1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

How about a big "ATTABOY" for a job well, well, you decide.

Discussion in 'Issues Around the World' started by -Ken, Oct 26, 2002.

  1. -Ken

    -Ken Guest


    I am not saying we bombed out the infrastructure or that we directly
    caused the demise of the country.

    However, it is evident the problem will not get better without serious
    help. You mention the bags of wheat which are finding their way to
    people through the black market. I submit it is far too little and it is
    not being managed properly.

    This will be a test. What will the terrorist propaganda machine turn
    out if we abandon this country? Do you honestly think we will be
    able to set up some sort of government there which won't be a sham?

    And finally, I am not saying we are worse than the "evil empire" you
    mention. Why is it every time I point out a deficiency I am accused of
    trashing the United States? I would expect you understand we have our
    failings. I can admit that, can't you? I am not ashamed to say the country
    I love is not perfect. I can't fathom how anyone could entertain any other
    way of looking at it.

    Shiny, I think you make a good point. However, if we don't fix these
    problems, they will come back to bite us in the ass. The terrorists need
    a new home(s) and all they need is poor, hungry and uneducated people
    to convince the populace of the injustice of the western world. We either
    fix these problems or wait for them to explode.

    Pup, thank you for addressing each of my points. You present a valid case.
    With regards to how we handle our foreign policy, with no continuity from
    election to election it becomes impossible for the rest of the world to "deal"
    with us. I believe we need to find a better/more consistent way to lay out a
    longer term plan in order to facilitate <i>real</i> change.
  2. Coot

    Coot Passed Away January 7, 2010

    Ken, I'm attacking the validity of your arguments on their face...once again, 11 months of U.S. presence in Afghanistan isn't going to turn anything around, specifically when a whole generation has grown up with one set of barbarous rules. Your assertion that we somehow aren't doing enough flies in the face of reason. 11 months in country, a military campaign in full swing and the fact that what admittedly will be 10-20 years of rebuilding hasn't started yet is perfectly acceptable. Much of the rebuilding you're talking about can't even begin until 25 years worth of landmines are uncovered and disarmed.

    Your claim that our "promise to rebuild the country is worthless", is in itself and on its face irresponsible and without merit. I would submit that your claims of our failure in the region actually be given the opportunity to fall flat before declarations of such are made.
  3. -Ken

    -Ken Guest


    As far as I am aware we are in a mopping up mode. Most of our "enemy"
    has been neutralized (nice word that neutralized, it sounds clean) and
    we have already put people in positions of authority in some places.

    You are right, it will take decades as there is a generation of barbarism
    to overcome. Do I believe we will actually accomplish this? No, I think we
    will Band-Aid the job based on what the American public wants. This is
    a democracy and we make decisions based on the majority rule. If the
    terrorists continue their havoc (and we're all pretty sure they will) we
    probably will abandon Afghanistan and get on with our lives.

    One final point, you talk in terms of less than one year. I understand that.
    But somehow the scale we reference time is very different when you're
    starving or perhaps your child is starving to death. If we want to win
    the war of "Who's the good guy?" we can't wait months. Food and
    medicine must get to these people.

    To do less is to let them die.
    We don't make long term friends that way.

    By the way, let's separate the politics from the military for a moment.
    In case there is any misunderstanding, I believe our military is doing
    an incredible job. I think we can all be very proud of their performance.
    Because I believe our foreign policy in a mess (both ends of the political
    spectrum) should not be confused with the job our military is currently doing.
  4. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    I am not sure I agree with many people here about helping Afghanis.

    I think we spent billions helping them on a grand scale, and that's to topple their pathetic, radical, asses with AK's called Taleban (ironically "Students).

    The rest is up to Afghanistanis. US can only help so much with the rest of the world and I will never, EVER forget Somalia, a 3 billion dollar waste that also included 19 US servicemen. All in the name of helping feed people.
  5. Sierra Mike

    Sierra Mike The Dude Abides Staff Member

    Yeah, but the unspoken proviso was that we would be around for the next two decades helping them get their society back on its feet.

    Thing is, if we succeed by Western standards, and the Afghanis tear it apart (not unlikely), the US will be left holding the bag.

    And if the US departs after the military mission is concluded, and the country descends into chaos, the US will once again be fingered as the bad guy...you know, the uncharitable, uncaring colossus.

  6. cdw

    cdw Ahhhh...the good life.

    So, when are ya going?
  7. jamming

    jamming Banned

    Probably never. Having been in Afghanistan during various points of the Afghan/Soviet Conflict, the war was not orchestrated and run by the US, we didn't promise them anything over what we give other similar countries after we left. The Taliban as it developed and those of like minds, continued to get their support from people like Osama. The war was about the Invasion of their homeland and everyone put aside their differences to get the foreigner's out. They agreed to settle their own scores after the Soviets were out of the picture.

    The US was rather non-discriminate to who we provided Stinger's to. BTW they were modified Stingers that had several parts included in them that would degrade over years of storage. The issue of poverty is the age old one, we can supply all the food they would need to live, but them what would the local farmers do for a living. We can provide staples but then those in power grab it unless you stand right over them and stop them with the US or allied military, this is what happened many times in Somalia. The people would rather starve than take food from the neighbor that has it and the neighbor that has it would rather see them starve then have to fight them later.

    So we either have to take over completely and impose our own culture on them or we have to let them preserve their own culture and do things very much like they have always done. I went in to Afghanistan as a guest, and though I advised and was sometimes listen too, the older and wiser (in their view) local leaders made the choices. I listened and sought to understand and fight the battles I could win, rather than beat my much younger head against the wall. I made my reports up the chain but after the Soviets left we had no more interest at the official level because other things were coming that we had to deal with.

    Just like many things in your own life the crisis gets the attention rather than the mundane things that no longer need your full attention, till the notice to turn off your lights in a day or two comes in the mail. Afghanistan wasn't just like it was because of the Soviets it goes back hundreds maybe 1000's of years. We are not going to change their culture in a day, just as we didn't the Japanese. We will help them if they want it, but their destiny is their own. We may very well have to go back in there in 20 years, we won't know till we get there. You can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make him drink. We will do what we can but we cannot change things unless we are willing to commit much more forces, we have allies of the moment there and if we tried to force them we would be treated like the Soviets were.
  8. cdw

    cdw Ahhhh...the good life.

    Thanks so much for the insight. I was posing the question to Ken and thought the response was from him. I thought, well, what the heck? Why does he do the posts that he does then?
    lol, then I looked and it was you.
    So.... you've been there, done that. Must have been and probably still is very frustrating.
  9. jamming

    jamming Banned

    Evidently, from listening to Steve talk here, he and I probably have passed in the night by each other, for all I know he could of been one of the pilots we used. I don't expect a real answer for that from him as that he probably is too well trained to admit it if I asked. I have a little freedom to talk about things generally, but getting into specifics is something that three letter fraternity doesn't like us to do. I have an Uncle in one of them and we both have never face to face discussed our respective jobs, because then we would have to testify to it. If I had it to do again I would of just joined the regular military and follow orders but I was young and feared nothing. Now, I know better!
  10. -Ken

    -Ken Guest


    It is always fun to initiate a discussion here because of
    the diverse group of members associated with this forum.

    Let's work from the assumption all the conditions you detailed are true.
    Let me ask you a question. Where do our terrorist problems come from?
    I'm sure you will agree, it is the countries much lower on the economic
    scale than, say Switzerland. Where will these people organize next?
    More importantly, how do they do it and how can we remove the
    opportunity from them?

    My evaluation suggests the poorest countries will cause us the most
    problems. Aside from terrorism (no small problem) we also have
    disease, political instability and the possible economic impact of some
    third world country changing the way we do business. Should the Saudi
    government be overthrown (like Iran) our supply of petroleum could
    be disrupted and the economic spillover could be troublesome.

    More insidious a threat comes from the political disruption. If the Saudi
    government fell, wouldn't we be looking at a possible "domino effect"?

    We really would be foolish to use troops against a popular insurrection,
    it would alienate any ability we might have to establish diplomatic relations.

    Following up this supposition with a worst case scenario, things could
    look like this.

    A political event triggers the popular uprising of the Saudi population
    (that's not hard to believe). For the sake of argument, let's attribute it to
    the US invasion of Iraq. As we have troops stationed there, we are in the
    awkward position of trying to decide if we should support the existing
    regime (they are our allies) or depending on the situation, sitting back
    and hoping to establish relations with whatever replaces it.

    If the Saudi revolution appears to be successful, we could expect other
    countries to have similar disturbances with varying results.

    Aside from the disruption of oil, we now have allowed a flash-point to
    be born.

    To carry this scenario a little farther, suppose the fundamentalists take
    control in Yemen, Oman, UAE, Egypt in addition to Saudi Arabia. We
    would have an almost continuous block stretching from Algeria to
    Somalia in Northern Africa and running in the Middle East from
    Afghanistan all the way up to Turkey.

    Under the right conditions, this could happen as fast as the overthrow of
    the Shah of Iran. This scenario leaves us in a very bad situation. There
    was speculation Bin Laden organized the World Trade Center attack
    using mostly Saudi citizens in an attempt to set this very chain of
    events in motion.

    Now, how should we deal with the situation? If we brandish weapons
    and threaten "action" would this be effective against people who willingly
    die for their cause? If we allow their propaganda machine to keep spewing
    lies out and the major portion of the population starts to believe it, we're
    on our way to trouble and the handwriting is clearly on the wall. As
    Haywire keeps reminding us, it won't be pretty.

    So, from your side of the fence, all I'm hearing is threaten them, go to
    war with them, continue to ignore them and let them starve. And, this
    master plan has a prayer of succeeding, how?

    Before anyone starts with the "He's saying we should give in to them"
    crap, I am not. We need to take a proactive stance, including our military
    with an eye toward stabilization. I don't care if you call it country building
    or instilling our values, we can not afford to NOT do it.

    With the introduction of biological weapons, the age old argument about
    delivery systems is mute. Should the worst occur, millions could die and
    our entire way of life could cease to exist as we know it.

    This really has nothing to do with religion. It has nothing to do with
    politics, it has to do with continued survival. It is people against people.
    Those who wish to cause harm MUST STOP. We must (as one united
    people) look at these war mongering individuals as part of the problem.
    The idea of a preemptive attack flies in the face of everything we are
    taught. The Japanese were heinous for doing to us but it is ok for us
    to do it to Iraq because it is in our best interests.

    I believe all over the world the majority of people wish to be left to
    live their lives in peace. I have never heard of a country inviting
    devastation and offering their ground as a battlefield, yet there are
    multiple battlefields in every country. Our oceans are littered with
    countless wrecks of incredible warships. In Gettysburg and Normandy
    the grave markers seem to go on forever. When do we make that illegal?

    There has been a lot of discussion lately (to put it mildly) regarding why
    were not hearing about open protest from the Muslim community about

    To ignore these protests is absurd. They are screaming for us to stop the
    terrorism against them! Both Cyd and I found countless links describing
    protest against our "War on Terrorism" while we were looking for Muslim
    protests against the use of terrorism by Muslims.

    Well folks, I think they are saying quite clearly, "Stop hitting us!"
    We would have to be pretty dense to miss what they are screaming at
    us, wouldn't you think? How did you miss the pictures of them burning
    the American flag? Because we say things like "If it wasn't this, they'd
    hate us for something else." that makes it a problem we don't have to
    deal with? Are you collectively kidding?

    Pssst, hey, check this out, people out there really hate us. No kidding.
    They have said this very clearly and they intend to cause up harm.
    They have videotaped it and they have now graphically demonstrated it. </small>

    If you want to address the problem of hate, you have to address the
    problem of hate. I can think of NO examples of hatred being cured
    by war. I see hatred being assuaged after the war is over in varying
    degrees by the treatment of the vanquished by the victor. If we had
    spent an equal amount of resources to rebuild the Middle East as we
    did on Europe at the end of WWII, does anyone not think we would
    be better off today?

    I realize the above question is unanswerable. I am not looking for
    one. I am trying to point out, every time we miss an opportunity
    to fix one of these "problems" and don't, it comes back to haunt us.
    Something tells me occupying Iraq and having all the nuclear tipped
    missiles in the world won't be worth a rat's ass if some twisted bastard
    let's a modified Ebola virus loose in Mexico.

    The good news is the Federal Government has announced it has a plan
    to deal with any such situation. You are hereby instructed to "stay at
    home" and should you decide to try to leave, for the good of the rest
    of us, armed men will turn you back.

    You can read a little bit about what you might expect here.

    As a courtesy I am providing this link which gives you some great tips
    and other links so you can prepare for this type of disaster. As incredible
    as it sounds (and maybe I missed it) nowhere did I find the statement
    "Kiss your ass goodbye."
  11. jamming

    jamming Banned

    First and farmost I think that you assumption that poor are the cause of the problems is just plain wrong. From that assumption all of the rest of what your ideas are premised on can not even really be argued as your main premise is wrong. Nearly all of the 9-11 hijackers were from upper middle class Saudi households. Since they are frustrated from obtaining a higher position within the system of their homeland, then they became dedicated to a cause out side of it. I find it interesting that I as a Conservative have a higher level of confidence in the "common" poor of the world than to think that because they are poor they are more willing to use violence or be used in violent action.
  12. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    Jim, Omar basically said the same thing in another thread where I quoted a report saying the same thing.

    It's not just poverty, Ken, there's much more to the motivational factor than just poverty.
  13. ShinyTop

    ShinyTop I know what is right or wrong!

    Ah, Ethics, but those motivational factors do not require we wear a hair shirt and beat ourselves senseless.

    Ken, we have poured billions into the countries of the ME. The only thing that would satisfy all of them is saying, okay, you can destroy all the Jews in the ME, and wait, here, all of the rest of the world too. These are independent countires who surprisingly want a say so in how they spend the money we give them.

    You continue to defend those who are attacking our country because we are the main reason genocide has not taken place. Our supplying of weapons years ago and our buying of their forebearance is what I am referring to. This wearing of blinders of yours is what I find amazing. You have quite high standards of conduct for our country and continue to ignore any conduct of other countries that might be the cause of our actions.
  14. -Ken

    -Ken Guest


    I'm sure the reason the hijackers were from rich/affluent families has more
    to do with their ability to blend in and carry out the plan. It is doubtful an
    illiterate who didn't speak English would have been any use.

    I wasn't saying the terrorists themselves were/are necessarily poor, no the
    countries which shelter them and allow them to build training camps (and
    God knows what else) are poor. It is easier to convince the uneducated,
    illiterate masses than to sway the more comfortable population.


    I submit violent terrorism is more prevalent in poorer countries. In Latin
    America, Africa, Middle East, Asia and even behind the previous Soviet

    Ireland and Israel might be a possible exceptions to the rule but everywhere
    I see terrorism it is either in a poor country or exported from a poor country.

    In this last go around with the Taliban, very few were wealthy and
    overwhelming majority were at the very bottom of the economic ladder.


    You are absolutely right. We shouldn't be sinking the money into these
    sinkholes. It is a bottomless pit. But a big part of the reason is because
    we have tolerated lunatics running these places for decades.

    Let's look back sixty years or so. If real modernization had taken place in
    some of these countries (I am not lumping all of the Middle East together)
    we would not be having some of these problems today.

    A lot of this money must come from countries themselves. The lifestyle of
    the average Kuwaiti is pretty damn good. No income tax and quite a bit of
    money to spend. I would like to think they would be interested in helping
    their neighbors but I am going to have to assume like their counterparts
    here, it can be tough to have to cut back just so some lazy unemployed
    so and so gets needed medical care or something!

    They have the money, let's convince them to use it correctly. Lavish
    lifestyles and huge palaces while people starve is not tolerable.

    With everything that has been said here about this, let me pose a few

    Who do we have more to fear from, rich or poor countries?

    Who can we influence the easiest and cheapest?

    If we allow things to keep on the present course, do we honestly believe
    things will improve?

    If we attack Iraq, do we really think it will dissuade terrorists in Libya,
    Yemen and Iran?
  15. Sierra Mike

    Sierra Mike The Dude Abides Staff Member


  16. Sierra Mike

    Sierra Mike The Dude Abides Staff Member

    It could certainly persuade the regimes in charge of those countries that terrorism might not pay the types of dividends it once did.

  17. -Ken

    -Ken Guest


    Agreed with the stipulation we have to know who did the deed.
    Since the terrorists have stopped claiming their "victories" it
    makes it harder to retaliate against a country.

    I would like to remind you President Reagan retaliated against
    Kadafi for the Pan Am Lockerbie incident and he apparently
    wasn't responsible (for that incident).

    As more of these criminals become expatriates, we lose any deterrent
    value in attacking a country. Even if we overrun a country and install
    a sympathetic government, there will always be the determined few
    who will strike from somewhere else.

    That is why I see this as more of a criminal problem rather than a
    military situation. It will take one hell of a police force to tackle
    this problem.
  18. ShinyTop

    ShinyTop I know what is right or wrong!

    I thought Reagan was retaliating for the German night club full of Americans that was bombed.
  19. -Ken

    -Ken Guest


    I believe you are right.
    I will chalk it up to this age thing.
    The point I was trying to make was Reagan responded to the
    attack by bombing Libya and as I understand it, the bombing
    was carried out by Syrians.

    Sorry for the inaccuracies,

  20. pupowski

    pupowski Banned

    Apparent to who may I ask, because it wasn't apparent to me when I last reviewed the matter. Besides, Reagan had ample evidence of libyan involvement in other attacks against American interests. The attack was very effective, as Khadaffi has taken a decidedly lower profile since. Reagan's attack was just, appropriate and got the job done with the least possible casualties or political fallout. Overall, I believe Ronald Reagan did a fine job with defense and foreign affairs.

Share This Page