War on Terrorism, is it really?

Czarcasm, I called it ‘spam’ because it’s been emailed, posted and forwarded to hell and back (as I noted in my second post). I’d use the same term for it regardless of my feelings on the matter. If you’d prefer a different term be used, please state your preference.

The problem is that when dealing with global geopolitics, the semantics are very important.

The problem IMO appears to be that for the most part, when Bush speaks he’s catering to American voters, but the rest of the world watches and picks apart what he’s saying. What plays well in Boise Idaho scares the shit out of people outside the US. Blame the media for giving domestic hyperbole to a global audience, if you like.

Which is why the “War on Terror” was greeted with derision from countries that have lived with terrorism for decades, and have discovered that you can fight it with force, but you won’t defeat it that way. If Bush came out and said “we’re protecting American interests around the world, and you can’t do a damn thing about it”, at least we foreigners would know where he actually stood.

BTW Czarcasm - that was in fact a piece of spam that I have received many times. You might call it glurge too, I guess.

Violet, the e-mail is a pro- “Racial profiling” list.

by the logic displayed in it I could get a list of about 20 white women aged between 18-45 who are convicted murderers. Would that list be relevant in profiling all white american women as potential murders?
As for why there aren’t peacekeeping troops on the streets of Ireland, here’s a quick answer.
The IRA are on ceasefire. As far as the majority of Republicans are concerned, the war is over. Jaw Jaw, Jaw and not
War War War is the way forward.

BTW, you do know that there are large terrorist organisations not on ceasefire in Northern Ireland? Ones that regularly kill innocent Catholics and nationalists? Ones that have been aided and abeitted in the past by agents of the UK government?
Groups like the UDA, the UVF, UFF, the LVF?
Groups that routinely orchestrate street violence against Catholic communities such as the stoning and attempted murder of 5- 12 year old girls walking to school and the ongoing siege of the Short Strand area?
Groups who support extreme right neo-nazi groups?

There are many sides to the troubles in northern Ireland, and none of them are pretty.

Violet is just forwarding a racist list, that she has not written herself.

My racist list:
Crazy warlords destroying Europe:

  • Napoleon, a whitey!
  • Hitler, a whitey!
  • Stalin, a whitey!

War on Terrorism is wrongly written:
It should be; War on Terrorism that we whities choose/define

Stccrd wrote:

I understand what Stccrd meant by his/her whole post.
I understand that she/he is not racistic!
But this jumping from terrorists to whole countries makes me sick.

I just want to highlight this:

  • We can read and hear news where a country and terrorists are the same. [To me it occures highly racistic].
  • Bush junior is speaking about a war against Iraq.
    Papa Bush is speaking about War against Terrorism when he speaks aboout Iraq. (Helsinki last week).
    How is Iraq a terrorist country?
    Hussein is mad, I think that is true, but has anyone really even tried to connect him with bin Laden.

And USA/England has bombed Iraq some 40 times this year. How many times has they bombed Hussein? And how many tiomes has they bombed Iraqian citizens? Is there no difference?
Or are they bombing shakals in the desert?

Why do they bomb?
You may think: “because UN has put some limits that Iraq should follow?”
It is because Iraq does not like the new limits made up by US without UN. And the Iraqians are shooting at the US planes etc.

Some days ago US was bombing a radar-station in Iraq. Can a governmental radar-station be terroristic?
Or do You think that that radar station was in the hands of bin Laden?

Do You wonder if the Iraqians does look at the question of “terror” in another way that we whities?
Should we think: “It’s just muslims and there is always a chanche we destroy something or someone that belongs to a terrorist organisation!”???

If You want to be aware of the propaganda in the news, please read the OP in http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?s=&threadid=137569

The last sentace in my post should be:
If You want to be aware of the propaganda in the US-news,…

Violet- the argument in the e-mail, namely that profiling is justified against Muslims, brings about a problem: What does a Muslim look like? Simply “Arab” will not suffice. Perhaps, if profiling it to be carried out against Muslims, we should make some sort of tag to identify their religion, i.e. the Taliban did for Hindus. ::trying not to invoke Godwin’s::


We’re not going after the IRA because a) as mentioned, they are currently in a cease-fire, but more importantly b) their target is itself a superpower which is perfectly capable of choosing for itself how to deal with the situation. We are deferring to the victims of the terrorism.

Why are we going after Muslim terrorists now? Well, because they’re the ones who attacked the United States. Is that really so hard to understand? Uninformed claptrap to the contrary, it is not because we are interested in the extensive oil reserves in the Philippines.

Iraq, our current target, is the largest, most visible current threat – that, and no other reason, is why they’re up. If we were motivated here by access to oil, we would have conducted a few half-hearted inspections and made peace with them in about 1992.

Regarding racial profiling:

Racial profiling can be a good thing or a bad thing. It depends on how it’s used. Say a person reports that they were mugged. They describe the person as a black man in his early 20’s. When the police are out looking for this individual (yes, I know this assumes the police would actually bother looking for a mugger, which is highly debateable, but stay with me), should they give equal attention to black and white people? Of course not - they know they’re looking for a black person. It’s ludicrous to expect them to question people of all races equally.

Certainly, cops pulling over an inordinate number of black people just because they’re black is a harmful kind of racial profiling. Now, the situation with terrorists is something different than either of these. We know who our enemy is, in this case - militant Islamic fundamentalists. Yes, there are other terrorist organizations out there, and many of them have nothing to do with Islam, but 100% of the people who are associated with al Qaeda in particular, and militant Islam in general, are Islamic. This presents a problem, though. People don’t wear badges saying, “Hi! I’m Bob, and I’m Christian.” However, conveniently enough, the vast majority of militant Islamic fundamentalists are muslims. Yes, there are exceptions - people love to bring up John Walker Lindh - but they’re in an extreme minority.

So, we know we’re looking for a certain group of people. We know that almost all of these people have Easily Identifiable Characteristic X. When trying to root these people out, should we ignore Easily Identifiable Characteristic X, and pretend it doesn’t exist? Of course not. These people who do random searches of 80 year old grannies and well-known politicians (c’mon, people, Al-Freakin’-Gore… I detest the guy, but I’m not going to add “likely to blow up DC” to his list of faults) should not be rewarded for being open-minded and fair, they should be fired. While they’re wasting time and money searching people who are hugely unlikely to be of any threat, the group of people who are statistically much more likely to be a threat go by unchecked. When you’re looking for your car keys, where do you look first? In the couch, or inside the VCR? Yeah, techinically they could theoretically be in the VCR, but you could be making better use of your resources.

Regarding the OP, I alluded to the answer above, but I’ll spell it out here: We’re not at war with terrorism. We could give a rat’s behind about the IRA, or the ELF. We’re at war with militant Islamic fundamentalism. We’ll be done with our war (which, you’re right, isn’t really a “war” according to classical definitions, but this is a new century, and we’ve got a new kind of warfare) when we decide that the risk of terrorist attacks on our soil no longer justifies the effort. Could be in a year, could be in a decade, could be never. Hard to say.


Hmm… 12 cases where muslims conducted terrorism. And? I can easily make an equal sized list of events not done by muslim extremists. In fact, I think I will:

  1. The Popular Liberation Army (EPL) in Columbia takes 10 employees of REPSOL hostage, including 5 americans. One hostage (An american) is executed, the rest are eventually released for $13 million in ransom.

  2. Earlier in the same year, the ELN (Another Columbian group) took a 5-year-old american and his mother hostage for an undisclosed ammount. (I’ll make that the last Columbian group; I could fill the entire list with terrorism against US citizens in Columbia and only go back 8 years…)

  3. Members of the Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement (MRTA) take over the Japanese ambasador’s residence in Lima, Peru, capturing several hundred people, including several US officials and officials from many other nations.

  4. An unidentified group, believed to be 17 November, fired a rocket into a US embasy in Athens, Greece. It only caused minor damage.

  5. The group 17 November also carried out a series of assasinations from 75-85, resulting in the death of 8 people, including 2 americans. They also attacked US millitary busses in 87, and assassinated the US defense attache William Nordeen in 88. They were also responsible for at least five of the 15 terrorist attacks against coalition targets in Greece during the Gulf War, including the assassination of a US Army sergeant in March 1991. There is plenty more, but I’ll leave that for another time.

  6. In 95, a rocket-propelled grenade was fired through the window of the US embasy in Moscow.

  7. Multiple hostage-takings and assassinations in the Phillipines by rebel groups. I’m sure you’ve heard of them. One example: the New People’s Army (NPA) killing two U.S. Air Force personnel near Clark Air Force Base in '90. Or the assassination of Col. James Rowe and two US defence contractors in '89.

  8. The Red Army Faction in Germany, whos actions include blowing up a new prison with 600 pounds of explosives, attacking US and NATO millitary facilities, and shooting out a US embasy with automatic fire durring the Gulf War.

  9. The Italian Red Brigades carried out several attacks, including the murder of a former Prime Minister, Aldo Moro, kidnapped kidnapped US Army Brig. Gen. James Dozier in '81, and murdering Leamon Hunt, US chief of the Sinai Multinational Force and observer Group, in 84.

  10. Three American nuns and one lay missionary were murdered in San Salvador, El Salvador, by a “right-wing death squad.”

  11. An Air Florida flight from Key West to Miami was hijacked by 7 Cubans and flown to Cuba, where the hostages were released. 6 more airliners were hijacked to cuba in the next month. Cubans also hijacked an air liner in Peru and demanded to be flown to the US, killing three hostages.

  12. Oklahoma City. Duh.

  13. Sarin gas attacks in the Tokyo Subway-… Oh, already hit 12. I could keep going if you want more.

Most cites from CANCP and the Terrorism Research Center.

Keep in mind, I generally kept it to one or two entries per group, and cited over 40 seperate attacks. And I didn’t even have to touch the IRA (Which I’m willing to bet could probably fill that 12-list all on its own).

We’ve got wackos all over the world, you know…

Can we at least distinguish between state sponsored terrorist orginizations with access to WMD and Colombians who break the law of their own countries by kidnapping foreigners? I don’t think bringing up random acts of terrorism like Oklahoma city is relevant either cause its was more of a sporadic event caused by a small group of individuals. September 11th pretty much proved what “groups” of terrorists are the most deadly.

How do you know? There has never been a full scale crackdown on terrorism. If the international community wasn’t so uptight about some of Israel’s more unsavory tatics of self-defense then Islamic terror groups might not be so commonplace. Lets also keep in mind that we are talking about a U.S. led war on terrorism. The U.S. is the superpower and much better equipped than any other nation, to fight any type of war.

'cept that in 1992 Saudi and the US were big oil buddies and the Saud family were going to rule forever – possibly with US help if need be. And that’s just not the case anymore. 9/11 woke the Bush administration up to the notion that if fundamentalism was as strife as seemed in Saudi and dissent still growing, maybe it’d be handy to have a regional Plan B – not much that’s actually known about the perpetrators and organisation of 9/11 that can’t be somehow connected with the Kingdom. Chances of Saudi going arse up are too great to ignore.

Sure the US itself is less dependent now on Saudi oil (Russia and Venezuela supply more), but you’ve only got to recall the early '70’s oil crisis to imagine the potential for blackmail and industrial/financial disaster to the developed world in general if the Saudi tap was turned off: Unacceptable scenario. Period.
FWIW and IMHO, that looks to be the centre-piece in a still wider strategy. It’s a jigsaw with several more pieces slotting into place.

In the early 1970s, the UK and Irish governments interned - without trial - every single person in Northern Ireland and the Republic who was suspected of terrorism. Events like Bloody Sunday illustrated the UK government’s willingness to use force. During the 80s the army operated a ‘shoot-to-kill’ policy with terror suspects. These actions proved to be the best recruitment drive the IRA and INLA had ever had. Bear in mind too that geographically, and in terms of population, Northern Ireland is tiny. Only 1.5 million people and a few hundred square miles. Furthermore the UK government is the government of Northern Ireland, and the British military is among the best trained in the world. Yet even in this miniscule part of the globe, they failed to stamp out terrorism by using force. Now compare that to the enormity of the Islamist (note the “st” on the end of that word) terror groups, and their worldwide spread. Do you really think it’s realistic?

Israel’s heavy-handed tactics in Israel have hardly been tempered by the international community’s hand-wringing, and have lasted decades. How successful has it been? I don’t see any let-up in the daily fear and deaths of innocent Israeli citizens.

I don’t want to appear like some wild-eyed seer shouting “mark my words!”, but I am 99.99%(recurring) sure that the War on Terror cannot, and will not, be won by force. War on Al-Qaeda? Possibly, and hopefully, but war on ‘Terror’ - no way.

Correction: “Israel’s heavy-handed tactics in Palestinian areas”.

alot of the right-wing groups in Columbia are state sponsored. they recieved training and materials from the police force (some of which, knowingly or unknowingly) was provided by US Forces and the US government.

Besides, what does Iraq have to do with the ‘War on Terrorism’?
Did I miss something or is there now evidence that links Iraq with Al Qaeda?
As most links point to Saudi-Arabia, shouldn’t that country warrant more attention?

Well, I guess there really is no ‘war on terrorism’ – it’s seems to be no more than a handy political phrase that works to some extent within the US but is meaningless outside. It doesn’t enable any additional legal powers (save, possibly, for US military boarding vessels in international waters, etc.) However, domestically it enables George to utilise Executive powers/Orders more freely (with less criticism) and the Orders themselves empower him to by-pass many of the conventional Constitutional safeguards.

Beyond that, the ‘atmosphere’ such rhetoric generates – together with the occasional ‘terrorist alerts’ and general shenanigans – affords opponents less room (as they can be readily characterised as unpatriotic and such) and George gets to distract from other unpleasantly (Enron, etc.). There is also the small matter of the midterms.

One could accept that all these fringe benefits (to him) are coincidental but I’m not sure the inner cabinet like to leave very much to chance.

Perhaps it works like the ‘war on drugs’ rhetoric but without the legal safeguards ?

Dammit, so it’s all just empty clap-trap for the home-front.
I thought there was actually something going on.

CNN et al. should start labelling some US speeches with:’ For Domestic Use Only.’

jjimm wrote:

I would like to say: “Mark our words! By war we are only breeding more terrorists.”
The terrorists needs more recruits. Who is going to give new recruits to the terrorists?
Sharon is already a man sent by God to the terrorists. Soon Bush will follow. With every bomb dropping from heaven.
This question will not be solved in a lifetime or so. This will really be the never ending story.

TwistofFate wrote:

And so was bin Laden.

Latro wrote:

US will go to defend the democracy by attacking Iraq. - Saudi Arabia has never had a single election.
US will attack the terrorism in Iraq. - The biggest group from a single country came from Saudi Arabia in the 11/9-attacks.
US will defend UN and save it from humiliation by attacking Iraq - Iraq has admitted UN to come for inspections. Bush will attack anyhow. (That Israel still does not seem to give a shit about what UN says, does not bother Bush).

London_Calling wrote:


It is really astonishing that the US media is so gullible, even if the rest of the world tells very straight what is wrong in the reasoning. (About every country except some politicians in Australia and England.)
In US there is some good columnists, but the main flow of journalists are like kids in the kindergarten, crossing the street hand in hand while uncle George is guarding them with his intelligent eyes from above, giving them a piece of advice and some wise thoughts “for the road”.
Which Bill, Ben and Lisa are more than happy to reprint. And then they wonder why the world is laughing and crying at the same time.

Btw. it is a coincide but look at the last posts writers and where they write from:
jjimm, Ireland, TwistofFate, Ireland, London_Calling, England(?), Latro, Netherlands and myself, a Finn living in Russia.

Yeah, we’re whiny Europeans.

UnAmerican scum :stuck_out_tongue: