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 Winning at all costs

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Abe F. March
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Abe F. March

Number of posts : 10758
Registration date : 2008-01-26
Age : 81
Location : Germany

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PostSubject: Winning at all costs   Winning at all costs EmptyMon Jul 28, 2008 10:11 am

Is winning at all costs just?
Let’s see if I understand things correctly: We illegally invaded a country to destroy WMD’s that didn’t exist. While we were there, we decided to take down the Iraqi leader – an evil yet former American ally. The destruction of the country also cost thousands of innocent lives. Our soldiers were sent to do an impossible job in a war that cannot be won. Most experts believe that we went there for the oil and that the WMD threat was just a ruse. Not only did we not get the oil but instead caused the price of oil to skyrocket since our actions created instability in the region. This war has
placed our country in the greatest deficit in history making us debtor to nations around the world. And it is projected that in 2009 the deficit will increase even more. The weak US dollar has also contributed to the destabilization of world economies.
The continuation of the war with the cost in money and lives, with no
determined end in sight for withdrawal, is the most irresponsible thing any
president or would-be president could do. Winning at all costs is irresponsible if not insane. It doesn’t matter how many more lives will be lost or how much more it will cost the American economy, just as long as our leader(s) can say, “we won.”
Mr. Bush declared that we would pull out when the Iraqi government asked us to leave. The Iraqi government wants a timetable for our withdrawal but a "wanna-be" president objects to that. He claims that the surge was a success. He doesn’t state how many lives that cost nor does he calculate how many more lives will be lost by staying until we can say, “we won.”
So if we can say, “we won,” what will we have won? We can’t even lay claim to the oil since that remains the property of Iraq.
Americans have the choice to either continue with the same policy of war or to end it. To withdraw is the honorable thing to do. To claim that we dishonor those who lost their lives by withdrawing, is false. They were dishonored the moment they were sent there to die in a needless war. To continue with the same policy of sending more troops to die is the most dishonorable thing any commander-in-chief can do. There is nothing to win. We can only continue to lose by remaining.
We have a chance to make a change come November. Saving lives is honorable. Taking care of our citizens by providing health care is honorable.
Giving attention to our economy so people can make a living, is honorable. Winning the Presidency at the cost and suffering of the American people is “winning at all costs.” Is that honorable?
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P. Gordon Kennedy
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P. Gordon Kennedy

Number of posts : 1076
Registration date : 2008-01-13
Age : 32
Location : Crystal Falls, Michigan

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PostSubject: Re: Winning at all costs   Winning at all costs EmptyMon Jul 28, 2008 10:27 am

Winning at all costs is never a good thing. There always comes a point where winning becomes so costly that it's not worth it. The law of deminishing returns applies to much more than just economics; at some point the cost of victory becomes greater than any benifits victory could bring. The Iraq war has cost us hundreds of billions of dollars and is expected to cost more than a trillion dollars by the time it's over. It will take America at least 75 years to pay off it's Iraq war debt and possibly longer. If we were to invade Iran, that war debt could easily double or even tripple, possibly taking up to 200 years to pay off, not to mention the fact that it would destabilize the region and cement hatred of the American people. It seems war in the Middle East does far more to make problems worse than to make them better. The increase in national debt brought about by the Iraq war has contributed to the develuation of the dollar and this combined with instabilities in the Middle East in part caused by the war have led to dramatic increases in oil prices in the past few years. Winning at all costs seems to be about greed and selfish ambission and not about what's good for America and the world.
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Malcolm
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Malcolm

Number of posts : 1504
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Location : Georgia

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PostSubject: Re: Winning at all costs   Winning at all costs EmptyTue Jul 29, 2008 9:21 am

I learned my lesson years ago about the danger of getting into political discussions on what was ostensibly a forum for discussing writing. (Good friends suddenly wouldn't talk to each other any more.)

But, I'll take the risk (against my better judgement) and ask:

What conditions would have to be in place for a war to be called a legal war?

Malcolm


Last edited by Malcolm on Tue Jul 29, 2008 5:31 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Shelagh
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Shelagh

Number of posts : 12656
Registration date : 2008-01-11
Location : UK

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PostSubject: Re: Winning at all costs   Winning at all costs EmptyTue Jul 29, 2008 9:39 am

Is there such a thing as a legal war? Or is a justified war the most we can hope for?

_________________
Winning at all costs 81KU-cLOw3L._SX110_ Winning at all costs 41C9GeFDNWL._SX110_ Winning at all costs 41%2BmGkZJdOL._SX110_ Winning at all costs 51eDGllZXhL._SX115_ Winning at all costs 41y7VHKoszL._SX115_ Winning at all costs 51Zs4N4T4eL._SX115_
Amazon Author Central: Shelagh Watkins
I shall never be old. It doesn't suit me -- ©Shelagh Watkins
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Jim Woods
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Jim Woods

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PostSubject: Re: Winning at all costs   Winning at all costs EmptyTue Jul 29, 2008 9:48 am

Legal and justified wars are so classified by the winners. Losers and neutrals hold the opposite opinions.

Jim Woods
www.ultrasw.com/jwoods
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Abe F. March
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Abe F. March

Number of posts : 10758
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Age : 81
Location : Germany

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PostSubject: Re: Winning at all costs   Winning at all costs EmptyTue Jul 29, 2008 10:13 am

I dont subscribe to war except in self-defense.

To answer the question, the situation concerning Iraq was discussed and debated at the UN. The summary was written prior to the invasion, as follows:


"Conclusion

Under the UN Charter, there are only two circumstances in which the use of force is permissible: in collective or individual self-defense against an actual or imminent armed attack; and when
the Security Council has directed or authorized use of force to maintain or restore international peace and security. Neither of those circumstances now exist. Absent one of them, U.S. use of force against Iraq is unlawful."
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Dick Stodghill
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Dick Stodghill

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Age : 95
Location : Akron, Ohio

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PostSubject: Re: Winning at all costs   Winning at all costs EmptyTue Jul 29, 2008 12:48 pm

I've always felt that it was.
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Malcolm
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Malcolm

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Location : Georgia

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PostSubject: Re: Winning at all costs   Winning at all costs EmptyTue Jul 29, 2008 5:55 pm

A sticky wicket, Abe...

...for Iraq was at the outset in non-compliance with multiple UN resolutions on the WMD matter. Prior to the invasion, Iraq had used WMD against its own people, so it's not completely unreasonable for there to be some expectation that such weapons still existed in spite of the fact (especially in hindsight) intelligence community reports were shown to be flawed.

Oddly enough, prior to the invasion, almost every major Democrat and Republican leader stated to a certainty that WMD existed in Iraq. After the invasion, many of these same people expressed disbelief that anyone could possibly say such a thing.

Regardless of the U.N. charter, the U.S. Constitution doesn't permit the giving up of our ultimate sovereignty to any nation or group of nations, especially when it comes to a determination of what may or may not be required for the country's defense. We forget that 9/11 took more lives than the Pearl Harbor attack, and most historians believe that Pearl was certainly justification enought to go to war against Japan--and after 9/11 there was perhaps some justification for the belief that Iraq and several other nations had an indirect role in the World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks.

These apparently hawkish statements not withstanding, I have been a conscientious objector since the Vietnam War and didn't support this war either. In spite of the almost-forgotten impact of 9/11, I do think that our response has been wrongheaded (in terms of both the war and what I see as unconstitutional threats to civil liberties) even though I'm hard-pressed to say exactly how we are supposed to defend ourselves against an enemy that has no visible headquarters or country or origin.

It's been interesting listening to the debate, though (usually) staying as far a way from it as possible because my rationale for my views are ultimately spiritual and don't fit into most discussions.

Interesting questions, though, Abe, even though my response to them will probably satisfy nobody on either side of the aisle.

Malcolm
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Abe F. March
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Abe F. March

Number of posts : 10758
Registration date : 2008-01-26
Age : 81
Location : Germany

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PostSubject: Re: Winning at all costs   Winning at all costs EmptyTue Jul 29, 2008 10:27 pm

Malcom,
The Middle East and the problems, past and present, is something that I have studied. Having lived, worked and traveled throughout the region, it was important to understand the history of the region and how that affected current events. The mentality of the people is most always forgotten but plays an important role in the activity/actions of the various players. The events with Iraq/Iran and America’s involvement was and is important to understand. (Too much detail to discuss here). Not everything is reported in the news and often what is reported is politically motivated. History will confirm that America knew Iraq did not have WMD’s prior to the invasion and that there was no security threat. Often M.E. leaders will allow others to “think” or “believe” something false in order to create an illusion of power. Saddam used that by resisting inspection access to UN inspectors. Now we have situation with Iran and it is conceivable that much of that perceived threat is a power play.
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P. Gordon Kennedy
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P. Gordon Kennedy

Number of posts : 1076
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Age : 32
Location : Crystal Falls, Michigan

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PostSubject: Re: Winning at all costs   Winning at all costs EmptyWed Jul 30, 2008 8:25 am

The roots of the problems in the Middle East go back hundreds of years. I don't think we'll ever solve anything by spending trillions of dollars invading and occuping countries there. By doing so, we'll only increse their hatred of us, devalue the dollar, and encourage the groth of fundamentalism.
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Malcolm
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Malcolm

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Location : Georgia

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PostSubject: Re: Winning at all costs   Winning at all costs EmptyWed Jul 30, 2008 8:30 am

Abe and Gordon,

Yes, one thing people do not get from the media is either the entire story or the history and how it applies or fuels the given moment. My father and one of my brothers did consultant work there, so the area has fascinated me for years, making me wonder whether we'd be better off now if all the political machinations of outside powers hadn't happened.

When the Gulf war came along, for example, people wanted to rush in to save Kuwait. They overlooked the fact that Saddam was correct when he said that Kuwait was carved out of Iraq by western powers. So many countries have played into this area for so long, it's difficult to sort out in a network news sound bite.

As for the WMD, I suspect you're right that the feds knew there weren't any left. Yet, gas IS one form of WMD and it was not a fiction that Saddam killed a good many Kurds with it. After he did that, did he throw the rest of his stock of gas away?

You're right, there are way too many variables here to cram into our posts!

Malcolm
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Abe F. March
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Abe F. March

Number of posts : 10758
Registration date : 2008-01-26
Age : 81
Location : Germany

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PostSubject: Re: Winning at all costs   Winning at all costs EmptyWed Jul 30, 2008 11:34 am

Yes, the story goes much deeper. I wonder how many people know that Kuwait had tunneled into Iraqi terrority and tapped one Saddam's oil wells. He didn't just decide one day to attack Kuwait. There was also a dispute about territory as well.

Just for your further information based on comments made, It may appear that many posts are unrelated to this writing forum. It may interest you to know that responses to some of these posts provide excellent material for writing. I have used the insights and gleaned information from chitchat - often amusing, as inspiration for inclusion in a story. The discussion of writing takes many forms and is not always about sentence structure or how to get published. I think creativity plays a role and inspiration often comes from other writers.
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Malcolm
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Malcolm

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PostSubject: Re: Winning at all costs   Winning at all costs EmptyWed Jul 30, 2008 12:40 pm

When people ask me "how I come up with stuff," I have to say everywhere, and even the flame wars that got started on other forums about politics provided a lost of grist for the mill. A lot of satire, to be sure.

Malcolm
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Dick Stodghill
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Dick Stodghill

Number of posts : 3795
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Age : 95
Location : Akron, Ohio

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PostSubject: Re: Winning at all costs   Winning at all costs EmptyThu Jul 31, 2008 7:19 am

You are correct, Malcolm, in saying there is too much here to cram into these posts. This is why the media cannot delve deeply into Middle East history except in lengthy features on a single subject. It just can't be done on a regular news show. This was true even when I was a kid in the 1930s and the radio news people such as Lowell Thomas couldn't possibly explore the roots and history of the Nazi party. There just wasn't time. Then, as now, there were numerous books and lengthy newspaper articles on the subject. Few people read them, of course. Too many are more interested in the latest antics of Paris Hilton.
So much happens in the world every day that the media can do little more than rush here and there putting out fires.
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Malcolm
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Malcolm

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PostSubject: Re: Winning at all costs   Winning at all costs EmptyThu Jul 31, 2008 7:33 am

When I see "the most popular searches" displayed on my Yahoo home page, I notice that most of them are about buzz and celebrities. Most people don't even know where the middle east is any more.

Malcolm
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P. Gordon Kennedy
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P. Gordon Kennedy

Number of posts : 1076
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Age : 32
Location : Crystal Falls, Michigan

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PostSubject: Re: Winning at all costs   Winning at all costs EmptyThu Jul 31, 2008 8:32 am

I've noticed that too, usually out of the top ten searches on yahoo, more than half are names of celeberties and/or movie titles. usually 6 or 7 are. Many times the #1 search term is the name of a celeberty or a movie title. I guess a lot of people have no interest in stuff that actually matters.
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Carol Troestler
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Carol Troestler

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Age : 82
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PostSubject: Re: Winning at all costs   Winning at all costs EmptyThu Jul 31, 2008 10:32 am

First of all, in my opinion, "a war on terrorists" is a misnomer. Terrorists are not a nation, but a group of individuals, a group of criminals operating out of various countries.

And our President talks about winning the war in Iraq. So what does this mean, that we have rooted out all the insurgents? Not likely. A definition of victory would be nice to have, perhaps that the Iraqi people can live a peaceful existence without fear. What is most important, peace for the Iraqi people or the US able to say we have achieved victory, or do both go together?

Carol
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Abe F. March
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Abe F. March

Number of posts : 10758
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Age : 81
Location : Germany

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PostSubject: Re: Winning at all costs   Winning at all costs EmptyThu Jul 31, 2008 10:57 am

Carol,
you ask a good question and that's precisely the point. Peace for the Iraqi people is not necessarily tied to the US winning. But winning is what is being promoted as the main objective.
Concerning terrorists. You are also correct that "terrorists" are not a nation. And many of those labeled as "terrorists" are often "freedom fighters" - people who are trying to free their country from aggression or occupation. The occupiers label them terrorists. And then there are the "insurgents." Sometimes they are simply coming to the aid of the freedom fighters. Sometimes they are attracted because their main enemy, the US, happens to be there. Remember that Al Queada was not in Iraq before the invasion.
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Dick Stodghill
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Dick Stodghill

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Location : Akron, Ohio

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PostSubject: Re: Winning at all costs   Winning at all costs EmptyThu Jul 31, 2008 3:24 pm

Sad but true.
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