The Big Picture: A Guy Named Joe

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philosophicalbastard:

So, you're suggesting we commit cultural genocide just because a few random extremists are being assholes? That's like wiping out christianity because of the Phelps family!

Being the enemy, as you say, all the works that were produced from the Middle Eastern culture, all the art and cities you'd need to burn down, not to mention the Millions slaughtered. We also might as well fore go all the inventions from the Middle East and deem them evil. To top it all off we should see if the pope is willing to back our conquest, just to prove how much we didn't fucking learn from history!

Therumancer, I see you as a natural born cynic that can only trust people as far as you can spit, but you're to smug about your self to ever excrite any bodily fluid. You need to learn that people are all rather fine, but they can occasionally be assholes. The only reason that Nazism and the Taliban ever came to power was because people were fucking afraid of those insane assholes, all we need to do is give people the power to stop extremism and they will.

What I am saying is that there is no point to preserving a culture that wants us dead simply for the sake of preserving it. It's not like anyone is saying "we should wipe out any group of people we find mildly inconveinent" this has been going on for decades, and has gotten well beyond that.

Let me put things into context for you. You know the "Aliens" franchise? The basic premise of this series is that you have a race of beings that is pretty much bent on the destruction of humanity in order to propagate itself. According to some of the novels, the central intelligence (Queens) are sentinent and even aware of what they are doing. The Aliens becoming smarter and more adaptive being a theme in the extended canon. The big theme to this books is how inevitably some moron insists on keeping some of these things alive, so they break free and start killing again. The reasons for this vary with the storyline, varying from the moronic/profit-minded/evil like distilling a drug called "fire" from their glands, to the benevolent, with people wanting to harness their restorative properties to cure illness. The bottom line is that since these things want to kill everyone, there is no reason to keep them alive at all, and the people who keep saving some are a bunch of mouth breathers who simply do not learn.

The big differance between "Aliens" and a human culture, is of course the fact that it's palatable when your dealing with an alien life form, but not so palatable when your dealing with our own species. That's a reflex we need to overcome if the world is ever going to progress. Why preserve a group of xenocidal theocrats so they can continue to try and kill us and take over the world? No, they aren't evil from their own perspective, and I can't claim we're exactly paragons of virtue, so the situation is a basic reality based "us or them" equasion. Diplomacy has been being attempted for decades and has consistantly failed.

To put things into another perspective, I again point to World War II. The Nazis were defeated by demonizing them beyond all reality, and then relentlessly exterminating them, including women and children. It went from a huge, international movement, to a tiny underground fringe after the war. We spent decades hunting down survivors even after the war ended.

You have to understand, Hollywood would have you believe that there was a tiny group of Nazis who somehow managed to hold Germany in a grip of terror, with a majority of people fearing a tiny minority of secret police. Somehow this group of people managed to take control of other nations and do the same thing. In reality the majority of Germany supported the Nazis, as did substantial numbers of people in the various countries they conquered, many of these countries providing manpower to the Nazi invasions of other areas. You never see movies where you have say Nazis with French or Romanian accents for example.

The threat posed is by a culture, as long as the ideaology survives so does the threat. You can kill the military and leaders indefinatly, but as long as the ideas remain in force more soldiers and more leaders will eventually rise. In finishing Germany the US and the forces allied with us at the time literally bombed the country into rubble, that included the civilian infrastructure to break the will/culture of the people, cause problems like food and material shortages, and of course reduce the overall population and send the survivors into hiding. Advancing through the cities was building to building fighting, where civilians, many of them defending their homes, were butchered, even those not directly involved in fighting with the Volkssturm. The Hitler Youth engaged in harrying tactics and itself was wiped out (ie children). Even after the end, as I pointed out above, the US and it's allies continued after the war to hunt down people that still held onto the ideas.

Japan is perhaps a slightly better example, as it was an even more closed country than Germany, and had theocratic elements where the surrender of the Emperor was a big deal because at the time he was still viewed as a god I believe. Japan was occupied (and still is to this day), had it's domestic military forces greatly limited, and has been undergoing massive cultural reforms in the intervening decades. A lot of work remains to be done, but the Japan of today is a lot more civilized and progressive than the one that was defeated during World War II.

The enemies we've defeated are those we've destroyed culturally, half-measures do not work. It's when we stopped doing this kind of fighting (with the advent of the Baby Boomers) that we ceased to actually win wars. The Middle East is only the example I use because it's who we're fighting right now. Should it come to a war, I'd advocate the same exact tactics if we got to this point with the same failure of diplomacy and more measured responses that we've seen.

See, the problem isn't just the terrorist, the Taliban fighter, Al Queda member, or any of those groups and their leaders. The problem is the guy who doesn't fight, but believes in the primacy of Islam and the inherant destiny to rule the world. It's about his hatred of infidels, and the fact that seperating the church and state is an anathema to them. Even if that guy doesn't actually DO anything besides mind his own business, he and the other guys like him are eventually going to see people who embrace those same ideas and seek to put them into practice. The people who think like that and will look up to those fighters as heroes is why the people keep coming into existance.

One thing to understand is that unlike movies, the enemy is not stupid. When we have a huge military force in the region nobody is running around screaming "kill Americans" publically. They keep that to themselves when we're not around, and tell us what we want to hear. They also understand propaganda and realize that talking about peace will hamper American war efforts because of our lack of propaganda and information control, and a desire to end the war especially with how long it has gone on. Once we're out of their back yard they can rebuild and come after us for revenge with even more terrorism.

To put things into perspective, like most people on these forums, I'm not a Commando. On the other hand I believe in my country, respect my special forces, and think it's awesome when our guys go into other countries to get things done on our behalf. Heck, I read books, and comics about it, watch TV shows about it, and play video games about it (occasionally, not a big FPS fan). Even if someone wiped out all of our special operatives, as long as the US and people like me were still here, we'd find more people to go into the special ops community and it would continue on. To stop us from doing that, you'd have to level the US as a whole.

Heck, simply leveling the US wouldn't do it. You'd probably have to kill nearly every American. See, the tactics I espouse in warfare are there because I know what it would take to really beat/destroy the US, and extend the same level of respect to my fellow humans. If someone came into the US and managed to level a good portion of the military, while landing troops, that wouldn't be the end of it. Just like the guys in The Middle East we'd be fighting them as insurgents. The whole "Fortress America" thing would go into effect and you'd have Americans fighting in the mountain ranges (some of which are quite strategic), swamps, and forests. It wouldn't be over until the invading forces pretty much killed off the whole idea of America on any sizable level, by not only beating the insurgents, but exterminating those with America in their heart whose existance would create more insurgents. It's foolish to assume that just because we're dealing with a foreign culture, it's easier to defeat than we would be.

All this rambling pretty much gets down to the simple fact that war blows chips, nobody wants to go to war and risk getting shot, nobody wants to go kill some poor schmuck in his back yard, nobody wants to see their friends or family do either of those things, and no leader wants the blood on their hands of having ordered the elimination of an entire way of life, for good or ill. All of these things are reasons why wars are to be avoided, and why you try diplomacy and middle ground responses first. However, once you actually go to war, it's simply "us or them" there are no rules, and no morality, it's all about who is going
to be standing at the end. If I was who I am now, and it was 30 years ago, I wouldn't be advocating the same things (and calling what I am saying insane) because we wouldn't have tried to resolve the situation enough in other ways. At this point however I think anything short of what I suggest is just repeting failed strategies, it's time to "Git er Done" as "Larry The Cable guy" would put it. There is no longer any doubt about what needs to be done when you view things reasonably, it's become an exercise in procrastination... and honestly I blame the mentality of the Baby Boomers for that. If this happened the same way with the World War II generation in power, it might not be pretty, but this whole conflict would be history by now.

Therumancer:

They *DID* shirk their responsibilities, even if they understandably don't want to view it that way. "Sorry dood, I'd rather sit here and get stoned than go fight in a jungle"... well duh, who wouldn't.

"Sorry dude I don't want to fight in an army that has done things like this"
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/My_Lai_Massacre

Yeah, fucking communist pansys

Therumancer:
The Baby Boomers, already leaning towards the far left really saw little wrong with communism (or at least as they understood it, I'm not going to rant about the systems since this is long enough), and also didn't want to give up their decadence to go get shot at in a jungle. The biggest issue of course being that nobody wants to fight, and the boomers used every trick they could muster and any half arsed justification they could form to try and derail the war effort and avoid having to go. They *DID* shirk their responsibilities, even if they understandably don't want to view it that way. "Sorry dood, I'd rather sit here and get stoned than go fight in a jungle"... well duh, who wouldn't.

"Sorry dude, I don't want to fight with the same people that did MyLai."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/My_Lai_Massacre
Yeah communist pansy for sure!

Sorry for the double post

Therumancer:
Why preserve a group of xenocidal theocrats so they can continue to try and kill us and take over the world?

So my first problem with this statement is; who decides who the xenocidal theocrats are?

My second problem with it is that it seems to blithely ignore how those xenocidal theocrats found power.

All this rambling pretty much gets down to the simple fact that war blows chips, nobody wants to go to war and risk getting shot, nobody wants to go kill some poor schmuck in his back yard, nobody wants to see their friends or family do either of those things, and no leader wants the blood on their hands of having ordered the elimination of an entire way of life, for good or ill. All of these things are reasons why wars are to be avoided, and why you try diplomacy and middle ground responses first. However, once you actually go to war, it's simply "us or them" there are no rules, and no morality, it's all about who is going
to be standing at the end. If I was who I am now, and it was 30 years ago, I wouldn't be advocating the same things (and calling what I am saying insane) because we wouldn't have tried to resolve the situation enough in other ways. At this point however I think anything short of what I suggest is just repeting failed strategies, it's time to "Git er Done" as "Larry The Cable guy" would put it. There is no longer any doubt about what needs to be done when you view things reasonably, it's become an exercise in procrastination... and honestly I blame the mentality of the Baby Boomers for that. If this happened the same way with the World War II generation in power, it might not be pretty, but this whole conflict would be history by now.

And my final problem with it is that it really, really wants to break the world or history down into discrete, understandable chunks and human beings have refused that since forever.

I'm sorry man; I find your thoughts to be presented in a muddled fashion and one that doesn't really take enough information about the past into account. I'm not even sure I can agree or disagree so much as say that I feel your point of view needs a great deal of enhancement from a book learning perspective, or significant rewrites so it takes into account the fact that human beings are very, very rarely fissionable into black and white hats.

I'd be the first person to agree that there is evil in the world that needs to be stood against, that the role of men in the modern era has become foggy and very challenging to find in an acceptable manner but with the obliteration of the older roles the hope is that we find new ones that make our own lives worthwhile, because we demand it of ourselves.

But that shit is hard, yo. And while violence against others is an option for reasonable people, let us hope that we would need to be pushed into unreasonable circumstances to use it, and then take responsibility for the path leading us both to violence and, once violence is over, away from it.

I think escapist should scrub Lisa Foyles and give her budget allotment to Bob, so then maybe we could have 10-15 minute big picture episodes. As ever, fantastic stuff this week, loving it :D

i grew up in 90s Denmark so i wasn't exposed to a whole lot of G.I. Joe, i spend most my days as a child reading Donald Duck comic books (you have no idea how huge old Donald is in Scandinavia, its like all dc and marvel cartoons combined, selling about one million copies each week, or 20% of Denmark's residents buying one copy) but from the few episodes i have seen of the show, its pretty heavy on fatherhood, super strong and all knowing males protecting children from danger and teaching them life lessons, if they really influenced you that heavy you should have about 12 kids of different ethnicity that you devoted your entire life to protect and educate (I'm just assuming you don't have kids, my apologies if I'm wrong).

It was good episode, even if you still use those rather unsettling faces, though i wish you would touch upon subjects that are more universal, this one really only applied to men in their mid 30s who grew up on cartoons, and speaking as a person living in a socialistic country, i always get nervous when an American mentions communism, cause the things that qualifies you as a communist in the US would be considered extremely right winged over here, im just hoping we are to small for you guys to invade us ^^.

Simonism451:

Therumancer:
The Baby Boomers, already leaning towards the far left really saw little wrong with communism (or at least as they understood it, I'm not going to rant about the systems since this is long enough), and also didn't want to give up their decadence to go get shot at in a jungle. The biggest issue of course being that nobody wants to fight, and the boomers used every trick they could muster and any half arsed justification they could form to try and derail the war effort and avoid having to go. They *DID* shirk their responsibilities, even if they understandably don't want to view it that way. "Sorry dood, I'd rather sit here and get stoned than go fight in a jungle"... well duh, who wouldn't.

"Sorry dude, I don't want to fight with the same people that did MyLai."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/My_Lai_Massacre
Yeah communist pansy for sure!

Oh, we've done worse than that.

Let me be blunt, war sucks, that's pretty much an example of why. As I explained in my rants, we did stuff like that to the Nazis too, where do you think The Hitler Youth went?

See, in a war there is only winning and losing. The purpose of defeating the military is to get to the civilians and infrastructure in order to kill them and break their stuff. This "massacre" is only noteworthy because of both left wing outrage born of detachment from the realities of warfare, and because we took what was pretty much a defensive posture during the battle.

Part of the principle of warfare is to break the enemy's will to fight. You can't engage to protect your home and family if they are already dead. What's more people are unlikely to head to the hills to become insurgents if everyone they even remotely know is likely to be wiped out merely from association. Hard held beliefs are also going to be challenged by relentless slaughter.

There are examples of such engagement strategies failing, but just as many of them working.

To put things into perspective, let's say I'm leading an army and I have to take a specific objective in another country. Between me and that objective are a lot of towns and villages of the culture I'm opposing. If I proceed through the region nicely, I'm going to be harried and have my forces ripped to shreds. What's more I'm leaving the infrastructure and idealogy intact, so if I have to come back this way I could run into problems, especially if these towns and villages provide supplies for my enemy.

I send my troops into a couple of villages and horribly murder to inhabitants, and then display the bodies all over the place. People from the area are going to go "holy Sh@t that could be me" contrary to what many think, people, especially civilians and insurgents are not going to rally especially in the face of that kind of threat to their families. They are going to flee the atrocities. Those villages and towns are going to clear out and refugees are going to start heading towards my objective, putting a ton of pressure on the enemy who either have to engage their own people, or stretch their own supplies to care for them (or break ranks to let them through). "Driving the enemy before you" is an old warfare tactic as old as time, and you see it used throughout the world even today (this is one of the big reasons why you see so many huge herds of refugees being forced into wierd places in Africa and so on).

Does this make me a nice guy? Hell no. It works however, and in a real war there is no morality, only winning and losing. Something we've forgotten since World War II.

In the case of 'Nam however the various "Vanishing Villages" were done more for morale purposes. As I said, people are less likely to decide becoming a Gueriella is a good idea if it means their entire town is going to be wiped out just because of them.

You might not LIKE what I'm saying, but that's the sad realities of war. The very fact that you oppose such tactics are why we haven't been winning wars (and trust me, making incidents like this one into a circus has not helped the case, as well as gimping our military). It's also one of the reasons why I am so critical of the baby boomers, who still simply do not get it. Morality has no place in war. The only reason why anyone has claimed to have been part of a GOOD war is because they wrote it that way in the history books later.

I'll be blunt, if I was in command of a military operation (which I never will be) I might order something like that done under the right circumstances. The reason being simply that I am going to try and complete my objectives for my side, and minimize the risk to my own people. If it means slaughtering hundreds of enemy civilians, so be it. They should have thought about that before they decided to push things to the point a war started and I got sent there to begin with. Want me to stop killing people? Surrender, and comply with whatever societal changes we demand. If I'm there at war, then it's my job to be their own personal devil.

Therumancer:
Skips around the actual issue.

The problem is the rise of liberalism from the 1960s. A lot of the guys calling the shots nowadays are the same guys who were doing the anti-war crusades for Veitnam and Korea and have gotten to define morality and history according to what they wanted.

The thing is that when the boomers were rising into power in the 1980s, it was the birth of Political Correctness. The idea that we could have no bad guys, no matter what they said or did. The USSR was to be presented as a potential group of friends and allies, as opposed to a giant enemy, and you saw this in children's media with a "get them young" attitude. Understand that while the primary enemy was fictional, groups like the Russians WERE present in the form of a USSR version of GI Joe, who despite tensions GI Joe ultimatly wound up teaming up with in most cases to fight a common enemy.

This kind of mentality has given birth to a situation today where we can't clearly identify a culture like that of The Middle East as an enemy, rather we need to take a reactive perspective and only target very specific individuals like those ACTIVELY engaged in terrorism rather than the core issues. The same could be said about China, or anyone else. Unlike previous generations where the media was making no bones about treating our enemies as enemies, and suggestiong violence and military action as a method of dealing with them, today the message is a naive one where violence is always wrong, there are always magical solutions that will arrive to avoid large scale violence, and worst of all is identifying an entire broad group of people as the enemy.

Today's mentality is one where we would not go to war against "Nazism" if it was to rise the same way. Rather we'd make a big deal about only opposing those guys at the top of the food chain, and misunderstanding the huge, international culture, with the fanatical millions behind it, we would of course wind up getting our tails kicked. It says a lot when you consider that people have made arguements that Patton was unworthy to wear a US uniform by modern standards because you know... he made no bones about wanting to destroy the enemy.

The point is a society that won't let you identify the bad guys as bad guys, and does everything in it's power to avoid confrontation, or at least confrontation on the level of a "total war", "us or them" level which would actually see a resolution.

On a lot of levels the problem is your dad's day (so to speak) rather than your grandfather's day. His toys were pretty much made by his grand-dad's generation. Consider that "Dad's" generation were the "make love, not war" generation, who had no sense of national duty, dodged the draft (as opposed to seeing it as a responsibility), and even if the wars at the time were a mess took things to an absolutly ridiculous level in opposition because none of them wanted to get shot at. "Dad's Generation" pretty much defined itself by tearing down society in favor of what it wanted at the moment, and while some good did come of it, a lot more problems occured. There are a lot of sociologists who believe we pretty much face the task of needing to rebuild our society after the US Baby Boomers, and it remains to be seen if the current, indoctrinated generations (given how long they lived, there is more than one, Gen X and Gen Y) can throw off a lot of the propaganda and get things back on track.

Such are my thoughts.

TL;DR. We should basically be demonising the entire country of Afghanistan instead of trying to understand it's culture and who figuring out who the "bad guys" are and who is an innocent party.

And of course, it's all the LIBERALS' fault; as if promoting freedom, liberty and acceptance to all people in a country with it's entire constitution based on friggin' freedom, liberty and acceptance is a bad thing.

P.S. Having the country's official position towards the Middle East (and by implication, Islam) being "fuck them all, they're all the enemy" will totally reduce terrorist attacks. Sounds like a good plan to me.

this episode was pretty interesting and thought provoking.
p.s. Bob said ex-boyfriends when I think he meant exes.(sorry couldn't resist)

Therumancer:

Simonism451:

Therumancer:
The Baby Boomers, already leaning towards the far left really saw little wrong with communism (or at least as they understood it, I'm not going to rant about the systems since this is long enough), and also didn't want to give up their decadence to go get shot at in a jungle. The biggest issue of course being that nobody wants to fight, and the boomers used every trick they could muster and any half arsed justification they could form to try and derail the war effort and avoid having to go. They *DID* shirk their responsibilities, even if they understandably don't want to view it that way. "Sorry dood, I'd rather sit here and get stoned than go fight in a jungle"... well duh, who wouldn't.

"Sorry dude, I don't want to fight with the same people that did MyLai."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/My_Lai_Massacre
Yeah communist pansy for sure!

Oh, we've done worse than that.

Let me be blunt, war sucks, that's pretty much an example of why. As I explained in my rants, we did stuff like that to the Nazis too, where do you think The Hitler Youth went?

See, in a war there is only winning and losing. The purpose of defeating the military is to get to the civilians and infrastructure in order to kill them and break their stuff. This "massacre" is only noteworthy because of both left wing outrage born of detachment from the realities of warfare, and because we took what was pretty much a defensive posture during the battle.

Part of the principle of warfare is to break the enemy's will to fight. You can't engage to protect your home and family if they are already dead. What's more people are unlikely to head to the hills to become insurgents if everyone they even remotely know is likely to be wiped out merely from association. Hard held beliefs are also going to be challenged by relentless slaughter.

There are examples of such engagement strategies failing, but just as many of them working.

To put things into perspective, let's say I'm leading an army and I have to take a specific objective in another country. Between me and that objective are a lot of towns and villages of the culture I'm opposing. If I proceed through the region nicely, I'm going to be harried and have my forces ripped to shreds. What's more I'm leaving the infrastructure and idealogy intact, so if I have to come back this way I could run into problems, especially if these towns and villages provide supplies for my enemy.

I send my troops into a couple of villages and horribly murder to inhabitants, and then display the bodies all over the place. People from the area are going to go "holy Sh@t that could be me" contrary to what many think, people, especially civilians and insurgents are not going to rally especially in the face of that kind of threat to their families. They are going to flee the atrocities. Those villages and towns are going to clear out and refugees are going to start heading towards my objective, putting a ton of pressure on the enemy who either have to engage their own people, or stretch their own supplies to care for them (or break ranks to let them through). "Driving the enemy before you" is an old warfare tactic as old as time, and you see it used throughout the world even today (this is one of the big reasons why you see so many huge herds of refugees being forced into wierd places in Africa and so on).

Does this make me a nice guy? Hell no. It works however, and in a real war there is no morality, only winning and losing. Something we've forgotten since World War II.

In the case of 'Nam however the various "Vanishing Villages" were done more for morale purposes. As I said, people are less likely to decide becoming a Gueriella is a good idea if it means their entire town is going to be wiped out just because of them.

You might not LIKE what I'm saying, but that's the sad realities of war. The very fact that you oppose such tactics are why we haven't been winning wars (and trust me, making incidents like this one into a circus has not helped the case, as well as gimping our military). It's also one of the reasons why I am so critical of the baby boomers, who still simply do not get it. Morality has no place in war. The only reason why anyone has claimed to have been part of a GOOD war is because they wrote it that way in the history books later.

I'll be blunt, if I was in command of a military operation (which I never will be) I might order something like that done under the right circumstances. The reason being simply that I am going to try and complete my objectives for my side, and minimize the risk to my own people. If it means slaughtering hundreds of enemy civilians, so be it. They should have thought about that before they decided to push things to the point a war started and I got sent there to begin with. Want me to stop killing people? Surrender, and comply with whatever societal changes we demand. If I'm there at war, then it's my job to be their own personal devil.

Well if that's how war is (you've got a point, no doubt) why do you think of people opposing war as hippocritic cowards?

I think he's called Action man in the rest of Europe, but you know better than to pay any attention to the spaniard.

Therumancer:
Snip

War isn't won through brute force, you must destroy and demonize the central power and appeal to the people. These people aren't Aliens pre-programed to destroy, they're people with a slightly different ideaology than us. As people they have the ability to learn and understand. You can teach them to be tolerant and not listen to those extremist. You can phase out that silent man without destroying him and his culture. As this occurs the Taliban will look less like warriors fighting for their religion and more like a public menace.

Smokescreen:

Therumancer:
Why preserve a group of xenocidal theocrats so they can continue to try and kill us and take over the world?

So my first problem with this statement is; who decides who the xenocidal theocrats are?

My second problem with it is that it seems to blithely ignore how those xenocidal theocrats found power.

All this rambling pretty much gets down to the simple fact that war blows chips, nobody wants to go to war and risk getting shot, nobody wants to go kill some poor schmuck in his back yard, nobody wants to see their friends or family do either of those things, and no leader wants the blood on their hands of having ordered the elimination of an entire way of life, for good or ill. All of these things are reasons why wars are to be avoided, and why you try diplomacy and middle ground responses first. However, once you actually go to war, it's simply "us or them" there are no rules, and no morality, it's all about who is going
to be standing at the end. If I was who I am now, and it was 30 years ago, I wouldn't be advocating the same things (and calling what I am saying insane) because we wouldn't have tried to resolve the situation enough in other ways. At this point however I think anything short of what I suggest is just repeting failed strategies, it's time to "Git er Done" as "Larry The Cable guy" would put it. There is no longer any doubt about what needs to be done when you view things reasonably, it's become an exercise in procrastination... and honestly I blame the mentality of the Baby Boomers for that. If this happened the same way with the World War II generation in power, it might not be pretty, but this whole conflict would be history by now.

And my final problem with it is that it really, really wants to break the world or history down into discrete, understandable chunks and human beings have refused that since forever.

I'm sorry man; I find your thoughts to be presented in a muddled fashion and one that doesn't really take enough information about the past into account. I'm not even sure I can agree or disagree so much as say that I feel your point of view needs a great deal of enhancement from a book learning perspective, or significant rewrites so it takes into account the fact that human beings are very, very rarely fissionable into black and white hats.

I'd be the first person to agree that there is evil in the world that needs to be stood against, that the role of men in the modern era has become foggy and very challenging to find in an acceptable manner but with the obliteration of the older roles the hope is that we find new ones that make our own lives worthwhile, because we demand it of ourselves.

But that shit is hard, yo. And while violence against others is an option for reasonable people, let us hope that we would need to be pushed into unreasonable circumstances to use it, and then take responsibility for the path leading us both to violence and, once violence is over, away from it.

Understand something, nobody believes that they are the bad guy. Everyone has some legitimate reason behind what they do (or so they believe). The exceptions (like say the BTK killer) are very rare.

There is no great war between good or evil involved here, it's us or them. Trust me, I am not entirely ignorant of the point of view of the other side, I just don't care. Right now our cultures are in direct conflict, diplomacy and middle ground solutions have been tried and failed, as has this whole "winning the peace" thing. There is a point at which not going to total warfare is absolute stupidity, and as far as I'm concerned we're pretty much beating around the bush because nobody wants to pull the trigger. We're hoping that some magical solution will appear so we don't have to do something that will conflict with an unrealistic code of morality we built for ourselves since "World War II". Right now, right here, it's us against them. It blows chips, but that's the way it is.


As far as who decides who the Xenocidal Theocrats are, it's pretty obvious. I do realize the "peace at any price" crowd tries to confuse the issue, it's one of those situations where the truth is self evident. It's an entire culture that's a problem, rather than a few individuals. Unlike popular fantasy where a "Dark Lord" can be killed and everything will be fine, this is a case where the poison is so deep that your just going to see more and more new leaders appearing to replace any of them you take out. You need to deal with the culture itself to stop the problem.

Why do I have this impression? Obviously I'm some kind of misguided bigot, with no world experience, who is talking about of my rear, right? Well apologies but that's not the case:

Let's try some mainstream Muslim Children's Programming:

http://religiousfreaks.com/2007/05/10/muslim-mickey-mouse-preaches-hatred-to-kids/

http://www.thetrumpet.com/print.php?q=3919.2133.0.0

http://store.nicenecouncil.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=678

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hcmHvczBGqg

Some other fun stuff:

http://www.jihadwatch.org/2004/11/seattle-muslim-schoolchildren-taught-how-to-shoot-and-fight-americans.html

http://www.bpnews.net/bpnews.asp?ID=17150

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gkKvdD9cG2U

Oh remember that whole outrage about burning the Koran in the US?

http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/285123/christians_in_gaza_fear_for_their_lives.html

This incident is from 2007 incidently, before anyone even suggested it here.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HmxR6jYR6pk

Most of these sites include the original sources and dates (Seattle Post, etc..).

The point here is that if you look there is tons of this stuff, and we're not talking about some tiny fringe community. We're talking about how they run television shows to indoctinate children to want to kill Americans and Jews from a very early age. I haven't even gotten into lists of less coherant/more spotty videos of Muslim leaders standing in crowds down there surrounded by followers screaming about killing us. With a bit of effort you can find those, however they have a tendency to disappear... strangely there is no similar problem finding all the American protests against discrimination against Muslims though.

The point here is that in response to the question "who decided these guys are xenocidal religious fanatics"? I'd say "they decided it themselves".

Now, don't get me wrong, there is plenty of anti-US stuff that can be said as well (on a lot of topics). This is why I say this is an "us or them" conflict rather than some great battle between good and evil. It not being a black and white matter does not however make the conflict less real, or mean that we can hold back in dealing with it.

That was quite inspirational. Thanks Bob.

Its sad when you mentioned the Expendables and I immediately knew you were gonna mention Scott Pilgrim. GET OVER IT the movie got dominated by the Expendables. No one goes to movies to learn lessons they go to be entertained. Michael Cera can't act his way out a wet paper bag and no one wanted to hear his monotone child voice and in a few years when he actually starts to look his age, he'll fade into obscurity just like other child actor (except he's not a kid he just plays kid roles).

When my granddad wanted to play soldiers he had to find some friends and pretend sticks were guns; when my dad wanted to play soldiers he had to find friends and use toy guns; when I wanted to play soldiers I had the choice of action figures or toy guns with friends; if I had a son he would turn on a game console that would do all the imagination for him regardless of whether he plays with others or not. It's got nothing to do with social and economic 'enemies' or the current state of the economy. To achieve is to strive, to strive is to dream, to dream is to imagine. You kill imagination, you kill progress.

And I would love to live where Bob lives as here in the UK job security is at an all time low and, I would guess, if you traced most of the national companies back to the directors you would find rich white men who were born into the jobs with no idea of the state of the economy.

I got scott pilgrim on dvd for christmas, you all should too

Squarez:

TL;DR. We should basically be demonising the entire country of Afghanistan instead of trying to understand it's culture and who figuring out who the "bad guys" are and who is an innocent party.

And of course, it's all the LIBERALS' fault; as if promoting freedom, liberty and acceptance to all people in a country with it's entire constitution based on friggin' freedom, liberty and acceptance is a bad thing.

P.S. Having the country's official position towards the Middle East (and by implication, Islam) being "fuck them all, they're all the enemy" will totally reduce terrorist attacks. Sounds like a good plan to me.

The issue is that we already understand the culture, and the bad guy is the idealogy and the culture rather than any paticular leader or organization. I posted a bunch of links in a message I just wrote showing a lot of things.

You also seem to misunderstand, I am not talking about going after Afghanistan. When I say "The Middle East" I mean "The Middle East". I think trying to address the problem country by country, and organization by organization is the entire problem. While there are differant sects the problem is the Muslim culture in general. Today it's Iran, tomorrow it's Iraq, next Thursday it's Libya, next year it's Pakistan... We've been at this for a long time trying to resolve it without massive military action, and the problems simply don't end, and it always comes down to the same basic thing, the cultures in the region. The problem isn't even Islam itself, since it can be practiced in a perfectly reasonable fashion alongside other peoples, but these specific cultures build around it simply cannot co-exist.

See, if we hadn't been at this for decades already, and if we didn't have kid being indoctinated to kill us on their television networks and so on, then I might agree with you. As things are now, I'm pretty much done with the situation, I feel diplomacy has failed, measured responses have failed, trust and attempts at understanding has failed, now we're down to "Total War". The thing is I am not someone who believes in "peace at any price", I see engaging in Total War as being something akin to a last resort, but that doesn't mean "something we never do". Anything we try at this point is simply a slight variation on something that will not work.

Understand that even our allies in the region like Saudi Arabia are dubious. This entire Al Queda problem is their fault. They are our friends because they want our money in exchange for oil, however while dealing with us with one side of their mouth, that same leadership is rallying the people against us, rather than trying to build a genuinely progressive society. Bin Ladin was one of their war heroes, and very popular for his Anti-American stances, he was put on trial there and Saudi Arabia decided to simply exile him (with all of his money) as opposed to locking him up or killing him, because to do otherwise would have caused outright revolt. A goodly number of the people backing Bin Ladin are Saudis. Had our allies done what they were supposed to, none of this would have happened. As a result, despite all the things the Saudis have backed us on at various times, I don't even think we can trust them. Jordan was once a good friend in the region, but with their new ruler I'm hardly going to trust them with my back. Pakistan makes pretensions of being an ally, but then again the people themselves have tried to kill their leadership for dealing with us.... I *DO* have reasons for what I think you realize.

Now, also understand something. I am talking about ending the conflict entirely. It's not pleasant, but as a result of "Total War" there will be nothing left in a position to send terrorists after the US anymore.

It's sort of like why the Nazis don't send spies or commandos against us anymore, the reason is that there are no Nazis anymore, or at least not on a level capable of doing anything like that.

I am advocating killing an almost unthinkable amount of people, however I don't see the numbers being a factor since I think it's pretty much "us or them" at this point.

Let me be blunt, down there in syndication they have TV shows telling kids to kill Americans and Jews. They recently had a children's mascot killed/martyred by a Jew to stir up hatred. This is during the entire conflict going on right now, and happening at the same time people like you over here are sueing for peace, and you can find tons of outcry against anti-Muslim discimination. We by and large say "let's make peace" and want our children to understand, they by and large say "let's kill everyone" and teach their children to hate us and our allies. These kids are going to grow up hating us just as much, if not more than their parents due to the refinements we're seeing in the techniques here. It's not like the people down there genuinely want peaceful co-existance, or are trying to undergo some kind of cultural renaissance. I'm not the one being naive.

... and this isn't BS, I just posted links to some of that programming in this thread (I just don't want to repost them and make long posts even longer).

I mean, I'm sorry if you don't care for it, but when they have children's programming dedicated to my death it tends to make me a little less accepting of the idea that they're simply misunderstood.

Thank you Bob.

Once again you remind me why I hate Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World in so many levels. By representation today's younger fickle generation and how they're totally oblivious to any real world expectations; namely how to be a man. In Scott Pilgrims case, a pu**y whipped jerkweed fighting for the affection of an ice princess with seven unknown other pu**y whipped jerkweed, even though just by talking things over they could have settled matters in a more mature and none violent manner.

At least with The Expendables (which I agreed sucked as an action movie), the protagonist had a better reason to be going to war. They were fighting terrorist that bleed real human blood, not spoiled fickle Y-Gens that burst into quarters and chunk change.

Basically what I'm saying here is with Scott Pilgrim all I saw was everything that's wrong with today's generation, the Expendables might have been an example of everything wrong with us growing up in the 80s but at least those years have passed.

Today's youth have no aim, they literally try to choose fantasy over fiction because they're not "man" enough to deal with the real world, hence why most of them are being called boomerang and trophy kids.

The world of Scott Pilgrim is really the world though the eyes of a early 20 something gamer (with no real gf, friends, or kung fu skills) in which his ultimate aim is still something he should have accomplished in high school. Learning how to talk to girls, and learning the type of lessons that would have been taught in an after school special or a GI Joe "and know you know" commercial back in the 80s or 90s.

"By learning to respect yourself, you'll learn to respect others."

Holy fucking shit! But you'd be surprised how few really understand that simple lesson today, when their noses aren't stuck in their cell phones text messaging their way into an oblivion....0o

-_-

philosophicalbastard:

Therumancer:
Snip

War isn't won through brute force, you must destroy and demonize the central power and appeal to the people. These people aren't Aliens pre-programed to destroy, they're people with a slightly different ideaology than us. As people they have the ability to learn and understand. You can teach them to be tolerant and not listen to those extremist. You can phase out that silent man without destroying him and his culture. As this occurs the Taliban will look less like warriors fighting for their religion and more like a public menace.

That attitude is exactly why we haven't won any wars since World War II. It's also why pretty much every group of people who tried to limit their engagement doctrine wound up being defeated by the numbers, such as how Bushido lead to the Samurai Aristocricy being overthrown by peasants, and the flower of French knighthood got massacred when they came in according to the laws of Chivalry to engage in a battle they should have won and got mowed down like dogs with longbows.

To win a war the only thing that works is brute force, and doing whatever it takes. We didn't defeat the Nazis by talking things through with them. We dropped more bombs on germany than they did on England, decimated every bit of infrastructure we could (civilian and military) and then relentlessly killed everything not in an allied uniform until we were sure there weren't many people holding the nazi ideaology was left because everyone was screaming "no, no, stop killing us Arggghhh!". Then even after the war ended we continued to relentlessly track down and kill anyone we could identify as being sympathetic to that idealogy or having worn a Nazi uniform. The fact that the US pardoned scientists in exchange for them coming to work for us was contreversial for this reason. The Isrealis were especially vicious about this, doing things like tracking down 90 year old janitors who might have walked by outside a concentration camp once.

Nations like Rome won wars by simply killing and/or enslaving anyone who crossed them. If they couldn't control the territory, they salted the earth so any survivors wouldn't have anything lef there either. I could go on and on about this, but Rome is pretty much the nation that developed the doctrine of "Total War" and how to annihilate a people. In one way or another that's how pretty much every REAL war that has seen an actual end has wound up.

We're dealing with a group of people who can't be reasoned with here, despite being every bit as intelligent as we are. The reasons for the conflict with The Middle East are not entirely rational which is why logic and diplomacy fail. We have been trying to find solutions to the problem for decades now, without success. This has included everything from diplomacy, to measured armed response, to simply trusting the people in the region and hoping to come to a meeting of the minds. Incidently the whole issue with Saddam is because instead of invading Iran we decided to build up Iraq so The Middle East could resolve the problems internally without the issue of "infidel" armies engaging directly. Saddam sold out to the Russians so he could go a-conquering. The Taliban started as "freedom fighters" we backed against The Russians. Saudi Arabia are our friends on paper, yet they were the ones who exiled Bin ladin as opposed to putting him out of comission despite knowing what he was going to do. Pakistan's leadership has claimed to be our friends and want to engage in diplomacy, but the leaders doing that do not speak the minds of the people and have faced assasination attempts simply for trying to deal with us.

I just posted some links in another message in this thread to things like children's shows intended to condition kids to hate and kill Americans and Jews. Where we are trying to teach our kids tolerance, people like you are speaking against warfare, and we have constant rants about discimination against Muslims, they are having their equivilent of Mickey Mouse murdered by Jews to instill hatred in the children from the very beginning.

You might not want to believe it, but I'm far from ignorant on the subject. I also do not believe in the "peace at any price" philsophy. I believe war is something to be avoided, but I think we have exhausted every reasonable option at this point, and that's where we are at. It's us or them. I don't claim the US is some angelic power of pure good, thwarting the forces of darkness, actually like anyone involved in war I'm saying we need to be a group of murdering bastards (the biggest bastard wins in war). Both the US and The Middle East have valid viewpoints on various things, that's simply how reality is, it's never black and white, it's about who is going to be left when the fighting stops.

At any rate, the thing is that we in the US would like to think that there is a central power structure that can be toppled and everything will be peachy. That is how it is in fantasy, kill "The Dark Lord" and peace returns. Unfortunatly in reality, the people in situations like this are rarely enslaved, and that power structure is something they have created and support. If we go in and topple the leadership, the same basic kind of leadership will just reform under differant names because that is what the culture itself believes in. That's why the culture itself is the enemy.

It's sort of like why during World War II the conflict wasn't over with the death of Hitler. He and his major leaders were figureheads, but the Nazi party itself was a set of ideals that existed quite apart from him in the end, and given time it would have just produced new leaders. This is one of the reasons why so much effort was taken to decimate it, to ensure that it would not return.

Great analysis, Bob.

You know, as much as we like to make fun of old curmudgeons who had to walk uphill both ways to school they have a point. Not that our generation, or the one preceding ours (that's yours Bob) is objectively a failure, but that we have nothing forcing us to fight for anything and thus we end up apathetic and without a care in the wordl. It's true that if the world doesn't demand we find our places we have to find that place ourselves, but if most people don't care for that then it's difficult to create any more societal changes such as the kind that brought us to where we are now. It's a sad state of affairs but it's a pretty much unavoidable side effect of long term prosperity and peace.

Very interesting show today Bob!

IMO modern society has changed from a stern patriarchal society of male bread winners to a quassi patriarchal open corporate society that seeks to cage and control the entrepreneurial spirit of the public in order to have more under paid drone to feed on. Its a start contrast to the 1900 or the 50s were good paying jobs were easy to find thus people felt worth something.

The Random One:
Great analysis, Bob.

You know, as much as we like to make fun of old curmudgeons who had to walk uphill both ways to school they have a point. Not that our generation, or the one preceding ours (that's yours Bob) is objectively a failure, but that we have nothing forcing us to fight for anything and thus we end up apathetic and without a care in the wordl. It's true that if the world doesn't demand we find our places we have to find that place ourselves, but if most people don't care for that then it's difficult to create any more societal changes such as the kind that brought us to where we are now. It's a sad state of affairs but it's a pretty much unavoidable side effect of long term prosperity and peace.

A edu system that tries to pass everyone through 1 or 2 square pegs and a lack of solid jobs dose not help with ones ability to raise up and be something.

Therumancer:

Simonism451:

Therumancer:
The Baby Boomers, already leaning towards the far left really saw little wrong with communism (or at least as they understood it, I'm not going to rant about the systems since this is long enough), and also didn't want to give up their decadence to go get shot at in a jungle. The biggest issue of course being that nobody wants to fight, and the boomers used every trick they could muster and any half arsed justification they could form to try and derail the war effort and avoid having to go. They *DID* shirk their responsibilities, even if they understandably don't want to view it that way. "Sorry dood, I'd rather sit here and get stoned than go fight in a jungle"... well duh, who wouldn't.

"Sorry dude, I don't want to fight with the same people that did MyLai."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/My_Lai_Massacre
Yeah communist pansy for sure!

Oh, we've done worse than that.

Let me be blunt, war sucks, that's pretty much an example of why. As I explained in my rants, we did stuff like that to the Nazis too, where do you think The Hitler Youth went?

See, in a war there is only winning and losing. The purpose of defeating the military is to get to the civilians and infrastructure in order to kill them and break their stuff. This "massacre" is only noteworthy because of both left wing outrage born of detachment from the realities of warfare, and because we took what was pretty much a defensive posture during the battle.

Part of the principle of warfare is to break the enemy's will to fight. You can't engage to protect your home and family if they are already dead. What's more people are unlikely to head to the hills to become insurgents if everyone they even remotely know is likely to be wiped out merely from association. Hard held beliefs are also going to be challenged by relentless slaughter.

There are examples of such engagement strategies failing, but just as many of them working.

To put things into perspective, let's say I'm leading an army and I have to take a specific objective in another country. Between me and that objective are a lot of towns and villages of the culture I'm opposing. If I proceed through the region nicely, I'm going to be harried and have my forces ripped to shreds. What's more I'm leaving the infrastructure and idealogy intact, so if I have to come back this way I could run into problems, especially if these towns and villages provide supplies for my enemy.

I send my troops into a couple of villages and horribly murder to inhabitants, and then display the bodies all over the place. People from the area are going to go "holy Sh@t that could be me" contrary to what many think, people, especially civilians and insurgents are not going to rally especially in the face of that kind of threat to their families. They are going to flee the atrocities. Those villages and towns are going to clear out and refugees are going to start heading towards my objective, putting a ton of pressure on the enemy who either have to engage their own people, or stretch their own supplies to care for them (or break ranks to let them through). "Driving the enemy before you" is an old warfare tactic as old as time, and you see it used throughout the world even today (this is one of the big reasons why you see so many huge herds of refugees being forced into wierd places in Africa and so on).

Does this make me a nice guy? Hell no. It works however, and in a real war there is no morality, only winning and losing. Something we've forgotten since World War II.

In the case of 'Nam however the various "Vanishing Villages" were done more for morale purposes. As I said, people are less likely to decide becoming a Gueriella is a good idea if it means their entire town is going to be wiped out just because of them.

You might not LIKE what I'm saying, but that's the sad realities of war. The very fact that you oppose such tactics are why we haven't been winning wars (and trust me, making incidents like this one into a circus has not helped the case, as well as gimping our military). It's also one of the reasons why I am so critical of the baby boomers, who still simply do not get it. Morality has no place in war. The only reason why anyone has claimed to have been part of a GOOD war is because they wrote it that way in the history books later.

I'll be blunt, if I was in command of a military operation (which I never will be) I might order something like that done under the right circumstances. The reason being simply that I am going to try and complete my objectives for my side, and minimize the risk to my own people. If it means slaughtering hundreds of enemy civilians, so be it. They should have thought about that before they decided to push things to the point a war started and I got sent there to begin with. Want me to stop killing people? Surrender, and comply with whatever societal changes we demand. If I'm there at war, then it's my job to be their own personal devil.

and what happens if the locals are not so easliy intimidated by your butchery and deside that they are going to fight your forces to the death. when they start straping bombs to their chests and blowing you and themselves up in the process. Do you go though the whole country and kill every single man women and child to win? and if you did would that not makes you the "bad guy" and invite other to do the same to your country later on?

Therumancer:

You also seem to misunderstand, I am not talking about going after Afghanistan. When I say "The Middle East" I mean "The Middle East".

Oh, I get it now.

No longer need to continue this conversation. Thanks for the illumination of your views, which I would find incoherent under the best of circumstances and vile otherwise. I won't pretend that I could conduct a civil, proper exchange of ideas with someone doing what you are so I'll just back away. Have a very nice day.

Simonism451:

Well if that's how war is (you've got a point, no doubt) why do you think of people opposing war as hippocritic cowards?

Going to war is hard enough without people constantly whining about it, or trying to undermine the war effort. Wars, especially long wars, are hard for people, including the side that is winning due to families being seperated, and perhaps not seeing the family members off to war ever again.

What's more if you have people crying about the techniques being used, it can make it hard for the military to do what they need to in order to win. Not to mention the simple fact that if soldiers become afraid of being punished by their own people for doing what needs to be done to protect them, it makes it hard for them to do their job.

Let's take the "vanishing village" from your link there. I wasn't there, so I don't know what the guys who ordered it were actually thinking. Chances are it had some tactical nessecity at the time, as psychological warfare if nothing else. Heck, for all we know it might have saved lives by scaring away people in the region who might otherwise have stuck around, tried to fight, and gotten decimated. If you have three villages known to be bases for insurgents in the region, and by killing one in a paticularly horrible way you can make the other two flee without a fight, your technically saving lives compared to if you just carpet bombed all three of them. I can't guess though, other than to say someone probably thought it was a good idea for some reason, rather than saying "hey we all like to kill people in sadistic ways! let's go wipe out that village for fun". I think the nickname "Pinkville" (as in Pinko I'm assuming, which means commie) says something about what kind of people lived there, and what kind of intelligence was gathered...

At any rate, let's say you've got a good reason for wiping out the village. The problem with peaceniks is that soldiers are going to be concerned about doing things like this if they are afraid their own people are going to string them up for it. Let's say that by not doing it, it leads to insurgent attacks that wind up decimating the military prescence in the area, which starts a chain reaction that loses the whole war. A bit of an extreme outcome from one act, but the point here is that your peace at any price moralist hampers the abillity of the military to do it's job because they find it distasteful. If *I* am a soldier out in the field I want to come home, I shouldn't have to worry about "civilians" in an occupied country getting caught in the crossfire if I defend myself (like happens in The Middle East nowadays). I shouldn't have to worry about getting knifed in my sleep by guys in black pajamas because someone back home thinks that it's wrong for us to wipe out the village we know the local insurgents use as their base of operations. People with peace at any price sentiments wind up putting the value of people in other countries our troops are in, ahead of the soldiers that are out there risking their lives.

In the case of the Baby Boomers (which is what I am being critical of) the opposition to the war(s) was largely based on them not wanting to go to war, no matter how it was justified. There was also no excuse at all for how a lot of them treated the members of their generation who did wind up going out to fight.

Let me be honest, turning someone like Jane "Hanoi Jane" Fonda into a folk hero (read about her during 'Nam), and jumping all over our troops as "baby killers" when they came home is totally inexcusable under any circumstances. Especially when you consider the guys making the accusations are by and large people who were in many cases dodging the draft themselves so they could sit around, get stoned, and have sex. Basically, attacking people who did what these guys avoided.

I also tend to think that people who argue about morality in war, tend to do so from the perspective that they will never have to fight in one. Half the people who will speak out against the stuff I mention are quite proud about saying they would flee to canada before fighting on behalf of their own country. OR have some delusional, comic-book idea of what war is going to be like, having not even read much about it to even be a proper armchair critic.

If your there in the field, I do not care who you are, you do not want to have your life P@ssed away because of some moral principle decided on by some goober on the other side of the world who your trying to defend. Again, when your actually there, people are getting killed by insurgents, and you know where those guys are, your opinion about wiping out the village they are coming from is going to be entirely differant.

By the same token if some dude fires on your patrol in a city in The Middle East while there is a crowd around trying to cover him (one of the problems, the civilians support the insurgents and tend to close ranks by all reports, as opposed to scattering from gun fire), I very much doubt you want to be put in the position of having a choice of being cut down right there, or returning fire to kill the guy, taking out some of the "civilians" in the process, surviving the ambush, and then being court martialed and/or turned over to a native prison for murder because some moralists in the USA think what you did was wrong. It's differant when it's YOUR life.

Incidently this is one of the reasons why I'd never willingly serve in the current military. I'd go if I was drafted (and they would take me) but would never volunteer. I am not going to willingly get myself killed for liberal principles. Dying is part of the risks of being a soldier, and I even accept that the leadership has to sacrifice soldiers (sending them out to do things knowing they will die... as a distraction or whatever) and that could be me, but I believe there is such a thing as spending those lives responsibly. That means minimizing the risks by letting the soldiers do what is needed to minimize the risks to themselves. That means using all of these horrendously deadly weapons. If you can level a village with artillery or air support, there is no real reason to send in infantry, other than so some liberal can feel good about himself due to minimal collateral damage. If I'm occupying a foreign country the people aren't supposed to like me, they are supposed to do what we want so we'll leave, my prescence there and the military operations is supposed to be there to either destroy them, or make them do whatever it takes to get us to leave willingly. Even more ridiculous than spending my life seriously, is to set up a stupid objective that can't be met. The military exists to kill people and break things, it's not the bloody peace corps. I shouldn't be there for political photo-ops and to try and make people like me. I shouldn't be there as the military to flip cheeseburgers for someone whose kids watch an insane version of Mickey Mouse rant about how it's their destiny to kill me and destroy everything I hold dear.

I know your not likely to agree with me, but think about it.

Well said Old Chap well said.
Apart from the patriarchy thing that's here to stay :)
on the white collar level its definately changed but in the highest echelons of power you will find its totally patriarchal.

philosophicalbastard:

Therumancer:

This kind of mentality has given birth to a situation today where we can't clearly identify a culture like that of The Middle East as an enemy, rather we need to take a reactive perspective and only target very specific individuals like those ACTIVELY engaged in terrorism rather than the core issues. The same could be said about China, or anyone else. Unlike previous generations where the media was making no bones about treating our enemies as enemies, and suggestiong violence and military action as a method of dealing with them, today the message is a naive one where violence is always wrong, there are always magical solutions that will arrive to avoid large scale violence, and worst of all is identifying an entire broad group of people as the enemy.

Today's mentality is one where we would not go to war against "Nazism" if it was to rise the same way. Rather we'd make a big deal about only opposing those guys at the top of the food chain, and misunderstanding the huge, international culture, with the fanatical millions behind it, we would of course wind up getting our tails kicked. It says a lot when you consider that people have made arguements that Patton was unworthy to wear a US uniform by modern standards because you know... he made no bones about wanting to destroy the enemy.

The point is a society that won't let you identify the bad guys as bad guys, and does everything in it's power to avoid confrontation, or at least confrontation on the level of a "total war", "us or them" level which would actually see a resolution.

Such are my thoughts.

So, you're suggesting we commit cultural genocide just because a few random extremists are being assholes? That's like wiping out christianity because of the Phelps family!

Being the enemy, as you say, all the works that were produced from the Middle Eastern culture, all the art and cities you'd need to burn down, not to mention the Millions slaughtered. We also might as well fore go all the inventions from the Middle East and deem them evil. To top it all off we should see if the pope is willing to back our conquest, just to prove how much we didn't fucking learn from history!

Therumancer, I see you as a natural born cynic that can only trust people as far as you can spit, but you're to smug about your self to ever excrite any bodily fluid. You need to learn that people are all rather fine, but they can occasionally be assholes. The only reason that Nazism and the Taliban ever came to power was because people were fucking afraid of those insane assholes, all we need to do is give people the power to stop extremism and they will.

I think he meant that nowadays we're told that all people are potential allies. Even if Nazism returned today, we'd be told that we have nothing to fear from them, then when they started a new Holocaust we'd be told that the people at the top were the only bad guys and that their followers (the citizenry, the army, etc.) don't believe the same things their leaders do and are just misunderstood (Our leaders and media would also say that a peaceful, diplomatic solution would be the best way to stop them from committing genocide). Then, we'd only go after the leaders, and once they were out of the way, we'd be all like "Good job, guys." and be taken completely by surprise when the citizenry and the army replaced the old leaders with new ones who had the exact same beliefs as the leaders we just removed from power. Also, your wrong that people were scared of the nazis, Hitler wrote a book that explained his views of things near the end of WWI and Germany still ELECTED him into power, then followed him fanatically enough that some Jews who returned to Germany were treated with hostility (and sometimes nearly beaten to death) for just being Jewish (in case you're wondering, I read that in a few Holocaust survivor memoirs).

Though I agree with you that he's blowing the whole terrorist thing way out of porportion (They're an organization, you can't say the whole culture in the Middle East is an enemy. That's like saying all hispanics in america are illegal immigrants, it's just not true. The terrorists manipulate the area's dominant religion to further their political agenda; that doesn't mean everyone there believes them) I think your taking things too far as well. Just because he has a different opinion than you about something doesn't give you the right to insult him.

EDIT: Oops, didn't read past philosophicalbastard's post, so I hadn't noticed that this entire thread had turned into a debate about war between therumancer and everyone else. Just ignore me and carry on.

joebear15:

and what happens if the locals are not so easliy intimidated by your butchery and deside that they are going to fight your forces to the death. when they start straping bombs to their chests and blowing you and themselves up in the process. Do you go though the whole country and kill every single man women and child to win? and if you did would that not makes you the "bad guy" and invite other to do the same to your country later on?

I think your beginning to get it, sort of.

Reality is not a comic book, or a morality play. There are no magical solutions that prevent the bad things from happening, or cause wars to come to nice, neat resolutions at the end of an allotted run time for a movie.

Should such a method not work, then yes, we keep trying to kill them until we either run out of people still holding onto the cultural ideals and resisting, or they defeat us. In some cases it might very well come down to killing every one of them. Indeed that's a big part of why we dropped the A-bombs on Japan. If we had gone in conventionally, we probably would have won, but their culture would have caused them to pretty much fight to the last man... going down in a heroic/honorable last stand. The A-Bombs were pretty much a psychological weapon, showing that they could either surrender, or die horribly like a group of dogs, there would be no honorable last stand, or last minute heroism, just pain, and death, at the hands of a weapon they couldn't even hope to confront. In this case it worked. Some alternative history writers have examined the issue of what might have happened if Japan had chosen not to surrender. Would the USA have stuck to it's guns and peppered the entire place with A-Bombs and killed every Japanese person? Would we have been terrified by our own power and gone in conventionally? Would there have been a mixture of those techniques with conventional invasions, followed by A-bombings if we met "Stalingrad" type resistance in specific areas? In this case it worked.

If people had failed to be intimidated by "Vlad The Impaler" and his displays of cruelty it's arguable that nations like Romania would no longer exist, and we probably wouldn't have stories about Dracula either.

I digress however.

The thing to consider is that what I am talking about is what war is in general. In any serious war, the other side is going to be trying to do the same thing to us. It's only modern morality developed after World War II that has lead people to believe that war can
be any other way. On a lot of levels our take on warfare and morality is both decadent and naive, and it's also why we're shocked when we see other nations and conflicts where people still understand war, and there aren't even any moral pretensions.

There is no good and evil in reality, in everyone's mind they are the "good guys" and the other side is the "bad guys". It's "us and them". To anyone going to war with the US we're going to be the bad guys, and as we're likely to be defending ourselves (or invading them)
we obviously are going to disagree and claim it's the other way around.

Once you realize that there is no "good" or "evil" in real war, and only a winner and a loser I think you'll understand the point I'm trying to make.

Also, do not misunderstand. I am not screaming about the glory of war or anything, quite the opposite actually. I believe in war as a last resort because it's so bloody ugly. I just feel that when you get to that point you shouldn't have any pretensions, trying to moralize is just going to put you at a disadvantage. In a real war you keep killing the enemy and breaking their stuff until they either relent and consent to ending things in your favor (and having themselves defanged so as not to be a further threat) or everyone on the other side is dead. Of course while your pursueing this agenda, they are trying to do the same to you, and are going to exploit any weakness you have, including a moral code that prevents you from engaging with full efficiency.

Therumancer:

philosophicalbastard:

Therumancer:
Snip

War isn't won through brute force, you must destroy and demonize the central power and appeal to the people. These people aren't Aliens pre-programed to destroy, they're people with a slightly different ideaology than us. As people they have the ability to learn and understand. You can teach them to be tolerant and not listen to those extremist. You can phase out that silent man without destroying him and his culture. As this occurs the Taliban will look less like warriors fighting for their religion and more like a public menace.

I just posted some links in another message in this thread to things like children's shows intended to condition kids to hate and kill Americans and Jews. Where we are trying to teach our kids tolerance, people like you are speaking against warfare, and we have constant rants about discimination against Muslims, they are having their equivilent of Mickey Mouse murdered by Jews to instill hatred in the children from the very beginning.

I'm not speaking against warfare, I'd gladly see any member of the Taliban killed given evidence of their membership. I'm just saying you need to combat propoganda with facts and kindness. We don't need to kill civillians, destroy cultures, or salt lands in order to pacify an area.

I have a big bag of those old G.I. Joe action figures in my closet and I always looked back on them with fondness. After seeing this episode, I may just re-evaluate how that part of my childhood affected me.
This series is really in the groove, Bob. The last one about DC comics continuity and now this one...you rock!

I didn't like this one as much. If I wanted to listen to some guy talk about finding your place in the world, I'd go to church and hear about Jesus.

philosophicalbastard:

Therumancer:

philosophicalbastard:

War isn't won through brute force, you must destroy and demonize the central power and appeal to the people. These people aren't Aliens pre-programed to destroy, they're people with a slightly different ideaology than us. As people they have the ability to learn and understand. You can teach them to be tolerant and not listen to those extremist. You can phase out that silent man without destroying him and his culture. As this occurs the Taliban will look less like warriors fighting for their religion and more like a public menace.

I just posted some links in another message in this thread to things like children's shows intended to condition kids to hate and kill Americans and Jews. Where we are trying to teach our kids tolerance, people like you are speaking against warfare, and we have constant rants about discimination against Muslims, they are having their equivilent of Mickey Mouse murdered by Jews to instill hatred in the children from the very beginning.

I'm not speaking against warfare, I'd gladly see any member of the Taliban killed given evidence of their membership. I'm just saying you need to combat propoganda with facts and kindness. We don't need to kill civillians, destroy cultures, or salt lands in order to pacify an area.

Well, where we disagree here is the nature of the enemy being fought. We're not dealing with extremists, as much as what the culture is like in general. We in the US like to think we're dealing with a fringe element because it provides the illusion that we can win without resorting to the kinds of methods I'm talking about, I however have long since come to the conclusion that this is not the case.

Things like "The Taliban" and "Al Queda" come from the culture itself, they are not an exterior force trying to impress themselves on the culture. This is why the people we take out are so quickly replaced. Even if we eliminated either organization we'd achieve nothing as a similar one would simply come into being.

It's sort of like how if the US was invaded, and we had our own insurgents running around screaming "Wolverines" and attacking the invaders, while sneaking people onto boats and planes to attack the homeland of the invaders in retaliation. Even if someone was to wipe these guys out, another group would simply form as long as the American idealogy continued
to exist. The only way to stop it, would be to pretty much wipe out the ideas being fought for.

The culture we are fighting against wants to see the destuction of the Western world, and the development of world-wide islamic theocracy. As long as that ideology exists, and it's held by the majority of people in that region, we're not going to be able to win. The enemies we've labeled now are a symptom of the problem, not the problem itself. The people in the region are NOT clamouring for liberation, or to see a progressive goverment. Heck, when we gave both Iraq and Afghanistan the oppertunity to create new constitutions the first thing they did was define themselves as Islamic goverments (not making that up). Even worse is that we were making a big deal about bringing women's liberation to the region, and it simply put did not happen since the people were not going to willingly sign those kinds of provisions into law. Understand this is a place where a lot of the time our women have to wear robes and masks and have men speak for them, even if they are in charge still. That says a lot about the culture and what it actually stands for.

As I posted in some links a few messages ago, you also have TV shows through The Middle East indoctrinating children to hate Americans and Jews and engage in holy war. That's not a fringe element of extremists, that's the mainstream, this is what they consider so fundemental to their cultural identity that it's what they want their kids to grow up thinking. It's not like muslim parents are trying to block these signals or anything. These networks are not run by groups like The Taliban, or Al Queda, rather this is the work of an overall culture that is conditioning the people so they will lionize such groups, support them, or even seek membership (or to create replacements if they fall).

The problem with these arguements is that before I post such links (not that they are hidden) people generally aren't even aware of that level of propaganda being directed at children by the mainstream. It's seeing things like that, which show how deep the poison runs and what the problem actually is.

Understand we're not dealing with a situation where facts and kindness can work. The nature of the conflict from their end is religious, and a matter of destiny. They are fighting us because it's what they are supposed to do, and no matter how hopeless seeming their victory is pre-ordained. They are just as intelligent and cunning as we are as well, such beliefs do not make them stupid or gullible. Kindness is seen as being tricks, and while they might choose to play along, in the end we are still ultimatly their enemy.

While Islam can be practiced in a perfectly acceptable fashion, where it can exist in peace with other peoples, that's not the case with the cultures in the region.

I only posted a few links but if you do some digging you'll find plenty of clips of their "evil mickey mouse clone" complete with subtitles. Oddly the mainstream media seems to want to ignore it. Shows like that pretty much reinforce what I'm saying, including things like how to react from apparent kindness from the enemy (don't be tricked by the Jews and Americans!), the indoctrination becoming more and more extreme as time goes on. This is why reason cannot be used.

See, I'd agree with you if we hadn't been trying to deal with the region for decades now. It's not like 9/11 happened out of a vaccum and we decided to invade. There is a lot of history here from both ends (I mean there ARE valid points on both sides). Trying more diplomacy and to reason with these guys isn't going to work, all it does is leave us increasingly open and give them more time for conditioning and to prepare.

Understand we tried middle ground solutions for a long time, even Carter's failure (Hostage Rescue) was ultimatly an attempt to deal with a problem without an outright invasion. We tried trusting Saddam as well, and that didn't exactly work out well. While I seem like a monsterous war monger to many, my point is how many times are we going to try reason? Total War is not a nice thing, but I'm tired of the endless problems and being in danger. There is a point where we have to say that we were nice enough to let the cooler heads prevail for a long time, we gave them plenty of chances, now it's time to actually send out the hotheads and maniacs.

A lot of people don't "get" (or like) the analogy, but I see very little reason why we shouldn't deal with this problem like we did the Nazis. Both the Muslim culture and Nazism were huge international movements, with powerful idealogies. We were able to "break" the Nazis and ensure our safety from that front, with the failure of dialogue over a number of decades why shouldn't we engage this enemy the same way? When you have puppets being used to convince children to kill Americans and Jews, and instill a sense of cultural supremacy and destiny in children, despite all the dialogue, what more can actually be said? It's hard to take any arguements for a peaceful resolution seriously when you look at things like that.

Bob I love your shows more and more. I agree, without the manly man stereotype being shoehorned onto guys, more sensitive men can be, well, men. Society still needs time to adjust, but it's getting better

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