Terrorism

The War on Terror, and the Terror in Response to War

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Been following Ron Paul around a bit lately, and noting his eminently sensible reliance on basic golden rule thinking when applied to foreign policy: how might we feel if the rest of the world treated us as we treat them?

Well, we know how we feel, as subtly revealed in this Associated Press piece up at military.com, a mostly unremarkable roundup of some of the possibilities and plans for a war with Iran (though I am relieved to hear we're back to only one aircraft carrier in the Persian Gulf right now). But note this interesting language in the last sentence after a long discussion about the hows and whats and maybes of us beginning a military assault on Iran, something that is often referred to, I believe, as "war":

The possibility of U.S. military action raises many tough questions, beginning perhaps with the practical issue of whether the United States knows enough about Iran's network of nuclear sites—declared sites as well as possible clandestine ones—to sufficiently set back or destroy their program.

Among other unknowns: Iran's capacity to retaliate by unleashing terrorist strikes against U.S. targets.

You say war, we say terror. You say war, we say terror. Any chance of calling the whole thing off? We'll see.

NEXT: Our Ally Pakistan Marches Toward Democracy By Arresting Benazir Bhutto

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  1. Been following Ron Paul around a bit lately, and noting his eminently sensible reliance on basic golden rule thinking when applied to foreign policy: how might we feel if the rest of the world treated us as we treat them?

    Very, very ironic for a pro-capitalist advocate like Doherty to write this.

    Wait, I forgot, the Asian child slaves who make our Wal-Mart junk appreciate the opportunities we provide them.

  2. whether the United States knows enough about Iran’s network of nuclear sites – declared sites as well as possible clandestine ones – to sufficiently set back or destroy their program.

    We should know but given the CIA’s track record on such matters……………

  3. The possibility of U.S. military action raises many tough questions, beginning perhaps with the practical issue of whether the United States knows enough about Iran’s network of nuclear sites

    Or how about the question of whether or not we should even be considering war with Iran? I’m no fan on Chomsky, but he makes a good point when he talks about how the establishment intentionally narrows the range of acceptable debate.

  4. Dan T.: what’s ironic? We don’t want them meddling in our employment laws, they don’t want us doing the same.

  5. The presidential candidates need to be questioned very closely on their opinions of the Bush Doctrine – the real one, the one dealing with the expansion of pre-emption, not the democracy-spreading stuff they changed the subject to once the WMDs failed to turn up in Iraq.

    They can always hide behind “that’s a theoretical question” and “we need to leave our options open” if asked directly about Iran, so this would probably be a better tack to take in figuring out how they would behave in such situations.

  6. We should know but given the CIA’s track record on such matters…

    You know, if we stopped the WOD, we could just use that money to pretty much bribe anybody in the world to tell us whatever we want. Simple, non-violent, sensible. It will never happen.

  7. Dan T.: what’s ironic? We don’t want them meddling in our employment laws, they don’t want us doing the same.

    Right – we’ll trade with countries that do not adhere to the same fair labor standards that we impose upon ourselves.

    I guess you’re in favor of outsourcing torture?

  8. I watched on youtube the report on Paul from NBC news (not sure of the date). Jesus, what a soundbite hatchet-job. They really made it look like his first act in office would be to go after old folks’ Social Security checks and replace them with dog food. And not canned – the dry stuff.

  9. dogfood is good stuff
    i have had some in the past
    iams puppy chow

  10. “Right – we’ll trade with countries that do not adhere to the same fair labor standards that we impose upon ourselves.

    I guess you’re in favor of outsourcing torture?”

    Spoken like a true imperialist. The whole concept of conservatism is that we mind our own yard and let other countries mind theirs. We influence foriegn policy by setting a nexample for others to emulate not force then under threats of war (invasion, sanctions, etc..)

    We are not the police of the owrld and we have a big mess in our yard to clean up before we point any fingers

  11. “Right – we’ll trade with countries that do not adhere to the same fair labor standards that we impose upon ourselves.”

    The term “we’ll” is the contraction of we will, which means future tense. Since we currently trade with countries that do not adhere to the same fair labor standards that we impose upon ourselves, I am at a loss to understand your current tizzy.

    Moreover, it’s very difficult to impose giving a damn on the entire American population. I don’t (and won’t) buy Nike products because I think they don’t play fair, but surely you know what kind of crap I’ll get for that position? Half of H&R will call me elitist, anti-poor, holier-than-thou, etc.

    And I don’t even know why you’re talking about exporting torture. I believe the best products are made in America, like the expectation of prison sodomy.

  12. Dan T,
    The beauty and the burden of free choice is that you have a choice.

    If you feel that the goods at Wal-Mart are made in a manner that you don’t like, then you don’t have to buy them. If I get a warm, happy feeling knowing that I’m providing food and shelter to a worker in the third world as I buy something at Wal-Mart, I can choose to make that purchase.

    If you think I’m wrong, it’s not right for you to point a gun at me and demand that I do as you say. It is right for you to try to persuade me, though.

  13. we have a big mess in our yard to clean up

    If only the old folks weren’t eating Ron Paul’s dog food…

  14. Wow, you guys sure walked into that threadjack.

    There are many things that scare me about war with Iran. One scary thing is the possibility that they’ll retaliate inside the US. Even scarier is what we’ll do in response to that: What we’ll do to those who “look Muslim”, what we’ll do to the liberties of all, and what we’ll do to the rest of the world.

    God help us all if there’s a war with Iran.

  15. and replace them with dog food. And not canned – the dry stuff.

    The dry stuff actually tastes better than the canned, but it’s more difficult to eat; the ol’ choppers don’t work so good at our age, Sonny – we have to gum it.

  16. What pisses me off about the coming war with Iran is this:

    Every last thing we accuse them of can be found in the yearly Amnesty International report on Saudi Arabia as well. Yet we somehow manage to have the Saudis as a major ally.

    If Saudi Arabia can be a US ally, why can’t Iran?

    It also pisses me off that in the last 200 years, Iran’s record is better than ours, relative to how much aggression against other states they’re guilty of. But we say that they are the dangerous ones.

  17. So back to the early stages of the Iraq war. If Saddam had actually done something to strike back at the US – would that have been an act of War or an act of Terror?

    Seems if he had launched some sort of bombing mission that the US had been able to defend itself from, THAT would be an act of War. But if he had agents/suicide bombers strike somewhere by surprise, THAT would be an act of Terror, and not War.

    Do I have it right?

  18. You say potato. We say potatoe.
    Let’s call the whole thing off.
    Seriously, when we say terror, it allows us to rationalize having a “just” war.
    Let’s call the whole thing off.

  19. I hope we avoid war with Iran for strictly selfish reasons. I do not want to pay $10 for a gallon of gas. I do not want my teenager drafted into the army. I do not want the US to spend a Trillion dollars a year on another unjustified war that will never end. I do not want my few remaining civil liberties and tiny slice of privacy to disappear forever. Most of all, I do not want to read any more comments from DanT., donderooo, or Juanita.

  20. One scary thing is the possibility that they’ll retaliate inside the US. Even scarier is what we’ll do in response to that: What we’ll do to those who “look Muslim”, what we’ll do to the liberties of all, and what we’ll do to the rest of the world.

    Exactly. If somebody sets off a nuke, or we start having widespread Israel-style suicide bombings, I know what will happen: we will 1) severely curtail everyone’s civil liberties, but particularly those of Muslims, and maybe, possibly, have modern concentration camps; 2) flatten whatever country we can possibly blame for it, and 3) fascism will finally stop descending on America but landing in Europe, and will instead land here.

    War with Iran, that doesn’t worry me as much because unless domestic things happen, the reaction won’t be nearly as severe.

  21. I don’t think it makes sense to apply the golden rule to international relations because it is difficult to determine who the involved parties are. If we look at states as the entities, then there is little doubt the U.S. would not want Iran to wage war against it, so why should the U.S. attack Iran. But let’s consider some historical examples.
    By that logic, the French should not have intervened in the American Revolution because they wouldn’t want the British to interfere in their internal affairs.
    I’m not saying that the Iranians want us to intervene in any way, just that it doesn’t make sense to treat a nation state as a monolithic entity that can be the target of the golden rule.

  22. Nowadays, you can’t have a war without the terror. Cuz, you know, nobody likes terror. The words are synonymous…you could say, the terror on terror, or the war on war.

  23. Crushinator, you forgot one other thing: I don’t want the price of ammunition to go any higher. I haven’t shot my MAK-90 in over a year.

  24. It pisses me off how both the President of the United States and the President of Iran are making bellicose statements and moving their respective countries towards war over the objections of a great majority of the populations of both countries.

    Why A-mad and Bush just duke it out on UFC if they have their egos so wrapped up in this?

  25. The problem, Cesar, is that if Bush and Ahmadinejad were in the ring, as soon as either one got a bruise he’d start crying, and then the other one would get hurt and he’d start crying, and then the whole fight would just sort of fizzle out.

  26. And no, before anyone starts screaming at me, I’m not suggesting moral equivalence in any way, shape, or form between Bush and A-Mad.

  27. The problem, Cesar, is that if Bush and Ahmadinejad were in the ring, as soon as either one got a bruise he’d start crying, and then the other one would get hurt and he’d start crying, and then the whole fight would just sort of fizzle out.

    Maybe they just should just have a duel. paces, turn and fire, international problem solved.

  28. Should read “twenty paces”.

  29. Why A-mad and Bush just duke it out on UFC if they have their egos so wrapped up in this?

    I’ll place my money on Mahmoud. 2nd round submission by wedgie (that’s a legal move, no?)

  30. Dan T,
    The beauty and the burden of free choice is that you have a choice.

    If you feel that the goods at Wal-Mart are made in a manner that you don’t like, then you don’t have to buy them. If I get a warm, happy feeling knowing that I’m providing food and shelter to a worker in the third world as I buy something at Wal-Mart, I can choose to make that purchase.

    If you think I’m wrong, it’s not right for you to point a gun at me and demand that I do as you say. It is right for you to try to persuade me, though.

    So basically if you feel that an injustice exists, your only morally acceptable recourse is to not participate in it yourself? I’m not sure anybody really believes that.

  31. Episiarch –

    What worries me about the trend line for repression of civil liberties is that at some point it goes parabolic, for the simple reason that it starts to produce the very criminal actions it’s trying to prevent, so its advocates double down.

    Say, for example, we actually reached the point where there was preventive detention of American Muslims. Well, a likely outcome of that is that American Muslims start blowing shit up – people who would NOT have been militant in the absence of the preventive detention. I would also have a personal conflict between the fact that I’d be just as pissed off as they are and would want to help them, and the fact that I’d be shit scared and would want to hide.

    But then whatever violence is produced in reaction to the crackdown turns into the justification for a new round of crackdowns. “A HA!” Generalissimo Giuliani proclaims. “You see? You see? We need MORE camps!”

  32. “Wait, I forgot, the Asian child slaves who make our Wal-Mart junk appreciate the opportunities we provide them.”

    It’s better than starving if they had no jobs at all.

  33. So basically if you feel that an injustice exists, your only morally acceptable recourse is to not participate in it yourself? I’m not sure anybody really believes that.

    Many people actually do believe that. That’s how boycotts usually work. Ever hear of them?

  34. Try work in a rice paddy all day in 100 degree heat and 90%+ humidity Dan T. Until you do that, shut the fuck up about how horrible factory jobs in third world countries are.

  35. I presume Bush is going to blow up shopping malls and office buildings, because his endgame is merely provoking Iran rather than destroying their nuclear program. Oh, wait. He’s not going to do that? OK, so what are we talking about then?

  36. “So basically if you feel that an injustice exists, your only morally acceptable recourse is to not participate in it yourself?”

    Participating in the marketplace is more than just buying or not buying. You can and should publicize immoral business practices, and support watchdog groups that do a good job (and be critical of hatchet job organizations). Corporations are becoming sensitive to the accusation of child or forced labor. There’s still a long way to go, but the point is that progress has been made without meddlesome government intervention.

  37. I’m Lamar and I approve this threadjack.

  38. Also, why do some people have such a hard on for America going fascist? Is it that you can’t act out your libertarian fantasies in a mostly free society and yearn for the repression that would validate your worldview? Bunch of Larry Craigs, thrilling at the prospect of concentration camps for Muslims.

  39. “So basically if you feel that an injustice exists, your only morally acceptable recourse is to not participate in it yourself? I’m not sure anybody really believes that.”

    If enough people didn’t like the low wages 3rd world workers received in making Wal-Mart products, they could boycott buying products from Wal-Mart. If enough people did this, it would be in Wal-Mart’s interest to negotiate with these 3rd world governments and companies to bring up the workers’ salaries and working conditions. If the 3rd world governments refused, Wal-Mart could buy from other companies that didn’t practice “slave labor”. Ultimately, it’s up to Wal-Mart and their customers.

  40. Two things on the linked article:
    1) The US military has “up-to-date” plans on just about an credible contigency. That is what they do. In fact, I would call it malpractice if they did not have contigency plans updated (i.e. written this decade) for all of the usual realistic hotspots, including Iran, North Korea, Pakistan, Tawain Strait, Horn of Africa, etc.

    2) Our naval presence in the Middle East is sizeable and has pretty much been continuous since Gulf War 1, (and also rather large before that with the tanker war of the eighties) One can read a little, but should not read too much into how many Carrier battle groups are in the area at any given time (unless it goes up to 4 or 5)

    Which is actually the fundemental problem with how the Iraq has turned out. By going “all-in” with Iraq, and making a clusterf*** of it, we have limited our options to use statecraft measures short of total war (but that do include violence). We can’t bluff our way with ‘you think this is bad now, I have not even openned the door to pantry with the cans of whoop-ass.’ Which both Clinton and Bush the first were able to do. (The former with the Kosovo campaign and the 7th fleet counter exercise against Chinese sabre rattling against Taiwan in 1996 or 1997, the latter with successful operations against Panama and for Kuwait.)

  41. “Is it that you can’t act out your libertarian fantasies in a mostly free society and yearn for the repression that would validate your worldview? Bunch of Larry Craigs, thrilling at the prospect of concentration camps for Muslims.”

    WTF?

    Was Shock and Awe warfare, or terrorism?

  42. “Wait, I forgot, the Asian child slaves who make our Wal-Mart junk appreciate the opportunities we provide them.”

    It’s better than starving if they had no jobs at all.

    Right you are. How did these cultures exist for thousands of years without us?

  43. If enough people didn’t like the low wages 3rd world workers received in making Wal-Mart products, they could boycott buying products from Wal-Mart. If enough people did this, it would be in Wal-Mart’s interest to negotiate with these 3rd world governments and companies to bring up the workers’ salaries and working conditions. If the 3rd world governments refused, Wal-Mart could buy from other companies that didn’t practice “slave labor”. Ultimately, it’s up to Wal-Mart and their customers.

    So, if enough people don’t like (say) New York City’s smoking ban in bars, they could just boycott going to NYC or patronizing businesses that are headquartered there. Then NYC would find that it’s in their best interest to repeal the ban.

  44. Well, now Dan T. has mixed economic policy with foreign policy and now thrown in a dash of public policy. It’s all one giant stew, right?

  45. Participating in the marketplace is more than just buying or not buying. You can and should publicize immoral business practices, and support watchdog groups that do a good job (and be critical of hatchet job organizations). Corporations are becoming sensitive to the accusation of child or forced labor. There’s still a long way to go, but the point is that progress has been made without meddlesome government intervention.

    Well, if assume that all government intervention is meddlesome, then I suppose this all makes sense. But how is ensuring justice and fair play “meddlesome”?

  46. “So, if enough people don’t like (say) New York City’s smoking ban in bars, they could just boycott going to NYC or patronizing businesses that are headquartered there. Then NYC would find that it’s in their best interest to repeal the ban.”

    That’s right.

  47. Well, now Dan T. has mixed economic policy with foreign policy and now thrown in a dash of public policy. It’s all one giant stew, right?

    Yes – none of these concepts exist in a vaccum apart from the others.

    It gets back to BD’s statement about how the golden rule makes sense when applied to foreign policy. I’m just wondering why it doesn’t make sense when applied to other policies.

  48. “But how is ensuring justice and fair play “meddlesome”?”

    Different people have different opinions on what is fair. Do you have the right to determine for others what is fair?

  49. Let’s try to be fair to Dan.

    If I am correctly reading his point, he is merely saying that we should not trade with nations that use child slave labor.

    I am perfectly willing to get behind his campaign to end trade with nations where laborers are enslaved, if in return he will get behind my crusade to end trade with nations where capital is enslaved.

    I don’t think it’s a completely disreputable intellectual position to claim that free trade is only possible among and between the free.

    Of course, “We should not trade with people who are employing children as chattel slaves” is a much different proposition than “We should not trade with people who don’t have exactly the same labor and environmental laws as we do” because most of our labor laws have nothing to do with eliminating slavery and everything to do with intervening in the bargaining process on labor’s behalf. And those aren’t the same thing.

  50. But if he had agents/suicide bombers strike somewhere by surprise, THAT would be an act of Terror, and not War.

    Do I have it right?

    Yes. It’s a little known fact tthat the French underground in WWII were terrorists. Go by the Bushies definition and they undoubtably were.

  51. Sunday is Veterans day. I’m a veteran. I’m celebrating by donating to RON PAUL 2008.

    You might also want to give a little to the candidate that receives more contributions from active duty military personnel than all the other combined.

  52. “Right you are. How did these cultures exist for thousands of years without us?”

    Their societies were more agrarian and those were’nt very pleasant working conditions either. Many of the societies engaged in actual slave labor as well. It wasn’t necessarily a paradise in those countries before they started making products for Wal-Mart.

  53. But how is ensuring justice and fair play “meddlesome”?

    Do you even think about the things you type before you post them? Ensuring justice and fair play according to who’s standards? Ours? You want us to impose our standards on others and you don’t find that meddlesome?? Seriosly??

  54. Following on with Kenny’s comment, the USN 5th Fleet is headquartered in Bahrain, right across the Gulf from Iran. The 5th Fleet consists of (according to Wikipedia) “~1 x Forward Deployed Carrier Strike Group”, which can be read as “one or more, depending on circumstances”.

    Also, there’s “~1” Expeditionary Strike Group(s), which consist usually of, among other things, amphibious light carriers (like the Wasp).


  55. Different people have different opinions on what is fair. Do you have the right to determine for others what is fair?

    Sure. Try and stop me from making that determination.

  56. Do you even think about the things you type before you post them? Ensuring justice and fair play according to who’s standards? Ours? You want us to impose our standards on others and you don’t find that meddlesome?? Seriosly??

    Good point. Do you mind if I steal some of your stuff, since you don’t like meddlesome laws that impose your standards on others?

  57. Why A-mad and Bush just duke it out on UFC if they have their egos so wrapped up in this?

    Cage match!, I want a steel enclosed Texas Death Match. Jesse Ventura for the referee, and all PPV profits donated to war widows and orphans.

  58. “Yes. It’s a little known fact tthat the French underground in WWII were terrorists. Go by the Bushies definition and they undoubtably were.”

    So were we in nuking Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Deliberate killing of unarmed civilians is terrorism. Yet, many Americans continue to justify that action by saying that it saved the lives of American troops and brought an end to the war. Killing of unarmed civilians to save the lives of troops is never justified.

  59. “Good point. Do you mind if I steal some of your stuff, since you don’t like meddlesome laws that impose your standards on others?”

    Apples and oranges! The only justification for the government to meddle is when people are using force or fraud against others.

  60. Of course, “We should not trade with people who are employing children as chattel slaves” is a much different proposition than “We should not trade with people who don’t have exactly the same labor and environmental laws as we do” because most of our labor laws have nothing to do with eliminating slavery and everything to do with intervening in the bargaining process on labor’s behalf. And those aren’t the same thing.

    They’re not exactly the same thing, but they acheive the same purpose (fairness in economic transactions).

    My main point is close to what you’re saying. Basically, if we feel that certain labor practices (including but not limited to slavery) are unacceptable then we should not trade with countries that do not also find them unacceptable. It’s hypocritical and it ultimately hurts our own workers by harming their bargaining position – why should we pay you a decent wage when the slaves in Asia will make the stuff for basically nothing?

  61. “But how is ensuring justice and fair play “meddlesome”?”

    Well now, we’ve gotten away from the golden rule theme of the post, now haven’t we?

  62. Apples and oranges! The only justification for the government to meddle is when people are using force or fraud against others.

    I see…so it’s okay to impose this particular standard on others because you happen to agree with it? Funny how that works.

  63. Good point. Do you mind if I steal some of your stuff, since you don’t like meddlesome laws that impose your standards on others?

    Of course you may, with the provision that I can shoot you without the meddlesome laws preventing me from doing so 🙂

  64. Of course you may, with the provision that I can shoot you without the meddlesome laws preventing me from doing so 🙂

    Sure. And this is the logical conclusion of libertarianism – every man for himself. Great if you have power, not so great if you don’t.

  65. So were we in nuking Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

    Does anybody besides me recall Dresden? Look at the numbers. About the same as Nagasaki, I recall.

  66. “Sure. And this is the logical conclusion of libertarianism – every man for himself. Great if you have power, not so great if you don’t.”

    There you go again, Dan, mixing libertarianism with anarchism.

  67. “Does anybody besides me recall Dresden? Look at the numbers. About the same as Nagasaki, I recall.”

    The fire bombing of civilians at Dresden. Another black page in American history.

  68. In respnse to Dan T.s posts on this thread, let me say …

    Oh hell, Mom taught me never to argue with folls or drunkards. Never mind.

  69. “Apples and oranges! The only justification for the government to meddle is when people are using force or fraud against others.”

    “I see…so it’s okay to impose this particular standard on others because you happen to agree with it? Funny how that works.”

    I think we all agree with that. Dan, do you know anybody who believes that people have the right to use force and fraud against them?

  70. It seems that we’ve just gotten so used to fighting wars on foreign soil that we’ve forgotten what “war” actually involves.

  71. There you go again, Dan, mixing libertarianism with anarchism.

    How can you not? Especially when any objection to libertarianism is met with some variation of “what gives you the right to do me what to do?” yet libertarians feel like they have the right to tell people what to do.

    If you want to argue that libertarianism as a philosophy produces the best results for people, that’s one thing. But don’t act like every other philosophy is subjective while yours is carved in stone somewhere.

  72. The nuking of Japan wasn’t just to save the lives of troops. A conventional invasion would have cost untold US, Japanese military casualties, as well as Japanese civilian casualties.

    The raids on Tokyo from the air were killing civilians, too. Those stopped after Hiroshima and Nagasaki (regardless of the atom bomb’s influence or lack thereof on the surrender of Japan).

  73. Dan –
    Did you take your pills this morning?
    Can we just go ahead and call libertarian communism, and socialism anarchy so that we can make some point about gradations and get on with what the post is actually supposed to be about. Not about how you dislike Wal-mart and think that Wal-mart somehow constitutes an action by “we”

  74. I think we all agree with that. Dan, do you know anybody who believes that people have the right to use force and fraud against them?

    Well, if I steal your stuff, don’t you think that force can be used to get it back? The whole idea of “property rights” is that it’s okay for someone who possesses property to use force to keep possesion of it.

    As for fraud, that’s something that by definition is not okay but it’s not always easy to define. A good deal of advertising could be considered fraudulent (buying Bud Light doesn’t really make you irresistable to women) but we allow it anyway.

  75. “it ultimately hurts our own workers by harming their bargaining position – why should we pay you a decent wage when the slaves in Asia will make the stuff for basically nothing?”

    We should compete in the areas where we’re most competitive such as high tech industries. Let the 3rd world countries make the trinkets. If they can make trinkets for a lower price than we can, let them. Our consumers will save money and with those savings will be able to buy more products and services, many of which are products and services here in America. Dan, you are guilty of the same short-sightedness that people like Lou Dobbs and Pat Buchanan have. They fail to see the full picture.

  76. Dan –
    Did you take your pills this morning?
    Can we just go ahead and call libertarian communism, and socialism anarchy so that we can make some point about gradations and get on with what the post is actually supposed to be about. Not about how you dislike Wal-mart and think that Wal-mart somehow constitutes an action by “we”

    Sorry, to me at least discussions about the nature of libertarianism and politics in general are much more interesting than the latest Ron Paul wetdream. Use your right as an free American not to engage my arguments if they bother you so much.

  77. Sure. And this is the logical conclusion of libertarianism – every man for himself. Great if you have power, not so great if you don’t.

    The whole point of private property is to protect the little guy, and private property is the essence of libertarianism.

  78. The nuking of Japan wasn’t just to save the lives of troops. A conventional invasion would have cost untold US, Japanese military casualties, as well as Japanese civilian casualties.

    The raids on Tokyo from the air were killing civilians, too. Those stopped after Hiroshima and Nagasaki (regardless of the atom bomb’s influence or lack thereof on the surrender of Japan).

    Don’t forget that the US was trying to send a message to Stalin.

  79. “Well, if I steal your stuff, don’t you think that force can be used to get it back? The whole idea of “property rights” is that it’s okay for someone who possesses property to use force to keep possesion of it.”

    You’re obfuscating, Dan. The fault is with the original aggressor. Nobody says that you don’t have a right to take back your property that was stolen from you or that you don’t have a right to protect your own property.

    “A good deal of advertising could be considered fraudulent (buying Bud Light doesn’t really make you irresistable to women) but we allow it anyway.”

    If somebody is stupid enough to believe that Bud Light didn’t make him irresistable with women, he can sue Budweiser. It’s up to the courts to work that out.

  80. Dan T. must have stopped off at the neighborhood Krackha?s before work today. Now we’re on to Little Boy and Fat Man.

    @8(-

  81. The fire bombing of civilians at Dresden. Another black page in American history.

    Don’t forget the firebombing of Kobe, which killed more people than Dresden or Hiroshima.

  82. Oh, DAMM, Lamar!

    “Some days der ragged, emaciated bodies of ze junkies are staked up in ze back like corpses,” says von Kreutzen. “But even zat has its roots in German culture!”

  83. Bud Light doesn’t necessarily make me attractive to women. But if I drink enough, it makes ugly women attractive to me.

  84. discussions about the nature of libertarianism and politics in general

    Not what’s going on here.

    the latest Ron Paul wetdream

    Also not what’s going on here.

  85. “The nuking of Japan wasn’t just to save the lives of troops. A conventional invasion would have cost untold US, Japanese military casualties, as well as Japanese civilian casualties.”

    “The raids on Tokyo from the air were killing civilians, too. Those stopped after Hiroshima and Nagasaki (regardless of the atom bomb’s influence or lack thereof on the surrender of Japan).”

    It is still my point that the deliberate killing of civilians is never justified. As far as the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki stopping the war, it could have been stopped earlier without the bombing. We ended up accepting the same terms of surrender that Japan had proposed earlier. As Dan said, we wanted to show the Soviets what we had. Since we accepted the same terms that Japan offered previously, it couldn’t have been for bringing an earlier end to the war.

  86. As far as the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki stopping the war, it could have been stopped earlier without the bombing. We ended up accepting the same terms of surrender that Japan had proposed earlier. As Dan said, we wanted to show the Soviets what we had. Since we accepted the same terms that Japan offered previously, it couldn’t have been for bringing an earlier end to the war.

    Putting on a display of dick-waving to scare Uncle Joe was certainly part of it, but there is STILL much argument as to what would have happened in the absence of such a display (such as continued raids on Tokyo or firebombings of places like Kobe).

    Same terms of surrender or not (recall my clause about The Bomb’s influence or non-influence), there were two or more paths to take at the time, one of which ALREADY outstripped the civilian loss of life in both atom bomb attacks combined.

  87. “yet libertarians feel like they have the right to tell people what to do.”

    We have a right to give our opinions, but we don’t have the right to coerce others. Only conservatives and liberals claim that right for themselves.

  88. You’re obfuscating, Dan.

    That’s a real shocker.

    You guys are letting Dan dictate the terms of the debate. He has consistently shown that he thinks libertarianism is exactly equal to the rich and powerful doing whatever they want to the poor without repercussions, and could give a fuck what anyone says to the contrary. No matter what you say to Dan T, he will not grant that you are not wholly morally bankrupt. He has no respect for any of us, and is not here to debate the issues. He’s here to fling mud and call libertarians baby killers. He’s said so on multiple occasions. He’s just a fuckchop. Let it go. This little one’s not worth the effort. Let me buy you a drink.

  89. “Same terms of surrender or not (recall my clause about The Bomb’s influence or non-influence), there were two or more paths to take at the time, one of which ALREADY outstripped the civilian loss of life in both atom bomb attacks combined.”

    Were those deliberate attacks on civilians or “collateral damage”? If they were deliberate attacks on civilians, nuke or not, they were acts of terrorism every bit as despicable as Osama’s attacks on 9/11

  90. No matter what you say to Dan T, he will not grant that you are not wholly morally bankrupt. He has no respect for any of us, and is not here to debate the issues. He’s here to fling mud and call libertarians baby killers.

    That’s unfair – even my ideological opponents must admit that I treat other views and posters respectfully and assume that everybody here is well-meaning even if misguided.

    Also remember that I agree with you guys more than what I let on. I just think that more is learned from debate than participating in an echo-chamber.

  91. In the discussion of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, let’s not allow a rather important fact to slip our minds: most Americans were, by modern standards, repugnant racists in the 1940s. The internment of Japanese-Americans had large majority support. There were propaganda posters put out with titles like “How to tell our friends from the Japs,” which talked about their buck teeth. One poster featured the word “revenge” and a scene of a bombed-out Japanse city with an empty child’s shoe in the foreground.

    I think it’s safe to say that the moral reasoning of the time was infected with a racism that devalued the lives of Japanese people. This refined discussion comparing American lives with Japanese lives assumes something like a 1:1 equality, and that most certainly wasn’t the reasoning used by the people at the time.

    That said, what do we expect from people operating a decade before Martin Luther King, who had seen hundreds of thousands of their countrymen killed over the previous three and a half years? Of course their moral reasoning towards the Japanse was dulled.

  92. Also remember that I agree with you guys more than what I let on. I just think that more is learned from debate than participating in an echo-chamber.

    Yeah, that’s how trolls like to see themselves.

  93. Were those deliberate attacks on civilians or “collateral damage”? If they were deliberate attacks on civilians, nuke or not, they were acts of terrorism every bit as despicable as Osama’s attacks on 9/11

    In a general sense, I sometimes think that we get caught up a little too much in the whole “civilians vs. soldiers” thing.

    Especially during WWII, the USA and Japan were at war with each other as countries, not just as militaires. If one side in any war finds a strategic advantage in attacking civilians, then they’re going to exploit it – better to win a war and feel guilty afterwards than to lose.

  94. How exactly does talking about WalMart exploiting Asian children in a thread about invading/not invading Iran “break up the echo chamber”?

  95. “In the discussion of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, let’s not allow a rather important fact to slip our minds: most Americans were, by modern standards, repugnant racists in the 1940s.”

    That’s right. Truman compared Japanese with yellow puke.

    To a certain extent, our wars in the Middle East are bringing animosity towards Middle Eastern people.

  96. In the discussion of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, let’s not allow a rather important fact to slip our minds: most Americans were, by modern standards, repugnant racists in the 1940s. The internment of Japanese-Americans had large majority support. There were propaganda posters put out with titles like “How to tell our friends from the Japs,” which talked about their buck teeth. One poster featured the word “revenge” and a scene of a bombed-out Japanse city with an empty child’s shoe in the foreground.

    I think it’s safe to say that the moral reasoning of the time was infected with a racism that devalued the lives of Japanese people. This refined discussion comparing American lives with Japanese lives assumes something like a 1:1 equality, and that most certainly wasn’t the reasoning used by the people at the time.

    That said, what do we expect from people operating a decade before Martin Luther King, who had seen hundreds of thousands of their countrymen killed over the previous three and a half years? Of course their moral reasoning towards the Japanse was dulled.

    Well, joe, it was war. And despite what we like to tell ourselves these days, there’s no polite way to fight one.

  97. yet libertarians feel like they have the right to tell people what to do.

    And this is where you consistently wrong Dan. Granted, the folks here, myself included, often shoot the breeze with “they ought to…” policy prescriptions, but that’s because this is a public-policy forum, for fuck’s sake. But ask any self-identified libber what they actually want? We want to be left alone, and have no desire to tell others how to live. The only objection raised against other’s lives, is when those others decide to tell us, and often force us, how to live.

    If you want to have an intelligent discussion, ask intelligent questions. Your college-freshman trolling technique grows tiring.

  98. “In the discussion of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, let’s not allow a rather important fact to slip our minds: most Americans were, by modern standards, repugnant racists in the 1940s.”

    Since I didn’t see the source of this quote, I know it’s a filtered individual.

    Let’s not forget that EVERYBODY around the world were repugnant racists then. The Japanese beheaded 1.2 million Chinese for sport because they thought that the Chinese were literally a lower species.

  99. All wars are fought with one purpose in mind keeping the state in power.

    “Talk of imminent threat to our national security through the application of external force is pure nonsense?. Indeed, it is a part of the general patterns of misguided policy that our country is now geared to an arms economy which was bred in an artificially induced psychosis of war hysteria and nurtured upon an incessant propaganda of fear. While such an economy may produce a sense of seeming prosperity for the moment, it rests on an illusionary foundation of complete unreliability and renders among our political leaders almost a greater fear of peace than is their fear of war.” General Douglas MacArthur

    Interpretation of above quote:

    “War becomes an instrument of domestic policy?. [The government may] increase or decrease the tempo of military expenditures, as the planners decide that what the economy needs is a little more inflation or a little less?. And whereas it was foreseen that when Executive Government is resolved to control the economy it will come to have a vested interest in the power of inflation, so now we may perceive that it will come also to have a kind of proprietary interest in the institution of perpetual war.[5]” Garet Garrett

  100. “Well, joe, it was war. And despite what we like to tell ourselves these days, there’s no polite way to fight one.”

    We don’t have to fight them by killing unarmed civilians.

  101. Were those deliberate attacks on civilians or “collateral damage”? If they were deliberate attacks on civilians, nuke or not, they were acts of terrorism every bit as despicable as Osama’s attacks on 9/11
    Jake, you are correct here – but going back to the actual article that was posted (shock!) the difference that I can see is that a “state of war” existed between the 2 countries. It makes it no less a travesty.
    The Japanese pulled a sneak attack against a country they were not at war with – but in essence limited it to military targets. The US in WWII bombed civilian targets of a country that it was at War with. A/Q killed thousands of civilians targeting a non-military target (WTC) and what I would consider a military target (Pentagon).
    In each of the circumstances above, someone thought they were at war with the other. The only clear case of actually being at war was the US bombings in WWII. However, the case has been made over and over that Japan considered US entry to the war imminent and did limit the attack to Pearl vs carpet bombing all of Hawaii.

  102. Were those deliberate attacks on civilians or “collateral damage”? If they were deliberate attacks on civilians, nuke or not, they were acts of terrorism every bit as despicable as Osama’s attacks on 9/11

    I’m not attempting to make an evaluation of “terrorism” or “not terrorism”.

  103. Since the subject of Hiroshima and Nagasaki has been breached, I suggest this quick read:
    http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig6/maley2.html

  104. Since I’m not enough of a weenie to filter people who write things I don’t like:

    Let’s not forget that EVERYBODY around the world were repugnant racists then.

    Fine, stipulated. So?

  105. I tend to think that we have to assign the moral responsibility for the hell of war to the party responsible for the war itself.

    If the police are engaged in a shootout with a gang of murdering robbers, and passerby get shot, I think the robbers are absolutely at fault, even if in theory there was some other way the police could have handled the shootout that would have prevented those casualties.

    Similarly, I think that the party in the right in a war has the moral right to use the measures necessary to win. If a small, weak free country was in danger of being overrun by a large, strong slave state, and the only weapon the small state had that gave them any hope was some sort of biological or chemical or nuclear weapon that would cause a lot of innocent civilian casualties, I think they would have the right to use that weapon.

  106. bromo98

    The US was engaged in policies for the purpose of getting Japan to attack us so we would have an excuse to get involved in the war. They did not attack us for no reason.

    Dan T

    There really is no moral excuse for murdering civilians. People often talk about how horrific 9/11 was imagine. How much worse is it to perform an act that is responsible for an estimated 600000 Japanese deaths. These civilians had to die so we could win. What planet are you from where that is a morally acceptable outcome?

  107. Doh remember to preview before submitting

  108. Little Bill as played by RSJ: “You cowardly bastard! You just killed unarmed civilians!”

    Will Munny as played by the 509th Composite Bomb Wing, US Army Air Corp: “Well, they should have armed themselves before decorating their saloon with bombing Pearl Harbor, raping Nanking, death marching in Battan, and all manner of Philipine attrocities.”

  109. Might it be more accurate to say that the US was engaged in activities intended to reduce Japan’s ability to wage war, and knew damn well that it could result in Japan launching an attack?

    We were still negotiating them on December 6, and they cut off the talks.

  110. Joe

    Correct my point was that the US was not some innocent bystander who got suckerpunched by Japan.

    I find it disturbing that some people can rationalize the deaths of innocents as an acceptable part of war. Unfortunately lots of people really believe the patriotic piffle that governments come up with as cover for their desires to steal other countries resources. I’m not arguing here that Japan was in any way correct in bombing Pear Harbor. We incited the attack by our actions. Our governments actions in its wars haven’t really been any more honorable than those who have been designated the enemy dujour.

    Right now the hounds of war are agitating for dropping bombs on Iran. If it happens it will be a war crime. Please see my previous thread at 12:23 pm. War can only cause death and destruction. What good can ever come of that?

  111. Even scarier is what we’ll do in response to that: What we’ll do to those who “look Muslim”, what we’ll do to the liberties of all, and what we’ll do to the rest of the world.

    Is that you, David Milch?:

    “People’s expectations have been so infantilized by television that the infantilation has itself disposed us to a genocide…My belief is that the constant exposure to news, the constant exposure of the viewer sensibilities to those planes flying into those buildings explains our involvement in Iraq. We wanted to be exposed to an absolutely different show (than the World Trade Center towers falling)…But we were promised a 12-episode miniseries. We’d go in, pull down a statue and it’d be over. Now we want to get out because we want the series to be over…It’s the reason I believe the argument that the next time such a (terrorist) event takes place, we’ll commit a genocide. We’ll sanction the murder of men, women and children, the incarceration of Muslims the way we did the Japanese (during World War II.)”

  112. In summer of 1941, the US was engaged in actions which may or may not have caused Japan to go to war. That Japan actually did go to war makes some people think that US actions caused the Japan December actions. The decision to go to war was entirely on Japan. To say otherwise is like saying the rape victim was asking for it because she was acting like a bitch.

    Japan made a strategic gamble: that the disabling of the US Pacific fleet would allow them to operate uncontested in the East Indies and Philipines which were their real strategic goals. This strategy was inconsistent with carpet bombing Hawaii in 1941. Plus, they lacked the capable of doing this because they were at the edge of their logistic chain to accomplish what they did in Dec 41. On Dec 7, the Japanese acheived almost total tactical sucess and strategic sucess by destorying most of the air and surface assets the US had in HI. Where the Japanese messed up was by not hitting the carriers, which were at sea, and not even targeting the submarines and most importantly, the fuel bunkers.

  113. Dan T

    There really is no moral excuse for murdering civilians. People often talk about how horrific 9/11 was imagine. How much worse is it to perform an act that is responsible for an estimated 600000 Japanese deaths. These civilians had to die so we could win. What planet are you from where that is a morally acceptable outcome?

    I’m saying that war is an amoral activity. The whole idea is to kill people to further your interests, and the notion that there are right and wrong ways to do this is not much more than an exercise in rationalization.

    Especially when you consider that killing civilians might provide you with a strategic advantage. Just because a person is not a soldier doesn’t mean they’re not contributing to your enemy’s war effort.

  114. That should be “On Dec 7, the Japanese acheived almost total tactical success but limited strategic success

  115. I find it disturbing that some people can rationalize the deaths of innocents as an acceptable part of war.

    Well, I can. I find it similar to Lincoln’s statement of “If I could preserve the Union by freeing all the slaves, I would; if I could preserve it by freeing no slaves I would, if I could preserve it by freeing some and not freeing others, I would.”

    I realize that Lincoln bashing is popular around these parts, but he is right. Sometime morality is ambiguous and you really have to go with the lesser of two evils.

  116. Dan T

    Seriously how can war be amoral it will always involve a question of right and wrong. War is wrong period in my view there can be no just or righteous wars. Wars are not fought for the reasons that the newsmen on television talk about. They are fought to benefit certain groups of people who pull the levers of government and benefit from the death and destruction that occurs. If there were no governments there would be no wars. I’m not saying that there would be no conflicts there would not be situations though where tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of people die.

    Kenny

    The lesser of two evils is still evil

    Morality is never ambigous unless you are amoral. If you believe in a concept of right and wrong then there can be no justification for taking innocent lives.

  117. “Well, I can. I find it similar to Lincoln’s statement of “If I could preserve the Union by freeing all the slaves, I would; if I could preserve it by freeing no slaves I would, if I could preserve it by freeing some and not freeing others, I would.”

    “I realize that Lincoln bashing is popular around these parts, but he is right. Sometime morality is ambiguous and you really have to go with the lesser of two evils.”

    It shows that what was really important to Lincoln was preserving the Union. He was willing to go to war in order to preserve the Union on his terms rather than to come to amicable terms with the South. Was the loss of 600,000 worth it? I think not.

  118. War is an excuse to expand government power and take citizens liberties. The so called War on Terror spawned the abomination called the Patriot Act. The War on Drugs has caused Americans the right to do with there bodies what they want to do. You fellas need to read General Smedley Butlers “War is a Racket” He actually fought in wars and new exactly how fraudulent they are. He called himself a gangster for capitalism. Meaning that he fought in wars to benefit corporations. The same reason that wars are fought today.

    Wars are not fought for reasons of national security. They are fought for control of finite resources. The Press and the government gets uninformed citizens to jump on the war bandwagon by appealing to those fraudulent ideas called patriotism and national security.

    True libertarians cannot possibly be for war of any kind. Mises has to articles recently talking about war read them you may learn something.

    This is a link to an article called New Deal and Cold War the Link of State Domination

    http://www.mises.org/story/2745

    This is an article called Tragedy in the Language of Political Economy

    http://www.mises.org/story/2776

  119. Lincoln was an asshole.

    Lysander Spooner understood that the Slaves had a right to revolution if necessary to obtain their freedom.

    TO THE NON-SLAVEHOLDERS OF THE SOUTH.

    We present to you herewith “A Plan for the Abolition of Slavery,” and solicit your aid to carry it into execution.

    Your numbers, combined with those of the Slaves, will give you all power. You have but to use it, and the work is done.

    The following self-evident principles of justice and hu?manity will serve a. guides to the measures proper to be adopted. These principles are –

    1. That the Slaves have a natural right to their liberty.

    2. That they have a natural right to compensation (so far as the property of the Slaveholders and their abettors can compensate them) for the wrongs they have suffered.

    3. That so long as the governments, under which they live, refuse to give them liberty or compensation, they have the right to take it by stratagem or force.

    4. That it is the duty of all, who can, to assist them in such an enterprise.

    In rendering this assistance, you will naturally adopt these measures.

    1. To ignore and spurn the authority of all the corrupt and tyrannical political institutions, which the Slaveholders have established for the security of their crimes.

    2. Soon as may be, to take the political Power of your States into your own hands, and establish governments that shall punish slaveholding as a crime, and also give to the Slaves civil actions for damages for the wrongs that have already been committed against them.

    3. Until such new governments shall be instituted, to recognize the Slaves as free men, and as being the rightful owners of the property, which is now held by their masters, but which would pass to them, if justice were done; to justify and assist them in every effort to acquire their liberty, and obtain possession, of such property, by stratagem or force; to hire them as laborers, pay them their wages, and defend them meanwhile against their tyrants; to sell them fire-arms and teach them the use of them; to trade with them, buying the property they may have taken from their op?pressors, and paying them for it; to encourage and assist them to take possession of the lands they cultivate, and the crops they produce, and appropriate them to their own use; and in every way possible to recognize them as being now the rightful owners of the property, which justice, if admin?istered, would give them, in compensation for the injuries they have received.

    4. To form Vigilance Committees, or Leagues of Free?dom, in every neighborhood or township, whose duty it shall be to stand in the stead of the government, and do that jus?tice for the slaves, which government refuses to do; and especially to arrest, try, and chastise (with their own whips) all Slaveholders who shall beat their slaves, or restrain them of their liberty; and compel them to give deeds of emanci?pation, and conveyances of their property, to their slaves

    5. To treat, and teach the negroes to treat, all active abettors of the Slaveholders, as you and they treat the Slaveholders themselves, both in person and property.

    Perhaps some may say that this taking of property, by the Slaves, would be stealing, and should not be encouraged. The answer is, that it would not be stealing; it would be simply taking justice into their own hands, and redressing their own wrongs. The state of Slavery is a state of war. In this case it is a just war, on the part of the negroes – a war for liberty, and the recompense of injuries; and neces?sity justifies them in carrying it on by the only means their oppressors have left to them. In war, the plunder of ene?mies is as legitimate as the killing of them; and stratagem Is as legitimate as open force. The right of the Slaves, therefore, in this war, to take property, is as clear as their right to take life; and their right to do it secretly, is as clear as their right to do it openly. And as this will probably be their most effective mode of operation for the present, they ought to be taught, encouraged, and assisted to do it to the utmost, so long as they are unable to meet their enemies in the open field. And to call this taking of property stealing, Is as false and unjust as it would be to call the taking of life, in just war, murder.

    It is only those who have a false and superstitious rever?ence for the authority of governments, and have contracted the habit of thinking that the most tyrannical and iniquitous laws have the power to make that right which is naturally wrong, or that wrong which is naturally right, who will have any doubt as to the right of the Slaves (and those who would assist them) to make war, to all possible extent, upon the property of the Slaveholders and their abettors.

  120. War for freedom is the only just war.

  121. “The lesser of two evils is still evil.”

    Our entire existence is just shades of evil.

  122. Lamar

    Only if you perform evil acts.

  123. Intent is what determines whether or not an act is evil.

  124. “…War can only cause death and destruction. What good can ever come of that?”

    Absolutely nothing!
    Say it again now.

  125. “Only if you perform evil acts.”

    I protested against this war like crazy. And yet, here we are, at war. Shades of evil.

  126. james,

    The slaves did revolt – by joining the Union army. Roughly 200,000 ex-slaves joined the Union forces during the Civil War and more than that would have if the Union had not drug its feet on the matter of black military service.

  127. Man, I called that one. I figured the same people who think their was no rationale for Hiroshima would think there was no rationale for Lincoln’s actions.

  128. And, for the record, I have received alll sixteen years of my education from the Commonwealth of Virginia, so I am not brainwashed by Yankee propaganda. The south was not only spectularly wrong, they ruined federalism for everything and everyone else by linking state sovereignty to the right to hold slaves, and then a hundred years later, the right to treat black people as second class citizens. The problem with Sherman is that his swath was not wide enough to purge this political idiocy from the south.

  129. Kenny the north was at least as racist as the south. There is this misperception that the North was welcoming black people with open arms that most definitely was not the case. Lincoln believed black people were inferior too.

    Lincoln’s only concern was to not fragment the nacent power of the federal government. He didn’t give a fig’s leaf about black people being slaves. He wanted to prevent the south from seceding which they were allowed to do. So his war was illegal and yes the south was wrong in thinking that slavery was legitimate

  130. james,

    He didn’t give a fig’s leaf about black people being slaves.

    Actually, he did care. He wasn’t a “radical abolitionist” certainly, but his opposition to the expansion of slavery to new states was based in large part on his moral revulsion re: slavery. The historical record is clear on this based on Lincoln’s own writings. Was he modern on the issue of race? No he wasn’t. He had his own prejudices, etc. But he was most definately opposed to slavery and viewed it as a detriment to both white and black people.

    There is this misperception that the North was welcoming black people with open arms that most definitely was not the case.

    It depends on the state as well as elements within each state. For example, many Northerners risked their lives and freedom to rescue slaves caught after the passage of the fugitive slave law in 1850. The fact that many Northern states passed all manner of legislation to help escaped slaves in the 1850s ought to tell us that many Northerners were indeed concerned with the lives of the slaves as well as of course the tyrannical nature of the “slave power.”

    Lincoln believed black people were inferior too.

  131. People often talk about how horrific 9/11 was imagine. How much worse is it to perform an act that is responsible for an estimated 600000 Japanese deaths. These civilians had to die so we could win. What planet are you from where that is a morally acceptable outcome?

    That planet would be ‘Earth’. Third planet in the Sol star system. My Homeworld.

    Currently on my homeworld, it is ok for certain people to kill other people en masse, with little or no consequence. Typically, they are called ‘Westerners’. If you were to guess that most wars are initiated by westerners for insert_reason_of_the_decade_here, against non-westerners, you would be right 90% of the time. 90% is a large number on my planet, as im sure it is on yours.

    Although you view us simply as ‘Terrans’ or ‘Earthlings’, I can assure you, that even amongst ourselves, we are lightyears apart, no pun intended.

    When westerners invade ‘others’ they always seem to justify ‘bringing’ something to us ‘savages’. Two centuries ago it was Christianity, (the irony of which is that it is middle eastern), then it was ‘civilization’. Today it is ‘freedom’. We dont have chocolate pretzels in the middle east. Maybe they will bring that on their next invasions in a century or two. Do you have chocolate pretzels on your planet? Im sorry what was that? A silicon based what? Nevermind.

    Anyway, enjoy your stay on Earth! Just remember, if there is one thing to fear about us Terrans, its this: We have the ability to justify anything.

  132. It is not OK to kill others regardless of the so-called justifications. War is wrong it doesn’t matter if you do it for “patriotism” for “god” or whatever reason it is flat out wrong.

  133. Perhaps they didn’t use it in this manner, but I don’t have a problem labeling attacks targeting civilians as terrorist acts regardless of who carries them out.

    And James, killing others is OK when it’s self-defense. It’s not the case in many wars, but it is a legitimate justification. Defending others is also a legitimate justification, though it may not be a good reason to enter a war.

  134. Dan that is the only time killing is acceptable to protect your life because it is in immediate danger. I meant in war with the admonishment about killing others I should have added that.

  135. Defining immediate danger in the context of war between countries is where the difficulty arises. Especially when you add in the pragmatic concerns of dealing with an enemy avows to kill you, but isn’t yet that dangerous. How dangerous do they have to get before you may kill them? There is no bright line.

    Killing is also acceptable to protect others, such as sniping someone that’s massacring people. Though that’s not necessarily the role citizens want for their country, the purpose of the killing is legitimate

  136. HEY GUYS WHATS GOING ON IN THIS THREAD?

  137. CAPS ARE COOL

  138. “how might we feel if the rest of the world treated us as we treat them?”

    Are you referring to the removal of two of the worst tyrannies of the late 20th century?

    What a terrible way to “treat” the world!

    Is this really what passes for serious foreign policy analysis on the libertarian right?

  139. The fire bombing of civilians at Dresden. Another black page in American history.

    Except it was the British night bombing that started the firestorm.

    Try to remember that not every single bad thing that ever happened is the American’s fault.

  140. Try to remember that not every single bad thing that ever happened is the American’s fault.

    Yeah, Yeah. Next you’ll be telling me that Americans had nothing to do with the Fall of Constantinople, the Trial of Galileo, the Fall of the Roman Empire, the Peloponesian War or the explosion of the Crab Supernova.

    That Bible story about God causing the Ten Plagues of Egypt – just another CIA coverup.

    ;P

  141. Except it was the British night bombing that started the firestorm.

    I guess you’ve never read about gthe methods used to create a firestorm by bombing. First you drop high explosives to bust up the infrastucture and strew kindling around. You follow that up with incendiary bombs to start blazes that can’t be extinguished due to the efffects of the HE bombing. The fires start drawing in fresh air from the surrounding areas and WHOOSH, the whole city goes. The USAAC contribution in Dresden was daytime HE bombing. The RAF followed up with nightime incendiary bombing.

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