Just a thought: killing in the name of?

  • #1
Do you sometimes question the validity of war in the modern age, particularly between equal powers but either way, for example Germany and allies vs England and allies? The antagonists lost. Vietnam vs the US, let's face it the US achieved none of it's objectives; Afghanistan? Who's winning there, did we not learn from the Russians attempts? Iraq, is it any longer possible to win?

Now look at all antagonistic wars in the West from 1900 to present, did they really achieve any goal? Analyse them, who benefited, and who won?

Now in history war was something that if you won, you gained something out of it, be it trade, land,technological advance, now you get nothing? But there was currency there in the past; what now? What wars achieve this? Each time you see one now it seems more often than not it's senseless slaughter, justified for some political gain that never quite pans out?

So the real question is: in modern war, is war becoming obsolete? And is there any more a reason to fight war other than on the defence?
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
Gokul43201
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In US v Taliban, who are the antagonists?
 
  • #3
verty
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War will be obsolete when greed becomes obsolete.
 
  • #4
In US v Taliban, who are the antagonists?

Good question, but then who set them up in the first place, who supplied them with weapons, who gave them their motivation?

War will be obsolete when greed becomes obsolete.

Ah but if the greedy get nothing out of war? And can you show where they have in modern times? They seem to be shooting themselves in the foot...
 
  • #5
Ivan Seeking
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Now in history war was something that if you won, you gained something out of it, be it trade, land,technological advance, now you get nothing?

What about the U.S. Southern border war? I would say that the Mexicans are acquiring land, not to mention benefits meant for U.S. citizens, by default, through an illegal occupation, if not formally. However, there is also a formal movement to reclaim U.S. land once claimed by Mexico. Violent clashes between police or border agents, and Mexican drug/illegal immigrant runners, are common. Vigilante groups have formed to protect the homeland, and for many people who live along the border, a state of war exists. Also, many people argue that the Mexican Government is complicit in all of this, and Mexican police are famous for their involvement.

I think we might be seeing the next generation of border disputes but it is hard to say how this will be resolved. I can easily see this problem escalating as many Americans [including me] are outraged by the size of the uncontrolled influx.
 
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  • #6
What about the U.S. Southern border war? I would say that the Mexicans are acquiring land, not to mention benefits meant for U.S. citizens, by default, through an illegal occupation, if not formally. However, there is also a formal movement to reacquire lands once claimed by Mexico. Violent clashes between police or border agents, and Mexican drug/illegal immigrant runners, are common. Vigilante groups have formed to protect the homeland, and for many people who live along the border, a state of war exists. Also, many people argue that the Mexican Government is complicit in all of this, and Mexican police are famous for their involvement.

I think we might be seeing the next generation of border disputes but it is hard to say how this will be resolved. I can easily see this problem escalating as many Americans [including me] are outraged by the size of the uncontrolled influx.

OK let's define war in a particular way, so as to stop inconvenient answers that mean nothing,and avoid the issue, and detract from the OP; you start Ivan, what do you determine war is considering the OP?
 
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  • #7
Futobingoro
Schrodinger's Dog said:
Now in history war was something that if you won, you gained something out of it, be it trade, land,technological advance, now you get nothing?
Why is that a bad thing? Take, for instance, a war where the victor rebuilds the defeated nation by installing a democratic government, rebuilding infrastructure, etc. Though the victor has the privilege of dictating favorable terms (military bases and the like), these will probably not offset the expense in lives and resources, and they are a far cry from the aforementioned historical plundering and pillaging.

The United States achieved a military victory over the Japanese Empire in WW2, but the US reaped few benefits from the victory itself. Most gains came later and were/are economic or political in nature.

There are also wars where the combatants fail to realize gains due to "pointless slaughter" or unclear/unreached objectives, but this type of war is only one type of "gain-less war." As noted above, a war where the victors gain nothing isn't necessarily pointless.
 
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  • #8
Why is that a bad thing? Take, for instance, a war where the victor rebuilds the defeated nation by installing a democratic government, rebuilding infrastructure, etc. Though the victor has the privilege of dictating favorable terms (military bases and the like), these will probably not offset the expense in lives and resources, and they are a far cry from the aforementioned historical plundering and pillaging.

The United States achieved a military victory over the Japanese Empire in WW2, but the US reaped few benefits from the victory itself. Most gains came later and were/are economic or political in nature.

There are also wars where the combatants realize no gains due to "pointless slaughter" or unclear/unreached objectives, but this type of war is only one type of "gain-less war." As noted above, a war with no gains isn't necessarily pointless.

Kind of missed the point, I did say war on the defensive?

Gains my ass? Any antagonist in any war since 1900 has gained nothing but defeat or stalemate, and a humiliating one at that, that lead nowhere. Now you try and gain by war against a "neighbour" all that happens is the neighbour gets more out of it than you in the vast majority of cases, at least if we consider the war objectives, and later, what could be achieved by war, could have been achieved peacefully anyway:rolleyes: .

I'll rephrase the question, who gains by antagonism? And who has in the West since 19 dickety 2. Anyone?
 
  • #9
Gokul43201
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Good question, but then who set them up in the first place, who supplied them with weapons, who gave them their motivation?
Where exactly is the antagonism towards the Taliban in helping set them up, in bankrolling them and in supplying them with weapons and intelligence? I'd call that outright friendliness and support, not antagonism.
 
  • #10
Ivan Seeking
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OK let's define war in a particular way, so as to stop inconvenient answers that mean nothing,and avoid the issue, and detract from the OP; you start Ivan, what do you determine war is considering the OP?

So the real question is: in modern war, is war becoming obsolete? And is there any more a reason to fight war other than on the defence?

I think I already answered those questions. Yes, when the people living five miles to the north have an average income that is one-hundred times what yours is, there is a reason for war. I think what I described along the US border might be a modern war, and that it has the potential to degenerate into a classic war.
 
  • #11
Ivan Seeking
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I think the only reason that you don't understand my point is that you don't understand the magnitude of the problem.
 
  • #12
Futobingoro
Perhaps globalization creates a condition in which a nation no longer needs to go to war to realize economic gain. What is cheap labor in third-world countries if not "peaceful collaboration?" If a power can peacefully capitalize on another nation's resources, why go through the trouble to invade? It's only when a government "gets in the way" of foreign businesses that a war for economic reasons occurs.

Perhaps we should determine which wars of the 20th-21st centuries actually were/are economic wars.
 
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  • #13
russ_watters
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SD, In "Vietnam vs the US", who exactly were the combatants and who were pro and antagonists?
Gains my ass? Any antagonist in any war since 1900 has gained nothing but defeat or stalemate, and a humiliating one at that, that lead nowhere.
How do the different sides of the 1967 war in the Middle-East fall in there?

In many modern examples, when the "wrong" side is winning, the rest of the world tends to come to the aid of the "right" side. In Korea, the war was just north vs south until the US (under the UN) came in. In the 1st Gulf War, the war between Kuwait and Iraq was essentially over before the world (under the UN) came in. That is the primary reason why the aggressors didn't succeed in those wars.

So how does that mesh with your examples of Vietnam, Afghanistan, and Gulf II?

BTW, was anything accomplished by the US eta al in Afghanistan or Iraq? and if so, could these successes be reversed? Can those countries go back to status quo anti?

In a general sense, I would agree that war for material gain has largely become obsolete. I've heard Hussein's invasion/annexing of Kuwait referred to as "armed-robbery writ large", which makes the US the policeman who stopped them. WWII was pretty similar. The origins of the Vietnam war are pretty complex, but when the US entered, it was relatively straightforward. There were two combatants: the North and the South, with the North invading the South. Exactly like in Korea. We picked up a ball dropped by France - clearly a mistake. But France wasn't the aggressor either: it was their colony.

The parallels between Korea and Vietnam are pretty tight: Japanese occupation, liberation after WWII, partition by the UN, a communist North supported by China and the USSR invading a west-supported South.

But not all examples are quite so straightforward. In many examples you seem to like, it is clear that the clear international consensus against the side you don't like (in the form of an alliance or UN-flagged military force) does not exist. Lets just cut the crap - the inuendo and dancing around you are doing is pointless: you are calling the US the antagonist/aggressor in these examples of yours. But these situations are quite clearly not analagous to other examples in this century. If you want to argue that they are, you need to make the argument. Argument-by-inuendo is not acceptable.
 
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  • #14
devil-fire
i think even without weapons of mass destruction, the iraq regime had the power to be vary disruptive to the stability of the middle east, and as a consequence, to the prices of the resources in that region. even if this new iraqi government isn't able to stand on its own two feet, it will be a long time before entities in iraq are able to invade kuwait for example. in that regard, the interests of the western aggressors are served fairly well. unfortunately for these western interests, the costs of this stability have grown to huge amounts because of constant mismanagement by occupying forces.

this also applies to the war in afghanistan. the taliban's ability to influence global events was greatly diminished when they were attacked in afghanistan but unfortunately for western interests, the taliban was not defeated and now is gaining more power from anti-western sentiment in the area. if the taliban were pursued to defeat, osama bin-laden brought to trial for war crimes and thrown in prison for the rest of his existence, there would be vary little chance of another 9/11. however, this has not been the case due partly to a lack of conviction to end the taliban threat, and partly to the difficult political situation in the region


i think there is opportunity for aggressors of war is there clearly there but in recent examples this opportunity was wasted partly through mismanagement
 
  • #15
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Now that is wishful thinking, if you could behead the monster, it would die. Unlikely--more like Hercules and Hydra which is why this current war on both fronts is both pointless and counterproductive. But and you may call me an Orwellian conspiracy nut, is exwctly why we are engaged. It was a sucker punch, and even more of a sucker response to respond the way we did, in either country, but esp Iraq. Frankly I think we were outplayed from the beginning and continue to be. We've spent god only knows how much--I'm thinking well over a trillion on the war fronts alone, and a hefty sum via Patriot act costs. Are we any safer? No one reasonable I know believes so. Are we winning either war, not exactly. So what is the agenda?

We have been lied to thrice, once on acct of 911, secondly in the name of global security/WMD, and finally for the cause of democracy. When will the real reason be revealed? The US gvt as most has the habit of lieing to its citizens about agendae. You'd think we know better, by now. By jove, any historian could have prediced the outcome, brits esp having lost back in 1920 something. These are the folks who invented zero, iirc. Try science w/o that.
 
  • #16
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Why has no one said the most glaring answer to SD question?

Wars today are faught for one reason, and one reason only. MONEY.

Case in point, Iraq. The president just gave another 2 billion for a mere two more years occupation in Iraq. Where does that money go? The defense contractors, Lockheed, Boeing, Halliburton. Billions go unaccounted for. Money is literally flowing and people are not keeping track of it.

Do you honestly think these defense people would get this money if there were no war? We have a military industrial complex. We have so much of our economy based on war, what do you expect is going to happen? We go to war, duh.

Now in history war was something that if you won, you gained something out of it, be it trade, land,technological advance, now you get nothing?

Because there is simply no need to steal national treasuries, like gold for instance. The US dollar has its value because of our military might. You think other countries would use the dollar if we were not so powerful when we have no gold to back it?

If you hold the power, you control the game and the rules by which its played.
 
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  • #17
If you go back through the history books, you will find both world wars, every major war in the middle east, soviet bloc countries, west africa, south america over the last 100 years have been fought primarily over the same thing. Perhaps the war in darfur is fought for the same cause? rwanda, uganda, congo, columbia, and all across the global.

consider also, as has been mentioned, the defense contracts various governments award. I know the US spends over $500 billion. That is a lot of money.

Consider that you would not want to pay $500 billion for a static army.
 
  • #18
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Course its about $$. What I believe might seperate these wars vs others: we are currently outspending practically the rest of the world on military expenditures per annum. I suppose the belief is we will be unstoppable, Have mach 10 jets circling the globe, a base everywhere it counts, small nukes, and hell knows what else. Preempt wherever we choose. For what, to keep gas at a unrealistic cost? I know its the end game re resources and those that want to survive need be bold. I wtch and wonder whether we have the collective smarts to survive amidst the squabbling, Gas ought to be 5 bucks a gallon.
 
  • #19
Garth
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Gas ought to be 5 bucks a gallon.

Over here in the UK it is nearly ten - in a recent price rise I have paid over £1 sterling alitre for BP Ultimate diesel - but then I do get 50-60 miles per (UK) gallon.

Garth
 
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  • #20
Gokul43201
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i think even without weapons of mass destruction, the iraq regime had the power to be vary disruptive to the stability of the middle east, and as a consequence, to the prices of the resources in that region.
If you think the capability to be a destabilizing influence on politics and prices is alone reason enough to have hundreds of thousands of people die as a result of war, you are among the tiny few that the administration didn't have in mind when it was making its case for the war. But that's a different discussion.

if the taliban were pursued to defeat, osama bin-laden brought to trial for war crimes and thrown in prison for the rest of his existence, there would be vary little chance of another 9/11. however, this has not been the case due partly to a lack of conviction to end the taliban threat, and partly to the difficult political situation in the region
...to say nothing of finding that you (the present administration) are the deer caught in the headlights, unable to decide which way to dive.

Not only is the US getting somewhat disinterested in quelling the al Qaeda threat in Afghanistan, they're actually bankrolling Sunni jihadist groups in Lebanon that have strong ties to al Qaeda. Why? Because their "current" cause of concern has shifted from the Sunni sympathetic al Qaeda to the Shiite groups like Hezbollah, that are a powerful political arm of the Syrians and Iranians. The Sunnis (al Qaeda, Taliban, Saddam) no longer make a good coup du jour.

http://www.newyorker.com/printables/fact/070305fa_fact_hersh [Broken]
 
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  • #21
SD, In "Vietnam vs the US", who exactly were the combatants and who were pro and antagonists? How do the different sides of the 1967 war in the Middle-East fall in there?

In many modern examples, when the "wrong" side is winning, the rest of the world tends to come to the aid of the "right" side. In Korea, the war was just north vs south until the US (under the UN) came in. In the 1st Gulf War, the war between Kuwait and Iraq was essentially over before the world (under the UN) came in. That is the primary reason why the aggressors didn't succeed in those wars.

So how does that mesh with your examples of Vietnam, Afghanistan, and Gulf II?

BTW, was anything accomplished by the US eta al in Afghanistan or Iraq? and if so, could these successes be reversed? Can those countries go back to status quo anti?

In a general sense, I would agree that war for material gain has largely become obsolete. I've heard Hussein's invasion/annexing of Kuwait referred to as "armed-robbery writ large", which makes the US the policeman who stopped them. WWII was pretty similar. The origins of the Vietnam war are pretty complex, but when the US entered, it was relatively straightforward. There were two combatants: the North and the South, with the North invading the South. Exactly like in Korea. We picked up a ball dropped by France - clearly a mistake. But France wasn't the aggressor either: it was their colony.

The parallels between Korea and Vietnam are pretty tight: Japanese occupation, liberation after WWII, partition by the UN, a communist North supported by China and the USSR invading a west-supported South.

But not all examples are quite so straightforward. In many examples you seem to like, it is clear that the clear international consensus against the side you don't like (in the form of an alliance or UN-flagged military force) does not exist. Lets just cut the crap - the inuendo and dancing around you are doing is pointless: you are calling the US the antagonist/aggressor in these examples of yours. But these situations are quite clearly not analagous to other examples in this century. If you want to argue that they are, you need to make the argument. Argument-by-inuendo is not acceptable.

US foreign policy is by it's nature since the 20th century, is belligerent and antagonistic not so much pre WWII but particularly recently, and it seldom works at least since post 1945 anyway. But that's an aside, your incompetence/competence in foreign theatres is a discussion for another thread.

I'm talking specifically about any antagonisitc nation, be it Germany, England, France, Canada, or whatever, and I'm talking about either a declaration of war or an war involving armies be they guerillas insurgents or armed terrorists or whatever the currently applied buzz word is obviously, so I'm sorry if you want to use your example fine, but it's nowhere close to what I meant.

Actually in those examples I'd consider the US to be the antagonist, as Vietnam was a civil war so it's kind of unavoidable, your an ally and an antagonist.

In Afghanistan the US is clearly the antagonist, In Iraq the US is clearly the antagonist.

A bit touchy aren't we anyway, this question wasn't directed at the US but any invading nation; mind you the amount of flak the US takes these days I can understand your reaction, the world doesn't revolve around US foreign policy though, just in case you thought it did:tongue2: :biggrin:?

Where exactly is the antagonism towards the Taliban in helping set them up, in bankrolling them and in supplying them with weapons and intelligence? I'd call that outright friendliness and support, not antagonism.

I think you missed the point, what I meant was you can give troops support and money and enable them to overthrow "evil" opressors, but don't expect them to conceed that now you are invading a country they fought and won for, just because you gave them the years of experience weaponry and tactics they are going to sit peacefully by while you invade their homeland.

And don't forget Russia was there by request of the Afghan government orginally to secure Khabul from insurgents in a civil war, Russias version of Vietnam I suppose.
 
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  • #22
Gokul43201
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I think you missed the point, what I meant was you can give troops support and money and enable them to overthrow "evil" opressors, but don't expect them to conceed that now you are invading a country they fought and won for, just because you gave them the years of experience weaponry and tactics they are going to sit peacefully by while you invade their homeland.
I'm not sure I understand this sentence...but, the Taliban had a choice. They simply had to give up their support for a terrorist group that "invaded the US homeland", and there would have been no invasion. By refusing to do so, and by supporting the people that attacked the US, they overtly took on the role of antagonists.

Until shortly after 9/11, US taxpayers were sending hundreds of millions of dollars to support the Taliban government. The Taliban took the first step of antagonism.
 
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  • #23
I'm not sure I understand this sentence...but, the Taliban had a choice. They simply had to give up their support for a terrorist group that "invaded the US homeland", and there would have been no invasion. By refusing to do so, and by supporting the people that attacked the US, they took on the role of antagonists.

Until shortly after 9/11, US taxpayers were sending hundreds of millions of dollars to support the Taliban government. The Taliban took the first step of antagonism.

However you want to portray the politics, it still remains that the UK Canada and US are the antagonists, will this war turn out like other antagonistic wars or not is what is at question.

I really didn't mean to have a go at the US specifically here, it's intended target is war for profit and how there no longer is such a thing, at least if we take the last 100 years as any example, although granted the US did do rather well in WWII, but then it wasn't the antagonist.

If we do a figure by figure accounts check of war from 1907 to 2007, can anyone find an antagonist war in the West which has had a net positive gain? I don't see the Cold war as either a positive gain, or a war in this case, I'm talking about the blood and guts thing, bombs and missiles flying, etc, etc. Rather than wars of political rhetoric etc.

The point is that technology in the past was advanced more rapidly in countries that were at war, this is no longer the case; technology will probably continue to advance at a pace regardless and in some cases it stunts technological advance - in the US for example - but this is more to do with your bonehead presidents siding with the far right Christians etc than war. And there was a cash gain from the spoils of war, plus the political influence of owning an Empire was immense, as England knows only too well. Now though, there seems to be little merit in war except in defence, a lesson it seems Europe has finally learnt? Fingers crossed, although not Mr Blair obviously :wink:
 
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  • #24
Gokul43201
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However you want to portray the politics, it still remains that the UK Canada and US are the antagonists, will this war turn out like other antagonistic wars or not is what is at question.
I was stating the facts behind who was the antagonist, not portraying the politics. I guess I don't understand what you mean by "antagonist" and "antagonistic wars" then. Are you labeling any invading force as the antagonist? Were the UN forces in Iraq (1990) and in Kosovo also antagonists? If they were, then those were cases where the antagonist clearly got a whole lot of good done.
 
  • #25
I was stating the facts behind who was the antagonist, not portraying the politics. I guess I don't understand what you mean by "antagonist" and "antagonistic wars" then. Are you labeling any invading force as the antagonist? Were the UN forces in Iraq (1990) and in Kosovo also antagonists? If they were, then those were cases where the antagonist clearly got a whole lot of good done.

Iraq were the antagonists in that case. Usually you can take antagonists as those who instigate the war by invasion normally. In the case of Afghanistan it was the allies, in the case of Iraq it was the allies, in the case of the Iraq-Kuwait war it was Saddam, in the case of a civil war there can be a number of antagonists, if another country gets involved then it's an antagonist/ally regardless of what side it's on, as is the original instigator in this case, although obviously it's a bit hard to judge a win or a loss for a country in a civil war. By antagonist I mean the invading army generally, those who are on the aggressors side rather than the defenders. Germany in WWII with England and its allies as the defenders. The Falklands, Argentina as the aggressors, UK the defenders.
 
  • #26
russ_watters
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Because there is simply no need to steal national treasuries, like gold for instance.
WWI - land and political problems (due to density, really)
WWII (Germany) - land [various resources, "living room"]
WWII (Japan) - land/sea [oil, China's resources]
Korea - land [political conquest]
Vietnam - land [political conquest]
Arab/Israel - land [cultural value]
Gulf I - oil (Hussein's motivation, that is)

Yeah, plain old robbery is still a prevalant reason for war and on the idea that the world community generally acts against it, I agree with SD. He, however, is ignoring a lot of facts and not consderng a lot of the more minor wars this century, esepcially recently, where the "agressor" (under the most standardized definition I can think of him using) was the UN (or NATO) itself and a great deal of good came from several of those actions.
The US dollar has its value because of our military might. You think other countries would use the dollar if we were not so powerful when we have no gold to back it?
That is clearly wrong. The US's currency is used because of our (its) economic strength/stability. And the clear evidence of this can be seen in the fact that now that there is a near-equally strong/stable currencty to compete (the Euro), some countries are switching-off of the dollar.
 
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  • #27
russ_watters
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US foreign policy is by it's nature since the 20th century, is belligerent and antagonistic not so much pre WWII but particularly recently, and it seldom works at least since post 1945 anyway. But that's an aside, your incompetence/competence in foreign theatres is a discussion for another thread.
That's something that would require a pretty extensive justification. Imo, the history shows it to be just plain not true. Our physical isolation makes it possible for the US to have a policy of belligerent isolationism, where we could exploit things like the world wars for our own gain. We chose not to - we chose to fight on the "right" side instead.

Please don't forget that the US has had heavy support from the international community in virtually every major action she has taken. I think you are forgetting your history.
I'm talking specifically about any antagonisitc nation, be it Germany, England, France, Canada, or whatever, and I'm talking about either a declaration of war or an war involving armies be they guerillas insurgents or armed terrorists or whatever the currently applied buzz word is obviously, so I'm sorry if you want to use your example fine, but it's nowhere close to what I meant.
I know. You are arbitrarily applying the label "antagonist" to conflicts/nations you don't like. The examples don't fit because you don't have a standardized criteria for applying the label. Or, perhaps, you have a standardized criteria but are ignoring the facts that show that your hypothesis is wrong.
In Afghanistan the US is clearly the antagonist...
Gokul picked-up the ball on what is wrong with both your labeling and your assertion that "antagonists" don't succeed. I'll let him go at that.

edit: well, one thing to point out - if the US was the agressor in Vietnam because we intervened in a civil war, then the UN itself is the agressor in a whole bunch of minor wars in the past 20 years. And some of them had dramatically positive results.
A bit touchy aren't we anyway, this question wasn't directed at the US but any invading nation; mind you the amount of flak the US takes these days I can understand your reaction, the world doesn't revolve around US foreign policy though, just in case you thought it did:tongue2: :biggrin:?
Right - in the OP you gave four specific examples, three of which were the US (and the 4th involved the US). Do you honestly think you are fooling anyone? :rolleyes:
 
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  • #28
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That's something that would require a pretty extensive justification. Imo, the history shows it to be just plain not true. Our physical isolation makes it possible for the US to have a policy of belligerent isolationism, where we could exploit things like the world wars for our own gain. We chose not to - we chose to fight on the "right" side instead.

Hmmm-right side of what? Forgetting the bigger wars, we have Iraq 2, Afghanistan, the US sponsored coup in Haiti, the failed US supported coup in Venezuela, skirmishes in Panama, Grenada and Nicuragua, the coups in Chile, and Iran,..... Meanwhile we avoid the Sudan and Congo like the plague. :rolleyes:
 
  • #29
That's something that would require a pretty extensive justification. Imo, the history shows it to be just plain not true. Our physical isolation makes it possible for the US to have a policy of belligerent isolationism, where we could exploit things like the world wars for our own gain. We chose not to - we chose to fight on the "right" side instead.

So you wouldn't say that the last 10 years haven't been characterised by belligerent foreign policy?

Please don't forget that the US has had heavy support from the international community in virtually every major action she has taken. I think you are forgetting your history. I know. You are arbitrarily applying the label "antagonist" to conflicts/nations you don't like. The examples don't fit because you don't have a standardized criteria for applying the label. Or, perhaps, you have a standardized criteria but are ignoring the facts that show that your hypothesis is wrong. Gokul picked-up the ball on what is wrong with both your labeling and your assertion that "antagonists" don't succeed. I'll let him go at that.

Well can you prove antagonism is a worthwhile strategy? Any examples in the Western world, from the last 100 years, at all?

edit: well, one thing to point out - if the US was the agressor in Vietnam because we intervened in a civil war, then the UN itself is the agressor in a whole bunch of minor wars in the past 20 years. And some of them had dramatically positive results. Right - in the OP you gave four specific examples, three of which were the US (and the 4th involved the US). Do you honestly think you are fooling anyone? :rolleyes:

Do you really think I care what you think my supposed motivation is? As usual your world famous for reading your own reality into something and then trying to force someone to agree with your own opinion and not the real intent(Your characteristic strategy, if you cant answer the question yourself, make up other peoples answers and then destroy them) If you are going to learn how to debate I suggest you try and let people answer there own questions instead of making allegations or spoon feeding the responses for them,and reading something into a situation that isn't there, and then proceeding to try and brow beat someone into agreeing with your mistaken assumptions.

Frankly I think no one has any idea what your going on about? As usual and characteristically, you are making it up as you go along, have you ever though of letting a discussion actually develop instead of making up some bogus nonsense and then trying to force your opinion on a question that was entirely meant to illustrate the futility of antagonism generally in war in the 20th century and for no other purpose than that.

You happen to have been singled out because in the west, you have been responsible for some humdingers of futile conflicts, plus most people are intimately aware of the examples given, I'll use whatever examples I please thank you very much.


Right now can we continue without some pointless reworking of my "supposed" intent, I'll reiterate so that Russ can't do the usual, rewrite reality thing: my intent is solely to point out the futility of aggressive action in the 20th/21st century, and that's it OK?

We happy now, or do you want to do any more obsessing about how the whole world revolves around your country? And that every thread is directed solely at your country personally.

You really do have no idea how annoying your habit of making things up is do you?

Oh and you probably didn't notice that the UK are in both Afghanistan and Iraq, so I'm also pointing the finger at my own government as antagonists. Did that impact on your thoughts?
 
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  • #30
russ_watters
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Hmmm-right side of what? Forgetting the bigger wars, we have Iraq 2, Afghanistan, the US sponsored coup in Haiti, the failed US supported coup in Venezuela, skirmishes in Panama, Grenada and Nicuragua, the coups in Chile, and Iran,..... Meanwhile we avoid the Sudan and Congo like the plague. :rolleyes:
I alluded to it earlier, but maybe I wasn't specific enough. I [and it would seem, SD] am calling the "right" side the one supported by the world community. But clearly (as in the case of Rwanda and the Sudan) the world community does not always act for what is right. They often sit on the sidelines.

Afghanistan has clear support from the world community. And don't forget, prior to Iraq 2, the world community was strongly against Hussein. The scenario looked very much like UN inactions in places like Rwanda and the Sudan and even Yugoslavia (which NATO had to do).
 
  • #31
russ_watters
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So you wouldn't say that the last 10 years haven't been characterised by belligerent foreign policy?
The only time period in the 1900s where the US had any kind of isolationism was between WWI and WWII. Remember, Roosevelt was elected partly on a promise to stay out of the war. And we profited handily from it at the time (though we were drawn-in partly due to a refusal to actually be neutral and sell to Germany).
Well can you prove antagonism is a worthwhile strategy? Any examples in the Western world, from the last 100 years, at all?
I've given several examples of what I think, but since you haven't been at all clear on your criteria, no, I cannot give you any examples that I can be sure would meet them.
Do you really think I care what you think my supposed motivation is?
No, I don't. But I want to make sure that it is clear. Argument by inuendo is dishonest.
As usual your world famous for reading your own reality into something and then trying to force someone to agree with your own opinion and not the real intent(Your characteristic strategy, if you cant answer the question yourself, make up other peoples answers and then destroy them) If you are going to learn how to debate I suggest you try and let people answer there own questions instead of making allegations or spoon feeding the responses for them,and reading something into a situation that isn't there, and then proceeding to try and brow beat someone into agreeing with your mistaken assumptions.
I suggest you reread the P&WA guidelines. You started this thread. You are required to both make and defend a clear argument. It is not possible for the thread to go anywhere useful unless you do that because there will never be a clear starting point.
Right now can we continue without some pointless reworking of my "supposed" intent, I'll reiterate so that Russ can't do the usual, rewrite reality thing: my intent is solely to point out the futility of aggressive action in the 20th/21st century, and that's it OK?
If that is your intent, then you need to:

1. Be specific about your criteria and your characterization of certain conflicts. How can we know your opinion if you refuse to state it? Right off the bat, in post #2, you were asked a very specific question and you did not give an appropriately specific answer.
2. Respond to specific counterexamples and people pointing out the flaws in your thesis.
 
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  • #32
The only time period in the 1900s where the US had any kind of isolationism was between WWI and WWII.

I did say post 1945 by the way, and I did particularly single out recently.

I've given several examples of what I think, but since you haven't been at all clear on your criteria, no, I cannot give you any examples that I can be sure would meet them.

You honestly don't know what I mean by my criteria? Is that what you are saying :rolleyes: OK here are some more examples.

China:Tibet guess who's the antagonist, OK not western but a pretty good result for antagonists, no?

Germany annexes the Sudatanland and Reichland invades northern Checkoslovakia and then the South, Poland is next? Guess who the antagonists are?

Russia does not withdraw from Poland and Hungary etc, enforcing a communist government on said countries?This is debatable as warfare though as technically it never is at war with the countries in question, but anyway for the sake of argument, any guesses who the antagonist is?

Iran-Iraq war Iraq invades Iran? Any guesses who the antagonist is, and who the defenders are?

Is that clear enough or do you want more examples?

No, I don't. But I want to make sure that it is clear. Argument by inuendo is dishonest.

Then kindly establish the facts before you make assumptions, I am not arguing by innuendo I am being blunt, my critique is against the worthiness of antagonism or war of invasion etc in the 20th century and beyond not against one particular country but against war in general in the West.


1. Be specific about your criteria and your characterization of certain conflicts. How can we know your opinion if you refuse to state it? Right off the bat, in post #2, you were asked a very specific question and you did not give an appropriately specific answer.
2. Respond to specific counterexamples and people pointing out the flaws in your thesis.

Oh come off it It's pretty clear what I meant from post one, antagonistic wars the examples given? But people are playing games with the argument for some pretty odd reasons if you ask me.Ok is it clear now? If it's not clear by now, frankly it never will be.
 
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  • #33
russ_watters
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...my intent is solely to point out the futility of aggressive action in the 20th/21st century, and that's it OK?
Ok.... Lets try one example - one of your prime examples. It seems relatively clear that you consider the US to be the antagonist in Afghanistan. Setting aside for a moment how you arived at that, you are arguing that such action is futile. Ie, doomed to failure. So:

1. What goals did the US have/what reason did the US invade?
2. Did any of those goals succeed?

To me, the goals are relatively clear:
1. Depose the Taliban.
2. Establish a democratic government.
3. Disrupt Afghan-based terrorism.
4. Capture/kill/marginalize Bin Laden.

And our level of success in these:
1. Done and highly successful.
2. Done, but it isn't stable yet (thus the reason the troops are still there).
3. Done and highly successful.
4. He's not dead or captured, but he has certainly been marginalized. This must at least be considered a partial success.

Since it is your argument, perhaps you could write a similar analysis for this and the other big examples you have used (starting with Iraq)?
 
  • #34
Ok.... Lets try one example - one of your prime examples. It seems relatively clear that you consider the US to be the antagonist in Afghanistan. Setting aside for a moment how you arived at that, you are arguing that such action is futile. Ie, doomed to failure. So:

1. What goals did the US have/what reason did the US invade?
2. Did any of those goals succeed?

To me, the goals are relatively clear:
1. Depose the Taliban.
2. Establish a democratic government.
3. Disrupt Afghan-based terrorism.
4. Capture/kill/marginalize Bin Laden.

And our level of success in these:
1. Done and highly successful.
2. Done, but it isn't stable yet (thus the reason the troops are still there).
3. Done and highly successful.
4. He's not dead or captured, but he has certainly been marginalized. This must at least be considered a partial success.

Since it is your argument, perhaps you could write a similar analysis for this and the other big examples you have used (starting with Iraq)?

The war isn't over yet, and neither is the certainties your claiming? To be honest I wish you'd never bothered, and just gone after Osamah.

The place is liable to remain a war zone for years, and it's not clear if the costs outweigh the advantages, as is so often being asserted, your losing the war on terror, but holding up x as a victory, games not over yet? I think you need to accept that neocon warmongering is detrimental to the war on terror, and redefine what you consider a victory, but this is based on an incomplete picture.
 
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  • #35
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Edit: I said bushed asked for 2 billion for the next two years for war. It should have read 245billion.
 

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