The US Military Catch-All Thread


#223

Repeating my question verbatim is shifting the goalposts? Really?


#224

Not terribly relevant to our involvement in SE Asia, though, as the primary threat to the Saigon regime was its own people. Even if you allow that the North Vietnamese were a key part of the ability of the southern Communists to operate, the history of Vietnam as a post-colonial cluster fuck aided and abetted by our own efforts to help the French (unsuccessfully) re-colonize the region makes any facile discussion of treaties and sovereignty sort of silly. North Vietnam threatening South Vietnam was not same thing as, say, the PRC invading it. It was a civil war, plain and simple, with outsiders aiding both sides. Invoking SEATO or other treaty obligations was sort of a fig leaf that was laughable then, and is doubly so now.

The moral case for Vietnam was that, theoretically, a non-Communist, democratic government in Saigon was more humane and more helpful to the people of the region than a Communist regime. While true in theory, in practice both sides sucked. The Diem and Thieu regimes were horrible, served the interests of neo-colonial foreigners and old-school colonial collaborators, and ruthlessly oppressed the peasantry. The Communists were little if any better, but in theory they, too, had a lot to offer in terms of land reform and democracy. Neither side delivered at all, and in the end, you have to ask was it worth it?


#225

The question was answered immediately. The answer was countries like China and Russia.


#226

Also, and i say this because i find it genuinely so, it’s amusing that Scott keeps saying his icon is just a game icon, but he’s actively arguing for equivalence between Russia and the US.

I mean, come on. This has gotta be a joke.


#227

Don’t forget about the ethnic cleasing going on right now in China. Because China loves diversity.

The US was a good guy during the Cold War only in that by helping to contain Soviet Communism it probably prevented widespread oppression in countless countries. There’s is nothing about Stalin that would have stopped him from expanding had the US sunk bank into isolationism, and the amateur historian Mark Schauss has made a case that it’s possible Stalin was preparing to invade Europe before he died (take with Dacha sized bag of salt).

However Krushchev was cut from a different cloth and despite the table-banging was within the Soviet system at least, a decent enough guy. He was floored that Kennedy, a “beardless” and tactless nobody who started pushing the chess pieces around, took over from a war hero like Eisenhower.

After Vietnam real-politik and terror of being seen as soft on Communism drove an increasingly poisonous foreign policy that relied on the assassin’s blade (in a manner of speaking) and destabilizing countries rather than fixing them, even past the point when Communism was contained in practice.

The 90s were the closet the world came to Team America, but Republican dislike/distrust/paranoia of “world government” only simmered and never went away. After 9/11 the Dick Cheney establishment decided to do away with norms and f’ the world order, leading up to the disasterous Iraq 2 war which not only threw away all of Daddy Bush’s hard work but destabilized the entire region for a generation.

We’re at a a point where the military industrial complex is a hungry hungry hippo than a tailored war machine.

Still, the US never wanted to actually conquer territory. If the US had wanted pretty much every nation in the Middle East could be the 51st-60th states, or be a glass parking lot. So the US being the good guys is really the tyranny of low expectations America crowding out the alternatives; and Iraq 2 is was such a terrible mistake it’s hard to wonder at this point if the scales have tipped the other direction.


#228

I can’t agree with your logic. One, you’re assuming that we, magically, have the recipe to prevent these things from happening. Unless your recipe is, blatantly, imposing our will on everyone on earth, then there’s nothing to this argument at all. Not to mention that, um, we are imposing what we see as good government on them, using our superior power. Some cultures believe it or not don’t have the same reverence we do for private property, individualism, and Christianity, who knew?

And World War II wasn’t the result of US not getting involved. We precipitated the war with Japan by (justifiably, I might add) opposing vigorously their attempt to dominate Asia, in particular China; our embargoes and other economic and diplomatic actions against the Imperial Japanese virtually guaranteed a war, which FDR was willing to undertake because the risks were worth it. There was jack all we could have done in Europe to prevent war short of joining the League of Nations and forcing the Brits and the French to use force against the Germans in the Rhineland. Neither of those options was feasible.


#229

In case i ever get into an argument with Scott i’m going to post the victory screen after winning as the Germans in Drive on Moscow.


#230

I mean. We have prevented these things.

Again, South Korea and Kuwait exist. Not because of magical wishes and unicorns, because of American intervention.


#231

Is that what I’m doing, arguing for equivalence between the US and Russia? I’m saying that Russia has national motivations that are not at all different than ours. I’m saying that because you advanced the idea that the
US is the global power by right of might and should remain so, which sounds remarkably like the ambitions of Russia and China. And I’m saying that US use of force is remarkably bad in the current era. And I’m saying that seeing our role as that if a cop requires a good deal of squinting.

None of this goes to arguing any moral equivalency between Russia and the US.


#232

I disagree. I think it happened because we receded back into isolationism and let Europe do it’s thing. Problem is: Europes “thing” is starting wars in Europe. So in short order they started a new war, even bigger than the Great War. If it wasn’t for American military might and nuclear weapons there would’ve likely been another war, this time probably with Stalin’s Russia as instigator.

Now you can disagree with that view, that’s fine. A lot of people agree with it, though. And Japan showed that minding our own business didn’t really work unless you’re saying we should’ve traded with them and Nazi Germany while they were invading and attacking our allies? Cause that’s a really strange view to take.


#233

If would be even better if it was a victory over me.


#234

This says you are ignorant of basically all of human history in regards to warfare.

Remarkably bad? Really? Dude. We used to firebomb whole cities of people.

We take more care than anyone in the history of the species to not kill civilians.


#235

But they are, because Russia is fundamentally different from America.

Again, consider what would happen if you gave up your US citizenship, and then went into Russia or China and organized protests against their government.

The difference in level of personal danger you would be exposing yourself to, compared to doing the same thing in the US, is stark.

The US absolutely pursues it’s own interests, just like Russia. But Russian interests are the interests of a far, far worse entity.

I would rather live in America, than Russia or China, any day of the week. Because in America i have dramatically greater freedom.


#236

We’re basically the first military in the history of the human race to give a shit about it at all


#237

Well we lost and the South Vietnamese ended up with a awful regime which only started to improve after they embraced capitalism, so no it wasn’t worth it… I’d disagree with you that Diem regime was particularly awful, it was a garden variety corrupt democracy which is common in developing countries. Countries don’t go from dictatorship to Sweden overnight. There isn’t anything good to say about Thieu or his puppet predecessors other than he was our SOB as LBJ put it. But the spread of communism to Cambodia and Laos, and only be stopped by wholesale repression in Indonesia and Malaysia shows that the domino theory wasn’t pure BS as was commonly claimed.


#238

I take exception to this bit of mindreading, not just because it is pejorative, but because it is remarkably badly done. In my life, I have lived in, worked in, or traveled in Eritrea, Panama, Greece, Italy, France, Britain, Tanzania, Morocco, South Africa, Turkey, Italy, Hungary, Belgium, Poland, Lithuania, Germany, Sweden, Spain, Japan, Korea, Australia, New Zealand, Peru, and Ecuador. I have met wonderful people everywhere I’ve gone, and I’ve seen abject poverty the likes of which you would not believe. What I have never seen, however, is someone who would be better off if the US decided to help him or her by bombing or invading his or her country. I’d love to help people, I just think there must be some way to do it that doesn’t involve killing them in the process.


#239

To repeat:


#240

I’m reasonably confident neither of you can actually support this claim.


#241

We don’t even imagine the world without US intervention, we have the genocides in South Sudan, the Rohingya, and Syria to remind us the world without the US leadership. Even in a Europe how long did the Europeans, show deep concern, and issue strong memo of condemnation of Milosevic before the US got involved (and flew 90%+ of the dangerous missions.)

Also for all you who complain about the US killing civilian in our intervention, just look at the Saudi’s in Yemen, and Soviets in Syria, they don’t even try to avoid civilians. Even the French and British in Libya had their share of screw ups.


#242

What would be an example of a military that cared more about avoiding civilian casualties than the modern us military?