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Old 8th December 2012, 09:53 PM   #41
gumboot
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Originally Posted by Profanz View Post
"Vietnam and so on..."

Really?

Korean War 36,516 US dead

Vietnam 58,151 US Deaths

How was it a success? Who gained from any of it?

Well, if you asked the average South Korean they'd probably say they gained from the Korean War, judging by their northern neighbours.
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Old 8th December 2012, 10:05 PM   #42
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Originally Posted by Loss Leader View Post
I think the war that most cemented the character and nature of the human world would have to be the (theorized) hunting to extinction of neanderthals by cro-magnons. Our visceral hatred of the natural world, of anything that reminds us of our animal roots, our fear of strangers, and our insanely racist idea of manifest destiny all spring from our victory over neanderthals.
Go on, then. You made all that up, didn't you?

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My second choice would be the WWI-WWII period. It destroyed forever the concept of empire, moved the production curve farther and faster than ever before, brought meaning to the concept of "human rights", and perhaps made "war" itself obsolete in the process.
I'm pretty sure war is not even close to being obsolete.

Your entire argument by assertion seems to be based in an unsupported fantasy history, coupled with a laughably implausible ignorance of actual history.
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Old 8th December 2012, 10:24 PM   #43
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Would Great Britain have been able to contain and control America even without the revolutionary war? And to what extent and for how long?

Would black people have remained slaves to this day without the civil war?

Would Nazi Germany have really been able to invade America and fight Russia at the same time? Was Hitler that stupid? What if Hitler won? Would we really all be Nazi now? I doubt it.

Did we really need to invade Iraq?

What if Iran gets a nuke? Does one more nuke in the world really matter?

Oh I know that there might be different answers to all of these questions. But war is still stupid to me.
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Old 8th December 2012, 10:30 PM   #44
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Originally Posted by Profanz View Post
Oh I know that there might be different answers to all of these questions. But war is still stupid to me.
Would North Korea really have conquered South Korea? Would there still be a Gangnam style video?

What I mean is, ask any South Korean if war is stupid. Without war, they would have been as bad off as the North Koreans - at least for a time.
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Old 8th December 2012, 10:33 PM   #45
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Originally Posted by Profanz View Post
Oh I know that there might be different answers to all of these questions. But war is still stupid to me.
/thread
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Old 8th December 2012, 10:47 PM   #46
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Originally Posted by crescent View Post
Would North Korea really have conquered South Korea? Would there still be a Gangnam style video?

What I mean is, ask any South Korean if war is stupid. Without war, they would have been as bad off as the North Koreans - at least for a time.
But they didn't fight it. We did. Was it worth it to us? How? If South Korea falls will Korea invade downtown LA? I doubt it.

Communism fades with time. If the people don't want it then it doesn't last and wasn't real to begin with.

Just wait it out and watch it fail. And watch it on your communist China built TV.
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Old 8th December 2012, 11:01 PM   #47
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Originally Posted by Profanz View Post

Oh I know that there might be different answers to all of these questions. But war is still stupid to me.
Well if you'd said that up front, we could have saved a lot of time trying to figure out your actual question, and providing answers that you choose to ignore.

Agree... /end thread/ indeed
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Old 8th December 2012, 11:17 PM   #48
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Originally Posted by Kid Eager View Post
Well if you'd said that up front, we could have saved a lot of time trying to figure out your actual question, and providing answers that you choose to ignore.

Agree... /end thread/ indeed
I thought it was pretty obvious from the beginning where I was coming from.
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Old 8th December 2012, 11:40 PM   #49
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The cold war - taming an enemy by destruction of his system of thought.

Whatever the Russians call the war Napoleon started in 1812 culminating in the battle of Leipzig - decisive rout of a powerful invader.

The Punic wars (well, the last one anyway) - permanent elimination of a rival great power.

The Norman conquest - successful replacement of one ruling elite by another.

There must be loads of these.
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Old 8th December 2012, 11:50 PM   #50
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Originally Posted by Profanz View Post
But they didn't fight it. We did. Was it worth it to us? How? If South Korea falls will Korea invade downtown LA? I doubt it.
Really? South Korea didn't fight in the Korean War? Amazing! I am sure the 137,899 South Korean soldiers who died in the war will be delighted to discover they're actually still alive!
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Old 9th December 2012, 12:07 AM   #51
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Interesting. I'd say that it's meaningless to judge the success of a war, except in terms of the aggressor's objective. Since the aggressors in WWII ultimately lost, I'd say that by my criteria it should be judged a failure, not a success. Success for the defenders would have been to not have to fight a war at all.
If you're only talking wars that were successful for the aggressors, that's different of course.

Although I'm not sure the world would have been better off with dictatorships that were a little less aggressive enough to stick around instead of losing a war they started.
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Old 9th December 2012, 12:22 AM   #52
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Originally Posted by gumboot View Post
Really? South Korea didn't fight in the Korean War? Amazing! I am sure the 137,899 South Korean soldiers who died in the war will be delighted to discover they're actually still alive!
"1,789,000 Americans served in the Korean war. Some 33,600 were killed in action. More than 3,200 died in non-hostile incidents. More than 8,100 are still missing."

They should be delighted. But what did America get out of it?
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Old 9th December 2012, 12:31 AM   #53
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Originally Posted by anglolawyer View Post
The cold war - taming an enemy by destruction of his system of thought.

Whatever the Russians call the war Napoleon started in 1812 culminating in the battle of Leipzig - decisive rout of a powerful invader.

The Punic wars (well, the last one anyway) - permanent elimination of a rival great power.

The Norman conquest - successful replacement of one ruling elite by another.

There must be loads of these.
Agree with all of these. Despite seeing some good nominations in this thread, I still think the Cold War takes the cake. Consider, each faction had devastating weapons which could have destroyed the other side, yet neither used them. Has there ever in history been a parallel to this?
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Last edited by lionking; 9th December 2012 at 12:32 AM.
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Old 9th December 2012, 12:39 AM   #54
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Originally Posted by gnome View Post
If you're only talking wars that were successful for the aggressors, that's different of course.

Although I'm not sure the world would have been better off with dictatorships that were a little less aggressive enough to stick around instead of losing a war they started.
I'm not sure "world is better off" is actually congruent with "successful war". You seem to be moving the goalposts.

Though, to be fair, the OP appears to be more about "the world is never better off with warfare", than about "who has had the most success at getting what they want through applied violence". So your subsitution of the former for the latter is understandable.

Personally, I think that the way the OP's question is phrased, it's obviously arguing in bad faith.
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Old 9th December 2012, 01:00 AM   #55
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post

Personally, I think that the way the OP's question is phrased, it's obviously arguing in bad faith.
Looks like it to me.
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Old 9th December 2012, 02:35 AM   #56
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Originally Posted by Profanz View Post
Would Great Britain have been able to contain and control America even without the revolutionary war? And to what extent and for how long?
Without war of some kind Britain wouldn't have let go of it. Now imagine the British empire with access to the full resources of the north American continent. Would have grown larger and faster during the 19th century. Napoleon would have been less of a problem at the start nabbing the Spanish colonies would have been viable by the 1850s and china towards the end. Scramble for Africa would have consisted of a few token bits being Left to Portugal . No WW1 or 2 (who would be crazy enough to pick a fight with someone that powerful hanging around). By 1950s even European nations would be losing their independence and by 1990s earth would be united under the queen-emperess of mankind. Of course this is with all the atitudes of the british empire in force and unmoderated so it kinda sucks.

Quote:
Would black people have remained slaves to this day without the civil war?
Probably not. Someone would still have got round to inventing the tractor eventualy.

Quote:
Oh I know that there might be different answers to all of these questions. But war is still stupid to me.
Putin would beg to differ. He's done very nicely out of it.
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Old 9th December 2012, 03:33 AM   #57
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Originally Posted by Profanz View Post
"1,789,000 Americans served in the Korean war. Some 33,600 were killed in action. More than 3,200 died in non-hostile incidents. More than 8,100 are still missing."

They should be delighted. But what did America get out of it?


You claimed South Koreans didn't fight in the Korean War, which is patently false. Twice as many South Koreans fought in the war as all other allied forces combined. 77% of all allied military deaths were South Koreans. In addition a third of a million South Korean civilians died and another third of a million disappeared.

As for what the allies got out of it; they got the immediate benefits that come from standing behind and supporting an ally, with the strengthening of international relations. In particular the US has found a very staunch ally in South Korea, with a myriad of benefits.

The world in general has benefited from South Korea's success as a free democratic state. They are a leader in robotics and biotech, and one of the largest importers and exporters in the world; providing a great deal of products for us to buy, and buying a great deal of products off us.
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Old 9th December 2012, 05:43 AM   #58
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Originally Posted by Pope130 View Post
The Pig War. San Juan Island, 1859. US v Canada. No human casualties.

My kinda war!
Sounds like the Cod Wars.
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Old 9th December 2012, 05:44 AM   #59
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If we accept Von Clauswitz's point of view war is relations by other means, but I would have hoped we have moved on from that and come to realize that war in itself is a catastrophic failure to be got over and done with as quickly as possible and only ever the absoulutly last resrot when all else has failed, and is only seen as part of that wider failure to prevent the conflict.
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Old 9th December 2012, 05:47 AM   #60
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Originally Posted by Craig4 View Post
World War II not only defeated the Axis but completely destroyed them. The victors completely destroyed the officer/military class of both countries. They partitioned one of the countries. Both had their constitutions rewritten by the victors and both still host the military forces of the victors.
It may be that the US was more successful in WWII than other victors. I would argue that the UK, while a victor, wasn't successful in its presumptive war aims given that Poland (and Czechoslovakia) ended up under an invading power anyway. Not only that but WWII definitively sounded the death knell of the British Empire. And, of the French.
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Old 9th December 2012, 10:02 AM   #61
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Originally Posted by Dcdrac View Post
If we accept Von Clauswitz's point of view war is relations by other means, but I would have hoped we have moved on from that and come to realize that war in itself is a catastrophic failure to be got over and done with as quickly as possible and only ever the absoulutly last resrot when all else has failed, and is only seen as part of that wider failure to prevent the conflict.
A lot of people may view war that way but if you look at the world for the last couple of decades you'll still see lots of people who are happy to use war/terror/genocide to get what they want. And no sign of that ending soon.

And while there are still people that aren't peace loving western liberals, then even peace loving western liberals had better keep some kind of armed force handy.
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Old 9th December 2012, 01:04 PM   #62
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Originally Posted by Profanz View Post
Would Great Britain have been able to contain and control America even without the revolutionary war? And to what extent and for how long?

Assuming no revolution and that colonists' concerns with some aspects of British rule were eventually addressed peacefully, then I'd presume the United States would have ended up being more similar to Canada.
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Old 9th December 2012, 05:12 PM   #63
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Originally Posted by gumboot View Post
You claimed South Koreans didn't fight in the Korean War, which is patently false. Twice as many South Koreans fought in the war as all other allied forces combined. 77% of all allied military deaths were South Koreans. In addition a third of a million South Korean civilians died and another third of a million disappeared.

As for what the allies got out of it ... <cut to chase> ... [S Korea] buying a great deal of products off us.
The deaths of the S Korean civilians demonstrate wanton inhumanity on the part of the N Korean regime, its backers and allies. No doubt of that. And the political and military elites of these regimes deserve all the punishment that comes their way. But dear God, look at this casualty list.
Quote:
Between some 245,000 to 415,000 South Korean civilian deaths were also suggested, and the total civilian casualties during the war were estimated as 1,500,000 to 3,000,000 (most sources estimate some 2,000,000 casualties).
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Korean_War Why did the USA carpet bomb the north like this? If you are fighting for freedom and democracy, why in the name of pity do this? If a third of a million S Korean civilians died, then about one and two thirds of a million N Korean civilians perished. Of what were these people guilty? The more so as they lived under a tyrannical regime, and were its victims. What can be the justification for such mass slaughter?

Last edited by Craig B; 9th December 2012 at 05:15 PM. Reason: Add source link.
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Old 9th December 2012, 05:51 PM   #64
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Originally Posted by Craig B View Post
The deaths of the S Korean civilians demonstrate wanton inhumanity on the part of the N Korean regime, its backers and allies. No doubt of that. And the political and military elites of these regimes deserve all the punishment that comes their way. But dear God, look at this casualty list. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Korean_War Why did the USA carpet bomb the north like this? If you are fighting for freedom and democracy, why in the name of pity do this? If a third of a million S Korean civilians died, then about one and two thirds of a million N Korean civilians perished. Of what were these people guilty? The more so as they lived under a tyrannical regime, and were its victims. What can be the justification for such mass slaughter?
You do realize that the Western Allies also bombed civilian areas heavily in WW2, despite the US and UK fighting for freedom and democracy.

The reason:
"Practically all of the major military industrial targets strategically important to the enemy forces and to their war potential have been neutralized."
- Lt. Gen. George E. Stratemeyer, FEAF Commander, less than two months into the Korean War

After destroying North Korea's industry in the first two months of the war, USAF B-29 Superfortresses operated in many varied roles, from close support of troops on the ground to bombing bridges on the Yalu River. The air war in Korea also saw the extensive use of smaller tactical aircraft to attack strategic targets.

http://www.nationalmuseum.af.mil/fac...et.asp?id=1933


To summarize: strategic bombing was considered a valuable tool in bringing the war to a satisfactory conclusion at less cost to allied forces.
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Old 9th December 2012, 06:06 PM   #65
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@Giz
Quote:
To summarize: strategic bombing was considered a valuable tool in bringing the war to a satisfactory conclusion at less cost to allied forces.
Maybe the N Korean invaders thought that their (smaller) massacres of civilians could be justified on the same grounds. Apart from that observation, your post requires no comment.
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Old 9th December 2012, 06:21 PM   #66
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I think the Korean War success record, from the point of the UN/US forces could be summarized as:

Early (almost catastrophic) failure
Successful counter-attack and defence of South Korea
Stalemate-failure

The fact that the war has not, even now, been drawn to a full conclusion suggests that overall it was one of the worst failures.
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Old 9th December 2012, 06:48 PM   #67
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The Greek Poleis victory at The Battle Of Plataea. Without it, Xerxes conquers Greece, and Athenian style Democracy dies in 480 BC.
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Old 9th December 2012, 07:30 PM   #68
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I was originally thinking perhaps that Stankape's US Revolution might be the one, but then I thought, wait a second. If we'd held out, perhaps we'd just be Canada with better weather and single payer healthcare now. Then I thought, but sure, Canada got some of its benefits from the non-UK States, and without us they'd have been different, so then I wondered what would be different, and then I decided to chuck the whole thing because after a war nobody can ever know again what the world might have been without it. We're stuck with the history we have.
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Old 9th December 2012, 08:24 PM   #69
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Originally Posted by gumboot View Post
You claimed South Koreans didn't fight in the Korean War, which is patently false. Twice as many South Koreans fought in the war as all other allied forces combined. 77% of all allied military deaths were South Koreans. In addition a third of a million South Korean civilians died and another third of a million disappeared.

As for what the allies got out of it; they got the immediate benefits that come from standing behind and supporting an ally, with the strengthening of international relations. In particular the US has found a very staunch ally in South Korea, with a myriad of benefits.

The world in general has benefited from South Korea's success as a free democratic state. They are a leader in robotics and biotech, and one of the largest importers and exporters in the world; providing a great deal of products for us to buy, and buying a great deal of products off us.
The world in general has also benefited in that South Korea acts as a further restraint on Chinese imperialism, and effectively neutralizes (North) Korea as a Chinese satellite. Instead of having a unified Korean peninsula to do its bidding and apply pressure in the region, China is forced to accept an impasse that requires substantial resources just to maintain.

A major benefit to the US and everyone else is not having a Kim regime on the Korean peninsula with freedom of action and Chinese backing.

Interestingly, South Korea is a much more geostrategically effective partner than North Korea. So it's really more of an impasse for China than for the US. That sure looks like a successful war to me.
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Old 9th December 2012, 09:27 PM   #70
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A succesful war? Here is Mark Twain's bitter prayer for a succesful war:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OXhJG7S9tjw

And Wilfred Owen on glory, and honor for the fighting soldier:

http://www.english.emory.edu/LostPoets/Dulce.html
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Old 9th December 2012, 09:58 PM   #71
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Originally Posted by yomero View Post
A succesful war? Here is Mark Twain's bitter prayer for a succesful war:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OXhJG7S9tjw

And Wilfred Owen on glory, and honor for the fighting soldier:

http://www.english.emory.edu/LostPoets/Dulce.html
For those of us who don't click on YouTube links, would you be willing to summarize Twain's view of warfare here, and tell us also whether or not you share his view?

As for Wilfred Owen; what, in your opinion, does the unfortunate lot of the combat infrantryman have to do with the question of successful war?

Owen I respect for having captured in poetry the horrible essence of the soldier in combat. You, not so much, on account of your citation of Owen appearing to be an appeal to emotion, gratuitous in that it doesn't even seem to support an argument. Did you have an argument? Or do you just like tossing out random war poems in random war threads?
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Old 9th December 2012, 10:04 PM   #72
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Originally Posted by Craig B View Post
The deaths of the S Korean civilians demonstrate wanton inhumanity on the part of the N Korean regime, its backers and allies. No doubt of that. And the political and military elites of these regimes deserve all the punishment that comes their way. But dear God, look at this casualty list. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Korean_War Why did the USA carpet bomb the north like this? If you are fighting for freedom and democracy, why in the name of pity do this? If a third of a million S Korean civilians died, then about one and two thirds of a million N Korean civilians perished. Of what were these people guilty? The more so as they lived under a tyrannical regime, and were its victims. What can be the justification for such mass slaughter?

Sadly, the industrialisation of warfare far out-stripped technology's ability to limit it, so that, for a period of about 60 years or so, you had significant legitimate military targets located in major population centres, but no way to effectively target them without causing harm to civilians as well.

The end result was a number of wars (notably WWI, WW2, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War) with terribly high civilian casualties.
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Old 10th December 2012, 12:13 AM   #73
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The Six Day War Israel v Syria, Jordan and the UAR (United Arab Republic, now called Egypt) June 5–10, 1967, has to rank up there with some of the most successful ones.

The three Arab nations started it, the Israelis finished it in short order, sending Arab forces packing with their tails between their legs.

Israel ended up taking the Gaza Strip and the Sinai Peninsula from the UAR, the West Bank of the Jordan river from Jordan and the Golan Heights from Syria.

So far, the Sinai Peninsula and the Gaza Strip are the only bits they have given back.
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Old 10th December 2012, 12:30 AM   #74
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Originally Posted by Craig B View Post
@GizMaybe the N Korean invaders thought that their (smaller) massacres of civilians could be justified on the same grounds. Apart from that observation, your post requires no comment.

Strategic bombing at the time was a blunt tool. But it was the only tool available which allowed the production capacity of the enemy to be hindered.
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Old 10th December 2012, 12:39 AM   #75
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
The Six Day War Israel v Syria, Jordan and the UAR (United Arab Republic, now called Egypt) June 5–10, 1967, has to rank up there with some of the most successful ones.

The three Arab nations started it, the Israelis finished it in short order, sending Arab forces packing with their tails between their legs.

Israel ended up taking the Gaza Strip and the Sinai Peninsula from the UAR, the West Bank of the Jordan river from Jordan and the Golan Heights from Syria.

So far, the Sinai Peninsula and the Gaza Strip are the only bits they have given back.

And Israel has enjoyed peace and prosperity ever since!
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Old 10th December 2012, 01:52 AM   #76
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
The Six Day War Israel v Syria, Jordan and the UAR (United Arab Republic, now called Egypt) June 5–10, 1967, has to rank up there with some of the most successful ones.

The three Arab nations started it,
Interesting attempt to rewrite history there.
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Old 10th December 2012, 02:02 AM   #77
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Originally Posted by Corsair 115 View Post
Strategic bombing at the time was a blunt tool. But it was the only tool available which allowed the production capacity of the enemy to be hindered.
So forces without strategic bombers might consider that terror shooting and murder of civilians is a blunt tool but the only tool available which allows the production capacity of the nemy to be hindered. So that's all right, then.
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Old 10th December 2012, 02:41 AM   #78
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Originally Posted by Corsair 115 View Post
Assuming no revolution and that colonists' concerns with some aspects of British rule were eventually addressed peacefully, then I'd presume the United States would have ended up being more similar to Canada.
It still does not detract from the essential point that war is itself the ultimate failure, and even more of a failure if people start beleiving and accepting that it is an acceptable means of pursuing human affairs as a first and not a last resort, that shows a bgiger failure, you would have thought we could have learnt by now that a third conflcit means there will not be many people left around to draw any fresh lessons.
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Old 10th December 2012, 07:33 AM   #79
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Originally Posted by gumboot View Post
I would argue the Second Persian War. Greek victory in this conflict ensured Western Democracy could survive, allowing the Greeks to spread it to their Italian colonies where it would eventually result in the Roman Republic, which is the basis of Western Civilisation. Greek and Roman culture would further inspire a western cultural and social revolution in the late Renaissance, leading to the modern world.
That view requires that modern western culture really is a direct descendant of ancient greek culture, rather than simply a response to changing times, circumstances, and technology
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Old 10th December 2012, 09:19 AM   #80
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
For those of us who don't click on YouTube links, would you be willing to summarize Twain's view of warfare here, and tell us also whether or not you share his view?

As for Wilfred Owen; what, in your opinion, does the unfortunate lot of the combat infrantryman have to do with the question of successful war?

Owen I respect for having captured in poetry the horrible essence of the soldier in combat. You, not so much, on account of your citation of Owen appearing to be an appeal to emotion, gratuitous in that it doesn't even seem to support an argument. Did you have an argument? Or do you just like tossing out random war poems in random war threads?
Mark Twain's The War Prayer is a short story censuring the patriotic fervor felt by citizens during a war. In the story, there is a religious service to ask for God's aid in battle. An old man walks to the front of the congregation and says aloud what was implicit in the parishioner's prayer: Suffering and destruction for the enemy.

I think Owen's poem bonds with Twain's story. It vividly describes the suffering in combat mentioned by Twain.

This thread is about successful wars. Those 2 works portray what successful wars require.
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