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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • If we cannot persuade other nations with similar interests and similar values of the merits of our proposed use of that power, we should not proceed unilaterally except in the unlikely requirement to defend directly the continental U.S., Alaska and Hawaii.

    What if in 1999, instead of merely offering support to the Northern Alliance in Afghanistan, we decided to take out the Taliban because of its support of Al Qaeda, and we couldn't get any more allies than we got in this Iraq War? Sorry, but it would hav
    • Your argument is a hypothetical piled on top of a counterfactual, I've seen the film, it's one of my favorites from 2003. MacNamara suggests that the support of allies is a good heuristic for determining if you're about to do something stupid. BTW, I realize this was a few weeks ago, but I came across this entry in a totally unrelated Google search.
      • MacNamara suggests that the support of allies is a good heuristic for determining if you're about to do something stupid.

        I am arguing against the specific statement, and I stand by it. I am not saying we should ignore our allies, but just because they don't help does not mean we should not get involved, which is what
        gav quoted him as saying, what I am arguing about. It's one factor among many. I gave a hypothetical to show one case where it is easy to see that even if our allies didn't come along, we s
        • by brev (1827) on 2004.09.17 16:45 (#34445)
          we DID persuade nations

          I think you mean governments. ;) But I admit that's probably what McNamara meant too.

          However, I do not think the Bush administration's persuasion efforts were what McNamara had in mind. The USA made it clear they had already decided on action and were closed to debate. Opposing nations were belittled or threatened, and others were bribed [] into support. As for countries like the UK, since the USA made it into a loyalty test, this makes it unclear how much was real support and how much was unwillingness to rupture the so-called "special relationship".

          Well! I'm sure you're totally convinced now and will offer no further resistance.

          Anyway, you might like the film, it's not just about Vietnam. It's more about knowledge, policy, history, memory -- it's very interesting on many levels. For a more Iraq-focused discussion, check out the video at the link I posted in a comment to gav's main post.

          • I don't see how you can say the US made it a loyalty test for the UK. I see no evidence of it. I see the US, rather than forcing anything on the UK, doing whatever it could to help Blair get political cover (such as going back to the UN to try for another resolution).

            And Turkey is not an example insofar as what we were discussing, as Turkey specifically was "persuaded ... of the merits of our proposed use of that power" before the "bribe" was proposed. The "bribe" was not to persuade them of the merits