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My recollection from watching a hearing on C-Span was that the Marines did not currently use a stop loss program. Which if this piece you linked was posted this year is correct. ...[T]o ignore the classics is ultimately to weaken the very foundations of our society. - James Atlas, Book Wars: What it Takes to be Educated in America
I think that using Rome saying that an American fall is inevitable and soon is a bad piece of analysis. Rome was not the sole superpower of the Mediterranean until after the Second Punic War. In fact, the glory days of Rome would not come for almost another three centuries. The accession of Vespasian until the death of Marcus Aurelius over a hundred years later is what Gibbon considered the period anyone would choose to be born in. The most intriguing fact about American influence is how few troops are necessary, i.e. 17,000 in Korea where we are technically still in a state of conflict (ceasefire, but no peace agreement). With a military smaller than during the Cold War, the potential for expansion is quite large. ...[T]o ignore the classics is ultimately to weaken the very foundations of our society. - James Atlas, Book Wars: What it Takes to be Educated in America
Who said anything about an American "fall" being inevitable, and soon??I was suggesting that many of the problems which plagued Rome for several hundred years were similar to the problems we seem to be developing for ourselves.Those domestic problems, and their associated political disasters, did ultimately lead to the collapse of the Roman Empire, but it took centuries, which I do not count as being "soon".Do you think that our galloping deficit, which is now leading to inflation, is directly related to our adventures in Iraq and Afghanistan?? If not, what are the reasons? WW
The fall of the so-called "American Empire" is an argument I have heard over the last couple years. I think what we have is a kind of security and stability zone, which we and many other countries see as in our various national interests (political, military and commercial). The argument put forward by Thomas Barnett that there are two worlds, the functioning core, and the non-integrating gap. The core works to various degrees, and the non-integrating gap is cut-off from the rest of the world. We need a duel prong strategy to integrate the gap, while "policing," for lack of a better term, the transition. The US has taken the lead because other countries appear largely unable (ie China, Russia) or unwilling (ie Germany, Canada) to undertake such a mission.Do I think Iraq and Afghanistan are the cause of the deficit, no. I think it is that the government is misallocating its resources into unnecessary programs (like Social Security, a trip to Mars) and unwilling to take the steps towards energy independence, like opening ANWAR then funding research for alternative forms of energy. ...[T]o ignore the classics is ultimately to weaken the very foundations of our society. - James Atlas, Book Wars: What it Takes to be Educated in America
news.yahoo.com/s/afp/2005...MlJVRPUCUlApparently, Italian "journalist" Giuliana Sgrena lied about the speed her car was traveling. "The report, which aired Thursday on CBS News, said US investigators concluded from the recording that the car was traveling at a speed of more than 60 miles (96 km) per hour."Giuliana Sgrena has said the car was traveling at a normal speed of about 30 miles an hour when the soldiers opened fired, wounding her and killing Nicola Calipari, the Italian agent who had just secured her release from a month's captivity."US soldiers said at the time of the March 4 incident that the car approached at a high rate of speed and that they fired only after it failed to respond to hand signals, flashing bright lights and warning shots."The conflicting accounts were among a number of differences that have prevented US and Italian authorities from reaching agreement on what happened."CBS, citing Pentagon officials, said the satellite recording enabled investigators to reconstruct the event without having to rely on the eyewitness accounts." ...[T]o ignore the classics is ultimately to weaken the very foundations of our society. - James Atlas, Book Wars: What it Takes to be Educated in America
So now it's the fault of the civilians (those without guns) that they were shot at instead of just merely threatened with the guns? An Italian journalist, in a war zone, at night (wasn't it?), probably nervous as hell, wanting to get to somewhere safe, was driving at what appears to be a normal Italian speed. Was there a posted speed limit: "US Soldiers will only shoot if you are traveling over 60 km/hour".This 'blame the victim' crap, and other USA government/military policies is why things like the American Tourist Apology T-shirt exist. It's not making many friends around the world...Lori "All beings are the owners of their deeds, the heirs to their deeds."
Yes, I have followed this story since it happened.A tragic result, but it seems like it was pretty predictable. It is amazing how arrogant and "bullet proof" many of the ex-military security specialists (mercenaries) are in Iraq.It seems that the motivation for failing to communicate and coordinate with the US military authorities was that Italy was paying a quite large sum to secure the freedom of the woman journalist. I have heard $10 Million.The Italians knew this would cause trouble with US authorities, so they tried to carry out the operation in secret, and the result is a dead mercenary, and a wounded journalist.And more bad feelings in the world against US military authorities trying to make Iraq secure.What an absolute mess. WW
Lori,She wasn't driving. As one blogger has put it,"The Italian position... has changed. Now instead of arguing that the Americans wanted to kill Sgrena for some kind of secrecy -- but then inexplicably allowed her to get medical attention once wounded -- they now claim that the checkpoint wasn't marked well enough for their driver to identify it. Going 60 MPH on a darkened road that had been widely identified as a terrorist trap, towards the airport that the Italians knew to be highly defended by American soldiers, apparently fits within Italian security parameters."Sgrena lied, and the driver and Calipari should have known better than to try to speed their way into a fortified airport access. With the attacks on American soldiers taking place by terrorists with vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices, military personnel with any experience and competence should understand the foolishness of approaching any checkpoint at a mile a minute, and should damned well be looking out for any security barriers, especially on a highway that contentious." ...[T]o ignore the classics is ultimately to weaken the very foundations of our society. - James Atlas, Book Wars: What it Takes to be Educated in America
Point taken.There has got to be some balance between paranoia and real danger, and a little less of the 'shoot first, ask questions later' mentality. I do understand that it is a difficult war zone... but the US military machine is not blameless here.Lori "All beings are the owners of their deeds, the heirs to their deeds."