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Old 02-03-2002, 12:35 AM   #61
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Basically, Im going to interject my 2 cents, without reading what anyone else has said.


The prisioners are being kept in Cuba... Who here honestly thinks that Cuba is full of American state of the art maximum security prisions? Not me. So theyre keeping them in chain link cells, with roofs, surrounded by barbed wire? At least they have roofs over their heads. People are all stressed about how theyre treating these prisioners. From media and discussion, its not like the US is torturing info out of them, putting them on the rack, branding them, flaying their skin, doing otherwise unpleasant things to them. How do you think the reporter held hostage in afghanistan is being treated? Think he gets fed regularly? Think theyre being civil? Not torturing him? Giving him clean water? I doubt it.


Ill type more when Im not dead tired... gnight...
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Old 02-03-2002, 04:40 AM   #62
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Hmm, what got that reporter got to do with the prisioners of war ( it was a war against the taliban, right ? )on Cuba ? We all think that America is a civilized country. It is time that we ( the western world ) prove it.


Btw, if the taliban did surrender Bin Laden to America, the woman would still walk in burka`s ect.

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Old 02-03-2002, 01:48 PM   #63
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SV,
Ok, before I start up again, I'd just like to say that I understand what fuzzy said about the loans and investments and the problems associated with them. My point though was the effort put in. Another point in addition to the above is that the USA often lets countries dump their products in the USA. The USA has one of the most open borders for trade in the world. US consumers buy hundreds of Billions of dollars of goods sold by foreign companies around the world. Just look at the USA trade deficit. During rough times, the USA is often propping up the world economy.
Now, lets go to the former Yugoslavia. You assert that the USA would have gotten involved 8 years earlier in Bosnia if it was about the humanitarian side of the conflict. That is rather strange and I'll tell you why.
First, the conflict in the former Yugoslavia broke into open warfare on June 25, 1991. The fighting was in Slovenia and Croatia at first. Within 6 months by December 1991, the UN had set a ceace fire and major fighting had stopped in Croatia and Slovenia. This ceace fire would hold until September 1995.
Fighting did not begin in Bosnia until March 1992. Intervention did not happen initially for several reasons. It was hoped the UN could get a ceace fire like they did in Croatia. Other NATO allies did not support US intervention and the scale of the human suffering had not become fully apparent.
If it was just about US concern for stability in Greece/Macedonia/Turkey and Geopolitical Business interest. The USA would have intervened from the start. 1992 and then 1993 passed. The UN tried but failed to solve the situation. The civilian losses mounted. The economic devestation of the region continued. Then in 1995, the discovery of mass slaughter at Sebrinicia in central Bosnia in August of 1995 combined with the known death toll to now be approaching 300,000 in total in the conflict, convinced many in both the USA and European countries that something had to be done.
In September of 1995, the USA and other NATO allies intervened and were able to help the Bosnia Muslims take back nearly half the country(they only had 10% before) and lift the Siege of Sarajevo. This intervention happened because the human cost of the war. If as you say it was Geopolitical interest alone, intervention would have happened in 1991 when the conflict started. I do not know where you get 8 years from when talking about Bosnia. Intervention happened 3 years after the first shots were fired.
Kosovo became a full scale battle ground in 1998 followed by US intervention in March of 1999. NATO intervened early this time to prevent a repeat of the mass civilian losses in Bosnia.
Russia and Serbia's relation were not really factors in any US intervention. Russia since the break of the Soviet Union was far to weak to play any serious role in Europe or to make trouble. It is true that the USA and western Europe of Geopolitical interest of seeing successfull Market oriented Democracies develop in the Balkens in the aftermath of the end of the Cold War and the Defeat of the Soviet Empire. The continuation of the war was of course frustrating efforts for development in the entire region since they are connected economically through trade. But what tipped the balance toward military intervention was the suffering and mass deaths, human rights violations to the civilians.
US troops have been there ever since to prevent a return of the bloody conflict. Through are efforts the USA and its NATO allies have the opportunity to create long lasting peace in the region.
So again, if it was about Geopolitical Business interest, US intervention would of happened in June 1991. It was the human cost of the conflict that brought about intervention in Bosnia in September 1995, 3 years have the conflict started in Bosnia. The people of Bosnia and Kosovo are greatful for the troops that provide security and allow for supplies and money to come in after the pure hell they went through.
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Old 02-03-2002, 02:13 PM   #64
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SV,
I don't know where you get this idea that those in the military do what they do because they were brain washed when they were childern at public school or whatever. Every officer in the US military has a college education and every field grade officer has at least a masters degree which my father does. Over 90% get their college education at public and private Universities through out the country where they are exposed to a large diversity of opinions, view points, proffessors and media.
Military training does not involve the dehumanization of the enemy at all. I have been through several different type of military training in addition to my friends and family who have served or are actively serving in the military. If anything it teaches respect for the enemy. The training is focused on drilling so one can respond in a timely manner, physical endurance and strength, mental toughness, and for officers LEADERSHIP and the ability to go for long periods of time without sleep. Once the bootcamp level training is over for officer or enlisted, the focus is on Military tactics and combat operations and then of course one's branch or arm of service Tanks, Artillery, Infantry, Intelligence, etc.
One is prepared to fight any military in the world at any place and at any time. But there is no focus on preparing for a particular country in initial military training. That often comes later wants training is over, or sometimes only weeks or hours before the intiation of combat.
The focus of this is on accomplishing the mission and achieving set goals and objectives. No time is spent dehumanizing anyone. That serves no purpose what so ever and would be a childish waste of time.
Some people may come away from boot camp with the thought that its about dehumanizing the soldier, but that is just a mind game that is played to test the mental toughness of the individual. Nothing more and does not occur outside of bootcamp.
My friend who got back from Afghanistan the week before Christmas was in charge of special unit of troops that were on the ground in Afghanistan. They were the eyes and ears and source of information for the "military Elite", in addition to finding military targets for are aircraft to hit. The best intelligence you can get on the ground is when you have people there, not drones.
I talk to my friend for a good bit and found out a lot.(I have known him since grade 5 and went to University with him) Thats a source of information that I was able to tap into that is vastly superior to any media source, foreign or domestic and is not "corrupted by Military Elites" which does not happen anyways.
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Old 02-03-2002, 02:42 PM   #65
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SV,
The reason for the increase of the use of force in the past 15 years has been the winding down of the cold war and the increased instability in many regions of the world that that has created. It has nothing to do with advances in US military techonology. Without the advance in US military techonology, the US would still be involved in these area's, the only difference would be a much higher number of civilian deaths.
For example, taking out a Radar or airdefense weapons system in downtown Baghdad with the technology we have today can usually be done without loss of civilian life. A precision weapon system is selected and loaded with a warhead that will be enough to destroy the target without doing damage to the surrounding area.
Before this was available, dumb bombs with large warheads would be used to take out the target and it may have taken 10 20 or 30 or maybe more to actually hit it. The misses of course fell all around the target destroying all kinds of civilian targets.
Now, and attack that would normaly kill hundreds of civilians often kills none.
In Iraq, most of the targets hit in the no fly zones are not in residential area's to begin with. Often Iraqi anti-aircraft bullets and shells will fall to the ground without having hit an aircraft or exploded in the air, and cause civilian deaths on the ground. But sometimes civilian deaths have happened, and in response to this, US military personal developed away to use slabs of concrete to take out targets like radars and anti-aircraft guns. In this, the kinetic energy of the concrete is enough to destroy the target, and explosive warhead is not needed.
No international organization has free access to anything in Iraq. They are only allowed to see and go where Saddam Hussain allows. There for any study done by these organizations is totally flawed because no accurate assesment can be attained because of the creation of facts by various means by the Iraqi government. Its a police state and not a democracy. Only the military has the means the technical means to see what is going on.
While the number of deaths in Iraq is most likely inflated, they are all due to Saddam Hussain who still has the money and ability to fix these problems but chooses to spend it on his security, military, and strange buildings that serve no purpose. Not to mention most like continueing to develop weapons of mass destruction.
The oil for food program allows Iraq to sell its oil for humanitarian supplies. Over 18 billion dollars a year. Most nations in Sub Saharan Africa would foam at the mouth just to get some of that.
If you want to know about large civilian losses due to military action, read about the Iran/Iraq war from 1980-1988! While they may have targeted civilian populations for sick reasons, the US military has no reason to target any civilian period. Its a human rights violation to do so, against the US military code of conduct, waste vital resources and time, and serves and achieves no purpose.
To sum up, what ever civilian losses that have resulted from bombing in Iraq are small. What every infastructer that was destroyed that might effect civilians can and is easily repairable by Saddam Hussain. He has no problem repairing military targets that are more expensive and take more time.
Any organization that goes there and reports, reports only the picture that the Iraqi government wants to see. Only US spies, or the military itself through various inteligence resources know the real story of what is going on in Iraq because it is a police state. Technology has vastly reduced the normal civilian deaths from bombing and other forms of warfare, with the Gulf War and conflicts of the no fly zones being a perfect example!
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Old 02-03-2002, 04:19 PM   #66
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(I hate to be getting into this, but...)

Correct me if I'm wrong, but the only comment Bama made about the OJ trial basically meant that he didn't want to turn the trials of the Taliban prisoners into a media circus like the OJ trial. I don't see that in any way implying that the Taliban prisoners are to be denied a fair trial. Would OJ have been denied a fair trial if his trial wasn't televised? I seriously doubt it. One could argue that because of the high profile nature of his trial, he didn't receive a fair trial (but it worked out in his favor). I'm sure that both for the prosecution, defense and jury, knowing that everything is being televised and dissected on the news makes an impact on how they conduct themselves and the decisions they make.

I would think that the possibility of a fair trial for the Taliban prisoners would be greater if there wasn't a media circus wrapped up in it.
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Old 02-04-2002, 03:07 AM   #67
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SV,
Again, you have totally wrong on Vietnam. Are purpose was not to destory Vietnames society. It was to win the hearts and minds of people who felt they were caught in the middle between to competing political factions. Most people in South Vietnam wanted democracy or were indifferent to the conflict. Those that took up arms against the government in the south were actually in the minority, but a vocal minority indeed supported by the North.
Half of the two to 3 million you talk of were confirmed military deaths and others were those that were killed in the crossfire of every large scale war, many of them being in the south. If it was are purpose to simply destory Vietnam we could have very easily. It would only take 8 hours to kill every single person in Hanoi using conventional bombs! Look up the bombing of Japan and Dresden Germany from World War II and you'll see what I mean.
To sum up, we were there to prefend Communist forces from taking over the south and significant part of the strategy was winning the hearts and minds of those that were neutral in the conflict. My father was an advisor with a South Vietnames division when he was in Vietnam. Destroying Vietnamese society could have been done in a few months with conventianal bombs and in less than 30 minutes with nuclear weapons. The was and has never been the goal in any US military operation the history of the country. It is just absurd!
Every study of military bombing from World War II on proves my point, by simply looking at the weapons used and how many strikes it took to achieve every bombing objectve.
The whole reason that the war in Kuwait was so short was because the massive advances made in precision technology that allowed for "one shot, one kill" many instances and at most two shots to take out the target, compared to an average of 100 strikes in Vietnam and 1,000 in World War II. Also, the forces in addition to greatly improved equipment were much better trained as well. This led to the incredible shortness of the war and the overwhelming victory that occured in only 6 weeks when many "experts were predicting a conflict lasting months or over a year".
Technology and better training has and will continue to save countless civilian lives. Also, the Pentagon is the only organization that has started the investment of billions of dollars in non-leathal weapon systems! This has become much more important now with the larger number of peacekeeping missions that our soldiers are involved in!
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Old 02-04-2002, 03:20 AM   #68
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Afghanistans infrustructer was already destroyed before any US bombing started. I suppose you have not heard of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan or the civil war that followed. Bombing by the US was very limited and against only select targets in cities or concentrations of Taliban troops in the countryside. Most food and other supplies comes from outside the country. Most reporters remarked at how little damage their was in Kabul when they went into it. There are nuclear submarines with enough nuclear warheads to kill everyone in Afghanistan in 10 minutes!
That was again never are intention. We wanted to get Al-quada and the Taliban refused to give them up. After a month, we began to target the Taliban militarily. We helped the northern Alliance in a couple of months had control of most of the country.
As I said before, I have a friend of mine that was in charge of various operations and on the ground in Afghanistan and doing some of the targeting for airstrikes. While the civilians situation is difficult, its not because of the bombing, but because of the total breakdown of the country since the start of the civil war and the realiance on international relief for food, which comes from the USA. Civilian losses from the bombing were very light. This was for several reasons. One the precision of the weaponsystems used and 2 because of the targets that were chosen, most of which were outside of major population centers or away from dense residential area's.
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Old 02-04-2002, 03:37 AM   #69
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SV,
I admit the big business does play a huge role in US politics but they are far from being the only player. Not all funding comes from businesses either and there is a much greater diversity of views on various issues in the two parties than you think. I understand that they can seem like one in the same party, but thats often good because sometimes they both have it right on certain issues.
I have read plenty about Ralph Nadar and Bucanan and there is no way in hell I would vote for either of them, simply because of their stance on various issues. They simply have it wrong.
Its not a pure democracy I agree but a representive democracy that does not always do a very good job.
But US foriegn policy is formed usually by the experts at the State Department that don't have large sums of cash flowing their way. Most employes and experts there are payed very little for the work they do, but they are strongest compenant in US foreign policy.
Oh, and don't slag off people simply because they are rich and work in Big Business. I have family members and friends that work in very large businesses and they are not these evil monsters bent on destruction. At worst, their just concerned about their profit margins like every business should be but are law abiding good citizens. Bad apples exist in every organization though.
While these businesses have lots of money to throw around, Foreign Policy is made at the State Department and yes they often act in the interest of large businesses because they are very benificial to the US economy as a whole. But its the experts that the presidents have around them that are usually the real decision makers when it comes to foreign policy.
I agree that the election system needs to be reformed although once it is, I think you'll still find many of the same policies being pursued and with good reason.
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Old 02-04-2002, 03:47 AM   #70
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Rarely do read much mainstream US media for info because very little is often reported by US media about events overseas compared to foreign sources that I read. There is plenty of propaganda in foreign media sources as well. I also would not ever read from a media where a country is not a democracy and does not have freedom of the press. That is an example of government controled info.
So as I said before, my main source of info is not general US media. I also have sources that are often better than the media. My Father and his friends that are retired military officers and the large number of people they know still serving in the military and intelligence organizations.
While I of course would never get access to classified material, I do get access to wealth of material that never gets printed in general US media.
I also now have friends serving in the military, one of which just got back from Afghanistan. That is an incredible source of info that blows away any type of media around the world and even the "Military Elites" you see on TV.
In addition to all this, I have a four year University Degree in International Relations!
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Old 02-04-2002, 12:02 PM   #71
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Exactly, Diemen. My position is simply that the delivery of justice does not need to be up to the opinions of tabloid reporters (who, as it turns out, haven't even visited Gitmo Bay...they only saw the infamous photo of detainees being processed), but we should wait and see what the plans are for trying these detainees before we condemn the U.S. for "detaining" them. And my views of media shenanigns, in any legal proceedings, are based on the tendency of media-encouraged public opinion to sway a verdict (remember the "threat of riots" if O.J. had been found guilty? Suppose Al Qaeda sympathizers threatened terror per guilty verdicts, or American yahoos threatened a civil war per their release?). I am all for a speedy and public trial, but not a media blitz; I am comfortable with the information so far.

This is much different than a simple criminal situation such as a car theft on U.S. soil. These are "combatants" taken in an international military conflict. The detainees at Gitmo Bay are people who had positions of leadership and intelligence in both the Taliban and Al Qaeda power structures, and are NOT random 18-20 year olds who were rounded up from the streets of Kabul; if you want to know the fate of that rank of detainees, I would suggest you check up on those detained, by other Afghans, no less, in Afghanistan. The guys at Gitmo are being treated quite well based on the information I have read. I can't help but wonder, though, if some of you simply have a problem with the fact that they are being held at all.

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