What to do.... what to do...

What should I be voting for?

Re: What to do.... what to do...

Postby Yino on Thu Jun 11, 2009 3:30 pm

Ok, so until now we agree that the military shouldn't do the trials and that that work should be done by an independent entity.
Dee wrote:Put yourself in their shoes. With the stakes so high, do you dare NOT pursue potential threats with ZEAL? Given the choice between potentially incarcerating an innocent man, or say possibly allowing terrorists to detonate a dirty bomb on U.S. soil, which do you go with? We're talking thousands of casualties in a highly populated area, plus generations worth of radiation-related deaths and illnesses. That's an EASY choice in my mind. Running the risk of the lesser injustice is COMPLETELY warranted within the framework of ALL but the most idealistic of ivory tower ethical systems.

And this is precisely, why the military shouldn't do anything more than the defending and the attacking. They have that way of thinking, the lesser bad: A million casualties in Iraq are preferable to a civilian casualty in USA. Remember this kind of thought line is what inspired the fear philosophy that allowed Bush to become the worst president ever. Allow me to quote "Those willing to give up a little liberty for a little security deserve neither security nor liberty."(Benjamin Franklin).
Allow me to extend further in the Chilean history class. The reason that brought the Military dictatorship was an economic crisis brought by the previous communist president. When the murders and the tortures came to the light at the late 80's (almost ten years after the dictatorship ended) there were people that was Ok with it and supported it, because they thought it had been necessary for getting out of the economic crisis. Please, don't be that guy.
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Re: What to do.... what to do...

Postby David Yun on Thu Jun 11, 2009 5:21 pm

I'm not entirely unsympathetic to your perspective Yino, but with all due respect, the U.S. military isn't analogous to the secret police of Chile's previous dictatorship.

Iraqi casualties, while horrific, hasn't reached anywhere near 1,000,000. It's about a tenth of that, and the vast bulk of it has been inflicted by Shi'ite/Sunni/Kurdish conflict, not by American forces. If anything, U.S. troops have prevented that death toll from spiraling out of control. Yes, it's our fault for creating a power vacuum, and if you'd like to discuss THAT, I'm all ears, but mixing issues isn't helpful.

I have long gone on record that invading Iraq was a terrible decision (going way back to the days when I got called an unpatriotic traitor for that stance), but hyperbole of that nature is disingenuous in a discourse like this. That "million to one" comparison is exactly that - gross exaggeration; American soldiers routinely place themselves in harm's way to protect Iraqi civilians. I'm fine with calling the faults for what they are, but this? Assess the situation critically and objectively without emotional calls to hypotheticals, please. You took my legitimate scenario and took it to unrealistic extremes.

And, wow, I gotta side with Zok here. It wasn't the military that made the decision to engage in war. You're right as well; it was the executive branch with the general support of the U.S. populace, and the blame needs to be placed properly. If you want to steer this conversation about the abuse of power by the executive office and the gullibility of the American people, that's an entirely different topic.

And you quoted me, but didn't address it. I posited a realistic scenario in which a potentially innocent man is incarcerated in order to prevent a potential MEGA disaster. It's rational and ethical risk assessment. Yes, the freedom of one Arab is not as important as the lives of thousands of Americans. Conversely, the opposite is true as well - the freedom of one American is not as important as the lives of thousands of Arabs. I'm not advocating fearmongering. I'm advocating pragmatism.

I already stated that we need a modernized system of international law for governing these situations. Where are we disagreeing? It sounds like you're arguing against me, but I'm not sure where. What specifically is it you take umbrage at? I'm also confused as to your allusion about murder; are you claiming this is occurring? Torture, though, is a valid topic of discussion. Shall we go there next? And I'm participating in this thread because I like Zok's challenge to discuss possible solutions instead of futile hand wringing and moaning. What specifically about U.S. policy are you challenging Yino (you have PLENTY of legitimate choices), and what specific change would you like to see enacted?

Listen, I have plenty of criticisms of U.S. policy decisions myself. And I empathize with your nation's still recent brutal history. But don't let it color your objectivity, and let's stay on task here.

Also, you sort of misquoted Franklin.
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Re: What to do.... what to do...

Postby David Yun on Thu Jun 11, 2009 6:01 pm

I think maybe I figured out the disconnect here:

The problem is that these conflicts are not traditional wars. The enemy does not wear a uniform, nor abide by military code of conduct. This is why Bush referred to them as "illegal enemy combatants". Which is a completely outmoded way of thought. We were attacked by a terrorist organization with no firm ties with any legitimate government, and Bush's response is to attack a country? That's ridiculous Cold War era thinking.

We need to adapt to THEM, not try to impose outdated concepts on conflicts they were never meant to govern.

Conversely, in a traditional war, it is completely acceptable to interrogate POWs. And that's what they are, whether or not they wear a uniform or give loyalty to a particular flag. I've been stating that we need a modernized and internationally recognized system of processing them, but they are not "suspects", they are "prisoners". Clearly among them, there are true enemies refusing to fight in accordance with the regulations of war, so we must find a new way of dealing with them.

MC, it sounds like you're looking for this 'impartial judiciary' to conduct criminal proceedings once they are apprehended. If so, this is where the key conflict arises. POWs may have critical information about enemy plans, and must be vigorously interrogated. Judges grant latitude to police in these matter when say, a child is missing, if the perp might have knowledge of the child's location. How much more so the need for such latitude, in the case of potential mass destruction.

I'll reiterate one of my scenarios: do you let a criminal case drag on for months, when the suspect may have knowledge of a plot to detonate a dirty bomb in a major metropolis?

It's just not as simple as you're making it out to be.
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Re: What to do.... what to do...

Postby Zokrah on Fri Jun 12, 2009 10:09 am

Alright, I'd like to weigh in.

@ Yino. I'm going to respond to your posts, and address several issues at once, but please don't interpret it as an attack on you, per say, but rather the issues that I'm opposed to as a whole. I do apologize if I come off as angry, but please understand it's not at YOU, but rather the mindset that some people have, and I often liken your thoughts or ideas to those interpretations.

As Mr. Yun stated, the US military is not the Chilean military. The US has never really just randomly rounded up hundreds of citizens and summarily executed them without cause. Hell, I can't even think of them doing that WITH cause. So, I'd have to say your argument there is based more off of personal fear of your own government and military, rather than a factual basis of the US military's ethics and behavior. I can support your fear of the government; Keeping a watchful eye on the government is always a good idea. It's what keeps them 'honest' to a degree. But to compare the US military to that of the Russian KGB mentality, is simply wrong. It's like saying a banana is a car. Also, if you're going to talk about US military law, I'd like to ask what your basis and experience is on this subject matter.

Myself having been to hundreds of briefings, many deployments, boots on the ground situations, I'm curious as to how from the safety in a home or internet cafe, you make the judgment calls of what is right and what is wrong. The military has essentially two types of people. Combatants and non-combatants. Combatants are people who obviously threaten you. Non-combies are medics, priests, chaplains, and your 'average' civilians. Someone who picks up a gun or places an IED, is no longer granted immunity from being killed/captured. See, it's the same thing. We catch them walking to plant an IED, they die. They are now a combatant.

They may not personally be firing a gun at us, but they just laid a bomb that will go off when a convoy goes by, or press the button that triggers it. Are these the actions of civilians who simply claim they don't want to kill people? How would you see someone like that Yino? Madcat? I'm sure for all the talk of innocents, your view would change like Yun suggested, to that of the Israeli mindset now if it was your brother or your neighbor who just got killed by some 'non-combatants''.

Here's the fact you're all overlooking in the pursuit of justice, or at least your PERCEPTION of it. These people ARE guilty, and we DO have proof. But to reveal it to the world at large, risks more than you are willing to accept.

Sure, yeah, whatever you say. Easy out. But I'll break it down for you. Think of this, or at least consider these critical facts.

We got our information somehow. All of it usually classified of course, but what we're protecting is the names, the programs, the PEOPLE who got us that info. Good Iraqi citizens who saw their neighbor go out at night and plant a bomb. They're trying to do the right thing by saving lives. You're asking for his name. His family's name. Him to come before the media or world media to say "I am Joe-bob Mashir-Mohammed. I live on 1234 Baghdad Street. I saw Sammy Yousef walk out last night and plant a bomb. I reported it to the US military and they successfully removed and de-armed the IED. Now Sammy is in prison. But he's claiming he's innocent.

To reveal this information, I'm risking my life, and that of my family, because Sammy's friends WILL kill me for revealing this information and revealing whom they might be. They will make an example out of me to show others that they mean business. A rule of fear begins somewhere, and it starts like this." Actions taken by our imaginary friend Joe-bob here are actually the RIGHT way to do things. Average citizens seeing that lives will be lost by extremists and standing up for what is right. But, there's no story, no political lobby you can hold against something good like decent Human nature showing through. People don't want to hear of success... there's nothing to cause them to buy or believe the way you want if they feel safe and content.

Another angle to consider what some call a spy. I'll create something that could be true. Here's John Smith. John left the house in Virginia, Oregon, California, New York, wherever to join the US military. He's now on the ground in Iraq/Afghanistan, working the streets, taking notes and talking to the locals trying to get as much info as he can about potential threats to his fellow countrymen. John hears that Sammy Yousef has recently been seen leaving the house late at night, and staying inside his house all day. Sammy used to be such a nice guy in the neighborhood; Making falafels for the children, and helping the elderly couple down the street with heavy packages.

But recently, he's been seen with people that the neighbors don't recognize, and keeping odd hours. He's not as friendly as he used to be and they suspect him of working for the extremists. So, John Smith reports this to his command, and they then keep an eye on Sammy. Uh oh, Sammy is caught one night carrying some munitions to his house to complete building his bomb. Busted! Sammy is then taken by the military into custody and interrogated.

By interrogating Sammy, they can learn who these unknown people are, where they work, where they can be found, who is contacting him, who can lead the operation, where he got the bomb parts. This can then unravel the giant puzzle that helps us find the extremists and stop them and their slander of the good people in the world. But, if you want the proof from the event, break John's repor, safety, risk his life even further, reveal who his friends are, where he's been staying, PROOF; That what we know is true, you might as well stop everything he's accomplished. You say you want the proof and the truth, but the fact remains, we CANNOT reveal to the public HOW we know what we know. We can't talk about what gives us the upper edge and keeps us at the top as one of the world leaders. It certainly isn't our economy that keeps the world in check. It's the fact that if you attack the US, you're risking your own extinction. We're pack animals. You attack our herd, we kill you.

It's that simple. We're ensuring our own safety and survival. Who else in the world, has the freedom to shit on their own government, shit on their own military, and still be safe at home each and every night, free of the worry of attack and peace, and to arm chair coach from their chairs. The Americans, that's who. And that's thanks to people who risk their lives, give their lives, and do things that the fat, lazy motherfuckers who act as though THEY know how the world operates because they watch the news, AREN'T willing to do.


Yun is right, in declaring the Geneva conventions are 'old' in this war of today, however, it's not entirely out of context. Dressing up like civilians and not obviously declaring yourself allied with a 'formal enemy' has long since been a tactic of warfare. To imply that the US military alone has wrongfully or not dealt with this situation is ludicrous. People have been conducting guerilla warfare for centuries. Hell, we American's are guilty of it during our war of Independence. The British had to dress in their famous red coats, clearly marking them soldiers. We usually ran around in civilian clothes, taking pot shots and sniping them. The uniforms have changed... the tactics haven't.

Here's another to consider on the mindset you're using. I think you're meshing WORLD history of warfare and actions into the result/cause and effect of the US military. The French during world war II, well, the resistance in particular, not their shitty military (they actually attempted to defend France from the American liberators) dressed like civilians, and acted like terrorists to the Germans who occupied their country. But I'm sure you wouldn't brand them terrorists or call their actions terrible today. Same thing with the Polish and Jews in Warsaw. Hailed as heroes today. Here's the catch that you're missing: They didn't willingly kill civilians.

The west has an entirely different perception on human life. The east don't see life as we do. They ARE willing to use suicide attacks to kill their 'enemy', even if it costs civilian lives in the process. They ARE willing to recruit poor people, stupid/mentally challenged people, to conduct these attacks. They brutally threaten those beneath them to do their bidding, or THEY'LL kill them. The US military as well, let me remind you, REBUILDS the infrastructure of the country they're invading. We fix, repair, and upgrade their infrastructure. If you didn't get that, please re-read that. Iraq, is actually a better place since we went in.

I'll get into WHY taking out Saddam was good, but let's look at what good we're doing in Iraq. We improved their housing situation. Gave everyone that we can, POWER, WATER, HOT WATER, SEWAGE.

But here's the catch. Every time we build something up, IE a water purifier or piple line. Guess who wanders out and blows it up. Yep. That's right. Shi'ite Extremists under Sadir, or AQ. Yeah, real fucking great people they are. They blow up our facilities, and then attempt to say "look, the infidels are building facilities and then blowing them up to keep their cause and impress their religion upon you! They are NOT here for your benefit!" This is a great opportunity for the liberals and the media to take off. Yeah, ok, I'll agree that the money passed through Halliburton was insane. BUT, if the fucking shit heads keep doing shit like that, someone's gotta go back in and rebuild it since the military can't spend ALL it's time, building shit up. We build up those structures with our engineers, and then try to defend it.

Now, what's good about invading Iraq: Saddam isn't running amuck killing tribes or people he doesn't like. Lest you forget he GASSED (chem and nerve agents) 250,000 civilian people (The Kurds) in the north. And yet, you have gall to call the actions of the US military those of terrorists or repressive regimes? Wow. Un-fucking-believable. So, Yino, one could take what you're saying and twist it into the mindset like I've just demonstrated and say you're actually supporting someone who gases civilians to be an ethical or acceptable action.

@ Yun. I love you. (Most of the time). Know what OTS is? Apply my friend. You are very articulate, and that discussion we had, I seriously encourage you to try. Worst can happen is they say no and you keep on doing what you're doing now.
@ MC/Everyone else, but mostly MC. Rawr! Did this post cause you not to give your opinions anymore? If so, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to come across as a raving madman if I did. :) <3 <3 <3
Last edited by Zokrah on Fri Jun 12, 2009 5:53 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: What to do.... what to do...

Postby Yino on Fri Jun 12, 2009 3:21 pm

Well, first than nothing, Sorry if my words felt like an attack to your country, never was my intention.
And yes, I've been mixing world history with the current situation, I think that's what history is for.
But still as you may have noticed, I'm quite biased. I'm certainly disappointed to find out I can't remain impartial in these topics. So for now, I forfeit.

@Yun: I misquoted Franklin!? Damn
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Re: What to do.... what to do...

Postby Zokrah on Fri Jun 12, 2009 5:51 pm

Yino! I thought I told you I didn't feel like you were attacking me! hahaha. No, I'm attacking the ideas that are out there! I happily defend the rights for everyone to think differently and have other opinions. That's what makes the world a great place. Our diversity is our strength as humans! Despite how much crap is heaped upon the military and our government, I still defend people's right to freedom of speech! Even if they want to burn the flag, which I think is completely stupid, I'm risking my life, day in and day out, to give them that freedom, and I wouldn't have it any other way.

While I may get angry at their stupidity or disagreement from my own opinions and beliefs, they aren't me. I'm me. And I support each and every persons idea to believe something else. When someone starts hurting someone, then we have a problem. It's because of different ideas that we can grow and learn as a society. If you weren't here disagreeing with me, or pointing out different ideas or facts, I might not know what it's like in Chile as much. Or, that other people have different perspectives from my own.

I'd like to clarify, when I say "And you have the gall to..." I don't mean YOU Yino, I mean YOU as in the people who do crap all over us and so on and so forth. I know you have a different opinion than I do, but I should have said "And then people have the gall to"
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Re: What to do.... what to do...

Postby MadCat on Fri Jun 12, 2009 8:38 pm

@Zokrah No, I actually appreciated getting to read your opinion on the situation, to see where you were coming from, and I thought you had a lot of good points. I just decided to bow out a while back and let other people do the discussing. ^_^
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Re: What to do.... what to do...

Postby Zokrah on Fri Jun 12, 2009 9:36 pm

That's good to hear. I often 'flavor' my posts with too much agression or hate I suppose. I often just get so and take these things personally. I don't know why, it's not like I have a hand in what's going on (the bad stuff that is) and don't need to defend them. I often find myself just disagreeing with what's going on back home. I'm furious that Obama wants to give Terrorists the miranda rights now. Are you fucking kidding me? "I plead the 5th."

Yeah, you're not a fucking American citizen, NOR should terrorists or suspects be given the right to say nothing. God, if that's how he's going to run things, I hope he gets kick out of office. Not really thrilled with this transition to socialism either. This country was founded on the principle of not too much over arching government involvement. Competition breeds quality. Over here in England, 90% of their socialist programs like Health Care Blow. People in need of heart transplants wait on average 6 months before getting in on the government's bill. So, if you can survive for 1/2 a year, then you can get the life saving surgery you need. Fucking sickening. But people world wide praise it like the resurrection of christ. Gimme a break.
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Re: What to do.... what to do...

Postby Yino on Sat Jun 13, 2009 12:10 am

Ok, I forfeited the terrorist treatment topic due to being unfairly biased, but I can still cooperate a little with the socialism topic.
Socialism is quite a flexible system that can adapt to a country's necessities. I can cite my own country's public health system as a "not bad" example (can't say the same of public education), after a (really) long learning curve we managed to cut the waiting from months to weeks, although there are still symbolic hospitals known for their lack of quality. Private health is still way better, the waiting is measured in hours or days and the quality is remarkable, but of course is waaay more expensive. So the basic premise is: private health is good, public health is acceptable.
What I want to say is that a transition to socialism can take a long time for reaching acceptable levels, after all it requires quite a different approach for management and a lot of resources. I think Obama's approach is good as he doesn't seem to be rushing it.
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Re: What to do.... what to do...

Postby Zokrah on Tue Jun 23, 2009 6:58 pm

Did this topic die or what? Yun? I'm disappointed in you.... -_-
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