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America Not Understanding Enemy

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posted on Aug, 1 2004 @ 03:25 PM
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You know I'm sitting here today watching this map on CNN of potental terrorist targets in DC and it just reinforces the fact that the Americans do not understand the terrorists and their motivations. My father is a professor of Islamic philosophy and, while I am not a follower of Islam, I have grown up knowing a great many leaders in the Islamic communities around the world, and I continue to talk with many of them.

I hear from sources like Fox News and the Bush admin that the terrorists hate America because of freedom. Sorry but it's just not that easy, partally they hate America for much the same reasons that many fundamentalist Christians have problems with it: secular governement and a absence of a concept of Western God from the culture. Now I personally think these atributes are positive ones, but many, including the enemies of the United States do not.

Another principal issue that the Islamic radicals have with the US is its support of Israel. This is a bit better understood by Americans but really still falls to the back of many people's minds. Israel has not been the most ethical in their decisions, and they are partally to blame for the violence in the region. I beileve that a neutral policy towards Israel, much like many European nations are adopting, would probably win more hearts and minds in the middle east than any poster-bombing mission.

I also believe that Bush has started to use the war and its inherent fear as a political ploy rather than a threat to America. This isn't so much a factual criticism but more of a feeling that I am getting regarding the administration.

I don't mean to just bash Bush though. While I think that Bush has totally mishandled the war and really doesn't get who he's fighting at all, the dems have been quick to go with the flow when they could have introduced ideas that would be of great help to the war. While I beileve that Kerry would be better than Bush many many times over, I have yet to hear anything groundbreaking or particularly insightful from him regarding the war and how he would go about winning back the ideology. I really hope he gets some better advisors than Bush and actually listens to them.

The bottom line though is that the terrorists do not hate America for just being who they are, and most of them do not wish to kill every single American. They are fighting because of a deep and wide ideological rift between their ideals and those of America. The only way to win the war is by winning the ideological battle for the popular support of the Middle East, if America continues down their current path, the war may never end.

Blessed Be
~Astral




posted on Aug, 1 2004 @ 03:42 PM
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Yea These Islamic fundamentalist dont want to kill all Americans, just those that are not Muslim. If you are not Muslim in their eyes you are a Infidel. These extermist dont want to live peacefully with the infidels they want to wipe them from the earth. You cant rationalize with these people



posted on Aug, 1 2004 @ 03:53 PM
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Sounds like you've bought into the idea that the terrorists are inhuman and singleminded killing machines, they're not trust me. While you may not be able to talk issues out with Al Q, you can with a great many of the other terrorist organizations that have attacked our interests.

Your reply may be true of only the most extreme of the terrorists, but we also have to look at what makes these people believe this. Not all terrorist organizations want to "kill all the infidels" many want less extreme goals and we must look at the problem not just with the glasses of us vs. them but rather what different groups and ends exist within our enemies.

That is not to say that there is no place for military action, but it's not the solution to every problem and, to be sure, will not be the way that America wins the war.

May Peace Travel With You
~Astral



posted on Aug, 1 2004 @ 03:54 PM
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That was pretty comprehensive to say the least. I agree that we should pull a good chunk of our forces back to CONUS so they can do what they do best. Defend America! I also see and concur with the reasoning of leaving(or better yet, rotating) forces in Iraq, until matters are stabilized. America needs to realize there is more going on, than a bunch of brain-washed anti-american arabs(not to be confused with those who simply want to live a mundance, non-extremist life). We were not paying attention when 911 happened. Our current administration seems to think that vengence, not caution is the way to prevent it, all the way to complete abandonment of the mainland. I hope this next administration will have the wisdom to see that having a majority of our forces back on CONUS and not being distracted while another crisis occurs. The guards need to return to the castle!


[edit on 1-8-2004 by Crysstaafur]



posted on Aug, 1 2004 @ 03:59 PM
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Very good arguements. Its my stand that if Bush continues in the war the way he is currently headed the culture clash will continue until all parties have picked sides. At that point even peaceful Muslems will have to stand against the influence from the West. The West will have to try and bring this down and we will finally have escalated this into a true world war.

- Was



posted on Aug, 1 2004 @ 04:00 PM
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Quote from Crysstaafur: That was pretty comprehensive to say the least. I agree that we should pull a good chunk of our forces back to CONUS

I agree @ u on this thought. We need to strenghthen and internalize our priorities first. Similar to what China did a few decades ago.
I do think that we also need to keep a presence out on foreign soil in order to better protect our folks here. Remember, it only takes about 15 - 30 minutes for an ICBM to make to our soil from the other side of the hemishere



posted on Aug, 1 2004 @ 04:05 PM
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Im sure they are some Moderate Terrorist
now theres a oxymoron. But dont be fooled into thinking they are all so noble. Take Wasabism (spelling) they are indeed extreme they dont care if you are a Hindu, a Christian, a Jew they are infidels in thier eyes.



posted on Aug, 1 2004 @ 04:12 PM
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There seems to be an absolute refusal to understand what is fueling aggression. Every time an argument is brought up that points to any involvement or responsibility of a western government it gets shot down. We only do "good" and "they" are just "jealous" or "are uncivilized" or they "hate freedom". Yeah, like any human being on this planet "hates" FREEDOM. Please put me in jail! Oppress me! Duh!

I will copy a post from another thread to reply that the first step to stopping this war is one that nobody seems willing to take. In my opinion it is a monumental mistake and serves to illustrate the selfishness and narrow mindedness of western "civilization".

Here is the post:

Forget what went wrong. What is wrong NOW?

Originally posted by donguillermo

The final paragraph of the speech by Soldz is absolutely devastating.


To conclude, imagine yourself an Iraqi. You've suffered terribly under a ruthless dictator. The Americans invade your country under false pretenses. They promise democracy but don't organize elections. They appoint exiles to rule you, exiles who spend most of their time out of the country and the rest in a few highly protected areas. The occupiers break into your homes in the middle of the night and arrest your men, who then disappear, with no accountability. They shoot Iraqis at roadblocks and from convoys. They declare war on the second most popular man in the country, announcing his death in advance. They open the economy to US corporations and give them sweetheart contracts, ignoring local business. Then they write hundreds of laws and establish commissions limiting any future government. They build permanent military bases on your soil. Then they turn your country over to a former associate of Saddam Hussein, also a former CIA agent, known for his ruthless brutality. Imagine that was your country. What would you do?



Yes as kogigaiden said, that paragraph should be broadcast and covered for at least as long a time as coverage of the latest Hollywood scandal or movie campaign would go on.

As for katt06’s reply to it:


Originally posted by katt06
Don't want to be taken the wrong way, but it ain't my country! Never was, never will. So why should I spend time thinkin about things that little or no meanin to my life?

Iraq was a mistake.



It’s called EMPATHY folks.

The definition of empathy is “Identification with and understanding of another's situation, feelings, and motives.” Not Sympathy! Empathy! And there is a sad lack of it in western countries when it comes to the people we call “Arab”.

There is absolutely nothing in that definition that implies “helping the enemy” in any way. Nor is there any implication that it is somehow wrong to understand a people’s plight when our government is at war with them.

That paragraph describes their situation from their point of view. Understanding it is the first step to addressing what is in their best interests if we really want to help them.

How we got to where we are today with a War on “terrorism”, Afghanistan, Iraq, and the Palestinians started a long time ago. Which leads me to the brilliant reply from sniper068.

It seems he has a copy of the standard issue schoolyard bully manual. I have heard pages from that manual many times in my life and as with many of them, they are applied on false assumptions of fact or are circular in logic. This one is based on the fact that an unprovoked attack deserves a response. And I agree with that sometimes.

What I don’t agree with in this case is that the attacks are unprovoked because they are, on both sides, responses to previous provocations. The CIA calls this “blowback” for the last fifty years of dirty tricks and meddling that has gone on in the world since the end of the second world war.

I say the following phrase after having experienced personal loss inside the North Tower and the journey of understanding that followed. That day back in the fall of 2001 was one punch in the nose the west had coming.

Fifty years of dirty politics with dictators, warlords, proxy wars etc. finally came back to hit home. The US is not solely responsible; Canada, Europe, Australia and other western “civilized” countries are also culprit.

Think the forced creation of Israel, followed by the propping up of the Saudi Monarchy (and other Kingdoms) after the second world war. All this lead to wars, or proxy wars, with just about every country in the Middle East and North Africa. This back and forth sucker punching has been going on for a long time. The men of this Administration have been around the whole time in high public office (how do you think they got so rich and influential? It was propping up the Saudis) and they now occupy the current White House.

Is it any wonder there are people out to “get us” in the world?

How do we make them want to stop “coming for us”?

Empathy is the first step to answering this question.

So read this slightly modified version of that paragraph:

Quote: "To conclude, imagine yourself an American. You've suffered terribly under a ruthless leader. The Russians invade your country under false pretenses. They promise democracy but don't organize elections. They appoint exiles to rule you, exiles who spend most of their time out of the country and the rest in a few highly protected areas. The Russians break into your homes in the middle of the night and arrest your men, who then disappear, with no accountability. They shoot Americans at roadblocks and from convoys. They declare war on the second most popular man in the country, announcing his death in advance. They open the economy to Russian corporations and give them sweetheart contracts, ignoring local business. Then they write hundreds of laws and establish commissions limiting any future government. They build permanent military bases on your soil. Then they turn your country over to a former associate of Saddam Hussein, also a former KGB agent, known for his ruthless brutality. Imagine that was your country. What would you do?"


NOW tell me that the answer to the problem is for the occupier to hunt down and shoot people who are fed up how things are and decide to pick up a gun and become “freedom fighters”.

I think I understand what would drive someone to fundamentalist religion and take up arms. I'm pretty sure I also understand that they may not be appeasable after reaching that point. The trick is to stop driving them to that point. A responsible, transparent and accountable government is a first step.


d1k

posted on Aug, 1 2004 @ 04:18 PM
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Originally posted by The Astral City
Sounds like you've bought into the idea that the terrorists are inhuman and singleminded killing machines


We don't have to "buy" into it, they prove it every single day and have been proving it for a very very long time.



posted on Aug, 1 2004 @ 04:20 PM
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To non-Muslims living in Egypt, Iraq, Saudi-Arabia, Iran, Syria or even our close neighbour Malaysia, the face that Islam presents is frequently one of a religion that is fundamentally intolerant of others, a political system posing as a religion, endowed with many beautiful maxims interspersed in its holy book, the Qur'an, with other maxims of a ferocity, racism and intolerance unequalled in 'religiious' writings. In these countries, non-Muslims are merely tolerated persons, discriminated against in the most basic ways, denied citizenship rights, and refused the comfort of their own, non-Muslim, religion and its priests, rabbis or other leaders.

On the other hand, in Morocco (sadly an exception) non-Muslims are not just tolerated - they are treated with respect. They may not be 'citizens' in the normal sense of that word but they are not discriminated against as in most other Muslim countries.

To understand the situation in which non-Muslim minorities in Islamic countries find themselves one must remember incidents that occurred in 627 and 628 AD during the latter period of Muhammad's fight with the people of Mecca. A Jewish tribe of the Qurayza which had remained neutral in the conflict was attacked. When the tribespeople refused to convert to Muhammad's new religion they were seized and, according to Muslim sources, taken to the market place of Medina. There trenches were dug and between six and nine hundred of the men were beheaded. One only converted to Islam. The prophet then divided the women and children among the Muslims of Medina as slaves.

Though these views are that of the minorities in the scope of Islam
Total Number of Muslims on the Earth (1996) 1,482,596,925
That exteme minority turns out to be a whole lot of people



posted on Aug, 1 2004 @ 04:45 PM
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What most people don't seem to grasp is that understanding the enemy is not wimplike equivocation. Understanding does not excuse or validate, it simply allows tactical decisions to be made without emotion. "They hate freedom" or "they hate Americans" is soooo WWII. Know the enemy.



posted on Aug, 1 2004 @ 05:13 PM
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deevee, I couldn't agree more! Good on you!

I think that also part of the problem is that many in the Islamic world see a very distorted picture of America, granted also many Americans see a distorted picture of the Middle East.

But in the Middle East they see America as the latest of the occuping powers, after those of Imperial Europe in the last centuries. Much as Gools pointed out, America's not shown it's best face in the area. This is compounded however, by bias media, radical clerics and, in some regions, a popularization of anti-Americanism. Many in the Middle East hold America in poor regard, this needs to change, begining with proactive treatment and policies more sensitive to local cultures.

I don't think it's an oxymoron to call a terrorist a moderate, after all the term "terrorist" does not infer any political leanings one way or another, just that they do exist. There do need to be some reforms in the way that some of the Islamic texts are interpreted. Gladly, this has already started and I've noticed many of the clerics are more liberal than one would be lead to beileve.

One must also remember that intolerance is not exclusive to Muslim nations. History is peppered with instances of hatred, intolerance and extreme violence against outsiders and those in the minority. It's something that must be fought on all fronts, and it does exist in the Islamic world. It needs to change as well, bestly by the religious and political leadership keeping closer track of their underlings and those whith whom they have influence over.

I take object with people saying that the terrorists are beyond reasoning with, because in doing so you dehumanize the enemy and that is a dangerous thing.

May Peace Travel With You
~Astral


MBF

posted on Aug, 1 2004 @ 10:30 PM
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Originally posted by The Astral City

I think that also part of the problem is that many in the Islamic world see a very distorted picture of America, granted also many Americans see a distorted picture of the Middle East.



As a person that knows and understands these people, what do you think started their hatred of the U.S.? I don't mean recent events. I understand that part of the reason is our relationship with Isarel, but why do they hate the Jews so much? There is always more than one side to a story, your side, their side and what actually happened. You can only work out your problems when you both try to understand each other.



posted on Aug, 2 2004 @ 12:31 AM
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yo yo id say that so much of the hatred for us from the middle east derives from policies we have had with countries there. look at all the foriegn policy disasters there over the last 100 years for the us to the middle east iran, isreal, saudi arabia, iraq, afghan, kuwait all have sufferd under us policy at one time or another and some of those countries have become our "allies" and some still remain victoms of the notion that they cannot do anything for us so why should we do anything to them. just my 2 cents. flame away
bizzle nizzle



posted on Aug, 2 2004 @ 02:41 AM
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The Astral City


not to be insulting but weak people who think like you are who islam has fooled and slaughtered for over 1400 years, you fail to see how violent islam truly is towards non-muslims and you believe they can be reasoned with....ask jews, hindus, christians, pagans and people of many other peaceful religions who tolerated islam then were turned against and slaughtered, pillaged, enslaved or conquered by them, and dont bring up the crusades because they were started in response to islam attacking others who requested european help.

youre falling in the trap that the koran tells muslims to pull un-believers into.



posted on Aug, 2 2004 @ 04:33 AM
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Originally posted by The Astral City
... Sorry but it's just not that easy, partally they hate America for much the same reasons that many fundamentalist Christians have problems with it: secular governement and a absence of a concept of Western God from the culture. ...

The bottom line though is that the terrorists do not hate America for just being who they are, and most of them do not wish to kill every single American. They are fighting because of a deep and wide ideological rift between their ideals and those of America. The only way to win the war is by winning the ideological battle for the popular support of the Middle East, if America continues down their current path, the war may never end.


Know thy enemy works in both directions.

First, I would like to say that the secular government in the US is a direct result of the belief in God. Had it been made a "Christian State" it would have been intolerant of non-christians. Had it been a "Religious State" it would have been intolerant of non-religious people. One cannot "love your neighbor as yourself" if one is intolerant of that neighbor. The founding fathers of the US understood this.

I have recently thought about what a "Christian State" would be like, and I came up with the same thing the founding fathers did. Of course, I would do a few things differently, like stress the "Why we made it like this." "One nation, under God." and "In God we trust." would become "One nation established with freedom because we, the founders, believe and trust in God."

The US is a "Christian State". We have a secular government because of Christians and their belief in religious freedom. In essence, when a terrorist attacks the secular government of the United States, they are attacking freedom.


All that being said, what you propose is not possible. You cannot win an idealogical war when part of the "war" is based on religious beliefs that are not shared by both sides. The problem winning with "idealogical wars" is there has to be a winner.

That being said, do you think the terrorist attacks are all idealogically motivated? There is strategic value in tying up US troops. If there were no terrorist attacks in Iraq, our troops would be gone in short order, not only from Iraq but from Saudi Arabia too. Why do I say this? The troops are fighting a "War on Terror". They are other battles to be fought. Other battles cannot be fought if troops are "tied up".


You said the terrorist do not want to kill every American. This may be true.

The actions taken on 9-11 show that they do not care which Americans they do kill. Most Americans I know have a problem with that.

Something had to be done.

The "War on Terror" was inevitable from a "political science" point of view, as war is the failure of diplomacy. How can you negotiate with terrorists? You cannot. There is no compromise to be made without giving up the very freedom you say they do not hate-- one little piece at a time.

I do not agree with the stance taken by the current administration in regards to countries. However, once again from a "poli sci" point of view, when "support of terrorists" is not open to negotiations with a particular country, something has to be done.

I do empathize with the Iraqi people. However, we are not there to oppress. Control of the oil doesn't matter. As long as the oil is being sold in the market, some other country will provide the supply so Americans can drive their gas guzzling cars. That's the way macro-economics works. The short term gain in profits for a few US companies does not offset the costs of the war that will be felt by all American companies. That's the way macro-economics works.

If everything was peaceful in Iraq, the gov't was stable, and they had elections ready to go, most americans would like nothing more than to pull the troops out. Those same "most americans" are the ones that vote for the politicians. The politicians jobs count on their representation of the people. That's the way this secular government works.

That's my 2 cents.

.



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