Your country's most shameful moments

May 2018
856
Michigan
Afghanistan was on the verge of being stable under the Taliban since the Taliban almost completely won the Afghan civil war when 9/11 occurred. The Northern Alliance was reduced to only something like 5% of Afghanistan's territory and suffered an extremely huge blow when Massoud was assassinated two days before 9/11. Without 9/11 and the subsequent US aid to them, the Northern Alliance might have quickly collapsed.
Yeah, the Taliban had the upper hand by 2001, and the loss of Massoud was critical to the Northern Alliance. However, in no way was the invasion of Afghanistan unjustified: they openly supported Al Quaeda and refused to surrender bin-Laden. Unlike Iraq, the Taliban was operationally collaborating with an organization which murdered thousands of Americans. This is apart from moral consideration of the Taliban's tyrannical Islamic regime.
 
May 2019
118
Northern and Western hemispheres
Afghanistan was on the verge of being stable under the Taliban since the Taliban almost completely won the Afghan civil war when 9/11 occurred. The Northern Alliance was reduced to only something like 5% of Afghanistan's territory and suffered an extremely huge blow when Massoud was assassinated two days before 9/11. Without 9/11 and the subsequent US aid to them, the Northern Alliance might have quickly collapsed.
There might have been some stability under the Taliban but I doubt there would have ever been 100% stability. For example the Taliban have still went on massacring Afghans who opposed them. In order for there to be total stability in Afghanistan there needs to be a govt. that the majority of Afghans agree with. The question is who,what,how that will be implemented.
 
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Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
21,629
SoCal
Some states did, and there is certainly an argument that if the Federal government isn't trying to knock an institution down, its propping it up (I don't quite think so, however). But is it fair to judge the USA by bad actions of a minority of states? Given that the idea of "Sovereign States" is still a thing (and was a bigger thing back then), it is no more fair to judge America solely by the actions of South Carolina, Georgia, and Virginia than it is to judge America today by the actions of people in Massachusetts, California, New York City, LA etc... Today we have certain municipalities passing certain laws which are insane (sorry!) in direct defiance of the Federal government. This action is in legal limbo (like another issue).

I am not trying to equate the issue. Merely pointing out that there was never a consensus on Slavery in the U.S. until the Union won, and that the seemingly insane actions of some states don't represent the whole.
To be fair, though, 29 US states out of 48 (Alaska and Hawaii didn't actually become US states yet) had anti-miscegenation laws back in 1947:

Anti-miscegenation laws in the United States - Wikipedia

29/48 is 60.42%. That means that only 39.58% of all US states actually allowed people of different races to marry each other back in 1947. I understand the "states' rights" argument, but still, when so many US states were doing this that late, you can understand my point about the US being much more backwards in regards to race relations than other countries were during this time.

Also, could you please reply to my point #2 in my post above? Thanks!

The United States is in an unprecedented world position where a single nation has the might, and the alleged moral will in their stated values, to seriously crush "banana" republics and tinpot dictators who think Hitler, Stalin and Mao were role models. Particularly with no Cold War considerations. Our non-action in Cambodia where 2 million were slaughtered (25% of the nation's population) in a French Revolution-style purge of HItlerian-proportions was singly more morally abhorrent in terms of numbers than the Trail of Tears, My Lai, Hiroshiima/Nagasaki(if you count them), and many of the other tragedies in your list.
In regards to Cambodia, the US didn't want anything to do with Indochina after its loss in South Vietnam. Of course, it also probably didn't expect the Khmer Rouge to be that bashit crazy and instead thought that they would be similar to the Vietnamese and Laotian Communists. Still, supporting the Khmer Rouge after 1979 was completely unacceptable on the part of the US. :(

If someone is violently murdering my neighbor and I am a former Special Forces operative with a gun collection, not acting isn't illegal, but at least seriously morally questionable.
Agreed.
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
21,629
SoCal
Yeah, the Taliban had the upper hand by 2001, and the loss of Massoud was critical to the Northern Alliance. However, in no way was the invasion of Afghanistan unjustified: they openly supported Al Quaeda and refused to surrender bin-Laden. Unlike Iraq, the Taliban was operationally collaborating with an organization which murdered thousands of Americans. This is apart from moral consideration of the Taliban's tyrannical Islamic regime.
I never said that the invasion of Afghanistan was unjust, now did I? I mean, Yes, it probably did violate international law (AFAIK, cooperating with a non-state actor doesn't justify a violation of national sovereignty according to international law), but it was nevertheless legitimate for various reasons. Of course, IMHO, international law should be made more flexible in regards to the use of force, but that's a separate discussion.

Defenders of the Taliban might argue that the Taliban were asking the US to provide evidence of Bin Laden's and al-Qaeda's guilt. Frankly, if the US had such evidence and giving it away would not have jeopardized US national security and/or the safety of US counterintelligence assets in Afghanistan, then such evidence should have been given to the Taliban. Of course, AFAIK, the Clinton Administration previously did give the Taliban evidence in regards to this--I think after the African embassy bombings in 1998--but the Taliban didn't actually do anything about this afterwards. So, yeah, the US might not have wanted to go down that route again--and after 9/11, the US had a lot of support among various national governments. As for the Taliban's human rights record, Yes, it was certainly extremely atrocious. :(
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
21,629
SoCal
There might have been some stability under the Taliban but I doubt there would have ever been 100% stability. For example the Taliban have still went on massacring Afghans who opposed them. In order for there to be total stability in Afghanistan there needs to be a govt. that the majority of Afghans agree with. The question is who,what,how that will be implemented.
Well, Afghanistan had stability under its monarchy until 1973, no? Maybe the Afghan monarchy could have been brought back after the US invasion of Afghanistan? That said, though, I don't know if this would have actually been enough to get the Taliban to lay down their arms. I suspect that it probably wouldn't have.
 
May 2018
856
Michigan
To be fair, though, 29 US states out of 48 (Alaska and Hawaii didn't actually become US states yet) had anti-miscegenation laws back in 1947:

Anti-miscegenation laws in the United States - Wikipedia

29/48 is 60.42%. That means that only 39.58% of all US states actually allowed people of different races to marry each other back in 1947. I understand the "states' rights" argument, but still, when so many US states were doing this that late, you can understand my point about the US being much more backwards in regards to race relations than other countries were during this time.

Also, could you please reply to my point #2 in my post above? Thanks!



In regards to Cambodia, the US didn't want anything to do with Indochina after its loss in South Vietnam. Of course, it also probably didn't expect the Khmer Rouge to be that bashit crazy and instead thought that they would be similar to the Vietnamese and Laotian Communists. Still, supporting the Khmer Rouge after 1979 was completely unacceptable on the part of the US. :(



Agreed.
I suppose I should note: I would never tolerate such laws in my state (Michigan), not the least of which because I enjoy dating women of other races ;), and I am non-white. However, I am loathe to get into the discussion of marriage: IMO, the government should stay out of the institution entirely.

In regards to #2, your point is totally valid, and I am not seriously challenging it on the "moral" level. But given the way the world was in ~1900, the U.S. had its own interests vs Japanese interests in the Pacific, particularly resources required from the area the Phllipenes could hit with aircraft. Countering Japanese expansion in the Pacific was a legit U.S. interest, and is even more strongly justified given the horrible war crimes committed by Imperial Japan: they were just as bad as Nazi Germany, even before 1941 in Manchuria. In an era where Empire Building was viewed as a legit enterprise, I can't morally condemn the U.S. for wanting Imperial Territories when everyone else did, particularly when our "overseas empire" is probably the most benign, and beneficial to the locals, in history.
 
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Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
21,629
SoCal
I suppose I should note: I would never tolerate such laws in my state (Michigan), not the least of which because I enjoy dating women of other races ;), and I am non-white. However, I am loathe to get into the discussion of marriage: IMO, the government should stay out of the institution entirely.
Does that also extend to incestuous marriages and polyamorous marriages?

In regards to #2, your point is totally valid, and I am not seriously challenging it on the "moral" level. But given the way the world was in ~1900, the U.S. had its own interests vs Japanese interests in the Pacific, particularly resources required from the area the Phllipenes could hit with aircraft.
Wait--whose aircraft are you talking about here? The Japanese's? If so, why isn't a naval base or two in the Philippines enough for the US to counter this?

Countering Japanese expansion in the Pacific was a legit U.S. interest, and is even more strongly justified given the horrible war crimes committed by Imperial Japan: they were just as bad as Nazi Germany, even before 1941 in Manchuria.
The Soviet Union was also extremely brutal and yet the US didn't actually need to resort to imperialism in order to combat and counter the threat of Soviet expansionism, though.

In an era where Empire Building was viewed as a legit enterprise, I can't morally condemn the U.S. for wanting Imperial Territories when everyone else did, particularly when our "overseas empire" is probably the most benign, and beneficial to the locals, in history.
Fair enough, I suppose--though even then, there were still some dissenting voices in regards to this issue:

George Frisbie Hoar - Wikipedia

"You have sacrificed nearly ten thousand American lives—the flower of our youth. You have devastated provinces. You have slain uncounted thousands of the people you desire to benefit. You have established reconcentration camps. Your generals are coming home from their harvest bringing sheaves with them, in the shape of other thousands of sick and wounded and insane to drag out miserable lives, wrecked in body and mind. You make the American flag in the eyes of a numerous people the emblem of sacrilege in Christian churches, and of the burning of human dwellings, and of the horror of the water torture. Your practical statesmanship which disdains to take George Washington and Abraham Lincoln or the soldiers of the Revolution or of the Civil War as models, has looked in some cases to Spain for your example. I believe—nay, I know—that in general our officers and soldiers are humane. But in some cases they have carried on your warfare with a mixture of American ingenuity and Castilian cruelty.

Your practical statesmanship has succeeded in converting a people who three years ago were ready to kiss the hem of the garment of the American and to welcome him as a liberator, who thronged after your men when they landed on those islands with benediction and gratitude, into sullen and irreconcilable enemies, possessed of a hatred which centuries can not eradicate."
 

Willempie

Ad Honorem
Jul 2015
5,375
Netherlands
To be fair, though, 29 US states out of 48 (Alaska and Hawaii didn't actually become US states yet) had anti-miscegenation laws back in 1947:

Anti-miscegenation laws in the United States - Wikipedia

29/48 is 60.42%. That means that only 39.58% of all US states actually allowed people of different races to marry each other back in 1947. I understand the "states' rights" argument, but still, when so many US states were doing this that late, you can understand my point about the US being much more backwards in regards to race relations than other countries were during this time.
A bit nonsensical considering 90% of the other countries didn't have sizable populations of different races. Those that did usually had similar or worse laws (think South Africa) . Ie why would Holland have ever needed such laws, when we had like one black family in a whole town?
 
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rvsakhadeo

Ad Honorem
Sep 2012
9,212
India
What is surprising is that the PRC didn't try to exploit its victory in this war by permanently occupying and annexing some Indian territory.
Mao Ze Dong had given explicitly worded instructions to the PLA to ' teach this Nehru a lesson ' . It was planned and executed as a kick where it hurt most. It was meant to knock Nehru off his perch as the self appointed Messiah of world peace and rub his nose into dirt. There were no territorial ambitions in what the PRC did.
 
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Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
21,629
SoCal
A bit nonsensical considering 90% of the other countries didn't have sizable populations of different races. Those that did usually had similar or worse laws (think South Africa) . Ie why would Holland have ever needed such laws, when we had like one black family in a whole town?
Yes, but what about in the colonies? Obviously South Africa had such laws, but what about other colonies? For instance, were Europeans who lived in India allowed to marry native Indians? Were Europeans who lived in East Africa allowed to marry blacks and/or Indians? Were Malays allowed to marry Chinese, Indians, and/or Europeans? Et cetera.