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estebanana

Posts: 9396
Joined: Oct. 16 2009
 

RE: The Dam Busters (in reply to estebanana

One of my opinions that’s usually rebuffed and I’m told I’m insane for defending is that I think the atomic bomb attack on Japan wasn’t necessary, and definitely not the second attack. I’ve come to my conclusions through meeting old people in Japan who will offer me information. My thinking on this is usually labeled uninformed or dully ignorant revisionism. And that the status quo version taught in US military academia is correct. Yeah maybe and maybe not.

Which brings up how I evaluate president Truman. He’s not the most esteemed guy in my book.
There are leaders who foment wars, and other leaders rise to counter them, or they could ignore the threat to their society and give up. Are there other options?

I suppose the Dalai Lama is a leader who had a different idea and he left the combat zone. He was lucky to be able to go seek protection over the border. Those trying to capture him didn’t want to start a war with his safe haven country and its ally. Something had to offer resistance to Mao.

Once a Buddhist monk says to me about war. He was speaking about being put into a war and being reluctant, but going out of a sense of duty to your society. He said really these people are blameless in a way because they were doing what they were asked to do according to the laws of their government and to stop the subjugation of their culture. He suggested that their karma as combatants was light because they were doing what they understood as right. ( even if their government was wrong) that’s why the Tibetan Buddhist leaders don’t hold the Chinese soldiers as bad people, and even may say Mao was a bad person for Tibetan Buddhism, but that Mao as being still had the capacity to hear the Buddhist teaching and could evolve spiritually be being reborn as a less aggressive being.

My grandfather walked across Europe, he was 27 when he left and didn’t come back until he was 32. He was in major battle as an infantry soldier, and a reconnaissance scout. I’m more willing to see him and the guy I dislike, Truman, as the Tibetans see Mao. That’s very difficult for me, and even more difficult for me to see Stalin as a being who could hear the teachings of less aggression or non aggression whether it’s Buddhist or otherwise.

It’s less difficult for me to see Pol Pot, Idi Amin or King Leopold of Belgium as horrid human beings who tortured and committed genocides, but it’s my path to try to see everyone including George W. Bush as a soul with better potential. And my path is very difficult for me because I want to cave into the simplicity and single mindedness of hating them. But hating doesn’t change the fact that these figures arise in every period of history. I have to think that hoping that they’ll be reborn as better people is a better path than being hate filled.

I also take a certain amount of offense with leaders like my grandfather being called murderers, because even he killed in the war, he bore it without arrogance and did real self reflection.

Now foreign policy and the elective wars that my county drummed up are separate thing from the souls of men like my grandfather. And I’ll thank anyone to leave them alone.

And let me get on with my study of the war. Nobody but myself can understand why I’m interested.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 30 2023 14:20:59
 
Piwin

Posts: 3566
Joined: Feb. 9 2016
 

RE: The Dam Busters (in reply to estebanana

quote:

I also take a certain amount of offense with leaders like my grandfather being called murderers, because even he killed in the war, he bore it without arrogance and did real self reflection.


One of my closest friends was a child soldier during the Biafra war. Among other sordid details (trigger warning), he remembers how they'd play soccer with the severed heads of the enemy. He's a good person, a great person in fact. But by his own account, he's a murderer. Which is exactly why he invested so much time and effort in pro-peace activism later in life: because he felt that war turned otherwise decent people into murderers.

Me using that term does not at all come from a place of self-righteousness or judgment. I've said this before on this forum but having grown up in a fundamentalist / extremist environment, I've had enough judgment for a lifetime and am not inclined at all to spread even more of it around. I am simply suggesting that if we want to put an end to war, creating a special exemption for killings committed in war time and approaching them on the assumption that they are justified because they were condoned by the state, that just won't get us there. It's a systemic issue, not one of personal morality or responsibility. In my book, Churchill was a murderer. What else could a Prime Minister be in that context? Like you said, what other options are there? Within the confines of the state model, there are none. And that's the entire point... I don't know whether there's anything to the idea of human progress, but if there is, and somewhere down the line our distant descendants look back on us and shudder at the horrible things we made people do, my guess is that they won't be living in anything remotely comparable to a state.

_____________________________

"Anything you do can be fixed. What you cannot fix is the perfection of a blank page. What you cannot fix is that pristine, unsullied whiteness of a screen or a page with nothing on it—because there’s nothing there to fix."
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 30 2023 14:53:10
 
estebanana

Posts: 9396
Joined: Oct. 16 2009
 

RE: The Dam Busters (in reply to Piwin

quote:

ORIGINAL: Piwin

quote:

I also take a certain amount of offense with leaders like my grandfather being called murderers, because even he killed in the war, he bore it without arrogance and did real self reflection.


Like you said, what other options are there? Within the confines of the state model, there are none. And that's the entire point... I don't know whether there's anything to the idea of human progress, but if there is, and somewhere down the line our distant descendants look back on us and shudder at the horrible things we made people do, my guess is that they won't be living in anything remotely comparable to a state.



But there are options within the context of international states, there is diplomacy, food and music. There are alliances, non aggression agreements, ceasefires, strong fences, strength and peace in groups.

We seldom talk about the successes of the bonds that forestall wars.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 30 2023 15:09:43
 
BarkellWH

Posts: 3462
Joined: Jul. 12 2009
From: Washington, DC

RE: The Dam Busters (in reply to estebanana

quote:


Bill,

Would you like to field this one? Because I thought I made my position of seeking grace as transparent as I could. S.


I've already made my position clear regarding the absurd comparison of Churchill and Roosevelt with Hitler and Stalin as mass murderers, as well as the equally absurd (and discredited) notion that Pearl Harbor was a set-up designed to induce the Japanese to attack in order to enter the war. Anyting further said would be redundant.

Bill

_____________________________

And the end of the fight is a tombstone white,
With the name of the late deceased,
And the epitaph drear, "A fool lies here,
Who tried to hustle the East."

--Rudyard Kipling
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 30 2023 15:50:49
 
estebanana

Posts: 9396
Joined: Oct. 16 2009
 

RE: The Dam Busters (in reply to BarkellWH

quote:

ORIGINAL: BarkellWH

quote:


Bill,

Would you like to field this one? Because I thought I made my position of seeking grace as transparent as I could. S.


I've already made my position clear regarding the absurd comparison of Churchill and Roosevelt with Hitler and Stalin as mass murderers, as well as the equally absurd (and discredited) notion that Pearl Harbor was a set-up designed to induce the Japanese to attack in order to enter the war. Anyting further said would be redundant.

Bill



That’s what I thought.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 30 2023 16:26:32
 
Piwin

Posts: 3566
Joined: Feb. 9 2016
 

RE: The Dam Busters (in reply to estebanana

Sure. I'm definitely not trying to paint a simplistic black-and-white picture saying it's all bad. Just that it's a distinct possibility that war is inherent not to us as human beings, but to the social structure we call a state. If true, as long as we remain in this model, we'll only ever be able to minimize the frequency of war, but never eradicate it. I think revisiting history through that lens yields some interesting ideas, that's all. Anyway, back to your regular program.

BTW congrats on 9,000 posts! ^^

_____________________________

"Anything you do can be fixed. What you cannot fix is the perfection of a blank page. What you cannot fix is that pristine, unsullied whiteness of a screen or a page with nothing on it—because there’s nothing there to fix."
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 30 2023 17:11:02
 
El Burdo

 

Posts: 634
Joined: Sep. 8 2011
 

RE: The Dam Busters (in reply to Piwin

Just need a little clarification ....

quote:

the social organisations we've developed require mass murder to function


Murder is extra-judicial killing. Are these social organisations requiring people to engage in extra-judicial mass killing? Without then criminalising them?

quote:

To say they're not mass murderers we have to limit that scope to a certain kind of social organisation and exclude all the others


Is this 'limiting' of scope the creation of laws that allow for killing but not murder? Thereby excluding murderers from its society but accepting killers?

Bombing civilians is murder, killing soldiers or ordering soldiers to kill other soldiers in combat isn't. Prisoners presumably aren't engaged in combat once they surrender or are captured.

Moral assessments, such as ones being made in this thread should be about killing, or requiring others to kill. By and large politicians are safe from accusations of murder, assuming they conduct their wars 'properly'.

The relevant Buddhist precept is that one should refrain from taking life, doesn't mention murder.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 30 2023 23:05:16
 
estebanana

Posts: 9396
Joined: Oct. 16 2009
 

RE: The Dam Busters (in reply to estebanana

I guess the point I was making was glossed over:

Originally what I thought was the salient part of the Dam Buster operation was that it damaged the structures so critically that Germany called back the engineer corps, materials and equipment back to the interior of their country. This movement caused the fortifications of French beachheads to be abandoned for a long enough time to make a difference in the effectiveness of the invasion of Normandy Beaches by the Allies. Now it’s possible to look at that unlikely raid as one of the pivotal events that led to the tide change in the war.

That’s all I was getting at.

As far as states being an imperfect system I’ll buy that, but states are organized in such ways that they become stable nations without mass murder as an essential component. States and international organizations with pacifist constitutions, charters and mutual defense pacts all operate this way. So I disagree that State perpetrated murder is a component of a successful state. More states could aspire to pacifist constitutions, or constitutions which observe as much as possible.
This idea of what the states role is in war and how its leaders are to be judged is a huge topic, and quite separate from the nuts and bolts of supply lines and logistics I’m musing over.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 31 2023 7:50:56
 
Piwin

Posts: 3566
Joined: Feb. 9 2016
 

RE: The Dam Busters (in reply to El Burdo

Right. Ultimately "killing" is the right word. Just that since we live in a system that creates a distinction between sanctioned and unsanctioned killing, using the term "murder" seemed like the only way to get my point across: how would our understanding of history change if we started with the premise that no killings were justified? Or to put it another way, imagine you live in a hypothetical future world where war no longer occurs, where any kind of lethal military action is illegal. Wartime killings, whether the victims be civilian or military, are extra-judicial. I'd imagine they would retroactively apply the term "murder" or something along those lines to the wars that occurred in the past. Kind of like how I have no problem using the term "rape" to describe certain marital practices of bygone cultures (and unfortunately of some current cultures...) even though the concept would not have made sense within the confines of their culture.

The limitation of scope falls broadly along the lines of what in older, more explicitly racist times they would've called civilised vs savage. Hence my reference to the Enlightenment, since a lot of the arguments we use on this topic today date back to that period, and many of those arguments originally made explicit reference to indigenous social structures, either real or imagined. So there's some sense in which the arguments we use to justify the nastier aspects of our state system were a response to the perceived criticism of it that was coming from the outside, i.e. from the indigenous groups encountered during exploration and colonization. I'm definitely not defending the concept of the noble savage. I find that concept equally as ludicrous as the Hobbesian concept of the war of each against all. Just saying that if we took more seriously the wide diversity of social organisations that have existed throughout our history, we may find clues on how to eradicate war. A "best practices" exercise as it were. And it needn't go as far as a complete rejection of the state model either, although in the long run I do think that's what it points to. For instance, in a more concrete, achievable step, if we took the idea of seasonality of power structures more seriously, it wouldn't be so hard for the permanent seats at the UNSC to understand just how much their insistence on keeping those seats undermines the international system and harms the prospects for peace. At this rate, the UN will ultimately fail, and of course it will: they were half-assing it from the start, speaking of a fair world order while at the same time insisting on having more rights than the rest. They can multiply the number of non-permanent seats as much as they want, but as long as they keep their permanent seats with veto rights, there's no reason for anyone to take the idea of a fair world order seriously. It's farcical. It completely undermines their moral authority, a fact that is then exploited by more sinister authoritarian figures. At some point you have to put your money where your mouth is. Either you believe in a fair, peaceful world order based on cooperation rather than competition, or you don't. The five countries that hold the permanent seats at the UNSC are sending a very clear message to the rest of the world saying that they just don't believe in it.

So dunno. We can keep our "tragic heroes" narratives and explore the human aspects of what it means to be at war. But that shouldn't be the only story. We should also entertain the possibility that war isn't inevitable, that it's the product of the way we have decided to organise our societies. And part of that means that we need, at least temporarily, to step away from the notion that some killings are justified while others are not. Calling Churchill a murderer might be a good place to start for that kind of thought experiment.

_____________________________

"Anything you do can be fixed. What you cannot fix is the perfection of a blank page. What you cannot fix is that pristine, unsullied whiteness of a screen or a page with nothing on it—because there’s nothing there to fix."
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 31 2023 13:12:47
 
Ricardo

Posts: 14960
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: The Dam Busters (in reply to Piwin

quote:

Sure. I'm definitely not trying to paint a simplistic black-and-white picture saying it's all bad. Just that it's a distinct possibility that war is inherent not to us as human beings, but to the social structure we call a state.


But it is very simple. There is a see-saw currently where the “state” is allowing defense and abortion to remain gray areas with some people thinking defense is murder, but abortion is not, and the opposite that abortion is murder, but defense is not. Throw capital punishment into the mix if you want, where the state has cast judgement already and it is about punishment (ie, vengeance for the crime). In order to “transcend” the gray area and remove the “state”, which as you say ‘has to happen” eventually in the future, to end war and crime, then it all has to be recognized that “killing” is “murder” period.

Human history proves, two guys pointing guns at each other means if they both put the guns down at the same time they can be “friends”, but truth is, the first one to put the gun down will become the slave of the other that refuses to give it up. And if some magic intervention removes the guns, then it is the big guy vs the little guy, whatever that might mean, and the “big” guy wins.

We have “magic intervention” now, it is called genetics. We can engineer “people” that are nice, fair, don’t get jealous, don’t want revenge, etc., and phase out all the aggressive A-holes. This will happen eventually, and will be the first step toward the stateless Utopia…but right now it is as unethical and unrealistic a path as the Nazi vision of the future. So, humanity has to live together as the colorful, aggressive A-hole murders that we are, for a long time. By the way, I feel much of the aggressive aspect of humanity is rooted in mental, physical, and sexual cycles of abuse. That is where humanity needs to start to fix the problem…but it is massive and shrouded in taboo. The “Me too” thing, is the tip of the iceberg.

_____________________________

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 31 2023 13:15:10
 
BarkellWH

Posts: 3462
Joined: Jul. 12 2009
From: Washington, DC

RE: The Dam Busters (in reply to Piwin

quote:

For instance, in a more concrete, achievable step, if we took the idea of seasonality of power structures more seriously, it wouldn't be so hard for the permanent seats at the UNSC to understand just how much their insistence on keeping those seats undermines the international system and harms the prospects for peace. At this rate, the UN will ultimately fail, and of course it will: they were half-assing it from the start, speaking of a fair world order while at the same time insisting on having more rights than the rest. They can multiply the number of non-permanent seats as much as they want, but as long as they keep their permanent seats with veto rights, there's no reason for anyone to take the idea of a fair world order seriously. It's farcical. It completely undermines their moral authority, a fact that is then exploited by more sinister authoritarian figures. At some point you have to put your money where your mouth is. Either you believe in a fair, peaceful world order based on cooperation rather than competition, or you don't. The five countries that hold the permanent seats at the UNSC are sending a very clear message to the rest of the world saying that they just don't believe in it.


The idea of increasing the number of Permanent Representatives on the United Nations Security Council has been considered from time to time and has a patina of "fairness" about it. For what it's worth, however, in my opinion I don't think it would lead to a "fair, peaceful world order based on cooperation rather than competition," as you suggest. Any increase in UNSC Perm Reps would likely be second-tier powers such as Brazil, India, Turkey, Indonesia, and South Africa. Each would have its own agenda based on national self-interest and that of its allies, just as the present Big Five Perm Reps have.

The result, as I see it, would be a greater number (six, eight, ten?) of Perm Reps with veto power over any action, intervention, or resolution put forward. All it takes is one dissenting Perm Rep's veto to block any proposed action. Rather than a "fair, peaceful world order based on cooperation," what you would see is greater gridlock, rendering the UN more irrelevant than it already is.

Bill

_____________________________

And the end of the fight is a tombstone white,
With the name of the late deceased,
And the epitaph drear, "A fool lies here,
Who tried to hustle the East."

--Rudyard Kipling
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 31 2023 17:05:31
 
Piwin

Posts: 3566
Joined: Feb. 9 2016
 

RE: The Dam Busters (in reply to Ricardo

quote:

Human history proves, two guys pointing guns at each other means if they both put the guns down at the same time they can be “friends”, but truth is, the first one to put the gun down will become the slave of the other that refuses to give it up. And if some magic intervention removes the guns, then it is the big guy vs the little guy, whatever that might mean, and the “big” guy wins


That's where I think we suffer from a lack of imagination. Outside of outright genocide where the motivation is just to get rid of you, there are theoretically a wide variety of options where you do drop the gun and maybe don't become the other guy's slave because you are doing something else that makes their aggression either pointless or actually a loss. You'll find that in the anthropology of war they're constantly distinguishing types of wars based on their purpose and motivation. Not all, but at least some types of wars can be circumvented through peaceful means IMHO. I also think it should be clear by now that even within the context of warfare, it is simply not true that the bigger guy necessarily wins. In a pitched battle sure. But, if that were true, would Mao have won in China? Would both the Soviets and Americans have left Afghanistan on a loss? Would the US be an independent country rather than a British colony? That they received some degree of support from other powers is true and shouldn't be discounted, but IMHO it's not enough to explain their victory.

What bothers me with the "history proves" argument is that really we just don't know. You can carefully curate the facts to craft a narrative of violence as innate to human beings, and the state as a necessary evil to keep it in check, essentially what Pinker did in his Better Angels book. But that's all it is: a very selective view. What we do know is that somewhere around more or less 10,000 years ago, certain forms of social structures emerged and spread like wildfire. So much so that it's pretty much the only game in town now, and we're stuck in that rut. And since there is no written history for the other forms of social structures, we have a lot less to go on to know how exactly they interacted with one another and how they resolved conflicts. That there was violent conflict is attested. But the archaeological findings are few and far between. Hardly enough to reach any conclusion as to how widespread it was. The "innate violence" crowd points to chimpanzees and says that since chimps are also war-like, our common ancestor must've been too, so we must have been like that at least for the last however long it has been since our lineages split (6 or 7 million years IIRC?). The argument falls apart of course as soon as you take the bonobo into account.

So in that kind of context, how do we figure out if war is indeed innate or if it's just a product of the kind of social structures we've set up? In the absence of a clear answer on that, personally I'd rather invest my efforts on social engineering rather than biological...

BarkellWH: I agree. More permanent seats would just be more of the same and potentially even make things worse. What I have in mind would be to abolish the permanent seats altogether. The veto rights would either be abolished along with them, or you could have a rotation system where a select number of countries hold veto rights for a limited amount of time. That's what I had in mind when I mentioned seasonality. We have examples of cultures where, for example, positions of judicial or military decision-making were handed over to different factions on a seasonal basis. The idea being that, since you know for certain that the other guy will be in the decision-making position later on, you're incentivized to not be a jerk while you hold the position. So, either no veto rights, or veto rights that rotate. Would any of the current 5 permanent seats comply if, say, Peru vetoed something? I doubt it, but IMHO that's the kind of step we would have to take if we really want to move in the direction of a fair and peaceful world order. It's not entirely without precedent, with informal traditions of alternating appointees for the leadership position of certain international institutions (except when it's freedom fries time, then all bets are off) or formal set-ups like the rotating presidency of the EU Council.

_____________________________

"Anything you do can be fixed. What you cannot fix is the perfection of a blank page. What you cannot fix is that pristine, unsullied whiteness of a screen or a page with nothing on it—because there’s nothing there to fix."
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 31 2023 18:26:55
 
estebanana

Posts: 9396
Joined: Oct. 16 2009
 

RE: The Dam Busters (in reply to estebanana

Thanks for F-ing my thread up with self indulgent off topic questions about the international state and esoteric philosophy.
Most people are familiar and normalized to have a state concept at this time. Formerly the big power was the empire, and we seem to be graduating slowly from that model into a better form of states.

May I unfacetiously suggest a
separate thread for this ?


As this particular topic is my brainchild, I invoke intellectual extra territoriality on this thread, thus making it my land under the roof of The Embassy of the Mind of Estebanana. This thread is now my sovereign territory under the treaty my mind holds with the collective mind of the Flamenco Foro and its sovereignty under the August leadership of its founder Escribano.

This is my intellectual autonomous zone under the by laws of the Foro and I am formally seeking for the resolution and removal of off topic comments from my autonomous zone. Please make a peaceful journey to the borders of my thoughts and jump into the alternative zone my embassy has created. It is with deep gratitude my mind thanks you.

I claim the by laws and legal system of the Flamenco Foro as the protectorate state of my extraterritorial claim. Let the chips fall where they may. Be aware my autonomous zone operates under a non aggression charter, but we will prosecute violations to the full extent of Foro law by way of moderator arbitration.

A continuation of this thread can be found here:

http://www.foroflamenco.com/tm.asp?m=347140&p=1&tmode=1&smode=1

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 1 2023 0:20:51
 
Piwin

Posts: 3566
Joined: Feb. 9 2016
 

RE: The Dam Busters (in reply to estebanana

quote:

self indulgent


quote:

May I unfacetiously suggest a separate thread for this ?


You could've done it without being a jack-ass about it. Coming from the guy who, when I complained about how every off-topic thread gets hijacked to discuss unrelated US-centric issues, spent several weeks adding a snide and bad-faith "anglo warning" label to all of his posts, it's a bit much.

Moving on.

_____________________________

"Anything you do can be fixed. What you cannot fix is the perfection of a blank page. What you cannot fix is that pristine, unsullied whiteness of a screen or a page with nothing on it—because there’s nothing there to fix."
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 1 2023 6:20:51
 
estebanana

Posts: 9396
Joined: Oct. 16 2009
 

RE: The Dam Busters (in reply to Piwin

quote:

ORIGINAL: Piwin

quote:

self indulgent


quote:

May I unfacetiously suggest a separate thread for this ?


You could've done it without being a jack-ass about it. Coming from the guy who, when I complained about how every off-topic thread gets hijacked to discuss unrelated US-centric issues, spent several weeks adding a snide and bad-faith "anglo warning" label to all of his posts, it's a bit much.

Moving on.



All I did was use the instrument of state craft that enabled hundreds of foreign embassies open all over the globe in an effort to create and promote harmony between nation states.

What’s diplomacy without a hint of snark? The snark reveals the actors with no humor.

Humor Alert - Humor Trigger Warning ⚠️
😆
———

What it also reveals is that you don’t have respect for the operation of state craft, but you suggest that it’s deeply flawed because nation states are predicated in the idea that they only function if mass murder is part of the operating procedure. Well I disagree, and I’m appealing to my protectorate state for maintaining my embassies extraterritoriality claim. In principle you may come and go as you like, but I’m making a point about how nation states work on the honor principle and not on murder.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 1 2023 8:10:41
 
Piwin

Posts: 3566
Joined: Feb. 9 2016
 

RE: The Dam Busters (in reply to estebanana

quote:

What it also reveals is that you don’t have respect for the operation of state craft


Funny. I've had this discussion with dozens of high-ranking officials, including military and including one head of state. None of them thought I had no respect for their craft. Though I suppose the people who would've seen it as a lack of respect are the same people who wouldn't have bothered talking to a lowly interpreter. The ones who did were those who needed a break from all the usual people they're surrounded by and just wanted someone to vent to, someone who's not asking or expecting anything from them. So I suppose there's some selection bias there. But those I did talk to about those things were quite interested in those broader philosophical issues, even if realistically they had no immediate applications to their own functions. And it's to their credit. You wouldn't want people in those functions to only ever think about the minutiae of their daily jobs or to take offence at the mere suggestion that there may be issues that are inherent to the state model and therefore unsolvable from within that model.

The "humor" is just meant to conceal the fact that you routinely do the same thing you're complaining about me doing here. Just the usual bullying tactics that far-right trolls have been using on the internet for decades in order to divert attention from legitimate criticism. If that's the crowd you wish to emulate, that's your call.

Back to Operation Chastise please. Not sure why I even tried to come back here.

_____________________________

"Anything you do can be fixed. What you cannot fix is the perfection of a blank page. What you cannot fix is that pristine, unsullied whiteness of a screen or a page with nothing on it—because there’s nothing there to fix."
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 1 2023 10:52:40
 
Ricardo

Posts: 14960
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: The Dam Busters (in reply to estebanana

quote:

Originally what I thought was the salient part of the Dam Buster operation was that it damaged the structures so critically that Germany called back the engineer corps, materials and equipment back to the interior of their country. This movement caused the fortifications of French beachheads to be abandoned for a long enough time to make a difference in the effectiveness of the invasion of Normandy Beaches by the Allies. Now it’s possible to look at that unlikely raid as one of the pivotal events that led to the tide change in the war.

That’s all I was getting at.


Indeed, a “cheap shot” is a clever distraction and part of what I would consider the weapons arsenal at the state’s disposal…for “defense” of said state of course…, however, to use each an every weapon in an arsenal, regardless if it “turns the tide” or not, is open to question of ethics. There is nothing “off topic” about discussing those ethics regarding a violent tactic that YOU brought up in the first place. But if you want the ethics discussion to be separate from the tactic itself, you should have preempted the original post with that.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 1 2023 12:13:43
 
estebanana

Posts: 9396
Joined: Oct. 16 2009
 

RE: The Dam Busters (in reply to Ricardo

quote:

ORIGINAL: Ricardo

quote:

Originally what I thought was the salient part of the Dam Buster operation was that it damaged the structures so critically that Germany called back the engineer corps, materials and equipment back to the interior of their country. This movement caused the fortifications of French beachheads to be abandoned for a long enough time to make a difference in the effectiveness of the invasion of Normandy Beaches by the Allies. Now it’s possible to look at that unlikely raid as one of the pivotal events that led to the tide change in the war.

That’s all I was getting at.


Indeed, a “cheap shot” is a clever distraction and part of what I would consider the weapons arsenal at the state’s disposal…for “defense” of said state of course…, however, to use each an every weapon in an arsenal, regardless if it “turns the tide” or not, is open to question of ethics. There is nothing “off topic” about discussing those ethics regarding a violent tactic that YOU brought up in the first place. But if you want the ethics discussion to be separate from the tactic itself, you should have preempted the original post with that.




Ricardo,

Is it a crime that I take any conversation about WWII with the a priori that war is hell, or war is unfair, or war includes extrajudicial killings? And that I separate myself from that to talk about the strategy of operations? No it’s not a crime. Sometimes we have to suspend our outrage to look at actions, whether we see the actions as mistakes or victories without questioning the moral imperative of the battle.

I identified the interlocutor on a point fair and square with no bullying and set a boundary on the conversation. Then provided an alternative venue for the conversation.

That’s a diplomatic gesture. Avoidance of conflict until all heads cool down.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 1 2023 15:10:58
 
estebanana

Posts: 9396
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RE: The Dam Busters (in reply to estebanana

Ah… finally I have my own Banana Republic, just me, one lonely actor on a stage before a house of empty seats. Pacing the stage thinking “it’s good to be the dictator”

Now that I’ve accomplished this, maybe my next challenge in being a people hater is to start a cult. Yes… brilliant idea, I’ll become a cult leader, Jim Jones or David Koresh? Hmmm

Wait, no, bad idea, I’ll have to talk to people, better remain an isolated dictator.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 2 2023 4:15:23
 
henrym3483

Posts: 1584
Joined: Nov. 13 2005
From: Limerick,Ireland

RE: The Dam Busters (in reply to estebanana

"Politicians who took us to war should have been given the guns and told to settle their differences themselves, instead of organising nothing better than legalised mass murder."

Harry Patch, The Last Fighting Tommy: The Life of Harry Patch, the Oldest Surviving Veteran of the Trenches

i'll just leave that there.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 5 2023 21:05:21
 
henrym3483

Posts: 1584
Joined: Nov. 13 2005
From: Limerick,Ireland

RE: The Dam Busters (in reply to henrym3483

quote:

"Politicians who took us to war should have been given the guns and told to settle their differences themselves, instead of organising nothing better than legalised mass murder."

Harry Patch, The Last Fighting Tommy: The Life of Harry Patch, the Oldest Surviving Veteran of the Trenches

i'll just leave that there.


now with that in mind, i have a genuine amount of respect for those who fought in ww2, from the guys involved in the dam buster raids, to the men who escaped colditz and stalag luft, also known as the great escape. it took grit, guts and courgage to do what they did in the face of unknown odds and in others certain death.

im actually writing a legal article on POW's and Roger Bushell, aka Big X, the mastermind of the escape at the moment, so a lot of this is fresh in my mind.

WW2 is a sad chapter in human history, sadly its being repeated and continued every since then, with various proxy wars and geo political chess, involving arms, debt, drugs and blackmail.

the biggest suppliers of small arms, their countries sit on the UN Security council and on other worldwide forums...if peace made money, they'd do it and reach a deal...but they don't..

there's too many investments and too much money/jobs/economic threads linked to the geo political wars along with the weapons/military industry.

some countries talk about freedom, democracy and liberty...and western values...
they would want to clean there own houses before trying to talk about the state of others.

but who's to blame...

we the people, because we vote them in, we let them 'think for us' because politics etc etc is 'too hard'....we devolve our power to them...if people actually stood up world wide, and striked for just three days...everyone lay down their pen, laptop, shovel and digger...then there would be change...but the sad fact there is no impetus to do it. we are too wrapped up in our own lives and image, to bother about building a better future...all of this is cyclical..no doubt another catastrophe bigger than the Ukraine situation is on the Horizon...and once again the cycle of hard times with make hard men and women....
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 5 2023 21:18:01
 
estebanana

Posts: 9396
Joined: Oct. 16 2009
 

RE: The Dam Busters (in reply to henrym3483

A long while ago in the 1980’s I boarded a passenger plane going to Washington DC. There was a guy in seat near me reading a magazine, he threw it in the seat, discarding it. He stepped off before me, I was sitting a few rows behind, as I passed I picked up the magazine because the cover looked interesting. It was a magazine for people who buy things from defense contractors.

I looked at it, basically it was weapon porn. The advertising copy was written like they were selling typewriters, water heaters or commercial air conditioning systems, but the products were land mines, surface to air missiles and other anti personnel ‘equipment’.
There is always a trade show somewhere that’s being put on by the publishers of such industry magazines to which contractors show their products. When I first saw how the magazine was written with ad copy and the terminology, the myriad of euphemisms for killing people, it was imprinted on me that this is a sales job, not really how my grandfather explained why the P-51 fighter plane was developed so quickly from design sketch to production and deployment to Europe. The magazine didn’t explain why the Tuskegee airmen were so valued by the B-17 crews, or how my grandmother ( true story) had a job during WWII where she flew the P-51’s from the factory up to Newfoundland to be picked up by the fellows who flew them to Europe.

It’s not that the stories I heard were romanticized takes of bravery, but the euphemisms for killing in the defense trade magazine were in high contrast to my infantry marching grandfather’s testament of being the first soldiers to get to Buchenwald. When we went fishing in his aluminum boat he’d tell me about the war. It would begin with the words “When I was over there… ) mist would rise off the water as the sun rose and his story might be punctuated by one of us catching a trout. My other relatives were on the other side of the world in Asia, another of my relatives shot down 7 Zero’s and 8 MiG 15’s - his stories were like film scripts. When he’d finish he always said the same thing, “It boggles the mind at all the bad deals being brokered, it it makes you wonder whether any of this was worth it.”

So this is why it’s important to track the stories and study the war, not because we can do a lot about it, and we can blame the big men politicians for making it happen. It’s so we can remember the ones who went through it and pass on the message that asks that question. Was it worth it?

All the blathering on about ‘the political system’ and human nature etc, that’s all intellectual masturbation. You have to remember the stories and hold them in order to create change.

I worked with these two brothers and their dad for a contractor. We remodeled houses. These guy were a black family from Oakland and their mom died when they were 12. The dad never remarried and he was kind of bitter and crusty.

The war in Afghanistan began and there was a beautiful golden hour photo taken out of the back door of a big military transport plane on the front page of the San Francisco Chronicle. It was a desert scene and it couldn’t have been a more romantic picture for army recruiters to use. One of the boys Barrett had already been in the Marines and he was out after four years, he was 23. We were at the job site looking at this photo on the cover and he said “Stew, I’m going to re-up and go back to the mid east.” ( my construction work nick name was ‘Disco Stew’ for some reason.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 6 2023 4:23:03
 
estebanana

Posts: 9396
Joined: Oct. 16 2009
 

RE: The Dam Busters (in reply to estebanana

I put my hand on him and said “ You aren’t going back over there. Look at this sh&t, the paper is so shameless they went with a photo that makes this look like Lawrence of Arabia. You are not going back there.”

I took him aside and talked to him and convinced him not to go, and the seller was that I said his dad needed him. I said you know your brother Jeremy is wild and takes too many chances, he’s not careful enough. You can’t leave again because your dad needs you and you boys are all he has. You cannot go and leave him and Jeremy here again. He’s a smart guy, and after our talk he says you know Stew you’re right.

I went on to other jobs and worked for other contractors and built guitars at night. I saw the boys and the dad at the lumber yard from time to time, they even came to a gig when I was playing guitar for dancers. The dads name was Bob, I knew he was there because he shouted at me when we walked out, “Stew! Sit your ass down and play!” ‘Sit your ass down was Bob’s trademark saying. Eventually about 4 years of passed and I got a message through a friend that other brother Jeremy got hit by a car while riding his motorcycle and he was killed instantly.

I saw Barrett at the lumber yard a few months later and we had a talk, he said he was really glad he didn’t re-up and go back into the Marines. I haven’t seen Barrett for many years now, but because of all the stories my grandfathers, great uncles etc told me, I knew what to say to Barrett to keep him from leaving. I have that power over people, and my grandfather’s would have approved of it.

And that’s why I study the nuts and bolts, because the you learn through that as much as any other way.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 6 2023 4:44:06
 
Estevan

Posts: 1938
Joined: Dec. 20 2006
From: Torontolucía

RE: The Dam Busters (in reply to estebanana

I had meant to say something about the original topic, but that intention has been interrupted.

A different dam, in different circumstances; from a scientific article published last October that has become urgently relevant tonight:
Worst case modelling for Nova Kakhovka dam break


First off, dams like the Dnipro dam in Nova Kahkovka are protected by the laws of war and the Geneva convention. Destroying it would be considered a weapon of mass destruction and an indiscriminate war crime. Article 56 of the 1977 Additional Protocol I provides:

“Works and installations containing dangerous forces, namely dams, dykes and nuclear electrical generating stations, shall not be made the object of attack, even where these objects are military objectives, if such attack may cause the release of dangerous forces and consequent severe losses among the civilian population. Other military objectives located at or in the vicinity of these works or installations shall not be made the object of attack if such attack may cause the release of dangerous forces from the works or installations and consequent severe losses among the civilian population.”

https://cornucopia.se/2022/10/worst-case-modelling-for-nova-kakhovka-dam-break/

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 6 2023 5:31:09
 
BarkellWH

Posts: 3462
Joined: Jul. 12 2009
From: Washington, DC

RE: The Dam Busters (in reply to henrym3483

quote:

i have a genuine amount of respect for those who fought in ww2, from the guys involved in the dam buster raids, to the men who escaped colditz and stalag luft, also known as the great escape. it took grit, guts and courage to do what they did in the face of unknown odds and in others certain death.


It is fitting that you pay homage to the men who fought in World War II, especially as today, June 6, is the 79th anniversary of D-Day, the allied landings on Normandy by the Americans, British, and Canadians, and the beginning of the liberation of Europe. Operation Overlord was the greatest combined-arms operation and amphibious assault in history, involving 150,000 men in over 5,000 ships, and 1,500 tanks scheduled to land in the first wave, supported by 12,000 aircraft.

I agree that the men who fought in World War II were the "Greatest Generation," as is often said. As you note, they had grit, guts, and courage to do what they did. They were a generation that had been hardened and tempered by the Great Depression.

I wonder if subsequent generations, including today's, would have the same grit, guts, and courage to face what they faced. Of course we have men and women who willingly fought in Iraq and Afghanistan, but those were nowhere near the campaigns ("Crusade," as Eisenhower called the war in Europe) against existential threats like the Axis in the Second World War. And only one percent of the American public serves in the military now, even during those wars. If we were faced with the equivalent of the Nazi menace today, would many answer the call to arms? I wonder.

Bill

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And the end of the fight is a tombstone white,
With the name of the late deceased,
And the epitaph drear, "A fool lies here,
Who tried to hustle the East."

--Rudyard Kipling
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 6 2023 13:14:11
 
estebanana

Posts: 9396
Joined: Oct. 16 2009
 

RE: The Dam Busters (in reply to BarkellWH

quote:

ORIGINAL: BarkellWH

quote:

i have a genuine amount of respect for those who fought in ww2, from the guys involved in the dam buster raids, to the men who escaped colditz and stalag luft, also known as the great escape. it took grit, guts and courage to do what they did in the face of unknown odds and in others certain death.


It is fitting that you pay homage to the men who fought in World War II, especially as today, June 6, is the 79th anniversary of D-Day, the allied landings on Normandy by the Americans, British, and Canadians, and the beginning of the liberation of Europe. Operation Overlord was the greatest combined-arms operation and amphibious assault in history, involving 150,000 men in over 5,000 ships, and 1,500 tanks scheduled to land in the first wave, supported by 12,000 aircraft.

I agree that the men who fought in World War II were the "Greatest Generation," as is often said. As you note, they had grit, guts, and courage to do what they did. They were a generation that had been hardened and tempered by the Great Depression.

I wonder if subsequent generations, including today's, would have the same grit, guts, and courage to face what they faced. Of course we have men and women who willingly fought in Iraq and Afghanistan, but those were nowhere near the campaigns ("Crusade," as Eisenhower called the war in Europe) against existential threats like the Axis in the Second World War. And only one percent of the American public serves in the military now, even during those wars. If we were faced with the equivalent of the Nazi menace today, would many answer the call to arms? I wonder.

Bill



Back to my original supposition, would Operation Overlord been as it went, or even possible had not the engineer corps of Germany been pulled off the French coast? We never know.

But we can still distinguish between the wars brought to us or anyone that are required to fight, and those that we drum up for reasons that lack a true moral imperative to fight. To me, WWII and the current war in Ukraine are conflicts that were and are just to fight. Other conflicts I question the base need to participate or create.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 6 2023 13:40:50
 
BarkellWH

Posts: 3462
Joined: Jul. 12 2009
From: Washington, DC

RE: The Dam Busters (in reply to estebanana

quote:

But we can still distinguish between the wars brought to us or anyone that are required to fight, and those that we drum up for reasons that lack a true moral imperative to fight. To me, WWII and the current war in Ukraine are conflicts that were and are just to fight. Other conflicts I question the base need to participate or create.


Agreed. That's why I made the distinction between Iraq and Afghanistan as nowhere near the existential threats the Axis was in World War II.

Bill

_____________________________

And the end of the fight is a tombstone white,
With the name of the late deceased,
And the epitaph drear, "A fool lies here,
Who tried to hustle the East."

--Rudyard Kipling
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 6 2023 14:29:55
 
estebanana

Posts: 9396
Joined: Oct. 16 2009
 

RE: The Dam Busters (in reply to BarkellWH

quote:

ORIGINAL: BarkellWH

quote:

But we can still distinguish between the wars brought to us or anyone that are required to fight, and those that we drum up for reasons that lack a true moral imperative to fight. To me, WWII and the current war in Ukraine are conflicts that were and are just to fight. Other conflicts I question the base need to participate or create.


Agreed. That's why I made the distinction between Iraq and Afghanistan as nowhere near the existential threats the Axis was in World War II.

Bill



I also agree with you about the Greatest Generation and how sorely the wisdom of most of them is missed. I met some who were bigoted, but even then didn’t harbor false pride about what they had to do. Not boastful, just matter of fact. I met Vietnam vets ( on both sides ) who were the same and conducted themselves with admirable humility. A kind of humility that even I see is missing in a brand of leaders. Anyway, heck of a thing, I just saw a broken Ukrainian dam on the news.

It’s interesting to note that skipping bombs also developed in the western Pacific Ocean when US pilots skipped bombs into the sides of Japanese ships.,

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 6 2023 14:54:57
 
estebanana

Posts: 9396
Joined: Oct. 16 2009
 

RE: The Dam Busters (in reply to Estevan

quote:

ORIGINAL: Estevan

I had meant to say something about the original topic, but that intention has been interrupted.

A different dam, in different circumstances; from a scientific article published last October that has become urgently relevant tonight:
Worst case modelling for Nova Kakhovka dam break


First off, dams like the Dnipro dam in Nova Kahkovka are protected by the laws of war and the Geneva convention. Destroying it would be considered a weapon of mass destruction and an indiscriminate war crime. Article 56 of the 1977 Additional Protocol I provides:

“Works and installations containing dangerous forces, namely dams, dykes and nuclear electrical generating stations, shall not be made the object of attack, even where these objects are military objectives, if such attack may cause the release of dangerous forces and consequent severe losses among the civilian population. Other military objectives located at or in the vicinity of these works or installations shall not be made the object of attack if such attack may cause the release of dangerous forces from the works or installations and consequent severe losses among the civilian population.”

https://cornucopia.se/2022/10/worst-case-modelling-for-nova-kakhovka-dam-break/



I read the article and saw the dam on the news.

Putin will get what’s coming to him, and it won’t be Ukraine.

🇺🇦

He’s already been charged as a war criminal for his abduction of Ukrainian children.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 6 2023 20:54:28
 
Escribano

Posts: 6422
Joined: Jul. 6 2003
From: England, living in Italy

RE: The Dam Busters (in reply to estebanana

quote:

Back to my original supposition, would Operation Overlord been as it went, or even possible had not the engineer corps of Germany been pulled off the French coast? We never know.


Dunno, but The Atlantic Wall was poorly manned with a lot of old soldiers, youngsters and "non-Aryans" as the Eastern Front was more important to the defence of Germany. Panzer divisions were too far away in the early days and German stayed fighting within range of Allied naval guns.

All down to Hitler's interference and doctrine.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 6 2023 22:02:45
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