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Old 09-13-2001, 02:56 PM   #21
starvingstudent
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Default Please don't get caught up in all-out-war rhetoric

Now that the initial shock is starting to subside, it's time to ask ourselves how to respond. Though a culprit has not been out-and-out declared, Colin Powell has made it clear that bin Laden is by far the most suspected. Pres. Bush has used the term "war" dozens of times, yet not used the term "rebuild" once, so it is obvious that he is intending on responding with a conventional war. Nationwide this has received immense support, but it is really worrying me. Here's why:



1.) He has made a statement that he will not only go after terrorists but 'the governments that harbor them'. In other words, he is planning on making war against Afghanistan.



2.) Afghanistan, though economically insignificant, is a good military power. It should not be forgotten that two decades ago Afghan rebels soundly defeated the Soviet army in what has been called "Russia's Vietnam." Despite our numerical and technological superiority, a war with Afghanistan has only a moderate chance of being a victory for the US. The technological advantage is also not as large as one would think, because the US supplied large amounts of arms to the Afghan rebels durring the war with Russia. During the two decades since, both Russia and the USA have supplied modern military equipment to the factions they supported, and there is no short supply of Western military equipment in the country.



3.) A conventional war, especially American-style with lots of bombing, is a completely inappropriate response to an act like this. The death toll in Manhattan, though probably over 10,000, is absolutely miniscule compared to the hundreds of thousands, or perhaps millions, of innocent civilians killed in the firebombings of Tokyo and Dresden, or the "Christmas bombings" of Hanoi and Haiphong, or the "secret wars" against Laos and Cambodia.







I'm not claiming to have all the answers--I'm just a confused, upset twenty-year-old trying to make sense out of everything. I don't know what we _should_ do, but war doesn't seem like it would help anything. Would bin Laden really just sit around and wait to be picked up if we started bombing Afghanistan and sending marines? Or would we not accomplish anything, while killing large numbers of Afghan civilians? Remember that a large number, perhaps a majority, of Afghan civilians do not even support the Taliban government to begin with.



I just hope that people can concentrate on helping those in Manhattan and DC rebuild and heal the wounds without rushing into something that could cause an even greater loss of innocent human life.
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Old 09-13-2001, 04:39 PM   #22
LimeSqueezr
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Default Wow, Jefferson Davis woulda loved you...

That's exactly what every slave-owning planter said: "The fact that you do not understand or accept our way of life is in no way a reason for you to export your idea of what life should be...let us live as we wish." Never mind if that means a miserable existence for people who do NOT wish to live that way but have no choice.



At least the goverment of the Confederacy was gallant enough they didn't go around murdering thousands of totally innocent civilians or giving refuge to people who did such things. There's nothing wrong with "exporting" a little freedom and democracy and at the same time kicking out oppressive regimes that do NOT let their own people "live as they wish." I believe that's a big part of what we did in WWII. Today Japanese culture is still very different from ours but at least it's a democratic society no longer under the iron fist of a few megalomaniac militarists. I'm all for cultural diversity but lets face it, some so-called "cultures" just plain suck and the thugs forcibly imposing their so-called "culture" on an entire people, while committing other atrocities as well such as the harboring of terrorists, need to be dispersed. I understand that much.
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Old 09-13-2001, 07:24 PM   #23
tmockler
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Default Re: Please don

"I'm just a confused, upset twenty-year-old"



That says it all.
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Old 09-13-2001, 08:26 PM   #24
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Default A little of both

You are correct about Afghanistan. The Pahktuns are probably the world's foremost mountain warriors, and the way of the gun is instilled virtually at birth there. They are a fierce, determined people, ruled by a well meaning but uncomprimising and ruthless theocracy...but most of the mountain tribes and warlords are unhappy with the Talibs.



You'll just have to trust me on this one, because I don't have the latest copy of Jane's in front of me: The Taliban is a product of Pakistani intelligence service (the ISI) efforts. The warlords and tribes fight on and off almost constantly there. Over 1/2 the country is mined, and weapons are abundant to the point of absurdity. Wether (defunct) Warsaw Pact materiel or NATO standard armament, anything may be had in the famous Markets of Kabul, including tanks, to the highest bidder.



People like "The Lion of Panshir", Ahmed Shah Massoud (rumored dead in an attack this week), with a 6000 man army of fighters that are the main reason the Russians got tossed years ago. He's been fighting the Talibs ever since, for a total of 18 straight years of war. Those are dedicated, hardened men, afraid of nothing and trained to the bleeding edge of sharp.



War in Afghanistan means be prepared to lose men, MANY men, but also be prepared to have allies. It will cost, but with resolve it will be possible. However, it will not be the Gulf War. It will be closer to Vietnam in difficulty, but here I think it would be possible.



And I'm disappointed by what they are teaching in college now...Dresden wrong? The firebombing of Tokyo? Did you not learn of the holocaust and Pearl Harbor? What about the Death March of Bataan? What about torture and "re-education" in POW camps by the Viet Cong political officers? What of the huge piles of skulls made by the Khmer Rouge, and the destruction of ancient temples by the same? All these things are reasons we fought and died for. Do you truly think the guilts of the world fall on our heads; that we were wrong for fighting back? Admittedly, we all have done wrong sometimes: the internment of the Americans who were of Japanese descent, for instance. However, these instances do not overshadow the heroism required by the soldiers who are the reason you are here today saying what you are.



But most of all, what of the huge number of civilians killed just now? This was an act of war; this truly is another "Day that will live in infamy". Any that will dare to protect the terrorists that did this will be soon to learn the wrath of a people who are slow to fight, but implacable in their resolve. What else is there, except to make war on men who make war on us?



Too long have we sat idly by whilst the world around us turns. Wars rage across the world this day that most Americans know nothing about, but I hade my hobby to follow. Algeria, Sudan, Sierra Leone, both Congos, the disputed region of Kashmir, Checnya, Albania...men fight and die every day for what they believe in, civilian and military both. Sometimes, war is the only answer - and it is high time that America learned that you have to fight for what you believe in.



I believe that it is time to show those who will attack us that Americans are not the foolish, decadent and weak people they believe us to be.



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Old 09-13-2001, 08:29 PM   #25
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Default Ride on Saturday

3 of my friends and I will be riding Saturday, all with flags on our bikes. I encourage everyone here to do the same, and to pray for the living and the dead.



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Old 09-14-2001, 02:14 AM   #26
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Default Re: Wow, Jefferson Davis woulda loved you...

A bit different, I would think. Besides the fact that the conflict was between 2 regions that were part of the same government. The slave owners had no moral or ethical justification for keeping their slaves under control, and imprisoned. Their impetus for doing this was primarily financial. It was a cheap easy way to keep the plantations running. The religions that they supposedly believed in did not condone the actions.

The countries that you wish to "save" from themselves often do not want our "help" (including their citizens). You seem to advocate forcing our way on them. In what way is this different from the regimes that are already in place?

In Japan their were also economic pressures applied by the US that were at least a factor in the attack. To finish it off the US bombed purely civilian targets killing over 240,000 civilians.

Your words above, with little change, could be spoken by the terrorists in defense of the attacks on the WTC and the Pentagon. The idea of "right and wrong" or "good vs. evil" is completely relative to one's upbringing, both cultural and religious.
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Old 09-14-2001, 04:33 AM   #27
doohan
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Default Re: A little of both

Well that was well said to say the least and it took the words straight from my mouth. The new generations have no idea the price of freedom. How much longer must we sit by and watch freedom erode? This was an act of War plain and simple and must be delt with accordingly. Don't be so naive as to think this was the act of a few fundamentalists.

Well said Fox
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Old 09-14-2001, 04:50 AM   #28
LimeSqueezr
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Default One more time...

Helping establish democracy is not "forcing our way on them." Once EVERYONE has the right to vote in a country, it's a safe bet they won't elect a regime that horribly oppresses half the population and then some. But whatever they do elect is their own business. There are many of our allies who elect leaders that would not be the first choice of the US government or the American people and implement laws that would not be at all popular here. But we live with their decisions and generally get along because it's the choice of the *people* there. NO *truly* free and democratic electorate on earth has ever embraced a government that deliberately blows up innocent civilians suspected of nothing at all with no direct military objective, and/or harbors arch-villains who do that sort of thing. It just doesn't happen because of the basic human decency that's in the *majority* of people everywhere. We can't be the enforcers of democracy everywhere, granted, but when there's a compelling reason sometimes we *must* be for our own safety if nothing else. Nuff said --go read some history books if you need further explanation.
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Old 09-14-2001, 05:08 AM   #29
chrisrm
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Default Re: A little of both

Please, when you're discussing these things, spare a thought for the wars still running 25 years on in Ireland, funded by naive people in the US. In Northern Ireland and in mainland Britain, we've been living with the crazies for much longer, so that bombs and innocents killed are an ever-present threat. If you think of terrorism, start at home and starve the UDA and IRA of funds,



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Old 09-14-2001, 05:39 AM   #30
numbnutz
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Default Re: Post-attack Motorcycle Updates

I have noticed everyone has been a lot nicer on the road! Ive even stopped glaring at people using cell phones whilst driving. I can miss AMA at Willows..no prob! I hope the country can get back on its feet..and Colin Edwards and Ben Bostrom can get back to business. I was never more proud of them as the coming weeks before..Now Im doubly so. I even see players on COUNTER-STRIKE (a popular internet anti - terrorist game..you know you play it!!!) being really tight and close. No bad humor going on..lots of blessings ICQ'd whilst playing. Can I really believe we have all those freedoms some take for granted? But its another way to communicate with fellow Americans(like now..at this site)..and Im all for that. God Bless.
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