Law School Discussion

Off-Topic Area => Politics and Law-Related News => Topic started by: thechoson on April 21, 2004, 09:53:15 AM

Title: Military Draft Coming back?
Post by: thechoson on April 21, 2004, 09:53:15 AM
There are whispers that the military draft is being considered, with things going the way they are in Iraq.  What are everyone's feelings on this?
Title: Re: Military Draft Coming back?
Post by: jgruber on April 21, 2004, 09:55:54 AM


I will be most interested to see how things would play out in the draft regarding deferments for students and how women would figure in the draft.  If you draft young men, won't you have to draft young women, too?

Title: Re: Military Draft Coming back?
Post by: NerdyLaw on April 21, 2004, 09:57:08 AM
I think that I better get my ass in law school as to avoid the draft! Seriously, we are in the minority as far as countries that require compulsory military service. I have friends from Singapore and Europe who were required to spend 2 years in the army. It would help people to see that there is a price to security and maybe reinforce patriotism. I DO think that we should really think about doing this during peacetime.

"I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom I provide, then questions the manner in which I provide it."
   - Col. Nathan R. Jessup
Title: Re: Military Draft Coming back?
Post by: jgruber on April 21, 2004, 09:59:48 AM
I served in the Army for seven years.  I hated it and they were less than thrilled to have me.  In spite of that, I agree about two years of compulsory service. 


I think that I better get my ass in law school as to avoid the draft! Seriously, we are in the minority as far as countries that require compulsory military service. I have friends from Singapore and Europe who were required to spend 2 years in the army. It would help people to see that there is a price to security and maybe reinforce patriotism. I DO think that we should really think about doing this during peacetime.

"I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom I provide, then questions the manner in which I provide it."
   - Col. Nathan R. Jessup
Title: Re: Military Draft Coming back?
Post by: nathanielmark on April 21, 2004, 09:59:51 AM
I think I am old enough now (28) that i dont have to worry about it.  i think its unfortunate because iraq was an elective war that was a huge expense in terms of lives and dollars. it did nothing to make america a safer place.  if we are able to regain the level of stability in in iraq that was there before the war, i would consider that a victory at this point. 

the tragedy is that people are too apathetic to  sort thru the BS that the administration is feeding us and will probably put W back in the white house for another 4 years of floundering.  i really think we (americans) are becoming our own worst enemies at this point, thru ignorance and apathy
Title: Re: Military Draft Coming back?
Post by: jgruber on April 21, 2004, 10:02:33 AM
i really think we (americans) are becoming our own worst enemies at this point, thru ignorance and apathy

Of course, we're our own worst enemy.  We're the best at everything!

But elective wars are like elective surgery.  Expensive, unnecessary and likely to leave nasty scars.  I'm with you on this one.  War -- any war -- is a failure of civilizaton.  The greatest and most powerful nation on earth -- yeah, that's us -- could find no other way to address our problems than to kill people.  Shame on us.
Title: Re: Military Draft Coming back?
Post by: NerdyLaw on April 21, 2004, 10:07:32 AM
What can cure apathy besides hash reality? Whether W or Kerry makes it to the White house, the Congress must approve a draft. The President can not do that on his own. Even if they did institute a draft I would bet that a vast majority of the draftees would serve logistical or support roles. The fighting would probably be left to the professionals.

I do believe that we need to get our asses out of Iraq ASAP. The people hate us for being there and they will hate us when we leave but I would rather they hate us without killing us. Democracy and equal rights is an impossible dream in the middle east (Israel being th ONLY exception). It is a blanket generization, but the people in that region can not work together to embrace a common goal of security and equality. It can not and should not be our job to create a structure where that can happen.
Title: Re: Military Draft Coming back?
Post by: jgruber on April 21, 2004, 10:16:54 AM
Hear, hear. 

But I'm not sure we would have to pass a law to institute the draft.  There may be one on the books already just waiting for executive activation.  But then....

What can cure apathy besides hash reality? Whether W or Kerry makes it to the White house, the Congress must approve a draft. The President can not do that on his own. Even if they did institute a draft I would bet that a vast majority of the draftees would serve logistical or support roles. The fighting would probably be left to the professionals.

I do believe that we need to get our asses out of Iraq ASAP. The people hate us for being there and they will hate us when we leave but I would rather they hate us without killing us. Democracy and equal rights is an impossible dream in the middle east (Israel being th ONLY exception). It is a blanket generization, but the people in that region can not work together to embrace a common goal of security and equality. It can not and should not be our job to create a structure where that can happen.
Title: Re: Military Draft Coming back?
Post by: thechoson on April 21, 2004, 10:33:09 AM
Ok, here is my opinion.  All this talk that we need MORE soldiers over there seems wrong.  We had a massive amount of combat troops in Vietnam, and they just served as cannon fodder for the guerillas.  I actually argue it would be in our best interest to REDUCE the size of the military, and transform it.
The war in Iraq was won.  The peace is hard to secure.  We won the war with like 150,000 troops, much less than the Gulf War.  It's because we have such awesome technical superiority, through smart bombs and things of that sort, that we can win wars on technology and air power alone (think Kosovo). These are going to be the wars of the future.  Yet our military is still bloated and massive, with soldiers all over the place in a Cold War footing.  Donald Rumsfeld actually has addressed this issue, wanting to make the military smaller and quicker.

Wars of the past, huge tank battles with massive amount of soldiers, ala WWII, was the contingency during the Cold War.  Yet that never came into being because of nuclear deterrence.  We are unlikely to fight a huge war of attrition with a great power, because nuclear weapons would come into play.  The only real danger would be North Korea, but we should rely more on the 660,000 South Korean infantry who are trained almost exlusively to deal with a land invasion from North Korea.  That coupled with massive American firepower would easily defeat the North Koreans.

So, reduce the size of the military.  Withdraw some from Korea, Germany, Japan.  REPLACE them with elite forces.  Spend more money on training fewer soliders, and pay them more so they become even more professionalized.  These type of elite, commando type of soldiers would be much more effective in rooting out insurgents and providing security in places like Iraq, then just having 200,000 soldiers walking around so guerillas can play target practice.  Wars will be won with superior air power and technology anyways, so it's useless to actually have a BIGGER military, at least in my opinion.
Title: Re: Military Draft Coming back?
Post by: tahoetahoe on April 21, 2004, 10:38:24 AM
I agree that we have no business being in Iraq, but pulling out now would be a logicial nightmare and a grave tactical error.  How would it look to go running away from a region with our tail between our legs because people start dying...as if we didn't forsee that as a consequence.  Did we really think we were going to be in and out in 2 months?  That was obviously not going to be the case.

We need to build more of an international coalition to lessen the burden to our soldiers and citizens.  The fact remains that the U.S. is more interested in hoarding the spoils of war then building an international coalition.

My understanding is that being in school may no longer be sufficient to dodge the draft.  I am going to be 26, though, so I know I don't have to worry. 

With regard to compulsory service...it seems like a good idea on the face of it.  But, how would many of you feel having to fight in some of these b.s. wars...is that freedom?  If we were truly fighting to prevent global oppression or really prevent terrorism, then maybe it would seem like a good idea.  We must not forget, we are there for oil...the killing of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi citizens is not why we are there...if it was, we could stand to save a lot more folks being killed in Africa.
Title: Re: Military Draft Coming back?
Post by: thechoson on April 21, 2004, 10:40:14 AM
I agree that we have no business being in Iraq, but pulling out now would be a logicial nightmare and a grave tactical error.  How would it look to go running away from a region with our tail between our legs because people start dying...as if we didn't forsee that as a consequence.  Did we really think we were going to be in and out in 2 months?  That was obviously not going to be the case.

We need to build more of an international coalition to lessen the burden to our soldiers and citizens.  The fact remains that the U.S. is more interested in hoarding the spoils of war then building an international coalition.

My understanding is that being in school may no longer be sufficient to dodge the draft.  I am going to be 26, though, so I know I don't have to worry. 

With regard to compulsory service...it seems like a good idea on the face of it.  But, how would many of you feel having to fight in some of these b.s. wars...is that freedom?  If we were truly fighting to prevent global oppression or really prevent terrorism, then maybe it would seem like a good idea.  We must not forget, we are there for oil...the killing of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi citizens is not why we are there...if it was, we could stand to save a lot more folks being killed in Africa.

I don't think it's oil necessarily, and it's definitely not the citizens.  I honestly believe Bush was convinced this war was necessary for America's security.  That's the bottom line.  He was wrong, but he believed in it enough to send this country to war.  Kind of scary
Title: Re: Military Draft Coming back?
Post by: tahoetahoe on April 21, 2004, 10:45:45 AM
I agree it wasn't just oil that sent us to Iraq, but it was one of the reasons.  Think about it...how many billion barrels of oil are over there...multipy that by how much each barrel is worth...do the math.  Of course, there are other idiotic reasons we are there.  It is scary.  Yeah, I feel a lot safer.
Title: Re: Military Draft Coming back?
Post by: thechoson on April 21, 2004, 10:46:55 AM
Bush is an idiot.  Geez... let's just ignore Colin Powell.  a f-ing 5 star GENERAL.  If he doesnt' think war's a good idea, hmm... maybe he's onto something
Title: Re: Military Draft Coming back?
Post by: jgruber on April 21, 2004, 10:49:35 AM
Is the world safer? 
I've been to Europe about seven times and would like to go again, but I'm not planning any vacations outside the country anytime soon.
Title: Re: Military Draft Coming back?
Post by: Findedeux on April 21, 2004, 10:52:30 AM
If a draft was approved I would definitely dodge it if I was fighting in a war like Iraq. If a war is waged for the self-intersts of a country, and is unneccessary and detrimental to all, I think it would be immoral to fight in it. While I think Iraq may have been waged more for interests of welfare than normal, it still tends to fall under the unneccesary and detrimental heading. How long do you think it is going to take before a country uses pre-emptive strike policy on the U.S.? Which is why I don't feel bad towards politicians that dodged the draft for Vietnam. I think very rarely does America exhaust all its options before going to war. Just look at the evidence that Bob Woodward presents towards Bush's deliberation before attacking Iraq.
While the middle east certainly has large problems with democracy, free rights, etc, it has frequently been the case that America has prevented these formations (at least to the extent that they exist in the Middle East) in order to take advantage of natural resources in the area. Iran is one example, in which we supported Raza Shah, because the existing leader wanted to take back the natural resources of Iran for its people (the British and Americans wanted that oil, as well as tobacco).
   While I obviously hate the fact that we are in Iraq, I think we have a responsibility to stabilize the nation before we leave. We created this mess, we have to clean it up. I think leaving pre-maturely would be very detrimental in terms of regional stability and terrorist activity.
   I don't believe Israel is a good example of democracy. When you have to expel 3 million people from their land to found your democracy and kill thousands of innocents I think democracy is the wrong word. That's not to say I'm against zionism or the Jewish people, but I think the way they've gone about creating a Jewish state is wrong. I don't believe religious claims that are 2000 years old (I'm a religion major so I know Jewish history) justify what occurred in Palestine in 1948. I also think that the Israeli army tends to react with excessive force towards Palestinians. This does not erase the fact that Palestinians do bomb Israelis everyday, but looking at the issue from a strategic point of view, this seems to be a result of the fact that Palestinians have no hope of beating the Israelis face to face. When you have two enemies, one strong and one weak, guerilla warfare is frequently used by the weaker enemy. I would argue you can interrpet the bombings as such, though I would also admit that they are religiously  motivated.
Title: Re: Military Draft Coming back?
Post by: jgruber on April 21, 2004, 10:53:52 AM
If you go without a draft, you fall into the 'forcing the poor to fight our wars' thing.

Title: Re: Military Draft Coming back?
Post by: thechoson on April 21, 2004, 10:55:21 AM
This is a scary thought for a mother of a 17 year old son (18 in a few months).  I would not like to see his college interrupted.  I also am a strong believer that both men and women should be drafted if it is put in place.  Doesn't Israel have a compulsory service for both men and women?  Does anybody know how that works?  Also, what about gays?  The military doesn't really want them now with that "don't ask don't tell" policy.  Will they be forced to deny their sexuality in order to meet their obligations.  Lots of thorny issues here.  Could simply be resolved by getting the hell out of Iraq and making the military service a viable altenative for our young people.  Perhaps they could raise pay and benefits to start with. That alone may bring in enough volunteer recruits.

Yes, honestly, this issue should concern younger men more than even me (though I will be 22 this year).  If they do implement a draft, it won't be for a while.  Israel does have compulsory service for men and women.  And yes, the gay issue would be difficult.  They might give exemptions to those who are gay, so then you might have guys that start faking it.  All these issues, not to mention the fact that the draft has such a black eye even now from Vietnam, is going to make it very unlikely.  Instituting a draft would also be murder on the administration, because everyone knows it is a last resort that will turned to in desperation.  If a draft does occur, it would probably be for young people in civil service duties, such as national security, making patrol at airports, securing public events, things of that sort.  Money is also a factor.  It take a LOAD of money to train each and every awesome American soldier these days (a lot of people seem to underestimate just how well American soldiers are trained and what effective soldiers they are).
Title: Re: Military Draft Coming back?
Post by: jgruber on April 21, 2004, 10:56:02 AM
With regard to compulsory service...it seems like a good idea on the face of it.  But, how would many of you feel having to fight in some of these b.s. wars...is that freedom?

Are you suggesting that the draft is never justified?  Or that we should can only be compelled to fight in wars we approve personally?
Title: Re: Military Draft Coming back?
Post by: thechoson on April 21, 2004, 10:58:02 AM
With regard to compulsory service...it seems like a good idea on the face of it.  But, how would many of you feel having to fight in some of these b.s. wars...is that freedom?

Are you suggesting that the draft is never justified?  Or that we should can only be compelled to fight in wars we approve personally?

WWII- justified
Iraq- bull
Title: Re: Military Draft Coming back?
Post by: jgruber on April 21, 2004, 10:59:10 AM
Normally we don't get to vote on wars.  Ah, but in November...
oh, never mind.  Even I don't believe that fairy tale.


With regard to compulsory service...it seems like a good idea on the face of it.  But, how would many of you feel having to fight in some of these b.s. wars...is that freedom?

Are you suggesting that the draft is never justified?  Or that we should can only be compelled to fight in wars we approve personally?

WWII- justified
Iraq- bull
Title: Re: Military Draft Coming back?
Post by: NerdyLaw on April 21, 2004, 11:11:51 AM
Findedeux: You claim to be be in the know about Israeli history yet you make accusations that are one sided and smack of ignorance. I'm not flaming you here, but i want to make a point that no one can possibly know about the history of Israel yet still claim that they "react with excessive force toward Palestinians". If you see "Palestinians" as the current denizens of the West Bank and Gaza, then I can't see how the largest and most powerful army in the region could react any less to its citizens being blown up.

The Palestinians are unfortunately a neglected people who were used for political gain when it was convinient. Jordan, Syria, and Egypt WERE the West Bank and Gaza. The "Palestinians" were neglected and passed over by these countries. When their invasions were repelled numerous times, the people would lived in these areas were treated as political pawns. It is very sad indeed.

When commenting on the Israeli history of "oppression" please do not forget that on the very day that the UNITED NATIONS voted to call Israel a sovereign nation, that the armies of Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Lebanon attacked the fledgling state from all sides. Since then, Israel has been attacked 4 other times (1948–49, 1956, 1967, 1973–74, and 1982). All of the surrounding countries told the arabs in Israel and the surrounding territories to leave and not become targets in a war. They were promised resettlement once the Zionists were expelled and exterminated. This never happened.

As a scholar of religious history, you should recognize that the last 50 years and current news headlines read like biblical prophecy. The position of Israel as a super power in that region coupled with the deep-seeded hatred and jealousy of its neighbors creates a tenuous position that must be resolved by a higher power or explode as a powder-keg that will destroy the entire region.

And yes... I DO plan on starting a pro-Israel club at my law school.  Do you think I will have many takers? ;)
Title: Re: Military Draft Coming back?
Post by: jgruber on April 21, 2004, 11:15:33 AM
Killing for political gain is always questionable.  Always.



Findedeux: You claim to be be in the know about Israeli history yet you make accusations that are one sided and smack of ignorance. I'm not flaming you here, but i want to make a point that no one can possibly know about the history of Israel yet still claim that they "react with excessive force toward Palestinians". If you see "Palestinians" as the current denizens of the West Bank and Gaza, then I can't see how the largest and most powerful army in the region could react any less to its citizens being blown up.

The Palestinians are unfortunately a neglected people who were used for political gain when it was convinient. Jordan, Syria, and Egypt WERE the West Bank and Gaza. The "Palestinians" were neglected and passed over by these countries. When their invasions were repelled numerous times, the people would lived in these areas were treated as political pawns. It is very sad indeed.

When commenting on the Israeli history of "oppression" please do not forget that on the very day that the UNITED NATIONS voted to call Israel a sovereign nation, that the armies of Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Lebanon attacked the fledgling state from all sides. Since then, Israel has been attacked 4 other times (1948–49, 1956, 1967, 1973–74, and 1982). All of the surrounding countries told the arabs in Israel and the surrounding territories to leave and not become targets in a war. They were promised resettlement once the Zionists were expelled and exterminated. This never happened.

As a scholar of religious history, you should recognize that the last 50 years and current news headlines read like biblical prophecy. The position of Israel as a super power in that region coupled with the deep-seeded hatred and jealousy of its neighbors creates a tenuous position that must be resolved by a higher power or explode as a powder-keg that will destroy the entire region.

And yes... I DO plan on starting a pro-Israel club at my law school.  Do you think I will have many takers? ;)
Title: Re: Military Draft Coming back?
Post by: NerdyLaw on April 21, 2004, 11:18:28 AM
jgruber!!!! What did you do to your name? I can't take you changing something that has become so comforting to me. My mental stability while waiting for LS responses is dependent upon usual, common activities. I don't think that I can deal with this sudden change.  Thanks alot!  >:(
Title: Re: Military Draft Coming back?
Post by: tahoetahoe on April 21, 2004, 11:21:18 AM
With regard to compulsory service...it seems like a good idea on the face of it.  But, how would many of you feel having to fight in some of these b.s. wars...is that freedom?


Are you suggesting that the draft is never justified?  Or that we should can only be compelled to fight in wars we approve personally?

************************************
Obviously, it is not my stance to say that we get to pick and choose the wars we're in on a personal basis.  However, it is out duty as Americans, despite the arguments of many Republicans, to question our leaders and their motivations.  Iraq wasn't a good idea.  WWII was.  Simple as that.  We have a history of going to resource-driven wars under Republican leaders.  These wars are masked in other terms for the American populace...to fight the domino effect for communist nations falling...to fight terrorism.  Afghanistan was about terrorism, not Iraq.  When is the last time we've had problems w/ Iraqi people being terrorists in our country?  Yeah, I don't remember reading about that.  Or, are we there because the secuirty code was ORANGE that day...I don't know. 

I think the draft has been very important at different points in American history.  Of course, in WWII, people many times didn't have to be asked, they would just join.  The cause was more clear.  Now, we are there to clean up the mess we created...seems less noble.
Title: Re: Military Draft Coming back?
Post by: thechoson on April 21, 2004, 11:24:54 AM
Wait, wtf!!! Jgruber is jeffjoe now?  huh?!
Title: Re: Military Draft Coming back?
Post by: jgruber on April 21, 2004, 11:32:04 AM
It's to celebrate my confirmation name. I became a Catholic on Holy Saturday.


jgruber!!!! What did you do to your name? I can't take you changing something that has become so comforting to me. My mental stability while waiting for LS responses is dependent upon usual, common activities. I don't think that I can deal with this sudden change.  Thanks alot!  >:(
Title: Re: Military Draft Coming back?
Post by: thechoson on April 21, 2004, 11:34:16 AM
Congratulations!!!  ;D
Title: Re: Military Draft Coming back?
Post by: jgruber on April 21, 2004, 11:36:40 AM
Thanks.  It was a surprise to this Presbyterian/Episcapol/Lutheran/Baptist/Episcopal, but I found out it's where I belong.


Congratulations!!!  ;D
Title: Re: Military Draft Coming back?
Post by: thechoson on April 21, 2004, 11:37:45 AM
Thanks.  It was a surprise to this Presbyterian/Episcapol/Lutheran/Baptist/Episcopal, but I found out it's where I belong.


Congratulations!!!  ;D

uhh... yea.
Title: Re: Military Draft Coming back?
Post by: jgruber on April 21, 2004, 12:50:51 PM
OK.  Now let's argue about the draft some more.......  :o
Title: Re: Military Draft Coming back?
Post by: NerdyLaw on April 21, 2004, 01:00:04 PM
yeah
Title: Re: Military Draft Coming back?
Post by: NerdyLaw on April 21, 2004, 01:00:31 PM
^^^^ That was my first one. It feels good. :)
Title: Re: Military Draft Coming back?
Post by: jgruber on April 21, 2004, 01:01:15 PM
Yeah
Title: Re: Military Draft Coming back?
Post by: thechoson on April 21, 2004, 03:03:31 PM
Draft= bad idea= not likely to come back
Title: Re: Military Draft Coming back?
Post by: jgruber on April 21, 2004, 07:16:43 PM
The prez says it's not under consideration.  he's hurt himself electorally by extended Iraq tours.  Pissed off National Guard and Reserve members and their families vote.

I don't think he's going to risk losing more votes by suggesting or supporting a draft.  Now next year....
Title: Re: Military Draft Coming back?
Post by: Findedeux on April 21, 2004, 07:32:09 PM
NJLawguy: You seem to claim that if Palestinians bomb Israelis then whatever action the Israeli government takes subsequently cannot be categorized as excessive. This seems patently false. A perfect example that seems to play out every week or so is when a Palestinian blows up a Israeli soldier and in return not only are several Palestinians killed, but whole villages are razed. Here is a article from the Human Rights Watch organization that supports my point.

             Research Shows Israeli Pattern of Excessive Force
Palestinian Authority Also Fails in Duty to Protect Civilians 
(New York, October 17, 2000) - Human Rights Watch today released results of a week-long investigation that condemns Israeli police and security forces for a pattern of using excessive, lethal force in clashes with demonstrators over the past two weeks...

 

 I would not describe the attack of Israel on the day the UN voted to call Israel a soverign nation as falling under the hisotry of jewish oppression. The area west of jordan had long been contemplated as a zionist state . Arabs had continually voiced their dislike for this idea, as can be seen by their reaction to Jewish immigration in the 20's. Considering the plan put forward by the U.N assembly whereby the British mandate of palestine would be split into a Jewish and Palestinian state, despite the fact that Jews made up only a small percentage of the population, I am not sure the opposition the Middle eastern countries had towards Israel was totally unfounded. Zionism was never a really popular idea for most countries, and Israel only came into being because of the atrocities of the Holocaust. While I think the Holocaust has shown that a Jewish state is necessary, the way it came about was unjust. Thus, I would not include the Arab-Israeli war as an example of Jewish oppression, as you seem to believe it is. When a small portion of the population is given the majority (and best) of the land as well as the major resources of a country I believe that is reason to oppose the creation of such a plan. As one web site states: The Arab leadership opposed the two-state plan, arguing that it violated the rights of the majority of the people in Palestine, which at the time was 67% non-Jewish (1,237,000) and 33% Jewish (608,000). They criticised the amount and quality of land given to Israel. The Jews had been offered 55% percent of the land when they only owned 7%.
   
  I think you're a little bit melodramatic about the future of the middle east. Likely, Arabs and Palestinians will simply be killing each other 50 years from now.


Title: Re: Military Draft Coming back?
Post by: jgruber on April 21, 2004, 07:39:57 PM
You can justify a position on Israel/Palestine using history and statistics.  How many live there and how long they go back.  Who has the most victims, who has the most support.  Who the US supports and who the UN condemns.

But these arguments seem to me to merely entrench existing opinion and positions. This is one argument that can't be won.

Whether you argue that Israel is defending itself or that Palestinians are justified, it comes down to one thing.  People are killing and being killed.  Lives are being destroyed all in the name of security and justice, but there is no security and no justice.

When people are ready to seek peace with mutual respect and a blind eye to the past, then maybe there will be hope.  Until then, invest in arms manufacturers and pray the finger stays off the middle east button.



Title: Re: Military Draft Coming back?
Post by: thechoson on April 21, 2004, 09:07:33 PM
To ensure the peace, you must prepare for war
Title: Re: Military Draft Coming back?
Post by: jgruber on April 22, 2004, 07:26:38 AM
To ensure the peace, you must prepare for war

This is something we hear often.  But look at the record.  Has it worked?  Ever?
Title: Re: Military Draft Coming back?
Post by: thechoson on April 22, 2004, 09:31:40 AM
To ensure the peace, you must prepare for war

This is something we hear often.  But look at the record.  Has it worked?  Ever?

It's called the Cold War
Title: Re: Military Draft Coming back?
Post by: jgruber on April 22, 2004, 09:58:10 AM
You're kidding, right?  The cold war was peace?

Vietnam
Korea
just to mention a couple.

So how would you explain those as peace?


To ensure the peace, you must prepare for war

This is something we hear often.  But look at the record.  Has it worked?  Ever?

It's called the Cold War
Title: Re: Military Draft Coming back?
Post by: Findedeux on April 22, 2004, 10:03:10 AM
Typo:should have read Palestinians and Israelis will be killing each other.

Anyway, Bush isn't dumb enough (unfortunately) to try and enact a draft. Then you might actually see the youth of our generation vote for once to kick his butt out of office.
Title: Re: Military Draft Coming back?
Post by: tahoetahoe on April 22, 2004, 10:03:14 AM
Let's face it...the Republicans miss the days of the Cold War and they want to bring it back...what better excuse to pointlessly build up our military.  How else can they better help their friends win military contracts. 

And no......I would consider the Cold War to be peace time.  Cuban missle crisis anyone? :-\
Title: Re: Military Draft Coming back?
Post by: thechoson on April 22, 2004, 10:05:57 AM
You're kidding, right?  The cold war was peace?

Vietnam
Korea
just to mention a couple.

So how would you explain those as peace?



As opposed to WWI and WWII?  Besides, all I am referring to is the USSR and the USA (the 2 Great Powers).  They never warred with each other.  How do you explain that?
To ensure the peace, you must prepare for war

This is something we hear often.  But look at the record.  Has it worked?  Ever?

It's called the Cold War
Title: Re: Military Draft Coming back?
Post by: NerdyLaw on April 22, 2004, 10:06:42 AM
The cold war did work. No nukes were fired an the Soviet Union was dismantled. If we had disarmed unilateral, I shudder to think what might have happened. Of the two wars you mentioned, Vietnam could be seen as a war by-proxy with the SU, but Korea was definately the US/UN against NK and China. Vietnam is a difficult issue to sum up in a couple of sentences, but it was our own fault that we got dragged into that quagmire and got the Soviets involved in any way.

But here is an interesting thought to mull over: Every time there is a problem in the world, who do people call first? When we DO respond, are we hailed as heroes? Are we vilified? What would happen if we stopped responding to these types of requests? I'm not saying that I think one way or the other. I'm curious as to what everyone else thinks.
Title: Re: Military Draft Coming back?
Post by: jgruber on April 22, 2004, 10:15:52 AM
The question is whether it brought peace.  It is very difficult to say it brought peace with over 57,000 American killed in Vietnam alone.


Whether it worked depends on how you define 'worked'. 

By the definition you offer, it worked.  I can offer other definitions that will show it failed.  Like did it ensure freedom?  Domestic spying, red scares, black lists.  Hmmmmmmmmm.


The cold war did work. No nukes were fired an the Soviet Union was dismantled. If we had disarmed unilateral, I shudder to think what might have happened. Of the two wars you mentioned, Vietnam could be seen as a war by-proxy with the SU, but Korea was definately the US/UN against NK and China. Vietnam is a difficult issue to sum up in a couple of sentences, but it was our own fault that we got dragged into that quagmire and got the Soviets involved in any way.

But here is an interesting thought to mull over: Every time there is a problem in the world, who do people call first? When we DO respond, are we hailed as heroes? Are we vilified? What would happen if we stopped responding to these types of requests? I'm not saying that I think one way or the other. I'm curious as to what everyone else thinks.
Title: Re: Military Draft Coming back?
Post by: thechoson on April 22, 2004, 10:28:38 AM
The question is whether it brought peace.  It is very difficult to say it brought peace with over 57,000 American killed in Vietnam alone.


Whether it worked depends on how you define 'worked'. 

By the definition you offer, it worked.  I can offer other definitions that will show it failed.  Like did it ensure freedom?  Domestic spying, red scares, black lists.  Hmmmmmmmmm.


The cold war did work. No nukes were fired an the Soviet Union was dismantled. If we had disarmed unilateral, I shudder to think what might have happened. Of the two wars you mentioned, Vietnam could be seen as a war by-proxy with the SU, but Korea was definately the US/UN against NK and China. Vietnam is a difficult issue to sum up in a couple of sentences, but it was our own fault that we got dragged into that quagmire and got the Soviets involved in any way.

But here is an interesting thought to mull over: Every time there is a problem in the world, who do people call first? When we DO respond, are we hailed as heroes? Are we vilified? What would happen if we stopped responding to these types of requests? I'm not saying that I think one way or the other. I'm curious as to what everyone else thinks.

Success is measured by the fact that the USSR and USA NEVER WARRED.  You challenged my statement that preparing for war ensures peace.  The USSR and USA ensured peace with each other because they prepared to nuke each other to death.  Nuclear deterrence.  Look at other examples throughout history.  The greatest period of peace between the powers of Europe was the time between the Concert of Vienna (1816?) until the Crimean War, and arguably the wars of Bismarck in the 1870.  During that time, there was a balance of power which ensured peace between the great powers. 

As for Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan, isn't it interesting that the US and USSR never confronted each other directly in these conflicts?  Remember, small allies have driven great powers into destructive wars with each other in the past (try WWI).  When Korea was threatening to escalate, Eisenhower threatened nukes, which brought the Chinese to the bargaining table.  Vietnam was not taken to the next level (nukes) because the USSR would be sure to respond against one of the USA's allies.  Same thing in Afghanistan. The USA did provide stingers, but they directly did not get involved because of the fear of escalation against the USSR.  In WWI, this was not the case.  So the USA and USSR preparing to kill each other ensured peace between those two, and kept those proxy wars from escalating to World Wars.

Yes, 57,000 Americans died in Vietnam.  Try 500,000 in WWII.  Try 20 MILLION dead on the Soviet Side during WWII.  Almost 40 million worldwide during the less than 10 years of WWII.  The Cold War claimed casulaties, but nowhere near the numbers of WWI or WWII.

JeffJoe, if you ever have time, you might want to check out Gaddis' Long Peace or anything written by Kenneth Waltz. Kind of explains this point of view better than I ever could.
Title: Re: Military Draft Coming back?
Post by: jgruber on April 22, 2004, 10:39:10 AM
I've been stuffing my brain with history since I was old enough to hold a book.  You bring up a number of interesting points, but none explain how the cold war could be consider an era of peace. 

Relative numbers of dead don't.

Lack of direct military confrontation doesn't.

Explanations abound, but you can't call a period of time filled with war an eara of peace. 

Whether you think the cold war strategy was good or bad, whether it worked or not, the fact is there was not peace.
Title: Re: Military Draft Coming back?
Post by: NerdyLaw on April 22, 2004, 11:30:54 AM
I am not sure what definition you are using for peace. We did experience a period of general tranquility and lack of armed conflict with the USSR. Political strong arming, vying for a leg up, and the war of words will ALWAYS exist on the international stage. It is bred by jealousy and people worrying about who has a bigger penis. Can a Utopian peace exist? I think not due to human nature.

The important part to note is that during this time, the general welfare of the United States was maintained with the main exception being Vietnam. We (the US) were obsessed with this ridiculous domino theory that never manifested due to the self-destructive nature of communism. That was our bed, and we were forced to lay in it.

When measuring the effect of any conflict, I'm not sure why it is NOT appropriate to use casualties as the chief unit of measure. That is what sperates great conflicts from trivial conflicts.
Title: Re: Military Draft Coming back?
Post by: jgruber on April 22, 2004, 11:53:21 AM
Peace at a minimum would be the absence of war.  Not fighting the USSR directly would not be sufficient.  General tranquility?  That's like being a little pregnant.  War is war.  Peace is peace. 

Being ready for war was offered as the way to peace.  I asked for an example and the cold war was offered.

During the cold war, we fought wars.  By definition it was not peace. 

And there are not trivial conflicts that destroy human life.  I lost family members in Vietnam.  Does it make it less tragic than World War I or II. 

I am not sure what definition you are using for peace. We did experience a period of general tranquility and lack of armed conflict with the USSR. Political strong arming, vying for a leg up, and the war of words will ALWAYS exist on the international stage. It is bred by jealousy and people worrying about who has a bigger penis. Can a Utopian peace exist? I think not due to human nature.

The important part to note is that during this time, the general welfare of the United States was maintained with the main exception being Vietnam. We (the US) were obsessed with this ridiculous domino theory that never manifested due to the self-destructive nature of communism. That was our bed, and we were forced to lay in it.

When measuring the effect of any conflict, I'm not sure why it is NOT appropriate to use casualties as the chief unit of measure. That is what sperates great conflicts from trivial conflicts.
Title: Re: Military Draft Coming back?
Post by: thechoson on April 22, 2004, 12:33:36 PM
Peace at a minimum would be the absence of war.  Not fighting the USSR directly would not be sufficient.  General tranquility?  That's like being a little pregnant.  War is war.  Peace is peace. 

Being ready for war was offered as the way to peace.  I asked for an example and the cold war was offered.

During the cold war, we fought wars.  By definition it was not peace. 

And there are not trivial conflicts that destroy human life.  I lost family members in Vietnam.  Does it make it less tragic than World War I or II. 

I am not sure what definition you are using for peace. We did experience a period of general tranquility and lack of armed conflict with the USSR. Political strong arming, vying for a leg up, and the war of words will ALWAYS exist on the international stage. It is bred by jealousy and people worrying about who has a bigger penis. Can a Utopian peace exist? I think not due to human nature.

The important part to note is that during this time, the general welfare of the United States was maintained with the main exception being Vietnam. We (the US) were obsessed with this ridiculous domino theory that never manifested due to the self-destructive nature of communism. That was our bed, and we were forced to lay in it.

When measuring the effect of any conflict, I'm not sure why it is NOT appropriate to use casualties as the chief unit of measure. That is what sperates great conflicts from trivial conflicts.

We DID NOT WAR WITH THE USSR!!! GEEZUS!!!  The point was you can maintain peace by preparing for war.  The US and USSR did this, and we did not war.  Forget all those proxy wars. Peace BETWEEN the US and USSR was maintained.  You name me one other time in history when there were 2 powers like that, and they avoided war, and eventually one side won.  That's pretty damn peaceful, i'd say
Title: Re: Military Draft Coming back?
Post by: jgruber on April 22, 2004, 12:39:05 PM

We did not go to war directly with the USSR.  Got it.  We were ostensibly at peace with the USSR.  But we were fighting wars.  War is the opposite of peace to say the least.  So arming for war did not give us peace.

Saying we had peace because we didn't fight a direct war with the USSR is more than a little silly.



Peace at a minimum would be the absence of war.  Not fighting the USSR directly would not be sufficient.  General tranquility?  That's like being a little pregnant.  War is war.  Peace is peace. 

Being ready for war was offered as the way to peace.  I asked for an example and the cold war was offered.

During the cold war, we fought wars.  By definition it was not peace. 

And there are not trivial conflicts that destroy human life.  I lost family members in Vietnam.  Does it make it less tragic than World War I or II. 

I am not sure what definition you are using for peace. We did experience a period of general tranquility and lack of armed conflict with the USSR. Political strong arming, vying for a leg up, and the war of words will ALWAYS exist on the international stage. It is bred by jealousy and people worrying about who has a bigger penis. Can a Utopian peace exist? I think not due to human nature.

The important part to note is that during this time, the general welfare of the United States was maintained with the main exception being Vietnam. We (the US) were obsessed with this ridiculous domino theory that never manifested due to the self-destructive nature of communism. That was our bed, and we were forced to lay in it.

When measuring the effect of any conflict, I'm not sure why it is NOT appropriate to use casualties as the chief unit of measure. That is what sperates great conflicts from trivial conflicts.

We DID NOT WAR WITH THE USSR!!! GEEZUS!!!  The point was you can maintain peace by preparing for war.  The US and USSR did this, and we did not war.  Forget all those proxy wars. Peace BETWEEN the US and USSR was maintained.  You name me one other time in history when there were 2 powers like that, and they avoided war, and eventually one side won.  That's pretty damn peaceful, i'd say
Title: Re: Military Draft Coming back?
Post by: thechoson on April 22, 2004, 12:40:45 PM
Can you tell me how not warring with the USSR, and thus preventing the EXTINCTION of MAN, is silly?
Title: Re: Military Draft Coming back?
Post by: jgruber on April 22, 2004, 12:42:54 PM
It is silly to suggest that we were at peace because we weren't directly fighting one particular country.

It is silly to say we were at peace when thousands were dying in Vietnam and Korea.

It is silly to say we were at peace when we were at war.
Title: Re: Military Draft Coming back?
Post by: thechoson on April 22, 2004, 12:43:48 PM
you didn't answer my question. how is preventing nuclear war silly?
Title: Re: Military Draft Coming back?
Post by: jgruber on April 22, 2004, 12:50:34 PM
The goal of preventing war of any kind - nuclear, spitball - is not silly.  I don't see the point of your question.

You suggested that the cold war was proof that being armed for war preserves the peace.
We fought wars during the cold war, therefore there was not peace. 

Have you noticed that at no time have I said that it was not a good idea to contain the Soviet Union?  That I did not question the wisdom of the policy?

All I said is that the policy did not prevent war and the proof is the wars we fought during the cold war.  I acknowledge that we did not fight a direct war with the USSR.  To that extent, the policy may have worked -- to the extent that it may have prevented a worse war than ones we did fight.  But it did not prevent war.
Title: Re: Military Draft Coming back?
Post by: thechoson on April 22, 2004, 12:54:14 PM
No it did not prevent war.  But my central point is that it prevented war with USSR. If you ahve a balance of power, you prevent wars.  Would we have fought an idiotic war with Vietnam if they could nuke our asses with ICBMs? No.  Would we have gone into Korea if China could use nukes? No.  If you have a balance of power achieved by arming and preparing to fight a war, you deter all possible adversaries and ensure the peace.  Case in point, the USSR and USA in the Cold War.

I think I've made my point. I'll let you make yours, and let's talk about something else.   ;D
Title: Re: Military Draft Coming back?
Post by: jgruber on April 22, 2004, 12:56:48 PM
No it did not prevent war.  But my central point is that it prevented war with USSR. If you ahve a balance of power, you prevent wars.  Would we have fought an idiotic war with Vietnam if they could nuke our asses with ICBMs? No.  Would we have gone into Korea if China could use nukes? No.  If you have a balance of power achieved by arming and preparing to fight a war, you deter all possible adversaries and ensure the peace.  Case in point, the USSR and USA in the Cold War.

I think I've made my point. I'll let you make yours, and let's talk about something else.   ;D

If your contention is that being armed for war can prevent some wars, I'll accept that.  If you're saying a balance of power prevents larger wars, I can support that.

If you stick to your original contention that being armed for war brings peace, I'll continue to disagree.
Title: Re: Military Draft Coming back?
Post by: thechoson on April 22, 2004, 12:56:50 PM
Oh by the way, I am still a Korean citizen, but I consider myself American and plan to get citizenship. Is anyone offended however that I keep saying WE when referring to the United States? If so I apologize!
Title: Re: Military Draft Coming back?
Post by: thechoson on April 22, 2004, 12:57:33 PM
No it did not prevent war.  But my central point is that it prevented war with USSR. If you ahve a balance of power, you prevent wars.  Would we have fought an idiotic war with Vietnam if they could nuke our asses with ICBMs? No.  Would we have gone into Korea if China could use nukes? No.  If you have a balance of power achieved by arming and preparing to fight a war, you deter all possible adversaries and ensure the peace.  Case in point, the USSR and USA in the Cold War.

I think I've made my point. I'll let you make yours, and let's talk about something else.   ;D

Jeffjoe, you got yourself a deal.  now instead of arms races, we can go back to our post race.  hehehe
If your contention is that being armed for war can prevent some wars, I'll accept that.  If you're saying a balance of power prevents larger wars, I can support that.

If you stick to your original contention that being armed for war brings peace, I'll continue to disagree.
Title: Re: Military Draft Coming back?
Post by: thechoson on April 22, 2004, 12:58:14 PM
I MEANT, Jeffjoe, you got yourself a deal.
now instead of arms races, we can go back to our post race.
hehehe
Title: Re: Military Draft Coming back?
Post by: jgruber on April 22, 2004, 01:00:32 PM
No. Post races lead to pole races and pole races lead to stick races, which lead to turbocharged stick races.  The only hope for peace is to arm for marbles.
Title: Re: Military Draft Coming back?
Post by: thechoson on April 22, 2004, 01:01:01 PM
uhh... ok.
Title: Re: Military Draft Coming back?
Post by: Phillip79 on April 23, 2004, 04:57:41 AM
How long do you think it is going to take before a country uses pre-emptive strike policy on the U.S.?

Gee, I thought that had already happened. September 11th?

One thing that we know for certain:  The Clinton administration policy of doing nothing and even trying to appease terrorists did NOT make us any safer. 

There are certain people who are going to hate America no matter what we do.  Regardless of WMD's, I'd rather "err" on the side of toppling brutal dictators and freeing million sof people, than doing absolutely nothing and getting attacked anyway. 

The era of sticking our head in the sand is over.  The decade when Saddam Hussein laughed at us is over.  I don't miss it.

   

Title: Re: Military Draft Coming back?
Post by: NerdyLaw on April 23, 2004, 06:18:36 AM
People were saying in the 50's, "If we had only taken out Hitler in the 30's." Sadam is gone and people can say that it was a bad idea, but our children will never have to deal with what he might have become.
Title: Re: Military Draft Coming back?
Post by: jgruber on April 23, 2004, 09:21:43 AM
People were saying in the 50's, "If we had only taken out Hitler in the 30's." Sadam is gone and people can say that it was a bad idea, but our children will never have to deal with what he might have become.

And they were also saying in the 50s, why did we do business with Hitler?

And now we are saying why did we send money to Saddam and why -- after we knew he gassed his own people -- did we continue to play nice with him to the point that Rummey was shaking hands in public with him
Title: Re: Military Draft Coming back?
Post by: tahoetahoe on April 23, 2004, 09:32:39 AM
phillip79

If you don't care that Iraq didn't have WMDs, you should.  It is the entire reason we justified getting involved in this war to the world.  We also have to remember that over 600 Americans have died and thousands of Iraqis have died.  Yet, we still can't PROVE we had a reason to be there. 

All I can say is do you really believe that the Iraqis think that we are "freeing" them?  We killed thousands of people there when we rolled in.  You have to understand the degree of international arrogance that is involved w/ this sort of activity.  We didn't tell the world we were going in to oust a Dictator...we said it was for WMDs.  On the other hand, we did plan on toppling Hitler in WWII.  Big difference.  Americans need to learn the concept of international diplomacy versus brute force.
Title: Re: Military Draft Coming back?
Post by: jgruber on April 23, 2004, 09:35:38 AM
How long do you think it is going to take before a country uses pre-emptive strike policy on the U.S.?

Gee, I thought that had already happened. September 11th?



What in the world are you using as proof of a connection between Iraq and 9/11?  Even George Wacko Bush has stop trying to convince anyone there is a connection.  He's retreated to the vague generalized war on terror speil.  Puh-leeze.  Let's stick to facts that we can at least agree might be real facts.  This is not the fiction shelf.
Title: Re: Military Draft Coming back?
Post by: jgruber on April 23, 2004, 09:38:41 AM
On the other hand, we did plan on toppling Hitler in WWII.  Big difference.  Americans need to learn the concept of international diplomacy versus brute force.

But we don't seem to have learned from the past.  American millionares supported Hitler early on.  We did business with Nazi Germany up to Dec 7th.  Many Americans were willing to turn a blind eye to Hitler's activities to serve the bottom line. 

And we did the same thing with Saddam, and before that it was the Shah of Iran and before that ....

Title: Re: Military Draft Coming back?
Post by: aladin on April 23, 2004, 07:39:45 PM
I'll immigrate to some European country (France? LOL) in case military draft comes back. I feel sorry for these guys being shipped to Iraq to fight for Chenney's oil.
Title: Re: Military Draft Coming back?
Post by: jgruber on April 24, 2004, 09:59:36 AM
I'll immigrate to some European country (France? LOL) in case military draft comes back. I feel sorry for these guys being shipped to Iraq to fight for Chenney's oil.


Wuday mean Cheney's oil?  It's Bush's, and Rumsfeld, and ....
Title: Re: Military Draft Coming back?
Post by: Phillip79 on April 25, 2004, 05:51:19 AM
If you don't care that Iraq didn't have WMDs, you should.

All I can say is do you really believe that the Iraqis think that we are "freeing" them?  We killed thousands of people there when we rolled in. 

It's not that I don't care about WMD's, but I do think the war can be justified completely on the WMD issue, or completely aside from it. 

Hussein was required to submit to weapons inspections by the United Nations, as a condition of his surrender during the Gulf War.  For the decade that followed, though, he engaged in a game of deceiving and frustrating weapons inspectors, and kicked them out of the country several times. 

It is NOT the responsibility of the United States to gather infallible intelligence on what Iraq was doing; why it was refusing to comply with inspections.  It WAS Saddam Hussein's responsibility to fully comply, and prove to the world that he did not have WMD's.  He simply did not do that. 

Knowing his history of using WMD's, and given his current behavior, the common-sense assumption is that he's being secretive because he has something to hide.  When you can't deal with certainties because Hussein has made that impossible, assuming the worst is the only responsible action.  But I don't mean to suggest that our decision was made on blind assumptions; there was very convincing evidence of his WMD programs. 

As David Kay, the Chief Weapons inspector said after his resignation, "It was reasonable to conclude that Iraq posed an imminent threat. What we learned during the inspection made Iraq a more dangerous place potentially than, in fact, we thought it was even before the war."

Kay also reported that Iraq attempted to revive its efforts to develop nuclear weapons in 2000 and 2001, but never got as far toward making a bomb as Iran and Libya did. He said Baghdad was actively working to produce a biological weapon using the poison ricin until the American invasion last March.

All the evidence that we have points to one conclusion:  Hussein was feverishly working to develop WMD's, if we didn't have them already (a possibility that I'm still skeptical about).  He wanted to develop nuclear weapons, and given enough time, he eventually would have been successful, or obtained one on the black market. 

You said that the U.S. has to learn international diplomacy, and not brute force.  On the contrary, you should be applauding the U.S. as one of the few countries willing to enforce INTERNATIONAL LAW, and prop up the United Nations as though it were a relevant institution. 

As to your other point - "We killed thousands of people there when we rolled in."  It's true, we killed thousands of soldiers in the invasion (but actually, we allowed most to surrender.  Perhaps if we hadn't been so careful about sparing the lives of Hussein's loyalists initially, we wouldn't be having so many problems today).  We did NOT kill thousands of civilians.  If that's what you meant to suggest, it's simply not true. 
Title: Re: Military Draft Coming back?
Post by: Findedeux on April 25, 2004, 06:16:07 AM
As stated by Amnesty International and other human rights organizations the civilian death toll was 4000-9000 Iraqi civilians. This is an old statistic, it is much higher now. The Iraqi people are coming to hate the U.S. even more than before. Many of these people were killed when the U.S. got information about Hussein personnell so and so, and they started bombing civilian houses and areas. The large majority of these personnell were not even where they were supposed to be, meaning that innocent people died for nothing.

  You also have to assume that Iraq would have used the WMD if they had had them. While this seems like it is obvious, it is not. Hussein had used chemical weapons on his own population (the Kurds?) and neighboring states but I think it is clear that he was never a threat to the U.S. He never Someone would of course say that he could sell WMDs to terrorists who would then use these WMDs on the U.S. but that is a highly unlikely scenario given that these types of transactions are possible to trace and that Hussein knew what the U.S.'s response would be to such an act. He had chemical weapons to use on the U.S. in the same way as WMD, and didn't use these against us for the reasons above.

   As for the U.S. being anything than isolationist is a bad joke. The U.S. went to war with Iraq despite the vocal protests of every major ally it had. Yes, Hussein was a bad person and should have been killed. But do you really think we went in there to free the Iraqi people? We are in bed with Saudi Arabia,a country that is now known to have far more connections with Al-Quaida than Saddam ever did. And why are they still are "friends"? Because they have almost all the oil and we want as much of that oil as we can get as cheaply as we can get it.
  Not to mention that a pre-emptive strike policy is the dumbest thing I have ever heard of in my entire life. The U.S. will likely be top dog for at least a few more decades. But once our reign is over (China will probably follow us) we will be vulnerable to the same moronic strategy that we have applied in Iraq. Let's just hope we survive the (hopefully) well-intentioned idiocy of the Bush administration.
   
Title: Re: Military Draft Coming back?
Post by: jgruber on April 25, 2004, 12:55:21 PM
War can be justified on many grounds, but unilateral, pre-emptive attacks don't seem to fit into that category.

Agreed criteria for justified war have been completely ignored by the current administration.





Principles of the Just War

    * A just war can only be waged as a last resort. All non-violent options must be exhausted before the use of force can be justified.
    * A war is just only if it is waged by a legitimate authority. Even just causes cannot be served by actions taken by individuals or groups who do not constitute an authority sanctioned by whatever the society and outsiders to the society deem legitimate.
    * A just war can only be fought to redress a wrong suffered. For example, self-defense against an armed attack is always considered to be a just cause (although the justice of the cause is not sufficient--see point #4). Further, a just war can only be fought with "right" intentions: the only permissible objective of a just war is to redress the injury.
    * A war can only be just if it is fought with a reasonable chance of success. Deaths and injury incurred in a hopeless cause are not morally justifiable.
    * The ultimate goal of a just war is to re-establish peace. More specifically, the peace established after the war must be preferable to the peace that would have prevailed if the war had not been fought.
    * The violence used in the war must be proportional to the injury suffered. States are prohibited from using force not necessary to attain the limited objective of addressing the injury suffered.
    * The weapons used in war must discriminate between combatants and non-combatants. Civilians are never permissible targets of war, and every effort must be taken to avoid killing civilians. The deaths of civilians are justified only if they are unavoidable victims of a deliberate attack on a military target.
Title: Re: Military Draft Coming back?
Post by: Phillip79 on April 25, 2004, 05:53:02 PM
"War can be justified on many grounds, but unilateral, pre-emptive attacks don't seem to fit into that category."

Where did you get that idea? 

"A just war can only be waged as a last resort. All non-violent options must be exhausted before the use of force can be justified."

On the contrary, I think America's decision to engage in 6 months of diplomacy, trying to pursuade the United Nations to enforce its own Security Council resolutions, was our biggest mistake.  I understand that we had to go through the motions of exhausting all other options, but if Saddam Hussein had any WMD's, he certainly had ample time to hide them or move them to Syria while we were fooling around, trying to get irrelevant former world powers on our side. 

"A war is just only if it is waged by a legitimate authority."   

The U.S. government is a legitimate authority.  The actions taken in Iraq hold the support of a majority of the American people, whether you like it or not. 

"A just war can only be fought to redress a wrong suffered. For example, self-defense against an armed attack is always considered to be a just cause."

Yes, I agree.  For 12 years, Hussein fired missiles at U.S. planes patrolling the No-Fly zone.  We could go through a very long list of "wrongs suffered" by the United States as a result of Hussein's actions in the 1990's. 

"A war can only be just if it is fought with a reasonable chance of success. Deaths and injury incurred in a hopeless cause are not morally justifiable."

In other words, a Lyndon Johnson-style war is out of the question?  Of course it is, and we learned that lesson.  Iraq was crushed so quickly, the world was stunned.

"The ultimate goal of a just war is to re-establish peace."
 
The Coalition has mostly succeeded in this regard.  There IS peace in the overwhelming majority of Iraq.  The media is fixated (somewhat understandably) on a few hotspots that are continuing to cause a problem.

"More specifically, the peace established after the war must be preferable to the peace that would have prevailed if the war had not been fought."

No more rape and torture rooms, no more executing political prisoners.  Currently, life in most Iraqi cities is more peaceful and free than it was under Hussein's regime.   

"The violence used in the war must be proportional to the injury suffered."

The U.S. has gone out of its way, almost to the point of frustration, to avoid not only civilian casualties, but to avoid Iraqi military casualties as well!  While Hussein's regime has killed nearly a million people, the U.S. has killed a few thousand enemy soldiers in overthrowing him.  Our level of force has certainly not been proportional to the damage he has caused.  Quite the contrary. 

"The weapons used in war must discriminate between combatants and non-combatants. Civilians are never permissible targets of war, and every effort must be taken to avoid killing civilians."

Again, compared to World War II and other major wars of past generations, civilian casualties are virtually non-existent in Iraq.  "Surgical strikes" with smart bombs have minimized civilian deaths (notwithstanding unsubstantiated claims made by anti-war groups like Amnesty International). 

After reading your requirements for a just war, I feel very good about my government's actions in overthrowing a vicious dictator and working toward the creation of a free and stable Iraq. 
Title: Re: Military Draft Coming back?
Post by: Findedeux on April 25, 2004, 07:50:16 PM
I find it hilarious that someone would dismiss a group's projections of civilian causaalties based on that group's tendency to be "anti-war." Last time I checked, war was generally frowned upon but I guess because all the cool kids are doing it is has sudenly become the in-thing. And to think as a gen-X'er that somehow passed over my cool radar. Doh.

   I would think that the poster before me may have been stating just war theory, which is Catholic doctrine, though I don't know who else supports the theory.

   That Saddam may have had time to move WMD's to a different simply points to the fact that other countries are as equally deserving of war as Iraq, but that Bush is selectively discriminating. Why not Saudi Arabia if its all about democracy? Why not N Koreak with its nukes? This could go on and on. And are we really going to go to war with the whole middle east?
 
   Peace in the overwhelming majority of Iraq is not peace. It is becoming clear that Iraq may cost us more than it was worth if as a result of it anti-American sentiment increases such that terrorism activity also increases. This is no surprise, as everyone (except Bush it seems) was debating this issue before the war. We may have taken out a violent dictator but I think the only way a democracy is going to take place in Iraq is if we shove it down their throats, something that is not going to be possible when we withdraw most of our forced after the handover date. The major issue is whether the world will be safer after Iraq, and since I believe the most prominent issue is terrorism rather than horrible regimes, I am inclined to think the latter (it helps that there is little or no connection between the two, at least in the case of Iraq).
 
Title: Re: Military Draft Coming back?
Post by: Findedeux on April 25, 2004, 07:53:20 PM
Sorry post should read:when we withdraw most of our forces after the handover date...
 
 As to "latter" I am referring to the possibility that the world will not be safer after Iraq. Should have proofread a little better.
Title: Re: Military Draft Coming back?
Post by: jgruber on April 26, 2004, 07:14:34 AM
The just war doctrine is certainly supported by the Catholic Church, but it is also supported widely throughout Protestant denominations.  I learned about these principles about 25 years before becoming a Catholic.

As to why not other countries, you might also ask why not Pakistan which is widely believed to have nuclear weapons and was identified by the administration as supporting terrorism.  Why are they are new best friends?  For the same reason Saddam was way back when.   Because they fit the need of the moment and not for any higher moral purpose.

 
I find it hilarious that someone would dismiss a group's projections of civilian causaalties based on that group's tendency to be "anti-war." Last time I checked, war was generally frowned upon but I guess because all the cool kids are doing it is has sudenly become the in-thing. And to think as a gen-X'er that somehow passed over my cool radar. Doh.

   I would think that the poster before me may have been stating just war theory, which is Catholic doctrine, though I don't know who else supports the theory.

   That Saddam may have had time to move WMD's to a different simply points to the fact that other countries are as equally deserving of war as Iraq, but that Bush is selectively discriminating. Why not Saudi Arabia if its all about democracy? Why not N Koreak with its nukes? This could go on and on. And are we really going to go to war with the whole middle east?
 
   Peace in the overwhelming majority of Iraq is not peace. It is becoming clear that Iraq may cost us more than it was worth if as a result of it anti-American sentiment increases such that terrorism activity also increases. This is no surprise, as everyone (except Bush it seems) was debating this issue before the war. We may have taken out a violent dictator but I think the only way a democracy is going to take place in Iraq is if we shove it down their throats, something that is not going to be possible when we withdraw most of our forced after the handover date. The major issue is whether the world will be safer after Iraq, and since I believe the most prominent issue is terrorism rather than horrible regimes, I am inclined to think the latter (it helps that there is little or no connection between the two, at least in the case of Iraq).
 
Title: Re: Military Draft Coming back?
Post by: jgruber on April 26, 2004, 07:16:55 AM
You lost me on this paragraph.

I find it hilarious that someone would dismiss a group's projections of civilian causaalties based on that group's tendency to be "anti-war." Last time I checked, war was generally frowned upon but I guess because all the cool kids are doing it is has sudenly become the in-thing. And to think as a gen-X'er that somehow passed over my cool radar. Doh.

Title: Re: Military Draft Coming back?
Post by: Findedeux on April 26, 2004, 11:53:27 AM
Jeffjoe: Phillip had stated: "Again, compared to World War II and other major wars of past generations, civilian casualties are virtually non-existent in Iraq.  "Surgical strikes" with smart bombs have minimized civilian deaths (notwithstanding unsubstantiated claims made by anti-war groups like Amnesty International)."

  His suggestion was that anti-war groups cannot be trusted to accurately report civilian casualties precisely because they are anti-war. Not only did I find this funny because I had supposed that everyone was anti-war at least in theory, but groups like Amnesty international and Human Rights Watch, etc, are known to have some of the most accurate reporting on such figures. If you really want to be suspect of anyone you would want to question the group that had the greatest interest in the war, which is obviously the U.S., not groups like the above. These groups know they won't be able to stop the war (just as they have never stopped any other war) and they know there will be more wars. They are primarily there to document what takes place on both sides. Thus, they would most likely be the most accurate source of such casualties. 

   As for smart bombs, they're only as good as the information they are fed. Here is a little piece from Slate.com on the subject:

                   "Smart Bombs, Dumb Targets
Did overconfidence in precision targeting cause civilian deaths in Iraq? A new report by Human Rights Watch reveals, for the first time, just how persistently they tried to kill individual Iraqi leaders in this manner—and how consistently they failed.

Over the course of the war, U.S. air forces mounted 50 so-called "decapitation strikes." The bombs accidentally killed several dozen civilians who happened to be near the explosions, but they killed none of the Iraqi leaders they were intended to strike.he problem was not with the bombs. The bombs were as accurate as advertised; they hit precisely where they were aimed. The problem was with the pre-strike intelligence; the Iraqi leaders—the bombs' targets—turned out to be someplace else."


  Not the best time to be an American.
Title: Re: Military Draft Coming back?
Post by: jgruber on April 26, 2004, 12:32:48 PM
Good points.  I sense -- and no offense meant Phillip -- but a little miopia setting in, similar to that at the White House.  Numbers that disagree with ours must be wrong.



As to this being a bad time to be an American...  yes and no.  We still live in a country that is extremely safe compared to others and we still have an remarkable degree of freedom to travel inside and outside our country.

The no part....  as much as I love to travel abroad and see new things and meet new people, I will not be taking any more trips out of the country any time soon.  There are just too many people who -- rightly or wrongly; that's another debate -- want to kill Americans.   I'm staying home for a long time.  I don't even want to visit the big cities anymore, like NYC, Chicago, etc.  I suspect I'm safest in rural Tennessee when it comes to 'fighting terrorism'.


Jeffjoe: Phillip had stated: "Again, compared to World War II and other major wars of past generations, civilian casualties are virtually non-existent in Iraq.  "Surgical strikes" with smart bombs have minimized civilian deaths (notwithstanding unsubstantiated claims made by anti-war groups like Amnesty International)."

  His suggestion was that anti-war groups cannot be trusted to accurately report civilian casualties precisely because they are anti-war. Not only did I find this funny because I had supposed that everyone was anti-war at least in theory, but groups like Amnesty international and Human Rights Watch, etc, are known to have some of the most accurate reporting on such figures. If you really want to be suspect of anyone you would want to question the group that had the greatest interest in the war, which is obviously the U.S., not groups like the above. These groups know they won't be able to stop the war (just as they have never stopped any other war) and they know there will be more wars. They are primarily there to document what takes place on both sides. Thus, they would most likely be the most accurate source of such casualties. 

   As for smart bombs, they're only as good as the information they are fed. Here is a little piece from Slate.com on the subject:

                   "Smart Bombs, Dumb Targets
Did overconfidence in precision targeting cause civilian deaths in Iraq? A new report by Human Rights Watch reveals, for the first time, just how persistently they tried to kill individual Iraqi leaders in this manner—and how consistently they failed.

Over the course of the war, U.S. air forces mounted 50 so-called "decapitation strikes." The bombs accidentally killed several dozen civilians who happened to be near the explosions, but they killed none of the Iraqi leaders they were intended to strike.he problem was not with the bombs. The bombs were as accurate as advertised; they hit precisely where they were aimed. The problem was with the pre-strike intelligence; the Iraqi leaders—the bombs' targets—turned out to be someplace else."


  Not the best time to be an American.

Title: Re: Military Draft Coming back?
Post by: Findedeux on April 26, 2004, 01:10:59 PM
"Unfortunately" I am goint to Europe for a vacation in a week. I probably won't have to worry about the plane trip, but we're hitting many of the big cities in Europe. At least I won't have to worry about Spain seeing as how they ran away from Iraq with their tail between their legs around the same time that the terrorists told them to get out.
Title: Re: Military Draft Coming back?
Post by: jgruber on April 26, 2004, 01:13:34 PM
"Unfortunately" I am goint to Europe for a vacation in a week. I probably won't have to worry about the plane trip, but we're hitting many of the big cities in Europe. At least I won't have to worry about Spain seeing as how they ran away from Iraq with their tail between their legs around the same time that the terrorists told them to get out.

I have a friend in France who wrote me not too long ago.  He said that people in France have no animosity toward Americans, but the current administration. 

I expect that you will be welcome by everyone who doesn't have a bomb.

Are you sure of your facts about Spain?  I read that the prime minister made a promise to leave long before the election and the attack in Madrid.
Title: Re: Military Draft Coming back?
Post by: Findedeux on April 26, 2004, 04:42:38 PM
If you look, you'll notice that I didn't actually say Spain left because of the terrorist threats. I also heard that he (the prez) had made a promise to the citizens of Spain that he would pull out of Iraq if he was elected. Still, they did hear about the threats, and they still pulled out. To me, whether or not that was the actual reason for their pulling out, that is cowardly. I also have doubts as to whether Spain will actually be any better off by pulling out. Negotiating with terrorists is a bad precendent to set.
Title: Re: Military Draft Coming back?
Post by: thechoson on April 26, 2004, 06:28:28 PM
Too much stuff going on for me to read it all, but I heard something about civilian casualties.  Did at least 1 innocent Iraqi die cause of this war?  Yes.  Did Saddam kill this Iraqi?  No.  So obviously this war wasn't that great for this Iraqi
Title: Re: Military Draft Coming back?
Post by: jgruber on April 27, 2004, 11:18:36 AM
Too much stuff going on for me to read it all, but I heard something about civilian casualties.  Did at least 1 innocent Iraqi die cause of this war?  Yes.  Did Saddam kill this Iraqi?  No.  So obviously this war wasn't that great for this Iraqi

Hear, hear.
Title: Re: Military Draft Coming back?
Post by: Phillip79 on April 27, 2004, 06:31:23 PM
But since you bring up the issue, is it legitimate for a minority-elected president to wage a war that Congress did not declare to be a war?  Why didn't they declare war if the justification is a clear and undisputed as some would suggest.

First of all, the President was not "minority-elected."  He won a majority of the electoral votes.  If you have a problem with our Constitutional system, take it up with James Madison and company.  The President won every recount that was ever done in Florida, and I don't want to get into "Bush stole the election" arguments.

Secondly, Congress DID pass a resolution authorizing military force in Iraq.  It didn't bear the title "Declaration of war," but as I'm sure you know, there has been no official "Declaration of war" since World War II, and there's various reasons for this having nothing to do with the merits of the Iraqi war.  Incidentally, there's nothing in the Constitution specifically defining what constitutes a declaration of war.  If Congress passes a resolution authorizing military force, that sounds like a declaration of war to me, and nothing in the Constitution says otherwise.  Further, Congress has AFFIRMED its initial declaration by passing supplemental spending bills supporting the war (You know, the $87 billion that Kerry voted for, before he voted against?)

Thirdly, the war is "legitimate" in the sense that a majority of the public supports it (and interestingly, support for the war has gone UP slightly in recent weeks, even in the face of increasing difficulties).  The war is legitimate because the overwhelming majority in Congress support it.  The U.S. is a republic, and the actions of Congress reflect the will of the majority. 
Title: Re: Military Draft Coming back?
Post by: Phillip79 on April 27, 2004, 06:54:53 PM
   That Saddam may have had time to move WMD's to a different simply points to the fact that other countries are as equally deserving of war as Iraq, but that Bush is selectively discriminating. Why not Saudi Arabia if its all about democracy? Why not N Koreak with its nukes? This could go on and on. And are we really going to go to war with the whole middle east?

I hear you, and I agree in principle that, if we had unlimited troops and unlimited financial resources, I would favor doing what we've done in Iraq to most countries in the Middle East. 

But we don't have unlimited military and financial resources, and we have to deal with reality.  The fact that we simply cannot overthrow every dictator in the world is NOT an argument to sit back and do nothing.  This is not an all-or-nothing proposition. 

I don't see anything hypocritical in making examples out of a few dictators, and doing as much as we can realistically do.  Even in our domestic criminal justice system, it's an unfortunate reality that many crimes go unpunished.  That's no reason not to prosecute the criminals that we DO catch. 

Look at what's happening in Libya.  They're dismantling their nuclear program, because of genuine fear over what we've done in Afghanistan and Iraq.  Khadafi would have laughed at us just 5 years ago (as Saddam Hussein was doing).  Once these countries start to get the message that we're serious, I don't think it'll be necessary to kill every dictator, one by one. 

You brought up Saudi Arabia and North Korea.  Put it this way:  I wouldn't lose any sleep if we assassinated the entire Saudi royal family.  But invading Saudi Arabia, and especially an occupation of Mecca, would unite the Arab world against us (including most of the people in Iraq and Afghanistan).  This would cause a world war, one which we could only prevail in by using nuclear weapons, I'm afraid.  Needless to say, this is not a viable option. 

For the same reason, we can't simply go gung-ho into North Korea and pray that they don't launch nuclear missiles.  There's a HUGE difference between taking pre-emptive action against a hostile state that's feverishly working to develop nukes (such as Iraq or Libya), and attacking a hostile regime that ALREADY has them!  In the former scenario, it's the only responsible action; in the latter, it is suicide. 

As for the estimations by Amnesty International, well....you can draw your own conclusions there.  I'm not saying that every claim they make is necessarily false, because they're anti-war. But I'm simply stating a fact that they're not an objective observer, and their "estimates" need to be evaluated through the scope of a political interest group.  They have a vested interest in promoting inflated casualty figures, because they didn't support the war in Iraq from the beginning.     
Title: Re: Military Draft Coming back?
Post by: jgruber on April 28, 2004, 08:50:19 AM
First, he is a minority president in that he received a minority of the popular vote.  That is what I meant and getting huffy about the electoral college isn't going to change that fact.  Notice I didn't say he was illegitmate, illegal or any other words to suggest that. 

Secondly, the Congress did not declare war.  Other indications of Congressional support do not constitute a declaration of war, the means and method of which are long established by precedent.

Thirdly, the legitimacy of the war is largely a matter of context.  In some it is and in others it is not.  You have your opinion and you're welcome to it.  As to whether a majority of the people support the war is a matter of opinion.  Please don't quote me any opinion polls unless you can also give details as to how they were conducted and the questions asked.  Opinion polls can easily be manipulated. 

Yes the will of Congress reflects the majority in this republic.  A majority of the dollars spent to influence decisions.  Please don't let's be naive about that.
But since you bring up the issue, is it legitimate for a minority-elected president to wage a war that Congress did not declare to be a war?  Why didn't they declare war if the justification is a clear and undisputed as some would suggest.

First of all, the President was not "minority-elected."  He won a majority of the electoral votes.  If you have a problem with our Constitutional system, take it up with James Madison and company.  The President won every recount that was ever done in Florida, and I don't want to get into "Bush stole the election" arguments.

Secondly, Congress DID pass a resolution authorizing military force in Iraq.  It didn't bear the title "Declaration of war," but as I'm sure you know, there has been no official "Declaration of war" since World War II, and there's various reasons for this having nothing to do with the merits of the Iraqi war.  Incidentally, there's nothing in the Constitution specifically defining what constitutes a declaration of war.  If Congress passes a resolution authorizing military force, that sounds like a declaration of war to me, and nothing in the Constitution says otherwise.  Further, Congress has AFFIRMED its initial declaration by passing supplemental spending bills supporting the war (You know, the $87 billion that Kerry voted for, before he voted against?)

Thirdly, the war is "legitimate" in the sense that a majority of the public supports it (and interestingly, support for the war has gone UP slightly in recent weeks, even in the face of increasing difficulties).  The war is legitimate because the overwhelming majority in Congress support it.  The U.S. is a republic, and the actions of Congress reflect the will of the majority. 
Title: Re: Military Draft Coming back?
Post by: Phillip79 on April 28, 2004, 10:19:18 AM
First, he is a minority president in that he received a minority of the popular vote.

Bill Clinton received a minority (less than 50%) of the popular vote in both elections, and we don't refer to him as a "minority" president.  But regardless, we've never elected presidents by totality of the popular vote.  In fact, it would be accurate to say that President Bush won a majority of the popular vote in a majority of the states. 

I'm not trying to get "huffy," but when you call him a "minority" president, you're attempting to discredit him on unfair grounds.  It's perfectly fine to disagree with his policies, but let's not get side-tracked.  If you're interested in discussing the Electoral College system, I'd be happy to do that (and I'm not being sarcastic - I wrote a paper on it in college, and I find our system of government fascinating). 

As for public opinion polls, you can judge their legitimacy for yourself.  This is from Gallup, arguably the most reputable polling organization in America.  They simply ask if going to war was "worth it," and despite all the difficulties we've had, a majority still supports the war.

http://www.gallup.com/content/?ci=11446
Title: Re: Military Draft Coming back?
Post by: jgruber on April 28, 2004, 10:24:32 AM
He's a minority president.  We've had them before and we'll have 'em again.  If that discredits him, then so be it.  Don't think that comparing him to Clinton gives him any credit.  I don't have any more respect for Clinton than I do Bush.

Nope, don't want to discuss the electoral college.

The poll asked if it was worth it.  That can mean many things to many people, one of which would be to support the war.  It's a matter of opinion.

But let's agree to disagree.  I don't like Bush's policies, I didn't like Clinton's and I don't like what I hear from Kerry.  He will not get my vote.

So we probably agree on Clinton and Kerry and not on Bush.  Two out of three is not bad.



First, he is a minority president in that he received a minority of the popular vote.

Bill Clinton received a minority (less than 50%) of the popular vote in both elections, and we don't refer to him as a "minority" president.  But regardless, we've never elected presidents by totality of the popular vote.  In fact, it would be accurate to say that President Bush won a majority of the popular vote in a majority of the states. 

I'm not trying to get "huffy," but when you call him a "minority" president, you're attempting to discredit him on unfair grounds.  It's perfectly fine to disagree with his policies, but let's not get side-tracked.  If you're interested in discussing the Electoral College system, I'd be happy to do that (and I'm not being sarcastic - I wrote a paper on it in college, and I find our system of government fascinating). 

As for public opinion polls, you can judge their legitimacy for yourself.  This is from Gallup, arguably the most reputable polling organization in America.  They simply ask if going to war was "worth it," and despite all the difficulties we've had, a majority still supports the war.

http://www.gallup.com/content/?ci=11446
Title: Re: Military Draft Coming back?
Post by: Phillip79 on April 28, 2004, 10:51:28 AM
But let's agree to disagree.

Okay, that's fine.  Getting back to the original topic of this thread, which I never addressed:  I think it's highly unlikely that the draft will be instituted.  We have somewhere around 135,000 troops in Iraq right now, and one of the major criticisms of Donald Rumsfeld is that he hasn't put enough of the troops that we ALREADY have in Iraq.  Just for perspective, we used 500,000 troops in the first Gulf War, and no draft was needed then either. 

The numbers simply do not support any possibility of a draft, and I suspect that some people are just trying to force comparisons to Vietnam.  There's really no comparison. 
Title: Re: Military Draft Coming back?
Post by: jgruber on April 28, 2004, 10:55:22 AM
I read that the number of troops is significantly lower than in '91, so that this 135,000 represents a large percentage of our forces.

One source said that we are at the lowest level since 1939

But let's agree to disagree.

Okay, that's fine.  Getting back to the original topic of this thread, which I never addressed:  I think it's highly unlikely that the draft will be instituted.  We have somewhere around 135,000 troops in Iraq right now, and one of the major criticisms of Donald Rumsfeld is that he hasn't put enough of the troops that we ALREADY have in Iraq.  Just for perspective, we used 500,000 troops in the first Gulf War, and no draft was needed then either. 

The numbers simply do not support any possibility of a draft, and I suspect that some people are just trying to force comparisons to Vietnam.  There's really no comparison.