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Is Bush Crazy?(117 posts)

Is Bush Crazy?Wayne
Dec 11, 2002 8:52 AM
I consider myself pretty middle of the road when it comes to politics but this whole Iraq = Fighting terrorism thing seems like a big smoke screen (for what I don't know). And now this: http://www.cnn.com/2002/US/12/11/bush.weapons.security/index.html
Just who exactly is he threatening? If a nuke is set off here in the US it's 99.9% likely to be by some extremist muslim group with no direct ties to a government and even less so to a people. So, are we going to go nuke a major population of people who at best might sympathize with the nut jobs but more likely could care less about the US or the Terrorists and just want to get on with their lives. And furthermore, does Bush really think a group that would do something like this cares that we might retaliate and kill thousands upon thousands of Muslims? Thats just what they want, something to start an East vs. West holy war.
did we read the same article?DougSloan
Dec 11, 2002 8:58 AM
It doesn't say anything about retaliating against a nation due solely to an ambiguous sourced terrorist strike. It says we reserve the right to retaliate against *nations" that use WMD. I think you are extrapolating or inferring a bit too much in efforts to condemn Bush.

Doug
Obviously not equally well...Wayne
Dec 11, 2002 9:08 AM
but still what's the point? It's almost like the Bush adminstration goes out of it's way to make the US look like a bunch of cowboys to the rest of the world. Maybe they need to hire some public (world) relations consultants?
maybe that's the pointmohair_chair
Dec 11, 2002 9:23 AM
I think Bush is making it very clear that the US is going to become cowboys again, and you best not mess with us and you best stay out of our way. No more tomahawk missles into desert shacks. No more worthless tempered responses. From now on, it's black helicopters with Rangers that will find you and teach you the meaning of death and destruction.

Or something like that.

It's all about rhetoric, and I am all for it. I'm tired of the US trying to appease everyone. Get rid of the consultants, because it's time to talk tough. It's time to talk direct. It's time to stand tall and make the cowards run for the hills. And why not? It doesn't cost us anything since the people who will get upset already hate us anyway.

Now where did I put my Stetson...
I assume that when you say that it will not "cost us anything"eyebob
Dec 11, 2002 9:28 AM
you mean the rhetoric and not the actions that might follow the rhetoric, right?

BT
how is this for rhetoric...mohair_chair
Dec 11, 2002 9:40 AM
Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty.

Guess who said that?
That's good rhetoric...Wayne
Dec 11, 2002 9:52 AM
I'm betting whoever said it can be shown to be a big hypocrite, since most nations foriegn policy are based on self-interest, as they should be.
Maybe FDR could have said it with something of a clear conscience until he became Stalin's buddy.
JFKDougSloan
Dec 11, 2002 10:00 AM
JFK was much more conservative than people credit him.
Believe me I'm all for...Wayne
Dec 11, 2002 9:38 AM
a military response when we're attacked. I think Afganistan was justified, I hope the CIA, Navy SEALS, etc are dealing some silent death to some terrorists as we speak.
Can someone remind me what Iraq did to us that makes us think we need to invade them for a second time?

And remember it's all about public relations, if you don't want your kids blown up by some nut some day, you better hope the Bush admininstration remembers that as well. You can win all the battles and still lose the war.
After re-reading it...Wayne
Dec 11, 2002 9:04 AM
it makes more sense. This is just more posturing by the Bush administration by threatening Iraq with nukes if they use their supposed WMD (some outdated nerve gasses?) against us. Seems like last time our conventional forces were pretty overwhelming. So, I would still ask what was the point of this? Are we really going to leave hole in the middle of Iraq that nobody can get near for the next 20 years without radiation suits? Which way are the prevailing winds overthere? I wonder what the Iranians or the Saudis/Israelis think about nuclear fall-out?
I think the point is deterrenceDougSloan
Dec 11, 2002 9:14 AM
I think the whole point, which is not new to this administration, is that use of WMD will be extremely and severely punished -- so harshly that your (the attacker) very existence is jeopardized. You not only jeopardize yourself, but your entire infrastructure and people, too. In other words, don't even think about it. It's sort of like when a SWAT team approaches a bad guy with a gun. The idea is to appear to be so overwhelming that only a psycho would consider attacking. Hopefully, nations' leaders are not psycho enough to jeopardize not only themselves, but their people, too. ("I hope the Russians [Iraqis] love their children too..." Sting)

Doug
I get it, but is it...Wayne
Dec 11, 2002 9:28 AM
necessary? Who is he talking to? Does anyone really believe the Iraqi's WMD amount to much more than some old nerve gas, etc.? Who else is there, North Korea? We're not messing with them, so were not even in range, so to speak.
I think it's just one more blunder in the public relations department that will increase resentment towards the US around the world, and for what?
To deter some 2-bit dictators?
agreeColnagoFE
Dec 11, 2002 10:16 AM
I love how politicians talk tough. We can already blow the world up many times over with our current stash of nukes and we'd be naive to think that other countries would just sit back and watch us blow the Middle-east into oblivion. If we begin to use them offensively again as we did in WWII it will sure be dark times for the entire world. Maybe we should make each politician offer up his kids to be on the front lines of such a war. That might make them think twice about so casually starting a fight where nobody really wins in the end.
It's definitely rhetoric...Wayne
Dec 11, 2002 10:27 AM
we'd never nuke anybody unless the survival of the country depended on it (I'd like to think). And personally, I think this whole Iraq thing is a big smoke screen to allow the republicans to ride out these rough economic times and the apparent lack of success in the war on terrorism (whether real or just perceived).
I know that the Iraqi army is suppose to be a shadow of it's former self, but shouldn't we be moving ships, troops, planes to the region if we are going to invade any time soon. Even more so since we don't have the land bases available to us this time, aren't we going to need a huge air/sea fleet to get troops in? Is any of this going on?
Umm, Wayne - You should get out moremoneyman
Dec 11, 2002 2:28 PM
And read something besides the comics. Here is a look at current US bases / forces in the area. FYI, that big empty space in the middle that is surrounded by US forces is Iraq.

$$
True, I don't pay all that muchWayne
Dec 12, 2002 5:36 AM
attention to the news (or the comics) but last I heard the Saudi's (Turkey and Kuwait as well ?) at least, said we could not use those bases for operations against Iraq. Has that changed, was I wrong in the first place?
yes...it is happening (nm)ColnagoFE
Dec 11, 2002 2:54 PM
casual?DougSloan
Dec 11, 2002 10:30 AM
I don't think anyone is going to "casually start a fight" using nuclear weapons. My bet is that we will never use them, unless there is a situation so grievous that the public would fervently demand it.

If Iraq nuked or poisoned thousands of us or our allies, I'd be on board in a second to say "nuke them into oblivion." They would not do it again, and others would certainly re-think it. That sounds harsh, but it's survival we are talking about. We must appear to be so tough, so menacing, so committed to following through on this that no one ever considers an attack. That's the point -- "We have a really big gun, and we WILL use it. Don't even think about it."

Doug
Instead of MAD now we have AD.Sintesi
Dec 11, 2002 11:43 AM
Assured Destruction. One thing you have to hand to Bush & Co., whether they are planning a real war or not, things are moving and shaking in the middle east. This talk + action is making the whole world take these issues seriously. Look how things are sailing along in Iraq, keeping my fingers crossed. If Bush applied the same pressure on Israel and Palestine they could knock that conflict out in a month.

Hey! Did anyone see my plan for peace in the Mid East? It only took 5 minutes and a paragraph of writing. Iron clad guarantee. You're welcome world. ; )
Instead of MAD now we have AD.sn69
Dec 11, 2002 5:02 PM
Funny you mention it that way. I was talking with the flag I work for today, specifically discussing the key characteristic that facilitated the MAD doctrine; the Soviets wanted to live, didn't want to die and were sane by normal human standards. Again, that conflict was about territorial and economic expansion, not about philosophy (not matter how much pro- or anti-Commie rhetoric there was).

This conflict is different...vastly so. We face an enemy without borders, with sophisticated C3I networks, with virtually unlimited financial resources, with little or no respect for human life--not even that of their own people, and with no fear of death. This is not Imperial Japan or the Fanatical Nazi War machine. This is not the belieagured conscripted Army that we slaughtered in the Gulf War. This is whacky.

You're right...it's AD. And, speaking from "the inside," the thought of a nuclear exchange horrifies us too.
Instead of MAD now we have AD.Sintesi
Dec 12, 2002 5:25 AM
I used to think those kids back in the 50s had it bad living under all that propagandized fear, i.e. bomb shelters, "duck and cover" films, commie demonization. But the real way it will happen will be at the hands of some kook who actually wants to die. As Wayne said below, this stuff just ain't laying around and it will be hard for the wrong nut to get his hands on an A-bomb but I have no doubt that one way or another someone somewhere is going to do it in the not too distant future.

Where are you stationed? (you're in the military right?) I'm sorry I didn't understand the "flag" term.
Instead of MAD now we have AD.sn69
Dec 12, 2002 6:11 AM
Flag=admiral. I'm doing my obligatory staff duty--to an aviator, that's akin to volunteering for a root canal, only not quite as much fun.

Stationed in New Orleans...not the most bike friendly town in the country. In fact, I daresay that NOLA is a third world nation unto itself that accepts American currency.

Yup, I agree. As wacky as the Cold War was, at least there was relative stability. Aside from the Cuban Crisis and a couple other hushed events, MAD provided a bizarre measure of stability for the world. Today, it's no longer an "if" there will be a bio/chem/nuke terrorist attack, but a "when."

Living in Montana or Idaho sounds better all the time....
"Dark times for the entire world"moneyman
Dec 11, 2002 2:14 PM
Perspective - As has been discussed ad nauseum, had the US not used nuclear weapons in Japan, an invasion may have cost upwards of a million Allied lives. The Japanese were not going to surrender at any time soon, if ever. The Imperial Forces would have continued with their attempted conquests of Asia and all the killing that would have provoked. The use of atomic weapons was not offensive, but defensive. The Japanese brought the war to the US, not the other way around.

Bush has not stated a "first-strike" policy. The White House paper said the US "...reserves the right to respond with overwhelming force — including through resort to all of our options — to the use of WMD (weapons of mass destruction) against the United States, our forces abroad and friends and allies." This is a defensive statement, not offensive. The use of US force could prevent the "dark times for the entire world" rather than cause them.

I don't think there is anything casual about the decision to go to war, and I don't believe the President thinks that way, either. The threat is real and imminent. The longer we wait, the greater the consequences.

$$
Nonsense.czardonic
Dec 11, 2002 2:38 PM
The live human tests of atomic weapons conducted on the people of Hiroshima and Nagasaki are nothing short of the most devilish science experiment in the history of man. Japan's war machine was completely devastated by the time we delivered our atomic coup de grace. How would we have incurred those million casualties? At the hands of the women and children who were defending their villages with bamboo stakes? There was no need to invade. Japan posed absolutely no threat to anyone at that point, least of all the United States, and never would. Fortunately, Douglas Macarthur made as much an ammends as could possibly be made by preventing the country from turning into a regional backwater, or being overrun by a vengeful Russia or China.

And yet this bogus "millinos of lives saved" is the kind of self-serving rationalization on which we will base our "defensive" use of force.
sorry, you are just freaking nutsDougSloan
Dec 11, 2002 3:38 PM
Let me ask you this, was Japan justified in attacking the U.S.? That should tell us something about your views.

Sorry, but your anti-everything, left-wing, conspiracy theory bias is far too extreme to take seriously. You show a complete lack of any understanding of history, almost as if you were brainwashed by some dictator controlled America hating communist society. I normally don't get personal, but your views expressed here are so far out there to be absolutely incredible.

Either that, or you are a very good troll.

Doug
Japan was not justified.czardonic
Dec 11, 2002 4:34 PM
Does that satisfy you? Japan was wrong at Pearl Harbor, America was wrong at Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Then again, I don't know why I am defending myself to a chauvanist like you, Doug. If your bigotted views on Muslims are any indication of your character in general, I doubt there is any convincing you that tens of thousands of Japanese lives are worth more than a military "proof of concept." The fact that you would advocate targeting civilians to save combatants belonging to an invading army is evidence enough.
now wait a minuteDougSloan
Dec 11, 2002 5:08 PM
I challenge you to point out even one statement I've made that could even arguably be deemed bigotted against Muslims. I'll fess up and take the heat where warranted, but not this time. Maybe you've confused me with someone else.

I think you neglect to consider that at time time of the bombing, Japan was training its civilians for kamakaze missions, and that an invasion to stop Japan would have certainly cost many civilian lives, anyway. Further, there was absolutely no reason to test a bomb on people merely to see what it would do. When a bomb causes temperatures in the millions of degrees, which had already been determined, I think it's fair to conclude that they knew it would kill a lot of people.

Your idealistic views seem to think that in war time, everyone is reasonable. That is, Japan would have just stopped fighting eventually, after an acceptable loss of American lives. Heck, even after the first a-bomb they didn't get it. In war, it's us vs. them -- our lives or theirs. They had made it pretty clear that they would fight to every last Japanese life. Damn. You can even view footage of the Emporer saying just that to the Japanese people! Wake up. War is not nice. It is not reasonable. People aren't nice. People get killed, and better them than us. Finally, we don't have to play by our opponents' rules, nor those of some idealistic young college student 60 years later.

Doug
Exhibit Aczardonic
Dec 11, 2002 5:55 PM
I submit this thread in which you first imply that Islam incompatible with any basic human rights, and challenge the board to provide an example that refutes this bigotted notion:

Posted by: DougSloan Oct-16-02, 06:53 AM (DougSloan "To be a target of terror (ramblings)" 10/16/02 6:53am)

Are there any predominately Islamic nations that have *any* of the basic human rights enjoyed by most of the western world, such as:

  • free elections
  • speech
  • religious choice
  • due process (civil and criminal)
  • association
  • redress of grievances
  • women's and minorities' rights

    Doug


    The example that I supplied, Turkey, apparently did not sway you from your predjudice as you not only neglect to concede that there is at least one nation that recognizes some of the rights you list, you don't even acknowledge that I mentioned Turkey at all. Instead, you falsely state that I agree with you that no examples exist:

    Posted by: DougSloan Oct-16-02, 10:29 AM (DougSloan "To be a target of terror (ramblings)" 10/16/02 10:29am)

    . . .To make the point, I simply asked if there are any Islamic nations that enjoy (any of) the basic civil rights listed. While you imply that there are none, and avoid really answering the question, I'll assume that there are none of which you are aware.


    Of course, I recognize that you may have changed your position since then. After all, you once counciled against personal attacks:

    Posted by: DougSloan Oct-15-02, 01:54 PM (DougSloan "To be a target of terror (ramblings)" 10/15/02 1:54pm

    Most of the people here have the intelligence and decency not to lower themselves to immature name calling and personal attacks. Maybe you can join them some day?

    Doug


    Now, you open your responses by calling me "freaking nuts". Indeed, maybe you can join them someday. Better yet, maybe you can drop this phony "voice of reason" pretense altogether.

    ----------

    God forbid Japan should prepare itself to defend against foreign occupation with what meager means they still possessed! This was a country that was effectively in the midst of a famine. Are you saying that our machine guns were no match for their bamboo pikes?

    And you are still ignoring the question of whether we needed to invade them at all, other than to do what we did which was set up an imperial outpost. What threat did they present? Their military and industrial bases were devastated, they are geopgraphically isolated, and they were surrounded by hostile nations.

    You don't think that we were itching to see what an A-bomb would do under real conditions? That, is naive.
  • I don't know why I argueDougSloan
    Dec 12, 2002 5:50 AM
    That was a serious question, focused at Islamic *nations*. I meant, as I said, that I really did want to know of any free Islamic nations. Whenever you came up with Turkey, I don't know; maybe I had already disengaged from the thread; in any event, I don't know much about Turkey; I'll take your word for it. In any event, that's not the slightest bit bigotted. You must concede that Islamic nations are overwhelmingly un-free, largely fundamentalist dictatorships (again, we are talking about countries).

    You dodge arguments and facts. When faced with a frontal attack, you slyly ignore points made and attack at another point. You assume the worst in your opponents or whatever it takes to support your narrow-minded views. Stating that the government was "itching" to see what the a-bomb would do is not factually based -- it implies that they were a bunch of idiotic war zealots, totally ignoring reality. When you say things like that, it makes you appear nuts. Sorry, but that's how it sounds. You might as well be arguing that the earth is flat and we never went to the moon.

    I really, really do try to avoid personal attacks. I reserve them for the most extreme circumstances, the most deserving, and they are not lightly doled out. They are very thoughtful and well-considered. Congratulations.

    Doug
    Next czardonic. will demostrate how up is really down.Sintesi
    Dec 12, 2002 6:04 AM
    Blue is in fact red. And just how far a man can stick his head up his own a$$.

    HOWDY!
    Then, DougSloan will leave the dirty work to his domestique,czardonic
    Dec 12, 2002 11:04 AM
    while he maintains his patrician affectations.
    More dopiness and mischaracterization from czardo.Sintesi
    Dec 12, 2002 1:26 PM
    Your getting to be quite the lame troll.

    Doug can defend himself but no one on this board would label him a "bigot." Except a sh!t starter such as yourself. Your rooting around for "proof" was again laughably weak. Did you stain yourself when it came up so weak? What a disappointment. Tsk.

    I think Doug probably has satisfaction in that you actually thought enoough of him to go to all the trouble to try prove to him that he was a bigot. One has to wonder where you thought all this would lead?
    Sintesi, you're just a scratching post. But, Doug. . .czardonic
    Dec 12, 2002 2:55 PM
    . . . seemed to be within reason. Since, as you say, "no one on this board would label him a bigot", I wanted to see if he would stand by his pejorative generalizations about Islam or, as he says, "fess up and take the heat where warranted". I guess we'll never know the answer. As usual, one of his self-styled protégés has stepped in to reduce the level of dialog to the point that no-one could blame him for disdaining it.

    But that raises another question, and one that you can answer as well. Why do you log on to this discussion board? Is it to exchange ideas, or to make sure than anyone with the temerity to voice an unorthodox point of view is shouted down?

    You and Doug accuse me of trolling. God forbid someone should post something that someone else might be inclined to respond to! The reason I am not a troll is that I am willing to debate a topic for as long as there is someone else interested enough to respond. I can hardly say the same for old Doug, who posts his little pearls of wisdom, tosses around a few insults, and the lurks while you flame me for questioning them.

    But, once again I have to ask: why am I defending myself? And against you, of all people! You have flamed how many of my posts in a row now? And I am accused of being a troll?
    gnatDougSloan
    Dec 12, 2002 3:40 PM
    When I ride up the big climbs near here, at certain times when on the really steep parts gnats start buzzing around my face, annoying the hell out of me. They don't do anything but buzz around and annoy. That's it. You can't swat them without hitting yourself in the face, you can't shoo them away, you can't swerve and avoid them. I find the only way to rid them is to speed away, even if I go critically anaerobic in the process, but it's worth it. Your posts have a lot in common with the gnats.

    Doug
    Cute. But it is you who started the swatting.czardonic
    Dec 12, 2002 4:05 PM
    Lets not forget that you chimed in with your personal attacks without any provocation from me other than posting an opinion that you disagreed with.

    How "big" are these climbs? I though that Gnats stuck to low lying areas near bodies of water.
    you mean you want to talk cycling?DougSloan
    Dec 12, 2002 4:20 PM
    That we probably could agree on.

    These climbs are anywhere between around 2,000 and 9,000 feet in the Sierra Nevada foothills and mountains. They hit you under 8 mph. Over 8 mph, they can't keep up. On 15%+ grades, 8 mph gets tough. They are particularly bad when it's hot and with still air. There is one badass climb called "Big Creek," which hit's 20% in places, between 5,000 and 7,000 feet elevation. At that incline, you have no energy to spare, and it's difficult to even take a hand off the bars to try to swish them away. Speeding up is deadly, though, when you are already pegged at 5 mph. They aren't out that often, only when the conditions are just right. What sucks, though, is that when they are there, since some of the climbs exceed 2,500 feet without a break, they can annoy you for around an hour at a time.

    Doug
    Well, I <i>do</i> love a good climb.czardonic
    Dec 12, 2002 4:46 PM
    Of course, in the SFBay you are either climbing or descending (or posting!). In these parts the bugs are rarely a problem on the way up. Probably the coastal breezes. Of course, you still hit them in swarms when you get to the bottom again, and they are a whole different kind of distraction at high speeds.

    Though I suspect that Sintesi will soon chime in with is "concilliatory Master" schtik, I believe in credit where credit is due. I find all of your cycling related posts and much of the balance to be quite informative.
    if we're in conciliation mode...DougSloan
    Dec 13, 2002 7:43 AM
    Yes, I've hit clouds of these things on descents. Better be wearing eye protection and have your mouth shut. Thanks for the comment about the cycling stuff.

    You know, part of what you suffer is your being associated with so many extreme liberal causes in the past that carried very little credibility, for they were so extreme, radical, and unreasonable at the time and in their approach and rhetoric. It's almost like someone saying, for example, that we must "wipe out all cars now," "give all land back to native Americans," or "pay all black people $10 million as restitution for slavery." It just is not going to happen, and if the proponent had any sense of reasonableness at all, he'd realize that and take a more moderate approach. The arguments are so extreme, they lack credibility.

    I realize that some people think that the only way to bargain for $5 is to ask for $100, then the $5 seems reasonable, even no one was going to pay anything originally. I get this all the time in negotiation in what I do. Problem is, when someone is so ludicrous at the beginning, no one takes him seriously, and we walk.

    Also, when I want to persuade someone, rather than simply argue for the fun of it, I try to take my audience into account. Coming out of the gate and insulting, berating, or acting like a kook is no way to persuade. Since the vast majority of people here are Americans, even if spread across the political sprectrum, insulting us, our culture, and what we know of history is probably not the best way to persuade, assuming that's the goal. Nonetheless, if you just want to tick people off and make a big stink, then I think you have that nailed.

    Regardless, of course do what you want. If you are enjoying it, by all means don't listen to me. I think you have the capacity to be persuasive if you lighten up with the extremism, bias, and sophistry, and just try to think what can be persuasive and reasonable. It's a valuable skill that could come in handy some day. I say all this sincerely, not just to irk you, you know.

    Now substantive: Part of what you suffer, as well, in my mind is an persistence in defending Islamic dictatorship countries that horrible, horrible, records on human rights, and at the same time universally condemning countries that are the most free and protective of rights. That, I just don't get. Now, feel free to argue that despite relative good records on freedom, the free countries still are not perfect, a concept with which most would agree. Understand, though, that you and some others appear to be defending nations that still execute people arbitrarily, for political gain, or cut off limbs, and treat women almost like animals. For many people, regardless of sovereignty or religious freedom issues, these things are very difficult to accept. Defending these countries in any way almost makes it appear that the defense of them is not really the goal, rather, attacking the U.S. or this President is really the focus. If that's the case, gee, come right out and admit it. I think that's more credible than defending countries with horrific civil rights issues.

    Doug
    I don't know where you are getting some of these impressions.czardonic
    Dec 13, 2002 11:24 AM
    Have I ever advocated wiping out all cars, returning land to Native Americans or paying Black people restitution for slavery? I am for evironmental responsibility for sure. I think that Native Americans have been royally screwed, but anything that they get should be based on treaties that we signed with them. As much as I could use $10 million, I wouldn't take it for the suffering of people I never met.

    I do beleive in fuel efficiency. I also beleive in affordable health care. I also believe that insofar as our system is not a "Free Market", it is disingenuous for those who rely on coroporate welfare to sneer at the poor who need government assistance to make ends meet. I believe that Bush has lied to the American people and is a lousy leader.

    These views are certainly liberal, but I don't consider them all that radical. Yet I have been labeled everything from a Stalinist to a Anarchist.

    If I have "come out of the gate" insulting and berating people, I am hardly the only one or even the worst example. As I am sure you will agree, we are all given to imtemperance on occasion. I will gladly hold my record on this against those of Sintesi, moneyman, Jomo Kenyatta, Matno, mohair-chair and even you, Doug.

    I am an American who can nonetheless stand challenges to our history and culture without taking offense. Frankly, I'm not interested in the opinions of someone who is too delicate to have them challenged. Most people don't want to be persuaded, no matter how diplomatically an issue is broached. Nonetheless, not everyone is "walking" with you. There are still plenty of people who disagree but nonetheless are willing to discuss.

    I appreciate your input, and no offense taken. I assure you that "cardonic" is a mere facet of my personality.

    On the substantive note, I have no allegiance or patience for depots of any stripe. I don't mean to be glib, but your characterization of my defense of Islam smacks of "If you're not with us, you are with the terrorists". I am not defending these nations. I am defending the inoccent and peace-loving people in these nations who are lumped in with the fanatics.

    Your criticism of these nations is valid, but I feel that you are very sloppy about distinguishing the tormented masses and their tormentors. I am not opposed to ousting Saddam Hussein. I am opposed to the inevitable thousands of Iraqi casualties that will be required to punish this one man and his cadre of supporters. Especially so, when I have no faith in the current administration to deliver them any better alternative.
    Let's revue.Sintesi
    Dec 13, 2002 1:25 PM
    Doug says :
    "It's almost like someone saying, for example, that we must "wipe out all cars now," "give all land back to native Americans," or "pay all black people $10 million as restitution for slavery."

    Czardonic responds:
    "Have I ever advocated wiping out all cars, returning land to Native Americans or paying Black people restitution for slavery? I am for evironmental responsibility for sure. I think that Native Americans have been royally screwed, but anything that they get should be based on treaties that we signed with them. "
    score one Doug. czardonic misses a key phrase "It's almost like" and as a result also misses the true point of the paragraph: "czardonic champions lost causes or proffers views so extreme that he alienates his audience." Let's move on.
    Doug says:
    " when I want to persuade someone, rather than simply argue for the fun of it, I try to take my audience into account. Coming out of the gate and insulting, berating, or acting like a kook is no way to persuade. Since the vast majority of people here are Americans, even if spread across the political sprectrum, insulting us, our culture, and what we know of history is probably not the best way to persuade, assuming that's the goal."
    Again be respectful, do not alienate your audience unduly by berating them or their capacities.
    "czardonic claims minor transgressions and names the TRUE OFFENDERS:
    "If I have "come out of the gate" insulting and berating people, I am hardly the only one or even the worst example. As I am sure you will agree, we are all given to imtemperance." He names 6 offenders off the top of his head including yours truly and "even Doug." Et tu Brutus? very dramatic and concilliatory.
    Score two Doug.
    Even tho feigning innocence and proclaiming occasional bouts of "intemperence" (the little gentleman) his statement is contradicted by easily naming 6 people who attack him personally on a regular basis. One wonders how many can claim that? Terrible burden.
    Theres more proclamations of his noble willingness to take assails against his important and challenging views. He is a "defender' of the silenced "peace loving peoples" of the earth. Sniff. I could weep here.
    All right all right that's enough i can't take it anymore. i got to move on. He comes off almost likable and he claims this persona "is a mere facet" of his presumably nicer more rounded personality. I wonder if that person came to the forum what sort of response would he get?
    Like I said. . .czardonic
    Dec 13, 2002 1:49 PM
    . . .I'll gladly hold my record against the likes of you. I feign no innocence, unlike yourself who suffixes every insult with some excuse about how the person you are insulting spectacularly deserves it. There is a difference between attacking an idea and attacking me personally for voicing it in the first place. People who stick to the former were not on my list. People who engage in the latter obviously have no problem with naming names. Frankly, I'm ready to defend myself against both. But at the end of the day, I am more interested in ideas than personalities.

    How many times have you said that you can't take anymore and are moving on? I suspect you will continue to exceed your own expectations. The chip on your shoulder is too big for you to ignore.
    Buzz buzz. nmSintesi
    Dec 14, 2002 8:51 AM
    <i>Swat!</i> (nm)czardonic
    Dec 15, 2002 1:28 PM
    Proud to be named in that groupmoneyman
    Dec 13, 2002 1:35 PM
    You are a bit thin-skinned these days, pal. Please give credit where it is due, i.e., I was the one who called you BOTH an anarchist and a Stalinist. I also posted the lyrics to the "Internationale" for your reference.

    Just some more facts.

    $$
    You should be offended!czardonic
    Dec 13, 2002 3:14 PM
    Your obnoxiousness is a singular acheivement. And at least you don't pretend that you are really a mild-mannered. To be lumped in with these mincing wannabes. . .

    You are a jackass who is not afraid to bray.
    I'm a gnot on a gnat. : )(nm)Sintesi
    Dec 13, 2002 5:23 AM
    It's not the unorthodox view. Don't give yourself that much ...Sintesi
    Dec 13, 2002 5:38 AM
    credit. It's the way you handle yourself. I'm only a troll to a troll. You profer ridiculous assertions (almost every one showing a pathological bias against america and its acts, except the constitution. That you like.) You ignore reasonable arguments against your position, you never seem to admit you were wrong, you're disdainful and mocking to virtually everyone. You're just a sh!t starter that isn't interested in anything except your own point of view. You don't really bring that much to the table (I mean google seaches are easy, thanks for the links tho) and you don't seem to learn very much. You're entertaining, I give you that.

    You're obviously so superior to me that I am a "scratching post" I like the dismissal, why don't you give me another rub big boy. Doug smarter and more reasonable than me? Hell yeah.
    Ah! An affirmative defense!czardonic
    Dec 12, 2002 10:59 AM
    So you admit to making ignorant ("I don't know much about Turkey") generalizations. And you admit that you were not actually interested in hearing any evidence to counter your stereotype. But are we to beleive that you "really did want to know of any free Islamic nations", yet "disengaged" from the thread immediately after posing the question? Give me a break! Your question was purely rhetorical, and meant to imply that Muslims were completely incapable of organizing themselves into a free society.

    Yes, I concede that Islamic nations are "overwhelmingly un-free." That was not your contention. You asked if any Islamic nations had any of the freedoms you listed, and there are some. The notion that Islam is incapable of fostering freedom is biggotted, plain and simple. Why not invert the question? Are un-free societies overwhelmingly Islamic? And if not, why not consider what factor besides creed may determine a societies "freeness"?

    Of course, I asked these questions before, and you completely ignored them. Or as you might put it "when faced with a frontal attack, you slyly ignore points made and attack at another point." You certainly "assume the worst" in Muslims, and your views are quite "narrow-minded".

    Your interpretation of my views are no more "factually based" than mine. Here are the facts, as I see them:

    Fact: For all practical purposes, Japan was defeated. They had no ability to commit further agression, nor the resources to recover that ability.

    Fact: While it was believed by the allies that the Japanese would fight to the last man, woman and child by the Americans, it was believed by the Japanese that they would be massacred or enslaved by the Americans. We know that latter isn't true, and given the rapidity with which the Japanese came to accept their occupiers, it is likely that the former was also a myth.

    Fact: It was unneccesary to drop the bombs on heavily populated areas in order to demostrate its terrifying power.

    As comforting as the rationalizations for the use of the a-bomb are to the only country that ever used nuclear weapons on people, they are nontheless rationalizations. I have yet to hear a single argument for the attacks that does not rest on a self-interested estimation. Where are your facts?
    And actually we were playing by the rules...Wayne
    Dec 12, 2002 5:47 AM
    at the time. Wasn't it called something like "total war". Civilians were fair game in the effort to make the enemy capitulate. The Germans bombed British cities, the Japanese bombed Chinese cities, the Brits and Us bombed German cities (ever hear of Dresden) into oblivion without the Nukes. It may seem odd but I bet alot more Japanese civilians as well as American soilders would have died if we wouldn't have used the Nukes and would have carried out a coventional war to force Japan to surrender.
    The very best...Matno
    Dec 13, 2002 3:41 PM
    Troll that is. Regardless of whether Czar actually believes all the stuff he says, he's great at stirring things up. Apparently, I have gained that reputation from the other side. Seems I can't even mention a flood in my apartment without a pointless attack on my credibility. (Even Czardonic stayed out of that one, which leads me to believe he CAN be nice...) Some people are just really really focused on the whole "straining at a gnat while trying to swallow a camel" thing. (Oops, I put that in quotes and it might just be an inaccurate paraphrase. I had better issue an immediate retraction because obviously, my whole premise is quoting it is wrong!)
    Small world.czardonic
    Dec 13, 2002 3:56 PM
    A storm out here on the West Coast opened up a leaks in both my apartment and my office.
    Bummer.Matno
    Dec 13, 2002 4:05 PM
    I hope you were as lucky as we were. We only have minor repairs to the apartment to make. (New floor tiles, new paint on a couple of walls, which the landlord will pay for). Nothing serious. Our neighbors downstairs and upstairs had ankle deep water. Good luck with the clean up.

    (PHEW! I just barely came into this thread. It's a LONG one! Glad I mostly stayed out of it!)
    No major damage so far.czardonic
    Dec 13, 2002 4:29 PM
    In both cases major electrical appliances were missed by less than a foot. I'm just hoping the garbage can I put under the leak at home doesn't overflow before I get home!
    I'll keep my fingers crossed for you.Matno
    Dec 13, 2002 8:23 PM
    Not that it will do any good (I'm not superstitious), but maybe my "goodwill vibes" will help... If you've got roof leaks, that really sucks. Not only can they cause lots of damage, they can be a real pain to find, get to, and fix.
    OK ,but don't you two go run off and get married or anything. nmSintesi
    Dec 16, 2002 6:54 AM
    Hey! I'm already married! :^)Matno
    Dec 16, 2002 3:41 PM
    Just cause we disagree on almost every political issue doesn't mean we can't be friends. My roommate for 4 years in college (who was also my riding buddy) was a tree-hugging, posey sniffing, bleeding heart liberal. Doesn't mean we weren't great friends. We just had a lot of colorful discussions...
    No.moneyman
    Dec 11, 2002 3:39 PM
    I believe that (dis)honor would go to the German physicians in the Nazi death camps.

    For a bit of enlightenment regarding the decision to drop the bomb on Japan, consider this:

    "The use of nuclear weapons to end World War II quickly and decisively averted the death or maiming of hundreds of thousands American soldiers, sailors, marines and airmen. It also saved the lives of some 400,000 Allied prisoners of war and civilian detainees in Japanese hands, all of whom were to be executed in the event of an American invasion of Japan. Above all, it saved untold hundreds of thousands more Japanese-perhaps millions-from becoming casualties of pre-invasion bombing and shelling, followed by two invasions and forcible occupation.

    Also, Truman's military advisor, Admirial Leahy, estiamted that an invasion of Japan would be defended by "2.3 million troops, another four million Army and Navy employees and a newly created armed militia numbering 25 million." The Allies would have an invading force of two million. Casualties in the first 30 days were expected to be 30% to 35%. If you do the math, adding those casualties to the expected execution of 400,000 POWs, and you have total casualties of up to 1.1 million Allied troops.

    Information from Bruce Lee, author of Pearl Harbor : final judgement with Henry C. Clausen, and Marching orders : the untold story of World War II.

    Your revisionist view of the historic "facts" is wrong again.

    $$
    Doesn't answer some fundamental questions:czardonic
    Dec 11, 2002 4:40 PM
    Why invade at all? Japan was no threat. If POW's were going to be executed upon the allied attack on Japan, why would dropping the bomb save them? On what basis, other than 20/20 hindsight, could it be assumed that such a fanatical nation would even surrender after the bombing?

    Need I point out that your "facts" are actually estimations.
    Some of your arguments are simply fatuous! (nm)Jon Billheimer
    Dec 11, 2002 8:06 PM
    "Some"? Which? "Fatuous"? How so?czardonic
    Dec 12, 2002 1:21 PM
    Without knowing, there's not much to discuss. But, I guess that was your intent.
    Why invade?moneyman
    Dec 11, 2002 8:38 PM
    There have been tens of thousands of publications dealing with this very item, but you choose to ignore them. Your revisionist view of history is, at best, disturbing. The Japanese in WWII were not some peaceful agrarian Buddhist society. It was a society of warriors in their grandest Samurai tradition, led by an Emperor who was seen as a God.

    Japan was threat. I believe I detailed just one part of the threat. For examples of the reality of the threat, take a look at the history of the Asian theater of battle in WWII. It was brutal, and there was no reason to expect any less in an invasion. Sorry, but there is no reason to argue this further until you have a better grasp of history and how people make life and death decisions under more pressure than you or I could ever imagine. Please ask your advisor for help in this area. Most freshmen like yourself have been assigned one, if I remember correctly.

    $$ (czardonic - please read pages 1 through 200,000 in your history text.)
    History lessons from the man who claims Lincoln was a murderer?czardonic
    Dec 12, 2002 11:11 AM
    What part of "Japan was already defeated" do you not get? Yes, Imperial Japan was a vicious, rapacious and racist nation that commited unspeakable and probably unforgivable attrocities. That is not the point. The point is that at the time we used nuclear weapons on them, the threat that they posed had already been destroyed.

    Do you get your non-revisionist history of Japan from the same publications that informed you that Abraham Lincoln was convicted of murdering "citizens" of the Confederacy?
    Hello? Anyone home?moneyman
    Dec 12, 2002 2:37 PM
    It is like talking to a wall. You have no grasp of history whatsoever. I can only hope that you in no way are in a position to influence young minds through some position of perceived authority.

    And you really don't understand the Lincoln example, do you? I don't beleive you're a troll at all. Just not real bright.

    $$
    No, I don't understand your claim that Lincoln was a murderer.czardonic
    Dec 12, 2002 2:59 PM
    But if ever there was an example of revisionist history, that would have to be it. What authority influenced you to adopt this ludicrous heresy?
    Does it give you satisfaction moneyman that. . .Sintesi
    Dec 13, 2002 5:44 AM
    czardonic stays so obsessed with things you said in past posts? If you stay on him he'll repost the alleged posts and parse them out for you. Czardonic you certainly have some big fish to fry don't you? He'll spend days on it just keep niggling him, because apparently he has nothing else to do with his free time. It's great.

    I also like how he basically lost his A bomb/Hiroshima argument and is now trying to dredge up the ancient "Lincoln affair." Take heart moneyman, you loom large in his consciousness. He's pobably thinking of you right now.
    That's very frighteningmoneyman
    Dec 13, 2002 8:03 AM
    I actually became a bit concerned when he did that to Doug, dredging up out-of-context statements to distort points-of-view. And the way it was done is disturbingly close to stalking.

    As far as the ancient Lincoln affair, what he does not understand is the use of a ridiculous metaphor (Lincoln being a murderer) to substantiate my position that not all facts are equal.

    The thought of czardonic thinking of me? Please, that kind of imagery is enough to keep me up at nights.

    $$
    Yeah he does the same to me.Sintesi
    Dec 13, 2002 8:23 AM
    I'm the troll's troll. : ) Actually I'm his "scratching post" he said. LOL!
    God forbid someone should hold you to the nonsense you post!czardonic
    Dec 13, 2002 12:02 PM
    You two are such wusses.

    And if you are worried about stalking, beware of the company you keep: Sintesi "To be a target of terror (ramblings)" 10/16/02 5:13am
    So you're a mysoginist and a homophobe?moneyman
    Dec 13, 2002 1:02 PM
    Wuss - NOUN: Slang A person regarded as weak or timid and especially as unmanly
    ETYMOLOGY: Probably blend of wimp pussy
    Wimp - NOUN: Slang A person who is regarded as weak or ineffectual
    Pussy - 4. Offensive Slang Used as a disparaging term for a woman.

    You use a diparaging term for a woman to describe me. Then to prove your point you use a link to a post where Sintesi says he's gay for you. So you disrespect women by referring to others derogatorily using that vulgar term, and then you disrespect homosexuals by implying that Sintesi and I are gay and that somehow, even if it were true, there is something wrong with that.

    That is not consistent with your liberal rantings. So what is it - liberal muffin or reactionary homophobic woman hater?

    $$
    Neither. You see, I was simply using a <i>metaphor</i>.czardonic
    Dec 13, 2002 1:33 PM
    I think it is pretty ironic, given your history of "interpretations", that even when you bother to use reference material you come up with definitions that hinge on "probablys".

    I'd also like to point out that "unmanly", does not mean womanly. As such, even by your laughably tenuous etymological analysis, it is not a disparaging term for women. It is a disparaging term for people like you (however you define yourself).

    Furthermore, I never implied that you were gay, nor that there was anything wrong with being gay. If you are trying to insult my intelligence by proffering these pathetic lies as though I wouldn't immediately tear them apart, I guess your self-depricatory buffoonery isn't for naught (just next to naught).

    At least you acknowledge that implying that Sintesi is gay is disrespectful to gays. Man, with friends like you. . .
    Insulting your intelligence?moneyman
    Dec 13, 2002 1:41 PM
    That would be quite difficult.

    Show us all how you are not a homophobe, please. Your wrting alludes to the "fact" that you are. Disparaging Sintesi, and by association, me, by implication that he is homosexual lends credence to this assumption.

    $$
    You are scraping the bottom of the barrel.czardonic
    Dec 13, 2002 2:03 PM
    Show you how I am not a homophobe? That's just asking me to prove a negative, a bankrupt tactic. Show me how I am a homophobe. Show me what writing of mine alludes this "fact". Go ahead and use links and direct quotes -- I promise I won't whine about how unfair you are being. I merely pointed out that if you are afraid of stalking, you should watch out for Sintesi who seems to personalize his relationships on this board to the point of sexualizing them.

    In fact (as opposed to "fact") it is you who is the homophobe, since you interpret the mere suggestion that someone is gay (and we are talking about someone who himself claims to be gay) as an insult. By implying that being gay is something that one should be ashamed of, you demonstrate your own homophobia.
    And that would be you I presume.Sintesi
    Dec 14, 2002 9:17 AM
    Boy czar honey, you're wound up like a watch spring.

    SPROING!!
    God forbid someone should hold you to the nonsense you post!Sintesi
    Dec 14, 2002 9:23 AM
    Actually I'm a lesbian.
    Quick recap.Sintesi
    Dec 12, 2002 6:55 AM
    Let's see. Czardonic said:

    "The live human tests of atomic weapons conducted on the people of Hiroshima and Nagasaki are nothing short of the most devilish science experiment in the history of man. Japan's war machine was completely devastated by the time we delivered our atomic coup de grace. How would we have incurred those million casualties? At the hands of the women and children who were defending their villages with bamboo stakes?"

    And money man responded:

    "The Allies would have an invading force of two million. Casualties in the first 30 days were expected to be 30% to 35%. "

    Let's say for arguments sake the estimates were way off and only 15% casualties. That's 300,000 people killed by "women and children" with sharp sticks.

    Man, czardonic your stock is just plummeting around here. A lot of people seem to find you dingbattish as do I. The legions are growing.
    FWIW, Japanese casualtiessn69
    Dec 12, 2002 4:48 PM
    were estimated to be as high as 75% of the total population. ...And that factored into the War Department's recommendation to Pres. Truman as well.

    AND, the two bombs, including their "soft kill" casualties that lasted for three more decades still didn't equal the death tolls in Hamburg, Dresden or Tokyo during the fire bombings.

    Nukes are horrible weapons. I've only seen one real one once...and it creeped me out. But, we have lots of other ways to kill oodles of people too.
    Ain't that the truth. (nm)Sintesi
    Dec 13, 2002 5:49 AM
    Please, learn some historymohair_chair
    Dec 12, 2002 7:36 AM
    I don't know what you have been smoking, but you are no student of history. You know NOTHING about the war and the situation in August 1945. Suffice it to say, Japan's military machine was not completely devastated at the time of Hiroshima.

    The million-casualty figure came from the very recent battles on Iwo Jima and Okinawa, which were incredibly bloody on both sides. All through the war, the Japanese would rather die than surrender, which meant much longer battles, which meant more deaths, more destroyed equipment, and more time for the enemy to regroup elsewhere.

    It doesn't take a genius to figure that if the battles for small islands hundreds of miles from the home islands were so bloody, fighting on the homeland itself would be equally or more so. Plus, kamikazes were used on a grand scale at Okinawa, and very effectively. This was a very frightening development to the US Navy because it was unthinkable, and therefore, not all that defensible.

    The only thing you can say about that time is that the Air Force ruled the skies. They flew missions into Japan at will. But unlike today, where air power can win wars, air power was nowhere near as effective as it seemed to be.

    By the way, the bombs, which you idiotically call "live human tests" didn't just kill Japanese. They killed American and British POWs. Also, there was no need to run a "test" of the bombs. Scientists knew with absolute certainty that they would work. They had already exploded a plutonium bomb in New Mexico, which is what was used at Nagasaki. They had also run small scale tests on the uranium bomb used at Hiroshima.

    Read some books by respectable historians. There are plenty out there, and you'll gain a realistic perspective on the war.
    You make very good points.czardonic
    Dec 12, 2002 11:41 AM
    Finally, someone who mixes their insults with actual history!

    Question: Are you saying that had we fought our way to Okinawa and then held our position (which we did anyway), Japan would have rebuilt its war machine and started all over again?

    Question: If the the Japanese would rather die than surrender, why did they surrender?

    Question: If the Japanese were such implacable zealots, why did they so quickly embrace America as an occupying force?

    I submit that in 1945 the Japanese were afraid that America would enslave them and wreak our revenge for every American life lost in the Pacific Theater. In short, they were afraid of us doing to them what they had done to the Koreans, Chinese, etc. Like a cornered rat, they were ready to lash out tooth and claw at any advance. However, they were ultimately a frightened, starved and defeated people. The folly of Imperialism was well evident. Had they been given a way out, they would have taken it (as they did when we finally gave it to them). We could have easily blockaded them and waited for them to surrender. Using the a-bomb was unneccessary because the only justification was to preven causualties from an invasion that was itself unneccesary.

    Testing in the desert is not the same thing as testing on a real city full of real people. More importantly, it does not demonstrate that we are willing to use these weapons. It is no coincidence that we dropped this weapon in the back-yard of our emerging rivals. We did it for the same reason that we re-built Japan as a regional outpost, instead of leaving it to fall back into obscurity.
    You make very good points.mohair_chair
    Dec 12, 2002 3:07 PM
    Question: Are you saying that had we fought our way to Okinawa and then held our position (which we did anyway), Japan would have rebuilt its war machine and started all over again?
    Time is always the enemy in war. Typically, when you have the enemy on the run, you pursue them without mercy. That's not easy to do when you are fighting on islands. The US had no serious ground intelligence assets in Japan, so who knew what they were working on? Who knew the real state of the war machine. Sure, the Japanese surface fleet was mostly lost, but there were still submarines. Sure, the air force was seriously hurt, but where did those swarms of kamakazis come from? When anything that flies becomes a bomb that can sink ships, an amphibious invasion will be disastrous. Furthermore, the closer you get to the home country, the more fortifications you run into. When a lot of Germans escaped through the Falaise Gap after the Normandy invasion, allied forces chased them all the way back to the German border, where they ran into a lot of concrete, minefields, pre-sighted artillery zones, etc. They also stopped reading the German Enigma intelligence, because inside Germany, the Germans could use phones instead of radios. After a fast chase whose speed was limited only by gasoline supplies, Allied forces ended up stalled on the border for months. Meanwhile, the Germans regrouped and attacked, which was the Battle of the Bulge. That's the recent history commanders were looking at, only commanders in the Pacific had to invade fortified islands. The invasion of Japan would probably be larger than Normandy in scope and personnel, and a lot more deadly. If troops could get ashore, it would take months and months to kill the Japanese Army or essentially push them into the sea.

    Question: If the the Japanese would rather die than surrender, why did they surrender?>
    Because their Emperor, who was basically considered God (or a God or descended from God, I forget), told them the war was over. Some of them didn't, however. There are a few famous cases where some of the soldiers didn't get the word, were still living in the jungle into the 1970s.

    Question: If the Japanese were such implacable zealots, why did they so quickly embrace America as an occupying force?
    Again, because the Emperor said the war was over. Also, because the Americans had no desire to inflict punishment on the people of Japan for losing the war, which was the custom in most previous wars. Some in the military were tried as war criminals, but ordinary citizens were left alone. As the occupying force, wholesale changes were made in the government and civil structure of the country. Land reform was implemented. In short, losing the war was better than winning it for most people. Finally, the Korean War came less than five years later, which was what really rebuilt the economy of Japan.

    Japan in 1945 was a country that had been ruled by the fascists and military dictators for decades. They feared no one. Your theory about giving them a way out is laughable. No one was looking for a way out. In fact, when the Emperor hinted that he would surrender, the top commanders made a last attempt to take over and continue the war.

    Please, please, please, do some serious reading on this subject. There is a lot of good history available. I suggest starting with "The Making of the Atomic Bomb" by Richard Rhodes. It's a Pulitizer Prize winner. Two recent books that talk about the savage fighting and the military culture are quite good: "Flags of our Fathers" and "Ghost Soldiers."
    Actually I have done serious reading.czardonic
    Dec 12, 2002 3:54 PM
    That doesn't mean I take everything I read for granted. I don't pretend that my point of view is broadly accepted, but that does not mean that it is completely without merit.

    Does serious literature not also recognize that Japan's war machine was fueld almost completely by resources procured off-shore? As such, is it so off-the-wall to wonder how they could be expected to raise it from the ashes, especially when you concede that we could have just it again with near impunity?

    Japan is not Germany. It is a tiny, geographically isolated country with few native resources. As logical as all of your arguments are, they are predicated on the notion that we needed to pursue them without mercy and extract ultimate surrender. I submit that this was not the case, except for reasons that more to do with the emerging post-war rivalries.

    It is true that the Emperor's radio address was the true turning point for the Japanese people. Inherent to that notion is an admission that it surrender could have been extracted without the nuclear attacks, albeit months later. Again, what was the rush, unless the US was already looking beyond Japan?

    My theory about giving them a way out was laughable until we did, and it worked. How laughable is the notion that inflicing a couple nuclear blasts on a fanatical nation that revered its Emperor as a descendent of the Sun Goddess herself would inspire them to welcome us with open arms? In fact, to this day the justification of those attacks is still a bone of contention in Japan, and the Japanese people are perhaps the most strident opponents of nuclear weapons. If things played out as you say, shouldn't they have long ago conceeded that the a-bomb was a necessary evil?

    Losing the war did turn out to be better than winning. But that was function of America's need to establish Japan as a regional outpost in its growing rivalry with the Communists. I submit that its broader utility and the need to wrap things up quickly and prepare for the next battle was the primary reason for the nuclear strike. You must admit, taking Japan, and especially by nuclear force, did prove to be awfully serendipitous. Coincidence?
    If I may quick cut in with a questioncarnageasada
    Dec 12, 2002 7:25 PM
    Granted that hindsight is . . . well, better than 20/20, the thing that bothers me is that given how godawful nukes are . . . I mean I remember seeing the glass in the desert in New Mexico as a kid and thinking that there must have been children my age in Hiroshima who were transformed into something similar . . . don't you wish we would have at least dropped one off shore and said, "Here is what we have. You've never seen anything like it. Surrender now. Please don't make us use another one."

    I think I know what your immediate response would be. Namely that we did have to use another one and it would have been awhile before we could bring other nukes into the theater (awful term) of war. . . but then at least Imperial Japan would have played a major role in the terrible destruction that followed and my conscience on the matter as a citizen of this country would rest a little easier.

    Since you've read a lot of the books on that subject, I was curious why you think we didn't do that? Let's say I agree with you, and I think I do, that Japan had to be completely defeated and that nukes were the quickest, safest way for us to end a war that we didn't start.

    So why didn't we just drop one off shore? Were we still hungry to revenge Pearl Harbor? Were we afraid they would soon have nukes too? What's your take?

    Not looking for an argument, just seeking knowledge on a subject I wish I knew more about.
    What makes you think one off-shore...Wayne
    Dec 13, 2002 4:27 AM
    would have done anything more to make them surrender then the 1st one at Hiroshima? There were a couple of days between that one and Nagasaki when they didn't surrender, right?
    (Do I have my history right, here?)
    a couple of reasonsmohair_chair
    Dec 13, 2002 7:18 AM
    First, they only had three bombs. The bombs were very difficult and incredibly expensive to make. Two were plutonium implosion bombs, one of which was exploded in New Mexico. The other was a uranium bomb, which was a less powerful weapon. Once those were gone, it would be a while before they could make more, because they didn't have enough bomb material.

    Second, if a bomb explodes in the forest, and no one is around to see it, did it really explode? You would have to tell the Japanese it was coming, but if you do that, I'm pretty sure they would either be waiting for you and shoot you down, or they'd think it was some kind of trick. On the other hand, they could go to Hiroshima and see the total devastation for themselves.

    I don't know why people get so worked up about this, especially 50 years later. Unless you lived at that time, you cannot have the proper mindset. Imagine being four years into a very bloody and savage war. Imagine being a senior in high school knowing that you will probably end up sent overseas to fight and perhaps die.

    These were serious weapons, but they were designed to end the war that consumed almost the entire energy of the nation. Almost everything that was going in the United States was about the war. It had to be ended as quickly as possible. What amazes me is that days before, a fire bombing of Tokyo killed at least 100,000 people, but this doesn't seem to bother the people who think the nukes were bad.

    If you are upset about a kid vaporized in Hiroshima, imagine being a kid in Tokyo on the night the Air Force dropped incindiary bombs to start fires, then followed up with high explosives to kill the people putting out the fires. There were several waves of bombers doing this on through the night. I find this much more disturbing that dropping a nuke that does it's damage in seconds. The result is basically the same. Given a choice, I'd rather be the kid in Hiroshima.
    Interesting point about the fire bombingscarnageasada
    Dec 13, 2002 11:03 AM
    You obviously have thought about and know a great deal about this subject.
    I think you're right that it is too easy for someone like me--who benefits from WWII's result, but wasn't in that war--to comment negatively on how it was won. But it's worth talking about--especially now that we're encountering a climate where the United States might consider using a nuke again.

    It's interesting thinking about all this. If I were Truman I think I would have dropped one off shore first and then as Wayne pointed out above the Japanese would not have surrendered and we would have to wait until we had more ready. In the meantime many lives would have been lost. In fact I might not be writing this crap now if it wasn't for those bombs.

    Dropping one off shore I think would have had the moral high ground but it would have been a dubious military decision. I'm glad that I will never ever have to make those sorts of decisions. But I'd like to know more.

    Of the books you mentioned about this subject can you recomend the one you found most interesting to the layman
    Have you read Masuji Ibuse's book, <i>Black Rain</i>?czardonic
    Dec 13, 2002 11:59 AM
    While many more people were killed by conventional weapons, it is a bit of a stretch to characterize nuclear weapons as a faster, more efficient extension. Nuclear weapons do not do their damage in seconds. They do immense damage in seconds, and continue to do harm decades after the damage from conventional weapons is repaired. I am much less worried about the kid who is vaporized than the kid who watched his blody decompose over the following days, weeks or years. Would you rather be that kid?

    I am glad that you at least acknowledge that the a-bombs were part of a continuing war of attrition waged on the civilian population of Japan. Dropping them over a rural area or the sea would have caught plenty of peoples attention. But getting their attention was not the point. The point was to kill as many people as possible. Yes, that is how wars were fought back then. Does that make it right, or mean that we should be rationalizing it 50 years later?

    You find it odd that people are more concerned about the nuclear attacks than the many more killed by fire-bombs. To me, that suggests that even people who accept death as a part of war see that nuclear weapons are beyond the pale.
    nomohair_chair
    Dec 13, 2002 12:54 PM
    I have not read that book. But it isn't hard to imagine what it is about. The war was a horrible enough experience on its own. The A-bombs could not be anymore so.

    I am not saying that nuclear weapons are good or should ever be used again. I'm simply saying that I do not believe in apologizing for using them in 1945. They DID bring an end to the war, and ending the war was good, for America and Japan. Lives were lost and hardships and pain was imposed on some, but overall lives were saved. It was the greater good.

    I do not understand how a non-lethal demonstration would have any effect. Dropping one on a city and destroying it hardly had any effect, which is why another was used. Are we supposed to believe that putting on a big water show was supposed to impress the Japanese enough for them to surrender, when the complete destruction of a city couldn't do it?

    Yes, the civilian population was attacked directly. Civilians were supporting the war effort, just as they were in the United States. And let's not forget that the Japanese were no strangers indiscriminate bombing of civilians, which they did in the 1930s. I suggest reading "The Rape of Nanking," which might serve as a "Black Rain" from the Chinese perspective.
    Well, speaking of the rape of Nanking. . .czardonic
    Dec 13, 2002 1:17 PM
    . . .do we apologize for that because a lot people were put out of their misery rather than being subjected to slavery or more drawn out deprivation? Of course not. War is war, but there are limits to what can be justified. The a-bomb did bring the war to an end sooner, but it also cast a nuclear pall over the entire world that we still have yet to lift. It set the precedent for not just the possesion of nuclear weapons, but their actual use in battle. While Hiroshima and Nagasaki are in no way comparable to the brutality of Nanking, which has the more terrible legacy?

    I really don't think that one could represent nuclear weapons as more humane than fire-bombs if they understood the horrific residual effects of radiation. Since you're pretty scrupulous about your arguments, I really suggest you look at Black Rain.
    WRONGmohair_chair
    Dec 13, 2002 2:11 PM
    Are you saying that if the United States (with Great Britain and Canada) had not developed the A-bomb, we wouldn't have nuclear weapons today? If so, that is so completely wrong. That is a total dream. Nuclear weapons were inevitable. In the decades preceding WWII, nuclear research was the hottest topic in physics. Scientists had theorized that weapons were possible and had made great discoveries about all the processes involved. Research was happening in many places in North America and Europe, and even in Japan. Creating weapons was only a matter of time, resources, and money, and thankfully, only the United States had these during the war. It's unimaginable what the world would be like if Japan or Germany had developed nukes first.
    Not at all what I am saying.czardonic
    Dec 13, 2002 2:26 PM
    I am saying that it set the precedent for using them, which is different to simply having them. It broke the ice in terms of creating rationales for unleashing these weapons, and on civilian targets to boot.
    No,you are...ClydeTri
    Dec 11, 2002 10:38 AM
    Every administration since Truman has retained the right to use nukes. All this was was a leak to remind the idiots of the world that we are willing to use them. Nothing new here, its just an intended propaganda leak...
    Hey d*mb*ss...Wayne
    Dec 11, 2002 11:04 AM
    in case you didn't notice the guys who blew-up the WTC didn't have a country. The main threat to US citizens is no longer other countries, it is fundamentalist extremists. These people are created and tolerated by more sane folks based on a hatred of the west due largely to the percieved injustices of the US against them. You are exactly right, it is nothing new, and that's the problem. The world has changed and Bush is acting like we're still in the middle of the cold war. The propaganda machine needs to get on the ball, and convince these folks that we're not so bad so that the environments no longer exists where terrorists can develop and be tolerated.
    Hey d*mb*ss...ClydeTri
    Dec 11, 2002 11:29 AM
    What they are saying is the same thing Bush the first said to saddam...if you shoot biological,chemical or dirty nuke bombs at our troops or at israel, we may retailiate with nukes....nothing new here..policy of every president since truman...they are just reiterating it...
    I get it...Wayne
    Dec 11, 2002 11:43 AM
    Again, the only US citizens Iraq is endangering are the ones in the military that we may send there. On the other hand, a couple thousand of us got killed in that terrorist attack last September. How about Bush getting with it and focusing on that little problem, rather than looking like a bully to the rest of the world and creating further resentment for no good reason in the Arab world towards us?

    Seriously, what did Iraq do that justifies our invasion?

    What's the evidence that they were planning on doing something to us prior to all of this posturing?

    This whole charade just seems like one more huge blunder in the public relations war that should be being fought between us and the muslim extremists for the hearts of the everyday muslim on the streets of Karachi or wherever.

    You can't beat sensibility into people, and the terrorist threat we face is not the kind that is amenable to invading and even occupying a country because it doesn't require a country to operate from, necessarily.
    I get it...Sintesi
    Dec 11, 2002 11:54 AM
    Well at least we're in Iraq looking for the WMDs. This whole thing may fizzle out if nothing serious is found. Wouldn't that be a relief? But without the serious tone and the WTC event that gave GWB this moral mandate he enjoys, right now these inspections wouldn't be happening at all. We'll have to wait and see but Bush might be right in the long run. No one has a crystal ball here, just instincts.
    No crystal ball...Wayne
    Dec 11, 2002 12:17 PM
    but that's what you have a CIA for!
    Remember when the Iraqi's were building those nuclear power plants back in the '80s before you or I'd ever heard of them?

    Well, Masad (sp?) was watching and what did they do, Israel took them out.

    I don't think it's nearly as trivial to build a nuke as the media/govt has made it out to be. You don't just go kicking around the local junk yard to find the materials to get the nuclear material or to build the triggering device. In fact, I think it takes alot of specialized equipment. Wouldn't the logical place to watch out for "rogue" nations building nukes be the companies, largely in the west, that would necessarily have to supply this equipment.

    We can cut off the parts that Saddam needs to rebuild his tanks, etc. but we can't find out if Die Riechstagercompanier in Hamburg, Germany has sold them a plasma particle particulator?
    Have you heard of the Taliban?53T
    Dec 11, 2002 12:48 PM
    In case you missed the news, Afganistan was controlled by the Taliban. The Taliban were a pupet regime controled by Bin Laden. There is no more Taliban.

    That in itself is a good lesson for the world's actors. Unseating Sadam would be another good lesson. He has done enough harm to US intrests (including shooting at us) that it really dosen't matter how long we wait to get him.
    The Taliban is regrouping and Bin Laden is at large.czardonic
    Dec 11, 2002 1:11 PM
    What kind of lesson is that?
    Taliban regrouping? Not really.sn69
    Dec 11, 2002 4:42 PM
    I've read all the posts with interest, and while I choose to not debate what the cost to Japan would have been had we invaded and not dropped the two bombs, I will tell you this as the ONLY in-the-know voice on the board. The Taliban has effectively ceased to exist. What we are encountering/fighting right now are scattered albiet well-equipped and organized pockets of AQ in addition to the fuedal regional warlords fighting themselves, us and everything around them.

    As for AQ's continued existence, were you (rhetorical you) really that naive to think that a bunch of smart bombs and SpecOps actions would take care of this.

    Again, take it from the guy who in the bidniz (and Spookyload if he's reading)...DOD estimates at least 10 years to wipe out AQ. That's not the industrial complex hoping for more contracts either, nor is that any other conspiracy. That's the cold, tactical appraisal of the situation--a new form of war against a non-government entity that has the funding equivalent to a seperate nation.

    As with all things so politically charged, the challenge to you all, left, right or libertarian, is to read through the rhetorical lines, see through the DOS smoke screens and figure out what's really going on.
    Is there really a difference?czardonic
    Dec 11, 2002 4:47 PM
    Whoever these guys are in name, are they not the same (or at least similar) elements to what comprised the original Taliban?
    Yes, a huge difference really.sn69
    Dec 11, 2002 5:14 PM
    The Taliban in the earliest form were more akin to the Iranian student revolutionaries who deposed the Sha and whacked SAVAK before bringing Khomeni back from exile. They were a group with ostensibly noble social goals, although their methodology was criminal at best. Basically, they wanted to bring order to a largely lawless and chaotic land.

    As with any fringe movement, however, the Taliban grew beyond that and started advancing the concept of religious purification, not unlike the Khmer Rouge's concepts of socio-political purificaiton. In the Taliban's case, that grew even more diluted and divergent when tribal fueds came into play. It stopped being about bringing an end to lawlessness very early on.

    But, in spite of that, they were still very much like children, unsophisticated and open to outside influence--provided that influence was packaged in a style they understood and/or were suceptible to.

    And in can Osama-mama and AQ. What a lot of people don't realize or fully understand is that as unsophisticated and childlike as the Taliban leadership was, AQ was just the opposite. Their inner circle was/is very sophisticated, calculating and cunning. They saw the Taliban as a lump of clay to mold to their liking. It only helped that the Taliban were Islamic Fundamentalists, albeit of a slightly different sect.

    So, Czardonic, yes, they are very different entities. Large numbers of the Taliban's inner circle of leadership who left during last winter's campaign have vehemently agreed that Omar was BinLaden's stooge. It's been reported in the left and right oriented media and even by Al Jezeera.

    The original Taliban is there. But they are not regrouping in the sense that I think you're thinking. Rather, they are regouping along tribal boundaries and borders, more akin to the warlords of Somalia. There are certainly pockets that still believe the poison of AQ and certainly all if not most hate us (how often do you like the guy who kicks your ass), but mostly it's about regionalized power-brokerage within Afghanistan.

    Let's hope that our faith in and support of Hamed Kharzi isn't another "friendly dictator."
    That clears it up.czardonic
    Dec 11, 2002 6:10 PM
    Nonetheless, I don't necessarily feel any better about the situation in Afghanistan. You make it seem as though AQ, which you say is still very much in existence, was the real threat anyway.

    What I was getting at was that the forces and dynamics that turned Afghanistan into the hornets nest that it was are still very much in play. As long as we keep our light shining on the area, the vermin will stick to their hideouts. But we don't seem committed enough to root them out and dispose of them once and for all, and that light isn't going to stay on forever.
    That clears it up.sn69
    Dec 11, 2002 6:45 PM
    There's a measure of keen insight in what you said. The problem is that an enemy of this nature is hard to define and even harder to maintain momentum against in the sense of how the public views it. The American public was, in a sense, done a great disservice by the overwhelming success of the Gulf War. Now they assume warfare is smart bombs and few casualties. Tragically, that's not the case with most wars.

    Think about it this way. This war is broader and significantly harder to dfine. What happened in Afghanistan last winter was just a battle. What happened in the PI was just a battle. We won those battles in as much as we lost three others--9/11, the Cole, and the African embassy bombings. There are many more battles to come. And that scares us all....

    I'm sorry if I sounded too harsh in my earlier posts. My wife's grandmother died today. It's very hard to see somebody you love in so much pain....
    War has become a TV show.czardonic
    Dec 11, 2002 7:00 PM
    I agree that this bodes ill for us, though I don't relish the idea of what it will take to remind people that war is not pretty. (Incidentally, there is an interesting first hand account in the latest Harper's Magazine [I think] of a sniper's experience in the Gulf. An interesting account of the brutality and chaos that is part of even the quickest and most "hygenic" operations.)

    I didn't detect any harshness earlier. My condolences to your family.
    When I re-read my postssn69
    Dec 11, 2002 7:50 PM
    I felt as if I was a bit snippy, and that wasn't my intent. All too often, people get too passionate when discussing politics. I have no issue with the passion of politics in and of themselves, but they are a difficult subject to discuss with objectivity. Trust me...I know--I come from very liberal parents but work in a very conservative world.

    Thus, I usually only pipe-in to respond to what I feel are specific issues that have missing elements that I can provide given my profession. I always try to keep it even-keeled (pun intended), but I'm fallable like everyone else.

    Sorry 'bout that. I've soothed my frayed nerves and sad disposition by ogling over the Spectrum, Vanilla and Merlin sites. ...Music to soothe the savage beast of sorts....

    Scott
    So why Iraq, now?Wayne
    Dec 12, 2002 6:10 AM
    I'd like to hear your opinion on this since you seem to basically be saying what I was trying to get across.
    That is, the "war" on terrorism isn't in any sense conventional and will not be fought on TV as the Gulf war was. Yet the Bush administration has brought this whole Iraq thing to the forefront, for what?
    As I see it, it can only hurt us in the real war that we need to win by furthering the perception in the muslim world that we are a bully and need to be taught a lesson.
    If you had read the whole thread..Wayne
    Dec 12, 2002 5:58 AM
    which is a monumental task, you would see that I said I felt that the action in Afganistan was justified. So yes I have heard of the Taliban. Even our own CIA won't say Iraq has had anything to do with terrorism against us.
    Terrorism by non-governmental fundamentalists is the threat we face, not Iraq, going to war with Iraq will only further the conditions that allow those nuts to flourish and for what? To show the world the we have an overwhelming military advantage in any kind of conventional fight? I think they already know that, and I think the one's (even governments) who want to attack us, have figured its best to not fight conventionally.
    And somewhere, hooked up to his dialysis machine,OldEdScott
    Dec 11, 2002 11:05 AM
    Osama bin Laden is praying to Allah with all his might that Bush DOES use nuclear weapons against Iraq.

    And if he's smart, and we know he is, he may have the bright idea of causing a little 'incident' himself that would cause Bush to do just that.

    In the fog of war, anything can happen. And Osama, I guarantee, wouldn't thinbk twice about setting Saddam up for a nuking.
    RhetoricJon Billheimer
    Dec 11, 2002 12:58 PM
    I think Bush is doing two things: 1)trying to look like a cowboy hero to his American political constituency and 2)matching Arab-style rhetoric. Arabs have always used exagerration, hyperbole, and overkill in their culture when negotiating.

    A good point was made above in noting that Islamists like bin Laden would love nothing more than a U.S. initiated conflagration in the middle east. It would justify their position and xenophobic sense of grievance.

    Wayne also touches on what I believe is the central flaw in the emerging U.S. policy on pre-emptive strikes. Such a policy overthrows 700 or 800 years of international law going back to the Treaty of Westphalia (sorry history buffs, I didn't look up the date). The principle here is that national sovereignty is to be respected unless there is a clear and imminent threat of attack by one country upon another. Regardless of how evil Saddam is, Iraq has never threatened to attack the United States. The hypocrisy in the Bush doctrine is that he is threatening to attack Iraq because it is weak enough for the U.S. to get away with it. He is not threatening to attack North Korea, China, Pakistan etc., even though they are all guilty of human rights abuses, possess weapons of mass destruction, etc. This is outright bullying by anyone's standards and flouts all acceptable canons of international behaviour.
    Iraq started itDougSloan
    Dec 11, 2002 2:02 PM
    Some people forget that Iraq got itself into a little mess when it invaded Kuwait. I don't recall hearing any justification for it, either. Then, it lost a war, and agree to conditions as terms of surrender. It (arguably) has broken the conditons. That means the surrender terms are voidable, and the war is back on. It's like he just postponed it 10 years. Sure, that's a rough simple view of it, but essentially true.

    Iraq invaded Kuwait; Iraq lost; Iraq agreed to terms; Iraq broke agreement. Why is that such a hard concept?

    We are not the bully. We are responding to a bully -- that is, unless everyone has forgotten the Gulf War and wants to forgive Saddam and act like nothing ever happened.

    Doug
    Was it Iraq or Saddam?ColnagoFE
    Dec 11, 2002 3:06 PM
    I don't think the average Iraqi citizen had much to do with any of what Saddam has done. Get rid of Saddam if you must but don't place the blame in the hands of the mostly innocent and citizens.
    99.999% of them voted for him!!! nmDougSloan
    Dec 11, 2002 3:14 PM
    did they really have a choice? nmColnagoFE
    Dec 12, 2002 7:18 AM
    Damn Doug,Wayne
    Dec 12, 2002 6:17 AM
    you sound like a lawyer!
    Isn't the point to win the war on terrorism, not punish every violator of international law/agreements?

    You're right about Iraq in the first place, and they were probably a serious threat to stability in the region at that time. But we put an end to that in the Gulf war, Saddam is no more than a caged tiger now. Let him be, just like we let numerous other dictators be, unless they legitimately pose a threat to us. OR use clandestine means to oust him, where we don't engender resentment in the muslim world yet still achieve our goals.

    Did you see CNN this morning? N. Korea is reactivating it's nuclear program. Do you think we're going to threaten to invade them? If we weren't hypocrites we'd certainly have to, but I really doubt it will come to that eventhough they seem to represent a much larger threat as far as getting nukes into terrorist hands, etc.
    re: Rhetorictao
    Dec 11, 2002 2:14 PM
    So you wouldn't have supported the pre-emptive strike against Afghan targets that President Bush was considering on Sep. 10, 2001 either?

    What makes you think you're not also wrong about Iraq? You're really that sure that they haven't trained Al Qaeda Martyrs in the use of chemical and biological weapons, supplied them with weapons, and offered a reward to the families of those who carry out the mission like they do for Hamas and Hezbollah?

    I don't think the flaw is in the emerging policy itself but that the changing landscape has dictated a review of a policy based on a countries ability to control, publicly and privately, its stated position on terrorism.
    so you want to nuke first and have god sort em out later? (nm)ColnagoFE
    Dec 11, 2002 3:08 PM
    re: RhetoricJon Billheimer
    Dec 11, 2002 5:57 PM
    Prior to Sept. 11, frankly I wasn't paying much attention to any foreign policy goings on. However, if the U.S. received warnings or had good information that Al Qaeda, based in Afghanistan, posed an imminent threat of attack I would support a pre-emptive strike. The administration has not been able to build a credible case for any meaningful linkage between Iraq and Al Qaeda, nor has Iraq in any way threatened the U.S. What it does threaten is American strategic interests in the middle east.

    If Bush is concerned with going after those states who provide material support to Al Qaeda it should be targeting Syria, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Pakistan. However, attacking them directly would either have undesirable political, economic, or military consequences. Pakistan, especially, has nurtured and supported both the creation of the Taliban and Al Qaeda, yet Bush has made it an ally of convenience. Herein I see a great hypocrisy in the current U.S. position.

    With respect to escalating rhetoric, I really don't have a problem with it. I think the Arabs and all other potentially hostile parties need to understand clearly that to attack the U.S. or its allies comes with overwhelming and unacceptable consequences.

    I also realize that times change and challenges change, so laws and policies need to change accordingly. This is why U.N. sanction is so important to the legitimacy of any U.S. led military adventures. The problem as I see it is the Bush administration's repeated assertions that it will exercise it's will with or without U.N. support. With no direct threat of attack upon it and without U.N. support, such behaviour by the U.S., in my opinion, would place it in the rogue category that it so deplores with respect to Iraq, Iran, and North Korea. If there is to be pre-emptive military policing action on a global basis by the U.S. it must remain within the framework of international sanction, and a body of acceptable international law needs to be developed to support such actions.