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Discussion in 'Politics & Current Events' started by Jason, Jul 23, 2006.
He was talking about WWI. the Lusitania sunk in 1915.
I want that on a t-shirt. E-rep for you, sir.
Dive-Baum, in principle I agree - I doubt Hitler would have gone after the states anytime soon simply because of the logistics involved, and he pretty clearly tried and failed to take over Russia so eventually there would have been a boundary there. Again, it might not have stuck, but I agree that without US invention Europe would have been a German empire by the end of WWII.
But, at the same time, that's basically how the modern european borders formed anyway. It's not like the world would have ended if Hitler had sucessfully taken over Europe - it'd be a far different one, sure, and one that I personally feel was worth fighting against (and I'm pretty solidly anti-war in most cases), but what he was doing was really fundamentally no different than what the Russians did after WWII, and we sort of sat there and let them do it (which is admittedly about the single greatest understatement ever applied to the Cold War, but you get the picture).
Sure, I'm glad he didn't suceed (cosmic understatement #2 of this post), but it's not like Hitler controlling Europe would have triggered the Apocalypse - we went in becase we didn't like the political implications of a giant German empire in europe and because we were attacked by the Japanese, not out of any fear for the world being destroyed. It takes rather a lot to take out a planet, you know?
Now, would I agree that WWII saved the French nation and a large chunk of the Jewish race? Definitely.
I could argue that point. Hitler's second book, written in prison but never published, clearly outlined his intention to conquor America. The development of bombers capable of making bombing runs from Europe to the east coast of the US (dubbed the America Bomber), huge super battleships, and rocket technology helped cement this fact. Hitler's main aim was to create a super race, and to that he needed food to feed them all and places for them to live. America was the logical choice to him. He needed to take care of his back (Russia) first. Attacking Russia when he did is the stupidest mistake he ever made.
Would he have won? Nope. There are just too many people in America for him to have a hope of winning. Establishing a foothold and holding it, when your supply lines run across thousands of miles of water would also be problamatic. Would he have caused lots of damage. You bet. New York, Boston, DC, Baltimore, and Norfolk (all the naval vessels of the Atlantic fleet were built here) would have suffered massive amounts of damage.
It is really much better the way we did it. The loss of American life pales in comparison to what it would have been if Hitler took over Europe and turned his sites on us. Pearl Harbor was Japan's biggest mistake of the war, and Hitler should have been furious at Japan for it. If they had left "the sleeping giant" alone until Hitler had Europe under control, and Japan had the south Pacific locked down, things would have gone much worse for us. Well, they would have gone much worse for Russia first, more than likely. How long would we have sat still while they took over half the planet? What would it have been like if Japan took out Pearl Harbor much later, and much more completely, so they could use it as the forward base to attack the west coast? Thinking about suffering multiple attacks to opposite coasts at the same time is a pretty ugly thought.
Agreed on virtually all points - Hitler's decision to invade Russia may have been more of a deciding factor on the war than America's involvement, and he WOULD have eventually taken a shot at the states, but probably couldn't have pulled it off for more or less the reasons you specify.
I just think he wouldn't have done it until he had Europe pretty much under wraps. It also would have involved a tactical change on his end - the German "Blitzkrieg" strategy of striking fast, hard, and fast and trying to win wars in days and not months or years (admittedly, by the end of the war it clearly wasn't exactly possible) works brilliantly when you're invading, say, France. However, the complications of a surprise lightning strike on a nation with which you share no common borders and are seperated by a couple thousand miles of open water are a little more involved.
Eh, it makes for interesting speculation, anyway... How do you think he'd have done it? The German navy was in pretty rough shape by the time we entered the war, and they didn't really have anything that allow them to land a couple thousand tanks, which were arguably at the core of their ground-based military strategy...
Hitler made the mistake of thinking that Russia could be taken by force. Napolean couldn't do it, he couldn't do it. It can't be done.
I didn't mean the 7th seal would be broken kind of end of the world (although you never know..LOL) I meant the end as we know it. The end to freedom..that kind of thing. Also..we aren't a race..we are a religion.
Jeez, this got waaaaay off-topic. Suprising? No.
You suck at moderating, Drew.
Well, this is certainly the more entertaining and civil conversation, don't you think?
Drew still sucks, though.
I guess I could have been clearer, but the Central Powers were WWI, not WWII. WWII was the axis of evil.
At any rate, my point is, that the USA should not get involved in these shitty little wars (Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, Iraq again).
We have lost every single one. Think about it.
In Korea, did we stop the spread of communism? How about in Vietnam? The main problem is that the people wanted communism, and it was none of our fucking business. In Iraq part I, did we stop Saddam? No, you may say that we did in part II, but our purpose in part II, for those of you who remember, was to take away Saddam's WMD, but oops, uh oh, no WMD were there. In Afghanistan, we were supposed to take out Bin Laden. Where is Bin Laden? Apparently no one gives a shit anymore.
We suck at winning wars. Why? Because we pick the stupidest wars to fight in. I'm surprised we aren't fighting in Darfor and in Lebanon right now. I still think it's coming, though. We can never mind our own business.
Minor correction Axis Powers = WWII, Axis Of Evil = GWB's Name for The terrorist nations
That's debatable. The people in Vietnam and Korea wanted family members to stop dying and regular meals on the table. If the communists seemed to be able to provide that better than the capitalists so be it, but the vast majority of the Vietnamese and Korean citizens weren't out there discussing the merits of Marx vs Lenin in the trenches, you know? I agree with your premis that it's not our place to say, but it strikes me as more about quality of life than ecxonomic theory.
Actually, yes. Before the international coalition invaded, Saddam controlled Kuwait and had the 4th largest army in the world. When they pulled out all but a residual force, Saddam's army had been decimated, his sphere of influence was limited to his country, and Kuwait was free. They completely neutralized him. They left him in power because 1.) the cost of fighting street-by-street in Bagdhad was deemed too high, and 2.) because a government headed by a neutralized Saddam was likely to be more stable than one headed by an American puppet. Bush the first said more or less the same in his memoir. Funny how that played out.
Bin Laden wasn't in Afghanistan because America hemmed and hawwed very publically about invading the nation for 6 months, and then finally did so with a wholly inadequate force, to test out Rumsfield's theory that smallt actical strike forces would be the wave of the future. In short, the execution was botched in a way that has little to do with the way the execution was botched in Iraq.
I'm not saying we don't get into some pretty stupid wars, but you don't exactly back up your thesis, bro.
Amen to that. Funny though, cause people hate us for getting invloved with other countries affairs yet they also hate us when we don't get involved (eq. supplying aid).
But still, what I said stands. For whatever reason, it doesn't matter, because I didn't get into why. But the majority of the people wanted communism. The reason? It was powerful enough to wipe out the current government and appeared to them that it would end serfdom. Did it do so? No, but that has nothing to do with my point.
Yet he continued to threaten Isreal and the Kurds well afterwards. Maybe "stop" is not the best word, but yet again, I didn't say anything about kicking him out of Kuwait, that was just one aspect of out main objective of stabilizing the middle east by removing the threat. The threat stayed, so the objective was failed. My point still stands.
Again, I don't care how we failed, but we failed. You are actually making good points to support my original thesis, thanks. There's nothing you are saying here that is in disagreement with my theory.
Well, you did a fine job of making my argument for me. Thanks.
I honestly don't see what we are disagreeing about.
You're completely missing most of my points, dude.
1.) TYhe Veitnamese and Korean citizens might have supported communist rebels, but saying they "wanted communism" misses the point - they didn't want communism, they just wanted to follow whoever was most likely to feed them and not kill people. Sure, we shouldn't have been there, but that's because it wasn't our war,n ot because everyone was comunists. They weren't - they were just hungry.
2.) Completely off base. The intent of the First Gulf War wasn't to remove Saddam and replace him with a pro-US puppet state, because it was decided that wasn't necessary. Rather, the point was to weaken Iraq as a military threat and return Kuwait to the Kuwaitis. On both of these grounds it was a complete sucess - Iraq was a minor international player at best before we decided Saddam harbored terrorists. We completed the original objective of the war.
3.) Again, you missed my point. Had we gone in there on day one and launched a powerful, well supported surprise attack, Bin Laden would have most likely been dead today, assuming our evidence that he was there was any good. We didnt "not get him" because it was a stupid war that we shouldn't have been in - we "didn't get him" because we butchered the execution and gave him 6 months to find somewhere else to hide before we attacked.
Seriously, there's no common thread between any of these. The first was basically supporting your thesis, that it was a war we shouldnt have been in (communism discussion was merely a tangent). The second was an operational sucess, and the only reason Iraq is such a mess today is because we went back in three years ago. The third was a failure not because it was a war we shouldn't have fought, but because we gave the guy six months' notice. Three completely unrelated scenarios, and one of 'em wasn't even a loss.
1) Which was communism. We had nothing to offer the peasants, since we were trying to keep any change from happening. Agreed? So they wanted communism. They saw it as the solution to their problems. My point was not focused on the communism or not communism anyway, just that we failed at what we set out to do.
2) Well, whatever the case, the fact that years later, we are still at war with said country over the struggle for power kind of makes the point a lot stronger than I can say in so few words. If we kicked their asses and imposed our will, why would we be back over there struggling and paying such a huge cost? Seriously? We failed, dude. I mean, such short-lived victory is not truly a victory, right?
3) Coulda shoulda woulda? My point had nothing to do with any sort of "if…then" speculations, agreed? I was merely stating that we fucked up. This is my point, exactly. How we fucked up is a whole different discussion. I never claimed to be a military strategist, only that we seem to be picking all of the losing wars and never accomplish any long-term goals. Nothing has gone our way in the last fifty years of warfare.
If we won, we wouldn't still be fighting. A win implies game over. So I do disagree that operation Desert Strom/Desert Shield was a success. It was a failure for the administration and a highly unpopular war to begin with. We're still fighting the "insurgency," which is really just trained soldiers from the former Iraqi army bolstered by some outsiders whom they have trained. My original point was that we need to stay out of crap like this, and I can't see how any of these examples do not support this. Anyone who thinks that the USA's immense sacrifice in human life and huge sums of money in Korea, Vietnam, Iraq or Afghanistan was worth the result had better have something to back it up. None of these regions have fell to US influence. My point is still undaunted by your argument, even though you speak the truth, the original statement has not been countered. Name one war we've been involved in, from the last fifty years, in which we have positively asserted out influence. Bosnia? Somalia? Come on, there are plenty of other examples you could argue. I happen to know quite a bit about Bosnia, since many of my friends and family have been there. Somalia is run by pirates and the mob. What other wars have we been involved in? Any of them turn out the way we hoped? Or even close?
bostjan, we're not fighting the Saddam regime. We neutralized them, and the fact we had a pretty easy time mowing them down in the early days of the Second Gulf War just shows how much of a sucess it was. Initial casualties were incredibly low for a unilateral assault of that scale. What happened next was exactly why we left Saddam in power the first time around - guerilla resistance groups started flocking to the area trying to drive out the white devils who were trying to impose their government on the Iraqis. By removing Saddam, we completely destabilized the country. It's the same battlefield, but it's a different conflict and a different enemy. War #1 was a perfect sucess by all operational standpoints I can think of, it was the second war that butchered things (and in the second war, I agree, it was a stupid war we shouldn't have gotten involved in)
For Afghanistan, your point was that we shouldn't fight wars that aren't our business, right? You then pointed to Afghanistan as an example of a war where we failed to complete our objective as proof of why we shouldn't fight wars that weren't our business. All I did was point out that the reason we didn't take down Osama was completely unrelated - it wasn't that we shouldn't have been there (if anything, that was the one war we SHOULD have fought, in retribution for the 9/11 attacks), but rather that we took too long to make our minds up and gave him time to escape. The fact we didn't get Bin Laden doesn't prove that we shouldn't have attacked in the first place, and by arguing we probably would have had we not dragged our heels and then brought in too small a force I'm saying that if the campaign had been planned intelligently, Afghanistan would have been an example of a campaign that proved your thesis wrong.
As I said before, I'm not talking about what if's, I'm talking about what happened. My thesis is not proven wrong, because Afghanistan was a total disappointment. As far aas Bin Laden not being in Afghanistan since we invaded, that is definately debateable anyway, so your "what if" argument is kind of unclear anyway.
As far as Iraq is concerned, Saddam did continue to be a threat. Perhaps you forgot about the aftermath of the Persian Gulf crisis, but the region was still very unstable as we left. I fail to see how Operation Desert Storm was anything short of a big mess that resulted in further deterioration of the region.
The theory that we fail the wars we wage is not directly related to my opinion that we shouldn't stick our noses in other countries' business. One is a theory (supported by the evidence I have stated) and the other is an opinion. I'm not saying that we should fight in wars that are none of our business that we have a good chance of winning, I'm saying two separate things here.
As far as retribution for 9/11? What retribution? The people who attacked us are dead. Exactly how many of them were from Afghanistan? Hmm…if I recall correctly, they were mostly Saudi, with some others from Yemen or Oman, or thereabouts. I know we sure as hell are not going to invade Saudi Arabia to overthrow the regime there, who are long-time friends of the Bush family. These last two wars have not even had a logical premise.
So tell me how we won in Afghanistan. Not how we could have won, but how we accomplished anything.