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View Diary: Book review: Jake Tapper's 'The Outpost' (112 comments)

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  •  I hate to say this and I will be flamed (26+ / 0-)

    but the American people are ultimately the ones responsible for the Afghanistan war.  We should've just got Bin Laden and then left.  We don't demand information from our leaders.  Most Americans don't understand this conflict and won't take responsibility to.  We let our emotions rule us.  We have plenty of previous wars and conflicts in history to educate us on what to do, but we refuse to read.  

    We took all the wrong lessons from Vietnam and World War II.  We still believe brutality and violence for the right reasons is moral, and that backing down and not having "balls" is something to be avoided, whereas logic and reason are seen as weaknesses.  Ideology does not whitewash brutality.  Until you fix that basic part of our thinking, nothing moves forward.

    "Holding on to anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die," - Buddha.

    by sujigu on Sun Mar 10, 2013 at 08:34:00 AM PDT

    •  I agree completely. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      The Marti, thomask, dinazina, KenBee

      But some of us needed to see an endless stream of blood.

    •  I'm not so sure you'd get flamed (30+ / 0-)

      There's a general Tapper interviewed that hinted at the same thing. I took a quote from the book but it didn't end up making into the review, so I'll add it here (my emphasis added):

      In the course of my conversations and interviews for this project, I was told by one recently retired general with experience in Afghanistan that he hoped this book might have an impact on the nation in wars going forward.

      How so? I asked.

      "The wars of the twenty-first century have been outsourced by the American people to our government in D.C. and to our military," he said. "With an all-volunteer force, the American people are no more connected to our armed forces than the Roman citizens were to the legionnaires. And now we even pay for wars with tax cuts. So, who war and whose Army is it?"

      The general hoped that at least some members of the public would, through reading this book, come to a greater understanding of just what war entails, what the sacrifices mean. "I worry it is becoming too easy for the United States to use force," he added. "There are not enough domestic constraints."

    •  it should have been treated (11+ / 0-)

      as a police action, not a global war against a nebulous concept that can be anywhere, any time- a war that can be used to justify anything, anywhere, any time. but once the bush-cheney-rumsfeld-rice team got over their initial shock at their own devastating failures, they realized that they could manipulate the moment to seemingly justify all their larger, more sinister aspirations.

      The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

      by Laurence Lewis on Sun Mar 10, 2013 at 09:16:05 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I am reading a book right now about the Mexican- (6+ / 0-)

      American War ginned up by President Polk after his defeat of Henry Clay, pretty much started by the annexation of Texas and Polk's belief in the Manifest Destiny doctrine and the coveting of Arizona, New Mexico and California.  The war starts with a great jingoistic effort but ends up in disillusionment and unhappiness among the "volunteers" who sign up to defeat the Mexicans.  

      This pattern of enthusiasm and then disgust at the horrors of war seems to be a familiar pattern among all of this nation's "wars of choice" that stretches back to the beginning of the Republic.

      And it feels like I'm livin'in the wasteland of the free ~ Iris DeMent, 1996

      by MrJersey on Sun Mar 10, 2013 at 09:26:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The Cheney and Bush people (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Susan Gardner, dinazina, 417els, KenBee, kurt

      created a national, even international, climate of fear and hysteria in the time immediately follow late 2001. And they and their minions, including many in the DC press corps, used it to full advantage to brainwash the population into thinking, knowing that the only way to deal with the situation was to throw lots of military hardware at it.

      Had the government been in more thoughtful, compassionate hands, it's possible that the 2001 attacks could have been treated as what they were, a matter for international policing, not war.

      Life is extremely cheap to the right-wing until a decision about it is either in the hands of a pregnant women or a Democratic president. -- Lia Matera

      by Mnemosyne on Sun Mar 10, 2013 at 10:44:08 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  what a crock (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kurt

      "We don't demand information from our leaders."

      Uh, actually, we do. They illegally refuse to provide it. The Obama admin, despite promises of openness, has fought systematically against FOIA requests.

      Everything you attribute to "we" was actually Cheney and Bush. THEY avoided Vietnam, THEY exploited emotions, THEY refused to listen. (What good did all the protests do before the invasion of Iraq? None.)

      "We still believe brutality and violence for the right reasons is moral, and that backing down and not having "balls" is something to be avoided, whereas logic and reason are seen as weaknesses."

      Let's say a regime is committing genocide and/or ethnic cleansing, and despite repeated attempts at reason and diplomacy, they persist. Then what? Let them exterminate people. Read Wesley Clark's book about Kosovo and you quickly start to ask why they again tried diplomacy with Milosevic. Some people only understand force.

      "The dirty secret is that Obama is a moderate conservative. If I were a liberal democrat, I probably would be upset." Bruce Bartlett

      by DrReason on Sun Mar 10, 2013 at 11:31:25 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I wonder if (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        KenBee

        some of the reluctance to provide information now on military operations still ongoing, even though begun under Cheney and Bush, is that they are ongoing?

        Might it be that once the troops are out of Afghanistan that more information could be forthcoming? I don't know the answer, and only time will say.

        We live in such a 24/7 world of unedited information stream that it's hard to tell immediately what's real and what's not, what's important and not. Unfortuntely, the best way of determining is just to let some time pass.

        Life is extremely cheap to the right-wing until a decision about it is either in the hands of a pregnant women or a Democratic president. -- Lia Matera

        by Mnemosyne on Sun Mar 10, 2013 at 11:57:11 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  no one is mentioning some guy named Kerry (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          kurt, adrianrf

          iirc he was an ex soldier who at one point recommended a different response after 911 in Afghanistan...but he was a weak saggy pants liberal and he windsurfed, so he must have lied about his VN service.
            Sure glad we had strong leaders when we needed them.
          .
          .too bitter? ya...

          This machine kills Fascists.

          by KenBee on Sun Mar 10, 2013 at 10:35:13 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  My 2003 experiences were different than yours (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kurt

        I do not recall the general American populace reacting in horror to Bush's trial balloons-cum-statements of intent to invade Iraq. I do recall POTUS Bush 43 having sky-high approval ratings during that period. So no "We don't demand information from our leaders." is anythng BUT a crock.

      •  Yeah BS (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kurt

        Sorry that thinking put guns in the hands of right wing terrorists in Honduras and Nicaragua fighting "communists" i.e. their political opponents as they went house to house murdering people.  It's led to the death of 1.5 million Indonesians accused of being communists whose names were given to the authorities by U.S. intelligence.  They were killed for their political beliefs.

        You can use violence and brutality all you want, just don't paper it over with pretty words.  What you are doing is brutal, it's just you think it's most effective for your aims.

        Logic and reason still needed to prevail.  If they had, the American public wouldn't have been so easily swayed to go to Iraq.  Remember, most Americans are ignoring that the wars are happening.  They're avoiding making a choice.  Putting it all on Cheney and Bush washes the hands of the American public and that's not right.  

        "Holding on to anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die," - Buddha.

        by sujigu on Sun Mar 10, 2013 at 02:23:14 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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