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  • What constitutes victory?

    With all the talk about the war on terror, and the long term commitment it requires, little has been said about what victory will be. Certainly simply stepping up domestic security, and neutralizing the direct threat (such as in Afghanistan), isn't the only solution. We can't live in a society of ever increasing security measures, and invading threatening nations every now and then. We seek freedom and peace, thus a definate end to the conflict (not simply neutralization of the threat) should be the solution. But what could be defined as the end of the terrorist threat? Do we destroy the so-called 'Axis of Evil'? Do we maintain a vast and vigilant domestic security infastructure? Of course the differences in political-religious interests inherent in the current conflict must also be addressed at some point along the line. All the security and air strikes in the world aren't going to change the resentment many people in the world feel towards us.

    Israel has been fighting terrorism for the past 50+ years, with no long term success or end in sight (in light of the attacks the other day).

    So how do we define 'victory' in the war on terror?
    Last edited by Martin Schenkel; 30 Nov 02, 19:04.

  • #2
    There will be no victory in the War on Terror unless the cause for the existence of terror itself is removed.
    WWII: Caused in part by the unfair reparations imposed upon Germany after WWI.
    War on Drugs: Caused by the addictions prevalent in the more industrialized countries of the world.
    The drug cartels are simply supplying a demand.

    Terrorism is a direct result of the poverty and desperation that so many in the third world feel.
    Don't get me wrong, we should definitely be kicking their asses, but a 2 pronged approach would go a long way.
    Having said that, many of you will counter that the Middle Eastern nations have more wealth than they can spend. True enough, but an exceedingly large proportion of that wealth is held in a very few hands.

    In short I guess we have to kick their asses and hand them some food. Although that approach will still take years if not decades for us to be able to declare any kind of "victory".
    Scientists have announced they've discovered a cure for apathy. However no one has shown the slightest bit of interest !!

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    • #3
      tigersqn makes good points. But we will only be able to defeat al queda if we can stop goverment sponsership. Saudi Arabia still turns a blind eye to terrorists, right under our watch. As long as terrorists have a safe haven they will be unstoppable.
      Doesn't read Al Franken, can't watch Al Jazeera, will attack dumbasses. Anyone but Rumsfeld '04.

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      • #4
        survival
        "There is no great genius without some touch of madness."

        Seneca (5 BC - 65 AD)

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        • #5
          Never. Even if you get rid of all the current list of "evil nations and groups", others will rise up in their place.

          Continued vigilance is the only way to go.

          Who knows maybe someday, the human race would evolve to something better.... but from the looks of history, we are not going to change anytime soon.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by tigersqn
            There will be no victory in the War on Terror unless the cause for the existence of terror itself is removed...
            "There will be no peace without justice." That's an old saw from the 'sixties', but it holds true today. If words have meaning in our national discourse, I favor a "War on Injustice", rather than a "War on Terror". Treat the symptoms (terrorism, wherever it is found) with military & security measures as required, and address the cause (injustice or perceived injustice).

            Focusing on the symptom(s) and ignoring the cause(s) will keep us on the same never-ending bloody path. Israel (and the United States by association) will never achieve peace with bulldozers and tanks. A measure of security may be achieved, but not peace. I think the greater goal is peace, not security. And I think the path to peace follows justice.

            brevet
            And we are here as on a darkling plain
            Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight,
            Where ignorant armies clash by night.


            Matthew Arnold

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            • #7
              The US doesnt attack with bulldozers and tanks. The relationship between the US and Isreal may be undeniable, but we practice far different tactics.
              Doesn't read Al Franken, can't watch Al Jazeera, will attack dumbasses. Anyone but Rumsfeld '04.

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              • #8
                Terrorism is asymetrical warfare utilized to achieve a political purpose. And like any war the root causes are varied. To link it to poverty is simplistic at best and often dowright dishonest. How can you link Al-Qaeda to poverty when the members from top to bottom have middle to upper class backgrounds and don't seem terribly concerned about the economics of the Middle East.

                I think the closest common demoninator is that terrorists arise from minority groups that perceive an injustice has been placed upon them from the majority. They resort to terrorism instead of conventional warfare because it requires less manpower (good for a minority), does not require political power (no military at their disposal) and is cheap (no tax power at their disposal).

                How can we win? Either 1) we can settle the dispute (if we are even capable of settling it), 2) withdraw ourselves from the dispute, 3) consider terrorism as the cost of doing business and fight them with constraints 4) destroy the will of the terrorist.

                For Al-Qaeda, I think #1 is not applicable because for one we cannot settle the dispute and two because the solution would be worse than the war. #2 would be my personal choice but unlikely to happen. #3 is what we are doing and victory comes from just fighting the war - making the terrorist expend time and material with security, while persuading people with a sense of self-preservation away from the industry. #4 is currently not politically viable, but could change depending on how bloody the war becomes.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Headshot
                  The US doesnt attack with bulldozers and tanks. The relationship between the US and Isreal may be undeniable, but we practice far different tactics.
                  U.S. support, political and financial, of Israel is almost unconditional. It is not hard to associate Israel's tactics and policies with the United States. And it is not hard to turn hatred of Israel into hatred of the United States.

                  brevet
                  And we are here as on a darkling plain
                  Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight,
                  Where ignorant armies clash by night.


                  Matthew Arnold

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    how can the support of a free democratic state surrounded by a sea of tryany be suppresed by the worlds first democratic country. Sure Isreal isnt a lil darling but neither were we, and we still arent perfect. It is against everything that the US policy states to not support a country that supports democracy. period
                    Doesn't read Al Franken, can't watch Al Jazeera, will attack dumbasses. Anyone but Rumsfeld '04.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Headshot
                      how can the support of a free democratic state surrounded by a sea of tryany be suppresed by the worlds first democratic country.
                      Do Palestinians living within Israeli borders have a free and equal say in Israeli politics? (An honest question).

                      Also, I don't believe the USA was the first democratic country in the world. I don't know about other countries, but I do know Swiss democracy goes back a far ways, long before the US gained independance.

                      Sorry for nit picking

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                      • #12
                        Switzerland democracy is indeed older than the United States. The framers of the US Constitution took some of their ideas from the Swiss.

                        About 20 percent of Israel's population are arabs. They can vote, go to court, and join the IDF.

                        Another question to ask would be if jews living in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, ect have equal rights, assuming there are any still alive in those countries.
                        "There is no great genius without some touch of madness."

                        Seneca (5 BC - 65 AD)

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                        • #13
                          Athens and the Roman republic come to mind.
                          "Lord... forgive me my actions, speech and thoughts. Because, Lord, I am seriously going to kick some unrighteous ass in Your Name, Amen."
                          Princess of Wands by John Ringo (Jan 2006)

                          http://www.baen.com/chapters/W200601...9232.htm?blurb

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Dan Neely
                            Athens and the Roman republic come to mind.

                            Dan, the acient form of democracy is very different from the modern form, right ?
                            In fact, the Athens form took all "citizens" (matured male city residents) to decide things. But the Roman form is closer to the modern type, the senate.

                            Anyway, we were talking about the origin of democracy or the solution for the trouble?

                            (I'd prefer to talk about the former one, ... the latter one is always a headache, to be honest, I do not see any solution. ;p)
                            Attn to ALL my opponents:

                            If you sent me your turn and after 24 hours, you still did not get anything from me, please be sure to post in the forum to ask for what is going on.

                            Remember, I ALWAYS reply within 24 hours, even if I do NOT have time to play my turn, in which case I will at least send you email to tell you that I will have to play it later, but I DO receive your turn.

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                            • #15
                              Let's clear this up....

                              Hello,

                              Speaking with the unquestioned authority of a history major student, let you all hear me, O mighty puppies!

                              Athens was the oldest democratic city-state in the world history. It was a form of direct demorcacy in that it meant only the free male citizens could vote each time the assembly came together annully at Athens to elect a leader. There were no representatives such as Senators or House of Representatives, etc. Remember this was a pure direct democracy. Athens was governed directly by the people.

                              Next, the Rome was once a Republic, actually, this is a bit different. Originally, Rome was ruled by five different kings, but were overthrown by Romans. They soon established a Republic with two consuls elected annully. Rome Republic had a Senate, comprosed of mostly wealthy families, and I did recall vaguely in the class that the Rome Republic had other lower houses, but I'm not so sure, I'll have to refresh myself by reading my old textbook.

                              In any case, the Rome Republic was governed by the people, yes, but they elected the representatives to the office, and gave them power to run the city of Rome efficiently. Let me say this, Rome Republic was not a form of democracy! No way! You could say this was semi-democractic or had some principles based on democratic ones copied from Athens, which Rome had already known about for some time.

                              Now, the Swiss has the only pure direct democracy in the world, that's what I remember back in the class, I'm not sure, hey, hey, don't look at me, I'm only a student, God, what did you think?! The Swiss has a small country and that is easily governed by a direct democracy.

                              The United States of America does not have a form of democracy, rather, it is a Reupblic. It is governed by the people, but electing the representatives to the office. It is widely misunderstood that the U.S.A. is a democratic country, it's wrong, USA is a Republic country, period. You have to remember that in years before early 1900s, the US Senate was elected from the state legislatives, not by the people, there were no primary concensus to start with. It was only after 1900s, that most of the political system changed to allow the people to directly elect the Senators for the first time. There many radical changes made in the political system here in USA during the early 1900s. This allowed the people to gain the power en mass to affect the elections more directly.

                              You can rightfully say that USA is indeed the freest country in the world, but nevertheless, it is only a Republic, not a democratic country!

                              Now, O mighty puppies, do you all understand me?!

                              I know I'll get in trouble for posting this, but oh well....


                              But I have

                              Bring it on, puppies!

                              Dan
                              Major James Holden, Georgia Badgers Militia of Rainbow Regiment, American Civil War

                              "Aim small, miss small."

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