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Author Topic: WAR ON TERROR: My analysis
Shlomo
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A few things that you may find worth pondering:

Just how, exactly, are bombings, invasions, and raids supposed to stop Islamic fundamentalists? Do we really think we can win a War on Terror? The War on Terror has sharply increased animosity towards the U.S. This animosity will bring a lot of people a lot closer to supporting terrorism. So even as we kill off a portion of terrorists, terrorists are added. Because the War on Terror does not improve our standing in the eyes of terrorists, it is more or less fruitless. We will not destroy them through military force any more than Hadrian destroyed the Barbarians, Phillip 2 destroyed the Protestants, or Sharon is currently destroying Palestinian terrorism. It's just like the War of the Fleas: One enemy is killed, three spring up in his place. We'll never win this way. For those who think we can prevail using this strategy- in short, that we are immune to history- I would like to ask: How is this war different from the aforementioned wars?

So an actual WAR on terror will fail. No chance of success. I have a better way. We need to change potential terrorists views of us. We must offer more aid, more education, and greater respect to people with whom we would like to curry favor. This requires swallowing pride. This requires fixing the country's problems instead of covering them all up with the duct tape of war patriotism. But, unlike the current and completely hopeless strategy, it might actually work.

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newfoundlogic
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So we should give the Taliban more weapons? Because that's where our aid to the PLO and other organizations/"governments" goes. And how do you think Arafat became a billionaire? There can't be peace as long as fundamentalism exists. If you think money=no fundamentalism then you need to take a look at Saudi Arabia. In fact, so long as we have soldiers stationed in Saudi Arabia there'll be pissed off Muslims because that's why Osama bin Laden started his extremism against the US, because of our "occupation" of Islamic holy sites. Well, that and our support of Israel. As far as Sharon and terrorism is concerned, if it weren't for anti-terrorism measures taken by Israel the deaths there would be even more staggering.

*Disclaimer*
I don't think all Muslims are radical fanatics, nor do I believe Arabs or Muslims should be specifically targeted because they fit that desciption. I do believe there is a significant percentage of Muslims/Arabs that do take an extremist view point and that must be recognized.

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Desu
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War is Peace.

Funny how despite Americas vast and powerful intelligence agencies both Ben and Sadam got away -Carpet bomb the already suffering poor and spare the leaders.

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Maccabeus
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Needle in a haystack, Desu.

Anyone who really believes radical-religious terrorists can be talked out of hating America has his head in the sand. Ultimately, there is a last-resort, guaranteed-success military option, namely wiping out the entire population of the Middle East. Should we do it? Absolutely not--not unless it proved to be the only way. But it may yet.

Either we kill the terrorists or they will kill us. They've eliminated all the other options themselves.

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MaureenJanay
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What do we want?

Mmmmm....peas.
.
.
How do we get it?

With a KNIFE.

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Desu
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I don't think it has reached those proportions just yet... A handful of radicals...
I wonder if Ben Laden and Sadam are still alive; does anyone inspect the ashes of the bombed palaces?

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Bob_Scopatz
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There's another way not to let terrorists win. You go about your daily life and actually make your society MORE open in response. Some will die. But how many will die the way we're going about it now?

Another few points to ponder:

1. We are paying today for past failures of our leadership to choose their allies wisely. Who are we choosing to ally ourselves with today? Are we making today's expedient choices all the while knowing that our grandchildren will pay for our having buddied up to the guys in Pakistan, Turkey, even Israel for crying out loud?

2. Our niavety is wearing thing. A superpower cannot afford to act in ignorance. Why? Because then we look like bullies. The whole idea of a pre-emptive ANYTHING is a nightmare for us diplomatically and, ultimately, miltarily. It means that our potential foes can't trust us to act reasonably. That reputation for being scary and unpredictable may work great in the schoolyard or when you're walking down busy urban streets, but it is not a wise long term strategy for a nation among other nations. By rejecting diplomacy now and in this manner, we make it harder for future generations to negotiate diplomatic solutions to their problems as well. Because no-one will trust us to keep our word. And we can whine all we want about Saddam not keeping his word. But everyone knows there's a huge difference between a tiny country and the world's only superpower.

3. Our response to terrorism is actually just another way for special interests to line their pockets and feed at the public trough. Look at the way our leaders are doling out contracts in Iraq if you need proof. The first round of contracts went exclusively to US firms. In the second round we're barring any company that's based in a country that disagreed with us about the war. On the face of it, that sounds like justice. We did the work, we paid for it, our companies should reap the benefits. But wait...what exactly are we saying? Your government didn't go along with us, so your company can't bid. In other words, your politicians need to act like our politicians and bring home the bacon. See...our companies are profiting by this war and your companies aren't. Get the message? War is good for business, so next time play along...

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Tresopax
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The War on Terror mainly achieves one positive thing: It makes us feel like we are doing something, like breaking things when you're mad makes you feel better.

If anyone can point to any other positive results, I'd love to see them. For the moment though, hatred against America is on the rise, acts of terrorism are still on the rise, our deficit is on the rise, Al Qaeda still functions, the Taliban still function, Arab nations still seem to be funding terrorists, and studies keep suggesting out security remains very weak. People keeping saying we need to wait for results, but there's never any explanation about how any of this is supposed to lead to any other positive results at any point in the future, near or distant. The only thing said is "What else can we do?"

If nothing else, if this war is costly and only making things worse, we could do nothing. There's nothing to suggest we'd be any less safe (if not more safe.)

[ December 10, 2003, 10:40 PM: Message edited by: Tresopax ]

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Bokonon
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*Files for membership in the Bob Scopatz Party*

That was awesome Bob.

-Bok

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BYuCnslr
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newfoundlogic: Were you actually paying attention? He said give aid, not weapons, you know teach, modernize, you don't just throw money at them, we know that doesn't work, that's what started the Taliban, we gave them weapons and we gave them money, no, we AID them, we build schools, roads, industry. Immediatly after the Pacific War there was a lot of hatrid towards the US by the Japanese because we dropped two atomic bombs on them, Hiroshima being a 100% civilian target. Why are they generally peaceful towards us now? Because amid the massive censorship, we gave them a chance to modernize, infrastructure was built. Guns and bombs do nothing but promote violence, but if you build a bridge, you promote peace and trade.
Satyagraha

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Ela
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Good observation, Bernard. [Smile]
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Dan_raven
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Bob, I wrote a poem shortly after 9/11 that said those exact same things, about how to defeat Terrorists. I think you said it better though.

What are some of you suggesting? An Islamic Genocide? Should we open up some gas camps in the desert and start shipping them there by the train load?

We cannot defeat terrorism with bombs. We can defeat the high level of organization some of the terrorists are using. We can stop the flow of some (most?) of the money they are getting.

However, the only logical way to stop a man wrapped in explosives from blowing up our people is to make it not worth his sacrifice.

Since such a fool is living in a world of violence, adding violence to the equation won't work.

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Bokonon
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Dan, that last sentence is a thought I had while posting in another thread... The terrorists know violence, many of them revel in it. Ultimately, we need to get those who are not terrorists yet to be on our side.

-Bok

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odouls268
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my goodness ive discovered what the problem is: PEOPLE. there is entirely too much human involvement on this planet. eliminate all human life, and youll eliminate the fundamentalist problem, the hippie problem, the military problem, the christian problem, and of course, those pesky republicans.

there's a campaign slogan for ya "Human Annihilation '04"

[Razz]

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Bokonon
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Nah, odouls, this guy already has my vote:

http://www.cthulhu.org/

-Bok

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odouls268
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HAHAHA [ROFL]
i still say if we would just write in George Carlin, we'd be good to go.

His dog, tippy, could be vice president.

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Dagonee
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quote:
Funny how despite Americas vast and powerful intelligence agencies both Ben and Sadam got away -Carpet bomb the already suffering poor and spare the leaders.
There was no carpet bombing in either Iraq this year or Afghanistan over the last two years. Come on, at least try to appear accurate.

Dagonee

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odouls268
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haha. Ben. thats funny. we're calling him ben.
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odouls268
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oh yeah and i second dagonee's motion
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The Rabbit
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What would victory in the War on Terror look like? In WWII, we knew what victory meant -- we wanted the un-conditional surrender of the German and Japanese governments -- we wanted our troops occupying Berlin and Toykyo. But I haven't heard anyone even begin to define what victory in this war would look like and how we would recognized that we'd won.

If we are seeking to end all terrorism in the world, then Ireland and Israel should be evidence enough that our task is impossible. In Ireland and Israel, for every terrorist captured or killed, ten more pop up to take his place. Why do we presume the outcome of our war will be any different?

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Shlomo
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Responding to the two people who seem to be disagreeing with me:

NFL, reading the post more closely will answer most of your comments. As for your Israel remarks, I have one word: Oslo. Quite a few of my friends absolutely despise this treaty. Once I cut through a muck of hemming and hawing, I get what my English teacher at least had the forthrightness to say straight out: they cannot think objectively about terrorism. Once they would turn their freakin minds on, they would instantly discover a more peaceful period during Oslo's effectiveness than at any point before or after. They are incapable of viewing terrorism objectively, and this incapacity will only lead to more violence and danger toward the Israeli state's existence.

I will now turn my attention to Maccabeus, who has made oodles of unsupported generalizations such as "Either they kill us or we kill them." Unfortunately, the "them" in 5 years or so, at the current state of affairs, are doing nothing wrong now.

Maccabeus...your ideas are actually quite novel...about three millenia ago. In the meantime, we've found out hundreds of times that in a War of the Fleas, the fleas keep biting until the superpower bleeds to death. Isn't it a TAD troubling to anyone that we are resolving these types of conflicts the same way the Roman Empire did a loooong time ago?

Cato- I mean, Maccabeus...carthego delenda est. In a far more modern and equally atrocious context, you have just proposed a Final Solution. The same justifications you gave for the war on terror could have and in fact have easily been used by Frederick the second, Napolean, Hitler, or the pathologically expansionist historical figure of your choice.

If anyone likes my ideas, I'd appreciate their firing them at any and all people who need to hear it. I sincerely hope but seriously doubt that I'm wrong, but in most cases that mean talking to the next person they encounter.

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Scott R
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What logical manipulations must one apply to oneself to be able to look at terrorism objectively?

It's not like you can make a list of pros and cons, Shlomo.

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Maccabeus
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Shlomo, I would like to apologize for my remarks. These debates have an unhealthy effect on my reasoning abilities. For some reason, whenever I think about Arab countries and the current international situation I become angry and frustrated and I say things that are inappropriate.

I do not bear the individual people of any Middle Eastern nation any ill will. But I do not see how these people (collectively) can ever be persuaded to leave us alone. I do not see any way to peace except to get rid of them, because their culture appears (to me) to produce constant revenge attacks even after the people who caused the perceived wrong are long dead (or out of office). It seems to me that if you are right, the fleas will keep biting regardless of anything we do until we are bled out. But then, I am not a statesman, a cultural expert, or a diplomat, and my failure to perceive options does not mean they do not exist.

Right now I am able to keep calm mostly because I have worked all night and am exhausted. I will try to refrain from further provocative remarks on threads such as these--which probably will have to mean avoiding them altogether.

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Argèn†~
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You're right, doomed to fail.
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kerinin
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quote:
Our response to terrorism is actually just another way for special interests to line their pockets and feed at the public trough
here's an interesting link from worldpolicy.org: Revamping American Grand Strategy

quote:
In its annual report to Congress on terrorism, the State Department has acknowledged that terrorism is at its lowest level since 1969. In 2002, there were just 199 recorded terrorist incidents, none of which took place on American soil. In fact, as foreign policy columnist William Pfaff has noted, the overwhelming majority of the incidents occurred in four places: in Colombia, where the target was usually a U.S. owned oil pipeline; in Chechnya, the site of a longstanding separatist war; in Afghanistan, where a low-scale war continues; and in Israel and the occupied territories, the result of the second Palestinian intifada and the Israeli crackdown. Even the classification of these incidents is subject to question, since they appear to be more the product of nationalist and separatist violence than they do the work of a global network of terrorists. 1

An independent study of cross-border terrorism by Todd Sandler of the University of Southern California comes to similar conclusions. According to his study, the number of terrorist incidents has fallen markedly from the 1980s, from an average of more than 500 per year to fewer than 400 per year on average in the last decade. Indeed, only 29 percent of all terrorist attacks since 1968 have occurred since 1990. And while terrorism has become somewhat more deadly, it still causes far fewer deaths or casualties than other international phenomena, such as disease, famine, or war. Even including September 11, the average number of casualties per incident was just 3.6, while the average number of deaths was below 1.0. 2

In short, the specter of a growing global terrorist threat that has been the central motivating force behind muscular dominance does not square with the facts. Yet since September 11, these widely divergent terrorist acts have become the rationale for a vast expansion of American military power as well as the war in Iraq, including the establishment of new bases across the arc of crisis from Central Asia to Southeast Asia.

the full article is incredibly long, and unbelievably interesting, i'd suggest reading it...
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bone
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What do you think we are doing with the Iraqis and Aphgans? Especially with Afghan women being allowed to go to school for the first time in years. The U.S. providing support and the Apgans setting up their own democracy. Are these not the steps you wanted the U.S. to take? Furthermore even when the Taliban were in power the U.S. sent large amounts of aid to feed the people there. We also gave them money to help them control the poppy population that they could spend on food and medical supplies.

What more do you want the United States to do? You simply don’t hear about these efforts because they are not “exciting” so the news declines to air stories about it. Could we send even more aid? Perhaps but just throwing more money is always the answer. P.S. The UN and most (if not all of Europe) supported the war against the Taliban but they have yet to muster up and provide any significant help. So far Germany and France just keep bitching without providing workable alternatives or aid. Russia thankfully has provided aid to the Aphgans. Who would have thought the two countries that helped plunge them into their current problems in the late 70’s and early 80’s would be the two that pull them out?

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Shlomo
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Maccabeus...yes, if we do the exact same thing that was done three thousand years ago, we will bleed to death. You actually made a good point. I am assuming too much. However, I remain convinced that fighting terrorists by demonizing them, then blowing them up will not work, and will in fact do more harm than good.

Of course, you're all in Anti-Saddam Nirvana right now, so you're probably not even reading this. Wow. One person was captured. WHOOPEE. How many MILLIONS more resent the U.S. as a price?

Kerinin, it probably is an interesting article, but I have midterms this week. I plan to read it later.

Bone, whatever we're TRYING to do, it's obviously not working. Al Queda is alive and well, and similar groups will thrive in addition to or in replacement of these groups. In Iraq, there is no government. While not worrying about Saddam engineering a coup is always nice, anarchy and civil war most certainly ISN'T, and may come to pass as soon as we withdraw. Despite the occasional window dressing thrown up by proponents of this war, which happens to include recent events, I feel no safer, and in fact feel less so, than I did on 9/11.

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Maccabeus
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Shlomo, what I am saying is that there is nothing else TO do but what the Romans did. We have grabbed hold of a tuft of grass on the cliff's edge; it's almost certain to pull free and let us fall, but it's the only shot we have of getting back up. At least, it's the only one I can come up with.
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Lalo
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quote:
Shlomo, what I am saying is that there is nothing else TO do but what the Romans did. We have grabbed hold of a tuft of grass on the cliff's edge; it's almost certain to pull free and let us fall, but it's the only shot we have of getting back up. At least, it's the only one I can come up with.
Um. How does that hold?

You seem rather dedicated to the idea that Arab countries are filled with mindless zealots who want nothing more than to kill Americans so they can go to Paradise for their 72 virgins. Somehow, I don't imagine that beyond the extremist cults -- such as Wahabbism, which, might I add, was banned in the country we just invaded; Hussein and bin Laden were blood enemies as a result of Hussein's strict secularism -- which already had pretty good reason to hate the US' double-dealing and back-stabbing policies of not so many years ago, the Arab people as a body are determined to kill every white American they come across.

Even though Bush seems determined to give them reason to do so.

The US is not going to conquer the Middle East, not without killing everyone in it. We will not hold Iraq, though no doubt Bush will gouge the taxpayer as much as he can to give Halliburton exclusive, overpriced contracts to rebuild it. The US needs to rebuild good relationships with the Middle East as quickly as possible, as well as hold Bush for a war crimes trial for criminal negligence (at best) for using false evidence to start a war which has, at my last check of British counts, claimed more than 6,000 Iraqi lives.

We don't need to grab tighter to this tuft of grass analogy you've come up with. We need to leave the grass the hell alone after ensuring it has a form of a democratic republic in place. What I find entertainingly bizarre in your post -- though I may be reading it incorrectly -- is that though the Roman empire collapsed because of expansion they couldn't support, the US empire should do exactly the same thing because otherwise those wacky Arabs will, what, attack the US?

It's nearly 5 AM, so I'm sure I'm reading your post incorrectly. If I've interpreted your post incorrectly, I apologize, and I'll be sure to get back to you when I can focus again.

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Maccabeus
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No, Lalo, you heard me right. (And I apologize...in my sleepiness I alluded to Robert Jordan with the tuft of grass analogy.)

Yes, I expect that the Arabs will continue to attack us and our allies as long as we leave them alone. Not that I can see any way out of this dilemma, since any attack that doesn't kill all of them will just make them angrier.

You may remember a number of "why do they hate us?" threads here and perhaps at other sites, though I haven't seen any just lately. (There were more of them within a year of the Tower attacks.) Perhaps no one knows except them, but I have seen basically two groups of answers. 1) They hate us for something our ancestors or a previous administration did to them decades ago. 2) They hate us for supporting our allies (mostly Israel) against their unjustified attacks.

Both of these reasons make a kind of sense, if you're dealing with someone unpleasantly irrational or devoted to generational revenge. The former is kind of hard to undo, and fixing the latter would require at least as much duplicity on our part as you're suggesting is already present. I haven't heard any other reasons, let alone anything that might actually be useful in persuading them we're not such bad folks.

So...you guys tell me. What, other than being sitting ducks for the plane someone doubtless intends to crash into the Sears Tower ASAP, do you think will garner goodwill? Er...oops. [/sarcasm] Seriously. Some ideas really would be nice.

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Lalo
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It's 5:15, so I have nowhere near enough intellectual collection to write a full-out response, but your claim that

quote:
Yes, I expect that the Arabs will continue to attack us and our allies as long as we leave them alone. Not that I can see any way out of this dilemma, since any attack that doesn't kill all of them will just make them angrier.
more than smacks dangerously of rather serious racism. Consider whom it was that attacked whom in this war. Consider that you seem to be suggesting that the US should "kill all of them" if it does anything at all. Consider that Arab people are no different than you or I, except in their skin color and cultural upbringing -- and consider that despite the culture war the US has been attempting to wage in the past few years, most Muslims remain firmly moderate with fundamentalists being in the extreme minority.

Consider that you probably wouldn't want all Christians judged by abortion-clinic bombers, nor all whites by the KKK. Please, consider.

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Shlomo
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Maccabeus,

quote:
We have grabbed hold of a tuft of grass on the cliff's edge; it's almost certain to pull free and let us fall, but it's the only shot we have of getting back up.
[/quote]Some ideas really would be nice.[/quote]

Not quite. It's more like getting your car stuck in mud, and instead of getting out and doing something about it, you keep flooring it until you're buried underground. We would be better off than we currently are if we just went to sleep for two years.

I will choose to ignore your grouping of one third of the world's population into one monolithic mass because, while positively ridiculous, that is not presently my concern...

We would be a HELL of a lot safer now if after 9/11, instead of these dumb wars...

...the airports, and indeed the rest of the U.S., had adopted a security plan that would be worthy of more than birdcage liner.

If you want to keep weapons off planes, fine. Search everyone. Probability will serve as a fickle ally in this war.
If you want to tell the public that it will be partly cloudy with a 10% chance of suicide bombing tomorrow, have fun compromising your intelligence agencies. However, Nostradamus has made more understandable prophecies.

...the War on Iraq was scrapped, thus keeping the doctrine of pre-emptive self defense where it belongs: IN the Pandora's box, as opposed to outside. Hitler, Stalin and Mossoulini could have justified their wars with this cryptic policy as easily as any other. In fact, there is a case to be made that they have.

...stopped these ludicrous WW2 parallels. Hitler is dead. The Axis of Evil surrendered in 1945. Nobody has done anything like Hitler's annexation of Sudentenland in the past decade. Er, oops. Nevermind.

Fine. Keep saying they all hate us. Keep saying we could be reduced to helium nuclei at any moment. Keep saying these things, and building your policy around these things, and they may come true.

For those of you who haven't begun preparing for Crusade, I say, hop to it! Kill while the killing's good!

For those who are STILL reading this, I have other solutions.

We acknowledge that there are no WMDs in Iraq, and make it PAINFULLY CLEAR how important the UN is to the world. Then we talk about how we have not passed the triple standard that a preemptive unilateral strike requires.
After making CERTAIN that every group in Iraq has reasonable representation, we hold elections. Whoever emerges in charge under whatever title will be responsible for protecting his own constituency. Also, we strongly encourage universal public schooling. Since we put them into this mess, we will subsidize the Iraqi government as needed to fight the Baath insurgency.
Having stepped off our bellicose pedestal, we ask the UN to help us subsidize the new Iraq.

In short, we acknowlededge that the UN is important and that Iraqis should be in charge of their own government.

We seriously cut military spending. We have by far the most powerful military in the world. See I just saw on the news that the Berlin wall fell, meaning we don't need to fight Communism...oh, nevermind. We take off our body armor, sheath our sword, and begin to nurse our wounds. Specifically, we fix the economy and fix the government's budget deficit.

Wouldn't hurt to break our addiction to oil. While we cannot quit cold turkey, if we begin looking for alternate and less earth-trashing means for power, we could slash a TON of terrorist funding. Also, if we develop solar power, we will revolutionize the energy industry and stop global warming simultaneously.

We end the Is-your-neighbor-a-terrorist rhetoric. It is quite unproductive, promotes hatred, and makes the population more frightened, and by extension, dumber. Instead, we pay a bit more attention to our borders. We make sure that we don't let anyone onto our soil who does not belong there.

And have I mentioned equal taxation? The Third Estate is bearing far too much of the tax burden at the moment.

Oh...we don't tell the public that this plan of mine is perfect. We tell them the truth: that's it not perfect, but is adaptable to fit their needs.

When terrorist attacks DO happen, and they will, we console the victims' families, condemn terrorism, and take pride in the fact that we are working towards a better future WITHOUT shattering people's lives in the process.

This ins't perfect. Feel free to rip my system to shreds. But I'm willing to bet that these measures will drastically improve the War on Terror and the world as a whole.

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Shlomo
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...IF they're adopted.

OK, that was my More of the day! Time to die for denying the Oath! [Wave]

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Dagonee
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quote:
We acknowledge that there are no WMDs in Iraq
Can we at least wait until we know it's true before we acknowledge it?

Dagonee

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Shlomo
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AH, yes...I guess we should give them more chances, eh?

No.

There's ZERO margin of error in a pre-emptive, unilateral, unprovoked invasion.

So we acknowledge that this war is unjustified.

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Tresopax
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quote:
Can we at least wait until we know it's true before we acknowledge it?
Actually, we should have known the answer before we invaded - and we claimed we did.

Even if we were to still find weapons, it doesn't change the fact that it is now clear we did not have the sort of absolute evidence we claimed we did, and therefore were unjustified in attacking then before U.N. inspections were able to find anything.

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Rakeesh
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Can we cut this unprovoked nonsense?

Be accurate. We were provoked, but we weren't provoked enough to justify war in your opinion.

Open, public financial aid for Palestinian terrorist families, succor to a fleeing terrorist in Iraq, and open and constant, decade-long defiance of the UN and America, and open breaching of a peace treaty, these are all sufficient provocation for war. I think. I at least acknowledge the subjectivity in that judgement, though, and make at least a cursory effort not to simply rewrite history.

Edit: So the bar for invasion of a sovereign (to one tiny minority) nation without an overt, nation-state aggressive military attack is lower if more people agree it's OK? What kind of strange rationale is that?

So if I get a group of my neighbors together and we all decide we don't like one neighbor, and decide to bust down his door and trash the place, it's more acceptable than if I did it alone, according to reasoning like this.

quote:
There's ZERO margin of error in a pre-emptive, unilateral, unprovoked invasion.
As for less safe now than pre 9-11...to me, at least, I find something strange in your rhetoric, Shlomo. You correctly claim that animosity and hatred for America is greater abroad than it was four years ago-although you fail to note that any response 9-11-01 except utter pacifism would have had the exact same reaction from the Arab worl.

So more terrorists and terrorist recruits hate America now than ever before. But our safety methods haven't improved much at all, you say.

Why, then, has there not been another horrific terrorist attack in America-or even abroad-on remotely the scale and professionalism as 9-11? It's been over two whole years. I'm not making a prediction that there won't be another such attack-knock on wood-but it seems curious that we've drastically increased enmity to America, our vulnerability has not changed, but the instances of terrorism in America have not changed. In fact numberous attempts have been thwarted.

quote:
Just how, exactly, are bombings, invasions, and raids supposed to stop Islamic fundamentalists?
By killing terrorists who are training and planning to murder civilians as a means to an end, by removing nation-state support for such people (which is basically the Holy Grail for international terrorism, a safe place to hide when you're not murdering people for politics), and installing non-tyrannical, bloody, autocratic governments in nations with large pools of potential terrorists. The same also applies as a warning to other nations such as-you'll like this-Libya, another nation state that has been proven to sponsor terrorism. Old Moammar got the message.

Tell me how kissing ass and giving money would've made sure he got the same message in a way that isn't founded on curious logic like because Hadrian's Wall didn't work-debateable-our War on Terrorism will.

Yes, I am exaggerating with the kissing ass and giving money bit. Every bit as much as you exaggerate and shrilly hyperbolize the Bush Administration, and anyone who does anything but stridently disagree with them.

quote:
Funny how despite Americas vast and powerful intelligence agencies both Ben and Sadam got away -Carpet bomb the already suffering poor and spare the leaders.
[u]HA![/u]

And bin Laden has nearly twenty years experience running from so-called superpowers. He's got some experience. You people who think that all we have to do is wish an enemy in our custody and we've got him...I swear, that is so wrongheaded and frustrating it's enough to make one's eyeballs explode...and then, when we do nab one...no big deal. Look at all THIS stuff over here! Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain, I am the Great and Powerful Oz!

When have we seen an obviously current videotape of Osama bin Laden? When was the last time? Someone remind me?

[ December 21, 2003, 02:25 PM: Message edited by: Rakeesh ]

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Rakeesh
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quote:
If anyone can point to any other positive results, I'd love to see them. For the moment though, hatred against America is on the rise, acts of terrorism are still on the rise, our deficit is on the rise, Al Qaeda still functions, the Taliban still function, Arab nations still seem to be funding terrorists, and studies keep suggesting out security remains very weak.
Acts of terrorism are on the rise? Substantiate that, please? I heard on NPR recently that Israel was in a lull in terrorism right now, actually. al Qaeda is still functioning...what, we were supposed to utterly eliminate this world-spanning organization full of people who are survivors in an utterly Darwinian profession? And what was their biggest attack in the past two years? Compared to 9-11? Taliban still functions...as a guerilla organization no longer ruling Afghanistan. Arab nations still fund terrorism? Hello Libya!
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Tresopax
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quote:
Be accurate. We were provoked, but we weren't provoked enough to justify war in your opinion.
Yes you could say that, but that waters down the concept of provocation to the point where almost any attack on anyone would be provoked. After all, we did more to provoke Pearl Harbor than Iraq did to provoke this war.

One might make an argument that the U.N. was provoked, because a few of its demands were not heeded by Iraq. But the U.N. had the option of authorizing an attack and chose not to.

But what did Iraq do to the U.S.? Complain about us and hope for our downfall? That's hardly grounds for "provocation", particularly when you consider that we had attacked them in the past, and were trying to aggressively contain them ever since.

quote:
Why, then, has there not been another horrific terrorist attack in America-or even abroad-on remotely the scale and professionalism as 9-11? It's been over two whole years. I'm not making a prediction that there won't be another such attack-knock on wood-but it seems curious that we've drastically increased enmity to America, our vulnerability has not changed, but the instances of terrorism in America have not changed. In fact numberous attempts have been thwarted.
Oh come on, if we HAD been attacked, you'd be claiming that that was proof we needed to do something drastic like invade Iraq to prevent terrorism.

But if we are safer now, how come our threat warning is back to orange again, and has never been below yellow? (Also note that historically attacks in America have come years apart, and the 9/11 was the first instance that actually succeeded on such a high level of sophistication and scope. It's unlikely, no matter how badly we are hated, that terrorists would be able to achieve attacks like that every year.)

[ December 21, 2003, 02:58 PM: Message edited by: Tresopax ]

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Rakeesh
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quote:
Yes you could say that, but that waters down the concept of provocation to the point where almost any attack on anyone would be provoked. After all, we did more to provoke Pearl Harbor than Iraq did to provoke this war.
I think your Pearl Harbor comparison is apples and oranges. With the Empire of Japan, we refused to continue selling valuable raw materials that the Japanese desperately needed to fuel their aggressive, brutal war machine. In addition to refusing to cede American dominance in the Pacific. Now there's a provocation, eh?

Provocation is a subjective word, and you're throwing it around like it's a number, always one thing and obvious to everyone. Your concept of provocation is much lower than mine. And frankly, if it includes what we did to Japan as provocation, it's very unreasonable. Now, as a practical matter, America as a whole should've realized that in their aggressive, belligerent, and expansionist mindset, Japan would view America's behavior as a provocation, but it definitely was not. "Provocation" to you means, I think, overt nation-state military unprovoked aggression. At least that's the standard you apparently want America to live by-although you used that word differently concerning Japan. Correct me if I'm wrong. Hell, some people require the unprovoked military aggression to be made against their nation specifically before they'll endorse war as a justifiable response-i.e. people who oppossed Gulf War I.

quote:
One might make an argument that the U.N. was provoked, because a few of its demands were not heeded by Iraq. But the U.N. had the option of authorizing an attack and chose not to.
There's another hedge. A "few"? Virtually every legally-signed treaty points, and later every demand made by the UN, was flouted by Saddam Hussein's Iraq. The best you can ever say is that, in your opinion, he didn't flout the peace treaty and the UN enough.

I guess that should be written into all peace treaties ending wars of aggression: Points A-G are the points you cannot violate without war. Points F-Z are the points you can violate with slaps on the wrist that hurt your people and not you. The United Nations was never going to authorize war because, frankly, nations such as France, Germany, and Russia (or at least one of those three)-veto-holders all-would never permit it without the artificially and foolishly high standard of overt, nation-state military unprovoked aggression.

quote:
But what did Iraq do to the U.S.? Complain about us and hope for our downfall? That's hardly grounds for "provocation", particularly when you consider that we had attacked them in the past, and were trying to aggressively contain them ever since.
Well let's see. The plot to assassinate George Bush Sr. Public support for repeated murderers of innocent civilians of our ally Israel-the only thing close to a democracy in the region. (And I cannot but laugh at someone who thinks that's the only support for terrorism. If he's willing to do that much publicly, what would he do privately?) Violation of a peace treaty bought largely with American effort, blood, and treasure? Giving medical aid to fleeing enemies of America?

quote:
Oh come on, if we HAD been attacked, you'd be claiming that that was proof we needed to do something drastic like invade Iraq to prevent terrorism.
I'd be claiming it as additional proof. Do you think we'd be hearing from our buddy Moammar if we hadn't invaded Iraq?

Incidentally, since you're telling me what I would do, I'll tell you you would be blaming it on Bush's handling of American foreign policy, adding as a footnote some blame to the actual terrorists, and calling for more appeasement. You know, rewarding the actions of aggression.

quote:
But if we are safer now, how come our threat warning is back to orange again, and has never been below yellow? (Also note that historically attacks in America have come years apart, and the 9/11 was the first instance that actually succeeded on such a high level of sophistication and scope. It's unlikely, no matter how badly we are hated, that terrorists would be able to achieve attacks like that every year.)
I'm not sure how the threat scale is rated-but I am sure that many here, I'm not sure if you're one such, Tres, have openly mocked the color-coded alert system. And just because there is a great deal of threat doesn't mean there's going to be a successfull attack, which is my whole point. It depends on how you are prepared to prevent it. One way to prevent it is to not get complacent, which one could say partially explains the color. One could also say that America engaged in military action in Afghanistan and Iraq qualifies us for a relatively high level of alert, regardless. It's like when there's a war going on with an American military unit nearby-or any military unit. They automatically up their alert level, not because they expect to be attacked, but because it's better safe than splattered.

You also completely ignored that, frankly, our level of watchfulness appears to be working. When was the last instance of terrorism on American soil, or involving specifically American civilians? Nice dodge, that.

Finally, you completely ignored my point. My point was that people in this thread are claiming that hatred of America has drastically increased, while our security precautions have remained largely the same. My question for you, still unanswered except with another question (which I answered), is if these things are true, then why hasn't there been another terrorist attack against Americans specifically on American soil, or abroad? Honestly, can someone tell me when the last terrorist attack involving Americans was? There's been some terrorism in Turkey-killing people who didn't support America in Iraq, which I find bitterly ironic and doubly hateful. Bali, killing a bunch of kids.

But a terrorist attack on people the American security apparatus is actually charged with protecting?

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Shlomo
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Rakeesh, you can take the vicious tone from your posts, BTW. We're all friends here.

ANYWAYS...

quote:
We were provoked...
To an extent. So was Hitler in his invasions if Sudentenland. And for the record, Napolean didn't go ballistic on all those European generals until they tried to take the French government down.

quote:
Open, public financial aid for Palestinian terrorist families...
OK...that describes Saddam, as well as quite a few other people. However, the rest, despite constituting a vast majority of Palestinian terrorist funding, haven't been masqueraded triumphantly around the world press recently...

quote:
So the bar for invasion of a sovereign (to one tiny minority) nation without an overt, nation-state aggressive military attack is lower if more people agree it's OK? What kind of strange rationale is that?
So...according to a certain world minority in that takes great pleasure in calling itself the majority...there's nothing wrong with defying an organization created to stop the next world war? What happened the last time this was done?

I'm not quite sure what you mean by "bar of invasion", but yes, you need a lot more justification when you contradict everyone else than when you agree with everyone else. Right and wrong is not determined by a majority, and in this sense you are correct. But this isn't right and wrong-which is largely subjective at any rate-it is true or false. Truth is not determined at all...it is PROVEN. The FACT that this war is justified has not been proven. Therefore, it is assumed to be false, especially since nearly everyone holds that it is false.

Right and wrong has positively nothing to do with this war. To wage this war because it was the "right thing to do" to bring Iraqis democracy (whether they want it or not) was a justification tacked on after the war actually started. This war was waged based on the presence or absence of an imminent threat to the U.S. Since there have been no unconventional attacks recently, the threat is absent.

As for your interesting analogy...it only holds true if the action is clearly wrong and has no justification...you were the first person to say anything of an action being wrong and unjustified at the same time...you were the one who said that, not me. So it may be what you thought my logic was. Hopefully I've cleared that up.

quote:
you fail to note that any response 9-11-01 except utter pacifism would have had the exact same reaction from the Arab world.
I refuse to accept that as fact. You are taking for granted that "the Arab world" is coterminous with "terrorists" and "irrational and implacably militaristic."

THAT is going to need a bit of support.

Ah, how easy it is to demonize people you don't know...

quote:
Why, then, has there not been another horrific terrorist attack in America-or even abroad-on remotely the scale and professionalism as 9-11? In fact numberous attempts have been thwarted.
There were thwarted attempts before 9/11 too, they just weren't milked to the greatest extent possible.

So you base this war's success on the fact that 9/11 hasn't happened again? That's a very dangerous way to justify things, because if the chances go up to 90% of 9/11 happening again, we won't do anything about it because we're "winning". And precisely because we would think we're "winning", they would happen again.

Calamity on the scale of 9/11 happens rarely. Less than once every two years. So the fact that it hasn't happened again yet doesn't make the war a success. If you'll recall, Al Queda was alive and well and operating for longer than 2 years before 9/11 happened. They have been alive and operating for over two years as I write this sentence. As you can see, we've come a long way in the War on Terror.

quote:
Tell me how kissing ass and giving money would've made sure he got the same message in a way that isn't founded on curious logic
Yeah...I guess I was a little tired. I dunno what I was thinking! [Wall Bash] "...we aren't immune to history..."

You're right, thinking that a little war patriotism is not enough defense against three thousand years of history IS some prettty curious logic...oh, forget it.

Instead if just making all these allusions to your vast store of knowledge, you could let ME in on the fun, you know. If what I said about Hadrian's Wall and the Protestant Reformation and Vietnam is so debatable...debate it.

quote:
...Every bit as much as you exaggerate and shrilly hyperbolize the Bush Administration, and anyone who does anything but stridently disagree with them.
If the hyperbole is false, debate it. If it's correct, it's not hyperbole. I don't know what that paragraph accomplished, though. Again...we're all friends at Hatrack. No need to attack your friends...

quote:
Look at all THIS stuff over here! Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain, I am the Great and Powerful Oz!
OK.

We've paid a dire price in world contempt to take one man out.

quote:
Taliban still functions...as a guerilla organization no longer ruling Afghanistan.
As we've found out in Saudi Arabia, Al Queda's doing just fine without Afghanistan's resources.

quote:
Arab nations still fund terrorism? Hello Libya!
I'd like to know a bit more about Libya. You seem to be using it as THE support for your arguments.

quote:
what, we were supposed to utterly eliminate this world-spanning organization full of people who are survivors in an utterly Darwinian profession?
That may have been the best thing you've posted today. I'm not quite sure how it bolsters your arguments though...
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Destineer
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quote:
Public support for repeated murderers of innocent civilians of our ally Israel-the only thing close to a democracy in the region. (And I cannot but laugh at someone who thinks that's the only support for terrorism. If he's willing to do that much publicly, what would he do privately?)
I'd like to point out that giving support to Palestinean suicide attackers is the status quo among Arab political leaders. It's not like Hussein was at all outstanding in his support of such "terror."

And although I don't think the Palestineans are very worthy of sympathy, calling them "terrorists" is a real watering-down of that term. Right or wrong, they're revolutionaries, albeit with brutal methods that include attacking civilians. The same is true of, for instance, Pakistani fighters in Kashmir, and it was also true of the Northern Alliance that we backed in Afghanistan.

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suntranafs
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quote:
Funny how despite Americas vast and powerful intelligence agencies both Ben and Sadam got away -Carpet bomb the already suffering poor and spare the leaders.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

[u]HA![/u]

Yeah, I was gonna say... [Big Grin]

But let's think about this, just for spits and grins,: Saddam Hussein, the malevolent dictator of a small and not very efficient or powerful country, (who's ass we already kicked up and down a short time ago, a country who's fighting power is now almost definitely coming primarily from its neighbors, a country with little chance at greatness, a country not in possesion of powerful weapons or an efficient military, a country with one of it's closest neighbors being a powerful, non-friendly U.S. allied, nuclear age, and extremely efficient nation, and a country, while oppressed, compared to afghanistan and other countries, was not too poorly situated liberties-wise) is not very effective and not all that bright. Was Saddam hiding in Iran, Syria, Arabia, or Canada? No. He was hiding in his hometown, probably crying to his mommy, certainly not being the 'glorious undercover leader'. In fact, very likely the reason why it took us so long to catch him was that he was no longer trying to lead. Such men can be dangerous as long as they are in power, they are not threat otherwise; such men, while horrible, are a dime a dozen. Cut one down, and another will take his place. Our real accomplishment in Iraq was not taking out the man- it was taking out the regime. At what a price. Only time will tell if we even get the result we were cheated for.

Now to get back off my tangent. Afghanistan, Taliban, Al Qaeda Bin Laden: The country, situated in what you might call a dangerous area, Invaded by the Russians, the Taliban(with our help) overthrew the government (under a benevolent monarch who's rule had Afghanistan as one of the better developing democracies of the time) and turned back the mighty soviet bear. Over two years after 9/11/2001 The Taliban is still fighting a very effective guerilla war, and under their own leadership.
Al Qaeda, probably still one of the most powerfull singular terrorist organization in the world, has been on the oh crap list for quite a while now, directly connected with the 2001 trade center attacks, clear effective, armed, and dangerous, and with very high IQ management, and perhaps most importantly, a shadow organiztion, impossible to nail down because it has no base but has abundant support to draw on.
Bin laden, apparently plenty inteligent, with effective lieutenants, mastermind of the 2001 attacks, and probably hiding in Cananda [Wink] .

So of Bin laden and Hussein, you tell me who is more dangerous, more of a problem, more of threat. And which one did we get?

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Maccabeus
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Destineer, if the Palestineans qualify as "revolutionaries" rather than terrorists, then what exactly are they doing to achieve their goals of revolution? So they've killed a bunch of totally innocent civilians; all that will do (though they don't seem to realize it) is quite properly and justifiably make people angrier. If they have any legitimate goals, why not attack legitimate targets like Israeli military or governmental installations?
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Rakeesh
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I'm not vicious, I'm strident [Smile] . A fault you've succumbed to on occassion as well.

That said, though, we are all friends here. I'd invite any one of ya over for X-Mas (or holiday) dinner, your political naivete notwithstanding [Wink]

quote:
To an extent. So was Hitler in his invasions if Sudentenland. And for the record, Napolean didn't go ballistic on all those European generals until they tried to take the French government down.
It was my understanding that Hitler in fact fabricated overt military provocation. But you're just proving the point I was trying to make to Tresopax, while missing another. "Provocation" is a subjective word, and I have said all along that your provocation doesn't equal mine...and your Hitler comparison, as was Tresopax's Japan comparison, is quite a stretch.

We're not keeping territory. It's going to go back to the Iraqi people in due time. Japan's "provocation" was American refusal to fuel and grease their aggressive war machine. Nazi German "provocation" was the simple existence of other European nations in what they viewed as their own real-estate. The European continent, plus the USSR, and portions of Africa.

Our provocation? Iraqi refusal to adhere to peace treaties that ended a previous aggressive war, and obedience to the United Nations (which frankly I don't much care for, it is and has always been a castrated organization), open public support of terrorists who frequently and delightedly murder citizens of an ally, and giving succor to enemies of America.

quote:
OK...that describes Saddam, as well as quite a few other people. However, the rest, despite constituting a vast majority of Palestinian terrorist funding, haven't been masqueraded triumphantly around the world press recently...
I don't understand this part, Shlomo. Could you rephrase it?

quote:
So...according to a certain world minority in that takes great pleasure in calling itself the majority...there's nothing wrong with defying an organization created to stop the next world war? What happened the last time this was done?
I don't know when we take pleasure in calling ourselves the majority. We are simply unwilling to cede our national-security and sovereign decisions to an organization such as the UN, where frequently autocratic, bloody-handed, openly antagonistic nations frequently get a nice chunk of power.

quote:
I'm not quite sure what you mean by "bar of invasion", but yes, you need a lot more justification when you contradict everyone else than when you agree with everyone else. Right and wrong is not determined by a majority, and in this sense you are correct. But this isn't right and wrong-which is largely subjective at any rate-it is true or false. Truth is not determined at all...it is PROVEN. The FACT that this war is justified has not been proven. Therefore, it is assumed to be false, especially since nearly everyone holds that it is false.
So if right and wrong has nothing to do with majority opinion, why is it apparently less right or more wrong when the majority agrees? You're still saying that you need to be more sure, more right if you're going it alone than if you have the support of a majority of nations. (which, by the way, are not even all based in democracy). I thought honorable nations and men did what they felt was right, obeyed their consciences, regardless of what others would say.

No, I am not saying that this war was begun for honorable intentions. Self-defense and proactive self-defense aren't honorable, they're merely sensible. But what you're saying, while at the same time unsaying, is that it's better to go with the flow. You're saying that doing what's right if the majority disagrees with you is wrong. Or at least, more wrong than it'd be if you did what was right and the majority agreed.

I maintain that there is literally nothing that could be shown that would prove to you this war was justified. You're taking a moral and ethical question and implying it can be proved or disproved like a mathematical equation.

quote:
Right and wrong has positively nothing to do with this war. To wage this war because it was the "right thing to do" to bring Iraqis democracy (whether they want it or not) was a justification tacked on after the war actually started. This war was waged based on the presence or absence of an imminent threat to the U.S. Since there have been no unconventional attacks recently, the threat is absent.
They wanted it. There is not a person on this Earth who does not want a government based in democracy. There are, however, many millions who, having been fed lies by state-owned media (now who does that sound like?) who, when asked, say they think democracy is the Great Satan.

quote:
I refuse to accept that as fact. You are taking for granted that "the Arab world" is coterminous with "terrorists" and "irrational and implacably militaristic."

THAT is going to need a bit of support.

Ah, how easy it is to demonize people you don't know...

No, I don't. That is an insult, Shlomo. What I am accepting as fact-because it's true-is that the majority of the Arabic world lives in nations where their news comes from Al-Jazeera and state-owned news outlets.

How's that for support? Don't call me a bigot again, Shlomo. Or if you do, don't lecture me on viciousness. I should qualify my statement just a little bit, though. By "exact same reaction" I didn't mean the same depth and breadth. I just meant there would've been widespread antagonism, mistrust, and frequent hatred no matter what justification, legitimate or otherwise, America used for any military action in an Islamic nation. Many people believe reports that Israelis cook Palestinian babies into food and eat them, because they hear no other news. It's a fact of the human being that if we're told one set of facts, given nothing to contradict it (or nothing to contradict it from sources we trust) for long enough, we believe it. Particularly when a small kernel of truth is mixed in with the bilious brew.

And that's my last shot. Feel free to call me an Arab-hating bigot again, in a roundabout fashion:) Besides, it's late.

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Tresopax
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Rakeesh,
First you say:
quote:
Can we cut this unprovoked nonsense?
Be accurate. We were provoked, but we weren't provoked enough to justify war in your opinion.

But then contradict this when you say:
quote:
Provocation is a subjective word, and you're throwing it around like it's a number, always one thing and obvious to everyone.
And

quote:
"Provocation" to you means, I think, overt nation-state military unprovoked aggression.
So you should not be surprised that I say the Iraq war is unprovoked, when you give the following list of things (none of which are instances of nation-state military unprovoked aggression) as the supposed provocation for it:

quote:
Well let's see. The plot to assassinate George Bush Sr. Public support for repeated murderers of innocent civilians of our ally Israel-the only thing close to a democracy in the region. (And I cannot but laugh at someone who thinks that's the only support for terrorism. If he's willing to do that much publicly, what would he do privately?) Violation of a peace treaty bought largely with American effort, blood, and treasure? Giving medical aid to fleeing enemies of America?
And since you say

quote:
Your concept of provocation is much lower than mine.
If Iraq's actions cannot even meet my standard for provocation, they clearly should not be able to meet your higher standard.

------

Then you say:
quote:
You also completely ignored that, frankly, our level of watchfulness appears to be working. When was the last instance of terrorism on American soil, or involving specifically American civilians?
But also say that if such an attack had occured

quote:
I'd be claiming it as additional proof
that our foreign policy is necessary.

Thus, for you, if we are attacked it proves our strategy is right, and if we are not attacked it proves our strategy is right.

And you also predict:

quote:
I'll tell you you would be blaming it on Bush's handling of American foreign policy, adding as a footnote some blame to the actual terrorists, and calling for more appeasement.
Which is absolutely correct - I would say that, and I'd probably be ignored again (and thus the cycle continues).

Finally, you ask

quote:
My question for you, still unanswered except with another question (which I answered), is if these things are true, then why hasn't there been another terrorist attack against Americans specifically on American soil, or abroad?
The answer is a couple of days ago, or just about every other day for the past few months ,in Iraq, when American troops were attacked by terrorist insurgents there. And I can guarantee you that those attacks would not be occuring if we weren't in Iraq, and thus can be safely blamed upon the Bush administration's foreign policy.

[ December 21, 2003, 10:45 PM: Message edited by: Tresopax ]

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WheatPuppet
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First, as a random bit of trivia about our military actions in Iraq--we never actually were at war with Iraq. We haven't actually been at war since the end of World War II.

Anyway... someone mentioned that Moramar Kadhaffi (sp?) was frightened into declaring Lybia weapons of mass destruction because of US actions in Iraq. That's not true. Kadhaffi went to the US and British administrations in May declaring that he'd allow UN weapons inspectors into Lybia to check out his chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons programs. The inspectors went in quietly, found the weapons, and now Kadhaffi wants to negotiate a disarmament. The outcome of the invasion of Iraq had nothing to do with it, because in May the war hadn't yet started (although it was clear that it was going to). [EDIT] In a bit of expert timing, the administrations of the U.S. and Britain decided to release this bit of information now.

I think that there is a basis for a War on Terror. I think that it's being excecuted in completely the wrong way. The war should be one against the causes of terrorism, not on terrorists themselves. Running around kicking over unstable terrorist-sponsoring countries is fine and good, but it doesn't solve the problem. Terrorism, while I havn't heard that it's specifically on the rise, it's certainly not seriously impacted. We've spent huge amounts of money and what have we gotten? The arab world mad at us, Europe has stopped returning our phone calls, and we're safely setting up the U.S. as the corrupt "old power" for the next emerging superpower to stand in contrast to and appear to be altruistic.
Why are we only working to destroy terrorism with guns? Wouldn't it be helpful to try to attack it propaganda? Get people to start rallying behind different interpretations of the Koran, ones that don't teach that violence leads to virgins. Spread propaganda about terrorist leaders--that they're hypocrites, weak, or work against their religion. The information doesn't need to be correct, either. The objective is just to ostrasise terrorism and terrorist leaders, or at least get the common terrorist flunkie to question thier great and fearless leaders. Personally, I'd rather be called a liar than a killer.

[ December 21, 2003, 11:32 PM: Message edited by: WheatPuppet ]

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Rakeesh
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Tresopax,

Alright, my mistake. I left this out. I should've said you believe that to be sufficiently provoked to justify war, there must be overt, aggressive nation-state war against the country deciding to go to war. I thought that condition was obvious, but I left it off, so that's my bad.

My point is that provocation doesn't mean just one thing. You yourself said "we provoked Japan more than Iraq provoked us", and if what we did to Japan was some level of provocation, then Iraq certainly provoked us to some extent. That was my point. You don't think they provoked us enough for war, but instead of saying that, you persist in saying we were "unprovoked".

quote:
If Iraq's actions cannot even meet my standard for provocation, they clearly should not be able to meet your higher standard.
Where on Earth did you get the idea that my threshold for provocation that leads to justifiable war was higher than yours?

quote:
Thus, for you, if we are attacked it proves our strategy is right, and if we are not attacked it proves our strategy is right.
Not the same strategies. If we continue not to be attacked, then our strategy of vigilance is working. If we are attacked, then we need to be more aggressive and effective in stamping out international terrorism abroad.

Not give governments without basic civil liberties massive sums of money and tell them to spend it in Westernized fashion.

quote:
The answer is a couple of days ago, or just about every other day for the past few months ,in Iraq, when American troops were attacked by terrorist insurgents there. And I can guarantee you that those attacks would not be occuring if we weren't in Iraq, and thus can be safely blamed upon the Bush administration's foreign policy.
It should be noted that attacks against American military forces on duty in a combat situation isn't "terrorism", it's guerilla warfare. Not the same thing.

Wheatpuppet, while I agree that Gulf War II isn't the exclusive writing on the wall...I think it's a bit naive to suppose Moammar couldn't read the handwriting on the wall. It was clear America was going to go to war in Iraq, like you said, long before it happened. It was clear the leader of that nation would be utterly defeated...and in fact he was, reduced to looking like an Arabic Charles Manson living in a hole in the ground. It was obvious what our primary justification for war would be.

To suggest that these things didn't have a severe impact on his thinking strikes me as strange, particularly considering Moammar is now removing publicly his WMD program, removing a very specific and historical item that we used against Iraq.

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Destineer
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quote:
It should be noted that attacks against American military forces on duty in a combat situation isn't "terrorism", it's guerilla warfare. Not the same thing.
You seem to be breaking with the convention established by Bremer and Bush. I've never heard them call the attacks on US troops anything but "terrorist attacks."
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Dagonee
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quote:
Shlomo said:
AH, yes...I guess we should give them more chances, eh?

No.

There's ZERO margin of error in a pre-emptive, unilateral, unprovoked invasion.

So we acknowledge that this war is unjustified.

Assuming this was in response to me, you’re saying that you KNOW for a fact that there are no WMDs in Iraq? Or are you saying we should “acknowledge that there are no WMDs in Iraq” before we’ve had a chance to finish our search? The word “acknowledge” implies stating a belief in the truth of a statement. You’re either psychic or asking us to lie, since less than a tenth of the arsenals had been searched as of the last report.

If you’re saying we shouldn’t have gone in without proof, that’s an entirely different statement than the one you made.

quote:
Destineer said
You seem to be breaking with the convention established by Bremer and Bush. I've never heard them call the attacks on US troops anything but "terrorist attacks."

Umm, these “guerillas” have attacked relief workers, civilian authorities, oil pipelines, and much of the power infrastructure. We can classify individual attacks as guerilla warfare or terrorism, but the fact remains that those responsible are “terrorists.”

Dagonee

[ December 22, 2003, 02:43 PM: Message edited by: Dagonee ]

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