How We (US) Lost in Iraq and Afghanistan

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  • #101
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I would say that the US didn't lose. Iraq and Afghanistan lost.
 
  • #102
mheslep
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Basic physics tells us that for every action there is an opposite but equal reaction. Human nature is the same, though the action and reaction are not always in the same proportion. Thanks to a blunder by one of our diplomats serving in Iraq, April Glaspie, Saddam Hussein thought he had the green light from Washington to invade Kuwait. That blunder started the whole mess. Had Arnold Schwartzenegger, in Terminator mode, been the diplomat instead of Glaspie, the dictator would not have dared invade Kuwait.
The question was how to stop the next " 9/11 and 7/7 style attacks and refugees in the millions flooding into Europe". These things stem from the like of the Taliban hosting Al Qaeda and allowing them to operate without interference for years. Your answer is to blame a U.S. diplomat nowhere near Afghanistan.
 
  • #103
russ_watters
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Thanks to a blunder by one of our diplomats serving in Iraq, April Glaspie, Saddam Hussein thought he had the green light from Washington to invade Kuwait. That blunder started the whole mess. Had Arnold Schwartzenegger, in Terminator mode, been the diplomat instead of Glaspie, the dictator would not have dared invade Kuwait.
So...you support credible threats of war while opposing war? Isn't that a self-contradiction?
 
  • #104
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The question was how to stop the next " 9/11 and 7/7 style attacks and refugees in the millions flooding into Europe". These things stem from the like of the Taliban hosting Al Qaeda and allowing them to operate without interference for years. Your answer is to blame a U.S. diplomat nowhere near Afghanistan.
The only way now to stop another terrorist attack is constant vigilance. As far as stopping the flood of refugees, that's up to the European governments to establish limits on how many they will take in, and their resolve to enforce their borders, just as it is up to our government to enforce our southern border with Mexico. You may not be old enough to remember, but much the same thing happened as a consequence of the Vietnam war. After our intervention over there, we had a flood of refugees seeking to escape the communist takeover of the former South Vietnam. History has a habit of repeating itself.

It's a factual part of history that our diplomatic failure to convey, in strong and unambiguous language, our opposition to the invasion of Kuwait, is what initiated the whole chain reaction, that led to today's crisis. Sure, there were many steps in between, but if that first step hadn't occurred the Middle East would probably be not much different today, than what it was in 1990. I doubt that Al Qaeda or the Taliban would have turned against us if we hadn't gotten so deeply involved in the region with the first Gulf War. Reagan, Carter, and earlier presidents, had the good sense to stay out of the region's military conflicts.
 
  • #105
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So...you support credible threats of war while opposing war? Isn't that a self-contradiction?
Well, I wouldn't call it a credible threat of war, but a firm stance of opposition to a dictator who himself was threatening war with a neighboring state by massing his Republican Guard on the Kuwaiti border. My allusion to Arnold Schwartzenegger, was to emphasize that wimpy, meek, diplomatic talk used by our then ambassador to Iraq was telegraphing the wrong message to Saddam. Our State Department should have sent her to a European capital, where diplomacy is more civil. For nations with ruthless dictators the State Department needs to send much tougher individuals - the Chuck Norris, Clint Eastwood, Rambo types - as ambassadors (minus the Gatling guns, rocket launchers, of course). Actually, even better, would be someone with the insight of Winston Churchill. Dictators are like schoolyard bullies. If you don't stand up to them you'll get pummeled. So it's not so much that you're threatening war, as sending a firm message, don't mess with me or my friend (Kuwait).

Yes, I do oppose war, unless it's absolutely vital for the existence of your nation and your way of life, as was the case in World War 2. Had Winston Churchill been the leader of Britain and gone to Munich,instead of Chamberlain, it's entirely possible that World War 2 could have been averted.
 
  • #106
mheslep
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....

Yes, I do oppose war, unless it's absolutely vital for the existence of your nation and your way of life, as was the case in World War 2. Had Winston Churchill been the leader of Britain and gone to Munich,instead of Chamberlain, it's entirely possible that World War 2 could have been averted.
By this standard, was it not the U.S. that started WWII by provoking Imperial Japan with the like of steel embargoes? Was it not the US which was responsible for Nazi Germany's aggression by making Nazi sympathizer Joe Kennedy ambassador to Great Britain?
 

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