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  1. #61
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus soldant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockman29 View Post
    We are not talking about "any circumstance" though. We are talking about a specific scenario. And nowhere in this thread has anyone said that military intervention is invariably wrong.
    Okay then, I concur that the intervention in the middle east has largely been pointless and a failure. Just the vibe I got from all of this was that war is invariably wrong and the pen is always mightier than the sword. That said, I don't know if diplomacy works against fundamentalist nutjobs either - any sort of intervention (whether military, diplomatic, or even humanitarian) can set some of these groups off.

    Quote Originally Posted by rockman29 View Post
    I'm not the greatest historian of the world wars, but I do think the justification came from the frank invasion of countries all over Europe, the bombings over Britain and France, the occupation of Poland or other countries by the Axis countries, and more.
    WW2 is actually an excellent example of diplomacy failing because the Allied policy of appeasement failed spectacularly. The world wanted to avoid another war like WW1, but if the other side really wants to fight, you've got no option but to take up arms. It's an example of how being a pacifist only ever works out provided everyone else wants to play the same game. As soon as somebody decides otherwise, you're in trouble.

    Quote Originally Posted by rockman29 View Post
    That the circumstances of World War 2 were an excellent justification for military intervention, boots on the ground, and mobilizing literally an entire country for the machine of war... is not related to the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
    I don't dispute that, I was just thought that people were rallying against military intervention in general as if diplomacy solves everything, with that perspective being coloured by the most recent conflicts. I mean a pacifist stance is easy to take if you're invading countries primarily to remove insurgents or tin-pot dicatorships, but entirely different if you're actually under threat of invasion.

    Quote Originally Posted by rockman29 View Post
    P.S. While Australia may have participated in the Iraq War (I don't know)
    We did, because our alliance with the US was worth it. Historically the US-AUS alliance has been incredibly important since WW2 during the Pacific campaign, particularly since we're a western nation in an Asian sphere. The wars (both Afghanistan and Iraq) are incredibly unpopular here though.

    Quote Originally Posted by rockman29 View Post
    But I am pretty confident in saying... something was seriously wrong about the attitude towards the war overall at the time
    The attitude towards war is usually wrong around any time that it's declared - usually because there's enough hate or paranoia at the time that people forget how horrible it was. WW1 had no shortage of volunteers because of the nationalistic rhetoric that was whipped up at the time... but the subsequent horrors put pretty much everybody off war. Except for the Axis powers of course, who were threatening enough to make everyone take up arms again. Give people enough of a reason and they'll take up arms.
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  2. #62
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus squirrel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by soldant View Post
    WW2 is actually an excellent example of diplomacy failing because the Allied policy of appeasement failed spectacularly. The world wanted to avoid another war like WW1, but if the other side really wants to fight, you've got no option but to take up arms. It's an example of how being a pacifist only ever works out provided everyone else wants to play the same game. As soon as somebody decides otherwise, you're in trouble.
    I hate to break this but diplomacy failing didn't start with appeasement, but with the end of WWI, how allied powers treated the defeated former Central Power nations. You treated Germany like that, how would you expect it to come back to you guys? Of course you don't need to speculate because the rest has been history.

    This teaches you guys a great lesson: either you treat a guy good or, if you have to make him your foe, destroy him so thoroughly before he could have a chance to hit back. That's exactly the one Bush family learnt well, judging from how it handled the Iraqi problem.

  3. #63
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Zephro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by squirrel View Post
    I hate to break this but diplomacy failing didn't start with appeasement, but with the end of WWI, how allied powers treated the defeated former Central Power nations. You treated Germany like that, how would you expect it to come back to you guys? Of course you don't need to speculate because the rest has been history.

    This teaches you guys a great lesson: either you treat a guy good or, if you have to make him your foe, destroy him so thoroughly before he could have a chance to hit back. That's exactly the one Bush family learnt well, judging from how it handled the Iraqi problem.
    Meh. Versailles was not the cause of WW2. The reparations were not so large as to affect the German economy, the restrictions to their army effectively saved them money to pay reparations, most of which they defaulted on and never paid anyway.

    WW2 was caused by the Great Depression, pathetically weak domestic politics in Germany along with some bad psychology. Throughout the Weimar republic all the parties were opposed to Versailles not because it was actually crippling the German economy but because it was easier than actually pushing through reforms or acting.

    Basically there was no Roosevelt during the Depression.

    A harsher Versailles may have actually worked better. The Austro-Hungarian Empire and Russian Empires had both been carved up into a set of small states, leaving Germany if anything in a stronger position than before 1914. If Germany had been forcibly broken up into Prussia, Bavaria, Saxony etc... well who knows.

  4. #64
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus rockman29's Avatar
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    Canada not participating in the Iraq War did not affect our economic ties or even military ties with the US at all. I don't think it would have strained UK relations either. I can't speak for Australia. I just don't think an argument for positive relations helps there. I'd have rather the US gone alone, or really... the US not even had gone at all. After all... we are still tied to the F-35 project by default (thank you to our stupid government) which has been the most expensive military procurement of all time apparently iirc.

    I'm sure Australia is much like Canada here... we already have good relations with USA, and we're in strategically important areas. There's not much point in the US having poor relations with us. Aus in Asia-Pacific, Canada is US' biggest trade partner and we're sitting right beside a potential resource goldmine in the Artic.

    I'm also of the opinion we should not even bother with this waste of time F-35 project. But our current government is full of reformists who always have two feet in their mouths at all times... the official commentary on Israel-Gaza conflict for today is "Israel has a right to defend itself." And that is perfectly reasonable under normal circumstances except it's the only thing about the conflicts and history there they appear to recognize. 2015 can't come soon enough.
    The attitude towards war is usually wrong around any time that it's declared - usually because there's enough hate or paranoia at the time that people forget how horrible it was. WW1 had no shortage of volunteers because of the nationalistic rhetoric that was whipped up at the time... but the subsequent horrors put pretty much everybody off war. Except for the Axis powers of course, who were threatening enough to make everyone take up arms again. Give people enough of a reason and they'll take up arms.
    Well based on the single article I posted just before, it was a great deal of government censorship and propaganda.

    The painting "The Paths of Glory" is actually from WW1. But it wasn't released until after the war was over, because the British government was afraid of what it would do to morale.

    The discussion of how horrible the war was only appears to have started after.

    What I find interesting is that this artist's renditions of the war in art began as the article describes, very metric and resolute, and then became soft and rather depressing, maybe more realistic. The same as if any young and naive person (including myself) might look at a war at its start and then after experiencing it.

    It's a very nice multi-faceted article, I highly recommend reading it.
    Last edited by rockman29; 24-07-2014 at 03:35 PM.

  5. #65
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Zephro's Avatar
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    I think "La Mitrailleuse" is getting a hard rap there. It is fascinating as compared with Victorian war art, which wasn't angular or resolute. It was more realistic but depicted heroic actions or events generally. La Mitrailleuse on the other hand shows man becoming a cog in the machine, the operators are almost a part of the one mechanised whole. Which is quite chilling in its own way I think.

  6. #66
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus soldant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by squirrel View Post
    I hate to break this but diplomacy failing didn't start with appeasement, but with the end of WWI, how allied powers treated the defeated former Central Power nations.
    I've already mentioned this in my previous posts - although issuing demands following the end of the war is hardly diplomacy.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zephro View Post
    Meh. Versailles was not the cause of WW2. [...]WW2 was caused by the Great Depression, pathetically weak domestic politics in Germany along with some bad psychology.
    Cause? No, but definitely contributed, it formed part of Hitler's rhetoric and his 'great stab in the back' bullshit.

    Quote Originally Posted by rockman29 View Post
    Canada not participating in the Iraq War did not affect our economic ties or even military ties with the US at all. I don't think it would have strained UK relations either. I can't speak for Australia. I just don't think an argument for positive relations helps there.
    As I say, the AUSNZ alliance (includes New Zealand) is fairly important, although less so to NZ (since nobody would want to invade there anyway). Australian politics is in an odd spot in that we have very strong Euro-Western ties (former British colony) yet we're firmly placed in the Asian world geographically, with a neighbour to the north who is very different from us, and who doesn't like us very much (Indonesia). The idea of keeping in good with the US is to mitigate against any potential flashpoint, although we've hitched our buggy to the wrong horse if the Asian Century ever comes about. That said the Australian contribution is hardly on the scale of the US or UK contribution.

    Whether or not it was actually worth it is another story, but I can understand why the government of the time (and subsequent governments) elected to join the US. We're just not as important as Canada, for all the chest-beating our politicians do.

    Quote Originally Posted by rockman29 View Post
    The painting "The Paths of Glory" is actually from WW1. But it wasn't released until after the war was over, because the British government was afraid of what it would do to morale. The discussion of how horrible the war was only appears to have started after.
    Yes I know it is, I recognise it. There's a good reason why most of the pacifist stance took place after WW1 - that's because mass media was still relatively limited in the 1910s. Remember radio was still a very new technology at the time, and getting news from the front out to the people at home was challenging. It was easy for the government to enact propaganda, including censoring soldier's letters back home. All of the front-line troops knew how terrible the war was and they brought that back home - not to mention how the significant loss of life impacted the civilians back at home, or seeing the horrible wounds suffered by those sent back from the front. It's only new mass media that lets people have an instant reaction to war, and that's something we've only really seen since Vietnam.

    Although I think you've misinterpreted my post - I said "the attitude is usually wrong around the time war is declared" by which meant wrong as in "people are willing to support it" not "war is wrong." I thought that would've been clear by saying there was no shortage of volunteers but I may have been wrong.
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  7. #67
    Lesser Hivemind Node Wheelz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by soldant View Post
    although less so to NZ (since nobody would want to invade there anyway).
    and don't you forget it!

  8. #68
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus rockman29's Avatar
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    I did understand that. That's why I'm also asking is their a problem with our modern societies, so easily convinced to go to war? Maybe. Is it only the US, or are the rest of us as bad? Though I don't remember approval ratings for war in 2003 being very high, or even majority supporting, in UK or other countries. I could be wrong though.

    We're probably doing something very wrong if we're getting our young people so "amped" and gung-ho about going to a warzone to get blown up by improvised explosives and suicide bombers and shot at by religious fanatics.

    Maybe they are somehow convinced they are getting something done. Does it protect us around the world, or in the US? Maybe, but I'm not sure of it.

    There was a 60 minute special recently on Iraq war veterans of the US, it was mainly about PTSD. But one recurring thought from the soldiers was "why did we even go, we thought we made a difference while we were there, but as soon as we left it's all fucked up again." The current news seems to indicate that too. How liberated Iraq is now.
    Last edited by rockman29; 25-07-2014 at 05:33 AM.

  9. #69
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus soldant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockman29 View Post
    That's why I'm also asking is their a problem with our modern societies, so easily convinced to go to war? Maybe. Is it only the US, or are the rest of us as bad? Though I don't remember approval ratings for war in 2003 being very high, or even majority supporting, in UK or other countries. I could be wrong though.
    The war from 2003 was a flow-on from the invasion of Afghanistan, which was prompted by the events of 9/11. A major terrorist attack that killed a hell of a lot of people is a pretty good casus belli. Look at most other wars and you'll find similar events:

    WW1 had patriotism and nationalist rhetoric that justified the war as 'glorious' against a German imperialist aggressor (from the Commonwealth perspective at least).
    WW2 had the best reason for going to war - actual aggression from the Axis powers with blatant human rights abuse.
    Korean War and Vietnam - There's a red under the bed and we have to flush 'em out to contain the communist threat!
    Gulf War - The invasion of Kuwait by Iraq (which you'll recall was also condemned by the UN).

    The horrors of war are forgotten provided you can come up with a good justification for why it's 'necessary'. People will do horrible things that they'd rather not do if they believe their cause is just. You can see that on a micro scale on forums even like RPS where 'being excellent' is ignored if the target is vile enough (like a misogynist).
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  10. #70
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Skalpadda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockman29 View Post
    Has Israel's current action been "justifiable" in Gaza currently?
    Fundamentalist Jews are just as insane and bigoted as fundamentalist Muslims and Christians. You don't need rational justifications if you're fighting for the Holy Land and the future of God's chosen people. Add in some (not entirely unwarranted) paranoia and the fact that the state of Israel doesn't dare to ever show any sign of weakness and it's not so hard to understand why their response to any provocation is extreme.

  11. #71
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Xercies's Avatar
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    We had many protests over here in Britain against the war in Iraq, in fact the Labour party still has a bit of a black mark to its name because many people say they acted against the public will. So not all countries were gung ho about that war.

  12. #72
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Zephro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by soldant View Post
    The war from 2003 was a flow-on from the invasion of Afghanistan, which was prompted by the events of 9/11. A major terrorist attack that killed a hell of a lot of people is a pretty good casus belli. Look at most other wars and you'll find similar events:

    WW1 had patriotism and nationalist rhetoric that justified the war as 'glorious' against a German imperialist aggressor (from the Commonwealth perspective at least).
    WW2 had the best reason for going to war - actual aggression from the Axis powers with blatant human rights abuse.
    Korean War and Vietnam - There's a red under the bed and we have to flush 'em out to contain the communist threat!
    Gulf War - The invasion of Kuwait by Iraq (which you'll recall was also condemned by the UN).

    The horrors of war are forgotten provided you can come up with a good justification for why it's 'necessary'. People will do horrible things that they'd rather not do if they believe their cause is just. You can see that on a micro scale on forums even like RPS where 'being excellent' is ignored if the target is vile enough (like a misogynist).
    I think at least a difference of all these is that the casus belli for Afghanistan was a terrorist attack and I said it at the time you can't wage a war on terrorism. The Taliban were not Al-Qaeda so it's an even more flimsy casus belli than the other ones listed.

    I know the point was that all wars can have quite flimsy justifications, but these ones were especially dodgy.

  13. #73
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Zephro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xercies View Post
    We had many protests over here in Britain against the war in Iraq, in fact the Labour party still has a bit of a black mark to its name because many people say they acted against the public will. So not all countries were gung ho about that war.
    Yeah and the Afghanistan war was started without a vote in Parliament. With polls showing that people only wanted a war with UN sanction and the biggest protests in history at the time.

    Democracy at work right there.

  14. #74
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus soldant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zephro View Post
    I think at least a difference of all these is that the casus belli for Afghanistan was a terrorist attack and I said it at the time you can't wage a war on terrorism. The Taliban were not Al-Qaeda so it's an even more flimsy casus belli than the other ones listed.

    I know the point was that all wars can have quite flimsy justifications, but these ones were especially dodgy.
    I don't think WW2 was a flimsy justification. Arguably WW1 wasn't either - it's just that no side was the clear 'good guy' unlike WW2 where the atrocious war crimes of the Axis Powers pretty firmly put them in the 'bad guy' category. There's no silver lining to Nazi Germany... except maybe the Autobahn? Also Iraq's actions in Kuwait in the Gulf War weren't exactly admirable either.

    You're right that the attack in Afghanistan in the vain hope of destroying Al-Qaeda was ridiculous, but the carrot that enticed the populous to war was that terrorist attack.
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  15. #75
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus rockman29's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by soldant View Post
    The war from 2003 was a flow-on from the invasion of Afghanistan, which was prompted by the events of 9/11. A major terrorist attack that killed a hell of a lot of people is a pretty good casus belli.
    For which military intervention though? Not both surely. IMO it's neither in both cases, but the targets highest operational presence was in Afghanistan anyway. Not Iraq. Obviously it was a "natural extension" with public perception, but how is that a justification? This is an explanation of the phenomenon, *not* a justification for the action. Two different things.

    The largest argument made by US military for the Afghanistan deployment is that they needed their own significant military operational presence in the area to also gather intelligence on their targets. One of the largest criticisms leveled at Obama today in the US is the significant withdrawals that US intelligence says makes their job there much harder. But that doesn't explain invading Iraq.

    I'm not questioning whether the public was convinced or not in USA. They were clearly convinced of something, that the rest of the world really didn't appreciate.

    But it seems an odd intervention when the main operational presence of those responsible was in Afghanistan, and the main target even ended up in Pakistan.

    So 3000 Americans die, but then we act to result in the deaths of several thousand more NATO soldiers, and a gross and sickening volume of civilians in these regions.

    All to achieve.... what? Marginally increased domestic security? For who did this war actually satisfy? My opinion is oil companies, from China, USA, elsewhere probably, who have operations in Iraq today.

    I'll use some hindsight vision here, but these military interventions were not justified on any humanitarian level or domestic security or anything else similar IMO. The same spending could have greatly enhanced the livelihood or even security of Americans with multiple trillion USD of domestic spending. Maybe... just maybe there was some economic "justification." But I don't see any other justification.

    TLDR: I don't consider "convincing the angry public" as justification for an incredibly irresponsible war that sacrifices the lives of thousand of young kids from home and hundreds of thousands of families abroad. The goal and the end result are, IMO, completely irreconcilable. Sure, it may explain how it was so easy to administer the policy of war, but the explanation is *not* the same as a justification.
    Last edited by rockman29; 25-07-2014 at 03:14 PM.

  16. #76
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus soldant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockman29 View Post
    For which military intervention though? Not both surely. IMO it's neither in both cases, but the targets highest operational presence was in Afghanistan anyway. Not Iraq.
    The US capitalised on the hate generated by 9/11 to justify an invasion of Iraq as if it was a threat to national security.

    You're actually asking me two different questions. One question is: How did the US convince the public that it was worth going to war? The other question is: Was that really a good reason, and was it worth it? That's two entirely different things. The former I've already answered. As for the latter - no, I don't believe it was particularly valid and I don't believe it was worth it. But it did do enough to get people on board, at least initially.
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  17. #77
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus rockman29's Avatar
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    No no. I am not asking you if there is an explanation. I'm not actually asking anything. Rhetorical question.

    I am arguing, repeatedly, that there was no (acceptable) justification. Retelling the order of events is *not* a justification. That is what I'm saying.

    When I originally asked "why" did the Iraq war happen, I was not asking for a retelling of events (for which I got scolded haha). But I was asking what were the underlying motivations by the US government. Beyond what the public felt.

    What was that government's actual justification (not that I agree it is possible to have one), because surely, IMO, they or "someone or some people" knew at some level what their end goals were and how this war would play out. Surely those at the top levels, at least some of them, they knew what would happen.

    The Middle East is no stranger to military intervention in recent history. Russia probably won't touch the areas ever again, because of their last occupation in Afghanistan... the USSR's "Vietnam war." Surely US officials knew exactly what shit this would be like, and what the costs were going to be to life on all sides too.

    I think most people here, including myself, saw how those events unfolded publicly. There is not going to be much disagreement about that. We know how high the public approval in US was for the Iraq war (extremely high).

    And I agree with you, especially in hindsight, it was not worth it in the slightest.
    Last edited by rockman29; 25-07-2014 at 03:30 PM.

  18. #78
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus soldant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockman29 View Post
    I am arguing, repeatedly, that there was no (acceptable) justification. Retelling the order of events is *not* a justification. That is what I'm saying.
    I agree with you that, at least from my perspective, there was no acceptable justification. But there was a reason for the war - it's just that it was a bad one and something I'd consider invalid. That doesn't mean it wasn't there, though.
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