Carpet Bombing

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RMorneau
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Carpet Bombing

Postby RMorneau » Tue Dec 08, 2015 2:38 pm UTC

Ted Cruz and Donald Trump have suggested that the solution to ISIS is to bomb the @%$# or "Carpet Bomb" them into perdition. Apart from the ethical, sociological, moral and political issues, is it even possible to drop enough bombs to eradicate a people with a truly pernicious ideology? I believe the US tried it against North Vietnam and got nowhere. Personally I think Cruz ,Trump and others are just plain crazy (and dangerous) to even think this approach would work, but what does the science and economics of bombing suggest? :?:

elasto
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Re: Carpet Bombing

Postby elasto » Tue Dec 08, 2015 3:43 pm UTC

Two important points:
1) If you carpet bomb, are you likely to create >1 terrorist for every terrorist you kill? Imo yes.
2) There are a non-trivial number of home-grown terrorists - ie. born as Westerners and then radicalised while still in the West:
2a) It's likely you'll radicalise home-grown terrorists in greater numbers and to a greater degree if you carpet bomb Islamic holy cities (contributing to (1)) and
2b) Wtf - are you going to carpet bomb terrorists in France, Belgium and the UK as part of this 'strategy'? If not, how does it make sense to bomb ME countries where the violent terrorists make up a small minority there also...

Tyndmyr
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Re: Carpet Bombing

Postby Tyndmyr » Tue Dec 08, 2015 3:58 pm UTC

elasto wrote:Two important points:
1) If you carpet bomb, are you likely to create >1 terrorist for every terrorist you kill? Imo yes.
2) There are a non-trivial number of home-grown terrorists - ie. born as Westerners and then radicalised while still in the West:
2a) It's likely you'll radicalise home-grown terrorists in greater numbers and to a greater degree if you carpet bomb Islamic holy cities (contributing to (1)) and
2b) Wtf - are you going to carpet bomb terrorists in France, Belgium and the UK as part of this 'strategy'? If not, how does it make sense to bomb ME countries where the violent terrorists make up a small minority there also...


1. Is popular wisdom, but where is the logic here? Historically, this viewpoint seems to stem from the Vietnam war, but...that was way more complicated. Looking back on it with the benefit of hindsight, the biggest fights were actually where we did the best, and saw the greatest gains. We are *good* at serious warfare. Other historical conflicts with heavy bombing did not necessarily result in terrorism or other counter productive goals. There's...really not a good case for carpet bombing leading to terrorism.
2. There are. However, proportionately, they are a tiny fraction of the problem. And, such radicalization comes from...where, exactly?

This is a solution to taking out the core. It doesn't solve *everything*, but it does solve a lot.

morriswalters
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Re: Carpet Bombing

Postby morriswalters » Tue Dec 08, 2015 4:01 pm UTC

That wasn't his question. The answer is yes.
RMorneau wrote:Apart from the ethical, sociological, moral and political issues
Given sufficient warheads of the right construction it would be possible to sanitize geographical areas such that nothing could live in them in our lifetimes. Conventional weapons couldn't do it. The bombing of Japan both by incendiaries and HE followed by two low yield nuclear devices was sufficient to end the war in the Pacific without invading like we did in Europe. One fear in the cold war was that a general nuclear response could depopulate the planet, thus giving us MAD. Mutual Assured Destruction. You could also use both chemical and biological agents to do the dirty work.

Edit
I believe that is called genocide.

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Re: Carpet Bombing

Postby Chen » Tue Dec 08, 2015 4:17 pm UTC

Ignoring the morality, as proposed, of course you could. You could raze the cities to the ground, bomb every little village in the country side, take out any vehicles via drone strike etc. The civilian casualties would be appalling, but if you didn't care about that then it would be simply a matter of having enough ordinance. Which I'm fairly sure we have many times over, even excluding nuclear weapons.

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Re: Carpet Bombing

Postby ucim » Tue Dec 08, 2015 4:34 pm UTC

Doing this would be like curing the flu by shooting all the cold viruses in the patient with a shotgun.

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Re: Carpet Bombing

Postby SDK » Tue Dec 08, 2015 4:41 pm UTC

Causing everyone in the room to be showered in cold and flu infected blood?

Was the distinction between colds and flus intentional there? Because the connotation's a lot different if you think we're not even shooting at the right virus.
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morriswalters
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Re: Carpet Bombing

Postby morriswalters » Tue Dec 08, 2015 5:15 pm UTC

I think he meant curing the flue by killing the patient.

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Re: Carpet Bombing

Postby speising » Tue Dec 08, 2015 5:23 pm UTC

Actually, it's more like preventing an epidemic by killing all infected. Which could work, ethics aside.

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Re: Carpet Bombing

Postby SDK » Tue Dec 08, 2015 6:38 pm UTC

morriswalters wrote:I think he meant curing the flue by killing the patient.

Which is a whole lot more rational than curing the flu by killing someone with a cold.

The problem with analogies is you can draw them either way. If the world is the patient, curing cancer with chemotherapy is a pretty good way to go, despite killing all those healthy cells along the way.
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Tyndmyr
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Re: Carpet Bombing

Postby Tyndmyr » Tue Dec 08, 2015 6:44 pm UTC

Yeah, ignoring the morality gives you a pretty easy answer of "yes, it works".

Now, if we take morality into account...it seems clear that lesser options may not always work. So, being overly worried about morality, and not actually solving the problem, might simply result in added deaths without a solution. That...doesn't seem like a terribly moral outcome.

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ucim
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Re: Carpet Bombing

Postby ucim » Wed Dec 09, 2015 12:37 am UTC

No, I was not making a distinction between "cold" and "flu" (though knowing where I'm posting, I should have). :) My point was carpet bombing is the wrong tool for the job, just like a shotgun is the wrong tool to kill viruses (and ends up obliterating the patient). To take out ISIS (or any violent fringe group for that matter) you need high specificity; after all, you are taking them out to save the others. Carpet bombing (or shooting germs in a patient) has rather low specificity, and does a lot of collateral damage.

Even mentioning it should disqualify one for serious consideration as the leader of a free world nation.

Jose
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Re: Carpet Bombing

Postby elasto » Wed Dec 09, 2015 12:41 am UTC

speising wrote:Actually, it's more like preventing an epidemic by killing all infected. Which could work, ethics aside.

Well, it could work but would it be likely to?

Ok, let me put it another way. There have been, what, half a dozen serious terrorist atrocities in Western countries in the last decade and a half? Go back further and the rate drops off even more. Excluding 9/11 the deaths have numbered in the hundreds.

If we carpet bomb the ME - and we would have to raze not just cities but holy cities to the ground - how do we think the thousands of semi-radicalized Muslims already in the West will react? Are they just going to roll over, or is it more likely it will tip them over the edge into violent retaliation? We would likely see dozens of serious atrocities a year.

If we're discounting morality, I think the carpet bombing would have to be accompanied by all Muslim* citizens of Western countries being permanently interned, and all Western borders closed to the hundreds of millions of women and children who'd swarm from the mushroom clouds rising in the ME. Because, as we know from Tarantino movies and the like, it only takes one child growing up harbouring thoughts of revenge...

*And how do you identify a 'Muslim citizen' anyhow? It's not like there's a blood test for it...

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Re: Carpet Bombing

Postby CorruptUser » Wed Dec 09, 2015 7:52 am UTC

We bombed and raped the French during WWII (didn't know that? War is hell) and for the most part we didn't see too many French terrorists.

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Re: Carpet Bombing

Postby elasto » Wed Dec 09, 2015 8:14 am UTC

CorruptUser wrote:We bombed and raped the French during WWII (didn't know that? War is hell) and for the most part we didn't see too many French terrorists.

Not sure of your point? French civilians in WW2 didn't subscribe to an ideology that actively sought mass civilian casualties in order to bring forwards a literal religious Armageddon.

If any fix can occur it will involve education and enrichment of the masses, not a carpet bombing campaign that literally plays into the hands of such religious fantasists.

(As a final objection, just look at the geographical impracticability of it: If it were just bombing the ME that'd be one thing. But bombing would have to extend to Afghanistan, parts of Africa, and, for example, Pakistan (a nuclear power not likely to take it lightly...) and perhaps even Russia and China also - given that they have Muslim minority populations that would none-the-less likely receive a vast influx of displaced and extremely angry religious fundamentalists...)

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Re: Carpet Bombing

Postby Tyndmyr » Wed Dec 09, 2015 3:14 pm UTC

elasto wrote:
speising wrote:Actually, it's more like preventing an epidemic by killing all infected. Which could work, ethics aside.

Well, it could work but would it be likely to?

Ok, let me put it another way. There have been, what, half a dozen serious terrorist atrocities in Western countries in the last decade and a half? Go back further and the rate drops off even more. Excluding 9/11 the deaths have numbered in the hundreds.


This is inaccurate. The US alone has had substantially more than this, both before and after 9/11.

If we carpet bomb the ME - and we would have to raze not just cities but holy cities to the ground - how do we think the thousands of semi-radicalized Muslims already in the West will react? Are they just going to roll over, or is it more likely it will tip them over the edge into violent retaliation? We would likely see dozens of serious atrocities a year.


Probably not the entire ME. That's a lot of bombs. Just, yknow, places like Syria. I mean...Israel is in the ME, and it's not particularly muslim-friendly, or prone to attacking us. Carpet bombing is imprecise on a tactical level, but on a strategic level, you still have some discrimination.

elasto wrote:
CorruptUser wrote:We bombed and raped the French during WWII (didn't know that? War is hell) and for the most part we didn't see too many French terrorists.

Not sure of your point? French civilians in WW2 didn't subscribe to an ideology that actively sought mass civilian casualties in order to bring forwards a literal religious Armageddon.


Japan was pretty okay with civilian deaths, including it's own, and it's secular chief was also it's religious head, and thus, religious ideas were all mixed up in racial superiority ideas and so on. They actually did suicide bombing, yknow. En masse, on a ridiculous scale. We bombed the shit out of them, culminating in nukes, and look, problem solved.

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Re: Carpet Bombing

Postby morriswalters » Wed Dec 09, 2015 4:57 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:This is inaccurate. The US alone has had substantially more than this, both before and after 9/11.
This is a function of what kind of terrorism your talking about. In terms of terrorism overall you are correct. In terms Islamic terrorism on American soil it was unheard of prior to 1970. Up until the 9/11 attacks the Homebrew terror pretty much ruled the roost with the Oklahoma bombing holding the single attack record up until 9/11. Here is a link to the list. The most notable Islamic attack prior to 9/11 was the World Trade Center attack which killed 6.

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Re: Carpet Bombing

Postby leady » Wed Dec 09, 2015 6:28 pm UTC

I wonder what piece of legislation was changed 1967 that may have suddenly caused that...

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CorruptUser
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Re: Carpet Bombing

Postby CorruptUser » Wed Dec 09, 2015 8:18 pm UTC

What, Oklahoma City doesn't count as terrorism?

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Re: Carpet Bombing

Postby Tyndmyr » Wed Dec 09, 2015 8:46 pm UTC

It should...

But he swapped the goalposts to Islamic Terrorism.

Terrorism itself is very old. Been used for basically forever. But, not always the same people for the same reasons. And yeah, visiting lots and lots of violence on the originators is a traditional solution. It's likely that this is about all the thought Trump put into this, just invoke the traditional, populist response...but if we're playing devil's advocate, it does have a track record.

And less precision does allow for a comparatively more impressive reaction. An F-22 costs what, $150mil? And you'll deliver a coupla precision bombs right where you want 'em. A B-52 will cost 10% of that, and will deliver bombs to blanket a three mile stretch of terrain. We still fly both.

There's tradeoffs there, for sure. In part, the tolerance for collateral damage. That, more than anything else, is what has changed.

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Re: Carpet Bombing

Postby RMorneau » Wed Dec 09, 2015 8:58 pm UTC

To one extent or another all of the republican presidential "candidates" are banging the anti muslin, pro massive military intervention war drum. To hear them "speechify" one could come to the conclusion that the defense department and the military-industrial complex has been put out of business during the last seven years. HARDLY THE CASE!! I was hoping that someone could shed some light on just how expensive and how much armament would be necessary to accomplish what these dunderheads are advocating. Would we need 100 sorties daily for x number of days/weeks/months , each plane dropping 5 /10 / 50 50 lb./100 lb/500 lb. bombs at y dollars per bomb. The fact that no one from the administration or democrat party or the green party or some retired military expert has not come forward to point out the sheer lunacy of carpet bombing, from any and all but the insane ideologue's point of view is discouraging.

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Re: Carpet Bombing

Postby Tyndmyr » Wed Dec 09, 2015 9:04 pm UTC

RMorneau wrote:To one extent or another all of the republican presidential "candidates" are banging the anti muslin, pro massive military intervention war drum. To hear them "speechify" one could come to the conclusion that the defense department and the military-industrial complex has been put out of business during the last seven years. HARDLY THE CASE!! I was hoping that someone could shed some light on just how expensive and how much armament would be necessary to accomplish what these dunderheads are advocating. Would we need 100 sorties daily for x number of days/weeks/months , each plane dropping 5 /10 / 50 50 lb./100 lb/500 lb. bombs at y dollars per bomb. The fact that no one from the administration or democrat party or the green party or some retired military expert has not come forward to point out the sheer lunacy of carpet bombing, from any and all but the insane ideologue's point of view is discouraging.


Dumb iron bombs of the type used for carpet bombing are quite cheap when purchased in bulk.

Economically, it's WAY easier and cheaper to just paste a target than to carefully fire a million dollar missile* through a window. That's why nobody is condemning it based on economic grounds. Yes, conflict is expensive in general...but in dollars and cents, precision weaponry costs a ridiculous amount.

If it makes you feel better, I am former military. Air force, as it happens.

*Actually an understatement. A tomahawk costs around 1.4 mil. A 500lb iron bomb runs about $20k.

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Re: Carpet Bombing

Postby cuisinart8 » Wed Dec 09, 2015 9:11 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:Japan was pretty okay with civilian deaths, including it's own, and it's secular chief was also it's religious head, and thus, religious ideas were all mixed up in racial superiority ideas and so on. They actually did suicide bombing, yknow. En masse, on a ridiculous scale. We bombed the shit out of them, culminating in nukes, and look, problem solved.


Your points about Japan's government are correct, but there is a big difference between a conventional war against a nation and a war against a decentralized terrorist group. Even in Japan's case it took two atomic bombs, hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians killed in bombing raids, and the near-destruction of their military before they surrendered. They didn't surrender even during the height of the firebombing, when we had destroyed something like 90% of Tokyo and were still bombing the rubble. In some cases (see the Blitz) carpet bombing civilians even increases their fighting spirit. All we would end up doing if we carpet bombed the ME would be to get even moderates to hate us- after all, we would have been party to the wholesale slaughter of hundreds, if not thousands of civilians. That's how you make more terrorists- and at that point, we would be barely better than them anyway.

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Re: Carpet Bombing

Postby BeerBottle » Thu Dec 10, 2015 10:11 pm UTC

ITT we cheerfully discuss the final solution to the muslim problem.
Tyndmyr wrote:This is a solution to taking out the core. It doesn't solve *everything*, but it does solve a lot.
Tyndmyr wrote:This is inaccurate. The US alone has had substantially more than this, both before and after 9/11.
Oh look, back to your favourite topic. Here's a sanity check. USA has suffered 3110 deaths in 43 years to "Islamic Terror" on home soil according to this website highly hostile to muslims:

http://www.thereligionofpeace.com/pages/americanattacks.htm

For comparison, it took USA + friends just 14 DAYS (from 23 March 2003) to surpass that total, killing over 4600 in their unprovoked war of aggression in Iraq.1 That invasion went on to cause over 100,000 deaths even by conservative estimates.

So a question, Tyndmyr, if you think the current level of aggression and deaths from Islamic terrorists merits carpet bombing of millions of civilians in retaliation as you are alluding to here, can you explain why the order of magnitude more deaths caused by the USA does not merit any retaliation? Or alternatively put, how are you morally different from the terrorists who killed 14 in CA last week, or the London 7/7 bombers who killed in revenge for attacks in muslim lands? Except that the scale of your ambition is much larger of course.

1.https://www.iraqbodycount.org/database/

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Re: Carpet Bombing

Postby morriswalters » Thu Dec 10, 2015 11:20 pm UTC

I don't think that it is his position that we should, merely that we could.

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Re: Carpet Bombing

Postby Zamfir » Fri Dec 11, 2015 10:00 am UTC

Perhaps, but's he's rather vague on that. The closest he gets is this:
Tyndmyr wrote:Now, if we take morality into account...it seems clear that lesser options may not always work. So, being overly worried about morality, and not actually solving the problem, might simply result in added deaths without a solution. That...doesn't seem like a terribly moral outcome.

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Re: Carpet Bombing

Postby Tyndmyr » Fri Dec 11, 2015 3:49 pm UTC

BeerBottle wrote:ITT we cheerfully discuss the final solution to the muslim problem.
Tyndmyr wrote:This is a solution to taking out the core. It doesn't solve *everything*, but it does solve a lot.
Tyndmyr wrote:This is inaccurate. The US alone has had substantially more than this, both before and after 9/11.
Oh look, back to your favourite topic. Here's a sanity check. USA has suffered 3110 deaths in 43 years to "Islamic Terror" on home soil according to this website highly hostile to muslims:

http://www.thereligionofpeace.com/pages/americanattacks.htm


If you will read the context, it is utterly clear that I was responding to terrorism in general, and complained about shifting the goalposts from terrorism in general to Islamic Terrorism, as they are not the same.

So a question, Tyndmyr, if you think the current level of aggression and deaths from Islamic terrorists merits carpet bombing of millions of civilians in retaliation as you are alluding to here, can you explain why the order of magnitude more deaths caused by the USA does not merit any retaliation? Or alternatively put, how are you morally different from the terrorists who killed 14 in CA last week, or the London 7/7 bombers who killed in revenge for attacks in muslim lands? Except that the scale of your ambition is much larger of course.

1.https://www.iraqbodycount.org/database/


War ain't terrorism. War is also pretty awful, obviously, but it's not quite apples to apples.

morriswalters wrote:I don't think that it is his position that we should, merely that we could.


This. Mostly playing devil's advocate. I'm not a particular fan of Trump or Cruz, but it seems that people are merely dismissing ideas and falling back on preconcieved ideas. They aren't actually considering the tactic fairly.

There may be times when carpet bombing an area is indeed the most practical solution. Likely for most things? Nah. But dismissing things without really thinking about them doesn't enlighten anyone.

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Re: Carpet Bombing

Postby ucim » Fri Dec 11, 2015 4:59 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:There may be times when carpet bombing an area is indeed the most practical solution. Likely for most things? Nah. But dismissing things without really thinking about them doesn't enlighten anyone.
The most obvious parameter is geographical. Carpet bombing works best when the enemy is geographically concentrated. Terrorists are not. The second is hydra syndrome. Conventional enemies are weakened by attack, but others are strengthened by any attack that does not totally wipe them out. Islamic terrorists fall into the latter category.

Both conditions tell me that carpet bombing is contraindicated in this case.

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Re: Carpet Bombing

Postby Tyndmyr » Fri Dec 11, 2015 5:28 pm UTC

ucim wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:There may be times when carpet bombing an area is indeed the most practical solution. Likely for most things? Nah. But dismissing things without really thinking about them doesn't enlighten anyone.
The most obvious parameter is geographical. Carpet bombing works best when the enemy is geographically concentrated. Terrorists are not. The second is hydra syndrome. Conventional enemies are weakened by attack, but others are strengthened by any attack that does not totally wipe them out. Islamic terrorists fall into the latter category.

Both conditions tell me that carpet bombing is contraindicated in this case.

Jose


Terrorists can be concentrated. ISIS holds turf, do they not?

And I don't believe that hydra syndrome is a real thing. It certainly cannot be universal. Unconventional warfare is not a modern thing, and purveyors of it have been successfully attacked in the past.

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Re: Carpet Bombing

Postby ucim » Fri Dec 11, 2015 6:35 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:Terrorists can be concentrated. ISIS holds turf, do they not?
Kinda sorta. It's more like they control somebody else's turf. "We had to destroy the village in order to save it."
Tyndmyr wrote:And I don't believe that hydra syndrome is a real thing. It certainly cannot be universal. Unconventional warfare is not a modern thing, and purveyors of it have been successfully attacked in the past.
I don't say it's universal, just that it applies in this case. It's not the method of warfare that is important, rather, it's the reason for support. We're not trying to defeat a nation, we're trying to defeat an ideology; one which is likely to gain lots of adherents if we go on a carpet bombing spree.

Jose
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Re: Carpet Bombing

Postby Tyndmyr » Fri Dec 11, 2015 6:41 pm UTC

ucim wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:Terrorists can be concentrated. ISIS holds turf, do they not?
Kinda sorta. It's more like they control somebody else's turf. "We had to destroy the village in order to save it."


Well, yes. Whenever a new group takes turf, it was someone else's.

Given the mass deaths and evacuations of...over half the people now, right? I feel safe saying that many a village is already effectively destroyed. Saving everything is not always on the table.

Tyndmyr wrote:And I don't believe that hydra syndrome is a real thing. It certainly cannot be universal. Unconventional warfare is not a modern thing, and purveyors of it have been successfully attacked in the past.
I don't say it's universal, just that it applies in this case. It's not the method of warfare that is important, rather, it's the reason for support. We're not trying to defeat a nation, we're trying to defeat an ideology; one which is likely to gain lots of adherents if we go on a carpet bombing spree.

Jose


Will it gain adherents if targetted bombing is used instead?

How about if it's ignored?

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Re: Carpet Bombing

Postby speising » Fri Dec 11, 2015 6:42 pm UTC

It's not likely to ease the refugee crisis to level the whole country, but i guess the us doesn't care about that that much.

At least, there would have to be some serious reconstruction help afterwards.

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Re: Carpet Bombing

Postby Tyndmyr » Fri Dec 11, 2015 8:34 pm UTC

speising wrote:It's not likely to ease the refugee crisis to level the whole country, but i guess the us doesn't care about that that much.

At least, there would have to be some serious reconstruction help afterwards.


I suspect, at this point, both of those are forgone conclusions. Most of those who are not combatants have already left, and after this much fighting, it is likely that the place is in pretty rough shape.

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Re: Carpet Bombing

Postby ucim » Sat Dec 12, 2015 4:00 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:Saving everything is not always on the table.
But in that case, carpet bombing is not saving anything.

Tyndmyr wrote:Will it gain adherents if targetted bombing is used instead?
Far fewer. We make ourselves the enemy of our targets. It's the difference between killing terrorists, and killing all Muslims, and killing anything that moves.

Tyndmyr wrote:How about if it's ignored?
If it is ignored, it will spread, and we won't be going into space today. But if you go to the doctor with the flu, and he points a shotgun at you saying "This will kill all the germy wormies in your body", I suspect you won't think very much of his approach.

Jose
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Re: Carpet Bombing

Postby BeerBottle » Sun Dec 13, 2015 1:19 am UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:If you will read the context, it is utterly clear that I was responding to terrorism in general, and complained about shifting the goalposts from terrorism in general to Islamic Terrorism, as they are not the same.
Don't understand this in the slightest. This thread is about carpet bombing ISIS is response to their attacks on USA in particular and west in general. How is it moving the goalposts to talk about Islamic Terrorism in this thread? Why are you talking about general terrorism? Do you think the IRA will be stopped by carpet bombing Syria? Or the Tamil Tigers?
Tyndmyr wrote:War ain't terrorism. War is also pretty awful, obviously, but it's not quite apples to apples.
But does it make a difference to the dead people, or their families?
Tyndmyr wrote:Mostly playing devil's advocate. I'm not a particular fan of Trump or Cruz, but it seems that people are merely dismissing ideas and falling back on preconcieved ideas. They aren't actually considering the tactic fairly.
Just to be clear, the "tactic" you are talking about is genocide.

There may be times when carpet bombing an area is indeed the most practical solution. Likely for most things? Nah. But dismissing things without really thinking about them doesn't enlighten anyone.
What an extraordinary thing to say! Dismissing things without thinking about them is the entire basis of human thought, and we couldn't function without it. Do you think about stabbing your fork into your eye when eating dinner? Withdrawing all your money and spending on paperclips? Dressing as a stormtrooper for work? I guess you must carefully consider these and literally a billion other possibilities every second of every day. No? That's because we dedicate our finite thinking power to important, relevant, usually realistic issues. For most people, genocide is not one of those, but your mileage may vary.

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Re: Carpet Bombing

Postby Tyndmyr » Mon Dec 14, 2015 2:40 pm UTC

ucim wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:Saving everything is not always on the table.
But in that case, carpet bombing is not saving anything.


The point of carpet bombing is not to save the area being bombed. It's to end the threat, saving things elsewhere.

Tyndmyr wrote:Will it gain adherents if targetted bombing is used instead?
Far fewer. We make ourselves the enemy of our targets. It's the difference between killing terrorists, and killing all Muslims, and killing anything that moves.


Not really. Carpet bombing to kill all muslims is not really a thing. Tons of Muslims do not even live in the middle east. That's not really the point of this. The point is solving active conflicts through overwelming force.

And...how are we not targets already?

Tyndmyr wrote:How about if it's ignored?
If it is ignored, it will spread, and we won't be going into space today. But if you go to the doctor with the flu, and he points a shotgun at you saying "This will kill all the germy wormies in your body", I suspect you won't think very much of his approach.


Well, yes, any doctor that refers to an illness as "germy wormies" is to be suspect, we frequently do engage in behavior that may be harmful for the individual for overall benefit. Vaccinations may fit into this category. Quarantine certainly does.

In fact, it's sort of a fact that waging war requires hurting and killing people. Seems kind of inevitible that some of this must be accepted, we're merely discussing the degree.

BeerBottle wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:If you will read the context, it is utterly clear that I was responding to terrorism in general, and complained about shifting the goalposts from terrorism in general to Islamic Terrorism, as they are not the same.
Don't understand this in the slightest. This thread is about carpet bombing ISIS is response to their attacks on USA in particular and west in general. How is it moving the goalposts to talk about Islamic Terrorism in this thread? Why are you talking about general terrorism? Do you think the IRA will be stopped by carpet bombing Syria? Or the Tamil Tigers?


Multiple topics have arisen throughout the thread. Not every statement has been strictly about ISIS. You do need to take each in context.

There's nothing WRONG with talking about Islamic terrorism vs talking about terrorism in general, and I'll cheerfully discuss either, but context is important. You can't just randomly swap around similar bad things and have statements still make sense.

Tyndmyr wrote:War ain't terrorism. War is also pretty awful, obviously, but it's not quite apples to apples.
But does it make a difference to the dead people, or their families?
Tyndmyr wrote:Mostly playing devil's advocate. I'm not a particular fan of Trump or Cruz, but it seems that people are merely dismissing ideas and falling back on preconcieved ideas. They aren't actually considering the tactic fairly.
Just to be clear, the "tactic" you are talking about is genocide.

No, it isn't.

We carpet bombed the germans in WW2. And yet, it isn't referred to as genocide. Hell, we NUKED the japanese, and that wasn't a genocide either.

Again, you can't just slap whatever negative labels on just because they sound sort of like they're similar.

BeerBottle wrote:
There may be times when carpet bombing an area is indeed the most practical solution. Likely for most things? Nah. But dismissing things without really thinking about them doesn't enlighten anyone.
What an extraordinary thing to say! Dismissing things without thinking about them is the entire basis of human thought, and we couldn't function without it. Do you think about stabbing your fork into your eye when eating dinner? Withdrawing all your money and spending on paperclips? Dressing as a stormtrooper for work? I guess you must carefully consider these and literally a billion other possibilities every second of every day. No? That's because we dedicate our finite thinking power to important, relevant, usually realistic issues. For most people, genocide is not one of those, but your mileage may vary.


Dressing as a stormtrooper for work sounds like a normal halloween event, but I digress.

First off, you're using genocide, a word you just decided to toss into the conversation, and which literally nobody has endorsed. So, that's sort of a wild goal post shift.

Secondly, we're talking about deciding national policy on how war is conducted. A bit of thought SHOULD be used. Maybe quite a bit more than your dinner contemplations. Defending not thinking about that is pretty strange.

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Re: Carpet Bombing

Postby ucim » Mon Dec 14, 2015 4:20 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:The point of carpet bombing is not to save the area being bombed. It's to end the threat, saving things elsewhere.
... and its effectiveness pretty much relies on the threat being concentrated in the area being carpet bombed. This is not really the case here. It also relies on the idea that significantly more enemies will be killed than will be created. Carpet bombing would probably not do that in this case either, as it has too high a degree of collateral damage.

There are two billion Muslims that are not terrorists. How many Muslims are there that are also terrorists?

Tyndmyr wrote:Well, yes, any doctor that refers to an illness as "germy wormies" is to be suspect...
This is not about the doctor's choice of verbiage. It is about her choice of treatment. A shotgun may work against varmints on the farm, but it is the wrong way to kill microbes that are infecting a patient.

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Re: Carpet Bombing

Postby SDK » Mon Dec 14, 2015 4:26 pm UTC

There are many other ways to push back against carpet bombing. Unkind comparisons to patients being shot doesn't really do your argument justice when many of our medical techniques do harm innocent cells along the way. Chemotherapy, tonsillectomy, appendectomy... even full-on amputation is sometimes necessary. All of those are much more direct comparisons to carpet bombing ISIS than a fictional doctor with a shotgun, and no one would argue that they're a bad way to go.
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Re: Carpet Bombing

Postby Copper Bezel » Mon Dec 14, 2015 4:44 pm UTC

ucim wrote:It also relies on the idea that significantly more enemies will be killed than will be created.

I'm aware I'm repeating myself from the other thread, but the requirement that carpet bombing rests on is that it kills or dissuades more enemies than will be created, which is why it's been successfully employed against state powers. I know I'm stating the obvious a bit here, but it's not as if the novel possibility that someone might become an enemy combatant because of your tactics is the only difference between then and now. Literally the purpose of carpet bombing as used in WWII is not even applicable here.

More generally I'd say it's best to keep war crimes war crimes. It's that little thing where if you start committing war crimes all willy-nilly, you give others license to do so without the UN stepping in, and potentially enable future atrocities that probably don't involve the present enemy and might well not involve you, either.
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Re: Carpet Bombing

Postby morriswalters » Mon Dec 14, 2015 5:40 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:We carpet bombed the germans in WW2. And yet, it isn't referred to as genocide. Hell, we NUKED the japanese, and that wasn't a genocide either.

Again, you can't just slap whatever negative labels on just because they sound sort of like they're similar.
The tactic would be called a war crime today. An alternative name for carpet bombing is Strategic Bombing.
Strategic bombing often involved bombing areas inhabited by civilians and sometimes bombing campaigns were deliberately designed to target civilian populations in order to terrorize, disorganize, and disrupt their usual activities.
The failure of carpet bombing ISIS is that ISIS personnel are recruited from other nations, from somewhere other than the particular geographic location where the fighting occurs. And it can't be reliably shown that the remaining populace wholeheartedly supports ISIS. To kill ISIS in that way means in effect that you have to kill the population around them. This is the raison d'être of drone strikes, the ability to hit anywhere at any time while holding collateral damage to a minimum. And we have condemned the use off barrel bombs by Syria, so it would seem to set a somewhat two faced standard to carpet bomb.


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