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Author Topic: Opinions wanted  (Read 11111 times) Average Rating: 0
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Brendan03
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« Reply #90 on: June 16, 2004, 10:51:06 AM »


Taken on the whole, in the last 100 years the US has done much more good than evil with its military force. The world is a better place because we wield military might. It degenerates when we shrink from using it when it is appropriate....or run due to a lack of resolve.

I think it is really mixed.  Our most significant military engagement after WWII -- our ill-conceived foray into Southeast Asia -- achieved nothing but lost lives.  Our engagement in Korea was arguably more successful but in the end simply led to a 50 year heavily-armed, tense stalemate.  Other engagements have been either tiny and somewhat silly (see, Grenada), or larger and more debacle-like (see, Somalia, engagements in Haiti) or simply dumb (see Kosovo, Bosnia).  The most significant achievement of American foreign policy in the post WWII era, the triumph over the Soviet Union in Europe, was achieved without a hot war, something which argues in favor of using a strong military as a way to project force without actually firing the guns.  The successful prosecution of the first Gulf War could be deemed a success of sorts, but created the situation that led to another war.

Wars are best avoided.  Can they always be avoided?  No.  But they are best avoided.  Bad things happen in wars, atrocities are almost always committed, whether in Dresden, My Lai or Abu Ghraib.  We should be very, very reluctant to use wars as a means of conducting foreign policy, that is an antiquated way of looking at the military, and a crass and inhumane one as well.  When all else fails, then war is a grudging last resort, a necessary evil to combat the gravest of threats.  What we see with this little adventure of ours, by contrast, is that the current administration was bent on attacking Iraq regardless of the real threat ... the decision did not hang on that threat assessment, rather the threat assessment was used to justify a decision for war that had essentially already been made.  And by the time the diplomatic process was begun in earnest, the war train was already leaving the station.  That is the backwards way to conduct sound foreign policy, and an abuse of our power.  In the medium term it will only serve to diminish American power, and make the world a less stable, more dangerous place.

Brendan

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spartacus
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« Reply #91 on: June 16, 2004, 11:43:58 AM »

I think it is really mixed.  Our most significant military engagement after WWII -- our ill-conceived foray into Southeast Asia -- achieved nothing but lost lives.  Our engagement in Korea was arguably more successful but in the end simply led to a 50 year heavily-armed, tense stalemate.

I won't get into Viet Nam...being born at Ft. Benning during the height of that war and spending my early years among the soldiers and families who were giving their all -- Let me just say that our failure --our national failure led to the Killing Fields in Cambodia where 6 million died -- such is the price for engaging in war and not having the resolve to do what is needed militarily rather than what is politically expedient.

As for Korea.....All of Korea would be a slave state now if we had not interceded....today we drive Korean cars.

The US Marshal plan and occupations of Europe and Japan prevented a third world war. Our stand in the 80s stopped communism in Central America and rolled it right back to Cuba's shores. Our military build up and readiness for war led directly to the fall of the Soviet Union and freedoms for the Church in Eastern Europe....these are all things that would never have been accomplished if the peacniks and appeasers would have prevailed.

Peace through strength is a proven strategy.
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Schultz
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« Reply #92 on: June 16, 2004, 12:05:41 PM »

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Peace through strength is a proven strategy.

There is a marked difference between Peace Through Strength, which is we President Reagan focused on, and Peace Through War, which is what President Bush is doing.
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Ben
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« Reply #93 on: June 16, 2004, 03:32:01 PM »

OK so you are willing to kill for Christ or your Church -- but not your fellow man who lives in bondage and opression, or to protect innocents from terror and murder -- sounds real Christian to me.

Did you read the rest of my post?

I said if they did or not, the fact remains that the battlefeild is not a place to advance in Christian morals and virtures.
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« Reply #94 on: June 16, 2004, 08:52:35 PM »

I am certainly grateful that most of the opinions expressed are the minority opinion in the US.

Well, we shall see come this November...I've seen a lot of "ANYBODY BUT BUSH IN 'O4" bumper stickers lately....

Would Christianity have survived to this day without this ["kill or be killed"] menatlity?

Seems to me Christianity did just fine for itself while under periods of severe Roman persecution -- not only surviving, but growing, both in intensity and numbers.

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Christ ministered to the Roman Centurians. He did not admonish them or tell them to stop serving Caesar.

True, though one can hardly make an argument from what Christ did not say.  If I were to go that route, I could mention that Christ said to love your enemies, to pray for those who despitefully use you, who abuse you...period.  

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In fact he even pointed out one Roman officer as having more faith than all those in Israel.

None of which has the slightest to do with warfare.

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In the Jewish tradition, killing an enemy in combat is nowhere near equal to comitting murder.

Wonderful.  Shall we then defer to the Jewish tradition in terms of kids who backtalk (death), adultery (death), folks who wear cotton/polyester blend and have pepperoni and cheese pizza (can't be admitted to religious services)?  We've moved on from the Jewish traditions.

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Christ tells us to love our enemies...so what happens when we shower them with food and medical services and other aid...and they attack innocents?

In the case of this administration, apparently, they drop the fa+ºade of supposed christian goodwill and invade.  As I said before, Christ said to love your enemies, and left it at that.  Not, "love your enemies...but only initially, 'cause if they don't come around, well, you've gotta protect your interests, so..." :cwm1:
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Brendan03
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« Reply #95 on: June 17, 2004, 07:53:13 AM »

"I won't get into Viet Nam...being born at Ft. Benning during the height of that war and spending my early years among the soldiers and families who were giving their all -- Let me just say that our failure --our national failure led to the Killing Fields in Cambodia where 6 million died -- such is the price for engaging in war and not having the resolve to do what is needed militarily rather than what is politically expedient."

I am not criticizing the soldiers who fought and died there, most of them were conscripts in any case, but the policy of the war was silly.  

"As for Korea.....All of Korea would be a slave state now if we had not interceded....today we drive Korean cars."

And we achieved a nasty, ongoing stalemate, pretty much the same situation when we intervened.  It's a case of treading water, nothing more than that.

"The US Marshal plan and occupations of Europe and Japan prevented a third world war."

Ah, but the key is that this was peace through strength, rather than peace through fighting.  Once the fighting starts, you've lost the leverage that peace through strength gets you, you've spent it.  Peace through strength is a policy that uses mililtary strength to create diplomatic leverage and project power.  The current fools in the administration have it 100% backwards, and seriously misunderstand the peace through strength policy that was so successful in the cold war era.

"Our stand in the 80s stopped communism in Central America"

Did it?  Nicaragua is still communist, as is Cuba.  And at what cost?  The cost was the complete destruction of American credibility in Latin America, thanks to the fact that we supported practically every right-wing, neo-fascist dictator there for an extended period.  Sometimes I wonder how dense our policy makers really are ... we are constantly finding ourselves supporting governments that are unsupportable, whether in Iran, South Vietnam, Cuba or Nicaragua ... and now Saudi Arabia.  It seems like we will never learn our lesson.

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« Reply #96 on: June 18, 2004, 12:25:33 AM »


Did it?  Nicaragua is still communist,

Check your facts on this one friend...the Sandinistas have been history for some time now.
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Brendan03
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« Reply #97 on: June 18, 2004, 08:46:33 AM »

Check your facts on this one friend...the Sandinistas have been history for some time now.

The Sandinistas are the leading opposition party today, actually, but the government practices in Nicaragua are still broadly socialist in nature, thanks in significant part to the continuing influence of the Sandinistas on government policy there.  It isn't Chile.  What's different is that we just don't care very much any more what happens there, it has ceased to be a pawn for us.  And, in any case, the Sandinistas themselves allowed political pluralism, and accepted the results of that, and not as a result of the CIA mining the harbors or other misguided US policies during the 80s.
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