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Author Topic: Why War?
otter
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posted 27 July 2006 04:12 PM      Profile for otter        Edit/Delete Post
I guess it is high time we had a discussion as to why any Canadian would want to see, support or be in involved in ANY war or military action that is not defensive? Especially considering the fact that we are now in the 21st century and have thousands of years of bloddletting to tell us that war is just plain stupid.

It is only a few years ago that Canada, along with the rest of the world, proved that the use of economic sanctiuons are a far better alternative than war in seeking regime change in foreign nations.

But, i for one, think that if any politician wants to wage war anywhere, then they and their famiilies should be numbered amongst the first troops sent into any conflict.


From: agent provocateur inc. | Registered: Feb 2006  |  IP: Logged
nonsuch
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posted 27 July 2006 08:29 PM      Profile for nonsuch     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Is this about culture? Yes, i suppose it is.

We pay money to see movies about war; we allow TVO to keep running documentaries on war; we have a gadzillion ballads and statues and paintings on war themes; just about every national anthem has something in it about glorious victories and lamentable defeats. War is very much a part of our cultural - as well as historical - heritage.

Two or more peoples want the same arable land, the same source of water, the same trade route, the same hunting ground... so they fight. That's the way it has been since we can remember. The leaders of victorious armies are national heroes. That's how war became part of every culture.

You can say it's stupid, and a great many people may agree, but you're only speaking to a thin layer of their brains, not to their hearts and guts. When a decision has to be made, it won't be made by that thin layer of brain. Intelligence doesn't stand a chance when pride, ideals and self-interest are aligned.

But i certainly agree that war was a lot more realistic when the king and at least one of his sons led the army. Not any nicer, mind you - but maybe less stupid.


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clandestiny
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posted 28 July 2006 04:29 PM      Profile for clandestiny     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
someone (the saintly Che?) once noted that "The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity"
sorta says it all
If one has lived through the Cuba missile crisis, the murder of JFK/MLK/RFK/Malcolm X etc....and has seen the tapeworm like consumption of the 'dream' that only 30 years ago actually seemed possible (ie a world w/out poverty, legal racism, civic homophobia and militarism etc)....this was not an accident, or the result of 'evolution' it was a cold blooded scheme by the bush/corporate reich, or whatever you want to call it - the same people who giggled at the murders i mentioned all those years ago clapped their hands with pleasure when the wtc was destroyed (didn't bibi yahoo netin of israel call 911 the best thing ever for israel?)...war advances the rightwing racist boor cause, by distracting the herd, which has already had its great expectations shrunk considerably. Of course, the 'herd' is the masses of the developed world - the old dream was that there was enough worldly wealth for all (?) and since tribalism, religious extremism etc were feb by poverty, eliminating that poverty might.....(?)
blah blah blah

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nonsuch
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posted 28 July 2006 05:09 PM      Profile for nonsuch     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
blah blah blah

...or, we could really think about it; maybe figure why 'the herd' (i suppose you mean ordinary people, just trying to live a normal life) allows itself to be manipulated by the greedy, ruthless few; maybe understand the basic forces at work, and maybe discover how a change in direction could begin.

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clandestiny
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posted 28 July 2006 07:34 PM      Profile for clandestiny     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
listening to hate radio all day (i'm a deliveryman) it's just mind boggling that such a vile mentality can pass as normal and the absurdity of what's going on in the middle east should be viewed as a necessity, a good thing and any other opinion about it is looked upon as outrageous! how obtuse that arlene bynon/steffi smythe, bill carrol/p sherman and so on are cannot be accidental - they are paid pushers of something downright nasty....has michael coren lost his mind? are these people stupid? are they corrupt beyond recall? it is because there are so many like this, and the 'herd' either doesn't know or care that these rightwing pigs are the omly voice allowed on their news media....it seems hopeless. they advocate violence against others, but if one even suggests their attitudes justify the very extremism which thereby result, then they sneer you off....all those milk fed bullyboys who call talk radio are among the most blessed people in the country, yet, they hate! toronto is supposedly a 'liberal' city, yet name any liberal left voice on the local news media...
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morningstar
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posted 28 July 2006 07:45 PM      Profile for morningstar     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
why war?
perhaps it's what we are used to--the warriors always seem to kill off any pockets of peace, so we haven't had much practice at developing the skills of peace.

for mankind to give up fighting, fear, hate and created scarcity we will have to embrace other ways of being.

i think that joy is still more threatening to many people than fear. fear is so familiar and war is just another manifestation of fear.


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Doug
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posted 29 July 2006 07:17 AM      Profile for Doug   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Karl von Clauzewitz - "War is a continuation of politics by other means."

That's what it comes down to - achieving by force something that couldn't be accomplished by the more ordinary instruments of politics.


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nonsuch
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posted 30 July 2006 08:26 AM      Profile for nonsuch     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
War is the continuation of politics by extreme means. The All or Nothing solution.

Most of the problems could be solved without bloodshed, without destruction, without bankrupting one or more nation(s). That, however, would require serious thought and compromise. Negotiators and diplomats are not heroic: we don't admire them the way we admire generals; we can't raise the same kind of rah-raw enthusiasm for talk as we can for fighting. How come?


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Brett Mann
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posted 30 July 2006 04:12 PM      Profile for Brett Mann        Edit/Delete Post
War is the inescapable outcome of a world without law. As we see on the city, province and national level, lawlessness breeds outrage, injustice and atrocities. So it is on the international stage, which remains dangerously lawless. So Canada's historic record of fighting for international law has been well placed, however ineffectual.

Also, I see a darker theme in humanity's relish for, need of, war. As Freud would have it, a mass death wish.


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Boom Boom
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posted 30 July 2006 04:48 PM      Profile for Boom Boom     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
The old expression, "war is good for business" comes to mind. Look at US military spending compared to any other country. The last statistic I saw, a few months ago, is that the US spends as much on its military as the next six countries combined.
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bigcitygal
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posted 30 July 2006 04:54 PM      Profile for bigcitygal     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Some of my fragmented thoughts on war:

Some rockin' feminist once said war is menstrual envy.

Others say war is business as usual, and the events following 9/11 bear that out.

War always involves the brutalizing and dehumanizing of civilians, specifically raping and killing of women. Always.

Older men send young men off to war to be killed, and to kill. War is masculinity run amok.

[ 30 July 2006: Message edited by: bigcitygal ]


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Brett Mann
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posted 30 July 2006 05:39 PM      Profile for Brett Mann        Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by bigcitygal:
Some of my fragmented thoughts on war:

War always involves the brutalizing and dehumanizing of civilians, specifically raping and killing of women. Always.

Older men send young men off to war to be killed, and to kill. War is masculinity run amok.

[ 30 July 2006: Message edited by: bigcitygal ]


But bigcitygal, crime also always necessarily involves the brutalizing of the innocent. Are you suggesting that the police are as guilty as the perpetrators? And has it ever occured to you that there is something a little smug in the assertion that women's hands are generally clean when it comes to military atrocities? Do you know how powerful Hitler was among women. Let's lose this "blame the testosterone" nonsense fast. It's far from helpful, and it's facile, shallow and false.


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bigcitygal
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posted 30 July 2006 06:07 PM      Profile for bigcitygal     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Brett, war is the action and practice of state sanctioned brutality. Last time I checked, we were still living in a patriachy. I never said anything about the status of women's innocence, maybe you should think about why you read that into my words. Men's violence against men named "other" and against women is documented pretty clearly historically.

I don't blame men, I blame patriarchy. Men in my life, men who I love, also detest the violence men perpetuate in war (and at other times, but that's thread drift).

I write this in a desperately sad place of the recent bombings in Lebanon today. I know it's simplistic to say, but enough. Enough.

Who said what if they held a war and nobody came? Leherer?


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Makwa
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posted 30 July 2006 06:15 PM      Profile for Makwa   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by clandestiny:
someone (the saintly Che?) once noted that "The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity"
That would be William Butler Yeats, in "The Second Coming:"
Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

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Frustrated Mess
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posted 30 July 2006 06:42 PM      Profile for Frustrated Mess   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Why War?

Western consumer culture is based in the mass extraction of raw resources from lands populated by people who often believe their resources should be protected or, at the very least, their extraction benefit the natives. War is globalization by other means. There is nothing noble or courageous in the prosecution of war. It is mere thuggery and theft at a national or multinational level and beyond the scope of law.

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otter
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posted 30 July 2006 07:24 PM      Profile for otter        Edit/Delete Post
I concur BCG, the response seemed to be rather overreactive to me too. But it is well balanced by all the other thoughtful responses to this question.

For me, it is the top down structure of authority that allows those who want war to then be able to impose it on whole populations. The pyramid structure of governance world wide makes it the ultimate in pyramid scams.


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nonsuch
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posted 30 July 2006 09:38 PM      Profile for nonsuch     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
For me, it is the top down structure of authority that allows those who want war to then be able to impose it on whole populations.

How does a tiny minority impose anything on a vast, unwilling majority? How does the pyramid structure of authority happen in the first place? People made war when there was hardly any structure - indeed, hardly any people.
I submit for consideration the possibility that war (violent conflict between tribes) gave rise to, and perpetuates, patriarchy - not the other way around.

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Farces
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posted 31 July 2006 07:27 AM      Profile for Farces   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I think it is interesting that the main booster for Israel's current war on Lebanon is a woman of color. Specifically, Condi Rice.

Too many people of both genders re-elected GWB in the US and brought warfriendly Stephen Harper to greater power in Canada.

I think war is an important issue, but that it is not very much a gender related issue. In my opinion, the majority of both women and men are too warlike for my tastes.


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Stargazer
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posted 31 July 2006 07:44 AM      Profile for Stargazer     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Men wage war, women are often the victims. Condi Rice is hardly indicative of woman of colour, nor women in general (and positing this this is the case is clearly manipulation).

Obviously war is gender related. You'd best be served by asking and addressing why it is that many men, especially men in power, thing shooting and killing is a good thing to do.


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EmmaG
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posted 31 July 2006 07:52 AM      Profile for EmmaG        Edit/Delete Post
Stargazer, you insult pacifist men, as well as women in uniform. Why is Condi not indicative of women of colour? Is there some stereotype she's supposed to fulfill? YOu can disagree with your hawkishness, her personal beliefs or whatever, but she is an accomplished woman of colour who grew up in the segregated racist south. She should be celebrated for her accomplishments in the face of adversity. Argue against her beliefs, don't say "you're not a black woman, you're a white male".
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Farces
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posted 31 July 2006 08:02 AM      Profile for Farces   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Stargazer:
. . . You'd best be served by asking and addressing why it is that many men, especially men in power, thing shooting and killing is a good thing to do.

Because people vote for warlike leaders in larger numbers than they vote for peace-oriented candidates and/or parties. That is why we have leaders who think like that. Both men and women vote for war and that is why they both get it. If women voters showed a marked preference for peaceful leaders then that is who would be in office in Canada and the US. They don't, but then neither do the men voters. Simply not a gender issue.

Maybe framing this as a gender issue will cause women to start voting for peaceful candidates in large numbers, but my political read is that that strategy won't work. I think the men and women who vote for warlike leaders genuinely like war deep down.


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Stargazer
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posted 31 July 2006 08:25 AM      Profile for Stargazer     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
EmmaG your fake feminism is boring and very easy to see through. Your baiting isn't working.

Farces, so your theory then is men and women are equal in war because of voting???? Please do explain to me how it was before women were allowed to vote. Glad to see that all differences on war come down to voting! Gosh I learned something new.


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Jingles
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posted 31 July 2006 08:27 AM      Profile for Jingles     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
So Canada's historic record of fighting for international law has been well placed, however ineffectual.

Canada has a record of fighting for political expediency, not international law. The only international law that exists is the the law of the mobster. Canada has historically quietly supported the imperial gangster system internationally, and loudly trumpets sideshows like peacekeeping for domestic consumption. Canada, meaning the government (liberal, conservative doesn't matter) will always support the one with the biggest stick and the biggest wallet. Is Haiti an example of Canada'a commitment to international law? Is Canada's treatment of First Nations an shining example? How about our government's support of corporate rapists like Mulroney's Barrick Gold or Talisman? How about Cretien's public non-support of the US attack on Iraq on one hand, followed by quiet behind-the-scenes material support? Ditto for the blatanly illegal Star Wars. Like the dog in the backyard of the US, Canada's support for international law goes only as far as the chain allows.

Addressing the gender question, it is interesting to note that every woman head of state or high official has presided over a war in her tenure, including the hapless Kim Campbell. It just shows that women can be just as monsterous as men if they must. You've come a long way, baby.

In war itself, it is interesting that around the world, societies of a tribal nature tend to make war more ceremonial than lethal. Think of the practice of counting coup. Groups that don't practice the accumulation of weath don't tend to murder their neighbours for their stuff. The real murderous nature of war really got into high gear with the rise of wealth concentration. IMO.


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Scout
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posted 31 July 2006 08:28 AM      Profile for Scout     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Both men and women vote for war and that is why they both get it.

As far as women have come, getting the vote and all that good stuff many women still vote in accord with their spouses. My Mother doesn't really have her own opinion, she talks like she does but when you start to pin her down on the finer points and the results of her suposed opinion she lacks the belief of those opinions to stnad behind them. But it's easier to follow my conservative father than understand the ugly she backs with her vote and that much of it is a betrayal of the person she knows she is.

Even women of my generation have told me they will vote as their husband does, which makes me crazy. So really, women don't so much as vote for war as their votes are often times guided by the patriarchy. If women of my generation are still doing this what number of women in previous generations still are?

Pretending we don't have gender issues still and that they don't have an effect on politics is dangerous.


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Michelle
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posted 31 July 2006 08:41 AM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Stargazer:
EmmaG your fake feminism is boring and very easy to see through. Your baiting isn't working.

How about laying off the insults? I'm sure you can argue the point without them, and this is how flame wars start. I'd really rather not have yet another thread turn into a big fight.


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Farces
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posted 31 July 2006 09:31 AM      Profile for Farces   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Stargazer:
. . . Please do explain to me how it was before women were allowed to vote. Glad to see that all differences on war come down to voting! . . .

Before women were allowed to vote, war was men's fault. When both women and men have the vote, war becomes the responsibility and fault of both genders. I know it is tempting to try to dodge responsibility for an evil vote by saying "my husband made me do it," but that excuse doesn't wash. The ballots are secret and women aren't that spineless anyway in this day and age.


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Stargazer
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posted 31 July 2006 09:36 AM      Profile for Stargazer     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
EmmaG insulted me first and I wil not just let it slide.
From: Inside every cynical person, there is a disappointed idealist. | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
jester
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posted 31 July 2006 09:37 AM      Profile for jester        Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Stargazer:
EmmaG insulted me first and I wil not just let it slide.

Says Hezbollah to Israel or vicey-versey.


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EmmaG
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posted 31 July 2006 10:04 AM      Profile for EmmaG        Edit/Delete Post
I didn't insult you, I asked whether you thought woman of colour are supposed to have a stereotypical set of beliefs, or else be considered a white male. I just asked that you use arguments, not accusations of being a traitor against one's race.

I am not a "phony feminist". It is my view that feminism paved the way for women to hold whatever view they want and pursue whatever vocation they want (ditto for the anti-racist civil rights movement), even if other women, men or races disagree with them. A woman can be a warmonger politican or a soldier and you as a woman can disagree.


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bigcitygal
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posted 31 July 2006 10:15 AM      Profile for bigcitygal     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Stargazer said "many men, esp men in power think shooting and killing is a good thing". SG did not say all men.

We teach our boys to love war toys and killing games. Girls may also play with guns, true, but the socialization of boys is irrefutable. Check out a Toys 'R Us sometime. See how softness and sweetness are portrayed. See how masculinity is portrayed. It's digusting, as peaceable women and men would agree.


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Scout
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posted 31 July 2006 10:26 AM      Profile for Scout     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
I know it is tempting to try to dodge responsibility for an evil vote by saying "my husband made me do it," but that excuse doesn't wash. The ballots are secret and women aren't that spineless anyway in this day and age.

Well they do it all the time, keeping your head in the sand about it doesn't change it. And it's not a case of being spineless as you so tactfully put it. It's far more complicated than that.


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Farces
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posted 31 July 2006 10:41 AM      Profile for Farces   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Scout:

Well they do it all the time, keeping your head in the sand about it doesn't change it. And it's not a case of being spineless as you so tactfully put it. It's far more complicated than that.


No, its not. You go in the booth and vote for the peace candidate. If the wife or husband would dare hit you for the way you voted, then you either lie to them or leave them or both.

[ 31 July 2006: Message edited by: Farces ]


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Scout
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posted 31 July 2006 11:17 AM      Profile for Scout     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
If the wife or husband would dare hit you for the way you voted, then you either lie to them or leave them or both.

Yep, cause battered spouses never stay with the one beating them. Things aren't so black and white. Why can't you get that?


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Farces
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posted 31 July 2006 11:27 AM      Profile for Farces   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Scout:

Yep, cause battered spouses never stay with the one beating them. Things aren't so black and white.


If somebody insists on staying with a spouse who beats her for the way she votes, then I recommend the "lie" option. Things may not be black and white, but leave him, lie to him or both covers every shade of grey possible here as far as the problem of voting against war goes.

[ 31 July 2006: Message edited by: Farces ]


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Michelle
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posted 31 July 2006 11:28 AM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I personally think the point is moot anyhow - I somehow doubt that all the women, or even the majority, who voted for Dubya did it under threat of a beating from their husbands or the men in their lives. I agree that there is a lot more to the psychology of battered wives and the way they are controlled by their husbands than saying they could just leave if they wanted to. But I don't think that's really relevant to the reasons why millions of women in the US voted for George Bush.

It's unfortunate, but there are a lot of women who are just as heartless and right-wing and nasty as the most heartless and right-wing of men out there. And those women are just as much warmongering chickenhawks as the warmongering chickenhawk men in their lives.


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500_Apples
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posted 31 July 2006 11:29 AM      Profile for 500_Apples   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Farces sometimes the only choices available are choices of competing evils of varying degrees, in which case as Scout says it's not so much black and white.
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TK 421
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posted 31 July 2006 11:38 AM      Profile for TK 421     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
"It is good that war is so terrible, lest we grow too fond of it." General Lee is reputed to have said that back in the US Civil War. War is, perhaps, even more terrible now given the numbers of civilians killed in modern war.

War exists across culture and time, although the methods and intensity do vary. I think Hobbes was pretty close with his vision of the world being "red of claw and tooth" or words to that effect.

I believe that the Romans had an expression, "In War, the Law is Silent", which speaks in some respect to the absence of law that Brett alludes to way up there.


From: Near and far | Registered: Feb 2006  |  IP: Logged
Farces
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posted 31 July 2006 11:38 AM      Profile for Farces   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by 500_Apples:
Farces sometimes the only choices available are choices of competing evils of varying degrees, in which case as Scout says it's not so much black and white.


true enough. I do not usually tell people to lie. However, in the (statistically significant?) margin of partner abuse cases Scout is referring to, I think the path of least evil is to vote NDP and lie about it later to the extent neccessary to avoid additional beatings.


From: 43°41' N79°38' W | Registered: May 2006  |  IP: Logged
otter
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posted 31 July 2006 12:46 PM      Profile for otter        Edit/Delete Post
quote:
How about laying off the insults? I'm sure you can argue the point without them, and this is how flame wars start. I'd really rather not have yet another thread turn into a big fight.

Yet it is wonderfully insightful illustration of how conflicts, especially wars are started. s/he said, s/he said arguments always degenerate into personal attacks and vicousness if not far behind. Eventually some asshole pulls out a weapon and all hell breaks lose.

I reiterate, if human beings, as a species, are so proud of their communication skills, then why the hell do so many of them end up acting like brutes and animals tearing at each other?


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eau
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posted 31 July 2006 01:02 PM      Profile for eau        Edit/Delete Post
Perhaps because we retain so much of our primitive brain, it's the only thing I can think of. Aggression seems to come so naturally.

As to whether males, or silver back gorillas are more inclined to violence perhaps thats the addition of testosterone to the mix.

Certainly haven't been too many wars with women doing battle against each other.


From: BC | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged
Proaxiom
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posted 31 July 2006 01:26 PM      Profile for Proaxiom     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
It's nice to know there are still so many idealists around, but war is an inevitable consequence of the human condition. As long as there are sovereign entities with competing interests, there will be war. We are a tribal species; it's an artifact of evolution.

To the original question, when has Canada been in a war that was not defensive? (I think technically we even skipped out on the Boer War, though many Canadians fought in it.)

When we take up arms, it is either in our own defense or in defense of others. I can't think of any exceptions right now.


From: East of the Sun, West of the Moon | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
Jingles
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posted 31 July 2006 02:11 PM      Profile for Jingles     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
when has Canada been in a war that was not defensive? (I think technically we even skipped out on the Boer War, though many Canadians fought in it.)

When we take up arms, it is either in our own defense or in defense of others. I can't think of any exceptions right now.


Nice sentiment. Mostly untrue. Have you read a newspaper in the last, say 100 years?

The Boer war: The Lord Strathcona's Horse cavalry regiment is formed in Alberta specifically to fight the Boer's menace to Lower Canada, where they threaten to remove French as the official language.

WWI: Four Canadian divisions are raised to defend Canada from the Kaiser's imminent marine invasion force threatening to sail up the Rideau canal.

WWII: Canadians storm the beaches of Dieppe to protect the Japanese-Canadian fishing boats in Vancouver. And, thanks to the defensive action of the army, not a single German bomber makes it through to bomb Prince Rupert.

Korea: Under the UN police action, Canadian forces stop the hoardes of advancing Chinese communists from surging across the Saskatchewan prairie. Now, the only menace is from Richardson's Ground Squirrels. Don't underestimate the insurgency capabilities of these little rodents. We must remain vigilant.

Haiti: The evil dictator Aristide promises to unleash waves of attacks against West Edmonton Mall. Canadian troops effect regime change and Haiti becomes a peaceful, prosperous nation.

Afghanistan. The Taliban set up strongholds in the Rocky Mountains near the terrorist center of Banff, and amass tanks to push Canadians back to the Red River. However, our Canadian troops fight them over there, so they don't have to fight them here.

My point is, since 1812, not a single action involving Canadian military has been in the defense of Canada. Sure, they've defended Canadian commercial interests, and we've gone out of our way to be errand-boys for more powerful Imperial forces. (To be fair, we have the notable exception of the Nazi U-boat attacks on the East Coast which were a legitimate threat to east coast shipping. Perhaps the only true example of the defense of Canada.) But for the most part, our defense-of-others is merely cover for nasty little imperialist adventures.


From: At the Delta of the Alpha and the Omega | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
Webgear
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posted 31 July 2006 02:36 PM      Profile for Webgear     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Jingles:

My point is, since 1812, not a single action involving Canadian military has been in the defense of Canada. Sure, they've defended Canadian commercial interests, and we've gone out of our way to be errand-boys for more powerful Imperial forces. (To be fair, we have the notable exception of the Nazi U-boat attacks on the East Coast which were a legitimate threat to east coast shipping. Perhaps the only true example of the defense of Canada.) But for the most part, our defense-of-others is merely cover for nasty little imperialist adventures.


What about the Fenian Raids of 1866, 1870-71 and the 1838 Battle of the Windmill? Those were defensive wars for Canada part.


From: Montgomery's Tavern | Registered: May 2005  |  IP: Logged
kropotkin1951
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posted 31 July 2006 03:02 PM      Profile for kropotkin1951   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
The kind of thinking that got us into this situation is not the kind of thinking that will get us out of it" - Albert Einstein

The reason we have war is nobody in power is willing to think creatively for solutions instead of going over and over the same tortured logic that started the war in the first place.


From: North of Manifest Destiny | Registered: Jun 2002  |  IP: Logged
Sven
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posted 31 July 2006 03:21 PM      Profile for Sven     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by kropotkin1951:
The reason we have war is nobody in power is willing to think creatively for solutions…

Sometimes that’s the case. In other instances, one party is simply not amenable to “think creatively” and then the other party, unless it wants to be destroyed, or enslaved, or otherwise seriously harmed, has no alternative but war.


From: Eleutherophobics of the World...Unite!!!!! | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
Brett Mann
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posted 31 July 2006 03:44 PM      Profile for Brett Mann        Edit/Delete Post
Wow, what a great thread! Just like the old-time Babble. This question, what is war, why does it happen? seems to intersect with many deep political and philosophical questions and maybe throws some light on them. There seems to be a quiet consensus on the psychological and historical inevitability of war by most folks here, for example. Even the strongest peaceniks are realistic.

Huge thread drift alert! Start new topic immediately! Bigcitygirl, I reject the whole concept of patriarchy. It's a politically loaded, unexamined and reflexive term that feminism has fallen back on which won't stand up to close examination. I would not make these comments in the Feminist section of Babble because I don't want to offend and wish to play by the rules. But here, where explanations of war and peace intersect with leftist/feminist/progressive analysis, I think it's fair game. To cut to the chase, I think there are a few of these unexamined terms like "patriarchy" that need to be revisited by feminist thinking because they are getting in the way of real progress for women and for feminism and for humanity.

For most men, as strong an impulse as sex (and perhaps much stronger) is a need to protect women and the weak and children. One may witness over and over again the story of ordinary weak men accomplishing or attempting great feats of courage when their loved ones were at risk. For every such story of a man's courage there is also a story of the acts of a courageous woman. Courage is clearly a perogative of neither sex. But with men, there is an additional biological need to protect territory, to externalize, to anticipate threats. Sometimes this is smart, sometimes not. In the big picture, I think men have fucked things up so bad that women ought to be given a chance, and that's why I'm so grievously angry at feminism, because as far as I can see, it betrayed its promise of trying to create a truely different world, which it might have succeeded at, and became a petty pointless playing of the worst man's game, a search for power.


How can people commit atrocities?

Nasruddin was summoned to the Caliph's court and ordered to produce one of these remarkable visions he was famous for. " I can't do it," said Nasruddin, " it doesn't work like that."

"You will immediately have a vision," commanded the Caliph, "or my Grand Vizier will immediately slice off you head!"


Suddenly Nasruddin began to describe ethereal hights of reality which transported the entire court into a trance of divine apprehension. Golden-guilded angels produced signs and sounds never heard before Nasruddin's telling.

"How is it you are able to experience such wonderful realities?" asked the Caliph.

"The answer is very simple your Majesty. Fear."


From: Prince Edward County ON | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
nonsuch
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posted 31 July 2006 04:13 PM      Profile for nonsuch     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Farces:
quote:
Before women were allowed to vote, war was men's fault. When both women and men have the vote, war becomes the responsibility and fault of both genders.

Voting has very little to do with it.
Partly because candidates lie; partly because people vote on many issues other than war - indeed, a war of aggression is never on the platform, though 'preparedness' or 'defence' often is; partly because most people don't go out of their way to learn the motives behind the lies.

Anyway, long before we had the vote, the majority of women admired a warrior, married aggressive men, backed the strongest leader, cheered the troops going off to wherever... ("Oh, and Johhnie? Please don't rape too many _____ girls." Or at least don't bring home the clap.)

It's quite true: if all the women in the world wanted peace, we would have peace. No nation, no economy, no regime could stand for very long without the support of its female population.

Brett Mann:

quote:
... I think men have fucked things up so bad that women ought to be given a chance, and that's why I'm so grievously angry at feminism, because as far as I can see, it betrayed its promise of trying to create a truely different world, which it might have succeeded at, and became a petty pointless playing of the worst man's game, a search for power.

Wow! Cut right to the chase, whydoncha?
Feminism is like any other 'ism': rooted in its own historical, and mired in its own present, reality. No vital political movement can deal with 'the big picture' and also accomplish its immediate aims. For big-picture stuff, go to philosophy.
And then elect a philospher-PM.

[ 31 July 2006: Message edited by: nonsuch ]


From: coming and going | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
Proaxiom
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posted 31 July 2006 05:34 PM      Profile for Proaxiom     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I said in defense of Canada or in defense of others. I think it's perfectly legitimate to take up arms on behalf of someone else, whether it be a sovereign nation or an oppressed minority (especially in the case of genocide). I thought Canada had ever taken the side of the aggressor in war, but I looked up the Boer War and we did send army units (for some reason I thought the government didn't send troops, but only Canadian volunteers went over).

With that, I'll take your points one at a time.

quote:
The Boer war: The Lord Strathcona's Horse cavalry regiment is formed in Alberta specifically to fight the Boer's menace to Lower Canada, where they threaten to remove French as the official language.

See above. This was an aggressive war by England, and we fought on their side.

quote:
WWI: Four Canadian divisions are raised to defend Canada from the Kaiser's imminent marine invasion force threatening to sail up the Rideau canal.

The war started from Austrian aggression against Serbia. We were on Serbia's side, two or three alliances removed.

quote:
WWII: Canadians storm the beaches of Dieppe to protect the Japanese-Canadian fishing boats in Vancouver. And, thanks to the defensive action of the army, not a single German bomber makes it through to bomb Prince Rupert.

Defending the Poles, initially.

quote:
Korea: Under the UN police action, Canadian forces stop the hoardes of advancing Chinese communists from surging across the Saskatchewan prairie. Now, the only menace is from Richardson's Ground Squirrels. Don't underestimate the insurgency capabilities of these little rodents. We must remain vigilant.

Defending South Korea.

quote:
Haiti: The evil dictator Aristide promises to unleash waves of attacks against West Edmonton Mall. Canadian troops effect regime change and Haiti becomes a peaceful, prosperous nation.

Oh, please. Canadian troops had nothing to do with Aristide's ouster.

quote:
Afghanistan. The Taliban set up strongholds in the Rocky Mountains near the terrorist center of Banff, and amass tanks to push Canadians back to the Red River. However, our Canadian troops fight them over there, so they don't have to fight them here.

Afghanistan is defensive in nature.


At least as far as the last hundred years go, Canada has been among the least imperialistic countries on the planet.

[ 31 July 2006: Message edited by: Proaxiom ]


From: East of the Sun, West of the Moon | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
clersal
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posted 31 July 2006 08:08 PM      Profile for clersal     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
I said in defense of Canada or in defense of others. I think it's perfectly legitimate to take up arms on behalf of someone else,....

It definitely is not legitimate to take up arms against anyone. There should be a law!


From: Canton Marchand, Québec | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Jingles
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posted 31 July 2006 10:00 PM      Profile for Jingles     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Oh, please. Canadian troops had nothing to do with Aristide's ouster.

Oh really?

quote:
Joint Task Force 2, an elite commando squad in the Canadian Armed Forces, was on the ground in Haiti February 29, 2004, securing the airstrip from which U.S. Marines forced Aristide out of the country.
Canada also contributed 550 Canadian Forces troops to the French and American forces that occupied Haiti after Aristide's ouster

Haiti Q&A


quote:
Afghanistan is defensive in nature.

I don't want to derail this thread, so please see one of the myriad Afghanistan threads which put that whopper of a lie to rest.

quote:
Defending South Korea.

Korea was divided by the Soviets and Americans after WWII. In the South, the usual formula was followed: repression, corruption and a distinct lack or democracy (kinda like a current example of an occupied country somewhere). The US-installed puppet was weak, and helping him and Truman were, get this, the slightly-formerly-imperial Japanese army, leftover from the brutal Japanese occupation and with apparently nothing better to do but keep up their good work. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

Anywhoo, many Koreans consider the North's invasion as a liberating army. Don't believe me, check out some online sources. It wasn't hard when it was clear that the US Army was massacring South Korean refugees (No Gun Ri being the most well-known example. It was, after all, official US policy to shoot refugees) because they considered them all terrorists or potential terrorists (They all looked alike, donchaknow. Do you ever get that deja vu feeling?)

It's too late to continue rebutting the simplistic versions of history you offer to support the "Canada is Super Duper at Helping" theory of our military adventures. Your "Defending Serbia against Austrian Agression" was especially exhausting, but an awesome retro-Georgian propaganda line. Well done!

[ 31 July 2006: Message edited by: Jingles ]


From: At the Delta of the Alpha and the Omega | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
Proaxiom
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posted 01 August 2006 03:47 AM      Profile for Proaxiom     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
We've already derailed this thread perhaps more than we should.

Suffice to say I don't know too many South Koreans who curse us for condemning them to live under the oppressive South Korean government, when they could instead be in the paradise that is North Korea.

Just because one nation state isn't a paragon of virtue doesn't necessarily mean it shouldn't be defended from aggressors. If the Second World War taught us anything it should be that aggressor nations should be confronted early, rather than being allowed to run roughshod over defenseless neighbours while they consolidate their power.

For the most part, Canada's wars have been waged against aggressor countries.

Your point is taken on WWI. It was primarily a clash of European empires; but I was correct in pointing out that the other side started it. The Austrians drummed up a casus belli because they had it in mind to annex Serbia.

When they finally fought their way into Serbia, apparently they didn't find any WMDs.


From: East of the Sun, West of the Moon | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
Ward
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posted 01 August 2006 05:06 AM      Profile for Ward     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
War is a delicious meal of murder. (with all the fixins')
From: Scarborough | Registered: Jan 2006  |  IP: Logged
bigcitygal
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posted 01 August 2006 05:28 AM      Profile for bigcitygal     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Re. thread drift about the defunct concept of patriarchy and other musings, I've started a new thread here

And, um, who were the decision makers in the above wars? Was it, oh, I don't know, MEN?


From: It's difficult to work in a group when you're omnipotent - Q | Registered: Apr 2005  |  IP: Logged
clersal
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posted 01 August 2006 10:50 AM      Profile for clersal     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
I said in defense of Canada or in defense of others. I think it's perfectly legitimate to take up arms on behalf of someone else, whether it be a sovereign nation or an oppressed minority (especially in the case of genocide).

I find this interesting as I wonder how one decides who needs to be defended. Does my neighbour who is getting the shit beaten out of her by her husband need me over there to shoot him? Who decides the criteria? The elected governement?

I really would like to hear the justification of taking up arms.


From: Canton Marchand, Québec | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Farces
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posted 01 August 2006 10:59 AM      Profile for Farces   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by clersal:

I find this interesting as I wonder how one decides who needs to be defended. Does my neighbour who is getting the shit beaten out of her by her husband need me over there to shoot him? Who decides the criteria? The elected governement?

I really would like to hear the justification of taking up arms.


Here is one example about a debate about whether a war was justified or not:

arguing about a war

It is BABBLERs doing the discussing so the discussion, while inconclusive, is of high intellectual quality. Roughly speaking, the females took the pro-war position and the males took the pacifist position.


From: 43°41' N79°38' W | Registered: May 2006  |  IP: Logged
Proaxiom
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posted 01 August 2006 11:20 AM      Profile for Proaxiom     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by clersal:

I find this interesting as I wonder how one decides who needs to be defended. Does my neighbour who is getting the shit beaten out of her by her husband need me over there to shoot him? Who decides the criteria? The elected governement?

I really would like to hear the justification of taking up arms.


It seems like thousands of essays have been written on this subject.

Google 'Just War'. You could probably spend a week reading philosophical papers on it.

My understanding of the theory comes down to:
- The underlying cause is just; eg. self defense, defense of a country under attack by an aggressor, stopping a genocide
- The motivation is just, eg. there is no expectation of territorial expansion
- There is a reasonable chance of success
- The measures used in the war are proportional to the goal

I'm probably missing something nuanced, but that's essentially what it comes down to.

Another interesting question, which I don't really know how to address, is whether a country has a moral imperative to enter into a Just War when a cause appears. Think about Darfur and Rwanda for that one.


From: East of the Sun, West of the Moon | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
Sven
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posted 01 August 2006 11:23 AM      Profile for Sven     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Nice summary, Proaxiom...
From: Eleutherophobics of the World...Unite!!!!! | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
TK 421
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posted 01 August 2006 11:34 AM      Profile for TK 421     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
The nation goes to war when the government decides to do so. It is the most important decision that a national government can make. How it makes that decision is, of course, dependent on a wide variety of factors. I think that Praxion captured those factors pretty well. In addition, different governments make decisions in different ways (take your pick of political systems).

The military then executes the will of the government to the best of its ability and prosecutes the war in accordance with the objectives and limits set by the government.


From: Near and far | Registered: Feb 2006  |  IP: Logged
clersal
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posted 01 August 2006 02:46 PM      Profile for clersal     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
The nation goes to war when the government decides to do so. It is the most important decision that a national government can make.

Said government has been duly elected by the people. Hitler's government is a nice example and managed to kill millions of people for various reasons.

We can all hop up and down saying yabbut think of wars that are just. I really find it hard to accept that certain actions are justified because of...... and this is why I can not condone any kind of war.


From: Canton Marchand, Québec | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
500_Apples
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posted 01 August 2006 02:52 PM      Profile for 500_Apples   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Clersal should Britain and France have not declared war on Germany after it invaed Poland?
From: Montreal, Quebec | Registered: Jun 2006  |  IP: Logged
nonsuch
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posted 01 August 2006 03:33 PM      Profile for nonsuch     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Clersal should Britain and France have not declared war on Germany after it invaed Poland?

Not presuming to speak for Clersal - who has every right to be a pacifist; i respect pacifists - but from a political perspective.

By the time Germany invaded Poland, France and Britain were not necessasarily motivated by altruism: they had their own worries. Had they reacted, diplomatically and intelligently, five years sooner, the whole mega-tragedy could have been avoided. (But we'd have about 5000 fewer movies about muddy men being heroic.)


From: coming and going | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
500_Apples
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posted 01 August 2006 03:39 PM      Profile for 500_Apples   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
How could they have reacted diplomatically in 1933?
From: Montreal, Quebec | Registered: Jun 2006  |  IP: Logged
Sven
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posted 01 August 2006 03:54 PM      Profile for Sven     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by 500_Apples:
How could they have reacted diplomatically in 1933?

Well, for one thing, they could have reversed the crushing war reparation payments imposed on Germany after WWI. That was one of the critical columns of Hitler's appeal to the German citizens.


From: Eleutherophobics of the World...Unite!!!!! | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
500_Apples
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posted 01 August 2006 03:57 PM      Profile for 500_Apples   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Indeed, hindsight is 20/20, the treaty of Versailles seems pretty moronic now. Was it that obvious in 1933?
From: Montreal, Quebec | Registered: Jun 2006  |  IP: Logged
nonsuch
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posted 01 August 2006 04:11 PM      Profile for nonsuch     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by 500_Apples:
Indeed, hindsight is 20/20, the treaty of Versailles seems pretty moronic now. Was it that obvious in 1933?

To the peoples who were disenfranchised, pauperized, dispossesed and humilited, YES.
To those who gained power and wealth, not so much.
To a critical and unbiassed outsider, probably.

In any case, when you see that much anger building up in a nation, isn't it prudent to wonder why?


From: coming and going | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
500_Apples
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posted 01 August 2006 04:22 PM      Profile for 500_Apples   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Sorry, I'm just leery of applying contemporary morality to judge actions in the past.

quote:
In any case, when you see that much anger building up in a nation, isn't it prudent to wonder why?

We certainly sometimes do this today. Few would care of Lebanon in 1922. Right now we would care in some cases, I think, because history has sensitized us to that sort of pain. I don't think world leaders and those who influenced them had that kind of sensitization in 1933.


From: Montreal, Quebec | Registered: Jun 2006  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 01 August 2006 04:27 PM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Sven:

Well, for one thing, they could have reversed the crushing war reparation payments imposed on Germany after WWI. That was one of the critical columns of Hitler's appeal to the German citizens.


So you're saying that the German people wanted to go to war to avoid paying war reparations ?.

Sven, I think Hitler's appeal to the people was through promises of socialism. Remember now, you're talking about the biggest liar of the last century.


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Sven
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posted 01 August 2006 04:30 PM      Profile for Sven     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by 500_Apples:
Indeed, hindsight is 20/20, the treaty of Versailles seems pretty moronic now. Was it that obvious in 1933?

Well, John Maynard Keynes "served in the British treasury during World War I and attended the Versailles Peace Conference. He resigned in protest over the Treaty of Versailles, denouncing its provisions in The Economic Consequences of the Peace (1919)." Keynes was very critical of the treaty and of the likely (adverse) consequences of the treaty on Germany's economy.

So, while hindsight is 20/20, the likely effect of the treaty on Germany was not a secret well before Hitler was even heard of.


From: Eleutherophobics of the World...Unite!!!!! | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
Sven
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posted 01 August 2006 04:34 PM      Profile for Sven     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Fidel:

So you're saying that the German people wanted to go to war to avoid paying war reparations ?.

Sven, I think Hitler's appeal to the people was through promises of socialism. Remember now, you're talking about the biggest liar of the last century.


Well, one of the key effects of the treaty was the destruction of the German economy. That lead to intense resentment by the German people and opened the door to the promising words of the Hitler. The treaty is not the only thing that lead to Hitler's rise but it certainly was a significant factor that facilitated it.


From: Eleutherophobics of the World...Unite!!!!! | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
otter
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posted 01 August 2006 04:36 PM      Profile for otter        Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Sven, I think Hitler's appeal to the people was through promises of socialism. Remember now, you're talking about the biggest liar of the last century.

Hmmm, but there were so many liars then. Can you be sure he was the biggest?

I am still at a lose as to why individuals march off to fight the wars their politicans start?


From: agent provocateur inc. | Registered: Feb 2006  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 01 August 2006 04:48 PM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Sven:

Well, one of the key effects of the treaty was the destruction of the German economy. That lead to intense resentment by the German people and opened the door to the promising words of the Hitler. The treaty is not the only thing that lead to Hitler's rise but it certainly was a significant factor that facilitated it.


Yes, I believe the war reparations were intended to cripple Germany and maintain British et al domination of trade in that general region of the world. Same old same old. Meanwhile, socialists across Europe were calling for raising of taxes on those who had profited from WWI. Churchill knew that Hitler was rebuilding for war after 1933. Hitler was not elected by the people in what would be considered free and fair elections today. People were returning from Russia to Germany and telling about a bustling Russian economy while German's were tired of seeing dirty faces on their children. I believe grand promises of socialism appealed to German's more than thoughts of war and desperate times. Communists and socialists argued about whether or not to scrap the entire monetary-based capitalist system and start anew as factories sat idle across the western world.


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
nonsuch
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posted 01 August 2006 05:09 PM      Profile for nonsuch     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
I don't think world leaders and those who influenced them had that kind of sensitization in 1933.

Why the fuck not? Didn't they have an education? None of this was new in 1933, or 1633, or 733, or even 33.

quote:
I am still at a lose as to why individuals march off to fight the wars their politicans start?

Individuals have individual reasons. Some are idealists and believe they're saving the world. Some are romantics and want to be heroes. Some are dysfunctional, unsuccessful, frustrated in their regular life and want an adventure. Some owe money or have knocked up a girl and need to get away. Some are trying to earn the approval of their fathers. Some are violent and just want a legal chance to kill.
More relevant is why entire nations get all worked up over issues that are really none of their business.

[ 01 August 2006: Message edited by: nonsuch ]


From: coming and going | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
Jingles
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posted 01 August 2006 06:55 PM      Profile for Jingles     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
I am still at a lose as to why individuals march off to fight the wars their politicans start?

The Great Depression worked wonders for recruitment for the Second Great European War. That stirring in the empty belly isn't hunger, it's Patrotism!

But there's another way that's more business-friendly:

quote:
“Naturally the common people don't want war; neither in Russia, nor in England, nor in America, nor in Germany. That is understood. But after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.”

From this guy:

Whoops! How did that get there? My goodness gracious!

This is the guy


From: At the Delta of the Alpha and the Omega | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
clersal
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posted 01 August 2006 07:06 PM      Profile for clersal     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by 500_Apples:
Clersal should Britain and France have not declared war on Germany after it invaed Poland?

Strange as it might seem I don't think anyone should declare war on anyone else.


From: Canton Marchand, Québec | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Proaxiom
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posted 01 August 2006 07:22 PM      Profile for Proaxiom     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by nonsuch:

Not presuming to speak for Clersal - who has every right to be a pacifist; i respect pacifists - but from a political perspective.

By the time Germany invaded Poland, France and Britain were not necessasarily motivated by altruism: they had their own worries. Had they reacted, diplomatically and intelligently, five years sooner, the whole mega-tragedy could have been avoided. (But we'd have about 5000 fewer movies about muddy men being heroic.)



Perhaps a strike against pacifists --

If France had reacted militarily in 1936 when Hitler reoccupied the Rhineland in violation of the Treaty of Versailles, the Third Reich would have ended 9 years earlier than it did, with only a short series of small skirmishes. Hitler admitted this fact in his writings.

But there was no will to enter into a conflict among the French at the time.


From: East of the Sun, West of the Moon | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
Proaxiom
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posted 01 August 2006 07:30 PM      Profile for Proaxiom     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by clersal:

Strange as it might seem I don't think anyone should declare war on anyone else.


I understand what pacificism means, but I wonder how you can really defend that.

Should the western world have stood by as Hitler annexed country after country? Washed our hands of it as he sent millions of untermenschen to the death camps?

Or do you suppose the madman could have somehow been stopped by diplomatic means? (Chamberlain did think that... for a while)


From: East of the Sun, West of the Moon | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 01 August 2006 07:45 PM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Chamberlain and weak and ineffective conservative governments in England and France went out of their way to appease Hitler in ceding the Sudentanland to Germany and allowing Hitler to invade Poland and Czechoslovakia. Chamberlain refused to listen to the German coup plotters and referred to them as "anti-Nazis" who weren't to be trusted.

After Rudy Hess dropped in for tea in London, Stalin was convinced of German-British collaboration.

And our Steve Harper is every bit the poodle that Chamberlain was. Perhaps he'll sign a non-aggression pact with herr Bushler after licking his boots clean. Political conservatives never change.

[ 01 August 2006: Message edited by: Fidel ]


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Proaxiom
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posted 01 August 2006 08:02 PM      Profile for Proaxiom     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Churchill was a political conservative as well.

He was neither weak nor ineffective, and certainly he was nobody's poodle.

What does Rudolf Hess and typical Stalin paranoia have to do with anything?


From: East of the Sun, West of the Moon | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 01 August 2006 08:41 PM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Proaxiom:
Churchill was a political conservative as well.

He was neither weak nor ineffective, and certainly he was nobody's poodle.


Churchill was a old lech. He had no respect for the working class in Britain. Before he was made PM of the coalition government, he suggested that the army be brought in to end a coal miner's strike a la Franco. He told Britons to tighten their belts during periods of food rationing as he himself grew fatter and fatter. My mother's family would turn off the radio whenever his rants were broadcast. They had better things to do, like blackening windows before the next air raid. The English rewarded Winston Churchill with the old heave-ho after the war.

Hitler was a political conservative as well. Political conservatism wasn't very popular during the depression era. Infiltrating centre-left parties was the thing to do then.

ETA: And this one's dedicated to Cueball,

quote:
What does Rudolf Hess and typical Stalin paranoia have to do with anything?

People on the left have wondered why Stalin didn't send even more military support to fight fascism in Spain than he did. At the same time, Stalin's paranoia was fueled by the fact that western governments, self-proclaimed vessels of democracy and freedom, did absolutely nothing to oppose fascism in Spain. In fact, Britain and America made it illegal for their citizens to travel to Spain and fight against fascism. But they did anyway.

Up until the start of barbarossa, Stalin wanted to believe that the coming conflict would be a war between capitalists for control of Europe, and that Hitler's violation of the non-proliferation treaty as a result of WWI was done with Britain and America's full knowledge. In fact, the American ambassador to Germany at the time said he was embarrassed by the number of American businessmen tripping over one another in Berlin while America's economy was still in recovery mode. The Nazis ended up driving Ford and GM trucks all over Europe. Ford-Werkes made a number of parts for Panzer tanks, and there were a number of other American industries and bankers aiding and abetting Hitler's military buildup.

Can you even imagine Stalin's paranoia when learning that Hitler's deputy was in London ?. The Brits knew it couldn't be kept a secret with so many spies about. And Stalin did not believe his own spies when told that Hitler was preparing to invade. When the invasion did happen, Stalin fully-believed he would go the way of the last Tsar for betraying the people. While the enemy laid siege to the gates of Russia, Stalin went home and waited for the people's justice, Instead of being shot at dawn, Stalin would be declared Time Magazine's man of the year.

[ 01 August 2006: Message edited by: Fidel ]


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
nonsuch
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posted 01 August 2006 09:03 PM      Profile for nonsuch     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Should the western world have stood by as Hitler annexed country after country? Washed our hands of it as he sent millions of untermenschen to the death camps?

How many lives were saved by armed response? How many death-camps were prevented? None. It all happenened, anyway... only bigger.

quote:
Or do you suppose the madman could have somehow been stopped by diplomatic means? (Chamberlain did think that... for a while)

You don't seriously believe that the whole thing was started by one man? If that were so, the easy solution would have been: "Hey, Germans! Give us Hitler's head on a plate, and we'll call it even."
How come nobody tried that?
Coz every other leader had his own agenda, and every other people, their own axes to grind.

From: coming and going | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 01 August 2006 09:39 PM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by nonsuch:

You don't seriously believe that the whole thing was started by one man? If that were so, the easy solution would have been: "Hey, Germans! Give us Hitler's head on a plate, and we'll call it even."
How come nobody tried that?

There was a plot to get rid of Hitler in 1939, but the Germans needed outside help. They believed that there was still time to overthrow Hitler while the military not as strong as it would become. Neville Chamberlain refused to listen to the German embassy's call for help, and Winston Churchill was said to have answered them in a letter sent to Berlin. It was at that point that the Nazis found out about the plotters and ordered several of them beheaded after a farcical trial.


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
VanLuke
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posted 01 August 2006 09:53 PM      Profile for VanLuke     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Proaxiom:
[QB]Churchill was a political conservative as well.

He was neither weak nor ineffective, and certainly he was nobody's poodle.


He also admired Hitler and the kind of government the NAZIs had instituted (as late as 1936 IIRC).


From: Vancouver BC | Registered: Oct 2004  |  IP: Logged
Stanley10
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posted 01 August 2006 10:02 PM      Profile for Stanley10     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Is war just about values? Tony Blair spoke to the Los Angeles World Affairs Council today and appeared to suggest that we should realize war is a struggle about value systems. The present conflict in the Middle East is about “whether the Western system of values can "beat theirs,"

"Even the issue of Israel is just part of the same wider struggle for the soul of the region," Blair said. "If we recognize this struggle for what it truly is, we would be at least along the first steps of the path to winning it. But I fear a vast part of Western opinion is not remotely near this yet."
“He added, "Whatever the outward manifestation at any one time -- in Lebanon, in Gaza, in Iraq, and add to that in Afghanistan, in Kashmir, in a host of other nations, including now some in Africa -- this everywhere is a global fight about global values.”
I’m not sure if he is suggesting the present strife is a war between “benign, moderate” western values and Islamic values, or Muslim values (I understand there is a difference here, Islamic vs. Muslim- very much like the difference between the purity of Christian teaching vs. the actual way people live within a Christian cultural group). Is this arrogant, paternalistic, colonialist, realistic, or even needed, and is it the real cause of present wars? Perhaps he is suggesting he is leading a new, authoritative, Age of Enlightenment, forcefully imposed upon what he perceives to be a backward value system.


From: the desk of.... | Registered: Mar 2005  |  IP: Logged
eau
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posted 01 August 2006 10:13 PM      Profile for eau        Edit/Delete Post
Stanley, I read the speech too, that Tony Blair has the gall to talk about values leaves me dumbfounded. Does he really believe that the present US and British governments are seen as beacons of light around the world?
From: BC | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged
Jingles
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posted 01 August 2006 10:15 PM      Profile for Jingles     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Values? Meaningless blather from the Toy Poodle. Is that the best that simpering toady can muster? A lot of talking without saying anything of substance. He cannot mean that "our" values are better than "their" values, because he never actually says what these values are supposed to be. We're just supposed to know through osmosis, I guess.

I suspect, however, it is code. When he says "our values" he means "subservience to the American empire". He means white christian supremecy. He is a fascist through and through.


From: At the Delta of the Alpha and the Omega | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
TK 421
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posted 02 August 2006 12:06 AM      Profile for TK 421     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
WW II was as clear cut as you can get. There was only one way to deal with Hitler's Germany and that was to force Germany's unconditional surrender. It would have been easy in the short term for the english-speaking democracies to have either avoided entering the war or sought a separate peace safe behind water obstacles. Luckily for Europe and the world that didn't happen.

As for why soldiers fight that is a simple question that has many answers. I joined and continue to serve in combat out of a sense of duty (both to my country and to my fellow soldiers). Perhaps it could be seen as a calling. I guess that makes me an idealist to some of you, delusional to others and perhaps even evil to a few.

Cheers,

TK 421


From: Near and far | Registered: Feb 2006  |  IP: Logged
Sven
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posted 02 August 2006 12:38 AM      Profile for Sven     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by TK 421:
WW II was as clear cut as you can get. There was only one way to deal with Hitler's Germany and that was to force Germany's unconditional surrender.

It may appear "clear cut" in retrospect but it took years of Nazi buildup (and territorial attacks on three countries) before Europe did anything. Churchill was warning Europe about Germany throughout the 1930s. He was simply labeled as a "warmonger". Well, those appeasing Hitler should have listed to the "warmonger", dealt with Hitler early on and avoided the deaths of 50 million people.


From: Eleutherophobics of the World...Unite!!!!! | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 02 August 2006 02:00 AM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Churchill was an asshole, Sven. He ordered the firebombing of Dresden, a non-military target and causing unnecessary death and destruction. Hitler didn't want to go to war with Britain, Sven. He wanted Russia from the start, and so did western industrialists and banking elite want to put an end to the very thing that threatened their economic supremacy and political influence.

Churchill and Roosevelt both refused Stalin's demands for a second front for over two years. Where was the bulldog while 30 million Russian's and Jews were being slaughtered ?. I think he was eating crates of oranges and pork delivered to his doorstep while the English survived by William Beveridge's contingency plan for rationing from WWI.


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
TK 421
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posted 02 August 2006 03:47 AM      Profile for TK 421     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Fidel,

We could have lots of discussions about WWII.

Britain looked pretty lonely in the summer of 1940, and a weaker man than Churchill might have gone for a separate peace (which is what Hitler was probably expecting and hoping for). Churchill made some tough calls and questionable decisions, but war is hell and I think that he was the right man at the right time (if a terrible time).

The second front issue can be debated at length. The US wanted one in '43 so they could defeat Germany and get on with fighting Japan. The western Allies weren't ready in 1943 and you get one shot at a cross-channel invasion. Dieppe showed in part what can happen if you aren't really prepared. Uncle Joe was, of course, screaming for a second front the minute his non-agression pact fell apart.

The Dresden bombings and stragetic bombing campaign in general are also interesting ethical/moral cases to study. Events should be examined in the context of their times (not that that makes them morally right, but you need to think about it that way). The road to Dresden went through Shanghai, Conventry, London, Hamburg, Berlin and other cities devastated by total war. Strategic bombing was one of the only ways for Britain, Canada and then the US to strike at Germany until the D-Day landings. Was the price in civilian lives justified by the results? Today we would probably say "No!" In 1945 we might have answered differently.


From: Near and far | Registered: Feb 2006  |  IP: Logged
Proaxiom
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posted 02 August 2006 04:04 AM      Profile for Proaxiom     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by nonsuch:

How many lives were saved by armed response? How many death-camps were prevented? None. It all happenened, anyway... only bigger.

The main difference being that by in 1945 you have free democratic countries across western Europe because we fought the war. In the alternative pacifist scenario, you have the Nazis in control of much of Europe, still sending undesirables by the millions to be executed, with no end in sight.

Even if that wasn't true, though, you can't measure what is right simply by the number of people who die. Sometimes the principled path is the uglier one, but the idea of principle is such that it should be followed anyway.

quote:
You don't seriously believe that the whole thing was started by one man? If that were so, the easy solution would have been: "Hey, Germans! Give us Hitler's head on a plate, and we'll call it even."
How come nobody tried that?
Coz every other leader had his own agenda, and every other people, their own axes to grind.

World War II would not have happened if not for Adolf Hitler. Many other people were at fault, but there is no one else of whom that could be said.


From: East of the Sun, West of the Moon | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
Sven
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posted 02 August 2006 07:20 AM      Profile for Sven     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Fidel:
Churchill was an asshole, Sven. He ordered the firebombing of Dresden, a non-military target and causing unnecessary death and destruction. Hitler didn't want to go to war with Britain, Sven. He wanted Russia from the start, and so did western industrialists and banking elite want to put an end to the very thing that threatened their economic supremacy and political influence.

“He wanted Russia from the start”, but he and his good buddy, the butcher Stalin, signed the Nazi-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact so that the Nazi’s could conquer France first. Then the Nazis attacked the UK, starting the Battle of Britain, in August 1940. The USSR was not attacked until June of 1941.


From: Eleutherophobics of the World...Unite!!!!! | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
clersal
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posted 02 August 2006 07:39 AM      Profile for clersal     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Proaxiom:

I understand what pacificism means, but I wonder how you can really defend that.

Should the western world have stood by as Hitler annexed country after country? Washed our hands of it as he sent millions of untermenschen to the death camps?

Or do you suppose the madman could have somehow been stopped by diplomatic means? (Chamberlain did think that... for a while)


There seems to be a lot of should have, and maybe if we don't this and that will happen.

The shrub is bringing 'Democracy' to Iraq.
The US of A was ending the war by dropping A bombs on Japan. Undoubtedly democracy and freedom were bandied around.

The North freed the slaves and now every one is equal. Oh yes, bull shit baffles big minds or is it small minds.

I wonder how you can defend taking up arms, bombing the shit out of an already poor country and then bring MacDonalds' calling it democracy.

I have a very hard time with this.


From: Canton Marchand, Québec | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Farces
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posted 02 August 2006 08:04 AM      Profile for Farces   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Proaxiom:
. . . Or do you suppose the madman could have somehow been stopped by diplomatic means? (Chamberlain did think that... for a while)

Sure. he and the rest of the Allies merely had to get together and say that their reparation money from the Versailles Treaty would be refunded, if and only if Hitler was removed from power and a fair election were held, with international monitoring.

Just because Chamberlain's particular brand of diplomacy failed, doesn't mean that more intelligent, forward-thinking diplomacy would have likewise failed. Accordingly, I think ppl usually draw the wrong lessons from the bad experiences of PM Chamberlain.

btw, i think WWII was a just war all things considered. All these historical details on this thd are interesting, but the question of whether WWII is sort of a big, holistic question, not susceptible to having its answer changed by this or that detail or counterfactual.

[ 02 August 2006: Message edited by: Farces ]


From: 43°41' N79°38' W | Registered: May 2006  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
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posted 02 August 2006 08:08 AM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
This seems like a good thread to post this column with rather sweeping subject matter, questioning why we humans never seem to learn when it comes to war and environmental destruction.

quote:
Science tells us that modern humans have been around for over 200,000 years, and recorded history to date goes back about 5,000 years or so. With all that experience behind us and five millennia of written accounts to ponder and take lessons from, one would think that we should have learned something more about cooperation and working together for a common good rather than engaging in an endless cycle of violence.

From both the written record and the archaeological evidence one would also think that we should have learned something more about environmental degradation and destructive social and economic practices.

As I read through the news reports each day it becomes apparent, unfortunately, that our enlightenment has fallen far short of what is possible from the lessons that have been put before us.


When will we ever learn?


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Farces
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posted 02 August 2006 08:12 AM      Profile for Farces   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Here is a sincere question:

Does war kill off a higher or lower proportion of humankind than it did 500 or 1000 years ago?

Maybe things are getting better or worse, but I think it is a question of archeaology and ratios. Problem is, I don't have the social sciences background to know the relevant stats.


From: 43°41' N79°38' W | Registered: May 2006  |  IP: Logged
Proaxiom
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posted 02 August 2006 08:12 AM      Profile for Proaxiom     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by clersal:

There seems to be a lot of should have, and maybe if we don't this and that will happen.

The shrub is bringing 'Democracy' to Iraq.
The US of A was ending the war by dropping A bombs on Japan. Undoubtedly democracy and freedom were bandied around.

The North freed the slaves and now every one is equal. Oh yes, bull shit baffles big minds or is it small minds.

I wonder how you can defend taking up arms, bombing the shit out of an already poor country and then bring MacDonalds' calling it democracy.

I have a very hard time with this.



You didn't at all answer the question, which is how to deal with the consequences of not confronting an aggressor.

As for Iraq, that war doesn't meet any notion of 'Just War' philosophy. Hawks on that are wilfully ignorant.

Dropping the atomic bomb on Japan was not about spreading democracy or freedom. It was simply about winning the war that started when Japan attacked the United States. How does a pacifist deal with getting attacked?

Was the answer to give Japan whatever it wanted so it would go away? Interesting conundrum, when what Japan wanted was access to US resources to fuel its war against China. So immediately surrendering, the pacifist choice, would therefore have made the United States an accomplice in Japanese aggression.

I have a lot of trouble understanding pacifism.


From: East of the Sun, West of the Moon | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
Proaxiom
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posted 02 August 2006 08:20 AM      Profile for Proaxiom     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Michelle:
This seems like a good thread to post this column with rather sweeping subject matter, questioning why we humans never seem to learn when it comes to war and environmental destruction.

Allow me to quote myself from earlier in the thread:
"War is an inevitable consequence of the human condition. As long as there are sovereign entities with competing interests, there will be war. We are a tribal species; it's an artifact of evolution."

The constancy of war in our history should be considered instructive in that regard.

To expand slightly: We evolved tribally because we had to compete for scarce resources. We instinctively draw lines between 'us' and 'them', because in the past there wasn't always to go around for us and them together. Survival depended on forming some kind of 'us', with a sustainable number of people, and killing 'them'.

Economics has changed our reality, but not our instincts. In many ways the human species isn't suited for modern civilization.


From: East of the Sun, West of the Moon | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
Farces
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posted 02 August 2006 08:23 AM      Profile for Farces   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Proaxiom:
. . . How does a pacifist deal with getting attacked?

Was the answer to give Japan whatever it wanted so it would go away? Interesting conundrum, when what Japan wanted was access to US resources to fuel its war against China. So immediately surrendering, the pacifist choice, would therefore have made the United States an accomplice in Japanese aggression. . . .


1. The intelligent pacificist POTUS would clearly condition Japan's resource access on what Japan was doing in China. A pacificist POTUS would make this clear to the world as well. I don't really think the oil embargo was done for the sake of the Chinese people.

2. The pacificist POTUS would not have move the Pacific fleet to a vulnerable location like Pearl Harbor.

3. If a pacificist POTUS had the Pacific fleet out at Pearl Harbor, notwithstanding sensible military strategy, she would have guarded it better.

Disclaimer: see above for my ultimate opinion as to whether WWII was a just war.


From: 43°41' N79°38' W | Registered: May 2006  |  IP: Logged
Proaxiom
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posted 02 August 2006 08:44 AM      Profile for Proaxiom     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Farces:

1. The intelligent pacificist POTUS would clearly condition Japan's resource access on what Japan was doing in China. A pacificist POTUS would make this clear to the world as well. I don't really think the oil embargo was done for the sake of the Chinese people.

2. The pacificist POTUS would not have move the Pacific fleet to a vulnerable location like Pearl Harbor.

3. If a pacificist POTUS had the Pacific fleet out at Pearl Harbor, notwithstanding sensible military strategy, she would have guarded it better.

Disclaimer: see above for my ultimate opinion as to whether WWII was a just war.


The oil embargo was to stop the spread of Japanese imperialism, the main point of that being to stop their advance in China.

Wouldn't a pacifist US have not had a pacific fleet at all? Besides, this is irrelevant. It's a causation fallacy. Japan didn't go to war with the US because the fleet was at Pearl Harbour, it attacked the fleet at Pearl Harbour because it wanted to go to war with the US.

And how do you dictate conditions when you surrender? Japan wanted unconditional access to US resources. If the pacifist US had not given that to Japan, it would have just taken them. Unopposed, I assume, since the US is pacifist.


From: East of the Sun, West of the Moon | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
Farces
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posted 02 August 2006 09:03 AM      Profile for Farces   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Proaxiom:

The oil embargo was to stop the spread of Japanese imperialism, the main point of that being to stop their advance in China.

Wouldn't a pacifist US have not had a pacific fleet at all? Besides, this is irrelevant. It's a causation fallacy. Japan didn't go to war with the US because the fleet was at Pearl Harbour, it attacked the fleet at Pearl Harbour because it wanted to go to war with the US.

And how do you dictate conditions when you surrender? Japan wanted unconditional access to US resources. If the pacifist US had not given that to Japan, it would have just taken them. Unopposed, I assume, since the US is pacifist.


1. If the embargo really was about stopping the spread of Japanese imperialism, esp in China, I think this could have and should have been made clearer at the time, with clear incremental rewards for Japan as they retreted from China.

2. If the embargo really was about stopping the spread of Japanese imperialism, esp in China, then I think the US should have applied a similar embargo to all other imperialist nations, starting with those guilty of worse imperialism than Japan. Otherwise the embargo looks selective and even hypocritical. this should have been an occasion to talk about which nations were behaving the most imperialistaically. Moving back to reality, I don't think the US leaders at the time really gave a crap about stopping imperialism.

3. A pacificist would indeed have a Pacific fleet, probably a fleet about as big as the one the US had. this was before the US did large, peacetime military buildups on a routine basis like it does now.

4. Japan did go to war with the US because the fleet was at Pearl Harbour in the sense that Japan would not have gone to war with the US if the US fleet had stayed at San Diego. We are not dealing with a causation fallacy here, but rather a type of causation here that jurists have termed "but-for causation." But-for causation may not carry the culpability connotations of proximate causation, but under a realpolitik pacificist view, it is exactly the kind of thing that should be considered in crafting policy. Frankly, I think this but-for causation chain was considered and was the primary reason for in fact moving the fleet. People are in denial about that because a lot of heroes ended up dying at Pearl Harbor.

5. Of course Japan wanted unconditional access to US resources. That should not have prevented the US from making a clearer counterproposal. Preferably a counterproposal that put all imperialist nations on an equal resource access footing with other equally imperialist nations. Like I said above, a resource access proposal that would have incrementally rewarded good conduct by Japan at the margins in China.


From: 43°41' N79°38' W | Registered: May 2006  |  IP: Logged
Proaxiom
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posted 02 August 2006 09:44 AM      Profile for Proaxiom     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Is there any historical evidence for the claim that Japan wouldn't have declared war if the fleet was in San Diego?

The embargo was in large part because of US revulsion at the Nanking massacre. Popular opinion caused them to impose it.

And there were diplomatic initiatives underway to attempt to persuade Japan to withdraw from China. The US had promised to lift the embargo if they did so. The negotiations were ongoing almost right up to the point where Japan declared war.


From: East of the Sun, West of the Moon | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
Farces
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posted 02 August 2006 09:53 AM      Profile for Farces   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Proaxiom:
Is there any historical evidence for the claim that Japan wouldn't have declared war if the fleet was in San Diego?

yeah, I built an alternative reality machine and checked it out. Roosevelt gave Japan a clear path to get the embargo lifted and kept the fleet in San Diego. Japan joined WWII on the allied side along with the US in early 1942. The Nazis were crushed by the end of '42 and some, but not all, of the Holocaust was prevented. Atomic weapons were never developed and the world prohibited research on the subject. There were no wars after 1942 and everyone ended up happy in a bountiful world socialist state.

Not sure what you are really asking for here.


From: 43°41' N79°38' W | Registered: May 2006  |  IP: Logged
TK 421
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posted 02 August 2006 10:32 AM      Profile for TK 421     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I believe that war will always be a part of the human condition. We are competitive and there is no higher authority or law to regulate behaviour between states besides that which we are willing to enforce/uphold/defend by force of arms if necessary.
From: Near and far | Registered: Feb 2006  |  IP: Logged
otter
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posted 02 August 2006 10:44 AM      Profile for otter        Edit/Delete Post
From the Rabble post made by Michelle:
quote:
When will we ever learn? >by Jerry West
July 25, 2006
Environmental irresponsibility and war — what a nightmare, and all of it a waste of lives and resources. It isn't as if we haven't had these same issues over and over again in history to learn from. Why don't we?

While there has been a lot of debate in this thread about the factors that contributed to past wars and the personalities involved at those times, there seems to be little discourse about the question asked above?

Namely, why have we NOT learned that war is bad, okay?


From: agent provocateur inc. | Registered: Feb 2006  |  IP: Logged
TK 421
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posted 02 August 2006 11:06 AM      Profile for TK 421     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I suppose that the only thing worse than fighting a war is losing a war.

Going to war is a decision. It is taken because it is believed that the outcomes of not going to war will be worse than going to war. Sometimes it means fighting the war on your own terms at a time and place that is to your advantage rather than giving the initiative to the enemy.


From: Near and far | Registered: Feb 2006  |  IP: Logged
Farces
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posted 02 August 2006 11:11 AM      Profile for Farces   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by TK 421:
I suppose that the only thing worse than fighting a war is losing a war.

Going to war is a decision. It is taken because it is believed that the outcomes of not going to war will be worse than going to war. Sometimes it means fighting the war on your own terms at a time and place that is to your advantage rather than giving the initiative to the enemy.


Do you beleive that all wars are good or only some wars?

If you believe that some wars are good, and others bad, how do you separate the good wars from the bad wars, TK?


From: 43°41' N79°38' W | Registered: May 2006  |  IP: Logged
Sven
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posted 02 August 2006 11:50 AM      Profile for Sven     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by clersal:
There seems to be a lot of should have, and maybe if we don't this and that will happen.

The shrub is bringing 'Democracy' to Iraq.
The US of A was ending the war by dropping A bombs on Japan. Undoubtedly democracy and freedom were bandied around.

The North freed the slaves and now every one is equal. Oh yes, bull shit baffles big minds or is it small minds.

I wonder how you can defend taking up arms, bombing the shit out of an already poor country and then bring MacDonalds' calling it democracy.

I have a very hard time with this.


I think you may have done everything but answer Proaxiom's post:

quote:
Originally posted by clersal:
Originally posted by Proaxiom:

I understand what pacificism means, but I wonder how you can really defend that.

Should the western world have stood by as Hitler annexed country after country? Washed our hands of it as he sent millions of untermenschen to the death camps?


I think proaxiom poses a very interesting question and I would be very interested to hear your response, from the perspective of a passivist.


From: Eleutherophobics of the World...Unite!!!!! | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
nonsuch
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posted 02 August 2006 12:06 PM      Profile for nonsuch     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Proaxiom:
quote:
The main difference being that by in 1945 you have free democratic countries across western Europe because we fought the war.

But not Eastern Europe. Who cares? Well, maybe the millions who suffered and died under Stalin; maybe the countries that were crushed for 40 years by the USSR.
One's meat, another's poison.
quote:
.. In the alternative pacifist scenario, you have the Nazis in control of much of Europe, still sending undesirables by the millions to be executed, with no end in sight.

Speculation. Things always change - either suddenly through violent conflict, or slowly through political process.
Here is more speculation:
There was no guarantee (indeed, little hope!) of victory when Britain and France decided on war. Had Japan and the US stayed out, Germany might well have taken all the marbles.
And then? And then Germany, by the very fact of occupying way more territory than it had the manpower to control, would have changed in character. Empires fall apart; leadership is replaced; economy, foreign relations, political expediency, popular outlook all change over time.
We have no idea how an alternate scenario would have played out in the long run.
quote:
Even if that wasn't true, though, you can't measure what is right simply by the number of people who die. Sometimes the principled path is the uglier one, but the idea of principle is such that it should be followed anyway.

"Right" and "principle" are defined variously.
If i believe that life is the ultimate good, that it's wrong to kill, then i can so measure what is right by how many are killed. If i believe in a principle worth sacrificing lives for, then i must measure what is right by whether the principle has been attained.
Ends may justify means in theory, but in reality, it's the means which determine the ends.

[ 02 August 2006: Message edited by: nonsuch ]


From: coming and going | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
Proaxiom
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posted 02 August 2006 12:24 PM      Profile for Proaxiom     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
But not Eastern Europe. Who cares? Well, maybe the millions who suffered and died under Stalin; maybe the countries that were crushed for 40 years by the USSR. One's meat, another's poison.

We tried our best for them, and in any case I would argue that those countries were better off under Communist dictatorships than under Nazi rule. The Nazis believed slavs were less than fully human, not really worthy of life.

quote:
Speculation. Things always change - either suddenly through violent conflict, or slowly through political process.
Here is more speculation:
There was no guarantee (indeed, little hope!) of victory when Britain and France decided on war. Had Japan and the US stayed out, Germany might well have taken all the marbles.
And then? And then Germany, by the very fact of occupying way more territory than it had the manpower to control, would have changed in character. Empires fall apart; leadership is replaced; economy, foreign relations, political expediency, popular outlook all change over time.
We have no idea how an alternate scenario would have played out in the long run.

So you are arguing that maybe things would have worked out for the best anyway, had we not done anything?

This is like watching a man drowning, and deciding not to jump in to try to save him because maybe he'll find some way to pull himself out.

There are inaccuracies in your scenario. When France and Britain declared war, there was actually wide expectation of victory. The French army in numbers and firepower was greater than the German army. Nobody anticipated that German air superiority combined with new tactical doctrine would be so devastating. With a few exceptions, even the Germans were surprised at the way they cut through the French lines.

Had the US and Japan stayed out, Germany would still have declared war on the USSR. The USSR probably would have defeated Germany anyway (unless in our hypothetical scenario Stalin is a pacifist), and all of continental Europe would have fallen under Soviet domination.


quote:
"Right" and "principle" are defined variously.
If i believe that life is the ultimate good, that it's wrong to kill, then i can so measure what is right by how many are killed. If i believe in a principle worth sacrificing lives for, then i must measure what is right by whether the principle has been attained.
Ends may justify means in theory, but in reality, it's the means which determine the ends.

Fair enough. I believe it is wrong to stand by and do nothing while others are senselessly slaughtered.


From: East of the Sun, West of the Moon | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
clersal
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posted 02 August 2006 12:29 PM      Profile for clersal     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Sven:

I think proaxiom poses a very interesting question and I would be very interested to hear your response, from the perspective of a passivist.


I really don't have a response. If I start saying it was okay because it was Hitler. It was okay because the Japanese did such and such ad nauseam.

I think that taking up arms against other human beings is wrong. We can spend hours and hours justifying why it is okay in certain circumstances.

Okay right on. I just cannot agree. If you said that the heads of states could go to war between themselves I might, just might think maybe.


From: Canton Marchand, Québec | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
nonsuch
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posted 02 August 2006 02:54 PM      Profile for nonsuch     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
So you are arguing that maybe things would have worked out for the best anyway, had we not done anything?

No. I'm saying that things would have worked out some way; would have been different from from what they were at the time, and we don't know in what ways. You can only say that things worked out better, for some people, or most people, than they otherwise might have - not that they worked out for the best.
Was valiant little Poland saved? (and for whom? the Poles or the Russians?) Did all the Jews live happily ever after? (including the refugees whom the west turned away? including the modern Israelis?) How well was the principle of protecting the weak - immediately or ultimately - served?

quote:
There are inaccuracies in your scenario.

Of course - it's mere speculation based on a mere fraction of the forces that were actually at work.
quote:
When France and Britain declared war, there was actually wide expectation of victory.

Wide expectation? You mean, most people believed the propaganda of their governments, and went "Rah-rah!"? The generals and spies knew better. And we know better.

That fiasco - like the present one - could have been avoided by timely, informed, principled diplomacy. Such was not forthcoming then, nor is it now.
Every war is a gamble. Heads of state attempt to get what they want by risking what they have. What they usually have in abundance is gullible, aggressive, expendable young men.
Diplomacy is a gamble, too... for lower stakes, and without the universal adrenalin-rush.

[ 02 August 2006: Message edited by: nonsuch ]


From: coming and going | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
Proaxiom
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posted 02 August 2006 03:42 PM      Profile for Proaxiom     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Wide expectation? You mean, most people believed the propaganda of their governments, and went "Rah-rah!"? The generals and spies knew better. And we know better.

No they didn't. The generals, and the political leadership, expected a repeat of World War I. It is commonly believed that if France had launched a major offensive when the war began -- with the bulk of the German army engaged in Poland -- they could have won the war quickly. But they weren't thinking in those terms at the time because the First World War had conditioned them into thinking static warfare was the norm, and that they would win on the defensive when the Germans assaulted the Maginot Line.

quote:
That fiasco - like the present one - could have been avoided by timely, informed, principled diplomacy. Such was not forthcoming then, nor is it now.

So you are suggesting that at some point (say, in 1938) allied leaders could have met with Hitler at some place (say, Munich) and convinced him to stop hostiities in exchange for diplomatic concessions (say, recognizing the legitimacy of recent German territorial expansion), general war could have been averted. Perhaps a treaty could have been signed to that effect.

Yeah, I'm sure that would have worked.

[ 02 August 2006: Message edited by: Proaxiom ]


From: East of the Sun, West of the Moon | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
Erik Redburn
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posted 02 August 2006 05:27 PM      Profile for Erik Redburn     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
WW II was one of the few fairly clearcut wars that Had to be fought, I would agree, but there's no such thing as a 'good war' as some fools still call it, and this 'war on terror' is more like the 'war on drugs' or at worst the post-detente 'coldwar'. IMO the real enemies of 'the West' are our own technocrats, who are using it to frighten their own populations (or trying to) distract attention from their absolute failure/refusal to provide half decent governance, and Oc to fill the accounts of their cronies. After the 'coldwar' officially ended some of them jokingly said 'we need a new enemy' -turned out they weren't joking at all.
From: Broke but not bent. | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
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posted 02 August 2006 07:25 PM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Long thread. Feel free to continue in a new one!
From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 03 August 2006 03:06 PM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
continued here
From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
Moderator
Babbler # 560

posted 03 August 2006 03:25 PM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Geez, I keep doing that!
From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged

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