When do you call it a war?

@Taskr36 (13928)
United States
March 22, 2011 1:58pm CST
I'm honestly baffled by how some on the left in this country are insisting that firing missiles at a foreign country is NOT an act of war. By that definition I guess it was not an act of war when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. Some people seem to believe it's only a war if we have "boots on the ground". How long were we "at war" with Japan before we had boots on the ground? Some have pointed out that we haven't "declared" war so it's not a war. In my eyes , and Obama's words in 2007, that's exactly what makes Obama's actions illegal under the constitution. Another thing I'm hearing is that it's not a war because the UN and Arab League are involved. I still can't wrap my head around that one, but maybe someone can explain it to me. Now I'm not arguing whether it was right or wrong of Obama to involve himself in Libya, but I think that when you take military action against another country, firing $72 million worth of missiles while saying "It is U.S. policy that Gadhafi needs to go." that sounds a lot like war to me. So tell me folks, at what point do we call it a war? There are still people that insist we weren't at war in Bosnia, and it took decades for people to call the Korean War a "war" since it was officially known as the "Korean Conflict" and referred to as a "police action" by the government. http://www.archives.gov/education/lessons/korean-conflict/ So tell me folks, what make a war a war? If we are not at war with Libya right now, why not? What would have to be done for you to consider it a legal or illegal war?
3 people like this
7 responses
@Makro74 (591)
22 Mar 11
Hi Taskr, Well, to put it midly, I am sure you would not find the UK or the US fighting a 'real' war. They are far too cowardly for that. When the Russians totally flattened Chechneya, the Americans didn't raise an eyebrow. Remember Georgia. Americans went into Somalia under a UN mandate, a mission that went badly wrong and havn't dared to go back since even though pirates and terrorists are brewing there. Vietnam was thought to be push-over, but Americans retreated. Yet all of the recent wars have been against enemies which have no real weapons or effective ability to counter. These are open desert battles which the West can defeat from 20,000 feet! Very cowardly. To me, if you hit your fellow human being, you are provoking a reaction with intent to take revenge. Individually, this remains within the two or more people involved, and diplomatic peaceful measure usually take the sting out of the situation. But if the sting is not taken out and they wind each other, no other option but to fight is achieved. Groups which develop with this mentality are present in all countries, and they war against other. In the developed world these are kept in check by the law enforcement authorities and well developed institutions for justice. In the Third world these are often corrupt and under funded leading to a high risk gang or tribal warfare. Remember the phrase 'You kill one and you are a muderer, kill a million and you a conquerer.' Therefore, the definition of war and context in which it is drawn is also in the hands of the victor. Look at the United Nations. This body was and is on the outset a keeper of world peace and prohibits invasions or attacks on civilians. The charter means well, but where is all the power. The victors of WWII - China, Russia, US, UK and France. These victors are the permanent members of the security council and have the power to veto anything they don't like irrespective of the wishes of the hundreds of other countries who don't have a voice (other than rotating members). The General Assembly allows some platform, but gives now teeth of power to world opinion. Therefore, if Russia flattens Chechneya, China annexes Tibet, UK and US invade Iraq, and France bombs Libya - where is the opposition of other countries to fairly debate and openly and publicly be able to denounce such actions. Germany and Japan have big developed world economies, but do they have a voice? Germany cannot be permitted to send its troops beyond its soil and yet allow UK and US bases in the country. In a nutshell, all war is illegal, because civillian lives are caught up and even army soldiers are placed in unnecesary danger. War should only be undertaken in self defence, when the nation is being attacked. The UN, if applied fairly caters for this. If the West really wishes to help, it needs to help Third world countries to build proper institutions of law and order, education and hospitals. Poverty removal is also a recepi for peace. Then, of course there is Israel, flagrantly abusing all UN resolutions passed against it, and accepts it is right and UN is wrong. Yet the UN does not do nothing. Civilians are killed in the Palestinian terrotories daily, there is no protection for them. Thus, just like the individual, world leaders need to take the sting out of situation hot beds for the sake of peace. They do not need to be arrogant just because they think they have the weapons to destroy. Powerful nations need to be more responsible. What is further baffling is that in both the UK and US, people are losing their jobs, cuts are made in the UK savagely because no money is available, yet money appear to be available to bomb Libya! People need to understand the fools politicians make of people for the sake of pride of their positions and to look good on the world stage and of course oil!
2 people like this
@jennyze (7048)
• Indonesia
23 Mar 11
Very well said.
@wiggles18 (2523)
• Canada
22 Mar 11
Right now- I'd classify it as a 'battle'. If they have more series of these 'battles' then I'd say it is a war.
1 person likes this
@Taskr36 (13928)
• United States
22 Mar 11
How many battles make it a war? We've fired over 100 missiles and they weren't all fired at the same time.
1 person likes this
@wiggles18 (2523)
• Canada
22 Mar 11
3 consecutive battles, then it becomes a war. But those missiles were fired to reach the same objective-disable Libyan aircraft and what-not, so they could set up a no fly zone. If they changed the operation- to something like destroying Libyan troops, followed by another operation of targeting Gaddafi, then it'd be more like a war then. This whole thing most likely will be labelled as a war soon enough. They just don't want to say 'war' right away or people will be opposed and what not, but if they do it gradually people will accept it more easily.
1 person likes this
@uath13 (8227)
• United States
22 Mar 11
I'd have to agree. Once they give it the title WAR all the bleeding hearts will be out protesting against it.
1 person likes this
• United States
22 Mar 11
When we attack them, and they attack us, then that is when we call it a war.
1 person likes this
• Australia
23 Mar 11
I think that's a pretty good wording. America can attack as many people as it wants, but it's not a war until one of them fights back. When both sides are losing blood and lives then I would classify it as a war.
@Netsbridge (3243)
• United States
23 Mar 11
To the terrorists in Washington DC? Probably only after billions of taxpayers money have been wasted and they no longer can seem to sell any more rhetoric as body bags keep arriving!
@kenzie45230 (3563)
• United States
23 Mar 11
I tend to think that in our country today if a Republican does something, it's war and if a Democrat does something, it's some really nice tree-hugger term and not a war.
• United Arab Emirates
23 Mar 11
I'll call it an unjust war because it didn't have to get this far and other world powers like United States, France who started the bombing and United Kingdom, all because of one person, just because he wouldn't step down, his reign of tyranny has gone on without no complain from citizens. This is not war, it's bullying from Libyian perspective, normal citizens are going to get hurt and lives would be lost, they don't know what they started as a riot would turn out to be a war. Gadafi ain't letting go easily.
• Canada
22 Mar 11
I'm a liberal, but I believe that if you fire on another country like that, it's an act of war. Wars have to start somehow, don't they? I believe that 9/11 was an act of war, Pearl Harbour was an act of war, the invasion of Iraq was an act of war, people doing things in other countries that will cause harm to that country is an act of WAR, end of story!