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Thread: Misreading the History of the Iraq War

  1. #21
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    Default JCustis is too kind...

    Let me give you a couple of things to ponder, Dubya.

    First, this isn't a political site; if one wants to discuss political ideologies, there are plenty of places on the internet to do that. Your posts thus far indicate you'd be far happier posting on one of those than here.

    Second, most everyone who does post here has years of experience watching people tap dance on the head of a pin and blather about nothing for hours and they're rarely impressed by it.

    At a minimum, you should take JCustis excellent suggestion and get a feel for where you're posting to insure that you really wish to do so.

    Thanks.

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by wm View Post
    The referenced article is a caricature of just war theory. As a counterweight to this invective, I suggest a reading of
    this relatively short essay by Karl Jaspers.
    I'm not sure how what appears to be a philosophical treatise on "German Guilt" is relevant to your charge that the article I referenced exaggerates or distorts a theory which places higher value on the lives of non-American "civilians" than on the lives of American soldiers.

  3. #23
    Moderator Steve Blair's Avatar
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    Default One final piece of "advice"...

    If you want to have an intelligent discussion, fine. But by putting anything you disagree with in "quotes" you just make yourself appear either ignorant or agenda-driven. The majority of the folks who come here are looking for an intelligent exchange based on ideas and evaluation of past and current events, not pandering or "quotation-riddled" statements that might find a better home on more politically-oriented forums.

    Thank you and good day.
    "On the plains and mountains of the American West, the United States Army had once learned everything there was to learn about hit-and-run tactics and guerrilla warfare."
    T.R. Fehrenbach This Kind of War

  4. #24
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    Default That's the soldiers call, not yours.

    you're entitled to your opinion, of course -- but so far you have, IMO, established zero credibility for your statement.

  5. #25
    Council Member J Wolfsberger's Avatar
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    Default Dubya,

    I read part of the article you cited - up to the point where it became obvious the author hadn't read, or hadn't comprehended, Michael Walzer's Just and Unjust Wars. (I should point out that I've read it three times over the last 20 or so years. I didn't recognize it from what the author attributed to it.)

    By that point, it had also become obvious he was more interested in attacking a caricature of Just War Theory than in critiquing its reality. I suggest you read Walzer, and then dig into some of the more balanced discussions of JWT. The Wikipedia entry provides a good starting point.

    (On a side note, when reading anything by an Objectivist, its a good idea to do your own reading of whatever they're attacking. They frequently attack straw men.)
    John Wolfsberger, Jr.

    An unruffled person with some useful skills.

  6. #26
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    I seem to have unintentionally pushed some hot buttons.

    My first comment attempted to point out what I believe is mis-identification of the enemy. I take from the lack of disagreement on that point that some or all of you agree with that.

    It certainly is the soldiers' call as to the value of their own lives. My intent was not to start a political argument, rather to question the philosophy of a particular school of thought which in my opinion goes against placing American self-preservation first.

    As to the excessive quote marks: well ok, but I hardly think a guy who's got a vest or belt full of explosives and ball-bearings under his jacket is a civilian. Nor do I believe that anyone who votes into power a repressive theocracy is an innocent or blameless when that theocracy starts a war by proxy.

  7. #27
    Council Member wm's Avatar
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    Default A little Fulgham-like advice

    Quote Originally Posted by dubya View Post
    I'm not sure how what appears to be a philosophical treatise on "German Guilt" is relevant to your charge that the article I referenced exaggerates or distorts a theory which places higher value on the lives of non-American "civilians" than on the lives of American soldiers.
    It is often worthwhile to read a reference before launching into a diatribe against it based on a cursory viewing of the title. Remember that old kindergarten rule--"Don't judge a book by its cover"

    By the way, just war theory places a different value on non-combatants than on combatants. In doing so, it makes no distinction between nationalities or citizenship. The crucial difference is what one's function is, not where one happens to be residing.

  8. #28
    Council Member wm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dubya View Post
    (snip) . . .I hardly think a guy who's got a vest or belt full of explosives and ball-bearings under his jacket is a civilian. Nor do I believe that anyone who votes into power a repressive theocracy is an innocent or blameless when that theocracy starts a war by proxy.
    A little justification for the above stated beliefs would not be a bad place to start. Jaspers' book might provide some enlightening insights regarding the voters in the second claim. Facts to support the final part of that second claim would also be greatly appreciated.

  9. #29
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default The controversy within the US Army (returning to)

    Have a look at the commentary on the Gentile - v- Mansoor debate, on the KIngs College London website of the Insurgency Research Group: http://insurgencyresearchgroup.wordpress.com/

    Nicely commends SWJ: Via the ever-useful Small Wars Journal I came across this super piece in the Wall Street Journal by Yochi Dreazen on the recent contributions of LCOL Gian Gentile to the on-going US defence reform battles.

    The author is David Betz, who has written 'Redesigning Land Forces for Wars Amongst the People' : http://kingsofwar.files.wordpress.co...sp-article.pdf

    davidbfpo

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by dubya View Post
    If Taliban are such zealots, then being a supporter of the Taliban makes one either a) a religious zealot or b) intimidated by religious zealots.
    Not trying to add to the argument, this just made me think of a question.

    Couldn't there be a c) The people support those who are providing social services to them. Religion is secondary.

    Or am I giving the Taliban too much credit here?

  11. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
    ...Nicely commends SWJ: Via the ever-useful Small Wars Journal I came across this super piece in the Wall Street Journal by Yochi Dreazen on the recent contributions of LCOL Gian Gentile to the on-going US defence reform battles.
    Davidbfpro:

    Thanks for mentioning me here and I was happy that the WSJ article highlighted some of the arguments that I have been making about the security situation in Iraq and the condition of the American Army. In that regard I was very happy about the article. However, and I have said this in other postings as well, I was not happy with how the article portrayed me as a defiant serving officer raising his nose at authority. I am not that way and I appologize for the quote at the end of the article that leaves the reader with this impression.

    Concerning the Kings College commentary when I went to the website you mention I could not find it; could you please point me in the right direction to it?

    thanks
    gian

  12. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gian P Gentile View Post

    Concerning the Kings College commentary when I went to the website you mention I could not find it; could you please point me in the right direction to it?
    Gian - the post on the Insurgency Research Group site can be found at the following link:

    http://insurgencyresearchgroup.wordp...-wars-that-is/

    cheers,
    Will

  13. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by WH View Post
    Gian - the post on the Insurgency Research Group site can be found at the following link:
    Will:

    thanks so much

    gian

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