Author Topic: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?  (Read 205647 times)

v8rx7guy

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #2500 on: March 01, 2017, 01:23:19 PM »
Last night, Trump promoted his plan to create a new homeland security office focused on immigrants committing crimes.  He also wants DHS to publish a weekly list of immigrants who have committed crimes, despite statistics showing that immigrants are less likely to commit crimes than the rest of the population, and in fact are disproportionately responsible for starting many of our small businesses in this country.

Where did he say that?



http://www.cnn.com/2017/02/28/politics/donald-trump-speech-transcript-full-text/

https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.cnn.com/cnn/2017/02/28/politics/donald-trump-voice-victim-reporting/index.html

Exactly... but do you notice the important word left out?  Undocumented,  undocumented, undocmented.  Trump is not going after legal immigrants.  Maybe some day people will catch on to that.  But until they do...

Gin1984

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #2501 on: March 01, 2017, 01:32:28 PM »
Last night, Trump promoted his plan to create a new homeland security office focused on immigrants committing crimes.  He also wants DHS to publish a weekly list of immigrants who have committed crimes, despite statistics showing that immigrants are less likely to commit crimes than the rest of the population, and in fact are disproportionately responsible for starting many of our small businesses in this country.

Where did he say that?



http://www.cnn.com/2017/02/28/politics/donald-trump-speech-transcript-full-text/

https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.cnn.com/cnn/2017/02/28/politics/donald-trump-voice-victim-reporting/index.html

Exactly... but do you notice the important word left out?  Undocumented,  undocumented, undocmented.  Trump is not going after legal immigrants.  Maybe some day people will catch on to that.  But until they do...
Except that he already has. 

jrhampt

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #2502 on: March 01, 2017, 01:35:39 PM »
Trump may say he's differentiating, but he's stirring up hate.  The immigrant who was killed in Kansas was here legally. 

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #2503 on: March 01, 2017, 01:43:10 PM »
Trump may say he's differentiating, but he's stirring up hate.  The immigrant who was killed in Kansas was here legally.

I don't think Trump or any other sane person is defending that despicable murder.

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #2504 on: March 01, 2017, 01:48:26 PM »
Stuff about how the US military is supposedly engaged in terrorism, such as:

"Al-Qaeda declared a holy war against the United States before the 9/11 attacks.  Since they were at war with the US when the attacks took place, under your definition 9/11 was an act of war, not a terrorist attack.  They were targeting civilians as an act of war, a war that they were losing."


Over the years I've rolled my eyes many times at stuff you've said about all the alleged illegal actions the US is engaged in (according to you), but drawing a moral equivalency between Al Qaeda and the US military as terrorists pretty much takes the cake. It defies credibility. I don't know what to say about conflating non-uniformed men who are not associated with any state or government, high-jacking civilian airliners and flying them into skyscrapers with civilians, with uniformed men during a declared war flying military planes to drop bombs on an enemy city. A war in which we were attacked, unprovoked, I might add, and which had dragged on for years at the cost of tens of thousands of American lives. Dropping bombs on a city during war was hardly novel. The only "novelty" was the payload/destructive power of the atomic weapons.

I get how reasonable people can come down on one side or the other as to whether dropping atomic weapons on Nagasaki and Hiroshima were justifiable, but calling it "terrorism" the same as ISIS or Al Qaeda or North Korea is really just beyond the fringe.
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dividendman

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #2505 on: March 01, 2017, 01:51:26 PM »
For the several stock market related comments: I actually think it is rational for stocks to go up thanks to Trump and the Republican congress. If they can actually slash the corporate rate big league/bigly that will have a material impact on earnings, especially for the S&P 500.

Think about the rate going from 35% to 15%. Or having a tax repatriation holiday.... that could be a 20% profit gain for a lot of companies.

Yes, I know the effective rate for a lot of big corporations are low, but even still I think it'll be big.

jrhampt

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #2506 on: March 01, 2017, 01:53:34 PM »
Trump may say he's differentiating, but he's stirring up hate.  The immigrant who was killed in Kansas was here legally.

I don't think Trump or any other sane person is defending that despicable murder.

But in the light of these events, do we really think it's a great time to specifically highlight all the immigrants who are committing crimes?  As opposed to, say, white men committing crimes?  This is the same reason I have a problem with churches preaching entire sermons against homosexuality when meanwhile, people are killing gay people for being gay.  It just gives people an excuse.

dividendman

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #2507 on: March 01, 2017, 01:58:03 PM »
Stuff about how the US military is supposedly engaged in terrorism, such as:

"Al-Qaeda declared a holy war against the United States before the 9/11 attacks.  Since they were at war with the US when the attacks took place, under your definition 9/11 was an act of war, not a terrorist attack.  They were targeting civilians as an act of war, a war that they were losing."


Over the years I've rolled my eyes many times at stuff you've said about all the alleged illegal actions the US is engaged in (according to you), but drawing a moral equivalency between Al Qaeda and the US military as terrorists pretty much takes the cake. It defies credibility. I don't know what to say about conflating non-uniformed men who are not associated with any state or government, high-jacking civilian airliners and flying them into skyscrapers with civilians, with uniformed men during a declared war flying military planes to drop bombs on an enemy city. A war in which we were attacked, unprovoked, I might add, and which had dragged on for years at the cost of tens of thousands of American lives. Dropping bombs on a city during war was hardly novel. The only "novelty" was the payload/destructive power of the atomic weapons.

I get how reasonable people can come down on one side or the other as to whether dropping atomic weapons on Nagasaki and Hiroshima were justifiable, but calling it "terrorism" the same as ISIS or Al Qaeda or North Korea is really just beyond the fringe.

I think your cognitive dissonance pretty huge here. Just because you are a state actor (i.e. have uniforms and are in military planes) doesn't make your actions somehow different. Indiscriminate bombing is indiscriminate bombing, is it not? Indiscriminate bombing to accomplish a political objective is by definition terrorism.

With your argument, if ISIS declared a country (which they did) and declared war on the US (which they did) and then have a guy dressed in a uniform blowing up a bus full of schoolchildren to remove the infidels from the holyland, that's not terrorism. But if it was just some dude without a uniform or state sponsorship it is terrorism? What?

If anything the nuclear weapons deployed against the Japanese were much worse than 9/11 or anything the muslim terrorists have done because their actions were temporal and the nuclear fallout affected generations.

Note that nobody as made a claim that there were any easier ways to end the war, or that the nuclear bombing didn't save lives in the long run. None of that matters. The fact is you had a two cities full of people, who had little if anything to do with the war, who were killed, en masse, so the population and government would be so scared they would quit. That's terrorism whether you're in a US military uniform or not.

RangerOne

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #2508 on: March 01, 2017, 02:09:34 PM »

Again, you are claiming to know the intent of the US military without any basis for your belief other than propaganda.

You have to consider that their is a chain of command leading up to the president and we generally do have well defined mission goals when we move to bomb a target where we identify potential collateral damage and weigh it against the desire to take out hostile targets. There are certainly many things fucked up about the nature of the targets we are willing to go after depending on where they happen to be located. But just because our methods may be messed up doesn't make them terrorist acts necessarily.

Its true we don't always or even often have full access to all mission reports. But there is some oversight by elected officials for tactical decisions made by our military and we do get access to many reports after the fact. I would admit that our goals probably aren't always purely noble and economic interests and back room deals can cause us to take less than necessary actions.

I have yet to see military reports with express mission goals of executing civilians as a means to demoralize enemy combatants. On the face of it that doesn't even sound like a good tactic, because even if our killings are truly collateral damage and not terrorist acts meant to kill civilians to punish our enemies, as you not the perspective of the side on the receiving end may very well be the same. So intentionally and often going after civilian targets is likely to generate more terrorism not less.

I am not willing to dig up specifics, so its entirely possible there is a flaw in my logic, but I think just based on broad media coverage and our history there is reasonable evidence to suggest that our military and government leaders normally make a good effort to avoid excessive collateral damage and the vast majority of missions have a military target, even if they were botched and resulted in upsetting civilian causalities.

Were as terrorist attacks always state clear goals to harm civilians as retribution or to make a point. I agree the perception for those on the receiving end often wont care to make this distinction. I certainly wouldn't care to understand a countries reasons if there bombs regularly killed kids from my neighborhood. Thats a sad reality of the reaction you will get to collateral damage from those on the receiving end. And we need to take that into consideration when we pursue sustained strikes against targets living among civilian populations. It is much harder to simply excuse when we are not fighting a traditional war.

I kind of had the atomic bombs jump into my mind randomly when I was trying to think of known missions that appeared to have an express goal of killing civilians to demoralize an enemy. That is the only one I could think of but I admit I have a pretty limited historical repository of knowledge. It would be interesting to go back and read why they chose this method as opposed to seeking a military target. I would think it would send a similar message with a slightly less fucked up result. There is no doubt in retrospect that the use of those bombs spared us from a truly brutal ground invasion but its really hard to entirely see it that way when you consider we annihilated two civilian cities in a truly horrific manner.

I would wager that we could put together a coherent argument that a major purpose of those bombings was to protect American soldiers and end a long bloody war succinctly which I believe should be sufficient to distinguish it from terrorism and categorize it as one of many horrible decisions that often are made in war. But taking that position is a privilege of not being on the receiving end of the act. 

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #2509 on: March 01, 2017, 02:11:57 PM »

If anything the nuclear weapons deployed against the Japanese were much worse than 9/11 or anything the muslim terrorists have done because their actions were temporal and the nuclear fallout affected generations.

Do you have evidence for the generational effect?  I thought that the children of survivors are showing no effects, and the two cities bombed are certainly now thriving.
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Gin1984

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #2510 on: March 01, 2017, 02:14:23 PM »

If anything the nuclear weapons deployed against the Japanese were much worse than 9/11 or anything the muslim terrorists have done because their actions were temporal and the nuclear fallout affected generations.

Do you have evidence for the generational effect?  I thought that the children of survivors are showing no effects, and the two cities bombed are certainly now thriving.
"Seventy thousand new-borns were examined in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. In Nagasaki, 500-800 babies were examined in their homes. No evidence of genetic injuries were detected at that time. But today, in 2008, new studies done on survivors and their offspring are revealing conclusive DNA genetic changes and malformations. These studies utilize newer modalities to detect DNA injuries. The children of survivors, now adults, are concerned how genetic damage from the bomb may be transmitted to their children through generations."

shenlong55

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #2511 on: March 01, 2017, 02:15:52 PM »
I don't know what to say about conflating non-uniformed men who are not associated with any state or government, high-jacking civilian airliners and flying them into skyscrapers with civilians, with uniformed men during a declared war flying military planes to drop bombs on an enemy city. A war in which we were attacked, unprovoked, I might add, and which had dragged on for years at the cost of tens of thousands of American lives. Dropping bombs on a city during war was hardly novel. The only "novelty" was the payload/destructive power of the atomic weapons.

I get how reasonable people can come down on one side or the other as to whether dropping atomic weapons on Nagasaki and Hiroshima were justifiable, but calling it "terrorism" the same as ISIS or Al Qaeda or North Korea is really just beyond the fringe.

Not saying that the nuclear strikes were the wrong choice, but can you explain how the two actions were different without referencing legality or retribution?

Midwest

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #2512 on: March 01, 2017, 02:42:42 PM »
Trump may say he's differentiating, but he's stirring up hate.  The immigrant who was killed in Kansas was here legally.

I don't think Trump or any other sane person is defending that despicable murder.

But in the light of these events, do we really think it's a great time to specifically highlight all the immigrants who are committing crimes?  As opposed to, say, white men committing crimes?  This is the same reason I have a problem with churches preaching entire sermons against homosexuality when meanwhile, people are killing gay people for being gay.  It just gives people an excuse.

Is he highlighting the crimes of legal immigrants or just those here illegally?  Those are very different things.  My understanding was the focus was to be on this in the country illegally.

I'm not sure it's necessary, because the data I've seen indicates that those in this country illegally aren't causing a disproportionate amount of crime (or at least violent crime).  Given that data, I don't see the need for another government department.

As it relates to responsibility, the open borders crowd has made a calculated move to ignore the distinction between those here legally and illegally.   I suspect immigrants here legally have vastly more positive economic impact than those in the country illegally.  Ignoring that distinct and obvious difference has, unfortunately, inflamed tensions in this country as well.
« Last Edit: March 01, 2017, 02:47:38 PM by Midwest »

RangerOne

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #2513 on: March 01, 2017, 02:53:07 PM »
Also in discussions about how we gather information about the US government, I think accusing most thoughtful people of offering only propaganda, when presenting a somewhat vague opinion based on the general news circulating around our country, is probably overkill.

All governments certainly produce propaganda to argue their reasoning and in that regard the US is no different form any other country. Fortunately in the US we still have generally strong freedom of the press, competing political parties, and freedom to criticize our government without retribution. So I think on average we still can generally cut through pure propaganda and put together at least some semblance of the truth about the the behavior of our government.

Do they obscure inconvenient truths about the actions we take abroad. Almost certainly. Are we as biased as any self interest nations, of course. But to label all of or even most of our drone strikes against terrorist targets as acts of terrorism on par with say 9/11 I think requires the general perception of our governments motives to completely and utterly false, given that all of our combined sources of news on our government put together a narrative that does not carry all the same tones of our leadership acting as a terrorist organization does.

In a country like China or Russia where freedom of the press and political decent is far more suppressed, I think the net effect of propaganda is more potent and obviously dangerously misleading. On that scale a state like North Korea would be an example of pure propaganda to the point of brainwashing its populace.

Western governments like the US rank at least among the group of countries where we are about as good as it gets for being able to be critical of our government. We certainly aren't free from bias by any stretch and can be mislead for certain but generally the information and alternative views are readily available to give you a chance of navigating the bullshit.

Its still possible to spew pure propaganda here especially given the self reinforcing echo chambers that have grown with the help of internet algorithms and general human bias. But generally agree more with the logic  of better informed thinkers than myself like Sam Harris, and I think others like Noam Chomsky are stretching wean the lean towards labeling our actions abroad as terrorism.

I understand I haven't really gathered any formal evidence to back my assertions thus far but I am really just sharing more for the sake of discussion than for a formal debate. Just so there is some context on why I am currently adverse to the notion that our government is regularly engaging in acts of terror.

sol

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #2514 on: March 01, 2017, 03:04:57 PM »
Trump's new attacks on immigrants who commit crimes (VOICES) is just more of the same classic trump playbook, taking his own weaknesses and using them to attack his opponents.

It is precisely BECAUSE racist white Americans are murdering brown people in Kansas that trump decided to highlight in his speech the crimes committed by brown people against Americans.  Rather than admit he is stoking racist violence, he claims the targets of his violence are the problem.

He did the same thing when the media questioned the nomination of a 70 year old fat man photographed eating fried chicken, he promptly attacked Clinton's health and stamina.

He did the same thing when we learned he was a five time draft dodger, he promptly called for massive new military spending.

He did the same thing when we learned he built his casinos and hotels with Chinese steel, he immediately claimed all US companies should only use US steel.

He did the same thing when we learned his resorts employed a bunch of illegal immigrants, he started in with "build the wall".

He did the same thing when his foundation was fined for tax fraud, he called the Clinton foundation a criminal enterprise.

His marital infidelity, his criminal convictions, his business failures, his silver spoon, every single weakness becomes an attack line for use against his opponents.

Wake up, folks.  This is classic "freedom is slavery" spin from a master con man.  I predict that within the year, he will balloon the deficit and promptly blame democrats for their fiscal irresponsibility.

Using the murder of an immigrant to call for investigations into crimes committed by immigrants is disgusting, but no longer surprising.

« Last Edit: March 01, 2017, 03:12:47 PM by sol »

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #2515 on: March 01, 2017, 03:09:18 PM »
Trump.s new attacks on immigrants who commit crimes (VOICES) is just more of the same classic trump playbook, taking his own weaknesses and using them to attack his opponents.

It is precisely BECAUSE racist white Americans are murdering brown people in Kansas that trump decided to highlight in his speech the crimes committed by brown people against Americans.  Rather than admit he is stoking racist violence, he claims the targets of his violence are the problem.

He did the same thing when the media questioned the nomination of a 70 year old fat man photographed eating fried chicken, he promptly attacked Clinton's health and stamina.

He did the same thing when we learned be was a five time draft dodger, he promptly called for massive new military spending.

He did the same thing when we learned be built his casinos and hotels with Chinese steel, he immediately claimed all US companies should only use US steel.

He did the same thing when we learned his resorts employed a bunch of illegal immigrants, he started in with "build the wall".

He did the same thing when his foundation was fined for tax fraud, he called the Clinton foundation a criminal enterprise.

His marital infidelity, his criminal convictions, his business failures, his silver spoon, every single weakness becomes an attack line for use against his opponents.

Wake up, folks.  This is classic "freedom is slavery" spin from a master con man.  I predict that within the year, he will balloon the deficit and promptly blame democrats for their fiscal irresponsibility.

Using the murder of an immigrant to call for investigations into crimes committed by immigrants is disgusting, but no longer surprising.

 See also: "gaslighting"
And yes, it is disgusting. All of it.

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #2516 on: March 01, 2017, 03:43:52 PM »

If anything the nuclear weapons deployed against the Japanese were much worse than 9/11 or anything the muslim terrorists have done because their actions were temporal and the nuclear fallout affected generations.

Do you have evidence for the generational effect?  I thought that the children of survivors are showing no effects, and the two cities bombed are certainly now thriving.
"Seventy thousand new-borns were examined in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. In Nagasaki, 500-800 babies were examined in their homes. No evidence of genetic injuries were detected at that time. But today, in 2008, new studies done on survivors and their offspring are revealing conclusive DNA genetic changes and malformations. These studies utilize newer modalities to detect DNA injuries. The children of survivors, now adults, are concerned how genetic damage from the bomb may be transmitted to their children through generations."
reference?
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Midwest

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #2517 on: March 01, 2017, 04:21:10 PM »
Trump's new attacks on immigrants who commit crimes (VOICES) is just more of the same classic trump playbook, taking his own weaknesses and using them to attack his opponents.

It is precisely BECAUSE racist white Americans are murdering brown people in Kansas that trump decided to highlight in his speech the crimes committed by brown people against Americans.  Rather than admit he is stoking racist violence, he claims the targets of his violence are the problem.

Using the murder of an immigrant to call for investigations into crimes committed by immigrants is disgusting, but no longer surprising.

Couldn't the motivation for the new VOICE's program just as easily be in support of Trump's immigration policy (which is  unrelated to the Kansas racist)?  Also, while I don't see a necessarily see a need for the program, it targets crimes by illegal/undocumented immigrants, not legal immigrants.

Finally, is there more than on murder or murderer in Kansas that you are referring to?  My understanding this crime committed against the Garmin employees was perpetrated by a singular drunken racist.

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #2518 on: March 01, 2017, 07:40:50 PM »
Trump's new attacks on immigrants who commit crimes (VOICES) is just more of the same classic trump playbook, taking his own weaknesses and using them to attack his opponents.

It is precisely BECAUSE racist white Americans are murdering brown people in Kansas that trump decided to highlight in his speech the crimes committed by brown people against Americans.  Rather than admit he is stoking racist violence, he claims the targets of his violence are the problem.

Using the murder of an immigrant to call for investigations into crimes committed by immigrants is disgusting, but no longer surprising.

Couldn't the motivation for the new VOICE's program just as easily be in support of Trump's immigration policy (which is  unrelated to the Kansas racist)?  Also, while I don't see a necessarily see a need for the program, it targets crimes by illegal/undocumented immigrants, not legal immigrants.

Finally, is there more than on murder or murderer in Kansas that you are referring to?  My understanding this crime committed against the Garmin employees was perpetrated by a singular drunken racist.
Yes. Just like the guy who murdered Katie Stienle was an illegal immigrant with 5 prior felony convictions who was released by a sanctuary city police force - there are issues on all sides that need to be addressed, and most rational people can say that addressing one side does not mean that the other isn't also still a problem.

Some people will generalize from one incident to attack broad groups of people, but hopefully more reasonable voices will prevail over time.
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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #2519 on: March 01, 2017, 10:31:09 PM »
Trump's new attacks on immigrants who commit crimes (VOICES) is just more of the same classic trump playbook, taking his own weaknesses and using them to attack his opponents.

It is precisely BECAUSE racist white Americans are murdering brown people in Kansas that trump decided to highlight in his speech the crimes committed by brown people against Americans.  Rather than admit he is stoking racist violence, he claims the targets of his violence are the problem.

Using the murder of an immigrant to call for investigations into crimes committed by immigrants is disgusting, but no longer surprising.

Couldn't the motivation for the new VOICE's program just as easily be in support of Trump's immigration policy (which is  unrelated to the Kansas racist)?  Also, while I don't see a necessarily see a need for the program, it targets crimes by illegal/undocumented immigrants, not legal immigrants.

Finally, is there more than on murder or murderer in Kansas that you are referring to?  My understanding this crime committed against the Garmin employees was perpetrated by a singular drunken racist.
Yes. Just like the guy who murdered Katie Stienle was an illegal immigrant with 5 prior felony convictions who was released by a sanctuary city police force - there are issues on all sides that need to be addressed, and most rational people can say that addressing one side does not mean that the other isn't also still a problem.

Some people will generalize from one incident to attack broad groups of people, but hopefully more reasonable voices will prevail over time.

I took the 'successful' parts of his address as curated anecdotes that are typically worthless on the internet.  Maybe they still have some value  in a focused Presidential address (the one girl saved by a modern miracle cure, the one soldier that made the difference, etc.), but to me it only brought the power of the internet vs. powerlessness of individuals into clearer contrast.  We don't live in the 50's anymore, fact checking and generalized truth eventually matters more than citing some select  incident to prove your point. 

But kudos to Trump for not doing more of the same and smacking his face in to real politicians that aren't going to mindlessly chant 'USA' and 'Build the Wall'.  It was refreshing to see him pivot to a new toolkit of empty tactics that, unfortunately, still works in this day and age.  I'm still wondering where the administration goes from here, now that it has shown that it can read from a script and has been burned by the sunlight of reality.
« Last Edit: March 01, 2017, 10:33:31 PM by EscapeVelocity2020 »
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DoubleDown

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #2520 on: March 02, 2017, 06:16:27 AM »
I don't know what to say about conflating non-uniformed men who are not associated with any state or government, high-jacking civilian airliners and flying them into skyscrapers with civilians, with uniformed men during a declared war flying military planes to drop bombs on an enemy city. A war in which we were attacked, unprovoked, I might add, and which had dragged on for years at the cost of tens of thousands of American lives. Dropping bombs on a city during war was hardly novel. The only "novelty" was the payload/destructive power of the atomic weapons.

I get how reasonable people can come down on one side or the other as to whether dropping atomic weapons on Nagasaki and Hiroshima were justifiable, but calling it "terrorism" the same as ISIS or Al Qaeda or North Korea is really just beyond the fringe.

Not saying that the nuclear strikes were the wrong choice, but can you explain how the two actions were different without referencing legality or retribution?

Yes I can, and it's all about context. Now, there's a helluva lot of context regarding WWII and terrorist attacks by ISIL, so I'll use an analogy instead:

Scenario 1: Man walks up to another man, puts a gun to his head and pulls the trigger, killing him instantly
Scenario 2: Man walks up to another man, puts a gun to his head and pulls the trigger, killing him instantly

These two statements are identical, and so someone might naively (and disingenuously) say, "See, these two things are the same, one is no better than the other. They were both designed to blow the guy's head off in a violent way." They could name all kinds of things like has been done above comparing the two acts to try to make them appear morally equivalent, but it's still disingenuous ("they're both designed to create terror," "both claimed they were in a war", "both involved innocent casualties", "both used violent weapons", etc.).

But here are three different contexts as examples:

Case 1: Habitual criminal with multiple prior violent felony crime convictions walks up to a father of four at a restaurant with his family, and shoots him in the head indiscriminately, or because he's a Muslim, or a Christian, or because he has a family which the criminal resents. Almost all people would describe this homicide as completely unjustified and evil.

Case 2: A counterterrorism agent shoots an ISIL person in the head who is one second or less away from pulling the trigger on a detonator that, when activated, will blow up a dirty bomb that will kill or maim thousands of civilians in a children's amusement park. Almost all would describe this homicide as completely justified and necessary, and some might even describe it as "good" since it saved thousands of innocent lives.

Case 3: A man in the throes of grief/temporary insanity shoots in the head another man who has just minutes prior murdered his family and raped his small children and burned their house down with the bodies in it, but who has surrendered himself and no longer poses an imminent threat to anyone. This case is in a grey area that makes lots of us uncomfortable. Plenty would describe it as unjustified, plenty would say it's justified. Some would say it's unjustified but understandable/forgivable, and lots of other variations.

I suggest the atomic bombings during WWII were a lot like Case 2 (justifiable) with a fair amount of Case 3 thrown in (some murky, grey areas). ISIL and Al Qaeda attacks are 100% Case 1.
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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #2521 on: March 02, 2017, 06:43:24 AM »
Stuff about how the US military is supposedly engaged in terrorism, such as:

"Al-Qaeda declared a holy war against the United States before the 9/11 attacks.  Since they were at war with the US when the attacks took place, under your definition 9/11 was an act of war, not a terrorist attack.  They were targeting civilians as an act of war, a war that they were losing."


Over the years I've rolled my eyes many times at stuff you've said about all the alleged illegal actions the US is engaged in (according to you), but drawing a moral equivalency between Al Qaeda and the US military as terrorists pretty much takes the cake. It defies credibility. I don't know what to say about conflating non-uniformed men who are not associated with any state or government, high-jacking civilian airliners and flying them into skyscrapers with civilians, with uniformed men during a declared war flying military planes to drop bombs on an enemy city. A war in which we were attacked, unprovoked, I might add, and which had dragged on for years at the cost of tens of thousands of American lives. Dropping bombs on a city during war was hardly novel. The only "novelty" was the payload/destructive power of the atomic weapons.

I get how reasonable people can come down on one side or the other as to whether dropping atomic weapons on Nagasaki and Hiroshima were justifiable, but calling it "terrorism" the same as ISIS or Al Qaeda or North Korea is really just beyond the fringe.

Declaring a war does not give you carte blanche to attack civilians.  I don't think that it applies to ISIS or Al-Qaeda, and I don't think that it applies to any country.  My comment was in response to someone who said that he believes that declaring a war makes acts of terror acceptable.

I define acts as terrorism.  When you target civilians to try to terrorize a group of people into doing what you want, you're acting like a terrorist.  How you manage to kill the civilians to cause the terror doesn't really matter (pipe bomb, guerrilla attack, direct attack, carpet bombing, drone strike).  The clothes that the people doing the killing are wearing don't really matter (a perahan tunban, black balaclava, or starched US military uniform).  Whatever justification or excuse the people doing the killing have told themselves to make it feel better doesn't really matter (Jihad, We got attacked first, They might attack us in the future).  The act is still an act of terror, and it shouldn't be condoned.

GuitarStv

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #2522 on: March 02, 2017, 06:50:27 AM »
I don't know what to say about conflating non-uniformed men who are not associated with any state or government, high-jacking civilian airliners and flying them into skyscrapers with civilians, with uniformed men during a declared war flying military planes to drop bombs on an enemy city. A war in which we were attacked, unprovoked, I might add, and which had dragged on for years at the cost of tens of thousands of American lives. Dropping bombs on a city during war was hardly novel. The only "novelty" was the payload/destructive power of the atomic weapons.

I get how reasonable people can come down on one side or the other as to whether dropping atomic weapons on Nagasaki and Hiroshima were justifiable, but calling it "terrorism" the same as ISIS or Al Qaeda or North Korea is really just beyond the fringe.

Not saying that the nuclear strikes were the wrong choice, but can you explain how the two actions were different without referencing legality or retribution?

Yes I can, and it's all about context. Now, there's a helluva lot of context regarding WWII and terrorist attacks by ISIL, so I'll use an analogy instead:

Scenario 1: Man walks up to another man, puts a gun to his head and pulls the trigger, killing him instantly
Scenario 2: Man walks up to another man, puts a gun to his head and pulls the trigger, killing him instantly

These two statements are identical, and so someone might naively (and disingenuously) say, "See, these two things are the same, one is no better than the other. They were both designed to blow the guy's head off in a violent way." They could name all kinds of things like has been done above comparing the two acts to try to make them appear morally equivalent, but it's still disingenuous ("they're both designed to create terror," "both claimed they were in a war", "both involved innocent casualties", "both used violent weapons", etc.).

But here are three different contexts as examples:

Case 1: Habitual criminal with multiple prior violent felony crime convictions walks up to a father of four at a restaurant with his family, and shoots him in the head indiscriminately, or because he's a Muslim, or a Christian, or because he has a family which the criminal resents. Almost all people would describe this homicide as completely unjustified and evil.

Case 2: A counterterrorism agent shoots an ISIL person in the head who is one second or less away from pulling the trigger on a detonator that, when activated, will blow up a dirty bomb that will kill or maim thousands of civilians in a children's amusement park. Almost all would describe this homicide as completely justified and necessary, and some might even describe it as "good" since it saved thousands of innocent lives.

Case 3: A man in the throes of grief/temporary insanity shoots in the head another man who has just minutes prior murdered his family and raped his small children and burned their house down with the bodies in it, but who has surrendered himself and no longer poses an imminent threat to anyone. This case is in a grey area that makes lots of us uncomfortable. Plenty would describe it as unjustified, plenty would say it's justified. Some would say it's unjustified but understandable/forgivable, and lots of other variations.

I suggest the atomic bombings during WWII were a lot like Case 2 (justifiable) with a fair amount of Case 3 thrown in (some murky, grey areas). ISIL and Al Qaeda attacks are 100% Case 1.

You would have an argument if the people bombed were soldiers.

The civilians of Japan were not about to pull a trigger on a detonator.  They were eating supper, working at their jobs, sitting in school, cleaning the house, etc.

I'd suggest it was a lot more like:

Case 4:
A police officer is chasing a person who has just committed murder.  The suspect enters his house and the officer follows.  Once inside the house, the officer shoots the first person he sees.  Then he shoots the next person he sees.  Then he says "I'm going to keep shooting until my murder suspect gives himself up."  The murderer then sees the death of his family members and gives himself up.

MasterStache

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #2523 on: March 02, 2017, 07:59:17 AM »
I suggest the atomic bombings during WWII were a lot like Case 2 (justifiable) with a fair amount of Case 3 thrown in (some murky, grey areas). ISIL and Al Qaeda attacks are 100% Case 1.

There really is no murky or grey area. Over 200,000 CIVILIANS were killed instantly when the atomic bombs were dropped. And untold amounts died later. Those civilians did not have their finger on any bombs ready to detonate. It's not like case 2 at all in any scope, no matter how you spin it. There is no plausible scenario where murdering this many civilians going about their day, as you and I are today, is justifiable.

It was terrorism, point blank. Stop trying to justify it as something else. 

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #2524 on: March 02, 2017, 08:16:15 AM »
It's interesting to see how young Americans view history.  Some oldsters would probably call this discussion 'armchair commentary'.  However, just like the present is for us today, I believe the powers that be made the best decisions they could given their circumstances, and I honor the fact that it was a reluctant and difficult choice agreed upon by consensus.  As far as anyone knew, the emperor of Japan was willing to fight until utter obliteration because of their culture (which was very much foreign and undecipherable to the West at that time).  Was a  nuclear attack warranted to save the lives of hundreds of thousands of solidiers on both sides?  We'll never know for sure, which is another quirk of revisiting history.

http://archive.boston.com/bostonglobe/ideas/articles/2011/08/07/why_did_japan_surrender/   
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Midwest

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #2525 on: March 02, 2017, 08:17:03 AM »
I suggest the atomic bombings during WWII were a lot like Case 2 (justifiable) with a fair amount of Case 3 thrown in (some murky, grey areas). ISIL and Al Qaeda attacks are 100% Case 1.

There really is no murky or grey area. Over 200,000 CIVILIANS were killed instantly when the atomic bombs were dropped. And untold amounts died later. Those civilians did not have their finger on any bombs ready to detonate. It's not like case 2 at all in any scope, no matter how you spin it. There is no plausible scenario where murdering this many civilians going about their day, as you and I are today, is justifiable.

It was terrorism, point blank. Stop trying to justify it as something else.

If you believe those bombs were necessary to end the war, then it is quite plausible they saved untold lives (both US and Japanese).  Whether you support the decision or not, killing 200,000 people is an awful thing.  Killing millions (US and Japanese) is even worse.

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #2526 on: March 02, 2017, 08:35:07 AM »
I suggest the atomic bombings during WWII were a lot like Case 2 (justifiable) with a fair amount of Case 3 thrown in (some murky, grey areas). ISIL and Al Qaeda attacks are 100% Case 1.

There really is no murky or grey area. Over 200,000 CIVILIANS were killed instantly when the atomic bombs were dropped. And untold amounts died later. Those civilians did not have their finger on any bombs ready to detonate. It's not like case 2 at all in any scope, no matter how you spin it. There is no plausible scenario where murdering this many civilians going about their day, as you and I are today, is justifiable.

It was terrorism, point blank. Stop trying to justify it as something else.

If you believe those bombs were necessary to end the war, then it is quite plausible they saved untold lives (both US and Japanese).  Whether you support the decision or not, killing 200,000 people is an awful thing.  Killing millions (US and Japanese) is even worse.
Great point. While the bombings were terrible, it was considered that they would save lives (both soliders and civilians) on both sides of the conflict overall. A great evil to prevent a greater evil.
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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #2527 on: March 02, 2017, 08:40:34 AM »
I suggest the atomic bombings during WWII were a lot like Case 2 (justifiable) with a fair amount of Case 3 thrown in (some murky, grey areas). ISIL and Al Qaeda attacks are 100% Case 1.

There really is no murky or grey area. Over 200,000 CIVILIANS were killed instantly when the atomic bombs were dropped. And untold amounts died later. Those civilians did not have their finger on any bombs ready to detonate. It's not like case 2 at all in any scope, no matter how you spin it. There is no plausible scenario where murdering this many civilians going about their day, as you and I are today, is justifiable.

It was terrorism, point blank. Stop trying to justify it as something else.

If you believe those bombs were necessary to end the war, then it is quite plausible they saved untold lives (both US and Japanese).  Whether you support the decision or not, killing 200,000 people is an awful thing.  Killing millions (US and Japanese) is even worse.

There's certainly an argument to be made that the nuclear bombing of civilians in Japan saved net lives.  I don't disagree that this is possible but we don't know.  Maybe Japan would have realized that their navy was completely crippled at this point, their manufacturing was screwed due to the loss of nearly all sources of raw materials, and their forces were completely ineffective and surrendered.  Maybe they would have fought on to the last man (Japan fully embraced war in a cultural way).  There are legitimate arguments to support both sides that can be made.

None of this changes the fact that it was an act of terrorism.

Modern drone strikes are perpetrated against a group of people that the military thinks (using demonstrably unreliable intelligence) might be terrorists, who might (or might not) plan to attack the US in the future.  The US executes these people and sizable numbers of civilians who live in the surrounding area.  This is an act of terror.

What it boils down to is that both of these acts of terror are implemented based upon the argument that the ends justify the means.  Are you really OK with that reasoning?  Because it can be used to justify anything.  It's certainly the argument suicide bombers the world over use to justify their actions.

deadlymonkey

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #2528 on: March 02, 2017, 08:41:13 AM »
I suggest the atomic bombings during WWII were a lot like Case 2 (justifiable) with a fair amount of Case 3 thrown in (some murky, grey areas). ISIL and Al Qaeda attacks are 100% Case 1.

There really is no murky or grey area. Over 200,000 CIVILIANS were killed instantly when the atomic bombs were dropped. And untold amounts died later. Those civilians did not have their finger on any bombs ready to detonate. It's not like case 2 at all in any scope, no matter how you spin it. There is no plausible scenario where murdering this many civilians going about their day, as you and I are today, is justifiable.

It was terrorism, point blank. Stop trying to justify it as something else.

If you believe those bombs were necessary to end the war, then it is quite plausible they saved untold lives (both US and Japanese).  Whether you support the decision or not, killing 200,000 people is an awful thing.  Killing millions (US and Japanese) is even worse.
Great point. While the bombings were terrible, it was considered that they would save lives (both soliders and civilians) on both sides of the conflict overall. A great evil to prevent a greater evil.

I would also argue that the use of two relatively small atomic weapons prevented the use of much larger and more advanced weapons later.  In Korea and Vietnam the use of nuclear weapons was raised but after we saw what the effect of the weapons were, both uses wee discarded.  If we had a weapon like that and never used it before, there would likely be a greater willingness to "try it out".  Better to try it out with a bomb in the low kilotons then one in the megaton range.

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #2529 on: March 02, 2017, 08:53:10 AM »
Great point. While the bombings were terrible, it was considered that they would save lives (both soliders and civilians) on both sides of the conflict overall. A great evil to prevent a greater evil.

You don't really believe this.  If you did, you would support ISIS beheading tourists.  What's one life, if it helps end the war?  All those crazy knife-wielding dudes in black masks ascribe to this philosophy, because they are deranged murderers.  They tell themselves their horrible acts are for the greater good.

And let's be honest about this, the decision to nuke Japan's civilian population centers wasn't about minimizing the loss of life on all sides, it was about minimizing the loss of American lives by maximizing the loss of Japanese lives. 

Even more specifically, it was about saving American soldiers by murdering Japanese civilians. 

« Last Edit: March 02, 2017, 09:34:01 AM by sol »

MasterStache

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #2530 on: March 02, 2017, 08:53:57 AM »
I suggest the atomic bombings during WWII were a lot like Case 2 (justifiable) with a fair amount of Case 3 thrown in (some murky, grey areas). ISIL and Al Qaeda attacks are 100% Case 1.

There really is no murky or grey area. Over 200,000 CIVILIANS were killed instantly when the atomic bombs were dropped. And untold amounts died later. Those civilians did not have their finger on any bombs ready to detonate. It's not like case 2 at all in any scope, no matter how you spin it. There is no plausible scenario where murdering this many civilians going about their day, as you and I are today, is justifiable.

It was terrorism, point blank. Stop trying to justify it as something else.

If you believe those bombs were necessary to end the war, then it is quite plausible they saved untold lives (both US and Japanese).  Whether you support the decision or not, killing 200,000 people is an awful thing.  Killing millions (US and Japanese) is even worse.
Great point. While the bombings were terrible, it was considered that they would save lives (both soliders and civilians) on both sides of the conflict overall. A great evil to prevent a greater evil.


There is no moral equivalency between a child attending class, a mother cooking dinner, etc. and a soldier that has volunteered to fight in a war. Purposefully killing scores of non-combatants in order to justify "saving" the lives of combatants is not justifiable in any manner.

Midwest

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #2531 on: March 02, 2017, 09:04:55 AM »
I suggest the atomic bombings during WWII were a lot like Case 2 (justifiable) with a fair amount of Case 3 thrown in (some murky, grey areas). ISIL and Al Qaeda attacks are 100% Case 1.

There really is no murky or grey area. Over 200,000 CIVILIANS were killed instantly when the atomic bombs were dropped. And untold amounts died later. Those civilians did not have their finger on any bombs ready to detonate. It's not like case 2 at all in any scope, no matter how you spin it. There is no plausible scenario where murdering this many civilians going about their day, as you and I are today, is justifiable.

It was terrorism, point blank. Stop trying to justify it as something else.

If you believe those bombs were necessary to end the war, then it is quite plausible they saved untold lives (both US and Japanese).  Whether you support the decision or not, killing 200,000 people is an awful thing.  Killing millions (US and Japanese) is even worse.
Great point. While the bombings were terrible, it was considered that they would save lives (both soliders and civilians) on both sides of the conflict overall. A great evil to prevent a greater evil.


There is no moral equivalency between a child attending class, a mother cooking dinner, etc. and a soldier that has volunteered to fight in a war. Purposefully killing scores of non-combatants in order to justify "saving" the lives of combatants is not justifiable in any manner.

Volunteering?  Both sides were drafting.  Japan was conscripting at that point. 

If we had invaded Japan and/or continued the war for any length of time, there is a very strong possibility that more than 200,000 Japanese civilians would have died in the process. 

Look at Okinawa - Japan was putting 14 to 17 year old boys on the front lines and there were 140,000 civilians killed on Okinawa.  The Japanese mainland would have been much worse in terms of civilian deaths.

former player

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #2532 on: March 02, 2017, 09:10:29 AM »
I suggest the atomic bombings during WWII were a lot like Case 2 (justifiable) with a fair amount of Case 3 thrown in (some murky, grey areas). ISIL and Al Qaeda attacks are 100% Case 1.

There really is no murky or grey area. Over 200,000 CIVILIANS were killed instantly when the atomic bombs were dropped. And untold amounts died later. Those civilians did not have their finger on any bombs ready to detonate. It's not like case 2 at all in any scope, no matter how you spin it. There is no plausible scenario where murdering this many civilians going about their day, as you and I are today, is justifiable.

It was terrorism, point blank. Stop trying to justify it as something else.

If you believe those bombs were necessary to end the war, then it is quite plausible they saved untold lives (both US and Japanese).  Whether you support the decision or not, killing 200,000 people is an awful thing.  Killing millions (US and Japanese) is even worse.

There's certainly an argument to be made that the nuclear bombing of civilians in Japan saved net lives.  I don't disagree that this is possible but we don't know.  Maybe Japan would have realized that their navy was completely crippled at this point, their manufacturing was screwed due to the loss of nearly all sources of raw materials, and their forces were completely ineffective and surrendered.  Maybe they would have fought on to the last man (Japan fully embraced war in a cultural way).  There are legitimate arguments to support both sides that can be made.

None of this changes the fact that it was an act of terrorism.

Modern drone strikes are perpetrated against a group of people that the military thinks (using demonstrably unreliable intelligence) might be terrorists, who might (or might not) plan to attack the US in the future.  The US executes these people and sizable numbers of civilians who live in the surrounding area.  This is an act of terror.

What it boils down to is that both of these acts of terror are implemented based upon the argument that the ends justify the means.  Are you really OK with that reasoning?  Because it can be used to justify anything.  It's certainly the argument suicide bombers the world over use to justify their actions.
Both Hiroshima and Nagasaki were significant to the Japanese war effort.   It is also significant that the first bombing was not sufficient to end the war: it took a second bombing before the Japanese surrendered.  That does suggest that the bombings, however dreadful their effects, were in fact proportionate to the aim of ending the war without further Allied casualties.

I will put in here that I have a personal view on this.  One of my ancestors, having been conscripted into WWII and having already been in action for 4 years, was in July 1945 under orders to the far east to go into action against the Japanese.  Because of those two bombs, he was instead safe at home and a civilian again before the end of August 1945 - although by all accounts he had lifelong (undiagnosed at the time, of course) PTSD as a result of his harrowing experiences.  Without the bombs, he and tens of thousands of others could have been put in harms way for years to come and many would not have survived.

I also think that it is easy, at this remove, to forget that WWII was for much of its course a "damned close run thing": while the US was still in decent condition the rest of the Allies had pretty much exhausted themselves and their resources in the fight.  We also hear a lot about German atrocities, particularly the holocaust, and rather less about the Japanese ones.  Japan was not an innocent victim of WWII.
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dividendman

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #2533 on: March 02, 2017, 09:15:24 AM »
Note that nobody as made a claim that there were any easier ways to end the war, or that the nuclear bombing didn't save lives in the long run. None of that matters. The fact is you had a two cities full of people, who had little if anything to do with the war, who were killed, en masse, so the population and government would be so scared they would quit. That's terrorism whether you're in a US military uniform or not.

I'm quoting myself above because I think many people have now said this (and I'm awesome). The REASON for the terrorism may have been the best reason in the world. Jesus or Gandhi may have made the same decision. That doesn't make it not terrorism.

It is pretty funny that some Americans think Americans can blow up entire cities full of civilians and that's not terrorism. But killing 5 US soldiers in Iraq with a roadside bomb is.... sigh, that people can hold those two ideas in their head at the same time confounds me.

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #2534 on: March 02, 2017, 09:23:43 AM »
Note that nobody as made a claim that there were any easier ways to end the war, or that the nuclear bombing didn't save lives in the long run. None of that matters. The fact is you had a two cities full of people, who had little if anything to do with the war, who were killed, en masse, so the population and government would be so scared they would quit. That's terrorism whether you're in a US military uniform or not.

I'm quoting myself above because I think many people have now said this (and I'm awesome). The REASON for the terrorism may have been the best reason in the world. Jesus or Gandhi may have made the same decision. That doesn't make it not terrorism.

It is pretty funny that some Americans think Americans can blow up entire cities full of civilians and that's not terrorism. But killing 5 US soldiers in Iraq with a roadside bomb is.... sigh, that people can hold those two ideas in their head at the same time confounds me.

I don't know many Americans who think killing US soldiers in that situation is terrorism.  It's unfortunate and we should try to prevent it, but it's not terrorism.

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #2535 on: March 02, 2017, 09:39:20 AM »
I don't know many Americans who think killing US soldiers in that situation is terrorism.  It's unfortunate and we should try to prevent it, but it's not terrorism.

Our president clearly thinks it is terrorism, or at least wants you to think it is. 

This is the nature of the debate over the use of the phrase "radical Islamic terrorism".  The republicans want you to believe that any act of violence against America is the fault of Islamic terrorists.  Trump has championed this phrasing, even using it on his speech this week.  It doesn't matter that were not fighting terrorists and we're not fighting Islam, that phrase tests well with the focus groups of his most ardent supporters, so he's going to continue misusing it.

MasterStache

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #2536 on: March 02, 2017, 09:40:07 AM »
Volunteering?  Both sides were drafting.  Japan was conscripting at that point. 

There is no moral equivalency between a child attending class, a mother cooking dinner, etc. and a soldier that has volunteered to fighting in a war. Purposefully killing scores of non-combatants in order to justify "saving" the lives of combatants is not justifiable in any manner.

Is that better for you? Does it change the morality of the argument?

If we had invaded Japan and/or continued the war for any length of time, there is a very strong possibility that more than 200,000 Japanese civilians would have died in the process.

So since they "might" have died we went ahead and killed them anyways? I'm not even sure what you are arguing.
« Last Edit: March 02, 2017, 10:00:21 AM by BeginnerStache »

GuitarStv

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #2537 on: March 02, 2017, 09:47:17 AM »
I suggest the atomic bombings during WWII were a lot like Case 2 (justifiable) with a fair amount of Case 3 thrown in (some murky, grey areas). ISIL and Al Qaeda attacks are 100% Case 1.

There really is no murky or grey area. Over 200,000 CIVILIANS were killed instantly when the atomic bombs were dropped. And untold amounts died later. Those civilians did not have their finger on any bombs ready to detonate. It's not like case 2 at all in any scope, no matter how you spin it. There is no plausible scenario where murdering this many civilians going about their day, as you and I are today, is justifiable.

It was terrorism, point blank. Stop trying to justify it as something else.

If you believe those bombs were necessary to end the war, then it is quite plausible they saved untold lives (both US and Japanese).  Whether you support the decision or not, killing 200,000 people is an awful thing.  Killing millions (US and Japanese) is even worse.

There's certainly an argument to be made that the nuclear bombing of civilians in Japan saved net lives.  I don't disagree that this is possible but we don't know.  Maybe Japan would have realized that their navy was completely crippled at this point, their manufacturing was screwed due to the loss of nearly all sources of raw materials, and their forces were completely ineffective and surrendered.  Maybe they would have fought on to the last man (Japan fully embraced war in a cultural way).  There are legitimate arguments to support both sides that can be made.

None of this changes the fact that it was an act of terrorism.

Modern drone strikes are perpetrated against a group of people that the military thinks (using demonstrably unreliable intelligence) might be terrorists, who might (or might not) plan to attack the US in the future.  The US executes these people and sizable numbers of civilians who live in the surrounding area.  This is an act of terror.

What it boils down to is that both of these acts of terror are implemented based upon the argument that the ends justify the means.  Are you really OK with that reasoning?  Because it can be used to justify anything.  It's certainly the argument suicide bombers the world over use to justify their actions.
Both Hiroshima and Nagasaki were significant to the Japanese war effort.   It is also significant that the first bombing was not sufficient to end the war: it took a second bombing before the Japanese surrendered.  That does suggest that the bombings, however dreadful their effects, were in fact proportionate to the aim of ending the war without further Allied casualties.

Do you not see where this line of reasoning gets you?

By this logic, 9/11 was significant because it was simply not a big enough attack on the American people to end what Bin Laden saw as America's transgressions around the world.  They clearly need to keep up their terrorist attacks . . . they are in fact, proportionate to Al Qaeda's aim of ending the war with minimal casualties for their troops.


I will put in here that I have a personal view on this.  One of my ancestors, having been conscripted into WWII and having already been in action for 4 years, was in July 1945 under orders to the far east to go into action against the Japanese.  Because of those two bombs, he was instead safe at home and a civilian again before the end of August 1945 - although by all accounts he had lifelong (undiagnosed at the time, of course) PTSD as a result of his harrowing experiences.  Without the bombs, he and tens of thousands of others could have been put in harms way for years to come and many would not have survived.

Why do you believe that the life of your ancestor in the military life should be held in higher regard than that of the Japanese children vaporized in the atomic blasts?  Because that's what you're asking me to accept with the reasoning here.


I also think that it is easy, at this remove, to forget that WWII was for much of its course a "damned close run thing": while the US was still in decent condition the rest of the Allies had pretty much exhausted themselves and their resources in the fight.  We also hear a lot about German atrocities, particularly the holocaust, and rather less about the Japanese ones.  Japan was not an innocent victim of WWII.

Nobody has said that Japan was an innocent victim of WWII.

By the end of the second world war, Japan was rapidly becoming a combative non-factor.  Their navy was a shambles (heck, even since the Battle of Midway two years before the Japanese fleet had been badly and permanently weakened).  Their ability to manufacture stuff was negligible because there just wasn't enough raw material (which is why Japan tried to expand so quickly at the start of the war - they lacked natural resources).  They had very few trained pilots left in their air-force (hence the kamikaze attacks).  Japan had just lost over 600,000 soldiers to the Soviets in Manchuria and the Soviets were already landing troops in the (nearly undefended) north of Japan.  When the nuclear weapons were used, it was not a 'damned close run thing'.  There was no doubt at that point that Japan would be conquered, it was simply a matter of time.

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #2538 on: March 02, 2017, 10:01:24 AM »
Great point. While the bombings were terrible, it was considered that they would save lives (both soliders and civilians) on both sides of the conflict overall. A great evil to prevent a greater evil.

You don't really believe this.  If you did, you would support ISIS beheading tourists.  What's one life, if it helps end the war?  All those crazy knife-wielding dudes in black masks ascribe to this philosophy, because they are deranged murderers.  They tell themselves their horrible acts are for the greater good.

And let's be honest about this, the decision to nuke Japan's civilian population centers wasn't about minimizing the loss of life on all sides, it was about minimizing the loss of American lives by maximizing the loss of Japanese lives. 

Even more specifically, it was about saving American soldiers by murdering Japanese civilians.
Only if it works. The bombs did. Beheadings have not. As was pointed out, Japan was more than willing to arm its civilians with sticks and rush them into the machine gun fire of US forces landing on beaches. It's not as if all Japanese civilians would have been hunky dorry. Doesn't justify an act of terror to me, but obviously some people disagree. Look at the psychos who fly planes into buildings or blow up car bimbs in markets or shoot up magazines for publishing stuff they don't like; lots of bad decisions out there.
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MustacheMathTM

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #2539 on: March 02, 2017, 10:08:45 AM »
Both Hiroshima and Nagasaki were significant to the Japanese war effort.   It is also significant that the first bombing was not sufficient to end the war: it took a second bombing before the Japanese surrendered.  That does suggest that the bombings, however dreadful their effects, were in fact proportionate to the aim of ending the war without further Allied casualties.

Do you not see where this line of reasoning gets you?

By this logic, 9/11 was significant because it was simply not a big enough attack on the American people to end what Bin Laden saw as America's transgressions around the world.  They clearly need to keep up their terrorist attacks . . . they are in fact, proportionate to Al Qaeda's aim of ending the war with minimal casualties for their troops.
Different cases.  1.  The bombs on Japan were about ending a war which was (unjustifiably and unlawfully) begun by the other party.  2.  The cities bombed were military as well as civilian targets.

I do agree with you that the logic of any violent action is that it needs to be sufficiently violent to meet its aims.  The bombing of Hiroshima was not sufficiently violent to meet its aims, the addition of the bombing of Nagasaki was.  And don't assume that the aim of 9/11 was to end US transgressions through violence.  It is much more likely that it's aim was to provoke the US into levels of violence which would then precipitate the achievement of its aim through the reactions to that US violence.  Something which notably did not happen in the case of Japan.



I will put in here that I have a personal view on this.  One of my ancestors, having been conscripted into WWII and having already been in action for 4 years, was in July 1945 under orders to the far east to go into action against the Japanese.  Because of those two bombs, he was instead safe at home and a civilian again before the end of August 1945 - although by all accounts he had lifelong (undiagnosed at the time, of course) PTSD as a result of his harrowing experiences.  Without the bombs, he and tens of thousands of others could have been put in harms way for years to come and many would not have survived.

Why do you believe that the life of your ancestor in the military life should be held in higher regard than that of the Japanese children vaporized in the atomic blasts?  Because that's what you're asking me to accept with the reasoning here.
  I hold my ancestor's life in higher regard because without it I would not be here.  I'm not asking you to believe it.  I put it in as a personal anecdote which you are free to use to consider me biased.  As to the Japanese children that died, there are now about 7 billion people on this planet, millions of whom die every day and while I am happy to wish them all well in a generalised sense, and even give 10% of my net FIREd income to charitable causes supporting humans in need around the globe, please don't ask me to weep for the deaths of individuals I did not personally know who died 70 years ago: it's a level of sentimentality I couldn't manage.


I also think that it is easy, at this remove, to forget that WWII was for much of its course a "damned close run thing": while the US was still in decent condition the rest of the Allies had pretty much exhausted themselves and their resources in the fight.  We also hear a lot about German atrocities, particularly the holocaust, and rather less about the Japanese ones.  Japan was not an innocent victim of WWII.

Nobody has said that Japan was an innocent victim of WWII.

By the end of the second world war, Japan was rapidly becoming a combative non-factor.  Their navy was a shambles (heck, even since the Battle of Midway two years before the Japanese fleet had been badly and permanently weakened).  Their ability to manufacture stuff was negligible because there just wasn't enough raw material (which is why Japan tried to expand so quickly at the start of the war - they lacked natural resources).  They had very few trained pilots left in their air-force (hence the kamikaze attacks).  Japan had just lost over 600,000 soldiers to the Soviets in Manchuria and the Soviets were already landing troops in the (nearly undefended) north of Japan.  When the nuclear weapons were used, it was not a 'damned close run thing'.  There was no doubt at that point that Japan would be conquered, it was simply a matter of time.
I did say "for much of its course".  And sadly the Japanese government's determination not to surrender but to carry on fighting had little to do with its capabilities, and fighting a conventional war with invasion island by island, which would have been the alternative, would have been costly to the Allies in all ways.
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GuitarStv

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #2540 on: March 02, 2017, 10:23:09 AM »
Great point. While the bombings were terrible, it was considered that they would save lives (both soliders and civilians) on both sides of the conflict overall. A great evil to prevent a greater evil.

You don't really believe this.  If you did, you would support ISIS beheading tourists.  What's one life, if it helps end the war?  All those crazy knife-wielding dudes in black masks ascribe to this philosophy, because they are deranged murderers.  They tell themselves their horrible acts are for the greater good.

And let's be honest about this, the decision to nuke Japan's civilian population centers wasn't about minimizing the loss of life on all sides, it was about minimizing the loss of American lives by maximizing the loss of Japanese lives. 

Even more specifically, it was about saving American soldiers by murdering Japanese civilians.
Only if it works. The bombs did. Beheadings have not.

The first nuclear bomb didn't work.  So, the logic you're spouting would follow that you just have to keep trying.


As was pointed out, Japan was more than willing to arm its civilians with sticks and rush them into the machine gun fire of US forces landing on beaches. It's not as if all Japanese civilians would have been hunky dorry.

If this was really true, why do you believe that Japan surrendered at all?  Sending civilians to die by machine gun fire is no different than letting them die by nuclear blast.

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #2541 on: March 02, 2017, 10:30:36 AM »
It is also significant that the first bombing was not sufficient to end the war: it took a second bombing before the Japanese surrendered.

You might want to check your history on this one.  The US built exactly two bombs, and scheduled exactly two bombings, without regard to what happened in between.

An entire city was vaporized, in an era before mass communications, in a country ravaged by war.  The emperor of Japan barely had time to figure out what the hell had happened before the second bomb was dropped three days later.

If we had wanted a surrender after one, we could have waited a week and asked for one.  We dropped two bombs on purpose, to convince them this was something we could do every three days for years to come.  They are some fascinating books written by the military leaders of the day discussing this reasoning.

So you can stop repeating the lie that one atomic bomb was insufficiently destructive.   They never had a chance to avoid the second bomb.  We leveled a second city purely because we wanted to.

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #2542 on: March 02, 2017, 10:41:10 AM »
If this was really true, why do you believe that Japan surrendered at all?  Sending civilians to die by machine gun fire is no different than letting them die by nuclear blast.

You should both read The Chrysanthemum and the Sword for some perspective on this issue.  It is short and enlightening.

Basically there was much deliberation within the US military about how Japan's honor-based culture would respond to catastrophic military losses that normally resulted in surrender in all European conflicts for the preceding millennia. They feared the costs of having to literally fight to the last man.  But it turned out that despite popular perception of the Japanese as strange and weird aliens, they are just like every other human culture and responded in the same way that every other country has, surrendering at around 30% losses.

The book goes into more detail about the difference between American and Japanese culture and how it influenced their military, i.e. guilt vs shame as a negative motivator, but the abbreviated version is that a lot of lives could have been saved if we had been a little less racist.

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #2543 on: March 02, 2017, 10:55:46 AM »
If this was really true, why do you believe that Japan surrendered at all?  Sending civilians to die by machine gun fire is no different than letting them die by nuclear blast.

You should both read The Chrysanthemum and the Sword for some perspective on this issue.  It is short and enlightening.

Basically there was much deliberation within the US military about how Japan's honor-based culture would respond to catastrophic military losses that normally resulted in surrender in all European conflicts for the preceding millennia. They feared the costs of having to literally fight to the last man.  But it turned out that despite popular perception of the Japanese as strange and weird aliens, they are just like every other human culture and responded in the same way that every other country has, surrendering at around 30% losses.

The book goes into more detail about the difference between American and Japanese culture and how it influenced their military, i.e. guilt vs shame as a negative motivator, but the abbreviated version is that a lot of lives could have been saved if we had been a little less racist.

I read some excerpts from "Racing the Enemy: Stalin, Truman and the Surrender of Japan.”

It's interesting and discusses some of the same concepts you are describing. Essentially the US has convinced generations now that the nuclear bombs were necessary in order to end the war and prevent hundreds of thousands more casualties. Meanwhile in Japan the sentiment was that they already knew they had lost. The shock wasn't the nuclear bombs. It wasn't the firebombing of Tokyo. "The greatest shock" was the Soviet Union’s entry into the war, and the realization that Japanese forces would have to fight the Soviets in the north and the U.S. in the south.

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #2544 on: March 02, 2017, 11:01:20 AM »
Also, the Errol Morris documentary "The Fog of War", which discusses the firebombing campaign against Japan prior to the atomic bombs being dropped is worth watching.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air_raids_on_Japan#Firebombing_attacks

the loss of life from the firebombing campaign far outpaced Nagasaki and Hiroshima (~500,000 dead). Any sober view of that fire bombing campaign would consider it a war crime. MacNamara was support staff for LeMay, who organized the firebombing (and later the carpet bombing of Cambodia). In MacNamara's words regarding the firebombing, "If we'd lost the war, we'd all have been prosecuted as war criminals." "And I think he's right," says McNamara. "He, and I'd say I, were behaving as war criminals." . . . "

The atomic bomb dropping may also have had a secondary (or primary, some have argued) objective of sending a geopolitcal statement to the Soviets to watch out as a warm up round for the cold war. 

WWII was absolutely terrible. Wrong was done all around in vary degrees, methods and contexts. We, as Americans, are not some special breed of human that intrinsically is better or worse than other countries. We should bear that in mind and work to prevent these things from happening in the future. Nobody really "won" WWII, we mostly just all got back to a starting point somewhat worse off than before hostilities started.

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #2545 on: March 02, 2017, 11:44:11 AM »
Some oldsters would probably call this discussion 'armchair commentary'.

To directly tie this side discussion back to the original thread topic, what's most disconcerting is that the "oldster" currently serving as our commander-in-chief has made an assortment of confusing and self-contradictory public statements concerning the use of nuclear weapons that reveals an alarming ignorance of nuclear policy considerations at best and a truly terrifying willingness to actually use nuclear weapons outside the extremely limited set of arguably-justifiable circumstances for their use at worst.

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #2546 on: March 02, 2017, 11:44:55 AM »
I don't know many Americans who think killing US soldiers in that situation is terrorism.  It's unfortunate and we should try to prevent it, but it's not terrorism.

Our president clearly thinks it is terrorism, or at least wants you to think it is. 

This is the nature of the debate over the use of the phrase "radical Islamic terrorism".  The republicans want you to believe that any act of violence against America is the fault of Islamic terrorists.  Trump has championed this phrasing, even using it on his speech this week.  It doesn't matter that were not fighting terrorists and we're not fighting Islam, that phrase tests well with the focus groups of his most ardent supporters, so he's going to continue misusing it.

Disagree.  I realize all Republicans are evil, but that phrase refers to attacks on non-military targets and/or civilians by Muslim extremists.  Obviously not all terrorist actions are by Muslims and the majority of Muslims aren't extremists, but some a few are.

We could debate the Fort Hood attack since it was a military target, I would argue it was a military attack and the perpetrator should have been executed for treason.

Midwest

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #2547 on: March 02, 2017, 11:57:04 AM »
Volunteering?  Both sides were drafting.  Japan was conscripting at that point. 

There is no moral equivalency between a child attending class, a mother cooking dinner, etc. and a soldier that has volunteered to fighting in a war. Purposefully killing scores of non-combatants in order to justify "saving" the lives of combatants is not justifiable in any manner.

Is that better for you? Does it change the morality of the argument?

My belief is the civilian death toll was lowered by using the bombs.  I don't think the dead care whether they were purposely killed or accidentally killed.  The end result is that an invasion of Japan would have resulted in a far higher death toll than dropping the bombs.

If we had invaded Japan and/or continued the war for any length of time, there is a very strong possibility that more than 200,000 Japanese civilians would have died in the process.

So since they "might" many would have died we went ahead and killed them anyways? I'm not even sure what you are arguing.

Do you believe Japan was on the verge of surrendering?  Unless Japan had surrendered, we would have continued to bomb them and eventually invaded.  It is very likely more than 200,000 civilians would have died in those actions. 

70 years after the fact with better information, it's easy to second guess the decision made.  Truman was faced with a populace that wanted the war done and an enemy that seemed willing to continue.
« Last Edit: March 02, 2017, 01:07:43 PM by Midwest »

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #2548 on: March 02, 2017, 01:02:33 PM »
On to more recent events... what's the likelihood that Sessions resigns? It will keep up the 2 cabinet level officials per month trend they're on.

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Re: What are the realistic impacts of a Trump presidency?
« Reply #2549 on: March 02, 2017, 01:06:18 PM »
My belief is the civilian death toll was lowered by using the bombs.  I don't think the dead care whether they were purposely killed or accidentally killed.  The end result is that an invasion of Japan would have resulted in a far higher death toll than dropping the bombs.

I get your argument, and there's some merit to it.  It's not possible to know what would have happened in an alternate past timeline, so we'll never be sure what the best decision to make in that scenario was.  The result of purposely dropping the atomic bombs on large civilian centers was that Japan surrendered.

The problem in calling terrorism just action is that it legitimizes use of the same types of arguments today:

- It's OK to bomb civilians if they're from the same country as the guys we're fighting
- It's OK to target and execute civilians if they're family to the guys we're fighting
- It's OK to kill civilians as long as it reduces risk to our troops

Those arguments are the reason that drone strikes exist.  You've indicated that you think that they're acceptable in a WWII scenario . . . so I have to ask you, do you believe that current US acts of terror (drone strikes, abduction/torture) are going to result in a higher or lower long term death toll?
« Last Edit: March 02, 2017, 01:13:02 PM by GuitarStv »