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Thread: Iraq CF Thread - Page 8







Post#176 at 08-26-2007 03:21 PM by sean '90 [at joined Jul 2007 #posts 1,625]
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Quote Originally Posted by Bob Butler 54 View Post
I'll note that the old nobility was often originally a warrior caste. Agriculture was the dominant means of gathering wealth, the nobility owned the land, and more land was acquired by the sword. Thus, there was a tradition, even after the feudal system started breaking down, of military service by the aristocracy. Thus, we have the heir to the British throne serving in the army.
This is one of the reasons why I favor monarchy, as it is more accountable to the people than LBJ was or Dick-face Cheney is. His Royal Highness Prince Henry of Wales is only third in line to the throne, and will likely not be the heir unless his older brother Prince William dies.







Post#177 at 08-26-2007 03:33 PM by Bob Butler 54 [at Cove Hold, Carver, MA joined Jul 2001 #posts 6,431]
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Quote Originally Posted by sean '90 View Post
This is one of the reasons why I favor monarchy, as it is more accountable to the people than LBJ was or Dick-face Cheney is. His Royal Highness Prince Henry of Wales is only third in line to the throne, and will likely not be the heir unless his older brother Prince William dies.
The problem is that the ruling elites generally come from that fraction of the culture that generates or controls the most wealth. (This is almost the definition of what the 'ruling elites' are.) While the British royals are honoring somewhat the ancient martial traditions, wealth is no longer acquired primarily by the sword. The best ruler will no longer be the individual who has spent his life learning how to fight wars. Today's ruling elites are from industry and finance. Ugly and unfortunate, but true. Having a king today who knows how to fight battles wouldn't help.

A functional democracy capable of defending the interests of the middle and lower classes might.







Post#178 at 08-26-2007 03:47 PM by Bob Butler 54 [at Cove Hold, Carver, MA joined Jul 2001 #posts 6,431]
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After Iraq Trip, Unshaken Resolve

The Washington Post published an article on Representative Jan Schakowsky's recent visit to Iraq. Schakowsky is of the impression that the American People would like to see the Iraq occupation end in a year or two, and that the current surge is a very temporary thing. She learned that various powers in Iraq are thinking in a much longer time frame.

For discussion purposes...

Deputy Prime Minister Barham Salih told her congressional delegation, "There's not going to be political reconciliation by this September; there's not going to be political reconciliation by next September."
Then, General Petraeus spoke to the delegation...

Still, the U.S. commander cautioned, it could take another decade before real stability is at hand. Schakowsky gasped. "I come from an environment where people talk nine to 10 months," she said, referring to the time frame for withdrawal that many Democrats are advocating. "And there he was, talking nine to 10 years.
Other articles have emphasized a large timing gap between commanders in Iraq and planners in the Pentagon. Petraeus and company believe they have made some progress, but they need to maintain manpower levels near the Surge maximum in order to maintain the status quo. The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs is looking to reduce troop levels to around 100,000 so force readiness can be maintained and a strategic reserve restored.

Well, September is nigh on here. Things ought to get interesting in Washington soon...







Post#179 at 08-26-2007 07:46 PM by zilch [at joined Nov 2001 #posts 3,491]
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Cool The Philosophy of Appeasement

Quote Originally Posted by Mikebert View Post
Here Marc is making stuff up. Civilization did not remotely come close to ending after either world war.
And here you are making the typical post-JFK liberal mistake of looking at history backwards. Sure, you know how it ends so peering at events from the other side is not necessary.

Fact is, nuclear bombs saved the Japanese people from near-extinction, as less than 1% of them ever surrendered on the many bloody battlefields preceding the planned invasion of Japan itself. And the closer we got to their homeland the more fanactical they became.

The end of the world is not nigh, only the old New Deal is. May it rest in peace.







Post#180 at 08-26-2007 10:10 PM by sean '90 [at joined Jul 2007 #posts 1,625]
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Quote Originally Posted by zilch View Post
The end of the world is not nigh, only the old New Deal is. May it (and zilch) rest in peace.
This is so true. That's amazing of you zilch!







Post#181 at 08-26-2007 10:32 PM by Pink Splice [at St. Louis MO (They Built An Entire Country Around Us) joined Apr 2005 #posts 5,439]
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Quote Originally Posted by The Rani View Post
If taking pleasure in someone else's misery, or even the mere idea of someone else's misery, isn't vindictive, then ... what exactly would you call it?
I think I would call it Rani.







Post#182 at 08-27-2007 08:23 AM by Mikebert [at Kalamazoo MI joined Jul 2001 #posts 4,502]
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Quote Originally Posted by zilch View Post
And here you are making the typical post-JFK liberal mistake of looking at history backwards. Sure, you know how it ends so peering at events from the other side is not necessary.
I simply noted the quite obvious fact that WW II did not destroy civilization. The means to destroy Western civilization simply did not exist prior to WW II. Aside from pacifists, nobody believed that major wars no longer made sense. The terroritorial grabs of Germany and Japan were analogous to similar moves by previous powers. The scale of the war that resulted was larger, but still manageable.

All this changed with the development of the deployable H-bomb. There was no physical law that prevented a nation from acquiring thousands of H-bombs, which is just what the superpowers did. The existence of these new weapons changed everything.

Nuclear weapons are so powerful that they can literally destroy civilization. Civilization usually refers to the development of state societies typified by dense populations of of people and economic activity that are lossing termed cities. Destroy all the urban area of a civilization and you destroy the civilization. The H-bomb is the first weapon that is capable of doing this. All-out war uses the most powerful weaponry available (this is what makes it all out) and so it would employ H-bombs.

A simple calculation can illustrate the power of H-bombs. 222 million Americans live in metropolitan areas with an average population density of 2400 people per sq mile. Roughly 3/4's of the population lives on 92000 square miles. A 100 kton W76 warhead carried on a Trident SLBM is five times larger than the Hiroshima bomb. Figure a kill radius of 3 miles (7 sq miles) and all you need is about 13000 bombs to completely destroy urban America. The US and USSR had about 61000 bombs in 1990. You can wipe out the Americans and Russions living in metro areas and have plenty left to destroy rural military and economic targets.

Fact is, nuclear bombs saved the Japanese people from near-extinction,
This is your opinion not a fact.
Last edited by Mikebert; 08-27-2007 at 08:46 AM.







Post#183 at 08-27-2007 08:54 AM by Bob Butler 54 [at Cove Hold, Carver, MA joined Jul 2001 #posts 6,431]
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Quote Originally Posted by Mikebert View Post
I simply noted the quite obvious fact that WW II did not destroy civilization. The means to destroy Western civilization simply did not exist prior to WW II. Aside from pacifists, nobody believed that major wars no longer made sense. The terroritorial grabs of Germany and Japan were analogous to similar moves by previous powers. The scale of the war that resulted was larger, but still manageable.
Well, a few of the pacifists were noted academics, including economists. There were a few well accepted papers saying that siezing territory from one's neighbor caused more expense than was brought in with income. These papers (and perhaps moral / propaganda considerations) were taken seriously enough that the Atlantic Charter asserted that Britain and the US would not seek territorial acquisitions, but would return all lands to the pre-war status quo. This would have helped in acquiring allies, and reduced the chances of a later war erupting to correct the land siezures.

For the most part, land was not taken, though some Pacific islands were kept for military bases through the Cold War.

But broadly, I agree with that WW II technology was not going to destroy civilization. Many urban areas had to be rebuilt from scratch. An invasion of Japan, if fought in the dire manner of women and children charging marines with sharpened bamboo sticks, might have come close for Japan, but they didn't actually do it.







Post#184 at 08-27-2007 09:02 AM by Bob Butler 54 [at Cove Hold, Carver, MA joined Jul 2001 #posts 6,431]
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Quote Originally Posted by Pink Splice View Post
I think I would call it Rani.
I'd call it snark. A lot of the CF series of posts seem to be more about counting coup over political rivals than increasing awareness of the political situation. The Rani and Zilch take snark quite far, with much emotion and little fact. Still, your tone isn't snark free by any means.







Post#185 at 08-27-2007 09:19 AM by Bob Butler 54 [at Cove Hold, Carver, MA joined Jul 2001 #posts 6,431]
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A Potentially Winning Tactic, With a Warning.

Another day, another study, another Washington Post article. This one is A Potentially Winning Tactic, With a Warning. It touches a core question, to what extent does one arm the Sunni tribes to support their fight against Al Qaida, given that said arms might be said to destabalize the relationships between the tribes and the Shiite dominated central government...

One paragraph stood out for stating what should have been long since obvious. For discussion purposes...

The Iraq Tribal Study provided a handbook on how to gain that support by covering the basics. One section, titled "How to Work With Tribesmen," explains that "RESPECT ( Ihtiram in Arabic) is the key," and also warns: "Do not assume that they want to be like you."







Post#186 at 08-27-2007 10:58 AM by Pink Splice [at St. Louis MO (They Built An Entire Country Around Us) joined Apr 2005 #posts 5,439]
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Quote Originally Posted by Bob Butler 54 View Post
I'd call it snark. A lot of the CF series of posts seem to be more about counting coup over political rivals than increasing awareness of the political situation. The Rani and Zilch take snark quite far, with much emotion and little fact. Still, your tone isn't snark free by any means.
Indeed. Guilty as charged. I'm venting. After having been shit on for long enough, I'm snarking back, with a baseball bat of bad news over the head of the blowhards. Hell, yes, I'm counting coup- and I plead guilty to enjoying the schadenfruede to the full.

Try getting an admission like *that* out of Rani or Marc- or the facts to back up thier assertions.

As for being aware of the subtleties of the political situation, we, all of us, are in the fifth or sixth sigma of the population distribution that cares about politics. And we're geeks. There's no way in hell you are going to take winning and losing out of the posting here. Politics is tit-for-tat, and that will never change. Geek culture is even worse.

High School Never Ends, guy.

And there's no way in hell that we're going to STFU. All of us are *addicts*. Try getting an admission like *that* out of the usual suspects.







Post#187 at 08-27-2007 11:08 AM by Mikebert [at Kalamazoo MI joined Jul 2001 #posts 4,502]
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Quote Originally Posted by Bob Butler 54 View Post
Well, a few of the pacifists were noted academics, including economists. There were a few well accepted papers saying that siezing territory from one's neighbor caused more expense than was brought in with income.
True, but all out wars can be fought for reasons other than aquiring territory, and so could still make sense. My point is that nuclear weapons provide the means for civilizational suicide, something that didn't exist before.

An invasion of Japan, if fought in the dire manner of women and children charging marines with sharpened bamboo sticks, might have come close for Japan, but they didn't actually do it.
If this was a real possibility, if the Japanese people had decided to commit suicide by charging soliders with guns wielding sticks, then the Japanese would not have surrendered, opting instead for hari kari by Allied bombing.

Sure Japanese soldiers fought to the last man on various islands. But did they they think they had a real choice? There was no possibility of retreat. Surrender wasn't much of an option. The Japanese treated their war prisoners horribly so there was every reason to expect the enemy would do likewise. So fighting to the death was the only option they thought they had.

American commanders do not think that sacrificing their men like pawns is a anacceptable or honorable way of conducting war. American commanders will retreat rather than leave armies to die in the field like the Japanese did. Americans didn't horribly mistreat their POWs. Is it so surprising that American troops believed there were many options beside fighting to the death when the battle went against you?

It is easy to see how Americans were shocked by what the Japanese soliders did. To our eyes it looked irrational and so many Americans expected a similar irrationality in the battle for Japan. I am saying that what the Japanese solider did wasn't so irrational when viewed from his perspective. On the other hand, having his wife and children fighting American troops with pointy sticks would be viewed as irrational by the same Japanese troops who chose to fought to the death.

After all, in actual fact the Japanese DID choose to surrender rather than fight to the last child. I don't find this surprising.







Post#188 at 08-27-2007 11:53 AM by Bob Butler 54 [at Cove Hold, Carver, MA joined Jul 2001 #posts 6,431]
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Quote Originally Posted by Mikebert View Post
It is easy to see how Americans were shocked by what the Japanese soliders did. To our eyes it looked irrational and so many Americans expected a similar irrationality in the battle for Japan. I am saying that what the Japanese solider did wasn't so irrational when viewed from his perspective. On the other hand, having his wife and children fighting American troops with pointy sticks would be viewed as irrational by the same Japanese troops who chose to fought to the death.

After all, in actual fact the Japanese DID choose to surrender rather than fight to the last child. I don't find this surprising.
There was at least one occasion, I believe it was Okinawa, where a village full of civilians jumped off a cliff rather than be captured by Americans. I've also heard many reports of Japanese troops on Okinawa and Iwo Jima suiciding on the approach of the Americans, rather than trying to kill Americans. Yes, the Americans were demonized. No, the Japanese were not being rational at that point. Yes, the Japanese leadership didn't push it to the bitter end.

But the emotion level was running high enough and the sanity level low enough for a major, perhaps civilization ending, loss of life.

Just as well we'll never know.







Post#189 at 08-27-2007 12:24 PM by Mikebert [at Kalamazoo MI joined Jul 2001 #posts 4,502]
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Quote Originally Posted by Bob Butler 54 View Post
There was at least one occasion, I believe it was Okinawa, where a village full of civilians jumped off a cliff rather than be captured by Americans.
We have had American "villages" that did the same sort of thing (Jonestown, Waco). I wouldn't extrapolate their behavior to an entire nation.







Post#190 at 08-27-2007 12:58 PM by Bob Butler 54 [at Cove Hold, Carver, MA joined Jul 2001 #posts 6,431]
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Quote Originally Posted by Mikebert View Post
We have had American "villages" that did the same sort of thing (Jonestown, Waco). I wouldn't extrapolate their behavior to an entire nation.
Your American examples were fundamentalist cultists, well outside the norm of the American culture of their time. The Okinawan civilians were outside the norm how? Civilian and military suicide rates on Okinawa were similar and severe. I don't know how it would have been different on the main islands, save perhaps the Americans would have known to try undemonizing propaganda...

Though the way the US was bombing cities, with both nukes and incendiaries, undemonizing would have been a tough road.







Post#191 at 08-27-2007 03:14 PM by playwrite [at NYC joined Jul 2005 #posts 10,443]
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And the beat goes on -

And now, back to the CF -

Sunday, August 26, 2007
Surge in Deaths


The Bush administration talking points on the Iraq War are that the troop escalation has reduced violence and made Iraq safer for Iraqis, that the major threat in Iraq is self-avowed al-Qaeda devotees, and that Iran and the Shiites are just as deadly a threat as the Sunni Arab guerrillas.

The facts? The Associated Press points out the following

Deaths per day from political violence in 2007: 62
Deaths per day from political violence in 2006: 33

Yeah, things are obviously much safer. The report does say that violence is down in Baghdad this year, but the 'surge' just displaced it to other provinces. AP adds:

Nearly 1,000 more people have been killed in violence across Iraq in the first eight months of this year than in all of 2006. So far this year, about 14,800 people have died in war-related attacks and sectarian murders. The AP accounted for 13,811 deaths in 2006.

Baghdad has gone from representing 76 percent of all civilian and police war-related deaths in Iraq in January to 52 percent in July, bringing it back to the same spot it was roughly a year ago.'Nearly 1,000 more people have been killed in violence across Iraq in the first eight months of this year than in all of 2006. So far this year, about 14,800 people have died in war-related attacks and sectarian murders. The AP accounted for 13,811 deaths in 2006.


The guerrillas have dealt with the surge by a doubling of violence in Iraq as a whole, and the US has only succeeded in wrestling the problem in Baghdad back down to where it was in summer of 2006.
"The Devil enters the prompter's box and the play is ready to start" - R. Service

Its not tax money. The banks have accounts with the Fed so, to lend to a bank, we simply use the computer to mark up the size of the account that they have with the Fed. Its much more akin to printing money. - B.Bernanke


"Keep your filthy hands off my guns while I decide what you can & can't do with your uterus" - Sarah Silverman

If you meet a magic pony on the road, kill it. - Playwrite







Post#192 at 08-27-2007 03:39 PM by Matt1989 [at joined Sep 2005 #posts 3,018]
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At least it's in one thread.







Post#193 at 08-27-2007 03:44 PM by playwrite [at NYC joined Jul 2005 #posts 10,443]
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Some more interesting CF info from J. Cole

http://www.juancole.com/

Who is the US Fighting in Iraq?

Who exactly is the US fighting in Iraq? Graphed by self-confessed identity of captives, it is largely Sunni Arab Iraqis, often motivated primarily by the opportunity to earn some money from the resistance leaders.


Source: New York Times, 2007/08/25.

The second largest group is Salafi Takfiris, i.e. fundamentalists who do not consider Shiites to be Muslims and who believe they may be harmed with impunity. The third group is Shiite militiamen (how many of these are non-ideological paid employees is not specified). Self-identified al-Qaeda are only 1800 of the 24000 in captivity, about 7 percent. (Of course, most of these fighters are not really al-Qaeda in the sense of pledging fealty to Usama Bin Laden or being part of his organization; they are using "al-Qaeda" to mean "bogeyman": i.e., 'be afraid of me'.) Foreign fighters at 280 are about 1.1 percent. While it could be argued that it would take bold captives to declare themselves al-Qaeda, there would be no downside to telling the Americans one was a takfiri. There is no reason to think the over 11,000 unspecified Sunni Arabs is fundamentalists. Opinion polling still shows a majority of Sunnis favoring the separation of religion and state.

The odd tendency of the US military and press to refer to all guerrillas in Iraq as "al-Qaeda" is obviously not justified by their own subsequent interrogations of captured suspects. Readers should write and complain when they see al-Qaeda used indiscriminately to describe Sunni Arab fighters.

And when you hear Cheney say we have to fight al-Qaeda in Iraq, you will know that most of the people the US is fighting there are no such thing.
"The Devil enters the prompter's box and the play is ready to start" - R. Service

Its not tax money. The banks have accounts with the Fed so, to lend to a bank, we simply use the computer to mark up the size of the account that they have with the Fed. Its much more akin to printing money. - B.Bernanke


"Keep your filthy hands off my guns while I decide what you can & can't do with your uterus" - Sarah Silverman

If you meet a magic pony on the road, kill it. - Playwrite







Post#194 at 08-27-2007 04:12 PM by playwrite [at NYC joined Jul 2005 #posts 10,443]
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http://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_s...and-diyal.html

Here is some good insight into what looks like good news (villagers taking on al Qaeda) that many feel indicates military progress versus the reality of a central government unwilling or incapable of sharing power. The commentors' section provides some interesting insights as well.

An excerpt -

Not a bad day's work for the villagers. If AQinM feels constrained to attack Sunni villages to try to discipline them and regain control, then they are in a sorry state. If villagers are willing to defend themselves against AQinM, then a kind of turning point has been reached. If the technique of accepting the "rally" of previous hostiles has been successfully exported from tribal territory in Anbar, then something serious is happening. The US military has "broken the code" on this. It took a long time, but, better late than...

Those who believe that war must follow the dictates of policy however foolish are upset about this development. They argue that there is a government in Baghdad. It was elected under a constitution that most admired. They reason that the present government must have all power in the state and must dictate the terms of power and wealth sharing.

It does not seem to matter for people who reason that way that the government in Baghdad is unrepresentative of the Sunni Arabs and unwilling to share power or wealth with them. It does not seem to matter that an armed citizenry is the best guarantee of government moderation. Federalist #46 argues differently, but no matter.

There is a major disagreement building up between the civilians and the newly pragmatic military. This should be interesting. pl
In regard to the last statement, I think he is talking about the US military and the Iraqi civilian government.
"The Devil enters the prompter's box and the play is ready to start" - R. Service

Its not tax money. The banks have accounts with the Fed so, to lend to a bank, we simply use the computer to mark up the size of the account that they have with the Fed. Its much more akin to printing money. - B.Bernanke


"Keep your filthy hands off my guns while I decide what you can & can't do with your uterus" - Sarah Silverman

If you meet a magic pony on the road, kill it. - Playwrite







Post#195 at 08-27-2007 04:27 PM by Matt1989 [at joined Sep 2005 #posts 3,018]
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Quote Originally Posted by playwrite View Post
Some more interesting CF info from J. Cole

http://www.juancole.com/
To add to that..

Colonel Sean B. MacFarland:

"You have the foreign fighter, al Qaeda guys. They're very few in number, although as far as we can tell, they constitute about 100 percent of the suicide bombers. Sometimes it's tough to tell after a suicide bombing what exactly the suicide guy's nationality was, for obvious reasons, but when we can tell, they tend to be foreign fighters."







Post#196 at 08-27-2007 06:11 PM by pbrower2a [at "Michigrim" joined May 2005 #posts 15,014]
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Originally Posted by zilch

Nonsense. This is nothing more than an intellectual highbrow excuse for appeasement. Given the horrific nature of WWI and the tremendous advance of technology up to 1938, it was simply unthinkable that another "World War" would result in anything less than "the end of civilization." Thus a few miles of sovereign territory was a small price to pay Germany for the much larger unthinkable threat of another world war. Hey, what's the lives of a few Jews anyhow?
1. The Holocaust did not start until after World War II was underway.

2. It was roughly twenty years between the end of World War I and the start of World War II, and it is already over sixty years since World War II. The technology of military slaughter even late in 1945 was primitive, even with atom bombs and jet aircraft. Hitler's propeller aircraft and even his V-weapons available in 1945 lacked the ability to cross the Atlantic with reasonable likelihood of success. His U-Boats were not fitted for carrying missiles that could have scorched some American cities. The weapons in the arsenals of several countries are far deadlier than those of 1945, and the Atlantic and the Pacific are now less formidable barriers than was the North Sea in 1940.

Such appeasement thinking has become quite mainstream among the Party of FDR. Though their New Dealer elders triumphed with a hard-earned "great power coalition," these third and fourth generation grandkids have no stomach for "brinkmanship." Rather they have become captive to their "never again" mantra, and are more than willing to cede world leadership to modern-day rouges like yesterday's Hitler.
All in all, the United States has faced enemies far more dangerous than the Soviet Union. True, its leaders (at least until Gorbachev) were callous, cynical, and ideologically alien -- but Marxism-Leninism is not a cult of death. even if it has done much killing. Brinkmanship worked because of the caution of Soviet leaders who had no desire to wreck the capitalist world with nukes, especially if such meant the destruction of their own 'socialist' achievements. Marxist ideology generally holds that the workers will inherit the achievements of the capitalist world (those achievements paid for, of course, by the underpaid toil of the proletariat) from those who have (in Marxist ideology) cheated them.

Brinkmanship against a leadership that treats martyrdom as a virtue in itself is suicidal.

Our leaders were able to get the Soviet leadership to negotiate test-ban treaties, arms limitation treaties, and arms-reduction treaties because our leaders were able to convince Soviet leaders that such was best for the Soviet Union as well as for ourselves. That the Soviets kept their satellites from developing their own nuke programs demonstrates the unwillingness of the USSR to allow nukes to proliferate beyond them.

Chamberlain was the typical liberal Mike Alexander of his day. Churchill would have none of it. The Alexanders of today will be in tomorrows dust bin. Those who reject this sort of appeasement will, at least, have a chance to hold their head up in the eyes of history.
Hitler was a master bluffer. Such characterizes a sociopath on a hot streak. The danger of Hitler was that people expected him to act under the normal motivations of people like themselves. Hitler could state honestly that the German people didn't want war, which is exactly what Chamberlain, Daladier, and others wanted to hear; whether the Germans wanted or dreaded war mattered not at all to Hitler, who then wielded absolute power and would decide whether the "German people" would have -- or not have -- war.

To his great credit Churchill knew exactly what Hitler was and had no illusions about him. But Churchill was one of the few, and he would have been dismissed as a crackpot and a divisive character for failing to accept the feigned benevolence of Der Phooey at face value.


Hey, what's the lives of a few million Jew, er, Iraqis anyhow, eh? No, seriously.
The deficiencies of our President, including recklessness, poor judgment, and dishonesty should be obvious, right?







Post#197 at 08-27-2007 06:36 PM by Mikebert [at Kalamazoo MI joined Jul 2001 #posts 4,502]
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Quote Originally Posted by Bob Butler 54 View Post
The Okinawan civilians were outside the norm how?
Did *all* Okinawan civilians commit suicide rather than submit to the Americans? Did the suicide rate approach 100%? Was the island completely depopulated after the US captured it? I think not.

So I suggest that an entire village (100% suicide rate) leaping off a cliff was outside the norm.







Post#198 at 08-28-2007 09:00 AM by Bob Butler 54 [at Cove Hold, Carver, MA joined Jul 2001 #posts 6,431]
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Quote Originally Posted by Mikebert View Post
Did *all* Okinawan civilians commit suicide rather than submit to the Americans? Did the suicide rate approach 100%? Was the island completely depopulated after the US captured it? I think not.

So I suggest that an entire village (100% suicide rate) leaping off a cliff was outside the norm.
One quarter of the civilian population of Okinawa died. There are tales of Japanese soldiers giving grenades to civilians for purposes of suicide, and of mothers killing their own children. I am sure not all of those deaths were suicides. There would have been some 'collateral damage.' Alas, I have been able to find no reasonable estimates on causes of civilian deaths.

There is also a modern controversy. The Japanese national government is pressuring schoolbook publishers to not report the suicides and the soldier's role in encouraging them. The population of Okinawa is Not Pleased.

On the larger main islands, there might well have been more room for civilians to have gotten out of the way of the fighting. The death rate could have been lower. Or perhaps not. On Okinawa, they were not giving the women and children sharpened bamboo sticks for use as spears, as they were starting to do on the mainland.

Anyway, the loss of 1/4 of the civilian population, however severe, would not have ended civilization, not the way the Allies treated their enemies after World War II.

Still, 25% is very severe by American standards. When Patton addressed his troops about to cross over into France, he gave an estimate that 2% of them would die in the upcoming fighting. While it was 16% in the US Civil War, there were very few civilian deaths in that conflict.

Severe, but not civilization ending.
Last edited by Bob Butler 54; 08-28-2007 at 09:11 AM. Reason: Spelling







Post#199 at 08-28-2007 09:26 AM by Bob Butler 54 [at Cove Hold, Carver, MA joined Jul 2001 #posts 6,431]
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08-28-2007, 09:26 AM #199
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Assuming Reason...

Quote Originally Posted by pbrower2a View Post
The deficiencies of our President, including recklessness, poor judgment, and dishonesty should be obvious, right?
Well, no. You are assuming humans are rational and logical, that they can perceive the world as it is. Most humans perceive reality and the choices of action available to them through a filter of their values. Values are effectively much more important and precious to individuals than mere material things. Values will be clung to well after an outside observer with no dog in the fight would see someone's perceptions and actions to be irrational.

A crisis creates a society wide change in culture. A lot of individuals end up changing their values. Many will not change values without a traumatic and emotional failure of their old values. While there has already been some shifting, these would be the more open minded individuals. As we go deeper into the crisis, there will still be those clinging to old values. Think Atlanta 1864 or Berlin 1945 to get a handle on how much it takes for the more stubborn to perceive reality. Even then, when the general population can see handwriting on the wall, the leadership might be be unable to bring themselves to admit that they were wrong, that many many died for their mistakes.

So, no. Alas, what seems obvious is not.
Last edited by Bob Butler 54; 08-28-2007 at 09:30 AM. Reason: Spelling







Post#200 at 08-28-2007 10:13 AM by catfishncod [at The People's Republic of Cambridge & Possum Town, MS joined Apr 2005 #posts 984]
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08-28-2007, 10:13 AM #200
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Quote Originally Posted by Mikebert View Post
Here Marc is making stuff up. Civilization did not remotely come close to ending after either world war. The Mongol invasions were worse than the world wars in this regard.
You forget that Marc lives in a Platonist world where ideas are more real than facts. There were indeed statements made by forward-thinkers in the 1920's and 1930's, warning that the World War (as then called) had featured momentous advances in the efficiency of death-dealing, extrapolating correctly that the "next war" would be even more devestating, and predicting, in so many words, "the end of civilization" if another war broke out. H. G. Wells, who was not only a sci-fi author but a leading socialist, made this point in the last chapter of his one-volume world history.

In many ways, they were right. World War II was every bit as devastating as they predicted; many of Europe's cities were razed to the ground, and the prewar establishment was ground into powder. Europe went from mistress of the planet to a battleground between powers formerly considered second-tier, their lands reduced to quasi-provinces of foreign quasi-empires. Britain and France alone among the former Great Powers retained some dignity.

Marc, however, can only look forward once he has passed the data through his ideological blinders. Thus, Chamberlain is a "liberal" because he is an example of What Conservatives Should Not Be Like, as promulgated by the Neoconservative Central Committee. That Chamberlain acknowledged his mistake, took a post under Churchill, and set up the Special Operations Executive in the year he had before dying of cancer, does not fit the narrative and can be dismissed. Likewise, the narrative states that lack of support for neoconservative projects is "appeasement" and can be opposed without consideration of any further data.

I understand the desire to count coup and so forth by all parties, but there comes a time when decisions must be about more than that. One of the main causes of the Iraq War was a desire to use it to count coup on Democrats and the "appeasers" of "Old Europe". There is a price to be paid for considering arguments more important than realities. Even when you really are right, is announcing it loudly the most important thing to do?
'81, 30/70 X/Millie, trying to live in both Red and Blue America... "Catfish 'n Cod"
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