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 Message Boards » » War, what is it good for? Page [1]  
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Let us discuss our nation's wars, armed conflicts, etc, from the beginning of our history to today.

Which conflicts do you think were justified in their inception? Which conflicts were executed properly? In which conflicts do you think the intended end justified the means?

Bonus points for lists ITT.

2/1/2017 12:03:32 AM

AndyMac
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Morally right:
WW2
Civil War
(although both of these really only proven morally right after the fact, we didn't get into WW2 to stop the Holocaust or the Civil War to free the slaves)

Justified:
Revolutionary War

Slightly justified in a realpolitik sense:
War of 1812
Spanish–American War
Mexican–American War
Gulf War
Afghanistan

Waste of time, money, and American lives:
Iraq
Vietnam
Korea
WW1

[Edited on February 1, 2017 at 12:38 AM. Reason : ]

2/1/2017 12:37:42 AM

beatsunc
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absolutely nothin

2/1/2017 6:17:32 AM

Cabbage
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Good God y'all

2/1/2017 10:25:53 AM

kdogg(c)
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Helping the grass grow.

2/1/2017 5:05:18 PM

HUR
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Morally right:
WW2
Civil War (was it? While slavery may have been a motivation for succession, the US didn't go to war to free slaves....)

Justified:
Revolutionary War
Afghanistan

Slightly justified in a realpolitik sense:
War of 1812
Mexican–American War
Gulf War


Waste of time, money, and American lives:
Iraq
Spanish–American War
Vietnam
Korea
WW1

2/1/2017 6:09:40 PM

Dentaldamn
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I believe we would not have functioned at the same capacity in WW2 without first being involved and witnessing WW1.

it was justified in retrospect.

[Edited on February 2, 2017 at 7:20 AM. Reason : Zzzz]

2/2/2017 7:20:02 AM

NyM410
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Moral: American-Australian

2/2/2017 7:41:09 AM

GrumpyGOP
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I don't understand the view some of you seem to take to the First World War. Germany was blowing up our people and trying to get our neighbors to invade us. While I don't think they had any special culpability in starting the war, they did plenty to justify our entry. And it enabled the U.S. to advocate (albeit largely without success) for some very moral positions after the war.

WWII was morally right from the beginning. Even if we didn't get into it to stop the Holocaust, we could see that there were dictators taking over shit. Plus the other guys started it, and a big part of the reason they started it was because we took the morally justifiable action of embargoing them after the Rape of Nanking.

It's facile to claim that "we didn't fight the Civil War to free the slaves." Yes, maintaining the Union was the larger part of that, but the abolitionist component was significant and became more so through the course of the war.

Korea was fought in the morally laudable cause of preventing the conquest of one country by a lunatic neighbor, as was the Gulf War.

So in my "Good War" column, we have:
WWI
WWII
Korean War
Gulf War

Then there's a category of mix-bag conflicts. I'm glad that the United States is an independent republic. But the justifications we used for fighting the Revolutionary War were mostly flimsy, and often boiled down to an affluent class grumbling about (frankly reasonable) taxes. We can look at Canada, Australia, and New Zealand to see examples of countries getting their freedom from Britain without need of conflict. On the other hand, part of the reason Britain facilitated those peaceful separations was to avoid a repeat of our fight.

With the Revolutionary War I suppose I think it was not so much moral or even justified, at least from before the fact, as it was inevitable. At that point there wasn't a precedent or avenue for peaceful separation, and the locus of power had shifted too much in favor of the colonies for them to remain dependent. Judging the morality of the war itself, in that situation, is like judging the morality of the weather.

Something similar could be said for the Mexican-American War. It was an inevitable consequence of the balance of power in the region. The justifications were dubious at best, but it doesn't really matter. The same could be said about the fact of the Indian Wars, though not the conduct of them (or of the peaces between them).

Bad:

The Spanish-American War was not inevitable, and as fought was not good. Ditto Vietnam.

I do not think that military action against Afghanistan or Iraq was wrong, but in both cases the execution was so poor that I can't call them anything but bad.

2/2/2017 8:10:48 PM

moron
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What about the seemingly impending war with Iran?

Trump and bannon have referenced military action, but Russia is irans friend to an extent and trump seems to want to team with Russia with the expectation they will increase attacks on isis.

Will Russia soothe Iran hate, or will they turn their back on Iran?

2/2/2017 8:27:13 PM

rjrumfel
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Waste of time, money, and American lives? The War on Drugs.

Why do some folks think our entry into WWII was a choice? Sure there's the conspiracy that we allowed the attack on Pearl Harbor (I don't believe it) but after we were attacked, what choice did we have? We either fought back, or tucked our tails between our legs and took whatever came next. Granted, had Pearl Harbor not happened, Churchill probably would have eventually talked American leaders into joining, but as history stands written, we didn't really have a choice.

2/2/2017 9:36:22 PM

wizzkidd
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Quote :
"What about the seemingly impending war with Iran?"


Our relationship with Iran has WAAAY more to do with our relationship with the Arab nations in the region (Saudis, Bahrain, Qatar, UAE, Kuwait, Jordan) and Israel, than it does with Russia. Iran really should be the regional hegemony based on their population and economy, but the US and the Arab nations have aligned themselves to prevent that.

There's also something to be said about our dependence on foreign oil but I don't think that's as much of a factor as is commonly believed.


I don't think War with Iran is particularly likely, unless they do something to start WWIII. But maybe that's not super far-fetched. I heard the AF Chief of Staff say today that the world is as unstable as it's been since the 1960's so...

2/2/2017 10:46:18 PM

theDuke866
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Quote :
"I do not think that military action against Afghanistan or Iraq was wrong, but in both cases the execution was so poor that I can't call them anything but bad.
"


I would say that initially, Afghanistan was a pretty impressive operation. It was a bunch of SOF, airstrikes, and the Northern Alliance.

Then we decided to try to nation-build the damned place.



Iraq...as envisioned by the GWB administration, it was bad from the start. It was a dumb idea, executed poorly. That said, aside from the fact that Saddam Hussein was a despotic tyrant, I think we were justified in whipping that ass just for a decade's worth of flagrantly, massively violating terms of ceasefire. They had an asskicking coming to them...we just shouldn't have turned it into a takeover of the country and subsequent nation-building effort, let alone one where the phase IV plan was something along the lines of "after we freedom the shit out of 'em, they're gonna be ecstatic and things will pretty much fall into place. Boom. Done."

2/2/2017 11:11:50 PM

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Quote :
" They had an asskicking coming to them...we just shouldn't have turned it into a takeover of the country and subsequent nation-building effort"


How do you do one without the other?

2/3/2017 12:52:21 AM

packboozie
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It is a way for Christians to justify killing

2/3/2017 8:54:43 AM

wizzkidd
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^What does that even mean??

^^ We forced terms in Vietnam without nation building... arguably they didn't have any staying power, but it happened. Also, we could have just disabled their IAD system, and their military force so they were incapable of shooting at anything. I recognize that gets tricky if the Kurds decide to do anything against Saddam's govt, and they have no way to defend themselves, thus you get a civil war similar to what we created anyway, but if nothing else , it would have been less expensive.

2/3/2017 10:11:46 PM

theDuke866
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^^^At the other end of the spectrum, we bombed Libya back in the 1986; we made strikes in Iraq in the 90s; Desert Fox was even more extensive, I think.

A number of South American leaders turned up dead (plane crashes, etc) back in the day, too.

2/3/2017 10:36:40 PM

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Quote :
"We forced terms in Vietnam without nation building"


We lost that war, and thus weren't involved in rebuilding a place we didn't completely destruct.

Quote :
"At the other end of the spectrum, we bombed Libya back in the 1986; we made strikes in Iraq in the 90s;"


You don't usually power a regime change through bombing alone.

2/3/2017 10:54:05 PM

titans78
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How was the Mexican-American war in any way justified? The whole chain of events stems from US citizens essentially moving to Mexico, ignoring their laws and customs, going to war creating an independent country with the intent of joining America.

A big part of that because Mexico didn't allow slavery and Americans buying up their cheap land wanted slaves and we simply felt it was our God given right to that land. After Texas becomes a state US troops are patrolling disputed territory with the purpose of provoking Mexico into a war so we had an excuse to attack them after they refused to sell us like 1/3 of their territory for what would be roughly 1 billion in today's money. Obviously the end result was good for our nation and massive land acquisition so in that sense you could say "justified" but none of it was provoked by Mexico without justification and Mexico's response at each phase was perfectly reasonable.

[Edited on February 3, 2017 at 11:31 PM. Reason : .]

2/3/2017 11:25:20 PM

theDuke866
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^^ who said anything about regime change?

2/4/2017 12:27:40 AM

beatsunc
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im going to go out on a limb and suggest violence/killing people is only ok in self defense

2/4/2017 8:13:57 AM

wizzkidd
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Quote :
"We lost that war [Vietnam], and thus weren't involved in rebuilding a place we didn't completely destruct."


I think you should review exactly how we ended our involvement in that conflict. Operation Linebacker II which involved conventional bombardment of North Vietnamese cities was a considerable coercive factor in bringing about the Paris Peace accords.

Quote :
"im going to go out on a limb and suggest violence/killing people is only ok in self defense"


I think that's a short sighted philosophy. I believe that violence is morally acceptable in the defense of others, and there are times where it's okay in defense of property. How do you deter violence against yourself or others? What about the threat of violence? i would say that it may be morally acceptable to act against a known threat (including intent and capability) of violence with violence.

2/4/2017 2:57:07 PM

HUR
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Quote :
"I don't understand the view some of you seem to take to the First World War. Germany was blowing up our people and trying to get our neighbors to invade us."


Had Germany not used Belgium as a shortcut into France, thus dragging the UK into WW1, I'd argue Germany-Austria stood more on the high-ground
in WW1 both morally and realpolitik standpoints.

Quote :
"Korea was fought in the morally laudable cause of preventing the conquest of one country by a lunatic neighbor, as was the Gulf War.
"


I'd almost recognize Korea as being "OK" protecting our invaded ally. Whereas Vietnam was outright wrong, we entered Nam to support
a hated dictator simply because he sucked the cock of American Big Business.

Gulf war is very questionable if you look at the background. We used Saddam against the Iranians then got upset when his invasion of
Kuwait interrupted our best interests in the oil "game".

Quote :
"Mexican-American War"


The justification of the Mexican-American war is no different than Russia saying it deserves a big hung of the Ukraine because the Russians
there aren't being treated fairly.

Quote :
"Indian Wars"


Genocide. It's ok when American does it though!

Quote :
" do not think that military action against Afghanistan or Iraq was wrong"


Afghanistan i could argue on simply a revenge or a regional stability standpoint. Iraq was sold to America was a lie and not justified.

2/7/2017 5:49:29 PM

0EPII1
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Quote :
"beatsunc: im going to go out on a limb and suggest violence/killing people is only ok in self defense"


Woah woah... that's very radical man, don't go all communist on us!!!

2/7/2017 5:52:31 PM

tulsigabbard
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The revolutionary war would not be acceptable by today's standards. A bunch of people who had been part of the system can't suddenly opt out violently and resort to guerilla warfare. These antics are highly frowned upon by today's society. I'm pretty certain the world would have ended up being a better place without it. The area would be more like Canada.

The civil war didn't need to be fought either. If state votes to leave, you should let them leave. Isn't that democracy by definition? They shouldn't take up arms over it though. I guess thats the American way.

World war 2 in Europe is the only one I can really get behind. Otherwise, just because someone attacks you, doesn't mean you have to join an all-out global conflict against them. A proportional response should be enough. The historical justifications for these wars are probably propaganda and at best, heavily biased/fear-mongered thinking.


Its easy to denounce every war after WW2 though. We had to immediately attack every communist country to create the narrative that "communism doesn't work". Meanwhile, we had to pour billions of aid to their capitalist counterparts to show the world that capitalism "works"

That is pre 9/11 American foreign policy in a nutshell.

Since then, we've been going back cleaning up all of the "bad guys" we created in the process. Most of the suffering in the world today is a direct result of American foreign policy. I concede that you could say the same about most of the extreme wealth as well. They are intertwined.

[Edited on April 17, 2017 at 10:37 AM. Reason : America's Vietnam war ranks 2nd behind the holocaust centers for greatest 20th century evil]

4/17/2017 10:32:51 AM

NeuseRvrRat
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Quote :
"The revolutionary war would not be acceptable by today's standards. A bunch of people who had been part of the system can't suddenly opt out violently and resort to guerilla warfare. These antics are highly frowned upon by today's society. I'm pretty certain the world would have ended up being a better place without it. The area would be more like Canada.

The civil war didn't need to be fought either. If state votes to leave, you should let them leave. Isn't that democracy by definition? They shouldn't take up arms over it though. I guess thats the American way."


are these ideas incongruous?

4/17/2017 7:08:57 PM

tulsigabbard
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Both sides can be in the wrong. Human conflict isn't usually the binary good vs. evil you were taught in school. Notice how the American government presents all of these wars as good vs. evil with the Americans conveniently presented as the force for good every time. It can be difficult to analyse wars from previous centuries but even Iraq is presented that way and we can be certain about the truth of that war now.

4/18/2017 12:17:11 AM

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