Stephen Speicher

Rob Tracinski on "What Went Right?"

374 posts in this topic

Neither of these are examples of imperialism. The US expanded beyond the original 13 colonies to the benefit and security of its citizens, not in order to bring American culture to the natives. In fact, the plan as I understand it was to allow the peaceful tribes to live however they chose, using the purchased land for our own growth and agriculture.

Israel acquired and kept land previously governed by the Palestinians in order to increase their national security.

So are you saying, then, that this is a matter of cost-benefit analysis? Iraq would be too costly to "conquer", and thus not worth it. But let us say that Canada attacked us in a full out war-would it then not be "too far away" to defend, and thus proper to "conquer" Canada?

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Of course we are speaking idealistically, but say that the U.S. conquered Iraq, turned it into the 51st state, and imposed American values and culture into this area. Is this something wrong to do?

Yes, because that is not a proper function of government. The only proper function of government is to protect the rights of its own citizens from force.

If private individuals, for their own self-interested reasons, want to bring American values to Iraq, or any other country, that's fine and they have often done so. There are many Cubans in Florida who would like to bring individual rights to their relatives still on the island and there are businessmen who would like to do business in other countries if their rights could be protected.

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Israel acquired and kept land previously governed by the Palestinians in order to increase their national security.

I should add that the acquiring of this land was in self-defense.

This isn't quite correct.

That Israel acquired territory as a self-defensive shield following the Six Day War of 1967 is correct. This territorial acquisition was recognized initially at the time (1968) as a legitimate consequence of Israel's victory over Arab aggression in that war.

However, there had been no "Palestinian" government to govern these areas prior to that time. In fact, the concept "Palestinian" as a polity did not come into existence until the years immediately following the 1967 war. Prior to that conflict, the so-called "Palestinian" areas of contention , the West Bank and Gaza, were controlled by Jordan and Egypt respectively (the former having laid specious claim to the West Bank via annexation in 1948-49). It was from those areas bordering on Israel that the Arab states launched their unprovoked attack against her in 1967.

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But BBorg, it is not for the sake of 'altruism', it is to make sure these Jihadists have one less country in which to attack Americans.

The problem isn't that Jihadists are running countries but that Jihadists are willing to attack Americans. We can take all the actions necessary to prevent them from being able and willing to attack us without taking over their whole country.

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More evidence that things are not going "Right".
Afghan Carnage continues

Afghan suicide bomber kills 35

The attack comes one day after Afghanistan’s deadliest bombing since the fall of the Taliban in 2001. More than 100 people were killed by a suicide bomber outside Kandahar city on Sunday.

Change in tactics?

The back-to-back bombings could indicate a change in tactics by militants. Though attacks occasionally have killed dozens, insurgents in Afghanistan have generally sought to avoid targeting civilians.

The country saw a record level of violence last year, and analysts and military leaders here have predicted that 2008 could turn even deadlier.

Again, what does that have to do with anything? But, to answer this claim, two bombings do not prove that we are loosing. It proves one thing and one thing only, Muslims like to bomb. We were caught by surprise by some trigger happy Muslims and now that somehow means we are loosing? During the period where Israel had just built the wall, they caught tons of attempted suicide bombers, but did that mean they were loosing? Far from it, so I really do not see how a few suicide attacks signify us loosing.

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But BBorg, it is not for the sake of 'altruism', it is to make sure these Jihadists have one less country in which to attack Americans.

The problem isn't that Jihadists are running countries but that Jihadists are willing to attack Americans. We can take all the actions necessary to prevent them from being able and willing to attack us without taking over their whole country.

I agree with you in that respect. My problem is that most Islamic countries tend to fund and shelter these Jihadist countries. If nothing else, I consider that nothing short of an act of war.

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The answer to the first question is no. I do not see what the second question has anything to do with the argument at hand.

If I understand correctly, the argument under consideration is making Iraq a state. How are you going to make Iraq a state of the United States when the people in that country have set up a government based on the Koran. Are you advocating a state that is based on the Koran should become a state of the United States? Why should Iraq become a state as opposed to Puerto Rico which has been seeking statehood for quite some time.

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Jawaid's sincere and thoughtful post clearly explains the reasons for his conclusions, many of which I disagree with. My problem isn't with his reasoning, but with some of his assumptions that I do not think are factually true. ....

Betsy,

I'm a little surprised at you for issuing this long list of un-integrated and un-integratable questions.

My goal was not to "integrate" anything but was, as I said, to question the truth of the assumptions underlying Jawaid's analysis.

It is epistemologically improper to confront someone with such a series of questions, as if he did not even consider any of them, when he actually has addressed each and every one of them already. Jawaid not only addressed each of these questions, but many of his answers to them were, in my estimation, correct.

He assumed or stated his answer to these questions and I raised each as an issue because I don't think his assumptions and answers are true.

In practical terms, your series of questions comes down to a claim that Jawaid's mind is invalid. They seem to say:

"Who are you, Jawaid, to say you know anything about foreign policy and military affairs?"

Considering that I respect Jawaid and take his argument seriously, I think no such thing!

Why not pick the one or two salient issues over which you think Jawaid is mistaken and specifically question those?

Because, as I said, my goal was to question the factual assumptions that were the premises of his argument. I know Jawaid to be a logical, sensible person and, if we can resolve the factual disagreements, I expect that we would agree.

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The answer to the first question is no. I do not see what the second question has anything to do with the argument at hand.

If I understand correctly, the argument under consideration is making Iraq a state. How are you going to make Iraq a state of the United States when the people in that country have set up a government based on the Koran. Are you advocating a state that is based on the Koran should become a state of the United States? Why should Iraq become a state as opposed to Puerto Rico which has been seeking statehood for quite some time.

If Iraq was under our government it would have to obey the same laws as the rest of the states. Specifically, the separation of church and state.

Because there is reason to make Iraq a state. If we conquer them, we will have much more reason to expand the war, and it will be easier to do so.

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But BBorg, it is not for the sake of 'altruism', it is to make sure these Jihadists have one less country in which to attack Americans.

The problem isn't that Jihadists are running countries but that Jihadists are willing to attack Americans. We can take all the actions necessary to prevent them from being able and willing to attack us without taking over their whole country.

I agree with you in that respect. My problem is that most Islamic countries tend to fund and shelter these Jihadist countries. If nothing else, I consider that nothing short of an act of war.

There is a typo, take out countries after Jihadist...

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One more thing, concerning the proper way to establish and pay for military bases in foreign lands that were once our enemies, a close examination of the bases on Okinawa, Japan is the place to start, not Iraq or Afghanistan.

How about you explain what exactly I should look for instead of throwing out some obscure reference.

I was pointing you in the right direction. Okinawa, Japan is not an obscure reference. The fact that the majority of Americans don't know the vital role these bases play in our national defense only shows how ignorant the average U.S. citizen has become when it comes to national self-defense.

The following base is of particular importance.

Futenma Marine Corps Air Station, Okinawa, Japan

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I agree with you in that respect. My problem is that most Islamic countries tend to fund and shelter these Jihadist countries. If nothing else, I consider that nothing short of an act of war.

There is a typo, take out countries after Jihadist...

With that correction, I am in total agreement with your statement.

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Because there is reason to make Iraq a state. If we conquer them, we will have much more reason to expand the war, and it will be easier to do so.

I have several questions.

1. What is the reason for why we should make Iraq a state?

2. If we conquer them what war are we going to expand and why?

3. How is conquering Iraq and making it a state going to make it easier for the United States to defend itself against its enemies, particularly Iran and North Korea?

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However, there had been no "Palestinian" government to govern these areas prior to that time. In fact, the concept "Palestinian" as a polity did not come into existence until the years immediately following the 1967 war. Prior to that conflict, the so-called "Palestinian" areas of contention , the West Bank and Gaza, were controlled by Jordan and Egypt respectively (the former having laid specious claim to the West Bank via annexation in 1948-49). It was from those areas bordering on Israel that the Arab states launched their unprovoked attack against her in 1967.

Here is some information about the latest U.S. Foreign Policy move concerning Israel and Palestine.

Bush Promotes Middle East Peace Dialogue

A day after Israeli and Palestinian leaders committed themselves to negotiating a peace treaty, the Bush administration sought Wednesday to give practical and symbolic impetus to their reinvigorated peace process.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice appointed a retired NATO commander, Gen. James L. Jones, to oversee security, an issue that remains at the heart of the political differences between the Israelis and Palestinians.

Ms. Rice’s appointment of General Jones appeared intended to signal a reinvigoration of the American involvement, something that the administration’s critics have said was sorely lacking in Mr. Bush’s first seven years in office.

General Jones, a French-speaking Marine officer seasoned in diplomacy, stepped down in December as NATO’s supreme commander. Since then he has led the energy institute at the United States Chamber of Commerce. He also led a Congressional commission that reported in September on the shortcomings of Iraq’s national police.

Ms. Rice said he would oversee “the full range of security issues” for the Israelis and Palestinians, as well as security cooperation with neighboring countries and American efforts to provide assistance to the Palestinian Authority.

“Any lasting peace must be built on solid foundations of security,” she said. “Israelis must be confident that a Palestinian state will increase their security, not detract from it. Palestinians must be capable of standing on their own and policing their territory, and countries in the region must be invested in the success of this state-building effort, for their own security depends on it, too.”

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More evidence that things are not going "Right".
Afghan Carnage continues

Afghan suicide bomber kills 35

The attack comes one day after Afghanistan’s deadliest bombing since the fall of the Taliban in 2001. More than 100 people were killed by a suicide bomber outside Kandahar city on Sunday.

Change in tactics?

The back-to-back bombings could indicate a change in tactics by militants. Though attacks occasionally have killed dozens, insurgents in Afghanistan have generally sought to avoid targeting civilians.

The country saw a record level of violence last year, and analysts and military leaders here have predicted that 2008 could turn even deadlier.

Again, what does that have to do with anything? But, to answer this claim, two bombings do not prove that we are loosing.

Did you miss the following quote in the article I referenced?

The country saw a record level of violence last year, and analysts and military leaders here have predicted that 2008 could turn even deadlier.

If you can explain to me how a record level of violence can be interpreted as winning I would like to know? Unless, of course, it was our military using overwhelming force against our enemy than I would agree we are winning. However, when the opposite is occurring I beg to differ.

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One more thing, concerning the proper way to establish and pay for military bases in foreign lands that were once our enemies, a close examination of the bases on Okinawa, Japan is the place to start, not Iraq or Afghanistan.

How about you explain what exactly I should look for instead of throwing out some obscure reference.

I was pointing you in the right direction. Okinawa, Japan is not an obscure reference. The fact that the majority of Americans don't know the vital role these bases play in our national defense only shows how ignorant the average U.S. citizen has become when it comes to national self-defense.

The following base is of particular importance.

Futenma Marine Corps Air Station, Okinawa, Japan

Thanks for the citation.

I guess I misunderstood your intentions.

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The problem isn't that Jihadists are running countries but that Jihadists are willing to attack Americans. We can take all the actions necessary to prevent them from being able and willing to attack us without taking over their whole country.

I agree with you in that respect. My problem is that most Islamic countries tend to fund and shelter these Jihadist countries. If nothing else, I consider that nothing short of an act of war.

It is an act of war. We should put states on notice that funding and sheltering terrorists is military agression and we will retaliate in kind.

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I have several questions.

1. What is the reason for why we should make Iraq a state?

I think the best way to answer this question is to answer your other two questions.

2. If we conquer them what war are we going to expand and why?

The war on Islamo fascism. It is obvious that countries such as Iran and Saudi Arabia are supporters of the organizations that have no other intention other than to destroy all of western civilization. To properly deal with this problem, we must attack any country that supports our destruction through these organizations. This will at least stop them from getting the arms and money they need to run. And, with these countries under our control, we can use their land, supplies, and people to our advantage. Also, this will prevent further governments from coming to be and sending aid to these organizations. Also, this alleviates us from our "responsibility" from having to form a government in their country, since we can just place our own government in its place. Meaning our laws, morals, and way of life will also be implemented in their society. And, if it is attack by Iran, we have more than just cause to obliterate them as well. I see it doing nothing but helping our stance in this war.

3. How is conquering Iraq and making it a state going to make it easier for the United States to defend itself against its enemies, particularly Iran and North Korea?

North Korea is a different war that should be staged in South Korea. I think I previously explained Iran in the last question, but if you need me to say more, all you need to do is ask. :)

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The problem isn't that Jihadists are running countries but that Jihadists are willing to attack Americans. We can take all the actions necessary to prevent them from being able and willing to attack us without taking over their whole country.

I agree with you in that respect. My problem is that most Islamic countries tend to fund and shelter these Jihadist countries. If nothing else, I consider that nothing short of an act of war.

It is an act of war. We should put states on notice that funding and sheltering terrorists is military agression and we will retaliate in kind.

I am in utter agreement. If only we were man enough to say "Stop or Mecca will be nothing more than a pile of rubble (where would build a supermall over :)).

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If you can explain to me how a record level of violence can be interpreted as winning I would like to know? Unless, of course, it was our military using overwhelming force against our enemy than I would agree we are winning. However, when the opposite is occurring I beg to differ.

This record level of violence pales in comparison to previous wars. Violence happens in war, it is something we will have to accept. If they were taking back territories, I would agree with you. But we have maintained our ground and continue to.

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I am in utter agreement. If only we were man enough to say "Stop or Mecca will be nothing more than a pile of rubble (where would build a supermall over :)).

And, for this supermall, I purpose we put Victoria's Secret along side a Hot Topic store. Possibly a Jewish and Christian store as well?

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2. If we conquer them what war are we going to expand and why?

The war on Islamo fascism. It is obvious that countries such as Iran and Saudi Arabia are supporters of the organizations that have no other intention other than to destroy all of western civilization. To properly deal with this problem, we must attack any country that supports our destruction through these organizations. This will at least stop them from getting the arms and money they need to run. And, with these countries under our control, we can use their land, supplies, and people to our advantage. Also, this will prevent further governments from coming to be and sending aid to these organizations. Also, this alleviates us from our "responsibility" from having to form a government in their country, since we can just place our own government in its place. Meaning our laws, morals, and way of life will also be implemented in their society. And, if it is attack by Iran, we have more than just cause to obliterate them as well. I see it doing nothing but helping our stance in this war.

We already have bases in Saudi Arabia. Also, we did not go into Iraq to put our laws, morals and way of life into their society. We brought 'democracy' to their people so that they could set up what government suited them best, which is based on the Koran. Take some time to identify and learn the differences between how we 'conquered' Japan and brought 'democracy' to Iraq.

I just found this interesting link concerning Futenma.

Okinawans want bases to leave.

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If you can explain to me how a record level of violence can be interpreted as winning I would like to know? Unless, of course, it was our military using overwhelming force against our enemy than I would agree we are winning. However, when the opposite is occurring I beg to differ.

This record level of violence pales in comparison to previous wars. Violence happens in war, it is something we will have to accept. If they were taking back territories, I would agree with you. But we have maintained our ground and continue to.

Let's put this war in proper historical context. We are fighting a weak enemy who does not have the means to take back territory. We conquered Japan, a far more formidable enemy, in less time. The only thing holding us back from winning this war and conquering our enemy is the moral courage to use overwhelming force.

I am going to bow out for a while because I think this conversation has gotten off topic in this thread. My hope is that the "What Went Right?" series gets finished and then I will have more to say on this manner.

I can't remember if I mentioned the following book in this thread. But the following book is of interest to this thread.

The Sling and The Stone: On War in the 21st Century by Colonel Thomas X. Hammes

I will explain its importance when the "What Went Right" series is finished.

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If you can explain to me how a record level of violence can be interpreted as winning I would like to know? Unless, of course, it was our military using overwhelming force against our enemy than I would agree we are winning. However, when the opposite is occurring I beg to differ.

This record level of violence pales in comparison to previous wars. Violence happens in war, it is something we will have to accept. If they were taking back territories, I would agree with you. But we have maintained our ground and continue to.

Let's put this war in proper historical context. We are fighting a weak enemy who does not have the means to take back territory. We conquered Japan, a far more formidable enemy, in less time. The only thing holding us back from winning this war and conquering our enemy is the moral courage to use overwhelming force.

I am going to bow out for a while because I think this conversation has gotten off topic in this thread. My hope is that the "What Went Right?" series gets finished and then I will have more to say on this manner.

I can't remember if I mentioned the following book in this thread. But the following book is of interest to this thread.

The Sling and The Stone: On War in the 21st Century by Colonel Thomas X. Hammes

I will explain its importance when the "What Went Right" series is finished.

Agreed, I will create a new topic so this post can keep up with our debate without going to far off topic.

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