Others raised this point, but what is the evidence that terrorism would go away in the presence of a democratic government? Similarly, Bush repeatedly states that terrorists “hate our freedom” with no basis in fact. In Afghanistan, there is what the US calls a democratic govenment yet terrorists still abound. Do we think the remote areas of Afghanistan will be anything but lawless just because a small area around Kabul is free?
Sounds great until you actually try to do something. Want to invade Iran or N Korea? Not in a million years. Think they’ll just offer meek protest if US bombs start falling their way? Not me.
You seem to be asking a lot of questions here which have very little to do with any of my points.
The evidence that terrorism would diminish (won’t ever “go away” IMO) is simple: Terrorists aren’t coming out of countries like England, France or Isreal. It’s not democratic countries that are a threat to world stability and spawning places for terrrorists.
Plus I think it’s simply self evident that freedom and democracy is better for the US and the world than tyrranical dictatorship style governments. The more democratic governments the better, so lets help the ones that already exist.
If Iraq and Afghanistan teach us anything, it’s that creating a democracy is difficult. All the more reason for us to protect and help the existing democracies in the world.
I didn’t say invade them. I said bomb them.
What will they offer besides meek protest? They can’t stop us from bombing them it we choose to.
Re: McVeigh and the IRA. Oh, come on now. You both know that’s not what I meant. In the very sentance before I allude to that:
I’m talking about the terrorism on a massive scale that we saw on 9/11 and possible future attacks with WMDs by large terrorist organizations devoted to killing us.
I hope that you’re being deliberately obtuse. It’s obvious to any reasonable person that increasing the amount of democracies in the world is a good thing and that democratic governments are preferable to dictatorships. Increased terrorism is one reason out of a hundred that we should support these types of countries.
Not really. I’m just doubting that there is a cause and effect relationship between government types and terrorism. The IRA was previously mentioned. Bush has said many times that terrorists hate our freedom. But what evidence is there to that? It seems to me that the terrorists hate American power and American policies, but don’t care what our government is. Of course democracies are preferable to dictatorships- but is it deliverable in Iraq? If so, at what cost? The tens of thousands of Iraqis that have died since the invasion (or is it hundreds of thousands?) no longer care about their government. Fighting terrorism is a good thing. Democracy is a good thing. But fighting one has little to do with the other.
Unlike pregnancy and substance abuse, there are more than just a single reason/cause for terrorism or terrorist acts. Some are politically based, other religious, still others are cult(ist) based, or some other idealogy based on a little of each. Oh, and let’s not forget rabbid nationalism!
And lest we forget… Democracy and Judeo-Christian codes of ethics may work for us in the western world but I certainly don’t think we’ve cornered the market on moral thought and behaviour. I think we think in absolutes when we talk about building democracies around the world. Some folks are just not ready to accept that kind of thing being forced down their throats. What we have here is a clash of cultures on a global scale and I certainly don’t think we should be so naive as to think that everyone will buy what we have to sell no matter how pretty the packaging and bow is.
I already suggested that we need to learn from history.
Here is one reference for you:
"For almost twenty years Malcolm Sutton has been recording the details of every death arising from the present conflict in Ireland. He has collected newspaper cuttings, observed funerals, checked coroners’ court records, visited cemetries and studied books and pamphlets. He has painstakingly verified the personal details of victims, the organisations responsible for the killings and the circumstances in which the deaths occurred.
Malcolm Sutton has compiled this index as a memorial for the dead and as a tribute to the families and friends of the 3,523 people killed between July 1969 and 31 December 2001."
I consider this terrorism on a massive scale. It happened in a democracy. The conflict has lasted for decades (some would say centuries).
And another one:
"But despite the fact that Spain’s Basque country today enjoys more autonomy than any other - it has its own parliament, police force, controls education and collects its own taxes - ETA and its hardline supporters remain determined to fight for full independence.
That fight has led to some 800 deaths over the last 30 years, many of them members of the Guardia Civil, Spain’s national police force, and both local and national politicians who are opposed to ETA’s separatist demands. "
Next up the Baader-Meinhof group in Germany (another democracy):
“27 February, Berlin
American president Richard Nixon visits Berlin. Among the many Berliners waiting to greet him are Kommune I members Dieter Kunzelmann and Rainer Langhans. They attempt to bomb Nixon’s motorcade, but the bomb is discovered before it can be triggered.”
But 911 wasn’t the result of massive scale terrorism (at least, anything done by less than 100 people shouldn’t really qualify as ‘massive’). Yes, it was incredibly devastating on a sight previously unseen, but it relied on the same small cell structure used by other terrorist groups.
On the other hand, bombing the shit out of, say, North Korea, Iran, or Iraq qualifies as Massive scale terrorism in many people’s book. Or do you see some other reason why terrorist activity is at an all-time high in Iraq at the moment.
For other ‘white’ terrorists, I’ll point out the Basque ETA, and a generation ago the FLQ in Montreal. Both groups arose because of one reason: they felt their needs and desires were being dismissed out-of-hand by the majority.
So when the Real IRA blew the whole face off of a hotel in Brighton, England, during a political conference and killed / injured hundreds that doesn’t count? When Basque terrorists from ETA kill dozens in pipe-bomb attacks throughout Spain (not the Madrid bombings, but a 20-year-old terror campaign they have been waging) that doesn’t count? Timothy McVeigh’s little ‘revenge’ on the Federal Government in OKC not big enough for ya?
If the Real IRA had nukes, you could damn well bet they would have used them in some form or another. Same goes for ETA, Bader-Meinhoff, Aum Shinriko, and Al-Queda. All of which (with the exception of Al-Queda) come from Democratic Nations. Hell, Aum Shinriko released NERVE GAS (y’know, like a Weapon of Mass Destruction) in a Tokyo subway, and they weren’t just from a Democratic nation, but middle-class educated kids as well!
You might want to re-think your statement, or else just come right out and say it’s just brown-skinned terrorism that pisses you off and anybody else is a Freedom Fighter…
A few of you are somehow seeing this argument from my posts. I’ve re-read and just don’t see anything resembling this coming from me.
I guess the confusion comes from the fact that I’m taking a very US centric view of terrorism. I’m not considering them in my original statement because the IRA doesn’t attack the US. I’m not excusing their actions. I’m certainly not giving anybody a pass because of their race! I’m just not focused on them, because I’m looking at terrorism that’s targeted at America. That posters are willing to happily assume that this somehow makes me a racist says more about them then myself, I believe.
There’s nothing wrong with that, necessarily, except when it makes you lose perspective. Other countries deal with terrorism all the time without feeling like they need to kill everything is sight. What is it about us that when attacked in such a matter, our first response is just to lash out at anything that might look threatening?
Like i said, I favor the police method of dealing with terrorism, backed by foreign (and domestic) policies that head off legitimate grievances before they flare up into attacks. But I do realize that there’s a certain emotional release that is attractive to the ‘war on …’ mentality.
As for where the confusion comes from, it could be as you say, or it could be your post itself. You said:
You did not specify ‘Islamic Terrorism Targeted at the United States and It’s Allies’, or some such - you said terrorism. So sorry for jumping to conclusions, but that’s the one that jumped out.
And you’re also wrong on another level - at least 5 detainees at Gitmo captured in Afghanistan are from England, some are from the US. Richard ‘Shoebomber’ Reid is from England. Several of the Sept 11th hijackers came from Germany, although were of Saudi descent. Jose Padilla (who tried to set up a dirty bomb) is an American Citizen, captured in Chicago, and John Walker Lindh is also an American but captured fighting for the Taliban in Afghanistan.
Also terrorist rings have been broken up in the US. I agree that terrorists come from everywhere and their not ever going to go away. However, where I think we disagree is that I believe that the more democracy and freedom loving countries that exist in the world the less terrrorism we will see.
I do think that we can agree that we’re in a far better position to deal with a Richard Reid terrorist living in England than we are a similar terrorist living in Afghanistan under the Taliban or Saddam’s Iraq.
I think we’re in agreement that we’re both sorry then
I disagree - one thing you can say about totalitarian regimes is that the populations are under control. A single terrorist is Saddam’s Iraq had little or no chance to do any damage. A single terrorist in a free Western nation has a lot more options as to where and when to attack. McVeigh’s capabilities to attack the US were a hell of a lot greater than some lone gunman in Afghanistan.
How about a single terrorist in Iraq or Afghanistan who is supported and funded by the government of his country? A terrorist living in England at least has a host government who does not sanction his actions and will try and stop him if possible.
You are assuming that these totalitarian regimes are using their control of the population to suppress terror. My contention is that these types of regimes are far more likely to support terrorists or be themselves terrorists.