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A Loss of Perspective?(36 posts)

A Loss of Perspective?Dwayne Barry
Apr 21, 2003 11:24 AM
Two recent events have lead me to believe that we've lost perspective. Maybe it's just the sensationalistic nature of media nowadays but...

In the scope of warfare, was the war with Iraq that big of a deal? I mean, it was a grossly one-sided affair (which was probably a good thing as far as casualties on all sides are concerned) yet the media/govt. make it sound like Franks and Meyers are the greatest military men since Napolean.

SARS. Come-on folks, didn't the influenza epidemic of 1917-18 kill millions upon millions of people, more than died in WWI? Has SARS even killed a thousand people? You'd think we experiencing the black death the way the media reports on this issue.
the culture of fearmohair_chair
Apr 21, 2003 11:40 AM
The media loves this SARS thing. The media loves anything that scares people because it attracts viewers.

More people were infected by hepatitis last week than SARS. But that's not scary enough.
Just regular old flu killsOldEdScott
Apr 21, 2003 11:41 AM
what, 30,000 people every year? I agree, SARS is overreported.

As for Franks and Meyers -- Yawn. Any halfwit Colonel could have run that war brilliantly, given the utter lack of any organized resistance. (Maybe not, but I'd have been more impressed if the 'war' had involved an opponent).
When I had the flu, I wished it would kill me (nm)TJeanloz
Apr 21, 2003 12:35 PM
Just regular old flu killsTanks
Apr 21, 2003 12:54 PM
Can't speak for this war but I took part in the last one. One of the many things I learned was the value of planning. A good plan (and a little determination) will take the fight out of most opponents. Franks and Meyers did just fine.

I think the 1918 flu had a mortality rate of 3%. I wonder what the rate is for SARS.
I heard on the radio it was something like 1-3% (nm)empacher6seat
Apr 21, 2003 1:02 PM
Just saw a report on CNN...Dwayne Barry
Apr 21, 2003 1:19 PM
it's around 4000 cases world-wide with about 200 to 300 deaths.
Rate was 3%-4% until China reported its new cases...PdxMark
Apr 21, 2003 2:09 PM
The 4000 cases includes newly admitted cases in China, I think. When it was reported by believable governments, the rate was 3+%.

The reporting is sensationalized... But a "cold germ" with a 3+% mortality rate is a scarey thing. Also, flu tends to kill the old & infirm, and SARS seems to like to kill somewhat healthy adults.

But there seems to be a couple possible transmission paths. One is regular cold transmission - door knobs, elevatoor buttons etc., and maybe sneezes/coughs. THe scarey/weird cases were the Amoy Garden apartment complex in Hong Kong. SARS seems to have been passed through the sewage system... somehow... between apartments. It was more deadly (or coupled with other infections) than regular SARS.
Nice Monday morning quarterbacking Ed! :O)Live Steam
Apr 21, 2003 2:24 PM
"As for Franks and Meyers -- Yawn. Any halfwit Colonel could have run that war brilliantly, given the utter lack of any organized resistance. (Maybe not, but I'd have been more impressed if the 'war' had involved an opponent)."

The following are just a few quotes from your recent posts. I can't imagine that you are disappointed that the coalition didn't suffer more casualties, so it must be that you Liberals really have a tough time admitting when you're wrong or giving credit when it's due to someone from the conservative side of the aisle. This dismissal of the efforts put forth by our military brain trust, is akin to the perfidious stance Liberals took at the onset of the war. Your previous post are reflective of that. You were/are not alone here as most partisan Liberals have displayed the same ignominious hatred of the Bush administration.


"we will very soon be armpits-deep in a general Middle Eastern War"
OldEdScott "Is the war going to plan?" 3/31/03 8:14am

"Oh Lord. Urban warfare."

"This is clearly going to be a bloody, bloody business, given Iraqi tactics. But we may lose even more blood, a drop at a time, in an aftermath so complicated that I can't even see the end of it."

http://forums.consumerreview.com/crforum?viewall@@.efc82be
You stalking me, Steam? Or just keeping myOldEdScott
Apr 22, 2003 5:02 AM
Collected Works for reference, to educate yourself?

Either way, kinda scary.

Hey, enough of that. Let's do something fun. How about a nice shrill round of Clinton bashing? You haven't bashed Clinton is HOURS, and you do it better than anyone.

C'mon, Steam! Let 'er rip! You need to vent and I need a good laugh. I'll get you started:

I think Clinton was the best President since Roosevelt.

There -- take off.
Say what I really want to hear are your thoughts on...Live Steam
Apr 22, 2003 6:25 AM
NIXON :O) People from the Left were and have been bashing him for years, even decades, after his term in office ended in disgrace. I am sure that you were as appalled by this display of apathy for Nixon as you are for Clinton. It was disgraceful what they did to that poor man even after he took the high road and resigned. Clinton put his own interests above the Country, unlike Dick Nixon.

Stalking you? Why that's exactly what I was thinking each time you referenced my posts. But how could I not be flattered? So keep it up, I like the PR :O)

Hey I didn't make up the stuff, you posted those sophic messages of gloom and doom. I can't imagine why a special ops vet wouldn't be thumping his chest or at least feel some Esprit de Corps, after such a well executed plan brought on a quick and decisive victory.
No, but you might be ableOldEdScott
Apr 22, 2003 6:46 AM
to imagine -- if you really s t r e t c h those brain cells -- how a former member of Vietnam Veterans Against the War could recognize a bad war when he sees one.

I think we'll wait and see before we declare my gloom and doom "sophic," but I may as well break it to you that the word "sophic' means "wise." Maybe this Liberal Panty Waste will prove sophic after all, before this business is finisheed.
:O) Yes I know what the word means. It's called ...Live Steam
Apr 22, 2003 6:58 AM
SARCASM! I hope you didn't have to break out the dictionary for that one :O) Why "former member"? Will your observations prove to be sophic? Only time will allow that to be judged. From strictly a military point of view, you as a military man, have to admit it was a well conceived plan that was just as well executed. Your allegation that the enemy didn't show up to fight was your most astute observation. However one would have to wonder why they didn't come to fight? Since you were involved in psy-ops you are probably better able to explain that than most of us greenhorn civilians.
It's still an open question, but I believeOldEdScott
Apr 22, 2003 7:16 AM
the policies pursued by Bill Clinton vis a vis Iraq probably broke their will to fight. Wouldn't you agree?
What policies? He implemented policies?Live Steam
Apr 22, 2003 7:23 AM
I thought he was preoccupied with Lil' Willie :O) What were his policies toward Iraq? I am very interested in hearing this. I know what his policies were toward our military. He gutted it. So it couldn't be that. He did rip off a few Tomahawk missiles to divert attention from the Monica scandal, but other than that I don't recall any proactive plan he was implementing. It must have been a double secret type of thing :O)
Why U.S. casualties were lowLive Steam
Apr 21, 2003 3:11 PM
I think this explains why there were relatively few casualties and a quick end to the war in Iraq, better than OldEd's lack of respect for the enemy. Let's not forget that the US accomplished the same astounding results in Afghanistan - a place that saw the Russians lose almost 14,000 men in ten years of fighting.

http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/iraq/2003-04-20-cover-usat_x.htm
Yeah but...Dwayne Barry
Apr 22, 2003 3:56 AM
weren't the Russians trying to pacify the country which was overflowing with Mujahadeen armed with some top-notch equipment supplied by us?

My impression is that:

1) We've largely abandoned the Afghani people and let the warlords retake control of most of the country (the very situation that created the conditions that allowed the Taliban to get into power).

2) We stick to our bases and Kabul and only go out for seek and destroy type missions.

3) Hamid Karzi who has the title of "President of Afghanistan" is really the Mayor of Kabul (or Governor of a slightly larger area).

So, while I think our military is top-notch I wouldn't equate the Russian experience in Afghanistan with ours, and attribute our relatively light casualties to the competence of the military men necessarily.
Ah, Steam. The Afghan war isn't over yet. NeitherOldEdScott
Apr 22, 2003 5:05 AM
is the Iraq War, for that matter. There'll be plenty of time to count casualties a few years down the road.

My feeling is, casualties have been low because of President Bill Clinton. He showed us how to do it, and even that dimwit Rumsfeld/Cheney crowd has learned that lesson.

What a GREAT President Clinton was.
I almost fell off of my chair :O) That was the funniest ......Live Steam
Apr 22, 2003 6:47 AM
Clinton? How does he figure into this? Man you truly have a contorted sense of reasoning to think that Clinton somehow had a hand in the success of this military action.

You and Dwayne Barry may be correct in one sense - if the US were looking to be occupiers like the Russians, rather than liberators, the casualty numbers would probably be higher. However that was not our intent. We were seeking terrorists and regime change and those two goals are being achieved. It's called success. If you want to measure it you will have to wait a few years though.

Regarding a few points that Dwayne Barry made - we have not abandoned the Afghan people. Our forces are still there along with a coalition of forces from France (ugh) and others. The Afghanis are being trained to police themselves and to fight off the remnants of the Taliban. There is also a democratic form of government in place. There will be some opposition to this by those self-serving warlords, but time will be needed to judge success or failure. What I would like to know is how the "Russians were trying to pacify the country"? They were trying to conquer it. We did supply the oposition to the Russian invasion with weapons just as they have been supplying Iraq with weapons. Very poor argument there. We kicked ass because we are bigger, badder and smarter - meaning we war plan better, have a better trained military and create better weaponry than the Russians. They must be happy that the Cold War is over.
aha! found photo of OldEdDougSloan
Apr 22, 2003 7:51 AM
Trying to keep the Bloodhounds from jumping on me!OldEdScott
Apr 22, 2003 8:05 AM
the best make it look easyDougSloan
Apr 22, 2003 7:09 AM
The best in any field make things look easy. I think our plan for war these days is to be so overwhelmingly good that "resistance is futile." I think it's a great strategy, as it apparently works. Sure, every time it happens it's going to make the opposition look weak and trivial; that's the goal. Rather than demeaning the effort based upon the apparent ease of victory, I congratulate the military for their overwhelming professionalism.

Yes, the SARS thing is blown out of proportion. That's the job of the media. Sort of like Scott Peterson -- the entire country is making a huge deal out of this missing person/murder case, when there are 35 other missing persons from Modesto alone, and thousands of other cases in California, including many pregnant women. They like to pick one thing and really harp on it, don't they?

Doug
OK, someone SERIOUS to discuss this withOldEdScott
Apr 22, 2003 7:26 AM
Here's my point, and a valid one: No one's demeaning anyone. But trumpeting this as a great and historic military campaign is just to be carried away by the patriotic fervor of the moment. Demonstrating overwhelming force to convince an enemy not to fight is a great and desirable strategy, obviously. Of COURSE that's the desired outcome. But it's NOT great generalship on the field.

We would have seen if Franks was a great general with a great plan had the Iraqis chosen to fight. I suspect he would have proven to be a pretty good fighting general, with a pretty good plan. But to compare him with greats like Lee, Napolean, Alexander, whoever -- it's preposterous.
so you are saying...DougSloan
Apr 22, 2003 7:40 AM
He isn't necessarily a bad general, but he simply didn't have the opportunity to prove himself, as there was so great a mis-match in power? (sort of like Lance vs. any of us on bikes?)

If so, that's possible. However, there is something to be said for not blundering a certain victory, or at least making it worse than it should be. Not that that should be the standard, but we'll never really know whether the outcome could have been difference with another strategy, so it's pure speculation.

I posted a reference to a Russian article a few weeks ago referencing some Russian generals who were absolutely amazed at the decisiveness of the victory compared to what they expected. Of course, this was not "patriotic fervor of the moment" on their part. I think that's worth something.

Maybe the great decisions were made well ahead of the battles this time, so great "generalship on the field" was unnecessary. Possible.

Doug
Yeah, let's clarify.OldEdScott
Apr 22, 2003 8:21 AM
IF the Iraqis didn't fight BECAUSE of decisions and actions Franks conceived and took before the first shot was fired, THEN that was terrific generalship.

I think that's the real story of this war, as yet untold: Why wasn't there a war?
no war?DougSloan
Apr 22, 2003 8:27 AM
I think if you ask the soldiers in Iraq they would tell you there indeed was a war.

As an aside, this is my fear -- that we get things all settled down, and then Saddam and buddies pop up after our military presence is minimized, retake the country, and we have to do it all over again. It might have been his "Plan B" from the beginning.

Doug
PS...DougSloan
Apr 22, 2003 8:29 AM
If there was "no war," then I suppose all the protesters can go home and declare a victory.

Doug
Gee thanks! Well I'm still here :O)Live Steam
Apr 22, 2003 7:44 AM
Would your tongue roll up and fall off if you complemented this administration for anything? First we had the Janine Garoflo's of the World predicting doom and gloom and when that doesn't transpire the naysayers find it difficult to take the high road and admit their miscalculations. It almost seems as if you are disappointed that there weren't more causalities and that the war was swift and successful. I can't believe that, but it comes off that way. Who compared Franks to Lee or Napoleon anyway? Your partisanship does get the better of you. Oh by the way it is Napoleon! :O)
predictions vs. realityDougSloan
Apr 22, 2003 7:55 AM
Yes, the Left was predicting an extended bloodbath before the war, wasn't it? Now, they re-write their own history to trivialize the opposition. Al-Sahaf would be proud!

Doug
HELLO! I am still predictingOldEdScott
Apr 22, 2003 8:17 AM
an extended bloodbath in the Middle East, since that's what our neo-con friends are hell-bent on!

You all are dismissing the gloom-and-doom of (some of) the Left as wrong simply because the FIRST stage of our experience in Iraq is over. Maybe you guys believe this is all there is, and we'll all be home and happy again soon. I don't share your optimism.

I believe we're in for a rocky occupation of Iraq that will extend longer than the Bushies are willing to even hint at.

I believe the Middle East War hasn't ended, it has just begun.

I KNOW the Afghan War is not won by a long shot. I wish sn69/Scott were here to enlighten us on that.
Feeling a little ganged up on :O)Live Steam
Apr 22, 2003 8:44 AM
No one is saying that everything is over or that there aren't more unsavory events to follow, but there just seems to be this aversion by the Left to acknowledge this as a successful mission after they forewarned dire results.

Now today is my birthday, so I am going out for a ride to be followed by dinner with friends at a shi shi French restaurant in NYC :O)
FRENCH restaurant?DougSloan
Apr 22, 2003 8:46 AM
Commie.

Happy Birthday. Tailwinds...

Doug
FREEDOM restaurant!OldEdScott
Apr 22, 2003 9:04 AM
Enjoy, dude. Happy birthday.
free=French?DougSloan
Apr 22, 2003 9:13 AM
Maybe at the French restaurant, you go in and order, eat your food, then refuse to pay for it. They say "ok" and let you walk out. Not a bad deal.

People, you must be optimists and turn these perceived problems into opportunities.

Doug
Thanks Ed! Your not so bad for a ....Live Steam
Apr 22, 2003 11:31 AM
commie, liberal :O)
FRENCH restaurant? Yeah well the couple ...Live Steam
Apr 22, 2003 11:30 AM
treating us are originally from Berkeley! Besides they made these reservations before the war started ;O)

Thanks for the well wishes! Hey if anyone needs to get in touch with me they can ask the matre'd at Chanterelle to page the 43 year old neo-con. There may be quite a few respondents though :O)