The United States and its Military - A Force For Good
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09-02-2012, 07:04 PM
RE: The United States and its Military - A Force For Good
(09-02-2012 05:34 PM)Ben Wrote:  I honestly don't know the answer to these questions. I'm sure we're not the only nation to ever intervene, but, either way, does "everyone's doing it" make it okay? Confused

Ben, top-notch job on the first question! I'll use this to help me develop a response.

On the second and third questions, my interest is not in saying that everybody's doing it and therefore it's OK, but rather I'd like to have the discussion partly in the context of how all governments of the world behave. The people criticizing the US for intervention are, interestingly, always silent about the activities of other nations, leaving one with the impression that everyone else is just minding their own business while the US goes around looking for new places to fire our weapons.
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09-02-2012, 07:27 PM
RE: The United States and its Military - A Force For Good
(09-02-2012 07:04 PM)Jeff Wrote:  
(09-02-2012 05:34 PM)Ben Wrote:  I honestly don't know the answer to these questions. I'm sure we're not the only nation to ever intervene, but, either way, does "everyone's doing it" make it okay? Confused

Ben, top-notch job on the first question! I'll use this to help me develop a response.
Thanks!

Quote:
On the second and third questions, my interest is not in saying that everybody's doing it and therefore it's OK, but rather I'd like to have the discussion partly in the context of how all governments of the world behave. The people criticizing the US for intervention are, interestingly, always silent about the activities of other nations, leaving one with the impression that everyone else is just minding their own business while the US goes around looking for new places to fire our weapons.

I don't doubt other world powers are running around doing things like this. As an American however I do tend to focus on what we're doing given that we have the power to put a stop to our own wrongdoings. Big Grin
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10-02-2012, 12:14 PM
RE: The United States and its Military - A Force For Good
(09-02-2012 05:34 PM)Ben Wrote:  Prime Minister Mossadeq of Iran - This one was probably rooted in European imperialism. He was removed from power because he was trying to nationalize Iranian oil production and leave the British, who had been controlling their oil production for years, out of it.

I'm glad you mentioned this. The CIA-engineered coup that toppled Mossadegh was an egregious misuse of American power that we're still paying for today.

Mohammad Mossadegh was the democratically elected Prime Minister of Iran--educated in the West, extraordinarily popular in his own country, and Time Magazine's 1951 "Man of the Year"--who, as Ben said, nationalized the Iranian oil industry which up to that time had been in British hands. This pissed off the Brits, who asked the US for help in getting rid of him. In 1953 the CIA engineered a coup that removed Mossadegh and installed the Shah as, essentially, dictator.

Ask the average American who Mossadegh was and you'll get a blank stare. But every Iranian knows the story. Memories in that part of the world are long. It's not an exaggeration to say that the CIA coup contributed heavily to the 1979 revolution that gave us the Ayatollah Khomeini, the hostage crisis, and the present regime.

The Wikipedia articles about Mossadegh and the coup are quite good. For more detail, I recommend Stephen Kinzer's All the Shah's Men, which reads like a spy novel.

Religious disputes are like arguments in a madhouse over which inmate really is Napoleon.
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11-02-2012, 10:36 AM
RE: The United States and its Military - A Force For Good
If you're interested in this thread then you might find an article titled Why the World Needs America, published in today's Wall Street Journal, to be of interest. Here's the closing paragraph:

If and when American power declines, the institutions and norms that American power has supported will decline, too. Or more likely, if history is a guide, they may collapse altogether as we make a transition to another kind of world order, or to disorder. We may discover then that the U.S. was essential to keeping the present world order together and that the alternative to American power was not peace and harmony but chaos and catastrophe—which is what the world looked like right before the American order came into being.
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11-02-2012, 10:49 AM (This post was last modified: 11-02-2012 10:55 AM by Zat.)
RE: The United States and its Military - A Force For Good
I know I said I wouldn't but the provocation is unbearable! Big Grin

I am being held by my throat, outside the window on the thirtieth floor, my feet dangling over the abyss:

The person holding me says: "You see you need me? What would happen to you if I died suddenly?"

We sure need US domination.

Here's a list of the countries that the U.S. has bombed since the end of World War II (as of 2001), compiled by historian William Blum:

China 1945-46
Korea 1950-53
China 1950-53
Guatemala 1954
Indonesia 1958
Cuba 1959-60
Guatemala 1960
Congo 1964
Peru 1965
Laos 1964-73
Vietnam 1961-73
Cambodia 1969-70
Guatemala 1967-69
Grenada 1983
Libya 1986
El Salvador 1980s
Nicaragua 1980s
Panama 1989
Iraq 1991-99
Sudan 1998
Afghanistan 1998
Yugoslavia 1999
Afghanistan 2001-

I guess they needed being bombed for one reason or another... Rolleyes
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11-02-2012, 02:38 PM
RE: The United States and its Military - A Force For Good
Zat brought up my main poiint. I could mention a lot of things that the US has done that are exact unethical actions, but just mentioning it's popular tactic "carpet bombing" is a good enough answer. If you're willing to lower military casualties by laying waste to entire regions you are definitely being unethical.

Most people who do not defend the US military will not generally defend other militaries either. If you're against the slaughtering it's usually going to be magnanimous. I feel that many UN sanctioned actions are slightly better than ones performed solely by the US, but the UN has sanctioned horrible crimes as has every country within it.

When you discuss how the world needs the American super power you need to ask how much it needs large scale wars. Here's an interesting article that gives you an alphabet of US involvement on war. Wars the world over are mainly funded by the US. Almost every conflict has US guns, training, or forces involved.
http://www.informationclearinghouse.info...e24002.htm

Oh but there are places that don't have US involvement and most of them want it that way. Take the recent request by Darfur that they not have foreign military interference in their war as a hint that things don't really get better for countries when their ammunition is upgraded.

I'm not a non believer, I believe in the possibility of anything. I just don't let the actuality of something be determined by a 3rd party.
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11-02-2012, 02:45 PM (This post was last modified: 11-02-2012 02:50 PM by Zat.)
RE: The United States and its Military - A Force For Good
People who are interested in this thread are probably also interested in its companion thread called: "US Foreign Policy -- Diplomatic and Military", especially Post #7.
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11-02-2012, 03:18 PM
RE: The United States and its Military - A Force For Good
The great thing about taking a brave stand against war is that there's no one arguing the other side.

I would like to ask Zat, Lilith, Ben and anyone else who'd care to answer this question - are there any situations where you would endorse the use of military force, and if so, what are those situations?
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11-02-2012, 03:26 PM (This post was last modified: 11-02-2012 10:22 PM by Zat.)
RE: The United States and its Military - A Force For Good
(11-02-2012 03:18 PM)Jeff Wrote:  I would like to ask Zat, Lilith, Ben and anyone else who'd care to answer this question - are there any situations where you would endorse the use of military force, and if so, what are those situations?

How about self defense, inside your own borders?

You don't even need to do that because you have enough nuclear weapons to destroy the entire planet, ten times over -- no country will dare to attack you.

As for the terrorist threat -- once you bring all your troops home, dismantle your military bases around the world and stop meddling in other nations' affairs, you won't have to worry about terrorists, nobody will hate you any more.

As for humanitarian intervention -- you have been doing more harm than good, almost every time you tried it. Don't be so presumptuous to imagine you know what is good for other cultures. Let them work it out for themselves, as you demand the right to work it out for your own country. Allow the UN to do its job and support it when it calls for assistance.

Once you cut your military budget to a small fraction of what it is now, you will have plenty of money to solve all your domestic problems.

Of course, your arms dealers and generals and other fat cats of the "military-industrial complex" will be pissed off with you, but it is a small price to pay for some sanity both at home and abroad.
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11-02-2012, 03:55 PM
RE: The United States and its Military - A Force For Good
I wasn't really trying to enter an argument as war is not a common topic for me, but apparently I'm being called out =p

No one opposes my position? Wow you know I thought there were things called wars happening all the time. You sure that no one opposes me? If they didn't then what is going on in the world?

Yes there are situations where it is a good idea to use force to guarantee safety. First instance, when the safety of your own residents comes into question. If there is anyone a military force can truly answer to it is their own contributors. The public of their nation. As long as we have borders there will be a seperation of responsibilities and blames. Every fight has a good and bad guy and both sides are both. If you think america has ever been the good guy look at each war from the other end. Any time a war happens both sides cause major catastrophes, and I am aware of what I'm saying even during the holocaust the allies were not saints.

Second is the tricky time, when asked by a large portion of a nation to help. South Korea was one of those awkward times when the US was asked by a group to help. It was pretty much asking the US to help it usurp North Korea who were definite enemies of the US's current aims. This would be like if the American south had succeeded in getting huge fleets from Brittain to protect the trade boom slaves contribute to the global economy.

And third which is the general excuse given for war nowadays, global impact. Most often nowadays involvement in wars is given the description of the risk that with new age technology the entire world could be in peril. Does that make the wars end faster? No they just keep going and no one has ever hit the doomsday switch. You wanna know how important this threat is to the Us government? Look at the timing of the US war on Iraq after they searched the country for chemical weapons. during this same period of time North Korea was actively threatening countries with Nuclear weapons. Who is the bigger threat? Might have chemical weapons or threatens to use the nukes they show off? From the words of George Carlin "I'll bet you anything, that while you're watching a quiet one, a noisy one will fucking kill you."

Wars have been around for a long time and there is little stopping them from continuing no matter what each nation chooses to do singularly. I in no way find profiteering off of nations intent on killing eachother to be an acceptable action though. While the old days of warfare were a lot bloodier they were nowhere as close to as excessive as our current wars get. If people want to kill each other why not let them do it the old fashioned way rather than allowing small genocidal conquests as whole regions are laid to waste in the name of the right agenda.

I'm not a non believer, I believe in the possibility of anything. I just don't let the actuality of something be determined by a 3rd party.
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