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War and the media





truespeed
I have been watching the news and every time a British Soldier gets killed in Afghanistan,it makes headline news,we get his name, his background,messages from his bereaved family and friends.

Does this personalizing of war affect the way modern (western) armies fight wars?

Do they approach battles differently from the way they would of in the past to keep down the number of casualties and does this stop/delay our armies actually getting on with the job of nullifying the enemy and bringing the war in Afghanistan to quicker conclusion?
deanhills
truespeed wrote:
I have been watching the news and every time a British Soldier gets killed in Afghanistan,it makes headline news,we get his name, his background,messages from his bereaved family and friends.

Does this personalizing of war affect the way modern (western) armies fight wars?

Do they approach battles differently from the way they would of in the past to keep down the number of casualties and does this stop/delay our armies actually getting on with the job of nullifying the enemy and bringing the war in Afghanistan to quicker conclusion?
I wonder whether this may have to do with the fact that in the past the number of deaths were so many, that to single out individuals must have been really difficult. Also, perhaps it was not as easy then to get hold of all the personal details so quickly. Media has much better means of assessing personal information than they had then.
wahyder
truespeed wrote:
I have been watching the news and every time a British Soldier gets killed in Afghanistan,it makes headline news,we get his name, his background,messages from his bereaved family and friends.

Does this personalizing of war affect the way modern (western) armies fight wars?

Do they approach battles differently from the way they would of in the past to keep down the number of casualties and does this stop/delay our armies actually getting on with the job of nullifying the enemy and bringing the war in Afghanistan to quicker conclusion?


what i thinkis that USA does'nt know their past they are the one who have used atom bomb on innocent japan.

they want their monopoly over the world!!!! FACT
Vrythramax
wahyder wrote:
what i thinkis that USA does'nt know their past they are the one who have used atom bomb on innocent japan.

they want their monopoly over the world!!!! FACT


I would love to see these "FACTS" you speak of. Facts can be proven, intentions are bit more difficult on the other hand.

I don't think the "personalization" of the war will have any effect on how it's fought, the stratagems of combat (war) are pretty clearly laid out, and have been for sometime. I do believe it could change the public's perception of the war in general. In the 1960's and 1970's war was first brought into the American household by network news and the results were devastating...to the troops. The public, in general but by no means all, were horrified by the pictures they were seeing everynight as they tried to eat dinner.

The immediate affect was that veterans returning home were met with anger, resentment, scorn, and in many cases outright hatred. All for doing what they were required to do by law. The public had never seen such horror and misery as is to happen in any armed conflict, and they blamed the troops instead of the government that sent them there in the first place.

I believe that this "personalization" of the war should not only continue, but it should be enhanced. MAKE it as horrifying as possible. MAKE people want to lose their lunch while trying to watch their nightly tv. MAKE the public so sick that they go to the one agency that can stop the madness. MAKE the public see that their sons, daughters, father's and mother's are fighting and dieing not because they think it's "way cool", but because the only people that can stop it sent them there.

The United States Government.
ocalhoun
Vrythramax wrote:

I believe that this "personalization" of the war should not only continue, but it should be enhanced. MAKE it as horrifying as possible. MAKE people want to lose their lunch while trying to watch their nightly tv. MAKE the public so sick that they go to the one agency that can stop the madness. MAKE the public see that their sons, daughters, father's and mother's are fighting and dieing not because they think it's "way cool", but because the only people that can stop it sent them there.


It also greatly increases public demand for an end to a war though, even if it was a needed one.

We loose in years the amount of troops that were lost on a daily basis in past wars, and people talk about how the price is too high...
Makes me wonder what would happen if we had to fight a real war, one where we didn't have obvious superiority.
deanhills
wahyder wrote:
truespeed wrote:
I have been watching the news and every time a British Soldier gets killed in Afghanistan,it makes headline news,we get his name, his background,messages from his bereaved family and friends.

Does this personalizing of war affect the way modern (western) armies fight wars?

Do they approach battles differently from the way they would of in the past to keep down the number of casualties and does this stop/delay our armies actually getting on with the job of nullifying the enemy and bringing the war in Afghanistan to quicker conclusion?


what i thinkis that USA does'nt know their past they are the one who have used atom bomb on innocent japan.

they want their monopoly over the world!!!! FACT

The bombing was horrible, nothing can condone this really awful awful act. However, the United States was not alone in this. Japan received ample warning before the US Government started the bombing as the bombing was not for the sake of destruction of Japan, but to get Japan to stop making war, to get World War II to end and to stop the killing of innocent people in the world as a whole and to get Japan to stop its share in the killing. It may be good to be reminded that Japan had at the time when it received the warning from the United States had quite a large contribution in killing of people, Pearl Harbour comes to mind as well as proven atrocities in mass killings in South East Asia and breaking a lot of rules of war with regard to ruthless treatment and killing of prisoners and innocent civilians. So there has to be some share of the blame with the Japan military. They had a choice in the matter. They chose to continue the war.
truespeed
Quote:
On D-Day alone, as many as 4,400 Allied troops died. Some 9,000 were wounded or missing. Total German casualties on the day are not known, but are estimated as being between 4,000 and 9,000 men. Thousands of French civilians also perished, mainly as a result of Allied bombing.


BBC : link

This was the battle that was the beginning of the end of the second world war,it could be argued that without it,the war would of continued for much longer,maybe even years.

Would a battle, if needed in Afghanistan,with a similar amount of predicted casualties (4'400 deaths) be allowed,even if they knew that such a battle would end the war?
Vrythramax
deanhills wrote:
... It may be good to be reminded that Japan had at the time when it received the warning from the United States had quite a large contribution in killing of people, Pearl Harbour comes to mind as well as proven atrocities in mass killings in South East Asia and breaking a lot of rules of war with regard to ruthless treatment and killing of prisoners. So there has to be some share of the blame with the Japan military. They had a choice in the matter. They chose to continue the war.


Agreed. But...(no I am not playing devil's advocate here) one should not be so quick to judge the attack on Pearl Harbor, from a military stadnpoint it was a job well done. I don't know of a single successful attack on an enemy target that was made with the enemy having foreknowledge of the attack...and we DID have warning, we didn't pay attention.

As for the use of nuclear weapons, I believe the first one was needed, but the second bombing took place a few days later AFTER we saw the extent of the damage caused by the first bombing. One could easily make a good argument (not me however) that the US was guilty of an atrocity by using the second bomb on a primarily civilian target.
deanhills
Vrythramax wrote:
deanhills wrote:
... It may be good to be reminded that Japan had at the time when it received the warning from the United States had quite a large contribution in killing of people, Pearl Harbour comes to mind as well as proven atrocities in mass killings in South East Asia and breaking a lot of rules of war with regard to ruthless treatment and killing of prisoners. So there has to be some share of the blame with the Japan military. They had a choice in the matter. They chose to continue the war.


Agreed. But...(no I am not playing devil's advocate here) one should not be so quick to judge the attack on Pearl Harbor, from a military stadnpoint it was a job well done. I don't know of a single successful attack on an enemy target that was made with the enemy having foreknowledge of the attack...and we DID have warning, we didn't pay attention.

As for the use of nuclear weapons, I believe the first one was needed, but the second bombing took place a few days later AFTER we saw the extent of the damage caused by the first bombing. One could easily make a good argument (not me however) that the US was guilty of an atrocity by using the second bomb on a primarily civilian target.
Right, but the Japanese military saw the same atrocities. Would the US have gone ahead with the second bombing if the Japanese had conceded defeat after the first nuclear bomb? With regard to Pearl Harbour, I believe that the Japanese deceived the US. They delayed their intentions to go with Hitler, right to the point of Pearl Harbour. Either that, or the US military intelligence of that time was seriously lacking, but I prefer to think that it had been major deception on the part of Japan in letting the world think they were neutral, whereas they had really been talking to Hitler for a long while before their act of war on the United States.
Vrythramax
deanhills wrote:
.. With regard to Pearl Harbour, I believe that the Japanese deceived the US. They delayed their intentions to go with Hitler, right to the point of Pearl Harbour. Either that, or the US military intelligence of that time was seriously lacking, but I prefer to think that it had been major deception on the part of Japan in letting the world think they were neutral, whereas they had really been talking to Hitler for a long while before their act of war on the United States.


I would deceive my enemy at every turn if I thought for one second it would give me a tactical advantage over them...ESPECIALLY if they were bigger and better equiped (sp?) than I am. I would outright lie, cheat and deceive in every imaginable way...I'd even lend you money to lure you into a trap.

When it's between 2 combatants..all's fair. When it spills over into the civilian sector and there is (creative euphemism here) "collateral damage"...then it becomes an atrocity.
deanhills
Vrythramax wrote:
deanhills wrote:
.. With regard to Pearl Harbour, I believe that the Japanese deceived the US. They delayed their intentions to go with Hitler, right to the point of Pearl Harbour. Either that, or the US military intelligence of that time was seriously lacking, but I prefer to think that it had been major deception on the part of Japan in letting the world think they were neutral, whereas they had really been talking to Hitler for a long while before their act of war on the United States.


I would deceive my enemy at every turn if I thought for one second it would give me a tactical advantage over them...ESPECIALLY if they were bigger and better equiped (sp?) than I am. I would outright lie, cheat and deceive in every imaginable way...I'd even lend you money to lure you into a trap.

When it's between 2 combatants..all's fair. When it spills over into the civilian sector and there is (creative euphemism here) "collateral damage"...then it becomes an atrocity.
Well, on this one we will have to disagree. Japan went to the lengths of having its Ambassador reassuring the US Government of its intentions to stay neutral a few days before the Sunday, that was an outright lie. If President Franklin Roosevelt would have thought that all was fair in war he may not have reacted as outraged as he had. Japan had lied to the United States and attacked a neutral country with full force.
Vrythramax
deanhills wrote:
Well, on this one we will have to disagree. Japan went to the lengths of having its Ambassador reassuring the US Government of its intentions to stay neutral a few days before the Sunday, that was an outright lie. If President Franklin Roosevelt would have thought that all was fair in war he may not have reacted as outraged as he had. Japan had lied to the United States and attacked a neutral country with full force.


No harm, no foul brother. We can't agree on everything...people would start to talk. Wink
ocalhoun
Vrythramax wrote:


As for the use of nuclear weapons, I believe the first one was needed, but the second bombing took place a few days later AFTER we saw the extent of the damage caused by the first bombing. One could easily make a good argument (not me however) that the US was guilty of an atrocity by using the second bomb on a primarily civilian target.

The rulers of Japan at the time didn't believe there could be more than one such bomb, and were still intent on 'staying the course' (we know how that is, right? ^.^) A second bomb convinced them that the US had a large supply of them, and induced surrender. (The funny thing is, that if they had continued the fight, they would have been correct in thinking the USA had no more nukes... There were only 3 made, and one was used for testing.)

Each nuke killed about 100,000 Japanese.
Before that happened, though, 8 Japanese cities (made mostly of wood and paper) were fire-bombed with napalm cluster-bombs. (Destroying wood and paper cities just as thoroughly as a nuke would.) The death count from that was over 800,000, but still didn't make Japan consider surrender. (Given the 'suicide is better than defeat' attitude they held at the time.)

There was also consideration given to the future of Japan. Several cities (including Tokyo) were deemed too culturally significant to destroy, and therefore were not firebombed or nuked.

It's also possible that the nukes had the net effect of saving lives on both sides. At the time, Japan had somewhere around a million civilians sharpening bamboo poles to prepare for the beach invasion. Without the bombs to force surrender, the invasion would have been long, and very bloody.

truespeed wrote:

Would a battle, if needed in Afghanistan,with a similar amount of predicted casualties (4'400 deaths) be allowed,even if they knew that such a battle would end the war?

That's the question I was wondering about...
deanhills
Vrythramax wrote:
deanhills wrote:
Well, on this one we will have to disagree. Japan went to the lengths of having its Ambassador reassuring the US Government of its intentions to stay neutral a few days before the Sunday, that was an outright lie. If President Franklin Roosevelt would have thought that all was fair in war he may not have reacted as outraged as he had. Japan had lied to the United States and attacked a neutral country with full force.


No harm, no foul brother. We can't agree on everything...people would start to talk. Wink
Right, what a relief .... Shocked Also kind'a boring .... Laughing Laughing

ocalhoun wrote:
The rulers of Japan at the time didn't believe there could be more than one such bomb, and were still intent on 'staying the course' (we know how that is, right? ^.^) A second bomb convinced them that the US had a large supply of them, and induced surrender. (The funny thing is, that if they had continued the fight, they would have been correct in thinking the USA had no more nukes... There were only 3 made, and one was used for testing.)

Each nuke killed about 100,000 Japanese.
Before that happened, though, 8 Japanese cities (made mostly of wood and paper) were fire-bombed with napalm cluster-bombs. (Destroying wood and paper cities just as thoroughly as a nuke would.) The death count from that was over 800,000, but still didn't make Japan consider surrender. (Given the 'suicide is better than defeat' attitude they held at the time.)

There was also consideration given to the future of Japan. Several cities (including Tokyo) were deemed too culturally significant to destroy, and therefore were not firebombed or nuked.

It's also possible that the nukes had the net effect of saving lives on both sides. At the time, Japan had somewhere around a million civilians sharpening bamboo poles to prepare for the beach invasion. Without the bombs to force surrender, the invasion would have been long, and very bloody.

truespeed wrote:

Would a battle, if needed in Afghanistan,with a similar amount of predicted casualties (4'400 deaths) be allowed,even if they knew that such a battle would end the war?

That's the question I was wondering about...
Very interesting information, thanks Ocalhoun. With regard to Truespeed's question, I can't imagine that it would ever be allowed, as all I can think is that it would then just ripple through, imagine Israel bombing like that left right and centre as well as all other countries who have capabilities.
truespeed
^^

I wasn't talking about us inflicting 4400 casualties, (I doubt the media would have a problem with that) i was talking about us receiving 4400 casualties.

Wars in the past were fought in the knowledge that to win,there would be a certain amount of casualties,whereas now,with every single death publicised,i wonder if we fight wars/battles differently.
ocalhoun
^I was too.
The sad thing is that this is the only way the terrorists can win. They hope that enough casualties, magnified by the media, will force the US and allies to basically surrender, and give them what they want.

The concern about killing the 'enemy' civilians though... that's mostly because the USA no longer goes to great lengths to dehumanize and demonize the enemy. The propaganda about the Japanese throughout the war was largely responsible for getting people not to care about burning their civilians by the 100,000's.
Vrythramax
truespeed wrote:
Wars in the past were fought in the knowledge that to win,there would be a certain amount of casualties,whereas now,with every single death publicised,i wonder if we fight wars/battles differently.


I'd say Yes, to a degree anyway. Now we use technology to it's maximum affect to create as much damage as possible in a localized area (more bang for the buck sort to speak), thus reducing collateral damage. We have also gotten much better with the tech we have at hand. If our forefathers knew how to construct a cluster bomb like we have today we would have been in serious trouble.

ocalhoun wrote:
^I was too.
The sad thing is that this is the only way the terrorists can win. They hope that enough casualties, magnified by the media, will force the US and allies to basically surrender, and give them what they want.


Terrorism not only works via maximum damage. Terrorism is at's it's finest (poor choice of words, but it fits) when the threat of violence creates terror, thus eliminating the time, effort, money, and personal required to carry out an attack. Usually this is gained by already showing a willingness to inflict horrendous casulties for no apparent reason.

ocalhoun wrote:
The concern about killing the 'enemy' civilians though... that's mostly because the USA no longer goes to great lengths to dehumanize and demonize the enemy. The propaganda about the Japanese throughout the war was largely responsible for getting people not to care about burning their civilians by the 100,000's.


I can't argue your logic here. In this sense we (The US) have gotten more "civilized" with our violence. We rarely show the damage our munitions cause on TV, but we do show quite a bit of what terrorists do in their attacks. I can't say as I disagree with the governments logic here, if we can turn the populace against the terrorists, then they will help us find them...theoretically anyway.
deanhills
Vrythramax wrote:
I can't argue your logic here. In this sense we (The US) have gotten more "civilized" with our violence. We rarely show the damage our munitions cause on TV, but we do show quite a bit of what terrorists do in their attacks.
I agree that in a factual sense this is true. However, a number of people both inside and outside the United States are influenced by the violent movies we get to see. On a subconscious level we have been primed to "see" the damage caused by munitions in technicolour. The more brutal the better it would seem. I can't see how civilized it is to go for vivid brutality. If one go to any of the DVD stores and look at the best sellers, most of them are about brutal violence, the more brutal the more popular it would seem.
Vrythramax
deanhills wrote:
I agree that in a factual sense this is true. However, a number of people both inside and outside the United States are influenced by the violent movies we get to see. On a subconscious level we have been primed to "see" the damage caused by munitions in technicolour. The more brutal the better it would seem. I can't see how civilized it is to go for vivid brutality. If one go to any of the DVD stores and look at the best sellers, most of them are about brutal violence, the more brutal the more popular it would seem.


I agree, the amount of violence in the entertainment industry, and the news media, certainly is having a negative affect on just about everyone. If by nothing else making us calloused to violence. I can only guess at the interest of, and in, graphic violence is morbid curiosity, much the same as trying to get a look at the victims of a traffic accident as your driving by. Maybe it is as selfish as wanting to see somebody much worse off than yourself.
truespeed
Vrythramax wrote:


I'd say Yes, to a degree anyway. Now we use technology to it's maximum affect to create as much damage as possible in a localized area (more bang for the buck sort to speak), thus reducing collateral damage. We have also gotten much better with the tech we have at hand. If our forefathers knew how to construct a cluster bomb like we have today we would have been in serious trouble.



But say the taliban are holed up somewhere that cluster bombs can't reach. and to remove them from their hiding place, required sending in a large amount of troops in the knowledge that they would sustain many casualties,would they do this?

In the past they wouldn't hesitate,i think if they knew a particular assault would advance their war effort they would factor in incurring a certain amount of casualties.

Nowadays though,if one person dies its headline news,so how could any general on the ground,ok an assault that could maybe incur casualties in there hundreds,even if it meant that the assault could shorten the war by months maybe years.
Vrythramax
truespeed wrote:
But say the taliban are holed up somewhere that cluster bombs can't reach. and to remove them from their hiding place, required sending in a large amount of troops in the knowledge that they would sustain many casualties,would they do this?


Your right, in the past they would not have hesitated...even if the prospect of success was slim. Now I'm not sure what they would do. We really have no idea if what we see and are told by the media is factual or not. I can't believe that the US government is just going to let the media run around giving away secrets. In Operation Desert Storm the Army used the media for spreading false information about troop locations and movements with great success....why would they stop now?
deanhills
Vrythramax wrote:
truespeed wrote:
But say the taliban are holed up somewhere that cluster bombs can't reach. and to remove them from their hiding place, required sending in a large amount of troops in the knowledge that they would sustain many casualties,would they do this?


Your right, in the past they would not have hesitated...even if the prospect of success was slim. Now I'm not sure what they would do. We really have no idea if what we see and are told by the media is factual or not. I can't believe that the US government is just going to let the media run around giving away secrets. In Operation Desert Storm the Army used the media for spreading false information about troop locations and movements with great success....why would they stop now?
Maybe they need to get robots to do that. Surely with our technology that should be possible? Sort of self-emploding ones, once the Taliban who have been holed up have been successfully "unholed" and "despatched". Smile
Vrythramax
deanhills wrote:
Maybe they need to get robots to do that. Surely with our technology that should be possible? Sort of self-emploding ones, once the Taliban who have been holed up have been successfully "unholed" and "despatched". Smile


They already have remote controlled drone aircraft that are capable of a number of different task. They use them for intelligence operations by taking real time imagery and sending back to the controllers. I think many of todays "smart weapons" could be considered as a kind of "robot". Smart bobms can send back images to the commend structure for targeting, and they can make corrections in real time.

A couple of "Terminators" would be nifty...as long they were on our side Wink
deanhills
Vrythramax wrote:
deanhills wrote:
Maybe they need to get robots to do that. Surely with our technology that should be possible? Sort of self-emploding ones, once the Taliban who have been holed up have been successfully "unholed" and "despatched". Smile


They already have remote controlled drone aircraft that are capable of a number of different task. They use them for intelligence operations by taking real time imagery and sending back to the controllers. I think many of todays "smart weapons" could be considered as a kind of "robot". Smart bobms can send back images to the commend structure for targeting, and they can make corrections in real time.
I did not know that and am totally impressed. So maybe we don't have to have Desert Storm environmental disaster issues any longer?

Vrythramax wrote:
A couple of "Terminators" would be nifty...as long they were on our side Wink
Now you're talking! That was at the back of my mind when I did my posting the first time round. I get a great sense of enjoyment when they do their destruction stuff .... Smile
Vrythramax
deanhills wrote:
I did not know that and am totally impressed. So maybe we don't have to have Desert Storm environmental disaster issues any longer?


If you are talking about the oil fires, they were deliberatly set by the government as either a "retaliatory measure" or a "pre-emptive action" (sp?) to keep the oil out of our hands , and not as a result of collateral damage from an attack of ours (the US's).

deanhills wrote:
Vrythramax wrote:
A couple of "Terminators" would be nifty...as long they were on our side Wink
Now you're talking! That was at the back of my mind when I did my posting the first time round.


That wasn't hard to figure out from the way you spoke. Wink
truespeed
Vrythramax wrote:

Your right, in the past they would not have hesitated...even if the prospect of success was slim. Now I'm not sure what they would do.


This is why the taliban have (i believe) been able to hold out for so long,we are almost fighting them with one hand tied behind our backs,they know if they get holed up somewhere,the allied troops aren't going to storm them and risk any casualties,they will stay at a safe distance and try to bombard them from long range.


Vrythramax wrote:

We really have no idea if what we see and are told by the media is factual or not. I can't believe that the US government is just going to let the media run around giving away secrets. In Operation Desert Storm the Army used the media for spreading false information about troop locations and movements with great success....why would they stop now?


Obviously we don't know the full extent of what is going on over there,soldiers lives are at risk,so they are not going to give away any information to the media that may put there lives in jeopardy.

At the same time they need the media on their side,because to have the media on side means (they hope) they will also have the public on side.
deanhills
Vrythramax wrote:
deanhills wrote:
I did not know that and am totally impressed. So maybe we don't have to have Desert Storm environmental disaster issues any longer?


If you are talking about the oil fires, they were deliberatly set by the government as either a "retaliatory measure" or a "pre-emptive action" (sp?) to keep the oil out of our hands , and not as a result of collateral damage from an attack of ours (the US's).
I was talking about the strange illnesses the survivors of Desert Storm developed, due to "something in the air"? I still do not know what it was, could it have been from the oil fire fumes?

truespeed wrote:
At the same time they need the media on their side,because to have the media on side means (they hope) they will also have the public on side.
Does the media really get the real truth, or only what they "need to know"? Which is rarely the truth, and if there is a chance of withholding anything, then they would do that?
Vrythramax
deanhills wrote:
I was talking about the strange illnesses the survivors of Desert Storm developed, due to "something in the air"? I still do not know what it was, could it have been from the oil fire fumes?


I honestly don't know what that was all about. I have no doubt in my mind if it was the fault of the US we wouldn't get a straight story from the military...or from the media either if they were going on only what information was officially released by the military.

As stated previously, the military has used the media to spread dis-information to great success in the past...I see no reason why they would even consider stopping now. As far as I know it's not illegal to lie to a reporter.
deanhills
Vrythramax wrote:
As far as I know it's not illegal to lie to a reporter.
Laughing Laughing Laughing I liked that Laughing Laughing Laughing And all of what you said is how I think about it too. I just thought that I had missed some details on the Desert Storm stories. I think there were some happenings and cover-ups/lies along the same theme and lines in Vietnam during the sixties and seventies, with the veterans still suffering as a consequence? I'm glad I don't have to do the lying, the only part I have to worry about is not knowing what to believe, and a scotch can take care of it in a jiffy!
ocalhoun
Vrythramax wrote:
deanhills wrote:
I was talking about the strange illnesses the survivors of Desert Storm developed, due to "something in the air"? I still do not know what it was, could it have been from the oil fire fumes?


I honestly don't know what that was all about. I have no doubt in my mind if it was the fault of the US we wouldn't get a straight story from the military...or from the media either if they were going on only what information was officially released by the military.

Well, the official story is that Saddam had chemical weapons, and may or may not have used them near US troops.

Is that true? Who knows. It's at least plausible.
deanhills
ocalhoun wrote:
Vrythramax wrote:
deanhills wrote:
I was talking about the strange illnesses the survivors of Desert Storm developed, due to "something in the air"? I still do not know what it was, could it have been from the oil fire fumes?


I honestly don't know what that was all about. I have no doubt in my mind if it was the fault of the US we wouldn't get a straight story from the military...or from the media either if they were going on only what information was officially released by the military.

Well, the official story is that Saddam had chemical weapons, and may or may not have used them near US troops.

Is that true? Who knows. It's at least plausible.
I wonder whether this is more a case of the West being the ones who actually helped Saddam create his arsenal in the first place. And through that knowing exactly what he had and being fearful of that? There was a time when the West was supporting Saddam, in the eighties I believe, and the UK and France especially had huge armaments deals with Saddam.
Bannik
had chemical weapons? i doubt if he had any POWERFUL wmd that could kill he would have used on the US troops....but he didn't so there no weapons....think about it he was on the run, he could have easily used chemical weapons too take out us troops...
Vrythramax
Bannik wrote:
had chemical weapons? i doubt if he had any POWERFUL wmd that could kill he would have used on the US troops....but he didn't so there no weapons....think about it he was on the run, he could have easily used chemical weapons too take out us troops...


Shocked

Huh?? Didn't he use chemical weapons on certain sections of his own country in an attempt at genocide?? Maybe you should read up on the Al-Anfal Campaign.

Perhaps the fact that he WAS on the run made it impossible to utilize those (chemical) weapons.
deanhills
Bannik wrote:
had chemical weapons? i doubt if he had any POWERFUL wmd that could kill he would have used on the US troops....but he didn't so there no weapons....think about it he was on the run, he could have easily used chemical weapons too take out us troops...
By the time that they went for Saddam, i.e. invaded Iraq, about 20 years I think had passed. At the time when Iraq was invaded, it had been suffering from shortages as a result of boycotts for years. Could be that it was unable to keep its armaments that had been imported from the West up to date and that some of the chemicals had expired. Maybe they could not be callibrated. Who knows!
Vrythramax
deanhills wrote:
... Could be that it was unable to keep its armaments that had been imported from the West up to date and that some of the chemicals had expired.


What, they would only kill 100 instead of 1000? They smelled funny? They gave food a funny flavor after storing in the refrigerator? How exactly does one tell when a "chemical" weapon has expired?

To be honest, if they went "bad" such a short time after purchase (twinkies last much longer apparently), it was a lousy purchase.
truespeed
Aren't chemical weapons against the Geneva convention or something? ,yes it was alleged he used them against the kurds,but i doubt he would of risked them against the Americans as they are a banned weapon. I know it seems contradictory to have banned weapons,afterall as they say,alls fair in love and war.
deanhills
Vrythramax wrote:
deanhills wrote:
... Could be that it was unable to keep its armaments that had been imported from the West up to date and that some of the chemicals had expired.


What, they would only kill 100 instead of 1000? They smelled funny? They gave food a funny flavor after storing in the refrigerator? How exactly does one tell when a "chemical" weapon has expired?

To be honest, if they went "bad" such a short time after purchase (twinkies last much longer apparently), it was a lousy purchase.
This is just guessing, as I don't really know Max. But the main building of armaments by Saddam Hussein in Iraq started before the Desert War, during the eighties. England and France made a major input. So I thought that since there have been quite drastic boycotts in place since the war in Kuwait at the beginning of the nineties to 2003, that the chemicals may have expired, and that some of the equipment that needed to be calibrated, or needed parts from their original suppliers, could not be calibrated and updated by the original suppliers. Maybe the West assumed that Saddam Hussein might have had someone else doing it. So much so that they had a clear picture of weapons of mass destruction. Who knows? Smile
Vrythramax
deanhills wrote:
Vrythramax wrote:
deanhills wrote:
... Could be that it was unable to keep its armaments that had been imported from the West up to date and that some of the chemicals had expired.


What, they would only kill 100 instead of 1000? They smelled funny? They gave food a funny flavor after storing in the refrigerator? How exactly does one tell when a "chemical" weapon has expired?

To be honest, if they went "bad" such a short time after purchase (twinkies last much longer apparently), it was a lousy purchase.
This is just guessing, as I don't really know Max. But the main building of armaments by Saddam Hussein in Iraq started before the Desert War, during the eighties. England and France made a major input. So I thought that since there have been quite drastic boycotts in place since the war in Kuwait at the beginning of the nineties to 2003, that the chemicals may have expired, and that some of the equipment that needed to be calibrated, or needed parts from their original suppliers, could not be calibrated and updated by the original suppliers. Maybe the West assumed that Saddam Hussein might have had someone else doing it. So much so that they had a clear picture of weapons of mass destruction. Who knows? Smile


First, I'd like to apologize for phrasing my question in such a smart-ass manor...it was actually meant as a serious question. I'm no chemical engineer, I was under the impression that chemicals of that nature may lose some effectiveness, but would still get the job done to some extent. Your point about the equipment needing re-calibrating is one I hadn't thought of.

What I was really getting at was, even if the weapons had lost some effectiveness, and he was as desperate as everyone claims he was...wouldn't he have used them anyway (if he could have) to do whatever damage, and instill more terror in the populace? Let's face it, he has a proven record, convicted record anyway, of not minding attacking his own citizenry as a means to an end.
deanhills
Vrythramax wrote:
First, I'd like to apologize for phrasing my question in such a smart-ass manor...it was actually meant as a serious question. I'm no chemical engineer, I was under the impression that chemicals of that nature may lose some effectiveness, but would still get the job done to some extent. Your point about the equipment needing re-calibrating is one I hadn't thought of.

What I was really getting at was, even if the weapons had lost some effectiveness, and he was as desperate as everyone claims he was...wouldn't he have used them anyway (if he could have) to do whatever damage, and instill more terror in the populace? Let's face it, he has a proven record, convicted record anyway, of not minding attacking his own citizenry as a means to an end.
Again, I'm no specialist in this field, and I think even specialists do not have an answer as if they had, perhaps the invasion into Iraq would never have happened. But I have to agree with your point, especially on anthrax etc. he had the capability to use it, and there is a likelihood he could have used it on his own people if he decided to do that. Who knows, maybe Saddam was the real weapon of mass destruction .... I guess there are quite a number of possibilities, I'm still sorry that Iraq had to be invaded I still can't see the sense of it.
Vrythramax
deanhills wrote:
... Who knows, maybe Saddam was the real weapon of mass destruction


Aren't the people behind the weapons, not the weapons themselves, that are truly to blame for the destruction caused all the time? Any weapon sitting on a shelf isn't harmful until utilized.
handfleisch
deanhills wrote:
ocalhoun wrote:
Vrythramax wrote:
deanhills wrote:
I was talking about the strange illnesses the survivors of Desert Storm developed, due to "something in the air"? I still do not know what it was, could it have been from the oil fire fumes?


I honestly don't know what that was all about. I have no doubt in my mind if it was the fault of the US we wouldn't get a straight story from the military...or from the media either if they were going on only what information was officially released by the military.

Well, the official story is that Saddam had chemical weapons, and may or may not have used them near US troops.

Is that true? Who knows. It's at least plausible.
I wonder whether this is more a case of the West being the ones who actually helped Saddam create his arsenal in the first place. And through that knowing exactly what he had and being fearful of that? There was a time when the West was supporting Saddam, in the eighties I believe, and the UK and France especially had huge armaments deals with Saddam.


Yes, Reagan and Rumsfeld helped Saddam get WMD to slaughter people with way back when, but Saddam had no WMD by 2001 because the UN inspections and disarmament program worked, and the US knew full well. Yes some of the former WMD that were found were old and useless because chemical weapons have a very short shelf life. All this was verified by the team led by (Republican ex-Marine) Scott Ritter, the UN Chief Weapons Inspector, who traveled across the USA trying to warn everybody that the Bush admin was lying its ass off. All he got for his work was character assassination and mockery, and the US did indeed instigate the conflict that has murdered hundreds of thousands (possibly up to a million) men, women and children (24 killed and 140+ wounded yesterday). http://original.antiwar.com/updates/2009/07/21/tuesday-13-iraqis-killed-97-wounded/

If you are looking for the facts on this one, look up Ritter.
Moonspider
handfleisch wrote:

Yes, Reagan and Rumsfeld helped Saddam get WMD to slaughter people with way back when, but Saddam had no WMD by 2001 because the UN inspections and disarmament program worked, and the US knew full well. Yes some of the former WMD that were found were old and useless because chemical weapons have a very short shelf life. All this was verified by the team led by (Republican ex-Marine) Scott Ritter, the UN Chief Weapons Inspector, who traveled across the USA trying to warn everybody that the Bush admin was lying its ass off. All he got for his work was character assassination and mockery, and the US did indeed instigate the conflict that has murdered hundreds of thousands (possibly up to a million) men, women and children (24 killed and 140+ wounded yesterday). http://original.antiwar.com/updates/2009/07/21/tuesday-13-iraqis-killed-97-wounded/

If you are looking for the facts on this one, look up Ritter.


How do you believe the United States helped Hussein acquire WMDs?
deanhills
Vrythramax wrote:
deanhills wrote:
... Who knows, maybe Saddam was the real weapon of mass destruction


Aren't the people behind the weapons, not the weapons themselves, that are truly to blame for the destruction caused all the time? Any weapon sitting on a shelf isn't harmful until utilized.
Excellent point! That is probably more the point than the weapons themselves. Probably ditto the discussions about guns in the United States. Guns don't kill. People kill ...

handfleisch wrote:
If you are looking for the facts on this one, look up Ritter.

I actually have. I think there was a little softcover book as well that I read quite a number of years ago. To be truthful though, the United States was not alone when Iraq was invaded. There were a number of other countries involved, there had to have been something at least for them to have got to that stage. My criticism is not so much the knowledge they had or did not have, but the invasion itself.
handfleisch
Moonspider wrote:
handfleisch wrote:

Yes, Reagan and Rumsfeld helped Saddam get WMD to slaughter people with way back when, but Saddam had no WMD by 2001 because the UN inspections and disarmament program worked, and the US knew full well. Yes some of the former WMD that were found were old and useless because chemical weapons have a very short shelf life. All this was verified by the team led by (Republican ex-Marine) Scott Ritter, the UN Chief Weapons Inspector, who traveled across the USA trying to warn everybody that the Bush admin was lying its ass off. All he got for his work was character assassination and mockery, and the US did indeed instigate the conflict that has murdered hundreds of thousands (possibly up to a million) men, women and children (24 killed and 140+ wounded yesterday). http://original.antiwar.com/updates/2009/07/21/tuesday-13-iraqis-killed-97-wounded/

If you are looking for the facts on this one, look up Ritter.


How do you believe the United States helped Hussein acquire WMDs?

How? Because it's a fact.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oTldYbqlJc8


As symbolized by this photo of Rumsfeld palling around with Saddam in the 1980s, Saddam was a tool, perhaps even a proxy, for the USA under Reagan and Bush1. They aided him militarily and facilitated other countries in doing the same while he was killing Iranians and gassing Kurds. Reagan took Iraq off the official state terrorist list so the US could send Saddam more aid, which had included everything from advanced computer technology that could be used in launching missiles to anthrax. Yes, anthrax.

Quote:
"the US government approved 771 licenses [only 39 were rejected] for the export to Iraq of $1.5 billion worth of biological agents and high-tech equipment with military application ...

"The US spent virtually an entire decade making sure that Saddam Hussein had almost whatever he wanted... US export control policy was directed by US foreign policy as formulated by the State Department, and it was US foreign policy to assist the regime of Saddam Hussein."

A 1994 US Senate report revealed that US companies were licenced by the commerce department to export a "witch's brew" of biological and chemical materials, including bacillus anthracis (which causes anthrax) and clostridium botulinum (the source of botulism). The American Type Culture Collection made 70 shipments of the anthrax bug and other pathogenic agents.


http://www.counterpunch.org/dixon06172004.html

Saddam was just another in a long list of dictators that the US supports and uses until they reach the end of their usefulness or they try to bite the hand that feeds them. Then the US pretends they have suddenly discovered a monster that must be stopped.

In this context, it's hard to believe Bush2 was able to get away with spewing about WMDs and with sending so many good American soldiers to fight and die for this lie, and still on to this day. War and media, indeed.
deanhills
handfleisch wrote:
Saddam was just another in a long list of dictators that the US supports and uses until they reach the end of their usefulness or they try to bite the hand that feeds them. Then the US pretends they have suddenly discovered a monster that must be stopped.
I think you are probably exaggerating a little bit here. Yes I agree, the West, including England and France were courting Saddam Hussein at one stage, scoring some lucrative armaments deals. No doubt they had their eyes on his oil as well. However Saddam turned into an enemy during the Kuwait war. I'm sure quite a large number of Iraqis can testify that he was a monster, nobody created a monster out of him. He was really a bad guy. All you need to do is Google Saddam and I'm sure you will find plenty of evidence of megalomania, corruption, torture, killing of his people. He also used chemical warfare on Iranians and Turks at separate occasions. I do not find anything wrong with the US supporting and using dictators if it is in the interest of their foreign policy to do so. I'm not so sure however who was using whom with regard to Saddam. Maybe both had been under an illusion and this resulted in some very heavy and expensive blunders that impacted millions of lives as a disaster.
Vrythramax
deanhills wrote:
No doubt they had their eyes on his oil as well. However Saddam turned into an enemy during the Kuwait war. I'm sure quite a large number of Iraqis can testify that he was a monster, nobody created a monster out of him. He was really a bad guy. All you need to do is Google Saddam and I'm sure you will find plenty of evidence of megalomania, corruption, torture, killing of his people. He also used chemical warfare on Iranians and Turks at separate occasions. I do not find anything wrong with the US supporting and using dictators if it is in the interest of their foreign policy to do so. I'm not so sure however who was using whom with regard to Saddam. Maybe both had been under an illusion and this resulted in some very heavy and expensive blunders that impacted millions of lives as a disaster.


Now don't anyone go taking this wrong...I certainly don't support Saddam in any fashion. I do think the US and many allies had their eyes on the oil. I also believe a lot of the charges against him were very true...but I do doubt much of what I may get out of a google search. Google is an american company. I don't think they are deliberatly spreading lies....I just don't think much of what their software spiders on the web is accurate...and Google doesn't really check the contents of the sites it spiders for accuracy.
deanhills
Vrythramax wrote:
I don't think they are deliberatly spreading lies....I just don't think much of what their software spiders on the web is accurate...and Google doesn't really check the contents of the sites it spiders for accuracy.
This may surprise you, but I don't use Google at all. Although it is a very good point that you make. We need to consider the source of our information. Right now I don't have very good sources. But still better than none at all. With regard to the pre-Kuwait war, I was still a student of a kind then, I can't remember the literature I was reading, but I was actually reading books about Saddam Hussein being armed by the West. That was a very long time ago. Glad that you made the point however. In some ways we seem to have advanced so much, but perhaps cold and sober news with the facts as they should be written, i.e. in a pyramid format with the most important facts in the first paragraph, the next most important in the next, etc. and containing all the who, where, when, what, etc. doesn't exist anymore. News these days is provided for entertainment, fast and furious and accuracy comes as a priority after that. I remember in 2001 with September 11 and the many different versions of news that came out immediately after the events, especially with regard to stats. Also during the initial invasion of Iraq.
ocalhoun
Vrythramax wrote:
...and Google doesn't really check the contents of the sites it spiders for accuracy.

If Google ever started doing that then I would stop trusting it... Who decides what is 'accurate'? I'd rather figure out what's accurate and what's not myself.
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