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Tags Afghanistan incidents , Islamic State , terrorism incidents , US-Afghanistan relations

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Old 20th May 2020, 02:35 PM   #41
Jack by the hedge
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My condolences on the loss of your mother to Covid-19, Michel.
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Old 20th May 2020, 02:49 PM   #42
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Originally Posted by SpitfireIX View Post
There were no such reservations in the law. Further, how is it that no one whose opinion mattered (that is, no one except Nazi and Soviet sympathizers and extreme pacifists) objected at the time? And declaring war in defense of an ally who has been (by your own admission) brutally attacked is not an "offensive war." Fail. Finally, if the French parliament didn't approve of declaring war, then why didn't the opposition call a vote of no confidence?




I asked for court rulings and opinions of distinguished legal scholars, not the opinions of Vichy supporters. Fail.
Quote:
There were no such reservations in the law.
I have not seen the exact text of the March 19, 1939 law granting special powers to the French government. I tried to read it, but the wikipedia link seems to be inactive. If you have seen it (either in French or in English), I invite you to post it here (or a good summary). However, from the various descriptions of it I have seen, it is rather clear to me that this was not a text transforming France into a dictatorship led by "Führer Daladier", I think its scope was more limited.
Quote:
Further, how is it that no one whose opinion mattered (that is, no one except Nazi and Soviet sympathizers and extreme pacifists) objected at the time?
There was a meeting of French parliament on September 2, 1939 in order to allocate money to the military (war declared the next day). Some members of parliament wanted to speak, but they were not allowed to, there was no debate at all (this is obviously not good in a democracy, before an important decision). This is explained in this book: https://books.google.be/books?id=fJ4...201939&f=false.
Quote:
And declaring war in defense of an ally who has been (by your own admission) brutally attacked is not an "offensive war."
I disagree. The invaded Poland had a right to defend itself (note though that Hitler's goal was to unify his country which had been divided by the treaty of Versailles), but, if the French decide to invade and bomb Germany, they are going on offense against Germany to ridiculously try to play the "heroes".
Quote:
I asked for court rulings and opinions of distinguished legal scholars, not the opinions of Vichy supporters.
I think that, when you read the sentence: "After the defeat of France, those who were supporters of peace and joined the Vichy regime accused Daladier and his government of having brought France into the war illegally, without asking for the opinion of the national representation.", it must presumably be understood that "those who were supporters of peace and joined the Vichy regime" were the finest and most distinguished politicians of the time (probably many of them were law and government experts), who were unanimous in saying the war was illegal. Supporting Maréchal Pétain seemed to be a very good option at the time to bring peace to the country (and it worked: France suffered probably much less in WWII than in WWI).

Last edited by Michel H; 20th May 2020 at 02:50 PM.
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Old 20th May 2020, 02:59 PM   #43
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Originally Posted by Jack by the hedge View Post
My condolences on the loss of your mother to Covid-19, Michel.
Thank you, Jack by the hedge.
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Old 20th May 2020, 03:11 PM   #44
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I like how quickly this thread, ostensibly about a terrorist attack in Afghanistan, has turned into yet another apologia for Nazi atrocities.
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Old 20th May 2020, 03:13 PM   #45
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Originally Posted by Michel H View Post
The invaded Poland had a right to defend itself (note though that Hitler's goal was to unify his country which had been divided by the treaty of Versailles), but, if the French decide to invade and bomb Germany, they are going on offense against Germany to ridiculously try to play the "heroes".
A nation has the right to defend itself from invasion, but can't ask for help in defeating their aggressor?

That seems stupid and perverse.
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Old 20th May 2020, 03:51 PM   #46
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
I like how quickly this thread, ostensibly about a terrorist attack in Afghanistan, has turned into yet another apologia for Nazi atrocities.
I did not see anything like that in this thread (WWII was, however, already mentioned in the opening post). And the past shapes our present.
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Old 20th May 2020, 04:01 PM   #47
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
A nation has the right to defend itself from invasion, but can't ask for help in defeating their aggressor?
It can always ask for military help, but not necessarily get it, if there are far better, less violent methods to help the invaded nation. Remember the medical principle: Primum non nocere.
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Old 20th May 2020, 04:21 PM   #48
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Originally Posted by Michel H View Post
I did not see anything like that in this thread (WWII was, however, already mentioned in the opening post). And the past shapes our present.
It's in every post you make, pretty much.

There are any number of examples of good people being driven to violence by unjust or ill-considered aggression.

Your chosen examples? ISIS and the Nazis.
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Old 20th May 2020, 04:31 PM   #49
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Originally Posted by Michel H View Post
Well, assuming you live in an occupied country by Germany around 1940, your best course of action is probably to do nothing special, and to obey the orders of the occupying power (and, if you are a Jew, try to hide, or hide your identity, though I think the French Jews were actually generally not deported by the Germans during the German occupation of France), at least for some time.

My mother, born in 1933, and who unfortunately died a few days ago from COVID-19, lived the occupation period by Germany in Belgium, and, believe it or not, she once told me that, at some point, the Germans had oranges distributed in schools, and they said this was a present from the German military (!). The British and Americans were more distributing bombs from the sky, I believe (business as usual ).

Nevertheless, the Germans were not well liked by most Belgian people at the end of the war, and many felt happy to be "liberated".
Firstly, my condolences for the loss of your mother. This disease is just awful.

That aside, what a load of piffle. The reason the Belgians wanted to be "liberated" was that they were being held under a reigime that executed people for crimes as far ranging as peaceful protests to just being Jewish, disabled, gay or a Slav.

That Nazis were as close as it's possible to get to being actually evil.

ISIS are not attempting to defend anything from anyone.

You could make the tenuous claim that Al Quaeda were fighting back against western aggression (VERY tenuous, I do NOT agree with this argument) because the actions of the US made their recruitment easier and so on, but ISIS? ISIS are just lunatics.

When Bashar Al-Assad and the Taliban think you're taking your Islamic fundementalism a bit far you've gone very, very badly wrong somewhere. They make Iran look secular!

They murder aid workers. They're scum.
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Old 20th May 2020, 05:05 PM   #50
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Originally Posted by MarkCorrigan View Post
Firstly, my condolences for the loss of your mother. This disease is just awful.
Thank you.
Quote:
ISIS are just lunatics.
I assume they would be more humane if they were treated more humanely themselves. You should perhaps reflect about the tonnage of bombs that the U.S. has caused to explode in the past 80 years.
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Old 20th May 2020, 11:11 PM   #51
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Originally Posted by Michel H View Post
Something similar happened during WWII: Nazi violence against the Jews enormously increased after the UK and France (joined later by the U.S., after Pearl Harbor) declared war to them.

In other words, if you want real progress (in Afghanistan and elsewhere), and not just more of the same, the U.S. should (in my opinion) learn to treat the members of the Islamic State like human beings, as opposed to some kind of infected rats that would need to be eliminated.
I'm pretty sure you debunked yourself.

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Old 21st May 2020, 04:21 AM   #52
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Originally Posted by Michel H View Post
It can always ask for military help, but not necessarily get it, if there are far better, less violent methods to help the invaded nation. Remember the medical principle: Primum non nocere.
And prevention is better than cure.

Would it have been okay in your view if France and the UK had been more explicit that an attack on Poland would lead to retaliation? That's the basis of NATO for example, that an attack on any member will be treated as an attack on all.

I don't want to mischaracterise your argument but are you saying that France should not have declared war because Germany called their bluff and invaded Poland anyway, thereby proving Germany didn't believe France would retaliate which somehow removes France's moral right to do what it said it would do?
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Old 21st May 2020, 10:33 AM   #53
Michel H
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Originally Posted by McHrozni View Post
I'm pretty sure you debunked yourself.

McHrozni
I am not sure why you are saying this, McHrozni.

However, it is possible that my post:
Originally Posted by Michel H View Post
Something similar happened during WWII: Nazi violence against the Jews enormously increased after the UK and France (joined later by the U.S., after Pearl Harbor) declared war to them.

In other words, if you want real progress (in Afghanistan and elsewhere), and not just more of the same, the U.S. should (in my opinion) learn to treat the members of the Islamic State like human beings, as opposed to some kind of infected rats that would need to be eliminated.
lacked clarity somewhat, I shall therefore try to clarify. Perhaps I should have written:
Quote:
Something similar happened during WWII: Nazi violence against the Jews enormously increased after the UK and France (joined later by the U.S., after Pearl Harbor) declared war to Germany.
(when I said "them" in my original post, I meant of course the Nazis, or Nazi Germany).

I think there is no question Nazi violence and persecution against the Jews considerably increased after the start of the second world war. In the pre-war period, "Jewish people were removed from public office and professions – civil servants, lawyers and teachers were sacked." (https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/guide...gk7/revision/5), and other forms of persecution (Nuremberg laws). This was of course unacceptable, but there was no mass murder of Jews yet.

After the war started (and I believe the UK and France had a very big and major responsability in the start of this war),
Quote:
Between 1941 and 1945, across German-occupied Europe, Nazi Germany and its collaborators systematically murdered some six million Jews, around two-thirds of Europe's Jewish population. ... As German forces captured territories in the East, all anti-Jewish measures were radicalized.
(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Holocaust)

Hitler had, however, warned Europe and the world: he said, in a January 1939 Reichstag speech:
Quote:
Today I will once more be a prophet: If the international Jewish financiers in and outside Europe should succeed in plunging the nations once more into a world war, then the result will not be the Bolshevization of the earth, and thus the victory of Jewry, but the annihilation of the Jewish race in Europe!
When you have to take an important decision, you ought to carefully evaluate all the consequences, but apparently the British and French leaders did not bother to do this (the French did not even bother to set up a debate on whether to declare war, members of parliament were silenced, and their constitution - requiring a parliamentary vote - was violated) .

Now, why this analogy between ISIS and Hitler? I believe that, when you attack some people with a "somewhat dubious" reputation, they may angrily strike back, not necessarily directly against their aggressors, but rather against some people who are loosely perceived as "allied" with the aggressors, or even against innocent people. And the good reaction in such a situation, in my opinion, isn't to say "I don't care, I attack anyway", but rather to investigate carefully whether there is no possibility of dialogue, and peaceful solution, based on considerations of political independence, fairness, international law and basic human rights.
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Old 21st May 2020, 10:58 AM   #54
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Originally Posted by Michel H View Post
… the good reaction in such a situation, in my opinion, isn't to say "I don't care, I attack anyway", but rather to investigate carefully whether there is no possibility of dialogue, and peaceful solution, based on considerations of political independence, fairness, international law and basic human rights.
That "good reaction" allowed the Nazis to swallow up Czechoslovakia. When the British and French caved in at Munich and let Germany take the Sudetenland from Czechoslovakia, Hitler declared it was his last territorial claim in Europe. But then he seized the rest of Czechoslovakia. And then came Poland. At what point do you conclude that pleading with them to leave their neighbours alone isn't working?
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Old 21st May 2020, 11:15 AM   #55
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Originally Posted by Jack by the hedge View Post
Would it have been okay in your view if France and the UK had been more explicit that an attack on Poland would lead to retaliation? That's the basis of NATO for example, that an attack on any member will be treated as an attack on all.
I think they were already pretty clear about this, both the UK and France had agreements of mutual assistance with Poland in September 1939, which were quite public:
Quote:
On 25 August, two days after the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, the Agreement of Mutual Assistance between the United Kingdom and Poland was signed. The agreement contained promises of mutual military assistance between the nations if either was attacked by some "European country". The United Kingdom, sensing a trend of German expansionism, sought to discourage German aggression by this show of solidarity.
... Because of the pact's signing, Hitler postponed his planned invasion of Poland from 26 August until 1 September.
(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anglo-...ual_Assistance)
Quote:
Franco-Polish alliance
... During the interwar period the alliance with Poland was one of the cornerstones of French foreign policy. ...
... The political alliance was signed ... on February 19, 1921.
... The agreement assumed a common foreign policy, the promotion of bilateral economical contacts, the consultation of new pacts concerning Central and Eastern Europe and assistance in case one of the signatories became a victim of an "unprovoked" attack. As such, it was a defensive alliance. ...
Finally, a new alliance started to be formed in 1939. The Kasprzycki-Gamelin Convention was signed May 19, 1939 in Paris. It was named after Polish Minister of War Affairs General Tadeusz Kasprzycki and Commander of the French Army Maurice Gamelin[6]. The military convention was army-to-army, not state-to-state, and was not in force legally, as it was dependent on signing and ratification of the political convention.[3] It obliged both armies to provide help to each other in case of a war with Germany. In May, Gamelin promised a "bold relief offensive" within three weeks of a German attack.[4]

The treaty was ratified by France on September 4, 1939, on the fourth day of German offensive on Poland.
(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Franco...ce_(1921)#1939)
Quote:
I don't want to mischaracterise your argument but are you saying that France should not have declared war because Germany called their bluff and invaded Poland anyway, thereby proving Germany didn't believe France would retaliate which somehow removes France's moral right to do what it said it would do?
I don't think France was bluffing when it said it would try to protect the Poles if they were attacked by Germany, since they really declared war after the German invasion. They were reasonably loyal to Poland, but I personally think that, if you have to choose between being loyal and dumb on the one hand, and disloyal and smart on the other hand, it is generally better to choose cleverness. In my opinion, these mutual assistance agreements are very dangerous, because they tend to enlarge initially local wars.
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Old 21st May 2020, 03:01 PM   #56
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Originally Posted by Jack by the hedge View Post
That "good reaction" allowed the Nazis to swallow up Czechoslovakia. When the British and French caved in at Munich and let Germany take the Sudetenland from Czechoslovakia, Hitler declared it was his last territorial claim in Europe. But then he seized the rest of Czechoslovakia. And then came Poland. At what point do you conclude that pleading with them to leave their neighbours alone isn't working?
It seems to me that the case of Czechoslovakia is "special", just like Poland's case is special. Poland's case is particular because, by invading Poland in September 1939, Hitler restored the unity of his country, Germany, which had been divided by the treaty of Versailles (creation of a Polish corridor).

The case of Czechoslovakia is special because, in March 1939, its president Emil Hácha agreed himself to a German occupation after meeting Hitler:
Quote:
After the secession of Slovakia and Ruthenia, British Ambassador to Czechoslovakia Basil Newton advised President Hácha to meet with Hitler. ... Von Ribbentrop testified at the Nuremberg trials that during this meeting Hácha had told him that "he wanted to place the fate of the Czech State in the Führer's hands."
... by four o'clock he contacted Prague, effectively "signing Czechoslovakia away" to Germany.
(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emil_H...lovak_Republic)

Hitler probably wanted to be careful, and to not trigger a war by offending his European colleagues he had met in Munich a few months earlier.

Anyway, when you are dealing with a dangerous autocrat who displays an annoying tendency to conquer neighboring states, I think it is usually better to resort to a general right to self-determination of peoples, rather than war, which is really the most horrible option (and, if necessary, to discussions, demonstrations, strikes, very limited local violence if indispensable, think of Hong Kong for example). Nowadays, this right to self-determination might apply to Taiwan for example, and the People's Republic of China should be encouraged to grant independence to the island, if this is what they want.
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Old 21st May 2020, 03:15 PM   #57
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The point of such pacts of course is to prevent wars rather than allow small wars. France also had an alliance with Czechoslovakia but didn't go to war over that invasion. Maybe that's why Hitler thought they wouldn't go to war over Poland either. How many more territories would you like them to have let Hitler seize before concluding he wasn't going to play nicely and leave his neighbours in peace?
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Old 22nd May 2020, 07:56 AM   #58
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Originally Posted by Michel H View Post
<...>

Now, why this analogy between ISIS and Hitler? I believe that, when you attack some people with a "somewhat dubious" reputation, they may angrily strike back, not necessarily directly against their aggressors, but rather against some people who are loosely perceived as "allied" with the aggressors, or even against innocent people. And the good reaction in such a situation, in my opinion, isn't to say "I don't care, I attack anyway", but rather to investigate carefully whether there is no possibility of dialogue, and peaceful solution, based on considerations of political independence, fairness, international law and basic human rights.


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Old 22nd May 2020, 02:41 PM   #59
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Originally Posted by Jack by the hedge View Post
France also had an alliance with Czechoslovakia but didn't go to war over that invasion. Maybe that's why Hitler thought they wouldn't go to war over Poland either.
This seems reasonable and quite possible to me. However, in Poland's case, a German occupation by the country had not been formally accepted by the president (Ignacy Mościcki in 1939: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ignacy_Mo%C5%9Bcicki).
Quote:
How many more territories would you like them to have let Hitler seize before concluding he wasn't going to play nicely and leave his neighbours in peace?
I believe it is possible Hitler would have stopped invading neighboring countries after the invasion of Poland in September 1939, if the UK and France had not declared war to him.

In a September 1938 speech, Hitler had said, about the Sudeten territories of Czechoslovakia, that this would be "his last territorial demand in Europe" (sic). It seems to me it would have been better that the appeasement policy of 1938 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SetNFqcayeA) continue for some time, rather than rushing to war over the "unforgivable crime" of wanting to restore one's country unity by force. Such a more patient attitude could have saved millions of lives (and many Jews, remember Hitler's speech about Jews being destroyed if they "cause war"). The Franco-British decision to attack may have had the effect of amplifying and developing the dangerous Führer's worst side, and of creating a dangerous climate of hate and violence in Europe.

And even if Hitler had eventually attacked the Soviet Union to create a vast empire extending in Eastern Europe, somewhat similar to the Soviet Union, I believe, in the long run, the will of the people, and common sense tends to prevent over the fantasies of a half-mad dictator. Such an "empire" might have disintegrated peacefully like the Soviet Union in 1991.
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Old 23rd May 2020, 04:08 AM   #60
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Originally Posted by Michel H View Post
Nevertheless, in my opinion, the ISIS people and the Taliban (and even the Iranians) should also make an effort to evolve and change: they should adopt democracy, human rights, freedom of religion, education for girls, right to divorce, right to dress as they like for women, without a dress code imposed by elderly male clerics, and so on.
Only someone who has absolutely no idea what ISIS and the Taliban are could make such a statement.
By the way, when you say "the Iranians", do you mean all of them, or just some of them?
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Old 23rd May 2020, 12:02 PM   #61
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Originally Posted by Cosmic Yak View Post
Only someone who has absolutely no idea what ISIS and the Taliban are could make such a statement.
To me, ISIS is a violent and religion-obsessed organization, but it seems to me they have some limited legitimacy as a resistance organization, fighting U.S. control over Iraq. Did all Iraqis have to agree, in 2003, that their country would, from now on, be run by a puppet government imposed by a brutally invading power, and which perhaps sides systematically with the U.S. and Israel whenever a vote takes place in the U.N. General Assembly?

No, I don't think so, so I understand that an armed resistance developed, just like I understand that an armed resistance developed in France around 1940 after the Germans invaded.

I don't see why ISIS could not improve and modernize itself, towards more democracy, science and human rights for all. I once saw a video by them (I think these videos are hard to find and watch because they get quickly censored and removed). It looked fairly normal, almost like a CNN report. There were some gruesome images, but they were edited to avoid shocking the public. If you want that ISIS improves, perhaps the first thing to do is ask them. How many times has a U.S. president tried to talk with an ISIS leader before bombing them? I believe the answer is zero. Perhaps this gives you a hint as to who the really violent people are.
Quote:
By the way, when you say "the Iranians", do you mean all of them, or just some of them?
I meant the Iranian (real) leaders, and the millions who follow them. Iran needs to greatly improve its democratic system:
Quote:
Iran's system allows for elections, but political groups must operate within the strict boundaries of the Islamic Republic.

In the 2016 parliamentary elections, nearly half of the candidates were disqualified by Iran's Guardian Council, which vets them for their commitment to Iran's Islamic system.

And for this year's parliamentary elections, which are due to be held in February, thousands of potential candidates have again been disqualified, including 90 current lawmakers.

Any candidates from groups opposed to the Islamic Republic, or who want to change the existing system altogether, are not allowed to run.

The Guardian Council can also bar any would-be presidential candidates, and veto any legislation passed by parliament if it is deemed to be inconsistent with Iran's constitution and Islamic law.
(https://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-51093792)

I believe U.S. persecutions against Iran make it harder to get a change towards more democracy, because any change might be perceived as yielding to their persecutors.
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Old 23rd May 2020, 12:55 PM   #62
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Originally Posted by Michel H View Post
To me, ISIS is a violent and religion-obsessed organization, but it seems to me they have some limited legitimacy as a resistance organization, fighting U.S. control over Iraq.


I don't see why ISIS could not improve and modernize itself, towards more democracy, science and human rights for all.
ISIS is not principally concerned with fighting the US. ISIS is concerned with destroying anyone who isn't ISIS.

ISIS does not see modernising, democracy, science or human rights as improvements. Turning the clock back a thousand years would suit them just fine. Having everyone totally obedient to their caliphate is as close as possible to perfect, anything else is worse.
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Old 23rd May 2020, 02:30 PM   #63
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Originally Posted by Michel H View Post
And even if Hitler had eventually attacked the Soviet Union to create a vast empire extending in Eastern Europe, somewhat similar to the Soviet Union, I believe, in the long run, the will of the people, and common sense tends to prevent over the fantasies of a half-mad dictator. Such an "empire" might have disintegrated peacefully like the Soviet Union in 1991.
And even if Hitler had eventually attacked the Soviet Union to create a vast empire extending in Eastern Europe, somewhat similar to the Soviet Union, I believe, in the long run, the will of the people, and common sense tends to prevail over the fantasies of a half-mad dictator. Such an "empire" might have disintegrated peacefully like the Soviet Union in 1991.
(error correction, sorry)
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Old 23rd May 2020, 02:44 PM   #64
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Originally Posted by Jack by the hedge View Post
ISIS is not principally concerned with fighting the US. ISIS is concerned with destroying anyone who isn't ISIS.

ISIS does not see modernising, democracy, science or human rights as improvements. Turning the clock back a thousand years would suit them just fine. Having everyone totally obedient to their caliphate is as close as possible to perfect, anything else is worse.
They indeed do have this reputation of being very violent and intolerant. However, I don't think bombing and censorship is the best method to bring out the best qualities in human beings. It would perhaps be useful to let them have a website and social media accounts (Facebook, MeWe, Twitter, Youtube, Instagram, ...), perhaps with a minimum age requirement. This would encourage them to improve their message, and to interact and discuss with world viewers. It could also be an opportunity for many people to know their real goals from an original source.

Last edited by Michel H; 23rd May 2020 at 02:47 PM.
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Old 23rd May 2020, 03:37 PM   #65
theprestige
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Originally Posted by Michel H View Post
They indeed do have this reputation of being very violent and intolerant. However, I don't think bombing and censorship is the best method to bring out the best qualities in human beings.
The goal isn't to bring out the best qualities in the people of ISIS. The goal is to put a stop to their naked aggression. They're welcome to be as horrible as they want, as long as they keep it to themselves, and don't bother their neighbors and our friends.

Also, why are you making the Extortionist's Argument? You're saying that the best way to stop violent people from being violent is to let them have whatever they want. That's extortion. Why are you promoting extortion? Why are you supporting ISIS's goals and methods?

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Old 23rd May 2020, 05:51 PM   #66
Michel H
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
The goal isn't to bring out the best qualities in the people of ISIS. The goal is to put a stop to their naked aggression. They're welcome to be as horrible as they want, as long as they keep it to themselves, and don't bother their neighbors and our friends.

Also, why are you making the Extortionist's Argument? You're saying that the best way to stop violent people from being violent is to let them have whatever they want. That's extortion. Why are you promoting extortion? Why are you supporting ISIS's goals and methods?
I don't support ISIS's goals and methods, I view ISIS as a product of U.S. policies of expansionism, illegal invasions, bombings and censorship generally supported on this forum (unless I misunderstood). The problem though, that you don't seem to understand, is that violence often generates violence (I note that your post suggests a complete physical elimination of ISIS militants, this seems to be what the U.S. wants to do, it seems to amuse you). In my opinion, it should be possible to protect maternity wards by dealing with these people in a more humane way, and a first step could be to encourage them to have an online presence (this would probably be less expensive than a warplane). This doesn't mean approving them: you don't need to agree with someone to let him/her express himself/herself.

Last edited by Michel H; 23rd May 2020 at 06:18 PM.
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Old 24th May 2020, 06:12 AM   #67
Little 10 Toes
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so reading an article about an attack in Afghanistan by Afghan terrorists, attacking an Afghan hospital, killing/wounding Afghan babies from Afghan parents, you turn this into an anti-US topic.
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Old 24th May 2020, 07:46 AM   #68
Michel H
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Originally Posted by Little 10 Toes View Post
so reading an article about an attack in Afghanistan by Afghan terrorists, attacking an Afghan hospital, killing/wounding Afghan babies from Afghan parents, you turn this into an anti-US topic.
Little 10 Toes, I do not necessarily disagree with all decisions that U.S. leaders take. For example,
Quote:
On Jan. 31, the Trump administration announced the United States would temporarily ban the admission of people who were in China 14 days prior to their attempted travel to the United States. The restriction took effect Feb. 2, and it exempted U.S. citizens, green card holders, and certain other people.
(Source: https://www.statesman.com/news/20200...vel-from-china)
Such a travel ban was actually not recommended by the World Health Organization at the time, but I believe this was a reasonable move to try to protect U.S. citizens. I find it normal and legitimate that political leaders try to protect their citizens from various threats, preferably in a non-violent way.

However, when you rush to bombings, invasions, sanctions and censorship, in a context of overprotection for a certain country, in order to officially protect from terrorism, you can actually make matters worse rather than better. Some people who were perhaps initially only moderately angry can become very angry after taking so many bombs on their heads, and then children may pay the price. It does not seem possible to me to isolate a violent terror attack in Kabul from U.S policies in that region and in the world (there is a link).

It is clear that, in this thread, ISIS is considered (understandably) with great contempt by many posters. However, at the same time, these posters fail to explain why the "resistance movement", which initially wanted to defend Sunnis in Iraq (see figure "Why They Fight" here: https://www.theatlantic.com/internat...n-isis/419685/) should be considered as horribly bad, while the invader itself, which originally caused all the trouble is not getting blamed at all.

The consequences of the post-9/11 wars started by the U.S. are:
Quote:
- The US federal price tag for the post-9/11 wars is over $6.4 trillion dollars
- The cost of the Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Syria wars totals about $6.4 trillion. This does not include future interest costs on borrowing for the wars, which will add an estimated $8 trillion in the next 40 years.
- Over 801,000 people have died due to direct war violence, and several times as many indirectly
- Over 335,000 civilians have been killed as a result of the fighting
- 21 million — the number of war refugees and displaced persons
- Both Iraq and Afghanistan continue to rank extremely low in global studies of political freedom.
- Women in Iraq and Afghanistan are excluded from political power and experience high rates of unemployment and war widowhood.
(Sources: https://watson.brown.edu/costsofwar/ , https://watson.brown.edu/costsofwar/papers/summary)

There was, however, a simple alternative for the U.S. in 2001 (and still now):
- apologize for its previous crimes and mistakes
- order Israel to go back to its legal, internationally recognized borders, instead of supporting Israeli expansionism
- lift all sanctions, stop economic torture though "sanctions".
- greatly reduce its military spending, used to torture the world and support Israeli expansionism

I believe that, if the U.S. did these things and stopped bombing ISIS, maternity wards in Afghanistan could perhaps be much safer, though the Taliban and ISIS should themselves adopt democracy and human rights values.
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Old 24th May 2020, 03:30 PM   #69
Jack by the hedge
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Are you serious?

In case it colours your judgement of me, I am not an American, and I have always believed the invasion of Iraq was a blunder, that it was handled badly and that the rise of ISIS into the power vacuum left by that and the shambles that the Arab Spring became in Syria was a disaster which might have been avoided, but really, are you serious?

Perhaps the US should also have apologised to Japan after Pearl Harbor, and promised to keep out of its business, hand over control of the Philippines as a goodwill gesture and not embargo its oil imports any more. What do you think?

Good grief. If large nations respond to attacks by caving in and meekly giving the attackers what they want, do you think such attacks will stop, or will they increase?

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Old Yesterday, 07:53 AM   #70
SpitfireIX
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Originally Posted by Michel H View Post
I have not seen the exact text of the March 19, 1939 law granting special powers to the French government. I tried to read it, but the wikipedia link seems to be inactive. If you have seen it (either in French or in English), I invite you to post it here (or a good summary). However, from the various descriptions of it I have seen, it is rather clear to me that this was not a text transforming France into a dictatorship led by "Führer Daladier", I think its scope was more limited.

Sorry for the delay in responding to this; I've been extremely busy. And let me add my condolences about your mother. Sorry also for the brevity and incompleteness; I'll do some more research and write more later. I was going by what was reported in the Times articles I linked. One article states that, as I mentioned, Daladier can ignore the parliament if he feels like it; there's also a quotation from him or a member of his government to the effect, IIRC, that "we won't prorogue [suspend] parliament unless we have to," and another to the effect that the people shouldn't fear giving the government dictatorial powers because Daladier and his ministers are committed democrats. I'll go back and copy the text exactly when I have time, which probably won't be for at least a few days.

Originally Posted by Michel H View Post
There was a meeting of French parliament on September 2, 1939 in order to allocate money to the military (war declared the next day). Some members of parliament wanted to speak, but they were not allowed to, there was no debate at all (this is obviously not good in a democracy, before an important decision). This is explained in this book: https://books.google.be/books?id=fJ4...201939&f=false.

The first thing I want to know is why there was no debate; there may have been good reasons other than a fear that some member would somehow convince enough deputies to vote against the bill, or say something that would embarrass the government. Further, even granting for the sake of argument that "this is obviously not good," that still doesn't make the vote illegitimate, which appears to be the impression you are attempting to give.

Here are the parliamentary journals from 1939. I briefly looked through the ones from March 18 and September 2; I'll look at them more closely when I get a chance. It will undoubtedly take me some time, as my ability to read French is limited. I did notice that there was sustained applause from all political parties after Daladier's speech on September 2, which confirms what I've read elsewhere.

Originally Posted by Michel H View Post
I disagree. The invaded Poland had a right to defend itself (note though that Hitler's goal was to unify his country which had been divided by the treaty of Versailles), but, if the French decide to invade and bomb Germany, they are going on offense against Germany to ridiculously try to play the "heroes".

As has been explained to you by multiple people, Hitler's goal was to conquer Poland; the Danzig issue was only a pretext, just as the issue of the Sudetenland was a pretext for war with Czechoslovakia. (Hitler was hell-bent on war in 1938, which is why he kept raising his demands. It was only the combination of Chamberlain's extreme commitment to appeasement, the resistance of the German military leadership, and Mussolini's intervention that convinced Hitler to take "yes" for an answer.) And as for playing heroes, should the French have simply waited for Hitler to attack them, when Germany was even stronger?

Originally Posted by Michel H View Post
I think that, when you read the sentence: "After the defeat of France, those who were supporters of peace and joined the Vichy regime accused Daladier and his government of having brought France into the war illegally, without asking for the opinion of the national representation.", it must presumably be understood that "those who were supporters of peace and joined the Vichy regime" were the finest and most distinguished politicians of the time (probably many of them were law and government experts), who were unanimous in saying the war was illegal. Supporting Maréchal Pétain seemed to be a very good option at the time to bring peace to the country (and it worked: France suffered probably much less in WWII than in WWI).

First, what are the sources of those quotations? Second, your presumption is completely unfounded. Was Paul ReynaudWP not a fine and distinguished politician? What about Georges MandelWP? Or Édouard HerriotWP? Or Jules JeanneneyWP? Also, who exactly was "unanimous in saying the war was illegal"? And more importantly, why didn't any of them speak out in September of 1939?

I'll discuss the ethical issues of the 1940 armistice and those of supporting the Vichy regime in a later post.
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Old Today, 09:00 PM   #71
Michel H
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Originally Posted by SpitfireIX View Post
Here are the parliamentary journals from 1939.
It's nice that you found this, these proceedings of the French Chamber of Deputies (lower house of parliament) provide high quality, original information.
The exact contents of the law of March 19, 1939 giving special powers to parliament are given in these proceedings. This law was very brief, it just said:
Quote:
Le Gouvernement est autorisé, jusqu'au 30 novembre 1939, à prendre, par décrets délibérés en conseil des ministres, les mesures nécessaires à la défense du pays. Ces décrets seront soumis à la ratification des Chambres avant le 31 décembre 1939.
or
Quote:
The Government is authorized, until November 30, 1939, to take, by decrees deliberated in the Council of Ministers, the measures necessary for the defense of the country. These decrees will be submitted to the Chambers for ratification before December 31, 1939.
I don't think this law allowed the president of France to declare war to Germany, and then to start an offensive in Germany which killed about 200 Germans (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saar_Offensive). I also think this was never the point of view of Daladier himself: Daladier argued that, by voting a large sum of money for the military on September 2, 1939, the Chamber of Deputies implicitly approved war, but I don't find this argument convincing because money for the military can also be used for purely defensive purposes (this is actually a safer, and more normal use). One of the problems, when you invade another country, is that you behave somewhat like Hitler himself. Another problem is that you generate anger, and possibly a desire for revenge. This problem is the same with ISIS: when you massively bomb and kill them without even raising a little finger to try to talk with them (U.S. style), you create anger, and you never know what will happen next.

The reason why there was no debate at all in French parliament on September 2, 1939 is explained in the book "The Phony War": https://books.google.be/books?id=fJ4...201939&f=false I have already mentioned (you may click on this link, and read various pages, though it is in French). The presidents of the various political groups wanted to emphasize unity in a time of crisis, they didn't want to create a "climate of division". This means, in my opinion, that the war was declared illegally by France, in violation of their Constitution. This was the point of view of proponents of peace, who had joined Maréchal Pétain, as explained in the book just mentioned.

You argue, in your post, that Hitler was hell-bent on war. This is the typical stereotype about Adolf Hitler, but I believe this is far from certain. Let us say that he wanted to achieve certain political goals, the primary of which was to unite all German-speaking into one large German country. During the Munich conference, he said he was not interested in taking Czechs into Germany.
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