to this reality, and thus maintain the peace and stability, America should restructure its military forces and deployments to reflect where the threats are most likely to come from – southeast Europe, the Persian Gulf region, and east Asia.

Now, again, these are not statements of intent, merely of fact. They are assessments of the current state of geo-politics, America’s place in it, and the threats to that geo-politics that are most likely to emerge. Followed by recommendations for what to do about it, both to protect American interests abroad, and to promote peace and stability (two goals which are taken to be one and the same by the authors).

There’s nothing in it about seizing control of Iraq whether Saddam’s in charge or not, or even about affecting a regime change in Iraq. To the contrary, it actually recommends the opposite approach: maintain and monitor the status quo in the Persian Gulf region.

Here are the specific policy recommendations about Iraq that appear Rebuilding America’s Defenses (emphasis added)

In addition to the aircraft enforcing the no-fly zone, the United States now also retains what amounts to a near-permanent land force presence in Kuwait. A substantial heavy task force with almost the strength of a brigade rotates four times a year on average for maneuvers and joint training with the Kuwaiti army, with the result that commanders now believe that, in conjunction with the Southern Watch fleet, Kuwait itself is strongly defended against any Iraqi attack. With a minor increase in strength, more permanent basing arrangements, and continued no-fly and “no-drive” zone enforcement, the danger of a repeat short-warning Iraqi invasion as in 1990 would be significantly reduced. With the rationalization of ground-based U.S. air forces in the region, the demand for carrier presence in the region can be relaxed. As recent strikes against Iraq demonstrate, the preferred weapon for punitive raids is the cruise missile, supplemented by stealthy strike aircraft and longer-range Air Force strike aircraft. Carrier aircraft are most useful in sustaining a campaign begun with missiles and stealth strike aircraft, indicating that a surface action group capable of launching several hundred cruise missiles is the most valuable naval presence in the Gulf. With a substantial permanent Army ground presence in Kuwait, the demands for Marine presence in the Gulf could be scaled back as well.
pp. 17-18

In other words, continue containment efforts, maintain the status quo in Iraq, and don’t seek regime change.

In the Persian Gulf region, the provisional 4044th Wing should continue to operate much as it has for the better part of the last decade. However, the Air Force should take several steps to improve its operations while deferring to local political sensibilities. To relieve the stress of constant rotations, the Air Force might consider using more U.S. civilian contract workers in support roles – perhaps even to do aircraft maintenance or to provide additional security. While this might increase the cost of these operations, it might also be an incentive to get the Saudis, Kuwaitis and other Gulf states to assume a greater share of the costs while preserving the lowest possible U.S. military profile. By the same token, further improvements in the facilities at Al Kharj in Saudi Arabia, especially those that would improve the quality of life for airmen and allow increased combat training, warrant additional American as well as Saudi investments. The Air Force presence in the Gulf region is a vital one for U.S. Military strategy, and the United States should consider it a de facto permanent presence, even as it seeks ways to lessen Saudi, Kuwaiti and regional concerns about U.S. Presence.
pp. 34-35

In other words, placate the local potentates, maintain the status quo in Iraq, and don’t seek regime change.

Also, while it is likely that the Middle East and Persian Gulf will remain an area of turmoil and instability, the increased presence of American ground forces and landbased air forces in the region mark a notable shift from the 1980s, when naval forces carried the overwhelming burden of U.S. military presence in the region. Although the Navy will remain an important partner in Gulf and regional operations, the load can now be shared more equitably with other services. And, according to the force posture described in the preceding chapter, future American policy should seek to augment the forces already in the region or nearby. However, since current U.S. Navy force structure, and particularly its carrier battle-group structure, is driven by the current requirements for Gulf operations, the reduced emphasis of naval forces in the Gulf will have an effect on overall Navy structure.

Thus, the emphasis of U.S. Navy operations should shift increasingly toward East Asia.
p. 44

In other words, shift the emphasis of naval operations away from the Gulf, maintain the status quo and don’t seek regime change.

I remember reading this document when it was published, and thinking, as a then-Chomskyite, “you know, we’d do much better using all this power to actually overthrow these dictators in the Gulf and building democracies there. That would be far less hypocritical of us.” The document offended me, basically, because it sought to maintain the status quo in the Gulf, rather than seeking democratic change, which is inherently unstable.

It would seem George Bush agrees with me, and not with this document.

[ Edited: 17 February 2005 03:25 PM by ]
Profile
 
 
Posted: 17 February 2005 01:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 37 ]  
Member
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  369
Joined  2005-02-07

[quote author=“dchoweller”]The attacks on Dresden, Hiroshima, etc. targeted civilians.  You cannot not target civilians when you use atomic weapons and firebombing.

No, they didn’t. They targeted military targets that were located in civilian poulation centers (in violation of the Geneva Conventions, I might add, thus making the civilian deaths incurred the legal fault of Japan and Germany, not the Allies).

Then why not attack a purely military target.  why use an indiscriminate weapon like an atomic bomb, or fire-bombing?

Because the Germans and the Japanese were not separating their military C-n-C ops from their civilian centers; on the contrary, they were specifically using civilians as shields. The international laws of war require nations to locate their military ops far away from pre-existing civilian population centers; if a nation doesn’t do this, and it ops are attacked in the course of a legitimate war, then culpability for civilian deaths in those attacks falls on the attacked state, not the attacking one.

I’d say that civilians were explicitly targeted in Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Dresden, and Cologne.  The indiscriminate nature of the weapon used indicates this.  If the military targets in Hiroshima or Nagasaki were being targeted, less indiscriminate weapons could have been used.

And the war would have lasted longer, and millions more on both sides would have been killed in the process. One of the reasons explicitly cited for using Fat Man and Little Boy was that it would swiftly end the war with Japan, thus saving more lives in the long run than it killed.

Killing civilians for its own sake was not the purpose of the attack.  Killing civilians for the purpose of terrorizing the Japanese/Germans into accepting that they were defeated was the purpose of the atacks.

Hrm, that’s sort of true, in the sense that attack planners hoped that would be the result. But they selected targets with legitimate military applications rather than completely non-military targets. They could have nuked Tokyo, for instance, but didn’t because it contained no significant military targets.

Maybe I’m dumb, but I don’t see Bin Laden and his ilk killing civilians purely for the joy of it.  Terrorism is a tactic, not an end in itself.  It is assymetric warfare.  It is a horrible means used to accomplish a purpose.

I’m not saying they do it because they enjoy it. They do it because the believe in an ideology wherein mass murder of infidels is its own reward. Al-Qaeda’s writings explicitly state that they make no distinction between military targets and civilian ones; even children are considered combatants.

However, it’s different from what you’re saying, which is that they’re doing it for the pure joy of killing people.

Undoubtedly, some of them are. But that’s not what I’m saying. I’m saying that their goal is to kill as many noncombatants as possible, because they are noncombatants, and that doing so in a suicidal manner brings its own reward, in their minds. Their methods are their goal, and their motivations are irrational.

One can be a non-pacifist, and yet insist that civilians not be targeted for whatever purpose.

Not pragmatically. There is no possible policy for fighting a war that doesn’t involve the possibility of civilian deaths. The best we can hope for is to minimize civilian casualties as much as possible. Which gets better at the point I’m making about the “terrorists.”

We define a successful attack by how few civilians it kills. They define success by how many.  At the end of the day, that is why we are not their moral equivalents, why we are better than them even if we are an “empire,” and why we deserve to win.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 17 February 2005 03:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 38 ]  
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  2957
Joined  2004-12-02

[quote author=“global village idiot”]So, in the interest of fairness, I’ll ask: what should we be doing instead of what we’re doing now? What’s you’re alternative policy?

Ditto. Who do we attack? Where and when do we attack them? For how long? What weapons do we use? How many civilian casualties are we willing to tolerate? What if the cell is being harbored by a state, and that state won’t co-operate? Do we invade? Do we bomb? Unilaterally? And how is any of it different from what we’re already doing?

Profile
 
 
Posted: 19 February 2005 09:16 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 39 ]  
Member
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  369
Joined  2005-02-07

[quote author=“dchoweller”]Sure, destroy them by all means.  But what does that have to do with Iraq, and having permanent military bases there?

I realized my answer to this question wasn’t quite direct enough.

The case for taking out Saddam after 9/11 is pretty straightforward: even before those attacks, Hussein was – for 30 years – one of the world’s leading “philanthropists” of terrorism, providing financing, logistical support, safe haven, passports and training to a wide array of terrorist organizations and individuals, including Abu Abbas, Abu Nidal, Hamas, Hezbollah, and the PKK. His regime had ties to the 1993 WTC bombing, and there was plenty of evidence – as reported by the 9/11 Commission – that although they had no formal ties to each other, Ba’athist Iraq and Al-Qaeda were moving ever closer to a formal alliance even before 9/11. After 9/11, when Saddam was the only head of state to praise the attacks and announce his solidarity with its perpetrators (a virtual declaration of war in and of itself), one only had to look at his previous record and his personal fortune of between 3 to 6 billion dollars to conclude that he was very likely indeed to throw his weight behind al-Qaeda and thus provide them with financial means to carry out dozens more 9/11-scale attacks.

Arguing that, post-9/11, the U.S. should only go after al-Qaeda while ignoring the larger problem of this network of terrorists and their state sponsors is like arguing that the FBI should only investigate and prosecute one mob family at a time, rather than all of them all at once. When mounting an operation against this network, it only makes strategic sense to attack it at its weakest link. And Saddam was that weak link.

Couple all of that with the widespread belief – held, at the time, by every major intelligence agency in the world, and the basis of 17 UN resolutions against him between 1991 and 2002 – that Saddam did possess stockpiles of WMDs, and it’s easy to see why officials might consider Iraq a credible threat. The point here about WMDs isn’t whether the claims about his stockpiles turned out to be true; the point is that, prior to the US invasion, the claim was believed by everyone, almost without exception. The intelligence agencies of France, Germany, Australia, Italy, Russia, England, most of the other European countries, and Israel all believed it. All of the active UN weapons inspectors at the time believed it (read Hans Blix memoirs). The body of evidence had been the basis of the aforementioned UN resolutions, the imposing of UN sanctions, and the passing of the Iraq Liberation Act of 1998 (with a unanimous vote of the Senate, including Ted Kennedy and John Kerry). If you go back and look at the debate that took place, you’ll see that the only question was what to do about Saddam’s stockpiles and not over whether he had them or not. The French argued, just before the invasion, that Saddam’s WMDs were the reason we shouldn’t invade; their argument, basically, was that he would use his WMDs on invading troops as he had used them on his own people and against Iran, thus leading to an American death toll in the hundreds of thousands. This argument was repeated by most of the domestic opposition prior to the war, as well.

Now, one can certainly have differing views over the justness or necessity of the Iraq operation. But to pretend that there was no good reason to consider Iraq a threat is simply ignoring both the facts and political reality. It’s one thing to disagree over the best way of addressing the threat; it’s quite another to say there was no threat. It’s one thing to say that this widespread belief about Saddam’s WMDs was, though credible at the time on the basis of all evidence then available, mistaken; but quite another to claim that Bush was just making it all up.

One of the reasons I switched sides on the issue is the fact that too many anti-war voices were resorting to B.S. conspiracy theories and ignoring the actual history of what happened. Rather than basing its opposition on an interpretation of the facts, most of the anti-war movement based it instead on fantasy. It ignored the 12-year history of confrontation between Saddam and the rest of the world, pretending that all of these concerns were nothing but propaganda.

By way of analogy, imagine if Michael Moore had made a “documentary” about the American Civil War which ignored both the pre-Lincoln secessionist movement and the issue of slavery, which never mentioned Bleeding Kansas or the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850, which ignored the writings and speeches of Confederate partisans, and instead claimed that when Lincoln and his supporters mentioned any of those things, they were just lying to hide their true agenda. Imagine that it claimed Ft. Sumter was nothing but an isolated incident, now being used as a “catalyzing event” by Lincoln’s New York banker friends to finally seize control of the lucrative cotton fields of Georgia. Imagine that it claimed the Ku Klux Klan –  the “resistance” movement of the South during Reconstruction, who targeted election organizers and former-slave civilians, publishing photos of their murders in warning pamphlets laced with racist language – were in fact the true voice of the former slaves, who had lived in peace and harmony before the Union invasion.

Now, wherever one’s sympathies lay in the Civil War, it would be obvious that such a “documentary” was complete nonsense. Yet, that is essentially what the anti-war movement is now saying about Iraq.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 26 May 2005 10:22 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 40 ]  
Jr. Member
RankRank
Total Posts:  61
Joined  2005-05-23

[quote author=“dchoweller”]I just heard an interview with Sam Harris on KPFK, a Pacifica station in Los Angeles.  After this I also read Sam Harris’ opinion piece in the Washington Times.  In the interview, Mr Harris implies that there are no non-Islamic suicide bombers.  This is not true.  What about the Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka?  What about Japanese Kamikaze pilots?

What an absurd hair to split!  How many Japanese Kamikaze pilots flew into the World Trade Center?  How many Tamil Tigers killed Daniel Pearl?  You are one of the army of apologists who cannot look directly at the call to murder that is at the heart of the Koran—the book sacred to ALL Muslims.

Regards,
Mark Starr

Profile
 
 
Posted: 26 May 2005 11:12 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 41 ]  
Jr. Member
RankRank
Total Posts:  61
Joined  2005-05-23

[quote author=“global village idiot”][quote author=“dchoweller”]Who said it was.  I’m quarrelling with the targeting and killing of civilians to accomplish our purposes, not the fight against the Japanese or the Germans.

I guess I should ask whether you are an absolute pacifist or not. If so, then I can understand your position. But if not, I think it’s disingenuous. The attacks on Dresden and Hiroshima were not targeting civilians. They were targeting military targets for military goals. Absent those targets and goals, the cities would not have been bombed. The purpose of the attacks was not to kill civilians.  Now, yes, civilians were killed in both attacks, as they have been in all attacks in all wars. But the distinction lies in whether killing civilians was the purpose of the attack. With Dresden and Hiroshima, it wasn’t.

You are both disingenuous.

The purpose of the Allied bombing attack on Dresden was unquestionably to snuff out German resistance by a mass extermination of a large civilian population.

The purpose of the American atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki was unquestionably to snuff out Japanese resistance by a mass extermination of a large civilian population.

I will leave it to you two to agrue whether these historical events were right or wrong.  There can be no doubt, however, that in both cases, the attacks accomplished their objectives.  Whether right or wrong, they will serve as a model for future events.

The only question that should concern us today is: are we—meaning both Islam and the West—on an irreversible collision course that insures the same sort of mass extermination will occur again in the near future, but this time on a far greater scale?

Mark Starr

Profile
 
 
Posted: 26 May 2005 11:30 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 42 ]  
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  2957
Joined  2004-12-02

[quote author=“Mark Starr”]You are both disingenuous.

The purpose of the Allied bombing attack on Dresden was unquestionably to snuff out German resistance by a mass extermination of a large civilian population.

The purpose of the American atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki was unquestionably to snuff out Japanese resistance by a mass extermination of a large civilian population.

Mark Starr

Some of you may want to read Hiroshima: Why America Dropped the Atomic Bomb, by Ronald Takaki.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 26 May 2005 08:45 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 43 ]  
Member
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  369
Joined  2005-02-07

[quote author=“Mark Starr”]You are both disingenuous.

The purpose of the Allied bombing attack on Dresden was unquestionably to snuff out German resistance by a mass extermination of a large civilian population.

Wrong. It was to hamper the Germans’ ability to reinforce the eastern front with up to 42 divisions. Dresden was a major rail hub, and Allied intelligence made it clear that if the city wasn’t hit along with Berlin and Leipzig, the Nazis would be able re-route rail traffic through the city to compensate for any damage caused them by the hits on the other two. Dresden was not targeted to inflict terror on its civilian population —though it undoubtedly did have that effect—nor to “snuff out” resistance by targeting civilians.

The purpose of the American atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki was unquestionably to snuff out Japanese resistance by a mass extermination of a large civilian population.

Wrong again. The purpose of both attacks was to strike at Japan’s military infrastructure while demonstrating the Allies’ terrible new weapon.

Hiroshima was the HQ of the 5th Division and Field Marshall Hata’s 2nd General Army, as well as a communications center, military storage facility and assembly area for Japanese troops. It was chosen as a target because it hadn’t suffered damage from previous bombing raids.

Nagasaki was one of the largest sea ports in southern Japan, and also housed the Mitsubishi Steel and Arms Works. The city produced a huge chunk of the Empire’s ordnance, ships, military equipment and other war materials. It, too, was targeted because the city had suffered relatively little damage in bombing raids.

Had the goal been simply to terrorize civilians or “snuff out” their lives in mass numbers, the U.S. would have gone ahead with plans to bomb Kyoto, a city of temples with no military applications. Doing so was discussed, but scrubbed in response to moral objections from members of the Target Committee.

I will leave it to you two to agrue whether these historical events were right or wrong.  There can be no doubt, however, that in both cases, the attacks accomplished their objectives.  Whether right or wrong, they will serve as a model for future events.

My concern in this debate wasn’t primarily whether the attacks were right or wrong, but with whether they were the moral (or even tactical) equivalents of 9/11 or other terrorist attacks carried out solely to kill noncombatants. They weren’t.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 27 May 2005 04:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 44 ]  
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  2957
Joined  2004-12-02

I repeat.  You might want to read “Hiroshima: Why America Dropped the Atomic Bomb”, by Ronald Takaki.  He doesn’t seem to agree with you Global.  The facts you stated may be true, but not necessarily the real reasons.  I don’t claim to know any more than that.  So I’ll leave it to you two to ferret out the “truth”.  My personal belief is that both Dresden and Hiroshima/Nagasaki were morally wrong acts.  Takaki gave me reason to bolster that belief.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 27 May 2005 07:28 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 45 ]  
Jr. Member
RankRank
Total Posts:  61
Joined  2005-05-23

[quote author=“Anonymous”]I repeat.  You might want to read “Hiroshima: Why America Dropped the Atomic Bomb”, by Ronald Takaki.  He doesn’t seem to agree with you Global.  The facts you stated may be true, but not necessarily the real reasons.  I don’t claim to know any more than that.  So I’ll leave it to you two to ferret out the “truth”.  My personal belief is that both Dresden and Hiroshima/Nagasaki were morally wrong acts.  Takaki gave me reason to bolster that belief.

Of course Takaki doesn’t agree with GVI’s historical revisionism because it is not true.  There is no need to speculate on why the US bombed Hiroshima and Nagasaki.  Harry Truman, who made the decision, spelled it out with crystal clear precision: to stop the war immediately and save the lives of American troops.  He said if so much as one additional American soldier had died when he had the weapon to end the war immediately and didn’t use it, he would have been impeached—and rightly so.

Mark Starr

Profile
 
 
   
3 of 4
3
 
RSS 2.0     Atom Feed