Friday, June 12, 2009

Why did Obama go to Dresden?

Q: Why did the chicken cross the road?
A: To boldly go where no chicken has gone before.

Q: Why did Obama go to Dresden?
A: To boldly do what no American president has done before.

That is, to crawl around Europe on his knees, with a "Kick America" sign on hs back. John Rosenthal explains:

Dresden was the target of heavy Allied bombing in February 1945 and much of the city was destroyed in the attacks. Neo-Nazis make an annual pilgrimage to the city to commemorate the event, the most famous episode in what they describe as a “bombing Holocaust.” But the notion that the Allied raids constituted a “crime” against Germans and Germany is by no means the reserve of Nazis. It has, in the meanwhile, become part of the German mainstream. . .
. . . Obama did not have to say anything. The heavily loaded symbolism of the [Dresden] visit did the talking for him. By virtue of his visits to Buchenwald and [Dresden] . . . Obama had paid tribute to “all the victims,” i.e., both the victims of Nazi persecution and the German “victims” of the Allies. . . thus making the assertion of moral equivalence more explicit still.

And if you want to know what this portends, ask Myrhaf:

The clear implication, though, is that bombing Dresden was immoral. This idea is common among the anti-American left Obama has run with all this life.
Obama has made it clear that there will be no all-out war on his watch. Instead of destroying any aggressive enemies as we did in WWII, Obama will appease them to some extent. At best he might fight a partial effort, as we have done in the “war on terror,” or whatever the PC name for it is now. (How about “The conflict with people who understandably have a grievance against capitalist America, and whom we would gladly shower with taxpayer dollars if they would just pretend to meet us halfway long enough to get the handouts”?)
Whether or not the media and leftists and the media want to see the meaning of Obama’s symbolism in Dresden, our enemies understand it perfectly. They know that if they get in a war with America, they don’t have to worry about Obama bombing their people. I think that would factor large in their decision making.

Any reason it wouldn’t?

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46 Comments:

Blogger Blair said...

Ummm... but bombing Dresden was completely immoral. It wasn't a military target. Two wrongs don't make a right.

What a load of right wing nonsense.

6/12/2009 07:15:00 am  
Blogger KG said...

'..Two wrongs don't make a right."
Think that bit of profound wisdom up all by yourself did you, or did your skoolteacher print it out for you?

Perhaps the people who endured the bombing of London and Coventry etc etc viewed it a little differently. As well as the civilians torpedoed in violation of international law...the list is long. I just love little lefty prats who judge events of that time through the prism of their nice comfortable safe leftist-indoctrinated position.
Perhaps two wrongs don't make a right--but ruthless retaliation when faced with an amoral enemy sure as hell does.

6/12/2009 08:49:00 am  
Blogger Blair said...

There's nothing lefty about saying you shouldn't target civilians in a war. Doesn't matter who does it.

If you think that the indiscriminate carpet bombing of Dresden had some higher military purpose, you are welcome to make a defence along those lines, but pointless schoolyard insults are unbecoming of you.

6/12/2009 09:26:00 am  
Blogger PC said...

When those civilians are supporting the regime and making the materials of war that are bombing your own houses and killing your sons, then you have every damn right in the world to target them.

As historian John Lewis argues, military operations like Sherman's destruction of Atlanta, the nuclear bombing of Japan -- and what hasn't yet been done to the Islamic totalitarians -- between them offer "a powerful lesson about how to win a war: by destroying the psychological and material foundations of an enemy’s will to fight."

Sherman's "march through Georgia" and his burning of Atlanta, for example, brought home to those who were fired up for war the real nature of war. It showed them that THIS was what it was they were calling for.

"Sherman’s march," says Lewis, "demonstrates how a forthright, confident, singular offense, directed against the center of the aggressor’s power—and armed with moral certainty in one’s own cause—can extinguish the fire behind the war. Sherman understood an important truth: that . . . to break the southern will to fight [he had to bring] bringing the consequences of war into the South. The southern slave society had to be shocked to its roots, its material ability to support the army destroyed, its claim to virtue and honor unveiled as a fraud, and the bankruptcy of the southern aristocracy made undeniable."

Precisely the same arguments apply to the bombing of Dresden.

I invite you to read and consider Lewis's arguments.

6/12/2009 10:24:00 am  
Blogger PC said...

And I invite you too to consider again just what it means when Obama chooses to go to Dresden -- a place of supposed Allied infamy -- instead of, for example, the new Berlin: the symbol of the west's overwhelming victory over the ideology Obama is now inflicting on the USA.

6/12/2009 10:26:00 am  
Anonymous LGM said...

Oh yes. Bomb all the fuckers. Burn their children. Maim 'em. Cripple 'em all. They're all the same. Kill 'em all and let God sort 'em out.

You have to love collectivism.

Actually you don't need to admire it or embrace it at all. Just consider how collectivism always leads to violence and the killing of innocents, because "they're all the same." This sort of crap is best avoided.

LGM

6/12/2009 11:35:00 am  
Anonymous LGM said...

Having said that, Obama's visitations are not really the problem here. It's what he's saying and what he's allowing to be represented and what he's doing. Those are the problems.

O-B-A-M-A

One big arsed mistake America


LGM

6/12/2009 11:37:00 am  
Anonymous LGM said...

Anyway, the silly prick wasn't even alive when WW2 occurred.

LGM

6/12/2009 11:38:00 am  
Anonymous Falafulu Fisi said...

Blair said...
There's nothing lefty about saying you shouldn't target civilians in a war.

So, dropping the atom bomb over Hiroshima, Japan which ended the war was wrong?

To thank peace is to thank a soldier as PC had posted here previously. If any weapon or technology that enable the soldier to fight or minimize their loss of lives that it should be used. After all, it is not your beautiful ass who sits from afar and drinks nice capucinno at your local cafe that gets shot at, but the soldier who fights at the front, just to protect the rights/freedoms of people like you & me who are not there to fight for them. Think about it.

If you disagree with what I said above, then do you think that President Truman was committing a war crime in ordering the bombing of Hiroshima? Explain.

6/12/2009 12:32:00 pm  
Anonymous twr said...

It's pretty difficult to fight against people when the rules are different for each side. If your opponent doesn't give a toss about civilians, but knows you do, they'll do what the Islamic terrorists do and take advantage of that. If the allies had had to worry about hysterical reporters every time they killed a civilian, the second world war would still be going now.

6/12/2009 02:53:00 pm  
Anonymous LGM said...

It's pretty difficult to fight people when you want to commit violence against large numbers of them. To do that takes a very special sort of twisted thinking. You have to make up some sort of an excuse or justification- like "they" are "bad" somehow. Once you collectivise an entire population of individuals (they are all coons or spicks or krauts or wops or spades or sooties or nazis or faggots or frogs or pommie bastards or unbelievers or slavs or deigos or blasphemers etc. etc. etc.), then you can have free reign and commit violence agin 'em all. That's because "they" are ALL evil, nasty baddies. With collectivist reasoning such as that you convince yourself that it's OK to pretend that other collective is full of the evil guilty and, in fact, "they" are not really people- they are different, the evil sub-human monsters! Then you and your collective can get on with some serious violence, regardless of which particular individuals are in or near the target zone. Round them all up. Burn them all.

It is interesting how the justifications seem to be so necessary after the event. Guilty consciences perhaps? Excuse making? Shame? It's kind of hard to say, "we nuked 'em all simply because we wanted to exert severe cruelty because we knew we could and thought we'd get away with it." Better to make up some PR. Quick, get Goebbles onto the job. Oops. He was on the other side. No mind, we'll get his 2IC instead.

Dresden was an immorality. That was known at the time. It was done anyway. Too late to do anything about it now. Those who made the decision and carried out the actions are mostly dead anyway. The rest of us (the ones who had nothing to do with it or were not there or not even alive at the time) are not responsible. What we are responsible for is what we do now- what each one of us individually decides to do .

BTW the thing to remember about WW2 was that in the end socialism was the victorious ideology. It still is today.

Returning to Obama. That guy is a socialist. He's playing to a socialist audience. He is a serious mistake for the USA. Turn off his teleprompter and send him to the back of the welfare queue.

LGM

6/12/2009 04:04:00 pm  
Blogger Stevew said...

How ludicrous to think that a distinction can be made between the military and "innocent" civilians. Who the hell else is paying the soldiers' salaries?
War is not a game. It doesn't have "rules", even though some might pay lip service to the idea.

6/12/2009 04:16:00 pm  
Anonymous frank cobain said...

Uh...war is hell?

6/12/2009 04:46:00 pm  
Blogger KG said...

As an ex-soldier, I'm all in favour of avoiding civilian casualties.
But when the civilian/military line becomes blurred that's not always possible. And when the enemy is able to use a civilised reluctance to kill civilians on the opposition's part as a force multiplier, while still targeting our own civilians, then all bets are off.
It has bugger-all to do with viewing people 'collectively' and everything to do with survival and winning.
Sometimes, the ruthless approach--used early in a conflict--wll result in less casualties, not more, on both sides.
As 'Black Jack' Pershing demonstrated in his war against muslim extremists in the Philippines.

6/12/2009 05:31:00 pm  
Blogger KG said...

"Actually you don't need to admire it or embrace it at all. Just consider how collectivism always leads to violence and the killing of innocents, because "they're all the same."

Which is why muslims target infidels. :-) And a targeted response to that isn't at all the result of regarding all muslims as the enemy, therefore not the result of collectivist thinking.
The enormous pains Western soldiers take to avoid civilian casualties (even to the point of causing them to take more casualties than they would otherwise) is surely evidence enough that you little 'collectivist' rant is wildly off-target LGM.

6/12/2009 05:38:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wait till he visits Japan. Lol.

6/12/2009 05:57:00 pm  
Anonymous David S. said...

Regardless of whether the bombing of Dresden was a justified act to help end the war, it was a tragedy. War is always a tragedy. It tramples on individual rights, and we should use reason to avoid it where possible. To do that, we need to understand the basis of war, we need to understand who would be our enemy and why, and that requires the kind of open communication that Obama appears to be prepared to engage in.

6/12/2009 06:34:00 pm  
Blogger KG said...

"..we need to understand who would be our enemy and why, and that requires the kind of open communication that Obama appears to be prepared to engage in."
Oh yeah, "open communication" will do it all right...
I'm sure the animals responsible for Beslan would have been deterred by some open communication.
It's dangerous utopian rubbish you're peddling there David S. and it's naivety such as that which just got possibly the most dangerous American President ever, elected.
The lesson of history is that who values freedom must be prepared to fight for it and no amount of new-age gobbledegook will change that.

6/12/2009 07:03:00 pm  
Blogger KG said...

Christ, I loathe pacifists!

6/12/2009 07:04:00 pm  
Anonymous LGM said...

KG

You may as well say, "I'm all in favour of avoiding civilian casualties, except for when I'm not."

Had you considered your line of argument is based on collectivisation of individuals. Comments such as 'blurring lines between civilians and military' and the like. Collectives... Deal with individuals and things become a lot different.

The issue is not under what circumstances it is sort of OK to kill civilians or even about how hard it is to avoid killing civilians or even about killing military personnel, it is about the identification of those individuals who are initiating violence against you. Then it is about determining what to do about them.

I'd submit that the destruction of a city packed full of refugees is immoral- a terrible criminal action. I'd say that a similar situation persists with regards to nuking Teheran or Medina. I'd say that you can't possibly seriously believe that every individual you'd be killing by undertaking such actions is a terrorist supporter, let alone a muslim.

On the other hand, targeted, effective action is exactly what should be undertaken. Go straight to the source of the trouble. Give 'em hell.

BTW Obama is a right piece of work wouldn't you say? Or is he going to get off scot free today?

LGM

6/12/2009 07:29:00 pm  
Anonymous David S. said...

I think it's naive to believe that war will continue to be a viable option in the future. Continued technological development and war will eventually become mutually exclusive.

I don't see how you could view any of the potential outcomes of modern warfare, and by modern I mean warfare including nuclear arms, as being a sustainable option to deciding disputes. We're lucky ATM because nuclear weapons require an incredible amount of resources to acquire, but what happens if weapons of similar impact become easier to obtain?

The only way to prevent your enemies from obtaining the same weapons you have is to try and prohibit them, but prohibition doesn't work, it doesn't work with drugs, it doesn't work with opinions.

Regardless of how difficult, or unlikely that "utopian rubbish" is, it's the only outcome that will allow society to continue to develop. As such I think it's inevitable, Though I'm sure there will be plenty of bloodshed before enough people realise the futility of using violence to solve problems, instead of reason.

6/12/2009 07:40:00 pm  
Blogger KG said...

"Collectives... Deal with individuals and things become a lot different."
Sure--which is why my strong preference is to respond to aggression with targeted killings of those who initiate it.
But obviously no politician wants to see that, for equally obvious reasons, so they use armies to fight the wars for them. (and yes, I know that's a gross oversimplification but this is only a comments box after all.)

As for Obama--I find it impossible to write about that disgusting little gangster without descending into obscenities...so I won't. ;-)

"Continued technological development and war will eventually become mutually exclusive."
Really? Do you have anything to support that?
In a race between technology and some islamist nutter releasing a CBW agent into the water supplies of major cities, my money's on the nutter, because bureaucrats are far too slow to respond to potential and actual threats.
My belief is that the technology, whether it be CBW, cyber or nuclear warfare will make the end of civilisation inevitable as soon as it falls into the hands of primitives who care nothing for civilised values.
Either we grow a pair and deal with those individual leaders ruthlessly or we're staring down the barrel of defeat.

(I also believe that 'universal peace' would be a disaster for our species, but that's a whole other subject)

6/12/2009 08:57:00 pm  
Blogger KG said...

Now I'm off to work a night shift--there are welfare bludgers to support, after all. :-(

6/12/2009 08:59:00 pm  
Anonymous David S. said...

Me - "Continued technological development and war will eventually become mutually exclusive."

KG - "Really? Do you have anything to support that?"

Yes, I do. Your own words, among other things.

"My belief is that the technology, whether it be CBW, cyber or nuclear warfare will make the end of civilisation inevitable as soon as it falls into the hands of primitives who care nothing for civilised values."

Your solution is to kill them. I think killing them will lead to more violence, and will simply create more "primitives who care nothing for civilised values"

My solution is to understand the environmental circumstances that lead to people wanting to strap bombs to themselves, fly planes into buildings, and declare jihad against the west. After all, we don't have to kill anyone, people die eventually anyway, they die and they take their stupid ideas with them.

Ideas like...

"(I also believe that 'universal peace' would be a disaster for our species, but that's a whole other subject)"

If by 'universal peace' you mean an end to violence between people, this really is a baffling thing to say, even if you think that it's unachievable. Quite an achievement really, considering how little human behaviour surprises me.

6/12/2009 10:11:00 pm  
Anonymous Falafulu Fisi said...

David S said...
The only way to prevent your enemies from obtaining the same weapons you have is to try and prohibit them, but prohibition doesn't work...

Umm! Ask the Israeli Mossad about that. It is something doable, even if the gain is short term, but it was is doing it. In the 1970s, the Mossad warned European scientists (specifically physicists) not to take job offers from Egypt to work on their nuclear weapon programs. Scientists who ignored the warnings and chose to travel to Egypt were eventually assasinated. The word about this quickly spread and it stopped a lot of scientists from accepting those job offers. Those offers weren't something advertised in the newspaper, etc, but the Mossad followed the trails of Egyptian agents in Europe who were on a shopping list to find scientists who couldn't refuse a sweet pay package to work on their nuclear program .Egypt's program was handicapped because of lack of expertise and eventually abandoned.

The Israeli took direct action in 1981 by bombing the Iragi nuclear facility which was completely destroyed. It only delayed the Iraqi's program, but if not for the Gulf War 1, the Iraqi would have succeeded by mid to end of the 1990s.

Was it a good thing that Isreal prohibited Egypt & Iraq from trying to build nuclear weapon then? Yes, definitely.

6/13/2009 03:13:00 am  
Anonymous Falafulu Fisi said...

David S said...
My solution is to understand the environmental circumstances that lead to people wanting to strap bombs to themselves, fly planes into buildings, and declare jihad against the west.

Excellent solution David. I bet that if the CIA identified the trainers/mentors of suicide bombers, I am sure that they will take up your offer to send you (on your own) to those individuals to meet them in person and sing the Kumbaya, My Lord Song ... , and I am sure that the would-be suicide bombers will change their mind. Are you keen to offer your idea to the CIA so that they arrange a meeting between you and those suicide bombers master-minds? One thing those suicide bombers and their backers love and we all know that. They love to sing Kumbaya, My Lord Song ... with Westerners such as yourself and afterwards, they will behead you and put the video up on YouTube, and that's their understanding of your naive approach.

David said...
After all, we don't have to kill anyone, people die eventually anyway, they die and they take their stupid ideas with them.

Who's WE ?

6/13/2009 03:25:00 am  
Blogger KG said...

KG - "Really? Do you have anything to support that?"

"Yes, I do. Your own words, among other things."
My own words do nothing of the sort--quite the reverse. Perhaps you need lessons in comprehension to go along with your 'peace studies' claptrap.
'Your solution is to kill them. I think killing them will lead to more violence, and will simply create more "primitives who care nothing for civilised values"'
Now, read this very, very slowly:
When you have followers of an ideology which is bent on the destruction of civilisation, intent on subjugating anybody and everybody who doesn't subscribe to their rotten ideology, not killing them will merely allow them to proceed unhindered with their program.
Not killing them will NOT convert them to civilised values.
What you're advocating is surrender, a policy of cowardice.
A policy which will get us enslaved or killed in any case.
You're either naive or foolish and either way you're desperately in need of a face-to-face, up close and personal with some real evil in order to disabuse you of your utopian idiocy.
Some primitive fucker who will throw acid in the face of schoolgirls for the crime of going to school would love to have a word with you, David. Or perhaps you'd care to share your feelgood theories with the animals who sodomised and then blew up the kids of Beslan? Or better yet,their parents?
You see, the trouble with people like you is that you live in a cosy, protected bubble and you get to mistake that bubble for the real world.
I'm not at all surprised at your bafflement concerning my remark about universal peace being a disaster for our species, so I'll give you the short version:
Robert Ardrey described our species as "the killer ape". That's what we are. That's why the canine incisors. War and violence are the inheritance we carry and no amount of social engineering from fools like you will undo countless thousands of years of evolution. We're the product of the urge to conflict, of endless generations of competitiveness and tribalism, and if you reckon it's possible to undo that with U.N. resolutions and worn cliches I wish you luck.
Actually, no, I don't wish you luck at all. Because for all the carnage and tragedy our species is responsible for, those same urges are inextricably bound up with our achievements as well.

6/13/2009 09:21:00 am  
Blogger WAKE UP said...

Yep, Dresden was the only city damaged in the war, and the only one where non-combatants got killed "unneccessarily" - and it happened to be in Germany, which makes it worse, of course.

Why don't you check out what Hitler really wanted for Germany at the War's end, you dumb fuck, and what heroes like Stauffenberg said way earlier. Here we are, 65 years later, and you and your ilk STILL DON'T GET IT.

You stupid, self-indulgent, dumb bastard. When the next one comes, let me know which trench you'll be in - so I can be in another one.

Oh I forgot - you wouldn't know that that remark was about either.

6/13/2009 11:33:00 am  
Blogger Diamond Mair said...

David, are you TRULY THAT ensconced in your ivory tower? You mention "open communication that Obama appears to be prepared to engage in."
Are you high, or just lacking in intellectual acumen? We don't even KNOW that he's Constitutionally qualified to BE President, he sneaks legislation through - 'open communication', my aching a$$!

THEN you say "My solution is to understand the environmental circumstances that lead to people wanting to strap bombs to themselves, fly planes into buildings, and declare jihad against the west." PLEASE!! Here in the U.S. we've been worried about the criminals' poor widdle feelings for about the past 40 years & what has THAT 'enlightened viewpoint' gotten us? Up to 300 serial killers at any one time; spree & attempted spree killings {see shooting of Army recruiters; see also shooting at the Holocaust Museum} ...................... you REALLY need to get out more, and gain more experience of LIFE ........................

Semper Fi'
DM

6/13/2009 12:44:00 pm  
Anonymous Mo said...

I think Mr. Ardrey needs to spend a few months trying to survive in Africa with just his wits.

6/13/2009 02:53:00 pm  
Anonymous David S. said...

Falafulu Fisi - I stated earlier that we've been lucky because nuclear weapons require a large amount of resources to contruct. I guess it was an oversimplification to say that prohibition doesn't work at all, but it certainly has limited potential. If (or most likely - when), as I stated earlier, weapons of similar power become avaliable that do not require the infrastructure that nuclear weapons require, or are easier to obtain, a policy of prohibition will cease to function effectively.

As for the rest of you, none of you have countered my argument. That being that without putting an end to this kind of conflict, human technological and social advancement will hit a stonewall. The only significant assumption this is based on is that weapons will eventually advance to the point where we'd annihilate ourselves trying to solve such problems violently.

Your arguments basically come down to "we've always been this way, and we always will".. well, if change is necessary for our own survival, natural selection will see to it.

This isn't a new idea, Albert Einstien said, "I do not know with what weapons WW3 will be fought, but WW4 will be fought with sticks and stones"

6/13/2009 03:31:00 pm  
Blogger MK said...

"War is always a tragedy. It tramples on individual rights, and we should use reason to avoid it where possible."

Yes David, millions were killed in the great wars, that is a tragedy. When you say, 'where possible', can you outline briefly under what circumstances we can go to war? Do people on our side have to be killed, if so how many? Do we have to all agree to go to war, a vote perhaps?

"My solution is to understand the environmental circumstances that lead to people wanting to strap bombs to themselves, fly planes into buildings, and declare jihad against the west."

So what are these environmental circumstances then? Is it money, then should we give them money, if so how much?

And what does the western world need to do to stop 'muslims' [they weren't hindus, japanese, african, mexican etc, so don't call them 'people'] from flying planes into buildings? And don't tell me that we need to talk, that's just wiffle-waffle, what do we need to do?

And what do you do if they don't want to talk to you?

And what do you do if the reason they want to kill you is to force you to convert to Islam and subjugate you?

6/13/2009 04:08:00 pm  
Anonymous David S. said...

MK, I'd be required to write a book or ten to answer your questions adequately, but I'll give it a go anyway..

"When you say, 'where possible', can you outline briefly under what circumstances we can go to war?"

I prefer to debate specific decisions rather than hypothetical situations. The opinion I've been putting forward here is quite broad, but I think it's justified when viewing the potential outcomes of continueing to use violence as our primary method resolving disputes, dispite the fact that it has worked in the past.

"So what are these environmental circumstances then? Is it money, then should we give them money, if so how much?"

Economics are usually a major factor in most conflicts. The sociological conditions that lead to the Nazis gaining control of germany were mainly created from the economic fallout of WW1, for an obvious example.

Simply throwing money at underdeveloped countries won't work, and nor will a direct interventionist approach. I think that by utilising trade as leverage, and by fostering diplomatic channels, we can promote the basics of what a developing country needs to advance, peace, the protection of property rights and trade. Obviously it's a lot more complicated than just that, and yes it requires "talk", lots of it in fact, but I wouldn't call it wiffle waffle.

"And what do you do if the reason they want to kill you is to force you to convert to Islam and subjugate you?"

Human beings are emotionally motivated. Religion and ideology are both a cause and effect in a process of sociological evolution. However emotional responses to stimuli provide the basis for action. Specific emotional responses are usually the result of the environment a person is exposed to at a young age, before a person has a real grasp of the mechanics behind such ideologies, so I actually think they play a deminished role when compared to say, the effect of being exposed to a warzone at a young age.

It comes as no surprise to me that places that are exposed to violence on such a level also foster the growth of violent fundamentalist ideologies, the best way to halt the growth of such ideologies would be to assist, or at least allow, the environment in which they exist to advance.

All human decisions are a just a link in a chain. If a desire exists, there's a reason for it. If it is beyond our ability to alter that reason sufficiently to avoid its outcome, then violence is necessary. However, as complicated as it is, that decision can't be made rationally without first understanding the basis of that desire, and I think it's an option that will eventually no longer exist for us as a species. We should learn how to avoid it.

6/13/2009 06:02:00 pm  
Blogger WAKE UP said...

I'll bet that you live in a democratic, stable, Western nation for which brave men gave their lives so that you can spout this rubbish. Have you no shame?

I'll tell you when your half-baked philosophy will work - when we've ring-fenced all the bastards who don't even understand that language, to stop them killing us off which we debate your ideas in comfort. And that takes BALLS FIRST - which is what all you peaceniks don't get.

You say you prefer to deal with specifics. Well, here's the basic one: FIRST, secure the nation and its people. You have a choice - either help with that, or give aid and comfort to the enemy (which makes you a traitor). Until we reach the nirvana you espouse, those are your only two choices. Bite it and grow up.

6/13/2009 06:15:00 pm  
Blogger WAKE UP said...

typo: "...WHILE we debate your ideas..."

6/13/2009 06:17:00 pm  
Blogger MK said...

"MK, I'd be required to write a book or ten to answer your questions adequately, but I'll give it a go anyway.."

If your solutions will require 10 books, then you should write them and present them, otherwise there is no point whining and ranting at other's methods if you have none yourself and/or cannot state yours briefly. Otherwise i can just claim that your waffle about peace is just that, waffle and simply say that explaining it will take 45 books and that's it.

"The opinion I've been putting forward here is quite broad, but I think it's justified when viewing the potential outcomes of continueing to use violence as our primary method resolving disputes, dispite the fact that it has worked in the past."

So you are saying that violence is justified then, since you say that is has worked. I mean, why then give up on something that does work for something that's not really tried and is apparently too hard to explain?

If you want to debate specific decisions then go ahead, tell me which war was justified and why? Which war was not and why?

"Economics are usually a major factor in most conflicts. The sociological conditions that lead to the Nazis gaining control of germany were mainly created from the economic fallout of WW1, for an obvious example."

So what are you saying, we should give money or economic aid to countries before they turn violent and attack us?

"Simply throwing money at underdeveloped countries won't work, and nor will a direct interventionist approach. I think that by utilising trade as leverage, and by fostering diplomatic channels....."

I agree, encouraging countries to develop and helping them is good, but if they don't want it, i would then employ a stick to aid this. Yes, a lot of talking is good, but only if it's getting results. At what point would you say the talking is getting nowhere and it's time to open the can? Pick a specific example if you like.

"Human beings are emotionally motivated. Religion and ideology are both a cause and effect in a process of sociological evolution. However emotional responses to stimuli provide the basis for action. Specific emotional responses are usually the result of the environment a person is exposed to at a young age, before a person has a real grasp of the mechanics behind such ideologies, so I actually think they play a deminished role when compared to say, the effect of being exposed to a warzone at a young age."

So how would you propose say, stopping the indoctrination of young muslims in say Yemen, Pakistan or Saudi Arabia. Should we give them economic aid in return for not telling their young to kill Jews and Infidels?

"It comes as no surprise to me that places that are exposed to violence on such a level also foster the growth of violent fundamentalist ideologies, the best way to halt the growth of such ideologies would be to assist, or at least allow, the environment in which they exist to advance."

All well and good, but how do you do that in a Pakistan or Afghanistan, without physically intervening? What if you set up a centre to educate girls there and extremists fire-bomb the place, should we shoot back and kill them or learn to suck in the fire? You see it's all well and good to just declare that we must help them to advance and leave it at that, what if they don't want your aid, what if they take your aid and tell you to go fuck yourself after that?

"All human decisions are a just a link in a chain. If a desire exists, there's a reason for it. If it is beyond our ability to alter that reason sufficiently to avoid its outcome, then violence is necessary. However, as complicated as it is, that decision can't be made rationally without first understanding the basis of that desire, and I think it's an option that will eventually no longer exist for us as a species. We should learn how to avoid it."

I wasn't asking for an explanation of human behavior and why it must be changed, i was asking how to change that behavior non-violently, which is what i think you are proposing.

6/13/2009 10:20:00 pm  
Anonymous David S. said...

"So you are saying that violence is justified then, since you say that is has worked. I mean, why then give up on something that does work for something that's not really tried and is apparently too hard to explain?"

Firstly, by saying, "it's worked", I'm saying that violence has often served the purpose of the people who use it, that it has been the ultimate authority when solving a great number of disputes. Although I think it's difficult to judge the morality of specific acts. The bombing of Dresden is a prime example of this.

My justification was made in the second post I made,

"Continued technological development and war will eventually become mutually exclusive."

I don't think the somewhat pacifistic view I hold would be realistic in another era, it's been shaped by the times. I think that the effectiveness of violence will deminish as technology advances. Anyone wishing to promote specific behaviour will need to employ other methods, as using violence to resolve disputes as we have done in the past will no longer be a realistic option if weapons akin to nuclear weapons are available to both sides.

"I wasn't asking for an explanation of human behavior and why it must be changed, i was asking how to change that behavior non-violently, which is what i think you are proposing."

In order to change behavior non-violently, you must understand it. Although I don't think anyone has any concrete answers on how to achieve this, I think that methods will eventually become necessary, and that a careful consideration of the problem will aid this. You can consider it a challenge, or you can continue to promote what will eventually, as a process of natural selection, become an extinct ideology.

I actually think that the "why" is often more relevant than the "how". If there is a reason why a change must occur, given enough time evolution answers the question of "how", survival of the fittest seems to be a universal constant.

6/14/2009 12:47:00 am  
Blogger MK said...

So what you're really saying is, no war under any circumstances. You just can't say it, for some strange reason.

6/14/2009 02:14:00 am  
Blogger Diamond Mair said...

Does nobody know/remember the doctrine of MAD anymore?? One doesn't bring a knife to gunfight ................

David is apparently an pie-in-the-sky, let's all just get along type - and unless/until he's confronted by the evil out there that would happily deny him his right to life, he'll continue spouting his brand of pabulum ................ and he sleeps safely at night because rough men stand ready to do violence on HIS behalf - God save us from 'metrosexuals' ................

Semper Fi'
DM

6/14/2009 03:15:00 am  
Blogger MK said...

".....and unless/until he's confronted by the evil out there that would happily deny him his right to life, he'll continue spouting his brand of pabulum...."

Actually, from what he's told me so far DM, he'll continue spouting his brand of pabulum even then, but he will set up a study or project of some sort to understand the nature and 'root cause' of what is attacking him, so that he can better understand it. Unless he was being dishonest when he told me all this.

6/14/2009 11:32:00 am  
Anonymous David S. said...

I haven't said "no war under any circumstances"

I actually said, "If it is beyond our ability to alter that reason sufficiently to avoid its outcome, then violence is necessary."

My position is that eventually, a war may actually involve mutually assured destruction. After all if a fundamentalist Muslim is prepared to strap bombs to himself, or fly a plane into a building, then why do you think such a person would not initiate such a war despite it's outcome?

Without understanding the root cause of these fundamentalists and their desires, they may come to exist again in the future when we will not have the obvious technological superiority that we possess today. We have enough breathing room in the present to try and understand their position with the purpose of bringing this long conflict to an end without violence. I'm not saying that war will not be necessary, but we owe it to ourselves and to future generations to make the attempt.

You're attempting to paint me as someone who would simply lie down and take it if attacked, it's dishonest when I've already stated the opposite. None of you know me, if you can't understand the point I'm making then fine, but don't make shit up to make yourselves feel better about it.

6/14/2009 03:36:00 pm  
Blogger MK said...

"I haven't said "no war under any circumstances""

Then tell us which war was justified.

Or outline the circumstances where going to war is justified.

Otherwise your position has moved from 'no war under any circumstances' to 'no war until root causes have been determined but there is no actual point at which we give up on root cause searching', which is just the convoluted way of rejecting war under any circumstance.

"I'm not saying that war will not be necessary, but we owe it to ourselves and to future generations to make the attempt."

I don't see anyone stopping you, do let us know the results of your attempts when you're done alright.

6/14/2009 03:57:00 pm  
Anonymous David S. said...

I think it's difficult (not to mention fairly pointless) to judge the morality of decisions that I've had no part in. I described all wars as a "tragedy" to promote the emotional outlook I think will aid us in the future. Justification would come down to effectivenes.

Vietnam for example, didn't really acheive anything, I think it was unjustified.

WW2 was very effective, I don't think we had a choice but to fight it, it was justified.

I think the current inhabitants of South Korea would think that war was justified.

Iraq, well, we haven't seen the full effects of that war, so the jury's still out. I always considered that if GWBs vision for the outcome of that war was realistic it would be justfied, but I've leaned pretty heavily on the "unjustified" side of the line due to the fragmented nature of the political landscape in the region, not to mention the very serious risk of encouraging an environment that leads to more religious extremism. I could be wrong, and I also think that the improvements to US foreign policy that Obama is initiating could affect that outcome as well. I would not have initiated it.

In order to justfify a war prior to initiating it you'd have to be able to prove that the outcome of that specific war would be favourable, or more favourable than not initiating it. I think this is good advice regardless of your views on the morality of war.

With increasing levels of technology the magnitude of unfavourable outcomes increases, and could eventually eclipse even the most favourable of possible outcomes. So, avoiding war should be the ultimate end-game we're looking for as a species.

6/14/2009 04:53:00 pm  
Blogger MK said...

Finally, thanks for providing some examples, ok now i can believe that you're not a complete pacifist.

"I think it's difficult (not to mention fairly pointless) to judge the morality of decisions that I've had no part in."

That pretty much rules out all discussion then, after all i wasn't directly involved in say the vietnam war, ww2, ww1 etc, even though i have benefited from the outcomes. I wasn't involved in the Iraq/Afghanistan wars either.

"I described all wars as a "tragedy" to promote the emotional outlook I think will aid us in the future. Justification would come down to effectivenes."

Fair enough.

Thanks for the examples, that clears up a lot.

"In order to justfify a war prior to initiating it you'd have to be able to prove that the outcome of that specific war would be favourable, or more favourable than not initiating it. I think this is good advice regardless of your views on the morality of war."

I agree that it is good advice, but how do you prove this, at a court of some sort, to the citizens via the vote?

What if you start the war assuming that it's the best outcome and then in the middle of it, it all turns to shit. What constitutes this, lots of questions around this, but i won't go into that, we'd both be here for a long time.

"With increasing levels of technology the magnitude of unfavourable outcomes increases, and could eventually eclipse even the most favourable of possible outcomes. So, avoiding war should be the ultimate end-game we're looking for as a species."

Fair enough, i agree, we shouldn't start wars just for the sake of it, but we must be prepared to go to war if we have to and i also believe that technology is not limited or going to stop at some point.

Just because a shitbag country gets nukes, doesn't mean that it's all over, walk away, bend over etc We only need to NOT hinder those amongst us who will develop the technology to neutralize their weaponry.

6/14/2009 07:12:00 pm  
Anonymous David S. said...

"Just because a shitbag country gets nukes, doesn't mean that it's all over, walk away, bend over etc We only need to NOT hinder those amongst us who will develop the technology to neutralize their weaponry."

I'm not suggesting we walk away, or "bend over" as you put it, under such circumstances. I also think that while it's a good idea to continue to develop defenses to advanced technological warfare, I think it would be unwise to rely on maintaining an "upper hand" when, in my opinion, diplomacy is still very much in it's infancy.

Put simply, civilisation has not had the kind of reasons to avoid wide scale conflict that exist today because of nuclear weapons. The cold war set a precident for this, and I don't think that dismissing the possibility of finding a solution through a careful analysis of the causal factors for such conflicts is in our best interest, and may in fact provide the only long term solution. When you consider how long we've been making war, and how long we've had this reason for avoiding it, we really haven't been at it for very long in the grand scheme of things.

As for your other questions, It would require a lot of debate, and I'm not sure I'm really qualified to provide detailed explanations. The point I've made above doesn't really require me to be an expert on anything to justify, as it only requires two assumptions, those being:

A. Increasing levels of technology has the capability of rendering violent confrontation a no-win scenario.

B. Such conflicts are the result of causal factors that can be understood.

6/14/2009 08:58:00 pm  
Blogger MK said...

"I'm not suggesting we walk away, or "bend over" as you put it, under such circumstances."

I wasn't suggesting that you were, merely stating my own position.

"I also think that while it's a good idea to continue to develop defenses to advanced technological warfare, I think it would be unwise to rely on maintaining an "upper hand" when, in my opinion, diplomacy is still very much in it's infancy."

Why not both.

"Increasing levels of technology has the capability of rendering violent confrontation a no-win scenario."

Yes it does, but that doesn't mean that everyone will develop at the same rate and always have the same weapons, you only need to stay ahead of the shitbags and kill them, if they insist on trying to kill you.

6/15/2009 12:41:00 am  

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