# News Just a thought: killing in the name of?

1. Feb 27, 2007

### Schrodinger's Dog

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?

2. Feb 27, 2007

### Gokul43201

Staff Emeritus
In US v Taliban, who are the antagonists?

3. Feb 27, 2007

### verty

War will be obsolete when greed becomes obsolete.

4. Feb 27, 2007

### Schrodinger's Dog

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

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. Feb 27, 2007

### Ivan Seeking

Staff Emeritus
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.

Last edited: Feb 27, 2007
6. Feb 27, 2007

### Schrodinger's Dog

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?

Last edited: Feb 27, 2007
7. Feb 27, 2007

### Futobingoro

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.

Last edited by a moderator: Feb 27, 2007
8. Feb 27, 2007

### Schrodinger's Dog

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 .

I'll rephrase the question, who gains by antagonism? And who has in the West since 19 dickety 2. Anyone?

9. Feb 27, 2007

### Gokul43201

Staff Emeritus
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. Feb 27, 2007

### Ivan Seeking

Staff Emeritus
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. Feb 27, 2007

### Ivan Seeking

Staff Emeritus
I think the only reason that you don't understand my point is that you don't understand the magnitude of the problem.

12. Feb 27, 2007

### 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.

Last edited by a moderator: Feb 27, 2007
13. Feb 27, 2007

### Staff: Mentor

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.

Last edited: Feb 27, 2007
14. Feb 27, 2007

### 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. Feb 27, 2007

### denverdoc

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. Feb 27, 2007

### Cyrus

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.

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.

Last edited: Feb 28, 2007
17. Feb 28, 2007

### Plastic Photon

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. Feb 28, 2007

### denverdoc

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. Feb 28, 2007

### Garth

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

Last edited: Feb 28, 2007
20. Feb 28, 2007

### Gokul43201

Staff Emeritus
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.

...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]

Last edited by a moderator: May 2, 2017

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