Re: If we do get Afghanistan, what shall we do with it?

From: Mike Lorrey (
Date: Tue Nov 27 2001 - 11:24:15 MST

Dwayne wrote:
> Mike Lorrey wrote:
> > Despite the fact that 'appeals to authority' are not admissible debate
> > tactics.
> This is a debate?

Do you claim otherwise?

> > However, whether Hiroshima or Nagasaki were legitimate targets
> > is a completely separate issue from whether using an atomic weapon is
> > legitimate for military forces. It can be said that nukes are
> > specifically political, not military, weapons.
> Well, I'd say they are a bit of both, depending on their use. Tactical
> nukes are not very political, unless you are a german farmer.

Of course. The NATO strategy was always acknowledged as a rather extreme
measure, and was based on assumptions about the logistical abilities of
the Warsaw Pact that may have been true at one time, but were completely
unfounded by 1984.

> > However, note that Leahy's statement uses the qualifier "Materal
> > assistance". Whether a weapons use is of material assistance or not is
> > completely separate from whether it is of psychological assistance.
> Um. I would suggest he was saying "did it end the war or not?"

No, he wasn't. He was making a value judgement of the legitimacy of
psychological warfare as a military strategy. The vast majority of the
US offier corps, until Vietnam, was steadfastly against the regular use
of psychological warfare, special forces unconventional warfare, and
general guerrilla tactics as 'ungentlemanly' and 'unchivalrous'. This
point of view was based on their decades of indoctrination in
traditional principles of honor, honesty, and fair dealing that arose
from the era of condotierre armies in europe in the 15th to 17th
centuries, where mercenary armies faced off against each other squarely
on the battlefield, met to agree on the rules, fought to points of honor
and not to the death. This was reinforced by the Civil War, where most
officers on both sides had known each other well at West Point as

> If it had so terrified the japanese that they had changed from a stance
> of "death before surrender!" to "JESUS CHRIST WE'RE GIVING IN NOW! NOW!
> NOW!" I'd say it *would* be considered of "material assistance"
> I think you are engaging in some sophistry here.

No, I am being very specific, just as military officers are trained to
be in their statements. If he said 'material assistance', he
specifically did not mean 'assistance in general' or 'psychological
assistance' in particular.

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