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Letter from London

By strain 1337 in Op-Ed
Sat Jul 09, 2005 at 11:28:56 PM EST
Tags: News (all tags)
News

I wasn't going to even attempt to write an article on yesterday's London bombings - but then reading the edit queue made me change my mind.

This isn't a story about what happened to me yesterday, or what happened to my friends, relatives or loved ones yesterday.  It's a reaction against the tide of opinion flowing out of this site.


Let's just get a few things about me straight from the off:

  • I'm a Londoner, in London.
  • I am naturally slightly right-of-centre in my political leanings (although this doesn't mean as much as it used to in today's more complex political spectrum)
  • I didn't vote for Blair
  • I was against the war on Iraq, but not for any holier-than-thou reason: I simply didn't see the point.
  • I was indifferent to the war in Afghanistan.

Perhaps this things will explain my irritation over the edit queue.  The queue, and the comments to the articles in it, make sweeping generalisations about why the terrorists attacked, why democracy needs to have its blood shed to be truly free, why we should have expected it, and why this is all because of the war on Iraq, war on Afghanistan etc. etc. etc.

My irritation comes from an overwhelming disappointment at the utter lack of understanding, the large dollops of hippy-bullshit and the stench of pseudo-intellectualism.

So why don't I do my bit, and contribute my knowledge, generalisations and opinions to the pool, and expose myself to the glare of criticism.

I: Why did the terrorists attack London?

This isn't because of the war on and 'occupation' of Iraq.  It's not because of the war in Afghanistan.  It's because we're second only to America in terms of the hatred felt towards us by the Islamic terrorists that we call al-qaeda.

Why do they hate us?  I'm not sure about the word hate, I think it's probably wrong; religious fervour built up so that the actions it causes resemble hate is more likely.

Islam has as a fundamental pillar of its existence a profound appreciation of struggle, or Jihad.  Islam also has much closer ties to the way society should be governed (as opposed to the self-governance of Christianity, for example).  What I mean by this, is that Christianity tells you as an individual how to live, Islam tells a society how to live.

Some disillusioned Muslims associate the West with their problems - they either live in a western nation and want to live in an islamic nation, or live in an islamic nation that they think is being manipulated or down-trodden by the west.  They are often encouraged to direct their blame in that direction by others who want to recruit members to their cause.

Combine the Jihad culture and their anger at the west with aggressive tendencies and violent natures - and "al-qaeda" is what you get.

Note that I'm ignoring the palestinians terrorists here - their struggle is much more obvious, and their aggression is directed towards their local oppressors; it's not difficult to appreciate why they act as they do.

This is obviously a simple thumbnail sketch - there have been books written about this, notably "Al-Qaeda: The True Story of Radical Islam" (Jason Burke).

II: Did we deserve it?

Let's ask the question in a different way:  was it moral?  No.  Whichever way you look at it, there's no justification for blowing someone up.  Two wrongs don't make a right.

You can argue that morality is relative - but I'm using the term in its normative sense here; that code of conduct agreed by all rational people.  Given that the Muslim community (at least within the UK), who rationally evaluate and study their religious teachings condemn the bombings makes it reasonable to assume that if the terrorists argue that their actions are moral in the normative sense they are not rational, and if they use the term in the descriptive sense, they're not moral either.

Was it our just desserts?

Morons whitter on about how we didn't vote out Blair, pull out of Iraq etc. when we could have; so because of that lack of action we set ourselves against the terrorists.  What shit.


  • there's more than one issue to decide upon, for your vote: what if, by voting against Blair, you'd be worse off and unable to feed/clothe your family?  Scoff all you like, but for some it's true.  That's the most extreme example, true - but economics, tax levels, the state of the NHS, are all important - and arguably, more important than our political alliances abroad.
  • if you did vote against Blair (as 60% did), then you can still get blown up.  Where's the justice in that?
  • if we pull out of Iraq now, it'll all descend into anarchy.  That would be a great idea for all those Iraqis trying to rebuild their country, wouldn't it?  We DID pull out of Afghanistan, and look at what a mess it's in now.

What about all the civilians we (allied with the USA) bombed?  What about the children?  The children of London should be orphaned too!  OK - let's start with your children.  Let's send them off to Iraq to make up for it all.  Or, you go to Iraq.  How about that?  You go, and live there, and help rebuild their country.  Atone for our group sin that you feel so keenly.  Or shut the fuck up.

In regards to "You should have expected it": we did.  Obviously.  The only reason it's taken so long to bomb us is because we've got a decent, terrorist focused security service.  Mockers may say "didn't spot this one did you, haha", and they'd be right; but MI5 foiled one in November (apparently), and this one could have been much worse.

III: What next?

Life goes on.  It could have been so much worse.  It's not like it's never happened before.  We'll leave all the gnashing of teeth to the USA.  Stiff upper lip and all that.  Now now - don't get your knickers in a twist over any implied criticism of the American psyche - we've got bad teeth haven't we?

We'll just try and find who did it (the individuals, not the group or whatnot), and lock them up.

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Letter from London | 222 comments (182 topical, 40 editorial, 0 hidden)
I don't think that we are AQ's real target. (2.91 / 12) (#3)
by mr strange on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 08:51:39 AM EST

(I too, am a Londoner.)

Obviously at the most basic level, it was Londoners who did the running and dying yesterday. But I don't think it's a simple case of "Hate you, therefore kill you".

There is a low level civil war going on in the Middle East. On the one side we have corrupt oppressive regimes like Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Syria, Iraq (as was) and so on. On the other hand we have populist religious fundamentalists who are trying to overthrow them (a bit like Iran). These two groups are at war.

On the sidelines, there is also a large segment of the population who reject both religious fundamentalism AND the authoritarian regimes. These liberals have long opposed their governments and tried to reform them, but they have consistently failed - hence the increasing appeal of the radicals.

Our governments and corporations are largely supporting the corrupt governments, through trade deals and arms sales. While Western people might identify with the liberals, our governments have done little to help them.

AQ's terrorism is targeted primarily at their principal enemy - Middle Eastern governments. They attack Western civilians for two reasons:

  1. By 'striking' at the 'enemy' they score propoganda points and increase their popular support at the expense of the liberals who are 'doing nothing'.
  2. They hope to encourage us to stop supporting their corrupt governments.
  3. If we strike out at Middle Eastern countries, then we drive even more people over to their side.

The Bush/Blair axis hope that they can simply hand power to the local liberals by force of arms - see Afganistan and Iraq. But striking against the corrupt governments helps the radicals too, and stirs up the situation even more.

Personally I think we should just stop meddling and let them sort it out for themselves. That includes stopping arms sales and partisan trade deals.

intrigued by your idea that fascism is feminine - livus

Agreed (none / 0) (#4)
by strain 1337 on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 09:16:12 AM EST

I agree, in the main.

The only thing I would pick a fight with are the details of the two (three... secret weapons of the spanish inquisition) reasons for attacking western civilians - I think that their anti-non-Islam beliefs do play a part, but the size of the part is debatable.

I also think that you've identified more with the ideologies of the leaders - the directors, the Bin Laden's; the motives of the actual bombers (especially suicide bombers) are different I think - and are probably very carefully manipulated by the leaders.


[ Parent ]

lol - Python (none / 0) (#6)
by mr strange on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 09:47:57 AM EST

And now... the Comfy Chair!!

intrigued by your idea that fascism is feminine - livus
[ Parent ]
An impartial description (none / 0) (#13)
by zorba77 on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 10:44:02 AM EST

I would be curious though, where you place Libya in the mix of all this?
Return the West Coast to the Tribes of sasquatch!
[ Parent ]
Libya's just another corrupt regime. (none / 0) (#27)
by mr strange on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 01:16:02 PM EST

No better or worse than the rest of them. They were supported by the Soviet Union rather than the United States during the cold war, which has left them a bit high and dry since the CCCP collapsed.

intrigued by your idea that fascism is feminine - livus
[ Parent ]
I agree (none / 0) (#29)
by JahToasted on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 01:25:32 PM EST

with your description of the problem. But what's the solution? If someone is determined to bring you into a war how do you prevent that.

Another problem is that we need the oil. Everyone seems to be in denial about this, but if we don't get that oil our economies collapse. The problem with valuable resources like oil (precious metals and diamonds are the same) is that it invariably brings about a huge gap between the rich and the poor. The rich build huge palaces and build armies to oppress the poor, and the poor will try to rebel against the rich.

So what's the solution? Stop buying oil? I know I'm trying to limit the amount of fuel I use (don't own a car, try to conserve electricity). But it seems our society would rather prop up corrupt regimes, even if it means going to war to do so.
______
"I wanna have my kicks before the whole shithouse goes up in flames" -- Jim Morrison
[ Parent ]

$12 billion. (none / 1) (#44)
by NoMoreNicksLeft on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 06:31:34 PM EST

That's the price of an ITER. let's mark it up to $40bn since they always understate the final cost. We tell the french "fuck you, build your own". We build our own, find out that it works, build many more. We switch to electric cars. End of story.

Oh, and did I mention that it costs less than an Iraqi invasion?

--
Do not look directly into laser with remaining good eye.
[ Parent ]

ok so... (none / 0) (#47)
by JahToasted on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 08:04:54 PM EST

we will power our cars somehow from pies that will magically appear from the sky. Sorry, I'll need a few more bong hits before I can go along with that plan.
______
"I wanna have my kicks before the whole shithouse goes up in flames" -- Jim Morrison
[ Parent ]
The truth is almost as ridiculous. (none / 1) (#48)
by NoMoreNicksLeft on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 08:25:09 PM EST

We'll power them from seawater. If this is what passes for sarcasm, then the world really is in a sad state. Read up on ITER, if you think I'm trolling or something.

--
Do not look directly into laser with remaining good eye.
[ Parent ]
French (none / 0) (#61)
by Nyarlathotep on Sat Jul 09, 2005 at 07:42:58 AM EST

France and the EU are playing a lot for it.  That is money the U.S. does not need to spend to develop the basic technology.  Now your welcome to say "fuck you build your own" to the Japanese when ITER works, and build the first practical ones here instead.  France is a good place for ITER one since they take their nuke program seriously, and would keep working on it even if the rest pulled out.

Now China is an interesting situation.  Their "minimal deterant" policy seems designed to keep us spending $400 billion per year on the millitary, while they go spend the money on other things, like buying U.S. oil companies.  Sure, congress stopped that purchase, so China needs to buy something else.  Microsoft killed many compeditors by buying up their best people, instead of buying the whole company.  China is smart.  They could easily switch to the buying people strategy.  They have a massive upgrade in university research planned, so I bet they start buying up smaller labs focused on energy conservation.  This could ensure that as oil runs out they replace the U.S. as the economically doominant power.  And it would be easy to do too, especially when the NSF recieves so little functing ($5 billion).
Campus Crusade for Cthulhu -- it found me!
[ Parent ]

Yes! (none / 0) (#30)
by LodeRunner on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 01:27:03 PM EST

You, my friend, get it. Finally someone who is not looking at the issue with a simplistic perspective.

The problem in the Middle East is first and foremost political and there are many forces acting there in different ways. Religion is used as a tool to further their agenda and manipulate the masses, but it's far from being the only one.

Beef this up and make it into an article, please!

---
"dude, you can't even spell your own name" -- Lode Runner
[ Parent ]

More interesting than the story (none / 1) (#33)
by Sgt York on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 02:06:55 PM EST

Good insight. I hope you consider fleshing it out and posting it as a story.

I have a friend from Iran. He got out with his family when he was a kid during the revolution, but he does go back to visit periodically. This is very much the situation he describes. The good thing is that under the surface, the driving populist backing of the fundamentalist power structure is starting to realize that the fundamentalists suck; possibly worse than the totalitarian regimes they replaced.The "liberal" movement you describe is growing in power.

However, I don't know if a complete exit from the arena is in place. For one thing, I'm wary of anything that smacks of isolationism. Second, we (Western world in general, the US & UK specifically) have been meddling quite strongly in the area for quite some time. To pick an extreme example, what would happen in Israel if the West suddenly washed our hands of the whole area? Or Iraq, right now? Regardless of whether it was right or wrong to go in in the first place, pulling out now would be a catastrophe.

There is a reason for everything. Sometimes, that reason just sucks.
[ Parent ]

What WOULD happen to Israel? (3.00 / 2) (#39)
by Polverone on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 03:45:10 PM EST

Not much in the short term, I would guess. It's widely believed to have a substantial nuclear arsenal. It has strong conventional military forces. None of its neighbors can hope to defeat it. I don't know how painful/practical it would be for Israel to continue its present level of military strength if the US dropped aid. I think that part of the reason the US keeps giving it military aid is because it never wants to see a "weak" Israel having to choose between suffering military defeats and using nuclear weapons.
--
It's not a just, good idea; it's the law.
[ Parent ]
Good instincts. (3.00 / 6) (#35)
by fyngyrz on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 02:18:59 PM EST

If you don't want to fight, there are several basic issues that must be addressed in order to set the stage for the least probability of conflict:

  • Don't aggravate, challenge or confront potential opponents
  • Don't interfere in events that aren't your specific and direct business
  • Don't socialize with potential opponents
  • Don't engage in commerce with potential opponents
  • Don't live with, or near, potential opponents
  • Don't travel in the territory of potential opponents
  • Don't allow open access to your territory to potential opponents
  • Don't allow "missionary" excursion (or return from such) to potential opponents
  • Don't provide indirect support for any influence that could be deemed intentionally destructive to potential opponents
  • Recognize that those of incompatible ideology are potential opponents

For an individual, these precepts are common sense and are rarely argued. For instance, walking in the ghetto, trying to buy (or sell) crack, whilst loudly declaiming your opposition to rap culture and the superiority of country music, may have serious consequences -- most people would not dispute this, it is, as I said, simply common sense.

For a nation, the same common sense ideas represent "isolationism." These same ideas suffer from severe erosion by optimists and idealists, which is both curious and (as we have seen) very dangerous. It seems that what people practice for their own survival, they aren't willing to practice for the survival of the group. Most would call this selfish behavior and reason from there. However, it is important to remember that at least in the US, the power structure is not the people. The power structure visibly manipulates the people in order to gain support for its actions, but it does not require that support to act.

There is more to this, however. Consider that if you must fight, or insist upon fighting, then the optimum strategy almost without exception will require that you:

  • Not respond before you have identified the threat (lest you waste your resources on the wrong target and potentially create additional opponents in the process)
  • Not respond with half-measures -- eliminate the threat (lest you create an angry, further motivated opponent) or,
  • Identify and solve the opponent's problem (lest you assume your view of the issue is the only view and you simply satisfy your idea of what was wrong -- you must satisfy the opponent's idea of what was wrong, or else eliminate the opponent as above.)

The US -- and perhaps England as well -- has done all of the things in the first list, and none of those in the second list. Neither country shows any indication that they will change those behaviors in the near term.

My conclusions are that (a) the leadership of both the US and England want to fight, and (b) that they are not interested in winning such a fight.

The only alternative I see is to assume that the entire leadership structure of both countries is unbelievably stupid, and I don't, in fact, believe that. Some of them yes, president Bush in particular, but it would be a very naive mistake to think that Bush is in control of the US's war footing (or much else, for that matter.)

All that is left (for me, as this is all IMHO) is to contemplate why US and English leadership would want to enter into a sustained, unwinnable conflict.

I think that the highly visible accelerated and significant reduction of civil liberties is one such possible motivation and point of evidence; huge transfers of funds from the government to large corporations in support of the war effort is another; pathetic and pathological exercise of power by our "leadership" is another; and religious fanaticism (Christian, primarily with regard to our own countries) is another.

My prediction: Like the Vietnam war, we have embarked upon an effort that we cannot win with the approach we have taken, and which will only end, if it ever does, with a complete retreat on our part. This is because we do not have the will to solve the problem, or the strength to admit we have made a mistake, though we certainly have the means for the former and sufficient evidence for the latter.

Blog, Photos.
[ Parent ]

Power is the problem, in'it? (none / 0) (#102)
by 87C751 on Sun Jul 10, 2005 at 12:36:24 PM EST

pathetic and pathological exercise of power by our "leadership" is another
An astute observation. Power is funny that way. It really is an end unto itself, but power must be demonstrated to even exist.

The primary (only?) expression of power is control. I've said before that given that the work product of Legislators is legislation, and given that the production quota exceeds the scale of truly beneficial legislation, that the inevitable result is bad law. When one sees legislation as an expression of control, the picture becomes clearer. It would seem that the concentration and centralization of power has contributed to the downfall of societies before. It also seems that such concentration and reinforcement is inevitable, so long as power is a primary goal.

My ranting place.
[ Parent ]

Hard and fast limits are the key (none / 0) (#105)
by fyngyrz on Sun Jul 10, 2005 at 02:50:18 PM EST

Narrow, retribution-backed power conferred for noble or even simply appropriate purpose offers little threat to society, it seems to me.

Something similar applies to trust -- narrow, retribution-backed trust given for specific and limited roles (such as, we trust and will reward you to keep the roads up, but if you abuse that trust, we'll replace the rewards with punishment) is a lot more difficult to violate than the current "we trust you with our lives, our families, our health, our children, our income, what personal choices we can make, the infrastructure... and if you screw up, we have no recourse."

The latter may seem absurd, but that in fact is the generic form of almost every law created that can ruin people's lives. Reading law books is an eye-opener.

It is my view that until people learn to build a government based upon truly hard-limited and retribution-backed authority, power and underlying trust, they will always be betrayed by their representatives, senators, royalty -- whatever the metaphor of the day is. It has been demonstrated for as long as we have had written history that the wrong kind of people seek broad power; accordingly I don't have any confidence there is a broad power structure that can work.

I also think that government should have fewer functions overall; I draw that conclusion from how badly they've handled the broad strokes thus far, and from the observation that they are constantly extending and consolidating power in new areas by virtue of the excessive work-product you note.

I see no such correction in government structure on the horizon for the USA, though.

Blog, Photos.
[ Parent ]

'Give themselves heart' - interview with Juan Cole (none / 0) (#64)
by jongleur on Sat Jul 09, 2005 at 02:45:04 PM EST

They don't feel they can win, they're doing it to feel less powerless:

(quote toward the end)
http://www.beliefnet.com/story/170/story_17047_1.html

--
"If you can't imagine a better way let silence bury you" - Midnight Oil
[ Parent ]

Shocking! (none / 0) (#154)
by cr8dle2grave on Mon Jul 11, 2005 at 03:17:44 PM EST

I had all but given up on the possibility of someone making an intelligent and insightful comment about this subject here. Bravo!

And, if you aren't already familiar with his writings on the subject, I'd recommend sampling some of Bernard Lewis' writing on this subject, as he's been making arguments very similar to your's for over thirty years now.

---
Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


[ Parent ]
pardon my wankery, strain 1377 (none / 0) (#5)
by kitts on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 09:32:04 AM EST

I get the feeling that my article in the queue might have helped inspire this one. Maybe I flatter myself, don't know.

For what it's worth, the point I was trying to make, is that it's really really easy to maintain ideological rigidity when something exists in the abstract, and to be honest, the war on terror hasn't up until this point been something that's existed on a truly tangible level for me. I think that's the way it is for a lot of people, perhaps even for those die-hard pacifists who felt they saw the light on 9-11 and had a subsequent about-face.

The point I was trying to make is that the human connection can often-times make you realize that the fact that you think you have it all figured it is totally irrelevent. The first few paragraphs I wrote were all about the certainty I had, but no longer have.

I'll probably still keep a largely liberal/pacifist point of view, but the foundations are shakier. For whatever that's worth.

Polish this up and move it to voting so I can give it a +1.

Thanks.... (none / 0) (#8)
by spyderfx on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 10:15:03 AM EST

Thanks for writing this you put it better than I could but said just the right things.

On another note, I think maybe one of the reasons this hasn't happened before (in spite of the UK's security measures being far less instrusive and overt than the americans) is that the whole country and the security services in particular have much more experience of dealing with terrorism (after all its only 10 years since we were dealing with the IRA).

+1FP when this goes to vote

-1, doesn't understand religion. (1.16 / 6) (#16)
by it certainly is on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 11:26:54 AM EST

Christianity and Judaism are also the basis of societal teaching, not just Islam.

There are terrorists of every creed out there. If it's not the Fenians and the Proddies out to do us in, it's the militant vegans and Wombles. Your presumption that it was Muslims wot done it is offensive in the extreme.

kur0shin.org -- it certainly is

Godwin's law [...] is impossible to violate except with an infinitely long thread that doesn't mention nazis.

Idiot (none / 1) (#19)
by strain 1337 on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 11:57:24 AM EST

My presumption that it was muslims?  MY presumption?

The attack bears all the hallmarks of an Al Qaeda attack.  No warning, multiple bombs attacking public infrastructure, simultaneous coordinated assault.

A group has already claimed responsiblitity.

The IRA got screwed over robbing a bank, the last thing they'd want to do is bomb London, plus they'd have used one big bomb in a bloody car.

Please.  Get yourself a fucking clue.  You have absolutely no idea.

How is it offensive to single out a small minority of extremist nutcases?

Idiot.


[ Parent ]

And here we have the armchair general. (2.00 / 3) (#21)
by Lanes Inexplicably Closed to Traffic on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 12:05:17 PM EST



[ Parent ]
Of course not (none / 1) (#74)
by lordDogma on Sat Jul 09, 2005 at 09:16:16 PM EST

No, no never suspect the moooooooslims. That's racist.

"I would like to see the Mujahideen coming into London and killing thousands, whether with nuclear weapons or germ warfare. And if they need a safehouse, they can stay in mine - and if they need some fertiliser [for a bomb], I'll tell them where to get it." -- Abu Yusef, a British Muslim, April 2004

[ Parent ]

Yes, and (none / 0) (#122)
by calumny on Sun Jul 10, 2005 at 08:39:03 PM EST

I agree that many Islamic movements have adopted terrorism, vigilantism and religious extremism into their culture, and I agree with you that this should be abundantly clear. From the Palestinian struggle to the Iran-Iraq wars to the political state of Afghanistan (which has been and will be ruled by warlords for a long time), we have hard evidence that these areas are incredibly volatile. But what would one expect from cultures that - in terms of civil rights and political stability - are still stuck in the middle ages?

However, when people avoid speaking of the problems in the middle east as problems regarding Islam, I don't think they are ignoring the region's problems or the tendency for secular leaders to co-opt Islam as a tool for propaganda. Ideally, avoiding criticisms of Islam as a whole are attempts to avoid the kind of religious-war mentality that creates the Mujahideen and, similarly, an American support for an essentially frivolous war. Although reducing the conflict to a crusade of good versus evil might make it more palatable to someone who doesn't have the inclination to understand the subtlety of the situation, it doesn't support a solution to the conflict short of complete domination.

[ Parent ]

Totally. (none / 0) (#81)
by xcham on Sun Jul 10, 2005 at 03:50:33 AM EST

The militant vegans are hilarious but dangerous.

And just look to the land of my ancestry, Ireland, where Christians of different creeds have been bombing each other (and London, actually) for nearly a century.

[ Parent ]

yet.. (none / 0) (#197)
by Paul Jakma on Wed Jul 13, 2005 at 06:30:26 AM EST

The threat from the "Fenians" is essentially gone, because you British did eventually figure out you needed to try talk to people involved and work out the problems of the 6 Northern Irish counties peacefully.

Was funny hearing Bush the other day proclaiming "We will never negotiate with terrorists" - I remember Thatcher (and Major after her) saying the exact same thing back in the 80s, even though MI5 were talking to the IRA.

--paulj


[ Parent ]

+1 FP (none / 0) (#22)
by gzur on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 12:23:58 PM EST

if for nothing but fervor and mentioning Jason Burke's Al-Qaeda.

_________________________________________
"I'm not looking for work, but I wouldn't say no to a Pacific rim job."
Good job generalizing yourself. (3.00 / 7) (#32)
by Kasreyn on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 01:51:51 PM EST

Contrary to the bullshit spread by some sources, jihad is not one of the pillars of islam, neither under Sunni nor Shia precepts. Lord only knows where you heard that. It is an outmoded concept that was largely abandoned by the mainstream Islamic world long ago and is now being used by extremists to justify bombing and murder.

If you're trying to claim that liberals are saying Britain or the U.S. deserved being attacked by terrorists, then you're not paying attention. No one can deserve something like that happening to them. It's just that there are other ways of dealing with the problem besides clumsy military operations that often fail to capture the planners of attacks. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. I know that dealing with the political and economic sources of unrest generally isn't as cool and exciting as violent reprisals, but it has the advantage of being a plan that would actually work.

And I was not saying that people in democracies need or deserve to have their blood spilled. I was saying that the cost of freedom is the voluntary acceptance of an increased level of personal risk. To decrease that level of personal risk decreases freedom proportionately, resources being equal. I'm still waiting for someone to rebut that point, which was the actual crux of my article.

I was the first one to admit that my understanding of the British situation is poor. That doesn't change the fundamental point I was trying to make: that while democracies are busy defending themselves from aggressors, they must take care not to sacrifice their freedoms in the name of security.


"Extenuating circumstance to be mentioned on Judgement Day:
We never asked to be born in the first place."

R.I.P. Kurt. You will be missed.
There may be some confusion. (none / 0) (#59)
by issachar on Sat Jul 09, 2005 at 01:47:19 AM EST

The word "pillar" has more than one meaning. In the meaning of "foundation" then the article is perfectly correct. Jihad is foundational to Islam. Both in the personal struggle sense of that word, and in the warfare sense of that word.

You're refering to the Five Pillars of Islam. Jihad is not one of the Five Pillars of Islam, but note that the Five Pillars is a Sunni concept, and the term is not used in Shiite Islam. Jihad is considered a sixth pillar by some groups.


---
Vegetarians eat vegetables. Humanitarians scare me.
Diary? I do a blog.
[ Parent ]

Greater Jihad and Lesser Jihad (3.00 / 2) (#70)
by Lode Runner on Sat Jul 09, 2005 at 06:16:47 PM EST

You'll be hard pressed to find a devout Muslim who does not pursue Greater Jihad, i.e. striving to live up to the tenets and requirements of his/her religion by constant manifestations of charitable deeds. Lesser Jihad is the continuous struggle against non-believers, and this is actively pursued by only a tiny minority of the pious but it is sanctioned by the majority. Does that mean they broadly support Al-Qaeda? Not really, but you'll never see them renounce the notion of active struggle--one that can include violence--against immoral unbelievers.

Granted, the concept of Jihad does not factor into the Koran; it's grounded in the Hadith. But if you're going to claim that Jihad has nothing to do with mainstream Islam because it's not in the Koran, then you can say the same thing about Jerusalem.

[ Parent ]

Partly right (none / 0) (#159)
by generaltao on Mon Jul 11, 2005 at 05:58:00 PM EST

Thank you for drawing the distinction between the greater Jihad and the lesser one.

Your descriptions of them, however, are a bit off.

Greater Jihad is the internal struggle. (Against temptation, laziness, evil).  Your description makes it seem more like some sort of penance for not living up to a religious obligation.  This is not the case.

Lesser Jihad is the external struggle. (Against oppressors and agressors.)  It is an act of physical self-defence (or defence of those who can not defend themselves) performed under specific conditions and in a specific manner.

There is nothing continuous about it.  It is only supposed to be in direct response to an act of physical or religious oppression.

Both of these struggles are referred to repeatedly in the Qur'an (though the terms "Greater Jihad" and  "Lesser Jihad" are from Hadith).


[ Parent ]

THANK you. (none / 0) (#80)
by xcham on Sun Jul 10, 2005 at 03:48:19 AM EST

I made a similar comment.

[ Parent ]
devils advocate (none / 0) (#177)
by m a r c on Tue Jul 12, 2005 at 05:27:04 PM EST

Ok, i don't entirely agree that the cost of freedom is increased personal risk. What I think we need to understand here is that freedom is a pillar of the ideology of western societies, and that as such one of the goals of said societies is to encourage that this is the best way of human endevour. Were this a superior ideology then it would be apparent and not require to be fought against by differing ideologies. Essentially any idea or belief that a society hold true as a tenant of its existance must be fought against those who disagree on such ideas.

If a society comes against societal ideas of control and disgregard for independent establishment of moral and philosophical ideas then of course there will be friction. The paradox of this whole idea is that the society with the most might will dominate regardless of the validity of said moral|philosophical ideals. Realistically of course the west and western ideals will provial. Assume worst case and hundreds or terrorist attacks are directed against western nations. Essentially there is a sticking point in which the citizens of democratic countries will tollerate attacks against their countries before giving unrestricted control to their governments. Were this to happen countries which even had suspicion of harbouring terrorists would come under full scale assult.... i suppose it comes down to this, how many of your countrymen would you see killed in terrorist attacks before you forgo any remorse for killing innocents in a foreign land. This is a balance scale and when it tips if fear we will do what the romans did to the carthaginians.
I got a dog and named him "Stay". Now, I go "Come here, Stay!". After a while, the dog went insane and wouldn't move at all.
[ Parent ]

Claiming symbolic responsibility (2.50 / 2) (#38)
by elliot42 on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 02:53:25 PM EST

Regarding the "what about the children" paragraph: What is your point? You seem to be saying "if it's not your children in Iraq, then you can't decide how to work on Iraq." (For one thing, it's not really parents who decide how to work on Iraq, it's generals and administrators in the government bureaucracy. But even assuming that the govt. is commanding Americans in a way that their parents would like...)

People champion the right as if they alone are making huge efforts to help the world with action, in the form of people in Iraq.

Here are a few statistics to add a bit of perspective.

Bloomberg reports that active US forces number around 500,000.

US adult population is about 184,000,000, according to US Census Bureau.

According to the 2000 National Election Study (old data makes me sad), about 27% of US adults self-reported as liberal, 31% as moderate, 42% as conservative.

So there should be about 77,280,000 conservatives in the US.

Suppose everyone in the US military was conservative.

That means that less than one percent (~.65%) of conservatives are in the military. More than 99 out of 100 conservatives is not in Iraq shooting/saving/building/anything.

I think everyone wants to help the world become a better place. But--as I perceive it--the right tries to tell the left to "shut the fuck up" on the pretense that it is the right that is doing active works in Iraq, and not the left. But as you can see, more than 99% of the American right (and this is giving them the benefit of the doubt) is still sitting here in the US. The right as whole tries to take symbolic credit for heroic action, when the vast majority of them are at home.



come what may (3.00 / 2) (#42)
by Lode Runner on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 04:50:52 PM EST

It'll be interesting to see what becomes of Blair's Racial and Religious Hatred Bill. And what of Abu Hamza al-Masri?

Thankfully there's yet to be any (reported) anti-Muslim violence, but it's not hard to imagine a few BNPers mulling the possibility of a bit of thuggery.

Meanwhile on the other end of the spectrum. . . why can't the BBC just call them terrorists and be done with it? Even Red Ken knows what they are.

The trouble with the word 'terrorist'... (none / 0) (#88)
by gidds on Sun Jul 10, 2005 at 07:00:03 AM EST

...is that certain powers in the US are going around calling almost everyone they don't like a 'terrorists' -- bank robbers, tax evaders, people who infringe parking regulations... So the term's been effectively devalued for some people.

Personally, as long as the BBC uses clear, accurate, meaningful terms, I'm happy for them to avoid the 'T' word. Maybe it'll fall out of fashion and eventually be useful again.


Andy/
[ Parent ]

the correct semantic argument was: (none / 1) (#104)
by Lode Runner on Sun Jul 10, 2005 at 02:28:04 PM EST

"We don't call them 'terrorists' because Britons can't be terrorized." Stiff upper lip and all. . .

I'm not sure what the BBC is trying to accomplish by reporting on everything except for the fact that one of the goals of the 7/7 attack was to terrorize the populace. Maintaining an illusion of objectivity? Setting a new standard for propriety? What?

[ Parent ]

Yeah, sort-of agree (none / 0) (#43)
by jd on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 05:22:38 PM EST

The first point you made, on the "why", was something I partially covered in one of my other postings on this subject, under the label of the "volcano hypothesis". If things build up enough, and there are no viable outlets to defuse the situation, then you are going to have problems. Right, wrong or indifferent.

Ultimately, this isn't about individuals, it isn't about personalities, it is about the choices made to keep the tensions that are a part of everyday life from exploding uncontrollably. Because when people explode uncontrollably, there is a good chance they'll want to make other things explode uncontrollably. That is generally A Bad Thing.

Individuals come and go, but movements persist and ideologies persist. These, then, are the things that need mechanisms to defuse the most. Fix that, and life may still not be perfect, but I'm confident it would be an improvement.

-1 U R TEH GAY!! (2.40 / 5) (#49)
by Big Sexxy Joe on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 08:37:04 PM EST

THEY HATE US FOR R FREEDOM!!  

LOL!!11


I'm like Jesus, only better.
Democracy Now! - your daily, uncensored, corporate-free grassroots news hour

The western world is batshit insane. (2.28 / 7) (#51)
by Medicated on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 09:19:56 PM EST

This thread proves it. You people have no idea what really happened yesterday. For all you know the tinfoil-hat brigade is right and this is the work of Mossad or space aliens.

You speak authoritatively on subjects you have no qualifications to speak on. That's what the people who mumble to themselves on street corners do.

Get over yourselves, please.


What might happen if USUK doesn't pull out of Iraq (2.00 / 5) (#55)
by freddie on Fri Jul 08, 2005 at 11:37:41 PM EST

if we pull out of Iraq now, it'll all descend into anarchy. That would be a great idea for all those Iraqis trying to rebuild their country, wouldn't it? We DID pull out of Afghanistan, and look at what a mess it's in now.

So you are saying that the mass torture of Abu Ghirab, the death squads, the carpet bombings of cities like Fallujah, are somehow helping the Iraqis rebuild their country?

I'm going to draw an analogy here, between Cambodia during the 70's and Iraq.

When the US got involved in Cambodia, it did so by bring in foreign troops, mercenaries, and hiring some of the locals to do its dirty work for it.

Atrocites were committed against the peasants in the country side and the guerillas known as the Pol Pot. Now the Pol Pot was just some old commie guerrillas that believed in equality, yada, yada.

But as a result of the constant bombing campaigns, millitary incursions which often resulted in entire villages being slaughtered, and mass rape, the Pol Pot became more and more radical.

Members of the Pol Pot probably lost most of their familiy and friends as a result. Well, the US finally decided to pull out (of course without bothering to take with them or protect those that had helped them out), and as a result it soon became clear that the guerillas had won.

They didn't celebrate. They were so bitter that even winning was not enough to make them happy. Then they went into the capital city, and took people out of their homes. They took them all to the countryside and killed them all. Something like 2 million people.

As they say, history tends to repeat itself. So if you think that all that bombing and torture and execution that USUK soldiers are doing in Iraq is going to bring someone some good somehow, you should reconsider.

Most people that were supporting the war when it started, do not defend it now. Given the admissions that it was preplanned and that there were no WMDs there, it would be defending the indefensible. But now, they say, even if we were wrong, we can't pull out now because either it would harm Iraqis (which is obviously not true, and I just addressed), or because then Iran would take over.

There is not a single piece of evidence that the Iranians would invade Iraq, Saudi Arabia, or Israel. To say that the Iranians would invade Saudi Arabia if USUK pulls out of Iraq is even more absurd than was claiming that Iraq had WMDs.


Imagination is more important than knowledge. -- Albert Einstein
1066 and all that? (none / 1) (#60)
by mr strange on Sat Jul 09, 2005 at 07:25:51 AM EST

Now the Pol Pot was just some old commie guerrillas that believed in equality, yada, yada.
This is hilarious. Did you intend to write a homage to the classic pseudo-history book, or are you really that stupid?

Pol Pot was a man. The communist guerillas were called the Khmer Rouge.

intrigued by your idea that fascism is feminine - livus
[ Parent ]

Pol Pot was a man (none / 1) (#63)
by daani on Sat Jul 09, 2005 at 09:59:23 AM EST

Correct. And furthermore he was an asshole all along. He did not need to be radicalized.

There seems to be some currency to the theory that the Khmer Rouge would have remained a small and obscure movement had not both sides in the Vietnam war inflicted attrocities on Cambodians and radicalized them. Some books say this is what drove the ordinary Khmers to support such a bunch of fuckheads to begin with.

[ Parent ]

-1 this comment, factual errors (none / 0) (#68)
by mjfgates on Sat Jul 09, 2005 at 04:04:53 PM EST

Pol Pot was a person, a leader of the Khmer Rouge guerillas.

Stripping the cities of their populations was a "philosophically correct" move for Pol Pot; it was part of his plan for the country. Disorder enabled him to do it, but it's not the <i>reason</i> he did it.

In the same way the a wall stands poorly with the bottom row of bricks removed, your argument holds up poorly with the facts kicked out from under it.

[ Parent ]

US action led to his rise (none / 0) (#196)
by Paul Jakma on Wed Jul 13, 2005 at 06:24:10 AM EST

Khmer Rouge were insignificant though, until the CIA started to "encourage" the Cambodian military to overthrow the civilian government. That led to instability, along with Nixon deciding to ignore the border of Cambodia in the Vietnam war led to the civilian government seeking help from China, who gave it by funding/providing resources to a small group of communists, who the Chinese had never before supported because they were nutjobs.

That group was the Khmer Rouge.

None of the crap in Cambodia would have happened if the USA had respected Cambodian sovereignty and kept its paws out of there (by way of CIA initially, and then the US military).


[ Parent ]

Of course none of it would have happened if (none / 0) (#199)
by lordDogma on Wed Jul 13, 2005 at 12:10:47 PM EST

The Vietnamese and Chinese had done the same. But now of course, you will claim that the Vietnamese would not have been there if it were not for US involvement in the Vietnam war. But the US would not have been involved in the Vietnam war were it not for North Vietnam trying to take over the south in a war of aggression.

[ Parent ]
blame the french (none / 0) (#208)
by Paul Jakma on Thu Jul 14, 2005 at 05:38:09 PM EST

The chinese stayed out of Cambodia. They considered Pol Pot and his Khmer Rouge to be nuts. Sihanouk tried to very carefully keep Cambodia out of the squabbles and conflicting interests around him (China, Vietnam / Communism  versus USA), but that was made impossible when the CIA helped the Cambodian military overthrow him (thinking the military would be more sympathetic to helping the USA by tackling the NVA use of cambodian side of the border). Sihanouk had nowhere to turn but to China, who decided to help by providing resources to the only communists in the country, the Khmer Rouge. So yes, it was the USA who actively dragged Cambodia into the mire, first via the CIA, then via direct military action.

Unpleasant, but that's history for you. That so many Americans are so ignorant of the consequences of the foreign policy  of the USA over the decades explains, I guess, why its citizens continue to support its short-sighted policies, even today.

As for Vietnam, they had been battling the French for independence for a long long time. The US started to provide help (funding and military 'advisors') but the VC beat the french anyway, and got the partitioning of the country in a peace deal, roundabout 1954. With that the US started building up a military presence in the south, because of McNamara's (i think) domino theory.

You can call what happened after that a war of idealogical aggression on part of NV, others might call it the simple continuation of a battle for liberation from colonial occupation. I could never accept totalitarian communist idealogy, however I can very much understand how deep the desire for independence can be (my mother country had to fight the english for theirs and were the aggressors, even terrorists, and so did yours almost certainly - i presume you're american).


[ Parent ]

If it wasn't for the NVA (none / 0) (#209)
by lordDogma on Thu Jul 14, 2005 at 10:30:37 PM EST

and North Vietnamese aggression then the US would not have been mucking around in Cambodia at all. So there. Its North Vietnam's fault.

[ Parent ]
sorry - it really was the French and Americans (none / 0) (#211)
by Paul Jakma on Fri Jul 15, 2005 at 06:12:33 AM EST

The USA was involved indirectly, supporting France, before North Vietnam even existed.

When Vietnam was partitioned, the US got even more involved. The partitioning was supposed to be temporary, until there were elections. However, these never happened as it was very likely Hoi Chi Minh would have won, as well as the fact that tensions and low-scale conflict never really ceased.

The rest is history. But there most definitely was more to it than just "North Vietnamese" aggresion. The South Vietnam leadership might not have been communist but they were repressive.

What is almost certain is the fact that western powers played a great part in setting the stage for the instability in Vietnam, and even directly in the prolonging that instability.


[ Parent ]

You've been reading your Noam Chomsky (none / 1) (#72)
by lordDogma on Sat Jul 09, 2005 at 08:58:28 PM EST

You've been reading your Noam Chomsky haven't you? I think this was his argument for why Pol Pot did what he did. That's because Chomsky, while not being a Communist, is a Stalin/Mao apologist who needed to shift the blame away from Communism.

[ Parent ]
History Channel (nb) (none / 1) (#110)
by freddie on Sun Jul 10, 2005 at 05:24:24 PM EST




Imagination is more important than knowledge. -- Albert Einstein
[ Parent ]
I think Robert Fisk said it best (3.00 / 6) (#62)
by Fredrick Doulton on Sat Jul 09, 2005 at 07:58:19 AM EST

"If we are fighting insurgency in Iraq, what makes us think insurgency won't come to us?

"If you bomb our cities," Osama bin Laden said in one of his recent video tapes, "we will bomb yours." There you go, as they say. It was crystal clear Britain would be a target ever since Tony Blair decided to join George Bush's "war on terror" and his invasion of Iraq. We had, as they say, been warned. The G8 summit was obviously chosen, well in advance, as Attack Day.

And it's no use Mr Blair telling us yesterday that "they will never succeed in destroying what we hold dear". "They" are not trying to destroy "what we hold dear". They are trying to get public opinion to force Blair to withdraw from Iraq, from his alliance with the United States, and from his adherence to Bush's policies in the Middle East. The Spanish paid the price for their support for Bush - and Spain's subsequent retreat from Iraq proved that the Madrid bombings achieved their objectives - while the Australians were made to suffer in Bali."

Despite what you people grew up seeing in movies, 'war' does not involve only the bad guys getting bombed. People on both sides are going to take casualties. War doesn't come wrapped in a big box with a pretty ribbon with a tag that says "mission accomplished". A lot of people are going to die on both sides. If you pansies can't handle a little nosebleed from time to time, you have no business sounding the trumpets of war.

Bush/Cheney 2004! - "Because we've still got more people to kill"

I think your name should be F. Dolton (none / 0) (#71)
by lordDogma on Sat Jul 09, 2005 at 08:52:20 PM EST

Because you are a dolt for quoting Robert Fisk. Here is a guy who, after getting his head split open by rock throwing Afghanis, said, "If I was one of them I would probably attack me too". What moral justification is there to attack a journalist? This guy reminds me of the wife who's husband beats her senseless every day, but still keeps saying, "Its my fault. I shouldn't have put so much cinnamon in his sweet potatoes."

You could have found a much better argument. Or perhaps a similar argument, but from someone who isn't such a candy-ass.

[ Parent ]

what moral justification? well . . . (none / 1) (#78)
by Phil Urich on Sun Jul 10, 2005 at 03:41:09 AM EST

It's more of an emotional one. I remember reading a book ("To Afghanistan And Back" by Ted Rall, to be precise), and detailing the conditions in the country, the idea that someone would want to lash out at a symbol of the forces that they percieve (not without arguable justification) to be the source of their bleak and downtrodden existences, well, that's quite understandable. He's not saying "oh, it's completely morally right, it was justice" or anything like that, it's more of a "I understand the place they're coming from on that".

Or maybe I'm being too accomadation, I have no clue what this Robert Fisk guy is like, so I'm just imagining a rational and reasoned justification for his comments. It's easy to see why someone would say that kind of thing and have something with their meaning, but I suppose that doesn't mean that he isn't a dolt, I simply don't know, and my bleary eyes are too tired to bother searching google extensively to try to make an accurate assesment on this, especially since, dear god, shouldn't I have better ways to spend my time? Hell, I do, so I'm shutting up now.

[ Parent ]
Ted Rall (none / 0) (#85)
by lordDogma on Sun Jul 10, 2005 at 05:13:06 AM EST

is even more of a dolt than Robert Fisk. I didn't know he wrote books. I thought he just wrote inflammatory political cartoons.

[ Parent ]
I guess the point is... (none / 0) (#86)
by lordDogma on Sun Jul 10, 2005 at 05:17:01 AM EST

...that everytime Fisk opens his big mouth he comes across as a self-hating, guilt-ridden moron. If you put him in a Nazi concentration camp, he'd blame himself for it. "If I was a Nazi camp guard I'd wanna gas me to death too!"

[ Parent ]
An ethical point (none / 1) (#65)
by Timo Laine on Sat Jul 09, 2005 at 03:26:13 PM EST

You can argue that morality is relative - but I'm using the term in its normative sense here; that code of conduct agreed by all rational people. Given that the Muslim community (at least within the UK), who rationally evaluate and study their religious teachings condemn the bombings makes it reasonable to assume that if the terrorists argue that their actions are moral in the normative sense they are not rational, and if they use the term in the descriptive sense, they're not moral either.
This is confused. It seems that you are using the distinction between descriptive and normative usage of the word in a strange way.

If you ask whether something is moral or not, you typically use the word in the normative sense. That is, you are not interested merely in whether or not someone finds it acceptable, but instead whether or not it is acceptable. Here are a few examples to make this a bit clearer:

  • normative usage: "Was it right to commit this act?"
  • descriptive usage:
    1. social dimension: "Would the community to which the perpetrators of the act belong find this act acceptable?"
    2. individual dimension: "Would the perpetrators of this act themselves find this act acceptable?"
If you are interested in the normative question, it is quite irrelevant what the UK Muslim community thinks about the bombings. If you are interested in the social dimension, you need to decide to which community the perpetrators of the act belong, which is not necessarily a trivial question. And if you are interested in the individual dimension, you are simply asking whether or not the perpetrators felt they are doing the right thing, which to me would seem a rather irrelevant question.

Did you deserve it? (none / 0) (#66)
by Magnetic North on Sat Jul 09, 2005 at 03:36:27 PM EST

I don't think so, but you certainly had it coming.

--
<33333
sure.. (none / 0) (#89)
by epicedium1 on Sun Jul 10, 2005 at 07:03:42 AM EST

I think you will find that brits are not all that surprised by this...  we've been bombed enough in the past to know that it happens.  We knew that sooner or later london would be a target, not because "we'd been warned", but simply because bombing london sends such a powerful message that sooner or later someone would try..  (and from what I've heard, this may be the first successful attempt but it certainly isn't the first time someone has tried since 9/11).

So yes, we knew it would happen, but it's still horrible for those directly and indirectly hurt by this...  the horror of picking dismembered bodies out of a tiny dark 60ºc tunnel hundreds of feet underground and thousands of feet into the rat-infested blackness isn't really eased by knowing "oh well, it was a matter of time".

[ Parent ]

We knew that. (none / 0) (#109)
by HollyHopDrive on Sun Jul 10, 2005 at 04:47:28 PM EST

Most companies gave terror briefings to their staff over the last year or so (we had one), and there has been a vigilance campaign on posters around London for months and months and months.

We're not surprised. We already heard several police officers saying it was a question of when, not if.

But a lot of security experts thought the Tube was an unlikely target, because the damage done by an underground explosion is minimal. They thought buses were much more likely, where glass and debris can fly much further.

I believe this attack was more to disrupt and cripple London than kill as many people as possible. The FTSE dropped by about 160 points (IIRC) that morning.


I make too much sense to be on the Internet.
[ Parent ]

My take on it (3.00 / 2) (#77)
by lordDogma on Sun Jul 10, 2005 at 12:39:42 AM EST

1. Britain and Spain were both attacked because they took part in the invasion of Iraq. They would not have been attacked in the manner they were if it were not for the Iraq war.

2. They would have been attacked at SOME point no matter what. But the jihadists would have used a different excuse, such as their presence in Afghanistan.

4. If not for Afghanistan, another excuse would have been used. For the British it would be their participation in the embargo of Iraq. For Spain it would be due to their occupation of Andalusia.

FACT: The Madrid bombing was being planned before the Iraq War.

FACT: A larger terrorist bombing plot was discovered months after the Madrid bombing and after Spain pulled its troops from Iraq. The plot was motivated by a desire to conquer Andalusia.

5. If either of those countries still sided with Israel in any large part they would be attacked for that reason.

6. The Islamic Jihadists will attack any country that they feel is supporting oppression against them. That is how they operate.

7. The goal of the Islamic Jihadists such as OBL is to throw off what they perceive to be western oppressors, and then to establish their own oppressive regimes that are far more barbaric and perverse. Their concept of liberty is complete submission to Allah, and death to non-believers.

8. The goal of some other Islamic Jihadists, such as radical European Salafists is imperialist conquest the world.

9. Appeasing the Islamic Jihadists and leaving them alone will make the OBL'ers stop attacking us, but will not stop the radical Salafist dream of conquering the planet.

and death to non-believers (none / 0) (#120)
by katie on Sun Jul 10, 2005 at 08:33:06 PM EST

"and death to non-believers"

Mmm... as I understand it, they'll accept Jews and Christians who get to practice but not recruit.

Everyone else gets to live, as long as they put up with Islamic religious law in public and pay an extra tax -- the submission tax. It's only if you're both a non-believer and won't pay the submission tax, then you get killed.

Which, if you think about it, given all the wailing about capitalist corruption and so on, is kind of funny.

[ Parent ]

That depends. (none / 0) (#141)
by lordDogma on Mon Jul 11, 2005 at 05:21:18 AM EST

Islamic history is replete with tales of Dhimmis who are allowed to live with the jyrza tax being payed. But it also has plenty of tales of people being slaughtered regardless. I guess it depends on which asshole is your conqueror. I seriously doubt This guy would allow a Jew to pay the jyrza tax and go on living. He seems pretty intent on wiping out every last one of them.

[ Parent ]
Just curious. (none / 0) (#126)
by mcc on Sun Jul 10, 2005 at 09:25:12 PM EST

FACT: The Madrid bombing was being planned before the Iraq War.

Source?

[ Parent ]

Here. (none / 0) (#140)
by lordDogma on Mon Jul 11, 2005 at 05:11:09 AM EST

I saw it in an article a long time ago, cant recall the source. But this might have been it (long article - See the second to last paragraph.)

This also mentions it although it comes from an Aussie government mouthpiece so who knows.

And I'm pretty sure I saw it in this Frontline video series as well:

[ Parent ]

motivations (none / 0) (#175)
by m a r c on Tue Jul 12, 2005 at 05:09:04 PM EST

Its difficult to establish motivations for terrorist attacks.... for instance the bali bombings were carried out by muslim extremests without any underlying motivation concerning either afghanistan or iraq.

How difficult it is to establish whether terrorist activities stem from idealogical differences or as a result of foriegn policy mistakes of some powerful western nations. Without proper control this cannot be established, though the bali bombers were not oppressed by the west which seems to indicate that the cause is primarily idealogical

Who knows what the solution to all this is though; prehaps the moderate muslims will be able to coerce the radicals into submission. I don't believe that this will be possible unless a certain quality of life can be guarenteed. Radicals tend to come from improvished backrounds with no apparent hope; were more hope possible prehaps they would not take this path

Another question is how much civilised western society will tolerate terrorism against it. A solution to terrorism exists, but it is sufficiently barbaric that the majority of western society would not condone it. I don't believe that there were any terrorist attacks against nazi germany, for one simple reason; if you were caught the lives of your family and friends were now under threat. How many extremists would act if simular action were taken against them?
I got a dog and named him "Stay". Now, I go "Come here, Stay!". After a while, the dog went insane and wouldn't move at all.
[ Parent ]

RE Motivations (none / 0) (#184)
by lordDogma on Tue Jul 12, 2005 at 07:08:58 PM EST

the bali bombers were not oppressed by the west

They don't see themselves as a small group of Indonesians being oppressed, so it doesn't matter if Australian troops are in Indonesia raping their women or not. They see themselves as part of a larger muslim group. Therefore, in their minds, anywhere in the world that Muslims are being attacked, they consider their people to be oppressed. Living under the taliban with Sharia law is not oppression to them. That is submission to the will of Allah, which is a good thing (if anything that should be a dire warning to the west about the stupidity of multiculturalism).

BTW I am not justifying their actions. The Bali bombing had no moral grounding whatsoever and I have no problem with killing off the whole lot of the bombers and their radical supporters.

[ Parent ]

And there goes the neighbourhood. (3.00 / 5) (#79)
by xcham on Sun Jul 10, 2005 at 03:41:51 AM EST

Islam has as a fundamental pillar of its existence a profound appreciation of struggle, or Jihad.

Actually, the traditional five pillars of Islam are profession of faith, prayer, the giving of alms, fasting, and pilgrimage to Mecca. Jihad is informally dubbed the "sixth pillar" but views on its place in Islam vary wildly among different theologians, and the Islamic theologians are as divided on the matter as the western ones.

Islam also has much closer ties to the way society should be governed (as opposed to the self-governance of Christianity, for example).  What I mean by this, is that Christianity tells you as an individual how to live, Islam tells a society how to live.

I suppose that's why for centuries in Europe, society was based around the Catholic Church. Kings were crowned by the Pope, and legitimacy of any crown stemmed from its recognition by the Church. This only started to change relatively recently (within the past few hundred years), what with Luther's reformation, that whiny brat Henry VIII's schism, and people like Napoleon thrown into the mix - the combination of a changing political climate and the serious fragmentation of the Church made for a Church that slowly lost the power it once held. Gradually, To make the outrageous claim that Christianity wouldn't, given the opportunity, dictate the rule of society at large, you're delusional.

Serious objections to stem cell research/gay marriage/abortion in places like the United States are based on little else but a  traditionalist Christian view of morality. The clerics aren't quite in the White House, but don't kid yourself: people like Rev. Jerry Falwell exert all sorts of influence in society and put every effort toward aligning the government's agenda with their own. They'd take over and be damned with democracy if they thought they could get away with it.

Some disillusioned Muslims associate the West with their problems - they either live in a western nation and want to live in an islamic nation, or live in an islamic nation that they think is being manipulated or down-trodden by the west.  They are often encouraged to direct their blame in that direction by others who want to recruit members to their cause

It could, just maybe, have something to do with the CIA and others financing and training radical Islamist groups for years while fighting proxy wars against communism, and then conveniently cutting them loose when their usefulness waned. Or the great American tradition of propping up totalitarian regimes when it suits them (you are aware that there are several U.S. military bases on Saudi Arabian soil, where most of the 9/11 hijackers hailed from?) It's not just Iraq/Afghanistan, it's bloody decades of foreign policy blunders that have brewed up this cocktail o' hate.

The rest of your article is incoherent babbling that doesn't warrant rebuttal. I agree with you that much of what has been said about the recent bombings in London is horseshit, but so is this disjointed and naïve attempt at political commentary.

Can someone enlighten me - how in god's name did this make the front page? I thought K5 was better than this.

Memo (none / 1) (#82)
by lordDogma on Sun Jul 10, 2005 at 04:48:26 AM EST

you are aware that there are several U.S. military bases on Saudi Arabian soil, where most of the 9/11 hijackers hailed from?)

The bases are gone now. We removed all our troops from SA soon after "Mission Accomplished".

[ Parent ]

US Military in Saudi (none / 1) (#193)
by mbmccabe on Tue Jul 12, 2005 at 10:07:13 PM EST

He said:
you are aware that there are several U.S. military bases on Saudi Arabian soil, where most of the 9/11 hijackers hailed from?)

You said:

The bases are gone now. We removed all our troops from SA soon after "Mission Accomplished".

I said:
Um, no:
http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/facility/centcom.htm
http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/facility/saudi-arabia.htm

Honestly, no offense intended (you've had some really good posts in this thread) but it only took 3 seconds of Googling to find this.  :)

These folks also appear to still be worried about our troops there:
http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_1012.html

It is a mistake to assert that we have vacated Saudi Arabia.

[ Parent ]

My bad, however.... (none / 0) (#194)
by lordDogma on Wed Jul 13, 2005 at 12:14:29 AM EST

I apologize for the innacuracy in my post. I was basing it on a report I read that US bases in SA had been closed shortly after "the end of major combat operations".

However, please allow me to re-assert that we have ESSENTIALLY left Saudi Arabia for all practical purposes.

1. Prince Sultan Air Base DID close down. This was the main component of our forces in Saudi Arabia. (Throughout the 90's almost ALL of our troops in SA were Air Force. The Army bases were all in Kuwait, closer to the Iraqi border)

2. According to your second source, approx. 4500 troops relocated to Qatar (from Prince Sultan) in mid 2003, leaving approx. 500 left in SA. This confirms my fundamental premise that the US had moved out of SA.

3. Looking at the Nov 2003 map (your first link) it shows that there is only ONE "major" (square) facility still open, Eskan Villiage. But Eskan Villiage is nothing more than a military housing area consisting of 800+ villas, hence the term "Villiage". (You may be able to nitpick on this but the fundamental truth is that there are no tanks, planes, armored vehicles, or anything of that sort located here). And of course you can assume it is now virtually empty, since the 4500 troops went to Qatar.

Now, please allow me to explain why I consider 500 remaining troops to be an insignificant presence.

1. Looking at the map of November 2003, we are essentially talking about 500 American military members spread out among 11 "minor" facilities, which probably means a tin warehouse inside a Saudi military base (I've been to the Bahrain naval base so I kinda know how it works). If you assume an even split of those 500 troops (and ignore Eskam), were talking about just under 50 people at each facility. As you can see by the map, those are almost all MTM's (military training missions), which means they are nothing more than places where we help train the Saudis (we do sell them military hardware after all). Of the 50 people at each facility, probably half are MPs (military police) and/or security forces. The other half are trainers, liasons, and supply/logistics people.

2. I do not seek to justify their presence. In my opinion we should reduce our force level as much as possible. However, I do not consider 500 Americans on Saudi soil to be an offense worthy of terrorism against the US. I can tell you with 100% certainty from direct personal knowledge that there are *at least* 100 middle eastern military officers stationed in the US right now, and I would bet that there are hundreds more.

[ Parent ]

A clarification (none / 1) (#83)
by lordDogma on Sun Jul 10, 2005 at 05:00:41 AM EST

"It could, just maybe, have something to do with the CIA and others financing and training radical Islamist groups for years... blah blah blah"

This is a critical component to it. But it runs much much much deeper. Islam was dominant in the middle ages. Islamic raiders were forcing tribute payments from Venice a full 200 years before the first Crusade. The muslim world almost conquered Europe, but they were driven back. Then they started to decline and have been in decline ever since. And Europe ascended due to the Enlightenment. The jihadists think that by restoring the Caliphate and turning back to Allah (and away from the decadent, morally corrupt West) that they will rule the world again.

Of course you take this high degree of fanaticism and humiliate the sorry bastards by dropping your armies right into the heart of their lands, and you have quite an explosive situation.

[ Parent ]

Check this out too. (none / 0) (#84)
by lordDogma on Sun Jul 10, 2005 at 05:08:05 AM EST

A bit of history on the Muslim Brotherhood and their philosophical origins.

Philosopher of Islamic Terror

[ Parent ]

Hmm (none / 0) (#189)
by maniac1860 on Tue Jul 12, 2005 at 09:08:19 PM EST

<blockquoute> Can someone enlighten me - how in god's name did this make the front page? I thought K5 was better than this. </blockquoute> It didn't make FP.

[ Parent ]
america as the fearless solider (3.00 / 2) (#87)
by epicedium1 on Sun Jul 10, 2005 at 06:51:33 AM EST

Despite what you people grew up seeing in movies, 'war' does not involve only the bad guys getting bombed. People on both sides are going to take casualties. War doesn't come wrapped in a big box with a pretty ribbon with a tag that says "mission accomplished". A lot of people are going to die on both sides. If you pansies can't handle a little nosebleed from time to time, you have no business sounding the trumpets of war.

Can I say, as a brit I'm amazed by the Reponses to this article! Don't the trolls realise that we've been through as many wars, bombings, etc. as anyone ... remember the blitz? the decades of IRA bombings?

The key difference here, in my eyes, is that britain will treat this as a CRIMINAL offence, not some overblown "act of war". Wars happen between *states*, not between states and criminal groups.

As the poster said- britain will find the people who did this and bring them to justice. That is what we, as a civilised country, do to criminals.

(Not bomb those with very hazy ties to them, and indefinitely lock up scores of those members of their creed who get caught up in the aftermath.)



Not to say it would ever happen, but... (none / 0) (#90)
by lordDogma on Sun Jul 10, 2005 at 07:12:21 AM EST

I know you brits aren't into the whole fearmongering thing and whatnot, but hypothetically speaking, if an Islamic extremist managed to set off a nuclear weapon in London, would you still call it a criminal offence? Or would it then become "some overblown act of war"? Or perhaps a serious act of war?

What is your threshold? I know you guys are tough and all, but you can't be that lethargic and numbed that you would absorb that kind of damage without responding, could you?

[ Parent ]

I hear what you're saying (3.00 / 2) (#91)
by epicedium1 on Sun Jul 10, 2005 at 07:33:46 AM EST

I hear what you're saying, but in my eyes if Al Qaeda or another organisation set off a nuclear weapon (or some serious bio-weapon like smallpox), I still don't see how that would classify as an act of war...

Perhaps I'm wrong here, but I get the impression that the american media has turned "war" into a description of a REALLY SERIOUS CONFLICT...  whereas, really, war doesn't mean that at all...  War is when two states (or otherwise significant parties) engage in a prolonged armed conflict.  I just can't see how you can describe fighting the threat from fragmented terror organisations like Al Qaeda as a "war".

So perhaps it is a matter of definition?  And, perhaps, the definition in America was intentionally blurred in order to make the subsequent leaps of logic seem perfectly reasonable...  (if we are attacked, we shall respond)

That I see as the fundamental difference here.  At this current time, we (in britain) still see such attacks as "criminal"...  Perpetrated by opportunist cells and gangs that form and disband so quickly as to make "declaring war" on them seem a tad naive?

If there is a War it is with the infectious roots of Radical Islam, something that has to be changed within the hearts and minds of those who are currently all too eager to be recruited to the cause.  Unfortunately, while they may believe they can accomplish their goals through bombings, we don't have that luxury.

[ Parent ]

Well the WTC was attacked in 1993 (none / 0) (#93)
by lordDogma on Sun Jul 10, 2005 at 07:46:55 AM EST

but only six people died. We call that a criminal act.

But come on man, when a bunch of fanatics hijack and ram airplanes into skyscrapers, and the pentagon, and try to ram one into the whitehouse, I think its perfectly reasonable to call that an act of war.

If some IRA buffoons rammed a hijacked airliner into 10 Downing street, you're telling me thats just a criminal act, like robbing a gas station or something?

[ Parent ]

You're still using a definition... (none / 0) (#98)
by epicedium1 on Sun Jul 10, 2005 at 09:59:11 AM EST

You're still using a definition of "war" skewed by the american media and institution.

If the IRA did that, you bet there'd be hell to pay...  but it wouldn't be an act of war, because the IRA are not a state or country.

.. and don't confuse not labelling something 'war' (or otherwise taking wide-scale military action against the country they reside in) with doing nothing at all...  

you bet that action will be taken ..  but first things first, we're going to find who did it and lock them up

[ Parent ]

Sure (3.00 / 2) (#100)
by fcw on Sun Jul 10, 2005 at 10:17:49 AM EST

It was a criminal act when the IRA attempted to kill the prime minister and the whole of her cabinet by blowing up the hotel in Brighton where they were staying in 1984, and it was a criminal act when they launched a mortar attack on 10 Downing Street. It's the intent and the actors that matter, not the scale.

[ Parent ]
You're not thinking this through. (none / 1) (#108)
by fyngyrz on Sun Jul 10, 2005 at 04:08:03 PM EST

It's the intent and the actors that matter, not the scale.

From your response, I am assuming you are English. If not, my response is directed to the English who take your position in any case; only such English are relevant for the points I am about to make.

In the most extreme example, if an individual or a group perpetrates an act that results in the complete elimination of the opponent, for instance if they managed to set off well coordinated simultaneous nuclear weapons attacks or infiltrated a biological or chemical agent into all of Britain's water supplies such that one day's tea countrywide is, shall we say, of unusual composition, then not only do we have an act of war, we have a winner -- and it's not the British.

War is, in fact, defined by the scale of the acts that constitute it as well as the intent. It is nothing but sophistry to say that if the attacking group is smaller, then it is not war. It is not defined by the scale of the attacker.

Furthermore, winning is defined by who remains standing after it's all over. It's not about intent; it's not about morals; it's not about "right." If you eliminate or crush the opponent, you win. End of story. It might still be somewhat pitifully regarded as criminal by the losers, but then again, the winner gets to write the new laws (and the history) and guess what? It's definitely not criminal now. The losers are the criminals.

Now, pay attention: When an individual or a group focuses significant amounts of effective energy upon destroying the infrastructure, military capability, and outlook of another individual or group, that is war. Group size and motivation are not factors in such a determination. Effective energy is.

What you (and many others) are doing here is making the mistake of misidentifying a well-entrenched (in your territory) guerrilla attack as a social (criminal) problem. That is not the case here. These people are, in point of fact, making war on your society.

The problem here is one of completely incompatible ideologies. This problem is made intractable by the psycho-babbling segment of society that refuses to recognize that incompatibility. They have (very much mistakenly) come to believe that because the Koran contains very friendly and loving passages, the violent, unlimited war-making passages somehow "don't count", and that those Muslims who quote the former passages are exempted from consideration as to how they regard the latter passages (either publicly, or privately in their own minds). Even though the Koran most definitely specifies that the entire book represents the word of Allah's chosen and infallible prophet and adherents don't get to pick and choose what parts they will follow. This error cripples your group's ability to respond.

Even when the Muslims splatter your citizens all over a wall, you persist in this fantasy. It is truly amazing the depths of self-deception the human psyche will sink to in order to not have an entrenched world-view disturbed. You need to wake up and smell the hummas.

Let us revisit WWII.

If you have studied history even in the most cursory manner you will know that we (the allies, meaning the US and England for the point of the discussion, though there certainly were other allies) bombed the living dreck out of Germany. We didn't just bomb military targets, we set entire cities on fire, flung bombs hither and yon upon trains, ships and so forth on the chance that we might be hitting something vaguely military, and on the general principle of degrading the entire infrastructure required for the Germans to make war upon us, and on the certainty that we were "adjusting" German citizen's attitude rather significantly.

They made war; we made war back. No one was playing around. We won; they went down in history as (literally) criminals, we didn't. Note that criminality is not divorced from war; there is no illusion in anyone's mind that they hadn't made war because we defined the acts they perpetrated as criminal. The reason for this is because the scale of the acts defined them as acts of war.

That is how war works. That is how war is defined.

When the Muslims make war and attack -- yes, I am well aware it is just some Muslims -- if you decide to limit your response to just those who are attacking, you are taking the position that no German who wasn't carrying a rifle should ever have been attacked. That's a lovely sentiment, but if the allies had followed it, your silly ass would be speaking German right now, and that's a fact.

If society persists in letting the Muslim warrior groups act without retribution against the Muslim homelands, society will no doubt one day all heed the Muzzenain's call.

To solve this, making serious war right back is the right idea.

If for every English citizen who dies at the hands of Muslims, the English kill a hundred thousand Muslims, you just watch how fast support for the current Muslim war on the English dies. If Khalid Al-Camelfucker even suggests making war on the English, his own kin will kill him while he has his left hand up his ass.

In the final analysis, this will work simply because there won't be any Muslims left if they persist (which they won't, of course, any more than the Germans persisted after they were pounded into flaming sausage bits, or the Japanese persisted after a goodly number of them were set to glowing in the dark.)

On the other hand, if you want to persist in this touchy-feely "Muslims are our friends" nonsense while they merrily fund and fuel the war against you, then frankly, you deserve to die.

Blog, Photos.
[ Parent ]

I agree with most of this, actually.. but (none / 1) (#112)
by epicedium1 on Sun Jul 10, 2005 at 06:35:58 PM EST

While I can see how you arrive at most of your points, in my eyes your response is very much rooted in a differing world-view than my own...  And so our differences lay almost entirely in how we feel the "problem" should be solved.

I'm not the poster of the specific comment you replied to, but I'm Welsh (and living in Edinburgh, Scotland) rather than English, and for the record I've little sympathy for the muslims who stubbornly refuse to drag themselves out of the quagmire that they are in.

There's no doubt that they need to be making a hell of a lot more effort to stamp out the problems that plague their race, and to rebuke now ubiquitous preconceptions, and the P.C. crowds have given them nothing but lenience to the point of crippling and self-defeating inaction.

While I hold these views, there are a lot of complication social and historical reasons why we will never agree on the best ways to go about fighting the global terror threat we face from the disaffected masses lured by chants of radical islam.

To bomb them into submission, it'd work (if having little or none of them left is an acceptable outcome) but to me it's just unacceptable...  Fixing this in what Western Europe would view as a "proper" manner will be difficult as hell, but our culture, history and morals compel us to it.

[ Parent ]

Ok, but... (1.00 / 2) (#116)
by fyngyrz on Sun Jul 10, 2005 at 07:22:04 PM EST

Fixing this in what Western Europe would view as a "proper" manner will be difficult as hell, but our culture, history and morals compel us to it.

...just remember that "difficult as hell" includes, perhaps, your society allowing, by dint of failure to act, the death of your family, not to mention you.

Personally, were I in a position to make the decision, the next time a radical Muslim group was positively identified as the culprits behind a terrorist attack, I've give the Muslim community one week to turn them over, in chains, and if they didn't, I'd nuke Mecca into a plain of radioactive glass. Just as a nice, even-tempered start. The next time I asked that a terrorist group be turned over, we'd see a little more enthusiasm from the Muslims in the search to find them, or we'd see a lot fewer Muslims. Again.

You know, the army, prisons, all use this technique. If, in an army camp, a soldier refuses to do something, what happens is that the entire group is punished. Pushups, KP, ten mile run, whatever. That evening, the recalcitrant soldier is packed into a sheet and beaten about half to death with clever things like bars of soap inside socks, fists, elbows and so on. By the soldier's comrades. I've been there (I'm an unarmed combat instructor), and I've seen this. I'm OK with it, too.

Similarly, in prison, if a prisoner refuses to do his turn sweeping the commons or mess room floor, all the prisoners are punished. No snacks, confinement to cells, no books, restricted visitation, that sort of thing. As soon as is practical, that prisoner is assaulted by neighborly members of the prison community, and there is no more problem (because more often than not, the prisoner won't survive -- if they do, they sure won't refuse to sweep next time, assuming they still can sweep.)

So. The next time a Muslim steps out of line, I suggest we punish the Muslims. They know who these terrorists are. They fund them, supply them, hide them, transport them, and back them up with scriptural babble. All while singing the praises of peace in our general direction.

As I (more or less) said above, if we don't have the will to do this, we cannot win this war. It is a war. A guerrilla war.

One little quibble for you, which I think you won't object to, probably: Muslims aren't a "race", they are a geographically dispersed (but still easily identifiable) social group primarily tied together by their faith. They are tolerated and make their homes just about everywhere, and that is why they are so effective as a guerilla force. Most integrated societies don't want to turn their gaze inward upon a growing cancer of the body politic that contradicts the principles that society is based upon; but in this case, that unwillingness is quite likely to kill the patient, in my view.

In closing, let me point out that it is perfectly practical to extract oil from underneath a plain of radioactive glass.

Blog, Photos.
[ Parent ]

common ground (none / 1) (#119)
by epicedium1 on Sun Jul 10, 2005 at 08:31:57 PM EST

Interesting that if you allow for some leeway, it's not that hard to find common ground in our views...  I'm a tad surprised, actually

But if I may say so, the biggest problem I have with your views is how you (as an individual, and your views as projected on a state) elevate yourself as a "moral authority figure".

ie. you have the moral authority to tell the muslims what's right or wrong, what they should or shouldn't do, what is or isn't acceptable behavior, and to pushish them when you deem that they are out of line.

Now, I accept that it is a pretty well established position of american conservatives- that as the most powerful nation, america is the "father figure" of the world, the one who can show the right way to govern, to punish those who won't get themselves into line, to use its muscle to fill its needs.

But again, this is a fundamental difference in our world views..?  I find it genuinely distasteful, even arrogant ...  and while it works perfectly well in institutions such as the armed forces, prisons, even schools (I'm no stranger to the army, by the way), I don't want my life, my country, or the wider world to be governed that way...

I suppose I believe in "live and let live", I wish each state could get on with its own business with a minimum standard of "human rights" and international law, including prohibiting states from meddling in eachother's business...  Your views run very contrary to this world that I think europeans long for.  But personally I don't feel that American unilateralism is the biggest obstacle, rather the world's exploding (unsustainable) population and the geopolitical shift towards the east, fuelled by the industrial and economical explosion in China and India.  

As it happens, some part of me knows that unless real substitutes are found to keep our oil-economies propped up over this century, your school of thought is going to be the one that'll trample its way to victory.


[ Parent ]

Consider, though: (none / 1) (#125)
by fyngyrz on Sun Jul 10, 2005 at 09:10:01 PM EST

The only thing I say they can't do is attack us physically. That's because when it comes to physical safety, my family and my country are my concerns. They can cut off our oil, they can call us infidels, they can even refuse us safe passage through their territory and they won't arouse my ire. But they can't come into my country and intentionally kill people. Period. No more than a burgler can come into my home and do so.

I really don't concern myself with what they do to, or with, each other. That's their business.

Once they physically attack my country (or a mugger attacks me) then they have given up all consideration I would have extended them.

I think it is stupid to be considerate of a mugger or the mugger's companions; likewise, I consider it to be stupid to be polite to terrorists -- or their companions.

Blog, Photos.
[ Parent ]

You forget one thing (none / 1) (#121)
by lordDogma on Sun Jul 10, 2005 at 08:37:55 PM EST

Your article implies that some people with brown skin did bad things. But you did not cite the fact that white men engaged in slavery. Therefore you are a bigoted, xenophobic racist. Your views are unwelcome here. If you want to have any credibility with us then your viewpoints must be balanced. Anytime you mention a brown person doing something bad then you must balance it with your choice of any historical atrocity committed by white people, preferably by the US.

[ Parent ]
Come on. (none / 1) (#152)
by Harvey Anderson on Mon Jul 11, 2005 at 11:00:18 AM EST

That evening, the recalcitrant soldier is packed into a sheet and beaten about half to death with clever things like bars of soap inside socks, fists, elbows and so on. By the soldier's comrades. I've been there (I'm an unarmed combat instructor), and I've seen this. I'm OK with it, too.

This is undoubtedly what turned you into such a Tough Guy with the balls to spew out such bitter-tasting but necessary courses of action!

Give me a break.  You have zero perspective.

- The Germans were a government marshalling the resources of an empire to make war.  Therefore it is justifiable to 'make war back' on the infrastructure, to use your term.

This is nothing like the current terrorism.

- You think killing 4,000,000 Muslims, the vast majority of whom are completely unconnected to harming anyone, for the deaths of 40 English commuters is justifiable?  Since Muslims are a geographically dispersed (but still easily identifiable) social group, and Muslims closer to home are more likely to act against you, you'd be cool with ripping your neighbor's family out of their home and into the street and personally putting a bullet yourself into little 5 year old Abdul's head, right?  ... Instead of wasting little 5 year old Abdul in Mecca, right?

That'll be sure to teach them and cut way down on terrorist acts!

[ Parent ]

Those who can't implement hard solutions... (2.00 / 2) (#153)
by fyngyrz on Mon Jul 11, 2005 at 01:41:00 PM EST

...are doomed to suffer with hard problems. That'd be you.

More topically, as long as you fail to recognize that the Muslim community (not just a few guys in the shadows where you can't get to them) is your enemy, you will have Muslim terrorists.

The Germans were a government marshalling the resources of an empire to make war. Therefore it is justifiable to 'make war back' on the infrastructure, to use your term.

Would a revamped public school system please save us from clueless folk who don't know history? The Germans didn't start as an "empire." They were one nation. The empire came after a whole lot of Muslim-like behavior. That's how you get an empire: You make war, while putting out political misdirection that keeps the major players out of the conflict for as long as possible. The US stayed on the sidelines through some amazing behaviors by the Germans; before we were willing to bomb Germany, they had done a huge amount of harm. History, as usual, is repeating itself because people who don't study it are doomed to repeat it.

Back to current events: So apparently its OK to make war on our infrastructure? Yes? Not to mention our people?

I'm going to wing it and guess you're going to say it isn't OK to make war on our infrastructure. If it's not OK, what, the world trade center isn't infrastructure? The Spanish train system isn't infrastructure? The London subway and bussing system isn't infrastructure? The Pentagon isn't infrastructure? Embassies aren't infrastructure? Airports aren't infrastructure?

I mean, specifically leaving out the hostage taking, the beheading of those hostages, hijackings, the myriad suicide (or homicide, if you prefer) bombings, and the more-or-less conventional guerilla military conflict in Afghanistan and Iraq, exactly how do you expect to make even the slightest vaguely sensible argument that the Muslims aren't attacking our infrastructure, or that it is OK that they do so?

How do you expect to make an argument that this is unlike the Germans bombing London, or the Japanese bombing Pearl Harbor? Do you maintain that because Hiroshi Japcitizen and Fritz Germancitizen weren't doing the bombing, that they were legitimately exempt from retaliation? I'd love to hear why if so, and let me point out that no one agreed with you at the time, and only clueless apologists do today. But by all means, lets hear you justify why the general group is immune from response when the specialized warrior class of the group makes a sanctioned and well-supported attack against someone else. Go on, please. I'm eager to hear your take on this.

Or, perhaps you think that because these attacks and the resulting carnage and destruction have been spread out geographically, the deaths shouldn't be added together to consider our death toll? The costs shouldn't be added together to consider our infrastructure losses? Or what? Are you unable to add as well as historically ignorant? Should others do the adding for you, would that help?

Or, maybe it's simply because it hasn't happened in your neighborhood that you can't wrap your head around the fact that these kind, lovely, Koran-waving Muslim folk have killed thousands of people and wounded thousands more, and that was without even needing any heavy equipment of their own? In your teddy-bear clutching imagination, do you think that it's now magically "over" or that because the Muslims are such nice folks they're just going to stop, because... well, why? Why would they? The terror campaign works just fine, because the fact is, people like you can't man up and fight back. Not even with a vote. How about this: have you got a solution to these piss-drinkers sneaking around and killing people other than you? Do you even think it's a bad thing? Well, do you? If you think it's a bad thing, how do you propose we stop them??? If you don't like my solution, fine -- then what is yours? Well? Does your solution involve letting them kill more of us? Mine doesn't. Yours had better measure up, or I'll just call bullshit on it. I wouldn't have ever supported the idea of attacking a group that hadn't attacked us; but these people did, and frankly, they've lost the right to breathe as far as I'm concerned. They can get it back by turning over the terrorists. But that's too radical for you, right? The sad thing is that you will only learn when you become a victim. Until then, you'll keep your head deep in the sand.

the vast majority of whom are completely unconnected to harming anyone

Your assertion is the falsehood upon which much absurd liberal hand-wringing is based. The Muslim community is every bit as responsible for the acts of these terrorists as were the German citizens for the German government's acts. The Muslims have now, and have had all along, the power to stop this war in its tracks. They refuse to use that power, and limp wristed apologists like yourself are why they get away with it.

Your argument is that a huge crowd is coming at you, someone in the crowd is shooting your family down, but you can't see which someone it is, so you won't shoot back into the crowd. All you're going to end up with for your touchy-feely consideration is a dead family. Personally, yes, I'd mow some of the crowd down, while telling them that if they'll capture and turn over the shooters, we can stop this whole mess.

If you can't do that, you deserve to die. Too bad you'll take your family and your neighbors with you, though.

you'd be cool with ripping your neighbor's family out of their home and into the street and personally putting a bullet yourself into little 5 year old Abdul's head, right? ... Instead of wasting little 5 year old Abdul in Mecca, right?

In principle, certainly. A Muslim is a Muslim. They can opt out by choosing not to be a Muslim. This isn't a racial distinction, it's a social disease. The creed clearly and actively sponsors war against non-Muslims, and I have zero tolerance for it for that specific reason. The goal of world-domination doesn't earn it any brownie points with me either. Back to little Abdul: The fact is, that kind of one-at-a-time killing will not motivate the Muslims to turn over the terrorists. So no bullets in the head for anyone. Also, we know that the majority of funding is coming from Saudi Arabia. So the mechanism I would choose first is a nuclear weapon dropped on an Arab city. Mecca would be an excellent choice. During the pilgrimage would be perfect, but then again, the terrorists can't be counted on to act at that time, so any large city would be satisfactory.

One of the worst mistakes made in the Afghanistan effort was to send a single soldier in on the ground. These people aren't worth a life spent from the group they attacked. Every soldier we have sent who has died has had their life wasted. Very little has been accomplished. The Muslims are fighting back just as hard as ever, and we're right there to take the bullets. Which is stupid behaviour. Air dropped munitions, preferably nuclear, would have been a much better answer. But cowardice pervades our leadership; they don't want to win, they just want to funnel funds to their corporate buddies, such as Haliburton, the oil companies, and the rest of the military industrial complex. That, they're good at.

Although it appears you're both math impaired and very much a self-deceiver, perhaps through even your defeatist and confused outlook you can realize that the following statement has nothing in it but 100% truth: If there are no Muslims left, there will be no Muslim "terrorists." Even the Muslims understand that. Which is why extreme measures are a potential solution.

Sadly, people like you are precisely what keep the terrorists safe and secure.

No one asked the Muslims to come and attack other countries. They decided that they wanted to, and then they did it. They no more deserve a free pass for their acts than did the Germans or the Japanese for theirs.

So again, if you've got a solution that will work, lets hear it. Otherwise, go back into your hutch and get back to hiding while the "Tough Guys", as you so sarcastically put it, work to try and protect your blind-and-dumb self from the problem you're contributing to. While you're at it, reflect for a moment on the fact that those same Tough Guys are the reason you aren't speaking Japanese, German, or Russian. Someone has to stand on the wall and protect you. Lucky for you that someone does.

Blog, Photos.
[ Parent ]

Good lord. (none / 1) (#155)
by Harvey Anderson on Mon Jul 11, 2005 at 03:21:15 PM EST

re: Germans.  A few, actively-killing-us terrorists can not be put into the same league as Nazi Germany, invading nations left and right and using the full production capabilities of nations to wage war on us.  When we were bombing them, they were an empire, so no quibbling about that.

You were trying to make the point that it was a good thing we bombed German cities even though there were civilian casualities, so therefore it's fine if we waste a large Muslim city in order to stop the terrorists.  Even disregarding that the US in WWII was not deliberately targetting orphanages, etc. the situations are not comparable because the actual 'problem' of terrorism is not comparable to the problem of Nazi Germany.

A lot of your beliefs seem to lack any concern for scale.  Let's say some terrorists took hostage your family.  You have no idea where they are being held and no way whatsoever to contact them, but they send you a message: "We'll release your family unharmed, but first you have to walk into a Jewish school and kill at least 50 people."  From your tone I'd guess you'd do so, since your family is paramount; you would, if you had to, lay millions of innocents in the grave for the purpose of protecting them.  And I might not even blame you for shooting those kids.  But I sure would attempt to stop you: it's better to have your 1-5ish family members dead than 50 random people in the city dead, if a choice must be made.

Scale does indeed matter.

Sadly, people like you are precisely what keep the terrorists safe and secure.

I'm interested in killing those who are engaged in trying to kill us.  I am not willing to put to death millions of Muslims who indeed are against the jihadists to achieve this goal.

Your argument is that a huge crowd is coming at you, someone in the crowd is shooting your family down, but you can't see which someone it is, so you won't shoot back into the crowd. All you're going to end up with for your touchy-feely consideration is a dead family. Personally, yes, I'd mow some of the crowd down, while telling them that if they'll capture and turn over the shooters, we can stop this whole mess.

Your argument works if the crowd is predominantly, actively engaged in shielding the shooter.  Your position is more like you are in Times Square on New Year's Eve, you hear gunfire go off, so you whip out your Uzi and start mowing down families by the hundreds in the hopes of nailing the shooter, using the logic that if everyone in Times Square is dead, your family is sure to be safe, and I'm a tree-hugging pussy for wanting to shoot you to prevent your mass slaughter of innocent bystanders.

Back to Abdul: If your local government announced today, right now, that every Muslim in your city is to be executed, and wanted you to help, would you, personally, go to your neighbor's house and shoot them and their kids?  Yes or no.

The cold, hard truth, tough guy, is that the vast majority of the population of the West are not suffering from terrorism in any meaningful way.  You can just add that to the list of differences between WWII and the cold war and this terrorism business.

If nukes start going off or people start to die in serious numbers from whatever means of attack, then I'm open to more extreme measures.  Right now they are not warranted.

[ Parent ]

Good lord? That's exactly the problem. Mythology. (none / 0) (#164)
by fyngyrz on Mon Jul 11, 2005 at 09:37:21 PM EST

Re: Germans. A few, actively-killing-us terrorists can not be put into the same league as Nazi Germany, invading nations left and right

Oh. You mean, like the USA, Spain, England, Bali, Israel, Turkey, Iraq, Afghanistan, in international airspace, on the high seas, that sort of thing? You mean, when a group like the Muslims bankrolls a specialized warrior group to attack foreign countries and places like those? Gotcha. So, you're definitely singling out the Muslims here. Glad to see you coming to your senses.

You were trying to make the point that it was a good thing we bombed German cities even though there were civilian casualities, so therefore it's fine if we waste a large Muslim city in order to stop the terrorists.

No, that was not my point. Pay attention: We bombed those cities with the intent to cause civilian casualties. Don't ever think that today's touchie-feelie "collateral damage" topic was a big issue in WWII; it wasn't. Remember Hiroshima? Remember Nagasaki? Those drops were designed to completely destroy major cities. They were industrial centers, certainly, but they also contained many thousands of civilians who were specifically targeted. Why? Because they supported the war effort. Once the bombs were dropped, they stopped supporting the war effort, didn't they? For that matter, once the bombs were dropped, Japan stopped supporting the war effort. Aside from nukes, which are very efficient killing devices, we also dropped incendiaries with the intent to completely destroy cities through the mechanism of firestorms. Very similar to a nuclear attack, actually. Complete destruction over many square miles, terrifying burns, etc. Just no radiation (though someone dying from smoke inhalation and major burns isn't any prettier than radiation damage, let me tell you right now.) Look it up if you're not familiar with it. I don't need to fabricate anything here -- it's all in the history books.

And why would we intentionally target civilians? Simple. Because the civilians are the infrastructure that support (and provide) the army, warriors, terrorists, freedom fighters, whatever you want to call them. Why do you think the Muslims are attacking our civilians? Same reason. They want to break the will of the people they are attacking. I'm not advocating anything they aren't already doing, I'm just saying we shouldn't pussyfoot around and we certainly shouldn't waste any more of our soldier's lives doing so. Tell them to turn over their warriors, right blinking now and no fooling around. If they don't, we drop. Just like that. Any more "incidents" and we drop again. And so on.

US in WWII was not deliberately targetting orphanages

Oh, really? So, there were no orphanages in Nagasaki? None in Hamburg? None in Tokyo? None in Dresden? None in Hiroshima? Bzzzzt, wrong. Let me clue you in, O innocent one: When you target an entire city for destruction, you are intentionally targeting everything there for destruction.

That. Includes. The. Orphanages.

...and the old folks homes, and the preschools, and the local whorehouse, and the vagrants wherever they may be in the city. Everything and everyone is targeted, and it is no accident.

This approach is is called "war." Lay people say "Let's just kill everyone." Soldiers say "Eliminate all the targets." Generals say "We are going for maximum attrition here." I say, "Nuke the camel humping bastards." It all means the same thing, and everyone says it once they're mad enough. This approach has been in use since time immemorial by everyone from the Romans to the crusaders to the Americans, everyone in between, and everyone before, and I would bet you serious money everyone after as well. You can slap your hands to your cheeks now and scream in horror, puke, or just come up with some more hooey about how most Muslims are happy shiny people of the year. Whatever floats your boat. I'll wait. [whistles merry tune]

Let's say some terrorists took hostage your family. You have no idea where they are being held and no way whatsoever to contact them, but they send you a message: "We'll release your family unharmed, but first you have to walk into a Jewish school and kill at least 50 people." From your tone I'd guess you'd do so

No. Here is exactly what I would do. First, I would sit around with some photos or whatever memorabilia and memories I could pull together and say goodbye to my family as best I could manage. Then I would devote my entire life and income to killing the perpetrators, the perpetrator's families, the ancestors of the perpetrator's families, the perpetrator's children, and all the in-laws. I'd spare pets, if the opportunity arose. If, in the course of that, I saved some or all of my family, I would not in any way moderate my progress until the same goals were met. Mess with my family, and you die. Horribly. There are no options, no deals, no "variations on a theme."

I'm interested in killing those who are engaged in trying to kill us.

Oh. I would never have guessed. I suppose the problem is you don't understand that those people who are saying they are "against the jihadists" as you put it are lying to your face. They do support the jihadists. Just the way the average US citizen supports the US war effort. There are, perhaps, a few thousand terrorist cells. Or a few hundred. Some number. Those cells are all supported by the Muslim community in the following manners, at various points along the way:

  • Money
  • Shelter
  • Weaponry
  • ID
  • Transport
  • Communications
  • Targeting

These are facts. It is no small matter to organize international attacks, move explosives in a clandestine manner and so forth. A lot of people know what is going on, and mostly all of them are Muslim, for the obvious reasons. Uncle this, cousin that, brother whoever and auntie-sure-can-carry-a-titty-bomb-nice-while-keeping-her-veil-tidy.

For every Muslim soldier, there are probably from five to five hundred people who know the basics of who and what they are. In a non-clandestine force, the number is higher, of course. Those are the people you want to intimidate. You can't intimidate a pilot who is about to fly into a building. You can't intimidate a woman who is about to walk into a cafe' with a bunch of semtex packed in her bra. But you can intimidate the rank and file that are standing behind them.

I don't know how to get it through to you, but those are the facts no matter what you think. The world won't change because you want to wear rose colored glasses. Muslims are still dangerous no matter how pink and happy they look through your brand new made-in-Arabia lenses.

Your argument [crowd argument] works if the crowd is predominantly, actively engaged in shielding the shooter

And that is exactly my position. Not only shielding, but feeding, handing ammo and weapons to, providing religious acceptance and absolution, and so forth. Muslims are not your happy little friends. They are mythguided warriors-by-creed who believe that they should be conquering the world, and everyone who is non-muslim is in the way. Read the Koran. Actually READ it!

If your local government announced today, right now, that every Muslim in your city is to be executed, and wanted you to help, would you, personally, go to your neighbor's house and shoot them and their kids? Yes or no.

No.

The cold, hard truth [babble clipped] is that the vast majority of the population of the West are not suffering from terrorism in any meaningful way. You can just add that to the list of differences between WWII and the cold war and this terrorism business.

The cold, hard, truth is that neither were Americans in WWII, barring Pearl Harbor. Even counting all through the war. If you stayed home, you were pretty darned safe. However, it is worth noting that at Pearl Harbor, 2,953 people were killed (that figure includes civilians and military.) As a result of the world trade center attack, 2,985 people died. We declared all-out war and we didn't stop until the Japanese kneeled before us based upon those 2,953. What shall we do for the 2,985, then, O dove of peace? You were working on comparisons, so I thought I'd help you out. You do seem to have a serious math problem.

If nukes start going off or people start to die in serious numbers from whatever means of attack, then I'm open to more extreme measures.

I just wonder what "serious numbers" mean to you. Personally, a number that begins with the just sub-three thousand of my comrades who died in New York is significant to me, just as Pearl Harbor was to Franklin D. Roosevelt. If you perceive that reaction as a scale problem, all I can say is I pity the others who will have to die to tip your scale over to where mine is.


Blog, Photos.
[ Parent ]

No matter how (none / 0) (#166)
by Harvey Anderson on Tue Jul 12, 2005 at 08:42:58 AM EST

much you want to paint me as some sort of ignorant leftist, you are just as wrong about that as you are about your comparisons.

You go on about nukes on Japan, even though we were talking about Germany just a moment ago, but we'll let that slide.  You actually end up supporting my point: You are talking about governments waging war; the entirety of the economy of Japan put to use to attack us!  If you can't wrap your head around the difference between that and a few bombs going off every now and again, there's just nothing else to say about it.

Again you rest on 'it's ok to kill millions of theirs to save 700 of ours a year'.  You believe there are no or few innocents, but have yet to substantiate that.  Laughably, your reasoning is the same as the terrorists use when hitting Western targets!

Then I would devote my entire life and income to killing the perpetrators, the perpetrator's families, the ancestors of the perpetrator's families, the perpetrator's children, and all the in-laws.

Exactly your problem: You are happy to assume that everyone you are killing was in on it.  Or if they weren't, whoops, too bad, they deserve to die for other reasons (being Muslim).  Ridiculous.  You've gone from revenge and justice to having the blood of innocents on your hands.  But, you say there are no innocents; back that up.

Just the way the average US citizen supports the US war effort. There are, perhaps, a few thousand terrorist cells. Or a few hundred. Some number. Those cells are all supported by the Muslim community in the following manners

How do you know?  Seriously.  Do we shoot Osama's estranged mother for breast-feeding him when he was born?  I'm talking about direct, "I am aware you are a terrorist and I'm supporting you" stuff.  Show me the numbers.

For every Muslim soldier, there are probably [ass numbers]

Guesswork.

Dude, look.  Let's take your bullshit numbers and say there are 500 different people for each of 5,000 terrorist cells who support them or shield them, etc.; that's 2.5M.  There are what, a billion Muslims?  You'd be cool with wasting hundreds of millions of them to save a few thousand in the West.  Sorry, it just does not work that way.

The cold, hard, truth is that neither were Americans in WWII, barring Pearl Harbor. Even counting all through the war. If you stayed home, you were pretty darned safe.

Sure, but you had to worry about BEING INVADED BY MILLIONS OF FOREIGN SOLDIERS!  Scale.  Scale.  Scale.

What shall we do for the 2,985, then, O dove of peace?

We do what we are doing in large part: Hunt down those responsible.  Not nuke Mecca, you overcompensating, blustering dork.

comparisons to Pearl Harbor

Totally; FDR's response should have been to round up and execute Japanese citizens until Hirohito ran up the American flag.  That would have taken some balls!

[ Parent ]

thanks... (none / 0) (#169)
by epicedium1 on Tue Jul 12, 2005 at 11:20:58 AM EST

thanks harvey ...  made me smile

(I couldn't be bothered anymore, and it was depressing me ;)

[ Parent ]

You know... (none / 0) (#171)
by fyngyrz on Tue Jul 12, 2005 at 02:28:35 PM EST

...you have not answered any of the questions I've put to you. You clearly have no idea of how to deal with the Muslim threat. You constantly mischaracterize what I say to you in a lame attempt to make loser points. You can't assemble a meaningful view of history when it is put right in your face, and you don't seem to have much of a knowledge of history to work with anyway. In the meantime, I have answered the questions you asked me. You blustered; I gave reasons and explanation. That's all fine. I don't consider the time wasted. I have no fear of going over my position. Furthermore, as long as you keep posting dumb answers, you continue to strengthen my position. Until (or unless, I should probably say) you begin to think before you type, you'll just continue to look bewildered.

Now, first of all, I don't need to paint you as ignorant. You've done a fine job yourself. There can be no doubt at all that your postings tend towards the ignorant. Leftist, probably not. You're not well enough informed to be a leftist, by now you have made that fairly clear. You can't do math; you can't put history into context; you can't recognize a threat when it is cloaked in the thinnest of veils. Leftists are misguided, but they aren't as oblivious as you have made yourself out to be in this thread.

You go on about nukes on Japan, even though we were talking about Germany just a moment ago, but we'll let that slide.

I "go on" about issues that are relative to the points you make. You were babbling about how we don't target orphanages; obviously, we do, and those attacks are clear examples of when we have done so. Japan, Germany, those are both equally valid examples of countries where we have made war and have made all-out attacks on cities with the intent to target everyone and everything in those cities. I was specific, and topical, when I gave those examples. So lets be clear: You're not "letting me slide", you are simply avoiding the point in an attempt to be slippery. You're not fooling me for one second, nor am I distracted by your limp-wristed artifice. You have shown a very weak performance in this discussion by being unable to address my points and resorting to skipping them and mischaracterizing them, as you have here.

Here is another example of your lameness:

You believe there are no or few innocents

The fact is, I believe there are many innocents. I believe that those innocents are not only not the cause of the acts, but that many of them have also withdrawn from dealing with the acts. But despite this, they, by choice, remain part of the group that is perpetrating the acts. I find that unacceptable. Accordingly, what I am willing to do is kill them in order to motivate the remaining innocents in their position into a situation where they are no longer willing to remain in, or provide support to, the group. In the process, no doubt I would see many non-innocents killed, to which I say, "whoopee." That's called making unlimited war. That's quite a distinction from the presumption that I think there are no innocents. Some of the first innocents were in the word trade center. You do remember them, right?

You are happy to assume that everyone you are killing was in on it. Or if they weren't, whoops, too bad, they deserve to die for other reasons (being Muslim).

No, I don't assume that. More made-up crap. Why do you read what I write and them make things up? Do you have some mistaken idea that you're engaging in a clever debate tactic, or are you just stupid? Nor would such folk be killed because they were Muslim. If you, for instance, attacked my family, I would still do my best kill all of your family, offspring, in-laws, etc. I truly don't care if you're Muslim, Catholic or a martian. You set up the condition of "muslimness", and I ignored it, because it was utterly irrelevant to the rest of the situation. What was important was that my family had been kidnapped. Anyone touches my family, they're completely, utterly, fucked. You will die, certainly -- and there will be no one left to avenge your death upon whatever remains of my family, or anyone else. A lesson will also have been brought to the table for other potential kidnapperrs. It's not safe to assume it'll just be about the FBI slapping your wrist. That's simply being practical. If you can't see that, well, we've already established that you're not very bright, so I suppose that'd be no surprise.

Dude, look. Let's take your bullshit numbers and say there are 500 different people for each of 5,000 terrorist cells who support them or shield them, etc.; that's 2.5M. There are what, a billion Muslims? You'd be cool with wasting hundreds of millions of them to save a few thousand in the West. Sorry, it just does not work that way.

Sure it does, "dude." Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Dresden, Hamburg, Tokyo, etc. on our part. NYC, Bali, Spain, London, etc. on theirs. Innocents are the natural target of war when the objective is to make the rest of the innocents wake up and take part in the conflict. You may actually think things don't work that way, or not want them to, but I assure you, they do and wishful thinking won't change it one whit.

Totally; FDR's response should have been to round up and execute Japanese citizens until Hirohito ran up the American flag.
That's precisely what was done, without even having to round them up. If you had read any history, you would know that. Though it is worth pointing out that FDRdid round up ethnic Japanese US citizens in the USA and throw them into camps. He just killed those who were Japanese citizens (regardless of if they were ethnic Japanese or not.) He made unlimited war until Hirohito dropped to his kneees, and sure enough guess what flag was run up?


Blog, Photos.
[ Parent ]

Let's bring you back to reality. (none / 0) (#173)
by Harvey Anderson on Tue Jul 12, 2005 at 03:24:13 PM EST

If I've missed any of your questions, it was total oversight.  Please list 'em and I'll answer 'em.

WWII: In your bluster you seem to have missed out on that I agree with it being justifiable to nuke Japan, bomb German cities, etc.

Targetting: There's a difference between targetting something and it happening to be there; the policy was not 'let's hit Japanese schools' but 'let's hit these cities to bring the war to an end'.  You know this.

You have yet to address the fact that, by your own words, you have justified terrorist attacks against us:

OBL: "Your citizenry is partially responsible for your government's actions; therefore you all are legitimate targets."

Kidnapping of your family: I agree that if they were Muslim or not, it's not relevant.  Your act of killing my little brother is still unjustifiable even if I were to be the one who killed your family.

Anyone touches my family, they're completely, utterly, fucked. You will die, certainly -- and there will be no one left to avenge your death upon whatever remains of my family, or anyone else. A lesson will also have been brought to the table for other potential kidnapperrs.

Well, if Bin Laden 'touched' your family on 9/11, your bluster amounts to diddly-shit, as he is certainly not fucked as of yet.  But his organization is certainly taking a beating, due to the current, more reasonable course of action we are now taking.  If someone killed your family, you would have about a zero chance of even finding them before the police; once he was arrested and you tried to kill him, you'd find yourself facing 1) a living murderer, and 2) attempted murder charges.  You're a dork posting on K5, you are not dealing physical pain out to anyone.

Innocents are the natural target of war when the objective is to make the rest of the innocents wake up and take part in the conflict.

I totally agree!  What a good idea of Bin Laden's to hit those towers; that got the USA out of Saudi Arabia lickity-split.

Can you offer any reasons as to how, if we were to adopt your suggested course of action, we would not find ourselves with millions of new, active enemies?

(Response to Pearl Harbor)
That's precisely what was done

We were talking the direct response to the Pearl Harbor attacks, Skippy.  You may not realize it, but nukes were developed after this event took place.

Yes or no: FDR, immediately after PH, should have rounded up all Japanese citizens in the USA and shot them, to pressure the Emperor to the peace table.

You have still failed to address this also: That if, by your words, Muslims are a global community and blame can be laid at their collective doorstep, how is it that you are not campaigning for killing all the Muslims in your town or city?  But despite this, they, by choice, remain part of the group that is perpetrating the acts.

You're doing the classic dork thing of trying to abstract every situation (WWII, Cold War, Terrorism) out to some crazy unrealistic level and then consider them all the same.

What it comes down to is that you are all bluster and talk.  It's easy for you to mouth-breathe over your keyboard and lay down this hard dick-swinging nonsense, but if actually pressed to implement your ideas, you'd recoil.

I'll be there laughing at you and calling you a pussy when you refuse to shoot little Abdul in the head.

[ Parent ]

Right, then. (none / 0) (#188)
by fyngyrz on Tue Jul 12, 2005 at 09:06:22 PM EST

First of all, my questions are in my posts. If you want to answer them, go read them. I'm not going to write them down again at your behest.

Targetting: There's a difference between targetting something and it happening to be there; the policy was not 'let's hit Japanese schools' but 'let's hit these cities to bring the war to an end'. You know this.

Of course I do. I never said otherwise. You brought up orphanages, and I pointed out that we do hit them. You're still trying to twist; it's still not working. I never said "let's hit Muslim orphanages", I said "let's destroy Muslim cities" which you promptly disagreed with and brought orphanages in as a justification. Your whole point has unravelled as you followed your path of circular reasoning.

So, we're back to "hit cities", which is what I said in the first place.

Can you offer any reasons as to how, if we were to adopt your suggested course of action, we would not find ourselves with millions of new, active enemies?

Certainly. I already did. The process is:

Turn over your warriors, you have one week. If you don't, we drop. If there are any further incidents, we drop.

I suspect we'd have to drop once or twice, but as I said earlier, once you've shown that you mean it, if someone suggested an attack, they'd be stopped by the other Muslims -- you know, the ones who currently get a free pass from your strategy, which is "let them attack us, then we chase the ones who did the attack." The problem with your strategy is that it does nothing to prevent the next attack; mine does. Mine does a lot, in fact.

Now -- if you want to assume that the Muslims will keep attacking in the face of being killed en masse each time they are stupid enough to attack us, that'll work too. Eventually, we'll kill them all, and then we're back at no Muslims == No Muslim terrorists.

So either way, my strategy works. If you think yours will work, explain it (btw, that's one of the many questions I asked earlier you didn't answer.)

We were talking the direct response to the Pearl Harbor attacks, Skippy. You may not realize it, but nukes were developed after this event took place.

The direct response was to go to war, using the biggest, baddest responses we had available at any one time. Nukes were the final stage in that war and I consider them to be as much a part of the initial reaction as was the first bullet that went skyward towards the Japanese planes over Pearl. The initial reaction wasn't to declare a Harvey-style "let's chase the guys who flew the planes and stop there", it was to declare war against the entire Japanese nation, culture, infrastructure, specialized warriors and so forth. That's what happened. No amount of denial by you will change that.

Yes or no: FDR, immediately after PH, should have rounded up all Japanese citizens in the USA and shot them, to pressure the Emperor to the peace table.

No.

Just like the last yes/no question, since this was very poorly asked, you're getting an answer you can't interpret further. But it is kinda fun watching you struggle with the mess you created. I suggest a refresher in debate 101, k, thx :)

You have still failed to address this also: That if, by your words, Muslims are a global community and blame can be laid at their collective doorstep, how is it that you are not campaigning for killing all the Muslims in your town or city?

No, I did indeed specifically address it, you just failed to read it, or to understand it. I said that shooting a few isn't going to motivate them. What we need to do is bomb large concentrations of them. Go read the thread again, you'll find it in this post.

I'll be there laughing at you and calling you a pussy when you refuse to shoot little Abdul in the head.

Again, ass-groper, you failed to read what I wrote and persist in listening to the little voices in your head (you know, the same ones that go "OOH! Happy Shiny People With Funny Hats!" every time you see a Muslim.)

I said, in response to your "Would you shoot little Abdul" query: "In principle, certainly. A Muslim is a Muslim."

Now -- how hard is that for you to understand? Comes the time when it is appropriate to shoot little Abdul (or his sister), I have no problem with it. You simply haven't postulated a situation where it was appropriate. That, in turn, is probably because you've been unable to follow the conversation. Perhaps because you're not reading everything and just knee-jerking to some phrases, but I'm also willing to believe that it is simply because you're not too bright, given some of the ridiculous posts you've made.

Awaiting your next post with great anticipation. :)

Blog, Photos.
[ Parent ]

Your 'confidence' routine isn't working. (none / 0) (#198)
by Harvey Anderson on Wed Jul 13, 2005 at 09:23:54 AM EST

I'm not going to write them down again at your behest.

Fine proof that you are more interested in running your mouth than actually having a discussion.

I never said otherwise. You brought up orphanages

I originally said that we don't TARGET orphanages.  You responded with "Look at Japan!"  I responded that we were not AIMING for the orphanages.  There is a subtle distinction but it is important.

So, we're back to "hit cities", which is what I said in the first place.

Ok, but your reasoning doesn't hold up, which lead to the Abdul example: If you consider all Muslims fair game in this, your position should be that you would have no moral problem with hitting Muslims locally as well.

The process is:

Turn over your warriors, you have one week. If you don't, we drop. If there are any further incidents, we drop.

It is far from a given that this would be the actual result. We drop and drop and send millions of new martyrs straight to Heaven according to them, you galvanize Muslims the world over against you, you galvanize world opinion generally against you (so that they may drop drop drop on us us us).. Just off the top of my head.

The problem with your strategy is that it does nothing to prevent the next attack; mine does.

Look, even if your strategy were to actually work in the real world, it is still not acceptable given the scale of the attacks we are suffering.  Your course of action would kill more thousands of babies than what we have suffered as a result of terrorism.  If we think they might set off a nuke or somesuch then we might have to suck it up and do something more drastic, but right now the idea is simply barbaric.

Muslims will keep attacking in the face of being killed en masse

By the time they were all dead we would end up with many more dead than what we are suffering now.  You've got this 'burn 'em all' attitude; we can't even get rid of the insurgents in Iraq today, of which there would be far more if we embarked on your plan, and we are certainly not going to be dropping nukes on our own cities to bring them to heel in any case!

If you think yours will work, explain it (btw, that's one of the many questions I asked earlier you didn't answer.)

Is it not working?  We got hit on 9/11.  We haven't suffered anything of note since then.  Thus, I will conclude that given all the evidence I can see, our strategy is working.

The initial reaction wasn't to declare a Harvey-style "let's chase the guys who flew the planes and stop there", it was to declare war against the entire Japanese nation, culture, infrastructure, specialized warriors and so forth. That's what happened. No amount of denial by you will change that.

You keep going on about that as if you expect me to disagree.  It's fine by me to go war against a country when that country is coming at you.

But also your suggested course of action was not followed; if it was we would see, of course, the extermination of all Japanese and German nationals in the USA.

If a SEAL team went nuts and started killing Frenchmen, would France be justified in dropping nukes on NYC?  Of course not.  Your position is equally ridiculous, on its face.

I suggest a refresher in debate 101

Your position is not interally consistent.

No, I did indeed specifically address it, you just failed to read it, or to understand it. I said that shooting a few isn't going to motivate them. What we need to do is bomb large concentrations of them. Go read the thread again, you'll find it in this post.

There are at least one million Muslims in the USA alone, which is 2-3 times the size of your originally suggested target of Mecca.

I said, in response to your "Would you shoot little Abdul" query: "In principle, certainly. A Muslim is a Muslim."

But whoops!:

If your local government announced today, right now, that every Muslim in your city is to be executed, and wanted you to help, would you, personally, go to your neighbor's house and shoot them and their kids? Yes or no.

No.

Enough said about that.  You're talking outs ya ass.

Oh, but wait:

Comes the time when it is appropriate to shoot little Abdul (or his sister), I have no problem with it. You simply haven't postulated a situation where it was appropriate.

You are deliberately trying to dodge the point.  If it's ok to drop nukes on Muslim cities, killing tons of little Abduls, you can not say you'd think it's wrong to shoot little Abdul next door, by your own logic of 'A Muslim is a Muslim'.  You can't have it both ways.  It's easy for you to sit and run your mouth on K5 but when push comes to shove, you crumble.

[ Parent ]

Moving right along... (none / 0) (#200)
by fyngyrz on Wed Jul 13, 2005 at 01:16:40 PM EST

If you consider all Muslims fair game in this, your position should be that you would have no moral problem with hitting Muslims locally as well.

I just said that I didn't, for the second time -- that's what "in principle" means. I have no problem with the principle, or concept, of hitting local Muslims. I said it was not the thing to do because the act is unlikely to make any point to the Muslims that would stop them. I do object to pointless action (which is why I object to the "chase the individual bomber" game. It has been well demonstrated that such an approach is not an effective method.) I also object to spending more effort and treasure than is required to get a particular job done if commensurate benefits do not accrue, and in this case, there are less benefits for more effort. This raises a perfectly practical objection to doing in our well-dispersed population of local Muslims first. There are other issues similar to these and I go into them below in response to another point of yours. The bottom line, however, is that the optimum place to hit is where Muslims congregate in large numbers.

It is far from a given that this would be the actual result. We drop and drop and send millions of new martyrs straight to Heaven according to them, you galvanize Muslims the world over against you, you galvanize world opinion generally against you (so that they may drop drop drop on us us us).. Just off the top of my head.

We can field strategic bombers, J-SOWs, cruise missiles, FAEs, neutron bombs, conventional fission weapons, fusion weapons... the Muslims can field a dumb-ass wearing a semtex jockstrap, and each time, in response, we'll turn around and drop a city-buster on them. How long do you think that would be allowed to go on by the supporting Muslim rank and file? Let's suppose it does go on until they're exterminated by our million-to-one or so "out of patience" responses. That'd make them not only superstitious and annoying, but outright stupid. Personally, I have high confidence that they would stop, but it is certainly just my opinion that they can't all be that stupid. Apparently, your position is that you think even less of their intellectual abilities than I do.

Look. Right now, there is just about zero opposition being offered to them. People are out there trying to figure out who laid the bombs in London. Now, what good do you think that is going to do in the big (or even small) picture, assuming the search succeeds, which is certainly not a given? Do you think it's going to stop the next attack, or delay it, or in any way affect it? If so, why?

You're telling me in the above argument you made that you think blowing out a major concentration of Muslims won't stop the Muslim warriors, so why would catching the particular perpetrators of any one event?

As for world opinion, I am unmoved. The entire world put together has neither the will nor the equipment to attack the USA and win. We, on the other hand, have enough weaponry and the required weapons transport (subs, cruisers, missiles, bombers) to fry every country on the planet several times over and still have spares left. Also, they, like the Muslims, would know that it wouldn't take military action for us to stop, all it would take is a cessation of attacks by Muslims. The Muslims are in control; that's the whole idea, and it is an idea I got from them. When they stop attacking, we stop dropping. So the world's other groups would be far better off (in every way -- money, lives, effort spent) if they focused on the Muslims as the problem, because after all, they are the problem.

Look, even if your strategy were to actually work in the real world, it is still not acceptable given the scale of the attacks we are suffering. Your course of action would kill more thousands of babies than what we have suffered as a result of terrorism. If we think they might set off a nuke or somesuch then we might have to suck it up and do something more drastic, but right now the idea is simply barbaric.

This is a straight-forward moral argument. Good for you for actually making it in a cogent manner.

Now, consider: the Muslim warriors have no problem with killing innocents, and they are doing so, regularly and effectively. The death toll is in the many thousands already. You, based on a moral position, advocate not matching their approach, regardless of the fact that Muslim warriors continually execute unprovoked attacks without even vaguely similar moral restrictions. So there we are. Now, what appears to be needed is a strategy that meets your moral goals and solves the problem, or else the very actions you deplore will continue -- at the will (which has been amply demonstrated) of the Muslim warriors. We also know that chasing individual groups of bombers around has zero effect. So I ask you, yet again: What strategy would you suggest to stop these Muslim warriors, as you don't like mine and we know perfectly well the current one doesn't work?

...we can't even get rid of the insurgents in Iraq today

Not the same problem at all. There is no reason for us to be in Iraq. Those people are defending their home territory against invaders -- us -- who came in based upon a blatant (and irrelevant) falsehood (existence of WMDs.) They may also be exercising internal disruption of their political system in order to reform it to their preferred state. That's their internal business. We're being stupid by standing anywhere near such a intra-national disturbance, and to the extent that we caused it, we are responsible and should stop doing so immediately by getting the hell out, as in, right now. There is no moral or ethical justification for us to be there, very similar to the fact that there was no moral or ethical justification for any particular fool to enter the USA and attack the WTC. We should not be there; if we are not there, then there is no need to "get rid of insurgents."

If a SEAL team went nuts and started killing Frenchmen, would France be justified in dropping nukes on NYC? Of course not.

I agree. They wouldn't. But let's make it a fair comparison. If one SEAL team after another kept arriving and kept killing Frenchmen, year after year, if they were well supplied and using weapons that require state-level support to get, then eventually, even the French would have to say "no more" and at that point, they'd probably want to stop the problem at its source, which would be the USA with 100% certainly, with SEAL teams as the perpetrators.

Remember: We know these are Muslims, we know the Muslim creed espouses unlimited war on non-Muslims, and we know the Muslim warriors have high-level, deep monetary support. We know the pattern of attacks is ongoing, and we know there is no sign of those attacks stopping. We also know there is no particular reason to think they will stop, given the current state of affairs.

There are at least one million Muslims in the USA alone, which is 2-3 times the size of your originally suggested target of Mecca.

Yes. And if it was trivial to do them all at once, that'd be a vaguely similar action. But for one thing, it isn't trivial. It would require a huge effort by millions of people. Whereas dropping one bomb (or firing one cruise missile) over Mecca represents a trivial expense and a trivial effort. Most likely, the pushing of one button, as I'd lay money there is at least one strategic asset within range of Mecca as we converse. That makes it considerably more sensible to do, all other things being equal. But there are other factors that argue for this. First, our local Muslims are a very direct part of our economy. Secondly, they are also our citizens. Third, they're inculcated with the values of our society, and that makes them the least likely source of attacks. That is an issue because the objective is to target those who are as closely related to the Muslim warriors as possible so that those people consider it likely that they will be killed if the Muslim warrior attacks continue. Those factors make the local Muslims the last Muslims you would want to target (IE, if we've killed all the others and we're still seeing attacks, then it's time to go after them.) Otherwise, we're cutting off our nose to spite our face. If we drop on Mecca, your local convenience store operator, software engineer, taxi driver and CEO will still be around, which is a good thing for our economy and stability. This is simply a practical matter.

You are deliberately trying to dodge the point. If it's ok to drop nukes on Muslim cities, killing tons of little Abduls, you can not say you'd think it's wrong to shoot little Abdul next door, by your own logic of 'A Muslim is a Muslim'. You can't have it both ways. It's easy for you to sit and run your mouth on K5 but when push comes to shove, you crumble.

No. You wrote the question without determining what my underlying position was, so you couldn't anticipate what my answer would mean. It is not my fault if you're an ineffective at this. It's yours.

My position is that we should spend the least effort, the least money, and the least lives in making them spend the absolute most effort, money and lives. For every terrorist incident, we drop, we don't go running around like fleas on a griddle. They bomb a cafe', we destroy a city. They take months to wrap their semtex in a jockstrap, we respond as soon as we determine the attack came from them. And, when they stop, we stop. They're in control -- all they have to do is stop. If we had to kill them all, then the last group to go would be our internal collection of Muslims for the reasons stated above. But yes, they'd have to go if they were still sourcing attacks.

Next?

Blog, Photos.
[ Parent ]

It's good to see (none / 0) (#202)
by Harvey Anderson on Wed Jul 13, 2005 at 02:12:26 PM EST

that you are backing off from your original 'A Muslim is a Muslim and thus fair game' deal, though now you are switching it to a discussion about practicality and efficiency, whereas before we were discussing morality.

I just said that I didn't, for the second time -- that's what "in principle" means. I have no problem with the principle, or concept, of hitting local Muslims. I said it was not the thing to do because the act is unlikely to make any point to the Muslims that would stop them.

You do not have a moral problem with dropping bombs on Muslim cities; you have no moral problem with shooting up the Muslim family next door.  It's just a matter of effiency.  Is that a fair summation of your position?

As for world opinion, I am unmoved. The entire world put together has neither the will nor the equipment to attack the USA and win.

You neglect to take the rest of the world's response into account: If just one nuke came on over from the rest of the world who objects to our warpath across the mideast, your course of action is directly responsible for killing thousands of times of Americans as have fallen victim to terrorism.

Right now, there is just about zero opposition being offered to them.

I think that all that can be done is being done.  The proof is in the pudding: We are not frequent victims of terrorism.

the Muslim warriors have no problem with killing innocents, and they are doing so, regularly and effectively. The death toll is in the many thousands already. You, based on a moral position, advocate not matching their approach, regardless of the fact that Muslim warriors continually execute unprovoked attacks without even vaguely similar moral restrictions.

The terrorists hold us, personally, accountable for actions which we have taken that they do not like.  You are arguing that we should duplicate their mistake and force the consequences upon the Muslim community at large, as a way to hit back at them.

We also know that chasing individual groups of bombers around has zero effect.

I do not take this as a given.  There have been numerous attacks thwarted as a result of doing just that. (not saying that's all we should do...)

What strategy would you suggest to stop these Muslim warriors, as you don't like mine and we know perfectly well the current one doesn't work?

For the most part I am happy with the current practices.  Pursuing the actual terrorists themselves, propaganda to get our point of view across in that part of the world, etc.  There are things I wish were being handled differently, of course (Iraq, Pakistan..) but then again, I am not privy to what goes on behind the scenes.

Iraq

was brought up as an example of how, for all our advanced military, insurgency and terrorism are still with us in that place.  That's all.  I think we both agree that we shouldn't be involved there.  Though, as an aside, a good many of the Iraq insurgents are from other nations.

If one SEAL team after another kept arriving and kept killing Frenchmen, year after year, if they were well supplied and using weapons that require state-level support to get, then eventually, even the French would have to say "no more" and at that point, they'd probably want to stop the problem at its source, which would be the USA with 100% certainly, with SEAL teams as the perpetrators.

Your example makes sense; it would be similiar to Pearl Harbor: A government supporting active assaults against the French.  Now consider if it was a bunch of disgruntled, retired SEAL teams (or whatever, not supported by the government) who were doing it.  French nukes start raining down on US cities.  Disregarding our response to that, do you think it's morally justifiable for the French to take that course of action?

We know these are Muslims, we know the Muslim creed espouses unlimited war on non-Muslims, and we know the Muslim warriors have high-level, deep monetary support.

We know they are Muslims, yes.  I know what the Koran regarding infidels, but just as most Christians are not extreme literalists, large swaths of the Muslim community are in opposition to the actions of the jihadists.  Also, do you know what their funding actually is?  The last I read, they were revising Osama's estimated fortune rapidly downwards, to 'only' a few million dollars.

If we drop on Mecca, your local convenience store operator, software engineer, taxi driver and CEO will still be around, which is a good thing for our economy and stability. This is simply a practical matter.

So you're at the bar one night, and you see a terrorist attack on the news.  It pisses you off and you shoot your taxi driver on the way home.  Should you be slapped with a fine or sent to prison for murder?

The point is I don't think you'd walk the walk, if put to it.  You may be willing to advocate pressing a button and turning Mecca into a pretty piece of glass but if instead it were such that you personally had to go shoot every man, woman and child, you wouldn't have the stomach for it.  No one should.

[ Parent ]

Just wanted you to know... (none / 0) (#210)
by fyngyrz on Fri Jul 15, 2005 at 01:02:01 AM EST

...I read your post. The last word is yours, thank you muchly for the extended debate, t'was mucho fun.

Blog, Photos.
[ Parent ]

Agreed. (none / 0) (#212)
by Harvey Anderson on Fri Jul 15, 2005 at 08:34:11 AM EST

Rock on.

[ Parent ]
Wordy trolls... (none / 0) (#185)
by mbmccabe on Tue Jul 12, 2005 at 07:28:33 PM EST

I hate to respond to a wordy, bigoted troll, but....

You mean, when a group like the Muslims bankrolls a specialized warrior group to attack foreign countries and places like those? Gotcha.

This would serve as an accurate description of the US's behavior throught Central and South America - particularly Nicaragua.

(Maybe this example is only glaring to the few Americans who remember the Reagan Administration and its "Liberal Press" touting that Nicaragua may attack the US via Mexico as its justification?)

This is also in the history books.

Since your philosophy seems to boil down to "violence is the premier way to solve difficult or large problems", what problem did this violence help?  The "problem" of Democracy.

Pay attention: We bombed those [German and Japanese] cities with the intent to cause civilian casualties.

You're arguing in favor of terrorist tactics.  Remarkable!  Or maybe not for a bigoted troll.

[ Parent ]

Don't feed the trolls, silly. (none / 0) (#192)
by fyngyrz on Tue Jul 12, 2005 at 09:30:14 PM EST

Especially those whom you have taken the time to rate down instead of reply to. But that's OK; I don't take the ratings system too seriously. After all, they let Harvey rate comments. :)
This would serve as an accurate description of the US's behavior throught Central and South America - particularly Nicaragua.

Yes, I agree completely.

Since your philosophy seems to boil down to "violence is the premier way to solve difficult or large problems", what problem did this violence help? The "problem" of Democracy.

No, my argument is that extreme violence is the way to solve this problem. I've come to that conclusion after watching years of "chase-the-perpetrator" come to naught. If you have a better idea (one that doesn't involve the deaths of more victims of the Muslims) I'd be delighted to hear it.

You're arguing in favor of terrorist tactics. Remarkable!

I'm arguing in favor of war. We hold overwhelming power. I am suggesting we use it. The terrorists are assuming that we never will, and they are walking all over everyone on that basis. That's a demonstrated fact. They're probably right, we won't use that power, because of people like you and Harvey, and because a continuing, low-level set of brushfire wars is just fabulous for the economy; nonetheless, my argument is that we should use it. Even if it loses us our sources of oil and we no longer have the cash sow of a brushfire feeding the economy.


Blog, Photos.
[ Parent ]

Excuse me Rambo... (none / 1) (#195)
by Paul Jakma on Wed Jul 13, 2005 at 06:01:00 AM EST

Here is exactly what I would do. First, I would sit around with some photos or whatever memorabilia and memories I could pull together and say goodbye to my family as best I could manage. Then I would devote my entire life and income to killing the perpetrators, the perpetrator's families, the ancestors of the perpetrator's families, the perpetrator's children, and all the in-laws. I'd spare pets, if the opportunity arose.

ROFL. You really need to cut down on your intake of cheesy Hollywood action movies.  I have a picture in my head of you:

You wear a red band around your head, you have problems enunciating words clearly, you mutter all the time about "lousy chief, who does he think he is pulling me off the case!", and you live in a trailer with your dog and drink yourself to sleep each night while staring tearfully at a framed picture of a woman who you imagine to be your deceased wife, mown down by a terrorist who was your buddy back in 'Nam. You never talk about your experiences back in Na-Trang back in '69, but it's clear they affected you deeply.

You are 15 years of age.

--paulj


[ Parent ]

An American, are you? (none / 0) (#213)
by cicho5 on Sat Jul 16, 2005 at 05:36:29 PM EST

So you must agree that it's okay for Muslims to bomb Western countries after atrocitites such as Abu Ghraib and Falluja have been committed and the guilty have not been produced in chains to the Iraqi people. You guys used fucking napalm in Falluja.

And who did you nuke to a plain of radioactive glass after McVeigh - a Christian! - bombed the OK building?

[ Parent ]

Napalm (none / 0) (#214)
by lordDogma on Sat Jul 16, 2005 at 09:06:49 PM EST

1. FYI, dispite what various uninformed internet postings claim, napalm is NOT outlawed by the UN. Using napalm against civilians (such as when firebombing cities like Dresden and Tokyo and various places in Vietnam) was outlawed in 1980. Use of Napalm against military forces IS permitted. That said, many nations have chosen to do away with napalm altogether. The US still uses mk77's which aren't technically napalm, but for the purposes of clarity, we'll call them napalm.

2. Dispite the BS claims, we didn't use napalm in Falluja. It was only used during the initial invasion in 2003 (around 30 were dropped according to some sources.)

3. White phosphorous rounds were fired by artillery during the assault on Falluja for illumination, screening, and (I heard this in a news report) to burn through metal bunkers. There is little point in using WP against people when high explosive rounds will do the job (unless you are in a dry grassy field or something).

4. The last thing to note is that many people have claimed that the US initially lied about the use of napalm. Actually this is not the case. The reason for the apparent "lie" is twofold:

a. As stated above, Mk 77 firebombs are not technically napalm. Reporters asked about "napalm", and the real napalm was eliminated in 1991.

b. The spokesperson who denied the use of napalm was a Lt. Commander in the navy. He wasn't familiar with Marine jargon (apparently the marines use the term "napalm" for the Mk 77) and the navy does not stock firebombs.

In short, never assume malice when incompetence will do.

Finally, McVeigh may have been a Christian but he didn't blow up the Oklahoma building as part of a Christian holy struggle. He did not carry out the bombing as part of a campaign of terror motivated by Biblical beliefs. He did it because he was a far right loon, paranoid about government encroachment on the rights of the people. In contrast, the Islamic Jihadists make it quite clear that they are fighting in the name of Islam.

[ Parent ]

And we did (none / 0) (#217)
by epepke on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 02:43:47 PM EST

Not only do we call that a criminal act, Clinton did prosecute that as a criminal act. And 9/11 still happened.

If some IRA buffoons rammed a hijacked airliner into 10 Downing street, you're telling me thats just a criminal act, like robbing a gas station or something?

Frankly, I think that if the 9/11 hijackers had only attacked the Pentagon, the outcry in the US would not have been anywhere near as strong. Consider that people seldom give the Pentagon prime consideration when talking about 9/11.

A more appropriate comparison would be if some hijackers flew a plane into the City Centre building, destroying it completely. This, of course, hasn't happened.

There's also the fact that the evidence so far is that the London bombings were committed by native-born British citizens. They weren't foreigners in the country on visas. So even apart from the scale, when a citizen of a country commits a crime in that country, it's much more obviously a criminal matter and not aggression from a foreign power.

We can argue until the cows come home about what the British would do, but the situations aren't similar enough to make any conclusions about what actually happens.


The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


[ Parent ]
who do you respond to? (3.00 / 3) (#92)
by MX5 on Sun Jul 10, 2005 at 07:40:02 AM EST

War happens between states. Groups that set off bombings like this one - regardless of whether it is one firework or a full-on nuclear bomb - are criminals, by definition.

So who do we bomb, if someone sets off a nuclear warhead in London? Saudi Arabia? Iran? Syria? Assuming the government of those countries didn't do it, there's little we can do.

call us pussies if you want. It's not important.

M
"Next week on the programme, bats. Are they really blind or are they just taking the piss?" -tfs
[ Parent ]

Pussies isn't the right word (none / 0) (#94)
by lordDogma on Sun Jul 10, 2005 at 07:50:26 AM EST

More like lobotomized zombies. No military reaction whatsoever huh? Wow. I gotta give you credit.

[ Parent ]
... because clearly (none / 1) (#97)
by epicedium1 on Sun Jul 10, 2005 at 09:55:21 AM EST

... because clearly, military action is a great way to quickly sort out your grievances

[ Parent ]
When you get nuked it is. (n/t) (none / 1) (#107)
by lordDogma on Sun Jul 10, 2005 at 03:05:51 PM EST



[ Parent ]
You're lucky to be british (none / 1) (#96)
by Fred_A on Sun Jul 10, 2005 at 09:20:48 AM EST

If the bombing had occured in Paris (like the many we had in the 80s) and we didn't go occupy all of northern Africa, we'd be labelled as cheese eating surrendering monkeys or whatever it was, all over the US media again.

I wonder if they'll be as inventively funny when it's the germans or the italians that get hit...

Fred in Paris
[ Parent ]

true (none / 0) (#99)
by epicedium1 on Sun Jul 10, 2005 at 10:00:57 AM EST

Understand what you're saying ..  Shame that you (as a country) have ended up in this position.

.. and I don't think its helping, having such a neutered president at the moment =)

[ Parent ]

Bah (3.00 / 2) (#101)
by Fred_A on Sun Jul 10, 2005 at 10:20:34 AM EST

It has nothing to do with what european countries did, it has everything to do with jingoism and the rewriting of history on the far side of the Atlantic.

Fred in Paris
[ Parent ]

We care. (none / 0) (#95)
by dxh on Sun Jul 10, 2005 at 08:19:22 AM EST

FYI, you may not care, but I would like to let you know that we (americans) care very much about all you brits and I think we have an almost undescribeable bond with you and your contrymen.  It's almost like family.

So you are definately in our thoughts.

Your also welcome to come stay awhile on the sofa and raid our fridge at night, just as long as you don't stay too long.

Actually, they aren't (2.00 / 2) (#131)
by LittleZephyr on Sun Jul 10, 2005 at 10:27:26 PM EST

3rd Amendment: No soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.
(\♥/) What if instead of posting that comment,
(0.-) you had actually taken a knife and stabbed
("_") me in the eye? You murderer. ~ Rusty

[ Parent ]
jihad "culture" (none / 1) (#103)
by AnthonyWS on Sun Jul 10, 2005 at 01:48:57 PM EST

Jihad is, as opposed to the popular interpretation of "holy war", a "holy struggle". The greatest jihad of all is the struggle to be a better person and live God's will. It is not about killing other people. It is not even really about other people. It is about the internal struggle we all face every day to be good people. What people call jihad today is not really jihad. Don't leave this impression on readers. It is patently false.
-Anthony http://leftcoast.blogspot.com
Tell that to OBL. (none / 0) (#106)
by lordDogma on Sun Jul 10, 2005 at 03:04:16 PM EST

We've heard this a million times before and we don't need another history lesson. Jihad literally means struggle. It may or may not involve war. In the context it is used today by Salifists, Wahhabists, and other islamic fanatics, it does involve war. When you turn on the TV today, if you hear a muslim say Jihad, then there is a 99% chance that he is talking about killing infidels. So for all practical purposes, in the current context (which is the only really relevent one), it means war. That's all that matters.

[ Parent ]
And they still don't get it... (none / 1) (#124)
by irixman on Sun Jul 10, 2005 at 09:00:02 PM EST

Absolutely correct, yet absolutely invalid.

You are applying the definition of Jihad that was created by movements within Islam, and has been propigated as truth by mass media.

In truth, Islamic law casts monotheistic Abrahamic religions such as Judaism and Christianity in a protected class of people known as Dhimmi. The Dhimmi are officially protected from Jihads, used typically to forcibly convert polytheistic religions.

Your definition of "Jihad" is absolutely correct as it is applied by radical factions within Islam. But it is fallacious to apply a definition created by the minority to the majority.

[ Parent ]

Well colored me purple, but... (none / 0) (#128)
by lordDogma on Sun Jul 10, 2005 at 09:45:09 PM EST

I would think that when an author writes an article about Islamic fanatics trying to take over the world through barbaric acts of mass slaughter, and posts it on a website frequented by intellectually minded people, he assumes that the reader can pick up which meaning of an ambiguous word is being used based on the context.

But perhaps for some people, more intelligent for their own good, he needs to put an explicit disclaimer at the beginning in order not to offend them.

[ Parent ]

based on no indication (none / 0) (#129)
by mikelist on Sun Jul 10, 2005 at 09:54:05 PM EST

that you understood, or yet understand. There are several medications that can control knee-jerk. They don't control a jerk above the knee, however. Consult your physician, or approach your local crack dealer and tell him you are a cop, which should alleviate your problem.

[ Parent ]
What are you typing this on? (3.00 / 2) (#136)
by irixman on Mon Jul 11, 2005 at 01:47:56 AM EST

A computer, right? Of course. You would be mocked without any mercy if you told us you were typing this on a typewriter.

My point is that people who call terrorist attacks "jihads" fall into several categories:

1.Those uneducated on what a Jihad actually is
2.Those who have been mislead into using an improper term by groups unknown, or who know and simply don't care to use the correct term
3.Those who intend to mislead others

From your response, I feel that you don't fall under  category one. That leaves two or three.

If you know what a Jihad truly is, why call a terroristic attack a Jihad?

Stop calling your computer a typewriter, and stop calling heinous crimes Jihads.

[ Parent ]

I am using the term Jihad because (none / 0) (#137)
by lordDogma on Mon Jul 11, 2005 at 02:20:14 AM EST

1. I am using the term Jihad in the same context that Osama Bin Laden is using the term Jihad. I am simply repeating his own assertion that he is a Jihadi carrying out Jihad. His struggle happens to involve killing infidels. If you have a problem with that then kindly ask him to change his terminology, and I will follow suit.

2. I have no doubt that the minute I called him a terrorist instead of a Jihadist you would bitch about the stigma of labeling someone a terrorist and then you would tell me that one man's terrorist is another's freedom fighter. So I decided to just call him what he likes to call himself a Jihadist. And now you bitch about that too. There's no winning with you people, and therefore no sense in wasting time with your stupid word games. HES A G*D D*NMED JIHADIST. GET OVER IT.

[ Parent ]

An admission (none / 1) (#111)
by levesque on Sun Jul 10, 2005 at 06:30:40 PM EST

Secretary Condoleezza Rice's remarks at the American University in Cairo

For 60 years, my country, the United States, pursued stability[?] at the expense of democracy in this region here in the Middle East -- and we achieved neither.

Bush has already said this several times (none / 0) (#113)
by lordDogma on Sun Jul 10, 2005 at 06:55:28 PM EST

in speeches on Democracy in the ME.

[ Parent ]
Yes (none / 0) (#114)
by levesque on Sun Jul 10, 2005 at 07:07:11 PM EST

What I'm looking at is what does the expression "pursued stability" encompass

[ Parent ]
Its a euphemism (none / 1) (#118)
by lordDogma on Sun Jul 10, 2005 at 08:29:46 PM EST

Its a nice way of saying we bankrolled brutal dictators who repressed their stupid masses so that we could have cheap oil and keep the Soviets out.

But of course, had we not done so then the ME would probably be just a screwed up as it is today. The only difference is we wouldn't have to feel guilty about it.

[ Parent ]

that would be a good start (none / 0) (#158)
by jcarnelian on Mon Jul 11, 2005 at 05:10:46 PM EST

<i>But of course, had we not done so then the ME would probably be just a screwed up as it is today. The only difference is we wouldn't have to feel guilty about it.</i>
<p>
Well, if you don't have something to feel guilty about, that's a good start, and it would be a lot better than this.
<p>
Keep in mind that this didn't start with oil and the Soviets: the West has been messing around in that region for centuries.

[ Parent ]
For the most part it did start with oil (none / 0) (#162)
by lordDogma on Mon Jul 11, 2005 at 07:13:32 PM EST

unless you include the crusades. But considering that the crusades were a series of defensive wars against Islamic invaders (well, at least the first couple were), I dont think you can blame the west.

[ Parent ]
Blame or who is more to blame (none / 0) (#219)
by levesque on Sat Aug 06, 2005 at 05:41:27 PM EST

I don't think that helps much and maybe guilt, anyway, is a form confusion.

[ Parent ]
Not to mention (none / 1) (#163)
by lordDogma on Mon Jul 11, 2005 at 07:51:09 PM EST

The west will find a way to feel guilty about anything. Just take a look at the Live8 concert.

[ Parent ]
Stupid masses (none / 0) (#179)
by levesque on Tue Jul 12, 2005 at 05:50:51 PM EST

Its a nice way of saying we bankrolled brutal dictators who repressed their stupid masses so that we could have cheap oil and keep the Soviets out.

Not that simple, who, what and why, the reasons don't reduce so easily to cheap oil and soviets. Abuse is not restricted to the US, they just stand out at this point in time, it's a synergy of "Western" Nations, transnational entities and their own stupid masses.

The masses have an average IQ of 100, not what I call stupid. If some masses feel guilty of abusing other masses I would maybe say that it's at least, overall, an accurate feeling, though maybe not with a well define source. We can continue to dig deeper and look at what parts of "pursued stability" we, and all other masses, can do better without.

The clearer things become, the easier it is to notice what causes more harm than good.

[ Parent ]

I'm not defending the Arabs/Muslims (none / 0) (#183)
by lordDogma on Tue Jul 12, 2005 at 06:58:05 PM EST

I put US interference in the ME at 40% of the cause of why its so f*cked up. the other 60% is because of the Arabs themselves, along with other countries.

I have no White Guilt (TM). I'm not trying to make the US out to be the cause of every problem in the world. I support Israel. But I am saying that our policies vis a vis the ME have been extraordinarily incompetent in the long run, when you look at the big picture. Carter, Regan, Bush I, Clinton, Bush II, all incompetent.

This is not to say that I think the Arabs/Muslims are just poor innocent victims. It takes at least two to tango, and in the ME, about 10 were tangoing. The Arabs are most responsible for their own misery, even though they are unable to admit it.

BTW, I use the term stupid masses as a loose reference to the population of a country. I have good reasons for doing so. I do not think they are literally retarded at the individual level. I simply mean that at the mass level, they tend to be very susceptible to propaganda, and just plain poor political decision making.

[ Parent ]

Time slice (none / 0) (#220)
by levesque on Sat Aug 06, 2005 at 05:55:46 PM EST

This is not to say that I think the Arabs/Muslims are just poor innocent victims.

Of course not

It takes at least two to tango, and in the ME, about 10 were tangoing.

External financial support can make people do a lot and there is always the gun to make someone dance

The Arabs are most responsible for their own misery, even though they are unable to admit it.

And so are the Westeners in that light. We can do stuff to help deescalate, they can do stuff to help deescalate. It is the same kind of stuff for both.

[ Parent ]

No, it is because of involvement in mid east... (none / 0) (#115)
by b4b0 on Sun Jul 10, 2005 at 07:20:07 PM EST

Not so much hatred of west.
WHORING: http://www.chrakworld.com
You mean because of Britain's support for Israel? (none / 0) (#143)
by HollyHopDrive on Mon Jul 11, 2005 at 06:12:59 AM EST

I don't think so. Hamas condemned the bombing (surprisingly). Well, it may have been a perk, as I'm sure the terrorists hate Israel, but I'd be astonished if that turned out to be the main reason. Afghanistan and Iraq are much more likely.


I make too much sense to be on the Internet.
[ Parent ]

Hamas has political face to save.. (none / 0) (#144)
by b4b0 on Mon Jul 11, 2005 at 06:20:41 AM EST

which is why they condemned it.
WHORING: http://www.chrakworld.com
[ Parent ]
afghanistan and iraq are in the middle east.. (none / 0) (#145)
by b4b0 on Mon Jul 11, 2005 at 06:21:23 AM EST

but I was also thinking of isreal!
WHORING: http://www.chrakworld.com
[ Parent ]
You're half-right (n/t) (none / 0) (#151)
by nidarus on Mon Jul 11, 2005 at 08:59:56 AM EST



[ Parent ]
UK had never been attacked before by Islamists. (none / 0) (#117)
by Tezcatlipoca on Sun Jul 10, 2005 at 08:26:28 PM EST

It was not until the last invasion of Iraq (that unlike the first one is widely regarded as illegal by everybody but Blair and Bush) that the UK became a target. It makes a hell of difference to have countries like Saudi Arabia, Iran, Syria and Egypt behind you. Our rushed politicians did not care about this.

Yeah, the terrorists may want to conquer the world, but an invassion of Iraq with broad support from the Muslim world would have been entirely possible, more desirable and would have shown a commitment to fairness, which is one of the biggest problems the US and their allies have. Western powers are perceived as unfair when dealing with Muslims. This whole fiasc did not endear us to them. And the nutcases found plenty of justifications to commit their attrocities.

Now Bush wants to put this idiotic nutcase in the UN to complete the job, to ensure that cooperation in the UN is almost impossible. Great job GW.

People in the right side of the political spectrum (that still bloody matters) conveniently forget that the Islamists wanted to get rid of Hussein who was building a secularized society (oppressive, dictatorial and brutal, but secular).

Islamists changed their tune in regards to Iraq because they saw the invassion as an obvious attempt by a small group of nations (sorry, I forgot migthy Salvador was involved) to put down a Muslim country no matter what. Thinks like Guantanamo Bay and Abhu Gharib I am pretty sure did not make much to impress them of the contrary. And knowing that the US goverment is headed by former oil barons, surely does not give the US much credibility.

And before the flamefest starts let me make an important point.

Explaining is not justifying.

For bunnies sakes, our goverments launched an illegal war and now somebody is retaliating. If people can't get that around their heads then the only future we have is an spiral of violence in which bombings in London an other cities become as familiar as the ones in Israel.

The nutcases do not hate the West for what it is, they hate it for what it ha (or they perceive it has) done.

It will take a political leader with vision and courage to take steps to dispel these perceptions in the Muslim world.

Somebody like Condolezza Rice or Hillary Clinton. Oh darn....

Might is right
Freedom? Which freedom?

Mostly correct but... (none / 0) (#123)
by lordDogma on Sun Jul 10, 2005 at 08:54:40 PM EST

The nutcases do not hate the West for what it is, they hate it for what it ha (or they perceive it has) done.

Wrong. They hate it for both. If we stay in the ME then we are in for long, endless war. If we leave the ME tomorrow then we are in for a few decades of peace followed by long, endless war.

Prior to Iraq there was a chance to fix the problem. Now there isn't.

1) Retreat from any conflict - seen as a victory by the Jihadists, made possible by Allah. They gain credibility and therefore recruits.

2) Continuation of any conflict - seen as an attack on Islam by infidels. They gain recruits and therefore credibility.

Lets face it already. WWIII is inevitable. Depending on what we do, we will either have to nuke millions of them in the next few years, or nuke millions of them 50 years from now.

[ Parent ]

You are wrong (none / 1) (#161)
by generaltao on Mon Jul 11, 2005 at 06:31:32 PM EST

First, I have to say that I've really enjoyed your posts on this topic.  I'm not a regular contributor to K5, but once in a while I follow a thread.

Usually, I've disagreed with your positions.  However on this subject either our viewpoints are closer than usual, or your thinking (or mine?) has shifted/evolved somewhat.

I disagree with your point #1:
"Retreat from any conflict - seen as a victory by the Jihadists, made possible by Allah. They gain credibility and therefore recruits."

OK.. I partially disagree.  It's true the Jihadists would feel it's a victory and that this might pump them up for more mayhem.

However, and this is a big however, it does NOT follow that endless war would result.  The Jihadists are HIGHLY dependent on the political climate in the lands out of which they base their operations.

Should "the West" effect a policy change that would have as its immediate effect a perceived withdrawal from a conflict which is used by said Jihadists to sway popular opinion, it would have a disarming effect.

The people in these areas are even less eager to fight this "war" than is "the West".

There is also the black on white instruction in the Qur'an:

"'If the enemy incline toward peace, do thou also incline toward peace."

The whacked out jihadists may not care about it, but their so-called "reservoir of support" most certainly will.


[ Parent ]

The West is in a pickle. (none / 0) (#133)
by bobzibub on Sun Jul 10, 2005 at 11:15:45 PM EST

It will take more than a "political leader with vision and courage to take steps to dispel these perceptions in the Muslim world."..  It'll take policy change plus a generational change.

On their side:
-Ideas
-"distributedness"
-Notion of being the underdog etc.
-economic stress
-stealth

On our side:
-Military & Economic Power
-pliant media

Personally, adding up the assets, I think their team looks more likely to win.   The best we can get is a long term war.  Dispite the fact that we kill many more than they do, they have many more willing to die.  The West cannot negotiate with one splinter of some group:  There is no representative authority.  They are financed, motivated and the Iraq war has spawned a new tech savy generation.  We cannot bomb new ideas into people's heads.  They cannot bomb new ideas into ours.

Lying governments are par for the course for Persians.  The West can start all the TV and radio stations it wants and it won't do any good.  Only our actions will counter the belief that we are evil.

All we can do is put the screws into Isreal to settle and not support "our SOBs" to the detriment of the average Habib.  We will have to let them have their governments too.  Better to loose Algeria.  Ask the French.  If we let them form their governments they will have a clear example of why Islamic Law is not a fantastic way to run a government.  In the end it is their country.

We had better do something to help Africa too.  That is a deep swamp.  Imagine if most of the terrorists were not just swarthy but black?  Western institutions would not withstand this.  People of Middle Eastern decent are a small proportion of the population, and are not as politically organized.

The West must renounce violence.  The Osamas won't follow the Obamas, but their children might.   Iraq is this generation's rallying cry for war just as the twin towers was.  (Everyone gets upset, but usually only the young act.)

Of course, using b/c analysis, it is probably cheaper for us all to continue fighting.  Ahhh. never mind.

-b

[ Parent ]

I'm still confused (none / 1) (#135)
by IceTitan on Mon Jul 11, 2005 at 01:18:10 AM EST

about the whole 'illegal war' thing. By what law was it illegal. International law does NOT count.
Nuke 'em from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.
[ Parent ]
Oh (none / 1) (#160)
by generaltao on Mon Jul 11, 2005 at 06:19:32 PM EST

" International law does NOT count."

Oh.  Then what law was Iraq breaking?

[ Parent ]

You need not break a law. (none / 0) (#165)
by IceTitan on Tue Jul 12, 2005 at 12:46:44 AM EST

Only give the semblance of threat.
I would dare say most wars are not started because some country broke a law.

Nuke 'em from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.
[ Parent ]
Could have fooled me.. (none / 0) (#168)
by generaltao on Tue Jul 12, 2005 at 10:28:01 AM EST

by the pre war rhetoric.


[ Parent ]
better rethink the afghanistan comment (none / 0) (#127)
by mikelist on Sun Jul 10, 2005 at 09:36:15 PM EST

I don't think that you poms completely left Afghanistan, at any rate there is a large US military presence there. I don't hold out much hope of it leaving the third world roster anytime soon, lacking a full subsidy of the opium trade. When American jingoists talked of bombing it back to the stone age, I reckon they didn't realize how few firecrackers that would have taken.

it's not religious fervor (3.00 / 4) (#130)
by jcarnelian on Sun Jul 10, 2005 at 10:01:00 PM EST

"Why do they hate us?  I'm not sure about the word hate, I think it's probably wrong; religious fervour built up so that the actions it causes resemble hate is more likely."

They hate us because they are economically and politically miserable while we are rich and comparatively free. And if you can step outside your right-of-center viewpoint for a moment, you can understand why: Islam used to be one of the most sophisticated and powerful cultures around; arguably, it was even one of the most liberal cultures around at the time.

Do we "deserve" it?  I don't think anybody "deserves" to get blown to bits in the subway.  And at the level of the individual, this is, of course, horrible.

But let's look at the rise of the West: conquest, colonialism, crusades, and the cold war.  We continue to benefit from the crimes of our ancestors, and we continue to repeat them.  

As long as people keep misdiagnosing terrorism as some kind of irrational religious fervor, it's not going to get addressed correctly.  Christian, atheist, whatever, your countrymen would also produce their share of suicide bombers in a similar situation.

The only way to eliminate terrorism is to make sure that the distribution of wealth in the world is more uniform.  But that won't happen as long as people in the West are such whiners in economic matters.  And so, things will continue as they are: they suffer, we suffer, and nothing gets done.

what is a terrorist? (none / 0) (#132)
by ccdotnet on Sun Jul 10, 2005 at 11:10:06 PM EST

As long as people keep misdiagnosing terrorism as some kind of irrational religious fervor, it's not going to get addressed correctly.

Exactly.

They are not irrational, "mad", "insane", and certainly not unintelligent. They are expressing themselves and trying to change their situation, using the only means they see as available.

When does a "terrorist" become a "freedom fighter" - when they're on your side?

We've made our bed, now we're sleeping in it.

[ Parent ]

Terrorism (none / 0) (#134)
by lordDogma on Sun Jul 10, 2005 at 11:59:37 PM EST

FBI Definition:

"The unlawful use of force or violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives."

Implicit is the idea that the groups comitting the "terrorism" are criminal groups, politically motivated groups, or other non-state actors (but which may be state-sponsored). Attacks using a state's armed forces are considered acts of war rather than terrorism.

Some western intellectuals deride this definition because it is worded in such a way that western states (who can use their powerful armies to comit violence) are not stygmatized with the word "terrorist", while third-world states generally are.

However, most of these western intellectuals put forth rather lame arguments. They suggest that the only reason guys like OBL are called "terrorists" rather than "freedom fighters" is because they happen to be on the other side and that our side is too dim-witted to recognize our own violence as causing "terror".

This is not the case however. Most people on our side would agree that if the US government sent out hired hit squads to deliberately kill civilians in other countries by blowing up commuter trains and hijacking airplanes, that we would be committing acts of terrorism.

Regardless, it really doesn't matter what you think. Lets say that terrorism is defined as "committing any act of violence against anyone". In that case the word would simply lose its meaning and other linguistic methods would be used to differentiate between dropping bombs by F-16s and blowing up trains.

Lastly, "terrorist" and "freedom fighter" are not mutually exclusive. It is possible to be both. But one thing is for certain. People who commit terrorist acts with the ultimate purpose of trying to establish a brutal, totalitarian Islamic theocracy cannot be called "freedom fighters" by anyone who wants to be taken seriously.

[ Parent ]

Are you kidding? (none / 0) (#174)
by cdguru on Tue Jul 12, 2005 at 03:42:07 PM EST

Terrorism is irrational because it stands no chance of actually resulting in any real change - if the terrorist believes they are performing a rational action which will lead to a desired situation, they are mistaken. The irrationality of their actions are pretty plain - outright savagery (i.e., things like recent "terrorist" attacks) have never lead to anything positive.

So it is pretty plain to everyone in the West that these guys are just resorting to savagery because it is (a) convenient, (b) we leave ourselves open to it, (c) it feels good - really great to be honored as a martyr, and (d) it strikes a blow against the enemy.

Let's take a less emotional situation. Did the Pearl Harbor attack have a positive result? Did Japan feel good about Pearl Harbor? Maybe for about five seconds until Admiral Yamamoto came out with his "sleeping giant" quip. Other than that, Pearl Harbor was a utter failure - it did not vanquish an enemy, it just provoked a response. All the bombings that have occurred in the US, UK and Middle East have not resulted in one Muslim country being freed of the yoke of Western oppression - if you choose to view it that way. Neither will any further bombings.

Here is another example that some might feel compelled to bring up: the attack on the Marine barracks in Lebanon. 243 US Marines were killed leading to the removal of US forces from Lebanon. Of course, that didn't stop the warship from standing off the coast and battering the city with 16-inch shells. Did it accomplish the objective? Look at who is running Lebanon now - not a milita member in sight since they finally threw out the Syrians.

Terrorism might feel good to these people as it is an action against the enemy. Properly viewed, it is remarkably similar to a three-year-old kicking the door because his mother won't give him ice cream. Unfortunately, this kind of tantrum can cause a lot more damage than a three-year-old so they have to be restrained. A difficult problem.

Clearly, if the "insurgents" are allowed to win in Iraq - either by action or inaction - we are going to be facing the short-term success of this kind of action. Do you believe that the result of the insurgents throwing Western troops out of Iraq would be the formation of a Islamic paradise? Of course not. Nor would it result in any long-term success for anyone. It would just delay things and encourage others that savagery produces results.

Pearl Harbor produced results too, for a while

[ Parent ]

Nope not kidding. (none / 0) (#182)
by lordDogma on Tue Jul 12, 2005 at 06:44:13 PM EST

Terrorism is irrational because it stands no chance of actually resulting in any real change.

Actually it works extremely well. And the enemy knows it. Unlike us, they don't view things in terms of short term gains. They look at the long run. I'm talking 40, 50, 60 years. It doesn't matter if they die in the short run or if their people get bombed. That just means they go to heaven, because they died in the cause of fighting for Allah.

Take a look at Israel. Israel used to be the "good guys" fighting off invading Arab armies. After a few decades of Palestinian terrorism against Israel and the West, Israel has become Nazi Germany in the minds of many western intellectuals. They are pulling out of Gaza and will eventually be forced to leave most of the west bank. They have more UN resolutions against them than all of the ME dictatorships combined. Ever ask why? The answer is because terrorism works. As soon as the PLO started attacking the Europeans (e.g. hijackings and what not), they switched sides, because they weren't willing to pay the blood price of supporting Israel against an enemy they knew could not be defeated (unless of course they were willing to kill millions of people).

[ Parent ]

Sorry (none / 0) (#187)
by cdguru on Tue Jul 12, 2005 at 08:27:49 PM EST

The resolution for Israel will be either (a) Israel ceases to exist and we relocate (or kill) all of the non-Arab people living there or (b) Palestine ceases to exist and the people are absorbed into other countries.

After the 1948 UN decision, (b) was pretty much assumed as the way things were going to be. Option (a) has been utterly unthinkable. It is still unthinkable to Jews and anyone with much understanding of the Jewish people and even Christianity. It should be unthinkable to everyone, in my opinion.

There is no "everyone gets along" option. Today ended the undeclared, unenforced "cease fire" that was suggested by Abbas. We're back to bombs going off in Israel.

Somebody is going to lose this, and the decision hasn't been made yet. I'm betting on Israel, which means once again terrorism has only short-term success.

[ Parent ]

terrorism "works" (none / 0) (#190)
by ccdotnet on Tue Jul 12, 2005 at 09:16:06 PM EST

Terrorism is irrational because it stands no chance of actually resulting in any real change

Actually it does achieve change. Perhaps not the type of change you condone or desire, but change nevertheless. Else they wouldn't bother.

if the terrorist believes they are performing a rational action which will lead to a desired situation, they are mistaken

Again, it's not your (or my) desired situation or outcome, but it is theirs. Case in point the result of the Madrid bombing re: the election.

[ Parent ]

disagree (none / 0) (#176)
by m a r c on Tue Jul 12, 2005 at 05:11:48 PM EST

please site the motivation for the bali bombings. These were carried out by groups that had not political or even practical stake in either afghanistan or iraq.
I got a dog and named him "Stay". Now, I go "Come here, Stay!". After a while, the dog went insane and wouldn't move at all.
[ Parent ]
They did have a political stake (none / 0) (#181)
by lordDogma on Tue Jul 12, 2005 at 06:31:02 PM EST

They wanted Australia to leave Afghanistan.

A bunch of Morrocans were responsible for the Madrid bombing. They wanted Spain out of Iraq. It worked.

You don't understand their motivation. Its not about getting something good to happen in this world. Its about pleasing Allah and living in paradise in the next world.

[ Parent ]

motivation != cause (none / 0) (#221)
by jcarnelian on Wed Aug 10, 2005 at 11:22:17 AM EST

Individual terrorists probably have all sorts of motivations, including that many of them are psychopaths and losers.  

But you shouldn't confuse those motivations with the causes of terrorism.  The causes of the existence and growth of terrorist organizations are likely primarily social and political: poverty, lack of education, discrimination, occupation, etc. Religion, ambition, and crime are just means by which those organizations motivate and control their members.

We may be able to reduce terrorism by addressing its causes.  But we won't be able to reduce terrorism by addressing the motivations of individual terrorists; if those terrorists were Christian or Buddhists, they'd still be terrorists, and their leaders would still be using the language of religion to spur them into action.

[ Parent ]

wasn't the bali bombing part of an local conflict (none / 0) (#186)
by dudsen on Tue Jul 12, 2005 at 08:16:09 PM EST

As i recal it the bali bombings were done by some local guerilla figting the same fight they had been fighting since before september 11 2001.

[ Parent ]
You forgot to mention (none / 0) (#191)
by lordDogma on Tue Jul 12, 2005 at 09:20:18 PM EST

they just happened to be muslims.

[ Parent ]
re: it's not religious fervor (none / 0) (#156)
by ShaggyBofh on Mon Jul 11, 2005 at 03:25:19 PM EST

The only way to eliminate terrorism is to make sure that the distribution of wealth in the world is more uniform.

Let's not incorrectly blame "single reason x or y", let's blame wealth distribution.

Imagine all wealth was equally distributed among all people across the planet. Who will have all the money in 30 years? Will I, the spender, have more money then Bill Gates? Will Joe the crack smoking bum live in a 3 story mansion? No. Given enough time the money will be exactly back where it started. (Perhap education and good spelling would help)

I personally believe there's no single cause or solution to any complex problem such as terrorism, but attempting to define an issue such as this with "rich stay rich, poor stay poor" is not accurate.

Don't mean to be a pecker, it just touches a small button when someone gripes about a country/individual being rich when their not and blaming everything on inequality. Usually that inequality is caused by being lazy (I'm not rich and know why, perhaps your different).

-----
Just say NO to negativity.
[ Parent ]

Local/Global inequalities (none / 0) (#170)
by procrasti on Tue Jul 12, 2005 at 12:27:14 PM EST

I don't think your examples are very good... Of course there will always be inequality, especially on the individual level, but the inequality the GP was talking about is about entire nations. I don't think you can blame the current inequalities on laziness.

-------
if i ever see the nickname procrasti again on this site or anywhere in my life, i want it to be in an OBITUARY -- CTS
doing my best at licking arseholes - may 2015 -- mirko
-------
Winner of Kuro5hin: April 2015
[ Parent ]
the bombers were likely British-born (none / 0) (#201)
by ToastyKen on Wed Jul 13, 2005 at 02:03:30 PM EST

They hate us because they are economically and politically miserable while we are rich and comparatively free.

Unfortunately, I don't think it's that simple, given that the bombers were likely British-born.  Obviously, these people weren't so happy with their station in life, though.  And I probably agree that without whole societies to fund them, they would've never done this.

[ Parent ]

Tillykke.gif (none / 0) (#142)
by JVincent on Mon Jul 11, 2005 at 06:03:04 AM EST

"the large dollops of hippy-bullshit and the stench of pseudo-intellectualism." Welcome to the club!!

Lions, tigers and bears.. oh my! (3.00 / 2) (#146)
by vhold on Mon Jul 11, 2005 at 06:41:38 AM EST

This whole entire thing reminds me of how people act after a shark or bear attack.

More people die of food poisoning every day then of the london terrorist attack.

More people probably die from infected toilets then from terrorism every year.

....

Your fear of terrorism is the main thing that perpetuates terrorism.

Think about the way this thing goes...

Who are 'The terrorists' ?  The london attacks could have been done by a few very disenfranchised children.  It could have been done by the shadowy ninja hand of the taxi drivers association to get people to take more cabs.  Who knows..  

What's the use of all this speculation that assumes you know who the attacker is?  You are just granting them the status as meaningful.  

That is the greatest incentive of those who you suspect and the greatest shield for those you don't.

While what you say is true (none / 0) (#147)
by HollyHopDrive on Mon Jul 11, 2005 at 07:05:23 AM EST

I think we were entitled to feel frightened and shaken on the day and for a short time after. True, we must not be crippled by fear and follow politicians blindly from it. And true, it's not the greatest human disaster ever. We knew that. Still, when the system that takes millions of people, including yourself, around one of the busiest capitals in the world, gets attacked by terrorists, you are allowed to feel shaken and shocked for a short time.

In the interests of balance, you need to remember that. Many people went to work on Friday (I did) and pretty much everyone is back to work today. Don't confuse understandable shock and distress with an eclipse of everything else that's important.


I make too much sense to be on the Internet.
[ Parent ]

Fair enough. (none / 1) (#149)
by vhold on Mon Jul 11, 2005 at 08:13:27 AM EST

The primary reason I feel the way I feel is that people are so willing to immediately totally believe, with nothing besides a double dosing of heresay, their standard familar Al Qaeda is responsible for this and probably all future terrorist acts.

It totally reminds me of the way anytime anything nefarious happened on G.I. Joe, one of the Joes would say "I betcha Cobra is behind this here nonsense..!" and lo and behold, in that world, it was always true. (*)

Even if Al Qaeda really is responsible, what difference should it make to us?  Hmm, some organization that is basically too afraid to face the light of day in front of it's enemies is scaring us.  That organization shouldn't even be granted the status of recognition and all the postulating about their motives and how we can make them happy or whatever the heck is basically exactly what they want.

They should be treated with the same disdain and dismissal that we give to every run of the mill sociopath.

(*) Well, except that one time it was da viper.  That was probably the best episode ever.  Basically the Joes follow cryptic clues all over the world they are receiving from 'Da viper' over the phone and keep encountering Cobra by chance, but when the final hour comes, it's just some immigrant type dude with a thick accent that has come to (v)ipe their windows.  Somehow that episode feels prophetic to me in some seriously minor and arcane way.

[ Parent ]

On second thought... (none / 0) (#150)
by vhold on Mon Jul 11, 2005 at 08:28:04 AM EST

Replying to myself again here..

On introspection about what I just said..

I now think it's possible that by publicly postulating about what it is that could make them happy, as a public society we are discouraging their terrorism, because they look at this and see "Hey, it's not the citizens that hate us, maybe the whole terrorism bit is.. wrong? .. hmm.. but how do we get support?" and causes them to halt some of their activities..

Because when you think about the overall scheme of things, terrorism like the london bombing is probably extremely easy overall, except for overcoming the moral qualms.  This is why I think that just blaming Al Qaeda is so premature and bizarre.  People seem to act as if having a few bombs go off at once is the most amazing thing...

Maybe by pretending it is amazing, your run of the mill angry person is less likely to think they can get away with it?

Now I'm really off the deep end here.. heh.  But to get back to where I was going with this, maybe a lot of the die hard potential terrorists hold back their attacks on mainstream civilians because we express our sympathies with them.. ?

(talk about a flip flop)

[ Parent ]

My story (none / 1) (#157)
by twickham on Mon Jul 11, 2005 at 05:08:58 PM EST

Im a Londoner who lives in Finsbury Park. I take the Piccadilly Line to get to Chiswick for work. I missed(bassed on my timing) the Pic Line that exploded near Russell Sq. I had to try to run for the tube to find the door closing just a bit too late(everyone knows that slightly annoying feeling right). The only thing I keep thinking about is the woman that gave me a sympathetic smile from the window. She was standing in the first carriage in the standing area of the first carriage. Where the device went off. I dont care all about the politics of it any more. The dickheads that did this can bite me. Ill go to work and keep going like all the others that commute in.

Meh, fuck it. (none / 0) (#215)
by gordonjcp on Mon Jul 18, 2005 at 05:28:17 PM EST

50-odd dead and a few hundred injured? Less than a week's traffic casualties for Greater London. Puts it in perspective, when you think that even without those bombs *every single one* of those people could still be dead by now. And there wouldn't be any anguished well-meaning outpourings and photoshopped crying bulldogs wrapped in the Union Flag, just a grieving family, some tyremarks, and some paperwork in a police station drawer.

Give a man a fish, and he'll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he'll bore you rigid with fishing stories for the rest of your life.


[ Parent ]
There is, however, a significant difference (none / 0) (#218)
by HollyHopDrive on Wed Jul 27, 2005 at 09:13:05 AM EST

between a genuine traffic accident, and a terrorist bomb designed to murder innocent people.

Besides, this attack probably wasn't about killing as many people as possible. It was about crippling London.

Like it or not, terror bombs are bigger news than traffic accidents. This is not because your life is worth more if you're killed by a terrorist. It's because the wider implications of a terror attack stretch further than a car crash and, I submit, murder is more horrifying than accidents.


I make too much sense to be on the Internet.
[ Parent ]

Justification (none / 0) (#167)
by redeye on Tue Jul 12, 2005 at 09:42:48 AM EST

Whichever way you look at it, there's no justification for blowing someone up.

What if they blew up your family? Not by strapping themselves with sticks of dynamite and walking into your house.. but from a warship a thousand miles away in the Arabian Gulf?

Would you then feel justified in blowing them up?

I agree (none / 0) (#206)
by D Jade on Wed Jul 13, 2005 at 08:50:17 PM EST

What the Author is obviously saying though is that our countries' acts are just as deplorable of the terrorists. So if we really are going to win the war on terrorism, we have to stop terrorising the muslim world...

You're a shitty troll, so stop pretending you have more of a life than a cool dude -- HollyHopDrive
[ Parent ]
Hear Hear!! (none / 0) (#172)
by macshaggy on Tue Jul 12, 2005 at 03:09:52 PM EST

I'm living in Texas and this article is excellent. It's easy to point fingers but the reality is - we don't know why? or really who? though we have some ideas. The biggest question I've been asked is: would I want to go to England (Europe) after this? My answer is YES! Terrorism works if you stop living your life and don't do what you want. That is true freedom. Freedom is free is not bought and sold - though my conseratives feel that it is. Being Free you sometimes have to fight for it but that's not payment. I'm free to go to Europe if I don't then the terrorists have truly won. What did 9/11 teach us? To stop flying? No to live your life as openly and freely as possible is to live defiant of terrorism. Anyone saying that the bombing have any meaning hasn't a clue as to why the bombers did this. It's not about Iraq or Afghanistan. It's not about Palestine vs Isreal. It's not about Jew/Christian vs Islam. (I find that one funny considering how closely Islam is related to Judaism than Christianity is.) It's about those nations that a society starts looking to and questioning their own as to why aren't we as free as them? And those in control fearing that they shall lose the power because intellectuals pose those concepts in an oppressed society. Britian, France, Spain, Italy, et al... with America are really freer societies than the Taliban or Fundamentalist Societies of Islam. (Note: I'm not stating that it's not possible because some Muslim societies are just as free as these places are.) You can be against a war? But why should you ever say that a government supports a war deserves to have it's populace attacked. We first attacked military installations but when the military and then insurgents start to use it's populace as a shield it's are fault that innocents have died. It's a recurring theme of war but if you notice they haven't attempted to attack a military installation they went straight to the innocents and that isn't war it's terrorism and this would have happened regardless or anyone being in Iraq. Think about the World Trade Center - how many times was it attacked and what war were we in to have this attack occur. There was no reason other than to show some power freak's intent on proving how the west is weak and that their blend of fundamentalistic islam is superior.
Sometimes you have to ask yourself - What would Scooby-Doo?
Freedom is bought and sold though (none / 0) (#205)
by D Jade on Wed Jul 13, 2005 at 08:48:26 PM EST

That's the only freedom you have. You can either choose to drink pepsi or coke, London or Texas. You can choose not to drink pepsi or coke by turning your back on society. But then, if one day you decide to you want coke or pepsi (or a trip to london) you won't have the means to do so. You're not free.

I must ask though, if there is no meaning behind the bombings, what is the meaning of the war?

You're a shitty troll, so stop pretending you have more of a life than a cool dude -- HollyHopDrive
[ Parent ]

Is this irrelevant now... (none / 0) (#178)
by alexei on Tue Jul 12, 2005 at 05:32:09 PM EST

that the police believe that bombers were British nationals?
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/4676577.stm

British citizens of Pakistani origin. (n/t) (none / 0) (#180)
by lordDogma on Tue Jul 12, 2005 at 06:26:14 PM EST



[ Parent ]
Are (none / 0) (#203)
by D Jade on Wed Jul 13, 2005 at 08:40:37 PM EST

British all the same...

You're a shitty troll, so stop pretending you have more of a life than a cool dude -- HollyHopDrive
[ Parent ]
In fact (none / 0) (#204)
by D Jade on Wed Jul 13, 2005 at 08:42:25 PM EST

The first line of the article states that their belief is as follows:

Detectives now believe the London bombings were carried out by four British-born men in what were possibly the country's first suicide attacks.



You're a shitty troll, so stop pretending you have more of a life than a cool dude -- HollyHopDrive
[ Parent ]
ha (none / 0) (#207)
by uptownpimp on Thu Jul 14, 2005 at 04:08:52 PM EST

He said "pull out" way to many times.

=========================
My name is actmodern and I approve of this message.
coitus interruptus (n/t) (none / 0) (#216)
by actmodern on Tue Jul 19, 2005 at 05:56:09 PM EST



--
LilDebbie challenge: produce the water sports scene from bable or stfu. It does not exist.
[ Parent ]
Excellent (none / 0) (#222)
by sirpinchaloaf on Fri Sep 02, 2005 at 03:14:40 PM EST

Excellent post.

Letter from London | 222 comments (182 topical, 40 editorial, 0 hidden)
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