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Thread: The morality of bombing civilians

  1. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by dpinsen View Post
    "World domination" by the Axis was never likely - the Nazis were far inferior to their opponents in access to oil and in manufacturing capacity (see, for example: The Myth of the Nazi War Machine – Notes On Liberty ). And Nazi Germany was primarily stopped by the Soviet Union, which was a similarly murderous regime.
    NEVER is a very long time.

    Victor Davis Hanson's brilliant perspective is reflected rather fairly in "The Myth of the Nazi War Machine" link. I argue with none of it.

    HOWEVER...
    France was the #1 rated military in the world by a wide margin in 1940.
    The Maginot Line was the most advance defensive system of the day.
    France had More and Better tanks than Germany.
    France's air force was very well equipped, and Germany lost as many planes in France as they lost in the battle of Britain.
    YET...
    France fell in weeks. Germany and France were technically at war for a year prior to the invasion.
    No one on earth, including most of Germany's general staff, thought Germany was foolish enough to attack France.
    It was shocking and horrifying.
    THEN...
    After the Blitz. Germany again did the unthinkable by invading the Soviet Union in June 1941.
    YET...
    October 41 through January 42 saw the Germans besieging Moscow.
    They failed narrowly but many speculate that the fall of Moscow, and the possible capture of Stalin... who stayed in Moscow... might have brought the collapse of the Soviet Union.
    Stalin commented that the Germans would have taken Moscow if they had one more narrow gauge locomotive.

    If the Germans effectively consolidate their power at that point, they can out build the US and UK. We can bomb, but not invade. The T-34 tanks would have been a massive upgrade, and Russian aircraft production was actually good.
    SO... No Normandy landing.
    North Africa is very different. The Suez canal falls.
    No oil problems for Germany.
    You suddenly have a massive empire, both powerful and evil. And we still have Japan to fight starting December 7, 1941... significantly during siege of Moscow.

    What was that again about NEVER?
    Hitler, against all reason, declared war on the US. He didn't have to, and probably would have won, had he not. There was no reason for us to not just "go to war against Japan". Europe seemed lost anyway, and the Soviet Union was just as bad as Germany. Instead of exploiting this opportunity, Hitler squandered it.

    Many in the UK wanted to "deal" with Hitler even with our alliance. How would that have played out if we decided to focus on Japan?

    A year later, Operation Blue was on it's way to the Baku oil fields, and unwisely got sucked into house to house fighting in Stalingrad. We all know how that went. This was not the quality opportunity that Moscow presented, but stranger things had already happened in this war. Fortunately, Hitler's decision making led to the loss of 600k troops, the best of his mobile striking force. The Baku oil fields did a great job for the Soviet Union during the war, imagine a war in 43 where the Germans occupy Baku, and don't lose those 600k troops. It would have changed the war a lot.

    We were very lucky, and worked our asses off.

  2. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nockian View Post
    You appear to have changed your mind. That's not what you said previously.
    In what way?

  3. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by David A. Rowe View Post
    In what way?
    "This should occur everytime, and should never stop short of complete annihilation"

    Appears to contradict your initial argument that American soldiers should be sacrificed in order to save civilians. At least that's how it reads to me ?

  4. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nockian View Post
    "This should occur everytime, and should never stop short of complete annihilation"

    Appears to contradict your initial argument that American soldiers should be sacrificed in order to save civilians. At least that's how it reads to me ?
    Complete annihilation of the enemy. Not the civilian populace.

  5. #85
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    My English grandfather joined an infantry regiment as a volunteer in '39 and fought through to '45. Was in the worst of it at Monte Cassino and had some fantastically heroic and horrific stories to tell. When I asked him if he volunteered to fight for liberal ideals, like "freedom" or "democracy", he laughed out loud and said he went to war to "save Empire and fight for Queen and country". Based patriotism. This was the official narrative which was fed to working-class British lads. He also said he was happy to "go off and have adventures" and escape the poverty of 1930's rural England, growing up in a household as one of ten children. Any notion that British military aged males were motivated to fight for anything else, including rumours of genocide or defence of liberal democratic values and vague notions of freedom, is a lie which has been written into the history books as a political tool.

    My English grandfather was openly racist and homophobic, in the typical, working-class style of the era when the demographics of Britain was 99%+ ethnic British. This is an inconvenient truth about the working-class Greatest Generation. The political, cultural and demographic changes ushered in after 1945 only cemented his views, given he lived within 30 minutes of the urban hellscape of London. Sorry, "diverse and vibrant" London. In his post-war work at a fire station, retiring as chief, he saw and felt the rapid shift in Britain's cultural norms and values over the following decades.

    Britain did not decriminalize homosexuality until 1967 and the idea and research of eugenics was still popular right up to WW2. Objectively, in 1939 we were in no moral position to be violently toppling any ethno-nationalist regimes and exporting the values of liberal democracy across the world. It is quite clear Britain was taken into a needless war by the politicians, bankers and industrialists.

    I certainly wonder if my grandfather could see the state of things today, if he and his brothers would have taken two steps down the beach towards Europe.

  6. #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by David A. Rowe View Post
    Complete annihilation of the enemy. Not the civilian populace.
    As I said previously "A police force in hostile territory". It only requires swapping the word 'enemy' for 'criminal'. In order to do what you propose it would be necessary to identify and isolate each and every potential enemy, from every innocent then determine their guilt before carrying out a death sentence. That isn't war. It's why America hasn't won a war since Japan.

  7. #87
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    How about what we actually did in WW2?
    We'll kill as many of you as it takes to convince you, but there is no need to kill you all if you're willing to be "reasonable".

    Contrast that with the Axis powers who went out of their way to kill civilians, especially in China, Poland and the Soviet Union.

    I submit that "our version" of morality was pretty solid.

  8. #88
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Jackson View Post
    I certainly wonder if my grandfather could see the state of things today, if he and his brothers would have taken two steps down the beach towards Europe.
    Insightful

  9. #89
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nockian View Post
    As I said previously "A police force in hostile territory". It only requires swapping the word 'enemy' for 'criminal'. In order to do what you propose it would be necessary to identify and isolate each and every potential enemy, from every innocent then determine their guilt before carrying out a death sentence. That isn't war. It's why America hasn't won a war since Japan.
    I think you've pretty clearly identified that you don't have either a sufficient understanding of English or war for you to easily conflate the latter with enforcement of law. I also don't think you appreciate that, by conventional or unconventional means, the US military is capable of annihilating our enemies, but our"losses" have been driven by political micromanagement and hand-wringing. There is more than enough objective evidence that isolation AND occupation don't work. There is only one example recent enough to prove-out a doctrine of annihilation, and it worked extremely well.

    Final point: you can safely ignore everything the media has to say about war. They're liars and whores, but unforgivably... entirely wrong.

  10. #90
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    Quote Originally Posted by David A. Rowe View Post
    I think you've pretty clearly identified that you don't have either a sufficient understanding of English or war for you to easily conflate the latter with enforcement of law. I also don't think you appreciate that, by conventional or unconventional means, the US military is capable of annihilating our enemies, but our"losses" have been driven by political micromanagement and hand-wringing. There is more than enough objective evidence that isolation AND occupation don't work. There is only one example recent enough to prove-out a doctrine of annihilation, and it worked extremely well.

    Final point: you can safely ignore everything the media has to say about war. They're liars and whores, but unforgivably... entirely wrong.
    I know full well that the US military are capable of annihilating any opposition. My point was that they aren't doing so. The 'political hand wringing' is exactly what I'm on about. I leave military tactics to those who a best placed to understand the battle and fighting requirements -if they determine that civilian losses are unescessary then I have to accept that to be the case, but that should not rule out the option of doing so if it shortens, or otherwise limits the number of US military casualties.

    I'm not entirely sure you are disagreeing with me in substance? It's seems you are using your knowledge of the battlefield to explain what is possible without causing unecessary civilian carnage ? I wouldn't presume to argue against you on that front. My point here is that it is moral to bomb civilians to dust if that's what it takes to ensure a swift victory-this is absolutely what MAD is in effect. If it is immoral to target civilians then the nuclear deterrent is no longer a useful deterrent because it would never be used by the US. That would be quite concerning.

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