9/11

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LarryM
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Re: 9/11

Post by LarryM »

Bale wrote: Fri Sep 10, 2021 12:15 pm Larry, we can mourn them all, can we not? I felt shock and awe on 9/11. When the official “Shock and Awe” took place in ‘03, I was just deeply saddened.
But we don't do that, do we? As a nation, anyway. We spend an inordinate amount of time mourning the 9/11 dead, and ignore our own victims, even though the latter outnumber the former by more than two orders of magnitude. And of course we don't consider for a moment the role that we ourselves played in provoking 9/11.

I know it won't happen, but I'd love to see 9/11 become a national day of shame when we attempt to atone for the victims of our Imperil hubris.
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Re: 9/11

Post by brichardsson »

LarryM wrote: Fri Sep 10, 2021 10:41 am I'll tell you what I'll be thinking about and memorializing on 9/11 - the hundreds of thousands of innocents who died as a result of our nation's overreaction to 9/11. 9/11 wrecked this nation; not the incident itself but the overreaction.

And not that it matters, but to forestall a certain type of troll response, I was there - a block away, though 15 minutes earlier I was in one of the subway stations under the towers.
There's always one. Always.
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Re: 9/11

Post by pvnisher »

I was a cadet entering my senior year, at PT that Tuesday morning. After the second plane I knew that my projected career just took a sideways turn, and that many of my classmates, both current and recently graduated, would be involved. And yes, we were.
No one dreamed it would go on for as long as it did. The tactical aims were achievable. The strategic aims were dubious, even at the outset, and became more dubious as time went on.
After three tours through Afghanistan, including Kabul, Jalalabad, Khowst, and Herat, I've seen the good, bad, and ugly of that country and our own response and impact to the populace. I grew disillusioned with our progress, as evidenced by the fact that I couldn't travel the street in front of the Embassy without being in an armored vehicle with body armor and weapons. If we couldn't get even that strip of land to be relatively safe...

As for American interventionalism and the Pax Americana being a cause of 9/11 (and other conflicts), there's some valid points there. No one bombs Canada. But what are the alternatives? In case you haven't been around much, most of the world is a brutish, violent, poor place, ruled at the end of a spear. Should we let atrocities occur without doing anything other than offering thoughts and prayers? I ask rhetorically. Because I don't know.

Sometimes the spear is held by Americans such as myself and others on this site, compelling others to our National will. It isn't always pretty. But I believe that the spear is better held by those whose intentions and methods aim to the greater good and least bad. Many, many innocent Afghans have been killed by Americans in the last 20 years. More than Americans were killed, both on 9/11 and in the following years. Focused violence which only affects those targeted has improved much since the carpet bombing days of Dresden, but the nature of warfare has, and will always, place a larger burden on innocents than on active, interested participants. We all know that many of those Afghans, even those shooting at us, wouldn't care a bit about Americans if we weren't there in person.

It is sometimes an unpopular discussion to have, but those of us in my and similar professions, would likely be resistance fighters (aka terrorists depending on the side of the battle you're on) if the accident of birth had placed us in Afghanistan. If foreign fighters were in my province, seeking to overturn my way of life, and killing thousands of my countrymen, you'd better believe I would have been the guy out rigging IEDs. Yes, these are some of the discussions we have over there. We aren't immune to the absurd realities of the situations in which we find ourselves.
But I would like to think that if I were in that position I wouldn't intentionally target civilians. Indiscriminate mortar attacks, blowing up school buses, planes into buildings, driving trucks into crowded markets, those things are never ok. Perhaps it doesn't matter to the innocent person killed if they were intentionally targeted by a suicide vest, or if they were blown up by shrapnel from a drone strike. But it matters to me.

For those of you too young to remember, or too far removed due to the politicization of the war(s) during the last 20 years and the dramatic withdrawal of the last few weeks, hopefully you'll at least look back at those videos and remember what happened and why we got involved. It didn't turn out the way anyone wanted. The thing came off the rails years ago. But at that time, in those days, our intentions were good and we did what we thought was best. As someone who is often on the pointy end of the Pax Americana, I wish that our politicians in general would be a little less cavalier with the lives of our best citizens. But after watching a few "Have You Forgotten" videos on YouTube, I believe that, regardless of the outcome, we started nobly.
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Re: 9/11

Post by LarryM »

pvnisher wrote: Fri Sep 10, 2021 3:57 pm I was a cadet entering my senior year, at PT that Tuesday morning. After the second plane I knew that my projected career just took a sideways turn, and that many of my classmates, both current and recently graduated, would be involved. And yes, we were.
No one dreamed it would go on for as long as it did. The tactical aims were achievable. The strategic aims were dubious, even at the outset, and became more dubious as time went on.
After three tours through Afghanistan, including Kabul, Jalalabad, Khowst, and Herat, I've seen the good, bad, and ugly of that country and our own response and impact to the populace. I grew disillusioned with our progress, as evidenced by the fact that I couldn't travel the street in front of the Embassy without being in an armored vehicle with body armor and weapons. If we couldn't get even that strip of land to be relatively safe...

As for American interventionalism and the Pax Americana being a cause of 9/11 (and other conflicts), there's some valid points there. No one bombs Canada. But what are the alternatives? In case you haven't been around much, most of the world is a brutish, violent, poor place, ruled at the end of a spear. Should we let atrocities occur without doing anything other than offering thoughts and prayers? I ask rhetorically. Because I don't know.

Sometimes the spear is held by Americans such as myself and others on this site, compelling others to our National will. It isn't always pretty. But I believe that the spear is better held by those whose intentions and methods aim to the greater good and least bad. Many, many innocent Afghans have been killed by Americans in the last 20 years. More than Americans were killed, both on 9/11 and in the following years. Focused violence which only affects those targeted has improved much since the carpet bombing days of Dresden, but the nature of warfare has, and will always, place a larger burden on innocents than on active, interested participants. We all know that many of those Afghans, even those shooting at us, wouldn't care a bit about Americans if we weren't there in person.

It is sometimes an unpopular discussion to have, but those of us in my and similar professions, would likely be resistance fighters (aka terrorists depending on the side of the battle you're on) if the accident of birth had placed us in Afghanistan. If foreign fighters were in my province, seeking to overturn my way of life, and killing thousands of my countrymen, you'd better believe I would have been the guy out rigging IEDs. Yes, these are some of the discussions we have over there. We aren't immune to the absurd realities of the situations in which we find ourselves.
But I would like to think that if I were in that position I wouldn't intentionally target civilians. Indiscriminate mortar attacks, blowing up school buses, planes into buildings, driving trucks into crowded markets, those things are never ok. Perhaps it doesn't matter to the innocent person killed if they were intentionally targeted by a suicide vest, or if they were blown up by shrapnel from a drone strike. But it matters to me.

For those of you too young to remember, or too far removed due to the politicization of the war(s) during the last 20 years and the dramatic withdrawal of the last few weeks, hopefully you'll at least look back at those videos and remember what happened and why we got involved. It didn't turn out the way anyone wanted. The thing came off the rails years ago. But at that time, in those days, our intentions were good and we did what we thought was best. As someone who is often on the pointy end of the Pax Americana, I wish that our politicians in general would be a little less cavalier with the lives of our best citizens. But after watching a few "Have You Forgotten" videos on YouTube, I believe that, regardless of the outcome, we started nobly.
This is a thoughtful response and I respect it, so I won't jump on you like I did on the typical mindless crap above.

But I think you're wrong about most everything. First and foremost the "started nobly." Some of us, sure, and I'm not questioning your motives in particular. But I was there - it was 90% mindless jingoism and revenge fantasies. That's the general public. The Bush administration was worse.

Sure, there are plenty of bad actors in the world. I think it's past time to recognize that the US is one of the worst, and that every intervention since WW2 (arguably excepting one or two of the smaller ones, and even that is disputable) has made things worse for the people that we were ostensibly trying to "help."

Edit - and yes, I agree with you about targeting civilians. But of course our local allies in Afghanistan did plenty of that - and we at the very least turned a blind eye to it. (Of course some of our own soldiers did so as well - albeit without official sanction - at least at the time; Trump pardoned and praised some of the worst offenders (obviously a slap in the face to soldiers such as yourself who, I assume, followed the rules of war and avoided committing atrocities.) But please, I just don't buy a significant distinction between that and a drone attack that is ostensibly aimed at a legitimate target, but foreseeabely kills more civilians than legitimate targets. The "precise targeting" cuts both ways - you "precisely target" a wedding attended by suspected insurgents & I'm not going to give you much credit for your precision targeting.Yes, wars are messy, but that's one reason wars of choice (as these were) are almost always immoral. And especially foreign armies fighting a popular local insurgency - they inevitably end up killing a horrific number of civilians.
Last edited by LarryM on Fri Sep 10, 2021 5:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Bale
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Re: 9/11

Post by Bale »

Larry, you present some hard truths, but here’s one for you to swallow; folks like pvnisher keep you warm and safe at night. I know it sucks to be part of the machine, but you are, so go ahead and live your lavish life afforded by virtue of being born into the fold of a world power.
Pvnisher, thank you for your thorough and invaluable perspective.
The earth, like the sun, like the air, belongs to everyone - and to no one. - Edward Abbey
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Re: 9/11

Post by LarryM »

Bale wrote: Fri Sep 10, 2021 4:48 pm Larry, you present some hard truths, but here’s one for you to swallow; folks like pvnisher keep you warm and safe at night. I know it sucks to be part of the machine, but you are, so go ahead and live your lavish life afforded by virtue of being born into the fold of a world power.
Pvnisher, thank you for your thorough and invaluable perspective.
Yeah, no I don't buy it. Look, I'm not dumping on him - I think he and many of his fellow soldiers are also victims of our perpetual war. But nothing since at least the fall of the Soviet Union has threatened the "warmth and safety" of myself or my fellow citizens. (Obviously I'm referring to military or quasi military threats - the armed forces aren't much of a defense against a global pandemic.) If anything, our foreign involvements have threatened our "warmth and safety." Hell, to play the "I was there" card, our involvement in the middle east pre 9/11 could have ended my life, if I had been 15 minutes late for work that day.
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Re: 9/11

Post by Bale »

LarryM wrote: Fri Sep 10, 2021 5:01 pm
Bale wrote: Fri Sep 10, 2021 4:48 pm Larry, you present some hard truths, but here’s one for you to swallow; folks like pvnisher keep you warm and safe at night. I know it sucks to be part of the machine, but you are, so go ahead and live your lavish life afforded by virtue of being born into the fold of a world power.
Pvnisher, thank you for your thorough and invaluable perspective.
Yeah, no I don't buy it. Look, I'm not dumping on him - I think he and many of his fellow soldiers are also victims of our perpetual war. But nothing since at least the fall of the Soviet Union has threatened the "warmth and safety" of myself or my fellow citizens. (Obviously I'm referring to military or quasi military threats - the armed forces aren't much of a defense against a global pandemic.) If anything, our foreign involvements have threatened our "warmth and safety." Hell, to play the "I was there" card, our involvement in the middle east pre 9/11 could have ended my life, if I had been 15 minutes late for work that day.
Look man, I didn’t care for W, and you and I are probably on the same wavelength. I was just trying to show some respect and humility to everyone involved.
The earth, like the sun, like the air, belongs to everyone - and to no one. - Edward Abbey
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Re: 9/11

Post by huffy13 »

glenmiz wrote: Fri Sep 10, 2021 2:30 pm https://www.wsj.com/articles/flight-93- ... _lead_pos5

Remembering this hero.
+1. True example of selfless heroism.
Seems like the times that I need a mountain the most are the times that I can not get to them.
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Re: 9/11

Post by LarryM »

Bale wrote: Fri Sep 10, 2021 5:14 pm
LarryM wrote: Fri Sep 10, 2021 5:01 pm
Bale wrote: Fri Sep 10, 2021 4:48 pm Larry, you present some hard truths, but here’s one for you to swallow; folks like pvnisher keep you warm and safe at night. I know it sucks to be part of the machine, but you are, so go ahead and live your lavish life afforded by virtue of being born into the fold of a world power.
Pvnisher, thank you for your thorough and invaluable perspective.
Yeah, no I don't buy it. Look, I'm not dumping on him - I think he and many of his fellow soldiers are also victims of our perpetual war. But nothing since at least the fall of the Soviet Union has threatened the "warmth and safety" of myself or my fellow citizens. (Obviously I'm referring to military or quasi military threats - the armed forces aren't much of a defense against a global pandemic.) If anything, our foreign involvements have threatened our "warmth and safety." Hell, to play the "I was there" card, our involvement in the middle east pre 9/11 could have ended my life, if I had been 15 minutes late for work that day.
Look man, I didn’t care for W, and you and I are probably on the same wavelength. I was just trying to show some respect and humility to everyone involved.
Fair enough; I was trying to do the same, maybe not successfully. But the whole "Keep you safe" stuff triggers me, not so much because it isn't really true, which it isn't, but because it's often used (not by you, apparently) to cut off debate - the old "if you don't support the war, you don't support the troops" nonsense.

Believe me I do have empathy for people like pvnisher - most of them going in with high ideals, and in retrospect their sacrifices meant nothing. But anger should be focused on the architects of the war - not on those of those of us who saw it for what it was from the start. Not saying that you or pvnisher are doing this, but it's pretty common.

As a side issue, Biden is far from perfect, but he had the brass balls to get us out of there, despite knowing that the foreign policy establishment and the press would rake him over the coals, and he deserves an enormous amount of credit for that.

Anyway I have a 50K race tomorrow (just trying to finish it in the time limit, not going for a result), so that's it for me, at least for the time being.
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Re: 9/11

Post by Koy »

Amen to to this post.

Never Forget!!
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Re: 9/11

Post by greenonion »

Highly recommend the novel A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini (Kite Runner, also good). Gives a good account of Afghanistan’s history of constantly being invaded, occupied, and infighting. Especially gives a heart breaking account of women’s dire existence under the Taliban.
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Re: 9/11

Post by SchralpTheGnar »

LarryM wrote: Fri Sep 10, 2021 6:12 pm
Bale wrote: Fri Sep 10, 2021 5:14 pm
LarryM wrote: Fri Sep 10, 2021 5:01 pm

Yeah, no I don't buy it. Look, I'm not dumping on him - I think he and many of his fellow soldiers are also victims of our perpetual war. But nothing since at least the fall of the Soviet Union has threatened the "warmth and safety" of myself or my fellow citizens. (Obviously I'm referring to military or quasi military threats - the armed forces aren't much of a defense against a global pandemic.) If anything, our foreign involvements have threatened our "warmth and safety." Hell, to play the "I was there" card, our involvement in the middle east pre 9/11 could have ended my life, if I had been 15 minutes late for work that day.
Look man, I didn’t care for W, and you and I are probably on the same wavelength. I was just trying to show some respect and humility to everyone involved.
Fair enough; I was trying to do the same, maybe not successfully. But the whole "Keep you safe" stuff triggers me, not so much because it isn't really true, which it isn't, but because it's often used (not by you, apparently) to cut off debate - the old "if you don't support the war, you don't support the troops" nonsense.

Believe me I do have empathy for people like pvnisher - most of them going in with high ideals, and in retrospect their sacrifices meant nothing. But anger should be focused on the architects of the war - not on those of those of us who saw it for what it was from the start. Not saying that you or pvnisher are doing this, but it's pretty common.

As a side issue, Biden is far from perfect, but he had the brass balls to get us out of there, despite knowing that the foreign policy establishment and the press would rake him over the coals, and he deserves an enormous amount of credit for that.

Anyway I have a 50K race tomorrow (just trying to finish it in the time limit, not going for a result), so that's it for me, at least for the time being.
Enjoy your race tomorrow!!!
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