It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.

 

Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.

 

Can this War be Won? If so, how?

page: 1
0

log in

join
share:

posted on Jul, 20 2005 @ 08:30 AM
link   
It occurs to me that I think of this War against Terrorism as futile. I realize though, that it’s only our strategy that is making it so ineffectual. It is my thought that perhaps this war could be won, but only if we regroup and try a different tack.

I think one of the most effective strategies of war is to understand the enemy. One of the stupidest things to do is underestimate them. Unfortunately, we’re off the mark on both. No one in positions of power has really taken the time to understand the terrorists. I think that may be because understanding is sometimes seen as sympathizing. They aren’t the same thing.

We need to get inside the mind and heart of a terrorist to fully grasp just what it is that will bring him down. It’s a scary place to be and I understand why no one wants to go there, but as long as we attribute humanity to him, he has the advantage.

And it’s obvious that we’re grossly (mis)underestimating the terrorists…

What are your thoughts and ideas on possible strategies for winning this war? Do you think it can be done?


[edit on 21-7-2005 by John bull 1]




posted on Jul, 20 2005 @ 09:02 AM
link   

Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
No one in positions of power has really taken the time to understand the terrorists. I think that may be because understanding is sometimes seen as sympathizing. They aren’t the same thing.

We need to get inside the mind and heart of a terrorist to fully grasp just what it is that will bring him down. It’s a scary place to be and I understand why no one wants to go there, but as long as we attribute humanity to him, he has the advantage.

And it’s obvious that we’re grossly (mis)underestimating the terrorists…




BH...I would find it difficult to believe that "the powers that be" have not tried to understand the terrorist/insurgents. Of course they have! One of the basic precepts of the military is to understand the enemy. The military wants to understand the motivation of the enemy and, in this case, that motivation has been, ultimately, to bring down the West, Destroy the "Infidel" and, of course, to destroy Israel. It is that simple.

When the terrorist/insurgents attack via mortars, ambushes or suicide bombers, they try to aim that attack against the military. Of course, doing this has become much harder so they have tended to aim their hatred against innocent people.....the Iraqis. Keeping this in mind, it becomes obvious that the terrorist/insurgents have no real desire to simply "kick out the Americans" but they also wish to make their desire to control the Iraqi people clearly known.

If the U.S. withdrew from Iraq today, the insurgency attacks against the Iraqi people would continue. It would continue until every vestige of free thought was eliminated. The Insurgents have no desire to make certain that the Iraqi people are "free". They simply wish to impose their own brand of fourteenth century control upon the Iraqis and to reinfoce their influence over the other Moslem states.



posted on Jul, 20 2005 @ 09:13 AM
link   
Define "Win". This is a war on a concept. It's unwinnable in the conventional sense because there's no one uberterrorist that speaks for all of them to submit to a surrender. This is a police action against a band of international criminals. It's no more winnable than a "war" on crime in the US. It is controllable only to the extent that there is cooperation amongst the civilized governments (or religious factions that run countries) in agreement to eradicate the perpetrators. If it's up to the US to be the global cops, we're bound to fail.



posted on Jul, 20 2005 @ 09:21 AM
link   
No war can ever be won.
Once anyone has finally gone the distance and gotten themselves into such a situation, then both sides LOOSE! Both the winner as well as the looser.



posted on Jul, 20 2005 @ 09:25 AM
link   

Originally posted by benevolent tyrant
The military wants to understand the motivation of the enemy and, in this case, that motivation has been, ultimately, to bring down the West, Destroy the "Infidel" and, of course, to destroy Israel. It is that simple.

I beg to differ that it's that simple. I think that's part of the problem. You've stated their actions, but I'm not sure you (or anyone) really understands their motive.

When I say 'understand', I don't just mean understand what they're doing or what their ultimate goal is, I mean understand the intricate workings ot the terrorist mind and heart.

For example, can you say that you understand what could bring a man to behead another human being with a large knife to make a point? Can you say that you understand the evil that motivates a man to strap explosives to his body and commit an act of murder so vile that it breaks the spirit of everyone who hears about it?


When the terrorist/insurgents attack via mortars, ambushes or suicide bombers, they try to aim that attack against the military.

They do? That's news to me. The Iraqi kids in the street getting candy, the people on the train in Madrid, or the people on the subway in London, none were military targets. They kill innocent civilians every single day!

And have you seen this thread? Somewhere between 80 and 95% of the 'insurgents' are simply Iraqi citizens fighting for their home country.
www.abovetopsecret.com...


Keeping this in mind, it becomes obvious that the terrorist/insurgents have no real desire to simply "kick out the Americans" but they also wish to make their desire to control the Iraqi people clearly known.

I'll agree they want to kick out the Americans, but they ARE the Iraqi people. I don't see any problem with them wanting to be in control of themselves.



The Insurgents have no desire to make certain that the Iraqi people are "free". They simply wish to impose their own brand of fourteenth century control upon the Iraqis and to reinfoce their influence over the other Moslem states.


Like I said, I don't think we really understand them.

P.S. Nice username.
I chose mine before I saw yours.



posted on Jul, 20 2005 @ 09:36 AM
link   

Originally posted by kenshiro2012
No war can ever be won.
Once anyone has finally gone the distance and gotten themselves into such a situation, then both sides LOOSE! Both the winner as well as the looser.


I respectfully disagree, but I understand your point. I think the Allies successfully and decisively won WWII. Times are different and the enemy is different today. We're not fighting a monolithic entity with a clearly defined power structure. We're fighting a concept represented by murderous fanatics.



posted on Jul, 20 2005 @ 09:55 AM
link   
yeahright, I agree, 'win' needs to be defined. That's yet another failure on the part of the Commander in Chief of the forces. This war could go on forever.

I think winning would be a return to the state of the world before 9/11. And I don't think that's going to happen.

I guess I have this fantasy that someday we'll be able to withdraw most of our troops from Iraq and we won't be involved in a war with another country like we are there and we can start working on protecting our borders from terrorist entry into the US and then everyone (here) will feel fairly safe again. Somebody smack me and wake me up! I am dreaming!

Now that I think about it, I don't think we can define 'win' for the war on terrorism. We can't kill all the terrorists without making more...

kenshiro, you are so right. No winners, only Losers!



posted on Jul, 20 2005 @ 10:09 AM
link   
I changed my mind! We (the US) could win our war on terror. And it would look like this:
-The US would be safe from terror attacks on US soil. We would be secure in the knowledge that our government had our best interests at heart and was protecting our country
-Our immigration policies would have citizen protection as THE priority
-Our government's first concern would be with the safety of the citizenry
-Our taxes would pay for our needs, not to kill innocent foreigners

So yeah, I think it could be won (not that I think that's going to happen). Terrorism would still exist, just not in America. That may seem selfish, and it is. But before we go out trying to get the terrorists where they live (yeah, riiight) we should make sure things are taken care of at home. And they are not. Homeland security is a joke.

Because look, we're not going to have a country to protect for very long... there's no doubt in my mind that while our military is off dying in some useless conflict, we're left unprotected and vulnerable. Terrorists are smart. And patient.



posted on Jul, 20 2005 @ 10:20 AM
link   

Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
Because look, we're not going to have a country to protect for very long... there's no doubt in my mind that while our military is off dying in some useless conflict, we're left unprotected and vulnerable. Terrorists are smart. And patient.


Iraq is a magnet for the terrorists, if not in Iraq, then it be in U.S. of A. terrorists may be patient but so are we, 50 years of fighting Communism. another 50 years of fighting Islamic terror. it helps us learn new enemies as time passes. after all we didnt have an intelligence agency until WW2. otherwise we didnt know crap.



posted on Jul, 20 2005 @ 11:05 AM
link   
This war was not meant to be won. It's just the beginning of the perpetual war plan of PNAC to control the world and institute one-world government. Don't think so? Well Iran and Syria are next, then North Korea and possibly nuclear exchange with China; who knows?



posted on Jul, 20 2005 @ 11:12 AM
link   

Originally posted by MajesticJax
It's just the beginning of the perpetual war plan of PNAC to control the world and institute one-world government. Don't think so?


I do think so.
I share your opinion. But I think it helps to talk about solution. To communicate possibilities, to be open to discussing what could happen and what we might be able to do.


deltaboy, is it your opinion that Iraq was a magnet for the terrorists before we invaded? Or did our presence cultivate a 'terrorist playground'?



posted on Jul, 20 2005 @ 11:15 AM
link   

Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic

deltaboy, is it your opinion that Iraq was a magnet for the terrorists before we invaded? Or did our presence cultivate a 'terrorist playground'?


we are pretty much a magnet for terrorists long before we invaded Iraq. attempt terrorist attack just before the millenium, terrorist attacks on 9/11, terrorist attack on the towers back in 93. so we pretty much prefer to get the terrorists to go attack somewhere else, as we have seen around the world.



posted on Jul, 20 2005 @ 12:03 PM
link   
Heya. As far as i can see, the first two questions posed by the author of this thread have already raised several issues. I wish to pose my opinions on some of these:

Understanding the enemy

" No one in positions of power has really taken the time to understand the terrorists. I think that may be because understanding is sometimes seen as sympathizing. They aren’t the same thing." - Benevolent Heretic

I see your point here, and i appreciate that understanding them would go a long way in assuring their defeat. However, I think it is unfair to ask any decent human, even those in power, to psychologically understand the mentality that would cause certain individuals to do the brutal things that the terrorists do.

An understanding CAN be gathered from a 'realpolitik' style approach to the issue. In this way, one could say that they see this as a war just as much as we do. Who started it? The US, by interfering in the middle east on occasions such as the Iranian Revolution? Or Islamic Terrorists, who, since 1979, have killed thousands of Americans, which is, after all, what started the CURRENT war on terror. In my opinion, this is unimportant under this approach. Whoever fired the opening salvo is dead now, and this is a war well underway.

Therefore, one could see this as a situation of means and motives. First, the primary motive of each side is to advance their interests. These I will for future arguments. The USA has at it's disposal vast military power, diplomatic clout, and economic leverage to encourage, influence, nudge or shove reality towards it's aims. All of these factors a are type of Force. Without force, you cannot influence anything.

What forces are available to the Terrorists? The staggering disadvantage of not being a nation state is that they have none of the aforementioned factors for use in advancing their interests. Hence, the only force left to them is intimidation. The inherent message in the bombings, the beheadings, the hijackings is: "here is why you must do as we demand" - essentially, stand in the way of their cause, and your civilians will bear the price.

Unfortunately, this is as far as we can really go towards understanding them: motives and means. I personally believe that many of them must be truly evil poeple, but i concede that it may take simply a person possessed of immense rage at the west to take up arms and conduct a roadside attack at a US convoy. Imagine you are an Iraqi whose entire family got wiped out in a coalition air raid. It is likely that some kind of instability would grip your mind. Alternatively, imagine the rage of Americans after 9/11. how many of us wanted swift vengeance after that day? I know I did, but then i cooled off. My point is that they might be evil, or they might simply be pissed off, but it doesn't matter.

Hence, we are left with trying to understand their motives. That is a complex issue, and one that raises a great many problems. Suppose that tomorrow, Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi comes on the web and says that the attacks will end if US troops leave the country and if America leaves Iraq to it's own devices. Then we will have the terrorist's aims in the clear. Great, then what? First of all, America in this situation cannot leave Iraq to it's own devices (the war was fought simply BECAUSE Iraq was left to it's own devices, and moved in a direction contrary to American interests). Even if it could contend that Iraq would move in the right direction, it is STRONGLY against US interests to leave 'under threat', so to speak. It weakens US image, displaying the scenario as the US humbly taking leave whilst trusting terrorists to keep their word.

I once read a book where a plane was hijacked, and the sole demand made by the hijackers was that West Germany give into the demands of a hunger striker and save her life. It was a reasonable request, but the government DOES NOT negotiate with terrorists. Hence, their motives were pointless. I know it seems ridiculous, but a line in the sand needs to be drawn, because if you give into the terrorists on a reasonable demand, then they will be encouraged to try the same tactics to advance an unreasonable agenda. In the meantime, their victim's bodies pile up.

My point in all this is therefore: all we need to understand about terrorists is how to defeat them.

Defeating Terrorists

Now, that sounds glib, but infact it incorporates a lot of other factors, including whatever we know about their motives. In this way, we can erode their credibility by removing their 'reasonable' motives off their list of grievances. For example, America can train Iraqi Security Forces to take over the defense of their country, and move out of Iraq over time. This is fulfilling a major terrorist demand, but the key thing here is that it is not being done at gunpoint. It is being done in such a way as to preserve the principle of non-negotiation. In this way, the terrorists will no longer be able to make their (possibly legitimate) demand that US forces leave Iraq. After that, the next time the blow up an innocent child, the Iraqis will confront them and ask "WTF do they want now?", and THEN, their 'evil' motives will be revealed.

"And it’s obvious that we’re grossly (mis)underestimating the terrorists…" - benevolent heretic

Sadly, BH is only too right in this. However, I believe that this manifests itself not in any errors of grand strategy, but in tactics. Tactics such as putting too few troops in Iraq, disregarding how easily the terrorists would be able to 'spin' the situation to their advantage, having no effective reconstruction plan (which fuels Iraqi anger, resulting in 'rage' attacks as i mentioned before), leaving the US southern border WOEFULLY untended, and other blunders. However, the grand strategy of the war on terrorism seems to me to generally take into account the nature of the enemy, without underestimating it.

I argue this because, as Tony Blair aptly put it, the terrorists inspire, and are inspired by, an ideology of hatred. Some of this hatred is probably understandable. The West, in particular America, have made decisions for the rest of the world with catastrophic consequences. Some have argued that this was necessary to preserve freedom against communist expansion, but in some cases, this view seems untenable (exactly how would stopping a massacre in East Timor have halted the collapse of the Berlin Wall, as a recent news magazine article asked). In the eyes of those affected by these decisions, the position of the US seems even more sinister. However, Tony Blair also outlined the simple, yet ambitious strategy behind combating this ideology of hatred: spreading an alternative, an ideology of peace and freedom.

It does seem a bit cheesy doesn't it? Obviously, it is too soon for many around the world to forget the crimes of the US against them, however necessary they may have been. President Bush said "for decades we sacrificed democracy in the middle east in favor of stability and achieved neither". Convincing the world that the US has changed its tune will not be easy, of course. But already several steps are being taken in the right direction, including support for democratic institutions in Afghanistan and Iraq, stern callings for reform in Saudi Arabia and Egypt, unprecedented support for the Palestinians by this adminstration to name a few. That these seem half-hearted sometimes is simply a result of political realities. We can't impose democracy on the Saudis because we need their oil, and because that would inspire MUCH MORE hatred than the Iraq War for many reasons (presence of holy cities of Mecca and Medina, this would be the THIRD muslim nation we would invade, less acceptable reasons to invade - not even a hint of WMDs, etc). We can't get too tough on Israel because our influence with them would fall to zero if they became paranoid and no longer saw the US as a friend who would stick by it - and who knows what lashing out on Israel's part would occur in that event? Political realities need to be kept in mind here. But i beleive that we are moving in the right direction.

Victory

What would victory look like? Again, Benevolent Heretic presents a viewpoint:

"-The US would be safe from terror attacks on US soil. We would be secure in the knowledge that our government had our best interests at heart and was protecting our country
-Our immigration policies would have citizen protection as THE priority
-Our government's first concern would be with the safety of the citizenry
-Our taxes would pay for our needs, not to kill innocent foreigners "

I mean no disrespect, but I find this four-point list simplistic and contradictory in many ways, although it is fundementally noble. For instance, "The US would be safe from terror attacks on US soil" - for this, we may have to violate the fourth item by going to war to preserve out interests abroad. Whether those wars are necessary is another debate, but if one decides that they are, inevitably some 'innocent foreigners' will be killed. And financing those necessary wars will tax us, so that negates that part of it as well. The third item is another somewhat simplistic point. If BH is implying that the Bush Administration does not have America's best interests at heart, then that is fine. But if it did, then that doesn't automatically become a factor in victory in the war on terror. Good intentions need to be followed through with actions and results.

Now the second point about "immigration policies would have citizen protection as THE priority" is one that i ABSOLUTELY agree with. Immigrants bring a lot of benefits to America, but these we can do without if the price is more 9/11-style attacks. Living in Sri Lanka, I have seen too many people who passionately hate America gain US visas. OF course, this may have been a bad example, but i do believe some measures such as racial profiliing, local backround files, etc., might prove useful. Tighting the US-Mexico border would help significantly.

What i do disagree with is this view, also by BH: "I think winning would be a return to the state of the world before 9/11." This is problematic for many reasons, not the least of which is that in the world before 9/11, the attack was being planned, North Korea was preparing it's present nuclear arsenal, and terror cells around the world operated with much less interference. The global situation may have been tranquil, as a stack of dynamite is pretty tranquil in itself... until it blows up in our faces.

Instead, a victory in the war on terror would be a much more concerted effort by more nations (particularly in the middle east) to eradicate these groups. Most of all, a victory would be a world where the majority of people from the societies that breed terrorists hold as much hatred for them as Americans do. I would also envision victory in the war on terror as coming when we are able to 'dial-down' our posture of defense (in terms of military spending, and the PATRIOT act, for instance) to a 'peacetime' level WITHOUT descending back into our post-cold war complacency.


I realize that this is a relatively huge post. I felt that I needed to properly articulate my position on this issue, and I hope I have done so.

Cheers eveyrone,
Archangel

Benevolent Heretic, I hope you feel that I have treated your views here with respect, I know i focused exclusively on your posts.



posted on Jul, 20 2005 @ 12:43 PM
link   
Archangel76, your points are far too logical to even argue with!
Thank you for your wonderful post.

A few comments:

The ‘understanding’ I’m talking about is not simply understanding their motivation, but understanding how a person can be raised to hate so passionately. This is from another post of mine (slightly reworded to fit this thread):

-----------------------


Things we're taught as young children have a way of sticking with us. And if we're protected from other input, these ideals become stronger and stronger and more ingrained into who we are..

The kids of the terrorist culture have been taught with certain values and ideas. They are taught and protected from other influence. Young boys with no future to speak of are sent to training camps. Young, impressionable boys who long to be a part of something are accepted and loved and taught ritual 'religious' ideals.

Hatred and vengeance are pounded into their heads every day. These kids aren't playing video games or watching TV, they're part of an evil experiment; to raise an army of human hating machines who consider it an honor to give their life for their cause.

Maybe we can do something about this war, but we need to regroup. This war isn't working. We’re giving the terrorists more and more ammunition for hatred of the Western world.

-----------------------



I think with this level of understanding, there's a much better chance of getting to the root of the problem, than by killing these people as adults. Not saying we should kill them as children, but I think we need to look at how a terrorist becomes a die-hard terrorist.

I agree that the 4-point list is simplistic. It was not by any means meant to be a comprehensive list of all indications, just a few that occurred to me in the moment.


What i do disagree with is this view, also by BH: "I think winning would be a return to the state of the world before 9/11." This is problematic for many reasons, not the least of which is that in the world before 9/11, the attack was being planned, North Korea was preparing it's present nuclear arsenal, and terror cells around the world operated with much less interference. The global situation may have been tranquil, as a stack of dynamite is pretty tranquil in itself... until it blows up in our faces.


Excellent point! The only thing I can say to that is that you’re absolutely right. I guess I want a return to the time when terrorism just wasn’t a major issue. And from my perspective, that was before 9/11. Terrorism became a household word on that day.



posted on Jul, 21 2005 @ 07:34 AM
link   

Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic

The ‘understanding’ I’m talking about is not simply understanding their motivation, but understanding how a person can be raised to hate so passionately. This is from another post of mine (slightly reworded to fit this thread):

-----------------------


Things we're taught as young children have a way of sticking with us. And if we're protected from other input, these ideals become stronger and stronger and more ingrained into who we are..

The kids of the terrorist culture have been taught with certain values and ideas. They are taught and protected from other influence. Young boys with no future to speak of are sent to training camps. Young, impressionable boys who long to be a part of something are accepted and loved and taught ritual 'religious' ideals.

Hatred and vengeance are pounded into their heads every day. These kids aren't playing video games or watching TV, they're part of an evil experiment; to raise an army of human hating machines who consider it an honor to give their life for their cause.

Maybe we can do something about this war, but we need to regroup. This war isn't working. We’re giving the terrorists more and more ammunition for hatred of the Western world.

-----------------------





Benevolent Heretic, it seems to me that you have basically answered your query to understand the inner mechanisms of what drives people to terrorism. I think that one of the key terms you've used is 'terrorist culture'. This is a nice phrase to sum up the ground upon which a future suicide bomber is bred.

I would like to take this term out of the stereotypical context of Al Qaeda for a second, and focus on Sri Lanka. This country has been ravaged by conflicts and political instability for over two decades now. The main rebel group, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), recruit child soldiers. Some of their suicide bombings have been carried out by relatively young people, including teenagers. The most deadly of these killed around 90 people in 1996. I have no specific knowledge as to why someone would do such a thing, but i have some ideas:

Perhaps this suicide bomber (lets just say it was one for now) had lost both parents during the bloody anti-Tamil riots of 1982, and had henceforth wanted revenge on the Sinhalese people for his loss. This terrorist-to-be would have grown up in the North, a land of immense poverty, with a mainly Tamil population, ruled by the LTTE. In this environment, he would have been constantly fed propaganda affirming what he already knew in his heart: Sinhalese people are visciously standing in the way of what the Tamils deserve. he would likely have not had a proper education, with which he might have been given a better direction in life than revenge. In fact, he might have been taken into the LTTE as early as the age of 10. His education would consist mainly of learning combat tactics. The indoctrination would continue even more intensely. Here my friend, is one version of a 'terrorist culture'.

In fact, under such circumstances, most poeple simply would not function as well as you or I. As for myself, after 9/11, and the Beslan school massacre, I felt a sudden rage in my own heart for muslims, to the effect where I thought that if Russia decided to level chechnya, America should not complain. I am not proud of this thought. That it went no further than that, and that it lasted just minutes before i became ashamed of myself, is a testament to my upbringing.

However, in others, it would go further, because they would lead more extreme lives. I am not saying this to condone what they do, but simply in the way of offering up ONE way in which people end up being terrorists. A lot of what Benevolent Heretic said is equally valid, especially the part about wanting to be loved and accepted. Our unnamed Tamil terrorist in 1986 would have entered a society with a strict caste system. perhaps he was poor and filthy, and hence looked down upon by even other Tamils. In the LTTE, he would have found acceptance, and encouragement that, yes, he is right, no one understands, but he is right. That feeling of bliss might be enough to make one feel that his cause is worth dying for. In a sense, it might be like dying for one's family. I don't know.

I don't know how to combat this, except to say that we must make peoples' lives better wherever we can, and whenever it doesn't conflict with our own interests. An important part of that is to help fundementally change the nature of the societies that have a 'terrorist culture'.

From the tone of your remarks, BH, I assume that you are against the Bush administration's approach to this problem, probably with regard to Iraq. Sometimes i feel the same way, but most of the time, I view the Administration's grand strategy as being the right one.

I would like to focus on Iraq in particular, saying first that I believe that the WAY in which it was conducted was abysmal, but the overall objective of overthrowing Hussein through war was the right thing to do. The main reason for this is that it would help to send a clear signal through the middle east that the US is no longer concerned with stability at the cost of democracy. While some might argue that our friendship with Saudi Arabia contradicts this signal, I would say that first, Saudi Arabia is nothing like Saddam-era Iraq, and secondly, that the Administration is taking a realistic approach by encouraging them towards democracy.

Another reason is that it shows other states that America will no longer tolerate threats to its interests as it did before. One example of this is that when Lybia gave up its weapons program two years ago, Muammar Gaddafy said to a reporter that after Iraq, he would do anything Bush told him to do.

Of course, I accept that such an aggressive approach (especially coupled with the adminstration's inept and arrogant methodology) would cause more hatred immediately. However, the lack of such an approach did not prevent 9/11. Had we continued our usual strategy after that event (continuing to employ relatively impotent methods such as diplomatic and economic sanctions, for instance), then we would not be doing much to protect ourselves.

What we are doing here is to encourage a move away from the 'terrorist culture', and a move towards a culture where people concern themselves with greater life aims than revenge on America. This will be promoted by getting rid of regimes that inspire hatred day after day - for instance, our earlier Tamil terrorist may have gone another path if he was not nurtured by the LTTE rule in the north. It will be promoted by supporting governments that allow the majority opinion of these countries (which mostly run contrary to the 'terrorist culture'; most poeple love their children too much, to put it simply) to prevail.

Now what about the people who are undoubtedly encouraged to attack the west as a result of Iraq? My short anser is that we will just have to live with them. Most of these will be in the form of short-sighted insurgents who hurl themselves at the US military machine, or blow up innocent Iraqis (thus shifting iraqi opinion against them). Others will be the kind who show up later in London to blow up trains and buses, unfortunately. But lets not forget that the 19 hijackers, and for that matter, Timothy McVeigh, did not face the personal devastation that Iraqis are confronted with everyday now. I say this to argue that some people are just messed up. In order to combat them, and the ones that have grievances, such as unnamed Tamil Terrorist, we need to remove the 'terrorist cultures' of the Middle East and elsewhere and promote governments and societies that will aid us in the war on terror, if only to end this misery so that they can get on with their lives.

I hope I have shed some further light on your question of understanding how a terrorist is made. I would also like to add that a few are not made, they are born (and these are, IMHO, beyond understanding). I also hope I have put up a credible defense of the Iraq invasion, to counter your final paragraph in the quote.

Archangel76



posted on Jul, 21 2005 @ 11:13 AM
link   

From the tone of your remarks, BH, I assume that you are against the Bush administration's approach to this problem, probably with regard to Iraq.


Yes. And although it hasn’t always been the case, I am against this administration as a whole. More on that below.


… and secondly, that the Administration is taking a realistic approach by encouraging them towards democracy.


I don’t think that democracy is a form of government that can successfully be ‘imposed’ on a country or a culture. The very essence of democracy is that it is chosen by the people. I think many assume that because we think our democracy is so great that naturally, anyone would want a democracy. And maybe they would. But a democracy is an internal movement of a society by the people to better their culture and take control of their government. Most (if not all) democracies are a result of the people taking action to establish their democracy.

I’m not at all sure that the majority of Iraqis want a democracy. And certainly forcing or imposing our ideals on a country that isn’t ready for it or open to it is a huge mistake. Even if a democracy is eventually established and we leave, will the people be inspired to maintain it - if they didn’t work for it in the first place? It’s not their idea. Iraq is an ancient culture and we (in our immaturity and arrogance) think we know better how they should live? And we barge over there like the heroes and serve it to them on a platter? No, I cannot support that.

If they wanted a democracy and asked our country for help, I would totally support that. But they would have to do the work of figuring our what they want and whom they want and how it would be done. I would support our military taking out Saddam if we had been asked and if the Iraqis had a plan as to what to do afterward. But we have been the instigators and orchestrators since the beginning and that’s why I think it’s bound to fail.

Please remember, the sole reason we were given for invading Iraq was that they had WMDs. It was all a part of the War on Terror. We were told that Saddam was ready to attack us. That he had the material and the means to carry out an attack on the USA. Only when that was found to be false did this administration change its tune to one of spreading freedom and democracy. We went in there (supposedly) on a military mission to disarm Saddam. Well, that’s been done and the people want us to leave. But we are killing those who are trying to get us to leave.

This thread is about how only 5% of the ‘insurgents’ in Iraq are actually foreign. The rest are Iraqi citizens fighting the invading forces trying to get them to leave. Our government just calls them ‘insurgents’ so we’ll think they’re the bad guys and support the occupation. And sadly, many believe it.
www.abovetopsecret.com...
What we’re doing over there is killing all the people of the country who want us gone.

I don’t think they’re ready for a democracy. If the majority could agree on something then they could agree on a form of government. But we (the US) had a very violent Revolution from our mother country and then we had our own civil war to further establish ourselves. We gave birth to our democracy. Nobody came in and forced it on us or handed it to us and I feel pretty confident in saying that we wouldn’t appreciate it as much as we do if we didn’t have the noble history that brought us to where we are today.


I hope I have shed some further light on your question of understanding how a terrorist is made. I would also like to add that a few are not made, they are born (and these are, IMHO, beyond understanding).

Agreed. Evil exists in the heart of man and some individuals make it their master instead of the good that is also there. It’s a different, singular event unrelated to the group terrorist mindset.


I also hope I have put up a credible defense of the Iraq invasion, to counter your final paragraph in the quote.


No offense intended, but there is no way you or anyone can convince me of a credible defense for the invasion of Iraq. I have been almost totally focused on this whole situation since 9/11. I have searched and learned everything I could and I am convinced of my current opinion on that.


Just so you are aware, I supported the war in Iraq in the beginning, but my search has led me to so many findings that I cannot ignore. Something is terribly amiss with this administration and this war on terror. Some interesting reading if you care to investigate further:

PNAC - Project for the New American Century. The actual document is huge and requires Acrobat Reader. If you want to look at it, it's here:
newamericancentury.org...

This is a primer written about it that's easier to understand:
www.crisispapers.org...



posted on Jul, 21 2005 @ 01:11 PM
link   
Thing that blows me away is that the countries that primaraly support us are not run by democracy. Hell, we are not a democracy technicly. We are a Democratic Republic, most other countries supporting us are a Socalistic Republic.

The biggest mistake made is that Bush did not go to Iraq to save people, the conflict was never organized to be won because the objective was to change a people's way of life, their ideas, and the way they think. That is why it has not and will not be successful.

This is said ignoring all the reasoning of revenge, oil, corprate contract manipulation for financial gain, etc, etc, etc....

MrBunny
Cynic



posted on Jul, 21 2005 @ 11:57 PM
link   
Benevolent Heretic, I will now proceed on our 'tennis match' of political debate



If they wanted a democracy and asked our country for help, I would totally support that. But they would have to do the work of figuring our what they want and whom they want and how it would be done. I would support our military taking out Saddam if we had been asked and if the Iraqis had a plan as to what to do afterward. But we have been the instigators and orchestrators since the beginning and that’s why I think it’s bound to fail.


Now I agree that this approach would certainly have been more noble than what America did do in Iraq. However, exactly what do you mean by 'asked our country for help?' There were no effective opposition parties in Iraq, and the citizenry could not well put up a protest of Saddam Hussein. In the end, what, other than 'common sense', did we have to judge that the Iraqi people would probably want Saddam gone?

As for 'we have been the instigators and orchestrators since the beginning' - I find that to be a bit unfair. I would like to pose this quote from Dave Kopel (one could call him a conservative Answer to Michael Moore, without Ann Coulter's pathetic rabble-rousing). Please forgive the large size of this quote:

"...Moore’s pro-Saddam allegation that Saddam "never threatened to attack the United States" is true in the narrow sense that Saddam never gave a speech in which he threatened to, for example, send the Iraqi navy and army to conduct an amphibious invasion of Florida. But although Saddam never threatened the territorial integrity of America, he repeatedly threatened Americans. For example, on November 15, 1997, the main propaganda organ for the Saddam regime, the newspaper Babel (which was run by Saddam Hussein's son Uday) ordered: "American and British interests, embassies, and naval ships in the Arab region should be the targets of military operations and commando attacks by Arab political forces." (Stephen Hayes, The Connection: How al Qaeda's Collaboration with Saddam Hussein has Endangered America (N.Y.: HarperCollins, 2004), p. 94.) On November 25, 2000, Saddam declared in a televised speech, "The Arab people have not so far fulfilled their duties. They are called upon to target U.S. and Zionist interests everywhere and target those who protect these interests."

On the first anniversary of the September 11 attacks, a weekly newspaper owned by Uday Hussein said that Arabs should "use all means-and they are numerous-against the aggressors...and considering everything American as a military target, including embassies, installations, and American companies, and to create suicide/martyr [fidaiyoon] squads to attack American military and naval bases inside and outside the region, and mine the waterways to prevent the movement of war ships..."

Moreover, the Saddam regime did not need to make verbal threats in order to "threaten" the United States. The regime threatened the United States by giving refuge to terrorists who had murdered Americans, and by funding terrorists who were killing Americans in Israel. Saddam gave refuge to terrorists who had attacked the United States by bombing the World Trade Center. In addition:

In 1991, a large number of Western hostages were taken by the hideous Iraqi invasion of Kuwait and held in terrible conditions for a long time. After that same invasion was repelled—Saddam having killed quite a few Americans and Egyptians and Syrians and Brits in the meantime and having threatened to kill many more…

….Iraqi forces fired, every day, for 10 years, on the aircraft that patrolled the no-fly zones and staved off further genocide in the north and south of the country. In 1993, a certain Mr. Yasin helped mix the chemicals for the bomb at the World Trade Center and then skipped to Iraq, where he remained a guest of the state until the overthrow of Saddam….On Dec. 1, 2003, the New York Times reported—and the David Kay report had established—that Saddam had been secretly negotiating with the "Dear Leader" Kim Jong-il in a series of secret meetings in Syria, as late as the spring of 2003, to buy a North Korean missile system, and missile-production system, right off the shelf. (This attempt was not uncovered until after the fall of Baghdad, the coalition’s presence having meanwhile put an end to the negotiations.)

Hitchens, Slate. The cited article is David E. Sanger & Thom Shanker, "A Region Inflamed: Weapons. For the Iraqis, a Missile Deal That Went Sour; Files Tell of Talks With North Korea, New York Times, Dec. 1, 2003.

As French Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin stated on November 12, 2002, "The security of the United States is under threat from people like Saddam Hussein who are capable of using chemical and biological weapons." (Hayes, p. 21.) De Villepin's point is indisputable: Saddam was the kind of person who was capable of using chemical weapons, since he had actually used them against Iraqis who resisted his tyrannical regime. As de Villepin spoke, Saddam was sheltering terrorists who had murdered Americans, and was subsidizing the murder of Americans (and many other nationalities) in Israel."

I put this quote here to ask again how it is that 'we have been the instigators and orchestrators since the beginning'. However, if you were referring to America's equipping of Saddam's arsenal during the 1980s, I would argue that this was necessary back then to counter the Iranian regime, but that is another arguement. I want simply to be more clear on what it was that you meant.


Please remember, the sole reason we were given for invading Iraq was that they had WMDs. It was all a part of the War on Terror. We were told that Saddam was ready to attack us. That he had the material and the means to carry out an attack on the USA. Only when that was found to be false did this administration change its tune to one of spreading freedom and democracy. We went in there (supposedly) on a military mission to disarm Saddam. Well, that’s been done and the people want us to leave. But we are killing those who are trying to get us to leave.


I agree with you 90% here. And that is why I stated earlier that I find the conduct of the Iraq invasion to be (and have been) totally inept. My personal belief is that the whole WMD excuse was a cover for what the administration really wanted to do, which is to spread democracy through the Middle East by changing the Iraqi regime by force. I would like to say that I believe that the US (and many other governments) did sincerely believe that Saddam was procuring such weapons, but that that wasn't the primary reason. I do not believe that it was to acquire oil or to gain revenge on Saddam for the 1993 assasination plot or any other event.

Where I would take issue (but not strongly) with what I have quoted from you, is where you say that we are killing those who are trying to get us to leave. While I agree with the literal sense of this, I believe it is too simple to use this as an argument, because it is not just a US departure that these terrorists want. I would like to point to a remark by Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi earlier this year, where he said that his group is opposed not just to the US presence, but to US aims of establishing a democracy in the region. He said that democracy is a feature of the 'decadent west', and not 'Islamic'. This to me indicates that even if US forces were to leave, the insurgency would continue to try to topple any Iraqi government that is democratic. And this is why the insurgents need to be crushed.

I also take issue with something you say later on in your last post, about how only 5% of the insurgents are foreign. I don't doubt this at all, but what is the point you're trying to make? That since these are Iraqis, we mustn't oppose them? The previous regime in Iraq was also iraqi, those who are responsible for all that I have quoted from Dave Kopel were also iraqi. They were all 'bad guys'. BUT the key point here is that the fact that the insurgents are iraqi does not mean that they represent majority Iraqi interests.


I don’t think they’re ready for a democracy. If the majority could agree on something then they could agree on a form of government. But we (the US) had a very violent Revolution from our mother country and then we had our own civil war to further establish ourselves. We gave birth to our democracy. Nobody came in and forced it on us or handed it to us and I feel pretty confident in saying that we wouldn’t appreciate it as much as we do if we didn’t have the noble history that brought us to where we are today.


This is an interesting point you bring up, and I agree with it. The best democracies are ones where they form as you have described. However, my argument here is that in Iraq, waiting (decades?) for this to happen would have gone against our own security interests.

Thank you for those links. I hope I'm not painting too nasty a picture of myself by saying that I agree generally with the PNAC adn their fundemental aim to preserve the unipolar world that we find ourselves in today. This is what I identify as the main aim of the Bush administration and i beleive Iraq to be a part of that. Where i disagree with the administration is in the methods and ways that they advance this goal, which would turn off the most reasonable people.

On a personal note, I would like to say that your posts sadden me. You seem to be a reasonable person, and I wish that we have an administration that was able to appeal to people like you, but unfortunately we do not. I admit that it isn't so much that I support Bush, but more that I believe that there hasn't so far been any real alternative to his policies. Nor has there been a credible opponent to him. I would further say that I find the most prominent opponents to him (michael moore, john kerry, etc) to be even worse than his worst aspects. It is when respectable folks like yourself disagree with the President that I feel compelled to listen, but sadly for you (and for the state of public debate in this country) few like yourself hold the public pulpit.



new topics

top topics



 
0

log in

join