He who is moral can be shamed.

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posted on Jul, 10 2006 @ 12:09 PM
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He who is moral can be shamed.-Sun Tzu

Should we fight dirty in dirty wars? Should generals do everything they can to lead his or her troops to victory? It seems to me that the enemy in Afghanistan and Iraq seem to be taking advantage of our moral values where we limited our actions to win decisively. Do you agree with Sun Tzu where we need to go beyond where we need to fight really dirty like torture to get info, bombed cities that kills the enemy but includes civilians also, ignore civilians that are in need of medical help while fighting the enemy?










[edit on 10-7-2006 by deltaboy]

[edit on 10-7-2006 by deltaboy]




posted on Jul, 10 2006 @ 12:24 PM
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Heres a pic where I suppose to add along with the other pics where soldiers help people instead of busy killing the enemy. The moral values where it could get you killed or at least lose the war.



posted on Jul, 10 2006 @ 12:57 PM
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So what then is the purpose of Jr. advertising his faith? God spoke to him, he reads the bible every other year.

It's rather obvious he can't be shamed, so where are his morals? Or are they the morals of Judas, where the heart of capitalism lies?

He can't be shamed and he has a helluva time pulling off humble.

[edit on 10-7-2006 by psyopswatcher]



posted on Jul, 10 2006 @ 01:15 PM
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Originally posted by psyopswatcher
So what then is the purpose of Jr. advertising his faith? God spoke to him, he reads the bible every other year.

It's rather obvious he can't be shamed, so where are his morals? Or are they the morals of Judas, where the heart of capitalism lies?

He can't be shamed and he has a helluva time pulling off humble.



Well gee you have past presidents who are religious in a sense about moral values, but when wars come by they put it away and take the sword or gun if in modern world.



posted on Jul, 10 2006 @ 01:46 PM
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Originally posted by deltaboy
He who is moral can be shamed.-Sun Tzu

Should we fight dirty in dirty wars? Should generals do everything they can to lead his or her troops to victory?


Should you shoot a 5 year old boy in the head or brutally rape him in front of his father to garner information ???
Should you cut the arms off of the children of our enemies so they don't pick up a gun in the future ???

I'm disgusted by the atrocities committed during war, and I'm saddened by the capacity for humans to destroy the lives of innocents.



posted on Jul, 10 2006 @ 01:54 PM
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Originally posted by anxietydisorder

I'm disgusted by the atrocities committed during war, and I'm saddened by the capacity for humans to destroy the lives of innocents.


"Warfare is the greatest affair of state, the basis of life and death. The Tao to survival or extinction, it must be thoroughly pondered and analyzed." -Sun Tzu



posted on Jul, 10 2006 @ 03:15 PM
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War in itself tends to be misunderstood. Even by the men and women who fight them.

I'm not sure where the phenomenon started, but after reading something written by a great man, I sized it up with my own thoughts and concluded that our military (and country) has a major Achilles Heel, and it is the "warrior" mindset. I consider the warrior mindset the stereotypical mentality the U.S. as a whole has when it comes to war. Servicemen who fight for freedom and liberty, real American heroes, unfailingly loyal to the country, has God on his side. This type of mindset is perfect for huge, high-intensity, do-or-die wars like World War II and other wars with moral clarity (good vs. evil, right and wrong), and maybe, MAYBE, in wars against equal or superior enemies with the ability to annihilate you. They are also appropriate in wars that have a real, solid enemy, and are grand on scale, the type of war that guys like Patton, Schwarzkopf, and hell, we'll throw in Oliver North and Tom Clancy, would relish and live (or die) for.

Keep in mind that the above mindset has existed in the U.S. psyche regarding war ever since World War II, except for a new dry spots in the 1970s and 1980s, and has otherwise been the dominant mentality that persists among our soldiers today.

However, this mentality is completely inappropriate for the present setting and wars of the type we are seeing in Afghanistan and Iraq. These are not wars in the usual sense, these are wars that require (surprise!) the support of the population, these are wars in which victory is measured by how well you can change someone's opinion (something far more challenging than stopping Nazi Germany), in other words, victory is in the head, and is purely political, not military or economic, because, as we know, nobody can defeat the U.S. in industrial warfare.

But the mindset of our soldiers currently prevents us from recognizing this. Our soldiers, encouraged by the war-supporters and politicians at home, continue to ignore reality and continue to fight this war as if it were indeed World War II, as George W. Bush once said himself. They see no reason to understand the enemy, as they are all just terrorists and terrorist-sympathizers, and lesser beings than Americans and our allies. They get pissed off when the enemy employs some unconventional, perhaps contrevorsial, yet creative tactic to fight the U.S. war machine, and complains to the media and their superiors that the enemy is "cowardly" for not being stupid enough to go toe-to-toe with an M1A1 and make it an easy victory for the American warriors. They also don't like the presence of "wild cards," everything must be either friend or foe, nobody must be neutral, everybody must take a stand, otherwise, they're French surrender-monkeys (even if they're not French). Even when the military field manuals stress the need to have a non-warrior mentality when it comes to modern warfare, the soldiers and their leaders do everything in their power to be as warrior as they can be.

It doesn't stop there. The warriors forget that war is a two-way street and that good intentions are not always justification for a certain action. A warrior believes in unintentional collateral damage, only when its the enemy who suffers. A warrior believes soldiers can be innocent. The warrior forgets that he can bark all he wants about "how he's glad to be here," but nothing will change the fact that if he wasn't ordered there, he would have never gone. Most importantly, the warrior believes when it comes to the enemy, there is NO justification. Terrorists and insurgents are who they are because they are somehow different from us, and NEVER because of circumstance. Yet the warrior is obsessed with justifying everything he does, even when the best course of action is to repent and move on with his life.

In the end, it is dramatically ironic, that the very people who fight our wars and suffer still end up not really understanding what it was all about. The "great man" I referred to (who helped me interpret my own answer to the question) said it the best:


Thus the furious, embittered insistence of Warriors that “We won Tet of ’68. We slaughtered them! We won, dammit! Militarily, we absolutely won!” Swell, but politically they lost. It was a catastrophe on the order of Kursk or Dien Bien Phu. But they can’t figure it out.

The warrior doesn’t understand what “victory” means because he thinks in terms of firefights, courage, weaponry, and valor. His approach is emotional, not rational. Though not stupid, he is regularly out-thought.


In case you're wondering, the "great man" is a Vietnam veteran.

I could really go on forever here, there is so much I have not covered in this rant, but I feel like I've really made the point well. Like I stated, it really strikes me as oddly ironic when someone like Michael Yon talks about our enemy being unjustifyably evil and that our soldiers "died in Hell fighting the Devil himself." A prime example of an emotional approach to war. Even as a former Army Special Forces soldier, he and many like him, as some of the "outcast soldiers" would say, just don't get it, even after all they've been through.



posted on Jul, 10 2006 @ 03:40 PM
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I have often wondered about this.

If the "good guys" and the "bad guys" are using the same tactics, then how can you tell them apart?

Even if the "good guys" have a better end goal in mind, I don't think we can always say that the ends justify the means.



posted on Jul, 10 2006 @ 05:17 PM
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Unfortunately morality is entirely in the eye of the beholder.

There are people here who can call for the extermination of everyone in Iran, North Korea, etc, and never feel the slightest moral twinge, because they can convince themselves that such a thing is entirely moral.

Similarly you have people like OBL, Al Zarqawi, etc, who can commit any atrocity because they're convinced that God not only doesn't object, but requires them to commit mass murder. So much for moral relativism as a failing only of the faithless.

As to:


Should we fight dirty in dirty wars?


All wars are dirty wars, there are no "clean" wars. There are only necessary wars and unnecessary wars.
The answer is we shouldn't fight in any wars, unless we (or allies) are actually being attacked.


[edit on 7/10/06 by xmotex]



posted on Jul, 10 2006 @ 05:22 PM
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Originally posted by xmotex

As to:


Should we fight dirty in dirty wars?


All wars are dirty wars, there are no "clean" wars.


Exactly. It seems to me that most people expect us to fight "clean" and the civilized way. Thats why I asked that question, should we fight dirty in dirty wars?



posted on Jul, 10 2006 @ 05:46 PM
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This discussion reminds me of the classic quote in the movie Apocalypse Now, when Colonel Kurtz is talking to Captain Willard about why he became what he did. Vietnam era, but obvious parallels with modern times. The following quote, from the movie, taken from Wikipedia -


I've seen horrors... horrors that you've seen. But you have no right to call me a murderer. You have a right to kill me. You have a right to do that... but you have no right to judge me. It's impossible for words to describe what is necessary to those who do not know what horror means. Horror. Horror has a face... and you must make a friend of horror. Horror and moral terror are your friends. If they are not then they are enemies to be feared. They are truly enemies. I remember when I was with Special Forces. Seems a thousand centuries ago. We went into a camp to inoculate the children. We left the camp after we had inoculated the children for Polio, and this old man came running after us and he was crying. He couldn't see. We went back there and they had come and hacked off every inoculated arm. There they were in a pile. A pile of little arms. And I remember... I... I... I cried. I wept like some grandmother. I wanted to tear my teeth out. I didn't know what I wanted to do. And I want to remember it. I never want to forget it. I never want to forget.

And then I realized... like I was shot... like I was shot with a diamond... a diamond bullet right through my forehead. And I thought: My God... the genius of that. The genius. The will to do that. Perfect, genuine, complete, crystalline, pure. And then I realized they were stronger than we. Because they could stand that... these were not monsters. These were men... trained cadres. These men who fought with their hearts, who had families, who had children, who were filled with love... but they had the strength... the strength... to do that. If I had ten divisions of those men our troubles here would be over very quickly. You have to have men who are moral... and at the same time who are able to utilize their primordial instincts to kill without feeling... without passion... without judgment... without judgment. For it is judgment that defeats us.


So this, in essence, is the realisation of Sun Tzu's teachings. Is there a way to win in Iraq by fighting a "good" fight? The public have already indicated they will accept nothing less. So if the above phillosphies are true, then the fight will be tougher than anyone can imagine.



posted on Jul, 10 2006 @ 06:47 PM
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Originally posted by deltaboy
Exactly. It seems to me that most people expect us to fight "clean" and the civilized way. Thats why I asked that question, should we fight dirty in dirty wars?


In my opinion yes. You dont win a war by keeping the kids gloves on. While some of the things you mention we "could" do if we played dirty go against my own personal morals, do I allow others to die simply because I wasnt willing to go as far as it took and it cost many more of my own troops and others lives than it should have? In my opinion war is too political in the modern day, and its not that its new or anything, but weve seen it in vietnam. We play dirty, we are shamed because we are supposed to have the moral high ground over our enemies. I guess what I'm trying to say is, I'd rather have a filthy conscience about what my boys did to the enemy(and possibly some innocents) than a clean conscience because I ordered a clean war to be fought and tens of thousands of my own countrymen dead. Its a damned if you do damned if you dont situation, and Id rather it be damn them, not us.



posted on Jul, 10 2006 @ 07:11 PM
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Originally posted by Willard856
So this, in essence, is the realisation of Sun Tzu's teachings. Is there a way to win in Iraq by fighting a "good" fight? The public have already indicated they will accept nothing less. So if the above phillosphies are true, then the fight will be tougher than anyone can imagine.


I'm glad you posted that quote. Apocalypse Now! was such an underrated film.

There is something in there that I alluded to earlier, judgment. I sort of lump judgment with justification, because you arrive at a justification through judgment. You say "these people are evil, therefore it was right of me to kill them." But war being war, you can never justify what you did. What you have to do is, as I stated in my earlier rant, fight rationally, not emotionally. And most of all, never look back. Never try to justify what you did. Do it and never look back.



posted on Jul, 10 2006 @ 07:13 PM
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So how "dirty" do we get?

Carpet bombing noncombatants?

Chem and bio weapons?

Extermination camps?

Torturing kids to death to get their parents to talk?

Tossing infants into the air and catching them on our bayonets?

Or are these still too "wimpy" for you?

Let's here your suggestions, O Sages...



[edit on 7/10/06 by xmotex]



posted on Jul, 10 2006 @ 07:36 PM
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xmotex,

Please don't confuse my discussion of the topic "He who is moral can be shamed" with condoning such acts. As I said, the Coalition forces are much more accountable to the general public than the insurgents in Iraq are. This is, I believe a good thing overall as I would not want to fight in the manner that they do. However, if you are going to constrain your warfighter with rules, when the enemy does not, then the public must be more accepting of friendly casualties, and a war that will last longer.



posted on Jul, 10 2006 @ 08:29 PM
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War Is Political By Nature

"War is the continuation of politics by other means." ~Karl Von Clausewitz

I know that traditionally, the War on Terrorism forum has hosted many threads that have nothing to do with conspiracies (collusion to commit wrongdoing) but address the open questions of ethics and morality surrounding war.

This is the Politics of War, and we have a new forum for it which is just getting started.

Now I know PTS has been thought of as a "thread graveyard", but that's about to change, and you have my solemn promise that I am going to do everything I can to make discussing the issues on PTS worth your while.

On ATS, threads like these are frowned on as "political".

On PTS, threads like these are welcome because they are political. Additionally, you are also more than welcome to discuss the conspiratorial side of politics on PTS as well.

On PTS, I want you to feel free to express your opinions regardless of what they may be -- or how political -- as long as you don't break the T&C in the process.

PTS = Politics Your Way.

So I'm going to move this thread to PTS (the God of Politics has snatched your thread away to his netherworld kingdom!). But I don't want you to feel like you have to give up this topic just because it went to PTS.

Rather, I invite you to stay and really give this topic the scrutiny it deserves.

War is a big deal. It deserves to be questioned and investigated, not ignored.

Deny Apathy.



P.S. Did I mention I want you to feel welcome on PTS? Sure things are slow now, but they are about to pick up.

Bigtime.



posted on Jul, 10 2006 @ 11:41 PM
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Ewwwwww, politics. I feel so dirty


Majic, I'm sure with your help that PTS is going to rock in a way most people wouldn't believe politics could. Dare I even say that politics may become sexy under your rule? The mind boggles...

I think it is certainly valid to frame this discussion as political. Rules for something like war are an interesting dichotomy, and the politicisation of the rules (and political implications when the rules are broken) will make for interesting discussion.



posted on Jul, 11 2006 @ 03:29 PM
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The question is not whether the war in Iraq should be fought using dirty methods. The question is whether it should be fought at all. If victory there isn't worth getting our hands dirty (which I don't think it is), then it isn't worth having our troops there in the first place (which I also don't think it is).

In World War II, the Allies bombed German and Japanese cities with the deliberate intent to slaughter civilians wholesale. When nuclear weapons became available, we used them, and slaughtered many more civilians. War is like that. War is ugly. War is evil, cruel, monstrous, depraved, and unredeemed by any virtue whatsoever save that of necessity. When you take the step of going to war, you commit yourself to taking actions that would make any sensitive, honorable person hold you in complete contempt.

If you are not willing to do those things -- which, most of the time, you should not be -- don't go to war.

In fact, if you have a choice about it, don't go to war. That's the real lesson.



posted on Jul, 11 2006 @ 05:29 PM
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I think it is important to weigh what is the cost of a protracted war. The longer a war goes on, the more people die.

If the atomic bomb could have been dropped at the beginning of WWII on both Tokyo and Berlin, and all of the casualties had been civilians, there would still have been less death and depravation than what had been drug out unil 1945.

How many civilians have been killed in Iraq because of the insurgency? If the US had done its best/worst to smash it in the beginning, regardless of civilian casualties, would there be order in Iraq now? I tend to believe there would be, and the length of the time of suffering would be shorter.



posted on Jul, 11 2006 @ 07:19 PM
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Originally posted by hogtie
I think it is important to weigh what is the cost of a protracted war. The longer a war goes on, the more people die.

If the atomic bomb could have been dropped at the beginning of WWII on both Tokyo and Berlin, and all of the casualties had been civilians, there would still have been less death and depravation than what had been drug out unil 1945.


If that was a response to my post above, I don't think you understood the point.

Yes, I agree, given the fact that we had no choice except to fight World War II, which I believe to be the case, then we cannot turn away from the use of any methods that will end the war, including using nukes on Tokyo and Berlin right out the starting gate.

But the "given" clause in that last paragraph is crucial. Dropping a nuke on the capital of Japan and Germany would have been a depraved, abominable action, and the only justification for doing so would have been that we were at war, and -- because being at war means that you do depraved, abominable actions -- the only justification for being at war was because we had no choice.

If you can avoid going to war, do. That's the lesson.



How many civilians have been killed in Iraq because of the insurgency? If the US had done its best/worst to smash it in the beginning, regardless of civilian casualties, would there be order in Iraq now? I tend to believe there would be, and the length of the time of suffering would be shorter.


Maybe you're right; certainly Saddam Hussein managed to maintain order, and if we were to adopt his methods we might be able to as well. I can guarantee, though, that the number of both civilian and military casualties would have been a lot lower if we had never invaded the country in the first place. And we didn't have to. And that means we shouldn't have.

It is a self-deluding piece of nonsense to think that war become OK if you follow the rules. War is, without exception, nasty, evil, cruel, horrid, and depraved. It doesn't matter how you fight it, it's ALWAYS like that, always something to be avoided if possible. There's no point in trying to pretty it up. If what you're going to gain from victory isn't worth doing things that will soil your soul forever, then don't do it. Don't do it. Don't do it.





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