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Old 06-27-2010, 07:27 PM   #1006
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Old 06-27-2010, 09:03 PM   #1007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diemen View Post
I know, right? Trying to hold ourselves to a higher moral and ethical code than our enemies is so damned inconvenient!


One gross oversimplification deserves another...
War is an awful, awful thing. That's what really resonated with me about what Moser said.
Let me elaborate a little.

I agree that if you're going to fight a war, you need to be able to fight a war. If there are enemy combatants hiding in a house, you need to be able to shoot at that house.

To me the higher moral code is the difference between mowing down a bunch of civilians just because they are there on the one hand, and accepting that there will be civilian casualties in the process of going after the combatants. When you reach the point where you'll let the enemy go free to prevent civilian casualties, you've stopped accepting the reality of the ugliness of war. Until nations agree to set aside some place on earth's surface that will be reserved strictly for warfare, the reality is that civilians will be caught in the crossfire--the undeserving victims of other men's fights.

Which is why I have a problem with wars on ideologies (like the war on terror or drugs). It is also why I think that going to war as a way of nation building is a bad idea. As any one whose been following my posts in this thread knows, I've been uncertain about where I stand regarding what should be done in Afghanistan. My views have been in flux as I weigh the information I'm gleaning. What Moser said makes practical sense. We either need to fight a proper war or get out. And unfortunately, I don't know that fighting a proper war will result in newly built nation of Afghanistan. The kinds of goals we have in Afghanistan don't fit with what fighting a proper war can accomplish. So perhaps it is time to go.

What about Al-Quaeda? I think rather than fighting a conventional war, we're simply going to have work at staying one step ahead of the terrorists.
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Old 06-27-2010, 09:21 PM   #1008
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I appreciate the elaboration, Sean. I pretty much agree with you. But as it pertains to Afghanistan and Al-Qaeda, I think this:

Quote:
Originally Posted by maycocksean View Post
What about Al-Quaeda? I think rather than fighting a conventional war, we're simply going to have work at staying one step ahead of the terrorists.
Is what Moser is missing. We can't expect to be able to go in with a formal military operation, no matter how down-and-dirty or "mean" we're willing to get, and expect to eradicate Al-Qaeda and solve terrorism once and for all. So I don't view it as a question of how mean we're willing to be to get results, I view it as a question of whether we're approaching the fight in the right way. You can't solve terrorism with military force.
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Old 06-27-2010, 09:54 PM   #1009
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But you can minimise some of the risks by assassinating the leadership and blowing up training camps.
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Old 06-28-2010, 01:03 AM   #1010
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Oops. Just noticed we're over 1000 posts. Time for the next installment, gang.
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