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Conservatives, please help with this contradiction.

 
 
Reply Sat 21 May, 2005 07:02 am
I have been in two completely different discussion in two different threads. An apparent contradiction has come up in the conservative position taken in these two not completely unrelated issues.

The first topic was the Second Amendment where it was stated that private citizens with guns would resist an invasion by external enemies. The communist era was listed as an example ("why didn't the communists invade") and a quote was offered from a Japanese general, the implication was he said ("we can't invade because they all have guns").

The second topic was the "insurgents/terrorists/whatever" fighting a guerilla war in Iraq. In this discussion is was alleged that un-uniformed fighters were evil and worthy of being shot on sight. The deaths of these fighters countrymen were blamed on these uniformed citizens attacking foreign troops with private arms.

Do you see the contradiction?

If the United States were invaded, would you as a private citizen use personal arms to attack the foreign troops?

If you would, wouldn't you be responsible when the foreign troops destroyed your town and killed your neighbors (accidently) trying to find you?

If you wouldn't, then doesn't that pretty much take away any "deterrent" effect of the Second Amendment?
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fishin
 
  1  
Reply Sat 21 May, 2005 07:10 am
Re: Conservatives, please help with this contradiction.
ebrown_p wrote:
Do you see the contradiction?


No.

Quote:
If the United States were invaded, would you as a private citizen use personal arms to attack the foreign troops?


Possibly.

Quote:
If you would, wouldn't you be responsible when the foreign troops destroyed your town and killed your neighbors (accidently) trying to find you?


I doubt that would be necessary. If I found it necessary to shoot at some invading army I wouldn't be hiding so finding me would be fairly easy. I don't believe in the idea of attacking someone and then hiding behind innocents to try and disguise myself.

Let me tack on this: If I were foolish enough the attack an invading military force from within a crowd without knowing the wishes of the rest of the people in that crowd then, yes, I would have to acept the responsibility that my actions may cause the deaths of unwilling participants.
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Brandon9000
 
  1  
Reply Sat 21 May, 2005 07:11 am
1. If I were resisting an invasion of the United States, I don't think that I would deliberately blow up non-combatants, or take civilian, non-combatant hostages, use them to blackmail their countries, and saw their heads of while they screamed in agony.
2. When I think of someone invading the United States, I think of someone trying to annex it. In Iraq, our intention is only to rebuild what we broke and leave. We have implemented free elections in which the office holders are Iraqis elected by Iraqis, not an American military governor. If the insurgents would simply stop, we could be out of the country pretty quickly. The are actually the main thing keeping us there. They seem to wish to suppress the elections, since they threated ugly consequences for citizens who voted, and, indeed, bombed polling places. They do not want a government freely chosed by citizens, they simply want to take over.
3. How many of them are Iraqis, and how many are foreign forces trying to continue the general battle being waged by militant Islam against Western culture?
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Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Sat 21 May, 2005 07:32 am
Not knowing the answer to Brandon's number three, above, why do so many conservatives take a "kill 'em all and let god sort 'em out" attitude?
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dyslexia
 
  1  
Reply Sat 21 May, 2005 07:35 am
Well, I had to shoot the son'a'bitch, he was packin' heat.
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ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Sat 21 May, 2005 07:39 am
Brandon9000 wrote:
1. If I were resisting an invasion of the United States, I don't think that I would deliberately blow up non-combatants, or take civilian, non-combatant hostages, use them to blackmail their countries, and saw their heads of while they screamed in agony.


If you didn't do any of these things, would fighting (shooting foreign troops) while you were out of uniform using personal arms be morally justified?
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Brandon9000
 
  1  
Reply Sat 21 May, 2005 07:46 am
ebrown_p wrote:
Brandon9000 wrote:
1. If I were resisting an invasion of the United States, I don't think that I would deliberately blow up non-combatants, or take civilian, non-combatant hostages, use them to blackmail their countries, and saw their heads of while they screamed in agony.


If you didn't do any of these things, would fighting (shooting foreign troops) while you were out of uniform using personal arms be morally justified?

It certainly could be depending on the purpose of the invasion, but I might not be covered by the Geneva Convention.
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ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Sat 21 May, 2005 07:52 am
Determining the "purpose of the invasion" and whether a particular purpose warrants guerilla action is, of course, highly subjective.

But this is the source of many interesting discussions....
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ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Sat 21 May, 2005 07:57 am
Fishin',

I am not sure if I understand your hypothetical response.

If you went out and fired your gun in the open while we were under occupation... you would get shot down pretty quick.

I don't think you are talking about senseless martyrdom here. If you were, I would suggest that you could do this without being armed. History shows (from Ghandi etc.) this is is often more effective anyway.

If you were to participate in any kind of armed resistance to an occupation, you would have to operate in secret. You would want to kill enemy soldiers and then disappear, otherwise the occupying troops would just find you and execute you.

Are you saying that you would rule out guerrila tactics? This pretty much rules out any kind of armed resistance more effective than suicide.
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fishin
 
  1  
Reply Sat 21 May, 2005 08:49 am
ebrown_p wrote:
Fishin',

I am not sure if I understand your hypothetical response.

If you went out and fired your gun in the open while we were under occupation... you would get shot down pretty quick.

I don't think you are talking about senseless martyrdom here. If you were, I would suggest that you could do this without being armed. History shows (from Ghandi etc.) this is is often more effective anyway.

If you were to participate in any kind of armed resistance to an occupation, you would have to operate in secret. You would want to kill enemy soldiers and then disappear, otherwise the occupying troops would just find you and execute you.

Are you saying that you would rule out guerrila tactics? This pretty much rules out any kind of armed resistance more effective than suicide.


There are various ways of implementing guerrila tactics. Guerrila tactics could mean one person hitting, running and hiiting again or it could mean a coordinated group of people where each hits in different areas at different times.

I'd choose the 2nd of those over the 1st. I believe it is less likely to bring a destructive response on others if a force is attacked and kills someone in return. I'd also do my best to ensure the place I was attacking from wouldn't give any clues back to others so that they wouldn't be retalliated against.

I wouldn't stand out in the open but I wouldn't try to run off once I started either. I'd take out as many of "them" as I could and plan on dying on the process. If I happened to be lucky enough to kill all of them before they killed me so be it. I'd live to fight again another day.

I think that's very different that shooting at some convoy driving down a busy street in a heavily populated area and then running off. That sort of activity is bound to bring on retalliation for everyone in the neighborhood.
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Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Sat 21 May, 2005 08:57 am
EBrown's reference to "un-uniformed" fighters arises from an exchange between Fedral and me. Fedral contends that those out of uniform are fair game for any treatment. So, leaving aside the "repel invasions" fantasy of which so many gun owners are fond, a more pertinent question would be:

Do you believe that the invader could use such a justification to deal with American insurgents in any manner it pleased them to do?
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georgeob1
 
  1  
Reply Sat 21 May, 2005 09:11 am
Yes. Nothing to stop such a thing. Indeed the English, quite properly according to their laws, treated American revolutionaries in this way in the early stages of our revolution. Whatever party that is, or seriously claims to be or represent, the established order will brand ununiformed fighters for the opposition as revolutionary terrorists (which is often an accurate description), and may treat them accordingly. Revolutions either succeed or fail. If they fail their active adherants are labelled as criminal terrorists, if they succeed they are the fathers of the revolution. Better in this world to succeed than to fail.
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Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Sat 21 May, 2005 09:15 am
I understand that part, O'George, and certainly Tories and Rebels both hung one another, especially in the vicious fighting in the South. However, the situations are not analogous--the English were attempting to end a rebellion against an authority which they had theretofore exercised in the American colonies.

The question regards not necessarily matters of law, although i acknowledge that it is a germane issue--but rather, how do those here view such a circumstance in light of a foreign invasion.
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fishin
 
  1  
Reply Sat 21 May, 2005 09:24 am
Setanta wrote:
EBrown's reference to "un-uniformed" fighters arises from an exchange between Fedral and me. Fedral contends that those out of uniform are fair game for any treatment. So, leaving aside the "repel invasions" fantasy of which so many gun owners are fond, a more pertinent question would be:

Do you believe that the invader could use such a justification to deal with American insurgents in any manner it pleased them to do?


If, in a round about way, you are asking if I would expect to be protected by the Geneva Convention as an un-uniformed combatant I'd have to answer no. I wouldn't necessarily like that but I'd accept it as it is. It would surely weigh in as a factor in my decision to participate as an insurgent or not.
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Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Sat 21 May, 2005 09:33 am
Thank you for an honest answer, Fishin'.
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georgeob1
 
  1  
Reply Sat 21 May, 2005 09:50 am
Well the American revolutionaries did regard the British (and their Hessian mercenaries) as invaders. The colonies had governed themselves quite effectively under various charters for quite a long time and the increased British military presence, and the taxes that accompanied it after the French & Indian or Seven Year's War were the factors that ignited the revolution. I agree, this stretched the original scenario here a bit, but I think the point still relevant.

The fact that the American Colonists generally did have arms was relevant to the success of their revolution and was also an historiical factor in the adoption of this feature in our Constitution. The relevance of this idea today is a separate question - and quite debatable in my view.
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Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Sat 21 May, 2005 10:16 am
Without doubt, the increased military presence in the colonies after 1760 was a sore spot. George III and Lord Bute were simply trying to find some employment for their officer cronies out of work after the end of the Seven Years War. The Lords of Trade (responsible for colonial administration) and Parliament likely had in mind a decision which had already been made to attempt to keep the colonist east of the Appalachian divide. Americans, however, pointed out that the only reason for that was the enrichment of the fur traders in Montréal, who did not want to see settlement in the rich fur forests of the west. They also pointedly took note of the stationing of troops in the coastal regions (a rather disingenuous observation, however, given that the plan was to raise "Royal American" units, recruited locally; in the event, the Lords of Trade quickly saw just how bad such an idea would be).

Americans also objected to the increased taxation--they had a justifiable case to make that they had paid their fair share and more in the French and Indian War, which was more about British imperialism than defending the colonies, who had largely been left to fend for themselves in King William's War, Queen Anne's War and King George's War (corresponding to the Nine Years War, the War of the Spanish Succession and the War of the Austrian Succession). They also knew that most imperial expenditure had gone to keep Frederick II alive in the Seven Years War, and in particular, to support the Duke of Brunswick in his defense of Hanover, already seen in both England and America as a purely personal interest of the Hanoverian monarchy.

When Pownall took over for Shirley in Massachusetts during the French and Indian War, he wrote to the Lords of Trade in April 1758 that the commonwealth of Massachusetts had operated on a budget of 45,000 pounds per annum before the war, but had in two and one half years contracted a debt in excess of 350,000 pounds, and that every seventh adult male in the colony was then serving the King by land or sea. He also noted that the legislature had passed a plan to sink the debt in three years by increased taxation, to which the citizens had not objected because the plan was passed by their elected representatives. The lesson was apparently lost on the Lords of Trade and Parliament.

The Virginia militia had been raised before the war (some could contend that Governor Dinwiddie in Williamsburg had actually precipitated war by his use of Washington and the militia), and during the war participated in the expeditions of Braddock and Forbes. They also protected the frontier regions of Virginia, both Carolinas and Georgia. Maryland and Pennsylvania militia participated in the Forbes expedition. New Jersey raised a large militia regiment--known ever after as the "Jersey Blues," and considered to be the direct ancestor of the First United States Regiment of Infantry--to accompany the Abercromby expedition against Montcalm at Carillon (later Ticonderoga). Abercromby's doomed expedition, in fact, consisted of more than two thirds Americans, and was to that point, the largest army ever assembled in North America. Amherst's expedition against Louisburg could not have been undertaken without the support of New England; after all, New England militia had captured that fort in King George's War on their own hook, only to see it returned to France at the peace table.

The talented and energetic Irishman, Sir William Johnson, had taken the French post at the foot of Lake George and a "modern" earthwork fort was erected--Fort William Henry. Turned over to the Regulars, General Webb put Lt Colonel Monro in command of the fort, with a force comprised mostly of militia and colonial volunteers, then Webb hurried south to Fort Edwards as fast as his fat little legs would carry him. Montcalm beseiged the place, finally accepted terms negotiated with Monro, and one of the more notorious massacres in American history succeeded. Johnson lead a force of Iroquois and American militia north in the following year and retook the place, in the face of a large force of Canadian regulars, Canadian militia and their Indian allies. The expedition of James Wolfe against Québec in 1759 is the sole example of any significant operation undertaken in that war without American participation.

The falling out after the war is too well known to rehearse here, and not germane.

It is however germane to ask one to contrast that stretch of our history with an invasion of a nation not simply geographically foreign, but religiously and culturally foreign.

So, as far as i can see, an appeal to our revolution is completely irrelevant.
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georgeob1
 
  1  
Reply Sat 21 May, 2005 10:58 am
Setanta,

I do get a kick out of you, Set. - a wonderful, unique combination of erudition and ill-temper.

You give me this wonderfully written and informative summary of a portion of colonial history and the actions of British ministers, and then end it abruptly with a snappy rejoinder that the whole point is irrelevant.
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JustanObserver
 
  1  
Reply Sat 21 May, 2005 11:00 am
Brandon9000 wrote:
In Iraq, our intention is only to rebuild what we broke and leave.



Of course. Say, do you want to buy a bridge? Its in Brooklyn. I'll give you a great price if your interested...
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Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Sat 21 May, 2005 11:00 am
No ill temper, O'George, and i am sorry to disappoint your fond hopes in that regard. I do so enjoy, however, the "snappy rejoinders."
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