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Author Topic: Military Draft Coming back?  (Read 15877 times)

jgruber

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Re: Military Draft Coming back?
« Reply #80 on: April 26, 2004, 03:32:48 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.


Findedeux

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Re: Military Draft Coming back?
« Reply #81 on: April 26, 2004, 04:10:59 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.

jgruber

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Re: Military Draft Coming back?
« Reply #82 on: April 26, 2004, 04:13:34 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.

Findedeux

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Re: Military Draft Coming back?
« Reply #83 on: April 26, 2004, 07:42:38 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.

thechoson

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Re: Military Draft Coming back?
« Reply #84 on: April 26, 2004, 09:28:28 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

jgruber

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Re: Military Draft Coming back?
« Reply #85 on: April 27, 2004, 02:18:36 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

Hear, hear.

Phillip79

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Re: Military Draft Coming back?
« Reply #86 on: April 27, 2004, 09:31:23 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. 

Phillip79

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Re: Military Draft Coming back?
« Reply #87 on: April 27, 2004, 09:54:53 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.     

jgruber

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Re: Military Draft Coming back?
« Reply #88 on: April 28, 2004, 11:50:19 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. 

Phillip79

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Re: Military Draft Coming back?
« Reply #89 on: April 28, 2004, 01:19:18 PM »
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