It's not terrorism if Bush does it?

A lot of Bush apologistas were up in arms when Harry Belafonte called Bush the “greatest terrorist”, but last nights events are lending unfortunate support for that statement. In a bungled attack against Al Qaeda targeting Osama’s second in command Ayman al-Zawahri , American Predator drones killed as many as 30 Pakistani villagers, 24 in one family:

From the perspective of the Pakistani villagers, how is this distinguishable from terrorism? How many times are we to accept the “bad intelligence” excuse when innocent people die?

Not that I’m an apologist; however, I’m curious about one thing. Are you saying that Bush intentionally and knowingly attacked a civilian family to kill them?

I certainly don’t don’t condone ham-handed, indiscriminate attacks from robotic vehicles that murder dozens of innocent civilians, but neither does it appear that the purpose of the was simply to terrorize the local population. So, not terrorism.

Who’s “we”? I don’t accept the “bad intelligence” excuse and never have. If the facts of the story are correct, the persons responsible for authorizing the attack should be prosecuted.

Yeah, I know, like that’s ever going to happen.

I am saying reckless collateral damage is the same as terrorism, especially when it is repeated over and over again. How else do you think the Pakistani villagers could possibly see it?

We could always just ask Al-Zawahri nicely to turn himself in. Since we cannot ever reach the mistake-free standard, we should stop all proactive and aggressive tactics immediately. Better to do nothing and wait for another attack in the middle of Manhattan.

How would you feel if the deaths were those of innocent American citizens. US Forces have now killed more Iraqis than there were people killed in Manhattan. And the Iraqis had nothing to do with that atrocity. I suspect that the US has killed as many as 3000 innocent people in these type of revenge attacks alone against Al Quaeda (spread over Afghanistan, Pakistan and elsewhere). And that’s not to mention the kidnapped and tortured, the disappeared and the murdered.

As a white, democratic European hearing this through western news media this makes me mad. God knows what it does to the average Muslim peasant hearing it through Arabic news channels or via their mullahs.

I would guess that the moral compass of the average Middle eastern Muslim does not differentiate too well between open terrorism and collateral damage- they are not quite so full of weasel words as the US Administration is. They know that a willed death is a willed death, even when those deaths occur ‘by accident’.

Ask not why the world hates America: by their acts shall they be known.

In the 1980s when the Iranians decried the Greta Stan, I saw it as hyperbole. Now I hear the same phrase and think that it represents reality.

Of course, Greta Stan was a much maligned Swiss film star of the thirties about whom the Iranians could care less.

It’s the Great Satan that they despise. :smack:

Heh. How about we work on our damn intelligence information? Is that too much to ask? Are we really just stuck with two choices–do nothing or do everything? False dichotomy much?

Yes, from the point-of-view of the victims, we are terroristic bastards. Not only do we routinely kill innocents, but we send robots to do the killing. So on top of being a terrorist, we are probably viewed as cowardly. Gotta love the ironic image of a cowardly terrorist.

The people who excuse this kind of tragedy would freak out if their home were bombed by police pursuing a suspected criminal. They would doubly freak if their loved ones were killed in the process. At the very least they would sue someone’s asses to get compensated. I wonder if the CIA is going to cut these people some checks. Or are they yet again going to be able to slide through with a “My bad”?

Greta is perhaps best known for his cameo appearance as the man put in charge of CONTROL when ‘the Chief’ is kidnapped by agents of KAOS.

Sorry guys, but this is war and tragedies happen. Would you prefer it if the decision-making process were paralysed? What’s your go percentage? 90%? 99%? 99.9%? Tragedies will still occur.

America should be playing this up, not down: “If we even think you’re hiding them, you’d better watch out.” America should encourage others to look at this incident and think, “Boy, that could happen to me; I better have nothing to do with them.”

How many #2 men does Al Qaeda have, anyway?

I am of the opinoin that we should have never gone into Iraq, but leaned very heavily on Pakistan to allow us to pursue bin Laden and his organization in northern Pakistan and worked toward the installation of an open civilian democratic government in Pakistan. The Pakistani government, particularly the intellegence agencies, supported the Taliban and conventional wisdom is that bin Laden is hiding in that country. Pakistan must be dealt with eventually, but this is not how to go about it–not with most of our army in Iraq. This is a) a colossal fuckup and b)an act of war. It could also possibily be an inciting incident that get Musharraf overthrown and a full-blown Islamic Revolutionary government installed.

A lot of people are working very hard to try and kill Al-Zawahri and others. Millions of dollars have been offered for information leading to their capture. People have risked their lives and have even been killed searching for them. In this case, they obviously thought they had some actionable intelligence and they acted on it. We still don’t know who was killed in the attack. If any of the victims were terrorists, then responsibility for the deaths of their family members lies with them. They chose to be “warriors for Allah” and earned a target on their back. If they bring that target to the dinner table, then that is their choice. If the people killed were completely innocent, then the source of the bad information needs to be dealt with and the victims need to be compensated.

Complaining about incidents like this is like the Japanese complaining about Hiroshima. If people don’t want it to happen again, the next time that Al-Zawahri sneaks into town, perhaps they should drop a dime before he gets too close to them with that target on his back.

As long as Al-Zawahri, Osama and others choose to hide among civilian populations, something like this may well happen again. They are the ones endangering those around them. But it’s more ideologically comforting to blame the CIA.

Hmm. So, you’re saying we use use their fear that American troops will kill innocents as a way to enlist their co-operation? I seem to recall a word for intentionally using fear as a means to control a population. What could it be?

I know confer absolute power upon you. What is your solution to the terrorism problem?

I thought we were in a war with Iraq. I thought Iraq was where all the terrorists were working now. This tragedy took place in Pakistan, correct? That’s technically not even the Middle East.

If Al-Zawahri were hiding out here in the US, do you think the CIA would have sent in a drone to bomb the hell out of the neighborhood he was suspected to be hiding in? If they did, do you really think telling people “this is war and tragedies happen” would stop the wailing and heartache?

This is the very definition of terrorism: killing innocents to send a message to the guilty. So you’re basically saying that even if we aren’t a terrorist now, we should make ourselves out to be one.


That would be “now” instead of “know”. No philosophy please. No blame. Just your plan.

Same question to you, Monstro. It’s easy to point the finger. What’s your plan?

Let’s divert so many resources to unrelated missions that Afghanistan falls apart, and we finally have an excuse to go back in and clean the joint up good, like the Soviets did in the 80’s.

I repeat my unanswered question from Post #6 above:

“How would you feel if the deaths were those of innocent American citizens.”

Just as bad as I do for those innocent Pakistani civilians.

It’s not a game, wherein you keep “score.” Whether we shopuld be in Iraq or not (I think not) is besides the point militarily. We initiated tactical combat operations with a stated strategic objective. This incurs casualties.

Cite? On the first part, I mean. Especially that they are “revenge” attacks. I’m not touching the second part with a ten-foot presidential pardon.

True. And disturbing from the perspective of someone who doesn’t want more airplanes driven into the buildings of anyone’s city.