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Can anyone tell me WHY we are still at war?

Discussion in 'Tilted Philosophy, Politics, and Economics' started by pan6467, Aug 8, 2012.

  1. Baraka_Guru

    Baraka_Guru Möderätor Staff Member


    This is where I'll refer back to the comparison between the U.S. and Canada in the 20th century, especially post-WWII.

    Canada for the most part ties its military operations to the U.N. and NATO. If you take a look at some of the unilateral decisions made by the government in military matters, you will also find heavy public opinion pushing for restraint, limitations, and a quick endpoint. We didn't do more than provide support in Iraq in large part due to public pressure. We're withdrawing from Afghanistan in large part due to public pressure. While many Canadians supported the Afghanistan mission in principle, criticism abounds in terms of the operations and when they were to end.

    Historically, Canadians view themselves as peacekeepers, not peacemakers. Afghanistan is rare in terms of the function of the mission, the magnitude, and the duration, which is why it was high on our radar. We support things like Kosovo and Bosnia, and we wish more was done in Rwanda. However, when it comes to situations that fall out of the purview of the U.N. and NATO, we get restless, we get critical, we sometimes get angry.

    We don't have this same issue of empire that America does. We view our military not as a force to be reckoned with, but as a force to ensure the safekeeping and security of those who need it. If you look at much of what our military does, it's just that: security, infrastructure, support, etc. And it's not just because our budget is a fraction of America's. We can fight when we want to, and we've proved it on a number of occasions. The difference is in our respective national identities. We view the world differently. We want to be represented differently.

    Is Canada perfect? No. Am I more comfortable with what we do compared to what America does? Hell yes. The same goes for several other nations with similar mandates regarding their military, many of whom Canada works with on a regular basis. That includes America. However, America often goes it alone, and when they do, I always hope Canada keeps its distance. I, for the record, am glad we didn't go into Iraq as we did in Afghanistan. It was the Coalition of the Willing. Canadians simply weren't willing.
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2012
    • Like Like x 2
  2. Random McRandom

    Random McRandom Starry Eyed

    Greed seems to be the correct answer here...

    Also, I tend to follow the sentiment of H.G. Wells If we don't end war, war will end US

    That's as far as I'm going in this discussion...it's not one I can comfortably set my teeth into and keep some sanity.
  3. Baraka_Guru

    Baraka_Guru Möderätor Staff Member

    There is no instance of a nation benefitting from prolonged warfare.
    Sun Tzu, The Art of War, Chapter II. Waging War, aphorism 6​
  4. Tully Mars

    Tully Mars Very Tilted

    Yucatan, Mexico
    The nation does not benefit. Businesses supplying the tools of war benefit greatly.
    • Like Like x 1
  5. Baraka_Guru

    Baraka_Guru Möderätor Staff Member

    There's the rub.

    America is a corporatocracy.
  6. rogue49

    rogue49 Tech Kung Fu Artist Staff Member

    As opposed to all the other perfect government culture types in the world that never do any military or police action... (/sarcasm)

    Some benefit, some are hindered.
    Some of have both.
    Some aren't affected at all.
    Companies and otherwise are like that.

    And just as I'm opposed to one extreme of a debate (war-monger), I'm opposed to the other...which you're taking here sir.

    There is good, there is bad.
    There is all points in-between.
    Sometimes you win by losing, sometimes you lose by winning....and all points in-between.
    EVERYTHING counts.
    It is NOT that simple.

    Would it be nice??? Yes, I would love it.
    All of feeding each other, holding hands and singing "kumbaya".
    And the same fuckers who did that back in the 60's are running the companies that you're protesting against now.
    OMG! reality.
    It flows, it changes...

    Yes, America is not perfect, we have our faults, our history is not pure.
    But PLEASE stop trying to make us into demons & goblins...boogymen.

    Or do me a favor, why don't you harp on Russia, France, England, Germany, Turkey, India, Israel, Iran, Canada...
    or ANY of the other countries that current participate actively in the global theater...including military action...and some periodic aggressive stances.

    And next time you see ANY injustice in the world.
    Do NOT call America to help.
    Because that may require us to use bullets & bombs because nice words and curt letters don't work as often as we would like. (just ask the UN)
    • Like Like x 1
  7. Tully Mars

    Tully Mars Very Tilted

    Yucatan, Mexico
    I'd be more convince with comments like this if the US didn't spend more on it's military then the next 15-20 countries... combined.
    • Like Like x 1
  8. Baraka_Guru

    Baraka_Guru Möderätor Staff Member


    I have little idea what in hell you're talking about.

    I suspect you've succumbed to binary thinking.

    But I'm really not sure.

    However, you seem to have misunderstood my point, which might explain why you've mischaracterized my position.

    Do me a favour and stop putting words in my mouth.
  9. rogue49

    rogue49 Tech Kung Fu Artist Staff Member

    Please tell me how I'm doing binary thinking.
    Please tell me how I'm putting words into your mouth.
    Please reiterate your point, perhaps I am confused...I'd like to clarify.
    --- merged: Aug 25, 2012 at 6:00 PM ---
    Yes, this is true.
    And I do wish we'd cut our military spending significantly...it is a wasted. (at least 25%)
    The military organization is very inefficient is its contractual agreements.
    I'd like to streamline and optimize it's organization, logistics and appropriations.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 1, 2012
  10. Baraka_Guru

    Baraka_Guru Möderätor Staff Member

    For starters, don't assume a criticism is a suggestion that the opposite is true or preferable, especially when you don't have a lot to go on.

    I posted a Sun Tzu quote about how a nation cannot benefit from prolonged warfare. Tully Mars mentioned that businesses supplying the tools of war, however, benefit greatly. I followed that by saying America is a corporatocracy.

    This for some reason led you to believe my position is extreme. You somehow think that I'm making bogeymen out of America and that I believe utopian karaoke is where it's at.

    Why? How? Why not go on what I post instead of conjecture? I do have a short-term memory, so maybe I'm missing something.

    Also, I'm not going to harp on other nations because this is a thread about why the U.S. is at war, so please drop the tu quoque. This is the second time you've tried this in the thread. Is that your way of justifying America's militarism? That doesn't quite account for America's disproportion, though, does it?

    If you want to talk about other nations, at least make it relevant.
  11. rogue49

    rogue49 Tech Kung Fu Artist Staff Member

    But I do have a lot to go on.
    There is a pattern throughout the thread into making America a war-mongering tyranical nation.

    The thread is about why we are still at war.
    Which is a frustrating situation.
    But still there can be a legit and serious discussion as to the reason, without the rhetoric.
    And I discussed this honestly as to WHY the U.S. is still at war in Afghanistan. (not anywhere else currently...if I'm reading the news correctly)

    Your tone often has been to see America from without
    as a nation that is filled to the brim with less than positive aspects.
    And I've seen it often in other threads.
    Perhaps you may be unaware of the anger that is thrown by yourself to your nation to the south.

    Now as I'm a US native, I do realize we are far from perfect and some can be arrogant
    and we have made some bad choices in the past.
    And yes, our spending on military is significant. (which I've stated I want lower)

    While I appreciate your liberal and progressive stances that you often take,
    as is your right...and are often correct from my perspective.

    I do take exception at making us into a beast.
    Similar to Russia and Germany of old, from what it sounds.

    I asked you to demonstrate examples of other nations, to show you may be aware of their own complex natures. Not just the US "horrid" face.
    Israel's war with the Palestians
    France's attack on Libya
    England's war on Granada
    and so on...

    But no, you continue to harp with some disgust at America in general,
    seemingly sounding like you are blaming it for all the world's woes and wars.
    Or believe it or not...that's what it sounds like...or reads like.

    Sun Tzu's statement was in war in general,
    which I agreed with to a certain extent. (I like Sun Tzu)
    I also agreed with his general statement about business and war...which can be applied to most post-industrial nations.

    But then you immediately turned it into a hit on America.
    Basically implying all our corporations are supplying the wars.
    As all we are is a lowly weapons dealers.

    That I took offense at.
    And considering the pattern and tone I've seen projected with repetition...
    I said something against it.

    So please look to yourself, in your self-righteousness.
    Before you say that I'm confused and making false perspectives.

    Yes, some Americans can be accused of wrapping themselves in the flag. (something I dislike)
    But there are other ideals that you can also wrap yourself up in.
    I am not one of them. I see things for what they are. Not symbols, not ideals.

    I know our faults.
    Do you know your own?
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2012
  12. roachboy

    roachboy Very Tilted

    so wait. the united states spends more on military procurements than the next 10 or so countries in the world combined. that expenditure is a basic feature of the reality of conservative economic policy in the united states---what they used to call "military keynesianism" back in the reagan period before pointing out the obvious about this sort of thing fell out of fashion in the press, something that coincided with its dropping to its collective knees in front of state power...you know, the "vietnam syndrome" and all that bullshit...but whatever. the reason there is permanent war follows from policy choices that have resulted in the united states never standing down from the cold war. that was a choice. it was a very bad choice. but profit is king, over-riding pesky things like ethics or making a better society and all that touchy-feely stuff.

    it is of no consequence what other countries do, really, given that the united states, of its own collective volition, spends that obscene an amount on the military. to see the consequences of it, you'd have to actually look at things like international weapons transfers and wonder the extent to which the united states, in order to sell its over-production, supports the creation of parallel types of military systems in other countries, encourages the diversion of vast amounts of money that could be spent making socieities that are more equitable--and stable--and so on.

    it also is of no consequence whether what happens on the other side of the american ideological mirror is something that makes you feel good about amurica or not---though i don't see how it could---but that's a significant aspect of the reality that the american empire has participated in creating and maintaining because it is profitable. period. it's an ugly reality, that----and it's unnecessary except for the decisions concerning allocations of resources and political priorities that enable them. and for those, there is no-one, anywhere, to blame but the united states. you know, the people who have no option but to vote for one or another party that supports the same vile way of operating--o sure there are difference of language---but consider the relation of the obama administration to the bush people on matters of heimat security and foreign policy. same shit, different words.

    this is why, despite alot, i still hold out some hope for the occupation. it's at least posing another position. but i digress.
  13. Baraka_Guru

    Baraka_Guru Möderätor Staff Member


    You're doing it again. You're making leaps, and you're coming to conclusions that are grossly mischaracterizing my positions.

    Without the rhetoric? Are you prepared for that?

    About Afghanistan: Was this the thing about the nukes? America went into Afghanistan because of the nukes? We could talk about specifics, but do you not see any patterns? Any underlying culture or system that supports warfare in general? We really could talk about these things, but I'm still concerned about your responses to me.

    Anger? I hope you don't view my criticisms as anger. If I were to post in anger, people would know it. Such posts would be rather uncharacteristic of my usual stuff indeed. Why not talk about my criticisms themselves for what they are?

    Did you just pull a Godwin? How did I make America into a beast? Please, I'd like to know.

    I'm beginning to suspect that you aren't that interested in talking about my posts directly.

    Seriously, where are you getting this shit? Are you confusing me with someone else?

    Conjecture: it's a problem.

    Okay, something I recognize, but you've done that conjecture thing again. You at least jumped to a conclusion. How did I imply that all your corporations are supplying the wars? That you are all just lowly weapons dealers? That's a pretty huge leap....

    I'm sorry you took offense to it. If you misunderstood me, then that's a problem we can clear up. Otherwise, you're thinking too much, and you're running away with what I'm saying and turning it into something else.

    If you want to go ahead and point out my self-righteousness, I promise to take a look at it. All I ask of you is to at least try to cooperate with me in terms of overcoming your confusion about my positions and overcoming the false conclusions you're coming to.

    Like beasts and bogeymen?

    Oh, but I do! It's a cross I bear every day. I just don't see how that applies to this thread.

    I really don't.
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2012
  14. rogue49

    rogue49 Tech Kung Fu Artist Staff Member

    1. If I'm making leaps, clarify your position.

    2. No, US did not get into Afghanistan because of nukes, period.
    They got in because GW Bush's administration and the country was in a frenzy after 911
    and they saw Bin Laden and Al Queda in there, even though most of the 911 terrorist were Saudis.
    Likely not the best of reasons to go to war.
    But the nation was pissed, "for some reason"...
    And having that administration's neo-cons at the helm did not help the agenda.

    However, that's not the question on the table.
    It's why we're STILL at war.

    With the Obama administration taking over...there's a different method & reasoning.
    Certainly a different onus on why to take military action.
    He's not a neo-con, but he doesn't hesitate to use it.
    And from what I know and have experienced,
    he's not a war-monger...not into global expansion,
    not into war for making money,
    but his pattern is to leverage the military to strike at literal American enemies
    and in this case, prevent the expansion of nukes.

    There are many books that delve into this and backup this perspective.

    See this is how to rationally talk about the topic at hand,
    without rhetoric and expanding into ambiguous correlations.

    3. I am noting your criticisms for what I'm reading.
    And the pattern and tone is seemingly to make America into a war-mongering beheamoth.
    Perhaps you are unaware of it...perhaps I can make you aware of it.

    4. A horde of Nazies to the nation south of you, all led by wanna be Hitlers.
    (see, that's a good example of Godwin's Law...NOW I'm using it for a pointed exaggeration, not as before)

    5. See, I couldn't help but jump to a conclusion.
    You put your statement about America being a corporatocracy.
    Right under a quote on ongoing wars,
    and under another's statement on US military budget size
    along with your previous pattern of harping on America "the bad"
    within a thread about America still being in war
    after many inflamatory statements implying America is a war-mongering nation
    After a blanket open brief implication as you left in the reply.
    How could I NOT leap to a conclusion???

    6. If I'm misreading your intent.
    Then please clarify your position again.
    Because everything leading up to this seems to be implying that you see the US as a HUGE tyrannical meglo-military nation.

    This is like saying a series of inflammatory remarks,
    then all of a sudden claiming, "Whoa. Why the attitude, you're "misquoting" me..."

    Don't put out conspiracy-like statements that inflame the rhetoric,
    then be shocked that someone calls you out on it.

    7. Is the cross you bear your own? Or your country's???
    Because if you read my statement correctly,
    I was noting my country's faults. Not my own (which are more than enough)

    Last and In conclusion...
    America isn't a huge monolithic tyranny.
    It's a very complicated nation, made of a multitude of actions and agendas.
    All of which change over time...

    The agenda under one administration is NOT another's
    We were talking about why STILL at war.
    An inflammatory graphic was brought in to imply America is ALWAYS at war.
    This turned into a Liberal/Progressive/Conspiratorial trend of America is a war-mongering power-hungry money-spurging monster.
    Or at least this is how it read to me. Correct me if I'm wrong.

    Yes. America led by the dupe GWB and the ultra neo-cons Cheney & Rumsfield. (who DO have military-industrial connections & agendas)
    And after the 911 tragedy, stirred into a frenzy to "get those terrorists" found them hiding in Afghanistan.
    Much of the nation, including those on both sides in Congress, saw the value in chasing them in there and a side-benefit of ridding the Taliban.
    Which MANY on the liberal side wanted us to stop. At least that what I read and heard.
    We went in with intent.

    I did not vote for GWB, because I saw him being led by the nose. IMHO
    And I did seemingly see Cheney & Rumsfield manipulating the situation for their own agenda and benefit. (and previous corporate connections)
    Again IMHO and many on both sides agree with this theory in hindsight.

    However, AFTER the Bush administration...with the coming of Obama's administration.
    There were some in the Pentagon that leveraged the transition and their inexperience to keep the war going to "win" or perhaps keep their own power-base.
    I did not see any pattern of industry collusion within that decision making process. Mostly pride & a bit of self-aggrandizement from the military part.

    After time, Obama and his administration...with some experience and now seeing an inside pattern, pushed off those in the Pentagon pushing to "win",
    and came to the reasoning with inside intelligence that Pakistan was the TRUE issue, and to leverage their current position in Afghanistan to assist.
    Along with some "altruistic" rationalization of helping Afghanistan to become "civilized" from a naive & presumptuous American perspective.

    NOW, they have come to the conclusion that Afghanistan is a sink-hole of money & bodies as far as "civilizing" is concerned.
    They now understand that there is too much tribalism, corruption, cultural issues and otherwise preventing further improvement, at least by their hand.
    But they STILL want to prevent Pakistan from destabilizing, falling further into the hands of militant religious radicals,
    which may USE or SELL or DISTRIBUTE Pakistan's current nuclear stockpile...and the know-how to do it.

    Again, there are MANY books on the matter, including material from Bob Woodward one of the reporters that exposed Nixon's issues.
    He has an inside track that many don't...
    (unless you want to call HIM a neo-con)

    The Obama administrations trend now is to refrain from grand involvement of war.
    but to leverage military resources in conjunction with precise intelligence to specifically target those who are America's literal enemies.

    If they COULD just withdraw from Pakistan without making it worse or instigating the potential collapse of that nation or Afghanistan, they would.
    It's a waste of finances and resources.

    I also know DIRECTLY that the administration IS reducing the appropriation of military expenditures and making it more efficient.
    However, it is opposed by Congressional members' conflict of interests provoked by some lobbying but MOSTLY to support their local districts and states.
    YES, there is some industry that is directly manipulating to benefit financially, but mostly is it catering ESTABLISHED bases and economics.
    MOST representatives are NOT into global theater or attacking other nations. By the dynamics I see, it's just not their trend.

    I know this by not only reading significant amount of materials and background from all sides.
    But also from being in D.C., watching the trends and hearing the words.
    And working on the inside in various US federal government depts which have direct influence on America's agenda and execution.

    I cannot speak on what may happen if a Romney administration occurs.
    One, because it hasn't happened...Two, because it is not clear from his known pattern.
    However, I doubt I would appreciate it from what I'm seeing so far.

    See, this is how to talk on a subject without inflammatory and rhetorical statements or graphics.
    But giving your opinion based on known facts and observations of real trends & dynamics.

    Or am I unclear?
    Or exaggerating a point?
  15. Baraka_Guru

    Baraka_Guru Möderätor Staff Member


    Thanks for the attempt, but if you can't stand down from the hyperbole, I can't reason with you.

    We'll just leave things at: You misunderstood me.

    Sorry about that.
  16. oracle2380

    oracle2380 New Member

    Strategery, it's all about strategery. Look at who has nukes in the area, then look at their political stability: hint, it's Pakistan. The next leap in conjecture is what could possibly go wrong if the Taliban or Al'Qaeda were to get a more solid foot hold in the government. I'm sure dirty-bombs aren't a threat to the great-white north, but like you Muslim extremists don't like 'Merica too much. Although at this point you can't really call someone who cannot read or write the language of their most sacred book a Muslim.
  17. Baraka_Guru

    Baraka_Guru Möderätor Staff Member

    Is this directed at me?

    I already admitted that geopolitics is a big issue. (But I actually do like America.)
  18. oracle2380

    oracle2380 New Member

    Sorry, I missed a comma or two in there. I did not intend to insinuate that you are a Muslim extremist. The only relation is that some of your comments present an other than positive narrative for the U.S.A. I don't know if that is your intent, I don't really care. The interwebs is a free country. You can feel how you want to feel, as can I. I respect that you feel strongly about your believes, but in return I expect the same. BTWs, we're all Americans, North Americans to be exact.
  19. Baraka_Guru

    Baraka_Guru Möderätor Staff Member

    My comments are mostly about those in power, rather than the U.S. as a whole. Many of my favourite things come from there.
  20. Aceventura

    Aceventura Slightly Tilted

    North Carolina
    In principle I am going to agree with you. Here is a link to military spending as a percent of GDP by nation:

    Military expenditure (% of GDP) | Data | Table

    The US expends about 4.3% of its GDP on military spending. Canada, 1.3%. Germany 1.3%. Not only does the US have the largest GDP but we also spend a larger percent of it on military than the nations we help to defend. We should stop giving these countries free defense. We should close foreign bases, bring our troops home and consolidate military spending on our national defense issues.

    I also agree with Baraka regarding the quote from Sun Tzu about prolonged military engagements. We should have clear and specific military goals, execute to the full extent of our might and be done with it. No more nation building. Let the UN play the role of providing military power for global humanitarian objectives with all nations in the UN participating equally.