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why terrorism?

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posted on Aug, 3 2005 @ 09:45 AM
can anyone give an (unbiased) account of why terrorism is occuring? what historical conditions precipitated what is going on in what are terrorists reacting to? i don't feel like i fully understand, mainly because i only know parts of the story...

posted on Aug, 3 2005 @ 01:02 PM
I can try and answer but who really knows what shadows lurk in the hearts of man?

The first terrorists I ever heard mention of were the IRA Irish nationals who felt that England's hold of Northern Ireland was unjust. Since the political powers that be were not willing to, or at least in their minds, not aggressive enough in pushing for a free Ireland they resorted to letter bombs as threats against England to try and force someone’s hand.

Now that would be Terrorism to push a political agenda.

Then you have the Oklahoma bombing. Turns out it was Tim McVeigh attempting some form of retaliation for what he felt were unjust practices of the US government against the Branch Dividians. He felt that the US was abusing their power against Americans and he took it upon himself to convey a message to the government.

That would be Domestic Terrorism of revenge fro lack of a better term.

Now we get into our current situation, which is fuzzy. We should start with Osama; back in the 80's Osama was equipped and funded by the US to run terrorist style attacks against the Russians in Afghanistan. Sometime during the tensions between Iraq and Saudi Arabia, late 80's/90’s Bush Sr. Osama wanted backing from the USA however funding and equipment went to backing Saudi. I think this was when Osama started his plans against the USA who in his mind was supporting an Infidel regime.

The first tower bombing till now is a mixture of Anti-American sentiment for past policies in the Middle East, current policy of occupation against the USA and it's supporters, and religious fanaticism fueled by what many view as an illegal occupation and flagrant disregard for human rights.

It is terrorism because the groups doing the damage are not in of themselves a political party with any defined boarders and thus not acts of a nations aggression. Although one could liken the suicide bomber with the Japan Kamikaze pilots of WWII. Thus these are simply Kamikaze attacks without the plane.

Hope this may shed a little insight.

[edit on 8/3/2005 by MrBunny]


posted on Aug, 3 2005 @ 01:23 PM
Terrorism goes back further than the IRA. For example Guy Fawkes (do a google) tried to blow up the English king a long long time ago. We got him good though, hung him up and disemboweled him in public. Unfortunately he jumped before being disemboweled so that he broke his neck on the noose. A lot of his coconspirators were perfectly awake while they were quartered though...

Anyway, back to terrorism. You could also look at the beginnings of the state of Israel where hardliners carried out terrorist attacks against British targets, again with the American war of independence which had aspects of terrorism to begin with. Often I think terrorism is used because the opponent is too powerful to attack by direct means. It's a long running thing though.

As far as this one goes, I believe Al-Q want "the infidels" out of the middle east, in particular US troops. Probably so that OBL can set himself up as ruler of a sharia state that encompasses the entire Middle East (fat chance).

posted on Aug, 3 2005 @ 01:27 PM
let me rephrase my first line then.. the first act of Terrorrism I can remember happening in my life.

If you really want to look at it, acts of terrorrism could likely be traced back to man's first civilizations.

Guy Fawkes actualy tried to blow up all of parliment not just the King becasue he was an Anarchist. Now Guy Fawkes day is Celibrated by building massive bonfires and prizes for the most life like Effegy of Guy Fawkes. MAJOR partys and a littel sick if you think about it.. but it's a good time.

[edit on 8/3/2005 by MrBunny]

[edit on 8/3/2005 by MrBunny]

posted on Aug, 3 2005 @ 03:01 PM
very follow up question...what were (and are) the terrorists that america is claiming a war against reacting to? I feel like no matter what action america takes, it will have to deal with terrorism as long as it is involved in that area of the world.


posted on Aug, 4 2005 @ 08:02 AM
I think you're right. Until militant Islam can no longer blame everything on the West, these problems will continue. But in the meantime we could stop inflaming the situation by doing things like invading Iraq...

posted on Aug, 4 2005 @ 08:06 AM
Its all political, the goal is always a politicial one. IRA wanted to unite Ireland, the Neo-Nazi bomber in London wanted to start a white revolution and Al Qaeda wants Islamic States in the Muslim world.

posted on Aug, 4 2005 @ 08:06 AM
In my opinion.. I think it is more complex than a single reason, well things are often more complex than people want them to be.

I think our first issues with Terrorism of Osama were a specific dislike for America originating from our refusal to further finance/equip/support him in terrorist/military activity other than Afghanistan. That combined with a religious fanaticism over several years of festering hatred for all things American developed into the Tower bombing and eventually 911.

Then in retaliation we started hunting Osama in Afghanistan where we know large amounts of his followers and likely he himself is, and this is exactly what we should have done and was the only point in the last 5+years I have ever supported Bush's policies. Then everything went to 5h!7, Bush for whatever reason went on his thing about WMD, started invading countries, pissing off world leaders, supporting one countries rights and condemning others, labeling countries as Axis of Evil. Invading a country that had nothing to do with 911, rushing negotiation, unseating leaders, occupying countries, and then torturing people who have never been charged with anything.

Now I know people will go off on the whole Sadam was evil and had to be removed and the people at Abu are terrorists and don't deserve humane treatment bla bla bla. I say, yes, Saddam is a horrible person, no arguments there. However.. It is not our place to go into countries and change political structures at our whim.

I can already hear the response. but the UN is corrupt and useless; they were taking bribes, food for oil.

Ya know... you don't go down the street and kill the guy on the corner that you had a fight with last year just because you know that some of your local cops are dirty.

So basically what we are dealing with now is a combination of what is left of Al-Quida doing what they do, the local people trying to get an occupying force out of their own country. Then on top of that because of the horrible mismanagement of Bush's policies Osama is able to look at all the other extremists and say "See, the Americans are horrible like I have said all along, they only want to take you over, they want you to think like they do, they want you to have their government, they want you to give up your religion, they want to change your way of life, rise against them and be free." Powerful thought.. and we are playing right into their hands.

Tell me, if another country invaded where you live to tell you that they think their form of government is better for you. Wouldn’t you rise against them? If Canada came down and removed Bush as a tyrannical leader and said "You need to be a Socialistic Republic and we are going to keep our military here to make sure you do it." Yes, I would be happy bush is gone.. but you better believe I would want Canada to get the hell out of my country.


posted on Aug, 4 2005 @ 08:57 AM
Jill ... there are many types of "terrorists" in the modern world. But I think you are referring to those in allegiance with Osama Bin Laden and Al-Quaeda.

To understand their motivations you have to consider their own personal viewpoints. The best thing to do is to roleplay. Let's pretend for a moment that we are members of their organization. We, as muslim extremists, have been brainwashed into believing that everything that the Western world stands for is evil, and should be destroyed.

We are taught to believe that the Muslim faith is the superior religion of the world, and all people should be Muslim, and worship the prophet Mohammed (who lived 500 years after the time of Jesus) and Allah.

We are taught that until Jerusalem is taken back from the Jews, that Jihad should continue. We are taught that the Crusades (1,000 years ago) defined who the enemy is (Christians and Jews) and any future socities that favor them should be destroyed (such as the US and anyone that agrees with us).

Now, let's jump back to who we are.

The western world, politically, is fairly stable. Over the past several thousands of years, many wars have been fought over terroritory and many kings and governments created and overthrown. The United States (200+ years) is a relatively young nation compared to history. We are being tested. Our political ideology has become clearly superior, and unshakable.

However, our religious ideology is based largely on Christianity. Our founding fathers were largely of the protestant faith. Historically Protestants have sided with Jews. The Crusades were fought over the Holy City of Jerusalem, which had been taken from Jewish rule by Muslims.

To truly understand the current breed of terrorists we need to understand their motivations. They want to take back the Holy City. Israel is an ally of the US. The US is the strongest force supporting Israeli occuption of Jerusalem, and therefore the most logical target.

Secondly, they have an issue with the occupying forces in Iraq since it is on Muslim lands as well (so they claim). Therefore any additional supporting nations of the Iraqi situation are also targets.

It's not just land they want, however, they want more.

The best thing to do is to educate yourself about the Arab people and the historical significance of the middle east.

I recommend:

"Islam and World Peace: Explanations of a Sufi"
by an M.R. Bawa Muhaiyaddeen

which I picked up in a local used bookstore recently. It has a great summary of the major events of the middle east over the past 2,000 years and provides a modern context to what non-extremist Islamic people believe.

The modern extremist Islamic terrorist does not interpret the history in the same way as the majority. Unfortunately, they have managed to carry out some significant attacks, and appear to be capable of continuing to do so until we can figure out how to dismantle them.

Since there is no country to attack specifically, we have to attack their ideology. The best way to do this is to learn about their history, and to understand it better than they do.

posted on Aug, 4 2005 @ 09:19 AM
Grad student,

I am not sure that we can really claim that our form of government is "superior." We are, after all, just over only 250 years old as a nation as a Democratic Republic. I could also be argued that in this very short time we see evidence of our system failing to partisanship practices and due to on over balance the required checks and balances are no longer effective. Thus the freedoms of our system could be the very cause of its instability.

Compared to, say, England who thrived as a Monarchy for several times longer then we have even existed as a nation. They also seem to have better systems of political control with a Socialistic Republic than we do.


posted on Aug, 4 2005 @ 09:45 AM
Certainly I don't mind healthy debate.

The reasons that our modern democratic republic form of government tied in with a capitalist free market economy is superior are the following:

1. We are not perfect, however, we can eliminate corruption whereas communist and facsist systems cannot.

2. Free-market economy has proved itself to be the best for everyone. Competition improves quality. The market system existed even before our country did, and free trade with the world is healthy. Much better to be trading tea and computer chips than it is to trade bullets in my opinion.

3. Our country exists on personal freedoms. We will always be a step above the socialist systems because of the freedom of choice. It is up to the individual to make their decisions about what they want to do, what kind of toilet paper they use, who they marry, how many kids they have, where they want to go to school, what they do with their income.

The only way we could possibly improve upon our current ideology is to make it more Libertarian, with minimal government and more freedom of choice.

posted on Aug, 4 2005 @ 09:49 AM
Ah I omitted one point which is Monarchy.

There's nothing better than a Good King. However, there is nothing worse than a Bad King. And the change of power from one King to another has historically been rather violent. Ultimate power corrupts ultimately.

Sure, various Monarchies have existed for long periods of time, but there were always wars and the human rights violations were atrocious such as burning Christians alive at the stake for practicing their relgion, which is what motivated people to come to the US in the first place.

posted on Aug, 4 2005 @ 10:06 AM

Originally posted by grad_student
Certainly I don't mind healthy debate.

The reasons that our modern democratic republic form of government tied in with a capitalist free market economy is superior are the following:

1. We are not perfect, however, we can eliminate corruption whereas communist and fascist systems cannot.

2. Free-market economy has proved itself to be the best for everyone. Competition improves quality. The market system existed even before our country did, and free trade with the world is healthy. Much better to be trading tea and computer chips than it is to trade bullets in my opinion.

3. Our country exists on personal freedoms. We will always be a step above the socialist systems because of the freedom of choice. It is up to the individual to make their decisions about what they want to do, what kind of toilet paper they use, who they marry, how many kids they have, where they want to go to school, what they do with their income.

The only way we could possibly improve upon our current ideology is to make it more Libertarian, with minimal government and more freedom of choice.

Democracy vs. Monarchy

Ah I omitted one point, which is Monarchy.

There's nothing better than a Good King. However, there is nothing worse than a Bad King. And the change of power from one King to another has historically been rather violent. Ultimate power corrupts ultimately.

Mostly agree, however like Communism and Socialism.. Free Capitalism is in essence a perfect system... on paper. Due to the human factor it inevitably falls apart. But our free market system is not our political system it is simply the method of commerce within our political system. So there for we must keep them separate in this debate to prevent mudding the scenario.

I would disagree mostly with point 3 as a Socialistic Republic is also based on freedom the freedom of choice with a stronger focus on the use of taxes for the greater good of the individual. Sadly once again we deal with the human factor and this adds tension to that debate. However all of the choices listed in point 3 are also prevalent in the socialistic republic system.

Which actually takes me to the wish for greater Libertarian influence; I would suggest that we actually adopt a version of Parliament’s appointment procedure to replace the House of Representatives so that it is made up of party representatives proportionate to the percentage of votes cast for each political party. Thus if 15% of the nation votes Libertarian, then 15% of the House is of that party. That would prevent the two party systems from dominating in all venues.

The monarchy, true there are good and bad kings and a "Good" government is always subjective to "Good" for whom? But.. My point in mentioning Monarchy is that it did survive as a system for many many years, which is a testimony to its stability.

posted on Aug, 4 2005 @ 10:31 AM
But you have some good points, however misled they may be.

First of all, just because a system is "stable" in your definition (number of years) does NOT mean it's a GOOD system.

Saddam Hussein's rule was "stable" in your definition, in that he held a firm grip for 30 years, compared to our current situation. However, the human rights violations were atrocious. I read a story about a female doctor having her head chopped off in front of her family for complaining about the lack of sanitary conditions in the hospitals. He even changed the variable letters x and y to s and h in the math textbooks taught to Iraqi children.

Just the same, certain monarchies and other ancient societies certainly existed for hundreds or thousands of years, such as the British series of monarchies, the French, the Romans, the Holy Romans, the Ottomon Empire, to name a few.

However, these societies, while generating a primitive system of justice, tended to use rather extreme enforcement techniques to apply to many people that would be considered innocent by our modern justice system. Look at Jesus Christ, for example, how many crosses do you see on people's neck chains nowadays? The Romans used crucifiction on the cross as a standard punishment for even speaking out against the government.

It's not enough to judge the success of a society on the number of years it has existed. One must additionally consider the morale of the people, the success of industry, the success of the economy, major advances in science and technology, the health of the entertainment industry, and the ability of people to make their own free choices about what they want to do with their lives.

Our forefathers created something new, something no society has ever done before, which is to create a template that is malleable. We will not always be right but our system will begin to blend to take on new ideas and to serve the generally dominant agenda, without actually preventing others from practicing their own viewpoints, even if they are not in the majority.

Furthermore, what you suggest about the House of Representatives is very odd. You are suggesting a restructuring of a set of prescribed political viewpoints, and then to have them equally represented.

But these viewpoints will inevitably change over time. Are you planning on restructuring the system every election? You will spend so much time restructuring you will get nothing done.

Additionally, the objective of the House of Representatives is to represent the viewpoints of the States, not the Parties. Each State has chosen a certain number of representatives that happen to share the beliefs of their constituents. This is an accurate representation of what their voters want to see.

Creating a fake system of "balanced" viewpoints is good for a TV talk show but it is not a good representation of the actual body of citizens.

People believe what they believe and vote what they vote. If you happen to think that what they vote for is wrong, then you should point out why their viewpoints are wrong, and how you would do it better.

posted on Aug, 4 2005 @ 10:41 AM

The term "terrorism" comes from the French 18th century word terrorisme based on the Latin language verbs terrere (to frighten) and deterrere (to frighten from). It dates to 1795, and originally used to describe the actions of the Jacobins in their rule of post-Revolutionary France, the so-called "Reign of Terror". The Jacobins are even said to have coined the term "terrorists" to refer to themselves, although that is not certain. Note that the method employed was in most cases simply the arrest, and sometimes execution, of opponents. Terrorism and terror therefore originally referred to methods employed by regimes to control their own populations through fear, a tactic seen again in many totalitarian regimes, such as Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia. The terms did not refer to bomb attacks, but rather to what is now called a police state. The current use of the term state terrorism, and the use of the term "terrorist", have much broader meanings.

Many definitions of terrorism exist. Definitions are produced by the media, politicians, other political actors such as think-tanks, by academics, but above all by government. Law enforcement agencies and intelligence agencies formulated most of these official definitions. Official definitions have the most impact, because they determine anti-terrorism policy. Most of them outline primary criteria: the target, objective, motive, perpetrator, and legitimacy or legality of the act.

Violence – According to Walter Laqueur of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, "the only general characteristic [of terrorism] generally agreed upon is that terrorism involves violence and the threat of violence". However, the criterion of violence alone does not produce a useful definition, as it includes many acts not usually considered terrorism: war, riot, organized crime, or even a simple assault. This criterion excludes cyberterrorism and economic sanctions.
Target – It is commonly held that the distinctive nature of terrorism lies in its deliberate and specific selection of civilians as targets. Furthermore, an act is more likely to be considered terrorism if it targets a general populace than if it purposefully targets a specific individual or group, most often (but not exclusively) noncombatants to inspire terror or to cause collateral damage.
This criterion excludes conventional warfare in accordance with the laws of war, any attacks on military targets (such as the bombing of the USS Cole), guerrilla warfare and revolution when limited to military targets, and assassination of a head of state or other leader of comparable stature (such as Martin Luther King, Jr.).
This criterion may also be held to exclude actions where the attackers make at least some attempt to reduce civilian casualties. For example, the Zionist organization Irgun preceded many, though not all, of its attacks (notably the 1946 King David Hotel bombing) with warnings to the press, the target, or the authorities of the British Mandate of Palestine. They were nevertheless considered to be terrorists by the British. The Basque ETA group is also known for pre-emptive warnings. By contrast, groups who use suicide bombing attacks against civilians (such as Hamas, al-Qaida and the al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades) rely on the element of surprise in order to maximize casualties, and therefore never issue warnings.
Objective – As the name implies, terrorism is understood as an attempt to provoke fear and intimidation. Hence, terrorist acts are designed and intended to attract wide publicity and cause public shock, outrage, and/or fear. The intent may be to provoke disproportionate reactions from states.
This criterion excludes the Holocaust and other cases of genocide, which are undertaken to exterminate rather than to intimidate, and which are usually hidden rather than publicized. Also, any violence against targets unlikely to attract public notice and having little effect on the populace at large.
Motive – These acts are intended to achieve political or religious goals, not for personal gain. For example, a gang of bank robbers who kill a bank manager, blow up his vault and escape with the contents would normally not be classed as terrorists, because their motive was profit. However, if a gang were to execute the same assault with the intent of causing a crisis in public confidence in the banking system, followed by a run on the banks and a subsequent destabilization of the economy, then the gang would be classed as terrorists. This criterion excludes organized crime (the Mafia, etc.)
Perpetrator – Some hold that a legitimate government cannot, by definition, commit terrorism of any kind. In this view, a state can commit war crimes or crimes against humanity, but these actions are distinct from terrorism.
This criterion excludes warfare between states, government repression of its own civilians, the Holocaust, the Hiroshima bombing, and possibly even the Lockerbie bombing.
Legitimacy – Many definitions include a proviso that the action must be "unlawful" or "illegitimate". This is by far the least objective of the criteria, in the absence of any objective interpreter of international law. For example, the laws of war generally exclude the deliberate targeting of civilians, yet in World War II it is unquestioned that acts such as the bombing of Hiroshima or Dresden were carried out with the knowledge that civilian casualties would greatly exceed military ones. Whether the actions were legally justified, either in self-defense or on the grounds that they actually minimised civilian suffering by bringing the war to an earlier end, is not a question that can be objectively determined.
No definition of terrorism has been accepted as authoritative by the United Nations. However, the "academic consensus definition", written by terrorism expert A.P. Schmid and widely used by social scientists, defines terrorism as follows:

Terrorism is an anxiety-inspiring method of repeated violent action, employed by (semi-) clandestine individual, group or state actors, for idiosyncratic, criminal or political reasons, whereby — in contrast to assassination — the direct targets of violence are not the main targets. The immediate human victims of violence are generally chosen randomly (targets of opportunity) or selectively (representative or symbolic targets) from a target population, and serve as message generators. Threat- and violence-based communication processes between terrorist (organization), (imperilled) victims, and main targets are used to manipulate the main target (audience(s)), turning it into a target of terror, a target of demands, or a target of attention, depending on whether intimidation, coercion, or propaganda is primarily sought." [1]
Schmid has also proposed a short legal definition of terrorism to the UN, namely that an act of terrorism should be defined as "the peacetime equivalent of a war crime". This brings the question of legitimacy to the front.

Definitions of terrorism are not static: like all politicised concepts they are subject to historical evolution. In response to the 2001 attacks, western politicians have placed terrorism in the context of a global struggle against democracy itself. That implies that the emphasis in definition should lay on the nature of a country's government, rather the specific targets or methods. It also implies that 'coercion' is no longer relevant to the definition - the terrorists don't want the government to do anything specific, they want it to disappear. The European Union includes the aim of "destabilising or destroying the fundamental political, constitutional, economic or social structures of a country" in its 2004 definition of terrorism. [2] The idea of a 'war against democracy' is related to the theory of the Clash of Civilisations, and they are sometimes quoted together.

Terrorists often seek to demoralize and paralyze their enemy with fear, using their acts as a form of blackmail to apply pressure on governments to achieve goals the terrorists could not achieve by other means.

Terrorism relies heavily on surprise. Terrorist attacks can trigger sudden transitions into conflict or war. Frequently, after a terrorist attack, a number of unassociated groups may claim responsibility for the action; this may be considered "free publicity" for the organization's aims or plans. Because of its anonymous and sometimes self-sacrificial nature, it is not uncommon for the reasons behind the terrorist action to remain unknown or murky for a considerable period.

Where terrorism occurs in the context of open warfare or insurgency, its perpetrators may shelter behind a section of the local population. Examples include the Intifada on Israeli-occupied territory, and the occupation of Iraq. This population, which is usually ethnically distinct from the counter-terrorist forces, is either sympathetic to their cause, indifferent, or under duress. The 'counter-terror' forces (on their own definition, that is) are often prevented from retaliating by the prospect of high civilian casualties. Even small US-Army units in Iraq may have enough firepower to destroy an entire village, but if they did that in retaliation for every attack, they would kill most of the rural population. Civilian casualties always damage the public image of the state responsible, and may generate further sympathy for the terrorist cause. This is a recurring dilemma in such insurgencies. Not all terror campaigns take place in an insurgency context, but the one-off urban attacks now typical of radical Islamist terrorism in the West are carried out by people from a specific religious context. Counter-terror policy directed at one section of the population may not result in direct civilian casualties, but has long-term political effects, which may be equally counterproductive.

Terrorist groups sometimes arrange for secondary devices to detonate at a slightly later time in order to kill emergency-response personnel attempting to attend to the dead and wounded. Repeated or suspected use of secondary devices can also delay emergency response out of concern that such devices may exist. Examples include a (failed) cyanide-gas device that was meant to explode shortly after the February 26, 1993 World Trade Center bombing, and a second car bomb that detonated 20 minutes after the December 1, 2001 Ben Yehuda bombing by Hamas in Jerusalem.

In the absence of state funding, terrorists often rely on organized crime to fund their activities. This can include kidnapping, drug trafficking, or robbery. But terrorists have also found many more sources of revenue. Osama bin Laden, for example, invested millions in terrorism that his family made in the construction industry building luxury mansions for Saudi Arabia's oil-millionaires. The diamond industry emerged early in the twenty-first century as an important new source of funding for terrorism, and Islamist terrorist groups in particular have been very effective at procuring funding through a system of charitable contributions. Overlap with smuggling organizations has been discussed in the United States.

Guerrilla warfare is sometimes confused with terrorism, in that a relatively small force attempts to achieve large goals by using organized acts of directed violence against a larger force. But in contrast to terrorism, these acts are almost always against military targets, and civilian targets are minimized in an attempt to increase public support. For this reason, guerrilla tactics are generally considered military strategy rather than terrorism, although both terrorism and guerrilla warfare could be considered forms of asymmetric warfare.

in anicase terrorism is the best method wen u do not have the capability to inflict the casualties that u wanted. instead its like Sun Tzu where kill one u terrorize a thousand. u try to achieve yer political goals with limited resources and the best way is to attack the population in hopes of persuading the govt to appease to their demands. if i were a terrorist i be doing the same thing to achieve my goals.

[edit on 4-8-2005 by deltaboy]

posted on Aug, 4 2005 @ 11:16 AM
I did not say that they were "good" systems infact I specifically stated that how "Good" a system is subjective to whom it is good for. Therefore you must try and step away from labeling any system of government as good or bad and callously look at its stability.

As an example of this, I don't care that Sadam changed the variables to S and H, technically they are valid variables mathematically and though I recognize the egomaniacal nature of this I will point out that at least the children were being taught abstract math in a secular environment.

What you call a "primitive system of justice" is and was very in-depth making up the majority of our own legal system. Do not make the mistake of labeling something primitive just because you feel the punishments to be brutal. They were undeniably effective deterrents to crime, much more effective then our own.

Nor should you consider an older civilization as "Primitive" insinuating obsolete when they built roads that are still in use, bridges that are still stable, and methods of working marble that we cannot reproduce the quality of, not to mention that we cannot produce a road that does not crumble in a few years.

Jesus was arrested for starting a riot and attacking people in a market. He was then crucified as a criminal for doing so along with thousands of other criminals before him. Religion however has nothing to do with this debate, and can be take up else ware.

Keep in mind that this is a discussion of the "superiority" of the system. Not the system that can be classified as the "Best" system for the masses or even one that could be listed as the most "Good"

As for my ideas of the House... what I am suggesting is a hypothetical merge of our current system and the Parliament of a Socialistic Republic.
The presidency to be determined by Electoral college as it is, Senate to be equal representation of each state (2 per) and the House to be a representation of the will of the people made up of an equivalent percentage of each party determined by national vote and the specific people to be chosen by the party just like a parliamentary system.

It's not enough to judge the success of a society on the number of years it has existed. One must additionally consider the morale of the people, the success of industry, the success of the economy, major advances in science and technology, the health of the entertainment industry, and the ability of people to make their own free choices about what they want to do with their lives.

If that is the case, then I would say that the Greeks and the Romans tying with 5th Century China have everyone beat. And they did not have a Democratic Republic. Followed by 16th century Europe.

The USA has had comparatively a short period of true innovation, really less than 100 years and that was marred by a major depression. Even within that short period of innovative success the majority of pleasantries, legal freedoms, and financial success were shared by a very select few.

posted on Aug, 4 2005 @ 02:36 PM

Originally posted by jillski
can anyone give an (unbiased) account of why terrorism is occuring?

Terrorism is something that weak people do. When you can't effect the changes you want thru a political process, or thru a traditional military process, you resort to terrorism. Thats why the IRA engaged in it, thats why the french partisans engaged in it, and thats why its so big amoung islamic fundamentalists, they're the weakest 'people' on the planet, they are unenfranchised, they are unable to assimiliate into the modern liberal democratic world, they have no international backers, they have no ability to gain power for themselves, and even their larger social context is one of the 'have nots' of the world, the middle east, a region that was occupied by the ottomans for centuries, and then by europe for a century.

So given a backwards and weak people who have serious problems and some legitimate gripes but no way to do anything about it, you get terrorism. That is why islamic fundamentalists resort to terrorism so easily, whereas non-radicalized muslims have lots of other channels to enact actual change thru.

posted on Aug, 4 2005 @ 02:43 PM

Originally posted by dom
again with the American war of independence which had aspects of terrorism to begin with.

The revolutionaries had secret societies and rabble rousers, like the Sons of Liberty and Sam Adams, but it was hardly terrorist. True, the public tended to react to tories in the era after the war with mobbings (literally tarring and feathering them), but nothing like actual terrorism.

You have to differentiate between guerillas and non-traditional soldiers, like the American Patriots or Boer Commandos, and actual terrorists, like the IRA or PLO. The IRA wasn't ever going to mount an actual military threat against Great Britian. The PLO wasn't going to fight against the Israeli Army.

I'd think that the choice of targets helps quickly define terrorism, in coordination with the mode of attack. The Firebombing of Dresden, is a weird example. It was a full scale military attack on a legitimate target, the city had factories and plants and resources, and also, realistically, the entire german people had become part of the war system. It wasn't to scare the nazis in berlin into surrendering, it was to completely destroy their ability to fight. The PLO couldn't accomplish anything even remotely like that.

On the other hand, the Boer's in their war against the british were allways holding out for popular support amoung the great powers and british war weariness. They were egged on by peace movements within britian. But even their Beiterenders were raiding farms to get supplies to attack british columns, not storming into Johannesburg to murder dozens of people and fade away.

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