Luminous Landscape Forum

The Art of Photography => The Coffee Corner => Topic started by: Peter Mellis on March 25, 2010, 04:21:58 PM

Title: NY Times Magazine last Sunday.......
Post by: Peter Mellis on March 25, 2010, 04:21:58 PM
This is a link to an article/photos in last Sunday's New York Times Magazine: http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2010/03...ml?ref=magazine (http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2010/03/21/magazine/20100321-soliders-bedrooms-slideshow.html?ref=magazine). Very moving.
Title: NY Times Magazine last Sunday.......
Post by: ddk on March 25, 2010, 11:50:35 PM
Quote from: PeterAM
This is a link to an article/photos in last Sunday's New York Times Magazine: http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2010/03...ml?ref=magazine (http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2010/03/21/magazine/20100321-soliders-bedrooms-slideshow.html?ref=magazine). Very moving.

I find absolutely nothing moving in these pictures, just some boring bedrooms, that's really all. This is just more leftist, anti-war rhetoric from NYT and nothing more, wish the images had more to them but...
Title: NY Times Magazine last Sunday.......
Post by: DarkPenguin on March 26, 2010, 12:24:39 AM
How can it be anti war rhetoric if all there is in the photos are a bunch of boring bedrooms?
Title: NY Times Magazine last Sunday.......
Post by: Kirk Gittings on March 26, 2010, 12:52:09 AM
I agree, very moving.....
Title: NY Times Magazine last Sunday.......
Post by: ddk on March 26, 2010, 12:53:47 AM
Quote from: DarkPenguin
How can it be anti war rhetoric if all there is in the photos are a bunch of boring bedrooms?

The title and the explanation!
Title: NY Times Magazine last Sunday.......
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on March 26, 2010, 01:48:13 AM
Quote from: ddk
I find absolutely nothing moving in these pictures, just some boring bedrooms, that's really all. This is just more leftist, anti-war rhetoric from NYT and nothing more, wish the images had more to them but...
God almighty!... what exactly makes you say this is anti-war or leftist? What part of the title and what part of the explanation makes it anti-war or leftist? Paying respect to the dead, to the people who gave their life for the country, and showing what their lives were like before, is somehow anti-war and leftist? Rightists do not acknowledge that people die in wars, they do not pay respect to the dead by remembering how they lived!? Or you would rather have them forgotten behind statistics?
Title: NY Times Magazine last Sunday.......
Post by: Rob C on March 26, 2010, 05:09:21 AM
What is remarkable to non-Americans, perhaps, is the amount of paraphernalia connected with military and national emblems in the way of flags and service posters. Another unsettling thing is the display of childhood toys.

I know this is quite normal in America - flags on poles in front of houses etc. but it is just so different in other countries where there is seldom this outer display of nationality. It is strange to foreign eyes because as it can come across a some need to state nationality, as if it were somehow under threat or doubted, almost a complex or compulsion to shout. Why? For example: when we first moved to Spain we bought into a new development and one of our neighbours was Canadian. The first thing he did was stick up a Canadian flag, which caused some quizzical looks from the Spaniards sill working on site; I think there was a sense of offence though they were all far too polite to say anything to him... The surprising thing is that he became one of my staunchest friends and was quite unlike the image that the extrovert act suggested.

But getting back to the published images, I think that the strongest message I take from them is of an innocence that suggests those kids should never have been allowed anywhere near a war. But then, isn't that where cannon fodder is always recruited and, by unavoidable extension, also the loss?

The older I get the more futile it all looks to me. Yes, of course we have to defend ourselves, but perhaps if our elected representatives were more careful in what they all do there would be less need from any side.

Rob C

Title: NY Times Magazine last Sunday.......
Post by: ddk on March 26, 2010, 09:10:58 AM
Quote from: Slobodan Blagojevic
God almighty!... what exactly makes you say this is anti-war or leftist? What part of the title and what part of the explanation makes it anti-war or leftist? Paying respect to the dead, to the people who gave their life for the country, and showing what their lives were like before, is somehow anti-war and leftist? Rightists do not acknowledge that people die in wars, they do not pay respect to the dead by remembering how they lived!? Or you would rather have them forgotten behind statistics?

I guess based on our past, life experiences and pov we all react differently to something like this, specially if its in NYT. Over the years I lost close friends and relatives to different wars and have dear friends who lost children to this one, and for once I wish that their death would be remembered and celebrated in a more meaningful way and not just a waste. I realize that war is hell but hopefully there are good things that come out it, no one talks about the lives, freedoms and ideals saved because of the soldier's sacrifices. Have you seen anything that celebrates these deaths with what was saved in NYT, instead of portraying their sacrifice as wasteful? As I mentioned I find nothing in the images to make me feel anything on their own but the pretense in the caption does make me angry... They did not all die for NOTHING!
Title: NY Times Magazine last Sunday.......
Post by: ckimmerle on March 26, 2010, 09:33:58 AM
Quote from: ddk
Have you seen anything that celebrates these deaths with what was saved in NYT, instead of portraying their sacrifice as wasteful? As I mentioned I find nothing in the images to make me feel anything on their own but the pretense in the caption does make me angry... They did not all die for NOTHING!

Unfortunately, you attitude about the NYT is blinding you to the reason for this project. This is not about the global value of the war or it's rights or wrongs. It's a touching essay on the individual soldiers who have died, and how they're no different than any of the millions of other teens or early twenty-somethings we see everyday. The same kids we complain about when they're skateboarding on our sidewalks or parties are too loud. It's about average young people who died in extraordinary circumstances. It's about innocence and youth and horrors of war.

If you cannot see this, I truly feel sorry for you.

I, for one, was deeply moved.
Title: NY Times Magazine last Sunday.......
Post by: ddk on March 26, 2010, 09:43:18 AM
Quote from: ckimmerle
It's about average young people who died in extraordinary circumstances. It's about innocence and youth and horrors of war.

If you cannot see this, I truly feel sorry for you.

I, for one, was deeply moved.

I read the same message and that's exactly what I'm objecting to, we're just reacting differently to it.
Title: NY Times Magazine last Sunday.......
Post by: ckimmerle on March 26, 2010, 09:52:06 AM
Quote from: ddk
I read the same message and that's exactly what I'm objecting to, we're just reacting differently to it.

It's not a question of having differing reactions, it's a question of "why".
Title: NY Times Magazine last Sunday.......
Post by: ddk on March 26, 2010, 10:10:30 AM
Quote from: ckimmerle
It's not a question of having differing reactions, it's a question of "why".


For many reasons Chuck, some of which I mentioned above. Please, let's not make this thread about me anymore, its about those who we lost in-spite of our individual reactions to the caption and the images.

(PS. I changed my mind, maybe I should explain why I react that way)

For me images like this and just talking only about the horrors of war is very superficial, war is complex on many different levels. From these images you see these soldiers as the ordinary kid next door, that's deceiving the reader/viewer without saying anything about who lived in those rooms. They weren't drafted, its a voluntary army, do you know them or their reason for joining or what they died for from these images? While they all have/had their own convictions, many noble perhaps, not everyone's reason to become a merc is honorable. Whoever they were I simply don't see them as the simple kid next door as this photographer wants us to think...
Title: NY Times Magazine last Sunday.......
Post by: Jeremy Payne on March 26, 2010, 10:30:26 AM
Quote from: Rob C
What is remarkable to non-Americans, perhaps, is the amount of paraphernalia connected with military

In the bedrooms of soldiers?  Really?

I find this comment and the surrounding musings as puzzling as you found your Canadian friend's urge to plant a flag at his home ... perhaps more.
Title: NY Times Magazine last Sunday.......
Post by: PeterAit on March 26, 2010, 10:54:41 AM
Quote from: ddk
I find absolutely nothing moving in these pictures, just some boring bedrooms, that's really all. This is just more leftist, anti-war rhetoric from NYT and nothing more, wish the images had more to them but...

Right! What we really need is some rightist, pro-war rhetoric!
Title: NY Times Magazine last Sunday.......
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on March 26, 2010, 10:58:50 AM
Quote from: ddk
... I realize that war is hell but hopefully there are good things that come out it, no one talks about the lives, freedoms and ideals saved because of the soldier's sacrifices. Have you seen anything that celebrates these deaths with what was saved in NYT...
Yes, I heard about a similar practice (i.e., celebrating the positive). My wife would be telling me that in Soviet Union they never heard or read about plane crashes (except in other countries, of course), sex crimes and even sex (except in other countries, of course), etc. But the newspapers were choke full of happy children running around playgrounds, under spirit-uplifting captions like: "thank you comrade Stalin  for our happy childhood!". There were no news of miners dying in mine accidents, just ecstatic workers celebrating latest five-year plan victories.
Title: NY Times Magazine last Sunday.......
Post by: PeterAit on March 26, 2010, 11:03:38 AM
Quote from: ddk
I guess based on our past, life experiences and pov we all react differently to something like this, specially if its in NYT. Over the years I lost close friends and relatives to different wars and have dear friends who lost children to this one, and for once I wish that their death would be remembered and celebrated in a more meaningful way and not just a waste. I realize that war is hell but hopefully there are good things that come out it, no one talks about the lives, freedoms and ideals saved because of the soldier's sacrifices. Have you seen anything that celebrates these deaths with what was saved in NYT, instead of portraying their sacrifice as wasteful? As I mentioned I find nothing in the images to make me feel anything on their own but the pretense in the caption does make me angry... They did not all die for NOTHING!

Where does the article say these young men died for nothing? Nowhere. This is an inference you are making, likely because you fear it is true.
Title: NY Times Magazine last Sunday.......
Post by: Jeremy Payne on March 26, 2010, 11:05:20 AM
Quote from: Slobodan Blagojevic
Yes, I heard about a similar practice (i.e., celebrating the positive). My wife would be telling me that in Soviet Union they never heard or read about plane crashes (except in other countries, of course), sex crimes and even sex (except in other countries, of course), etc. But the newspapers were choke full of happy children running around playgrounds, under spirit-uplifting captions like: "thank you comrade Stalin  for our happy childhood!". There were no news of miners dying in mine accidents, just ecstatic workers celebrating latest five-year plan victories.

+1

Exactly.  If only the NYT were more like the old Pravda ...
Title: NY Times Magazine last Sunday.......
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on March 26, 2010, 11:06:46 AM
Quote from: Rob C
... Another unsettling thing is the display of childhood toys....
It would be interesting to hear why is that "unsettling", but my guess is that mothers put it there after death... and for our parents, we will be forever kids.
Title: NY Times Magazine last Sunday.......
Post by: RSL on March 26, 2010, 11:40:42 AM
I agree with David. The thing is just another propaganda piece by the NYT. Do these morons really think people in the U.S. are "in favor" of war? As I said in another post, I spent 26 years in the Air Force. In three combat-zone tours I flew fighter-bombers during the Korean war, commanded a radar site in the Vietnam delta, and commanded a tactical control group with radar sites all over Southeast Asia during the Vietnam war. I lost several close friends during all of that. The worst loss for me was in primary pilot training when my best friend was killed during his last flight before we moved on to advanced training. I had to accompany his body home on a train and spend a week with his parents during the run-up to and denouement after his funeral. My hardest job on that trip was convincing his mother that she didn't want to have the casket opened so she could see him one last time. An aircraft accident doesn't leave you in pretty condition.

In spite of that, none of us, neither his parents, my parents, my peers, nor I felt that the risks we took weren't worth it. It simply had to be done. Nowadays it seems that that understanding has faded. But let me assure you: it still has to be done, and the risks are still worth it. It's clear that people who obsess over the bedrooms of the departed aren't part of the solution. They're not about to volunteer to fight for their comfortable country, and they're perfectly willing to let those kids whose bedrooms. along with their toys, are on display in this wretched propaganda piece do the fighting for them -- then whine and express feigned dismay about how costly it is to defend their freedoms.

This kind of thing is unmitigated crap, and people who buy into it are showing that they can be easily gulled!
Title: NY Times Magazine last Sunday.......
Post by: Jeremy Payne on March 26, 2010, 11:50:35 AM
Quote from: RSL
This kind of thing is unmitigated crap, and people who buy into it are disgusting cowards!

Russ ... I know you know what real 'propaganda' is and this ain't it.

With all due respect and admiration for your service and wisdom, you are wrong ... like the other guy, your stance would seem to have more to do with the NYT and your perception of the paper than the piece itself.

I wish we could run an experiment and put these in the Wall Street Journal and see your reaction to them at that point.
Title: NY Times Magazine last Sunday.......
Post by: Ken Bennett on March 26, 2010, 11:59:13 AM
Quote from: RSL
This kind of thing is unmitigated crap, and people who buy into it are disgusting cowards!


Thank you. I suppose my six years in the military doesn't count in your world -- if I am moved by these photos, I am a "disgusting coward."

One glaring problem with political discourse in this country is that it quickly devolves into name-calling. You, sir, should be ashamed.

Ken Bennett
US Army, 1982-88
Title: NY Times Magazine last Sunday.......
Post by: RSL on March 26, 2010, 12:03:38 PM
Jeremy, Do you really think the WSJ would be willing to run something like this? What, exactly, is the point of the thing other than to make people feel that the wars we have to fight aren't worth the losses we experience when we fight them? You're right: my opinion of the NYT is about as far down the scale as you can get -- mainly because the paper regularly runs editorials disguised as news reports, but it wouldn't matter where this crap appeared, it still would be what it is: propaganda to make people feel (not think) that the wars we have to fight are too costly. Is there some hidden artistic value in a picture of a dead man's bedroom with his childhood toys? If there is, I've somehow missed it.
Title: NY Times Magazine last Sunday.......
Post by: ddk on March 26, 2010, 12:04:35 PM
Quote from: Jeremy Payne
Russ ... I know you know what real 'propaganda' is and this ain't it.

With all due respect and admiration for your service and wisdom, you are wrong ... like the other guy, your stance would seem to have more to do with the NYT and your perception of the paper than the piece itself.

I wish we could run an experiment and put these in the Wall Street Journal and see your reaction to them at that point.

That's just your opinion Jeremy, I would react exactly the same no matter who printed those drab pictures...
Title: NY Times Magazine last Sunday.......
Post by: RSL on March 26, 2010, 12:05:47 PM
Ken, I'll ask you the same question I asked Jeremy: Is there some hidden artistic value in a picture of a dead man's bedroom with his childhood toys? If so, what is it?
Title: NY Times Magazine last Sunday.......
Post by: Jeremy Payne on March 26, 2010, 12:06:49 PM
Quote from: RSL
Ken, I'll ask you the same question I asked Jeremy: Is there some hidden artistic value in a picture of a dead man's bedroom with his childhood toys? If so, what is it?
It's a newspaper, Russ ... not lenswork ...
Title: NY Times Magazine last Sunday.......
Post by: Jeremy Payne on March 26, 2010, 12:08:05 PM
Quote from: ddk
That's just your opinion Jeremy, I would react exactly the same no matter who printed those drab pictures...
So you would have accused the Wall Street Journal of leftist, anti-war propagandizing?

I seriously doubt it.  Just my opinion.
Title: NY Times Magazine last Sunday.......
Post by: RSL on March 26, 2010, 12:08:26 PM
Quote from: Jeremy Payne
It's a newspaper, Russ ... not lenswork ...
Exactly! They're not even pretending it's art. So what is it?
Title: NY Times Magazine last Sunday.......
Post by: Jeremy Payne on March 26, 2010, 12:27:52 PM
Quote from: RSL
Exactly! They're not even pretending it's art. So what is it?

Russ ... this is the same conversation we had when the NYT published the Brazilian asylum photographs ...

It is photojournalism.

Title: NY Times Magazine last Sunday.......
Post by: Ken Bennett on March 26, 2010, 01:01:53 PM
Quote from: RSL
Ken, I'll ask you the same question I asked Jeremy: Is there some hidden artistic value in a picture of a dead man's bedroom with his childhood toys? If so, what is it?


It's not hidden at all. The artistic value of these photographs is right in plain sight, for any feeling person to see.

I see many things in these photographs: honor for the service and sacrifice of the men and women who died in the service of their country. The loss and pain their families felt and still feel. The ordinariness of their rooms -- these could belong to any 19 or 20 year old, including my own 19 year old daughter. The thought that these rooms will remain exactly the same until the parents move or die.

Of course they are just ordinary bedrooms -- that's the point.

I am sorry that you appear to be so blinded by your political beliefs that you can't feel anything but anger when confronted with the price that individual families pay so that you may have the freedom to call me a "disgusting coward."

EDIT: Let me add that these photographs moved me to tears.
Title: NY Times Magazine last Sunday.......
Post by: ddk on March 26, 2010, 01:21:48 PM
Quote from: Jeremy Payne
So you would have accused the Wall Street Journal of leftist, anti-war propagandizing?

I seriously doubt it.  Just my opinion.

You're entitled to your opinion...
Title: NY Times Magazine last Sunday.......
Post by: ddk on March 26, 2010, 01:23:53 PM
Quote from: Jeremy Payne
Russ ... this is the same conversation we had when the NYT published the Brazilian asylum photographs ...

It is photojournalism.

What kind of photojournalism is this? Its just a bunch of bedrooms cleaned up for a photo shoot and a catchy title, that's all.
Title: NY Times Magazine last Sunday.......
Post by: RSL on March 26, 2010, 01:24:36 PM
Quote from: Jeremy Payne
Russ ... this is the same conversation we had when the NYT published the Brazilian asylum photographs ...

It is photojournalism.

Jeremy, I've decided that the "coward" part of what I said was over the top. I've taken it back. But the "disgusting" part stands. The whole thing really steams me.

So this is "photojournalism." Really? Photojournalism exists to make a point. Is there some point to this "photojournalism" other than that people get killed in wars, and that before they were adults they were kids with kids' toys? If there is some other point maybe you can explain it to me. And if there is some other point, why wouldn't one bedroom do the job? Why are we showing bedroom after bedroom? Is there someone out there who doesn't understand that people get killed in wars?
Title: NY Times Magazine last Sunday.......
Post by: Jeremy Payne on March 26, 2010, 01:25:30 PM
Quote from: ddk
You're entitled to your opinion...
Here's another ... I like your photographic work very much!

:-)
Title: NY Times Magazine last Sunday.......
Post by: Jeremy Payne on March 26, 2010, 01:28:20 PM
Quote from: RSL
Is there some point to this "photojournalism" other than that people get killed in wars, and that before they were adults they were kids with kids' toys?

Russ, if it made me value and recognize their sacrifice MORE than I did yesterday, is that a valid point?
Title: NY Times Magazine last Sunday.......
Post by: RSL on March 26, 2010, 01:35:51 PM
Quote from: k bennett
It's not hidden at all. The artistic value of these photographs is right in plain sight, for any feeling person to see.

Really? Suppose we didn't know that these were the bedrooms of people killed in a war? Would they still have artistic value? Art has to stand on its own feet. This crap doesn't do that.

Quote
I am sorry that you appear to be so blinded by your political beliefs that you can't feel anything but anger when confronted with the price that individual families pay so that you may have the freedom to call me a "disgusting coward."

EDIT: Let me add that these photographs moved me to tears.

My political beliefs have nothing to do with it. That they do is an assumption you're making on the basis of your own politics. Believe me, I know all about "the price that individual families pay" -- not only from my own experiences, but from the  gold-star families on my street during WW II, when I was a teenager. It's a high price, but it's a price we used to be willing to pay. It's a price we still have to pay whether we want to or not. This garbage, fobbed off as art, can only increase "the price individual families pay."

By the way, I've taken back the "coward" part since I don't know that for a fact.
Title: NY Times Magazine last Sunday.......
Post by: ckimmerle on March 26, 2010, 01:42:31 PM
Quote from: ddk
What kind of photojournalism is this? Its just a bunch of bedrooms cleaned up for a photo shoot and a catchy title, that's all.

Moonrise, Hernandez was just a pretty sunset photo, that's all.
Pepper #30 was just another overdone vegetable picture, that's all.
Karsh did simple headshots, that's all.
Dykinga won a Pulitzer for pictures of rocks and trees, that's all.

It's easy to dismiss the value of any photograph(er) if you don't actually make an attempt to understand.

Quote from: RSL
Really? Suppose we didn't know that these were the bedrooms of people killed in a war? Would they still have artistic value? Art has to stand on its own feet.

Russ, with all due respect, that's garbage and you know it. Perspective has ALWAYS played a part in art. It's essential to the basic understanding.

(edited to be less obnoxious)
Title: NY Times Magazine last Sunday.......
Post by: Rob C on March 26, 2010, 01:47:23 PM
Quote from: Slobodan Blagojevic
It would be interesting to hear why is that "unsettling", but my guess is that mothers put it there after death... and for our parents, we will be forever kids.




Slobodan

The unsettling aspect, for me, is that soft toys etc. signify very young and immature minds. If those were indeed placed there after the event by a grieving parent, I can fully understand the reason: we are all our parent's children for ever, even in our sixties. But then it is no longer honest reportage. If the toys were there by the hand of the soldier, then in my way of looking at it, he or she was far too immature to know exactly the depth of the possibility incurred by what he or she was signing up to accomplish. Just how I interpret these little motifs.

Russ

I don't think you are being fair when you label dissenting minds cowards. There is a hell of a difference between signing up to protect your country (who wouldn't) and signing up to engage in foreign adventures, which is what I am afraid all modern wars seem to be, without clear indication of exactly where the domestic front is being served.

Perhaps a better purpose would be served by governments considering their positions more carefully, whose countries and religions they decide to favour and, with the latter, take into account the inevitable reactions choices can provoke. I doubt very much that the US would have experienced 9/11 had it paid more attention to such things, and for sure the subways would be safer in the UK had our own puppy dogs thought more deeply too.

Mention was made, in another close thread, of the US being or not being the world's policeman: perhaps it should wait to be asked next time? It is just too easy to view everything from one perspective. The world does not always want the same lifestyle that we share, as we sometimes think; why try and impose it when such action usually leads only to disaster?

Rob C

PS: I see you deleted the 'coward' remark - good for you!
Title: NY Times Magazine last Sunday.......
Post by: RSL on March 26, 2010, 01:54:22 PM
Quote from: Jeremy Payne
Russ, if it made me value and recognize their sacrifice MORE than I did yesterday, is that a valid point?

Jeremy, You and I don't often disagree, but this is one time when we do. Why does seeing a picture of a series of bedrooms make you value and recognize their sacrifice more than you did before? Certainly you were aware that they had bedrooms. Surely you were aware that when they were little they had Pooh bears and other toys. Yes, it's terrible that people have to die in wars, and especially terrible because they're young and have full lives in front of them that get snuffed out. But I'd be willing to bet you're aware of that every day, and that you value that kind of sacrifice without seeing a series of bedrooms. The only possible use for this kind of propaganda is to: (1) Frighten people who've thought about military service, (2) Sadden and frighten the parents of people who are in military service, (3) Frighten the parents of people who are thinking about military service, and (4) Make it harder for the United States to fight the wars it needs to fight by emboldening the clueless people who don't understand that these things need to be done.
Title: NY Times Magazine last Sunday.......
Post by: fredjeang on March 26, 2010, 02:10:43 PM
Quote from: Rob C
The world does not always want the same lifestyle that we share, as we sometimes think; why try and impose it when such action usually leads only to disaster?

Rob C

PS: I see you deleted the 'coward' remark - good for you!
Rob, as always, it is a pleasure to read you and also the Russ posts. Both have a style and experienced in the writings that I'm learning a lot.
Different points of view, I can agree or disagree but I always find wisdom and great writing. I'll always remember the "duels" Russ-Rob from LU-LA.
(like Prost-Sena for the ones who remember).

I have to say that your sentence above resumed my feelings.

Fred.
Title: NY Times Magazine last Sunday.......
Post by: RSL on March 26, 2010, 02:19:54 PM
Quote from: Rob C
Russ

I don't think you are being fair when you label dissenting minds cowards. There is a hell of a difference between signing up to protect your country (who wouldn't) and signing up to engage in foreign adventures, which is what I am afraid all modern wars seem to be, without clear indication of exactly where the domestic front is being served.

Rob, The main reason these things seem like foreign adventures and don't seem to have a clear indication of where the domestic front is being served is that unlike WW II, where we had clear fronts that needed to be penetrated and where the fighting took place, the menace we faced during the Cold War and the menace we face now, for the most part don't have identifiable fronts. But that doesn't make them any less existential threats. Unfortunately our governments -- not just the current U.S. government -- have for a long time gone out of their way to downplay the significance of the threats. That lets governments spend less on defense and more on "social security," which is a happy state of affairs for any politician. The real tragedy isn't empty bedrooms, though that's tragedy enough. The real tragedy is that at least in the  U.S., for a long time now we've increased the burden on our armed forces while reducing the means they have to carry that burden. We're not far away from breaking the tool the whole free world depends on for defense. If it breaks, the result will be catastrophic.

Quote
Mention was made, in another close thread, of the US being or not being the world's policeman: perhaps it should wait to be asked next time? It is just too easy to view everything from one perspective. The world does not always want the same lifestyle that we share, as we sometimes think; why try and impose it when such action usually leads only to disaster?

Actually, seems to me we were asked. At least that's what Churchill seems to indicate. Three questions: (1) Does the free world need a policeman? (2) If so, since WW II, who, other than the U.S. has had the ability to be the world's policeman? (3) Without a world policeman, what would the world look like?

Regarding the second part of your paragraph, I certainly agree. I'd be happy to see an acknowledged dictator in parts of Palestine. "Democracy" didn't work out so well for those folks. Of course, if you look back at history you find that democracy" rarely does work out well. That's why the U.S. has a republic. So far that's worked fairly well, but underneath the republic is a democracy full of people who've discovered that they can vote themselves largess out of the public treasury. Mr. Tytler has educated us about the inevitable outcome of that problem.
Title: NY Times Magazine last Sunday.......
Post by: RSL on March 26, 2010, 02:26:13 PM
Quote from: Rob C
PS: I see you deleted the 'coward' remark - good for you!

Yes. That was over the top. I don't normally deal in unsupported assertions, and that was one. My apologies to anyone who isn''t a coward. But you'll notice that that's all I deleted.
Title: NY Times Magazine last Sunday.......
Post by: RSL on March 26, 2010, 02:32:06 PM
Quote from: ckimmerle
(edited to be less obnoxious)

Chuck, Thanks for making it less obnoxious. I always appreciate that.
Title: NY Times Magazine last Sunday.......
Post by: ErikKaffehr on March 26, 2010, 02:35:25 PM
Hi,

I find the images moving. I'd suggest that we keep in mind for each man or woman killed in action we have perhaps seventeen wounded, having scars and suffering for life.

This is essentially the price of the business. Is it worth the sacrifice? I hope is it, but I'm far from sure. Don't forget that the civilians also pay a price, probably higher than the men and women in uniform.

War is a serious business, should be the absolutely last resort.

Best regards
Erik

Quote from: PeterAM
This is a link to an article/photos in last Sunday's New York Times Magazine: http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2010/03...ml?ref=magazine (http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2010/03/21/magazine/20100321-soliders-bedrooms-slideshow.html?ref=magazine). Very moving.
Title: NY Times Magazine last Sunday.......
Post by: fredjeang on March 26, 2010, 02:36:44 PM
Quote from: RSL
Jeremy, You and I don't often disagree, but this is one time when we do. Why does seeing a picture of a series of bedrooms make you value and recognize their sacrifice more than you did before? Certainly you were aware that they had bedrooms. Surely you were aware that when they were little they had Pooh bears and other toys. Yes, it's terrible that people have to die in wars, and especially terrible because they're young and have full lives in front of them that get snuffed out. But I'd be willing to bet you're aware of that every day, and that you value that kind of sacrifice without seeing a series of bedrooms. The only possible use for this kind of propaganda is to: (1) Frighten people who've thought about military service, (2) Sadden and frighten the parents of people who are in military service, (3) Frighten the parents of people who are thinking about military service, and (4) Make it harder for the United States to fight the wars it needs to fight by emboldening the clueless people who don't understand that these things need to be done.
Hi Russ,
I often agree with you and have a great respect for your point of views and experience, and as I mentioned in a post above, for the style of your writing. But I also have to disagree with you here and join the Jeremy position.
I have a lot of respect for the military people, I learned about that when I spent some time in an air force base where all my prejudices falled apart.
I met here some of the greatest men (in a noble way), that carried the atomic bomb as their daily rutine.
Military service as been for me a great experience and I learned a lot about how things works.
But the time have changed very very fast, faster in some 20 years that in centuries. The reasons that drive you to your positions, and sorry if I over-simplify, are not as much valuable nowdays because one thing has changed: comunication. And comunication is of course exageration in that sense that it is now involved more an emotional factor and not as much a "citizen" as it has been the case.
In 14-18, it was possible for a government to send and sacrify millions people in the battle field, but that is simply not possible nowdays. Mentalities have fortunately changed, nobody would follow that, and the kind of comunication and values are different. I'm sure you won't recognize your army now from where you did left it some years ago.
Wars have changed, from the massive to something very similar to what Lawrence of Arabia was doing. Everything is different. the game is not played the same way.

Fred.
Title: NY Times Magazine last Sunday.......
Post by: RSL on March 26, 2010, 02:44:07 PM
Quote from: ErikKaffehr
I find the images moving. I'd suggest that we keep in mind for each man or woman killed in action we have perhaps seventeen wounded, having scars and suffering for life.

Yes. Maybe the NYT could show the bedrooms of the wounded, perhaps with the wounded in them. What's your point, Erik? Are you suggesting that people shouldn't get wounded in war?

Quote
This is essentially the price of the business. Is it worth the sacrifice? I hope is it, but I'm far from sure. Don't forget that the civilians also pay a price, probably higher than the men and women in uniform.

Come again??

Quote
War is a serious business, should be the absolutely last resort.

Since WW II I'd say it always has been the last resort. But making war the last resort isn't the same thing as waiting until you've been attacked and mortally wounded. If you'd like a lesson on that subject read Churchill's WW II series.
Title: NY Times Magazine last Sunday.......
Post by: ddk on March 26, 2010, 02:50:42 PM
Quote from: Jeremy Payne
Here's another ... I like your photographic work very much!

:-)

Appreciate that very much, thank you!
Title: NY Times Magazine last Sunday.......
Post by: ddk on March 26, 2010, 02:53:59 PM
Quote from: ckimmerle
Moonrise, Hernandez was just a pretty sunset photo, that's all.
Pepper #30 was just another overdone vegetable picture, that's all.
Karsh did simple headshots, that's all.
Dykinga won a Pulitzer for pictures of rocks and trees, that's all.

It's easy to dismiss the value of any photograph(er) if you don't actually make an attempt to understand.

I wasn't dismissing the work, just the message; still don't see out as photojournalism.
Title: NY Times Magazine last Sunday.......
Post by: RSL on March 26, 2010, 02:58:41 PM
Quote from: fredjeang
But the time have changed very very fast, faster in some 20 years that in centuries. The reasons that drive you to your positions, and sorry if I over-simplify, are not as much valuable nowdays because one thing has changed: comunication. And comunication is of course exageration in that sense that it is involved a emotional factor and not a "citizen" factor.
In 14-18, it was possible for a government to send and sacrify millions people in the battle field, but that is simply not possible nowdays. Mentalities have fortunately changed, and the kind of comunication and values are different. I'm sure you won't recognize your army now from where you did left it some years ago.

Fred, Do you really believe that, say, the Chinese couldn't field the same kind of do-or-die army that Germany fielded in WW I? Dictatorships can do that because the dictators are the ones with the guns. Do you really believe that the people of Iran would continue to labor under the kind of oppression they labor under if they, instead of their dictators, had the guns? The kind of "mentalities" you're talking about never change. Prior to the beginning of WW II, British kids were swearing not to fight for king or country, but when they found that their country was about to be invaded by a madman they fought for king and country (and probably for mom, dad, and sister). The only reason you can believe what you claim to believe is that the threat seems distant. But the threat seemed distant to those British kids too -- only it wasn't.

I not only recognize the army now, I live in Colorado Springs where Fort Carson, The Air Force Academy, and NORAD all hang out. I have almost daily contact with military people.
Title: NY Times Magazine last Sunday.......
Post by: fredjeang on March 26, 2010, 03:03:53 PM
Quote from: RSL
Fred, Do you really believe that, say, the Chinese couldn't field the same kind of do-or-die army that Germany fielded in WW I? Dictatorships can do that because the dictators are the ones with the guns. Do you really believe that the people of Iran would continue to labor under the kind of oppression they labor under if they, instead of their dictators, had the guns? The kind of "mentalities" you're talking about never change. Prior to the beginning of WW II, British kids were swearing not to fight for king or country, but when they found that their country was about to be invaded by a madman they fought for king and country (and probably for mom, dad, and sister). The only reason you can believe what you claim to believe is that the threat seems distant. But the threat seemed distant to those British kids too -- only it wasn't.

I not only recognize the army now, I live in Colorado Springs where Fort Carson, The Air Force Academy, and NORAD all hang out. I have almost daily contact with military people.
Now still yes, for the chinese. Let them taste the "joys" of confort, abundance and capitalism for a while and they won't.
Remember the Roman empire? It just happened that way.
After a great empire, starting decadence. When the Barbarians came, they were not preapared any more. They just did not want to.

Now you are right, I should have say "nobody would follow that" talking about our occidental nations, but for others, they would. Because they do not have yet the same level of confort. But for us, it is another story IMO.

Fred.
Title: NY Times Magazine last Sunday.......
Post by: RSL on March 26, 2010, 03:12:28 PM
Quote from: ckimmerle
Moonrise, Hernandez was just a pretty sunset photo, that's all.
Pepper #30 was just another overdone vegetable picture, that's all.
Karsh did simple headshots, that's all.
Dykinga won a Pulitzer for pictures of rocks and trees, that's all.

Chuck, I let this one go by, but I shouldn't have.

If you saw Moonrise, Hernandez and knew nothing at all about Ansel or the story of how he made that shot, would it still be fine art to you?

If you saw Pepper #30 and didn't know anything about Edward or his mistresses, etc., would the pepper still be fine art?

How about karsh's portrait of Churchill. If you didn't know who Churchill was or anything about him, or that he'd just had a cigar in his mouth, would that portrait still be fine art?

I'm not all that thrilled with Jack Dykinga's work even if he won a Pulitzer. I think your "Unapologetic Landscapes" are better than anything of Dykinga's I've ever seen, so I'll let that one go.

As far as I'm concerned, all of the first three examples stand on their own feet as fine art. Knowing the stories behind them doesn't enhance my appreciation of them.
Title: NY Times Magazine last Sunday.......
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on March 26, 2010, 03:16:03 PM
Quote from: RSL
... My apologies to anyone who isn''t a coward. But you'll notice that that's all I deleted.
Russ, I am so glad that you do not consider me a coward... only "disgusting"... phew, what a relief!
Title: NY Times Magazine last Sunday.......
Post by: Jeremy Payne on March 26, 2010, 03:54:19 PM
Quote from: RSL
Certainly you were aware that they had bedrooms. Surely you were aware that when they were little they had Pooh bears and other toys.

I'm afraid you've completely lost me on this one ...

A photograph has to show you something that you didn't know existed in order for it to be valid?

Of course I knew those things ... but I have never been privileged to see the bedroom of a fallen soldier ... and I'm glad the photographer did it and I'm glad the families allowed it and I think you should take a cue from them.

Obviously, the families felt this had value beyond propaganda ... let's give them the benefit of the doubt.
Title: NY Times Magazine last Sunday.......
Post by: RSL on March 26, 2010, 04:25:59 PM
Quote from: Jeremy Payne
I'm afraid you've completely lost me on this one ...

A photograph has to show you something that you didn't know existed in order for it to be valid?

Of course I knew those things ... but I have never been privileged to see the bedroom of a fallen soldier ... and I'm glad the photographer did it and I'm glad the families allowed it and I think you should take a cue from them.

Obviously, the families felt this had value beyond propaganda ... let's give them the benefit of the doubt.

Jeremy, Of course a photograph doesn't have to show something I didn't know existed, but if it shows me something I knew existed there has to be some reason for me to be interested in the photograph of that something. The fact is that dead kids' bedrooms look exactly like live kids' bedrooms and I'm not interested in kids' bedrooms, with our without their Pooh bears. I have four sons and I remember exactly what their bedrooms always looked like when they were kids. Neither would anyone else be interested in these bedrooms unless their noses were rubbed in the implications a quack "photojournalist" would have them accept along with his pictures.
 
I'll certainly give the families the benefit of any doubt, but I won't extend my excusal to the NYT. The fact that they did this is a deplorable abdication of the responsibilities that go with the rights of free journalism.
Title: NY Times Magazine last Sunday.......
Post by: fredjeang on March 26, 2010, 04:40:05 PM
Actually, I went back to the pictures and watch them again.
Well, I have to say that I'm in a more contrasted position, in between the Russ and Jeremy's ones.
I know it might sounds that being in the middle is being nowhere, but i actually find valuable arguments in both positions,
and I'm unable to define wich one is right in my opinion.
So, I apologyze to Russ for my previous post saying that his arguments where a kind of "out-dated".
They were not.
It is a difficult subject.

Fred.
Title: NY Times Magazine last Sunday.......
Post by: Jeremy Payne on March 26, 2010, 04:44:07 PM
Quote from: RSL
a quack "photojournalist" would have them accept along with his pictures.

He lived in Iraq from 2002-2008.  He doesn't seem like a quack at all.

http://www.ashleygilbertson.com (http://www.ashleygilbertson.com)
Title: NY Times Magazine last Sunday.......
Post by: RSL on March 26, 2010, 04:50:05 PM
Quote from: fredjeang
Now still yes, for the chinese. Let them taste the "joys" of confort, abundance and capitalism for a while and they won't.
Remember the Roman empire? It just happened that way.
After a great empire, starting decadence. When the Barbarians came, they were not preapared any more. They just did not want to.

Now you are right, I should have say "nobody would follow that" talking about our occidental nations, but for others, they would. Because they do not have yet the same level of confort. But for us, it is another story IMO.

Fred.

Fred, But there are always the "uncomfortable ones" in the world, and they're always the ones who raise their children to be warriors. Your example of the Romans is right on the mark. Any nation that gets so "comfortable" that it's not "prepared" can expect at some point to descend into dissolution. Let's hope it's not "us," though someday it will be. The only reason the western world has been able to have "comfort" since WW II is because the United States has been willing to spend its blood and treasure to defend that "comfort." If the U.S. gets too comfortable it will have a lot of company on the road to dissolution.

Since the U.S. still is willing to defend them, the biggest problem for most free nations at the moment isn't their lack of military capability, though that's problem enough. The biggest problem is their fertility rate. The U.S. is about the only free nation in the world whose fertility rate is at or slightly above replacement. Populations of the rest of the free world are shrinking and growing older. That's not a condition that forecasts longevity for those nations, especially when you consider that the "uncomfortable" nations' fertility rate is enormous. If you think I'm exaggerating check the average age of citizens of the Arab nations in the Middle East, and then check the average age of Spanish citizens.

Ive suggested that the U.S. help solve this problem by sending our army to impregnate all nubile European women, but that idea seems to have run into some political resistance, even though I'm quite sure we could do the whole job with volunteers. Ah well, I'm not a politician,.
Title: NY Times Magazine last Sunday.......
Post by: RSL on March 26, 2010, 04:55:51 PM
Quote from: Jeremy Payne
He lived in Iraq from 2002-2008.  He doesn't seem like a quack at all.

http://www.ashleygilbertson.com (http://www.ashleygilbertson.com)

Okay, I'll agree that he wasn't a quack until he went to work for the NYT. I also remember when David Brooks was a reasonable, intelligent columnist. Then he went to work for the NYT. There's something about that environment that seems to corrode ones brain.
Title: NY Times Magazine last Sunday.......
Post by: Rob C on March 26, 2010, 05:04:37 PM
Quote from: RSL
Actually, seems to me we were asked. At least that's what Churchill seems to indicate. Three questions: (1) Does the free world need a policeman? (2) If so, since WW II, who, other than the U.S. has had the ability to be the world's policeman? (3) Without a world policeman, what would the world look like?

Regarding the second part of your paragraph, I certainly agree. I'd be happy to see an acknowledged dictator in parts of Palestine. "Democracy" didn't work out so well for those folks. Of course, if you look back at history you find that democracy" rarely does work out well. That's why the U.S. has a republic. So far that's worked fairly well, but underneath the republic is a democracy full of people who've discovered that they can vote themselves largess out of the public treasury. Mr. Tytler has educated us about the inevitable outcome of that problem.



1.  Okay, you most certainly were asked during the years of WW2, but I am referring to more recent 'adventures' into the middle east where the justification is hard to see. Nobody invited either the US or the UK into Iraq; it had nothing to do with 9/11 which had everything to do with the totally biased positive position held towards the Palestinans' neighbour for reasons that, I suppose, are reflected in the power makeup of the US and, I guess, the rest of the international money business. You can mess around with the definitions as much as you like, but the truth is that if you constantly back one side against the other, the other is going to start seeing you as simply another part of the original enemy, which is exactly what happened, and the UK allowed itself to be suckered in too. I don't think all those other western governments were just being cowardly, and as has been pointed out many times, Afghanistan and Mexico would lose their drug incomes overnight if the 'civilized' world took the domestic drug industry seriously and broke a few skulls back home. Now that would be a domestic fight worth fighting! It will not happen.

2.  Nobody.

3.  Well, the far east would look much the same - the US lost in Vietnam despite massive power and North Korea is still truckin' as before, with a southern boat sunk as I write, with or without northern help. Further south in the direction of Australia the Moslem population is the largest in the world and nobody is going to mess with that! The eastern European/Balkan nations have always been in turmoil and neither NATO, the UN nor any credible EEC alternative seems to be capable of pleasing all of the combatants all of the time. Turkey is playing footsie with the west because it hopes to get into the EEC which, in turn, is terrified to let it in in case that opens the floodgates to the entire middle east cutting across the borders too via a Turkish doorway, yet fears sayin 'no' in case military access to Iraq is then denied. The USSR reputedly fell apart from within because it couldn't finance the military any longer - check echoes of the state of the UK today! - China is rapidly turning into the new America and I would seriously question it has any desire to suicide any time soon! The middle east would be the mess it always has been, or perhaps it might have resolved itself on the basis of regional power which, of course, isn't the equation today because one party has the might of America at its beck and call.

By the way, I think that these bits of thread are what make LuLa such an exceptionally valuable proposition: there is so much more here than just friggin' cameras and pixels and most of us are able to express an opinion reasonably politely!

Rob C
Title: NY Times Magazine last Sunday.......
Post by: Rob C on March 26, 2010, 05:07:52 PM
Quote from: RSL
Ive suggested that the U.S. help solve this problem by sending our army to impregnate all nubile European women, but that idea seems to have run into some political resistance, even though I'm quite sure we could do the whole job with volunteers. Ah well, I'm not a politician,.


I don't know, Russ, you had a damn good stab at it during and after WW2 and I understand that a lot of new ethnic communities were created in the States after Korea and Vietnam... Non?

Rob C
Title: NY Times Magazine last Sunday.......
Post by: Jeremy Payne on March 26, 2010, 05:15:06 PM
... changed my mind ...
Title: NY Times Magazine last Sunday.......
Post by: PeterAit on March 26, 2010, 05:18:06 PM
Quote from: k bennett
Thank you. I suppose my six years in the military doesn't count in your world -- if I am moved by these photos, I am a "disgusting coward."

One glaring problem with political discourse in this country is that it quickly devolves into name-calling. You, sir, should be ashamed.

Ken Bennett
US Army, 1982-88

Well said, Ken.
Title: NY Times Magazine last Sunday.......
Post by: RSL on March 26, 2010, 06:09:32 PM
Quote from: Rob C
I don't know, Russ, you had a damn good stab at it during and after WW2 and I understand that a lot of new ethnic communities were created in the States after Korea and Vietnam... Non?

Rob C

Rob, One thing at a time. It's almost dinnertime, so I'll tackle this one first and leave the other one until later -- maybe even till tomorrow, though I've promised to go shoot some stuff for the local retirement community in the morning.

To answer your question, Oui. C'est la vie. I was going to preface that with "malheureusement," but I don't really think it was all that unfortunate. Eurasians are some of the most physically beautiful people in the world. But much more needs to be done. Wish I were young enough to put my shoulder (so to speak) to the wheel.
Title: NY Times Magazine last Sunday.......
Post by: Rob C on March 27, 2010, 05:05:59 AM
Quote from: RSL
Rob, One thing at a time. It's almost dinnertime, so I'll tackle this one first and leave the other one until later -- maybe even till tomorrow, though I've promised to go shoot some stuff for the local retirement community in the morning.

To answer your question, Oui. C'est la vie. I was going to preface that with "malheureusement," but I don't really think it was all that unfortunate. Eurasians are some of the most physically beautiful people in the world. But much more needs to be done. Wish I were young enough to put my shoulder (so to speak) to the wheel.




Russ! You mean you're into effing cars?

Rob C
Title: NY Times Magazine last Sunday.......
Post by: RSL on March 27, 2010, 09:11:48 AM
Quote from: Rob C
Nobody invited either the US or the UK into Iraq; it had nothing to do with 9/11

Rob, how would you feel about an Iraq under Saddam's heel, armed with nuclear weapons? Would that stabilize the Middle East? The rest of the world? The fact is that every intelligence agency in the world, emphatically including the UK's believed that Saddam was on the verge of having weapons of mass destruction. The Brits weren't "suckered." Their intelligence apparatus backed Bush all the way.

Quote
...which had everything to do with the totally biased positive position held towards the Palestinans' neighbour for reasons that, I suppose, are reflected in the power makeup of the US and, I guess, the rest of the international money business.

Oy vey.

Quote
You can mess around with the definitions as much as you like, but the truth is that if you constantly back one side against the other, the other is going to start seeing you as simply another part of the original enemy, which is exactly what happened, and the UK allowed itself to be suckered in too. I don't think all those other western governments were just being cowardly, and as has been pointed out many times, Afghanistan and Mexico would lose their drug incomes overnight if the 'civilized' world took the domestic drug industry seriously and broke a few skulls back home. Now that would be a domestic fight worth fighting! It will not happen.

Well, I'll do you the favor of ignoring the first part of that but I thoroughly agree that the problem with drugs is demand, not supply. As long as there's demand there isn't going to be any way to remove the supply, and thousands of "war on drug" people would lose billions of dollars if we declared victory and shut down the "war." As far as I'm concerned, people should be able to walk into a drugstore (chemist's) and buy any damned thing they want to buy. Until the early part of the last century it was that way and we didn't have an invasion of druggies. But it isn't going to happen. Too many people's livelihood depends on keeping the "war" going. What's happening right now in Denver with grass, by the way, is a hoot.

Gonna have to do this in sections. Too many quotes otherwise...
Title: NY Times Magazine last Sunday.......
Post by: RSL on March 27, 2010, 09:18:27 AM
Quote from: Rob C
Well, the far east would look much the same

With Thailand under Communism? I think not. Or, as the Thai would say, "Mai ching, khap."

Quote
...the US lost in Vietnam despite massive power

The U.S. lost in Vietnam because of an absence of political will. I was there when our craven politicians jerked the rug. What happened after that makes it clear that it was a just war. We won that war during the Tet offensive, but thanks to the likes of Cronkite and his cronies our politicians lost their nerve and snatched defeat out of the jaws of victory.

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and North Korea is still truckin' as before, with a southern boat sunk as I write, with or without northern help.

But you may have noticed that South Korea is still not under the thumb of the north, in spite of the immense military buildup in the north. At the moment it looks as if the sinking was an accident, though I'll withhold judgment until I hear more.

Quote
Further south in the direction of Australia the Moslem population is the largest in the world and nobody is going to mess with that! The eastern European/Balkan nations have always been in turmoil and neither NATO, the UN nor any credible EEC alternative seems to be capable of pleasing all of the combatants all of the time. Turkey is playing footsie with the west because it hopes to get into the EEC which, in turn, is terrified to let it in in case that opens the floodgates to the entire middle east cutting across the borders too via a Turkish doorway, yet fears sayin 'no' in case military access to Iraq is then denied.

All true, and the point is?

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The USSR reputedly fell apart from within because it couldn't finance the military any longer - check echoes of the state of the UK today!

The USSR fell apart because Reagan, at Reyjkavik, in spite of the warnings and advice of his advisors, refused to make a deal on missile defense. Once the deal was off, Gorbachev realized the USSR couldn't compete and tried to save the USSR by going easier on his people. Didn't work.

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China is rapidly turning into the new America

As the duke said, "Madam, if you believe that, you will believe anything!" The Chinese are a wonderful people -- as Churchill said, "a serviceable people." They're extremely capable and most of Asia's merchants are Chinese. But as long as their dictators have the guns, they're screwed.

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and I would seriously question it has any desire to suicide any time soon!

That's the saving thing -- so far. But China's military is like the Japanese military prior to WW II: a big club, and awfully close to being in charge. Taiwan is the big question mark.

Quote
The middle east would be the mess it always has been, or perhaps it might have resolved itself on the basis of regional power which, of course, isn't the equation today because one party has the might of America at its beck and call.

And it might also "have resolved itself on the basis of" who has the nuclear weapons. The problem with, say Iran getting nuclear weapons isn't just that they may blow up Israel and start WW III. The problem is that as soon as that happens, or gets very close to happening, all the other Arab nations are going to need nukes too. Somebody had better have the might of someone "at his beck and call" or things are going to get out of hand rapidly.

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By the way, I think that these bits of thread are what make LuLa such an exceptionally valuable proposition: there is so much more here than just friggin' cameras and pixels and most of us are able to express an opinion reasonably politely!

As is often the case we agree completely.
Title: NY Times Magazine last Sunday.......
Post by: jjj on March 27, 2010, 09:47:48 AM
Quote from: RSL
Rob, how would you feel about an Iraq under Saddam's heel, armed with nuclear weapons? Would that stabilize the Middle East? The rest of the world? The fact is that every intelligence agency in the world, emphatically including the UK's believed that Saddam was on the verge of having weapons of mass destruction. The Brits weren't "suckered." Their intelligence apparatus backed Bush all the way.
Really!?
The other point of view is that only information that could point to a vague possibility of WMD was acknowledged. Plus as unsurprisingly nothing was found, that means a lot of people were either lying or seriously incompetent - as well as the idiot mendacious politicians in charge. Both here in the UK + the US.


I have to say I find your violent reaction and nasty uncalled for insults against those who simply had a different opinion to you regarding the images linked in original post a little disturbing. They are simply typical examples of good photojournalism, which is showing a different view of a conflict, one only those who have lost the most normally see. And it is not a left or right wing view or one that claims to show every aspect. It simply shows a less anonymous, more individual aspect of those people who died wearing uniforms. It is understated and quite touching as a result, to those who have some empathy with the families of the dead soldiers. Didn't seem like propaganda, just a litttle reminder that to any war, justified or not, there is a human cost.
You and ddk don't get the pictures, fine. But arguing that without context they'd just be boring photos, is missing the point. The context is the most important aspect of the images.
Title: NY Times Magazine last Sunday.......
Post by: RSL on March 27, 2010, 10:51:03 AM
Quote from: jjj
The other point of view is that only information that could point to a vague possibility of WMD was acknowledged. Plus as unsurprisingly nothing was found, that means a lot of people were either lying or seriously incompetent - as well as the idiot mendacious politicians in charge. Both here in the UK + the US.

Well, that's certainly "another point of view." It's a point of view I've frequently seen, always as it appears here: an unsupported assertion. But if you read the actual statements made by the people who were reading and acting on the intelligence reports you might get a glimpse of the rest of the picture. Do you really believe that John Bolton, for instance, only accepted information that supported a particular point of view. "Nothing was found?" Well, in a sense you're right. No nuclear weapons were found, but the ability to gin up chemical and biological agents on short notice certainly was found. Yes, the intelligence agencies were wrong, but they weren't mendacious. They believed what they were reporting -- all of them. What you're telling me is that as president, you'd have ignored the evidence. The kind of hindsight you're relying on is always 20/20.

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It simply shows a less anonymous, more individual aspect of those people who died wearing uniforms. It is understated and quite touching as a result, to those who have some empathy with the families of the dead soldiers. Didn't seem like propaganda, just a litttle reminder that to any war, justified or not, there is a human cost.

It? Understated? How many pictures were in that series? How many of them had Pooh bears and other kids' toys in them? If what you're saying were true, then a single picture would have been even more effective. But that wasn't the point. The point was to make people so averse to war that we're no longer willing to fight. How about film clips of coffins coming off an airplane? Are they "touching" and "understated" too?

Quote
You and ddk don't get the pictures, fine. But arguing that without context they'd just be boring photos, is missing the point. The context is the most important aspect of the images.

Exactly. I'm glad we agree on at least one point. Art had nothing to do with it. The "context" was the whole point.

------------------------------

I need to add something here that relates only tangentially to the subject.

We're now 65 years away from the last time a nuclear weapon was used in war, and the two weapons detonated then were candles compared with the searchlights the world has developed since then. I was 15 when those two bombs went off. Later on, as a staff officer at NORAD I was deeply involved in disaster preparedness. The job required that I become thoroughly versed on the effects of nuclear weapons. I'm afraid most of the people now in positions of authority either never knew or have forgotten how destructive a nuclear weapon actually is. A thermonuclear weapon isn't just a big bomb. A nuclear detonation of any sort in any large city in any nation would be a history-changing event, just as the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombs were a history-changing event. Detonation of a thermonuclear weapon would mean the end of civil order for the whole country.

If anyone thinks the cost in blood and treasure for the limited conventional wars we've fought since WW II is too high a price to pay to prevent a nuclear war -- anywhere in the world -- I'd advise him to find a copy of The Effects of Nuclear Weapons and read it from cover to cover, then extend the effects of a roughly 13 kiloton weapon reported in that book to the effects we might expect from, say, a 20 megaton weapon: a detonation more than fifteen thousand times more powerful. Any president who allows a nuclear war to start when he could have prevented it will deserve more odium than can be meted out in this  world.
Title: NY Times Magazine last Sunday.......
Post by: ckimmerle on March 27, 2010, 11:12:53 AM
Quote from: RSL
They believed what they were reporting -- all of them.

As a wise man recently wrote: "It's a point of view I've frequently seen, always as it appears here: an unsupported assertion"    
Title: NY Times Magazine last Sunday.......
Post by: RSL on March 27, 2010, 11:27:58 AM
Quote from: ckimmerle
As a wise man recently wrote: "It's a point of view I've frequently seen, always as it appears here: an unsupported assertion"  

Chuck, Are you saying you have evidence that that's not true? If so, what is it?
Title: NY Times Magazine last Sunday.......
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on March 27, 2010, 12:01:25 PM
Quote from: RSL
... Do you really believe that John Bolton, for instance, only accepted information that supported a particular point of view...
Did switching to Geico really save you 15% or more on car insurance?

For those outside of the US, the answer to the above car insurance company commercial is unequivocal YES! Besides, taking John Bolton as a paramount of objectivity and unbiasedness would be equal to considering Fox News fair and balanced. The same goes for our dear friend Russ: after calling me and others "disgusting" for having a different opinion, and after reading more and more of your "arguments" Russ, I've some to believe that any attempt at reasonable dialog with you has the same chance of success as persuading a fervent believer there is no God (or vice versa).
Title: NY Times Magazine last Sunday.......
Post by: jjj on March 27, 2010, 01:06:49 PM
Quote from: RSL
Chuck, Are you saying you have evidence that that's not true? If so, what is it?
I think the point was do you have evidence that your statement was in fact true.

My view is that only the naive think the reason we went to Iran was simply because of some fictitious WMDs.


Quote
We're now 65 years away from the last time a nuclear weapon was used in war, and the two weapons detonated then were candles compared with the searchlights the world has developed since then. I was 15 when those two bombs went off. Later on, as a staff officer at NORAD I was deeply involved in disaster preparedness. The job required that I become thoroughly versed on the effects of nuclear weapons. I'm afraid most of the people now in positions of authority either never knew or have forgotten how destructive a nuclear weapon actually is. A thermonuclear weapon isn't just a big bomb. A nuclear detonation of any sort in any large city in any nation would be a history-changing event, just as the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombs were a history-changing event. Detonation of a thermonuclear weapon would mean the end of civil order for the whole country.
I do not think you had to be alive during Horoshima and Nagasaki to appreciate the power and destruction of nuclear weapons. Well before my time, yet I certainly am very aware of their terrible power and I'm sure those with them are also clued up on their potential to change history as you put it.
Title: NY Times Magazine last Sunday.......
Post by: RSL on March 27, 2010, 01:12:15 PM
Quote from: Slobodan Blagojevic
Did switching to Geico really save you 15% or more on car insurance?

For those outside of the US, the answer to the above car insurance company commercial is unequivocal YES! Besides, taking John Bolton as a paramount of objectivity and unbiasedness would be equal to considering Fox News fair and balanced. The same goes for our dear friend Russ: after calling me and others "disgusting" for having a different opinion, and after reading more and more of your "arguments" Russ, I've some to believe that any attempt at reasonable dialog with you has the same chance of success as persuading a fervent believer there is no God (or vice versa).

Sorry... afraid you lost me on the Geico commercial thing.

Well, Slobodan, remember that the "disgusting" part only applies if the shoe fits. Whether or not it does is something each individual has to determine for himself.

But after considerable rumination I think I ought to withdraw the term "disgusting." Let me re-phrase that line: "This kind of thing is unmitigated crap, and people who buy into it are showing that they can be easily gulled."

Churchill once said, “If you're not a liberal at twenty you have no heart, if you're not a conservative at forty you have no brain.” So if you're twenty, I guess it makes sense that you can be so easily gulled. But if that state continues into your forties, you obviously have a serious problem and probably ought to seek help from a neurologist.

And yes, it's hard to convince a "fervent believer" of something that's demonstrably not true.
Title: NY Times Magazine last Sunday.......
Post by: RSL on March 27, 2010, 01:34:31 PM
Quote from: jjj
I think the point was do you have evidence that your statement was in fact true.

In the first place, I'm not the one making the accusation that the free world's intelligence services were all crooked. I can take as evidence the fact that the free world agreed there was a problem. What you're saying is that the intelligence services of the U.S., U.K., France, Germany, Japan, Israel etc., etc., all were playing a crooked game because the president of the U.S. wanted to go to war. That's what needs evidence, yet no one seems to be able to come up with any.

Quote
My view is that only the naive think the reason we went to Iran was simply because of some fictitious WMDs.

Really... Then, what do you think was the reason? And, by the way, the word "fictitious" in that sentence is what's called "begging the question." If you don't know what that means, as Yogi said, "You could look it up."

Quote
I do not think you had to be alive during Horoshima and Nagasaki to appreciate the power and destruction of nuclear weapons. Well before my time, yet I certainly am very aware of their terrible power and I'm sure those with them are also clued up on their potential to change history as you put it.

I think that's a fair quibble, and I can't argue with it because I haven't any evidence that it's not true, but when I read some of the stuff that gets written about how the world can live happily with a nuclear Iran -- in other words, a religious madman with a nuke in hand -- it becomes pretty clear to me at least that I may be right.

Incidentally, the weapons "well before your time" are still around and now they're capable of orders of magnitude more "power and destruction."
Title: NY Times Magazine last Sunday.......
Post by: ckimmerle on March 27, 2010, 02:01:37 PM
Quote from: RSL
In the first place, I'm not the one making the accusation that the free world's intelligence services were all crooked. I can take as evidence the fact that the free world agreed there was a problem. What you're saying is that the intelligence services of the U.S., U.K., France, Germany, Japan, Israel etc., etc., all were playing a crooked game because the president of the U.S. wanted to go to war. That's what needs evidence, yet no one seems to be able to come up with any.

Russ, you made the claim that everyone you listed above were honest and forthright and competent. My point was that you don't actually know that's the case any more than I know they were crooked. We each have our beliefs, but that is far from proof, no matter what side we're on.

I was just using your words against you. It was easier than coming up with my own.
Title: NY Times Magazine last Sunday.......
Post by: DarkPenguin on March 27, 2010, 02:50:16 PM
I'm a coward.  So what?
Title: NY Times Magazine last Sunday.......
Post by: RSL on March 27, 2010, 03:24:09 PM
Quote from: ckimmerle
Russ, you made the claim that everyone you listed above were honest and forthright and competent. My point was that you don't actually know that's the case any more than I know they were crooked. We each have our beliefs, but that is far from proof, no matter what side we're on.

I was just using your words against you. It was easier than coming up with my own.

Chuck, I'm not sure what you're referring to. Perhaps it's my statement that all of the free world's intelligence services believed Saddam was on the verge of something very bad for the rest of the world.

If we're actually going to get into a knock-down, drag-out on whether or not the world's intelligence services were cheating, I'll have to go back into whatever I have available and drag it out. But we've already demonstrated that the people who believe that's true aren't going to be dissuaded by any amount of evidence. And, of course, the evidence is going to have to be based on what we know about what the intelligence folks said -- in English, French, Japanese, etc. in any case it's more than unlikely that even one intelligence service is going to spill the beans on how it gathers its data so I doubt those who've been suckled at the teat of the NYT will believe any amount of evidence.

But to go back to my original argument: The fact is that the free world's governments believed, on the basis of raw intelligence data to which none of us have access that Saddam was an existential threat to the world. That's enough evidence on my side of the argument for me to demand that anyone who wants to argue on the other side needs first to present his evidence that those folks were lying. But before anyone wastes time trying to do that, there's another little factoid that's presents a problem: even some of Saddam's top military folks thought he had WMDs.

The bottom line is this: Can anyone explain to me why they think the French, Germans, Japanese, would be interested in sucking up to Bush on the question of war. I can see arguments about why the Israelis might, and I can vaguely see arguments about why the Brits might, though considering the differences in political conviction between Blair and Bush that's a hard one to swallow. In the end, if no one can answer that question satisfactorily, there's simply no argument.
Title: NY Times Magazine last Sunday.......
Post by: Rob C on March 27, 2010, 05:43:14 PM
Quote from: RSL
The bottom line is this: Can anyone explain to me why they think the French, Germans, Japanese, would be interested in sucking up to Bush on the question of war. I can see arguments about why the Israelis might, and I can vaguely see arguments about why the Brits might, though considering the differences in political conviction between Blair and Bush that's a hard one to swallow. In the end, if no one can answer that question satisfactorily, there's simply no argument.



Russ

I'm not sure if you mean the French, Germans and Japanese did or did not suck up to Bush, but as far as I remember from the news casts, only Blair was willing to hitch the ride. The pair of them couldn't even get a UN backing a second time and that's probaby why they jumped when they did.

They weren't even going to give that weapons inspector Blix (? - I always confuse his name with the lady who wrote about Kenya)) enough time to prove them wrong. He insisted right up until he was sidelined that there was nothing there. Anyway, even if there had been chemical weapons available, the means of delivery to the west were never there and not even suspected. Blair's position vis a vis Bush: I suspect that Blair would have done anything to appear at the top international table; apart from anything else, it could only improve his stock for the lecture circuit. He is currently prancing around the middle east as a peacebroker!, and can you imagine a single character apart from Bush who must be more detested by the Moslem side than he? And he has the gall to occupy such a position that at the very very least should command mutual trust or appear disinterested in having any bias. Dear God, what a pointless body of politicians to set up and finance!

Rob C
Title: NY Times Magazine last Sunday.......
Post by: DarkPenguin on March 27, 2010, 06:25:09 PM
Quote from: Rob C
Russ

I'm not sure if you mean the French, Germans and Japanese did or did not suck up to Bush, but as far as I remember from the news casts, only Blair was willing to hitch the ride. The pair of them couldn't even get a UN backing a second time and that's probaby why they jumped when they did.

They weren't even going to give that weapons inspector Blix (? - I always confuse his name with the lady who wrote about Kenya)) enough time to prove them wrong. He insisted right up until he was sidelined that there was nothing there. Anyway, even if there had been chemical weapons available, the means of delivery to the west were never there and not even suspected. Blair's position vis a vis Bush: I suspect that Blair would have done anything to appear at the top international table; apart from anything else, it could only improve his stock for the lecture circuit. He is currently prancing around the middle east as a peacebroker!, and can you imagine a single character apart from Bush who must be more detested by the Moslem side than he? And he has the gall to occupy such a position that at the very very least should command mutual trust or appear disinterested in having any bias. Dear God, what a pointless body of politicians to set up and finance!

Rob C

Might want to hunt down the Frontline episode "Bush's War".  It is pretty fascinating.  I'm pretty sure it is just more disgusting and cowardly left wing crap to be dismissed but even so.
Title: NY Times Magazine last Sunday.......
Post by: Rob C on March 27, 2010, 06:25:13 PM
[quote name='RSL' date='Mar 27 2010, 02:18 PM' post='356093']

Point 1.  The U.S. lost in Vietnam because of an absence of political will. I was there when our craven politicians jerked the rug. What happened after that makes it clear that it was a just war. We won that war during the Tet offensive, but thanks to the likes of Cronkite and his cronies our politicians lost their nerve and snatched defeat out of the jaws of victory.

Reply 1.  Exactly, and Vietnam falling totally under the reds didn't make a lot of difference to the area and made a huge difference to those who died.

Point 2.  But you may have noticed that South Korea is still not under the thumb of the north, in spite of the immense military buildup in the north. At the moment it looks as if the sinking was an accident, though I'll withhold judgment until I hear more.

Reply 2.  No, it isn't under the thumb of the northern part, but perhaps if it were, the entire joined up country would have crumbled by now since it is probably easier to keep a small place going on nothing than it is to pull that trick with a larger one. Post USSR that's perhaps why Cuba is still breathing. But it does have a great medical service. ;-)

Anyway, the justification for much of the messing around in the far east at the time was the 'domino' theory, which was supposed to lead to the fall of that entire section of the globe to communism, with Australia following suit at the end. Well, Korea was never resolved and the war still, I believe, is officially unfinished; Vietnam is communist and further southwards they are mainly strongly Moslem and Australia still obsesses about cricket, booze and getting melanomas on Bondi; I think New Zealand still consists of two major parts. So the communist threat was somewhat overcooked, to say the least. Where it probably was and might still be a real danger is within Europe, where it masquerades under a variety of sweeter appellations today.

Point 3.  As the duke said, "Madam, if you believe that, you will believe anything!" The Chinese are a wonderful people -- as Churchill said, "a serviceable people." They're extremely capable and most of Asia's merchants are Chinese. But as long as their dictators have the guns, they're screwed.

That's the saving thing -- so far. But China's military is like the Japanese military prior to WW II: a big club, and awfully close to being in charge. Taiwan is the big question mark.

Reply 3.  I think China is going to be the new America because the people have the same materialistic urge as, for that matter, have the Indians, regardless of the poverty in great chunks of both countries and even despite the religious renunciations of possessions. Both countries are on a path upwards and have the huge area and population to achieve much. The current political leaders will all die out in time and then new minds, coupled with the appetites once frowned upon, will create the kinetic energy to drive the mometum that is all it's going to take for the burgeoning new wealth to flower. I think it unavoidable, and nothing more than the repetition of the old truth of every dog having his day coupled with the other idea that nothing is as certain as change.

And in like manner, the old dogs will fade and die. Of course, as photographers we shall be all right: we only go out of focus. (Groan quickly followed by apology.)

Point 4.  And it might also "have resolved itself on the basis of" who has the nuclear weapons. The problem with, say Iran getting nuclear weapons isn't just that they may blow up Israel and start WW III. The problem is that as soon as that happens, or gets very close to happening, all the other Arab nations are going to need nukes too. Somebody had better have the might of someone "at his beck and call" or things are going to get out of hand rapidly.

Reply 4.  That might still happen - Israel has them. Do you want to believe that they are any less likely to commit suicide than Iran? I don't think any of the leaders want that; the trouble lies with the follower-idiots who buy into the propaganda, either political or spiritual, and cease to see or realise that any God worth believing in is about love and not destruction.  But then, centuries have passed in which the men of violence have cornered the market in press space.

Point 5.  As is often the case we agree completely.

Reply 5. Absolutely.

Rob C

Title: NY Times Magazine last Sunday.......
Post by: RSL on March 27, 2010, 07:36:45 PM
Quote from: Rob C
Russ

I'm not sure if you mean the French, Germans and Japanese did or did not suck up to Bush, but as far as I remember from the news casts, only Blair was willing to hitch the ride. The pair of them couldn't even get a UN backing a second time and that's probaby why they jumped when they did.

They weren't even going to give that weapons inspector Blix (? - I always confuse his name with the lady who wrote about Kenya)) enough time to prove them wrong. He insisted right up until he was sidelined that there was nothing there. Anyway, even if there had been chemical weapons available, the means of delivery to the west were never there and not even suspected. Blair's position vis a vis Bush: I suspect that Blair would have done anything to appear at the top international table; apart from anything else, it could only improve his stock for the lecture circuit. He is currently prancing around the middle east as a peacebroker!, and can you imagine a single character apart from Bush who must be more detested by the Moslem side than he? And he has the gall to occupy such a position that at the very very least should command mutual trust or appear disinterested in having any bias. Dear God, what a pointless body of politicians to set up and finance!

Rob C

Rob, I'm not talking about the politics of who decided to go with Bush and who decided not to go with Bush. I'm talking about whether or not all those people and their intelligence services agreed that Saddam had bad stuff. Yes, some of the politicians decided not to go with Bush in spite of what their intelligence people were telling them, but that doesn't change what their services were saying. As far as weapons inspector Blix (or whatever his name was) is concerned, of course there's always someone in any group like that who disagrees. I've seen plenty of intelligence where there were people who disagreed with the consensus. But that doesn't change the result any more than it does when there are dissenters on the Supreme Court.

Most politicians are pointless to set up and finance, but, in the end, civilization needs government -- as little as possible, but at least enough to make people drive on the right side of the road.
Title: NY Times Magazine last Sunday.......
Post by: RSL on March 27, 2010, 07:42:43 PM
Quote from: DarkPenguin
Might want to hunt down the Frontline episode "Bush's War".  It is pretty fascinating.  I'm pretty sure it is just more disgusting and cowardly left wing crap to be dismissed but even so.

Yes, and Jayson Blair was a "reporter" for the New York Times.
Title: NY Times Magazine last Sunday.......
Post by: Jeremy Payne on March 27, 2010, 07:54:44 PM
Iraq was in clear violation of the cease-fire resolution that ended the first Gulf War.

The US had clear legal justification to re-engage militarily.  Whether or not it was politically advisable to do so is another matter ...

Regarding his weapons programs ... Until the eve of war, even Saddam's top generals thought he had WMDs, so is it any surprise that the rest of the world did as well?
Title: NY Times Magazine last Sunday.......
Post by: jjj on March 27, 2010, 11:12:35 PM
Quote from: RSL
In the first place, I'm not the one making the accusation that the free world's intelligence services were all crooked. I can take as evidence the fact that the free world agreed there was a problem. What you're saying is that the intelligence services of the U.S., U.K., France, Germany, Japan, Israel etc., etc., all were playing a crooked game because the president of the U.S. wanted to go to war. That's what needs evidence, yet no one seems to be able to come up with any.
But the various intelligence agencies did not agree and why many countries did not follow the US and were vilified and called cowards as a result.



Quote
Really... Then, what do you think was the reason?
Er.. regime change, revenge, stupidity...a lot of stupidity in fact.


Quote
I think that's a fair quibble, and I can't argue with it because I haven't any evidence that it's not true, but when I read some of the stuff that gets written about how the world can live happily with a nuclear Iran -- in other words, a religious madman with a nuke in hand -- it becomes pretty clear to me at least that I may be right.
I do not think anyone in their right mind would be happy with any loose cannons having nuclear weapons.

Quote
Incidentally, the weapons "well before your time" are still around and now they're capable of orders of magnitude more "power and destruction."
I know. Doesn't make any difference really. Being able to destroy ten world ten times over or a thousand times is irrelevent really. You can't be more dead.
Title: NY Times Magazine last Sunday.......
Post by: jjj on March 27, 2010, 11:25:52 PM
Quote from: RSL
But to go back to my original argument: The fact is that the free world's governments believed, on the basis of raw intelligence data to which none of us have access that Saddam was an existential threat to the world. That's enough evidence on my side of the argument for me to demand that anyone who wants to argue on the other side needs first to present his evidence that those folks were lying. But before anyone wastes time trying to do that, there's another little factoid that's presents a problem: even some of Saddam's top military folks thought he had WMDs.
Also incorrectly it would seem. Saddam may have wanted WMDs, but that did not mean he had them or the capability to produce them. There was also a massive fuss in the UK about intelligence documents that were 'sexed up' to make the case for war more convincing.
The nonsense that we were sold that Saddam was that he had the capability to unlease WMDs in 45mins or less and was one of the main driving points our government used to justify this invasion and has since been admitted to be ing completely wrong. There has been a huge inquiry in the UK regarding the invasion and legality etc with everyone involved having to go to court. Conveniently the verdict will come out just after the forthcoming election.

Quote
The bottom line is this: Can anyone explain to me why they think the French, Germans, Japanese, would be interested in sucking up to Bush on the question of war.
NEWSFLASH - they didn't. They was an awful lot of disagreement and bad feeling about the US and the UK going to war without a UN mandate.

Quote
I can see arguments about why the Israelis might, and I can vaguely see arguments about why the Brits might, though considering the differences in political conviction between Blair and Bush that's a hard one to swallow. In the end, if no one can answer that question satisfactorily, there's simply no argument.
Don't think Blair and Bush were that far apart. New Labour are more right wing than the conservative governments that were previously very pally with Reagan + Bush Senior.
Title: NY Times Magazine last Sunday.......
Post by: RSL on March 28, 2010, 07:48:12 AM
I think it's time for me to butt out of this thread. We've reached the point where my correspondents seem unable to distinguish between what the free world's intelligence agencies were reporting and what their politicians did in response. Even the dithering U.N. has been brought in, which has nothing whatever to do with what appeared to be the threat. What started out as a criticism of a wretched bleeding-heart propaganda series run by the New York Times has degenerated into "Bush lied, people died," which for the NYT and its regular readers always passes for profundity. I need to take time off and go shoot some pictures. See ya...
Title: NY Times Magazine last Sunday.......
Post by: ErikKaffehr on March 28, 2010, 10:59:52 AM
Hi,

I'd say you are correct.

BR
Erik

Quote from: Jeremy Payne
Iraq was in clear violation of the cease-fire resolution that ended the first Gulf War.

The US had clear legal justification to re-engage militarily.  Whether or not it was politically advisable to do so is another matter ...

Regarding his weapons programs ... Until the eve of war, even Saddam's top generals thought he had WMDs, so is it any surprise that the rest of the world did as well?
Title: NY Times Magazine last Sunday.......
Post by: Justan on March 28, 2010, 11:59:37 AM
I wanted to chime in for a moment to comment about the following statement:

> Regarding his weapons programs ... Until the eve of war, even Saddam's top generals thought he had WMDs, so is it any surprise that the rest of the world did as well?

This is blatantly untrue and unfounded.

1) As a  logical point, no one can discern what someone else thinks or thought. All one can reliably draw upon is what someone is quoted to have stated, written, or done.

2) After capture, Saddam stated that his comments supporting WMDs were lies done to keep Iran and others at bay. His top generals would have knowledge of any facilities needed to build or house WMDs and/or their delivery means.

3) The US government *never* had any proof of an Iraq WMD program.

I urge all to draw your own conclusion from verified facts rather than conjecture.

Other than that, I used to frequent another site which had political argument after political argument. The end result of this process was a polarized group of people who ended up hating each other due to things which they could neither control nor alter the course. The goal of that site became a daily exercise in argument after increasingly bitter argument. This thread is following that path.

It is a healthy thing to comment and debate the deeds, misdeeds, and atrocities of any government, but use caution as the relative anonymity of the web often turns otherwise friendly and truth seeking discourse into hateful invective. The latter is most definitely not what this site is about.
Title: NY Times Magazine last Sunday.......
Post by: ddk on March 28, 2010, 12:19:13 PM
Quote from: RSL
I think it's time for me to butt out of this thread. We've reached the point where my correspondents seem unable to distinguish between what the free world's intelligence agencies were reporting and what their politicians did in response. Even the dithering U.N. has been brought in, which has nothing whatever to do with what appeared to be the threat. What started out as a criticism of a wretched bleeding-heart propaganda series run by the New York Times has degenerated into "Bush lied, people died," which for the NYT and its regular readers always passes for profundity. I need to take time off and go shoot some pictures. See ya...

I was about to suggest that Russ, unfortunately this is going nowhere, you know that when they start with Bush bashing again...

Let's go shoot something!
Title: NY Times Magazine last Sunday.......
Post by: DarkPenguin on March 28, 2010, 12:33:29 PM
Quote from: ddk
Let's go shoot something!

The Republican motto.

(Let's hope that is enough to close the thread.)
Title: NY Times Magazine last Sunday.......
Post by: Jeremy Payne on March 28, 2010, 12:37:23 PM
Quote from: Justan

"Regarding his weapons programs ... Until the eve of war, even Saddam's top generals thought he had WMDs, so is it any surprise that the rest of the world did as well?"


This is blatantly untrue and unfounded.

Unfounded?  It isn't unfounded ... Saddam's generals said so in interviews after the war

Untrue?  By your own "rules of logic", you cannot know either, so get off your high horse.

Quote from: Justan
The US government *never* had any proof of an Iraq WMD program.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halabja_poison_gas_attack (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halabja_poison_gas_attack)
Title: NY Times Magazine last Sunday.......
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on March 28, 2010, 01:20:19 PM
Quote from: Jeremy Payne
... Until the eve of war, even Saddam's top generals thought he had WMDs, so is it any surprise that the rest of the world did as well?
The rest of the world did not think so, the rest of the world KNEW it was just a lame excuse for neocons to do what they had been planning ten years BEFORE 9/11 (hint: PNAC)
Title: NY Times Magazine last Sunday.......
Post by: Jeremy Payne on March 28, 2010, 01:28:06 PM
Quote from: Slobodan Blagojevic
The rest of the world did not think so, the rest of the world KNEW it was just a lame excuse for neocons to do what they had been planning ten years BEFORE 9/11 (hint: PNAC)
Slobodan ... I agree with you that GWB and Cheney were hell-bent on war with Iraq.

BUT ... that doesn't change the fact that Saddam's generals, when debriefed after the war, told their American captors that they believed they had chemical and biological weapons that would be used to repel the invading Americans.  According to them, it was not until approximately 3 months before the beginning of the hostilities that Saddam revealed to them that there were no remaining stockpiles.

If this is disinformation, I don't see whose interests it served.


Title: NY Times Magazine last Sunday.......
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on March 28, 2010, 01:41:28 PM
Quote from: RSL
... a wretched bleeding-heart propaganda ...
I am still stunned that showing there are humans behind the war-fallen statistics can be seen as propaganda by anyone in his right mind  (but than again, I probably do not get this sophisticated connection, for my own mind needs to be checked by a neurologist, as kindly suggested by Russ). By the same token, the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington DC must be the pinnacle of anti-war, leftist propaganda, as it names (oh, blasphemy) every single fallen soldier.
Title: NY Times Magazine last Sunday.......
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on March 28, 2010, 02:04:30 PM
Quote from: Jeremy Payne
... Saddam's generals, when debriefed after the war, told their American captors that they believed they had chemical and biological weapons that would be used to repel the invading Americans.  According to them, it was not until approximately 3 months before the beginning of the hostilities that Saddam revealed to them that there were no remaining stockpiles...
Shouldn't invading a country be based on something more solid than what some people "believed" to be true (even if those people were Saddam's generals)? CIA director at the time did not say "we believe", he said "it is a slam dunk" there are WMD.

Besides, isn't it the oldest trick in any military book, trying to deceive your enemy (about your real potential)?.. I am sure they teach it at the West Point (hack, they teach that my business school). Of course, "falling" for that (and then pleading "ignorance") is also the oldest trick in any political book, especially when you are hell-bent on invading for ten years.
Title: NY Times Magazine last Sunday.......
Post by: Jeremy Payne on March 28, 2010, 02:23:12 PM
Quote from: Slobodan Blagojevic
...

I'm not saying it was a good idea to invade Iraq in 2003.

All I'm saying is that it wasn't unreasonable to believe there were WMDs in Iraq prior to the war.

On what basis would anyone reasonably conclude that there were absolutely, positively no weapons in 2002?  That would be a HUGE leap of faith considering all of the available evidence.

1) There had been a weapons program leading up to the first Gulf War

2) There had been a cease-fire agreement which required Iraq to co-operate in investigations - and they had long since stopped cooperating

3) There was some scary circumstantial evidence ... e.g. one of the last outbreaks of smallpox in the world had occurred in Iraq while Saddam was in power

Again - this is not to say this represented a widely defensible case for war ... but it was not an unreasonable conclusion to reach that there were still chemical and biological weapons programs active in Iraq between 1998 and 2002.

Also, all the evidence suggests that Iraq had every intention of recommencing its program once UN sanctions were lifted.
Title: NY Times Magazine last Sunday.......
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on March 28, 2010, 02:41:10 PM
Quote from: Jeremy Payne
... On what basis would anyone reasonably conclude that there were absolutely, positively no weapons in 2002?...
I am sure you know that proving non-existance is a logical impossibility. And what you cite as "evidence" is far from it: those are simple assumptions (which brings me to one of my favorite play on words: do not assume, as you are going to make an ass of you and me   )
Title: NY Times Magazine last Sunday.......
Post by: Jeremy Payne on March 28, 2010, 03:24:00 PM
Quote from: Slobodan Blagojevic
ass of you and me   )

That was my favorite episode of the Odd Couple.

On that note, I'm out.

Russ and I will continue the discussion in private ... 'cause we're friends ...

Title: NY Times Magazine last Sunday.......
Post by: Peter McLennan on March 28, 2010, 04:11:51 PM
Quote from: RSL
...(4) Make it harder for the United States to fight the wars it needs to fight by emboldening the clueless people who don't understand that these things need to be done.

Wow.
Title: NY Times Magazine last Sunday.......
Post by: Rob C on March 28, 2010, 06:11:00 PM
Oh well, it's all academic now. The only hope is that we get out of there soon and take a good long and focussed look at where we place our future support and exactly why we think it a good idea.

Those interviews about the Invasion that jjj referred to were a disgraceful exercise in whitewash. The guy who seemed to be the head inquisitioner spent more time saying he wasn't actually a lawyer than doing any digging. He let Blair off without even a smack on the wrist, ending the segment by inviting him to make any summing up that took his fancy! Brown, on his turn, huffed and puffed and did the usual political thing of answering the wrong questions and then some days after the interview, had to make an announcement admitting he had lied - sorry, been incorrect regarding military funding claims...

Yes, Russ is right: there is no point to pushing this theme because we just end up believing what we feel is the 'truth' but I don't think that makes me think any the less of someone with a different opinion to mine; I might always be wrong.

Ciao

Rob C
Title: NY Times Magazine last Sunday.......
Post by: ddk on March 28, 2010, 08:09:04 PM
Quote from: Rob C
...we just end up believing what we feel is the 'truth' but I don't think that makes me think any the less of someone with a different opinion to mine; I might always be wrong.

Ciao

Rob C

You think the same way I do when it comes to these things, its just a group conversation, no need to make it more what it is.