T Nation

US Commander Makes Televised Apology

Not that killing civilians is a good thing, but christ, aren’t we at war here? Doesn’t this shit happen?

I don’t recall Eisenhower apologizing to the Germans after Dresden.

http://www1.voanews.com/english/news/asia/US-Commander-Makes-Televised-Apology-for-Afghan-Deaths-in-NATO-Strike-85056457.html

I guess the idea is to differentiate ourselves from the terrorists, but I agree with you. I think that “hearts and minds” strategy sucks. The locals need to have the fear in them that if they harbor our enemies, they put themselves and their families at risk. Insurgent goes in a house, blow up said house. Insurgents take over a town, B-52s remove said town. Pretty soon the doors will be closed to them.

[quote]HG Thrower wrote:
I guess the idea is to differentiate ourselves from the terrorists, but I agree with you. I think that “hearts and minds” strategy sucks. The locals need to have the fear in them that if they harbor our enemies, they put themselves and their families at risk. Insurgent goes in a house, blow up said house. Insurgents take over a town, B-52s remove said town. Pretty soon the doors will be closed to them.[/quote]

It may work in the short term, but long term that will just fuel terrorist ideologies and probably alienate us from the rest of the world. The religion of Islam and its states are going through a civil war, much like what Europe went through during the Protestant Reformation and its war of religion which ultimately is how the Enlightenment and the French Revolution gave birth to individual rights and freedom. Islam is similarly split with extremists whose traditional ways have failed them and they’ve resorted to attacking the industrialized countries and have used our way of life as justification to say we’ve insulted God ect. ect… ultimately their goal is to unify Islam into the Empire which it once was.

Arguably, the path to peace lies in setting up a democratic government, which as stated before is a long and bloody process and then setting up interdependence between our two countries to gain american support which will come in handy in order to take down the remaining meritocracies in the Middle East. The key will be in setting up a govn’t and economy that is interdependent with ours.

It’s the strategy. I think this part will work just fine…it’s the “government in a box” I’m worried about.

[quote]HG Thrower wrote:
I guess the idea is to differentiate ourselves from the terrorists, but I agree with you. I think that “hearts and minds” strategy sucks. The locals need to have the fear in them that if they harbor our enemies, they put themselves and their families at risk. Insurgent goes in a house, blow up said house. Insurgents take over a town, B-52s remove said town. Pretty soon the doors will be closed to them.[/quote]

It saddens me that a civilized man can think this way.
I’m gonna go on a limb and say you’ve never been there, and probably never seen a war?

The beauty of the USA is that everybody can ‘make it’. The fault is that every moron being born there thinks they are better then everybody else, because they can make it. You are no better then those people you think about killing, you were just lucky to be born under better circumstances. Under a constitution that says all men are created equal. And yet you would just genocide whole cities?

And that put aside, how long do you think you can fight the whole world, 96 percent of which is non-American? What will happen when the US is no longer number one? Would you like that some fucker in China in 20-years-time justifies the destruction of your hometown like this?

No wonder the world is fucked up. It’s full of people like you.

^^^x1000

I agree. The war in Afghanistan is nothing like WWII, despite our collective “want” for it to be the same kind of black and white GOOD versus EVIL conflict WWII was. Our goal in Afghanistan is to actually CREATE a working, more-or-less-democratic, friendly country out of a back-water region, who’s boarders were arbitrary drawn by Brits and Russians. If body count was what it was about, we could just carpet-bomb the entire country: it’s not.

[quote]MaliMedved wrote:

[quote]HG Thrower wrote:
I guess the idea is to differentiate ourselves from the terrorists, but I agree with you. I think that “hearts and minds” strategy sucks. The locals need to have the fear in them that if they harbor our enemies, they put themselves and their families at risk. Insurgent goes in a house, blow up said house. Insurgents take over a town, B-52s remove said town. Pretty soon the doors will be closed to them.[/quote]

It saddens me that a civilized man can think this way.
I’m gonna go on a limb and say you’ve never been there, and probably never seen a war?

The beauty of the USA is that everybody can ‘make it’. The fault is that every moron being born there thinks they are better then everybody else, because they can make it. You are no better then those people you think about killing, you were just lucky to be born under better circumstances. Under a constitution that says all men are created equal. And yet you would just genocide whole cities?

And that put aside, how long do you think you can fight the whole world, 96 percent of which is non-American? What will happen when the US is no longer number one? Would you like that some fucker in China in 20-years-time justifies the destruction of your hometown like this?

No wonder the world is fucked up. It’s full of people like you.[/quote]

Actually, I served 6 years. However, I did serve as an ICBM operator, so perhaps my concept of scale is a bit skewed from most. I did have to be somewhat comfortable with the idea of turning my keys and torching cities.

That being said, I still contend that it is a valid argument that this particular fight could be prosecuted more fiercely. The one thing that has changed modern warfare is the video camera. The general populace can now SEE what happens instead of just hearing about it. Read some history. Standard practice in war was to destroy your enemy TOTALLY. Even up through WWII this was commonplace. We firebombed Dresden and Tokyo, ostensibly to attack certain strategic targets, but more indirectly to drain the enemy’s will to fight. Sorry if you don’t like it, but this is how wars work. And make no mistake, if we are at war with the Chinese in 20 years as in your “example”, they wouldn’t hold back. In fact, only the US and western countries in general make any attempt to avoid civilian casualties.

Sorry if I’m not “civilized” enough for you, but your viewpoint is a bit naieve.

[quote]Spartiates wrote:
^^^x1000

I agree. The war in Afghanistan is nothing like WWII, despite our collective “want” for it to be the same kind of black and white GOOD versus EVIL conflict WWII was. Our goal in Afghanistan is to actually CREATE a working, more-or-less-democratic, friendly country out of a back-water region, who’s boarders were arbitrary drawn by Brits and Russians. If body count was what it was about, we could just carpet-bomb the entire country: it’s not.[/quote]

I never said carpet bomb the country. I did say take off the kid gloves. The only thing that makes this war not “black and white” is the fact that the enemy don’t wear uniforms and hide among the population. I offered a solution to that problem. Harsh? Yes. But not harsh in comparison to the prosecution of almost EVERY other war in history. War sucks. Refusing to take the steps needed to win merely prolongs it.

[quote]HG Thrower wrote:

[quote]MaliMedved wrote:

[quote]HG Thrower wrote:
I guess the idea is to differentiate ourselves from the terrorists, but I agree with you. I think that “hearts and minds” strategy sucks. The locals need to have the fear in them that if they harbor our enemies, they put themselves and their families at risk. Insurgent goes in a house, blow up said house. Insurgents take over a town, B-52s remove said town. Pretty soon the doors will be closed to them.[/quote]

It saddens me that a civilized man can think this way.
I’m gonna go on a limb and say you’ve never been there, and probably never seen a war?

The beauty of the USA is that everybody can ‘make it’. The fault is that every moron being born there thinks they are better then everybody else, because they can make it. You are no better then those people you think about killing, you were just lucky to be born under better circumstances. Under a constitution that says all men are created equal. And yet you would just genocide whole cities?

And that put aside, how long do you think you can fight the whole world, 96 percent of which is non-American? What will happen when the US is no longer number one? Would you like that some fucker in China in 20-years-time justifies the destruction of your hometown like this?

No wonder the world is fucked up. It’s full of people like you.[/quote]

Actually, I served 6 years. However, I did serve as an ICBM operator, so perhaps my concept of scale is a bit skewed from most. I did have to be somewhat comfortable with the idea of turning my keys and torching cities.

That being said, I still contend that it is a valid argument that this particular fight could be prosecuted more fiercely. The one thing that has changed modern warfare is the video camera. The general populace can now SEE what happens instead of just hearing about it. Read some history. Standard practice in war was to destroy your enemy TOTALLY. Even up through WWII this was commonplace. We firebombed Dresden and Tokyo, ostensibly to attack certain strategic targets, but more indirectly to drain the enemy’s will to fight. Sorry if you don’t like it, but this is how wars work. And make no mistake, if we are at war with the Chinese in 20 years as in your “example”, they wouldn’t hold back. In fact, only the US and western countries in general make any attempt to avoid civilian casualties.

Sorry if I’m not “civilized” enough for you, but your viewpoint is a bit naieve. [/quote]

I could pick this post apart but I’ll only say that if the Chinese and Americans go to war in 20 years when China becomes the most powerful superpower, not only will both sides go to great lengths to avoid war because they are both so interdependent upon each other in a global economy but its in American interest that China do well because its leaders will not try to pick a fight when their nation is prospering.

[quote]FightinIrish26 wrote:
Not that killing civilians is a good thing, but christ, aren’t we at war here? Doesn’t this shit happen?

I don’t recall Eisenhower apologizing to the Germans after Dresden.

http://www1.voanews.com/english/news/asia/US-Commander-Makes-Televised-Apology-for-Afghan-Deaths-in-NATO-Strike-85056457.html[/quote]
It’s really not that surprising. The offensive is mainly for the civilians, not to hunt down the Taliban, though they are doing plenty of that.

Let’s see if I have your post straight: your point is that if China and the US go to war, both sides will go to great lengths to avoid war.

As a rebuttal of some kind to a statement that if there were a war, the Chicoms would not exhibit the restraints that leftists insist upon for the US.

I don’t quite get how your statement rebuts that, but OK.

[quote]MaliMedved wrote:

[quote]HG Thrower wrote:
I guess the idea is to differentiate ourselves from the terrorists, but I agree with you. I think that “hearts and minds” strategy sucks. The locals need to have the fear in them that if they harbor our enemies, they put themselves and their families at risk. Insurgent goes in a house, blow up said house. Insurgents take over a town, B-52s remove said town. Pretty soon the doors will be closed to them.[/quote]

It saddens me that a civilized man can think this way.
I’m gonna go on a limb and say you’ve never been there, and probably never seen a war?

The beauty of the USA is that everybody can ‘make it’. The fault is that every moron being born there thinks they are better then everybody else, because they can make it. You are no better then those people you think about killing, you were just lucky to be born under better circumstances. Under a constitution that says all men are created equal. And yet you would just genocide whole cities?

And that put aside, how long do you think you can fight the whole world, 96 percent of which is non-American? What will happen when the US is no longer number one? Would you like that some fucker in China in 20-years-time justifies the destruction of your hometown like this?

No wonder the world is fucked up. It’s full of people like you.[/quote]

welcome to the Politics and World Issue forum. Never cease to amaze me. We are stuck between guys who thinks they are justified to kill in our name because they have a little uniform and who thinks we should all bow to our flag. Well let me say right now: Fuck Canada, Fuck Quebec, Fuck USA and fuck every country in the world. I am an human just like every one here, not a Quebecois or a Canadian or anything else.

thank you tnation

Stanley McChrystal is a “leftist?”

[quote]Bill Roberts wrote:
Let’s see if I have your post straight: your point is that if China and the US go to war, both sides will go to great lengths to avoid war.

As a rebuttal of some kind to a statement that if there were a war, the Chicoms would not exhibit the restraints that leftists insist upon for the US.

I don’t quite get how your statement rebuts that, but OK.[/quote]

From an economic point of view, our economies are interdependent so that unrestricted warfare is both unprofitable and would alienate China from the other industrialized countries… A war that isn’t strictly on battlefields or attacking the military therefore hurts nations now.

[quote]HG Thrower wrote:

Actually, I served 6 years. However, I did serve as an ICBM operator, so perhaps my concept of scale is a bit skewed from most. I did have to be somewhat comfortable with the idea of turning my keys and torching cities.

That being said, I still contend that it is a valid argument that this particular fight could be prosecuted more fiercely. The one thing that has changed modern warfare is the video camera. The general populace can now SEE what happens instead of just hearing about it. Read some history. Standard practice in war was to destroy your enemy TOTALLY. Even up through WWII this was commonplace. We firebombed Dresden and Tokyo, ostensibly to attack certain strategic targets, but more indirectly to drain the enemy’s will to fight. Sorry if you don’t like it, but this is how wars work. And make no mistake, if we are at war with the Chinese in 20 years as in your “example”, they wouldn’t hold back. In fact, only the US and western countries in general make any attempt to avoid civilian casualties.

Sorry if I’m not “civilized” enough for you, but your viewpoint is a bit naieve. [/quote]

…Not familiar with US army branches so if somebody could explain ‘ICBM’? Were you physically in Afganistan?

That aside, please don’t tell me my viewpoint is naive - By the time I was 16, I’ve seen four different wars, and a coop d’ etat ( if that’s how you spell it)
You turned your keys, and I was under the US ‘tomahawks’ When I was 11, my mom would wake me and my cousins from our beds to stand in a door frame if the house gets bombed, because there was no bomb shelter in a 5 mile radius.

Did I hate Americans? NO. Was I a threat to anybody in the USA? FUCK NO!
In fact, I grew up and visited your country and had a time of my life and everybody were really, really friendly.
But that didn’t help much to the people who died.

Thing is, you guys claim to be better then the barbarians or fascists. So, be better. There is no reason for massacres, it won’t help your cause, so DON’T DO them, and people will help you. If I was an Afghan, trust me that the only thing that could possibly turn me into your enemy is your ‘fuck let’s just bomb whole towns’ opinion put to action.

The apology like this, can only help.

And not that it matters, but I’m no muslim.
I’m white, college educated, raised as a protestant, and grew up on US cartoons, movies and music. Sponge Bob 4eva!

[quote]MaliMedved wrote:

[quote]HG Thrower wrote:

Actually, I served 6 years. However, I did serve as an ICBM operator, so perhaps my concept of scale is a bit skewed from most. I did have to be somewhat comfortable with the idea of turning my keys and torching cities.

That being said, I still contend that it is a valid argument that this particular fight could be prosecuted more fiercely. The one thing that has changed modern warfare is the video camera. The general populace can now SEE what happens instead of just hearing about it. Read some history. Standard practice in war was to destroy your enemy TOTALLY. Even up through WWII this was commonplace. We firebombed Dresden and Tokyo, ostensibly to attack certain strategic targets, but more indirectly to drain the enemy’s will to fight. Sorry if you don’t like it, but this is how wars work. And make no mistake, if we are at war with the Chinese in 20 years as in your “example”, they wouldn’t hold back. In fact, only the US and western countries in general make any attempt to avoid civilian casualties.

Sorry if I’m not “civilized” enough for you, but your viewpoint is a bit naieve. [/quote]

…Not familiar with US army branches so if somebody could explain ‘ICBM’? Were you physically in Afganistan?

[/quote]

Think missiles.

Very, very big ones.

^capable of delivering multiple independent re-entry vehicles (MIRV) filled with nukes.

In think the Trident Missile, which can be delivered from a submarine, can fit 25 nuclear warheads within its cone.

[quote]MaliMedved wrote:

[quote]HG Thrower wrote:

Actually, I served 6 years. However, I did serve as an ICBM operator, so perhaps my concept of scale is a bit skewed from most. I did have to be somewhat comfortable with the idea of turning my keys and torching cities.

That being said, I still contend that it is a valid argument that this particular fight could be prosecuted more fiercely. The one thing that has changed modern warfare is the video camera. The general populace can now SEE what happens instead of just hearing about it. Read some history. Standard practice in war was to destroy your enemy TOTALLY. Even up through WWII this was commonplace. We firebombed Dresden and Tokyo, ostensibly to attack certain strategic targets, but more indirectly to drain the enemy’s will to fight. Sorry if you don’t like it, but this is how wars work. And make no mistake, if we are at war with the Chinese in 20 years as in your “example”, they wouldn’t hold back. In fact, only the US and western countries in general make any attempt to avoid civilian casualties.

Sorry if I’m not “civilized” enough for you, but your viewpoint is a bit naieve. [/quote]

…Not familiar with US army branches so if somebody could explain ‘ICBM’? Were you physically in Afganistan?

That aside, please don’t tell me my viewpoint is naive - By the time I was 16, I’ve seen four different wars, and a coop d’ etat ( if that’s how you spell it)
You turned your keys, and I was under the US ‘tomahawks’ When I was 11, my mom would wake me and my cousins from our beds to stand in a door frame if the house gets bombed, because there was no bomb shelter in a 5 mile radius.

Did I hate Americans? NO. Was I a threat to anybody in the USA? FUCK NO!
In fact, I grew up and visited your country and had a time of my life and everybody were really, really friendly.
But that didn’t help much to the people who died.

Thing is, you guys claim to be better then the barbarians or fascists. So, be better. There is no reason for massacres, it won’t help your cause, so DON’T DO them, and people will help you. If I was an Afghan, trust me that the only thing that could possibly turn me into your enemy is your ‘fuck let’s just bomb whole towns’ opinion put to action.

The apology like this, can only help.
[/quote]
My point is this: If we are going to go to war, fucking go to war. War isn’t a pleasant experience, nor should it be. I’m not suggesting arbitrarily targeting civilians, but when the enemy hides among civlians, and uses civilians as a de-facto supply chain, civilian casualties MUST be inevitable. Otherwise, there is no way to kill the enemy, which is the goal of warfare. The U.S. hasn’t had a real victory since WWII. Political hand-tying in Vietnam led to our withdrawl, even though we didn’t lose ONE SINGLE ENGAGEMENT on the field of battle. But the political restrictions caused the overall effort to fail. In my opinion we are looking at the same outcome now. Restrict targets, and the enemy hides in the restricted areas. Pretty simple really.

Regarding your point that you didn’t hate the USA, great. There were many Germans in WWII who didn’t hate the USA, or UK, or France. But they also didn’t do anything to oppose the Nazis. And they died, or fled. This is a reality of war, which you should know personally. If the civilians can’t or won’t drive out the extremist elements in their own areas, they always have the option to flee. I agree that this sucks for them, but war isn’t a series of honorable duels between pre-agreed combatants. Most especially when the enemy makes every effort to be virtually indistiguishable from the general populace. Where is your outrage about terrorists essentially using civilians as human shields?

[quote]FightinIrish26 wrote:
Not that killing civilians is a good thing, but christ, aren’t we at war here? Doesn’t this shit happen?

I don’t recall Eisenhower apologizing to the Germans after Dresden.

http://www1.voanews.com/english/news/asia/US-Commander-Makes-Televised-Apology-for-Afghan-Deaths-in-NATO-Strike-85056457.html[/quote]

You are absolutely correct!