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Old 04-09-2017, 10:47 AM   #26 (permalink)
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You know, the one thing I kind of thought Trump had going for him was he didn't seem particularly warmongering.

Like all his talk about jobs and walls and basically becoming isolationist, I kind of though we would go into less war with him.
I never had that confidence at all. He has the kind of personality disorder that fails to differentiate between national policy and personal affront - he would go to war over a tweet in the right circumstances.

In this case, even though Syrian children have been killed and mangled for years it was never "real" to Donald until he saw it on TV. Then it became, not about those children, but about how it affected him.

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Old 04-09-2017, 12:24 PM   #27 (permalink)
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The concept of bombing a country because they used gas rather than a conventional weapon seems a little weird to me. Either way people are dead or mangled.
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Old 04-09-2017, 01:13 PM   #28 (permalink)
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The concept of bombing a country because they used gas rather than a conventional weapon seems a little weird to me. Either way people are dead or mangled.
The horrors of chemical warfare during WWI put it in a new class, to be joined by nuclear and biological weapons later. You have to aim a gun to hit someone. WMD's are indiscriminate, they kill everyone in range.
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Old 04-09-2017, 01:48 PM   #29 (permalink)
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The horrors of chemical warfare during WWI put it in a new class, to be joined by nuclear and biological weapons later. You have to aim a gun to hit someone. WMD's are indiscriminate, they kill everyone in range.
They kill or injure anyone in range, as do conventional explosive weapons.

I don't really see that chemical weapons are more indiscriminate than bombs or missiles, or landmines, come to that.
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Old 04-09-2017, 01:54 PM   #30 (permalink)
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Incidentally, one of the prime, motivating factors for World War I was the French assistance in modernizing Russia's Military force. Eventually, Russia with it's huge population and resources would get to a point where Germany would be surrounded on both sides by large, competent military forces which, if combined, would be able to defeat Germany. Since the Kaiser had already soured relationships all around with his blunt, aggressive and not entirely competent and somewhat loony personality (his field marshal, to elevate the Kaiser's mood, would occasionally don a pink tutu and dance for him on a table - at other times the Kaiser would spend hours redesigning naval ships and give unsolicited advice to Queen Victoria) the danger of an aggressive alliance against Germany was not out of the question.

So the only way out was to knock out Russia with a crippling blow and then launch a huge attack through the low countries against France. This had been the plan ever since at least the Russian defeat from Japan in 1905, but various attempts since 1906 has been stymied - the 1906 crisis in Morocco was prevented from escalating when Gladstone advised the Queen to gift the Kaiser with a full dress Royal Marines uniform (he so loved dressing up...but then so was the Tsar, they were both known to show off their uniform collection to each other and visiting guests. It was a "thing" back then).

I'm sorry, I don't know why I'm suddenly going back 100 years...I'm sure nothing will go wrong.
So you're saying that Trump isn't Hitler, he's the Kaiser, right?
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Old 04-09-2017, 01:58 PM   #31 (permalink)
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I never had that confidence at all. He has the kind of personality disorder that fails to differentiate between national policy and personal affront - he would go to war over a tweet in the right circumstances.

In this case, even though Syrian children have been killed and mangled for years it was never "real" to Donald until he saw it on TV. Then it became, not about those children, but about how it affected him.

The President is offended. Lock and Load.
I agree with the first part, but I'm still not so sure it was "real" to him once he saw it on TV. I feel he viewed it more as an opportunity for him to look presidential & take the focus off the investigation.
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Old 04-09-2017, 02:30 PM   #32 (permalink)
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Yup. Every year we do joint exercises with SK, and every year NK whines about it being an open war provocation yadda yadda.
I'm starting to have a feeling this one wasn't exactly scheduled. I just heard that the USS Carl Vinson and its battle group were on their way to Australia at the tail end of a routine deployment, but got diverted to sit off the Korean coast instead.

https://www.navytimes.com/articles/k...-to-the-region
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Old 04-09-2017, 02:30 PM   #33 (permalink)
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I remember a pre-election poll last fall fall that showed more Americans were concerned that Clinton's hard line against Russia would get us into a new war, while fewer Americans were concerned about Trump starting a war. I think a lot of people expected Trump to be isolationist, he talked about "getting along" but I'm not at all surprised that he rattling swords. Hopefully cooler heads will moderate this a bit
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Old 04-09-2017, 02:46 PM   #34 (permalink)
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They kill or injure anyone in range, as do conventional explosive weapons.

I don't really see that chemical weapons are more indiscriminate than bombs or missiles, or landmines, come to that.
I only disagreed because chemical weapons inflict a whole new level of horror and suffering that conventional weapons do not.

Some of the types are invisible and diffuse in the air to assault indiscriminately anyone who breathes. They're divided into types - choking, blister, blood, or nerve agents. Those who witnessed the horrors of chemical war in WW1 were so horrified by what they saw that the movement to ban them gained momentum - and that was a war that saw higher concentrations of conventional artillery than ever before in history. We may believe that they're no different than conventional explosives, but they are. They're far more horrifying and crippling, even when they don't kill. I've read accounts of people exposed to CW attacks who suffered the effects (respiratory, neural, blistering skin) for the rest of their lives.

https://www.opcw.org/about-chemical-...hemical-weapon
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Old 04-09-2017, 02:48 PM   #35 (permalink)
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I don't believe for one second that the reason he used the tomahawk missiles is because he saw children being harmed. It doesn't take into account his narcissism. He is incapable of those feelings we call empathy and compassion. He certainly doesn't care what he is doing to children, senior or poor people in this country. He famously said that he would look a Syrian child in the face as he refused entry to our country. He has never shown the ability to think of anyone but himself.

Nay, I'm with Tracer. It was about waving his dick about, distracting from the Russian investigation and boosting his poll numbers. He is surrounded by warmongers and profiteers, as well as decimating those depts. who could potentially use diplomacy. There's absolutely no way that he did it out of compassion.

While yes, we have as a country always been playing chicken with N. Korea, these are very different times, and we are run by a mercurial man boy who considers himself king and who has absolutely no self control. The usual considerations are right out the window.

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Old 04-09-2017, 03:01 PM   #36 (permalink)
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The concept of bombing a country because they used gas rather than a conventional weapon seems a little weird to me. Either way people are dead or mangled.
If I had to choose between being gassed and dying a slow, agonizing, horrible death, or getting blown up and dying immediately, it's pretty much a no-brainer. I would not wish the way those Syrians died on my worst enemy.
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Old 04-09-2017, 03:15 PM   #37 (permalink)
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So you're saying that Trump isn't Hitler, he's the Kaiser, right?
I'm also saying yesterday's Russian force modernization is today's soon-to-be testing of North Korean rockets capable of hitting the United States. It changes the balance of power in Asia. Nothing good ever happens when there is a change in the balance of power, not when there is a fool on one side, and especially not when there are fools on both sides.

When the balance of power shifted during the cold war there were sane, responsible people on both ends, so we need to go back to the last time the balance of power changed and a fool was in charge. These were Kaiser Wilhelm and Tsar Nicholas.

I am ... not encouraged.
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Old 04-09-2017, 03:25 PM   #38 (permalink)
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I'm also saying yesterday's Russian force modernization is today's testing of rockets capable of hitting the United States.
Did you mean North Korean instead of Russian? Russia's been able to hit the US with missiles since 1957.
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Old 04-09-2017, 04:41 PM   #39 (permalink)
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I only disagreed because chemical weapons inflict a whole new level of horror and suffering that conventional weapons do not.

Some of the types are invisible and diffuse in the air to assault indiscriminately anyone who breathes. They're divided into types - choking, blister, blood, or nerve agents. Those who witnessed the horrors of chemical war in WW1 were so horrified by what they saw that the movement to ban them gained momentum - and that was a war that saw higher concentrations of conventional artillery than ever before in history. We may believe that they're no different than conventional explosives, but they are. They're far more horrifying and crippling, even when they don't kill. I've read accounts of people exposed to CW attacks who suffered the effects (respiratory, neural, blistering skin) for the rest of their lives.

https://www.opcw.org/about-chemical-...hemical-weapon
I'm really not sure. I mean, conventional weapons can also have pretty pretty long-lasting and devastating effects on people they don't kill, obviously, and I will take a bit of convincing that being burned by incendiary weapons is that much preferable to exposure to chlorine or mustard gas.

I really don't think there's necessarily a great deal of logic to which weapons are banned for use against enemy combatants and which aren't. Incendiary bullets as I understand it, were unlawful at the time of WW1, but both sides agreed to make an exception for tracer fire, since both sides found it so useful. Then there's the notorious apparent anomaly that the hollow-point ammunition so popular with both the police and civilians in the USA is unlawful for use in international warfare.
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Old 04-09-2017, 05:02 PM   #40 (permalink)
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My feeling is that the Syria fireworks show timing was awfully convenient for when Trump would be visiting China & discussing North Korea. Now, I doubt President Xi Jinping will be impressed, but it certainly all does tie together well.
Yes, but "impressed" may be too high a bar. I think the Tomahawk attack was made necessary by the Trump campaign's pandering to America First, neo-Klan supporters, promising no foreign interventions while he Made America White Again. And that appeared a global surrender. Oops.

Dipshit Donnie's big mouth strikes again.
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Old 04-09-2017, 05:29 PM   #41 (permalink)
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Incidentally, one of the prime, motivating factors for World War I was the French assistance in modernizing Russia's Military force. Eventually, Russia with it's huge population and resources would get to a point where Germany would be surrounded on both sides by large, competent military forces which, if combined, would be able to defeat Germany. Since the Kaiser had already soured relationships all around with his blunt, aggressive and not entirely competent and somewhat loony personality (his field marshal, to elevate the Kaiser's mood, would occasionally don a pink tutu and dance for him on a table - at other times the Kaiser would spend hours redesigning naval ships and give unsolicited advice to Queen Victoria) the danger of an aggressive alliance against Germany was not out of the question.

So the only way out was to knock out Russia with a crippling blow and then launch a huge attack through the low countries against France. This had been the plan ever since at least the Russian defeat from Japan in 1905, but various attempts since 1906 has been stymied - the 1906 crisis in Morocco was prevented from escalating when Gladstone advised the Queen to gift the Kaiser with a full dress Royal Marines uniform (he so loved dressing up...but then so was the Tsar, they were both known to show off their uniform collection to each other and visiting guests. It was a "thing" back then).

I'm sorry, I don't know why I'm suddenly going back 100 years...I'm sure nothing will go wrong.


Queen Victoria died in 1901; Edward VII became King until 1910 when he died and was succeeded by George V. So, if the Morocco crisis occurred in 1906, it was King, not Queen. Also, PM Gladstone died in 1898.
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Old 04-09-2017, 05:58 PM   #42 (permalink)
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Damn. I'm going to have to find that book and check it again. I know it was either 1906 or 1908, and it was a royal marines uniform. There are pictures oh him online in it, but I'd have to join Pinterest to get more info and I don't want a social media company as a best friend.

I'd defaulted to Victoria because he'd been such an albatross to her, but as I got it from "The Three Emperors: Three Cousins, Three Empires and the Road to World War One" - about George, Wilhelm, and Nichlaus so of course it would have been KG V - no, wait, he was in the Royal Navy at that time, so it must have been Edward. I'm also fairly sure it was on the advice of Lord Salisbury - not Gladstone or the current PM of the time. Where's that book!??

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Old 04-09-2017, 09:53 PM   #43 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Innula Zenovka View Post
They kill or injure anyone in range, as do conventional explosive weapons.

I don't really see that chemical weapons are more indiscriminate than bombs or missiles, or landmines, come to that.
the difference is in control, longevity, and what I like call viciousness factor... you bomb a city block, the city block is destroyed, and maybe the surrounding buildings. you gas a city block and you kill everyone in it, and most everyone downwind for blocks, plus crippling non lethal effects even farther afield, plus lingering after effects of the contaminated area. not just for the enemy, but also for all life entering the area, including your own troops... and these are not quick deaths even assuming it kills you, if not the suffering is epic.

it's not just that they are indiscriminate, it's that they are uncontrollable, and torturous.
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Old 04-10-2017, 07:07 AM   #44 (permalink)
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You know, the one thing I kind of thought Trump had going for him was he didn't seem particularly warmongering.

Like all his talk about jobs and walls and basically becoming isolationist, I kind of though we would go into less war with him.
There are two competing theories.

One is that he makes his decisions based on what he was told last or what he saw on TV. He saw kids being killed in Syria so reacted .... but not one word about the obvious conflict with him maintaining a ban on refugees.

The other is that someone had the nerve to call WWI The Great War. We are coming up on the centennial anniversary of that ending. Ok, more joking there, but I would not be surprised if he took it as a challenge.
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Old 04-10-2017, 07:10 AM   #45 (permalink)
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I'm sorry, I don't know why I'm suddenly going back 100 years...I'm sure nothing will go wrong.
Well, there will be a lot of retrospectives this year. Finland marks 100 years in December too and I am guessing the same is true for some other countries.
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Old 04-10-2017, 08:34 AM   #46 (permalink)
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the difference is in control, longevity, and what I like call viciousness factor... you bomb a city block, the city block is destroyed, and maybe the surrounding buildings. you gas a city block and you kill everyone in it, and most everyone downwind for blocks, plus crippling non lethal effects even farther afield, plus lingering after effects of the contaminated area. not just for the enemy, but also for all life entering the area, including your own troops... and these are not quick deaths even assuming it kills you, if not the suffering is epic.

it's not just that they are indiscriminate, it's that they are uncontrollable, and torturous.
Bombing city blocks is, nowadays, pretty much unlawful under all circumstances anyway, precisely because it's indiscriminate and puts civilians at risk (though, of course, it was legal during WW2, though chemical weapons weren't).

However, that doesn't address the question of why chemical weapons, in general, are banned on the battlefield. It seems to me that the potential cruelty of the weapons isn't a factor here, since it's unlawful to use on the battlefield (for example) irritant gasses that most countries consider perfectly acceptable for civilian crowd control.

Nor am I particularly convinced by the argument that chemical weapons are so much more lethal or less painful than conventional weapons. Obviously a conventional fragmentation or incendiary bomb is certainly capable of inflicting long-term devastating injuries or causing a slow and painful death. Whether it does or not in any particular case is a matter of complete chance. It seems to me difficult to maintain any principled argument that such weapons are inherently less cruel or indiscriminate than chemical weapons.

I'm not, of course, arguing that chemical weapons should be allowed. I am just saying that I don't think that the case for banning them is particularly logical, and that's before we've even started to consider the exemption for both tactical and strategic nuclear weapons.
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Old 04-10-2017, 10:43 AM   #47 (permalink)
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I'm really not sure. I mean, conventional weapons can also have pretty pretty long-lasting and devastating effects on people they don't kill, obviously, and I will take a bit of convincing that being burned by incendiary weapons is that much preferable to exposure to chlorine or mustard gas.
Technically, incendiary weapons like Phosphorus and Napalm are also chemical weapons. Whether they fall under the international treaties is another matter.

I think the basis for the weapons treaties involves some 19th century sense of "fairness" (not unlike how the 18th century British army complained about American militia hiding behind trees).

It's one thing to lob artillery shells on the other guy with the risk of blowing him to bits. At least he could take shelter in a bunker. With chemical weapons, the only defense is to wear CW suits and masks, which are notorious for being bulky, heavy and hot (Ask our Desert Storm veterans about wearing that stuff in the desert). If you hide in a bunker, the gas will typically seek the lower levels and silently kill you or cause permanent nerve damage.

Both conventional and chemical weapons CAN cause horrific wounds or death, but there is no comparison of agony that works here. One weapon can shatter your body and cripple your limbs, but in many cases you can acquire prosthetics or other aids. In the other, you could well be facing a life time of nerve damage, blindness and respiratory ailments for which no prosthetic exists.
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Old 04-10-2017, 10:47 AM   #48 (permalink)
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Chemical or not, America sure loves its wars.
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Old 04-10-2017, 11:12 AM   #49 (permalink)
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Chemical or not, America sure loves its wars.
As long as they're not too long (Iraq, Afghanistan) and don't involve the deaths of 50,000 American boys (Korea, Vietnam).

We are a war-loving people but even we have our standards. /s
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Old 04-11-2017, 10:51 PM   #50 (permalink)
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Trump and Kim Jong-un are a toxic combination that could have dangerous consequences | Quartz

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As North Korea develops more offensive capabilities, the US and its allies have surrounded the country with more advanced weapons and defense systems—a situation that could lead to a short and brutal war on the Korean peninsula, as Quartz wrote earlier this week.


South Korea, in particular Seoul, is likely to bear the brunt of any attacks. Citizens there are already concerned, and South Korea’s foreign policy ministry said Tuesday that the US has promised to not take any new actions without consulting South Korea.
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