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      04-06-2008, 03:50 PM   #23
quagmire
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I think you have definitely lost one war Vietnam, you didn't win, you ran away tail between you legs, you may have killed more of them than they did of you but no victory; I think a case could also be made for Korea, the UN didn't kick out the commies which was the primary objective, it ended uo in a stalemate which from the Wests point of view is really a loss
But, why did we pull out? Because the American publics will to fight was defeated after the Tet Offensive( we won that battle, but the media played it out as a loss which turned public perception around). We lost to ourselves there. Wars in todays world will be a war of endurance. We have lost mostly all of them due to the public going wimpy when an operation goes wrong.
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      04-06-2008, 09:17 PM   #24
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That was a draw.
Perhaps that's what is taught on that side of the border.
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      04-06-2008, 09:44 PM   #25
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Perhaps that's what is taught on that side of the border.
Yeah, DC was burned, but we beat the crap out of the British at New Orleans( though that was after the treaty was signed). It was a draw as nothing really came of the war. No land was exchanged, etc.
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      04-06-2008, 10:55 PM   #26
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Yeah, DC was burned, but we beat the crap out of the British at New Orleans( though that was after the treaty was signed). It was a draw as nothing really came of the war. No land was exchanged, etc.
We repelled the invasion. War won. DC was merely a lost battle. Lose battle, win war et cetera.
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      04-16-2008, 01:24 PM   #27
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Talking in school about wars/conflicts past Vietnam has made me realize something. .

I stopped reading after this. Do you believe everything your liberal teachers tell you?
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      04-17-2008, 08:43 PM   #28
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Perhaps that's what is taught on that side of the border.
They came, they saw, they failed to conquer, and left.

Seems pretty cut and dry to me when you look at the big picture. I don't think one can even look at is a draw. England came to take back the colonies, failed, and left. Simple as that.

As for the current war, and the nonesnse about spreading democracy, has anyone realized that our vain attempt to spread our form of government is what resulted in this chain of events? We tried to use Osama as a tool agains the Russians, and he turned on us. We backed Hussein, and he turned on us. We screwed with Iran, and now they're a problem. Seems pretty straight forward. We stick our noses in, try to make things "right" and spread "democracy" by propping up puppets, and it comes back to bite us BIG TIME in the ass 20-30 years later.

There's a reason that empires always fall, and I don't want to see us turn into one.
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      04-17-2008, 09:06 PM   #29
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They came, they saw, they failed to conquer, and left.

Seems pretty cut and dry to me when you look at the big picture. I don't think one can even look at is a draw. England came to take back the colonies, failed, and left. Simple as that.

As for the current war, and the nonesnse about spreading democracy, has anyone realized that our vain attempt to spread our form of government is what resulted in this chain of events? We tried to use Osama as a tool agains the Russians, and he turned on us. We backed Hussein, and he turned on us. We screwed with Iran, and now they're a problem. Seems pretty straight forward. We stick our noses in, try to make things "right" and spread "democracy" by propping up puppets, and it comes back to bite us BIG TIME in the ass 20-30 years later.

There's a reason that empires always fall, and I don't want to see us turn into one.
The state of history education in this country is a disgrace.

1) In the War of 1812, if you claim a British defeat for their failure to reclaim the colonies, you must also acknowledge the American failed invasion of Canada. Quite simply, the war ended not with a victory for either side but because the reasons for the war ended with the defeat of Napoleonic France.

2) The US never used bin Laden. Bin Laden was never the beneficiary of any US support during the Soviet-Afghan War. The mistake we made in the aftermath of the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan was ignoring Afghanistan and not trying to help the Afghan people develop a representative government.

3) We never backed Saddam. Saddam was a Soviet client throughout the Cold War. He was never a US ally. During the Iran-Iraq War, we did provide him some limited support but we also gave some support to the Iranians. Basically we wanted neither of them to prevail.

4) How has our democracy building in Germany, France, Italy, and Japan backfired on us?
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      04-17-2008, 10:32 PM   #30
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The state of history education in this country is a disgrace.

1) In the War of 1812, if you claim a British defeat for their failure to reclaim the colonies, you must also acknowledge the American failed invasion of Canada. Quite simply, the war ended not with a victory for either side but because the reasons for the war ended with the defeat of Napoleonic France.

2) The US never used bin Laden. Bin Laden was never the beneficiary of any US support during the Soviet-Afghan War. The mistake we made in the aftermath of the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan was ignoring Afghanistan and not trying to help the Afghan people develop a representative government.

3) We never backed Saddam. Saddam was a Soviet client throughout the Cold War. He was never a US ally. During the Iran-Iraq War, we did provide him some limited support but we also gave some support to the Iranians. Basically we wanted neither of them to prevail.

4) How has our democracy building in Germany, France, Italy, and Japan backfired on us?
On the British-Canadian front there was a lot of back and forth. By the end of hostilities, we had reclaimed all the land we lost for the most part, and gained some. The primary reason for our declaration of war was to assert our national sovereignty, and in that we were successful. Though the Napoleonic Wars played a roll in ending the war, it really had more to do with a costly stalemate that neither nation could really afford to maintain. As such, all borders where returned to their pre-war state, as neither nation had any legitimate claim to new land, seeing as both their abilities to occupy were tenuous at best. Though, we did pick up some rights to fish Canadian waters that we didn't have previously. Also, if you look at the big picture, we did pick up land in the south, for all intents and purposes. By legal right, we returned it to the British, but they mostly up and left, and made no challenges to our ascension to power in those regions (mostly Florida and Louisiana).

As for Bin Laden, one of our biggest mistakes throughout the cold war was "The enemy of my enemy is my friend." policy. Many of the Muslim "freedom fighters" were backed by the CIA, and armed, including bin Laden in his early days. He was not used in a military way at this point, rather we, along with the Saudis funded him for the purposes of creating infrastructure, and a strategic advantage. We actually PAID for the creation of the first al quaeda training camp, originally a secret supply depot and medical center for Muslim freedom fighters. Propping up these religious extremists was one of the causes for the state of Iraq prior to 2001-2002, but we did drop the ball after the war. We DID supply the mujahadeen with arms and money, and this includes bin Laden. I thought this was common knowledge? A quick Google should inform you here.

As for Saddam, I think you're a bit confused. Once again, I thought this was common knowledge. Do some reading: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saddam_...ates_relations

America had little to do with the formation of the Third Republic of France in the late 1800s, the true rise of French democracy, so I'm not sure what you're alluding to there...

Germany, Italy, Japan: Germany was "Democratic" before Hitler took power, so it was a natural state for them to return to. Their politics had been based on reason, discussion, and elections rather than violence for almost a century. This is not an example of successful nation building. As for Italy, it was also fairly democratic, with multiple political parties and elections prior to the rise of fascism in 1922. Italy enacted a republican form of government in the late 1940s of its own free will. We had nothing to do with it. All we did was to boot out Musollini in WW2.

As for Japan, it was vaguely democratic before the War, but it was largely a military controlled state. Our "nation building" there was successful because of complete cooperation of most of the existing political structures. We merely offered a model for the modification of their political system, and Japan, always quick to westernize, took this model to heart. It was an example of extremely effective nation building, but I'm sure you can recognize that differences between this, and the Western failures at nation building in the middle east, where Afgahnistan, Iraq, and Iran are only are the just the proverbial "tip of the iceberg". Furthermore, I never made ANY assertions as to what role (albeit minor) that we played in the democratization of France, Italy, Germany, or even Japan, although we did play a significant roll there.

The problem with democracy is NOT something you can force on someone, and makes a poor basis for imperialistic foreign policy. Democracy naturally evolves when a countries politics ascend from violence to peace, with few exceptions. Without the existence of a peaceful political environment, it is far hard for democracy to take root. First, a peaceful political environment must be created, and generally the violent overthrow of the ruling organization of a nation state is not the best way to do this, particularly when the populace of the country doesn't see extreme violence against their rulers as a means to an eventually peaceful political system.

You're completely off base on all your assertions here, other than those about the War of 1812, which I would categorize as a difference in interpretation of the overall significance of the war on America's standing in the world. Our (and other Western nations) numerous failures at nation building in the middle east (including our support of the mujahadeen in Afghanistan, and our aiding the Ba'athists in ceasing power in Iraq) are very well documented.

Quite frankly, I'm not sure what you base your assessment of the "state of our history education" on. You don't seem terribly knowledgeable when it comes to even the basics of international history, particularly that of the Middle East, that many would consider to be common knowledge.
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      04-17-2008, 11:18 PM   #31
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I'm sorry but I do not usually base my historical judgments on Wikipedia. The Hashemite monarchy that ruled Iraq after the Second World War was a pro-western government that joined the Baghdad Pact and severed diplomatic ties with the Soviets in 1955. That government was overthrown by Qasim who immediately restored relations with the USSR and began to purchase weapons from the Kremlin. Relations were rocky for a while and a series of coups altered rulers in Iraq but the ruling Ba'athists signed a Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation with the USSR in April 1972. After Sadat's move away from the Soviets and toward the US, Saddam's Iraq was the Kremlin's most reliable Arab ally. I would point you to this article in the Arab Studies Quarterly if you are interested in a source with a bit more credibility than Wiki.

As for Afghanistan, there is no doubt that the US supplied, through Pakistan, some of the anti-Soviet forces. What we did not due is supply anything to bin Laden or his group. Bin Laden himself has stated that his organization was formed as a counter to US supported forces. Pakistan had little interest in supporting Arab fighters and tended to funnel US military equipment to those Afghan groups with ties to the IIS.

Prior to the end of World War II, none of the nations I mentioned had anything that could remotely be considered a history of stable, liberal democracy. Germany, with the exception of their experience with the Weimer Republic had virtually no history with democratic rule except at the most local level.

Italy had little experience as a nation prior to the rise of Mussolini so I do not see how his removal could be considered anything but a milestone in Italian history.

The bottom line is that an essential element of the maturation of liberal democracy in these nations was a large US presence.
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      04-18-2008, 05:43 AM   #32
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I'm sorry but I do not usually base my historical judgments on Wikipedia. .
He bases it on a heavily censored US Government posts, influenced on (proven) wrong data and lobbyist "corrections"

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As for Afghanistan, there is no doubt that the US supplied, through Pakistan, some of the anti-Soviet forces. What we did not due is supply anything to bin Laden or his group. Bin Laden himself has stated that his organization was formed as a counter to US supported forces. Pakistan had little interest in supporting Arab fighters and tended to funnel US military equipment to those Afghan groups with ties to the IIS. .
Too bad that it was well known that we established OBL, we supplied the weapons to him, we cheered him when fighting Soviets in Afghanistan. It is well documented that we (Bush in particular) hosted Taliban leaders in the WH just prior to the 9/11 events (when we all knew or should have known they were harboring our, at that time, already enemy -- OBL + Al Qaeda -- but the oil business was a priority). It is well documented that we supplied the weapons to Saddam during the Iraq/Iran wars and speculated that we even sold him the WMD technology... It is well known and documented that we supplied the weapons to Albanian terrorists in Kosovo -- the KLA group that our administration proclaimed as the terrorist organization...
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