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Declension
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09 Dec 2012, 10:20 pm

redrobin62 wrote:
I'm willing to admit that no country is perfect. They all have biases, influences, morals and goals unique to the way they live. I like that America has gay rights (to a certain extent), women's rights and freedom of speech. I like that, in America, there is no caste system and one can rise to the top through hard work. Prejudices do exist here as well as poverty, homelessness, apathy and every vice under the sun. Still, I wouldn't trade imperfect America for a country that bans beer and forbids freedom of speech.


Not the point. A country's foreign policy is not the same as its domestic policy. Internally, the US is one of the most free and prosperous societies in the world. Does that mean that it must have a nice foreign policy? Of course not. In fact, if you look at history I think you will find that the most free and prosperous countries are often the ones who have the most terrible foreign policy. Think about imperial Britain, or the Roman empire.



eric76
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09 Dec 2012, 10:28 pm

From http://hnn.us/articles/1066.html:

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In July 1990 Saddam’s diplomats met with the U.S. Ambassador April Glasbie, who told them that Washington would take no position with regard to regional border disputes, a view that Baghdad reasonably assumed was a green light to enter Kuwait, which it did in August 1990. After initial vacillation, President George Bush, bolstered by hawkish advice from British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, who exhorted him not “to go wobbly,” declared “this will not stand,” and imposed sanctions and bought an international coalition to oppose Iraq. By November 1990, over a half-million American forces had been deployed to Saudi Arabia and the U.N. Security Council had ordered Iraq to evacuate Kuwait by 15 January 1991 or face attack.


From http://freewebs.com/iraq-/Regional%20History.htm:

Quote:
In 1990 Saddam Hussein was preparing to invade Kuwait, but first he requested the approval from the United States. In July of 1990 Saddam’s diplomats met with U.S Ambassador April Glasbie. During their discussion Ms. Glasbie told the Iraqi diplomats that Washington would take no stance on border disputes. The Iraqi diplomats took the statement as a proverbial green light to invade Kuwait, which they proceeded to do in August 1990.


For what it's worth, if Iraq had just settled for taking some land they disputed, I imagine that the Gulf War would not have occurred. But instead, they took the entire country of Kuwait.



eric76
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09 Dec 2012, 10:35 pm

Finally found what I was looking for. I was thinking that Kuwait had taken some land from Iraq during the Iran-Iraq War. That was the border dispute. I finally found something that confirms my memory of that.

From http://www.csun.edu/~vcmth00m/iraqkuwait.html:

Quote:
While Iraq was distracted by its war, Kuwait had accumulated 900 square miles of Iraqi territory by advancing its border with Iraq northward. This was presented to Iraq as a fait accompli and it gave Kuwait access to the Rumaila oil field. The Kuwaiti Sheik had purchased the Santa Fe Drilling Corporation of Alhambra, California, for $2.3 billion and proceeded to use its slant drilling equipment to gain access to the Iraqi oil field.


That is the border dispute. If Iraq had settled to take that land back instead of overtaking the entire country of Kuwait, I don't know that we would have done anything. Taking the entire country of Kuwait went far over the line.



Raptor
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09 Dec 2012, 11:06 pm

ShamelessGit wrote:

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And I said once that the USA kills foreign civilians whereas the Germans killed their own, and somebody acted like that meant that I didn't know that WWII happened. I'm well aware of what the Germans did. For instance it is estimated that up to 23 million Russians died.

That somebody was me and it was based on your previous statement. Underscoring added by me.
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ShamelessGit wrote:
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The only difference between what the USA does and what Germany did is that USA kills innocent civilians in other countries, whereas Germany killed its own civilians.


YOU said it.
:shameonyou:


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ruveyn
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10 Dec 2012, 12:18 pm

eric76 wrote:

I'm familiar with that event, but I believe that it was Kuwait, not Iran.


That is right. Thank you for the correction.

ruveyn



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10 Dec 2012, 12:19 pm

Chaos_Epoch wrote:
Just chucking this out here, New Zealand holds a peaceful stance in the middle east and has had more progress in stopping the Taliban threat by getting involved with the community instead of simply sending drones and artillery in.


When and Where. Produce some evidence for that claim.

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ShamelessGit
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10 Dec 2012, 3:36 pm

eric76 wrote:
ShamelessGit wrote:
Also I forgot I said that the USA told Saddam to invade Iran. Apparently we only gave them the go ahead


Still wrong.

In 1980 when Iraq invaded Iran, Iraq was a Soviet client state, not a US client state. We had little influence with Iraq at that time. It wasn't until a couple of years later that relations between the US and Iraq improved and we started providing them support. Two years later, not at the time of the invasion or before.

The event mentioned earlier was not about invading Iran, but about invading Kuwait. And as we all know, that led to the first Gulf War.

As I remember what I have read about the event at that time, we did not give Iraq the go-ahead to invade Kuwait. Rather, Iraq asked if we had any serious interest in Kuwait and they were told no by the US ambassador. That basically indicated that we would not act against Iraq if they did so. That said, it's been quite a while since I read much about it.


I think you might be right this time. I thought I read somewhere in a Noam Chomsky book that the US encouraged Iraq to invade Iran, but I could not find the passage. Sorry if I was completely wrong about the whole thing.



ShamelessGit
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10 Dec 2012, 5:31 pm

I looked online for evidence that the US encouraged Iraq to invade Iran, and the closest thing I found were some rumors that Carter told Saddam through the Saudis that he would be in favor of a war. My guess is that Noam Chomsky represented these rumors as facts (I have no idea how accurate they are), and that I just can't find the passage. The supposed motive for Carter to do this was the Iran hostage situation.

Also, to Raptor, "The only difference between what the USA does and what Germany did is that USA kills innocent civilians in other countries, whereas Germany killed its own civilians," does not mean that Germany did not kill foreign civilians. Maybe my word choice wasn't clear, but if I had said, "whereas Germany also killed its own civilians," (I just added an "also") then I think it would have been clear. I think it's kind of silly to argue about anyway.



I have been thinking about whether it is accurate to say that US crimes are within the same order of magnitude as the Nazis, so I've been trying to add up all the deaths caused by both countries since the Nazis took power. If you blame all of the European war on the Nazis, then the total deaths they caused would be something in the 30-50 million range according to a quick look on Wikipedia. If you blame Vietnam, Afghanistan, and Iraq on the USA (I consider these wars completely unnecessary, but of course that can be contested), then that's 1.5 million in Vietnam, about 1 million in Iraq, and only 80 000 in Afghanistan as a result of military conflict, although it is estimated that about 2.5 million Afghans are hungry and that roughly 25% of children die before age 5, so it's unknown how many deaths were actually caused by US intervention in Afghanistan. Also if you accept that a large portion of the Iran-Iraq war is a result of US intervention, then that's another 0.5 million, and US sanctions on Iraq before we toppled Saddam caused about another 0.5 million to starve. There is also the genocide that took place in Indonesia that the USA hushed up, and the regime that carried it out was aided by the USA on its rise to power, and that killed 0.3-1 million people. The USA also supplied weapons to Al Qaeda and the Mujahedin during the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and that killed about 1 million. And then there are countless smaller things that happened like US support during the civil war in Nicaragua that I'm not even going to try to add up.

So naturally it is very hard to get accurate numbers on these things, and the actual number of unnecessary deaths caused by the USA could be much higher or lower depending on how you want to count it, but adding up the higher values of all the things I mentioned above, that is about 6 million dead. Using this number as a very rough estimate leaves the scale of US atrocities since the time of the Nazis at something like 1/10 to 1/5 of the Nazi atrocities, which is by definition, within an order of magnitude. If you want to calculate the deaths per year caused by country, then that's 4mil/year for Germany (1933-1945), and .07mil/year USA (1933-2012), or 70 000. These estimates don't include anything but my own unqualified adding up of some death statistics I found online. They don't even include most of the US war crimes (although I think I got most of the big ones) or things like dictators that the USA has propped up or the reduction in standard of living caused by US intervention.


A lady who answered this question on Yahoo did a more comprehensive count and got 10 million as the number we killed in the last 75 years, although she counted every single engagement regardless of whether she thought it was justified
http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index ... 603AA4Ev5m



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10 Dec 2012, 5:33 pm

I'm going to tell my email to quit giving me updates on this topic.



sandloach7
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10 Dec 2012, 5:47 pm

Please, correct my hearing if I'm wrong, but did our forces believe that the children were placing bombs? They were gathering dung for fuel, however we assumed that they were "hostile individuals"? Did we not really "think this out"? Again, please correct if I'm wrong. I'm not very knowledgable around military/warfare things, and I tend to analyze mistakes.

I'm going to be extra cautious next time I clean up after my dog, because apparently they are making dangerous assumptions.


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10 Dec 2012, 7:18 pm

ShamelessGit wrote:

I looked this up briefly and it looks like you're right. I'm sorry if what I said before was inaccurate. However, all the sources I saw seemed to only count deaths that were a direct result of combat, and so were generally less than 5k. It is estimated that up to 40 000 afghanis died in the first 3 months of fighting alone because US bombing disrupted foreign aid that kept them from starving to death.

Also, although this doesn't have anything to do with how many people the USA killed, it probably seems to the afghans that the USA is the cause of all of it because there was relative peace in most of Afghanistan (I'm aware that there was a civil war, but the Mujahedin were hiding in the mountains and the Taliban couldn't get them) before we came.


Being critical of your own country is a healthy outlook to have IMHO, blindly trusting a title and a uniform is for the ignorant.

No matter where you go in the world though, there are always people who will do whatever they can get away with in their quest for power. Over here, they get super-pacs; there, they get AKs and mules. With or without us there, they'll use those AKs and mules to get what they want.



ruveyn
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11 Dec 2012, 4:38 pm

MDD123 wrote:

No matter where you go in the world though, there are always people who will do whatever they can get away with in their quest for power. Over here, they get super-pacs; there, they get AKs and mules. With or without us there, they'll use those AKs and mules to get what they want.


Super-pacs are currently legal. What is your problem with them. They do not resort to force or the threat of force. People with AKs and Mules do.

Do you believe political parties or political interests have the right to publicize their views freely? Or don't you?

ruveyn



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12 Dec 2012, 10:40 am

ruveyn wrote:
MDD123 wrote:

No matter where you go in the world though, there are always people who will do whatever they can get away with in their quest for power. Over here, they get super-pacs; there, they get AKs and mules. With or without us there, they'll use those AKs and mules to get what they want.


Super-pacs are currently legal. What is your problem with them. They do not resort to force or the threat of force. People with AKs and Mules do.

Do you believe political parties or political interests have the right to publicize their views freely? Or don't you?

ruveyn


I'd rather be barraged by misinformation than get shot or robbed. But I think both groups have the same level of altruism.



ruveyn
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12 Dec 2012, 10:59 am

MDD123 wrote:

I'd rather be barraged by misinformation than get shot or robbed. But I think both groups have the same level of altruism.


Altruism is the fog that clouds our ethical judgement.

ruveyn



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