On a serious note, do you really think we can win this one? - U2 Feedback

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Old 10-26-2001, 08:35 PM   #1
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On a serious note, do you really think we can win this one?

If you've read any of my past posts, you know that I'm very partiotic and think that we should beat Afganistan back to the stone age...oh, wait. They are in the stone age.

That being said, how is it possible that this group of terrorists are giving us a run for our money? I try and think of ways for this thing to end and it's hard to come up with a "good" scenario. Here's why.

This enemy is tricky. Over the years, our ememies in the middle east have become masters of media. They know how to manipulate the press a hell of a lot better than we do. Even though they intentionally kill their own, innocent people every day (Saddam using nerve gas on the Kurds for example) if we kill one of their civilians accidentally, they blow it up for the media. The Taliban (and Iraq for that matter) are storing their supplies in civilian houses and mosques. How can we destroy that stuff? I also believe the reports that the Taliban were planning to poison the US food drops and blame it on America. These animals would sink that low. So again, the question is, how do you fight that?

They also know how to motivate their people a lot better than we do. They're flashy, they always have AK's with them to show that they mean business and they love the word Jihad. This gets their citizes up and going. It also get Muslims all over the world up and going. That's not a good thing for us. Things will get especially tricky when Ramadon hits us. If we attack them then, we're fucked. If we don't attack them then, we're just as fucked.

We can't get them all from the air. As we've already seen, the Taliban doesn't have that many fixed targets. What they do have are a lot of followers with Ak's, a great knowledge of the terrain and a lot of caves in their country. How go we fight that?

I don't know that we can really take the gloves off in this war. Can someone say Vietnam? If we go in there with guns blazing, not only will we piss off all muslims around the world, but we will lose a LOT of allied soldiers. The US people are not ready for that. I think we could do what the Soviets couldn't do and that's take over Afganistan. But I think that would require us invading the country like we invaded German occupied France in WWII. I don't know that it will be as bloody as D-Day, but it will have to be really big and sustained.

The Taliban doesn't give a shit about human life. No matter what side of the tracks we are on in this matter, I think we can all agree that the Taliban has no value for life outside of extreme muslims. That means they will use chemical and biological warfare in the battlefield. Do you think that Bin laden will be taken quietly? C'mon. If he's knows he's done for, he'll strap himself with so much C-4 and chemicals that he'll be a walking bio-chem bomb.

In addition to all of that, you have many, many jokers in the deck. What about Iraq? Will they get involved? What if there is another MAJOR attack over here? (Like crashing a jet into a nuclear power plant or exploding a nuke in Washington) How will that affect our effort?

I don't want to sound negative because I'm not, but I just have some questions.
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Old 10-26-2001, 08:53 PM   #2
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I'm not really sure what it is we're supposed to be winning?

If the goal is to "eradicate terrorism", I believe there is no way we can win.
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Old 10-26-2001, 09:04 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally posted by wolfwill23:
They are in the stone age.
Very true, sadly enough.

Quote:
That being said, how is it possible that this group of terrorists are giving us a run for our money?
Well, in this case, while the motive is to get terrorists, it seems as if we are really attacking Afghanistan--more specifically, of course, Taliban targets. While I believe the Taliban must be eliminated for humanitarian reasons, you have to remember that (we think) the Taliban is only harboring terrorists, not part of the terrorism. So, even if we destroy the Taliban, we don't destroy Al-Qaeda.

Quote:
This enemy is tricky. Over the years, our ememies in the middle east have become masters of media. They know how to manipulate the press a hell of a lot better than we do. Even though they intentionally kill their own, innocent people every day (Saddam using nerve gas on the Kurds for example) if we kill one of their civilians accidentally, they blow it up for the media.
Every nation has used the media to their advantage. No doubt about it. The problem, however, is that the natives never realize that they are being lied to. Likewise, if we were being lied to by our media or our government, would we know it? We often use the media as our lifeline to the world, putting our trust in others to let us know what is going on. Unfortunately, that trust is often abused.

Quote:
The Taliban (and Iraq for that matter) are storing their supplies in civilian houses and mosques. How can we destroy that stuff? I also believe the reports that the Taliban were planning to poison the US food drops and blame it on America. These animals would sink that low. So again, the question is, how do you fight that?
These are likely the problems that the Soviets had in invading Afghanistan. This is not a simple nation, and it took the Soviets 10 years to realize it was a fruitless battle. I'm hoping things will be different this time, because it's not like we have another competing superpower funding the Taliban, unlike during the 1980s, when the Americans were funding the opposition.

Quote:
They also know how to motivate their people a lot better than we do. They're flashy, they always have AK's with them to show that they mean business and they love the word Jihad. This gets their citizes up and going. It also get Muslims all over the world up and going. That's not a good thing for us. Things will get especially tricky when Ramadon hits us. If we attack them then, we're fucked. If we don't attack them then, we're just as fucked.
Most of the Islamic world, I believe, understands it's not a war on Islam, but on terrorist extremists who happen to use Islam for their destructive purposes. The problem, of course, goes with nations with weak and/or non-existant governments--Afghanistan, Pakistan, Palestine. You have destitute people who are forced to rely on these criminal organizations for protection and security. In effect, they are providing the services that their respective governments cannot--education, shelter, employment, etc. So we are seeing an entire generation of people brought up, supported, and educated by terrorist organizations. Are you going to bite the hand that feeds you? That's why humanitarianism is equally important as eradicating these organizations. Otherwise, the cycle of ignorance and destruction will continue.

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We can't get them all from the air. As we've already seen, the Taliban doesn't have that many fixed targets. What they do have are a lot of followers with Ak's, a great knowledge of the terrain and a lot of caves in their country. How go we fight that?
This was also a problem the Soviet Union encountered likely. A definite valid concern.

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I don't know that we can really take the gloves off in this war. Can someone say Vietnam? If we go in there with guns blazing, not only will we piss off all muslims around the world, but we will lose a LOT of allied soldiers. The US people are not ready for that. I think we could do what the Soviets couldn't do and that's take over Afganistan. But I think that would require us invading the country like we invaded German occupied France in WWII. I don't know that it will be as bloody as D-Day, but it will have to be really big and sustained.
The difference between Afghanistan and Vietnam was that we were obviously trying to install an autocratic tyrant into Vietnam, just for the sake of eliminating communism. The people knew this, so the U.S. had no support from the South Vietnamese populace in general. This time around, I think we have the popular support, and the people, sadly enough, are really too weak to fight back, aside from the Taliban forces.

Of course, there is always the specter of the Soviet confrontation in this. The moral is that we cannot simply brush aside and underestimate our enemies here.

Quote:
The Taliban doesn't give a shit about human life. No matter what side of the tracks we are on in this matter, I think we can all agree that the Taliban has no value for life outside of extreme muslims. That means they will use chemical and biological warfare in the battlefield. Do you think that Bin laden will be taken quietly? C'mon. If he's knows he's done for, he'll strap himself with so much C-4 and chemicals that he'll be a walking bio-chem bomb.

In addition to all of that, you have many, many jokers in the deck. What about Iraq? Will they get involved? What if there is another MAJOR attack over here? (Like crashing a jet into a nuclear power plant or exploding a nuke in Washington) How will that affect our effort?

I don't want to sound negative because I'm not, but I just have some questions.
All valid concerns, and I do think that Iraq has something to do with all this. I'm still quite mad that Bush I never removed Saddam properly.

And I guess my fear is that this might turn into our worst nightmare: a prolonged war with no end in sight. We can smash Afghanistan into submission, but the terrorist organizations are in several other nations as well. We can capture bin Laden, but there will always be someone in his place. It truly does make you wonder how this can be won?

Melon

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"He had lived through an age when men and women with energy and ruthlessness but without much ability or persistence excelled. And even though most of them had gone under, their ignorance had confused Roy, making him wonder whether the things he had striven to learn, and thought of as 'culture,' were irrelevant. Everything was supposed to be the same: commercials, Beethoven's late quartets, pop records, shopfronts, Freud, multi-coloured hair. Greatness, comparison, value, depth: gone, gone, gone. Anything could give some pleasure; he saw that. But not everything provided the sustenance of a deeper understanding." - Hanif Kureishi, Love in a Blue Time

[This message has been edited by melon (edited 10-26-2001).]
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Old 10-27-2001, 12:57 AM   #4
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To follow up on Melon's comment re: Iraq/Saddam Hussein - some of my conservative colleagues have questioned what Gore/Lieberman would be doing in this situation. Last week, Senator Lieberman expressed his urgency to expand this campaign and target Saddam Hussein, and I concur with him on this. I would also like to add Sudan's slave-trading governement to the list of targets myself. I definitely think Saddam Hussein plays a role in Al Qaeda activity and possibly the recent wave of anthrax attacks. And I know for sure that he is FAR MORE HARMFUL to his people than are the U.S.'s sanctions or flyovers. I wish he had been taken out in 1991.

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Old 10-27-2001, 01:49 AM   #5
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I try not to post articles in total, but Rich Lowry, editor of the National Review, said it best:

IT'S NOT HARD

September 28, 2001

Repeat after me: Osama bin Laden is a dead man.

The danger of the manic wave of emotion that the nation has been riding for the last week is that when it ebbs away, we may be particularly susceptible to the depressive voices of doubt and complication: We don't do mountains; we can't track down a "shadowy" network that has none of the traditional infrastructure of a state; we aren't ready for the casualties and time this war will entail.

Indeed, if you follow the logic of various pieces in the press over the last few days, the "nothing option" begins to seem the only reasonable alternative: We can't undertake any large-scale bombing in the Middle East because this would be counterproductive and immoral; we can't take out Saddam specifically because we supposedly already tried that once and it didn't work out; and, finally, even getting bin Laden will be difficult because of his elusiveness and the Afghani terrain.

You can just hear the pundit class talking itself out of any intensive military action. (Maureen Dowd will probably be back on the side of the Euro-appeasers before the month is out.)

All of this is "realism" as an excuse for lack of resolve since the real hard work requires a moral and intellectual commitment many commentators won't be willing to undertake. It means welcoming the frank application of American military power, acknowledging the superiority of American civilization to the corrupt and backward political culture that has attacked it, and supporting unilateral American action when necessary.

This is what's difficult for that portion of the political elite that is wedded to cultural relativism and a low-grade anti-Americanism. The rest is relatively easy.

And telling ourselves as much is not simply a matter of maintaining patriotic ardor. A nation's attitude matters. What it tells itself about its capabilities has an important influence on what those capabilities will be.

For instance: Between the two world wars, the French were, in a sense, psychologically damaged. After the slaughter of the trenches, they so abhorred the idea of taking the offensive that they crouched behind the Maginot Line and were unwilling to deal Hitler an offensive blow even when he was at his most vulnerable, during his remilitarization of the Rhineland in 1936.

So, let's remember.

We breached the Atlantic wall in 1944: Osama bin Laden is a dead man.

We thirty years ago! put a man on the moon: Osama bin Laden is a dead man.

We vanquished Saddam's army in a 100-hour ground war: Osama bin Laden is a dead man.

It may take some time and dirty tactics and unsavory temporary alliances, but given our might, technology, and determination, it's inevitable all four of his wives will be widowed. Osama bin Laden is a dead man.


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[This message has been edited by Achtung Bubba (edited 10-26-2001).]
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Old 10-27-2001, 02:06 AM   #6
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And Vietnam was supposed to be easy too. I'm confident we can win, but I don't think it's as easy as the National Review would think it would be.

And we hardly vanquished Saddam. He's still there, right? A complete and utter mess that Gulf War...

Melon

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"He had lived through an age when men and women with energy and ruthlessness but without much ability or persistence excelled. And even though most of them had gone under, their ignorance had confused Roy, making him wonder whether the things he had striven to learn, and thought of as 'culture,' were irrelevant. Everything was supposed to be the same: commercials, Beethoven's late quartets, pop records, shopfronts, Freud, multi-coloured hair. Greatness, comparison, value, depth: gone, gone, gone. Anything could give some pleasure; he saw that. But not everything provided the sustenance of a deeper understanding." - Hanif Kureishi, Love in a Blue Time
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Old 10-27-2001, 02:18 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by Achtung Bubba:
It may take some time and dirty tactics and unsavory temporary alliances, but given our might, technology, and determination, it's inevitable all four of his wives will be widowed. Osama bin Laden is a dead man.
Between this quote and the entire tone of NR since the attacks, the last thing I would say about the magazine's opinions on the war is that they're niave.

Yes, it's not easy, but YES, we can and (given enough determination) will win this.

And about the Gulf War: we did kick Saddam's ass, and we accomplished every objective -- in record time with an staggeringly low rate of casualties. We didn't go in to Baghdad then because it wasn't our objective. If I recall correctly, at the time no one was willing to spill the American blood that was necessary to root him out.

Was it a mistake to leave Hussein alone? YES, certainly. Have we paid for our mistake? Again, yes.

But hindsight is 20/20, and I'm frankly AMAZED at some people (no one in this thread, but those like Michael Moore) who are among the first to say "we should have finished Saddam" when a decade ago they were the loudest in yelling "we have no business being there at all".

An amazing level of hypocrisy.

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Old 10-27-2001, 03:57 AM   #8
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I believe there's nothing to win at all.
lifes are what we are losing, sadly...
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