The fact that US-politicians and Militaries did the right things 60years ago does not automatically make todays Politicians and today Militaries right.
Firstly, I agree. Secondly, this is a straw man. You are arguing against a point I never made.
You cried "bully". I cited these historical facts to disprove your claim. These facts ARE relevant to the bully issue. They show a long, enduring record not of bullying, but of leadership, of steadfast friendship even through pain and sacrifice on our part in support of your interests.
Does this LONG list of supporting evidence for our responsible, honorable behavior (in stark contrast to many of those who share your point of view) prove that we are being honorable and truthful now? No, it does not, but it DOES inform the issue of credibility. That we do have this massive body of evidence of being the ANTI-bully, over decades of history, must cast the burden of proof onto your suspicions, not onto us. We have frankly EARNED the benefit of the doubt, that you should hear us out, examine our case objectively, take the time to think through the complexities rather than toss hateful soundbites and spin-doctored headlines, and weigh our actions in light of the context of how we have behaved historically.
You are, frankly, not doing that. You say you distrust us, when we have historically given you no reason to do so. Where is the pattern of our abuses? Let's see you point them out. Your opening salvo of "Agent Orange and Vietnam massacres" is a dud. Got any more? Ready to call us baby killers, warmongers, Hitler clones, and butchers? What's next? Claims that we are waging war on the people of Iraq, to kill as many of their women and children as we can? I hear there are some openings in Saddam's propaganda machine, in the wake of our "targetting of command and control facilities". If you want to volunteer, I'm sure they'd be happy to make some kind of use out of you, although perhaps not the use you intend.
A Danish reporter just released from Iraqi prison last night said, "No, they didn't hurt us. They sure as Hell did hurt a lot of other people, though." Seems the prisons in Iraq are a, shall we say, "rough place"? Compare that to the way America treats the captives we take in this war, or even how we treat our own prisoners here in our country. Go ahead. Look into it. I'd love to hear your spin on that.
You cite the last sixty years as not offering proof of our lack of abuse today, almost as if to say that the lack of proof implies some kind of ass-backward proof of its own. I'm having a hard time following your arguments, since you aren't making coherent ones most of the time, and even when you do, you are arguing against things I haven't said, often deliberately ignoring the things I have said. You use a lot of straw men.
You distrust us in the extreme. Why? You claim we are attacking without reason. I've spelled out our reasons in great detail in this thread. You don't reply to that, instead claiming some fabricated reason for why we are attacking, which has nothing to do with why we are attacking, then you beat up on your fabricated reason. I repeat again, this is a straw man arugment, and it misses the point.
Or do you say that becouse of Americans that died at WW2 is why are now allwed to attack whom we want?
Straw men don't get any more blatant than this. Do you honestly believe that that is our position? Or are you trolling?
I've laid out the case for our justification for this war, and it no way resembles what you state here. I refer you to those posts. Unless and until you address those arguments head on, I'm done with you. No more replies to straw man arguments. If that's the limit of your reasoning ability, this debate is over your head.
Before I go, I want to go back to the previous post and address the remarks you made there that drew an outburst of anger from me.
your massacres during Vietnam.
If you had said those four words to me in person, in this sloppy, callous way, the insult of it would have earned you a fistfight. I'm still quite pissed at you for these remarks and no longer consider us "friends", if indeed we ever were.
Agent Orange was a mistake. But Agent Orange is a chemical defoliant. That means it harms plants. We used it to try to beat back those thick jungles, to reduce the ambush factor, expose our enemy, and protect our people.
That you would so flippantly fling around the notion of our "Vietnam massacres" reveals the depth of your ignorance. To me, that is maddeningly frustrating. THIS is the sort of falsehood that leads me to raise the level of my rhetoric, to say such provocative things as comparing the UN to the League of Nations, to apply the terms hypocrite and appeasement, to paint Europe's overall position on this matter as absurd, and directly reference the father of propaganda in connection to your point of view. Your remarks are that ridiculous.
There WERE war crimes and massacres committed by American forces in Vietnam. My country has taken pains to investigate them, to prosecute those involved in incidents where the laws of warfare were broken, and we have laid bare our findings, to take responsibility for what the worst and weakest of ours have done wrong to others.
That said, these incidents were rare, a terrible exception to and stain upon what otherwise is the finest, most disciplined, most honorable and most effective fighting force on the face of this earth. In Vietnam, our forces, bound as they are now in Iraq to the Geneva Convention and international laws, were faced with an enemy that made no such recognitions. Our enemy in Vietnam was brutal, deceptive, and dirty. They used children to fight us. They hid behind civilians, often conducted operations dressed as civilians, and did manage to inflict many horrors on our fighting forces as a direct result of these extremely dishonorable combat tactics.
Our forces were placed in Vietnam to meet our commitment to the representative government of South Vietnam. We were there to defend their land, their way of life, against a brutal regime that wanted to reunite the country under a single harsh rule. Our fight there WAS wholly honorable, the more so because we sent our men and women to fight and die for a country that many of our own citizens considered "not worth fighting for". These were not white people, not Anglo-Saxon, not Germanic, not European, but Asian. We made promises to them to protect and we tried to keep those promises. The whole experience is bitter, since we failed. That's the only war we've ever lost, and being the first such thing ever to happen to our nation, it affected us deeply, in ways that other nations who have won and lost many wars over longer histories would not have been affected.
Do you care? Apparently not. You and your disdain for OUR diplomacy have just committed a grave diplomatic no-no in American eyes by nitpicking stupidly at this issue, but enh.
That you make no recognition of the enemy's perfidy in your remarks renders your point irrelevant. In fact, it renders YOU irrelevant as a voice in this debate, because you lack all sense of objectivity in your analysis. To wit, I point to your Vietnam remarks. You fling grenedes into the discussion and watch the chaos, instead of presenting your arguments with any care or even intelligence. You offer flip and insulting soundbytes in place of reason. You present simplistic clips of events taken out of context and pretend they represent evidence. You argue against straw men, instead of taking on the actual arguments made by me or by my government. You are living in a delusion, surrounded by and comforted by your army of straw men. I hope you are happy in there.
The sad truth of our few "massacres" in Vietnam is that even a disciplined force can sometimes crack under the strain, when presented with an enemy that holds no regard for international law or the Geneva Convention, an enemy who deliberately puts its civilians in harm's way and uses them as shields and cover for their operations. You watch your fellow soldiers dying to such trickery around you, dying to children who pull out guns and turn into combatants, dying to soldiers in civilian clothes whom you did not target because they posed as innocents, only to come up behind you and stick a knife in your back, dying to traps, dying because they are operating in a war where the enemy recognizes no limits on his tactics, while you are hogtied by rules and laws that restrain you, frankly, from defending yourself against these nasty opponents, and you live under that pressure for months and YEARS on end, and you too might start to lose your grip on humanity.
We had that happen to some of our people. We had a few truly bad eggs in the batch, too. And yet what I said earlier in this thread is also true. America is admired in Vietnam for the honorable way we fought and engaged the Viet Cong. France, by stark constrast, is still hated there. Those are facts.
For you to fling around "Vietnam Massacres" and "Agent Orange" with the implication that these are morally equivalent to Iraqi massacres of Kurds and Shia, to Iraqi use of chemical weapons (actual chemical WEAPONS, like mustard and nerve gas) is beyond "ignorant" and wholly into insulting. Insults are one thing. Outright fabrications -- LIES -- are something else.
There are a lot of lies floating around, that's for sure. At the very least, one of us here is dead wrong. Each forum reader will have to decide for themselves what are the lies and what is the truth.
But this happened well before we both were born and we are not discussing that time as we also not discuss your use of Agent Orange, other chemicals and your massacres during Vietnam.
I'm glad you bring up Vietnam. That you fail to grasp, even after my outburst, the sensitive and important nature of the full truth of what happened in Vietnam, that you fail to show any hold on subtlety or complexity, fail to understand what took place and why, and what it all really means, speaks more clearly in rebuttal of your arguments than any counterargument I might offer.
What really ticks me off is this "we fight against terrorism in Iraq" which is such a blatant lie
Have you personally looked into this matter? Or are you just parroting the claims of opinion-makers in your country?
* Saddam pays the families of Palestinian terrorists. That's a fact. State sponsorship of terror. That's not a "lie", it's a fact. I dare you to deny it.
* His regime supports many terror groups. There are terrorists he directly funds who attack Iranian interests.
* In the past two days, the regime's officials have threatened terror attacks against the USA and UK, in our home lands. These are not the first such threats.
* The flow of men and material in support of terror groups based in Syria flow from Iran through Iraqi territory with their tacit permission and willing support.
* The Ansar al-Islam terrorist camp in Iraq has been destroyed. That it existed is a fact. That it could not have existed without the willing allowance of Saddam's regime, WITH its members flowing in and out of Baghdad regularly, is an argument that our side has made, that your side has dismissed out of hand as "insufficient proof" but for which no competing explanation has been offered.
* As of just last night, news is coming out of southern Iraq that the Shia, and a prominent Shiite cleric in particular, are reporting that the few incidents involving US checkpoints -- that one suicide bombing involving the taxi, the bus with women and children in it that charged a checkpoint and which we shot up, killing most of those inside -- have in fact been staged by the Baathists. The Shiite cleric claims the paramilitaries are holding family members of these people hostage and demanding that the army man do the suicide bombing, or his children would be killed, and the bus of women charge the checkpoint, or their fathers and husbands would be killed. Now either this cleric is lying to stain the "good name" of the Iraqi Fedayeen, or these atrocities are in fact happening. You are welcome to distrust the word of the USA, and the Shiite cleric, as not wholly impartial, and wait for more confirmation, but if in fact the Iraqi regime is later proven to have committed literally thousands of this kind of atrocity, can we expect you to come back here and denounce their massacres? Somehow I doubt it, since your interest lies in denouncing the USA.
* There are reports of Al Qaeda taking part in the resistance, in direct cooperation with Iraqi forces. When evidence of this emerges, will you come back to apologize? To retract your claim that this "is such a blatant lie that I canít believe reading this as your opinion"? Will you?
* Iraq is systematically breaking the laws of warfare, fighting from mosques, schools, hospitals, doing their level best to lure us into attacking near these sites, knowing that if even ONE of our bombs misses the target and hits the nearby civilian item, or even if we hit the target but there is signficant collateral damage from the strike, that they can then prosecute a war of lies by claiming that we are "deliberately targetting civilians," and folks like you will be all to happy to swallow up such lies because they further your own anti-American prejudices. Let me tell you something flat out. If we were deliberately targetting civilians, you'd KNOW IT. There would be HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS dead. There wouldn't be two scattered explosions in marketplaces and wounded by the dozen. There wouldn't be Iraqi SAMs falling back into the city here or there and causing meter-wide craters, that Iraq points to and blames us for, as their best argument on how we're "targetting civilians". There would be cluster bombs in the streets of Baghdad, not cars shown live on camera day after day going about their business literally almost as usual. There would not be elecricity left on, nor our forces holding off from blindly charging wholesale into towns, heedless of collateral damage. If we were targetting civilians on purpose, given the level of military might we've displayed so far, there would be no mistaking it.
Iraq's state support for terrorism a blatant lie?
So you're from Austria? I see. Well, that doesn't change how I feel about you, but it does redirect my anger from yesterday away from Germany and Germans, where it apparently does not belong. My apologies to Kylearan and anybody else affected by that outburst. I am sincerely relieved to know that Rowain's position is in fact coming from someone outside your country.
Osterreich is a different case, as is the Deutsch-speaking portion of Der Schweitz. I would think that Austrians might be less patient than others in Europe on matters of appeasement, but as you keep insisting, you're not concerned with history. You just don't see any relevance to the past or interest in its lessons. You don't have the complex issues on this matter that the Germans and even the French do, since as a nation, you have been tossed around at the whims of your larger neighbors since the end of WWI, and don't bear much responsibility for any of the things that have gone terribly wrong, since (no offense meant) you have simply not played a major role in any decision making.
I expect more from Germany than Austria. Germany is a larger nation, with a closer relationship with the USA, and despite their loud disagreement with us on this issue, they continue to lend significant, even indispensible support to the War on Terror at large, including intelligence cooperation, a peacekeeping force on the ground in Afghanistan, flyover rights, full access to our bases in their country, and lots of help in direct pursuit of Al Qaeda.