I'm sick of American Presidents using freedom as a excuse for war. - Page 2 — Brooklynian

I'm sick of American Presidents using freedom as a excuse for war.

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  • While I'm willing to hear your reasons for why we should go to war in Sudan, Rwanda, or the Ivory Coast, I am not who you need to convince. You need to convince:

    Regular people in Ohio

    Strange people in Washington

    People in uniform in the Pentagon.

    Will your justifications for war be better more convincing than the ones we were fed for the conflicts we are already in? ...because if they are not, I suspect they will fall on deaf ears.

    As a self-interested human who questions the very idea of altruism, I encourage you to talk about how they have better t-shirts and potential allies in the Africa than they do it the middle east.

  • What counts as a 'good ally' might be even harder to define than going to war for freedom or justice. We convince ourselves a number of people make good allies, regardless of how useful they really are, or at what cost, and to whom. (Was Saddam's threat to us worth 100,000 Iraqi lives? No.)

    Pinochet? Suharno? Mobutu? The Taliban? The Saudi Royal Family? We go to war where there are financial or petroleum resources, or whatever perceived ideological battle-du-jour is, whether it's 'papists', or communists, or islamofacists.

    Preventing death in Rwanda or Sudan wouldn't have required a single US boot on the ground, or even major US equipment and resources. In the case of Rwanda, all it would have taken is Albright & Cristopher to not actively prevent the UN from using more force.

    I don't know as much about the current situation in Ivory Coast, but details so far make it a very useful parallel to our "noble" actions in Libya. As does our inaction in Bahrain.

    However, I am not who you need to convince. You need to convince

    That isn't a response to the argument that US foreign policy is massively hypocritical and dishonest.

    If you want to discuss the shortcomings of our current political system, I'm happy to.

  • That isn't a response to the argument that US foreign policy is massively hypocritical and dishonest.

    As someone who perceives that there are billions of definitions of "freedom" and "justice", I can certainly envision a definition of each that would make our foreign policy appear genuinely sane; the complete opposite of "hypocritical" or "dishonest".

    As I hear the people scream "no war for oil", I'm one of those who thinks to myself: "At least one objectively measures oil."

    Given the various definitions, How the hell does one determine if we obtained "justice" or "freedom"?

    Let's start with the assumption that humans pursue their individual self interest. When they can't do this, it then roughly follows this order: They pursue the interests of their family. Then their locality. Then their state, then their country, then their allies.

    Your task is to convince me that going to war in Africa serves what motivates me, not that our political system sucks.

    We already agree on the latter.

  • I can certainly envision a definition of each that would make our foreign policy appear genuinely sane; the complete opposite of "hypocritical" or "dishonest".

    Sane agendas doesn't preclude one from being either hypocritical or dishonest.

    Rumsfeld & Obama have proven this.

    As I hear the people scream "no war for oil", I'm one of those who thinks to myself: "At least one objectively measure oil."

    Let's just say I don't share your preference for enterprises which only involve simple metrics.

    Your task is to convince me that going to war in Africa serves what motivates me

    That isn't a response to the argument that US foreign policy is massively hypocritical and dishonest.

    If you want to discuss how Americans view the world, or you'd like to discuss your world view in particular, I'm happy.

  • I remain unconvinced that we should be involved in a war in Africa, but am open to new information. I believe the wars we are already in make more sense, than one in Africa would.

    I would prefer we were not in any of the wars, but believe with "great power comes great responsibility".

    I believe I am not a hypocrite or dishonest.

    ...I believe I view the world in a way that is much different than most americans, yet they reach similar conclusions.

  • If we're going to bomb Libya for humanitarian reasons, we should've bombed Sudan's air force in 2003, to use an example.

    Or we could have bombed neither. Either way, then we're not being hypocrites.

    However if you want to make the case for Libya (which is in Africa, BTW), but against Sudan or Ivory Coast, go for it.

    If we're going to pressure NATO and the UN to get involved in Bosnia, Clinton should have done so in Rwanda. Actually, I"ll set the bar even lower, he should've not actively been party to more death by virtue of pressuring the UN to stay out of the way.

    Or we could've gotten involved in neither.

    Or you can make the case for the UN in Bosnia, but against the UN in Rwanda.

    After these two examples, we can move on to Iraq.

  • The US is a lot like me: My involvement in things that will save the world varies with age and things as trivial as:

    -the weather

    -my mood

    -whether tshirts (aka oil) will be given out

    -and who else will be there, um, "allies".

    Annoying philosophers call it pragmatism.

  • Yes but unlike you, the US rarely admits to any of that.

    It is what makes it hypocritical and dishonest.

  • The US has a unified voice?

    ...most people in the world do not perceive themselves as being in control over their government. Only a naive person would believe that we (thru "democracy") are in charge of ours.

    ....it is just the way it is.

  • The foreign policy establishment from the Cold War on, as headed by Dems & Repubs?

    Yes.

    Always fighting wars for humanitarian purposes.

    Rarely (never?) admitting oil is a factor.

    Yes, definitely has a largely unified voice.

    ...it is just the way it is.

    So wise.

  • I'll think I'll just watch the game, rather than play in it.

    The future wrote me and told me, it is just more of the same.

    The weather is lovely though.

    ...and life is good.

    And I look forward to seeing the events unfold, even though I am just along for the ride.

    It's all really stimulating and thought provoking.

    ....but this thread has made me think a lot about me as a "I can change the world" volunteer. I was no better, or worse of guy than am now. ....but, as noted by booklaw and AW, I had a great time.

    Like everyone, I think I'm incredibly average.

  • See you there? I've RSVP'd

  • With the current American seeds that is being sowed in the middle east, i wonder when it is going to pay America back.

  • armchair_warrior said:

    With the current American seeds that is being sowed in the middle east, i wonder when it is going to pay America back.

    We've been being "paid back" since 1983, when the US Marine barracks were bombed in Tripoli. Or, 1979 when we started arming Islamic militias in Afghanistan during the Soviet Invasion. It has lead us to two wars in Iraq and theoretical take-over of Afghanistan. A possible full scale invasion of Pakistan is on the books. And still, bin-Laden is nowhere to be found.

  • Those things only happens in Republican regimes!! :p

  • The Iranian Hostage Taking and arming the Freedom Fighters in Afghanistan happened with Carter in 1979.

    The USS Vincenz (sp?) and a couple of others happened during Clinton.

    We all know the continuations and extensions happening under Obama.

  • Those things only happens in Republican regimes!! :p

    Strawman. Nobody argued that.

This discussion has been closed.