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Old Jan 10, 2003, 02:48 AM   #1
Wardofsky
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Mines

Despite trying to clear the world of mines, the tech is still being developed.
It seems that they are, instead of killing, maiming.

These seems sickining..., I mean no offence to Mine Technicians.

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Old Jan 10, 2003, 03:18 AM   #2
macfan
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While they are indeed sickening, mines are a useful tactical tool in certain instances. As noted in the article, and as a former combat engineer explained to me, most modern mines in the US military are designed to detonate by themselves in a matter of a hours or days. They are designed to slow down a superior enemy force when a tactical retreat is required. You lay down a minefield, and it provides protection while you withdraw forces. When you are gone, the mines self destruct. Of course, not all mines are designed to do this, and not all mines designed to work this way will do so successfully. However, I would not advocate removing them from the US military, as horrible as their effects can be.
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Old Jan 10, 2003, 03:34 AM   #3
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It does seem a little hypocritical, despite their uses, for a "civilized" country like ours to deplore the use of mines, and then equip our military with them. Despite all of their practical uses, they do severe damage worldwide; furthermore i think they're a bit cowardly. Like suicide bombers but without the nobility of dying for one's cause. perhaps a little extreme, but you know what i'm saying... We can't be against their use in places where they mame and kill civilians and then use them ourselves...

i know princess di is a huge cliché, but her work in this area really made me respect her. Meeting with families that were torn apart, literally and figuratively, by them...

pnw
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Old Jan 10, 2003, 02:22 PM   #4
superkatalog
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bla bla about "intelligent" mines

a third world or developing country will not spend one cent more for an intelligent mine... they have no money for such things. and also the "intelligent" mines are probably not 100% failsafe. and you know from many examples (thousand of crippled people) what that means. a little bit of responsibility should be there...
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Old Jan 10, 2003, 02:23 PM   #5
strider42
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Quote:
Originally posted by paulwhannel
It does seem a little hypocritical, despite their uses, for a "civilized" country like ours to deplore the use of mines, and then equip our military with them. Despite all of their practical uses, they do severe damage worldwide; furthermore i think they're a bit cowardly. Like suicide bombers but without the nobility of dying for one's cause. perhaps a little extreme, but you know what i'm saying... We can't be against their use in places where they mame and kill civilians and then use them ourselves...

i know princess di is a huge cliché, but her work in this area really made me respect her. Meeting with families that were torn apart, literally and figuratively, by them...

pnw
I would never compare mines to suicide bombers. Suicide bombers are only meant to kill, to send a message. they offer essentially no tactical advantage other then spreading fear (and if there's nobility in suicide bombers, its int heir mind, not mine. As Herman Hesse said once, its easier to die for you believe than to live for it). Mines are used to save people. The problem with them is not really their use in wars, but the fact that they stay in the ground for so long and can still kill years later. Thats why smart mines, those that are disbaled after a length of time or automatically detonate, are such a big step forward. Mines are only a problem when where they were laid is not a battlefield anymore.

That said, they can be misused or put in palces where its known that they wil affect civilians. Thats a problem of practice, not the devices themselves.

And its certainly no more cowardly then using missles, guns, or anything else when you don't have to be anywhere near the action to kill someone. At least with mines you have to be in the same country, or event he same hemisphere, as the people you plan on killing. War is not about cowardice and bravery anyway, its about winning. Get caught up in the way its supposed to be done, and you'll lose. Thats a major reason why the british were defeated in the revolutionary war. They lined up in neat lines to fire, while the americans shot out of the woods. By their standards, the americas were being cowards, but to the americans, it was abuot winning.

I'm certainly no fan of land mines, but they definiltey have uses, and if technology can limit them to only being dangerous when that affect is needed, then I think its hard to see a problem with them.

Last edited by strider42; Jan 10, 2003 at 02:26 PM.
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Old Jan 10, 2003, 02:39 PM   #6
macfan
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Quote:
It does seem a little hypocritical, despite their uses, for a "civilized" country like ours to deplore the use of mines, and then equip our military with them.
It would be hypocritical if we were to drop land mines from our military capability and say we cared about protection our forces and the people they are deployed to protect.

As far as I know, the only permanent minefields that the US military currently maintains are in Korea. A place that is technically still at war. Those particular mine fields allow a much smaller US and ROK force to defend against North Korea.

So far as them being cowardly, war is not about being cowardly or noble. It's about winning with the least number of casualties--your own and civilian. This is why Israeli forces went in on the ground instead of just bombing West Bank towns back into the stone age with artillery. It is not cowardly to protect yourself as much as possible in war. It is merely prudent. There is a term for a "fair fight" in war. It's called a tactical mistake.

Yes, we can be against the use of mines in places like Angola but still equip out military with them. I oppose, for instance, use of M-16 rifles in school yards, but don't consider it hypocritical that I support placing them in the hands military personnel.

Also, there is nothing noble about blowing oneself up in the supermarket or on a bus in order to kill and maim civilians, much like there is nothing noble about flying hijacked planes into buildings.
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Old Jan 11, 2003, 03:58 AM   #7
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If one of our soldiers goes overseas, kills three dozen people and then dies, he's not only noble and corageous for dying for our country but we set up a memorial plaque for him, give his widow benefits, etc. When someone from another country uses different tactics to accomplish the same results, he's just as noble and corageous to his people. And before you tell me that our soldiers don't kill innocent people, go see what napalm does to kids. i'm not agreeing with *either* scenario, but remember there are two sides to every coin.

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Old Jan 11, 2003, 09:05 PM   #8
macfan
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Your comparison seems not to be analogous. If one of our soldiers goes over to a supermarket in Kabul and knowingly, deliberately kills three dozen innocent civilians, and does not die, he will be court martialed, and would have a decent shot at turning big rocks into small rocks for the rest of his life if he isn't sentenced to die for his crimes by a military court.

Sure innocent people are killed in war, but it is not the goal or the purpose of the US military to kill innocent people, unlike those who flew the planes into the World Trade Center, whose sole purpose was to kill as many innocent civilians as they could. There is a qualitative difference between the two, and a failure to recognize this is about like saying there's no difference between Mac OSX and MS DOS.

For another example, consider the Germans who ran the concentration camps killing millions of Jews and others. There were neither noble nor corageous, not even to Germans. There is nothing noble or corageous about actions of that kind, and those who see nobility and courage in Al Qeada's terrorist pilots or the suicide bombers of Hamas know nothing of nobility of courage.
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