The United States and its Military - A Force For Good
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13-02-2012, 07:57 AM
RE: The United States and its Military - A Force For Good
(12-02-2012 11:43 PM)Buddy Christ Wrote:  Maybe you don't understand because you're from Canada. But the US is a huge fucking superpower with a massive army and state of the art technology. Couple that with our civilian bleeding heart mentality and the entire premise of the founding of our country (escaping oppression through military victory) and you're left with a desire to free other countries through similar methods.

We are powerful enough to manipulate and overthrow most regimes on the planet and still have enough soldiers left to maintain a defense at home. And as Spider Man says, with great power comes great responsibility. Sometimes you shouldn't let other countries work it out for themselves. If you see things like the Rwandan genocides or Hitler filling mass graves or Saddam gassing his own people, it's almost your duty as a fellow human being to interfere if you have the capability to do so.

The problem is, after waving the flags and patting ourselves on the back for intervening, we realize that we just sent hundreds of thousands of armed men into hostile foreign lands. Testosterone, frustration, and language barriers kick in and people die. And there are always innocents caught in the collateral damage. But the "thousands of dead in our wake" aren't always made up of women and children. In the latest deployment to Iraq, our platoon's rules of engagement were so strict, you almost couldn't defend yourself. You basically had to have a man wearing a shirt that says "Terrorist" on it, shooting at you for several minutes while praising Allah before you could fire back. And if you wound him instead of kill him, you are forced by the geneva conventions to save his life with first aid (happened many times). All I'm saying is, it's not a bloodbath of every living thing. We only kill the ones who try to kill us first.

And let me reiterate that I am not defending our overuse of military. Again, I agree that we have way too many bases and a defense budget about 10 times the size it needs to be. I'm just saying that we have the power and the desire to do good, and when mass killings take place by renegades or zealots, we can't just sit around pretending it isn't happening so we send in troops to defeat violence with violence (which is like fighting fire with fire). I'm not defending the "should we do it." I'm defending the "why we do it."

I see a number of inaccuracies in this post, so I'll just point them out paragraph by paragraph.

1. Colonial America was not oppressed and never has; there were some trade restrictions and the population had to pay taxes without representation, that's not oppression but injustice, huge difference. To see what oppression is, look at the denigration, dehumanization, and demonization of the native Americans or Chinese immigrants.


2. No, just no. The United States is not "powerful enough overthrow most regimes on the planet". During the last decade, the United States fought wars in Afghanistan and Iraq at the same time, yet it failed in accomplishing any stated 'war-goal' in those countries, establish any stable or democratic regimes or even win the 'heart and minds' of the populations despite spending an enormous amounts of money; $3.2 trillion for both wars (conservative estimate of federal outlays + future spending obligations), which by the way have yet to be paid as almost the entire cost is paid by borrowed money; so interest must be added that will gradual increase to 4.2$ trillion by 2020. That's the cost of two major operations in developing third world countries, it would simply be economically impossible to carry out such a feat even if it had been desired to do so. Not to mention that the US has a huge trade deficit which would lead to economic suicide if any conflict with China arose or in her current or future sphere of influence.


3. The US did not intervene in Rwanda (nor did any other country for that matter) nor did it join world war 2 due to some sense of 'duty' to its fellow man, no one did. Hitler declared war on the US (to aid Japan), not the other way around. Saddam was gassing his own people while he was considered 'a friend of the United States' and the American government knew about the killings, yet this did not change their views of him. In fact, if you look at the record of American military aid given to Iraq, you will see that it actually increased during that period. It wasn't until the invasion of Kuwait, that the US had enough of him.


4. Personal anecdotes regarding Iraq are largely irrelevant, but I agree; most soldiers only kill the ones who try to kill them first.


5. I agree, the United Stated does have the power and the desire to do good in the world... but, unfortunately, it chooses not to. I could list the reasons, but I have no time at the present as I'm off to bed.

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13-02-2012, 03:31 PM (This post was last modified: 13-02-2012 04:24 PM by Buddy Christ.)
RE: The United States and its Military - A Force For Good
1. That just seems like an argument for semantics. They were unfairly governed so that their rights were limited and their freedoms repressed.

op press
verb (used with object)
- to burden with cruel or unjust impositions or restraints; subject to a burdensome or harsh exercise of authority or power:

Sounds about right to me.


2. The invasion and overthrow of the Saddam regime took a grand total of 21 days. Winning hearts and minds and implementing new governments are not military operations. That's like saying the Giants didn't win the Super Bowl because Eli flubbed the post-game interview.


3. Those were all situations that should have been intervened on. Was NOT sending troops to Rwanda any more or less moral than if we had? Would that have been just "another example of America meddling where it didn't belong?" Again, you're just criticizing America's foreign relations, rather than conceding or denying that military action ultimately needed to be taken.


4. Anecdotes are always irrelevant, but are helpful to counterbalance the equally irrelevant generalization statements about the blatant bloodlust of the American military.


5. When you wake up, could you present your list?



And Zat, so you're not necessarily opposed to US military action, just the act of bypassing the council of the UN? Perhaps we should improve the UN Peacekeeping effort, to be deployed immediately so that military involvement can be discussed without the knowledge that people are dying as you sit around talking. I mean the Peacekeeping budget is 8 billion a year (27% of which is paid by the US), yet you never really hear any impact. To attack the UN Peacekeepers is to declare hostility towards several countries trying to do good, essentially it is declaring war against the world, which should make the decision to utilize military troops easier.

"The UN has no military forces of its own, and Member States provide, on a voluntary basis, the military and police personnel required for each peacekeeping operation.

Peacekeeping soldiers are paid by their own Governments according to their own national rank and salary scale. Countries volunteering uniformed personnel to peacekeeping operations are reimbursed by the UN at a flat rate of a little over US$1,028 per soldier per month, as most recently approved by the General Assembly in 2002."

Bump up the salaries to something that isn't an insult (it's about the same amount I made in the US military) and focus more on aid rather than sitting around in armored vehicles.

None of this probably makes sense because someone in the next room is blaring Tron at full volume and I can't concentrate to type.

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13-02-2012, 04:47 PM (This post was last modified: 13-02-2012 05:08 PM by Zat.)
RE: The United States and its Military - A Force For Good
(13-02-2012 03:31 PM)Buddy Christ Wrote:  And Zat, so you're not necessarily opposed to US military action, just the act of bypassing the council of the UN?

I am against any nation's unilateral military action beyond self defense within their own borders.

The UN should have a permanent military force, funded, financed and manned by all member nations.

The UN should act as a world-government with the ONLY MAJOR responsibility of preventing aggression between nations and genocide within nations.

The UN should also be in charge of the World Court which would have the mandate of trying war crimes and crimes against humanity charges (with no nations exempt, like the US is today).

Beyond that, the UN should be doing everything it can to provide assistance in natural disasters (should be a well-funded branch of UN); do research in areas (like climate change, pandemics, etc) affecting the whole planet; and education and support to developing nations.

Member nations should accept the decisions of the UN in its jurisdiction without arguments and concentrate on improving their internal situations.

That just about covers it all. Smile

One more thing: No nation should have a veto power over majority UN decision. That was a leftover from the winners of WW2 and they have badly discredited their position, thousands of times, since the UN was founded.
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13-02-2012, 05:28 PM
RE: The United States and its Military - A Force For Good
(13-02-2012 04:47 PM)Zat Wrote:  The UN should have a permanent military force, funded, financed and manned by all member nations.

The UN should act as a world-government with the ONLY MAJOR responsibility of preventing aggression between nations and genocide within nations.

The UN should also be in charge of the World Court which would have the mandate of trying war crimes and crimes against humanity charges (with no nations exempt, like the US is today).

Beyond that, the UN should be doing everything it can to provide assistance in natural disasters (should be a well-funded branch of UN); do research in areas (like climate change, pandemics, etc) affecting the whole planet; and education and support to developing nations.

Member nations should accept the decisions of the UN in its jurisdiction without arguments and concentrate on improving their internal situations.

One more thing: No nation should have a veto power over majority UN decision. That was a leftover from the winners of WW2 and they have badly discredited their position, thousands of times, since the UN was founded.

Zat, you use the word "should" throughout the statement above. "Should" statements always contain a moral judgement. Why do you believe it is a moral issue that the UN act as a world government regarding aggression prevention? Why do you believe it is a moral issue that nations accept the decisions of the UN without argument?

Also, you have indicated that you are a man of science. Have you used a scientific approach in formulating the approach outlined above? What evidence do you have that this approach would be more effective than today? What are your measures of effectiveness?
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13-02-2012, 05:47 PM
RE: The United States and its Military - A Force For Good
Jeff, I am a thoroughly moral person. Everything I say, regarding human affairs, is a moral statement.

The issue for me is not scientific. I have formulated a personal opinion based on decades of research and thinking in history, sociology, political science and economics.

I have none, neither do I need, proof of the effectiveness of my ideas.

My post was a personal opinion and suggestion for the consideration of the TTA membership.

For me it is common sense, for you, it is probably nonsense.

But this is what this forum is about: exchanging ideas.

None of it is likely to go into effect tomorrow!

We are doing it just for fun, right? Big Grin
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13-02-2012, 09:05 PM
RE: The United States and its Military - A Force For Good
I suppose when war stops making certain people money and giving many a sense of power....what am I talking about? - this won't happen.
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14-02-2012, 08:06 PM
RE: The United States and its Military - A Force For Good
Every time I read this topic title I start laughing.
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14-02-2012, 08:30 PM
RE: The United States and its Military - A Force For Good
(13-02-2012 09:05 PM)aurora2020 Wrote:  I suppose when war stops making certain people money and giving many a sense of power....what am I talking about? - this won't happen.
Wipe out testosterone...Huh

Well at least make it a controlled substance. Wink

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14-02-2012, 08:30 PM
RE: The United States and its Military - A Force For Good
(14-02-2012 08:06 PM)mysticjbyrd Wrote:  Every time I read this topic title I start laughing.

Every time this thread reads your name it says to itself "I'm awesome - Go USA!"
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14-02-2012, 10:11 PM
RE: The United States and its Military - A Force For Good
(14-02-2012 08:30 PM)Jeff Wrote:  
(14-02-2012 08:06 PM)mysticjbyrd Wrote:  Every time I read this topic title I start laughing.

Every time this thread reads your name it says to itself "I'm awesome - Go USA!"
That makes as much sense as the thread title.
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