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Why Terrorism works, and how the US has used it too

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posted on Jul, 24 2004 @ 11:17 PM
Terrorism is the use of violence on a population to sway a government or its people. The terrorist act is a propaganda piece that can be used by both the aggressor and the victim. It is a tactic of war, and as such has been employed by the United States of America, in defiance of the Geneva Convention.

Usually in a war, the clear victor will take the moral high road and not perform terror, because it clearly posesses the means to win the war on conventional terms. The underdog in a conflict, or when the conflict is difficult, both parties, use terrorism.

Here is the USA's biggest terrorist act:

On the night of March 9 - 10th, the 1945 the US bombed Tokyo with incendiary bombs. This created a firestorm that killed 100,000 people. It essentially destroyed the city. This was accomplished with 334 B-29 bombers. This was done at a tiny margin of the cost of the Manhatten Project.

Then on August 6th and 8th of that year, the US dropped atomic bombs on two Japanese citizens.

This constitutes several major laws in the Geneva Convention, including deliberate targeting of civilians, deliberate destruction of a city, and use of poison gas - in the form of radiactive fallout.

None of these strikes affected the military of Japan. They were performed to kill civilians for political ends. They succeeded. While the firebombing of Tokyo did little to shake Japanese resolve, the idea of 80,000 people being destroyed be a single bomb was more potent. The spectre of radiation was also terrifying. Japan surrendered completely while it still had military power. It's national will was destroyed through displays of terrifying power.

The terrorist attacks on the United States give Americans insight to the effects of the atomic bombing. The images of the Pennsylvania crash and the Pentagon crash were nearly repressed under the fantastic and horrifying spectacle of the World Trade Center exploding:

And the horror movie-like collapse:

The reason that both Hiroshima and 9/11 were effective terror tools was because of their simplistic horror. Stalin once said, "One death is a tragedy, a million is a statistic." This is due to the human mind's inability to imagine millions of deaths, but it's emotional ability to be appreciate one.

41,000 people killed in car crashes in 2001 in the United States, 15,000 murdered, and 160,000 dead from cancer, with 20,000 dead from the flu. Like the 100,000 killed by many little bombs in Tokyo, those numbers are no cause for alarm because they are too abstract. But, the singular image of one bomb wiping out tens of thousands, the pure potency of a plane exploding through a skyscraper, are enough to severely impact a population.

posted on Jul, 25 2004 @ 05:38 AM
Fear is one of the biggest tools around. But not only do you have the fear of another attack by videos of bin laden, you also have fear from the american media. Once things get a little queit they push the alarm, its disgusting. Though wether your hitler, Bin Laden, or bush they both use the same tactic, first to unite yor troops you must find a common enemy, once it was the jew, now its the middle east. Bush tryed to gain mass support by finding that common enemy, he thought he could sweep in and out of the east and have the american people so scared and anger that they would support him 100%, but lets not forget, bush is an idiot. It did not work, alot more people than suspected have realized how much of a joke the war in iraq is. I was in total support of the war on terror, america deserves to be able to go after the terrorrists for what thye did. but iraq? If you are going to go after all the terrorrists should i suspect to see bush goign tow ar with some russian and irish factions? The middle east is not the only hot spot for terrorrist activitys, we are just a bit more forward about it.

posted on Jul, 25 2004 @ 06:26 AM
Great post Taibansuu

Wouldn't agree with the US being on the same moral level as AlQaeda, but yes, the US government has indeed recognized and used fear as a brilliant tactic of war.

The only way to win a war used to be: killl enough defenseless civilians in as horrific a manner to scare it's government to change it's policies (primarily, the policy of keeping up the fight).

Wouldn't say taht it is ALWAYS effective today though. The trouble with coldly murdering civilians these days is that it shores up support for the government to continue the fight. In the case of 9/11, it forced us to march into Afganistan ,and to a lesser extent, Iraq. The high casualty count made it likely that we would commit ourselves to a massive war.

If we decided to attack a country tommorrow, where the local populace hated it's government, we would do well to limit our strikes to government/military targets. If we coldly slaughter thousands of civilians, we will get the same response that AlQaeda got from the US in response to 9/11: The complete rage and fury of every soul in the nation.

Thus, IMHO, Terrorism today is a self-defeating strategy.


posted on Jul, 25 2004 @ 07:13 AM

Originally posted by taibunsuu
Then on August 6th and 8th of that year, the US dropped atomic bombs on two Japanese citizens.
This constitutes several major laws in the Geneva Convention, including deliberate targeting of civilians, deliberate destruction of a city, and use of poison gas - in the form of radiactive fallout.

Survey says EEEEEEEHGH...
For starters the Geneva Convention Geneva relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War was adopted in August of 1949. Many years after the WWII. Also, that type of raid while horrible was an accepted method of warefare during the time period. They lacked the "smart weapons" of today and could not target individual factories / sites etc. By destroying an enemies cities to reduce thier morale, and wreak havoc on thier ability to wage war was the way everybody did things. The Nazi's lacked the heavy bomber force to hit London like the US and the Brits did during the war but still tried real hard to level it.

To lable the US as Terrorist simply because they were using acceptable tactics during that time frame is not appropriate. Note, when we went inot Iraq, did we simply turn the Sunni Triangle into a parking lot?

[edit on 25-7-2004 by FredT]

posted on Jul, 25 2004 @ 08:56 AM

The US is not a terrorist, but if "terror"ism is defined as the use of fear as a political weapon, the US has indeed used it, even in Iraq, and we would, frankly, be stuipid not to use it. For example, there was an incident where the military deployed a Massive Air Burst Ordnance (MOAB)- basically the most powerful conventional weapon - outside an iraqi town (I think Nasariya or something). This bomb didn't hurt anyone, as it went off in the desert, but if you saw it go off right outside your town, imagine how afraid you'd be. Would you really want to take on the people with that ability? Many wouldn't, and one of the keys to winning a war the American way is to stop a large part of the enemy from fighting in the first place. The tactic is to bring such terror into their hearts that they see how futile it is to fight. That's why they called it 'Shock and Awe'.

The thing that modern terrorists, such as AlQaeda forget, is that nowadays, it is not necessary to kill thousands of people. That will only galvanize support against you. What you do is, you strike fear in people, fear of what you could do.

I agree with your leanings, Fred. If we did to our enemies what they would more than happily do to us if THEY had our military, we would have literally reduced Kabul, Baghdad, Damascus, and wherever to a radiactive parking lot. That is the kind of obscene thing that 'people' like AlQaeda would do without a second thought if they had the ability.

posted on Jul, 25 2004 @ 11:06 AM
Terrorism or forms of it are maybe as old as humanity itself, Its like if you have power why not show it?...You can be verystrong but if no one knows, whats than the point of beeing strong or powerfull? I think If you use terror you will recieve it back, because if people see a tread they want to get rid of it. The U.S. want to get rid of AlQaeda and AlQaeda want to get rid of the U.S.
But I don't agree about your point that if 1.000.000 people are dead its to abstract, I think its the way its brought to people, If you bring picture's from the scene and tell the life story's of the people who live(d) there it will make a really diffrent impakt on people that only the number 1.000.000. That also explains why 9/11 was such an impakt, it was Live on TV. If nobody had seen it on TV. and only had heard the number of death's The reaction of people would surtenly be diffrent.

Wat is the worst of AlQaeda is that they say...We do it in Allah's name, America don't point to a god and say, we do it all for you, you can have a lot of our live's and all of the enemy's, It sound ridicules doesn't it?
That's one thing you can't blame bush for.

[edit on 25-7-2004 by DJFiyaaBl8]

posted on Jul, 25 2004 @ 12:44 PM
Yea lads, but! I have an idea


If America is keeping people over in Iraq in fear by dropping big bombs, so people can see them, and indeed it was the CIA who made Al Qaeda what it is today.

Ooh wait! In the cheesy words of most spotty American teens Like Ooh My GaD

A few good Americans would be doing well if they traced back to the route of Mr Joe Americans fear.

posted on Jul, 25 2004 @ 01:55 PM
what up bigneum here again we are the worlds police and for that matter the us governement is a terrorist group as well. what do terrorists try and do?? they bring about change by fear. well whats up with the us government telling us every day for the last 3 years that al ciada is coming and they got new tactics! have you seen some of the stuff the fbi has said? its rediculas. anyways our government is resorting to terrorist actions right now to keep a sence of fear in the public, so that, in turn the ones who stand to benifit from this, never get questioned. yo great post here bro, interesting topic. i am sick of america being the worlds bully. thats my 2cents. im out!

posted on Jul, 25 2004 @ 09:55 PM
I have a great idea! Lets do away with the word terrorist, by doing this we can stop those who pull one tube too many of some good hydro weed, to suddenly have the revelatation "the terrorists use bombs.....and the USA uses, man that makes the USA terrorists too, far out man!" Anybody who uses the threat of any kind of violence to achieve a goal, is using terrorism, so pull another tube, and realize that when your parents threatened to spank you if you misbehaved, then your parents are "terrorists". Lets just call our current enemy militant islamic fundamentalists, M.I.F.s for short. M.I.F.s specifically target innocent civilians to gain there objective of a dominant muslim culture, comparable to if the USA specifically targeted apartments and homes of citizens in an enemy state with precision guided missiles and threatened to continually do so until the government surrendered. We do not and have never done that. So if we use the term M.I.F., nobody can trip out and say the USA is a M.I.F. too. But every country who has fought a war can be called a "terrorist", thats what war is, you must be the most terrifying to win, as Kurtz said in apocalypse now, to win you have to make a friend of horror. Too bad we are too civilized to make a video of us brutally murdering a M.I.F., maybe cutting his organs out one by one while he screams in agony as we pull out his intestines hand over hand and fill the hole with pig intestines, then send it to Al Jazeera, but no we wont do that, even if its the only language the M.I.Fs understand. We wont do that because we are not "terrorists" the same way they are.

[edit on 25-7-2004 by jd27]

posted on Jul, 26 2004 @ 12:31 AM

Originally posted by DJFiyaaBl8
Wat is the worst of AlQaeda is that they say...We do it in Allah's name, America don't point to a god and say, we do it all for you, you can have a lot of our live's and all of the enemy's, It sound ridicules doesn't it?
That's one thing you can't blame bush for.
[edit on 25-7-2004 by DJFiyaaBl8]

Have you been missing all the "god talks to me and I only answer to him" bull Bush has been saying lately?

posted on Jul, 26 2004 @ 01:34 AM
But the difference, I think, is Bush isnt truly a religious man, while the terrorists truly believe they are fighting for god, Bush pretends to be a devout christian to manipulate all of the christians in the US to feel that a vote for Bush is a vote for god. For him, its all politics. We will be much better off if we vote him out. Then we can take the "holy war" factor out, that will probably improve our relations with the muslim world, so we can all work together to stop the M.I.F.s

[edit on 26-7-2004 by jd27]

posted on Jul, 26 2004 @ 03:43 AM
cmon now, we are not terrorists. i prefer the term Evil Empire!
almost the same except we do not have to resort to such dirty tactics as road side bombs and digging tunnels. terrorist do not have such presuasive economic supiriority. if we were terrorist then perhaps the entire world would have already started a war. they have not since the evil empire of the US is far to frightening and they are scared so they have to be nice to us or the MOAB come a flyin! in all seriousness evil empire is a lot worse then terrorist

posted on Jul, 26 2004 @ 03:56 AM
The evil empire that is almost always the first on the scene of a humanitarian crisis with food and medical aid? The evil empire that has stepped in to prevent genocide on several occasions in other countries, even when it did not directly affect us? Kogigaiden, sorry man, no offense, but I have no idea what you point you were making there

I must just be tired, its time to go to bed.

[edit on 26-7-2004 by jd27]

posted on Jul, 26 2004 @ 04:29 AM
various sources, confirms the civilian death toll in iraq has exceeded 10000 if that is not the work of an evil empire then i dont know wat is...

posted on Jul, 26 2004 @ 04:46 AM
O.K. number 1 the bombing of hiroshima and nagasaki saved more lives (both american and japanese) than they destroyed. During the wanng years of WW2 the Japanes government had the japanese people convinced that death was preferable to capture by U.S. soldiers. The mothers had been told the U.S. marines ate the children they captured rather than thier rations. Husbands and fathers had been told the U.S. soldiers would rape the women to death. The japanes government had also been training the civiilians (including children as young as 9 ) to fight the U.S. soldiers. In areas where the japanese troops had surrendered or been defeated civialns were literally throwing thier families off cliffs to avoid cature due to the japanese governments disinformation campaign. The fact is had the U.S. gone ahead with a conventional invasion it would have resulted in the compete destruction of the Japanese people and as a result was the LESSER of two evils.

Secondly the difference between Terrorist tactics and standard millitary tactics is that terrorists intentionally target civilians in preferance to miltary targets. The U.S. does not. Finally has nyone else noticed that this thread was started by a guy who has the word TALIBAN in his name? you think maybe he might have a good reason to dislike the U.S.?

posted on Jul, 26 2004 @ 10:04 AM
Some points about the Evil Empire:

This 'evil empire':
-Risked the lives of it's citizens to intervene to stop the famine in Somailia in 1993. Somalia contained precisely zero interest for the US.

-Ditto the Balkans. This time the problem was ethnic cleansing. Again, no vital national interests at stake.

-Is providing the bulk of the money used to treat HIV victims in Africa.

-Provides the bulk of ALL foreign aid.

These are just a few of the things America, teh 'evil empire' has done. Is the US always right? of course not, but when it is wrong, it takes a long hard look at itself and it's mistakes. Here's what a real 'evil empire' would do, if equiped with US military might:

-We would have wiped out way more than the thousands of intented civilian targets. Any self-respecting 'evil empire' would have flattened the country literally. And as for providing funds/infrastructure/troops to help rebuild countries we go to war with? Sheesh! Some evil empire we are! Well, Americans really must be dumb if we can't even get acting evil right!

-We WOULD NOT stand protests held against us by people in Iraq. Would an evil empire sit around and allow these protests continue? Would it accept that these people are obviously pissed off and have every right to be? Well, I don't know, the whole evil thing seems to suggest something more along the lines of: shoot 'em up (Hey, the Chinese government did it and retains the ability to do so).

-We would do exactly what 'jd27' said: 'make a video of us brutally murdering a Militant.Islamic.Fundementalist., maybe cutting his organs out one by one while he screams in agony as we pull out his intestines hand over hand and fill the hole with pig intestines, then send it to Al Jazeera, but no we wont do that, even if its the only language the M.I.Fs understand.' I mean, that is a really evil way to deal with it. But I guess the US is the dumbest evil empire of all time then, if we can't grasp these facts.

Do I think the USA never goes wrong? Of course not. Some of my personal gripes against my country's actions include the horrific planning (or lack thereof) of postwar iraq, the sacrifice of principles in order to benefit from trade with China, the unwillingness to use our considerable influence to bring Israel to heel.

I mention all this to show that Patriotic Americans who happen to agree to some things that for instance Michael Moore would not, do not simply believe the US is infallible. There are tons of things the US has done wrong. But evil empire? Only if you seriously redefine evil.

posted on Jul, 26 2004 @ 05:53 PM
ok ok i went overboard, just thinking of all the senseless destruction and violence our military causes makes me wonder if we are evil or not. you dont have to be sadistic to be evil. the intelegent evil will decieve the public and project the image of humanitarian, when in fact their motives are all selfish and money driven. sure we help lots of people we also do a lot of nasty stuff that you never hear about thnx to NSA, they secure information from us! that is just my theory. even an evil empire knows their limits.

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