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Sympathy for the Devil...

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posted on Sep, 14 2009 @ 01:37 PM

Other than please read this carefully and if it makes you angry - maybe that's a good thing, it means you care - please re-read what I write and then respond because,

This post is intended to encourage and ethical debate, not a flame war, opinions and incidents I draw relevance with do not necessarilly represent my opinion, they are presented to encourage calm and rational discussion.

These are troubled times indeed and a lot of us are not doing very well economically and perhaps psychologically, especially here on ATS there seems a consensus that our governments are conspiring against us, many of us feel this is an End Of Days scenario.

Hmm, maybe there is a disclaimer here.

So the question is that with regards to Al Qaida, the IRA, Survivalist Groups, ETA etc, PERHAPS if they only targetted our military (soldiers/installations) and our politicians AND left the general populace alone - but only took on "valid" non-civilian targets we might have more understanding of their aims and goals?

Personally I have no sympathies for any terrorist group, but lately, I've been thinking that perhaps if those were the only targets they went for I'd really not be that offended.

I'd really appreciate some calm, rational discussion of this, it makes me think of the U.S. war of independance, Guy Fawlkes (the only man to enter British Parliament with honest intent), the English Civil War and countless current events.

posted on Sep, 14 2009 @ 02:02 PM
As much as Americans don't like to admit it, we did inherit a lot of ideals from the British who occupied our land well after their welcome wore out. One of those is the differentiation between Civilian and Military Targets/Casualties.

Even though we fought a brutal guerrilla war against an superior Military Force, we still like to think of war as being able to be "Civilized" and following particular protocols. We therefore assume that Terrorism would do the same.

And for the longest while Terrorism did just that.

However, the moment we started refusing to negotiate with Terrorists we escalated the stakes. When a government is unwilling to swap POWs, or value the life of their Military Personnel, then a Terrorist has no choice but to find a target that a government does value high enough to negotiate with. If they are are still unwilling to negotiate, even after going after Civilian Targets then the Terrorist has no other choice than to go after a greater number of those Targets until the cost becomes too great to ignore.

We have seen this escalation since 1969. Each time any government has taken a tougher and tougher stance against Terrorism, Terrorism has gotten more extreme in retaliation.

The reason being is that Terrorism is the last-ditch effort by the disenfranchised to be heard and their concerns addressed. Ever give a child throwing a Temper Tantrum the Silent Treatment? It only makes the situation all the more explosive! You have to address the concerns of the child throwing the Temper Tantrum and let them feel that their voice is heard, even if it is denied. Terrorists are no different, yet our governments seem to think that prolonging the Silent Treatment will somehow make it go away eventually, when in fact it is making it worse.

Terrorists would indeed get more sympathy from the American people if they stopped going after Civilian Targets, however, since our government isn't going to listen to their demands whether they are Military or Civilian Targets, then there is no point in controlling the Collateral Damage. Matter of fact, they have more to gain if they make the Collateral Damage to Civilian Targets all the more severe.

If we want to see an end to Terrorism then we really need to open Diplomatic Channels. There is a difference between giving Terrorists what they want, and giving them an opportunity to voice their concerns to someone who is genuinely listening. They are not mutually exclusive. You can have one without the other, and really if Israel did the same with Palestine, or England with the Northern Irish, just as America could do with Al-Qaeda, then Terrorism would run out of steam on it's own. The disenfranchised would realize that they have other avenues to be heard, and do not have to resort to desperate extremes to be get their point across.

Of course, there are many of us who look at violence in any form, against any target, for any reason, to be reprehensible and deplorable. Whether someone killed all the lawyers, or blew up Congress, or took out the Pentagon wouldn't matter to us. It would be just as despicable as any of the crimes those targets may have been guilty of committing themselves.

posted on Sep, 14 2009 @ 02:04 PM
reply to post by jokei

I think you are right on point! The term "terrorist" applies when the targets are inherently civilian. They choose those targets, because they are not defended, and they incite public outrage!

If they chose to attack military infrastructure or government targets, then I might look into their message with a little more fervor!

However, what constitutes a "civilian?" Timothy McVeigh attacked a Federal Building, but he mostly killed women and children!! All the casualties were civilian! I work for the State of Florida, and believe me, we are just underpaid citizens trying to support our families! So, how could they ever attack heavily fortified military targets with only guerrilla tactics?

posted on Sep, 14 2009 @ 02:07 PM
reply to post by fraterormus

Let's not forget either, that any of us could be labelled a terrorist for our views! One man's terrorist is another man's "freedom fighter!"

Rastafarians? Apartheid? First US Revolution, or French Revolution, or any other "Revolution" around the world?

Once a small group of like minded individuals decides that it will take blood to get their message across to a larger, established, and entrenched force, then it instantly becomes "terrorist" in nature!

posted on Sep, 14 2009 @ 02:22 PM

Originally posted by getreadyalready
Let's not forget either, that any of us could be labelled a terrorist for our views! One man's terrorist is another man's "freedom fighter!"

Rastafarians? Apartheid? First US Revolution, or French Revolution, or any other "Revolution" around the world?

Once a small group of like minded individuals decides that it will take blood to get their message across to a larger, established, and entrenched force, then it instantly becomes "terrorist" in nature!

Thank you to you both for such interesting, thought out replies - getreadyalready - I really agree with this point, it was something I was thinking, just didn't want to overload my OP.

My personal thoughts are that perhaps it won't be long before the witch-hunts begin, lest we forget the words of Pastor Niemoller...

"First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out-- because I was not a communist; Then they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out-- because I was not a socialist; Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out-- because I was not a trade unionist; Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out-- because I was not a Jew; Then they came for me-- and there was no one left to speak out for me."

posted on Sep, 14 2009 @ 02:25 PM
Sadly, America made a lot of enemies because it puts more effort in to how other countries are being run than the very one they should be concerned with.

If the administrations of the past 50 or so years paid as much mind and care here at home as it does abroad, oh, what a different place this would be.

posted on Sep, 14 2009 @ 02:30 PM
reply to post by jokei

I actually agree with you and believe that the vast majority of civilian attacks are either MIHOP or simply allowed to keep people in fear. Think about it, if an organization Really wants to overthrow a government it attacks the power not the people. it would attempt to rally the people to stand with them. Thats not what we see and the outcome is that the people fear attack and give government more power to "fight back." Just keep your agents funded and convinced that they are in a holy war and you got yourself an endless "Play" in which the outcome is always more government.

posted on Sep, 14 2009 @ 02:43 PM
It's an interesting point actually - why don't we hear about populist movements?

The demonstrations that have taken place with varying levels of public support in the UK get nearly zero news coverage, yet they're grass-roots, there's been a sea-change in the media, I can remember when Greenham Common
was nearly a weekly news-fixture on British tv. (The wiki link isn't great)

If this were to take place now, I think (only 9 years later) there'd just be mass arrests etc.

posted on Sep, 14 2009 @ 02:47 PM

Originally posted by getreadyalready
reply to post by fraterormus

Let's not forget either, that any of us could be labelled a terrorist for our views! One man's terrorist is another man's "freedom fighter!"

Rastafarians? Apartheid? First US Revolution, or French Revolution, or any other "Revolution" around the world?

Once a small group of like minded individuals decides that it will take blood to get their message across to a larger, established, and entrenched force, then it instantly becomes "terrorist" in nature!

Exactly, but the resorting to blood to bring about change, no matter what the cause, is what makes it Terrorism and so despicable.

Peaceful change takes time. Women's Suffrage is a perfect example of change that was brought about peacefully without resorting to Terrorism. It didn't happen overnight and took many generations until Women were treated with equality. Mahatma Gandhi did the same concerning excessive land-tax and discrimination, poverty, Women's Rights, religious and ethnic amity, untouchability, economic self-reliance, and the independence of India from foreign domination. He did not live to see the fruits of his attempts to bring about peaceful change as most of those took longer than his lifetime to come about.

Terrorists act in desperation to bring about change "NOW!" No matter the cause, it is never truly just if it involves bloodshed and violence. Our American Revolution and the French Revolution were desperate acts that needed never to come to that, but they became the only course of action that would bring about immediate remediation, but at a cost far greater than those "Freedom Fighters" had intended.

Apartheid, the U.S. Revolution, the French Revolution, Emancipation, and modern day Terrorism in every part of the world all happened because of the same break down in communication and could have just as easily been prevented through peaceful means.

The need to be heard is one of the most intrinsic human needs. People need to have their voice recognized. That is why Democracy (even Representational Democracies/Democratic Republics) is such a powerful idea. It gives not just the Majority a voice, but a platform for all demographics a voice to be officially recognized and heard. Democracy understands what Monarchs of earlier ages failed to recognize...that a growling dog need only be thrown a bone to placate their anger! Have you ever approached your Congressperson before with a concern that really made you angry? They (or their Staff) will listen to your concern, agree with you, and thank you for bringing it to their attention. Rarely do they do anything further, but they don't need to because you feel like your concerns have been addressed and walk away happy and content.

When those who are in power refuse to toss a bone to an angry mob, then the angry mob will turn to violence...and that is what Terrorists are...angry dogs that were denied a bone.

You don't need to invite them to the table. You don't even need to treat them as equals. You merely have to listen to their concerns and acknowledge them, even if you do nothing about them!

Israel sees this happen every time they open talks with Palestine. When Israel listens to what the P.L.O. has to say, then violence ceases until either Israel stops listening or reignites the violence by attacking the Palestinians first.

If King George III had listened to Colonialists concerns about increased Taxation without Representation in the wake of the French and Indian War, then the American Revolution would have never happened. King George III didn't even need to alleviate taxation or provide representation for Colonials to have averted the American Revolutionary War. All he had to do is listen to their concerns to alleviate the hostility. Instead of throwing the Colonialists a bone, he sent Combat Troops to assert his authority.

Sound familiar?

It didn't work out very well for King George III. I don't know why Israel, England and the United States seem to think that sending in Combat Troops to assert authority rather than listening to demands (but yet not giving into those demands) will work when it has never worked before.

The poor choices TPTB make in not throwing the angry masses a bone every once in a while and listening to their angry cries are ultimately to blame for Terrorism. However, that doesn't mean that the desperate acts of Terrorism should ever be tolerated or justified. There are other means to be bring about change peacefully if one simply has the resolve and patience.

[edit on 14-9-2009 by fraterormus]

posted on Sep, 14 2009 @ 03:09 PM
reply to post by fraterormus

That is a wonderful rendition, and I agree with it about 90% of the way. And, I think it would make a wonderful political platform.....interested?

But, I have to make a couple of observations. TPTB, whether it be King George or Israel are responsible for doing more than listening and throwing an occassional bone. That is the cross roads the U.S. faces right now. They have been listening, and throwing a bone here and there, but At some point, patronizing your subordinates ceases to be effective. Some of their concerns are real, and valid, and deserve to get real consideration and change!

Now, resorting to violence should always be the very last resort, but without that threat or option, what incentive does TPTB have to do anything? I know Gandhi was somewhat successful, but that was largely due to International Pressure. Do you think a similar character could effect any real change in the US today? Even over the course of decades, his plight would be downplayed through the media, his mental health challenged, and the rest of the world would be too afraid or greedy to support him!!

Women's Suffrage is an excellent example! I really do not have a counter argument for it! Other than, women hold a mysterious power over us men!

So, open debate, and politics, and action should be used exhaustively, and if the population is paying any attention, those actions will bear fruit!! But, if the media is state controlled, and Healthcare is state controlled, and Education is state controlled, and there are those within the government that have entrenched themselves for decades, and expanded their influence to outcast any freshmen members that try to effect real change, then what is our next action??

What do we do after those we elect are killed or smeared with scandal? What do we do when obvious propaganda is taught in the schools and via the entertainment industry and news outlets? What do we do when the outcomes of our votes are decided in courtrooms instead of voter booths? At what point does "peaceful resistance" or "non-action" become a terrorist act against our own kids and grand-kids? What kind of world will we leave them if we allow abuse and corruption to rule the countries of the world?

posted on Sep, 14 2009 @ 04:05 PM
reply to post by fraterormus

An eloquent and masterful response, thankyou.

Would it seem that society is or has become so disenfranchised and also polarised that peaceful change is no longer possible?

With regard to society being so disenfranchised that on one count we have a vast swathe of population that are just desperately surviving, near enough living month to month, week to week, terrified of losing their jobs. That there are people that feel political ends are simply beyond their reach? That don't have any faith in politics or feel empowered enough to step into the political arena - even at a local level?

As an example I know many smart working class people, that are really knowledgable and passionate about sport, that feel they have valid opinions, that question choices and tactics passionately, but if you mention politics it's something they consider beyond their reach.

I feel that this is a construct of "modern" government, that not only are we denied access to the means of controlling our future, more subtly we're discouraged from seeking or even caring about it. This may well serve the purpose of our governments that when we do become so angry and sickened by their actions that people will take to the streets and may as well just walk straight into a prison cell/detention centre - problem solved, the remaining populace just learn another lesson in being beaten down.

I really do agree that non-violent protest and change is the ideal, I just think we're being deterred from it, hell not even that, but that the possibility of it is becoming more and more obfuscated.

Who are our "heroes" - I'd dread to ask a teenager who their idol is, who do we look to for examples of political change or empowerment? On either side they're as bad as each other, constantly resorting to tactics of slander and defaming the other as opposed to really achieving anything - perhaps you're aware of Plato's definition of Rhetoric and also his likening the Greek Senate to a pantomime where it was the intention of the participants to make the crowd "boo and yay"... seemingly nothing has changed other than the sophistication of our politicians and the devices they employ.

posted on Sep, 14 2009 @ 04:10 PM
reply to post by getreadyalready

For what it's worth I'm English and a citizen of the world...

Purely as an observation with regards to healthcare, education etc being in the hands of government - doesn't that still mean they're directly accountable to the people? I agree with you, especially your comments about the acts of government terrorism against its own populace.

As nations the UK and USA are remarkably similar in some respects and from what I see on here even with the right/left divide everyone is still primarily concerned for their liberty and the best for their nation.

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