Meta-Blog

SEARCH QandO

Email:
Jon Henke
Bruce "McQ" McQuain
Dale Franks
Bryan Pick
Billy Hollis
Lance Paddock
MichaelW

BLOGROLL QandO

 
 
Recent Posts
The Ayers Resurrection Tour
Special Friends Get Special Breaks
One Hour
The Hope and Change Express - stalled in the slow lane
Michael Steele New RNC Chairman
Things that make you go "hmmmm"...
Oh yeah, that "rule of law" thing ...
Putting Dollar Signs in Front Of The AGW Hoax
Moving toward a 60 vote majority?
Do As I Say ....
 
 
QandO Newsroom

Newsroom Home Page

US News

US National News
Politics
Business
Science
Technology
Health
Entertainment
Sports
Opinion/Editorial

International News

Top World New
Iraq News
Mideast Conflict

Blogging

Blogpulse Daily Highlights
Daypop Top 40 Links

Regional

Regional News

Publications

News Publications

 
Meanwhile, in the other "Quagmire"
Posted by: McQ on Monday, May 14, 2007

Life goes on as expected:
A court sentenced two human rights lawyers Friday, bringing to five the number of activists convicted this week in Vietnam's latest crackdown on dissent.

Nguyen Van Dai was sentenced to five years and Le Thi Cong Nhan to four years for advocating a multiparty state in Vietnam, where the ruling communist party does not tolerate challenges to its rule.
His crime?
Prosecutors said Dai, 38, and Nhan, 28, had violated article 88 of Vietnam's criminal code, which broadly prohibits spreading propaganda against the government.

Prosecutors said Dai and Nhan had collaborated with overseas pro-democracy advocates and used the Internet to advance their views.

They also accused the defendants of working with Thadeus Nguyen Van Ly, a dissident Catholic priest who was sentenced to eight years in prison in March. Ly was convicted of organizing an independent political group called the Vietnam Progression Party and Bloc 8406, a pro-democracy group that circulated petitions calling for a multiparty state.
Pretty horrible, huh? But, as those who like to tell us how wonderful the new worker's paradise of Vietnam is, this isn't anything to worry yourself over. Oppression? Bah. Nothing as bad as our involvement and the attempt to keep at least a portion of the country free.
Before their March 6 arrests, Dai and Nhan provided human rights training to Vietnamese students. Dai also represented ethnic minorities who were members of Protestant faiths.

The Ho Chi Minh City People's Court convicted three other dissidents on similar charges Thursday. Le Nguyen Sang was sentenced to five years in prison, Nguyen Bac Truyen to four years, and Huynh Nguyen Dao to three years.
Yes, as is obvious, our abandonment of this former ally has worked out quite well, hasn't it? And, today, it seems the Democratic formula is to add updated rhetoric, shake and repeat in Iraq.
 
TrackBacks
Return to Main Blog Page
 
 

Previous Comments to this Post 

Comments
Well, you know Kerry called Vietnam "Richard Nixon’s war" so I don’t think they lose much sleep over these things.
 
Written By: Harun
URL: http://
Sounds just like Bush’s America.

 
Written By: Grimshaw
URL: http://
ROTFLOL! You can find cases like that across the third world, and yet you want to insinuate that the pointless war we got involved in that killed over 50,000 Americans and a million Vietnamese, and set up Communist victories in Cambodia and Laos with all the suffering they entail, somehow should have been continued (with no guarantee of success) because of THAT! It’s almost comical the lengths some people go to avoid admitting error. Face it, Vietnam was a complete mistake, Kennedy and Johnson were two of the worst Presidents we had for getting the US into that mess, driven by the kind of thought that was intellectual predecessor of neo-conservatism.

Harun — you are right about Kerry — it was not Nixon’s war, Nixon inherited it from LBJ and yielded to realism over misplaced idealism. It was Kennedy and Johnson’s war — I don’t think Ike would have gotten more involved. Maybe Nixon should have been elected in 1960 after all — would he have been wise enough to avoid that fiasco?
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
And, today, it seems the Democratic formula is to add updated rhetoric, shake and repeat in Iraq.
And of course now as then the Dems in congress are ably assisted in this endeavor by their cohorts in the press.

Reading this about the oppression that today’s Vietnamese people suffer made me just want someone to dig up and pummel Cronkite’s corpse to pieces. Then I recalled of course that he’s not quite dead yet. But still.
 
Written By: Linda Morgan
URL: http://
ROTFLOL! You can find cases like that across the third world, and yet you want to insinuate that the pointless war we got involved in that killed over 50,000 Americans and a million Vietnamese, and set up Communist victories in Cambodia and Laos with all the suffering they entail, somehow should have been continued (with no guarantee of success) because of THAT!
You are an honorless scut. Sod off.
 
Written By: Mark A. Flacy
URL: http://

Reading this about the oppression that today’s Vietnamese people suffer made me just want someone to dig up and pummel Cronkite’s corpse to pieces. Then I recalled of course that he’s not quite dead yet. But still.
You should pummel the pieces of JFK and especially LBJ, they got the US into a pointless quagmire that increased the suffering for countless millions, including a million dead Vietnamese. For nothing. Add to that how our intervention played a large role in creating conditions ripe for the Khmer Rouge and the communist take over in Laso, and you have a text book case on why major power intervention into third world conflicts is so dangerous. (The Soviets in Afghanistan wrote another chapter, and we’re now adding to the list of case studies on this issue).

Unfortunately we didn’t learn from the hubris of the 60s and another Texan rancher is leading down a similar path.

And as for Mark’s gratuitious and meaningless insult — I guess if you can’t counter someone’s argument with evidence and logic, insults are all you got.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
Scott, the more you hold on to your lies about Vietnam, the more reality slips through your fingers.
I guess if you can’t counter someone’s argument with evidence and logic, insults are all you got.
Scott, on the topic of Vietnam at least, you have never brought evidence or logic to the table. By 1972, South Vietnam was able to stably fend off the North Vietnamese, had no militarily effective indigenous insurgency, and could with minimal American support have remained a prosperous and non-communist country, one able to enter the free world with it’s head held high, as once authoritarian but now quite democratic Taiwan does now.

The views of such fools as you condemned them to reality outline in McQ’s post above.

If you have countervailing logic or evidence, or even new rhetoric, please roll it out to refute me.

Up Yours, Tom Perkins, molon labe, montani semper liberi, & para fides paternae patria
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://
"as once authoritarian but now quite democratic Taiwan does now"

I think S. Korea is a much better comparison.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
Scott, on the topic of Vietnam at least, you have never brought evidence or logic to the table. By 1972, South Vietnam was able to stably fend off the North Vietnamese, had no militarily effective indigenous insurgency, and could with minimal American support have remained a prosperous and non-communist country, one able to enter the free world with it’s head held high, as once authoritarian but now quite democratic Taiwan does now.
Sometimes a fantasy, is all you need...

Sorry, I’ve investigated this, read "your" side’s arguments, read the conventional arguments, had Vietnam vets come to my class and talk about their experiences and thoughts, and your thinking represents not only a small minority, but a position built less on solid evidence than wishful thinking. I think what you have is something called denial, and it happens with the Iraq war too.

One thing that gives away denial is that rather than just accepting differences of opinion as legit, those who deny reality have to get angry at and ridicule those whose opinions challenge theirs. It helps defend against having to confront hard to accept troops. The same for people who will argue only that tactical errors occurred (bad military planning, bad decisions, poor political leadership, etc.) rather than questioning the goals. There’s a lot of work done on this in psych and foreign policy decision making.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
against having to confront hard to accept troops.

Clearly, the word should be truths.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
Sometimes a fantasy, is all you need...
Good for you, it’s all you have.
I’ve investigated this, read "your" side’s arguments, read the conventional arguments, had Vietnam vets come to my class and talk about their experiences and thoughts, and your thinking represents not only a small minority, but a position built less on solid evidence than wishful thinking
PROVE IT! Bring it. Where is the evidence that had we maintained support at 1972 levels after 1975, that by now South Vietnam would have fallen anyway.
One thing that gives away denial is that rather than just accepting differences of opinion as legit, those who deny reality have to get angry at and ridicule those whose opinions challenge theirs.
Differences of opinion can be legitimate, Erb, both in theory and in given examples—but just being different does not make it so.

The frustrating thing is that there is no evidence to support your proposition, and you do not address the examples presented to you. That is the origin of the anger you may have faced, and what condemns your argument in this case to illegitimacy.
It helps defend against having to confront hard to accept troops.
While I assume you meant facts instead of troops, here are some facts.

- The Viet Cong destroyed themselves during Tet. They did not recover.

- After adopting only minimally effective COIN tactics, the countryside was stable enough to "Vietnamize" the war, and most US ground forces withdrew without the NVC or VC taking territory.

- With only minimal US support, S.V. repulsed the 1972 invasions from N.V. There is no evidence you have offered to show this could not have been repeated indefinitely.

- The South fell only in 1975, after we had royally fvcked up and fvcked them over by listening to people like you Erb.

Your sort got 58,000 American killed for no good enough reason, your sort. If your sort had been ignored, about the same number of Americans would have been killed but it would have been a won war.

If we had stayed, a free South Vietnam would stand in appreciation. The Khmer Rhouge would never have happened.

The fall of the Soviet Union might have been in the early ’80s—the Vietnam war loss your sort provoked was a huge boost for them.

With every one of your posts where you provide no evidence for your opinions, you show you are someone best used a bad example.
The same for people who will argue only that tactical errors occurred (bad military planning, bad decisions, poor political leadership, etc.) rather than questioning the goals.
There were many tactical mistakes made, but no real blunder was made until 1974, when the Congress cut off the South. Every mistake made to that point had been corrected.

That one was the enduring screw up.
here’s a lot of work done on this in psych and foreign policy decision making.
Sure. Bury your head in psychobabble and avoid dealing with reality.

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, & pfpp
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://
"One thing that gives away denial is that rather than just accepting differences of opinion as legit..."
Evidence of denial is the failure to acknowledge someone else’s different opinion is legitimate? What if it isn’t legitimate? You make no sense.

 
Written By: Grimshaw
URL: http://
Your sort got 58,000 American killed for no good enough reason, your sort.
You quote a lot of assertions without support, and I’ve read very different analyses. So frankly, I’m not impressed.

But my sort doesn’t get 58,000 killed for no good reason. My sort would never have been there. It was an immoral war, the deaths were not only for no good person, but did perverse damage to the country. It’s the fault primarily of the "best and brightest" of the Kennedy and Johnson administrations who believed that military power could be easily extended. It was a fiasco, and so is the current case in Iraq.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
First off, my hat is off to Erb for his brave stance against the war in Vietnam and Iraq. It takes a brave contratrian to make that connection, and I am shocked and astounded by Erb’s bravery, innovation and intellectual honesty.

But it also appears that Erb supports the genocides and re-education camps after the US abandoned South Vietnam? And the totalitarian regime which still enslaves the Vietnamese people? At least he is honest...for a neo-communist.
 
Written By: Tex
URL: http://
With only minimal US support, S.V. repulsed the 1972 invasions from N.V. There is no evidence you have offered to show this could not have been repeated indefinitely.
1975 had seen the fall of Laos and Cambodia - the communists were in good general morale. 1975 N. Vietnam was the recipient of a lot of Soviet Military assistance (in part due to balancing Chinese ditente with Nixon) - the communists were better equipped than in 1972. By 1975 S. Vietnam had been undertaking a decade of defensive military action for no discernable result - their morale was not the best. The Americans had left and made it clear they were not coming back in force - the success of the 1972 defence would have been partially attributable to preceding American action in 70-72 for which there was no corrosponding in 73-75.

Scott Erb has some validity in his historical assertions, but draws the wrong conclusions:
It was an immoral war, the deaths were not only for no good person, but did perverse damage to the country.
Morals do not enter into the equation, coming or going. If they do then Tex is fine to assert Erb supports genocide, thought controls and prison labour slavery, if trying to stop these things is immoral.
It’s the fault primarily of the "best and brightest" of the Kennedy and Johnson administrations who believed that military power could be easily extended.
In reality it was a failure of the administrations in believing military power (the communists military power, that is) could be so easily contained. They fought a limited campaign of minimalised aggression, that failed.

Scott Erbs final conclusion takes a bit of a beating. He uses the successful Soviet takeover of Vietnam by military force as support for a theory that it is impossible to enforce cultural change on a population using military force. This totally illogical argument now is used to suggest that the USA will never be able to forcefully impose cultural change in Iraq.
 
Written By: unaha-closp
URL: http://warisforwinning.blogspot.com/
Tom, you accuse me of not giving evidence, but look at what you post:

- The Viet Cong destroyed themselves during Tet. They did not recover.


They were still there, rebuilding, still having connections. Why do you think they were totally destroyed and weren’t recovering?

- After adopting only minimally effective COIN tactics, the countryside was stable enough to "Vietnamize" the war, and most US ground forces withdrew without the NVC or VC taking territory.


As peace negotiations continued and the North worked on their new approach with

- With only minimal US support, S.V. repulsed the 1972 invasions from N.V. There is no evidence you have offered to show this could not have been repeated indefinitely.


You certainly can’t assume that three years wouldn’t have made a huge difference. But sure if the US remained involved and helped they could have put it off. But, of course, that would have been contrary to US interests, and politically impossible (and one has to take into account political realities for making policy in a democracy in doing such thinking).

- The South fell only in 1975, after we had royally fvcked up and fvcked them over by listening to people like you Erb.


Again, I wouldn’t have been in favor of fighting that war — and not fighting it would have saved lots of lives!


If we had stayed, a free South Vietnam would stand in appreciation. The Khmer Rhouge would never have happened.


Wishful thinking on your part — our actions gave rise to the conditions that caused the Khmer Rouge — our bombing in support of Lon Nol generated intense popularity for them.

But the point is this: You can find counter-historical revisionist analysis that supposedly proves your point, I can find numerous analyses that refute it. We could post those, but it’s all alternate history, unprovable and uncertain.

And if we hadn’t made the stupid decision to escalate (especially since it’s pretty clear that the Gulf of Tonkin attacks didn’t happen) I think there is a lot of cause to believe that there would be a lot fewer dead people there and here, almost certainly no Khmer Rouge, and communism would have ended in any event.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
Morals do not enter into the equation, coming or going. If they do then Tex is fine to assert Erb supports genocide, thought controls and prison labour slavery, if trying to stop these things is immoral.
Tex is absurd in thinking that not wanting to go back to Vietnam suggests support of genocide. Since US involvement led up to Khmer Rouge popularity, it would be just as valid to say that support for the decision to go to war in Vietnam is the same as support of genocide.
Scott Erbs final conclusion takes a bit of a beating. He uses the successful Soviet takeover of Vietnam by military force as support for a theory that it is impossible to enforce cultural change on a population using military force. This totally illogical argument now is used to suggest that the USA will never be able to forcefully impose cultural change in Iraq.
The Soviets never took over Vietnam, Ho was primarily a nationalist communist, the Soviets didn’t invade and conquer. Also, the history of communism proves that you can’t change culture by force. They wanted to create perfect communist societies and failed. Alas, force can destroy existing cultural structures, as happened in Cambodia (and much of Africia through colonization). So communism is a prime example of how culture cannot be changed through force — existing structures can be destroyed, however, and that seems to be happening in Iraq.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
About Cambodia — check out this story.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
Ho was not Soviet, Maliki is not an American, Generalissimo Franco was not German.

All that the history of communism proves is that it has not yet been possible to create a "perfect communist state", failure in this regard by Vietnam is surely not surprising. It is however possible to see a few cultural similarities between say Cuba, Vietnam and Belarus - a large internal police force for suppression of dissent, a dislike of the personally successful and a pride in the national achievements. These seem consistent over such a wide range different preceding cultures, that I suggest they were cultivated by the communists. And in each case the communists used force to impose their rule.


PS - in destroying something, is it not changed?
 
Written By: unaha-closp
URL: http://warisforwinning.blogspot.com/
Ho was not Soviet, Maliki is not an American, Generalissimo Franco was not German.


Maliki has relied on American power to set up his government, protect it, essentially form its institutions and structure, and build an army. None of that was done for Ho by the Soviets. The Soviets were glad to help out since they knew it was a small price for them to pay in order to cost the Americans a large price (the kind of thing Kennan predicted long before when he argued against a containment that was universal).

I did not say force couldn’t change a political culture, it can’t shape the political culture. It can not suddenly take a country like Iraq and make it one that can sustain a stable western style democracy. Force can destroy the existing system (though cultural residuals will remain) and I’ll even accept that with good knowledge of that society force can yield positive changes working slowly and in line with the existing political culture. The neo-conservatives (much like the ’best and the brightest’ of the early 60s) seemed to be working from a theory of human nature which said that liberal democracy of the western sort would be the natural choice once the bad guys are gone, and the US could use its force to allow it to happen. I consider that a very naive and ahistorical view on politics.

Edmund Burke saw it in 1790 after the French revolution. The effort to try to use "reason" to create the "just" society was doomed. Doomed not because of ill intent, but because the traditions and shared cultural norms of French history would, if destroyed, lead to chaos.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
Maliki has relied on American power to set up his government, protect it, essentially form its institutions and structure, and build an army. None of that was done for Ho by the Soviets.
Pretty sure that the Soviets were threatening to do possibly global nuclear war if the South were to enter into a direct territorial conflict with the North. Those Kalashnikovs and MiGs and RPGs were not pulled out of thin air. So perhaps it would be better to say that aside from arming them to the teeth and threatening to nuke anyone who attacked them, the Soviets provided no protection for N. Vietnam?

Then there was the training of the N. Vietnamese airforce personnel. Which is obviously not the "army" and thus you are technically correct that the Soviets absolutely did not "build an army" - just an airforce (which some people might say is somewhat related).
I’ll even accept that with good knowledge of that society force can yield positive changes working slowly and in line with the existing political culture.
Which is pretty much ’Rights’ preferred position wrt Iraq and democracy and staying indefinitely. Like in Taiwan, Germany, Japan, and S. Korea.
 
Written By: unaha-closp
URL: http://warisforwinning.blogspot.com/
Erb:
Also, the history of communism proves that you can’t change culture by force. [...] So communism is a prime example of how culture cannot be changed through force...
And then, his very next post:
I did not say force couldn’t change a political culture, it can’t shape the political culture.

Scott, a normal person engaged in conversation with others would be embarrassed and ashamed to be caught out in exagerations and misrepresentations and outright lies such as this one as often as you are. How is it that you, constantly preening and pretending to scholarship, care nothing whatsoever that others plainly see you, day in and day out, weaving and dodging with the truth, contradicting yourself and, again, telling outright unabashed lies whenever it suits you?
 
Written By: Linda Morgan
URL: http://
Scott, a normal person engaged in conversation with others would be embarrassed and ashamed to be caught out in exagerations and misrepresentations and outright lies such as this one as often as you are. How is it that you, constantly preening and pretending to scholarship, care nothing whatsoever that others plainly see you, day in and day out, weaving and dodging with the truth, contradicting yourself and, again, telling outright unabashed lies whenever it suits you?
Yikes, I did use the word change. I apologize profusely, clearly force can change culture, what I wrote was wrong. I was thinking in terms of shape to a particular result, like "we’ll use force to change the culture to be what we like." But I wrote change and hence suffer a flame.

Now, I’m sure you enjoyed your run of insults, Linda, but perhaps you might consider that in these give and takes on informal blogs it’s pretty normal that someone slip up and word things wrong. If I had known I had written change I certainly would not have denied it — I’d be smart enough to realize it’s right there on the page!

But since you are a good proof reader, you may want to go through my blogs and my on line lecture notes and find errors I made there. If so, I’ll correct them!
cheers, scott
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
Come on, Unaha — there is a vast difference between the level of US military involvement in Iraq and the training and weapons the Soviets gave the North. And the Soviets hardly had Ho under control, and certainly were not dictating how the government of the north would operate. They saw a cheap way of bleeding the US and hurting American prestige and relative power and took advantage of it.

As for going nuclear: in general there was an unwritten agreement since the Cuban missile crisis that the US and USSR would not allow a third world conflict to yield a nuclear war — it wouldn’t be worth it for either side.

I disagree with you about our capacity to change Iraq, or the countries you are comparing it too. The differences are immense. Iraq was shaped by the Ottoman era and a century of authoritarianism, division, and internal chaos. Germany had an advanced western culture and had tried democracy once. Japan had also tried democracy, and had developed a culture mimicking the west and especially Prussia/Germany. Both were advanced, and clearly in each case an insurgency and the kind of divisons that exist in Iraq didn’t arise, so they were quite different culturally.

Taiwan and South Korea lack the Islamic element, the different religious sects, and had a traditional culture that had strong elements of continunity (especially Taiwan and Chinese culture), unlike Iraq. Korea was colonized by Japan, but neither Taiwan nor Korea had the kind of experience that Iraq did with such factors. So I think you’re misreading this — and given the levels of corruption in Iraq, I think we’ll see things get much worse before they get better. It may take a generation or so.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
My point is that it comes down to the imposition and availability of force - offensive and protective. N. Vietnam had protective force by the nuke load and sufficient offensive force to win out. S. Vietnam had transient protective force from America that was substantial whilst it lasted, but had almost no offensive force. This is an unbalance.

This is why it is important for you to learn the military contribution the Soviets provided to N. Vietnam.

The conflict was between Communism and Capitalism in a traditionalist SE Asian country where neither were a natural tradition and Communism won. It won because its force of action outweighed Capitalism, not because it had some prior natural claim or was culturally rooted.
 
Written By: unaha-closp
URL: http://warisforwinning.blogspot.com/

The conflict was between Communism and Capitalism in a traditionalist SE Asian country where neither were a natural tradition and Communism won. It won because its force of action outweighed Capitalism, not because it had some prior natural claim or was culturally rooted.
Communism "won" in only the short term. Already Vietnam, like China, is redefining communism to include markets and trade. Communism was doomed to fail, it can’t work.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
Taiwan and South Korea lack the Islamic element, the different religious sects, and had a traditional culture that had strong elements of continunity (especially Taiwan and Chinese culture), unlike Iraq.
Yeah, that is all pretty true. I believe as stated it all comes down to force, but I believe it is only possible if force is applied to the whole culture. I do not think this will work in Iraq, because unlike the Vietnamese the Iraqis are not a seperable nationality that can be culturally pressured in isolation. They are Muslim which is a larger identity than merely Iraqi. Most of them are Arabs, again larger. And they are all ex-Ottomans, again larger. The pressure as applied works best in the Kurdish and Arab Shia (if it can be misaligned with Persian Shia) communities because they are without defined wider community able to protect their culture.
So I think you’re misreading this — and given the levels of corruption in Iraq, I think we’ll see things get much worse before they get better. It may take a generation or so.
I think Vietnam is a poor example to be used, as it was successful in changing the culture over a generation. I do not think Iraq will be a success because America is not using (or seemingly capable of using) N. Vietnamese type levels of force.
 
Written By: unaha-closp
URL: http://warisforwinning.blogspot.com/
[P]erhaps you might consider that in these give and takes on informal blogs it’s pretty normal that someone slip up and word things wrong. If I had known I had written change I certainly would not have denied it — I’d be smart enough to realize it’s right there on the page! - Erb
You make it sound as though keeping your words straight would be some sort of superhuman feat that really isn’t necessary to begin with. Waaay too much trouble – at least on “informal blogs” – and, dang it, who’s “smart enough to realize” what specific little words they throw out onto a page anyway!

On the one hand, you seem really to believe that words are essentially incidental to your meaning – or to your various purposes, I should say; they’re just so many grunts and groans you make as you struggle to position the degenerate products of your flaccid ideations in the most forgiving light. On the other hand, you fret so about fine shades of meaning that you’ll wantonly, pointlessly deny the plain fact of having used one word – repeatedly! - when you decide, obscurely, that you’d be better off if you’d used another.
I did not say force couldn’t change a political culture, it can’t shape the political culture.
Pathetic dishonest repugnant nonsense. Nothing "pretty normal" about it.
 
Written By: Linda Morgan
URL: http://
I do not think Iraq will be a success because America is not using (or seemingly capable of using) N. Vietnamese type levels of force.
I have to wonder if a colonial like use of force would really create long term success either. The British didn’t seem to be able to pull it off, though by that time they’re forces were spread thin throughout the world.

Two things two ponder: 1) the use of force always means death and destruction, and this can devastate families and have influences far beyond the battlefield and into the culture of society. The human cost of using force has to be considered; or as in just war theory’s notion of proportionality, the use of force cannot do more harm than the actions it is designed to counter. (Some misunderstand proportionality to think it means that the same level of force should be used — that isn’t true at all); and 2) given that democratic societies like the US will inevitably question a war that goes a long time with no apparent benefits, should something like the Iraq war ever be undertaken with the US the primary actor? My belief (as noted in my May 10th blog) is that such liberal interventionism cannot succeed because of its disconnect with domestic interests and traditional understandings of foreign policy. Only a commitment by the great powers to develop a coordinated system of intervening to stop genocides and atrocities with burden sharing and international legitimacy could possibly do the trick.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
You make it sound as though keeping your words straight would be some sort of superhuman feat that really isn’t necessary to begin with
No, I type fast and often make mistakes and don’t think through what I write. I’ll admit to it whenever it is pointed out. If you feel a need to use such a mistake to launch insults that reflects more on you than me. Insults are meaningless in this kind of forum — flamewars are so 1990s.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
— flamewars are so 1990s.
Yeah, well with all that lovely gasoline at just $.78 a gallon, who could resist?
 
Written By: Linda Morgan
URL: http://
Scott,

Britain did okay, India as a nation formed under Britain and that is a pretty massive success.

Both your points 1) & 2) relate to the same thing. Can a democratic country generate the will to heavily & longterm crush dissent without becoming something undemocratic?

Possibly not, the internal costs of a conflict are not willingly borne by those seeing little or no benefit and it becomes the acrimous debate that you engage in regularly now, only more so because to impose your culture requires higher costs than even this interventionist administration is willing to impose.

However a grand coalition as you suggest is unlikely, because the great powers compete between themselves and are naturally unwilling. And as the costs for just Iraq are too much for the USA to carry, the costs of such global ambitions will be too much for the world.
 
Written By: unaha-closp
URL: http://warisforwinning.blogspot.com/

However a grand coalition as you suggest is unlikely, because the great powers compete between themselves and are naturally unwilling. And as the costs for just Iraq are too much for the USA to carry, the costs of such global ambitions will be too much for the world.
I think the world has to be patient. There have been atrocities and violations of freedom throughout human history. We are still in what one day might be looked back as the bloody pre-history of humankind. Many have a glimpse of what might be or what should be, and are frustrated that this world isn’t moving in that direction. We want freedom for all, democracy, and human rights, and it becomes very tempting to think we can just use force to bring that world into existence. I suspect we’ll get there, on a zig zaggy course where improvements will be followed by backslides. But it will be generations, not years.

So to me the goal is to do what we can to make progress, avoiding things that might actually feed the flames and have a negative backlash (which I think most interventionism has). The world can’t create democracy or stop all dictatorships. Perhaps we can start working to build coalitions to try to more effectively promote human rights and react to clear atrocities/genocides more coherently. It’ll take time. But one thing I’ve become convinced of in studying world politics and history is that we can’t expect human history to suddenly shift course to embrace the ideals of Jefferson. And with rare exceptions, I think we do better to try to show the positive side by example than use military power to force change.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm

 
Add Your Comment
  NOTICE: While we don't wish to censor your thoughts, we do blacklist certain terms of profanity or obscenity. This is not to muzzle you, but to ensure that the blog remains work-safe for our readers. If you wish to use profanity, simply insert asterisks (*) where the vowels usually go. Your meaning will still be clear, but our readers will be able to view the blog without worrying that content monitoring will get them in trouble when reading it.
Comments for this entry are closed.
Name:
Email:
URL:
HTML Tools:
Bold Italic Blockquote Hyperlink
Comment:
   
 
Vicious Capitalism

Divider

Buy Dale's Book!
Slackernomics by Dale Franks

Divider

Divider