What makes a justified/morally correct war? Now discussing the 2003 US invasion of Iraq

Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by saturn5, Feb 12, 2010.

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  1. Darth_Yuthura Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 7, 2007
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    NO! Haven't you been reading the thread?! A blockade means bringing their industry to a halt indefinitely. You can't build suicide airplanes when you're being strangled for all the critical resources needed for your economy to function.

    So does that mean that we should just screw Iraq and start eradicating all of them to spare the lives of our soldiers over there? That's a much better solution than a drawn our invasion which steadily is killing our people. Using the A bombs and firebombing to kill civilians defies all the conventions of war I've ever known.
  2. saturn5 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 28, 2009
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    They were still at sea when the A-bomb ended the war at a stroke. Sometimes a wounded and cornered snake can be the most dangerous of all[/quote]Anthrax is something of an interesting subject because it goes into unconventional warfare. Remarkably, World War II involved almost no use of chemical or biological weapons, the reason being deterrence. Nobody wanted to use gas because once they did retaliation would have been imminent. The Japanese were particularly vulnerable to chemical warfare because of how they fought using cave networks. The Japanese Army strictly prohibited the use of gas against American troops because they knew how devastating a counterattack would have been. My feeling is that no Japanese leader would want to add themselves to the war crimes trial roster by conducting an anthrax raid. Not to mention, do Japanese submariners really want to spend months confined in their boats with pressurized tanks of anthrax on board? What if you get depth charged and your ship gets banged up a bit? [face_thinking] [/quote]

    Considering some of the things the Japs did get up to I don't think a few more war crimes would really matter to them? They were all for the high jump anyway. I think fear of retaliation was the real reason (also Hitler himself had been gassed during the great war and that might have been a factor?).
    As for the Jap submariners they were prepared to stage kamakazie missions, having some carefully packaged anthrax on board probably wouldn't matter too much to them


  3. saturn5 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 28, 2009
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  4. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2000
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    ...Could we seriously watch the use of the word 'Jap' in here? It's no different than any other ethnic slur; I don't see why people think it's okay; it's no different than 'slant-eyes' or 'gook'.

    As for a blockade, it would not have involved surface ships more than likely; it would have been a submarines affair. However, I don't see how starving Japanese civilians, which is what a blockade ultimately would have accomplished (the whole Japanese issue was dependency on imports, remember) to death is any more humane than nuclear weapons.




  5. Darth_Yuthura Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 7, 2007
    star 4
    That wasn't the reason; it was because they knew they were particularly vulnerable to chemical warfare. You know that if they dug underground tunnels, that any type of gas retaliation would end very badly for the Japanese. They didn't want to escalate that war to that level with that particular kind of weapon.

    'Fear of Japanese retaliation [to chemical weapon use] lessened because by the end of the war Japan's ability to deliver gas by air or long-range guns had all but disappeared. In 1944 Ultra revealed that the Japanese doubted their ability to retaliate against United States use of gas. 'Every precaution must be taken not to give the enemy cause for a pretext to use gas,' the commanders were warned. So fearful were the Japanese leaders that they planned to ignore isolated tactical use of gas in the home islands by the US forces because they feared escalation.'
  6. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    As for a blockade, it would not have involved surface ships more than likely; it would have been a submarines affair. However, I don't see how starving Japanese civilians, which is what a blockade ultimately would have accomplished (the whole Japanese issue was dependency on imports, remember) to death is any more humane than nuclear weapons.

    Any tactic as large as this would have required the use of surface ships though, as submarines wouldn't be able to detect airplanes or small, smuggling ships. Remember, the original proposal didn't revolve around a targeted blockade, but rather "surrounding the entire country of Japan in order to bring an end to WWII without force." That's why military blockades have the potential to escalate so quickly. The Allied powers would have had to control the surface sea, the air, and the underwater, and do it in a passive manner.

    I can see the logic behind targeted commerce raiding and similar tactics as part of a larger conflict, because it makes it that much more difficult for the opposing military to fight, and it forces the diversion of resources in order to protect the cargo ships themselves.

    However, that's completely different than trying to use force to cut off an entire country in an attempt to achieve military goals, especially when the proposal doesn't do anything to limit the resourcefulness or movement of the population inside of the country that's being blockaded.
  7. Darth_Yuthura Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 7, 2007
    star 4
    Okay I seemed to be under the misunderstanding that commerce raiding was a component of a blockade, but I see that it's not.

    What I had assumed was that American ships would patrol between Japan and any of its sources, where they would take out any supply ships they encounter. In addition to that, waging strikes against port cities on both sides. Thereby not being restricted to the shores of mainland Japan. With Mustangs and P-38's, the Americans could also take out airports and destroy Kamakazee planes on the ground.

    Of course this entire argument about tactics really doesn't matter, as the American people wouldn't have been content just to strangle Japan to death when we had the means to destroy the Japanese Empire.
  8. LtNOWIS Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 19, 2005
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    In theory, yes, eventually. In practice, we were already achieving this to a large degree with submarines and mines, and they were still building suicide weapons, making improvised fuel, and so forth. And of course, the 10,000 or so planes and thousands of suicide boats they had were fairly well protected from allied attacks. If they realized we weren't going to invade, they might have decided to expend some to target blockading vessels. So, even a complete halt in Japan's ability to build weapons would not alleviate Allied casualties.

    And they still controlled mainland industries in China and Korea; continued war there would result in the deaths of countless Chinese and Japanese soldiers, as well as continued suffering for civilians there.

    Finally, it's important to remember that the US was not the only enemy of Japan. The Soviets invaded the Kuril islands and Sakhalin; if the US blockaded the home islands, than the Soviet Union would simply proceed to invade Hokkaido as well, which would lead to further loss of life.

    So does that mean that we should just screw Iraq and start eradicating all of them to spare the lives of our soldiers over there? That's a much better solution than a drawn our invasion which steadily is killing our people. Using the A bombs and firebombing to kill civilians defies all the conventions of war I've ever known.
    [/quote]
    The goal of the Iraq war is to help the Republic of Iraq get on its feet, so that wouldn't make any sense.

    In World War II, the international community and the American people were ok with strategic bombing, which is why it made sense to do so. It also bears mentioning that most adolescents and adults were members of the Volunteer Fighting Corps, and were thus not really civilians.
  9. Alpha-Red Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 25, 2004
    star 5
    Well....there's also the fact that the Japanese committed war crimes early on in large part because they were certain that there would be no consequences, that they would win the war and that they would get away with what they did. Once the U.S. Marines were on Iwo Jima and Okinawa though, the idea that they would be hunted down like animals would probably make them think twice. At that point, you would only employ a WMD if you think it'll help you win.

    As for the blockade discussion, I still think it could have worked....as I said, naval mines were very effective in closing down Japanese ports. Japan didn't have any airlift capability to speak of, and even during the Cold War our C-130's would not have been able to supply Europe if the Soviets somehow got the upper hand in a Third Battle of the Atlantic. Would a blockade have cost more Japanese lives than the atom bomb? Maybe, maybe not. How obstinate was the military dictatorship? Yeah they wanted to keep fighting after the A-bombs, but there seems to be a psychological tendency to go into Battle of Britain mode in the face of shock-and-awe aerial bombardment, whereas facing a blockade and crippling shortage of food and supplies should convince most people that they had lost.
  10. saturn5 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 28, 2009
    star 4
    Well, Jap is just short for Japanese just as you would refer to Britons as Brits or Australians as Aussies? Gook is derived from the Korean term Han-Guk which just means Korean person.

    I guess it's in terms of the context. In 'Black Hawk Down' the American soldiers refer to the Pakistani soldiers as Pakis which would be construed as a racist term in Britain but it has no racist overtones when Americans use it, it's just short for Pakistani.

    As for the argument, the blockade of Japan would have resulted in 100,000s (perhaps millions?) of deaths from famine, continued deaths in the blockading forces (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Invasion_of_Japan the Imperial Navy could no longer fuel a fleet at sea but it could certainly fuel kamakazie aircraft, mini-subs and speedboats loaded with explosives not to mention losses of B29s and their escorts through anti-aircraft fire and mechanical breakdown)and in the occupied territories where Japan still had millions of soldiers.
  11. Darth_Yuthura Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 7, 2007
    star 4
    You can't know that. Remember that it was primarily because of the Japanese emperor that their surrender took place. Some have argued that factions within Japan attempted to stop the emperor's call for surrender, even after the A-bombs were dropped; but few consider whether he would have made that call it the situation became desperate enough. If it came between dying of starvation or surrender, I think he would have done what he could to save his people. If the US waged an invasion, then maybe this would not be so.
  12. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2000
    star 9


    Um, no. In the context of how it was used during WW2 it's an ethnic slur, not slang.



    Jap


    It wasn't derogatory-a hundred freaking years ago. It was considered so during WW2 and is considered so now. The two largest English-speaking nations and the originator of the English language clearly consider it a slur, as the article says.

  13. Darth_Yuthura Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 7, 2007
    star 4
    Yeah, Japanese don't mind... well I guess it wouldn't hurt to just spell it out completely.

    Since when had this become a debate on slang/cultural references?
  14. Fire_Ice_Death Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2001
    star 7
    I suppose when you're talking the morality of a war then that includes aspects of it like the racism or motivations behind it. And in WWII neither side was exactly uhm...non-racist by today's standards.
  15. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2000
    star 9

    Looking at the thread title...since when did this become a debate on WW2 strategy & tactics? :p


  16. shanerjedi Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 17, 2010
    star 4
    [face_laugh]

    Since Yahtura!

    And yes, "Japs" is a slur. Without question. It's no different than the N-word. It's history comes from a racial context. You can't separate the racial aspect out of it because it's creation was racist.

    Okay, back to the Trade Federation, Naboo, and blockades. :p
  17. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2000
    star 9
    Oh, yes, of course Shane.

    The Trade Federation might have actually been somewhat in the right there to dispute the taxes, given that they blazed alot of the hyperspace routes the Republic was trying to tax, and that apparently, said routes were outside the Republic itself.

    However, their further actions of a blockade of a member world of the Republic and eventual invasion were quite clearly beyond the scope of reasonable behaviour.... :p
  18. shanerjedi Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 17, 2010
    star 4
    Yes, but why didn't they just keep the blockade going? Since when does an actual invasion work? :p

    Seriously, I did a little research yesterday at the library.

    Apparently, the Imperial army had well over 2 million men in Manchuria and China. They also had prepared 10,000 suicide planes for strikes against allied ships.

    They had trained over 10 million civilian militia in basic combat techniques using firearms, bows, spears, and guerilla tactics.

    Now I know why a blockade alone was never given the consideration that continued air raids, invasion, or escalated firepower(atomic bombs)were.
  19. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2000
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    Hey hey now-be fair to the Neimoidians. If your boss was this sinister dude who shot lightning out of his fingers and casually ordered acts of genocide ("wipe them out...all of them") you'd probably do whatever he said too. :p
  20. Darth_Yuthura Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 7, 2007
    star 4
    Well I think that if the A bombs weren't available, then the only option was to bottle them up on their main Islands. The losses from an invasion would simply have been too catastrophic that it just seemed firebombings were the only acceptable option for wiping out every living thing on the ground.

    Continued air raids and escalated firepower were really the only options that would have been considered; invasion would have just been too costly.
  21. Alpha-Red Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 25, 2004
    star 5
    Maybe we should move the "blockade vs A-bomb" discussion to the military technology thread. At this point it just comes down to opinion, speculation, and how well-versed you are in military affairs. In any case I'd say the war fought by America against Japan was a just war, even if the means we ultimately used to end the conflict were a bit questionable.
  22. saturn5 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 28, 2009
    star 4
    Ok, we seem to have exhausted WW2 (although the Hitlery...sorry, I mean HISTORY Channel certainly hasn't) so let's move on to the First Gulf War.

    I'll say it again, the FIRST Gulf War, the 1990-91 liberation of Kuwait, not the 2003 liberation of Iraq (next is Afghanistan and then it).

    Kuwait far from a perfect society, the Emir a despot, women discriminated against at all levels of society, severe restrictions on the press etc.

    HOWEVER, I will pay $100 for anyone who can find me a Kuwaiti who would rather their country to have been the 13th province of Iraq. The liberation of Kuwait regarded as a godsend for the Kuwaiti people, the regime restored and partly reformed infinitely preferrable to living under Saddam Hussein.
    So moral yes. Justified, oh yeah, no other way to kick Saddam out and to have left him in place would have meant a barking nutcase with a penchant for invading his neighbours when he wasn't terrorising his own people and developing weapons of mass destruction in charge of maybe 1/4 of the worlds oils supply and on the borders of Saudi Arabia.
    (not that Saddam wasn't our boy during the Cold War and against that nasty Ayatolla Khomeni of course)
  23. Darth_Yuthura Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 7, 2007
    star 4
    Are we going in chronological order? If so, then shouldn't we cover Korea next?
  24. saturn5 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 28, 2009
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    We actually covered Korea on pages 1&2 of this thread, please chip in if you want
  25. Danaan Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 23, 2008
    star 4
    The First Gulf War is actually a perfect example of the UN Charter at work, working the way it was supposed to work. I.e. after WWII, the perception was that the crime (as framed in the Nuremberg trials) that the Germans had committed was that of violating the peace between nations (the Holocaust was actaully something that was attached later in the process). Thus, the UN Charter's first concern is to keep that peace between sovereign nations and it does so by outlawing wars of occupation and making it lawful for the Security Council to, as the ultimate tool, use military force to repel an intiator of aggression from the territory it occupies. That's exactly what happened in 1991. So it was clearly a legal war, carried out within the framework of international law (which the US would later flaunt in 2003).

    The problem with the original design of the Charter is, of course, that it takes no account of political conditions within nations, so as long as you just murder your own citizens, you can get away with democide, no problem. Indeed, intervening to stop it was originally the illegal act, as seen when the UN condemned the Vietnamese government for its military intervention into Cambodia, the military action that stopped the ongoing Killing Fields.

    The clash between the UN Charter and the UN Declaration of Human Rights - which takes a completely opposite, individual centred, perspective, thus became increasingly obvious. Interestingly enough, the last couple of decades have seen a significant shift in the international legal framework around this. First, there was the adoption of "humanitarian intervention" discourse, which legitimized UN action against states that were committing serious human rights abuse on ots own population, during the 90s - Somalia and Kosovo springs to mind. Second, the UN has recently adopted the position that states have a responsibility to protect their own citizens. If they do not, and even commit serious crimes against their own citizens, then they rescind their own sovereignity, giving the UN the right to intervene militarily to protect that same population. The creation of the ICC in Hague is a very interesting, and increasingly potent development on this path. It's legitimacy is, unfortunately, somewhat undermined by the fact that the US has refused to ratify it on, in my view, completely baseless grounds. But American politicians have always been very sensitive about issues of American sovereignity, so I'm not surprised.

    Anyway, the Gulf War can be seen as the first step in the above development, insofar as it was the first time since Korea that the Charter actually worked, but also since it made painfully clear that the Charter could not solve the issue of dictatorship in Iraq, and indeed, the despotism in Kuwait is, still, completely outside the framework of this law.
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