Sudetenland 2.0

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Zetetic11235
 
Reply Sun 17 Aug, 2008 02:43 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
It is indeed true that we have let ourselfs become indebted to china, and it is quite shameful and hypocritical that we have done so. We continue our embargo with cuba, yet trade shamelessly with the chinese, forgetting our ideological convictions. We need to cut back on our foreign dependence and implememnt the same sort of balancing trade restrictions on the chinese that we have with the Japanese. It might be too little too late though.

I found this editorial regarding china interesting : The Barefoot Bum: Debt to China
 
Didymos Thomas
 
Reply Sun 17 Aug, 2008 05:08 pm
@Zetetic11235,
And people still praise Nixon for opening trade to China.
 
Aedes
 
Reply Mon 18 Aug, 2008 02:17 pm
@Zetetic11235,
Zetetic11235 wrote:
It is indeed true that we have let ourselfs become indebted to china, and it is quite shameful and hypocritical that we have done so.
It's just market forces, and it wasn't by virtue of national policy until they entered the WTO. I just heard on NPR yesterday that China comprises 40% of our national trade deficit -- in other words, the private American consumer demands Chinese goods. Perhaps not knowingly, but that's the way the supply and demand flow.

Quote:
We continue our embargo with cuba yet trade shamelessly with the chinese, forgetting our ideological convictions.
If it hasn't worked in Cuba do you think there's any point in China? We only have the embargo with Cuba because we can afford to. It's not quite bullying, per se, but it's close. But we can't get away with it with China, our economy depends on them too much.

I wouldn't overestimate our country's willingness to act on principle, whatever facade we show. I mean even on a subject like genocide, i.e. a "crime against humanity" in which you'd think principle would supercede economic and political factors, we're ridiculously inconsistent. We intervene in Bosnia and Kosovo, but just ~2 years earlier we egregiously and actively impede intervention in Rwanda; we go liberate (however imperfectly) the Afghan people from one of the most horrible governments in the modern world, yet we won't walk the walk on Darfur. The cultural ethnic cleansing in Tibet is something that sells bumper stickers and that we whine about but honestly there is zero will here or anywhere else to do anything about it.

So if we aren't willing to follow even THAT principle, i.e. nothing is worse than a "crime against humanity", then what do you expect for the routine oppressions and abuses in the world? Money always wins.
 
Didymos Thomas
 
Reply Mon 18 Aug, 2008 03:06 pm
@Aedes,
Quote:
Money always wins.


99% of the time, anyway.

Issues like Darfur and Tibet are ignored by politicians because the political capital they stand to gain from addressing those issues is not as significant as the political damage they would cause themselves.

It's no coincidence that US politicians leave Darfur and Tibet well alone. Both involve taking on China; not an easy task.

No politician is going to tell the American public that we have to pay twice as much for consumer goods in order to save lives. Millions of abused people halfway around the world mean less than cheap TVs.

I try to avoid buying Chinese made goods. This can be tough on a budget, but I figure trying is better than absolute apathy.
 
Aedes
 
Reply Mon 18 Aug, 2008 05:08 pm
@Zetetic11235,
It hardly matters, you could spend all your money at the farmer's market and a big chunk of your money will still go to each abhorrent entity, whether a foreign government or a corporation, just by virtue of being part of the economy. But I also try to be as guiltless as possible, avoiding buying gas at places with bad human rights abuses in Africa like BP and Shell
 
Holiday20310401
 
Reply Mon 18 Aug, 2008 05:59 pm
@Aedes,
 
Aedes
 
Reply Mon 18 Aug, 2008 10:24 pm
@Holiday20310401,
Holiday20310401 wrote:
When it comes to the toys the USA has, well, most of what the US researches are ways to enhance the aircraft.
Except for the missile technology, bomb technology, sub technology, personnel weaponry technology, computer technology, satellite technology...

Quote:
And why can't troops be deployed from aircraft, besides navy?
Because you either need a friendly airbase to launch from, or you need to launch from a ship.

Quote:
Russia's too big a country to defend every square inch from aerial assault, right?
A large part of the reason why both Hitler and Napoleon made it very far into Russia was because it's so vast that Russian / Soviet forces could never consolidate a defense.

On the other hand a large part of why both Hitler's and Napoleon's invasions are regarded as two of the dumbest military blunders in the history of the planet was because you can't maintain supply lines that go all the way to Moscow / St. Petersburg / Volgograd.

So what do you suggest, dropping 100,000 paratroopers into the steppes and having them live off of local root vegetables and vodka? Or dropping them into Moscow as if capturing the city really matters? Time and again in history (with the WORST failure being the British during the American Revolution, who occupied NYC and Philadelphia for virtually the entire war and Boston for the first year, to no meaningful end), people have looked at capturing important cities as the objective of war. But it's just not the case -- the strategy of a war, plain and simple, is to destroy the enemy's ability to wage war, which means destroying / disabling their military. Do you really think an army like Russia's, in a territory like Russia's, could be more than trivially affected by air assault in the absence of a massive occupying army?

Hitler invaded in 1941 with a land force comprising 2-3 million infantry, vastly superior mobile warfare and artillery, and complete air supremacy against a USSR that had a WWI-era army in which the entire military leadership had been executed by Stalin during the previous decade. And Hitler STILL got obliterated by the USSR.

And this is why short of a massive, well-supplied land invasion, the technology is basically incidental. I mean it's taken 250,000 ground forces to barely maintain stability in Iraq, and this is a country that doesn't even have a hostile army anymore.

Quote:
War doesn't get anywhere, just adds employment for American citizens, which I doubt the government is concerned about when looking at motives for war.
I think FDR was pretty concerned about that... And you may be too young to recall this, but back in 1992 many people speculated that George HW Bush began military operations in Somalia as a means to get the country out of recession (or at least distract the populace from the recession, because the first Gulf War was pretty popular among the American people).

Quote:
What is the reason you think for the war in Iraq anyways?
All those hidden WMDs, obviously... oh wait, GWB said in his last State of the Union that the war was because "Saddam Hussein was a clear threat." Glad he cleared that one up.

Quote:
Most of the civilian casualties were initially being blamed on the Georgian troops, but then again there were independent bodies like the Red Cross who reviewed morgue census numbers, and concluded that both sides were exaggerating the number of fatalities for rhetorical purposes.
 
Holiday20310401
 
Reply Mon 18 Aug, 2008 10:45 pm
@Aedes,
Aedes wrote:
Except for the missile technology, bomb technology, sub technology, personnel weaponry technology, computer technology, satellite technology...


Good point Laughing

But Carriers and the aircraft the USA has is being advanced so quickly. Airbases won't be needed. Everything like refueling will be done in the skies.
 
Aedes
 
Reply Mon 18 Aug, 2008 11:24 pm
@Holiday20310401,
Holiday20310401 wrote:
But Carriers and the aircraft the USA has is being advanced so quickly. Airbases won't be needed. Everything like refueling will be done in the skies.
Doesn't matter. Read the rest of my post. The problem is not getting troops in. It's been done before using the largest land armies in the history of the world and it didn't work then. Do you think that if the Wermacht, with the largest land invasion in history, was unable to subdue the USSR in the 1940s, that a little strike squad of airborne troops 1/30th the size of Operation Barbarossa would be able to accomplish anything in 2008?

Your point above, that Russia is too big to entirely to defend from air assault, misses the point. You don't attack a country. You attack an army. An invading force is not going after some stand of fir trees in the Siberian Arctic. It would have to neutralize the opposing army, otherwise there is no point.
 
Zetetic11235
 
Reply Tue 19 Aug, 2008 02:10 am
@Aedes,
There will not be any invasion of russia, it will not happen. We would loose international support if any such action were to take place, and I am sure that Russia would not hesitate to launch all of its warheads in an effort to stop U.S. bombardment.

We have nowhere near a comprehensive enough missile defence shield to deflect a full nuclear attack from Russia, and vice versa.

Russia, however, is hurting itself in these actions and driving away business partners it has/ had in foreign countries. Without oil and natural gas, Russia is a third world coutry. As we shift to alternatives, as will probably be much easier with the help of a bit of anti russian propaganda to gain the patriotic bid, Russia will find itself crippled with no way out unless it conceeds to the will of the international community.

As far as china goes, we should indeed work to gain leverage over them and alieviate the debt. We should aslo be working to avoid futher debt. I would, in the interest of the western ideal and in the interest of basic human rights, advocate any means by which we might topple China and preferably appear the protaganist. I am all for undermining a country solely on the grounds of preventing the prevalence of a conflicting ideology if only in order to keep a fairly homogenous set of ideals among those in power. I believe it is preferable to avoid polarity of ideals at all costs than to allow for what could ensue. It is from the stark polarity of emotionally charged cultural ideals that real conflict grows, and with the power of the conflicting view point so goes the tension, the greater the presence, the greater the tension.

In the end, every country works towards its interests as best it can. We should work towards our own ends and try to convince everyone else who will listen that our way it the best, or at least preferable to the other options. We should cultivate our relationship with the EU, the only other group with power and wealth similar to our own. At the same time, I would consider it of necessity to keep our military strong if for nothing else, then a deterrent. Our military has been progressively shrinking with such efforts as those of Clinton and other democratic leaders, this may need to be reversed, a greater focus on military power may be needed.

The only country which poses a threat to Western power is China, but China alone will only hold so much power. The general western sentiment concerning the merits of democracy and human rights would still hold strong in well over 3/4s of the world powers. China cannot really afford to continue as it has, and I think it quite likely that as China rises to its seat of power, it must also embrace the Western mindset in order to maximize its buisiness interests. More and more it seems that china more than anything wants to have a place in the international community, and they seem fairly willing to compromise in order to get it.
 
iconoclast
 
Reply Tue 19 Aug, 2008 02:36 am
@Didymos Thomas,
Zetetic11235,

Quote:
Once a sufficent number of people in S. Osetia were Russian citizens, they began provoking Georgia with small arms fire, which Georgia did not initially respond to. Upon the non response, these 'rebels' took further liberties until Georgia could no longer ignore it


So Georgia responded to small arms fire from S.Ossetia by indescriminately shelling the population with tanks and artillery? If that were the case it would be bizzare, but it's not that simple.

1991-92 S Ossetia fights war to break away from newly independent Georgia; Russia enforces truce
2004 Mikhail Saakashvili elected Georgian president, promising to recover lost territories
2006 S Ossetians vote for independence in unofficial referendum
April 2008 Russia steps up ties with Abkhazia and South Ossetia
July 2008 Russia admits flying jets over S Ossetia; Russia and Georgia accuse each other of military build-up
7 August 2008 After escalating Georgian-Ossetian clashes, sides agree to ceasefire
8 August 2008 Heavy fighting erupts overnight, Georgian forces close on Tskhinvali.

South Ossetia had a referendum and declared independence from Georgia, but was not recognized by any other country, not the EU, US, not Russia, and least of all Georgia. From the US/EU point of view therefore, it might be argued that this is a civil conflict within Georgia and that Russia is violating sovereignty. But rather like the Serbia's actions in Kosovo, there are humanitarian considerations, ethnic cleansing conducted by the state that the US/EU position at least implicity sanctions.

The US/EU couldn't recognize Ossetian independence because they'd forged ties with Georgia to get oil from Azerbaijan, overland through the BTC oil pipeline, but in recent years there have been questions about its economic viability - relative to shipping, and the war on terror has put it in jeapordy. On 5th Aug - two days before Georgia launched it's offensive, the flow of oil was halted by a 'terrorist attack' in Turkey. On the 7th Georgia attacks S.Ossetia - Russia counters, and now the US/EU, who acted in Serbia/Kosovo, but refused to recognize S.Ossetia's refferendum and declaration of independence, condemn Russia's actions on the basis of sovereignty.

The Russian action isn't dissimilar to the NATO action in Serbia, but is condemned by the EU-US on the basis of a principle they clearly have no respect for - for afterall, what is soveriegnty based upon if not the democratically expressed will to self determination?

In light of failure to recognize Ossetia the US/EU should just mind thier own business - but there's the missile shield in Poland, that has been a stalled project until now. This is the US/EU interest - underlying the logic of a political stance that is profoundly hypocritical.

iconoclast.
 
Aedes
 
Reply Tue 19 Aug, 2008 06:13 am
@Zetetic11235,
Zetetic11235 wrote:
There will not be any invasion of russia.
We all know that, Holiday had just raised that hypothetical scenario. I'm sure the Pentagon has been playing wargames about this, though, as they have since the 1940s (if not before).
 
Holiday20310401
 
Reply Tue 19 Aug, 2008 02:11 pm
@Aedes,
Aedes wrote:
A large part of the reason why both Hitler and Napoleon made it very far into Russia was because it's so vast that Russian / Soviet forces could never consolidate a defense.


I need to study napolean to have any remarks but I thought Hitler was smart about the slow expansion he tried to make. When he took the sudentland wasn't it the power house of the Czechoslovakia beforehand?

Aedes wrote:
On the other hand a large part of why both Hitler's and Napoleon's invasions are regarded as two of the dumbest military blunders in the history of the planet was because you can't maintain supply lines that go all the way to Moscow / St. Petersburg / Volgograd.


I'm sure world domination is stupid to try as a single country the size of Germany's empire no matter who leads the invasion.

Aedes wrote:
So what do you suggest, dropping 100,000 paratroopers into the steppes and having them live off of local root vegetables and vodka?


No, I would go about it more diplomatically.

Aedes wrote:
Hitler invaded in 1941 with a land force comprising 2-3 million infantry, vastly superior mobile warfare and artillery, and complete air supremacy against a USSR that had a WWI-era army in which the entire military leadership had been executed by Stalin during the previous decade. And Hitler STILL got obliterated by the USSR.


Hitler thought it would be easy to get Moscow.

Aedes wrote:
And this is why short of a massive, well-supplied land invasion, the technology is basically incidental. I mean it's taken 250,000 ground forces to barely maintain stability in Iraq, and this is a country that doesn't even have a hostile army anymore.


It would matter if the USA was anywhere near Iraq.

Aedes wrote:
I think FDR was pretty concerned about that... And you may be too young to recall this, but back in 1992 many people speculated that George HW Bush began military operations in Somalia as a means to get the country out of recession (or at least distract the populace from the recession, because the first Gulf War was pretty popular among the American people).


Is it a major concern right now?:letme-at-em: :poke-eye:

Aedes wrote:
All those hidden WMDs, obviously... oh wait, GWB said in his last State of the Union that the war was because "Saddam Hussein was a clear threat." Glad he cleared that one up.


:lol:Then why doesn't Bush get out of Iraq now, let alone Harper. Canada is threatened by Taliban to get out or civilians will die. And Bush has been asked by the reluctantly coopertive Iraqi government.

Aedes wrote:
Most of the civilian casualties were initially being blamed on the Georgian troops, but then again there were independent bodies like the Red Cross who reviewed morgue census numbers, and concluded that both sides were exaggerating the number of fatalities for rhetorical purposes.


Exaggerated numbers makes sense. But I think it is obvious Georgia is not going to make a real threat on Russia.
 
Aedes
 
Reply Tue 19 Aug, 2008 03:13 pm
@Holiday20310401,
Holiday20310401 wrote:
I thought Hitler was smart about the slow expansion he tried to make. When he took the sudentland wasn't it the power house of the Czechoslovakia beforehand?
You're talking about a comparatively minor (and bloodless) maneuver before the war started. Was it smart? I mean he had overwhelming military force, and the Sudetenland was filled with ethnic Germans who were sympathetic, and he didn't really care about the diplomatic implications.

But honestly, you can only judge him as a diplomatic gambler up to that point, because starting from 1939 he repeatedly asserted himself as the single most incompetent military leader ever to exist. The initially successful battlefield tactic of blitzkrieg (which was thanks to Heinz Guderian, not Hitler), was no reflection on Hitler's prowess as a military leader. Yes, the world's first true mobile warfare overwhelmed Poland and France, was a failure in North Africa, and died its last death in Russia.

Hitler's first huge mistake was believing that he could conduct a war against Poland without inviting war with Britain and France. He miscalculated -- he never wanted a war in Western Europe, he only wanted to wage war in the east.

He and his fat friend Goering, in the Battle of Britain, conducted a terror bombing campaign that killed a bunch of civilians, but had no strategic value, and they ended up losing air supremacy for good for the remainder of the war. Worse for him, he was hoping to get Britain to sue for peace, and his bombing campaign made that impossible.

Next, once the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, Hitler independently declared war against the US. The US would have been just as happy to fight Japan and not have their own two-front war. But Hitler invited FDR and Eisenhower and Patton on board.

But the biggest blunder of them all was the invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941. It was from the start an unwinnable war. His reconnaisance in the USSR was terrible (his generals had no idea how bad Russian roads were), and he was utterly delusional to think that he could bring the USSR to its knees with swift blitzkrieg tactics. Once the Wermacht got stopped in front of Moscow and Leningrad, and had to overwinter in 1941-1942, Germany was doomed. Hitler knew that Germany couldn't fight a war of attrition, in which the winner would ultimately be the one that could withstand the greatest loss of lives.

But he pressed on, leading to the Battle of Stalingrad in 1942-1943 which was the biggest battle in world history (2 million dead all in all), and absolutely crushed the Wermacht. It was an unnecessary battle, it was tactically atrocious, and he forced ~300,000 Germans to stay and fight while surrounded by the Red Army rather than break out. Following the Kursk a few months later, Hitler never launched another significant offensive in the east for the rest of the war.

D-day was another leadership catastrophe for Hitler, dividing his generals, not allowing them use of tanks, and not allowing them emergency authority to respond to an invasion without his approval.

And there are so many other stories of his unbelievably dumb decisions, especially in the last year of the war when he launched hopeless operations (like the Battle of the Bulge), when he refused to let his troops consolidate near Berlin to form defensive lines, etc.

Read two books by Antony Beevor, "Stalingrad" and "The Fall of Berlin" if you want to know more...

Quote:
Hitler thought it would be easy to get Moscow.
He thought a lot of things...
 
Zetetic11235
 
Reply Tue 19 Aug, 2008 03:59 pm
@Aedes,
Hitler was a meth addict by late '42. His main consultant in all matters was a mystic astrologist. Theodore Wulff was this mystic drug giver.

Besides, Hitler's brilliance was in Oratory and propaganda, rather in millitary prowess. Romell was the tactician of the bunch.
 
Aedes
 
Reply Tue 19 Aug, 2008 05:12 pm
@Zetetic11235,
Rommell looked awfully good in the desert and awfully bad in France. We think of D-day as a bloody epic, but honestly the Atlantic Wall was broken by noon on June 6. Rommell effectively recreated the Maginot Line, i.e. a useless static defense made out of strongpoints. Of course being asked to fortify the coast from the Bay of Biscay all the way up to Norway was a bit of a mission impossible for him, and there were a lot of other factors that compromised it, but either way it was a pretty low moment for Rommell's tactical legacy. I should add that I don't give Rommell much of a humanitarian pass either, by the way -- he just kept far worse company.

Of the Wermacht generals, the best tactician was clearly Guderian, who essentially invented the blitzkrieg tactics, i.e. highly mobile warfare with tank and air support, usually moving in quick pincer formations. That's how the Germans captured (and very promptly executed) around 600,000 Red Army troops within the first few weeks of the war. Guderian was actually brazen enough to openly bark at Hitler for his stupid tactical micromanagement, nearly up until the Battle of Berlin (he was dismissed shortly before it).
 
Zetetic11235
 
Reply Tue 19 Aug, 2008 07:29 pm
@Aedes,
This is interesting. It is rather uplifing that the best tactician was one of the few sane men involved. He was never charged with any war crimes and remained reasonably productive after the war.
 
 

 
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