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UCC Hits Bottom, and Starts Digging

Discussion in 'The OT' started by Lyle_JP, Apr 22, 2005.

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  1. Lyle_JP

    Lyle_JP Icon

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    Apr 22, 2002
    That post wasn't directed at any one person in this board, and as you point out, you have never claimed that Iraq was better off with Saddam.

    I do find it interesting, however, that when I shouted "idiot", you were the first one to say, "Who, me?" :rolling:
     
  2. RichW

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    OK I'll see that and raise you a few more.

    What if the USA had gotten behind the League of Nations? What if we had treated a defeated Germany of WWI the same we we treated them after WWII. What if governments had limited the wild economic speculation that led to the world-wide depression in the 30's. What if the victorious WWI allies had not arbitrarily partitioned the Arab nations who had fought with us, giving them a feeling of betrayal. (same goes for the Balkans, BTW)

    People resort to war and terrorsim when they have little or nothing to lose. While avarice, greed, and other vices may continue to exist in various countries, show me a contented population and I will show you a population that will not allow a Hitler or Stalin to exist in leadership.

    In the long run it costs a lot less to build peace than it does to wage war. When we collectively, around the world, learn how to do this and provide for those who currently have "nothing to lose", then we will have won the War on Terrorism.
     
  3. Lyle_JP

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    Then why is it, in the Islamic world, that the wealthy and educated are the principle terrorism masterminds? You can't tell me that Osama Bin Laden was motivated by poverty or a sense of hoplessness. He was a member of one of the richest and most influential families of Saudi Arabia. And he's not the only example.
     
  4. RichW

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    Because he is able to rally support from the have-nots. You don't see the rest of the House of Saud following him, do you? You don't see wealthy Saudis or Kuwaitis carrying out suicide missions, do yo? No, he gets his followers from among the lower classes and those who feel a need for revenge.

    If those actions that caused the ill will had never happened, his terroism would have not been able to get off the ground. Likewise, our invasion of Iraq racheted up the animosity and became one of his best recruiting tools.
     
  5. jonstad

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    I must respectfully disagree with your statement in this one instance. There is not a population on the planet that should be more contented the the US population. We are, and have been for a long time, literally "on top of the world!"

    Yet we "resort to war" on an alarmingly frequent basis. Not counting major conflicts(Revolutionary, 1812, Civil, Spanish/American, World Wars, Korea, Nam, etc), which there have been plenty of, on average the US has never gone more then 2-3 years without militarily imposing ourselves on foreign soil in some manner or other. A record the envy of Alexander, Genghis Khan, the Roman Legions or just about any other warlike nation of history.

    We don't have the most massive military on the face of the planet because we're not good at war or because we don't expect to go to war. Quite the contrary, we find the expense acceptable because we're extremely good at war and expect to BE at war much of the time. And we expect that because more often then not we choose war as the first rather then the last alternative.

    And as Rich points out, it is a moral cop-out to draw a distinction between innocent civlians killed by a suicide bomber and "collateral damage" of a thousand pound bomb dropped from 30,000 feet. Like the latter were "unintentional" casualties. Like we didn't "intend" to drop the bomb. Or like we didn't know full well that dropping the bomb on a specific target wouldn't very likely result in the deaths of innocent civilians.
     
  6. Bogy

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    There is a difference between the "mastermind" and the guys who actually carry the bombs and fly planes into buildings. No one reason can be pointed out which explains why every last person in an organization is involved. Some, like Osama bin Laden are driven by hate and a desire for power. But the majority of those who follow him are there because of despair and jealousy.

    Actually, those in oil rich Arab nations who are feeling the most jealousy and despair right now are those in the middle class. There has been a baby boom going on in these countries and in some of them something like 2/3 of the population is now under 25. For the most part they are given jobs, but these are mostly meaningless government positions. The culture and tradition demand that Saudis, for instance, not perform "menial labor" and traditionally Pakistanis or other nationalities have been hired to do this work. Or even in the case of a friend of mine, to inspect air strips and control towers, while a Saudi who had no idea what was going on went along as his "supervisor" (one of those meaningless government jobs.) They love to hire Americans to do their work, it makes them feel better since they are the ones who are hiring them to do something that is too "menial" for them. Like hiring us to go to war for them against Iraq in the first gulf war.

    The problem is that as the middle class continues to grow, and oil prices have remained fairly constant, due to a large extent to the Saudis pumping enough to keep the price of crude constant, the pie that gets divided for the middle class keeps getting divided into smaller and smaller pieces for a bigger crowd. They can't increase productivity, because they aren't productive in the first place. The oil fields under the country may be productive, but they are not. If you want to see productive people you have to go to places with no or little natural resources, like Japan or Taiwan. America is a mix, blessed with certain natural resources, but also abnormal because we are a nation blessed with immigrants who had the drive to come someplace new for a fresh start. Saudis and those in other oil rich countries (like Alaska :lol: ) think it is their divine right as Saudis (or whatever) to live off of their natural resources with no need to produce anything by their own effort.

    But, as I said, the pieces of pie are getting smaller. The pressures on what has been a large middle class are building. Many middle to low middle class members can no longer afford the Pakistani servants. Possibly the biggest problem is the Saudi father who can no longer afford the Pakistani driver. Women can't drive, so the soccer dad with six kids (women can't drive, so its a soccer dad), has to leave work ever hour or so to ferry the kids from one activity to another. Incomes keep dropping, someone has to be blamed, they see on their satelite TVs how good Americans have it, and so they are jealous, they are increasingly angry and afraid of the future, and perhaps what the are most afraid of is that the oil wells will run dry, an alternative fuel source will be found, and they will be back to a culture with nothing but sand.

    We look at them and say, how can they feel hopeless, how can they be afraid, but they are. So when terrorists strike the U.S., some of those most afraid and jealous celebrate.
     
  7. RichW

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    I must respectfully disagree with your statement in this one instance. There is not a population on the planet that should be more contented the the US population. We are, and have been for a long time, literally "on top of the world!"

    I have to admit that you make a good point there. I would like to think these wars are essentially "police actions" but I really know better, having served in Nam myself.
     
  8. jonstad

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    Yup, not very happy stats eh?:(

    I try to avoid even considering WE are the warmongers. But with such an appalling record, I can see how others might see it that way.

    And it's not to say our interventions are never justified, nor that even most of them were not. But boy! We sure seem to jump in with both feet at every opportunity.
     
  9. Bogy

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    Perhaps we are quicker to go to war than many other countries because so few have been fought on our own soil. And because we have been so prosperous over the years we have fought to protect what we felt was ours. And of course we originally came from everywhere, so we kind of feel we have a right to butt in everywhere.
     
  10. jonstad

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    An excellent point. The "trauma of war" for Americans is limited to the pain of our troops being killed and injured on foreign soil and the agony of those we order to do so. Think of all our soldiers and sailors and airmen who still hold dark places in their minds just from the "police action" in Vietnam.

    All that is certainly tragic enough. But what if those battles had taken place in the swamps of Louisiana or the cornfields of Nebraska instead of the Mekong delta or Plain of Jars? Might we feel a little different about the "costs of war"? Disregarding the physical effects of landmines and UXO in the suburbs of Baton Rouge and Lincoln, or fields pockmarked with craters and contaminated with Agent Orange, what would be the lingering mental effects on the local populations? How much "collateral damage" would we have found acceptable?

    The detritus of war used to be rusted swords and shields and brass cannons, and of course the collective memories of those who experienced it, usually not pleasant memories. Today that residue includes not only forgotten land mines and defective bombs and shells, but toxic chemical defoliants, depleted uranium and other niceties of modern, high-tech warfare.

    The French and other Europeans are STILL dealing with explosive shells, bombs and landmines left over from WWI. Here's a list of countries with estimations of only the probable landmines still buried in their cities, towns and countryside. http://www.state.gov/t/pm/rls/rpt/hk/2001/6961.htm

    We are good at war, probably the best. But we have no conception of the real costs of war. For most of our history, we have willingly participated in numerous wars, and then gone home.
     
  11. Bogy

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    And not only has our country not experienced war on the soil of the continental states in anyone's memory, but many of our leaders have not experienced war at all.
     
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