A Bunch of Stuff...

johnhall johnhall@isomedia.com
Mon, 20 Jan 2003 12:16:11 -0800


> From: On Behalf Of Ian Andrew Bell

> 
> Why does anyone who criticizes America automatically get labeled as
> Anti-American?  


They don't.  It is even possible to criticism America for not being
'American enough'.  Sugar subsidies come to mind ...

> Why do all such criticisms, be they right or wrong,
> endlessly result in insult and ridicule from patriots who seem to have
> nothing to learn?  

Inventing facts (like you did throughout the rest of this post) is bound
to get you laughed at.  Even if you are just repeating others who
invented the 'facts'.

Mostly because they are made from a position that has been shown to be
disastrous, yet the critics refuse to learn.  Whatever Russell might say
about the relative threat of Germany in 1938 and Iraq in 2003, the
fundamental theories of war, peace, and human behavior that animated
those who advocated unilateral disarmament in 1938 are identical to most
of those who oppose war now.

There are exceptions, of course.  But criticism based on those
exceptions is dealt with some respect.

> Why, at this critical time in the evolution of our
> world, can no debate be held without detractors being burned at the
> stake, figuratively speaking?
> 
> As for Owen's statement that Iraq only suffered 1500 combat deaths
> during Operation Desert Storm (history records that the term "Gulf
War"
> refers to the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war), well that's a farce.  At the
> Highway of Death alone, where more than 10,000 Vehicles were destroyed
> over the course of 10-12 hours by dozens of bloodthirsty A-10 pilots
> (some of whom went back to base, re-armed, and hit the snarled traffic
> jam on multiple sorties), estimates vary widely between guesses that
> 10,000 to 30,000 personnel were killed.  Actually assessing these
> casualties is difficult, of  course, because most of the bodies were
> incinerated in their vehicles as they desperately tried to escape,
> mostly unarmed.

You don't know what you are talking about.
(1) God bless the A-10 pilots.  They did a good thing.
(2) It is remarkable how few bodies were found on that highway.  Even
Iraqis were smart enough to figure out they needed to GET OUT OF THE
VEHICLE.  Those that beat feat lived.

> Another 150,000-200,000 Iraqi conscripts left starving out in the
> desert just north of Kuwait City, who had been ponied up as cannon
> fodder by Saddam Hussein, were killed by B-52s as they attempted to
> surrender.  Stormin' Norm told us that these were the feared
Republican
> Guard, but the reality was that those forces had long since withdrawn
> to Baghdad.

Again, you don't know what you are talking about.  The Republican Guard
was nowhere near Baghdad.  Had the war continued another 24 hrs they
would have been trapped near Basra.

 
> During the Cuban Missile Crisis, Kruschev made a crucial
> miscalculation.  He anticipated American protest, however his
reasoning
> seemed sound:  The US had Medium Range missiles in Europe, so placing
> his in Cuba merely achieved a modicum of parity.  These missiles were
> part and parcel of the USSR's ongoing bolstering of the Castro
> government, and they were very much welcome -- as was fuel, coal,
> wheat, and machinery.  We'll never really know whether Castro invited
> them or whether the missiles were foisted upon Cuba by the Soviets.

He reasoned that Kennedy was a weak man who could be rolled.  He got
that right, but missed the point that there are some places a democratic
leader can't be pushed even if they want to be pushed.

As for whether Castro wanted them or not, it simply didn't matter.

> Incidentally, Curtis LeMay, of the US Strategic Air Command at the
> time, wanted to nuke Cuba straight away.  He was, during his reign of
> terror, a big believer in Tactical Nuclear Exchange.  He was also
> thought by many to be a complete psychopath.  

Actually, he wanted to nuke the SU.  That wasn't a bad idea given the
facts known at the time.  It only looks bad in hindsight.

> The F-111 was his baby.

No, it wasn't.  It was MacNamara.

> He wanted an attack aircraft that could deliver multiple low-yield
> nuclear warheads while scraping the ground on the ingress.   

> The B-1 was a later fiasco which was an attempt to make the idea
stick.

You don't understand the B-1 or the strategic implications.

> Neither aircraft has really seen a shot fired in anger, except for a
> couple of F-111s which got shot up over Libya in 1985.

(1) I didn't think you preferred that the weapons be used.
(2) We released B-52s for the Gulf partially because we had B-1s for the
nukes.
(3) You seem to have forgotten the Gulf War for the F-111.

> This
> didn't work too well in practise, and the Navy built the F-14 instead
> (which was another disaster, since F-14s ended up being Air-to-Air
> only).

The F-14 is a fantastic success story.  The _only_ reason US carrier
groups could have survived in a WWIII scenario with the USSR was the
F-14.  The Navy will fight to keep those planes flying as long as
possible.  No other plane in the world can do what they do.

> Why did Saddam waste so much time building really fucking big cannons?

He has a small weenie?

Or because it isn't interceptable?  If _I_ had his air force I might
have experimented with cannons, too.

> I
> would guess that whatever shell casing / launch explosive he was
> working on had a 50% chance of imploding the device right then and
> there, thus his ambivalence when the sites were dismantled.

You can't cause an implosion like that.  A really long range gun would
probably use more than 1 detonation.