American soldiers aren't "defending their country"

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If the soldier is defending our lives, they are.

If the soldier is defending the livelihood of our nation, they're not simply because all terrorists can do is kill people when facing against well-defended countries.

i think everyone with half a bit of knowledge about the region knows that it is neither for moral reasons nor about about keeping america safe, and most certainly not other nations, but about furthering strategic interests in the theatre..

Kathinka:
i think everyone with half a bit of knowledge about the region knows that it is neither for moral reasons nor about about keeping america safe, and most certainly not other nations, but about furthering strategic interests in the theatre..

As I've been saying all up and down this thread, defending and advancing your countries interests is still defending your country.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Just_war_theory

If your arguing that no war should be fought for anything but so as described in the Just War theory of warfare and politics, yeah you're probably right.

And defending the interest of your country is defending your countries interest. So I guess it depends on what you mean by 'defending your country' as well.

newfoundsky:

Kathinka:
i think everyone with half a bit of knowledge about the region knows that it is neither for moral reasons nor about about keeping america safe, and most certainly not other nations, but about furthering strategic interests in the theatre..

As I've been saying all up and down this thread, defending and advancing your countries interests is still defending your country.

i can see how that makes sense, but there is limits to it. surely no one would argue that the third reich was defending itself by invading poland and france, no? but it sure furthered their strategic interest.

Kathinka:

newfoundsky:

Kathinka:
i think everyone with half a bit of knowledge about the region knows that it is neither for moral reasons nor about about keeping america safe, and most certainly not other nations, but about furthering strategic interests in the theatre..

As I've been saying all up and down this thread, defending and advancing your countries interests is still defending your country.

i can see how that makes sense, but there is limits to it. surely no one would argue that the third reich was defending itself by invading poland and france, no? but it sure furthered their strategic interest.

Yeah well, it's only "defending the people" when we do it, when "they" do it, they're obviously just monsters with nothing but bloodlust in mind, who want to kill us because they. Hate. OUR. FREEDOMS!!!

But it's natural for a human being I suppose, I mean, nobody likes to think of their own side being in the wrong, so people automatically assume their side is right and just. And if you doubt that you're our ENEMY!

At least that's how I imagine this particular thought process, really...

Vegosiux:

Kathinka:

newfoundsky:

As I've been saying all up and down this thread, defending and advancing your countries interests is still defending your country.

i can see how that makes sense, but there is limits to it. surely no one would argue that the third reich was defending itself by invading poland and france, no? but it sure furthered their strategic interest.

Yeah well, it's only "defending the people" when we do it, when "they" do it, they're obviously just monsters with nothing but bloodlust in mind, who want to kill us because they. Hate. OUR. FREEDOMS!!!

But it's natural for a human being I suppose, I mean, nobody likes to think of their own side being in the wrong, so people automatically assume their side is right and just. And if you doubt that you're our ENEMY!

At least that's how I imagine this particular thought process, really...

You're very much wrong in that imagining.

American troops should be respected on the fact that they have a very dangerous job.

But American military action is often arbitrary and totally unrelated to national security.

Iraq
Vietnam
Libya
Afghanistan (After bin laden escaped)

Ultimately though, Bin Laden was not a threat to United States security, he was simply responsible for organizing the attacks. His pursuit was out of the interest of "national justice", not security.

The war on terror isn't fought on a battlefield with the foreign legion, its an intelligence war fought with CIA, FBI and other special ops stuff.

The US government cleverly uses the military as a diplomatic tool, all in the name of "security", "freedom", "democracy", etc.

I have respect for the soldiers, but they are by no means "defending my freedom"

zehydra:
American troops should be respected on the fact that they have a very dangerous job.

But American military action is often arbitrary and totally unrelated to national security.

Iraq
Vietnam
Libya
Afghanistan (After bin laden escaped)

Ultimately though, Bin Laden was not a threat to United States security, he was simply responsible for organizing the attacks. His pursuit was out of the interest of "national justice", not security.

The war on terror isn't fought on a battlefield with the foreign legion, its an intelligence war fought with CIA, FBI and other special ops stuff.

The US government cleverly uses the military as a diplomatic tool, all in the name of "security", "freedom", "democracy", etc.

I have respect for the soldiers, but they are by no means "defending my freedom"

I respect everyone equally unless I've seen then do something to lose it or stand out to me and gain it.

But if you respect someone for having a dangerous job, then does that mean you have uber respect for sword swallowers?

zehydra:
American troops should be respected on the fact that they have a very dangerous job.

Ehm, you know who else has (or had) a very dangerous job? The Al Qaeda members. Every single dictator and despot in the history of mankind. Most executives in any kind of a corrupt totalitarian system.

I don't have any respect for people on the basis of how much they're putting themselves at risk. Only on the basis of what they'd actually done.

You really can't say that they are or aren't defending their country in general.
It's not like one conflict is the same as another conflict.

But i got to side with Louis C.K. here, that it's their belief in that they are
risking their lives defending their country that matters. If you got a problem
with a specific conflict be mad at the politicians.

Well, to the people who say that the 'middle eastern countries don't want us there' that depends on who you ask. Over half of the people Afghanistan are supportive of the US military presence, although many wish it was limited. Also it was about 90% who wished that the Taliban was gone for good. The Taliban has also stated that if the United States pulled their troops out they wouldn't stop operating and killing people. I disagree with many tactics that have been used (white phosphorous and drones are two things that should never be used, maybe drones when they can stop having such high civilian casualties but never phosphorous) but I don't hate the men and women fighting for us.

danon:

But i got to side with Louis C.K. here, that it's their belief in that they are
risking their lives defending their country that matters. If you got a problem
with a specific conflict be mad at the politicians.

Why should I care about their belief if I think it's wrong and contributing to something harmful? That sure isn't something to respect. Suicide bombers have a belief they're doing the right thing and they go a step further. Do they deserve my respect too?

Dijkstra:

danon:

But i got to side with Louis C.K. here, that it's their belief in that they are
risking their lives defending their country that matters. If you got a problem
with a specific conflict be mad at the politicians.

Why should I care about their belief if I think it's wrong and contributing to something harmful? That sure isn't something to respect. Suicide bombers have a belief they're doing the right thing and they go a step further. Do they deserve my respect too?

No, because they are actively TRYING to murder civilians.

newfoundsky:

Dijkstra:

danon:

But i got to side with Louis C.K. here, that it's their belief in that they are
risking their lives defending their country that matters. If you got a problem
with a specific conflict be mad at the politicians.

Why should I care about their belief if I think it's wrong and contributing to something harmful? That sure isn't something to respect. Suicide bombers have a belief they're doing the right thing and they go a step further. Do they deserve my respect too?

No, because they are actively TRYING to murder civilians.

Logical thinking is not your strong suit I see. He said their belief is what matters, I just pointed out a case where it's stupid to use that standard. So clearly his view is incomplete. Please learn how to test the validity of logic.

Dijkstra:

newfoundsky:

Dijkstra:

Why should I care about their belief if I think it's wrong and contributing to something harmful? That sure isn't something to respect. Suicide bombers have a belief they're doing the right thing and they go a step further. Do they deserve my respect too?

No, because they are actively TRYING to murder civilians.

Logical thinking is not your strong suit I see. He said their belief is what matters, I just pointed out a case where it's stupid to use that standard. So clearly his view is incomplete. Please learn how to test the validity of logic.

Your view is illogical, you Vulcan wannabe.

Belief is the driving force of almost any important action you can take.

Join the armed forces because you believe it is important.
Steal food, because you believe your need to eat outweighs the owners need to make money or eat.
Insult people because you believe they are illogical.

As is the case with most standards, this one is not consistent. Some beliefs are better than others, while other beliefs, such as the beliefs of a suicide bomber, that murder of civilians is somehow justified, are wrong, and thus undeserving of respect.

newfoundsky:

Dijkstra:

newfoundsky:

No, because they are actively TRYING to murder civilians.

Logical thinking is not your strong suit I see. He said their belief is what matters, I just pointed out a case where it's stupid to use that standard. So clearly his view is incomplete. Please learn how to test the validity of logic.

Your view is illogical, you Vulcan wannabe.

Belief is the driving force of almost any important action you can take.

Join the armed forces because you believe it is important.
Steal food, because you believe your need to eat outweighs the owners need to make money or eat.
Insult people because you believe they are illogical.

As is the case with most standards, this one is not consistent. Some beliefs are better than others, while other beliefs, such as the beliefs of a suicide bomber, that murder of civilians is somehow justified, are wrong, and thus undeserving of respect.

Right, you're proving my point by saying that certain beliefs are wrong and if they are then they don't deserve respect. So you support my point that thinking they're defending the country isn't enough, they need to be right in their belief.

Dijkstra:

newfoundsky:

Dijkstra:

Logical thinking is not your strong suit I see. He said their belief is what matters, I just pointed out a case where it's stupid to use that standard. So clearly his view is incomplete. Please learn how to test the validity of logic.

Your view is illogical, you Vulcan wannabe.

Belief is the driving force of almost any important action you can take.

Join the armed forces because you believe it is important.
Steal food, because you believe your need to eat outweighs the owners need to make money or eat.
Insult people because you believe they are illogical.

As is the case with most standards, this one is not consistent. Some beliefs are better than others, while other beliefs, such as the beliefs of a suicide bomber, that murder of civilians is somehow justified, are wrong, and thus undeserving of respect.

Right, you're proving my point by saying that certain beliefs are wrong and if they are then they don't deserve respect. So you support my point that thinking they're defending the country isn't enough, they need to be right in their belief.

Whether or not they are is a separate conversation entirely. My point was about suicide bombers.

newfoundsky:

Dijkstra:

newfoundsky:

Your view is illogical, you Vulcan wannabe.

Belief is the driving force of almost any important action you can take.

Join the armed forces because you believe it is important.
Steal food, because you believe your need to eat outweighs the owners need to make money or eat.
Insult people because you believe they are illogical.

As is the case with most standards, this one is not consistent. Some beliefs are better than others, while other beliefs, such as the beliefs of a suicide bomber, that murder of civilians is somehow justified, are wrong, and thus undeserving of respect.

Right, you're proving my point by saying that certain beliefs are wrong and if they are then they don't deserve respect. So you support my point that thinking they're defending the country isn't enough, they need to be right in their belief.

Whether or not they are is a separate conversation entirely. My point was about suicide bombers.

And your point goes right into mine. What matters is if someone is right, not that they think they're doing something good. You're only proving my view is logical.

Dijkstra:

newfoundsky:

Dijkstra:

Right, you're proving my point by saying that certain beliefs are wrong and if they are then they don't deserve respect. So you support my point that thinking they're defending the country isn't enough, they need to be right in their belief.

Whether or not they are is a separate conversation entirely. My point was about suicide bombers.

And your point goes right into mine. What matters is if someone is right, not that they think they're doing something good. You're only proving my view is logical.

Then we agree that American Soldiers are defending their country in Afghanistan and they were in Iraq.

newfoundsky:

Dijkstra:

newfoundsky:
Whether or not they are is a separate conversation entirely. My point was about suicide bombers.

And your point goes right into mine. What matters is if someone is right, not that they think they're doing something good. You're only proving my view is logical.

Then we agree that American Soldiers are defending their country in Afghanistan and they were in Iraq.

Not at all, you know I didn't say that. But you did just argue that it matters that the beliefs of suicide bombers are wrong so the same applies if the beliefs of American soldier-puppets are wrong too.

Dijkstra:

newfoundsky:

Dijkstra:

And your point goes right into mine. What matters is if someone is right, not that they think they're doing something good. You're only proving my view is logical.

Then we agree that American Soldiers are defending their country in Afghanistan and they were in Iraq.

Not at all, you know I didn't say that. But you did just argue that it matters that the beliefs of suicide bombers are wrong so the same applies if the beliefs of American soldier-puppets are wrong too.

Is that an illogical bias I detect?

Yes, if the American soldiers are wrong in their belief that they need to be there to defend the United States, they would not be defending their country. But since they are not wrong, we're left with the conclusion that they are in the right. I would put QED at the end of my point, but I didn't want to sound like someone pretentiously trying to sound smarter than everyone in the room.

Wow, the topic of this thread is physically sickening. What a truly weak people we in the west are becoming.

newfoundsky:

Dijkstra:

newfoundsky:
Then we agree that American Soldiers are defending their country in Afghanistan and they were in Iraq.

Not at all, you know I didn't say that. But you did just argue that it matters that the beliefs of suicide bombers are wrong so the same applies if the beliefs of American soldier-puppets are wrong too.

Is that an illogical bias I detect?

Yes, if the American soldiers are wrong in their belief that they need to be there to defend the United States, they would not be defending their country. But since they are not wrong, we're left with the conclusion that they are in the right. I would put QED at the end of my point, but I didn't want to sound like someone pretentiously trying to sound smarter than everyone in the room.

That was not good logic...

He's saying that thinking you're doing right is not enough, since suicide bombers think they're doing good. Your argument that the fact they kill civilians doesn't count, since innocent civilians have been killed by American Soldiers. Let's not even go into whether the invasions were morally justified.

Respect someone for their merits, not for their belief that they're doing good. God knows, how many people in the world did terrible things in the name of good.

That said I'm out. I'll complain about the military when they do some horror, and I'll respect them when they do something worthwhile.

I see people bringing up suicide bombers. But as i said "If you got a problem
with a specific conflict be mad at the politicians."

To generalize this statement you can use decision makers and leaders instead
of politicians. The people who corrupt and twist peoples sense of right.
Do you people think you yourself would be so much different if you were picked up
as a child and manipulated?

danon:
I see people bringing up suicide bombers. But as i said "If you got a problem
with a specific conflict be mad at the politicians."

To generalize this statement you can use decision makers and leaders instead
of politicians. The people who corrupt and twist peoples sense of right.
Do you people think you yourself would be so much different if you were picked up
as a child and manipulated?

They grew up to be bad people, that's how it is and what else should they be judged by? Some fluffy view of how you think they could have otherwise been?

Besides, politicians don't force them to sign up unless it's a draft.

It's not a "fluffy view". Of course you need to punish an individual on the basis of what that person
has done. But that's deterrence not revenge.

We can't be so narrow minded that we can't pity those
who has had less fortunate circumstances and still punish them if necessary.

And yes i know you can't punish successful suicide bombers.

danon:
It's not a "fluffy view". Of course you need to punish an individual on the basis of what that person
has done. But that's deterrence not revenge.

"Deterrence" would be "making sure that other people don't try to pull off such a stunt". And, well, in some cases it seems more like you're giving them just another reason to do so.

If you treat some people like the bad guys, don't act surprised when they really do bite.

Vegosiux:

danon:
It's not a "fluffy view". Of course you need to punish an individual on the basis of what that person
has done. But that's deterrence not revenge.

"Deterrence" would be "making sure that other people don't try to pull off such a stunt". And, well, in some cases it seems more like you're giving them just another reason to do so.

If you treat some people like the bad guys, don't act surprised when they really do bite.

Can people stop bringing tv tropes into this, it doesn't have the range of complexity to tackle a lot of stories and sure as hell cannot tackle the complexities in the war on terror. To claim that aggressive policy is driving enemy recruitment literally does not even scratch the surface of various cultural, generational, socio-economic, geopolitical, historical, religious and personal issues that drive enemy recruiting up or down. It is no exaggeration that the war on terror is as complex as brain surgery, but because people can relate it to issues that they understand (ie privacy and safety) they immediately think that they understand the nuances of it.

the clockmaker:

Vegosiux:

danon:
It's not a "fluffy view". Of course you need to punish an individual on the basis of what that person
has done. But that's deterrence not revenge.

"Deterrence" would be "making sure that other people don't try to pull off such a stunt". And, well, in some cases it seems more like you're giving them just another reason to do so.

If you treat some people like the bad guys, don't act surprised when they really do bite.

Can people stop bringing tv tropes into this, it doesn't have the range of complexity to tackle a lot of stories and sure as hell cannot tackle the complexities in the war on terror. To claim that aggressive policy is driving enemy recruitment literally does not even scratch the surface of various cultural, generational, socio-economic, geopolitical, historical, religious and personal issues that drive enemy recruiting up or down. It is no exaggeration that the war on terror is as complex as brain surgery, but because people can relate it to issues that they understand (ie privacy and safety) they immediately think that they understand the nuances of it.

So, were you going to enlighten us about those nuances or are you just going to smugly scoff at how foolish we are?

Seriously, if you have a point to make, make it instead of making a lengthy post that's nothing but vague rambling about how people (ie "everyone not named "the clockmaker") are clueless while you swallowed all the wisdom of the world.

Make a point and I'll respond. But if this is all you have to say, you've contributed nothing to the discussion.

Vegosiux:

the clockmaker:

Vegosiux:

"Deterrence" would be "making sure that other people don't try to pull off such a stunt". And, well, in some cases it seems more like you're giving them just another reason to do so.

If you treat some people like the bad guys, don't act surprised when they really do bite.

Can people stop bringing tv tropes into this, it doesn't have the range of complexity to tackle a lot of stories and sure as hell cannot tackle the complexities in the war on terror. To claim that aggressive policy is driving enemy recruitment literally does not even scratch the surface of various cultural, generational, socio-economic, geopolitical, historical, religious and personal issues that drive enemy recruiting up or down. It is no exaggeration that the war on terror is as complex as brain surgery, but because people can relate it to issues that they understand (ie privacy and safety) they immediately think that they understand the nuances of it.

So, were you going to enlighten us about those nuances or are you just going to smugly scoff at how foolish we are?

Seriously, if you have a point to make, make it instead of making a lengthy post that's nothing but vague rambling about how people (ie "everyone not named "the clockmaker") are clueless while you swallowed all the wisdom of the world.

Make a point and I'll respond. But if this is all you have to say, you've contributed nothing to the discussion.

I'll stop saying that people are grossly over simplifying the issues when people stop grossly over simplifying the issues. Funny that.

I sincerely doubt that you'll actually respond to any point that I make, considering that the last time you quoted one of my posts on this thread you took two lines out of about thirty and failed to respond to even them. On top of that, the above is by no means my first post in this thread so don't accuse me of not contributing.

That is one small village (out of anywhere between 28 and 42 thousand) in one nation on one front in the military action, which is, of itself only one facet in the war on terror. In addition, that is a simplified version of that village, that doesn't take into account previous positive and negative ISAF actions in the region, whether or not some tool posted a video on youtube that week, whether it s fighting season or not or if it is Ramadan. A lot of key information for village A does not apply to Village B or C or D so differing modes of action are required. This follows on into how Iraq was (though Iraq is a lot more unified than Afghanistan) and all the other little conflicts and raids and diplomacy that comprises the war on terror. Yemen is not the Phillipenes. Malaysia is not the Sudan. Somalia is not Indonesia. Pakistan is not the UK and NZ is not AUS (that last one is not as relevant, but it still bugs me that people think that) it is insanely fucking complicated, I mean, there is a reason that people get their doctorates in counter terror and intelligence. A thread of this nature cannot truly cover the entire thing, we need to have threads on the specific aspects that make up the whole.

I am not saying that you have to agree with the war on terror, and indeed in as murky a war as this, dissenting opinion is important to prevent a 'fuck the ROE' mindset, but please, for the love of god, don't use occasional scavenged op ed pieces, don't use movies and seriously don't use TV tropes as your understanding of how the interplay between the various parties works.

And I don't think that I know everything on this topic, as I have said several times now, it is insanely fucking complicated, but I think, and it seems to have worked out several times, that my knowledge of the war on terror is above average for a video game website. Also I don't think that everyone is clueless, just you and the other bloke bringing TV tropes, a site designed to study cliches in fictional stories, into a discussion on real world issues.

the clockmaker:
-snip-

I looked at a map of Afghanistan. Couldn't for the life of me find a "Village A". As someone who gives me a dressing down for oversimplifying stuff and using bare-bones examples, you really shouldn't do it yourself.

Funny bit is...I never said it's as simple as that, so I don't even know where the hell you're coming from. I'm well aware the entire thing is complicated as hell. But, in that case I was talking about how being bombed by an outside force is just as likely to "deter" you from attacking it as it is to piss you off enough to attack it.

So, simple question. Do you wish refute the point that the "war on terror" can and sometimes does have the undesired opposite effect of what it's allegedly about, that it can and sometimes does actually cause people to take up arms against USA?

Because that was all that was in my post. That one point. If you wish to show me I'm wrong, by all means, please do. So far, you haven't, you've just been stating the obvious, e.g., "It's complicated." WE KNOW THAT.

Vegosiux:

the clockmaker:
-snip-

I looked at a map of Afghanistan. Couldn't for the life of me find a "Village A". As someone who gives me a dressing down for oversimplifying stuff and using bare-bones examples, you really shouldn't do it yourself.

Funny bit is...I never said it's as simple as that, so I don't even know where the hell you're coming from. I'm well aware the entire thing is complicated as hell. But, in that case I was talking about how being bombed by an outside force is just as likely to "deter" you from attacking it as it is to piss you off enough to attack it.

So, simple question. Do you wish refute the point that the "war on terror" can and sometimes does have the undesired opposite effect of what it's allegedly about, that it can and sometimes does actually cause people to take up arms against USA?

Because that was all that was in my post. That one point. If you wish to show me I'm wrong, by all means, please do. So far, you haven't, you've just been stating the obvious, e.g., "It's complicated." WE KNOW THAT.

Well, mate, if you have a map that lists all of the villages in Afghanistan, something that even the afghans don't have, you could be giving a lot more help than bitching online. But that was meant only to be an example of a 'typical' village in Afghanistan, to show that that amount of info was still simplified (seriously, do you not understand how illustrative examples work?) and you did not give a bare bones example, you gave no example. I have posted many times in this thread, explaining why the war on terror is working. I know that you have seen at least some of these, because you posted an irrelevent reply to one of them.

What you are focusing on is motivation, whether they want to fight, my post above, as well as some of my others was based around showing that you don't understand these people's motivations, but then I highly doubt that you actually read and understood that part. On top of that, several of my other posts in this thread are focused on capability, whether they can fight. I have not reposted them, because they are literally one click away for you, if you wish to refute them, perhaps you should read them properly first.

You keep saying that you understand how complex the issue is, but you clearly don't. You use simple posts and demand simple examples, thinking that the whole thing can be summed up in, and I cannot stress this enough, a fucking TV tropes page, this does not show complex thinking, this shows a desire to cram complex problems into a simple box.

Fuck it, I'll put it as basically as possible,
'Due to various factors outlined above, the use of force deters some groups from violence and encourages others, however, many of those groups that would be encouraged towards violence are of the disposition, age and ideology that they are likely to commit aggressive acts with or without intervention. As such, acts which push towards violence those already headed towards violence while pushing those on the fence away are considered successful. However, due to the highly variable nature of the 'Dar al Islam' actions which would be seen to be encouraging violence in the eyes of western, islamic or otherwise outsider nations can actually be beneficial in that context. This can be seen in the differing actions taken by western and friendly islamic nations around the world in response to terrorism. Furthermore, it is important to consider what type of violent response in being fostered by and in those groups that will not be pushed towards peace; Will they target ISAF/ANA/US forces in country or will they attack their own civillians, or will they attack ours.

If the west were to bomb, say, Egypt, a nation with a history of unitary government and nationalist activity that uses the army as its focus, then the most likely response would be an increased will to fight until it had been shown that the armed forces had failed in defending them.

If the west were to bomb, Vietnam, a nation with a history of unified nationalist resistance in the face of overwhelming force, it would likely stiffen their resolve.

Now with Afghanistan, where every village uses every other village as in interloper and sees the Taliban and US as two rival warlords (again big generalization, but since you don't seem keen to discuss the ground level stuff we will use a 'typical' village) there are highly variable responses, ranging from blaming the taliban for bringing ISAF down on them to welcoming the taliban for having the same colour skin as them. On the whole, however, ISAF activities are leading to a very slow calming of the situation, as two steps forward and one step back is still a step forward. It is always a process of sacrifice with no totally good answer, you might gain people's support for taking out a bomber who had killed some of their own ( a fair amount of IEDs are just used in tribal disputes), or you might lose their support for killing them because they are someone's third cousin.

So where that leaves us is a situation where yes, sometimes people will be pushed toward the enemy by western action, but that is overshadowed by
a -The amount of people who are won over by hearts and minds programs
b -the amount of people who are deterred by force
c -the amount of people who are deterred by the enemies inability to effectively respond to that force and
d -the enemy's attrition rate.'

For further information, please feel free to read any of my other posts in this thread and know that it is okay to be against the war on terror, but please know that linking to tv tropes, asking 'simple' questions and generally trying to put in a box marked 'correct answer' is not the way to go about it.

Thank you for answering my question, even if I had to fish the answer out from a pile of ballast. Have a good day.

Vegosiux:
Thank you for answering my question, even if I had to fish the answer out from a pile of ballast. Have a good day.

And thanks for failing to defend any of your points, to refute any of mine, to understand any of my posts and to understand the issue. That is one of my least favorite things about this sub forum, people insist that you refute their points and then suddenly clam up when you do.

But then, that's the world isn't it, everyone gets annoyed and no one learns anything.

And by the way, 'that ballast' is actually the complexity that you profess to understand but you have shown clearly and repeatedly that your understanding of the war on terror goes no deeper than the soundbyte level. Have fun.

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