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Staging the next 9/11

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http://hoffman.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2011/06/01/the_cyber_arms_race

A worrisome new arms race is accelerating—in cyberspace.

This week, The Wall Street Journal broke an important story: the Pentagon has concluded computer sabotage from another nation could be considered an act of war, opening the door for the military to respond with conventional force. The decision is contained in a Defense Department strategy document, portions of which will be declassified soon. The Journal said military action against cyber attacks would come if the hackers disrupted industry or caused civilian casualties. “If you shut down our power grid, maybe we will put a missile down one of your smokestacks,” a military official told the Journal.

In short, the US will no longer need half-demolished naval bases, sunk battleships or two destroyed skyscrapers with thousands of casualties. A simple nation-wide power outage, with maybe a few fatalities thrown in, could suffice. From then on, pick an opponent and place the blame. Will the American public buy it, if it happens? Or has the formula grown tired?
 
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Isn't there some kind of bullshit where the US is in such deep debt to China, they could pretty much do as they please?

Might be true, but you know Americans. They'd just get mad, pound their chests and start chucking proverbial turds.

Not really...China actually doesn't care about America's debt at all. Besides, if it weren't for America, China would lose a lot of business in the Korean peninsula.
 
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USA is in great debt to everyone, but yes, a lot of it is to China. China even warned that they would claim their money back (and effectively bankrupt the USA) if the American president met Dalai Llama. Don't know if the meeting has taken place or if it has been cancelled though.

Btw, the US Military is stupid if they are going to respond with military force when they get hacked. They can't know which nation is behind it. Proxy, IP spoofing, bot net, etc.
 
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So what did actually change? The USA never really needed a reason to invade countries; power outage, the war on dictatorship or just simply feeling like testing some new toys, what's the difference?

9/11 was one of the many cases which resulted in war and also had a nice cassus belli, but they had no real reason to commence their assault in the Vietnam war, Libya, the European theater of WW2, and so on with any real reasoning.
 
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Isn't there some kind of bullshit where the US is in such deep debt to China, they could pretty much do as they please?

Might be true, but you know Americans. They'd just get mad, pound their chests and start chucking proverbial turds.
Patriotic fearmongers like to exaggerate the amount of power that China has over the USA. We do owe them a lot of money, but we are also an essential market for their businesses. So, economically, for now, we are on fairly equal footing.
 
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So what did actually change? The USA never really needed a reason to invade countries; power outage, the war on dictatorship or just simply feeling like testing some new toys, what's the difference?

9/11 was one of the many cases which resulted in war and also had a nice cassus belli, but they had no real reason to commence their assault in the Vietnam war, Libya, the European theater of WW2, and so on with any real reasoning.

Vietnam: Fear of communism and the domino theory played heavily into John F. Kennedy's reasoning for aiding south Vietnam. In hindsight, I wouldn't say this is the greatest idea (seeing as how the Cold War ultimately amounted to nothing) however, at the time, north Vietnam was a legitimate threat in the eyes of not only the United States, but many other French-Indochina nations who feared opression by dictatorships.

Libya: This wasn't just the United States being involved. France and Britain were actually the "headers" of what's been going on with the UN. Also, the whole idea of stopping a tyrannical leader who is TERRORIZING his country by force sounds like a fine idea to me. Gaddafi doesn't even have SOVEREIGNTY over his people, so he's basically acting as a terrorist.

European theater: Are you mad that we didn't join in until 1941? We were always involved with the war, we just weren't committed to entering all out war at the time. If you notice, it was up until World War I/II that we primarily stayed outside of foreign affars.

Like I said, given the chance, the Americans will be happy to start pounding their chests and throwing turds at whatever displeases them.

It doesn't matter how much truth there is in it, they'll be happy to use that as a valid reason.

Stop flaming and trolling. It's just annoying since you don't know anything about what you're talking about.
 
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Vietnam: Fear of communism and the domino theory played heavily into John F. Kennedy's reasoning for aiding south Vietnam. In hindsight, I wouldn't say this is the greatest idea (seeing as how the Cold War ultimately amounted to nothing) however, at the time, north Vietnam was a legitimate threat in the eyes of not only the United States, but many other French-Indochina nations who feared opression by dictatorships.

So what's the actual reasoning behind the USA's involvement? The spread of communism? China is a communist country and it's an economic superpower, much more than any of the countries where the USA was involved in an armed conflict. No matter how much the USA would have involved itself with the conflicts in minor countries, it would have had no effect on the macro scale, seeing how the larger communist blocks were already established at that point. The Vietnam war was nothing but a weapons testing facility of the United States; helicopters, the US assault rifles, napalm, armored vests and camouflage were all new innovations of that time. This whole "OMG let's stop communism" thing was just a cassus belli, the most influential communist countries were all established at that point.

Libya: This wasn't just the United States being involved. France and Britain were actually the "headers" of what's been going on with the UN. Also, the whole idea of stopping a tyrannical leader who is TERRORIZING his country by force sounds like a fine idea to me. Gaddafi doesn't even have SOVEREIGNTY over his people, so he's basically acting as a terrorist.

That's exactly the problem: the USA is involved in this conflict when they have literally no reason to be. First of all, it somehow hasn't bothered the Libyan people that they were living in tyranny for the last thirty years, now that they saw something cool happening in the neighboring countries too, they decided to try achieving something similar, they however don't consider that in the countries of the region there never will be democracy as most of the monarchs today seized power through revolutions as well. They'll gain nothing but new tyrants over their heads and the USA (as well as other NATO countries) know that very well.

It's also more the issue of Italy and France than the USA since they're the two countries getting the ludicrous inflow of refugees and they're the countries bordering Libya, not the USA. What happens in Libya and the Northern African countries affect Europe, in no way does it affect the US. Thus, the EU countries have the right to act on their own defense, but the USA has no reason to be involved in this conflict at all, yet they are.

European theater: Are you mad that we didn't join in until 1941? We were always involved with the war, we just weren't committed to entering all out war at the time. If you notice, it was up until World War I/II that we primarily stayed outside of foreign affars.

So er... what's the USA's reasoning behind being involved in the European theater? You didn't really elaborate on that.

Germany wanted to establish a united Europe under their rule on two occasions, which would have balanced the economic and military power of the USA, especially the one we see today. Clearly the USA didn't want to see that happening, so they rolled into Europe to help the Russians trash the Germans. The Germans wanted no world dominance, they wanted a dominance over Europe, which the USA (and obviously, their allies) didn't want to see. They were successful, today we can witness a divided and weak Europe, instead of a strong and united one, which would have provided a balance in the division of the world markets between the US and China.

Thus, all the spreading democracy and freedom crap in each and every situation was just a cassus belli, as I said.

(Also, tell me tomorrow if something isn't clear, I may be slightly intoxicated)
 
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So what's the actual reasoning behind the USA's involvement? The spread of communism? China is a communist country and it's an economic superpower, much more than any of the countries where the USA was involved in an armed conflict. No matter how much the USA would have involved itself with the conflicts in minor countries, it would have had no effect on the macro scale, seeing how the larger communist blocks were already established at that point. The Vietnam war was nothing but a weapons testing facility of the United States; helicopters, the US assault rifles, napalm, armored vests and camouflage were all new innovations of that time. This whole "OMG let's stop communism" thing was just a cassus belli, the most influential communist countries were all established at that point.
The fear of communism was widespread in the United States at that point in time. There was so much propaganda involved with the USSR that the United States basically blamed everything on communism. You're right, it's not a terribly great reason. However, it's a reason that makes sense. The United States and the USSR fought a lot using "proxy states" in "communist vs. capitalist" wars during the 1950-1970s. The nations backing North Vietnam were all communist, so it points to the United States once again trying to contain communism.

The war itself started with France and north Vietnam trying to establish independence. North Vietnam was offered help from the Soviet Union and China as long as they agreed to join the "league of communist nations". France asked the United States for help in establishing democracy and the United States saw it as an opportunity to stop communism from spreading while being able to spread capitalism, which got the United States involved.

My point here is that the United States involvement is no different than the USSR or China being involved. It was under very similar circumstances. All nations were simply trying to spread communism/democracy/capitalism. I don't see why people single out the United States as opposed to the Soviets and China, who were all equally involved.

You response to this will probably be something along the lines of "the United States was way more involved than any other nation (even the Vietnams)" and my response to that is: committing troops to a war doesn't mean anything to bolster your point when all nations involved were testing technology.

I guess my overall problem with what you said is that the United States, the Soviet Union, and the PRC were all testing their technology and all involved in the region with similar motives. So why is the United States so heavily scrutinized?

Addressing your micro vs macro. The implications of Vietnam becoming completely communist and controlled by the PRC went far past the United States. Allies like the Khmer Republic (not to be confused with Khmer Rouge), Thaliand, and Laos were all in danger of having their governments overthrown in communist coups as well.

I guess my main point is that communism was a realistic threat in the eyes of the United States, especially to its allies in French-Indochina at the time.

That's exactly the problem: the USA is involved in this conflict when they have literally no reason to be. First of all, it somehow hasn't bothered the Libyan people that they were living in tyranny for the last thirty years, now that they saw something cool happening in the neighboring countries too, they decided to try achieving something similar, they however don't consider that in the countries of the region there never will be democracy as most of the monarchs today seized power through revolutions as well. They'll gain nothing but new tyrants over their heads and the USA (as well as other NATO countries) know that very well.

The idea was to help them establish their democracy instead of a monarchy. I think the fact that the United States waited to help the people until they rebelled just shows how un-involved they really are. It's only when the people needed actual help in establishing their own form of legitimate rule that help was brought in to solidify a democracy in hopes of removing any forms of monarchy.

It's also more the issue of Italy and France than the USA since they're the two countries getting the ludicrous inflow of refugees and they're the countries bordering Libya, not the USA. What happens in Libya and the Northern African countries affect Europe, in no way does it affect the US. Thus, the EU countries have the right to act on their own defense, but the USA has no reason to be involved in this conflict at all, yet they are.
The EU generally asks the United States for aid whenever they can.


So er... what's the USA's reasoning behind being involved in the European theater? You didn't really elaborate on that.

To help the Allies repel German's takeover of Europe and hopefully end the war. They were already involved in the Pacific, and the Allies needed desperate help. The turning point of the war was definitely when Hitler failed in the Soviet Union, however, the two-front war would've never been effective if the United States and Canada didn't help Britain re-take France.

That brings me to another point. Why doesn't anyone complain about Canada being involved in the European theater? From D-Day and on, they were involved on the same terms as the US.

Germany wanted to establish a united Europe under their rule on two occasions, which would have balanced the economic and military power of the USA, especially the one we see today. Clearly the USA didn't want to see that happening, so they rolled into Europe to help the Russians trash the Germans. The Germans wanted no world dominance, they wanted a dominance over Europe, which the USA (and obviously, their allies) didn't want to see. They were successful, today we can witness a divided and weak Europe, instead of a strong and united one, which would have provided a balance in the division of the world markets between the US and China.

After Dec. 7, 1941, when the United States declared war on Japan and began actively aiding the British with supplies, Germany and Italy both declared war on the United States on Dec. 11, which was reciprocated by the United States later that day.

I don't see why Germany would stop at just European dominance when all 3 of the axis powers had declared war on the United States.
 
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The thread and the topic in question is about the USA, that's why I picked the said country in particular and started to analyze the issues around it. The points you raised work both ways: China, the EU or any other country may be involved in the (civil) war of a foreign nation but that doesn't not make them right to interfere, same way it's not right for the USA to sail through to the other side of the world and do similarly. Why I highlighted the USA in particular is because this thread is about the USA, but that does not mean I think the USA was any more wrong with interfering the Vietnam / Libyan / European wars of the past than the USSR / EU / Japan was.

The point I wanted to raise is that the USA commonly likes to refer to its wars as a holy crusade against a certain ideology and interfere with creating the illusion of liberators when they have different reasons for interference in actuality, which is usually spreading American values, trying to maintain allies or power balance and testing some guns, same way the USSR or China tried to spread communism or conduct the aforementioned acts.

The USA (just like any other country) doesn't actually give a damn about the independence and democracy of every country in the world despite their claims. They spread their values, government system and try to look for allies, just like every other country does and interfere according to that. You mentioned they committed to their war on Libya because they wanted to help the people get rid of their monarch, or that they interfered in Vietnam to stop communism (rather, the dictatorial form thereof), but they were also reluctant to interfere with the Russian advance on Georgia, the Hungarian revolution in 1956 and so on, when they would have had the similar reasons to back their actions with. Then why is it that the USA is trying to cover its wars as some sort of humanitarian crusader campaign?

Why can't the USA say "oh, we're looking for your oil, defend yourself" instead of saying "we'll spread democracy in your country and build a new golden age"? Why can't the USA say "we shot Osama, he had it coming" instead of "he was armed and tried to defend himself, thus we accidentally killed his whole family"? Why can't they say "we still keep Germany on a tight leash, because we never want to see them in power again" instead of "oh we need all those military bases in your country because we protect you"? Why do they need this power outage story instead of telling what it's really about?

Why all the masquerade and cover stories?

The USA may not be different from any other super power with their political actions, but the difference is that they try to cover the whole thing up, trying to come off as the liberators and heroes in history.

(Oh, btw Germany, Italy and Japan weren't the only Axis countries....)
 
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Alright, can't really disagree with your post Zombie, so I guess you "win" (if you believe in that thing).

One thing I'd like to clear up is I knew Germany, Italy, and Japan weren't the only axis powers, but they all declared war on the USA and were viewed as the "main players". Well maybe not Italy, but it's one of the one's that most people learn about here in the US.
 
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USA is in great debt to everyone, but yes, a lot of it is to China. China even warned that they would claim their money back (and effectively bankrupt the USA) if the American president met Dalai Llama. Don't know if the meeting has taken place or if it has been cancelled though.

That would be really smart of China. You know, bankrupt their biggest consumers..

"oh, we're looking for your oil, defend yourself"

Except Iraq nor Libya were for oil.

People need to stop repeating the same things over and over.

http://www.scottmanning.com/archives/howmuchoilfromiraq.php

What happens in Libya and the Northern African countries affect Europe, in no way does it affect the US. Thus, the EU countries have the right to act on their own defense, but the USA has no reason to be involved in this conflict at all, yet they are.

France and UK are allies of the US.

Besides that, it's a good opportunity for a regime change and the possibility of gaining a new ally.
 
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You've taken out a sentence from the context nicely, one which was an obvious exaggeration to make a point. No, I don't think the USA attacked Iraq solely for its oil and it didn't even occur to me that they would do so in Libya. Try to interpret what I said by looking at the whole post.

I could say the same about your part with the USA making a new ally, my point was that the USA has many other reasons for interference than spreading democracy and freedom. The version about making Libya an ally is a possibility, though I personally believe that once the revolution is out, another dictatorship will take its place. Irrelevant point in this discussion, though.
 
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You've taken out a sentence from the context nicely, one which was an obvious exaggeration to make a point. No, I don't think the USA attacked Iraq solely for its oil and it didn't even occur to me that they would do so in Libya. Try to interpret what I said by looking at the whole post.

You're right.
Why can't the USA say "oh, we're looking for your oil, defend yourself" instead of saying "we'll spread democracy in your country and build a new golden age"? Why can't the USA say "we shot Osama, he had it coming" instead of "he was armed and tried to defend himself, thus we accidentally killed his whole family"? Why can't they say "we still keep Germany on a tight leash, because we never want to see them in power again" instead of "oh we need all those military bases in your country because we protect you"? Why do they need this power outage story instead of telling what it's really about?

Just to sum it up shortly: that's not the way the world works. Countries like America need a moral highground to do their dirty work, because public opinion will otherwise turn against a war/their dirty work.

I guess this whole paragraph was really just a rhetorical question.
 
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Why can't the USA say "oh, we're looking for your oil, defend yourself" instead of saying "we'll spread democracy in your country and build a new golden age"? Why can't the USA say "we shot Osama, he had it coming" instead of "he was armed and tried to defend himself, thus we accidentally killed his whole family"? Why can't they say "we still keep Germany on a tight leash, because we never want to see them in power again" instead of "oh we need all those military bases in your country because we protect you"?...

Why all the masquerade and cover stories?

The USA may not be different from any other super power with their political actions, but the difference is that they try to cover the whole thing up, trying to come off as the liberators and heroes in history.

(Oh, btw Germany, Italy and Japan weren't the only Axis countries....)

~Because we "engage in disinformation" so that we don't get caught lieing.
The USA wants to make examples of what happens when you attack us, Osama got off lucky... we didn't claim to have raped his family in front of him and then record the special ops team raping him, one by one, two by two, etc, and broadcast that throughout his network.
Germany tried to cut in on our action (bombing 'lesser' races) two times within half a century. "Burn me once shame on you. Burn me twice..." So we keep them on a tight leash.

The US has a severely under-educated population. They know that the government will never lie to them.

That's just good PR and good business. How else are we supposed to promote Capitalism?

Off-Topic: Who were the other Axis countries (proof of poor education)? I only know of the main 3 and don't feel like researching the internet.

//\\oo//\\
 
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