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Thread: The Iraq and Afghanistan wars

  1. #1
    Putting a cap in your benefits Forum Moderator Superninfreak's Avatar
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    The Iraq and Afghanistan wars

    What is your opinion on the US' current wars?

    Afganistan was a justified war, but it's also a very costly one. Afghanistan is not a place that is easy to go to war with.

    Iraq is a very misunderstood war. It had nothing to do with 9/11 or oil. The reason the US invaded Iraq was because we believed that they had WMD, only to find out after we got there that they didn't.

    We should get out of Iraq ASAP, and we should probably stay within Afghanistan for a while, but cut down the number of troops we have there, and cut military spending in general.

    The thing that really bothers me about the wars though is that we gave a tax cut during them. When you go to war, you should raise taxes and cut domestic spending. If you do this, not only will you actually have money to pay for the war, but you'll make the people back home actually have to sacrifice a little for the war. The average citizen of the United States does not feel like we are in wartime, let alone in two wars. If everyone's wallet is actually hurting as a result of a war, then it's harder to get into unjustified ones. If a war is justified, then people should be willing to actually help pay for it.
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  2. #2
    Retired video game player SSJ Ranulf's Avatar
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    Re: The Iraq and Afghanistan wars

    Let me start by saying that, in my humble opinion, we have 2 Vietnam wars going on at once. Well not nearly as bad (less casualties, veterans are actually treated like human beings, ect.), the concept is the same: a massive super power attacks a group of guerrillas, and finds that they can't just blow them to atoms. In my opinion, these where both pretty much pointless wars. They call it the war on "terror". I ask, how does one wage war on an ideology that has existed since mankind began? It seems useless to me to send tens of thousands of men into battle to target small groups of evil people, while disrupting lives and taking massive financial burdens one ourselves.

    I must say that I disagree with the belief that we are in Iraq because of weapons of mass destruction: I think that it was a lie that the government told to try and justify their war. I think it had more to do with oil (for the cash, basically) and because Bush II thought that wars make people great, so he wanted to start some (and he enjoyed killing his father's enemy).

    This is probably a point of view that only I hold, but I would say that we can't pull out of either country right now. We decided that the US could choose what governments where right and wrong, and that we could knock over the ones that we didn't like. Now, the citizens of Iraq and Afghanistan need some help: which we've promised them by destroying what order they had. In my opinion, the United States darkest day was when they left Vietnam, the hell that it was considered, and abandoned those that they had swore to help. We got involved (which I don't think we should have), and didn't see it through. If the US wants to start a war: go big or go home. We should have the vast majority of our forces fighting "terror", and we should certainly have raised taxes (at least on the Upper Middle Class and Rich, although that's a debate for another day).

    In my opinion, the United States government doesn't devote to a full war (raise taxes, more dakka, total devotion to the conflict, in-depth and frequent news coverage, ect.) is because they are trying to gain profit for themselves (either by killing people they consider enemies, building an empire of "allies" of our country, or by insuring cheap oil for decades, or by other such unethical methods) and don't want the American people getting in the way. That's really a large part of what stopped Vietnam, and they'd rather we don't mess up another government war. And if they need to give us tax cuts to keep us happy while they lose thousands of lives (or more) getting something they think would make the United States more powerful, well, they'll do it without blinking. That's how our great government works (also, I'll bet that that statement got me put on a government watch list or something).

    As I said before, I feel that we have to stay until those countries are stable, which I admit Iraq might be; I'm no expert. I just don't think it would be moral to leave them like we left Vietnam: to abandon those that we have promised to protect and help. What I expect will happen is that the United States will wait until the people finally get fed up (like 30 years from now), will never leave (we have troops stationed all over the world already), or will leave once they feel they've taken all they can get. I'd put most of my money on them never leaving, and building permanent bases there. That way, they could keep an eye on them (by that, I mean get free oil).

    The only positive of this war is that the American people aren't letting it become Bush's Vietnam. They are treating the veterans like humans, instead of calling them baby killers and letting them sleep on the streets. They are showing them concern while they are overseas, and are accepting them back home. They hold rallies in the veterans honor and welcome them back with parades (my town of 700 souls had one to honor a man who'd served and come back home). That is the only real positive that I can see coming from this, and while it is nice, it doesn't make me despise these wars and those who started them any less.

    All of this was just based on my knowledge and opinions: I don't mean to offend anyone for holding a positive view of Bush or either of his wars.
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  3. #3
    Rather chipper Chipou's Avatar
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    Re: The Iraq and Afghanistan wars

    oh yes, we spent millions and killed thousands to get oil (which we have millions and millions of at home underground).

    needless to say i believe we should get out of Iraq once it stabalises, if we just leave now theres a fairly high probability that the taliban will just waltz in and essentially convert to what it once was. needless to say itll end up like vietnam where we did alot of &&&& but nothing happened.

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    Member and Part Time Sun God Helios's Avatar
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    Re: The Iraq and Afghanistan wars

    Superinfreak, I pretty much agree with you. Well said.

    I think the Iraq War really is drawing to a close. It 'acheived' its purpose of getting Saddam Hussein out of power (he was essentially a dictator, after all) and there were no WMD, so our "check to see if they have WMD" was successful, in the end. Past that, it's mainly been resettling the government, which was almost a new war in itself (mainly just a continuation of the 'mission completed' war). Granted, I'm not the most up to date, but I think Obama has analyzed the situation, and decided that we needed to stay there to support the new government. Given his possition going into office, I think that he will support us as leaving as soon as doing so won't cause more problems then it solves. That's when we should pull out of the Iraq war, imo.

    Past that, I'm in full agreement with Superinfreak. Afganistan is justified, but a very hard war to fight. (It's what helped to weaken the Soviets). And, it really hasn't felt too much like we were in a war at all. We didn't get hit by taxes, nor did we get the typical industry boom that comes with producing war machinary.

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    I whip my mane back and forth (again) Dinosaurshotgun's Avatar
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    Re: The Iraq and Afghanistan wars

    Quote Originally Posted by Superninfreak View Post
    The thing that really bothers me about the wars though is that we gave a tax cut during them. When you go to war, you should raise taxes and cut domestic spending. If you do this, not only will you actually have money to pay for the war, but you'll make the people back home actually have to sacrifice a little for the war. The average citizen of the United States does not feel like we are in wartime, let alone in two wars. If everyone's wallet is actually hurting as a result of a war, then it's harder to get into unjustified ones. If a war is justified, then people should be willing to actually help pay for it.
    I hadn't thought of this in regards to war previously, and I think you bring up a good point; sacrifice for war is a good piece of our checks-and-balances system that we should not ignore. (In reality, I don't think the government should be spending out of its means in any of its projects for the same reason: people are too willing to accept another government program if it doesn't hit their pocketbooks, at least not for a generation or so)

  6. #6
    To vex the world rather than divert it. Villerar's Avatar
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    Re: The Iraq and Afghanistan wars

    It was quite obviously an illegal war, since the invading coalition did not have the mandate to interpret the UN resolution nor the right to use it as a pretext for invasion, so the war was quite blatantly an aggressive war, which is a war crime.

    Quote Originally Posted by Superninfreak View Post
    The thing that really bothers me about the wars though is that we gave a tax cut during them. When you go to war, you should raise taxes and cut domestic spending. If you do this, not only will you actually have money to pay for the war, but you'll make the people back home actually have to sacrifice a little for the war. The average citizen of the United States does not feel like we are in wartime, let alone in two wars. If everyone's wallet is actually hurting as a result of a war, then it's harder to get into unjustified ones. If a war is justified, then people should be willing to actually help pay for it.
    I'm opposed to cutting domestic spending a lot, because:
    1) It makes the economy more reliant on war and the arms industry would likely benefit from exemptions from these cuts (unless the government is aloof of the criticism it would get for getting into a war without raised spending on weapon production), since I would not include the military under domestic spending. This will only serve to further consolidate the position of the weapon industry, which is frightingly comfortable anyway.
    2) Unless one intends to singling out the affluent with most cuts to be made (on which I am not automatically very keen either) these cuts are quite likely to have a disproportional impact on the less privileged in society, progressively weakening their position and participation and likely resulting in lopsided recruiting from the poor. This is simply because the poor are more reliant on government support than the rich (unless one lives in a neoliberal paradise (quite different from the libertarian paradise)). I regard this as some form of economical pressing.
    3) I am not aware how much this construction would serve to stem bouts of excessive patriotism, I am afeard it might actually serve to increase antagonism in American culture, since patriots and progressive would be pinned against one another even more.

  7. #7
    To vex the world rather than divert it. Villerar's Avatar
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    Re: The Iraq and Afghanistan wars

    Here is an interesting article in the Guardian about the informant behind the Iraq War. It is impossible to support the belief that the invasion was legitimate in any way.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011...-cia-curveball

  8. #8
    New and Improved noraetomer's Avatar
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    Re: The Iraq and Afghanistan wars

    Quote Originally Posted by Villerar View Post
    Here is an interesting article in the Guardian about the informant behind the Iraq War. It is impossible to support the belief that the invasion was legitimate in any way.
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011...-cia-curveball
    I really think that more than anything this war was rushed. Even more obviously a mistake now than it was back then. People just panicked, and it sounds like "Curve Ball" had his own agenda anyway. Lots of people were alright with having the wool pulled over their eyes. Rushed and foolish? Yes. Illegitimate belief? Depends on who you ask. Sounds to me like some people making the decisions simply couldn't have understood.Just makes this costly war (in lives even more then financially) even more frustrating to me.

  9. #9
    To vex the world rather than divert it. Villerar's Avatar
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    Re: The Iraq and Afghanistan wars

    It was certainly illegitimate since it was an aggressive war and the invaders had no mandate from the UN to enforce the search for WMDs. So they simply assumed a mandate to invade, which is a rather illegal thing to do. One could say "bugger the UN" and I know that there is a flailing UN paranoia among some circles in the States, but UN resolutions formed the based of the defense of the Iraq War, so then one would simply defending an ole invasion and agressive war is considered a crime. It is simply moving from one cesspit to the other, even if one argues it was good because we ousted a dictator.

    It was either rushed or intentionally crafted and I'd opt for the first option as well since the latter makes no sense to me, but an insufficiently researched war has a rather low probability to become a legitimate offensive.

  10. #10
    To vex the world rather than divert it. Villerar's Avatar
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    Re: The Iraq and Afghanistan wars

    I thought this is a good topic to spice up with some glum comment:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisf...ment.politics1

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