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View Diary: It's Not The DLC and I Can Prove It (318 comments)

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  •  Disagree (none)
    I don't buy into the original thesis that to be a progressive means that you are anti-Defense.

    But, in specific response to metal prophet:  yeah, the military can't prevent 9/11 attacks, except as a deterrence- see Afghanistan.  And, whether I get troll rated or attacked, I don't care- the US was right to go in there.

    Second, your assumption that China will not attack us is correct only in the sense that they aren't invading Hawaii any time soon.  But what about Taiwan, whom we are legally obligated to defend?  Or Japan, with whom China disputes ownership of several islands in the South China Sea (and, of course, those islands are sitting on natural gas- why are natural resources always in tinderboxes, couldn't God have placed the oil in Sweden and Switzerland?)

    There is a lot to be said for the idea that the Pentagon wastes money and buys the wrong things.  But, the world is a dangerous place, and we need our military.

    A flame rescued from dry wood has no weight in it's luminous flight yet lifts the heavy lid of night.

    by JakeC on Fri Apr 29, 2005 at 08:24:25 AM PDT

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    •  Both arguable cases (none)
      With Afghanistan, we had to do something, and certainly, taking out the Taliban was a good thing. And yet, at the same time, there's kind of no point to bombing a country with virtually no infrasturcture left, where the people have suffered over two decades of civil war. But, I'm not sure what other options we had there. I'm not 100% against using the military, but we should be selective.

      As for China, I think that they prefer the way things are now. I mean, they could invade Taiwan, but it would be at an enormous cost, not to mention the economic sanctions they'd face from the rest of the world. I suppose they could nuke Taiwan, but that almost surely would lead to nuclear retaliation against them and would turn the entire world against them. So, I think it's a strategic stalemate there.

      •  Taiwan (none)
        China has been building up it's forces in a way that strongly suggests an eventual move on Taiwan.  They have increased their ground to ground rockets, and have been buying and building a navy that could potentially be a threat to ours in a regional war (diesel subs), including transport capability.

        You are right- it would be a stupid economic thing to do.  You know who Germany's biggest trading partner was on September 1st, 1939- France.  

        The decision to start a war is almost always an irrational one, or at least one where economic concerns are trumped.

        And, what economic sanctions?- not like the Security Council could impose them, China has a veto (and, I believe the official French position is that they would no involve themselves in what they see as an internal matter).  So, Nato may not be involved either, leaving (primarily) the Anglo countries, and our Far East Allies, who are not exactly known for their standing militaries (except for S Korea, and they aren't likely to be diverting troops elsewhere in a war against China).  An irrational Chinese government could decide that it would be worth the short term pain of bad relations with those countries, for the long term gain of reunification.
        I'm not saying war with China is inevitable, but it's far from impossible.

        A flame rescued from dry wood has no weight in it's luminous flight yet lifts the heavy lid of night.

        by JakeC on Fri Apr 29, 2005 at 11:13:41 AM PDT

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        •  Some doubt about irrational governments (none)
          I don't think that China has a particularly irrational government. Violent and authoritarian, certainly, but not irrational or stupid. I can't imagine that any nation that has a significant trade relationship with Taiwan would be particularly happy if China were to invade or attack, and that would put a good deal of economic pressure on China. Really, the only way I could see them actually going to war with Taiwan would be if the Chinese government were losing their grip on power and war with Taiwan was the only way to rally popular support.
      •  Afghanistan (none)
        Why did we have to do something about Afghanistan? The Taliban itself wasn't a threat to the US. Al Quaeda was a threat, but they could have been attacked without a general campaign in Afghanistan.

        What's actually been accomplished by attacking Afghanistan? The top leaders of the organization that attacked the US on 9/11 are still at large. It doesn't require a large organization to mount a similar type of attack, just dozens or at most a hundred prime actors and supporters. That number of people and a lot of others could easily be hiding in Pakistan or the uncontrolled parts of Afghanistan, or just about anywhere else in the world.

        Those who do not learn from history are stupid. --darrelplant

        by darrelplant on Sat Apr 30, 2005 at 12:28:51 AM PDT

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