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 Iraq, confusion, and "the terrorists"...
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Dude
SFN Die Hard

USA
6891 Posts

Posted - 03/19/2007 :  16:37:15  Show Profile Send Dude a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I would like to know who "the terrorists" are, specifically. What are their names, are they independent individuals who are pissed off, are they crazy religious groups, etc.

As far as I know only one group, lead by Osama bin Laden, has attacked the US at home. And that guy is still at large.

I know we have killed the alQaeda #3 guy like 5 times now (there is some morbid comedy in that... "Hassan, you are my new #3 guy!" enter SNL skit).

But isn't the violence in Iraq, that is directed at the US troops, being carried out mostly by Shiite and Sunni militias? Yeah, alQaeda has some presense in Iraq, but how much of the current violence are they responsible for.

I dunno, I'm just tired of hearing politicians use the phrase "the terrorists". I want them to name names and specify locations.


Ignorance is preferable to error; and he is less remote from the truth who believes nothing, than he who believes what is wrong.
-- Thomas Jefferson

"god :: the last refuge of a man with no answers and no argument." - G. Carlin

Hope, n.
The handmaiden of desperation; the opiate of despair; the illegible signpost on the road to perdition. ~~ da filth

Vegeta
Skeptic Friend

United Kingdom
238 Posts

Posted - 03/19/2007 :  17:07:55   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Vegeta a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I suspect sometimes rather than actually referring to any al Qaeda cell or other terrorist organisation, they are simply referring to anyone who uses terror tactics (i.e. causing fear and disruption for political ends), e.g. deliberately attacking or abducting non-military targets.

Although I do think a distinction should be made between actual terrorist acts and guerilla tactics against what is viewed as an occupying force.

What are you looking at? Haven't you ever seen a pink shirt before?

"I was asked if I would do a similar sketch but focusing on the shortcomings of Islam rather than Christianity. I said, 'No, no I wouldn't. I may be an atheist but I'm not stupid.'" - Steward Lee
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marfknox
SFN Die Hard

USA
3739 Posts

Posted - 03/19/2007 :  19:56:02   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit marfknox's Homepage  Send marfknox an AOL message Send marfknox a Private Message  Reply with Quote
In recent interview with Amy Goodman and Terry Gross, New Yorker journalist Seymour Hersh has been claiming that at least Cheney, and probably also Bush, truly believe that Iran getting nukes is a direct threat to US national security. Hersh says that they believe Hezbollah has all sorts of terrorist networks set up in the USA, and that Iran's ties to Hezbollah combined with the fanaticism of Iran's leadership would cause them to give nukes to this Shiite terrorist network that would then proceed to nuke US cities. In that scenario, the “terrorists” extend to the democratically elected leadership of Iran and the Palestinians, both of which have so far remained relatively neutral on the “War on Terror”.

What I found most striking in these interviews with Hersh – and that are most relevant to this thread – was that in order to preemptively counter these Shiite terrorist networks that will supposedly attack America, the US is now getting into bed with Sunni terrorists connected to Al-Quaeda:
quote:
It's not as if we're ever going to find any evidence that American money went to any Sunni terrorist jihadist groups in Lebanon, which I allege. There is no direct connection. What there is is a flood of American money, none of it approved by Congress, into the government of Lebanon, which is Sunni. The government of Prime Minister Siniora. And they, in turn, funnel it into various -- at least three different Sunni jihadist groups.


The idea is that US funds are going to Sunni extremist groups (who are more than willing to engage in terrorism, may be connected with Al-Quaeda, and hate the USA) because these groups hate the Shiite as much or more than they hate the USA, and will therefore suppress Shiite influence in the region.

Using a nice vague blanket term for the enemy such as “terrorists” makes it easier to switch targets and allies. It's how we got into Iraq, and how the administration is trying to gain support to crack down on Iran. Hopefully the American people will wise up enough to prevent the doomsday scenario that Hersh predicts.

Anyway, listen to or read the transcript in all its gritty details for yourself here: http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=07/02/28/150251&mode=thread&tid=25

(Edited for clarity and to reduce wordiness.)

"Too much certainty and clarity could lead to cruel intolerance" -Karen Armstrong

Check out my art store: http://www.marfknox.etsy.com

Edited by - marfknox on 03/19/2007 19:59:47
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Chippewa
SFN Regular

USA
1496 Posts

Posted - 03/19/2007 :  20:26:58   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Chippewa's Homepage Send Chippewa a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'm so old fashioned. If a group attacks us and they are wearing uniforms and have generals and a flag, they're a country, war is declared and it's a military matter.

If they attack us and are a shadowy organization of fanatics or thugs trained to hijack planes, then they're terrorists and it's a crime which is a police matter. (Police -- as in FBI, Interpol, Scotland Yard, etc.)

And if we have leaders who were warned of an attack, allowed it to happen, but declare a abstract "war on terror" and send our soldiers after the Afghan training camps of the perpetrators yet in the big picture as a ruse to their real goal of Iraq's oil, use lies about ties to terrorists to justify an invasion and not actually pursue the main terrorist in tacit anticipation of further outrageousness attacks, co-opted to justify further corporate via military targets. Then those leaders are traitors, deserving impeachment, arrest and trial.
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HalfMooner
Dingaling

Philippines
15831 Posts

Posted - 03/20/2007 :  04:56:53   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send HalfMooner a Private Message  Reply with Quote
What Chip said.


Biology is just physics that has begun to smell bad.” —HalfMooner
Here's a link to Moonscape News, and one to its Archive.
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perrodetokio
Skeptic Friend

275 Posts

Posted - 03/20/2007 :  09:39:42   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send perrodetokio a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by marfknox

The idea is that US funds are going to Sunni extremist groups (who are more than willing to engage in terrorism, may be connected with Al-Quaeda, and hate the USA) because these groups hate the Shiite as much or more than they hate the USA, and will therefore suppress Shiite influence in the region.




I am not an expert in the matter, however it seems to me that the american government has been doing that for decades now:

the Afghan "freedom fighters" - against the soviets.
Castro in cuba, Sadam Hussain, the contras in central america, Galtieri and his military coup in Argentina, etc, etc.

They (the government) supports some horrid faction, no matter how bad these guys are, in order to combat some other "bad guys". And in most cases it back-fires.

I don´t know much about politics but this way of doing things always comes to a bad result afterwards.

(sorry to butt in, it´s just an subjective observation)

cheers

"Yes I have a belief in a creator/God but do not know that he exists." Bill Scott

"They are still mosquitoes! They did not turn into whales or lizards or anything else. They are still mosquitoes!..." Bill Scott

"We should have millions of missing links or transition fossils showing a fish turning into a philosopher..." Bill Scott
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Cuneiformist
The Imperfectionist

USA
4954 Posts

Posted - 03/20/2007 :  15:25:10   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Cuneiformist a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Chippewa

I'm so old fashioned. If a group attacks us and they are wearing uniforms and have generals and a flag, they're a country, war is declared and it's a military matter.

If they attack us and are a shadowy organization of fanatics or thugs trained to hijack planes, then they're terrorists and it's a crime which is a police matter. (Police -- as in FBI, Interpol, Scotland Yard, etc.)

And if we have leaders who were warned of an attack, allowed it to happen, but declare a abstract "war on terror" and send our soldiers after the Afghan training camps of the perpetrators yet in the big picture as a ruse to their real goal of Iraq's oil, use lies about ties to terrorists to justify an invasion and not actually pursue the main terrorist in tacit anticipation of further outrageousness attacks, co-opted to justify further corporate via military targets. Then those leaders are traitors, deserving impeachment, arrest and trial.
I think this is dead on, Chip, and it's interesting that this is exactly the position Kerry tried to articulate as a candidate in 2004. Cheney struck back and tried to mock him for this, and for some reason our liberal press corps picked up on this. Note, for example, this piece ($) in the New York Times Magazine from October of 2004, where we read that
quote:
Kerry's adversaries have found it easy to ridicule his views on foreign policy, suggesting that his idea of counterterrorism is simply to go around arresting all the terrorists. This is what Dick Cheney was getting at when he said last month that there was a danger, should Kerry be elected, that ''we'll fall back into the pre-9/11 mind-set, if you will, that in fact these terrorist attacks are just criminal acts, and that we're not really at war.'' These barbs have some resonance, largely because Kerry is so obviously defensive about them.


The author concludes
quote:
When Kerry first told me that Sept. 11 had not changed him, I was surprised. I assumed everyone in America -- and certainly in Washington -- had been changed by that day. I assumed he was being overly cautious, afraid of providing his opponents with yet another cheap opportunity to call him a flip-flopper. What I came to understand was that, in fact, the attacks really had not changed the way Kerry viewed or talked about terrorism -- which is exactly why he has come across, to some voters, as less of a leader than he could be. He may well have understood the threat from Al Qaeda long before the rest of us. And he may well be right, despite the ridicule from Cheney and others, when he says that a multinational, law-enforcement-like approach can be more effective in fighting terrorists. But his less lofty vision might have seemed more satisfying -- and would have been easier to talk about in a political campaign -- in a world where the twin towers still stood.
And I think he's right. Too bad the press, the vile political atmosphere, a hapless voting public-- and yes, some poor problems with Kerry's campaign-- allowed another four years of Bush's current disasterous reign.
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marfknox
SFN Die Hard

USA
3739 Posts

Posted - 03/20/2007 :  17:01:57   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit marfknox's Homepage  Send marfknox an AOL message Send marfknox a Private Message  Reply with Quote
perrodetokio wrote:
quote:
They (the government) supports some horrid faction, no matter how bad these guys are, in order to combat some other "bad guys". And in most cases it back-fires.

I don´t know much about politics but this way of doing things always comes to a bad result afterwards.
Seems that way to me as well. I really want to read Stephen Kinzer's book Overthrow: America's Century of Regime Change from Hawaii to Iraq.

"Too much certainty and clarity could lead to cruel intolerance" -Karen Armstrong

Check out my art store: http://www.marfknox.etsy.com

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Dude
SFN Die Hard

USA
6891 Posts

Posted - 03/20/2007 :  20:06:36   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Dude a Private Message  Reply with Quote
perro said:
quote:
They (the government) supports some horrid faction, no matter how bad these guys are, in order to combat some other "bad guys". And in most cases it back-fires.

I don´t know much about politics but this way of doing things always comes to a bad result afterwards.



Two fine examples of this stand out from the last three decades.

Afganistan where we funded and armed the taliban when they were fighting the USSR and slaughtering them, then they took over the country when the USSR fell apart.

Iraq, where we helped Saddam get into power and then funded him so he would oppose Iran.

You could make an airtight case that those "strategies" were seriously flawed in their longterm outlook.


Ignorance is preferable to error; and he is less remote from the truth who believes nothing, than he who believes what is wrong.
-- Thomas Jefferson

"god :: the last refuge of a man with no answers and no argument." - G. Carlin

Hope, n.
The handmaiden of desperation; the opiate of despair; the illegible signpost on the road to perdition. ~~ da filth
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filthy
SFN Die Hard

USA
14408 Posts

Posted - 03/21/2007 :  01:13:59   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send filthy a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Dude

I would like to know who "the terrorists" are, specifically. What are their names, are they independent individuals who are pissed off, are they crazy religious groups, etc.

As far as I know only one group, lead by Osama bin Laden, has attacked the US at home. And that guy is still at large.

I know we have killed the alQaeda #3 guy like 5 times now (there is some morbid comedy in that... "Hassan, you are my new #3 guy!" enter SNL skit).

But isn't the violence in Iraq, that is directed at the US troops, being carried out mostly by Shiite and Sunni militias? Yeah, alQaeda has some presense in Iraq, but how much of the current violence are they responsible for.

I dunno, I'm just tired of hearing politicians use the phrase "the terrorists". I want them to name names and specify locations.



I am reminded of: "One man's terrorist is another's patriot." and "Politics make for strange bedfellows."

Bearing that in mind, it is not all that easy to make a definitive statement as to 'who' the terrorists might be. Me, what I want is that certain individuals be taken to task for individual acts -- bin Laden, among an ever-growing list of others, in the prisoners dock. And let us not forget the home-grown variety such as Eric Rudloph and those pieces of human offal, the anthrax mailers. They are at least as foul as any other.

Bush had the chance to become among the greatest of our leaders. The opportunity was served up to him on a platter with all of the fixin's, but he wasn't man enough to accept it. He did not have the moral courage to go after the individual(s); possibly because it wasn't spectacular enough. As a direct result, we now face a myriad of insane, little organizations that have popped up like noxious toadstools throughout the Mid-East and elsewhere, and our country's credibility is in the shitter. And as that situation continues we become ever more vulnerable.

Will we ever get bin Laden? I doubt it. 'Who' are the terrorists? Be damned if I know......




"What luck for rulers that men do not think." -- Adolf Hitler (1889 - 1945)

"If only we could impeach on the basis of criminal stupidity, 90% of the Rethuglicans and half of the Democrats would be thrown out of office." ~~ P.Z. Myres


"The default position of human nature is to punch the other guy in the face and take his stuff." ~~ Dude

Brother Boot Knife of Warm Humanitarianism,

and Crypto-Communist!

Edited by - filthy on 03/21/2007 01:21:45
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beskeptigal
SFN Die Hard

USA
3834 Posts

Posted - 03/21/2007 :  21:27:00   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send beskeptigal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by perrodetokio

quote:
Originally posted by marfknox

The idea is that US funds are going to Sunni extremist groups (who are more than willing to engage in terrorism, may be connected with Al-Quaeda, and hate the USA) because these groups hate the Shiite as much or more than they hate the USA, and will therefore suppress Shiite influence in the region.




I am not an expert in the matter, however it seems to me that the american government has been doing that for decades now:

the Afghan "freedom fighters" - against the soviets.
Castro in cuba, Sadam Hussain, the contras in central america, Galtieri and his military coup in Argentina, etc, etc.

They (the government) supports some horrid faction, no matter how bad these guys are, in order to combat some other "bad guys". And in most cases it back-fires.

I don´t know much about politics but this way of doing things always comes to a bad result afterwards.

(sorry to butt in, it´s just an subjective observation)

cheers


You're preaching to the choir with me. I learned about US foreign policy traveling around Central America during the 70s. Seeing the handiwork of the Contras was quite an eye opener. You come back interested in finding out more. President's Wilson and Reagan were the worst, and all the rest have been awful.

Things really seemed to at least be starting to shift with Clinton. But all the miffed Neocons from the past brought the worst of the worst back and we may end up with WWIII as a result. Such a shame. If people only paid attention to the real world and our real government I don't think they would have ever supported what our leaders have done in other countries.



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