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Old 03-23-2004, 09:24 AM   #1
Martigan
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Default Diplomacy Versus Force

Well, it seems like the 9/11 panel is saying that we should have pounded Al Qeda earlier...and that it could have possibly prevented 9/11.

I don't think anybody foresaw what was going to happen...Clinton or Bush. I think both knew of the risks and tried to do things diplomatically...which is what most people want. After something like 9/11, all bets are off...screw diplomacy and hand me the M16.

I think the valid question now is...what are we going to do now?

Since we know diplomacy doesn't work with terrorists, the other option is to kick their ass. We learned that the hard way with the Cole, the Embassies in Africa, the WTC in 93, and 9/11.

If Osama was coming out of a Mosque, and we had the opportunity to blow him to smitherines, we'd do so...and without an outcry from most of the world. (hint hint)
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Old 03-23-2004, 09:39 AM   #2
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I agree with most of your posting, Martigan. One thing that the Bush administration should do is redefine the war on terror. It is far too etheral. His administration needs to clearly spell out under what conditions a country must meet before they will feel the wrath of the USMC, Army, Navy, and Airforce in their country.

Simply saying that we will go anywhere at any time to attack terrorists is pure political BS and unrealistic. Any administration needs to provide postive benefits (not the threat of force) to countries that will actively work on ending terror organizations in their countries. The US can't afford to send in the troops in every country that has a large terrorist organization.
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Old 03-23-2004, 09:45 AM   #3
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The US can't afford to send in the troops in every country that has a large terrorist organization.
Could that have been what we (USA) were thinking before 9/11?
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Old 03-23-2004, 09:47 AM   #4
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Nah, Martigan. It is a stark, cold, economic reality. Not to mention that we would have to bring back the draft in order to provide the number of troops it would take to occupy each and every country that has terrorist organizations in them that hate the US.
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Old 03-23-2004, 09:48 AM   #5
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All I want is Syria and Iran Dangit!
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Old 03-23-2004, 09:56 AM   #6
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Going in is currently within our military capabilities. Staying is the hard part. This is where we need the UN, not to occupy, but to isolate those countries with proven terrorist links.

Diplomacy only works when both sides buy in to it. In its current form the UN isnt serving that purpose. Its being used as a buffer by nations like Iraq to avoid being held accountable for its actions.
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Old 03-23-2004, 09:58 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Pinko Commie
One thing that the Bush administration should do is redefine the war on terror. It is far too etheral.
Crap, I hate it when I agree with Lur. Now I must punish my brain with beer!!
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Old 03-23-2004, 10:53 AM   #8
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This is a logical thread but the one point you are omitting is that the US DID try diplomacy first. You are stating it as though we are just randomly going in anywhere we feel terrorists are. Before we bombed Afghanistan, we sent them a stern warning, give up Al Queda and do not harbor terrorists. They did not do so. They flat out refused. We gave them a time frame. They refused. With Iraq, they had 12 whole years to comply with UN resolutions and they did not. The US would not be a world leader if we did not back ourselves. What prevents alot of small nations from going around doing as they please is the fact that if they do they will suffer sanctions and retaliations from the big powers.

If you look at it on a smaller scale, it would make sense. If you were harboring a known fugitive in your house and refused to give him up, are you going to blame the police for storming your house? If we are going to effectively go after terrorists, we cannot allow nations to harbor them. Give them the choice to do the right thing, and if they don't want to comply and want to support terrorism, then I see no reason why they should not be treated as an enemy of the US and suffer the consequences as the actual terrorists should.
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Old 03-23-2004, 11:00 AM   #9
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to provide postive benefits (not the threat of force) to countries that will actively work on ending terror organizations in their countries.
An international consortium placing military, monetary and diplomatic pressure on all countries to "smoke the terrorists" out of their holes be they physical holes or ideological ones is the solution. We failed that route and now have a European war on terror and an American war on terror. Two wars fighting the same thing not pooling their resources- kind of dumb for a prez to let that happen eh?

And Alaura you make no sense. Iraq was not a threat. They were contained Al Qaeda was not. Think of it like this. The bear sitting in a cage in a zoo is not going to bite you because it is contained. The bear lurking behind the tree while you eat nuts and berries at a picnic table is going to bite you because he is not contained. It is that simple. Iraq was not a threat to anyone. We had them contained, so why then did we bother to go to war with them? That has not been answered nor will it be at this hearing.
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Old 03-23-2004, 11:04 AM   #10
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Martigan and Lurikeen, you both make excellent points. Trying to find a balance between Diplomacy and Force is tricky at best and deadly at worst. President Bush is treading upon virgin ground here, trying to define how to fight a ‘Terrorist War”.

It would have been ‘better’ if we had more of a concensus with other nations regarding our attack of Iraq, but then again, no other country had 3,000 +/- innocent civilians killed in one morning of terrorism. I believe that after 9/11, President Bush said, “screw what anyone else thinks, it’s time to show some force”. He has made some right decisions and some wrong decisions, but I applaud his will, fortitude and determination.

Luri, it would be nice if we could specifically design plans for fighting the terrorists, but the problem is the ‘guidelines’ keep changing. If there could be some practical, basic rules regarding what parameters must be met before a country risks the wrath of the US, that would be a good idea. Obviously if they have terrorist training camps or funded terrorist organizations, that would qualify. But there would also be a large amount of ‘gray’ area to consider. If a terrorist organization had US made weapons, but they passed through a dozen channels from the manufacturer to the buyer, who is culpable?

Terrorist’s have been targeting the US for a long time. It is only with the modern forms of communication, the ability to travel and gain access to sensitive areas that makes the threat so much more dangerous and real. The US needs to vastly improve it’s intelligence and information gathering capability and the exchange of information with other nations.

Also, politics needs to take a ‘back seat’ to this war on terrorism. We, as a nation, need to stand united in the defense of our own security and freedom. All this election year bickering gets in the way of doing some serious “battle planning” for this on going war. All this “he should of done this” and “she should have done that”, doesn’t address the real issue at hand. I am sure there is some planning going on within the Executive and Legislative branches, but there is also a lot of “election year” politicking going on as well.

The US will use Force, the world knows that now. Some hate us for it, some fear us for it, some despise us for it, and some welcome it. The ONLY way to stop a terrorist, a TRUE terrorist, is to kill him/her. It would be best done if there would be no collateral damage, but that is in an ideal world. Those are some tough decisions upon our elected leaders.
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Old 03-23-2004, 11:14 AM   #11
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You just misunderstood my whole thread Bumble, no biggie it happens. If the UN issues resolutions and they are never enforced, the UN will cease to be an effective means of controlling nations behaviors. Iraq was ordered by the UN for 12 years to submit to inspectors and to destroy their WMD, which were discovered during and after the Kuwait war. Whether they are there or not now, Iraq consistently refused to comply with the UN resolutions. For 12 years they breached those resolutions. For that reason alone they deserved to have military action taken. What good are UN resolutions if they are no consequences? When my kids act up, they get punished. I take things away, restrict them. If there weren't consequences, they would just carry on. We did that for many years with sanctions with Iraq but that obviously did not work, Saddam used them as a get rich scheme (my god how inefficient the UN is) and his people suffered, he didn't so what good was it?

Now do you understand what I am getting at? It was posted earlier that our policy is just to go in any country, force versus diplomacy. We tried diplomacy with the Taliban, and we tried 12 years of diplomacy with Saddam while he just got rich and laughed in our faces. There are some people you cannot talk to, plain and simple because they are below diplomacy. They want their way or no way.
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Old 03-23-2004, 11:27 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Inmountains
Luri, it would be nice if we could specifically design plans for fighting the terrorists, but the problem is the ‘guidelines’ keep changing. If there could be some practical, basic rules regarding what parameters must be met before a country risks the wrath of the US, that would be a good idea.
Actually, there are specific plans that could be used. The US has had them since the late 70s. Back then "terrorism" was aptly called "guerrilla warfare". The term "guerrilla warfare" has become a political taboo to use probably due to Vietnam.

What I don't want to see happen is inaction because the so-called "war on terror" has no clearly defined objectives. It is to easy to politicize off of jargon. Remember the "war on drugs"? Whatever happened to it? Well, the average person really didn't understand just what that war was supposed to be about, other than drugs are bad and they shouldn't be sold. If you talked to some "Joe" on the street and told him that the US has troops in Columbia fighting rebels under the umbrella of the "war on drugs" you wouldn't be believed, but it is true.

I think the Bush administration should redefine the war on terrorism specifically so that we see clear progress. We should have "The War on Al Qaeda" with a clear start date. When Al Qaeda is squashed, then we could have "The War on Hamas", when they are eliminated, the war..., etc. By naming the terrorist organizations directly and declaring war on them, we put faces to the war and can show actual progress. It would be much like WWII when we fought the NAZIs. The Allies knew exactly who the NAZIs were and knew where to go find them and kill them.

Simply declaring war on "terror" is about as usefull as declaring war on STDs. You can't begin to cure STDs unless you deal with specific diseases so that the right cure can be applied. Likewise, not all terrorist organizations will need to be dealt with identically; neither can they be dealt with identically. I certainly can't imagine London using smart bombs on the IRA, for example.
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Old 03-23-2004, 11:36 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Flub Man
Crap, I hate it when I agree with Lur. Now I must punish my brain with beer!!
DOH! Me too. I'm gonna need something stronger than beer, though.
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Old 03-23-2004, 01:16 PM   #14
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Bumbleroot you really need to get over it. Hind site is 20 20. Clinton and Bush both had information of terrorist activity. Bush had no choice but to react when it happened right here in the United States. You may not agree with how he reacted or how he is dealing with it now, but the bottom line is we can't always use diplomacy in every situation.

Every country that harbors terrorist have to be dealt with in different ways. Afghanistan has such a terrain that you can't just go in and handle it the same way it was handled in Iraq. North Korea has a leader that has nukes and wouldn't bat an eye at using them if America were to launch an attack on them.

I'm sure you're no different than any other American that watched terrorist attacks on your local news that were happening in other countries and never gave much thought to the fact that it could actually happen here in America.
It did happen here in America and you're not in the drivers seat.

You sound like an idiot to sit here and act like you are smarter than the Administration(s) that run this country. If you have all the answers I'm sure they could use you in Washington. Send them a resume.

While you go to bed at night and only think about yourself and what kind of mundane bullshit you can dig up on Bush the next day, I'm sure Bush and Clinton lay down every night and wonder "what should I have done differently". Yes, Bush and Clinton....not just Bush.

For the sake of America, try and be a part of the solution and not a part of the problem.
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Old 03-23-2004, 01:49 PM   #15
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Not to mention that we would have to bring back the draft in order to provide the number of troops it would take to occupy each and every country that has terrorist organizations in them that hate the US.
That is a wonderful idea! Might knock some sense into some of you pink commie types.
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Old 03-23-2004, 05:12 PM   #16
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Might knock some sense into some of you pink commie types.
Or at least add to the Canadian population.
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Old 03-23-2004, 05:51 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Vaalken
That is a wonderful idea! Might knock some sense into some of you pink commie types.
Compulsory military service has been a highlight of pink commie nations since day one.
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Old 03-23-2004, 06:09 PM   #18
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Iraq consistently refused to comply with the UN resolutions. For 12 years they breached those resolutions. For that reason alone they deserved to have military action taken.
No they don't. The entire point was to get Iraq to get rid of their weapons capabilities. They did this. You are implying that we go to war based upon a technicality such as a piece of paper not being shown as a reason to go to war with a sovereign nation. That is not a sufficient reason to go to war.
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Old 03-23-2004, 06:24 PM   #19
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The Great Dragon which has slumbered for near half a century has been awoken. Having been awakened by a pain it has never felt before, it bellows in its rage and destroys the fool who stung it. Wanting to ensure its safty when it returns to the slumber that had kept it docile, it looks to others who would sting him in hopes of felling the great beast and once again awakening him. So we must watch as the Great Dragon bellows and breaths fire on any it would consider harmful to it, and the wise keep out of its way. Sooner or later, the beast will calm its fury, and slumber once again. Until that day, it would do well to remain insignificant or benign in its view, lest you too become obliterated.

For those of you who do not understand, allow me to translate:

9/11 was a wakeup call for America. Americans realized that they cannot sit back contented while the rest of the world does whatever they want to. Sooner or later, the rest of the world will make itself felt. In 1930s, America did nothing. It was insular, war weary, and sitting fat and happy. Also, it had economic problems of it's own, after the market crash of 1929. Far better that it look to it's own problems rather than the ones brewing in Europe. Germany invades Poland, War rages in Europe. The American Public does not want to go to war. That word, war, has a knee jerk reflex. They remember WW I, they do not want another war. December, 1942. Pearl Harbor. America was stuck by the loss of life by this attack which, for its day (or even for this day), was every bit as heart-rending as 9/11 was. Within a matter of days, America had gone to war. In under a week, the Ford plants went from making cars to making tanks. In four WEEKS, they had 100% conversion and were cranking out multiple tanks daily. Inside of eight weeks they were already being mobalized. The Japanese Admiral was quoted to have said "We have awoken the sleeping dragon". Fast forward time a bit. We call on Japan to surrender. They refuse. We warn them to surrender or Hiroshima will be gone. They refuse. We use the first nuclear weapon in history, and Hiroshima is no more. We call on them to surrender. They refuse. We tell them that the next one is Nagasaki if they do not surrender. They refuse. We use the last nuclear weapon ever to be used in history. Nagasaki is no more. We call on them to surrender. They refuse. We warn them the next to be destroyed will be Tokyo. They surrender. Americans feel vindicated. They have struck a blow against the evil that has wounded them so much. America goes back to sleep. During the 50s, the 'Leave it to Beaver' era, the 60s and the Hippie movement. True this was also the time of Korea and 'Nam, but Americans were not wanting to wake up. They protest vehemently, though non-violently for the most part. Over the years, with the advent of the computer and the ME generation, America turns from world matters and drifts back into insulation and conservatism, distracted by it's new pretty toys. Fast forward to 9/11. Once again, we have been struck by a great tragedy. Once again, we strike at those responsible. Once again, we scan the horizion for further threats to us. Eventually, America will fall into Isolationist patterns again. And then the world will breath a sigh of relief that the Dragon has fallen once again into its slumber. Until the next time someone disturbs its rest, and the Dragon bellows in rage once again...

Americans have many stereotypes. Ignorant, insular, stupid, lazy, couch potatoes who crave their luxery items and play armchair general. I can't even argue with some of them. But never forget, piss us off enough, and face the concequences.
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Old 03-23-2004, 06:34 PM   #20
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Fast forward to 9/11. Once again, we have been struck by a great tragedy. Once again, we strike at those responsible.
Really? Saddam was responsible for 9/11? Funny how George Bush disagrees with you.
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Old 03-23-2004, 06:48 PM   #21
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Old 03-23-2004, 09:25 PM   #22
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"The entire point was to get Iraq to get rid of their weapons capabilities. They did this. You are implying that we go to war based upon a technicality such as a piece of paper not being shown as a reason to go to war with a sovereign nation. That is not a sufficient reason to go to war." Quote Bumble

Your ignorance amazes me. Ok let me explain this like I am talking to the children I teach. The whole point of the weapons inspections was to ensure that Iraq was doing what the United Nations told them to do. It would be the equivalent of me telling you to clean your room, or you will be in big trouble. If you refuse to let me see your room over and over, for twelve years in a row, then the only logical conclusion is that you have something to hide, therefore, I will make a guess that your room is not clean, therefore you need to be punished. So Bumble, we had no proof that they had done what they were supposed to do. Why did Saddam just not do as he was told and get it over with if he had nothing to hide? That is why he got bombed. Plain and simple. He had a choice, he had twelve years in which to ponder that choice. He made the wrong choice. He was punished. Kapish?

Your logic that the resolutions were there to make sure he disarmed is correct. Your logic that he did disarm is incorrect. Someone earlier on this board made a nice analogy. Go run up to a cop and pretend you have a gun behind your back. I promise you they will shoot rather than sit around and assume that you were just spoofing. You are implying that Saddam was just talking crap and we shouldn't have messed with him. Well, please, go out and try my suggestion, you will be shot and the law will be on the side of the cops. As much as you want to twist the truth, you know as well everyone else that that is what happened, he refused to comply, he refused to tell the truth, and to this day there is still controversy over the WMD's issue--but as long as he wanted everyone to perceive him as a threat, then he got treated as a threat.
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Old 03-23-2004, 10:08 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Lurikeen
Really? Saddam was responsible for 9/11? Funny how George Bush disagrees with you.
No, we went in and removed the terrorist group responsible, remember when we went into afghanastan? Already been there, done that. You're one line off...

Once again, we scan the horizion for further threats to us.
That's about where we are right now.
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Old 03-24-2004, 07:23 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by Quichon
No, we went in and removed the terrorist group responsible, remember when we went into afghanastan?
Al Qaeda has been "removed"? When did that happen? Not when we invaded Afhganistan.

Also, you had written concerning 9/11 "we strike at those responsible". How was striking Iraq, striking those responsible when even George Bush says Saddam wasn't connected to 9/11?
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Old 03-24-2004, 08:25 AM   #25
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The whole point of the weapons inspections was to ensure that Iraq was doing what the United Nations told them to do. It would be the equivalent of me telling you to clean your room, or you will be in big trouble. If you refuse to let me see your room over and over,
The point was to rid them of their weapons. How Hussein did this is not essential. George Bush says it is. He is wrong. In your analogy, if the kid had hired a maid to clean his room you seem to be faulting the kid for not learning to follow instructions when in fact the kid did what he was told to do.
UN resolution said to rid yourself of WMD. Hussein does this. Why are we at war over WMD? We hear now that the Bush team says it is for other reasons than this so how come they aren't standing up for the same argument you are using?
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