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Old 2008-11-10, 23:45   Link #41
yezhanquan
Observer/Bookman wannabe
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Singapore
Age: 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lathdrinor View Post
Oh, and as for the most hated (as opposed to simply disliked) country in history, I'd think Nazi Germany would take the cake. You just don't get away with committing genocide against white people, no sir.
That ties in with the construction of "Jews" as "white". That wasn't always the case in history.

The way I see it, the world just has to live with nuclear weapons. The possibility of unlearning this subset of human knowledge is close to zero.
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Old 2008-11-11, 09:33   Link #42
Mumitroll
Banned
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Germany
Age: 34
Quote:
Whether the US is the most liked or disliked country depends on the period, but it's truly flattering, either way, that the entire world cares enough to boo the Iraqi invasion and cheer Obama's election.
well, the first is a major event indeed. it's not every day that someone performs a large-scale invasion of a sovereign country ignoring the UN and world opinion, especially with such obvious economic motives - oil control - as in Iraq.

the second is a media creation. even in Germany, if you ask people around, the majority is rather indifferent to US elections. the people who are interested were obviously mostly pro-Obama, since McCain is regarded as a continuation of Bush - who is in the world's opinion the worst US president ever. in Russia or China, the large majority doesn't care at all.

partially the "Obama-mania" is also due to his charisma. he's certainly a good speaker and has a good PR team, much better than any recent president or presidential candidate. coincidentally, Hitler also was a good speaker and had a good PR team


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Oh, and as for the most hated (as opposed to simply disliked) country in history, I'd think Nazi Germany would take the cake. You just don't get away with committing genocide against white people, no sir.
well - white people arent the majority in the world, you know. US committed mass genocide against the Vietnamese population (both South and North), killing between 2 and 5 million (depending on source). it never paid any reparations or even apologized. in another completely clear case, the World Court ruled the US guilty of aggression and genocide in Nicaragua and ordered it to pay $2 billion in reparations already in 1986. The US flat out ignored that and continues to do so till today. you dont hear much about that in the media, do you? but the people who live there haven't forgotten it at all.



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Justification? There is no justificaion for a nuclear strike AT ALL. That doens't mean it could never happen. If Israel has intelligence that Iran is about to launch a nuclear strike, they will launch a premptive strike.
well, just look into history. teh justification for the two nuclear strikes performed historically was to "save our youngsters" (quote Truman). it is regarded as a valid and correct decision up until today officially - the US also never apologized for that. even although it was a horrible, deliberate war crime - the bombs were dropped not on military targets (of which there were plenty), but on large cities, deliberately killing many thousands of women, children, etc. the Hiroshima bomb (I was there last year) was dropped merely a few hundred meters away from the city hospital.

and no Israel will not do a preemptive nuclear strike. it's suicide. what they would do if they had "information" on Iran "planning" a strike would be an air raid with conventional weapons, perhaps also cruise missiles.


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As for the Arab states, the problem there is they would have no means to eradicate Israel unless an Iranian strike took out a good chunk of the Israeli military. The surrounding arab states aren't exactly shining examples of military compotence. They failed to beat Israel with a unified attack before, and the balance of power has shifted in Israel's favor since then.
if Israel were to attack Iran preemptively with a nuclear strike, all chance for any reconciliation would be lost forever. no Muslim would be content until Israel were destroyed completely, and earlier or later it would happen - latest simply when other Arab League states would obtain nuclear weapons. from a purely military standpoint, Israel ultimately fights a losing battle - they are merely around 8 million against half a billion Muslims even in the Arab League states (and more outside of it). that is occasionally admitted even by fairly high-ranking Israeli officers. I agree about the Arab states being largely bad at war, but even with that, the 1973 Yom Kippur war went far worse for Israel than the previous 1948 and 1967 wars. yes, they can so far survive by drafting women and receiving immense military support from the US, but if there were another major war in the near future, Israel would probably no longer be able to win conventionally and would have to resort to nuclear weapons.


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What would you define as major?
launching the Six-Day War, nuclear attack on Iran, etc. the invasion of Lebanon, while also obviously a war crime etc, was arguably not so "major". but even there - it was not just supported by the US, there is strong evidence that the Bush administration actually exerted pressure on Ehud Olmert to launch it:

http://www.newyorker.com/archive/200.../060821fa_fact
http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/objects...?itemNo=744043
http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/739976.html


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Israel has conducted military operations without US approval. Even in the 2006 invasion of Lebanon, they used cluster bombs against civilian population centers after the US told them not to.
this is a minor technical detail. akin to the attack dog biting someone in the knee instead of the ankle where its master ordered it to.


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Which is why the US has committed so many troops to the defense of Israel over the years. Oh that's right, we haven't.
the US has committed more military and financial assistance to Israel than to any other country in the world, ever.

http://www.worldpolicy.org/projects/...ael050602.html


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It did control 1/4 of the landmass of Earth. The Royal navy ruled the seas for hundreds of years. Sorry, but that's more than the US can claim. Sure they didn't have nukes, but they seemed to do fine without them, for the most part.
the extent of control possible then was far from what is possible today. today it is possible to control a place by many means, and having a military presence there is merely one (and if you check http://www.ppu.org.uk/pm/US-military-bases-2001-03.jpg you'll see that it's not much less than the territory of the British Empire). other means of control are things like the IMF or NAFTA, military and economic aid, proxy governments (as in the Ukraine, Georgia, etc).

also, the speed with which a country can be punished for disobedience is much higher today than it was back then, for obvious technical reasons. which is also one of the reasons why the US has made so many military interventions since WWII - a lot more than the British Empire in any similarly long period.

overall it is really a simple case for any historian to prove that US influence today is unprecedented, way higher than that of the British or Roman Empire. just read a bit on that, you'll easily find sources.



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Disliking the US is not the same as hating the US. There's a big difference between having an unfavorible attitude towards US policies and chanting death to America. While opinions of the US have been declining in recent years, that's likely directly attributable to Bushy and his policies. Also your numbers are inflated.
the 80% number is from a poll i've seen already a few years ago. 90% for Germany and 95-99% for Muslim places and Russia is something I can estimate from personal experience.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/...08/7708893.stm

there are also some polls with different numbers, more favorable for the US, like http://pewglobal.org/commentary/disp...nalysisID=1019 (coincidentally, with figures by teh US Department of State). i dont think those are realistic though.



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That's because nuclear weapons didn't exist yet. That still didn't stop people from killing each other with ruthless efficency, or from burning cities to the ground though.
the scale was different. nobody has ever killed more people on a single day than the US.



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Right, theoretically, with large bribes. You do realize how tightly controlled such materials are, correct?
yes. in the US, UK, or Russia. in Pakistan? i wouldnt bet on it.


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You don't seem to understand the American psyche. Look at what the US did after 9-11.
well, you see, earlier or later that "American psyche" (I'd rather call it "neocon psyche") will change. the latest would be after all major US cities are destroyed and tens of millions are dead - i.e. a large-scale nuclear war. a local nuclear explosion destroying a single city might or might not be enough. dont know for sure.


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Now imagine that, only the US that no longer gives a shit about international law or avoiding civilian causalties.
thats already largely the case today.


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Remember, the Bushy adminstration did present a weak case for the invasion of Iraq. We at least played lipservice to international law, so that's not the kind of situation I'm talking about.
the "case" was completely laughable, and everyone not-brainwashed knew it. the one and only reason for this war is geopolitical control of the region with world's 2nd-largest oil resources.



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Funny I learned about it in school.
well, what else did you learn in school? probably you also learned that Japan provoked the US into dropping nuclear bombs on its cities, that the US won WWII, that space exploration started when Americans went to the moon, etc?

what you probably didnt learn is that the US killed far more civilians in Vietnam than Japan did in Nanjing - a number overall comparable to all of Japan's war crime victims.


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Also once again, your numbers are inflated.
just a rough estimate.


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That's of course not mentioning the rest of China, let alone the other areas Japan occupied.
Japan's total war crime victims for WWII are at around 5.5 million according to R. J. Rummel. Statistics of democide: Genocide and Mass Murder since 1900 Transaction. US civilian victims in Vietnam are around 4.5 million total (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vietnam_War) - some sources count differently and have figures of around 3 million. either way, its a comparable figure.

a big difference is that Japan apologized for its crimes and paid reparations. the US never did.


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World War II was a total war where the bombing of civilian population centers was par for the course.
and Vietnam wasnt a total war? where the napalm bombing of civilian population was par for the course?


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Good that you don't mention Dresden though, since the US wasn't the one who did the main fire bombing. You can thank the Royal Airforce for that one.
i did mention Dresden above.


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See the thing is, while they may not like current US policy, that is not the same as hating the US. The people may support a distancing from the US, but they most certainly do not support a severing of ties or anything extreme like that.
yes. nevertheless - its a clear fact that most of the EU governments are (for political/military reasons) running a course that is far more US-friendly (you could also say subservient) that what the majority of the population wants.



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You might be more convincing if those weren't all huge business sectors you mentioned, if there wasn't a McDonalds in or near your city, if there weren't any US movies playing in your theaters, if the US auto industry didn't own quite a few european companies, and if you weren't typing that on a computer running software from a US company. http://forums.animesuki.com/images/a...ilies/wink.gif
McDonalds and movies are good cases, I'll give you that. the US auto industry though.. is pretty much on its deathbed at the moment. GM does own Opel, but it just recently asked for a €40 billion rescue package from the German government. i think I dont need to explain how bad the situation is for Chrysler and Ford.

regarding the software question - yes that industry is one of the few remaining US strengths. although to be accurate i'm typing this in a German X terminal on my Linux server box

also.. it's easy to reverse this argument. for example i'll randomly guess that most of your electronics are Japanese, most of the stuff in your house is made in China, if you drive a good car its German, etc.


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Except that you're flat out wrong there. The US reduced its military a lot since the cold war.
reduced the people count - slightly. 1.5 mil active personnel + 1.5 mil reserve as opposed to about 1.8 mil active and 2 mil reserve at a local peak during the 1991 Gulf War. the military spending however has increased dramatically. $651 billion total projected for 2009. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Militar..._United_States
thats an unprecedented figure and more than the rest of the world combined. its over 100 billion more than at the peak times of the Cold War even if you factor in inflation.


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We did in fact reduce our nuclear arsenal in accordance to the START treaty.
There are very major doubts about that. For example, regarding Trident missiles, tests were performed by the US with more than 8 warheads per missile, directly violating START-1. Russia complained about that, but nothing happened.The warhead covers used on Trident-1 and Trident-2 violated the treaty agreements for inspection options by the Russian side. Russian inspectors have been repeatedly denied access to nuclear subs which should have been inspected in accordance to the treaty. British missiles with nuclear carrying capacities were flight-tested at US sites - another treaty violation. US has announced that it did not have plans to use the B1 fleet as carriers for long-range nuclear cruise missiles, and agreed to seal the mounting pylons for heavy cruise missiles on B1s by welding which would require a factory visit to undo - which could be verified by Russian inspectors in accordance to the treaty. However, in reality, not welding was used, but an adhesive seal, which can easily be removed locally at the base where the B1s are stationed - which adds for another uncontrollable 1000+ deployable nuclear warheads - another major violation of the treaty. Yet another one was the scrapping process of the LGM-118 MX Peacekeeper missiles. According to the treaty, all stages of mobile BMs have to be scrapped - the US just scrapped the first stage of the MX missiles, which could in practice be replaced with the Castor-120 stage - which would allow to restore all 50 MX missiles with their 500 warheads within a short time. Yet another point is the deployment of US ABM defense - which also contradicts the treaty.

Thats just the tip of the iceberg, i'm too lazy to type it all off. Go inform yourself, it's all publicly available information. Basically the US circumvents the treaty wherever possible to keep and build up a large nuclear arsenal and a possibly advantageous situation for using it. Obviously you dont read all that in the NY Times though...


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Also the Soviet Union didn't simply cut spending on it's military, it no longer exists as a nation.
the Soviet Union never even was a "nation"


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Great that's one guy's opinion. If you look you can find many more who disagree. What we're seeing in Russia is most certainly not a return to their cold war stance.
the point is that this guy knows what he's talking about - different to the "many more who disagree". while I agree that Russia itself is not at all interested in resuming the Cold War, they dont really have any choice. they have to do something against the continuing military pressure from the US. and their measures like deploying anti-ABM missiles in Kaliningrad, developing new nuclear subs and BMs, and continually increasing military spending, are just logical consequences of US policy.

Last edited by Mumitroll; 2008-11-11 at 10:47.
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Old 2008-11-11, 13:34   Link #43
Kamui4356
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Spoiler for overly long post:
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Last edited by Kamui4356; 2008-11-12 at 22:46.
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Old 2008-11-11, 15:05   Link #44
Reckoner
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Join Date: Nov 2007
Age: 22
The only comment I have to make about Iran and North Korea specifically is that the governments (Not going to say the people) are definitely not solely aiming for nuclear energy. They want the bomb. Whether or not we should let them have it is a different question, but people who try to have this argument of establishing nuclear power by foreign sources in these countries are not realizing that they would never agree to such things.

Eventually though, nuclear weapons will fall into the hands of many, those who will probably use them. That will certainly be a dark day. Maybe we need to reinitialize Ronald Reagan's idea of Star Wars .
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Old 2008-11-11, 16:24   Link #45
Mumitroll
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Germany
Age: 34
Quote:
For starters, not all those deaths in Vietnam were caused by US forces. You seem to be forgetting that the US wasn't simply bombing with impunity, there was an actual ground war. If there were a lot of civilian casualties, it's because a lot of the figthing was done in civilian areas.
so what? they were a direct consequence of the US policy there - basically an imperial attempt to install an unpopular government (in South Vietnam) in order to gain geopolitical control, which had much popular resistance against itself and was unable to cope without direct military invasion from the US.


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As for Nicaragua, while the US did illegally fund the Contras, the US did not in fact contribute forces as anything other than advisers.
again, so what? Nicaragua getting practically ruined in the Contra war was again a direct consequence of the US policy there. the fact that the Contras were merely a tool and the US did not kill Nicaraguans directly doesn't change anything about the reality - which the World Court confirmed. its all common knowledge.


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Of course I wouldn't expect facts to get in the way of your arguements.
what facts?


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If we had invaded Japan, the casualty figures on both sides would have been far far higher.
thats not a given. Germany had surrendered, the USSR had just entered the war on Japan, and it was clear that Japan was doomed to everyone involved.


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Also you fail to understand the concept of total war. In a total war, civilian populations are a military target. That's how WWII was fought on all sides.
that is to an extent correct. however, US-UK still hold the grand prize for killing civilians with the utmost speed and effectiveness - firebombings of Dresden and Tokyo as well as nukes on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. the USSR for example never did anything comparable. the Wehrmacht did on the Eastern front, in particular regarding the siege of Leningrad, but nothing even close on the Western front.


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And if those cruise missiles don't destroy the targets? Israel will do whatever it takes to ensure their survival. If Iran is about to launch a nuclear strike
Iran will not do a nuclear first strike either. It is suicide.


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Is there any doubt that Israel would resort to nuclear weapons though?
when faced with imminent invasion (and consequent dissolution of the Jewish state), probably they would.


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Especially if we're talking about a scenerio where they had already used some. Also you seem to be overlooking the logistics of the situation. The Arab league simply cannot maintain an army like that in the field.
why not. it's all merely a question of money. since oil is going to get ever more expensive in the years to come, its not infeasible. some of the Arab League states belong to the top Russian arms export customers.


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US approval of the plan is not the same as US approval of launching the plan. Besides, the plan the Israelis actually carried out was not the one mentioned there.
you're trying to play with words. it's all largely the same. the US supports Israel in its mini-wars, with immense military and economic aid, and in some cases instigates them.


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No, it isn't a minor technical detail. It's a complete departure from the plan
oh really? i fail to see much difference between invading a sovereign country X with using cluster bombs and invading it without using them.


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Of course the US supported Israel regardless, as to do otherwise is political suicide in this country.
well, have you once asked yourself why?


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If North Korea were to invade South Korea, the US would send troops. If someone invaded Germany, the US would send troops. If someone invades Japan, the US would send troops.
says who? take this recent example, just 3 months: Russia "invading" little democratic peaceful US-friendly Georgia (that was the version of the Western media all along). what does the US do? watch it getting owned.


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When people have invaded Israel, the US gave the Israelis some logistical and intelligence support. The US sent no troops.
do you know why? "On commencement of hostilities, American leaders expected the tide of the war to quickly shift in favor of the better-equipped IDF and that Arab armies would be completely defeated within 72 to 96 hours."

http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/.../octwar-17.pdf

basically they thought it wasnt worth the trouble the problem was that if the US engaged in direct military action supporting Israel, the USSR would have been free to do the same in favor of the Arab states - a path which the US had already painfully experienced just a few years before in Vietnam and previously in Korea as well.

coincidentally the USSR military strategists thought the same.


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When the shit hits the fan so to speak, Israel's military is on the front lines alone.
lol no. until the moment that they start to lose, yes. but then...


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One big difference there though. Those are soverign nations that have US forces in them. In the end if they decide they want to be responsible for their own defense and ask the US to remove it's forces, the US would have little choice but to comply. Of course we'd try to offer all kinds of incentives to keep them there though. The British Empire on the other hand directly ruled 1/4 of the Earth, not simply had lots of influence on the local governments.
okay, I'll give you that.


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Only because of advancing technology.
yes, of course.


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So you admit you made up those figures and they have no basis in reality other than what you think sounds right?
no. it's about realistic. the 80% figure is a poll one. you'll eventually notice it yourself if you travel around the world a bit. i've been in 34 countries up to date. and i'm yet to come to one where i would see any majority support for the US foreign policy. not even the US itself - sounds like a paradox but it's life.


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Right... It may have taken them a bit longer than we could do it today, but they still manages to rack up kills in the hundreds of thousands or even millions in short periods of time. The second deadliest war after WWII? That would be the An Shi Rebellion in China from 755-763. People can kill other people just fine without bombs and nukes. All you need to do is cut off their food supply and watch them starve.
true. still, the history #1 prize for killing the most innocent people at once, without question, goes to Truman and Little Boy.



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See, that's the thing, everyone seems to think the US doesn't have the stomach for a bloody conflict. Massive attacks don't make Americans cower in fear, they make Americans swear revenge. This has been shown time and time again.
oh really? the US never once fought a war on its territory - well except the Civil War and the war of independence, which were both very small by 20th century standards. the single largest ever attack on US territory was 9/11 - which would barely be mentioned in a WWI or WWII context.

i think a nuclear bomb exploding in NYC would probably change the "neocon psyche" somewhat.



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The only way such a thing would work is if the feat showed that we couldn't win against them because they're simply too powerful. If terrorists were to drop an astroid on the US that might work. It would show a level of technology and infrastructure we couldn't win against. A terrorist detonating a low yield nuke from a boat on the other hand, not so much.
dont know. even a low yield nuke (say, 50kt - a default warhead for various tactical missiles) near Manhattan would be sufficient for probably around a million dead and a further couple million getting a heavy radiation dosis. and it would destroy the HQs of like half of the US financial industry in a flash. that would be rather noticeable. the issue would then be that it would not even be directly possible to retaliate. they've been trying to retaliate for 9/11 for 7 years now. without much success - bin Laden is still out there, Afghanistan is still largely under Taliban control, Al Qaeda is still fine and killing Iraqis and US soldiers in Iraq every day.

the well-known problem is that terrorists are not an enemy you can take revenge on. the correct way to fight terrorism is to undermine the basis from which it recruits its people - by running a more balanced and sane foreign policy. they dont do just for fun - their outspoken goal (quote bin Laden) is "to topple the corrupt US-installed regimes in Arab states". it's a banality, and really obvious to any bright fifth-grader, but i think it would take a nuke in the US to make neocons up there understand that.


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The US today plays lipservice to international law.
that isnt of any importance. that "lipservice" you mean is just cheap propaganda. it's difficult to sell people that you're going to invade Iraq tomorrow because it has lots of oil and you want to control it. it doesnt go together with the American values of freedom and democracy. so you have to invent some random pretext. whatever works. WMD, Al Qaeda, little green men from Mars... as long as you can sell it to the dumb, its fine.

obviously everybody sane saw it was all a pretext. thats why there were many millions of people protesting worldwide. but the US just spat on that.


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Add a nuclear terrorist attack and that lipservice ceases to exist. I'm not sure you understand what that means.
it means nothing.



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Also, you're assuming compotence and conspiricy on the part of the Bushy adminstration
not at all. i think they are a bunch of idiots - with the largest military budget ever in world history. but well you see, being an idiot and being a neocon is not mutually exclusive



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No, I'm afraid the reason wasn't anything so grand. It was simply a case of Bushy wanting to finish what his father started. If we got control of Iraqi oil, so much the better. However, it wasn't the primary reason. I know there's a tendency to assume someone in that position wouldn't use military force for such a foolish reason, but sadly it just isn't true.
there's no factual basis for that statement. on the other hand, there are tons of evidence that it has been a longterm goal of the US for decades to gain control of Iraqi oil. it was already written in a 1951 Department of State document, go read it up. this was deemed to be partially achieved when Saddam was installed (with US support), but was lost again when he went loose and attacked Kuwait. now its in a shaky state, with the puppet government being rather unstable, but in the longer term it will probably ultimately be US-controlled.

the US isnt original with this idea. the Brits had the same ideas before them. they just lacked the longterm power to control the area.


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Yes, because I'm American it means my education was grounded in a firm base of propaganda. No, I learned exactly what caused WWII, how the war was fought, and the US' true role, building the trucks that allowed the Russians to concentrate on building tanks and planes to grind the German Army into dust. Sorry, but not all American education consists of "America fuck yeah!!!" Some of us even learn geography.
well, if you actually learned that, kudos to you. such knowledge is uncommon with sub-graduate-degree-level Americans (and yes i've talked to many.. and i've travelled over a good part of the US). most of them think that D-Day was the key battle in the war. while it barely makes the top 10. and hardly anyone knows the first man in space or where Georgia (the other Georgia, y'know) actually is...


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Of course considering your obvious bias, I don't expect you to believe that.
it's not bias, it's the result of 10+ years of impartial observation of world events. when i was 15 i was far more US-friendly than I am today. my image of the US largely went downhill though as I learned more and more on world history and politics.



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Except the US didn't kill all those civilians. You're quoting the total number of casualties who died at the hands of both sides.
thats a great example of relativizing. let me make a comparable statement about, say, Stalingrad: "Except that the Nazis didn't kill all those civilians. You're quoting the total number of casualties who died at the hands of both sides."

so yeah, the Russians were killing their own civilians, right?


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Once again, you're not comparing the same numbers. Now you're taking a subsection of the total Chinese casualties, those killing in direct war crimes, while comparing it to the total number killed, including military dead by the way, in vietnam. If you want to compare that number to the total number of Chinese dead in WWII, 20-35 million, depending on the source. I didn't want to play your little game, but your deliberate misrepresentation of those numbers left me little choice.
the 17 million civilian figure is the Sino-Japanese War, not just WWII, it started already in 1935, and furthermore that number includes about 12 million famine victims. which may or may not have been an indirect victim of the Japanese intervention.


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I didn't want to play your little game, but your deliberate misrepresentation of those numbers left me little choice.
whether you "play this game" or not, you cant win anyway. it is a historical fact that the US (directly or through proxies) killed millions of Vietnamese, invading the country in violation of any international rights.


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The order of magnitude higher thing isn't a big difference then?
there is no order of magnitude because your figure includes 10 mil+ famine victims which were not necessarily related to the Sino-Japanese war. its like the Holodomor in Ukraine (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holodomor) which some people like to declare to be a deliberate genocide of the Ukraine by the USSR, but most historians agree on to be more of a combination of various events not limited to Ukraine.


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At which point I said that you can't blame the US of that one as it was largely a British attack. The US has done a lot of things wrong. No need to go around blaming them for more.
I dont make much of a distinction between the US and UK. so you can already see that i'm not anti-American or anything the UK, nowadays, is just another attack dog of the US. just a bit stronger than Israel, and more conveniently situated. at WWII time, the UK was still reasonably independent politically, so the blame for carpet- and firebombings of German cities lies with Churchill & co to a very large extent as well.



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No, it was not a total war. There wasn't a round the clock bombardment of North Vietnamese population centers throughout the war for one thing. Bombing of North Vietnam was heavily restricted though most of the war.
hah. brace yourself... the total amount of bombs dropped on Vietnam (South and North, but mainly South) was 7+ million tons, 3 times more than in all Allied bombing of WWII (!) - on an area only about 1/30th of Europe - with a very large amount of incendiaries, including things like burning rice fields with napalm (a great invention not yet available in WWII times) in order to prevent the population from providing food and supplies to the Vietcong.

Vietnam is - by far - the most heavily bombed country in human history.

so that wasnt a total war, you said?



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So then vote for people who doesn't support such policies?
the problem is that there are no such people in the major parties of most European countries because with the current political climate, it is "political suicide" to be anti-US in either of the major parties. for example here in Germany, we currently have a ruling coalition of CDU (Christian Democrats, more conservative) and SPD (Social Democrats, more liberal), with the chancellor Angela Merkel being from CDU (and a complete doormat for the US). however, both CDU and SPD run a rather US-subservient course. it's probably mainly historically rooted, but hard to explain exactly when you think about it. it's not even really in German interest - for example Merkel taking the US position in the recent Russia-Georgia conflict could have threatened Germany very directly - we get like half of the gas, and a large portion of various other resources, from Russia, not mentioning Russia being a very large automobile industry export customer (larger than the German domestic market for the first time in 2007).

the small more extremist parties do run a more independent course, but those usually dont get more than 10-15% and are at best a weak member of a coalition.

theres a similar picture in the UK, with both Tories and Laborists being rather US-subservient.

France is probably the old EU country which is closest to running its own course. still, it is largely in line with US interests apart from a few issues where France's own interests conflict with them.

the fun thing is that the large majorities of the populations of all those countries dont like the US foreign policy. but they mostly dont have much of a choice to pick from in terms of their own government. its a rather static system.


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Fair enough, I gambled on the odds you'd be using a windows PC and lost.
well you were close - I am now typing this on my notebook at home - with WinXP.



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However, I wouldn't say the US auto industy is on it's deathbed.
well, they surely wont die completely - the US needs cars after all - but they're quite far from being profitable, and for a good reason - they're not competitive internationally. the Germans and the Japanese simply make better cars.


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This is historically low for the United States since it peaked in 1944 at 37.8% of GDP (it reached the lowest point of 3.0% in 1999-2001)
first, GDP percentages, per capita, etc, have only limited value. for example, in terms of GDP per capita, Luxembourg is the richest country in the world. so what? the expressive power of that is near zero since the place is tiny. if you take major nations - China, Russia, India, Japan, European ones - the US is still by far in the lead, both GDP- and absolute figure-wise.

i think you should look at this chart for a while:



even taking US history only, in terms of absolute spending, even inflation-corrected, its at a maximum today.

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Yet the US still reduced the size of it's nuclear arsenal greatly. The Russians also retain a large nuclear arsenal, yet reduced it greatly from it's height. Maintaning a large nuclear deterrent in not necessarily in violation of the treaties in question.
I think I have just described some of the numerous US violations of the treaty in much technical detail, havent I?



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Russia's actions could be much more accurately explained as an attempt to re-assert itself and show that it's a powerful nation once again, rather than some alarmist reaction to US policies that aren't directed against it.
thats what you read in most Western newspapers and hear on TV. it's rather blatant propaganda, though. i know very much on this subject, so I could explain it all in much detail on a case by case basis... but it would take forever. so let me just say this.. who did have to fight a pocket war financed by someone else right at their border just 3 months ago? was it the US with Cuba or Mexico? or was it Russia?


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I'd contend that Russia in fact does not seek an antagonistic relationship with the US and is conducting it's current actions more to say thet they're not weak and we'll need to work with them to get things accomplished rather than because they feel directly threatened by the US. In short, Russia's saying they're not a nation we can dictate to.
in general, thats correct. what you should think about though is - if, conversely, we assume that the US does not seek an antagonistic relationship with Russia, why does it install first-strike weapons in Poland and the Czech Republic? why does it expand NATO eastward, directly violating agreements made in the 90s? why does it install puppet regimes in the Ukraine and Georgia, at Russia's border? why does it weasel its way out of nuclear disarmament treaties and not extend them? why does it instigate a war at Russia's border, after extensively supporting the perpetrator with weapons and military aid? why does it present the picture as "Russia invading" in the media?

just sit down and think about it all for a while. and then write your conclusion

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Old 2008-11-11, 19:40   Link #46
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Old 2008-11-12, 09:57   Link #47
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Actually it was as much a product of French policy as American policy, perhaps even more so. If France didn't attempt to retain to it's holdings there, the whole situation never would have happened to begin with.
largely agree.


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So there's no difference between the US invadig and simply supplying a local faction? Sorry, but I don't buy it, and neither does anyone else. The world court said the US was responsible for supplying weapons and finding the contras, not commiting genocide.
there is minimal difference. it's a major crime either way. I really dont understand what you are arguing about. in the Nicaragua case the world basically made a verdict: US guilty. what is there left to defend about US policy here?


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The little fact that the forces there were not under US command for one. Sure, you can make a strong case that the US should not have funded the contras once it became clear what kind of people they were. However, that doesn't mean you can hold the US accountable for all their actions.
i think it's fairly naive to think that the CIA at the time "did not know what kind of people" the Contras were. what did they think they were, a tea club? thats ridiculous. of course they knew what they were, and of course they had a good idea of what would happen. the CIA itself has used similar methods repeatedly, why should it care about them? the mujaheddin/Taliban case in Afghanistan is rather similar, except that now the same people are shooting at EU and US troops instead of Soviet ones.


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Japan on the other hand had 40 fully equipped divisions in the home islands with another 25 ready, but lacking gear as well as thousands of aircraft. Sure, Japan couldn't win the war, but they weren't quite beaten either. Even with the atomic bombs and the Soviets invading the Kuriel islands a good number of Japanese officers wanted to continue fighting. In fact they even attempted a coup to stp the surrender from taking place. No, Japan could not have won, but they did have a realistic chance of repulsing the initial landings and getting a better deal. Without both the bombs and Russia entering the war, the Japanese likely wouldn't have surrendered until Kyushu fell at the very least, which would have been very bloody.
it's all speculation. in reality, the continental Manchurian JP forces were gone in less than a month. a simple blockade of Japan with a threat of using a nuclear bomb (perhaps after a prior demonstration on some far-off military object) would have already led to their surrender.


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While the Russians may not have conducted strategic bombings, they did a fine job killing people on the ground.
Nothing comparable to the US or UK.


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That's WWII for you, a madness that humanity must never again repeat.
nobody would disagree. the problem is that the US has been actively pushing the world towards a WWIII in the years since WWII.


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So we're agreed that there are situations where Israel would use nuclear weapons then?
yes, but not as a first-strike. as a response to imminent defeat in an ongoing war, yes.


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See buying arms doesn't give you logistics. It's not a matter of just throwing money at the problem either. It's a matter of making sure you have the trucks to bring up the food and ammunition for your soldiers, the repair crews to keep your vechicals operating, things like that. You can't buy a few thousand tanks and send them someplace. An army that tries it usually ends up dead.
right, but all of that is in the end also a question of money/effort. also, the more sophisticated technology becomes, the less important ground war actually is. while historically Arabs in general proved poor soldiers, if they obtain a very large number of modern tactical missiles (even with conventional warheads), and modern strike fighters, they could already make the situation very bad for Israel without actually invading it.


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There's a big difference. One is saying, "ok, we have this plan in case we ever have to invade Lebanon, you guys think this would be ok?"
thats not an accurate formulation. the more correct one would be "Invade Lebanon as soon as you can. Do it. Now."


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You honestly don't see the difference between presenting a plan, which the US approves on condition that they don't use the cluster bombs, and Israel throwing away that plan and using them anyway? It's basicly a doublecross.
it's an invented difference. you cling on to little technicalities of one particular conflict, if you go to many others you'll see the same picture everywhere. take for instance the proxy governments of South Vietnam, Georgia, or even Iraq under Saddam Hussein in the Iraq-Iran war, or Suharto in Indonesia. they were all directly supported by the US in their wars.


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Because pro-israeli lobbiest groups have a lot of money and influence and speaking out against Israeli policies is spun by your political opponents as meaning you're anti-semetic. Look at the criticism Carter faced just after the 2006 war by suggesting that Israel made a mistake by invading Lebanon and shared responsibility for the Palestinian crisis.
correct! now why do you still think that Israel is not under direct US protection? can you imagine the criticism and uproar by the pro-Israeli lobbyist groups if there is a serious military threat to Israel and the US fails to help?


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Except that Georgia fired first and isn't exactly a close ally. There are no treaties guarranteeing mutual defense either. Also no, sorry but the "western media" did report the facts.
hahaha, good joke. I was following Western media very closely right at the start of the war, even wrote a long article about it.

http://www.debatepolitics.com/bias-m...t-your-tv.html

the absolutely overwhelming picture, in all major newspapers and all TV channels, was "Russia invades Georgia".


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The facts were reported first, then it was changed.
the facts were not reported. CNN has not directly reported on the Georgian offensive on Tskhinvali on the night of August 8th even until now, only in the context of "Russians claim ... ", "Gorbachev claims ...". their own article titles: "Russian military pushes into Georgia", "NATO grapples with an angry bear", "Russian warplanes target Georgia", etc. feel the difference? the first time some real facts about the start of the war were actually clearly reported in major Anglosaxon media was the cover article in NY Times 5 days ago: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/07/wo...in&oref=slogin


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Funny how we overlooked getting one with our good buddy Israel, considering we've got one with so many other countries.
no treaty is needed with Israel. it's the 51st state. a treaty with it, from a US administration standpoint, is about as meaningful as a treaty with Florida.


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Not likeing US foriegn policy is not the same as hating the US...
"hating" is a stronger version of "not liking". its just that a certain percentage of the people who dont like the US feel stronger about it. either way, its a pointless argument. unless you are completely oblivious to reality or have never been in other countries, it should be apparent to you that the vast majority in the world does not like the way the US behaves.


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You forgot the war of 1812 where the British burned down Washington DC.
umm.. ok... tbh it was so small that I didnt even know of it. the far better known 1812 war is Napoleon vs Russia (about 20 times as large).


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Oh it would most certainly change it. Nuclear weapons would then be considered a vaild weapon.
oh really. against whom? Saudi Arabia?


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Wiping out the supporting population. A nuclear strike on the US by terrorists would push the US in that direction, not the "oh we should revise our foriegn policy so they won't hate us" direction.
that would be a great way towards suicide. also, "wiping out the supporting population" would mean.. a nuke on Saudi Arabia? who's gonna provide the oil then?




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However, massive attacks on the US will only put the American population into the military action camp and give the neo-cons power once again.
perhaps. it's a stupid and dangerous reaction though. you can call it "American psyche".. I just call it idiocy. a kindergarten level reaction. a simple analogy is something like this: a big bully with a knife beats up everyone on the block except a few other big kids with knives he's afraid of touching. some little kids team up and secretly drop a flowerpot on him or something in revenge. he is enraged and randomly beats up unrelated little kids, and even goes so far as to pick fights with the other big kids, who obviously respond by becoming more aggressive as well. every juvenile psychologist will tell you that the likely way this situation is going to end is with the bully or some other kid getting stabbed. the correct way out of this situation is - obviously - to work with the bully and make him understand that he should stop it. in RL, this is most commonly accomplished by other kids ganging up on him and beating him up. now, to transport this analogy to the real world, the big kids with knives are the states with nuclear ICBMs - the difference from knives being that you are practically guaranteed to be able to stab back. sadly, there is no effective way for other states to gang up on the US and "beat it up", so the only real chance for the change of the bully psychology has to come from inside. or, as an alternative, he would have to get stabbed so bad that he wouldn't be in any position to bully anymore. which, transferred to real life, is not something that we all want.



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Yet they still bothered to try. I'm taking about a US that wouldn't even bother with that, which is exactly what we'd get if terrorists detonated a nuclear device in a US city.
whether they have a pretext or not, it doesnt change anything in the big picture. the actions count, not the words. its not like anyone remembers the exact pretexts for US invading Vietnam or the USSR invading Afghanistan.


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As I thought you don't understand what it means. It means, no attempts at coiliation building, no trying to get support. It means the US would go in, bomb the hell out of a place, and pull out. No pretending to justify it, just bombing.
so WHAT? for the place that gets bombed its all the same thing. and the only difference would be that everybody else would be much more hostile to the US, compared to having a proper propaganda campaign tune the majority into the right mindset the bombing.


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I'm just claiming that achieving that goal for itself wasn't important to Bushy.
hoho then you're probably not quite in the clear on the background of the Bush administration. or the "oil administration" as some people call it. practically everyone there has an oil background. Bush himself was subsequently in the board of 2 oil companies - Arbusto and Spectrum 7 (and later Harken) - both of which (coincidentally) kinda failed. Cheney is a major oil man as well. Rice is a former Chevron director. etc.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/1138009.stm


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It is a sensible idea, if one ignores the human price after all.
ya, sensible, much in the same way as the Nazi Lebensraum idea was sensible.. "why do those backward people need their land and resources.. all that could also belong to us, the proud Aryan race".


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Though I'd argue that D-Day was an imporant battle, as it opened a second front against Germany.
it would have been important in 1941/42 - which is when Stalin was desperately pushing the US and UK for it. Roosevelt and Churchill famously refused in order to let Stalin sacrifice his people and win it by himself. in June 1944, Germany had already largely lost the war, and the main reasoning behind the landing was not to give all of Europe to Stalin.


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Except you're forgetting one little detail, the US never invaded North Vietnam. Many of those civilians killed were South Vietnamese killed in battles. So, no you're comparison doesn't really hold up.
the US invaded South Vietnam - where nobody except for the US-installed proxy government wanted it - and bombed the hell out of it when people resisted.


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See, once again you're wrong. The US didn't invade Vietnam, we were asked there, admittedly by a government we helped install, to defend them against the North.
hahaha. it's exactly the same thing as when the USSR invades Afghanistan after installing a proxy communist government there (with about zero popular support). ya sure, it's "helping"... on paper. its like when Nazis invade the Czech Republic "helping" the Sudetendeutsche minority there. xcept that tehre wasnt even any such minority in Vietnam.


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Yet you're still more than willing to give that share of the blame to the US.
the USAF participated in the bombing of Dresden to a similar extent as the UK. on february 13th/14th, the USAAF 8th division was supposed to start the bombing, but the weather was bad, so the RAF took over with overall 539 planes in two waves. on 14th/15th, the USAAF bombed, with 431 bombers (316 of them bombing Dresden) and 784 protecting fighters,

the firebombing of Tokyo (and obviously the nuclear bombs) was US work exclusively.


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Yet why is it that North Vietnam survived relatively intact? Maybe because most of that ordinance was dropped on supply lines in the jungle rather than Hanoi? The question isn't the number of bombs used, but where they were dropped. For most of the war major cities like Hanoi were off limits to US bombers. So no, it was not a total war.
thats true to an extent. but my point, as you may have already noticed, that the main target of US attacks was not North, but *SOUTH* Vietnam. Against the South Vietnamese population (which was harboring and supporting the Vietcong), it was a total war alright, with horrible atrocities.

http://globetrotter.berkeley.edu/mac...etnamBombs.pdf

a random quote: "only 11 of 3,500 Quang Tri villages were left unbombed by the end of the war"


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Funny, you'd think in such a climate politicians running on an anti-American platform would do well. That they don't is rather telling.
it's mainly historically rooted. while the USSR and the Iron Curtain existed, there wasnt really any option of any anti-Americanism for West European countries, as they would not be able to defend themselves against the USSR alone (well except UK and France maybe). most of the politicians that are around today still more or less have the mindset and the connections of that era. the young ones gradually tend to be more and more independent, but it will probably take another couple of decades for old EU to become more independent of the US politically. also, the US is a major trade partner for most EU countries, and able to exert much economic pressure as well. the newer EU members are an even easier case - for now, they mostly simply whore themselves out for US military and economic aid.


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That's more perception than fact.
perhaps, but I've rather good factual evidence for that i've driven so many cars - several hundreds - in so many places, that I think I can tell. the best highend cars (and the best cars overall) are German ones. just ask around among car enthusiasts (who have money to afford German cars). Japan makes lots of reliable mid-range cars, but few top level ones - the GT-R being one recent exception. Italy makes some really flashy highend cars like Lambos (in the meantime German owned) and Ferraris, but tbh they are overall, for various reasons, not as good as a Porsche - although a lot of fun. the US.. it's hard for me to name even one good US car. the Ford GT maybe. although it famously kept breaking down when Jeremy Clarkson bought it.. the Corvette Z06 might also be not too bad - I am currently trying to get one for a test drive - although I already know I am not getting it because of its dismal interior.


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And the US economy is larger today, so that number represents a smaller percentage of the US GDP.
except that that number is also much higher today.


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The US, however, has honored it's treaty obligations when it comes to reducing actual warheads.
the problem is that the number of warheads even after reduction is far more than enough for US/Russia to destroy each other. and where the US is weaseling around is in the very crucial aspects of delivering those warheads and intercepting Russian ones.


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The main violation is the ABM system, which will almost certainly be withdrawn soon given the change in adminstrations.
remains to be seen. so far I havent seen anything promising from Obama in this direction. his Berlin speech was.. hmm.. not so good. lots of Cold War time terminology and pathos. while it had a bit of a rockstar atmosphere in Berlin, it was received rather sceptically among serious political commentators here.


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Yes, because it's not like tensions were building between Georgia and Russia for quite some time. No, the US must have instigated it. The Georgians simply though the Russians were bluffing and the US would back them. They were wrong.
thats a typical uninformed opinion. please go read my article on this above. it cites many other sources.



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ABMs are not first strike weapons, they're defensive weapons which would do nothing against a Russian attack.
ABMs are a first strike weapon exactly BECAUSE they would be useless against a Russian first strike. they are ONLY useful in the event that the US does a first strike, and the ABMs are used to intercept the *remaining* Russian missiles.



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Hell, they aren't even in the right place to defend the US in that case. Take a globe. Now find the shortest path from Russia to the US. Here's a hint, it doesn't cross Poland.
no. here are the flight paths towards some major US cities for the Russian BMs started from the Kozelsk base and some of the other more eastward bases:

http://programtree.com/pro.gif

as you can see the Polish/Czech Republic ABM system covers the Kozelsk (westernmost) base almost completely, and the trick is in particular, that (different from the existing base in Norway) intercepting BMs in the initial acceleration phase of the flight is FAR more reliable than in the end phase - and the missiles that are to be stationed in Poland are close enough, have a sufficient launch speed and a much better thrust/weight ratio than the BMs themselves, so they could do that with the BMs launched from the Western Russia bases. they cant do that with either Iranian or North Korean missiles since their launch sites are simply too far. another interesting fact that is not known to non-experts is that the ABM system in Poland/Czech Republic/Norway is useless for defending Europe itself - it is ineffective against modern BMs in mid- and late flight phase, and especially against MIRVed ones. so the only theoretical chance that it could intercept something from Iran or North Korea is if it would be a very lowtech BM with no separable warhead, no evasive capability, and no false targets. while in reality both already have more advanced BMs already now - Iran just recently tested one yesterday - and could rather easily get to the level of making them immune to the Poland ABM. it's a few minor technical steps. if the US wanted a reliable ABM system against Iran, it would have to be located near the Persian Gulf, to be able to intercept Iranian BMs in the acceleration phase. in fact Russia has previously offered the US to establish a joint ABM base in Azerbaidjan - which would be able to do exactly that. yet the US refused with vague reasoning...

so, to summarize, for anyone well-informed, its clear that its only real purpose is as a first-strike backup (as well as a method of political/military pressure) against Russia.



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The portrayal of Russia in the media isn't a matter of national policy, but ratings. American media companies are just that, media companies, not news companies. They show what gives the higher ratings, and that would be "ebil ruskies" as opposed to former soviet republic does something stupid.
thats again a rather naive opinion. if that were the case, American media would be reporting on lots of spectacular things that you've never heard of. the attack on Tskhinvali for example was a most spectacular thing - Grads tracing the sky, tanks firing and burning, journalists running in the streets under Georgian fire... just watch the Russian TV footage on YouTube.

its a long story, but in a nutshell the US media are corporate controlled, and the corporations main interest is not actually the viewers. its the advertisers. who are in turn mostly also large companies. who want a certain picture of the world, and not something different. it's all very funny when seen from the outside - while many Americans have the illusion that they have a very wide spectrum of liberal media, in reality their major media span from their "ultra-left" to "ultra-right" is quite narrow, and waaay to the right (pro-corporate-interest, pro-national-interest) as compared to reality. it looks rather outlandish to most educated people visiting the US for the first time.

a similar effect exists in most EU countries, but to a lesser extent. the ones who report on this stuff much more objectively are interestingly mostly Asian papers and journals, since they sit outside and their advertisers/owners dont ahve such a major interest in drawing a pro-US picture of events.

anyhow, its a big subject, and others have written on it much better than i could do here. just read something like http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manufacturing_Consent for starters. its rather dry, and already a bit dated, but extremely convincing. nothing much has changed since the time it was written, too.
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Old 2008-11-12, 13:15   Link #48
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Old 2008-11-12, 17:52   Link #49
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I'm argueing that the US was not found guilty for the crimes you claimed it was, ie genocide. Found guilty for supporting a militia in a foreign state, yes, but not genocide.
in the Nicaragua case it was called "unlawful use of force" in World Court legal terms. in reality that equals instigating and financing the killing, torturing, etc of many thousands of people. in the Vietnam case its much more clear altogether - there it was just outright genocide against the South Vietnamese population.


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What I'm argueing here is there should have been a line set on how much we'd be willing to tolerate before we cut off support.
thats very naive. the CIA obviously doesnt care at all what methods the various militant groups it supports use. there's a myriad examples for that. the most prominent one is simply bin Laden himself - a former CIA ally. another prominent former ally was Somoza. another was Suharto. etc etc.


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Informed speculation based on the forces the Japanese had left, easy enough to look up, as well as the mind set of their officers, demonstrated by their attempted coup. As long as Japan had the forces necessary to repulse an initial invasion, which they apparently did, there would be no reason for them to surrender.
a demonstration of a nuclear bomb effect on a military target would have been in all likelihood sufficient. yet Truman &co discarded this in favor of a greater horror effect (and, not to neglect, making a larger impression on Stalin).


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Which is why the US has jumped at every chance to start it, like moving into east Germany when the Soviets blockaded Berlin,
well, first of all, the US troops never even got to Berlin. it was deep within Soviet-occupied territory, and the Allied zones of Berlin were given to them as a kind of token recognition by Stalin.

also, at that point they couldnt really afford it. the Soviet army in Europe was far stronger than the US-UK forces at the time, and nuclear bombs were not (yet) readily available - although available to the US in a longer term. Still, Truman's quote was "It is too risky to engage in this [a suggested armed convoy to West Berlin] due to the consequence of war."


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invaded Cuba during the missile crisis
lol? your history is all wrong there. Cuba, for a change, was a case where the USSR had nothing to do with its revolution (in which another US proxy puppet tyrant - Batista - was overthrown by a popular movement) and was actually indeed invited (even as much as begged) by Castro to install missiles there. the Kennedy administration actions though - that was insane. that was closest the world got to a WWIII so far. and for what? for the idea that a sovereign nation near the US cannot be allowed to get arms from another sovereign nation - which at the time, coincidentally, already had exactly such arms aimed at it at its border (in Turkey).

we all have to thank whatever gods we believe in that Kennedy himself didnt authorize the armed invasion of Cuba - which was strongly proposed by the US military lead. what they didnt know at the time was that the Soviet missile division in Cuba under Generals Pliev and Gribkov had already deployed short-range tactical Luna missiles with nuclear warheads aimed at Florida, and had a command to retaliate in case of a US invasion. that would've been the end for Florida, and for many other places as well.


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So they wouldn't see an imminent nuclear strike as an imminent defeat?
you can never say when a nuclear strike is "imminent". you can only declare a certain condition when you'll consider yourself free to perform one, and hope that the others are sane enough not to let it come to that.



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I'd have thought that the NATO bombing campaign in Serbia would have disproved that.
why so. it did in fact prove the opposite - even a (small) nation with fairly modern technology can be largely defeated and forced into a government change with (albeit very large) purely air superiority.


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Not to mention that Israel has a modern, well trained airforce of it's own. If it's used defensivly, it'd be tough to gain that air superiority unless they managed to take out the israeli airfields in a first strike.
Arab nations dont have any problems in obtaining modern warplanes as well. although in terms of training - yeah here they are historically not so good. but well, overwhelming quantity beats quality, even nowadays.


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Help doesn't mean sending troops though. Sure the US would sell the Israelis more weapons. Hell, in that case they might even get some F-22s, though I wouldn't bet on it. That doesn't mean the US would send troops.
the US would send troops alright - if it were actually necessary. since 1948, it never was. normally, unless the Arab nations unite and attack, as in 1973, Israel dominates everything around it because it has a very modern, well-equipped, well-trained, and dedicated army. even in 1973, although that was more of a draw result, Israel was merely taken by surprise and did manage to turn the Arab advantage into nothing within a few days (albeit with substantial losses) - youve read the Kissinger quote above.

regarding F-22s, they arent for export at the moment, but it's clear that Israel will get them first ultimately (in a few years when they get older probably).


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Which is true, Russia did invade. However, they also reported that Georgia moved into South Ossetia to trigger the Russian invasion.
they reported jack. they may have mentioned it as an unconfirmed footnote, but it totally went under in a stream of panicky rhetoric a la "Russian bear bares its fangs", "Russian tanks roll into Georgia as cities burn" etc.

why do you think the mere fact that there are some official Western observers who were, in fact, there at the time of the Georgian attack, and who, in fact say that it was the Georgians who attacked first, is treated as a big surprise and revelation and deserves a cover page headline in the NY Times - 3 months later?

their reporting is a complete joke.


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If you're just going to look at headlines and ignore the content of the articles, you're absolutely correct. However if you read the articles you'll find they they mention Georgia's attack on South Ossetia.

Reports: 6 die as Georgia shells South Ossetia
This was a few days before the main attack.
this has got nothing to do with the actual war yet. such skirmishes happened often in the last couple of years at the South Ossetian-Georgian border, and didnt lead to anything major.


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Russians accused of 'bombing' Georgia as violence escalates
This one was coverage of Georgia's initial attack on Tskhinvali before the Russians counterattacked. Yes, it still has an anti-Russian spin to it, but it does make clear that Georgia attacked first and provides some background.
this deserves taking it apart. now lets see. first sentence:

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As Georgian troops launched a major military offensive Friday to regain control over the breakaway province of South Ossetia, the former Soviet republic's president accused Russia of bombing its territory.
the interesting thing about this formulation is, it makes it impossible for the reader to tell who started it - it sounds as if Russia has been bombing Georgia (direct, outright lie), and THEN the Georgian president accused Russia AND started the offensive. its a clever way to formulate it so that the reader gets a false impression.


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According to the Associated Press, Mikhail Saakashvili said in a televised statement that Russian aircraft bombed several Georgian villages and other civilian facilities.

He said there were injuries and damage to the buildings. "A full-scale aggression has been launched against Georgia," he said in a televised statement. "
two more quotes of the Georgian president, with ZERO factual proof (there couldnt be any - since it wasnt the case). and yet another statement that 1) A full-scale aggression is started against Georgia and 2) Georgia "responds" by attacking South Ossetia.


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A Georgian official said seven people were hurt in the attack, AP reported.

Saakashvili urged Russia to immediately stop bombing Georgian territory. "Georgia will not yield its territory or renounce its freedom," he said.
two more Georgian quotes with zero proof.


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Meanwhile, AP reported that Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, speaking in televised remarks Friday during his trip to the opening of the Beijing Olympics, blamed Georgia for launching the effort to take control over South Ossetia and warned it would cause an unspecified retaliatory action.
this is the first part of this article which has any connection to reality.


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The bombing charge came about an hour after Russia's ambassador to the United Nations brushed off a question about whether Russia would intervene militarily in a conflict between Georgia and its breakaway territory.

Violence in the former Soviet republic prompted an emergency session of the United Nations Security Council that lasted into Friday morning. The security council failed to issue a statement on the dramatic escalation of violence in a breakaway territory of the former Soviet republic of Georgia.
again, great propaganda formulation! this makes me want hit the guy who wrote it in the face. it basically completely turns the truth inside out. that emergency UN SC meeting was prompted not by "violence in the former Soviet republic", but by that very Russian UN ambassador Churkin, at 2 am at night, after Tskhinvali had been subjected to heavy Georgian artillery fire for 3 hours. his alleged "brushing off of a question" is after the SC failed to come to any resolution in the first meeting and it was adjourned. and the "bombing charge" is a complete, utter, falsification by Georgia. the first time that Russian warplanes actually entered South Ossetian - not even Georgian - airspace was much later, on the afternoon of the 8th, after Tskhinvali was already largely in ruins and there were many casualties among Russian peacekeepers.


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Meanwhile, Georgia's president also announced that his government will be calling up reservists as fighting continued to rage in South Ossetia's capital.
makes Georgia look like a victim - needs to call up on reservists to cope with the mighty Russian Bear (tm).


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Georgian forces launched fresh attacks into region late Thursday after a top government official said a unilateral cease-fire offer was met with artillery fire.
direct, outright, lie, in the meantime confirmed as a lie even by accounts of Western observers.

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About 2,000 Georgian troops attempted to storm the breakaway territory's capital overnight and were regrouping south of the city, Tskhinvali, according to Russia's ITAR-TASS news agency.
"...according to a source that we dont trust, there are little green men on Mars".

anyhow, i dont want to comment the rest, its a waste of time, since its largely just direct quotes of Georgian "information" garbage.


as you can see, no, this article does not at all report the initial Georgian attack on Tskhinvali as the start of the war. and nobody read it that way, either, except for people who knew about it from other, better, sources.



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Which is why the US has always committed troops to defend Israel. Oh wait, they haven't. You can claim what you want, but the facts say something else.
see above. it simply wasnt necessary yet since the Israeli AF are more of a subdivision of US AF and thus pretty good by themselves.


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Yay for shifting goal posts! So it goes from most of the world is anti-American to most of the world doesn't like US policies?
isnt that the same? i mean yea, theres maybe also people who dont like McDonalds or Batman, or w/e else commonly associated with the US, but my random guess would be that about 99.9% of anti-American people are anti-American because they dont like US policies and people who represent those.


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I don't think that excuse really works. This isn't a news story that got buried because something bigger happened.
its not an excuse. i actually did not know about that. it looked like a rather small event when i looked it up on wiki - about 20k-50k people involved on each side, or so.


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Off hand I'd say the region of Pakistan where Bin Ladin is believed to be hiding.
uh-huh, right.. and what kind of target do you recommend exactly? and with what kind of nuke? also, um, last I heard bin Laden wasnt in Pakistan.. but I'm sure thats just a minor issue and wouldnt prevent you from dropping a nuke or two there.. just to see the pretty mushroom clouds


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The US gets suprisingly little of its oil from the middle east actually. We get most of it from Canada and Mexico. If we lost middle eastern oil, we could make up the difference by fuel rationing and banning cars that get less than 35 MPG.
for now, that is. what you forgot is that both Canadian and Mexican - and even Venezoelan (although Chavez isnt very US-friendly lately..) oil would not last all that long if you subtracted the Middle East. the Middle East has far more oil than all of those combined.


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That's a pretty bad anology. If you wanted to make it more accurate, it'd be, the bully kills the families of the kids that drop the pot on him.
thats not exactly accurate. you forget the fact that those people are essentially committed to die for their goals - and 19 of them did on 9/11. they have nothing to lose. so its not even possible to take any real revenge on them.


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If you want to make it even more accurate you could change the bully to a big kid who means well
thats probably the #1 delusion of the average American regarding the US foreign policy. "Freedom and democracy for everybody is our nation's goal. We mean it well for everyone. etc."

that's a joke. it takes years of brainwash to believe in that. seen from a cold and objective outsider standpoint, the US foreign policy in the post-WWII time has been basically 1) increasing its geopolitical sphere of influence, by any means (including very dirty ones and killing millions of people in process) and 2) exploiting places it controlled to an appropriate extent (some places more than others). freedom? democracy? dont make me laugh. the US has supported and continues to support numerous tyrants who have taken any freedom away from their nations, and has continuously attacked and terrorized democracies and popular governments which did not comply with the US-prescribed course of action.


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It changes a lot actually. Right now if the US can't find a good pretext, they simply won't invade.
what is a "good" pretext? that Saddam had nukes? that was a rotflmao joke to everyone who had a bit of understanding in the matter. they might've as well accused him of collaborating with evil space mutants from Alpha Centauri and aiming to enslave mankind. wouldve worked too - you could draw nice CG images of those to frighten the audience


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It's a difference between the place getting bombed or not actually. They US hasn't bombed Iran for example, because it doesn't have a good pretext to go in. If they US no longer cares about that, what's to stop them?
sure there is a good pretext. Iran is harboring and financing terrorists and undermining peace and stability in the now-democratic-and-united Iraq. burn!!! i say. thats not even mentioning that they have BMs capable of reaching Israel, are secretly building a nuke, and have expressed a wish to eradicate Israel from the face of the Earth (quote Ahmadinejad).

what stops them is other, far more pragmatic issues. first, the US military is already stretched rather thin, with enormous costs and effort for the war in Iraq (and lesser ones - but still existent - for Afghanistan, which is btw why they're trying to push it off to the UN). also, Iran is a considerably more difficult terrain than Iraq, far more populated, and much more unified in terms of religious dogmatism. very high losses would be likely in case of any ground invasion. a couple of airstrikes are possible though, but it is clear that those, different from Serbia, would not be enough to tumble the government or do anything major at all. so the only real question is whether they'll perhaps do some airstrikes targeting Iranian nuclear and related facilities. Israel has been pressuring for this for months, but didnt get US approval yet. but it may yet come, dont know. there is a certain chance it's still going to happen during the Bush term. less likely it will happen anytime soon in the Obama term.



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So you're saying securing a vital resource that your economy depends on is not sensible? I did point out that it's if you ignore the human cost.
well, sensible for whom? for the US? sure its sensible. conquering the whole world would be even more sensible - you could make them all give up their money and resources. its just somewhat difficult, thats all


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The US and Britain could not have invaded in 1941 or 1942. They were both still building up their forces.
thats a white lie you commonly read in Western history books. sure they could have. just think about it yourself - what exactly did they not have in 1942 that they had during D-Day in 1944?

the conclusion you should come to is - nothing meaningful. they just had more troops and more aviation in 1944, so they could perform the landing with somewhat smaller losses. had they really wanted it, it would have been possible in 1942 as well. it just wasnt necessary from their standpoint - a thesis Churchill had expressed was to let Hitler and Stalin "fight it out" and then intervene.


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1943, maybe, as there was that invasion of Italy.
not just Italy - North Africa as well. an obvious question is: if they had forces to spend on the - rather unimportant - African area, why didnt they use them in Europe?


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Also, if you remove the threat of an allied invasion of France, that frees up 59 German divisions to deploy against the Russians. Considering the Russian advance was already stretching their logistics to the limit, the transfer of nearly 60 divisions to the eastern front would have changed the situation dramaticly.
thats a common line from US/UK people. "had we not threatened with an invasion of France, Hitler would have pulled off the troops and beaten the Russians". another popular line is "had we not attacked Japan in 1941, Stalin would not have been able to pull of the Far Eastern divisions and Moscow would have fallen". what these lines neglect to mention is the sheer size of the Eastern front. it was - by far - the largest scene of any armed conflict in human history, with numerous 1 million+ armies on each side clashing together. the thought that a couple divisions could change the outcome.. is wishful thinking. the whole Western front was less than 1/4th of the Eastern front even at its peak times.



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Germany most certainly couldn't "win", but without Normandy, the third reich may have been able to preserve itself.
by mid-1944? no. it was clear the Germans had been beaten - they were already back beyond Russia's border and pushed ever further back, the USSR's industrial production was already far beyond the German one - and included various new designs like the T-34 which were superior to most German analogues - and the Soviet command already featured a prominent row of very capable strategists like Zhukov and Rokossovsky which had made it to the top from below after the failures of other top level planners in the early stages of the war, and had repeatedly proven capable of beating the German strategists.


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South Vietnam asked for US aid against North Vietnam. That the US installed the government was irrelevant.
says who?? say, I organize a special forces unit tomorrow, go snipe Bush and his whole administration, take control of the White House and the Pentagon, declare you the new President of the US, and demand aid from, say, Hugo Chavez in Venezuela? would that be irrelevant?


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For starters, the Government in South Vietnam had effective control of the country.
no it didnt. the extremely massive US bombing of South Vietnam and the invasion were necessary exactly BECAUSE it had no control of the country.


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Your Germany example though, the Germans were not invited in by any official government. They went in, then forced the government there to accept the annexation of the Sudetenland. It's completely different from either the US war in Vietnam, or the Soviet war in Afganistan, as neither nation claimed that territory as their own.
the Nazis were just more blunt about it, thats all. the principle was the same. in France for example they installed the Nazi-friendly Vichy government. does it make their invasion of France "ok"?


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You'll note that the US bombers did not drop incindary bombs in those raids, but high explosive, and concentraited their attacks on industrial targets in the city. For the US, there was nothing special about the operation.
Kurt Vonnegut - who was there - thinks otherwise. if you havent read Slaughterhouse #5 i recommend it. certainly a unique book.


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You know, it almost sounds like you're saying it's in the interests of European countries to have such relations with the US, for now at least. I would point out that the trade partner thing does work both ways.
its obviously in the interest of EU countries to have friendly trade relations with the US - but not to be subservient to it. for the US though, its obviously in its interest to have vassals instead of equivalent partners. so thats a bit of a conflict.


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If you're only talking about high end cars, yeah you'd have a case. I'm talking about low to mid-end cars, the kind most of the people who have a car actually own. Think ford focus, honda civic, those kinds. I'd agree that the US auto industry most certainly does have a lack of high end sports cars, but when it comes to more common cars, US offerings are much better than their reputation would suggest.
well, all that is valid only if price is an issue. i'd say that, by and large, German cars are the best ones in nearly all segments if you dont look at the price (except maybe the super cheap segment where there's simply no German cars). if you take a supersport - Porsche 911 Turbo (this will probably be my next car) or Carrera GT. if you take a regular sports car, its hard to get anything better overall than a Porsche 911 (although the Nissan GT-R is a very strong competitor). if you take a large family sedan, BMW 5 series or Audi A6. SUV - Porsche Cayenne Turbo. Grand Tourer - BMW M6. smaller sedan - BMW 3 series or Audi A4. luxury executive class car - Mercedes S-class, 7 series BMW, Maybach.etc.


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As for interepting Russian warheads, assume an 80% success rate for interception. Now assume 2000 as the number of russian warheads. We have what, 10 that will be stationed in Poland? That leaves 1992 warheads unintercepted, ignoring that a Russian strike on the US would not pass over europe. So let's say the US wanted to stop a Russian strike. At 80% success rate the US would need a minimum of 2500 ABMs.
that is correct for a Russian first-strike scenario. in that case, obviously, no US ABM would be enough, in any foreseeable future. the talk is not about that, however. it is about a US first-strike scenario with a subsequent Russian counterstrike. in a 2006 paper published in the Foreign Affairs Journal, two US politology professors called Lieber and Press argue that the US could, in the meantime, take out ALL of Russia's ICBM strike capabilities with a first strike (http://www.foreignaffairs.org/200603...r-primacy.html ). And that article is not even all that unrealistic - apart from a couple technical errors and omissions like the treatment of mobile ICBMs. Taking that into account, the ABM systems can be seen in a whole new light. After a US first strike, they may have to intercept not 1000 missiles (you were counting warheads there, MIRV types have up to 16 warheads per missile), but merely 10 or 20. And in such a case, the Poland-based ABM defense gets a whole new critical importance.


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If the Russians then build more missiles, the US then needs to build even more ABMs. It's a losing game cost wise. No matter how good the system, you'll always need massive redundancy, and that's assuming an unrealisticly high success rate. Further it takes a much more advanced guidence package to hit another missile than it does for that first one to hit a city.
all that is correct. indeed the reality today is that it is far easier and cheaper to deliver a nuclear BM somewhere than to intercept it even somewhat reliably. more than that - interception is largely impossible with contemporary technology for the newer Russian BMs with 10+ MIRVs, changing trajectories, and 100+ false targets. which is exactly why this Poland-based ABM system is ONLY a first-strike weapon, designed to intercept a few remaining missiles in the acceleration phase.


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Which is all speculation.
absolutely not. it's almost all NOT speculation, but cold hard facts (which you perhaps have not yet heard of since they were at best scarcely reported in Western media so far - there seems to be a tide change in progress though starting 5 days ago with that NY Times article, since then Business Week, Times, FT, and some others have picked it up too).

the only speculation you'll find in my article is section 4 - motives. those are unknown to anyone with certainty even today, except maybe the Georgian leadership and their immediate allies. it's possible to make educated guesses though, and I think my guesses are as good as anyone else's. at least i've not seen anything better so far.


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A base that can easily saturate the ABMs. There simply aren't enough.
only in a Russian first-strike case, see above.


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In a scenerio where a first strike is a possibility, both sides would have their missiles on standby. Most likely the Russians owuld be able to launch before their silos were hit, and vice-versa.
not necessarily. first-strike scenarios are mostly treated conservatively - i.e. as in how many ICBMs can still be launched after all of the enemy's ICBMs have detonated.


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Then there are ballistic missile subs. They'd be insufficient to cover a retalitory strike as well.
yes.. but, if you read Lieber and Press above, they remark correctly that in practice, Russian nuclear subs rarely patrol and are mostly simply in their home ports in Petropavlovsk etc. which are of course all very well known to the US. the situation would change somewhat if Russia allocated more money to the strategic sub division and made them patrol more, and especially after the completion of the new series of strategic Borei class nuclear subs currently in production.


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One slight problem there. By the time they could cover the range, the Russian missile would be out of it's initial boost phase. The only way for it to work is if the ABMs were launched first.
no. the trick is that the ABM missiles have a much better thrust-weight ratio and are able to accelerate much faster. to intercept ICBMs launched from the Kozelsk base, it would be sufficient to launch the Poland-based interceptor missiles with about 25-40 seconds delay (quoted off a Russian military forum). this is plenty of time for a missile base, especially in a US first-strike scenario where the ABM bases would already be on alert anyway.


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The thing you have to remember about the US ABMs, they don't work. They have about a 50% success rate, against targets of known trajectory. Against actual enemy missiles, they'd be lucky to have a 25% success rate.
well, yes. I'm also quite sceptical regarding any ABM defense. with contemporary BMs... it probably doesnt work at all. but in theory, it *might* work. and that, in practice, is argument enough to exert political pressure.


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To anyone informed about the actual capabilities of the missiles, it's clear they'd be useless as a first strike backup. Oh I fully agree that part of their purpose is to apply political presure on Russia, however, I disagree that they're an effective means of doing so.
well, to be honest, I also think the same. but - two renowned US university professors published in the #1 foreign policy journal beg to differ - see above. and obviously thats enough for the regular politicians with minimal technical knowledge to be concerned about.


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The problem there, Americans don't want to see things that would make it look like they're supporting the wrong side. They'd change the channel to another media outlet who report on the "ebil ruskies", and thus lose ratings.
who said the US has to support Georgia?


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That's because that's what gets them the ratings. The ratings then determine how much they can charge for ads. The US media companies only care about that ad money. Thus they'll show whatever gets them the higher ratings needed for higher ad revenue. It just so happens that's a US centric view of the world. That's what Americans want to see. Though I think we largely agree here, only differing on how much an influence one part of the equation is. I say getting the higher ratings is more important than the adgenda of the sponsers, you say the adgenda of the sponsers has the bigger impact. I think we can agree that both play a factor though.
well, read Manufacturing Consent. I really recommend it. it's mostly about old news, like Vietnam, Latin America, etc, but its super instructive in how the US media self-censorship works.

Last edited by Mumitroll; 2008-11-12 at 19:35.
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Old 2008-11-12, 21:56   Link #50
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Old 2008-11-12, 22:01   Link #51
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Originally Posted by Reckoner View Post
Part of the danger of giving nuclear power to other countries is not necessarily the countries themselves, but the terrorists within those countries.
I think this is the main issue. Can they hold these uranium in such a way to not allow terrorist to obtain them. If we can solve this or somehow rationalize this, such needless issues can be solved and this case can actually get somewhere.

ps: god... thats one long post kamui...
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Old 2008-11-12, 22:10   Link #52
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Originally Posted by Aoie_Emesai View Post
I think this is the main issue. Can they hold these uranium in such a way to not allow terrorist to obtain them. If we can solve this or somehow rationalize this, such needless issues can be solved and this case can actually get somewhere.
Realistically speaking, will a terrorist have the sophostication and resources necessary to actually do something with it?

We always hear about how a terrorist might get control of these things as though it's a valid concern, but I'm skeptical. I'm not a physicist so I don't know for certain, but I'm pretty sure it isn't as easy as uranium + webpage on how to make a bomb = nuclear bomb. We often hear about fears of bioterrorism, which is something I think would be much easier to make a reality, but when is the last time you heard of a successful bioterrorist attack? Occasionally you hear about how anthrax is mailed to people, but that's pretty rare, half the time it seems to be a hoax, and the other half the time it isn't from a "traditional terrorist" but from some scientist who cracked.

Which isn't to say that it will never happen, but in reality the chances seem to be pretty slim. Are we to cut back progress and development simply because there's a chance that something bad might happen?
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Old 2008-11-12, 22:38   Link #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ledgem View Post
Realistically speaking, will a terrorist have the sophostication and resources necessary to actually do something with it?

We always hear about how a terrorist might get control of these things as though it's a valid concern, but I'm skeptical. I'm not a physicist so I don't know for certain, but I'm pretty sure it isn't as easy as uranium + webpage on how to make a bomb = nuclear bomb. We often hear about fears of bioterrorism, which is something I think would be much easier to make a reality, but when is the last time you heard of a successful bioterrorist attack? Occasionally you hear about how anthrax is mailed to people, but that's pretty rare, half the time it seems to be a hoax, and the other half the time it isn't from a "traditional terrorist" but from some scientist who cracked.

Which isn't to say that it will never happen, but in reality the chances seem to be pretty slim. Are we to cut back progress and development simply because there's a chance that something bad might happen?
I believe in the same as you. But when it matters, it's the national public who needs to feel safe that they aren't in much or dire danger.

...scrolling down takes me time >.< (lol ^^)
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Old 2008-11-12, 22:43   Link #54
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..scrolling down takes me time >.< (lol ^^)
Sorry, I'll add spoiler tags to make them take up less room.
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Old 2008-11-12, 22:56   Link #55
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Originally Posted by Aoie_Emesai View Post
I think this is the main issue. Can they hold these uranium in such a way to not allow terrorist to obtain them. If we can solve this or somehow rationalize this, such needless issues can be solved and this case can actually get somewhere.

ps: god... thats one long post kamui...
It's ALOT easier to make a "dirty"bomb than a thermo nuclear device and you don't even need weapon grade Uranium nor Plutonium to create a dirty bomb.
Just obtain high energy reactor waste, and a pestle to achieve maximum toxicity.
You don't even need to blow anything up, just pour it in to the water system and/or have the powder carried by wind.

Terroists somehow developing a termo nuclear bomb by obtaining raw ingredients is complete rubbish.
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Old 2008-11-13, 00:14   Link #56
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Originally Posted by Tri-ring View Post
Terroists somehow developing a termo nuclear bomb by obtaining raw ingredients is complete rubbish.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ledgem View Post
Realistically speaking, will a terrorist have the sophostication and resources necessary to actually do something with it?

We always hear about how a terrorist might get control of these things as though it's a valid concern, but I'm skeptical. I'm not a physicist so I don't know for certain, but I'm pretty sure it isn't as easy as uranium + webpage on how to make a bomb = nuclear bomb. We often hear about fears of bioterrorism, which is something I think would be much easier to make a reality, but when is the last time you heard of a successful bioterrorist attack? Occasionally you hear about how anthrax is mailed to people, but that's pretty rare, half the time it seems to be a hoax, and the other half the time it isn't from a "traditional terrorist" but from some scientist who cracked.

Which isn't to say that it will never happen, but in reality the chances seem to be pretty slim. Are we to cut back progress and development simply because there's a chance that something bad might happen?
I don't think the concerns are rubbish, they hold some truth though they are often overplayed. Terrorists today may not hold the capabilities to launch one of these bombs, but who is to say that terrorists a couple decades later are not going to be capable? Are we going to fool around with opening the possibility even further?

Granted these countries cannot stay like this forever, but the countries like Iran and North Korea have not expressed that nuclear energy is their priority in bringing this technology to their countries, but rather the bomb. Unless you have nothing against them having the bomb, but I personally would like to keep any further countries from obtaining such weapons as long as possible. Though it may be inevitable that they manage to obtain such weapons, we can improve our technologies in defending against such attacks with more time perhaps.
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Old 2008-11-13, 01:04   Link #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tri-ring View Post
It's ALOT easier to make a "dirty"bomb than a thermo nuclear device and you don't even need weapon grade Uranium nor Plutonium to create a dirty bomb.
Just obtain high energy reactor waste, and a pestle to achieve maximum toxicity.
You don't even need to blow anything up, just pour it in to the water system and/or have the powder carried by wind.

Terroists somehow developing a termo nuclear bomb by obtaining raw ingredients is complete rubbish.
Nuclear waste is just as dangerous as nuclear bombs, but no one thinks like that because you never hear the term "nuclear waste and terrorist coined together" it's always "terrorist" "bomb" "nuclear."

Those 3 words are always spat out in the same sentences together, so everyone is afraid. Keep the public in fear, they are doing good so far.
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Old 2008-11-13, 01:07   Link #58
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Ah, nuclear waste. How do you dispose of the stuff? I don't know about you, but some landfill has to accept this stuff. Oh, and pray that it doesn't contaminate the groundwater.
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Old 2008-11-13, 08:35   Link #59
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I'd disagree there. Without the effect of the atomic bombs, and Russia invading, Japan would not have surrendered until the Allies at the very least established a beachhead. At this point of the war Japan was looking for a decisive victory to use to get better terms. With the forces Japan had left in the home islands, they did have a very realistic chance of repulsing the first allied invasion. They would not have surrendered until that played out.
most informed people think otherwise. a 1946 US Strategic Bombing Survey concluded:

"Based on a detailed investigation of all the facts, and supported by the testimony of the surviving Japanese leaders involved, it is the Survey's opinion that certainly prior to 31 December 1945, and in all probability prior to 1 November 1945, Japan would have surrendered even if the atomic bombs had not been dropped, even if Russia had not entered the war, and even if no invasion had been planned or contemplated. "

or the opinion of a certain General Dwight D. Eisenhower:

"In 1945 Secretary of War Stimson, visiting my headquarters in Germany, informed me that our government was preparing to drop an atomic bomb on Japan. I was one of those who felt that there were a number of cogent reasons to question the wisdom of such an act. During his recitation of the relevant facts, I had been conscious of a feeling of depression and so I voiced to him my grave misgivings, first on the basis of my belief that Japan was already defeated and that dropping the bomb was completely unnecessary, and secondly because I thought that our country should avoid shocking world opinion by the use of a weapon whose employment was, I thought, no longer mandatory as a measure to save American lives."

a certain Albert Einstein - who is commonly regarded as a pretty bright person - was very much against it as well.

etc. basically the only people you'll find supporting it are pro-American rightwing historians.



Quote:
Yet you said that the US has been looking to start WWIII ever since WWII ended. Perfect opportunity right there, yet the US chose a course less likely to cause war.
I did not mean that literally. obviously if the US *wanted* a WWIII, it would be way easy to start it anytime - just launch a couple ICBMs against targets in Russia and China. what I meant was that the US has been very aggressive in its foreign policy since WWII and has been the initiator in most of the confrontations between it and the USSR - including the most dangerous one, the Cuban missile crisis, and the most recent ones, the war in Georgia and the ABM systems in Poland.


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When did I claim otherwise? Sorry, but I don't see how you can say I have my history wrong when I only mentioned the crisis itself as being a situation that could have easily lead to WWIII, not any details.
you wrote "USSR invaded Cuba". that's simply wrong.


Quote:
What the US is seeking isn't a war, but someone that it's not inconcievable they might someday have to fight. That helps justify the large military budget.
no it doesnt. the US military budget is FAR greater than necessary for defense against a WWIII - and a major share of it goes into things which are practically unrelated to defense, like aircraft carriers and a stealth air superiority plane (F-22). the budget is mainly necessary for two completely different reasons which have nothing to do with defense: 1) having a mobile and strong military capable of controlling and subduing places to US interests worldwide by force and 2) keeping the military-industrial complex afloat.


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Only because of a threat of a ground war which put them in a no win situation. Serbia was able to preserve it's military force relatively intact by digging in and staying put.
there was no threat of ground war. and no, basically Serbia was defeated rather clearly - simply by massive bombing of all kinds of targets, military and not. I read an account of a Serbian soldier operating a mobile radar - they said that within a few minutes of deploying and starting a scan, several HARM missiles were incoming.


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Israel has quantity as well though. Also, once again simply buying the planes isn't enough, you need the logistics to support them. This means not only fighters, but things like AWEC and tankers.
AWACS you mean? thats not a must.. yes most modern airforces have coordination planes like that, but if fighters have good radars and/or are supported by a good ground radar system, they can do without.


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I disagree there. The US would not send ground troops. Maybe give air support, but even that's pushing it. Most likely US aid would be in the form of lots of free weapons.
you'd see that you're wrong if Israel were actually under any real threat of being invaded.



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Oh, I freely admitt the article has a heavy anti-Russian spin. However, I'm not sure how you can say it does not report that the Georgians fired first, when the whole damn thing is about Georgia whining that Russia was intervening in their war. Oh but of course you'll only pick and choose the parts that support your claim, and of course interpret the parts that could go either way to support a particular view.
listen, all you're trying to do is construe a way to interpret this heavily anti-Russian article - which does NOT clearly report who and what started the war - as giving some objective information. it isn't. and it would be very easy to find out. you could just ask 100 CNN readers who didnt know anything about the area before what happened. I did. I talked to lots of US/Western people in the first days of the war. almost EVERYBODY had the impression "Russia is attacking Georgia" from their media, even some intelligent people with academic degrees. brainwash ftw is all i can say.



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"Georgia's ambassador to the United Nations, Irakli Alasania, said that "Russia has become a party to the conflict." He said Russia has supported separatists in South Ossetia, a charge Russia dismissed."

Now tell me how Russia could "become a party to the conflict" if Russia invaded Georgia first? That implies a conflict is ongoing, hense Georgia attacked first.
that implies nothing. the Georgian clashes with Ossetian "separatists" had been going on for years. what that Georgian means is that "Russia has invaded our territory to help the separatists". you dont seriously think he'd imply that Georgia had started the war, do you?



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So here we have Georgia having already attacked, but no Russian invasion yet?How could Russia's ambassador deny plans to intervine militarily if Russia had already intervened?
simple - it's quoted "as is". i.e. "Russia's ambassador says X" - but thats not something that we trust. so if he says that Russia has no plans to intervene, we secretly suspect that it already has tanks rolling towards Tbilisi (because Georgian sources Y and Z say so). so we do 10 other articles along the lines of "Russian tanks rolling into Georgia as cities burn" (actual title from the Guardian).


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While they may work with US planners, calling the Israeli military a sub division of the US military is greatly exaggerating the relationship.
lol, they have very modern US equipment - and are the first to receive it - run many joint exercises and planning operations, and closely cooperate in military research and development. no other country even comes close as far as I know.



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Hate is a much stronger term than don't like. You can dislike something without hating it. While they deal with the same concept, there is a rather big difference in degree. Saying you don't like something is not the same as saying you hate it.
tis all word play. the general attitude is the same, its just the intensity that varies.



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Most reports I've heard indicate he's in Waziristan, the border region of Afganistan and Pakistan, though I've also heard some crazy theories like he's in Iran. It's entirely possible he's someplace else, but considering the terrain and that there's strong support for the Taliban in the region, it's a good bet he was thn until very recently at least. Though I've also heard reports that the Taliban has cut their ties with Bin Ladin, so in that case he would have likely left.
well, to be honest, the very idea of trying to kill bin Laden by dropping a nuclear bomb on Pakistan is... um... kinda like trying to kill a fly somewhere in a big house with a guided missile. your odds of even approximately hitting are slim, and all you'll do is inflict lots of damage on unrelated people.



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Oil's on the way out regardless. There's only so much financially viable oil to extract, and even optimistic estimates give it 50 years.
which is exactly why the major industrial nations' competition for the remaining oil resources is going to intensify in the near future. and why the US planning people want to control the location of 2nd largest - and most easily accessible - oil reserves already today.


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If that was the actual policy of the US, I doubt things would be much better though. Instead of setting up puppet dictatorships, we'd set up puppet democracies, and that would be the end of it.
why so. a different, better way is also possible, and there are examples for that too. just not so many. but two prominent ones are post-WWII West Germany and Japan. in both, the US could have installed puppet regimes directly controlled by Washington, severely restricted their economy to a non-dangerous agricultural state (which was in fact done in the first years of post-war West Germany.. until they saw that millions of people would simply starve if they did not lift their 25% cap on production compared to pre-war levels). but the system they set up was largely democratic, and was given freedom to evolve. also, they ultimately famously provided major one-sided financial aid (the Marshall plan). in Japan, tehy were more severe, basically pushing lots of things down their throat - a new radically different constitution and legislative system, disarmament clauses, prohibiting any criticism of the Allies, strict press censorship, etc. a de-industrialization program similar to the one in West Germany was also run, but it was less strict and abandoned entirely after several years.

still, they ran free PM elections, and in 1949 gave almost full freedom to the new JP government.

however, in both places, all that freedom and aid had nothing to do with pure good will or any similar altruistic motives. West Germany had the crucial role of being the barrier against the USSR in Europe, and it was more useful in a strong and industrialized state than as a starving wasteland. a similar reason is valid for Japan - already in 1949 the Korean war, a direct confrontation with the USSR, made it important to build up Japan as an outpost against evil Communism in the Far East.

most other US-controlled places, since they did not have such major importance, did not end up so lucky, and were just exploited.



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Personally I think the US should partily return to isolationism. Not completely of course, but stop intervening in all these random nations. Just meet our treaty obligations and keep the navy patroling shipping lanes. Anything else, let someone else worry about for a change.
the US foreign policy has nothing to do with "worrying". that's mere propaganda. that deaths of millions totally dont bother the US is easily illustrated by the fact that there are ongoing large-scale wars and mass genocide in Central Africa - yet the US just ignores that since there's simply nothing of interest in Central Africa. there's no oil and it's not a strategically important location. but when an evil Saddam Hussein oppresses the Kurds in Iraq (albeit with about 1/100th of the victims in Africa) - oh there we have to intervene. although when Turkey oppresses the same Kurds (at a much larger scale than Saddam by the way) - we help Turkey with weapons.

or when an evil Milosevic oppresses poor Albanians - even although they are a former minority in a Serbian province who are now a majority because of the demographic crisis, and their militarized wing KLA terrorizing Serbs living there in order to obtain independence as an Albanian province - oh then we must bomb him.


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That was more to get public support. The legal framework for the invasion centered around Iraq's violations of the UN resolutions. It was shakey, but a good lawyer could make a case there.
thats wrong. there was no case. there was no legal framework. this invasion was completely illegal from the UN point of view. Saddam ultimately famously complied with all UN resolutions in a last-straw attempt to prevent an invasion. a few days later Bush announced that "diplomacy has failed". with the well-known result.



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One little problem there, the US public largely isn't buying that.
what do you mean by not buying? those are all more or less quotes from US sources.



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After a nuclear attack by terrorists, the American public won't care, they'd simply want someone to pay.
that much is obvious. but killing a few million completely unrelated Pakistanis for them "to pay"? thats.. insane.


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Fair enough. I'd also add that Iraq showed that even if you overthrow an unpopular and oppressive regime, it doesn't mean the people will like you telling them what to do, and Iran's regime isn't quite as bad as saddam's. Hell, if we'd lift the embargo and improve relations, odds are the Iranian people would eventually vote in people who'd reform the country.
i think so too. in fact, some say that Ahmadinejad's very nationalist position only received so much support from the population at the 2005 election because of the US invasion of Iran.


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The big L word, Logistics. There simply wasn't a way to get a large army on shore in the face of a strong german defense, and keep it supplied. Look at the trouble Operation Torch had in North Africa with a relatively unopposed landing. Now add in several german divisions trying to throw the invastion back into the sea and you have a recipe for disaster.
well, you know, all this logic reminds me of jokes against the French "surrendermonkey" mentality. like:

Q: How many gears does a French tank have?
A: 4 reverse and 1 forward, in case the enemy attacks from the rear.

the Russians had all kinds of logistics problems as well. for example supplying blockaded Leningrad for 900 days over the ice of the Ladoga lake was an immense logistic task - but it was ultimately done, and the city was defended - albeit with an extreme number of victims. in war, if you want to win, there is no such thing as "logistically cant do". if you dont want to win, and rather prefer to have others fight it out - then yeah you can find all kinds of excuses.



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Maybe late 1942, but that would be pushing it. Mid 1943 would be the soonest they could do it with a good chance of success. The best they could do prior to that would be to secure a beach head. They wouldn't have been able to push inland. Once again, you can't simply put an army in the field and tell it to fight without giving it the logistical support it needs. That support simply wasn't there yet. Doing so only results in losing that army.
the end result of all that was that a few million more Russians died on the Eastern front, and most of Eastern Europe and half of Germany got Communist regimes installed for the next 50 years. to be honest, I think it would have been better if they had opened a second front in 1942, with whatever losses necessary. Europe would have been much better off in the long term.


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I have not heard that one about Japan before though.
its a popular argument from Western historians who want to play up the Allied role. because of JP attacking Pearl Harbor and the US entering the war, it became possible for Stalin to pull off some Far Eastern troops which had been kept there as a guard against a potential second front by Japanese continental forces in China, and use them in the Winter http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Moscow - which was ultimately won - as the first successful Soviet operation against the Wehrmacht.


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No, but if you did it several years before, and I've succeeded in securing control of the country, then ask for help because of a foriegn invasion I'm trying to put down, the request becomes a bit more legitimate.
I dont think thats legitimate at all. a regime installed by a military coup, oppressing the vast majority of the population, is never legitimate. and of course not "several years" later. for example, the Soviet regime was actually never legitimate. it was never elected by the Russian population. it came in power in the Bolshevik coup of 1917, and stayed till 1991. that doesnt make it any more legitimate!



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You're talking about an invasion that installed a government though. This is a case of a previously established government later asking for aid.
its not very different. assume the Nazis would have sent in a special forces unit to France like, 6 months - or 2 years - prior to invading, and would have overthrown the government from within. would that make it any more legitimate?


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Perhaps, but that doesn't change the easily researched fact that it was the British that dropped the incindaries. Stick to blaming the US for the stuff it actually did.
okay, so I'll blame the US for the "bombing" part of "firebombing Dresden", not the "fire" part. that ok? lol...



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If, and it's a big if, the US could catch the Russians totally unaware, it might be possible to take out a signifigant chunk of Russia's fixed ICBM assists. However, you yourself pointed out that it does not acocunt for mobile launchers, let alone SLBMs Most likely if relations have deterrioriated to the point a first strike is possible, it means the Russians would have at least a portion of their missiles on alert and launch before the US missiles hit.
yes, i think similarly. but, as you can see, some pretty respected US experts think otherwise. I think thats reason enough to be worried.



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Yet what we were talking about goes directly to motives. Wanting to go in isn't enough. They had to also think they could get away with it. Georgia thought Russia was bluffing and that they'd have more support from the US. If they thought Russia would counterattack like that, they would have had to be mad to launch the invasion after all.
this may surprise you, but they actually had a realistic chance to get away with it. i didnt know it at the time when i was writing the article, but there is only one major road connection from North to South Ossetia (there's a mountain chain between them) which is operable in winter - the Rok tunnel. had it been destroyed (for example with a Georgian special forces unit placing explosives there - there were some unconfirmed news on the 8th that this had been attempted but failed), there would be no easy way for Russia to send ground forces to South Ossetia for weeks or even months. and the peacekeeper batallion stationed there was merely about 500 people with light weapons and no armor. they would not be able to defend against the Georgian army. of course, airstrikes could still be made, but it would certainly be possible for the Georgians to occupy all of South Ossetia and either expel the civilian population, or install a proxy government and more or less use the Ossetians as a hostage against Russian airstrikes. that would have been pretty much a victory for Georgia, for reasons I have listed in section 4.


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Let's assume 10% survive. That's still 200 left. Assuming 16 warheads per missile on average, that gives 13 missiles remaining. (doesn't work out evenly, so assume the actual number is a bit higher than 200) Assuming 100% success rate, that's still 3 that get through, loaded with warheads. Assuming a more realistic 30% success rate, that's 10 that get through, with 160 warheads raining death on the US. And that's likely a wildly over optimistic scenerio.
well, its all more or less guesswork, but i also tend to think that the risk of a US first strike even with taking into account all the recent events, would be pretty much incalculable. nobody in the US might die - or 50 millions might die. the military people think differently though. for them the "maybe" is not sufficient. what has kept the world somewhat stable in the Cold War was the so-called MAD principle - Mutual Assured Destruction. i.e. that no matter what kind of first strike one side did, the other would still be guaranteed to have enough ICBMs to destroy all major cities of the attacker. the problem is that recently the US is gnawing at the MAD principle - and as a result destabilizing the situation.



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Of course that such a puplication exists means there will be people who buy into it, whcih is a very dangeous situation.
thats my point. and its not even a publication in say the NY Times or on Fox News. its a publication in Foreign Affairs - which is the #1 academic journal on international policy in the US.



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No one, but they did.
well, does that US position represent your own opinion on that conflict?


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Nuclear waste is just as dangerous as nuclear bombs
lol? nuclear waste is nowhere near as dangerous as nuclear bombs. if you seal it in a reasonably good container its harmless and you can leave it sitting for millenia. the only issue is that its expensive to make reasonably good containers, so that in practice people prefer to just dig big, deep, caves and dump the stuff there. which also mostly works - xcept for the cases when, as youve said, something leaks and radiation gets transported off by water.

Last edited by Mumitroll; 2008-11-15 at 05:03.
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Old 2008-11-13, 15:25   Link #60
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Originally Posted by yezhanquan View Post
Ah, nuclear waste. How do you dispose of the stuff? I don't know about you, but some landfill has to accept this stuff. Oh, and pray that it doesn't contaminate the groundwater.
No, I doubt any nation would allow nuclear waste to be just simply tossed into land fills. But for the United States, they are simply placing them underground, since other than waiting for the nuclear isotopes to degrade themselves, there aren't many other solutions.
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