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I hate to to keep having to repeat myself but I will try one more time and then we will postpone the argument due to rain..:-)
Being honest about your hate is not necessarily an admirable trait...Unless you are going all out for honesty.
On the important decision like an moratorium on drilling; I seriously doubt that president Obama, who campaigned on going green, had to be forced.... Turn on any news channel and you won't have to wait over 10 minutes before you see the 76 day old oil gusher in the gulf. He would have to be pretty dumb not to want a moratorium, to check the questionable permits that were allowed. It's a moot point for now, since the courts ruled against him. Imagine who would get the blame if another deep water well were to explode? If in fact, the administration is paying Brazil to drill off their own coast, how will that affect the decision in the gulf, where the oil companies admit they do not have a plan for the worst case scenario?
Have a good, happy, July 4th weekend
Unlike most people on here, I am honest about my hatreds. The Obama Administration wouldn’t place moratoriums on drilling if it was for the advice from the greens and eco- liberals. Second, I would back the moratoriums if the Administration have had also stop paying Brazil to drill on their coast.
WriteinYou make no sence and in most cases,you show the same amount of hate as the people you despise.btw..It was the Obama administration that imposed the moratarium,not the green liberals on 33 wells out of all the thousands.
I am a enemy of Conservatives, but Liberalism at a fault too. The Oil spill is proof. The green, liberal types ban or discouage drilling which make cons and neo-cons to invade Iraq etc.
Lol...Not being a Liberal is all it takes to be a reasonable Democrat.Now,I've heard everything..guess I can go to bed now.Thanks for the lesson...:-)
I hadn't listen to Hate talk radio in the past two weeks. I listen to them bigots (Hannity & Beck) because I want to know my enemy.
WriteinReasonable is subjective..a self anyalis is not that Important..it's what others think .Imo
You comparing Tom Friedman to Hannity/Beck does not make you reasonable....like I said,you are too consumed with talk radio.Conservatives can & do have valid opinions as well as liberals...not every liberal or conservative has the talk radio mindset.
I am a reasonable Democrat because I am NOT a liberal. Tom Friedman and people like him think they have all the sense, when they don’t. They are like Tasin, Glenn Beck, or Sean Hannity .
I read that they dropped 20 kilo tons of bombs every week on Japan, the same tonnage as the A-bombs. The heart of every major Japanese city was pretty much leveled by fire bombing.
The army was surprised by the destruction of the A-bombs, it was much bigger than what they calculated. They failed to factor in the fires that destroyed much of the buildings far away from ground zero.
Hiroshima and Nagasaki were gone in the blink of an eye. These are terrible weapons, we are living in a dangerous world about to become even more so.
rollinstone...The Twentieth Air Force, headquartered on Guam was doing its dead level best to burn the heart of every Japanese city and destroy what little industry left. You are quite correct in that the hope was that the Japanese would surrender without the need for invasion of their home islands. Also remember that, while the decision to drop the atomic bomb(s) had been made earlier and preperations were being made for that particular force, there was some doubt the thing would actually work. Only three bombs had been made and they weren't of the same design. There was some fear that one would work and the other wouldn't since only one was tested. After the successful test in the US, there was less concern that neither would, but, while expectations were high, so was the heart burn rate among the officers in charge of the project. If the Japanese hadn't surrendered after the second bomb, there would have been a significant delay before another could be used because it (they) would have to be constructed.
Good points all around rollinstone,
The war in Afghanistan started out to crush Al Queda and get Bin Laden. Then it was decided to get rid of the Taliban, since they allowed Al Queda to operate in Afghanistan. Sure it made both groups move, in terrain like Afghanistan and western Pakistan that is easy for a guerrilla force to do, lots of hiding places, one of the most inhospitable places in the world.
IMO, the Afghan population tolerated the Taliban because they helped get rid of the Russians and their Shia rules and laws where mostly in line with Afghan culture and only affected the Afghans that lived in cities, a term I use loosely.
The rural population and warlords, still did what they have always done. It didn't bother them that those strange people (Al Queda) built camps in the middle of nowhere and practiced shooting and blowing nothing up, no big deal to a Poppy farmer or a warlord that rules his little part of the world. The majority of Afghans don't care who is in charge, they live like they always have.
The CIA and special forces offered the Northern alliance $ and weapons for their support, sure they took it, why look a gift horse in the mouth?
Can you really blame anyone for the decision of using the bomb?
Causalities from pacific battles make the losses in Iraq and Afghanistan pale by comparison.
Leyte-17,000Luzon-31,000Iwo Jima-20,000Okinawa-39,000 ground,7,700 Navy
Anyone of those is higher than the causalities from Iraq/Afghanistan.
Legion, it also said in that link that the decision to drop the bomb was already made even before the Japanese troop movements. I think we were bound and determined to bomb Japan into unconditional surrender and invade only if that failed.
After the causalties of Okinawa invasion of Japan was considered with considerable dread and doubt. That's why we gave Japan only three days to respond to Hiroshima before we bombed Nagasak,i we wanted to convince them that the fate of their entire culture was at stake - that and an urgency to get the war over before Russia grab too much territory.
And one final point even before the Trinity test they were working as fast as they could to get the air fields, planes and crews ready. People were at work on Tinian getting ready to assemble the bombs, load the bombs and fly them to Japan. All of this did not take place in just a few days it took weeks.
What is "interesting" about all this is the level of destruction it takes to get a fanatical enemy to surrender - body counts make little difference. That's why fighting in Afghanistan makes little sense to me, we are allowing the enemy to choose the battlefield and the tactics, just like in Vietnam - a war of necessity?
Interesting Mike, in the link I posted below, it mentions that the Japanese where moving a large number of forces from Manchuria to the Japanese islands anticipating a US lead invasion. Also that the Japanese had made airworthy about 2000 antiquated aircraft for defensive use as Kamikazes.
It seems to me, that by that action, Japan had conceded Manchuria to Russia and where bound and determined to defend the their home islands at all costs.
On a side note, in 45, my father was a marine stationed in Hawaii, he claimed that they had already received their orders concerning the mainland invasion of Japan, but the orders where still sealed, awaiting the "go" word, when the A-bombs where dropped.
WaywardwindExcellent analysis of the terrain in Afghanistan citing the reasons we cannot just bomb a country like that and expect immediate surrender... We might scatter some goats; that's about it.
I was not trying to argue how effective the A bomb was but I just had a little flash back of an unpleasant situation when I had bought that point up,20 years ago.
I hope I don't bore you with this little story.
I was having a friendly, conversation with a work buddy of mine and the topic was the" A "bomb and its effectiveness in ending the war with Japan. I made a point that I had read a book where the Emperor Hirohito said they were more scared of the Russians after the Manchuria evasion than the Americans and the dropping of the "A "bomb was not necessary...... We did not know a fella coworker(WWII vet) was listening to our conversation, even though he was within earshot. He immediately came over to me and I thought he was going to strangle me because he was quite upset. He told us to shut up because we didn't know what we'were talking about. We knew he was a war vet but he never talked about it in,so when he said" I went over there as a military policeman, I saw the people and the devastation, so don't you ever tell me we had other options" and then he left.. As he was leaving, I remember apologizing several times but I don't think he heard me. Several weeks later, he made a halfhearted apology for what he thought was getting out of line in the workplace,but not for dressing us down.... That's why I never went back to check out the validity of the book ,that was contradictory to popular belief.....
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You wrote "Tom Friedman is elitist liberal nut job and this is a Democrat saying this. " I'm quite confused by that statement. 1. You see, I have quoted Tom Friedman several times and I am not the least embarrassed because he is a three time(count them) Pulitzer Prize winner,for his outstanding reporting on Beirut and the Middle East. He supported the invasion of Iraq. 2. Are you saying that you are a more reasonable democrat because you calling,Tom Friedman, a liberal nut job? I'm a big fan of conservative columnist Kathleen Parker(another Pulitzer winner), am I supposed to consider her some right wing nut job?.... I think you listen to too much talk radio; not much room between a different point of view and extremism.... I would appreciate some proof in the form of the link, to support your statement..... I may be wrong.
3. An elitist is someone that thinks this country should be controlled by the ideology of a group that person belongs to. You certainly are entitled to your opinion but I've been reading Tom Friedman since the 1980s and I never came away thinking he was an elitist. 4. I'm glad our commander in chief and Allied commander know better than to use nuclear weapons in close proximity of two countries that have nuclear weapons... I'm glad we have leaders that use their intelligence rather than the" bombs away" mentality. i.e. "The U.S. and its allies already have ample numbers and firepower to annihilate the Taliban, if only the Taliban would cooperate by standing still and allowing us to bomb them to smithereens."
Andrew Bacevich, a professor of international relations and history at Boston University, and one-time platoon leader in Vietnam.
BTW We already have a 12:1 ratio over the Talinan ad last I heard less than 100 Al Qaeda forces in Afghanistan..As you know ,we are not at war with Afghanistan.
I think Legion357's statements in the last two days are on the mark.... The people of Afghanistan just want to be left alone and this conflict cannot be won militarily, many great powers have gone there to die.... Experts say it is winnable but from the ground up with a constant 100,000 troop force,about $1 trillion, and a 10-15 years of commitment.
I think I have a solution for terrorism. In my sick and twisted mind, I would created a illusion of a Muslim beheading a drug lord. I bet it would cause a war between Muslims terrorist and Central American Drug lords.
I stand corrected that MOAB doesn’t fit in a B-52. I should’ve know better. Personally, WWW I want that B*****d to be captured alive, but I won’t shed a tear if they plant a bullet up Osama’s @$$.
I would to see an update version of Khan’s invasion used there with bombers.
Thats why Predator drones and the like are now the favored weapon of choice to take out high value targets. Who knows 20 years from now what technology will allow us do when it comes to precision killing?
Writein...The entire US arsenal of Massive Ordinance Air Blast bombs stands at around 15. They don't fit inside the bomb bay of a B-52. They were designed to be dropped from cargo aircraft (C-130 or C-117). In order to not waste them, you would need specific targeting information. In the steep canyons in the mountains of Afghanistan and Pakistan, the massive explosive force of the MOAB bomb would largely be wasted against the rock walls. Neutron bombs would similarly be useless unless you happened to stumble across a large force of the enemy in the open. That seldom happens. Sadly, there is no good way to kill OBL by air strikes. Without a target, you wouldn't know where to place the bombs. That nut who went over there by himself with the stated intention of killing OBL had a better chance of success. Actually, a sniper team with a well placed bullet probably would stand a better chance of killing him than an air strike.
Back on subject, the best way I have heard it put, on PBS just a minute ago, "Afghanistan is the graveyard of empires, from Genghis Khan to America."
Simply put, not one country in history has been able to "tame" that part of the world.
Tom Friedman is elitist liberal nutjob and this is a Democrat saying this. The way of fighting this war have been wrong since 9-11. Why isn't there a Delcartaion of War?
If it were me, not President Obama or the top ALLIED Commander, in office the rules would be relax. I would send B-52 with MOAB's or MK-1 neutron nukes over the eastern and southern borber.
My only goal would be killing Osama.
Mike..."Pretty much surrendered" doesn't count. The were "pretty much defeated" after the US took the Mariana Islands away from them. The Great Marianas Turkey Shoot left them with virtually no naval aviation. They hadn't won a naval engagement since the Battle of Savo Island in the Solomons in 1942 and most of their navy was at the bottom of the Pacific. Japanhad been defeated in every island invasion we undertook. The US submarine force had a stranglehold around the home islands and the Army Air Corps was bombing everything in sight except for the cities reserved for the atomic bombs. Still they wouldn't surrender. The A-bombs decided the issue once and for all. They negated the need for an Allied invasion of the home islands, thereby saving countless casualties on BOTH sides. The surrender also took place before the Soviets could get into the northern part of Japan, thereby saving Japan from being like Korea and Germany. That turned out to be VERY important for both Japan and the US.
As terrible as the atomic bombings were, the really did save lives by ending the war without invasion. There was also the side issue of demonstrating to Stalin that the US had a weapon the Soviets couldn't match.
Read the following link to understand the reasoning of using the A-bomb instead other methods to end the Pacific part of WWII.
It seems to me, that not only did the US know what Japans military was doing, the Japanese also had figured out the US strategy.
Japan had the notion that they might be able to keep Manchuria since they "acquired" it before the war in the Pacific. The Potsdam declaration disabused them of that thought along with the Russian declaration of war.
I read that the bombs were dropped to impress the Russians as much as the Japanese. In Addition there was a lot of momentum built up to use the bombs that we spent considerable effort to develop and build.
Five Japanese cities were targeted for the bombs by Roosevelt in early 1945. These cities were not intentionally bombed with conventional weapons to "save them" for the A-bombs.
War is madness and as they continue each side becomes a little more crazy, a little more inhumane and merciless as each side escalates the violence and destruction in order to end it. WWII ended in a frenzy of violence - that frenzy is with us today after a century of world conflict.
Since we're going back to WWII, I remember reading a book that stated that we never needed to drop the A bomb because Japan had pretty much surrendered after the Soviet invasion of Manchuria.... They had pretty much given up.... I never went back to see if it was true.
Japan was trying to negotiate an end of the war through the Russians acting as their intermediary before we dropped the bomb(s). What convinced the Japanese to surrender was the Russian declaration of war - the bombs helped them reach that conclusion.
The fire bombings prior to the A-bombs actually did more damage. It is incredible the destruction and death that WWII caused. It far surpasses any natural disaster that we have seen in modern history - whole cities were wiped out, millions were made homeless and thousands died in one night. They would laugh at our hand wringing over the so-called Gulf oil spill "disaster."
This current war is very complex. We are fighting religious extremists and also groups that are secular, but they use religion to mask their true intentions, which is simply money and power. Behind all this turmoil and violence is money, big money from mideast oil and corrupt people who use innocent people as pawns.
Again,Holin1, we're not at war with Afghanistan or Pakistan.
We will not sign a peace treaty on a battleship.
You're not arguing with me, you are arguing with a commanding general who wrote the book on counterinsurgency...General Patraeus.
I agree Kyle
Bombs are no longer needed for civilized nations to do some heavy damage on another country. Our utility companies, chemical plants, and telecommunications systems are all vulnerable to cyber attacks because those industries don't want to spend the money for the software upgrades.
I'm sure everyone remembers that the Pentagon was hacked into but our government in will not reveal what was compromised. I don't blame them but they took steps in to make sure that doesn't happen again. Congress called in the CEOs of all the major industries to warn them of such an attack, but the industries have not listened.
I think this is the reason we're making our own computer chips.... Viruses and information gathering tools could easily be implanted as their make their way along an assembly line in China.
Btw Our country is currently engaged in the cyber wars. We are a player.
How do think Al Qaeda and such are able to get rations, supplies, protection in villages? I don't think it's because they are nice boys from the neighborhood. It's through fear and intimidation. There is a reason why they use it. It works and is successful.
The last time we were faced with an enemy that was this overzealous and fanatical was the Japanese. After we dropped the bombs, the nation didn't want to support the efforts of the empire.
We don't win the hearts and minds, we force them to see it our way. That is how you win a war, imo. Any other way is a lesson in futility.
Do you fight to a stalemate and then negotiate a treaty? If your enemy will do anything to destroy you, what good does it do to place limits on your ability to destroy your enemy? It makes you look good in the international community, you can say you took the moral high-road?
War is hell, no doubt about it. You have to do hellish things to win, imo.
Really,this is what I read.... Al Qaeda in Iraq became like a bad brother-in-law to the Sunni... The tribal leaders were trying to fight off ethnic cleansing by the Shiite, so they temporary aligned themselves with the secular Sunni Al Qaeda. After Al Qaeda blew up a mosque, started molesting the women and started behaving pretty much like themselves, the tribal chiefs decided to take the money we offered them to switch sides. We decided not to prosecute those who recently killed our troops, as part of the agreement. All this took place six months before we decided on a surge, making it much easier for us to rid Al Qaeda. During that time, we threaten to leave many times in order to get the prime minister to stop the ethnic cleansing that was taking place in Baghdad.
All that talk of waiting us out was a bunch of malarkey to commit us to a long-term arrangement. President George W. Bush signed the Status of Forces Agreement insuring the world that we did not have an open end commitment to Iraq.
I think the days of bombing cities into dust are dwindling for the forseeable future. I remember watching probably the last real "old style" bombing campaign with footage of the under-reported war in Chechnya back in the late 90's.The Russians nearly obliterated Grozny from the air and by artillery (60,000 out of 79,000 homes were destroyed).
It just doesn't work, it ferments hatred, pushes people to the extremes and you end up with new recruits for insurgency and terrorist operations.
The way the US has been modernizing its armies both technologically and operaitonally is definately the way forward - small units, tactical strikes, deep penetration surveillance coupled with a fast response with firepower.
The downside to this is that any negative repercussions of using military power that creates civilian casualties is magnified because the scope of warfare has been limited and when we champion the great precision of arms and the training that goes into ensuring that we kill only those we need to we set the bar high in terms of expectation.
There is never an ideal situation when it comes to killing people but I'd rather we act with integrity, astuteness, intelligence, innovation and show flexability with our objectives than return to the days of Mutually Assured Destruction
Holein1I disagree with your statement , if you are suggesting we carpet bomb a country we're not at war with.(Afghanistan)... I imagine we would lose several Allies,the UN, and we would be pretty much be on our own.
It's no secret that the largest Air Force is in United States Air Force and the second largest is the United States naval air force, we have submarines , nuclear weapons, and probably one of the greatest fighting forces the world has ever known. Only thing is, much of the world is not at war, I can imagine the people of Japan, China, Russia and Europe picking up the financial section of their newspapers, first thing every morning, because they're not mired in Afghanistan. It's no longer about the fear, among the civilized nations. The terrorist are religious fundamentalist with a different mindset altogether.
I think this war should be called the Afghanistan/Pakistan war because in we had our druthers, we would have our troops stationed in Pakistan, where Al Qaeda resides... Pakistan is an important ally and a sovereign nation, so we're killing in Al Qaeda leaders in that country with their permission. If we continue killing innocent civilians with our drones, the people of Pakistan will eventually throws us out. Pakistan can't use all their resources to root out the Pakistan Taliban and Al Qaeda for fear that India will take advantage of the opportunity to attack them. It's a precarious situation.
I was with you right up to "The Sunni tribal awakening came without any prodding from us." Really? The Sunni tribal awakening came when the Sunni tribal chiefs reached the conclusion that not only were we not going away, we were the stronger force and were prevailing in our fight with Al Queda in Iraq. They very rationally decided to align themselves with the side they saw as a winner. Unlike Afghanistan, there was no committment to withdraw our forces within a year or so. As a consequence, the Sunni chose very logically between waiting us out with no end in sight and joining us in vanquishing Al Queda. It worked.
WaywardwindI'm all over to place , there are some parts in your statement where I agree with you but I don't think we see eye to eye about what this conflict is all about. We're not fighting a nation/state and indiscriminate bombing and will never lead to victory in the situation we are in.... The war is winnable but it would take a 10 to 15 year commitment,a trillon dollars, and about 100,000 troops. There's no use to a obliterate the country because 15 century Afghanistan will be 15 century Afghanistan when we leave. Again, we're not fighting Afghanistan, just the people trying to overthrow the corrupt government we are backing.
I've heard you say many times that we are fighting cowards because they can hide among civilians. For fear of being called pro terrorist, I will just say that is a military strategy much like the one we use, sitting in a control room 6000 miles away and blowing up a Al Qaeda leader's house and everyone occupying it. I read several books that included the strategy of General Patraeus.. He is adamant about not making more enemies. He tells his troops that for every Afghan or Iraqi we abuse or kill, we create about five new enemy soldiers... The enemy has an endless supply.
Many don't want to hear the fact that from the year 2004 to 2008 we pretty much abandoned Afghanistan, allowing the Taliban to regroup. You are trying to compare the illiterate Afghans to the sophisticated Europeans. Most of these people are farmers without an electricity, running water and certainly no television. Many don't know we liberated them in 2001 and could care less because they don't see the current government being any better than the Taliban.
I can imagine. Many countries would fear us and many would hate us. Pretty much the same situation we are in now. Perhaps the only difference would be some would think twice about poking the sleeping giant with a stick.
holein1...You're right, it's a different world now. World War II was fought to be WON not negotiated to an end. The civilians who lived in Berlin, Hamburg, Tokyo and Hiroshima died along with the soldiers in the front lines and the only thing that was said was, "too bad, so sad. You shouldn't have started the war." Can you imagine the response from Gen. Curtiss LeMay if Roosevelt had told him to be careful when bombing German and Japanese cities because we wanted to minimize the possibility of civilian casualties? Can you imagine how the US would be branded today if we sent a half-dozen B-52s over an Afghan city and wiped it off the face of the earth?
I agree with windy on some points. My grandfather was flew B-25s in WWII. Dropped bombs on lots of folks in Africa, India and Burma. Dropped a lot more humanitarian aid. The fought wars to win at that time. If you have a civilian population that is being used as shields and they get killed, whose fault is it really? They know there is a war going on. Get out, fight on our side, or suffer the consequences, because we're going to kill everything that moves when we come in. I'm pretty sure the message will get across.
I've got a cousin that has done a couple of tours. He said it's BS what's going on. We all know, and if you don't...They cannot return fire unless given permission. The rules of engagement for them are so stifling it's impossible to actually fight effectively.
Mike...The answer to your specific question of why we're still in Afghanistan is EXACTLY the same reason we stayed in Vietnam so long. As a "superpower" we just can't admit that illiterate, unsophisticated religous zealots can kick our butts.
Our military was built to fight the Big Red Machine that the Soviets were threatening Europe with during the cold war. It was designed with massive armor, artillery and air power to wage a rather conventional war on the field of battle (look at Gulf War I and what we did to Iraq's army). When it comes to fighting a bunch of cowardly thugs who do their fighting while hiding among civilians and planting bombs alongside roads, we are hamstrung. If we fight back and kill some "civilians" then we're painted on the world stage as the bad guys. If we don't fight back, we lose soldiers and are painted on the world stage as weak and ineffective.
After we expended so much money, effort and hardware helping the Afghans fight and defeat the Soviets thirty-some-odd years ago, one would think we would remember those lessons and know that fighting their kind of war on their terms in their country is a no-win situation, but look at where we are now and how long we've been there and how long we might stay. Our politicl leadership would rather spend the blood of our soldiers than admit that we can't win. We COULD obliterate the country -- but that'd take nuclear weapons, and we certainly can't do that.
Mike, I cannot believe I am going to agree with you. I have always asked the same question. By staying there, we appear to be nation building. We have never stated what chain of events will define when the war is won, and time for our troops to come home. One of Sun Tzu's rules for war, were that the conflict should be short and not take years. It is to expensive to wage war for numerous years, and it to easy to loose the object of the war.
Like Vietnam, there is really nothing to win in Afghanistan and everyone knew that at the time. So we are hearing the same arguments.
We have invested so much blood and treasure, we just can't walk away. Or we just can't abandoned those people who supported us, they will be murdered and they probably will be. Or our prestige is on the line we will appear weak and it will strengthen our enemies - we need peace with honor.
But staying is exactly what Iran wants us to do - continue a low level, protracted, proxy, war that saps our will to resist. I'm hearing it again - that Vietnam sucking sound.
Our military with an unclear and unachievable mission and a leader not sure about what to do - can't stay but then can't leave, it's de ja vue all over again.
The initial invasion of Iraq was a CIA led invasion because the Pentagon did not have a plan ready but we used about 300 special forces and CIA....We relied on the Northern Alliance to retake their country.I have constantly said that Iraq and Afghanistan are entirely different.
Saddam Hussien was a secular Sunni, but and a member of the Bathist Party in Iraq. ..We turned Iraq over to the Shiite.
imo, i think the sunni situation is different than the taliban. we defeated the taliban controled government when we first got to afghanistan. the sunnis were not in control of the government when we went to iraq.
The same kind of bribe we gave the Sunni ,when they joined forces to fight Al Qaeda...We gave them amnesty for killing our soldiers and paid them to fight Al Qaeda and protected them from the ruling Shia.
I never said they would keep their end of the deal;in fact the afghan forces we are training are not keeping their end of the deal...The Afghan forces share a religion,language, and a family bond with the Taliban in some case.Not too long ago we had to give the Afghan soldiers a raise because the Taliban was paying more...That's why I said we need to bring in their neighbors.
Interesting stance, Mike. By some kind of deal, what kind of deal are you talking about?
What makes you think that they would even keep their end of the bargain?