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6 years ago  ::  Jun 13, 2008 - 1:31PM #71
alex1000
Posts: 1,505
[QUOTE=Karma_Yeshe_Dorje;560803]~Wikipedia~[/QUOTE]

I'm pleased to see that Australia is included Karma.

Alex
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6 years ago  ::  Jun 13, 2008 - 1:31PM #72
alex1000
Posts: 1,505
[QUOTE=Karma_Yeshe_Dorje;560803]~Wikipedia~[/QUOTE]

I'm pleased to see that Australia is included Karma.

Alex
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6 years ago  ::  Jun 13, 2008 - 8:52PM #73
rangerken
Posts: 15,886
I can write, without fear of violating a confidence since what I was told by an officer I once commanded is not the least bit classified, that Australian troops in Afghanistan have not infrequently called for and benefitted by cluster munitions fired by American artillery and dropped by American aircraft. I also know that British troops have made good use of our cluster weapons in Iraq.

Having had the good fortune of serving alongside Australian Trackers during several operations in Vietnam, and training with them subsequently, I have nothing but the highest respect and admiration for Aussie soldiers!

Ken
Libertarian, Conservative, Life member of the NRA and VFW
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6 years ago  ::  Jun 13, 2008 - 10:23PM #74
John_T_Mainer
Posts: 1,658
I had a letter from a buddy of mine about half a year back.  He was writing from the Sandbox (sunny Afghanistan) and chatting about friends we knew, and how the game had changed since we played in back in the Bos.  He was really enthusiastic about doing the job without UN nannies to tie your hands, and make the war unwinable, and make your promises of protection to the civilians who really do want to rebuild, ufulfillable.  While rhapsodizing about being able to actually do some good, and not just doccument the attrocitiies you could have stopped, he also talked about Canadian soldiers biggest worry in combat operations; support.

For so long in the UN we were hung out at the sharp end with nothing but personal small arms and hand helds against everything up to armoured columns, and combined arms batallions.  In Afghanistan it was different, we have our Leopards deployed, our artillery on call, real armour on our APC and IFV, and gunship support.

Gunship support?  Check or TOE ladies and gentlemen, Canada doesn't have any.

When Canadian troops whistle, some nice gentlemen in Apache choppers drop Hellfire when and where we need it.  Canada doesn't use cluster munitions, we just don't deploy in combat without the US or UK supplying air support that does.

Our politicians may be lickspittle hypocrites, but our general staff haven't forgotten that winning really is the point.
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6 years ago  ::  Jun 14, 2008 - 2:48AM #75
Karma_yeshe_dorje
Posts: 11,694
John_T_Mainer:

[QUOTE]TOE[/QUOTE]

This bulletin board is international. Your acronym is meaningless here. I live in the ACT: do you know what [COLOR="Red"]that[/COLOR] means in Australia?
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6 years ago  ::  Jun 14, 2008 - 10:29AM #76
John_T_Mainer
Posts: 1,658
Of course I do.  I spent three months in Australia with my wife getting to know her family.  Still your point is valid.
TOE; Table of Organization and Equipment.
Basically it tells you what you have, and how it is grouped.  Canada's TOE doesn't have any gunships, and yet gunships are a part of our tactical doctrine in Afghanistan.  They are so because Canada is operating its battlegroup there as part of a Mulitnational force whose contributors like the UK and the US have better combat air support than we do, so our attacks use our own artillery and armour, but helo and tac air comes from our better equipped allies.

Having Canada sign that treaty is a no cost joke; we always used them, but somebody else was dropping them anyway.  Its a bit like a landlocked nation signing a treaty against nuclear submarines; of course the Czech republic could sign it, they don't have a navy!
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6 years ago  ::  Jun 14, 2008 - 11:20PM #77
Karma_yeshe_dorje
Posts: 11,694
To what extent does militarising the Persian Gulf require international cooperation?



~Wikipedia~
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6 years ago  ::  Jun 15, 2008 - 6:22AM #78
CharikIeia
Posts: 8,303
[QUOTE=rangerken;559184]There is a very obvious disconnect here between those who understand what war actually is, due to personal experience, and those who view it only vicariously and/or intellectually.


Well, to me the issue does not look like an issue of warfare at all, but about the degree to which a society is able to implement the wishes and convictions of its members.

One very large difference is that for the most part, and overwhelming part, those of us who have actually fought hate war much more than those who have not. I remind all that the decision to go into Iraq, for example was N O T made by people who had personally fought themselves. BUT, the actual doing of it had to be led by those who had fought before since they had to command.


I think this type of reasoning is extremely shortsighted and not logically viable. In a nutshell, it means "wage war on a regular basis such that you can get guys in office who can avoid the Iraq war" -- ridiculous stance! And not even working out, as American action illustrates over and over and over again. END it, simply! Give reason a chance! Just trust the collective need to survive on this planet, and sign that treaty, guys!

My mindset is heavily based on two sets of experiences. The first,and most important, is the memory of writing letters to the next of kin of soldiers who were killed in action while serving under my command. The second is based on my knowledge of history which teaches anyone who has any intelligence that the best, and actually only way to NOT have to fight is to be prepared to fight.


What is so special about that? It is living up to the decisions you made, eat the soup you prepared for yourself. It IS difficult, and I have a lot of respect for you fulfilling that duty. But duty is duty, as we Prussians say, and schnaps is schnaps -- duty has nothing to do with deliberate action. Deliberation, freedom, liberty enters the game when you think about what you really want this world to look like. A place where cluster bomb producers get fat and happy? Not my desire.

And yes, I am always dismissive of and disrespectful toward pacifists. I consider them to be moral cowards because the only way they can ever prevail is if their opposition lacks the will and/or ability to use violence against them. The best example of this is Ghandi. He knew that the British of 1946 would not do what the British of 1846 would have done and killed as many as necessary.


No need to downplay Gandhiji. I agree with you that it was British cultural advancedness, refinement, the people getting aware of the despicable dirt and blood on their boots and sleeves, and DECIDING AGAINST all that, which made the struggle of Gandhi successful. All the better for both India and Britain. And good to have seen that civilised conflict resolution has had a chance, and the issue did not fully degrade into slaughter.

Ghandi also knew that passive resistance would never have worked against the Nazis or Japanese...and of course it did not work against he Soviets...only preparedness worked.


Whatever.

It was mentioned that in 1991 we buried Iraqis in their bunkers. Yes, we did. More to the point the unit I commanded did a bit of that. If they had surrendered we would not have. But since they did not, and I had no intention of sending my infantry into their holes, bunkers and caves, we did the best thing and simply entombed them and left them which cost me ZERO casualties! In other words, by killing the enemy while he could not kill us I didn't have to write any of those letters.


I see the psychotherapeutical value of you telling us that, Ken, and appreciate the openness -- but what does it have to do with a cluster bomb ban?

I wonder if some people are even capable of understanding this. My soldiers had families. Those families expected me, and those like me, to do our best for their sons, and in many cases daughters. And THAT responsibility I am very glad to say I fulfilled so that whereas I do have on my conscience those I lost, none are there because I ever valued anyone's lives more than those of my soldiers.


That is why in the circles of the cluster bomb producers, they think more and more actively about replacing you soldiers with better instruments, fight robots, machines. I do not see how you can support these people, as they most clearly could not care less about you, your soldiers, and their families. Stop supporting them! Stop giving them a cheap, emotional excuse to earn their blood money!

And if any of you have loved ones serving you had better hope they have a commanding officer with my mindset, just as my wife and I pray that our son has one like that. And so far, thank God, he has! To those who cannot comprehend all I can say is that I do not care. I care about those who do comprehend. :Part o that is because those who do not, and who fear fighting when it is the answer...and sometimes it is...are not worth worrying about because they will never pose a threat.


It is not about fearing fighting, it is about avoiding the loss of human lives.

And yes, that is meant to be both dismissive and pejorative...and if that shoe fits, enjoy wearing it. Ken[/QUOTE]
Was that last sentence necessary? It subtracts from your stance...

tl;dr
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6 years ago  ::  Jun 15, 2008 - 6:44AM #79
CharikIeia
Posts: 8,303
[QUOTE=John_T_Mainer;557763]When was the last time you had to dig up a grave filled with old men, women, and children that got executed because some civilian ordered your Regiment to withdraw from a village you disarmed in return for a promise of UN protection?

After that it is a little harder to justify not fighting, ...


STOP -- I do not think this thread is about "justifying not fighting", it is about whether a government should sign the cluster bomb ban treaty, right? So, let's see the relevance of the rest...

... it is really hard to say its not your job to kill the people who are openly planning on such slaughter, and underneath your guns smirking about it.  Without a word of a lie, the only two regrets I have are the comrades I lost, and the people I didn't kill in time. No, I don't take fantasy seriously.  I don't think Ken will either. To you this is theory, this is a thought experiment, this is an intellectual and philisophical discussion.


When was Canada invaded, raped and pillaged for the last time?
Your "experience" is one of waging war in somebody else's lands.
Europe has enough of it all, and I hope is smarter than to believe in the illusion of "military solutions".
But as I said, cluster bomb banning and giving civilians a say on these issues is not really what you want to discuss here, or?

To us it is real villages, real bodies, real suffering.  We have seen the results of both your theory, and our own, we have made hard calls, and seen the results.  We do not have the luxury of pretending that there are perfect solutions or that everyone can just get along; we certainly don't have any illusions left about any politicians integrety.  To us, "the people", "the soldiers", "the victims", are not buzzwords, they are names, faces, memories.  So no, we cannot take your position seriously, because you have no idea what we have seen and done, and your theories do not match the realities we have had to deal with.


Do you think rape victims should decide about how to treat brothel legislation?
Your argument of "direct experience" seems to suggest so.

Fact trumps theory every time.  Reality trumps ought to be everytime.  What I have seen trumps what you beleive every time.  So again, no, I don't think I'm going to take any of the arguements (or slanders) all that seriously until and unless you say something that has some basis in observable reality in the warzones you love to rhapsodize about.[/QUOTE]
What a philosopher we have here :)
Reality is that cluster bombs, next to land mines, cause many innocent casualties.
Why not address that fact, for once?

Not your interest, it seems. Canada is okay, so don't care about Lebanese, Israelis or whoever may be the other guys who drop them or suffer from their dropping. I call this irresponsible. We ought to disempower the producers of the tools of misery. Why do you deny your support for that struggle, John?

tl;dr
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6 years ago  ::  Jun 15, 2008 - 8:22AM #80
SherriMunnerlyn
Posts: 7,492
It is the substantial prolonged risk to civilians that is the reason that cluster bombs should be completely banned everywhere. In reality, they are used specifically to hurt civilians and this is an impermissable purpose for weapons use. That is exactly what happened in the 2006 Israel war against Lebanon. After a ceasefire had been agreed upon, Israel proceeded to drop millions of cluster bombs all over southern Lebanon, around towns and villages where civilians live, in fields where civilians grow tobacco, in back yards where children play. Israel had warned civilians to leave their villages and homes durung the war, and they wanted to make the homes of about a million residents of southern Lebanon, Shiite Muslims and Christians, uninhabitable. They did not want them to return to their homes in southern Lebanon. They already had carpet bombed the villages, destroying the infrastructure, schools, hospitals, homes, and businesses.

Intentionally inflicting harm on civilian populations is not permissable under the Geneva Convention. The use of  the cluster bombs by Israel had no purpose except to hurt civilians. Cluster bombs have killed many innocent civilians since the war ended, children playing in their back yards and people just moving around in their communities.

The US refusal to ban cluster bombs is based upon protecting US arms makers profits and/or love for war and embracing of war as an acceptable practice. With war and threat of war, we maintain power over the rest of the world we do not want to let go of. I am not happy about that  or proud of that, as a US citizen. Actually, I am ashamed of our barbaric uncivilized war practices. The fate of "their children" means absolutely nothing to the US government. With our position on cluster bombs, we again  embrace and accept barbaric uncivilized practices.

On the issue of human rights, another area the US has an uncivilized and barbaric position is with respect to capital punishment. I just listened to my state's Attorney General make a speech, and speak of all the prayers he had entered into over the troubling issues he has dealt with. He is worried about people barbecuing dogs, and not tough enough laws against those who hurt animals. At the same time, we have a couple of dozen men waiting to be executed and they are worried about the combination of drugs to use to kill them with. The only reason they care about that is the US Supreme Court says you have to use the drugs the right way or the executions are cruel and unusual punishment and unconstitutional and stays are granted. So, I asked a question, what about the possibility of abolishing capital punishment like the EU and the rest of the civilized world do? The answer I received is that was not a possibility because the people strongly support it. Living in a state that does not know what the word referendum even means, I wonder how anyone can make a statement expressing that clear a view about  the present opinion of the people in the state. I also wonder about prayer and the practice of praying how best to kill people. There is just such a disconnect in my mind between these two concepts, that I cannot even comprehend it. Maybe, that explains a person having troubling issues in praying about such matters.   There is someting seriously wrong with a society that cares more about animals than human life (even the lives of Americans and American children-we executed kids up until 2005), that does in fact characterize many people in parts of the US. What causes this attitude, this lack of humanity, that many people have-often Southern American Christians?

Sherri
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