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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Why are Muslims so angry? (Page 2)

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Author Topic: Why are Muslims so angry?
Stephan
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Russian pogroms actually come to mind.
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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by Destineer:
quote:
I also think it's very difficult for those of us raised in a secularized Western culture to understand how much moral value is placed on respecting the sacredness of objects or leaders in most of the rest of the world. Jonathan Haidt talked compellingly about this in his book "The Righteous Mind", about how upon immersing himself in a particular culture (in his case rural India) he began seeing the sacred dimension to morality in a way that he had been blind to before. In Haidt's research, he found that in those cultures with a respect for these sacred rules and taboos, there was no ability to differentiate between harm done through physical violence and harm done by violation of sacred taboo. They felt, morally, just the same. He found further that educated, wealthy Americans are the extreme outliers in this case, and that we have a globally unique inability to understand harm done by violation of social standards based on reverence or sacralization.
Outliers or not, we're the ones whose values actually make sense.
It makes some sense. We are the people in the world most likely to be invincible to this brand of harm. Thus we do not appreciate it as a real quantity.
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Rakeesh
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I think Destineer's point is that people oughtn't think it's a real quantity, or rather make it a real quantity. That nothing good is lost but in fact gained when people discard the idea that offensive words and ideas have to be silenced to protect people. Quite aside from all the lovely secular benefits we enjoy from that decision, the possibility of genuine faith in anything is inversely proportional to the risk and harm suffered by anyone who challenges it.
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TomDavidson
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It's not a real quantity. There is no such thing as spiritual harm; there is no such thing as the spirit. Some people really, truly believe that these things exist, and are thus capable of whipping themselves into a froth over imaginary harm, but this is not actual harm.

It is actual insult, no matter what, and that is a harm -- but should you kill someone over an insult?

We've talked before about the Mormon practice of proxy baptism, and observed that there are some religions who'd feel that actual spiritual harm is being done in this scenario -- but, of course, Mormons do not share this belief. Mormons acknowledge that they are insulting the faiths of others when they perform proxy baptisms, though, but also believe that this actual insult is less problematic than the imagined spiritual harm of not having a baptism performed.

There are Muslims who believe, quite sincerely, that it is better to kill a blasphemer -- for the blasphemer and for the community -- to allow that person to live. That they are sincere in this belief does not mean for a minute that we need to accept that position as sensible; we simply need to be comfortable about saying, "Your sacred belief is absolute nonsense."

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Rakeesh
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I think it's a real enough quantity when people decide it is. I mean, if someone decides they're being literally hurt by something such that it actually causes them pain or distress, and then they actually do feel that pain or distress, it becomes a pretty academic point.

I wholeheartedly believe, though, that everyone is much better off abandoning the notion that if you're going to believe in the supernatural of any stripe, drop the junk idea that the supernatural part of you whatever that might be will suffer just because it encounters a taboo idea-whether you agree with it or not, whether you approve of it or not, but only by merely detecting it and holding the taboo idea in your mind, even without agreeing with it.

I think the proper response to this sort of thing isn't to say, "Your sacred belief is absolute nonsense," though of course it is. It's to say, "We are happy with whatever goes on between your ears that you wish, but leave us out of it."

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Parkour
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What if whatever is going on between their ears demands that they not leave you out of it given certain conditions? What do you do then?
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Darth_Mauve
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What I find interesting is that their cultural base belief that Mohammed can not be insulted has run head long into our cultural base belief that people are free to say anything they wish.

The fact that they are demanding as just and right, that we censor our people against insulting Mohammed strikes us as corrupt, ignorant, and immoral at the same base cultural level as insulting Mohammed strikes them as corrupt, ignorant, and immoral.

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Rakeesh
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quote:
Originally posted by Parkour:
What if whatever is going on between their ears demands that they not leave you out of it given certain conditions? What do you do then?

In my opinion then the proper thing to do-because this is one of those areas where it really is perilous to give an inch, I think-is to express regret that an understanding can't be reached, if it can't, but a firm insistence that our own conviction that what goes on between their ears ought to stay there so far as we're concerned is *at least* as sacred to us as their belief that the given taboo idea is actually harmful to them, and is thus equally unthinkable to shift.

Then, over the course of time, win the war of ideas as will happen barring state or religious repression.

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Dogbreath
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quote:
Originally posted by Kwea:

Imagine if they did to us what we did to them, even if they were justified in doing it. I bet we would be pissed, and we would call the roadside bombs and snipers The Resistance rather than terrorism.

Actually we don't call it terrorism, we call it insurgency. Terrorism is a term only applied when civilian targets are involved, or in cases where no attack is in anyway justified. (like the bombing of the Marine barracks in Lebanon 30 years back)

I realize that using personal experience to give weight to an argument is a pretty cheap trick, but I'll preface what I'm about to say by stating I've had 2 friends and at least a dozen acquaintances killed by IEDs and another 3 wounded (including one of my best friends who had his leg blown off by a failed daisy-chain IED)... while those sort of attacks obviously make me very angry, I don't really have any beef morally with the people who do them. In this scenario, I'm not an innocent party, I'm there in their country doing my best to kill them. They have every right to try and kill me back using whatever means necessary. It's just a low-tech version of a cruise missile or airstrike.

I do have a big problem morally with them capturing and torturing/murdering journalists. Or killing the families of Afghan soldiers/government employees. Or going into U.S. friendly towns and killing everyone. Or bombing schools because they're run by Christians and/or educate girls. (That one actually happened while I was in the Philippines, but it was done by a Muslim group with Al-Qaeda ties) Or flying planes into buildings.

For that matter, I'm also strongly and vocally opposed to our current military policy of "acceptable civilian casualties" when using artillery or airstrikes. It's why I joined the Marines and why I'm a big proponent of sending in troops as opposed to bombing, even if it costs more money and greatly increases the number of casualties we suffer. A bomb can't tell the difference between a man with a weapon and a little girl. A human can.

So basically, does the Islamic world have a reason to be angry at us? Yes, absolutely. Mostly due to our (IMO) unethical and immoral military policy. Do they have any justification for killing innocent people? Hell no. And honestly, the depressing fact is that most of the innocent people being killed in these riots aren't Americans, they're their own countrymen.

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Szymon
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Dogbreath, actually, I don't think it's a cheap trick speaking out of you own expierience. I think it's most valuable, since all we do is talk and never see it and feel it how it really is and you do. What I say may sound cheap, but hey, I don't care.

It's great what you say about willing to endanger your own life rather than have those poor people bombed at random.

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Destineer
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quote:
Actually we don't call it terrorism, we call it insurgency. Terrorism is a term only applied when civilian targets are involved, or in cases where no attack is in anyway justified. (like the bombing of the Marine barracks in Lebanon 30 years back)
They haven't been very careful about that lately. People have gone to Guantanamo just for attacking the troops.
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Dogbreath
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Are you sure it wasn't for other things as well? Because typically their "troops", when captured, are held locally and questioned for a month or so, and then turned over to the Afghan government. (where they're either imprisoned for a couple years, or more often, are ransomed back by their family/tribe) It's usually only the really high ranking ones that get sent to Gitmo.
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Rakeesh
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And I will also venture the opinion that the higher one goes in various Taliban and al Qaeda affiliated (even when only ideologically) groups, the likelihood of one being a straightforward insurgent simply fighting because we're there begins to drop. Their agenda doesn't end with Americans out of Iraq and Afghanistan, but starts there.
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Destineer
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An example of what I'm talking about:

http://www.salon.com/2011/06/22/terrorism_35/

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Destineer
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Here's one who went to Gitmo:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Omar_Khadr

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Destineer
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quote:
It's usually only the really high ranking ones that get sent to Gitmo.
Did you seriously think this? Or by "usually," do you just mean something like more than 50%? Because there have been a lot of flunkies sent to that prison.
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Rakeesh
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Depending on what exactly those flunkies did (and how we know it), I see no problem with that on moral grounds. Plenty of other problematic facts about the place, of course.

I would have more respect for the article you linked, Destineer, if it hadn't taken the plain stance that the insurgency in Iraq exists to fight the US, and is outraged by civilian casualties. Because, you know, horses*%t. That is certainly a motive for plenty of insurgents, and as a country we've a lot to answer for. But it's not *us* who target mosques and marketplaces and pilgrimages on holy days and tries to cut ties between neighboring communities. 'Spent seven years destroying that country' was rich, too. I suspect the writer has no appreciation for how very different things would look had we actually done that.

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Destineer
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For the sake of argument, I'll grant everything you just said. Do you think those guys committed an act of terrorism?
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Rakeesh
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Those two? No. What do you think ought to have been done with them?
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Blayne Bradley
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I think the solution to all of our problems is to reestablish the Caliphate under a female descendant of Mohammed with Israel as a semi-autonomous region and an Exclusive economic Zone like Hong Kong.
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Dogbreath
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quote:
Originally posted by Destineer:
Here's one who went to Gitmo:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Omar_Khadr

Tangential, but I was 13 years old when he was sent to Gitmo. I realize it's been a long war and a lot has changed since it started... as far as I've seen, though, Gitmo is reserved for people suspected of plotting/committing terrorism against the U.S. Our government doesn't have much interest in normal insurgent ground troops after they're captured, other than doing some interrogation and background checks to extract whatever intelligence can be gleaned and to make sure they're not related to anyone important. Afterwards they turn them over to the Afghan government - it's their country after all. I imagine things were a lot more dodgy back in 2002, and mistakes are often made. (You seem to have jumped on this point rather aggressively - are you assuming I'm in favor of the existence of the prison at Guantanamo Bay?)
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Dogbreath
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quote:
Originally posted by Blayne Bradley:
I think the solution to all of our problems is to reestablish the Caliphate under a female descendant of Mohammed with Israel as a semi-autonomous region and an Exclusive economic Zone like Hong Kong.

Trollin trollin trollin, Rawhide!
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Dogbreath
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(I hope)
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Thesifer
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http://sjlendman.blogspot.com/2011/04/lies-damn-lies-and-misreporting-about.html

An earlier report analyzed unclassified government data (obtained through Freedom of Information Act requests) based on evidentiary summaries of 2004 military hearings on whether 517 detainees held at the time were "enemy combatants."

Most were non-belligerents. In fact, a shocking 95% were seized randomly by bounty hunters, then sold to US forces for $5,000 per claimed Taliban and $25,000 for supposed Al Qaeda members. At least 20 were children, some as young as 13.

In his first February 2006 report, profiling 517 detainees through analysis of Defense Department (DOD) data, Denbeaux found:

-- only 8% "were characterized as al Qaeda fighters;"

-- 55% committed no hostile act against US or coalition forces; and

-- of the remaining 37%, most had no connection to either Al Qaeda or Taliban forces, based on the Pentagon's assessment.

In his latest March 2011 report, Denbeaux headlined, "Rumsfeld Knew: DoD's 'Worst of the Worst' and Recidivism Claims Refuted by Recently Declassified Memo," explaining that:

Rumsfeld's memo showed he lied, calling into question whether anything he, or other Pentagon officials, said was true. In fact, Denbeaux's reports refute virtually everything from official and major media sources, exposing their deception in detail. They show the vast majority (perhaps all) Guantanamo prisoners were and still are innocent or "low-value" detainees, posing no terrorist threat to America or other nations.

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Destineer
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quote:
Those two? No. What do you think ought to have been done with them?
Something other than what actually was done with them. They shouldn't be charged with terrorism, certainly. Seem like potential POWs to me.

But my only contention here is that in present-day America, 'terrorism' is no longer "a term only applied when civilian targets are involved, or in cases where no attack is in anyway justified." And that it's not correct to say that "It's usually only the really high ranking ones that get sent to Gitmo."

quote:
(You seem to have jumped on this point rather aggressively - are you assuming I'm in favor of the existence of the prison at Guantanamo Bay?)
Nope, just trying to correct any misconceptions that may be out there.
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Dogbreath
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A couple things.

First, I said "it's the high ranking ones that get sent to Gitmo" - and by "ones" I mean, Afghan insurgents. (Iraqi too, probably) I never said "Gitmo is inhabited by high ranking insurgents." Gitmo is inhabited by people the U.S. government (often erroneously) believes to be involved in or connected to terrorism against the U.S. The cases you've linked to are at least half a decade old, but, for example, that boy was probably sent there because he's an Egyptian Canadian - which means he's probably a lot more valuable of a source and probably knows a lot more about the terrorist networks involved that some pissed off illiterate teenager who's given an AK-47 and told to shoot Americans.

I doubt our government gives two shits about what a goatherd from some mountain village knows - because he probably doesn't know anything. (and if he does, he probably doesn't know that he knows anything) The only insurgents they're interested in presently sending to Guantanamo are the higher ranking officers who would have information about Al Qaeda or other terrorist groups, since they're the ones actually interacting with them. Again, this is current SOP.

Of course stupidity happens and Gitmo gets filled up with a bunch of random people, many of whom are useless humint sources. This isn't because we're sending every last insurgent to Guantanamo, it's because somewhere along the line someone (mistakenly or not) though they had important ties to a terrorist organization. And they get stuck there, because we don't really have any way of trying them/extraditing them. It's one of the reasons I'm incredibly against the prison there. But if you think every random 17 year old, or even 0.1% of the insurgents we arrest and bring in for questioning are sent to Gitmo, you're drastically underestimating the size of these wars.

As far as "present-day America", well, yes obviously. I'm not sure of Kwea's nationality, but I assumed I was addressing an American. If you reread my post you may find I was being a little more exclusive than you think in that "we."

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twinky
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quote:
Originally posted by Dogbreath:
quote:
Originally posted by Destineer:
Here's one who went to Gitmo:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Omar_Khadr

Tangential, but I was 13 years old when he was sent to Gitmo.
He was 15. He's still there. Worth thinking about.
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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by Destineer:
quote:
Actually we don't call it terrorism, we call it insurgency. Terrorism is a term only applied when civilian targets are involved, or in cases where no attack is in anyway justified. (like the bombing of the Marine barracks in Lebanon 30 years back)
They haven't been very careful about that lately. People have gone to Guantanamo just for attacking the troops.
Or being unlucky enough to have been picked up by ransom hunters and called a terrorist.
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Destineer
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quote:
I doubt our government gives two shits about what a goatherd from some mountain village knows - because he probably doesn't know anything. (and if he does, he probably doesn't know that he knows anything) The only insurgents they're interested in presently sending to Guantanamo are the higher ranking officers who would have information about Al Qaeda or other terrorist groups, since they're the ones actually interacting with them. Again, this is current SOP.
I'm sure that's correct. The thing is, I'm sure that was also the procedure in the early '00s, at least on paper.

quote:
Of course stupidity happens and Gitmo gets filled up with a bunch of random people, many of whom are useless humint sources. This isn't because we're sending every last insurgent to Guantanamo,
No disagreement here, for sure.

quote:
it's because somewhere along the line someone (mistakenly or not) though they had important ties to a terrorist organization.
In many cases that's probably correct, but in some cases, like Khadr, I find it pretty hard to believe.

Thesifer:

quote:
They show the vast majority (perhaps all) Guantanamo prisoners were and still are innocent or "low-value" detainees, posing no terrorist threat to America or other nations.
Seems pretty implausible that they were all either innocent or low-value. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was clearly neither of those.
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Dogbreath
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Yeah, IMO, the biggest problem with Guantanamo Bay isn't so much that we send people there (though that is a problem) than that we don't have a system in place to send them elsewhere when we're done with them. (i.e, to either prosecute and imprison/execute them, or to extradite them if they're clearly not terrorists) There should be a 6 month or maybe 1 year maximum turnaround time.

I guess what I'm trying to say with all this is the U.S. military doesn't have a policy of labeling local insurgents as terrorists or treating them as such - the ones that do end up in Gitmo are because of mistakes, or because of ties to terrorist organizations, not because of policy. The vast majority of the time they're treated like POWs - detained, treated for injury, questioned, and released to their government. (Who sometimes *do* charge them as terrorists, you know, for killing civilians or blowing up schools or whatever, but usually just release them for a bribe)

[ September 24, 2012, 11:18 PM: Message edited by: Dogbreath ]

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Dogbreath
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http://news.yahoo.com/guantanamos-last-western-detainee-returned-canada-143025383.html

Another step in the right direction. 166 left to go.

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JanitorBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by twinky:
quote:
Originally posted by Dogbreath:
quote:
Originally posted by Destineer:
Here's one who went to Gitmo:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Omar_Khadr

Tangential, but I was 13 years old when he was sent to Gitmo.
He was 15. He's still there. Worth thinking about.
I still don't understand how you can be convicted of murdering a soldier in a fire fight.
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Kwea
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quote:
Originally posted by Dogbreath:
quote:
Originally posted by Kwea:

Imagine if they did to us what we did to them, even if they were justified in doing it. I bet we would be pissed, and we would call the roadside bombs and snipers The Resistance rather than terrorism.

Actually we don't call it terrorism, we call it insurgency. Terrorism is a term only applied when civilian targets are involved, or in cases where no attack is in anyway justified. (like the bombing of the Marine barracks in Lebanon 30 years back)

I realize that using personal experience to give weight to an argument is a pretty cheap trick, but I'll preface what I'm about to say by stating I've had 2 friends and at least a dozen acquaintances killed by IEDs and another 3 wounded (including one of my best friends who had his leg blown off by a failed daisy-chain IED)... while those sort of attacks obviously make me very angry, I don't really have any beef morally with the people who do them. In this scenario, I'm not an innocent party, I'm there in their country doing my best to kill them. They have every right to try and kill me back using whatever means necessary. It's just a low-tech version of a cruise missile or airstrike.

I do have a big problem morally with them capturing and torturing/murdering journalists. Or killing the families of Afghan soldiers/government employees. Or going into U.S. friendly towns and killing everyone. Or bombing schools because they're run by Christians and/or educate girls. (That one actually happened while I was in the Philippines, but it was done by a Muslim group with Al-Qaeda ties) Or flying planes into buildings.

For that matter, I'm also strongly and vocally opposed to our current military policy of "acceptable civilian casualties" when using artillery or airstrikes. It's why I joined the Marines and why I'm a big proponent of sending in troops as opposed to bombing, even if it costs more money and greatly increases the number of casualties we suffer. A bomb can't tell the difference between a man with a weapon and a little girl. A human can.

So basically, does the Islamic world have a reason to be angry at us? Yes, absolutely. Mostly due to our (IMO) unethical and immoral military policy. Do they have any justification for killing innocent people? Hell no. And honestly, the depressing fact is that most of the innocent people being killed in these riots aren't Americans, they're their own countrymen.

Well, it depends on which side of the fence you are sitting on, I suppose. Which was my actual point.


For the record, I was not in Iraq, but I was in the Army, and I personally know 4 people seriously injured over there by the same tactics. My entire family has pretty much served in the armed forces over the past 50 years, and we have had family members die while serving.

A lot of the tactics of terrorism are similar, or the same, as the tactics we taught them to use against the Russians 30 years ago. They seem themselves as rebels, as freedom fighters. We don't.

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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by JanitorBlade:
quote:
Originally posted by twinky:
quote:
Originally posted by Dogbreath:
quote:
Originally posted by Destineer:
Here's one who went to Gitmo:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Omar_Khadr

Tangential, but I was 13 years old when he was sent to Gitmo.
He was 15. He's still there. Worth thinking about.
I still don't understand how you can be convicted of murdering a soldier in a fire fight.
So if someone starts shooting at American soldiers, ipso facto, that makes it a firefight?
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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:
quote:
Originally posted by JanitorBlade:
quote:
Originally posted by twinky:
quote:
Originally posted by Dogbreath:
quote:
Originally posted by Destineer:
Here's one who went to Gitmo:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Omar_Khadr

Tangential, but I was 13 years old when he was sent to Gitmo.
He was 15. He's still there. Worth thinking about.
I still don't understand how you can be convicted of murdering a soldier in a fire fight.
So if someone starts shooting at American soldiers, ipso facto, that makes it a firefight?
When American revolutionaries ambushed the German Hessians in Trenton, was that an assault with a deadly weapon, 1st degree mass murder, followed by kidnapping?
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Rakeesh
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I suspect BlackBlade (he can correct me if I'm wrong) takes 'firefight' to be more or less 'legitimate', even if begun from ambush but not, say, firefight to mean 'soldiers happen upon 'insurgents' in the process of massacring a village or congregation at a mosque and proceed to try and kill them'.

Of course all of this underlines just how badly we're in need of a serious, global redefinition of just what warfare is-or at least what it is to us, rather than the haphazard approach we seem to take, along with everyone else.

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Parkour
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http://www.dw.de/dw/article/0,,16274399,00.html
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Rakeesh
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That does highlight how, in my opinion, there are at least two broader problems in the Islamic world with regards to how it reacts to provocation. On the one hand, there are of course the many varied political and military problems, controversies, atrocities, provocations, so on and so forth that help to add fuel to any sort of fire anywhere in the world. That can't be underestimated.

But on the other hand, there is also another problem: the idea held by so much of the Islamic world in general, and the Arabic world in particular, that not only should freedom of expression be a right but that violence in response to it not just not so bad but sometimes appropriate. While there have been many Muslim religious and political leaders condemning violence in response to cartoons, books, or Youtube videos, the higher up the chain you go the harder it becomes to find someone expressing both severe condemnation without also hearing rumblings about how awful the initial 'provocation' was, and how just maybe freedom of speech needs to be used 'responsibly' and could we maybe consider enacting laws to that effect.

If you wanted to create an example of a group of people likely to be totally neutral to this whole video issue, a list would surely include Bangladeshi Buddhists. But someone somewhere, probably a local religious and political leader (pogroms rarely start without them) was able to sell a connection: there's an offense being given to Islam by America (or, well, a couple of total non-entities in America), so let's torch some Buddhist shops here.

Truthfully, much of that can probably be attributed to the first set of problems. After all, when a population is really agitated by those sorts of problems plus with a heaping helping of economic woes, mobs are never exactly hard to come by once local authorities decide to permit them-and sometimes even when they don't.

But where the second set of problems comes into focus, I feel, is in the aftermath, in the statements made about the violence. That's when the fundamental disdain or discomfort with freedom of expression really reveals itself. That is also when I'm reminded of how unusual our country and culture is with respect to freedom of expression.

Hell, even within our own borders it's not a right that is univerally well regarded. In all seriousness a coworker told me that one of the biggest problems humanity as a whole has is when people can make offensive statements (he was referring to African-Americans voicing racially-themed support for Obama, shocking) to another group, secure in the knowledge that they'll be able to say what they like. It leads, according to him, strife and we ought to, somehow, restrict people from making that sort of statement.

The idea that ideas should combat one another and not be rigged by government force, that there might be some difficulty in deciding just which ideas to restrict, so on and so forth, met with no success at all.

[ September 30, 2012, 08:55 PM: Message edited by: Rakeesh ]

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Mucus
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
... If you wanted to create an example of a group of people likely to be totally neutral to this whole video issue, a list would surely include Bangladeshi Buddhists. But someone somewhere, probably a local religious and political leader (pogroms rarely start without them) was able to sell a connection: there's an offense being given to Islam by America (or, well, a couple of total non-entities in America), so let's torch some Buddhist shops here.

I'm not unsympathetic to the larger point, but I don't think that this (assuming you're talking about Bangladesh) is about the American anti-Islam video or has anything to do with America.

quote:
Muslims had taken to the streets to protest against an internet photo they said defamed Islam.
... A young man accused of posting the photo was escorted to safety. At least 20 people were said to have been injured. Public gatherings had been temporarily banned, police said.


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Rakeesh
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How embarrassing. I'll have to reread it, it seems-the context of this thread made me completely read 'video', not photo.

Rereading, the story only mentioned a posted photo, so I think you're right. I was talking about more than just Bangladesh there (and most of the same things can be said of that region with its violence and unrest and economy and proximity to Myanmar, but I still thought it was about the video

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Dogbreath
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quote:
I still don't understand how you can be convicted of murdering a soldier in a fire fight. [/QB]
He is a Canadian citizen.

Now, the whole issue of legitimacy is an interesting one - we've long argued the various insurgencies have no legitimacy and should be treated as criminals rather than combatants, but we haven't really acted as such. Afghan citizens fighting U.S. troops in Afghanistan are treated as POWs until they're returned to their government. On the other hand, a Canadian killing a U.S. soldier in Afghanistan is like an American killing a Canadian soldier in Afghanistan, if that helps at all. (I'm not trying to be insulting) He's not the responsibility of the Afghan government, and the U.S. has committed no acts of aggression against the Canadian government or people (in the last 200 years, I mean), giving him absolutely no legitimacy. Therefore it's just murder, plain and simple.

This is actually a problem we frequently encounter with fighters who hop the border from Pakistan. It's not their country. They're in another country illegally, killing citizens of that country and U.S. citizens as well. That makes them murderers, not freedom fighters. Of course, they don't see it that way...

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Dan_Frank
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Right.

BB, I don't think your position is that it's impossible to murder US soldiers, right? Not all killings of our soldiers is warfare, is it?

Or for another example, was Hassan a murderer or a freedom fighter?

Another thought: In most cases of killing we care a little, but not much, about what's going on in the head of the killer. Occasionally exceptions get made for very understandable misconceptions, but generally we care a lot more about the objective facts of the killing.

So I don't have that much respect for the "Well, they don't see it that way..." line of thinking.

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Dogbreath
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quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:

So I don't have that much respect for the "Well, they don't see it that way..." line of thinking.

Yeah, I was being sarcastic.

You know, someone who blows up an abortion clinic and kills 5 people might truly believe that he was doing God's will, but if he's sane, we have no problem with charging him with murder. (and, with that one case in Florida, executing him) I don't see why blowing up schools because God doesn't like girls knowing how to read is any more defensible. Or murdering diplomats because God doesn't like having his Prophet mocked.

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Rakeesh
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It's not. But plenty of people forget just how much time and effort 'insurgents' spend trying to kill each other, not just the invading infidel army of Satan.
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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:
Right.

BB, I don't think your position is that it's impossible to murder US soldiers, right? Not all killings of our soldiers is warfare, is it?

If the dude snuck into the soldier's barracks, and shot him in the face, I guess I could go with murder.

Obviously I don't actually know the circumstances of this incident, but I would hope that if our guys are out on patrol, and get ambushed and win, they don't capture the wounded, ship them to the US, and try them for murder.

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Dogbreath
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BlackBlade, I feel as if you just skipped my entire explanation on why it was considered murder. He's a citizen of Canada and was a resident of Pakistan. He wasn't an Afghan insurgent, he was a terrorist and apprehended in a firefight trying to arrest the terrorists he associated with. (They (the Afghan soldiers, assisted by a Delta Force team) were searching buildings when they were attacked by small arms fire and grenades) Did you miss it, or are you just choosing to ignore what I said?
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Destineer
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So you have to be an Afghan citizen to count as fighting for the Afghanistan resistance?

Wouldn't the same reasoning make Hemingway and Orwell murderers, since they fought in the Spanish Civil War? (Assuming, of course, that they each killed some of the enemy.)

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Rakeesh
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It certainly helps to be an Afghani to be considered an...Afghani resistance fighter, that seems to follow, yes. But I wouldn't quite draw the line there myself. But if we link you to the bombing of a pilgrimage or say a utilities plant, then no, not a soldier anymore.
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Dogbreath
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quote:
Originally posted by Destineer:
So you have to be an Afghan citizen to count as fighting for the Afghanistan resistance?

The legality of it all is sketchy, but yes, or at least a resident. ("Afghanistan Resistance" is a misleading term there) As far as the charges, many of these Afghan citizens *are* charged as murderers - by their own government. On the other hand, a Pakistani militant who enters Afghanistan illegally and kills Americans will be held and tried by the US. Is there some part of this that doesn't make sense? I feel like I've repeated this several times.

Afghanistan is a sovereign nation and they deal with their own rebels as they see fit. This isn't an ethical statement, it's a legal one. It's also a statement of fact, not at all my argument of how things *should* be. Am I really that bad at communicating?

quote:
Wouldn't the same reasoning make Hemingway and Orwell murderers, since they fought in the Spanish Civil War? (Assuming, of course, that they each killed some of the enemy.)
I don't know, would it? What was the policy of the Spanish government at the time? Again, this isn't "reasoning" (that I'm doing anyway), it's "this is how things are, as far as I know." I don't really get how you're not understanding that.
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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by Dogbreath:
BlackBlade, I feel as if you just skipped my entire explanation on why it was considered murder. He's a citizen of Canada and was a resident of Pakistan. He wasn't an Afghan insurgent, he was a terrorist and apprehended in a firefight trying to arrest the terrorists he associated with. (They (the Afghan soldiers, assisted by a Delta Force team) were searching buildings when they were attacked by small arms fire and grenades) Did you miss it, or are you just choosing to ignore what I said?

Missed more than skipped.

By that logic Lafayette and Von Steuben were terrorist cell leaders. Being foreigners assisting American rebels. Again it makes the Hessians terrorists too. I understand it's fuzzy, but the guy was clearly with enemy belligerents, and in a firefight with our soldiers. Afghans who infiltrate the army, and then commit a green on blue attack, that seems much more akin to murder.

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