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  1. #1
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    Question about War in General and Society today

    Hey guys...I really don't know how to phrase this question well, so, here goes nothing:

    (note): I'd love to keep politics out of this, but knowing that a thread about favorite singers often leads to arguments about abortion, I'm pretty sure that's a futile request

    If America would be called upon today to fight in a "World War III", would they do so? If so, how many casualties do you think we'd suffer? And would the president still have the support of the people?

    I ask this because, looking at the War in Iraq, we have liberated a country and have only lost 1000 men. I'm not saying that the cause was right, because there are no WMD's in Iraq, I'm just stating the facts. We helped liberate a Middle Eastern country and only sustained 1000 losses. Now, I constantly log onto yahoo.com, and notice that the biggest story is always something like "America loses 3 marines in Iraq". I flip on the news, and they are talking about how many losses we have sustained, etc., etc.

    Well, if 1000 losses is A LOT (as I have heard many news networks and friends/colleagues/teachers/family say), what would today's society think of World War I and II, where America suffered 364,000 and about 900,000 casualties, respectively (Note: casualties is deaths and injuries)? Hell, what would they think of D-Day, where we suffered 2,500 casualties in one day? What would they think of the Russians, who experienced 20,000,000 casualties in WWII?

    What I'm saying is that war is war, and people are expected to die. However, in todays world, it seems as though people would not be willing to accept that fact...

    I realize the war in Iraq is an exception, because a lot of people disagree with it, and because it's not really a "war", but I have a hard time imagining the US mobilizing millions of troops and suffering hundreds of thousands of casualties without chaos in the streets.

    Has technology come so far that we are only expected to lose 10 troops a day when at war? I mean, we just had WWII 60 years ago...

    Capsulated into one sentence, my question is this

    " Why are people making such a big deal over 1000 casualties when in past wars we've often suffered hundreds of thousands of casualties?"




  2. #2
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    different war, different scale, different enemy, different time.

    Apples and oranges

    EDIT: and different cultures. Russia used the same tactics when they were fighting Napoleon (probably misspelled that, I always do)




  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mongoose88
    " Why are people making such a big deal over 1000 casualties when in past wars we've often suffered hundreds of thousands of casualties?"
    It's impossible to keep politics out of this. Politics is the very reason why it's an issue.

    Basically a Republican dared to do something. He's also a religious man. He had the audacity to get something done instead of talking about getting something done. It's no more complex than that.

    This is no different of a reaction than the one Pres. Reagan got by having the audacity to use action instead of words. He was hated for it. Pres. Clinton on the other hand talked a lot and did little. And he's loved. You figure it out.




  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Freemason
    It's impossible to keep politics out of this. Politics is the very reason why it's an issue.

    Basically a Republican dared to do something. He's also a religious man. He had the audacity to get something done instead of talking about getting something done. It's no more complex than that.

    This is no different of a reaction than the one Pres. Reagan got by having the audacity to use action instead of words. He was hated for it. Pres. Clinton on the other hand talked a lot and did little. And he's loved. You figure it out.
    let me get this straight, Bush invades without using as much diplomacy as some people wanted and people hated him for it. Reagan did the same and people hated him for it. Clinton relied more heavily on diplomacy and people didn't hate him. I think they just may be a factor you are overlooking here.




  5. #5
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    if there is a direct and continuing threat to the US, things would be different -- if we are backed into a corner and left with no other option, you wouldnt see too many people protesting and//or moving to canada

    you must remember that war, violence, and force are LAST resorts -- they are not to be used as diplomacy -- these are things that occur when diplomacy fails

    unless you are from texas...


    and its "only" 1,000 casualties until you and//or someone you know//love become part of that statistic -- then it may become the preamble to your being put on trial for an assassination




  6. #6
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    No, I got it right. Pres. Reagan and Pres. Bush both saw the point where diplomacy ceased to be useful. After that time it becomes anything to avoid military action (aka cowardice). Welcome to the modern world, governed by a bunch of cowards.




  7. #7
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    To the best of my knowledge, "casualties" has always included killed and wounded. By that definition, the US casualty count for Iraq according to the DoD is 9607. That's in about 1.5 years, giving us a casualty rate of approximately 6400 a year (just a little over that).

    WWII using that same concept with your numbers comes out to about 225,000 casualties per year, or roughly 35 times our Iraq casualty rate. The problem in such a direct comparison, though, is that WWII pitted us against an extremely powerful group of enemy nations who had overrun a not-negligible portion of the planet, whereas our enemies in Iraq are a bunch of goons with outdated weapons running around a desert.

    So, in my mind, the rate of casualties between the two wars aren't very distinguishable once scale is taken into account.

    Edit: Let's drop the diplomacy/political/whatever-your-pet-issue-is talk. He asked for a numbers comparison, and unless your calculator has a spin button, there's no possible way for your political ideology to be a factor in your response.




  8. #8
    SatansAvenger
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nerf-Herder
    and its "only" 1,000 casualties until you and//or someone you know//love become part of that statistic -- then it may become the preamble to your being put on trial for an assassination
    i always hated this kind of response, there is no need for you to bring in love/personal relations into this, what we are talking about here is merely the numerical comparison, 1000 vs. millions, well no **** if your friend/family member is in that 1000, samething can be said about that millions, how many more friends/familiy members is that gonna affect? lets try staying on topics this time please.


  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mongoose88
    Now, I constantly log onto yahoo.com, and notice that the biggest story is always something like "America loses 3 marines in Iraq". I flip on the news, and they are talking about how many losses we have sustained, etc., etc.
    I can actually use your figures to conclude a non-political reason why the media makes such a fuss over a few casualties. In a war where there are only around 1000 casualties, a few (lets say 3) is going to be 0.3% of the total war's count. In WWII, this 0.3% would be 2700 casualties, going by your figures.
    Also, American's value the lives of American's more then the lives of citezens of other countries. This is why 3 Americans dying in Iraq is more newsworthy then 30 Iraqis dying the same day. There is nothing wrong with this. It's just the way it is.
    Of course, the real reasons are still political.




  10. #10
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    There are no two wars that are alike. WWII and Iraq are so vastly different in scope, size, difficulty and a myriad of other factors that they cannot even remotely be compared.




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