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Debates Forum

Debates Forum

  1. Standard member shavixmir
    Guppy poo
    16 Sep '14 07:11
    Generally speaking I am anti-war.
    To sum it up:
    - Civilians die
    - 99% of wars are about a select group of individuals gaining power, land and resources (even if the war is sold to you differently)
    - Weapons manufacturers get rich (and I don't like them).
    - 99% of the time it leads to a worse situation than before. So, more often than not it's counter-productive.
    - By starting wars we lose the moral high-ground.
    - Wars are, again generally speaking, a macho way of solving matters and a shameless lack of communication skills.

    Take the Middle-East, for example. Everytime (whether we do it in altruism or not; although I obviously believe we don't) we intervene, we create an even worse situation than before.

    But when does the scale tip?
    When do you actually run out of options and when does not fighting lead to a worse situation than waging war?

    Most people agree that the second world war was a just war against an evil enemy.
    But look at the historical picture:
    - Napoleon
    - The Franco-Prussian war
    - World war 1
    - The treaty of Versailles

    In hindsight there are multiple reasons and moments in which non-military intervention could have made WWII less likely (or even not possible).
    Indeed, in a historic diplomatic anomoly, the US; even without the benefit of hindsight, actually opposed the treaty of Versailles saying that it would only lead to larger problems down the road (the anomaly being that they are usually a diplomatic disaster and generally wrong).

    Now, we can easily suggest that by changing attitudes we can overt most wars or de-escalate situations before they get out of hand.
    But we are humans and considering power, land and resources... and even egos, it's probably safe to assume that one or two situations are non-avoidable.

    But when does using violence become a better alternative than not using it?
    Or is it never an option?

    What if you use warfare to stop a situation and then leave again (so you don't go to change governments or instal puppet regimes, you only go to create safety and then leave again once it's safe)?
    Is that even possible?
    Or can you use warfare to protect your own civilians in various regions? Or other civilians if they ask for help?
    Does that ever lead to a better situation?

    I saw the beheadings the last couple of weeks by IS.
    And I have to admit I get a gut feeling that those people are indeed socially non-acceptable (like psycopaths, we protect ourselves by locking them away from society).
    So, yeah... I feel I want to get in there and sort them out.

    But, would that really help?
    Aren't they just a consequence of our previous involvements in the region? What if we intervene now? Won't there be a wave of revenge against them and their supporters? Would we need to intervene in that as well?

    But can we just sit back and watch it unfold?
    Isn't that just appeasement? And letting sociopaths rule in the schoolyard isn't any way of creating a safe environment for children.

    When does accidentally murdering children become justified to protect children?
    How can you use violence without turning into exactly that which you aim to stop?
    And what other options are there? How do you deal with with sociopathy on a non-individual scale?

    I'm very interested in hearing your opinions on this.
  2. Standard member wolfgang59
    Infidel
    16 Sep '14 10:11
    Originally posted by shavixmir
    Generally speaking I am anti-war.
    To sum it up:
    - Civilians die
    - 99% of wars are about a select group of individuals gaining power, land and resources (even if the war is sold to you differently)
    - Weapons manufacturers get rich (and I don't like them).
    - 99% of the time it leads to a worse situation than before. So, more often than not it's counter- ...[text shortened]... sociopathy on a non-individual scale?

    I'm very interested in hearing your opinions on this.
    I think the answer is "Nobody knows".

    But I think it important for the world - or at least individual governments - to be consistent.
  3. 16 Sep '14 19:01
    Originally posted by shavixmir
    Generally speaking I am anti-war.
    To sum it up:
    - Civilians die
    - 99% of wars are about a select group of individuals gaining power, land and resources (even if the war is sold to you differently)
    - Weapons manufacturers get rich (and I don't like them).
    - 99% of the time it leads to a worse situation than before. So, more often than not it's counter- ...[text shortened]... sociopathy on a non-individual scale?

    I'm very interested in hearing your opinions on this.
    Hind sight is more likely to be 20-20. Wars will generally be fought when the government chooses. The choice will always be second guessed by the opposition.
  4. Standard member finnegan
    GENS UNA SUMUS
    17 Sep '14 08:55 / 2 edits
    Concrete circumstances are more important than confusing abstractions.

    Open, democratic decision making is more desirable and more likely to reach a sound conclusion than executive authority.

    Hindsight does not give 20/20 vision, It simply allows time for the facts to be rearranged in a desired order. Conflicting explanations for World War One are still emerging thick and fast a century later.
  5. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    17 Sep '14 13:40 / 2 edits
    Originally posted by shavixmir
    Generally speaking I am anti-war.
    To sum it up:
    - Civilians die
    - 99% of wars are about a select group of individuals gaining power, land and resources (even if the war is sold to you differently)
    - Weapons manufacturers get rich (and I don't like them).
    - 99% of the time it leads to a worse situation than before. So, more often than not it's counter- ...[text shortened]... sociopathy on a non-individual scale?

    I'm very interested in hearing your opinions on this.
    First, point of order: The US foreign policy was generally isolationist (especially when it came to the eastern hemisphere) until Pearl Harbor. It is not surprising in the least that the US did not support the Treaty of Versailles or the League of Nations. Aside from general isolationist sentiments, the Treaty of Versailles was a discarding of Wilson's 14 points, partly on reliance of which Germany had laid down its arms in 1918. The British and French were intoxicated by their victory and assumed they could get away with dictating pretty much whatever it wanted in the treaty. While this in no way minimizes the blame or guilt associated with the Nazi regime, it is quite certainly the case that the Allies laid the groundwork for Hitler at Versailles.

    As to the main question, while wars certainly often "are about a select group of individuals gaining power" that is often the case on only one side or the other. In many wars, the other side is merely trying to stop the aggressor from gaining power.

    I would say that war is justified:

    1) When it is necessary to protect the safety of one's own citizens
    2) When it is necessary to prevent the wholesale and extremely severe violations of the human rights of any group of people

    Whether it's practical or not is a different question, but all powers are justified (and, some may argue, morally compelled) to save the Yazidi and the Kurds from large scale persecution and murder.
  6. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    17 Sep '14 13:46 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by normbenign
    Hind sight is more likely to be 20-20. Wars will generally be fought when the government chooses. The choice will always be second guessed by the opposition.
    http://tinyurl.com/pf3qokb


    Sorry, man, I just had to do that.
  7. Standard member DeepThought
    Losing the Thread
    17 Sep '14 16:29
    Originally posted by sh76
    First, point of order: The US foreign policy was generally isolationist (especially when it came to the eastern hemisphere) until Pearl Harbor. It is not surprising in the least that the US did not support the Treaty of Versailles or the League of Nations. Aside from general isolationist sentiments, the Treaty of Versailles was a discarding of Wilson's 14 point ...[text shortened]... ue, morally compelled) to save the Yazidi and the Kurds from large scale persecution and murder.
    Given the gunboat diplomacy the US used against Japan, her destruction of the Spanish Empire and consequent acquisition of the Philippines, her involvement in the Boxer Rebellion and World War I I'm somewhat sceptical about your claim that the U.S. was "generally isolationist" before Pearl Harbour.
  8. Standard member Soothfast
    0,1,1,2,3,5,8,13,21,
    17 Sep '14 19:41 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by DeepThought
    Given the gunboat diplomacy the US used against Japan, her destruction of the Spanish Empire and consequent acquisition of the Philippines, her involvement in the Boxer Rebellion and World War I I'm somewhat sceptical about your claim that the U.S. was "generally isolationist" before Pearl Harbour.
    The US was generally isolationist on Sundays.

    EDIT: Don't forget the Monroe Doctrine and Manifest Destiny.
  9. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    17 Sep '14 23:37
    Originally posted by DeepThought
    Given the gunboat diplomacy the US used against Japan, her destruction of the Spanish Empire and consequent acquisition of the Philippines, her involvement in the Boxer Rebellion and World War I I'm somewhat sceptical about your claim that the U.S. was "generally isolationist" before Pearl Harbour.
    Compare that to the record of the European powers in the same period of time.
  10. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    17 Sep '14 23:37
    Originally posted by Soothfast
    The US was generally isolationist on Sundays.

    EDIT: Don't forget the Monroe Doctrine and Manifest Destiny.
    The Monroe Doctrine was an isolationist doctrine vis a vis the eastern hemisphere.
  11. Standard member Soothfast
    0,1,1,2,3,5,8,13,21,
    17 Sep '14 23:50
    Originally posted by sh76
    The Monroe Doctrine was an isolationist doctrine vis a vis the eastern hemisphere.
    Right. Uh-huh. It had nothing whatsoever to do with protecting the US's self-professed right to meddle in the affairs of two dozen countries lying south of Florida's wiener. Whatever you say.
  12. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    18 Sep '14 02:49
    Originally posted by Soothfast
    Right. Uh-huh. It had nothing whatsoever to do with protecting the US's self-professed right to meddle in the affairs of two dozen countries lying south of Florida's wiener. Whatever you say.
    What??

    What do countries "south of Florida's wiener" have to do with the eastern hemisphere?
  13. Standard member Soothfast
    0,1,1,2,3,5,8,13,21,
    18 Sep '14 04:57
    Originally posted by sh76
    What??

    What do countries "south of Florida's wiener" have to do with the eastern hemisphere?
    I'm going to assume you're just playing dumb and head to the gym.
  14. Subscriber AThousandYoung
    It's only business
    18 Sep '14 15:40
    Originally posted by sh76
    Compare that to the record of the European powers in the same period of time.
    Like Spain?
  15. Standard member DeepThought
    Losing the Thread
    18 Sep '14 15:54
    Originally posted by sh76
    Compare that to the record of the European powers in the same period of time.
    I wasn't claiming that Britain was isolationist.