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Muammar Gaddafi speaks his mind on Sept 11

By Anonymous 242 in MLP
Thu Oct 25, 2001 at 08:18:37 AM EST
Tags: News (all tags)

In the article Define terrorism, urges Gaddafi the BBC excerpts an interview with the once notorious ruler of Lybia.

Oddly enough, he is the first world leader I've heard that sounds clear headed and objective on the matter, conceding the right of the US to retaliate against Osama bin Laden (conditional on the US actually having hard evidence that bin Ladeen was involved) as well as pointing out that there is no currently we defined meaning for the word "terrorism".

From the article:
However, he said that the international community needed to agree on a definition of terrorism before the world could join together in fighting it.

"We also disagree with one another on what happened in the United States, what is happening in Afghanistan, and what is even happening in Iraq," he said. "This is because we have not so far defined terrorism."

"If we know what terrorism is, we will all resist it," he added.

"It is unreasonable for a responsible UN member state not to fight terrorism."


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Gaddafi . . .
o is a terrorist 6%
o was a terrorist 14%
o is posturing 19%
o is simply speaking his heart 9%
o is making sense 29%
o wants us all to hold hands and sing "Give Peace a Chance" 9%
o ? 8%
o ! 3%

Votes: 62
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o Define terrorism, urges Gaddafi
o Also by Anonymous 242

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Muammar Gaddafi speaks his mind on Sept 11 | 34 comments (21 topical, 13 editorial, 0 hidden)
Another quote (4.14 / 7) (#5)
by Surial on Wed Oct 24, 2001 at 11:11:15 AM EST

I think one of the quotes in the Kuro5hin article is taken out of context. So, here is the context, in case you don't feel like reading the whole thing (which isn't very big, by the way):

"It is unreasonable for a responsible UN member state not to fight terrorism." Again, this statement had a typical twist in the tail. Colonel Gaddafi said that for him, terrorism is "the threat of fleets, sanctions, embargoes". "The largest terrorist organization now is the UN Security Council," he said.
"is a signature" is a signature.

More context. (3.75 / 4) (#6)
by Surial on Wed Oct 24, 2001 at 11:21:08 AM EST

... and for those of you not in the know about libya and gaddafi (sp?), the reason he's saying that sanctions and emargoes are terrorism to him is probably because it's a pretty big thorn in his eye (The US Iranian Libyan Sanction Act, that is).

The US senate recently voted for another 5 year extension to this act, and to me it's a great practical example of ununderstandable american foreign policy. Why is libya still being sanctioned?

You set up trade sanctions, ostensibly with the hope of forcing a country/leader to change its/his ways. This happends, and then you continue the sanction? Worse, libya tries to engage in trading with other countries (ie: Europe and Asia), but this is understandably harder due to the fact that the USA still has a running sanction against them.

Has Libya cleaned up it's act to warrant lifting the sanction? Good question. I believe so. For one, it is a non-fundamentalist muslim country not sponsoring any more terrorism. They kicked out Osama Bin Laden long ago.

Yes, TV is still suppressed (the 'libyan' channel is pretty much 24h state propaganda, last I heard), but anybody can buy a satellite and get just about everything off the air, including porno, BBC World, Al Jazeira (sp?), just about everything on the ASTRA sattellites due to the fact that libya is very close to Europe).

Does anybody have more information on why the USA is still engaged in a trade sanction with Libya?
"is a signature" is a signature.

[ Parent ]

You want propaganda? Suppression? Switch to CNN. (2.00 / 3) (#22)
by burne on Thu Oct 25, 2001 at 10:38:04 AM EST

Yes, TV is still suppressed (the 'libyan' channel is pretty much 24h state propaganda, last I heard)

Have you ever realised the amount of 'state propaganda' CNN is feeding you and me? And, apart from buying a dish and looking at Libia's state channel I have no escape from American Propaganda.

That's odd. I am in more or less the same position as a people which according to CNN is ruled by a dictator. I was thinking that I was free, not ruled by anyone, but everything I see about Afghanistan, Osama Bin Laden, Antrax and terrorism is screened, doctored and twisted by America.

I don't know about you, but this war and the spins America is giving on it is doing a lot of damage for America. The little bit of faith I had for it is quickly disappearing. This 'war' should end. Now. Shooting with cruise-missiles on people who consider an AK-47 high-tech is no fair game.

[ Parent ]

What are you talking about? (4.00 / 1) (#27)
by SPYvSPY on Thu Oct 25, 2001 at 03:54:32 PM EST

You can't find any other news outlets than CNN? Is your remote control broken? Do you know how to operate a television?

Good god, man! You really need to put your life into context, if you think you are being brainwashed by CNN.

By replying to this or any other comment in this thread, you assign an equal share of all worldwide copyright in such reply to each of the other readers of this site.
[ Parent ]

ignorance (none / 0) (#33)
by burne on Sun Oct 28, 2001 at 06:48:44 PM EST

Perhaps there are parts of the world where people have to make do with less than 100 channels? Perhaps even as little as 15? Of which the majority are non-news channels? I have a choice, yes. If I want international news I can watch CNN or CNN and perhaps even a little CNN.

[ Parent ]
News Flash!! (none / 0) (#34)
by SPYvSPY on Mon Oct 29, 2001 at 10:52:51 AM EST

You're writing to me on the Internet, dude. It's an excellent source of balanced news coverage.

By replying to this or any other comment in this thread, you assign an equal share of all worldwide copyright in such reply to each of the other readers of this site.
[ Parent ]

The good Colonel is right. (1.00 / 1) (#20)
by warpeightbot on Thu Oct 25, 2001 at 10:07:33 AM EST

The largest terrorist organization now is the UN Security Council.
Gaddafi is right. Particularly with China and Syria on there. And I agree with the previous poster: Lybia, having been good for over a decade and coughing up the Lockerbie bombers, deserves a break, one which I'm ashamed to say Uncle Sam isn't giving.

Frankly, the US needs to tell the UN to stick it. Meanwhile, if Gaddafi is smart, he'll approach W. with a deal: I'll give you good intel on the bastards that did that to you, and you cut me a favorable trade deal. Maybe build some electronics factories over there....

Sign me,
American disgruntled with his government

[ Parent ]

Statutory definition of terrorism (4.75 / 8) (#8)
by Whyaduck on Wed Oct 24, 2001 at 11:52:21 AM EST

The definition used by the U.S. government is "premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against noncombatant targets by subnational groups or clandestine agents, usually intended to influence an audience." Cited by Paul R. Pillar in Terrorism and U.S. Foreign Policy, p. 13.

Oh Lydia, oh Lydia, say, have you met Lydia?
Lydia The Tattooed Lady.
She has eyes that folks adore so,
and a torso even more so.

Interesting; that would make Taliban non-terrorist (4.66 / 3) (#14)
by Surial on Wed Oct 24, 2001 at 08:57:53 PM EST

'subnational groups'? That makes for a very interesting limitation on the definition of terrorism.

Assuming that one can say that the Taliban are the current ruling party of Afghanistan, which is true if you use the 'majority counts' rule, Taliban originated actions won't fall under the name 'terrorism'.

Of course, whether or not the Taliban are the true ruling party in Afghanistan is a bigger issue, and so it is in this definition; what is a 'subnational group'?

If you take it to mean any action taken by any person or body that isn't inherently endorsed by the base population, you might be able to push USA retaliation in the same corner; eventhough I'd call the retaliation something different. Akin to terrorism, perhaps, but different in nature. Yet it would fit the description if it is taken as true that A) The taliban are responsible for the attack, B) The taliban are the current rulers of Afghanistan and C) The USA population doesn't support the retalition effort uniformly and unquestionably.

I think this entire train of thought proves it's hard to set a true definition for terrorism, and that Gadaffi's point about defining it thoroughly is very valid.

(It also proves that this particular definition is badly flawed).
"is a signature" is a signature.

[ Parent ]

Not the majority (3.50 / 2) (#15)
by hedgefrog on Wed Oct 24, 2001 at 09:22:35 PM EST

'subnational groups or clandestine agents'

The hijackers were not here openly plotting, so I would say that part fits.

'true if you use the 'majority counts' rule'

The Taliban are not the majority of the population of Afghanistan, it would be more correct to say they are the government by virtue of having more guns.
slashdot is to linux what osama bin laden is to islam - a pimple on the arse - Eviltwin
[ Parent ]

Let me clarify (3.66 / 3) (#19)
by Surial on Thu Oct 25, 2001 at 04:15:06 AM EST

I meant that they control a majority of the land. Certainly due to the fact that they control a majority of the guns, but many nation leaders work that way.
"is a signature" is a signature.

[ Parent ]
clandestine (government) agents (4.60 / 5) (#21)
by bil on Thu Oct 25, 2001 at 10:20:37 AM EST

I read the "subnational groups or clandestine agents" to mean clandestine agents of a government so including Isreali agents assasinating Palistinians and PLO opperatives killing Isrealis (the PLO being either a subnational group, or a government with clandestine agents depending on your point of view). The American air strikes on Afghanistan are neither sub-national or clandestine, so are not terrorism (by this definition), but I guess should be regarded as an act of war instead.

This does leave the question what are speacial forces attacks designed to destroy the Taliban they are premeditated, politically motivated, violent, perpertrated by clandestine agents, and "intended to influence an audience" (they did film it and release the film to the media). This leaves "against non-combatants", is the leader of the Taliban a combatant? If so is (comander-in-chief) G.W. Bush? Does this mean that shooting the US president is not an act of terrorism?

The Taliban are not the majority of the population of Afghanistan,

This is akin to saying that the Labour party is not the majority population of the UK, or that George Bush isn't the majority population in the US. Strictly speaking its true, but it rather misses the point. The Taliban govern the majority of the Afghan population, and of the land, and therefore are the de-facto government. If we assume the definition means clandestine government agents then it dosn't really matter anyway actions carried out by their agents can still be thought of as terrorism if they fit the rest of the criteria.


Where you stand depends on where you sit...
[ Parent ]

assasinations (4.00 / 1) (#23)
by Nyarlathotep on Thu Oct 25, 2001 at 12:05:21 PM EST

Everyone will try to think of reasons why their leader is not a millitary target: our leader is ellected, our leader has a phone number in the yellow pages, our leader is a holy man, etc. It dose not change the fact that all leaders are ligetimate millitary targets *if* their death will significantly hinder their countries *ability* to make war.

Clearly, I G. W. Bush's assasination would not significantly hinder our ability to make war, but the assasination of key members of "clandestin orginisations" will oftin hinder those orginisations effectivness (by hindering the flow of money or information). Conversly, assasinating Yasser Arafat will gain the Israelis nothing millitarily, but assasinating key commanders of the Hamas *might* yeild tangeble millitary results.

The trueth is that nations (even the Israelis) do play by a code of conduct that violent independent "clandestine" orginisations pretty much ignore. You should give the people who at least try to select millitary targets a lot of credit.. we do not want to see nations turn to real terrorists activities.

BTW> Assasinations (or anti-personel attacks) are oftin intend to remove a countries "will" to make war. The legitimacy of these activities is a more difficult question.

Campus Crusade for Cthulhu -- it found me!
[ Parent ]
Arrafat (none / 0) (#30)
by bil on Fri Oct 26, 2001 at 05:23:04 AM EST

I think assainating Bush would hinder the USs ability to make war. While the chain of command would pass straight to the vice-president (whose name I have forgotten) the morale blow to the US would be huge and the subsequant investigation would completly distract the government from the war, causing a loss in control. This is true of any leader of any country. Of course the assasination is still a crime, just not (according to the definition propsed) an act of terrorism.

I imagine the reason Yasser Arrafat is not assasinated is because while in the short term it would be a military gain, in the longer term it would be a huge loss. It is quite common when the leaders of a terrorist group are killed for them to be replaced by younger, more radical elements (this happened with Hamas a few years ago iirc) who have even more reason to hate the enemy, and more reason not to be found by them. It can also lead to an organization splintering as no-one can agree on a new leader, so whereas before you only had one leadership to target now you have a whole bunch, all of whom are more radical then before. Also in Arrafats case, he is the only person who can really supply peace (and even his ability looks doubtfull) and while at the moment the Isrealis dont look like they want it, its always good to have a fall back position.

I think the idea of countries playing by a more honourable set of rules then "clandestine organisations" is a red herring, in reality its just that they often have far more to loose and much less to gain from such activities.

The mere fact we can disagree about the definition of a military target shows quite how tricky it is to define terrorism in any universally acceptable way.


Where you stand depends on where you sit...
[ Parent ]

Surprise != clandestine (3.00 / 1) (#25)
by Whyaduck on Thu Oct 25, 2001 at 12:58:19 PM EST

Special forces can in no way be considered "clandestine agents." While they may not wear some traditional insignia (my understanding is that the forces involved in the recent operation didn't wear their rank insignia) they wear uniforms and are quite obviously military personnel. In this case, they surprised their targets, and they struck deep within enemy territory at night, but I expect they were anything but clandestine once they were on the ground.

Oh Lydia, oh Lydia, say, have you met Lydia?
Lydia The Tattooed Lady.
She has eyes that folks adore so,
and a torso even more so.

[ Parent ]
The fine line between war and terrorism (5.00 / 1) (#24)
by wiesmann on Thu Oct 25, 2001 at 12:19:29 PM EST

Remove the clause about sub-nationnal and you have war, or a least acts of war. The intersting thing is that if we stick to this definition, the line gets more blurry in case of civil war. In a civil war, both sides are sub-national. As soon as civilian are affected, it becomes terrorism. In this light, the US were founded by terrorists: they were a subnational group and throwing tea boxes overboard qualitifes as premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against noncombatant targets.

The other implication of this definition lies in the opposite side. When your opponents are terrorists, you are not waging war, but doing police actions. This is the part that annoys me the most, for all practical purposes, the US are at war, but with those nice definitions, they are not (while the President keep telling they are).

Not recognising countries is a old trick to avoid calling a war a war. If one day China invades Taiwan, there will be no war, simply a police action against terrorists - Taiwan is not a recognised state, even thought it is larger than swizerland and has a democratic governement and has been stable for half a century.

[ Parent ]

The Boston Tea Party (none / 0) (#26)
by Valdrax on Thu Oct 25, 2001 at 01:49:44 PM EST

I'd mostly agree with that, except for the part about the Boston Tea Party. The Boston Tea Party was not an act of "violence perpetrated against noncombatant targets." No one got hurt, so it was certainly not on the same level as a car bomb or nerve gas attack. It can be described as civil disobedience because nothing but consumable property was damaged. The worst that happened was that some people lost some money. While that may have caused some hardship for some, that was certainly not the intention, unlike the WTC attack.

[ Parent ]
Target ?= Person (none / 0) (#29)
by wiesmann on Fri Oct 26, 2001 at 04:57:34 AM EST

I depends if you define target as persons or not. In my book, a target can be anything, including non-humans. If you thing about it, some terrorist destroy up empty buildings. So there is only property damage. So are they not terrorists? Think about eco-terrorists? Or anti-mondialisation people? Then think about pro-life people. Who is a terrorist, who is not?

Target is again one of those words the military use, its convenient, because its nicer to say they have destroyed targets (which is good) instead of killed people (which is bad).

Then again the line between colateral damange and terrorism is also very fine.

[ Parent ]
You are underinformed (none / 0) (#32)
by Anonymous 242 on Fri Oct 26, 2001 at 10:00:20 PM EST

The American Revolution began life as a prolonged riot throughout most of the colonies combined with a boycott of British goods that was enforced through violence and threats of violence against individuals that didn't want to take part in the boycott.

By the time that actuall exchanges of firearms were taken places pacifists (such as the Society of Friends), people who wanted to remain neutral, and Torries were all tarred and feathered at best and executed at worst at the hands of the Patriots. (To be honest, the same behavior was also exhibited on side of the Loyalists.)

The only thing that would disqualify the Patriots from being terrorists according to the current US "official" definition is that the US won the revolutionary war which converted the Patriots into a government.


Lee Irenæus Malatesta

[ Parent ]

Incomplete reasoning (none / 0) (#28)
by VP on Thu Oct 25, 2001 at 08:42:46 PM EST

Al-Qaeda is the subnational group which is terrorist. The Taliban is the government, "which harbors terrorists" - an aditional "rule" added after the September 11 events.

The US actions in Afghanistan are represented as defensive actions following an attack, which is the right of every UN member. This is what the US presented to the UN Security Council.

[ Parent ]

Just an additional point (1.00 / 1) (#31)
by ragnarok on Fri Oct 26, 2001 at 06:27:03 AM EST

The definition used by the U.S. government is "premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against noncombatant targets by subnational groups or clandestine agents, usually intended to influence an audience." Cited by Paul R. Pillar in Terrorism and U.S. Foreign Policy, p. 13.

It might shed some light on how seriously the U.S. takes that definitions if you take a look at this site:

'It's difficult to count'

Despite controversy over the exact number of those slain in the Deir Yassin massacre, the length of time their murder took and the strategic significance of the location of the village, the survivors' accounts unanimously agree in their descriptions of the atrocities committed by the Jewish gangs begining around daybreak on Friday 9 April 1948, and lasting until dusk.

(3) Salman Abu Setta, paper presented to the Arab Centre for Futuristic and Developmental Research, Cairo, 1996. Pointing to that phase of Plan Dalet (which aimed at capturing villages along the Tel-Aviv-Jerusalem road from local Palestinian militia), Setta said,"This was the case, always; surrounding the village from three sides, and leaving the fourth open. The murder and mutilation was deliberate, and also the leaving a number of survivors to recount the story. These massacres were one of their tools of war."

Then consider how much taxpayers' money is going to prop up the state based on that crime. Once you've compared it with Israel's current policies towards the Palestinians, of course... :)

The definition's not bad, but it doesn't cover state-sponsored terrorism, and its practical aspect does seem to concentrate on Arabs and Muslims, to the exclusion of all else.

"And it came to healed until all the gift and pow, I, the Lord, to divide; wherefore behold, all yea, I was left alone....", Joseph Smith's evil twin sister's prophecies
[ Parent ]
Muammar Gaddafi speaks his mind on Sept 11 | 34 comments (21 topical, 13 editorial, 0 hidden)
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