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Discuss the US Presidential Election & the War 1211

With under a week to go, we're opening up discussions on the US Presidential Election. Yesterday we discussed the economy. Today we take on one of the other major election topics: The War. From the actual wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, to foreign policy issues related to potential threats like North Korea, Russia, and Iran, how do the candidates stack up?
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Discuss the US Presidential Election & the War

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  • Define "Winning" (Score:5, Interesting)

    by tritonman ( 998572 ) on Thursday October 30, 2008 @08:48AM (#25567583)
    My big problem with the war and the republicans is that they say they won't leave until they "won" the war. WTF is winning the war? All Iraqis dead? Government has resources it needs? Don't they already have billions of a surplus?? Did we already win? Did we already lose?
    • by grub ( 11606 ) <slashdot@grub.net> on Thursday October 30, 2008 @08:56AM (#25567651) Homepage Journal

      It's a "war" that can't be won. There's no real central point of authority to surrender. In a conventional war (if there is such a thing) the losing side signs off on it, the winner reap the spoils and everyone rebuilds. But at $10B a month it keeps a lot of Republican supporters in business.
      • by jacquesm ( 154384 ) <j&ww,com> on Thursday October 30, 2008 @09:04AM (#25567755) Homepage

        oh, don't worry about it, the people lining their pockets with war profits are winning just fine. Four more years of it and they'll be home free. Never mind the effect on the rest of America (or the world for that matter).

        Catch-22 was *much* too friendly in it's spoof on war profiteering. Reality is so much harsher.

        I always figured that there never was an all-out effort to catch OBL simply because if it were succesful then there would be no more need to continue all these crazy expenses.

        Speaking of expenses, simply shutting down this crazy war will give Obama more money than he could hope to raise through taxation, if all the money destroyed in Iraq would have been used for good the USA would be in a completely different position right now.

        • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 30, 2008 @09:26AM (#25568041)
          Speaking of expenses, simply shutting down this crazy war will give Obama more money than he could hope to raise through taxation, if all the money destroyed in Iraq would have been used for good the USA would be in a completely different position right now.

          Agreed. But remember, according to many people, if you instead choose to use that money within the US, then (for some unknown reason) you hate America. Rationality died a long time ago....
        • Re:Define "Winning" (Score:5, Interesting)

          by MightyYar ( 622222 ) on Thursday October 30, 2008 @09:50AM (#25568407)

          if all the money destroyed in Iraq would have been used for good the USA would be in a completely different position right now.

          I'm not sure I understand this argument. Certainly we'd have a lower deficit and inflation risk would be lowered... but most of the money goes to men and material. That money goes right back into the economy, since the men are American and the material is mostly sourced from the US.

          Now, granted, the payback isn't as good as infrastructure improvement - but there's no evidence that we would have gone into a serious deficit spending mode just for infrastructure improvement.

          Remember that WW2 is often credited as being a major force in lifting us out of the depression.

          • by jacquesm ( 154384 ) <j&ww,com> on Thursday October 30, 2008 @09:54AM (#25568473) Homepage

            war tends to destroy stuff - infrastructure, materiel and people - in vast quantities, money gets moved from the tax payers to the producers of these war toys in equally vast quantities, they are *not* going to use it to improve the state of affairs in the country that does the spending. Most of it will end up in numbered accounts in .ch.

            Spending an extra 10 billion every month on education or infrastructural improvements *is* going to put that money back in to circulation.

            • by MightyYar ( 622222 ) on Thursday October 30, 2008 @10:33AM (#25569139)

              I'm not really defending the return of investment on war, just saying that it's a bit odd to argue that we would have thrown any extra money at education or infrastructure. I mean, we didn't do that back in the 90s when we were running a SURPLUS... kinda hard to argue that the massive Iraq War bill would have been spent on education or infrastructure instead.

              By the way, while I'm sure that certain people get quite rich from war spending, the vast majority of the money gets spread out to the employees and suppliers of the defense contractors. For example, Lockheed brings in about $40 billion. Of this, their highest-compensated employee got a bit over $34 million. Outrageous? Yeah... but at 1/1000 of the revenue not really a significant problem. Contrast this with the roughly $38 billion that goes back out to normal employees and suppliers. Even their dividends (about $600 million) are a small fraction of the total money moving through the company, and dividends are as likely to end up in a mutual fund as they are in a rich guy's pocket.

          • by M-RES ( 653754 ) on Thursday October 30, 2008 @10:20AM (#25568933)
            The problem with current defence spending is that the money doesn't really go back into the economy other than paying wages of employees. The rest of the money (massive profits from no-bid governmental projects charged at more than 3 times the normal rate) is siphoned out of the economy, usually through offshore bank accounts and 'head offices' to benefit the shareholders. If the defence industry (building all those machines of death) were nationalised then it WOULD kickstart the economy, but then that's socialism so half the population would go run shrieking in terror that they were going to be marched off to death camps (some people really can't distinguish between socialism and communofascism). And if you're going to spend so much money on producing something, then it might as well be something constructive and good for the people (alternative energy production anyone?) rather than perpetuating the trade in nonsensical killing.
          • Re:Define "Winning" (Score:5, Informative)

            by circusboy ( 580130 ) on Thursday October 30, 2008 @10:28AM (#25569061)

            WW2 is justifiably cited that way, because the government forced a large number of previously existing companies, (ford, GM etc.) to stop what they were doing and produce war goods. in order to produce that many goods, they had to hire more people. US taxes and bond money pretty much went to pay the wages of a staggering amount of the country.

            currently, arms and armor are made by a small subset of companies that specialize in esoteric tools of war. they have fantastic contracts and much of the money ends up in the hands of the corporate management. if not the war profiteer.

            also, remember that the plague is "cited as a major force" for starting the rennaissance. in both cases it had a lot to do with thinning out the population. same amount of money, fewer people to share it with...

          • by jeffmeden ( 135043 ) on Thursday October 30, 2008 @11:56AM (#25570567) Homepage Journal

            World war II brought us together as a country because we fought against clear aggressors and were an "underdog" in the Pacific. Today, we are the aggressors and everyone (at least 70% of us) agrees that the war is a mismanaged waste of time that will have no beneficial outcome. How does your WWII analogy stack up to that?

            Maybe it's more fair to compare this war to what it is: another Viet Nam. And what happened in the 70s, after Viet Nam? It was NOT a boom time like the 40s and 50s, I can tell you that.

        • Re:Define "Winning" (Score:5, Informative)

          by rezalas ( 1227518 ) on Thursday October 30, 2008 @09:59AM (#25568543)
          Actually, spending the money on us would be stupid. Because its all loans from china and other countries who want to see us farther in debt. Balancing the economy and NOT spending money we don't have would make a hell of alot more sense than taking one massive debt generator and renaming it "for the people of america" instead of "for the people of iraq". In either case, we go bankrupt.
          • by mcgrew ( 92797 ) * on Thursday October 30, 2008 @11:09AM (#25569761) Homepage Journal

            You can't spend your way out of debt, but you can INVEST your way out of debt.

            If your serpentine belt is worn, investing money on a new one will, with some models, save you the price of a new engine or extremely expensive repairs should it break. Letting it go will cost you even more money, putting you farther into debt.

            Buying a new car when your present car is running fine and you're broke is a stupid expense.

            It's better to borrow money to repair a bridge than it is to let the bridge collapse.

    • Re:Define "Winning" (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Visaris ( 553352 ) on Thursday October 30, 2008 @08:57AM (#25567663) Journal

      Did we already win?

      Mission Accomplished! [wikipedia.org]

      The joke aside... Look, I'm not a foreign policy advisor or anything, but I see news of marches by the Iraqi people frequently in the US news (that already voluntarily censors much of that sort of thing). They want us out of their country badly. If we can't leave, can someone explain to me why not?

      • by Rayonic ( 462789 ) on Thursday October 30, 2008 @09:16AM (#25567901) Homepage Journal

        I see news of marches by the Iraqi people frequently in the US news

        I see news of marches by anti-abortion activists frequently. Clearly that means all Americans are anti-abortion.


        • by Visaris ( 553352 ) on Thursday October 30, 2008 @09:25AM (#25568039) Journal

          I see news of marches by the Iraqi people frequently in the US news

          I see news of marches by anti-abortion activists frequently. Clearly that means all Americans are anti-abortion.


          That's interesting... I've never once seen any marches by the Iraqis where they are shouting chants about how much they love us and want us to stay. I must have missed that in the US media, which would have no reason to want to play that sort of thing... I'm sorry, I just don't buy it that the majority of the Iraqi people support our occupation of their sovereign country.

          • by Gospodin ( 547743 ) on Thursday October 30, 2008 @09:38AM (#25568197)

            What I've been reading from people who've actually been there is that Iraqis badly want us to leave. And greatly fear the prospect of us leaving. It isn't that they are cheering our presence wholeheartedly, but they know we're a big factor keeping the peace (such as it is) right now. While it would definitely be expedient for us to leave right away, it might not be prudent. It's a tough situation, one that I'd prefer we were not in. But we are.

      • by Rosy At Random ( 820255 ) on Thursday October 30, 2008 @09:47AM (#25568351) Homepage

        We can't leave until they say 'uncle.'

        It's in the rules.

    • by khasim ( 1285 ) <brandioch.conner@gmail.com> on Thursday October 30, 2008 @09:01AM (#25567709)

      We took out their previous government and replaced it. We disbanded their army.

      The criteria of "winning" the occupation seem to keep changing.

      And without clear criteria, you'll never know if you have "won" or even if you're getting closer to "winning".

      Not to mention our continuing strategy of treating the occupation as if it was still an invasion. We're using air strikes on buildings instead of arresting criminals.

    • by cayenne8 ( 626475 ) on Thursday October 30, 2008 @09:02AM (#25567723) Homepage Journal
      "My big problem with the war and the republicans is that they say they won't leave until they "won" the war. WTF is winning the war?"

      Well, the thing is...at this point, there really is no difference between Obama and McCain as to ending the war in Iraq.

      Both of them pretty much have said they will withdraw troops in accordance to what the commanders on the ground over there (Petraus?) say is safe for our forces and Iraq.

      You can debate all you want about how the two stood on starting the war, but, at this point, the two candidates are essentially in agreement on methods and timelines to end our participation in it.

    • by Gordonjcp ( 186804 ) on Thursday October 30, 2008 @09:02AM (#25567735) Homepage

      WTF is winning the war?

      From the Iraqi point of view, winning the war is getting all the Coalition forces out of their country so they can start getting their lives back to normal.

      Put yourself in their position, and imagine if Iraqi planes were bombing your town, Iraqi tanks were driving through your streets and Iraqi soldiers were shooting at you and your family. Would you fight back?

      • Re:Define "Winning" (Score:4, Interesting)

        by whencanistop ( 1224156 ) on Thursday October 30, 2008 @09:24AM (#25568021) Homepage Journal
        Or you could put yourself in their position whereby Iraqi planes are bombing the munition dumps of America that are trying to blow up your capital and government. Iraqi tanks driving through your streets to pick up the Americans that are trying to kill you and the Iraqi soldiers shooting at the Americans who are trying to blow up your store and your family.

        Seriously - think of the situation without the US troops there. There'd be chaos. There'd be terrorist attacks every five minutes. The Iraqis who are rich and well armed from the Hussain days would take over straight away and the whole situation will be the same as before but with a different leader. I don't think you can drive in there, take out the government and then drive out again without sorting out some sort of succession planning.

        The real question should be how on earth are they spending $10b a month (or whatever it is) and still haven't managed to get a proper Iraqi government and police force. What are they doing over there? The question isn't when they should pull out, but how they set up a government so that they don't need to be there.
        • by db32 ( 862117 ) on Thursday October 30, 2008 @09:55AM (#25568493) Journal
          I'm glad someone covered this piece of it. I am so sick of people acting like the military is out there murdering civilians. Yes, some of them have done that, and guess what, the military ones that do that have gotten in worlds more trouble than the "security firms" operating there. Fact is, it is a war zone, and it is easy to armchair quarterback about what should and shouldn't happen from the comfort and safety of your computer, but the guys there are putting up with 120+ degree heat, sand, bullets, rockets, roadside bombs, and all manner of other horrible things. The fact that there hasn't been a wholesale slaughter of everyone that shows their face is a testiment to how our military behaves. In fact, there are TONS of stories of soldiers, marines, and airmen writing home and having care packages sent that include blankets and clothing and the like for the civilian populaces near the bases. How much have all of these people bitching about the military sent over?

          That said...I think Gitmo has a problem that noone seems to want to discuss. Its 2am...out of nowhere guys come charging through the streets with NVGs and assault weapons and you are in your home with your family. It isn't like our guys can broadcast "Hey, we are looking for Person X at this time". So I imagine many of those people aren't related to any terrorism as much as they are frightened out of bed and wanting to protect their family from the ensuing chaos. I know that if a bunch of heavily armed guys swooped into town out of nowhere doing sweeps looking for their target shouting in a language that I don't understand I probably wouldn't spend a whole lot of time trying to discern their purpose before moving to defend myself. The bitch of this is that scared innocent people with guns shooting at you isn't significantly different than known terrorists shooting at you...everyone gets put in a really shitty situation where you have to do what you think you need to survive.

          This is by no means an endorsement for McCain, but I for one am really damned sick of having leaders that can make these decisions to fight these kinds of wars having never dealt with it themselves. Go look up some of the things Eisenhower said about "preventive war" or war in general. He is a stark contrast to the modern Republican chickenhawk.
      • by Shihar ( 153932 ) on Thursday October 30, 2008 @09:47AM (#25568359)

        I am pretty sure that the definition of "winning" goes far beyond the US just leaving, even for the Iraqis. I am fairly sure that if the US leaves and Iraq descends into a Rwanda style genocide, they will not call that winning, even though American troops are gone.

        The war was stupid to jump into in the first place. I thought it was dumb from day one. Unfortunately, you can't unpull a trigger. The US fired, it killed the government, unleashed the openings to an ethnic genocide, and made Iraq their problem. Now they have to fix it. If the cost of fixing Iraq is a few more billion dollars and some dead Americans, that is the price the Americans have to pay.

        Everyone wants the "war" to be over with. The problem is that if the Americans leave, it doesn't suddenly make the war over. It makes it over for the Americans, but it doesn't mean it is over for Iraq. Now that the Americans have broken Iraq, the balancing act for the Americans at this point is to get the fuck out as fast as humanly possible without leaving behind a genocide.

        The average Iraqi and the US have the same goal at this point. Get the hell out without as little blood as possible. The US wants to go as badly as the Iraqis want them out. The problem is that the players in this game are not just the Americans and the average Iraqi. You also have new Shiite majority leaders still smarting from Sunni brutality under Saddam, nostalgic Sunnis, independence seeking Kurds, Turks, Iran, and Al-qaeda that all have an interest (to greater and lesser extents) in making Iraq a blood bath.

        The sad truth is that the US right now is the biggest and meanest on the block in Iraq, and they are what is keeping the conflicting parties from drowning each other in an orgy of blood. At some point, Iraq's central government will be competent and neutral enough to take over the roll of biggest bad ass with a gun and the US can slip out the back. Assuming genocide is not your goal, the question you need to ask yourself is, when will the central government have enough power to keep everyone from killing each other, AND will the central government be able to resist from whacking one group or another?

        We can argue until we are blue in the face if or when the time will come when Iraq's central government is strong enough and neutral enough. The simple fact of the matter is that we don't have a frigging clue. Smarter men and women with better knowledge and more information don't know the answer.

        Personally, I think the best plan for the Americans is to draw down and pretend like they mean it. If wheels start to fall off, pause, take a breather, then try again. You want to push the Iraqi government to grow a pair and go into the deep end, and you want them to try like their life depends upon it, but if they actually start to drown you want to be there to drag their ass out.

        Personally, I think it is a good lesson for the Americans. Next time they try this sort of stupid stunt they will hopefully go in with eyes wide open as to the true cost of kicking over a government and taking responsibility for a nation. Hopefully they will make sure the war is worth the price they are going to pay and reserve toppling governments for when there is truly no other solution.

    • by liquidpele ( 663430 ) on Thursday October 30, 2008 @09:16AM (#25567899) Journal
      Talking with many of my friends, we've agreed "winning" is just a word being used for "Leaving a fair and stable democratic government in Iraq that is not and will not be a threat to America or it's allies"

      Just my $0.02
      • Re:Define "Winning" (Score:5, Informative)

        by Zenaku ( 821866 ) on Thursday October 30, 2008 @09:42AM (#25568259)

        That definition makes winning pretty close to impossible, I'd say. We've installed the democratic government -- now we just have to stay until the voters of Iraq stop electing the "wrong" leaders, right?

        A democratic Iraq is a threat to our allies by definition. Our continued presence isn't going to make all those Iraqi voters suddenly fall in love with Israel.

        If the U.S. wanted a democracy in Iraq, it is done. If they wanted a pro-America government in Iraq, they should have installed a pro-America dictator.

      • by st0rmshad0w ( 412661 ) on Thursday October 30, 2008 @09:47AM (#25568355)

        "Leaving a fair and stable democratic government in Iraq that is not and will not be a threat to America or it's allies"

        Those are 2 entirely seperate things. Suppose the new democratic government decides to go after Kuwait again? Sometimes the people you hand democracy to can vote against your interests you know. That's sort of the point of democracy.

    • Re:Define "Winning" (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Kozz ( 7764 ) on Thursday October 30, 2008 @09:38AM (#25568193)
      It reminds me of a Bill O'Reilly appearance on Letterman (this was many months ago) when Bill asked Dave (paraphrased), "Don't you want to win [the war], Dave? It's a simple question!" To which Dave replied, "But it's not a simple question, because I'm thoughtful."
  • Iraq (Score:5, Insightful)

    by morgan_greywolf ( 835522 ) on Thursday October 30, 2008 @08:50AM (#25567601) Homepage Journal

    Well, there's only been one candidate who has been consistent in his stance about the Iraq war for the entire time -- Barack Obama. And it's a stance I agree with -- the Iraq War is a farce. It is a war on false pretense. We need to leave as soon as humanly possible. Really.

    • Re:Iraq (Score:5, Insightful)

      by eldavojohn ( 898314 ) * <eldavojohn AT gmail DOT com> on Thursday October 30, 2008 @09:03AM (#25567743) Journal

      Well, there's only been one candidate who has been consistent in his stance about the Iraq war for the entire time -- Barack Obama. And it's a stance I agree with -- the Iraq War is a farce. It is a war on false pretense. We need to leave as soon as humanly possible. Really.

      You should probably mention that the "as soon as humanly possible" part of that statement is your own opinion. This is what Obama says on his website [barackobama.com]:

      A Responsible, Phased Withdrawal

      Barack Obama and Joe Biden believe we must be as careful getting out of Iraq as we were careless getting in. Immediately upon taking office, Obama will give his Secretary of Defense and military commanders a new mission in Iraq: ending the war. The removal of our troops will be responsible and phased, directed by military commanders on the ground and done in consultation with the Iraqi government. Military experts believe we can safely redeploy combat brigades from Iraq at a pace of 1 to 2 brigades a month that would remove them in 16 months. That would be the summer of 2010 â" more than 7 years after the war began.

      Under the Obama-Biden plan, a residual force will remain in Iraq and in the region to conduct targeted counter-terrorism missions against al Qaeda in Iraq and to protect American diplomatic and civilian personnel. They will not build permanent bases in Iraq, but will continue efforts to train and support the Iraqi security forces as long as Iraqi leaders move toward political reconciliation and away from sectarianism.

      "Fast as humanly possible" would be irresponsible. For the troops to just up and leave in one day (which we probably could evacuate them if it were ordered) would be devastating. Stop spreading fear that's going to alienate undecideds, moderates and maybe even Republicans who aren't afraid to vote Democrat.

    • Re:Iraq (Score:4, Insightful)

      by hansamurai ( 907719 ) <hansamurai@gmail.com> on Thursday October 30, 2008 @09:09AM (#25567809) Homepage Journal

      Well, there are other candidates besides the two, Bob Barr says the next president should get out of Iraq and Afghanistan as soon as possible. And Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich were both for quick withdrawals. And undoubtedly a lot faster than Obama plans to.

    • Re:Iraq (Score:5, Insightful)

      by stewbacca ( 1033764 ) on Thursday October 30, 2008 @09:27AM (#25568061)
      Well, I support Obama, and I'm professionally tied to the war in Iraq. I can tell you that your statement that Obama has been "consistent" is absolutely false. What gained my support for Obama was his obvious capability to reevaluate his position in Iraq and temper it to a more realistic, more "presidential" position. We no longer hear about how he will start pulling one brigade per month out. Instead, we hear him use the voice of reason and talk of listening to the commanders that he will become chief of. Perhaps he said those things to beat Hilary, but he hasn't gone back to his extreme "get out now!" stance he previously held.
    • Re:Iraq (Score:5, Informative)

      by Dekortage ( 697532 ) on Thursday October 30, 2008 @09:48AM (#25568375) Homepage

      Obama said in 2002: "I know that invasion of Iraq without a clear rationale and without strong international support will only fan the flames of the Middle East and encourage the worst rather than best impulses in the Arab world and strengthen the recruitment arm of al Qaeda. I am not opposed to all wars, I am opposed to dumb wars."

      (reference [nytimes.com])

  • No Contest (Score:5, Insightful)

    by thomas.galvin ( 551471 ) <slashdot AT thomas-galvin DOT com> on Thursday October 30, 2008 @08:50AM (#25567607) Homepage

    We have one candidate that opposed the Iraq war from the beginning, and another that still insists it was a rousing success. This isn't even a contest.

    • Re:No Contest (Score:5, Interesting)

      by propellerhead_prime ( 777032 ) on Thursday October 30, 2008 @08:58AM (#25567673)
      Bob Barr had an interesting quote about McCain's position and the war posted on his website.

      The gist of the comment was this: when things weren't going well McCain and other republicans said we absolutely couldn't pull out of Iraq because we would have lost. Now, these same folks say that the 'surge' has been an unmitigated success, but we still can't pull out. If that is the case, that you can't pull out when things are bad, and you still can't pull out when things are good then McCain must really be committed to the 100 years engagement that he discussed earlier in his campaign.

      Obviously this comment is a bit tongue in cheek, but I think the underlying point is valid.

      For what it's worth -- while I consider myself a libertarian at heart, there is no way I could vote for the Barr/Root ticket. Not when the VP candidate runs a sports book. So, this is not a shameless LP pandering comment.
  • "Discuss the US Presidential Election & the War" is the wrong title

    it should read "Trolls, Strawmen, Partisan Hacks, Propagandizers, Emotionally Unstable Wingnuts/Moonbats: Please Assemble Here"

  • by MosesJones ( 55544 ) on Thursday October 30, 2008 @08:53AM (#25567629) Homepage

    Obama: Iraq is Bad we should withdraw on a fixed timetable agreed with the Iraqi government. Afghanistan is good, might invade Pakistan but wouldn't invade Iran

    McCain: Iraq is Good we should withdraw without a fixed timetable with agreement from the Iraqi government, Afghanistan is good, wouldn't invade Pakistan but would invade Iran

    And of course there is the Sarah Palin view

    Palin: I live near Russia I do. War is good, war is what folks in our small towns want its what Dave the Electrician and Marge the Checkout Gal are after. Anyone who doesn't want to invade a country if just palling around with them and we need to know WHY Obama doesn't want to invade France, is he really French?


  • WAR? (Score:4, Funny)

    by GBC ( 981160 ) on Thursday October 30, 2008 @08:56AM (#25567647)
    Admittedly I haven't been following this as closely as I should have, and it will definitely affect my vote* so perhaps you can help me out: Which candidate has the best (or even any) policy in relation to WAR (Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning)? Thanks in advance for the help!

    Ok, I might not actually be a US citizen, but if I was, I am sure it would impact my vote...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 30, 2008 @09:01AM (#25567711)

    I think that the first muslim american president will bring peace to the middle east.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 30, 2008 @09:02AM (#25567731)

    Why on Earth are people talking about having Iraq pay back America for the costs of this war with the proceeds of oil sales?

    Do people really think that after you've come in, destabalized their country, mangled most of their infrastructure, and generally made a mess of things that Iraq should be paying you back for that?

    People keep talking about recouping costs from sale of oil, and I have no idea why you'd expect to recoup costs from a country that you invaded. Especially since, other than finishing what W's daddy started, there really wasn't a good reason to be in Iraq in the first place.

    This is like the worst form of imperialism -- we'll invade you and topple your government, and then we'll bill you for it.


  • by IWantMoreSpamPlease ( 571972 ) on Thursday October 30, 2008 @09:04AM (#25567745) Homepage Journal

    The only way to win, is not to play.

    Listen, during WW2 we fought people with a political difference. When Germany fell, though there were "terrorists" until the 1950s, remants of Nazis that refused to give up, they eventually were either captured, died out or simply gave up and accepted things the way they had become.

    Today, we are fighting religious fanatics.

    They will simply never, ever, ever, quit. And more are being indoctrinated every day. You cannot argue, or reason with, a fanatic. It simply will not occur.

    So we either accept we will forever be in Iraq being pecked to death, fighting for a gov't and country that doesn't want us there and may not understand what to do with democracy once they get it, or give up, go home, and admit we can't fight religious nuts.

  • by phmadore ( 1391487 ) on Thursday October 30, 2008 @09:09AM (#25567811) Homepage Journal
    As a soldier, war is good for me, so you'd think I would want republicans. But I'd rather have a democrat who could make alternative ways for me to earn more money. As it stands, we make a fuckload of money for doing our time over there, and it all stacks up. I think if we had peace missions that accomplished the same for us, more soldiers would be in favor of peace.
  • by antifoidulus ( 807088 ) on Thursday October 30, 2008 @09:13AM (#25567857) Homepage Journal
    How can a man claim both to be a fiscal conservative AND be one of the biggest cheerleaders for the Iraq War? The two simply do not add up.
  • by aardwolf64 ( 160070 ) on Thursday October 30, 2008 @09:20AM (#25567971) Homepage

    You know??? For the 13 original colonies? Slashdot's icon is missing a red stripe at the top.

  • by SmallFurryCreature ( 593017 ) on Thursday October 30, 2008 @09:41AM (#25568225) Journal

    There are many things to consider regarding the war on Terror, but whatever your view on how and why it got started, the next US president has really only one thing to do. Deal with it.

    The US created the mess, now they got to clean it up. Do you really want Iraq to be the next Korea or Vietnam, where decades later the mess is still making the US look bad?

    You can't make an omelet without breaking eggs. The real kicker hear is that once you took the egg away from the hen, let it cool, you are committed. The chick is dead. To then return it to the nest or let the egg rot without finishing the omelet is wasteful.

    The war in Iraq has happened, you can now not just say "well, we don't want it anymore, bye bye." and pull out.

    A really good future leader of the US would two things. A: accept that the situation MUST be resolved and stop playing the blame game or making promises to do things that you can't do because the enemy might not let you and B: turn the blame game into a seperate issue and truly investigate what the hell happened and if there was any wrong doing and take it to court.

    A: must be done because if you don't Iraq will be mess and that might easily spill over. And B: must be done because else these things will just happen over and over, just like Vietnam, just like Korea, just like Somalie and countless other conflicts were the US screwed up and ran.

    In the meantime, the rest of the world really needs to start shaping up. Stop relying on the US. Europe is richer then the US but doesn't have any real military power. Don't blame the US for being a poor police men if you just sit at home not doing anything.

    The rest of the world after all has a intrest to in a peaceful world. Look what happened in africa after the US ran, piracy in that corner of the world is now a serious issue. What will happen in Iraq in 10-20 years if the west withdraws now?

    No, the war has happenend, deal with the why and how in the courts, but you can't ignore it and say you are going to withdraw by date X because that doesn't solve anything and give your enemy a clear goal, if only we hold out till date X we have won.

    • by scipiodog ( 1265802 ) on Thursday October 30, 2008 @10:20AM (#25568941)

      Not to take up every single point in the parent post, but I'd like to point out that this sounds exactly like the Domino Theory [slashdot.org] that was so heavily pushed during the Vietnam era.

      For the "Communists" of the Domino Theory, replace with "Terrorists" and you have exactly the same theory being promulgated today as a "justification."

      What happened when the USA left Vietnam? Perhaps it wasn't pretty for Vietnam, but within 15 years the Soviet Union was no longer a threat. The Domino Theory never came true (at least not in terms of all of SE Asia becoming communist.

      I wish that people would learn a bit more from history - I don't think most of them realize that they're essentially spouting propaganda from the Cold War, and that it isn't any more true now than it was then.

  • by bigpaperbag ( 1105581 ) on Thursday October 30, 2008 @10:28AM (#25569049)
    The Battle of Antietam (also known as the Battle of Sharpsburg, particularly in the South), fought on September 17, 1862, near Sharpsburg, Maryland, and Antietam Creek, as part of the Maryland Campaign, was the first major battle in the American Civil War to take place on Northern soil. It was the bloodiest single-day battle in American history, with about 23,000 casualties. ------ Casualty estimates from the battle vary widely. The official U.S. account lists 80,987 American casualties, while other estimates range from 70,000 to 104,000. Most of the American casualties occurred within the first three days of battle, when two of the U.S. 106th Infantry Divisionâ(TM)s three regiments were forced to surrender. The Battle of the Bulge was the bloodiest of the battles that U.S. forces experienced in World War II; the 19,000 American dead were unsurpassed by those of any other engagement ------------ 4,119 dead as of July 15th 2008. As of March 2008 there were 8,914 wounded requiring medical air transport. 20,416 wounded did not require medical air transport. Of all the wounded 13,109 were unable to return to duty within 72 hours. Medical air transport was required for an additional 8,273 for non-hostile injuries, and for 23,052 for diseases or other medical conditions. That last one is from the current FOUR YEARS in Iraq.
  • by Gilmoure ( 18428 ) on Thursday October 30, 2008 @10:29AM (#25569071) Journal

    I bet Obama could take out McCain, using the traditional Vulcan Ponn-Far rules and weapons. 'Course, Palin would cream Biden, and then it'd be a real fight, between Obama and Palin. Cool!

  • by dbc001 ( 541033 ) on Thursday October 30, 2008 @10:39AM (#25569263)
    I caught a piece on NPR this morning stating that there had been a McCain in every American war. They said that McCain had a very real understanding of how war affects Americans.

    I would take that a step further - I think McCain has a distorted view of the American military. He has been raised to believe that everyone should be prepared to sacrifice their lives for whatever political issue leads us to war. That's way out of step with most of my friends. I believe that the government should use military force only when absolutely necessary.

    I also believe that mankind has evolved enough that we can (mostly) end war. You might think that this sounds naive, but I have faith in the goodness of humanity and the power of the human mind. I don't dispute that there are still times when force is necessary, but I aboslutely believe that an immediate and significant reduction of armed conflict can be achieved in the very near future.

"I will make no bargains with terrorist hardware." -- Peter da Silva