War on Terror


by tuco
Tags: terror
SOS2008
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#19
Aug12-06, 05:29 PM
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Quote Quote by pcorbett
I'm gonna go with Bush and his "ignorance embracing" supporters over Islamofascist and left-wing know-nothings. Call it a vote for freedom.
Rather than just claiming that left-wingers know nothing, I'd prefer you enlighten us with your great knowledge regarding the term fascist and how, per definition, this is more applicable to Islamic terrorists than it is to the right-wing neocon Bushies.
Skyhunter
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#20
Aug13-06, 04:52 PM
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Quote Quote by SOS2008
Rather than just claiming that left-wingers know nothing, I'd prefer you enlighten us with your great knowledge regarding the term fascist and how, per definition, this is more applicable to Islamic terrorists than it is to the right-wing neocon Bushies.
Here are the fourteen defining characteristics of fascism.

Islamic extremists share some similiar characteristics with fascists, so have most violent movements in history. Overall there is little they have in common with fascism. Most glaringly is lack of nationalism, a key component of fascism.

Here is a point by point comparison.

http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2006/8/11/15545/8082

1. Powerful and Continuing Nationalism - Fascist regimes tend to make constant use of patriotic mottos, slogans, symbols, songs, and other paraphernalia. Flags are seen everywhere, as are flag symbols on clothing and in public displays.
Wrong on the first point (kinda like how those who say US law is grounded in the Ten Commandments: the First Amendment and the First Commandment contradict each other). Here, fascism is nationalistic whereas violent Islamists are not only stateless, their pan-Islamic or neo-caliphate ambitions are actively hostile to dozens of nations. They can't be fascists because they want to erase the divisions between nations. The caliphate pre-dates any notion of the nation-state. They may have mottos, slogans, symbols, songs, and other paraphernalia, but nation is not the theme.
For Bush to use that language is a sign that he is reaching out to the dittoheads, hannitized, and savaged wing-nuts in an attempt to energize the rabid base for the mid-terms.

As Alexandra mentioned in another thread, and I paraprase;

One must correctly identify a problem if one is to have any chance at all of solving it.

Bush's use of the term Islamic fascist, is a sign to me that either he doesn't understand what he is saying, or that his choice of words are calculated to evoke a response.

I think it is both, he doesn't understand, but he says what he says because Rove has made the calculations and instucted him to say it.
Astronuc
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Aug23-06, 06:57 AM
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Meanwhile, back in Afghanistan, where al Qaida was (is?) located and where Osama bin Laden was (is?) -

Becoming a Piece of the Picture: Life in Afghanistan
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/s...toryId=5690902
All Things Considered, August 22, 2006 ∑ Sarah Chayes is a familiar name to NPR listeners. She reported for NPR from Paris, the Balkans, and after the fall of the Taliban, Afghanistan. She became so captivated by the potential of Afghanistan that she left reporting, and started a nonprofit group in the southern city of Kandahar.

She still lives in Afghanistan, now running a cooperative agricultural venture that sells local soaps and oils. Chayes has written a book about her years in Afghanistan. Her book tells a story of corrupt warlords, counterproductive U.S. policy, and murder.
Interesting commentary from Chayes. All isn't what the Bush administration would have the American public believe.
russ_watters
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Aug23-06, 12:27 PM
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Quote Quote by Skyhunter
Here are the fourteen defining characteristics of fascism.

Islamic extremists share some similiar characteristics with fascists, so have most violent movements in history. Overall there is little they have in common with fascism. Most glaringly is lack of nationalism, a key component of fascism.
Though I agree, at least, that the comparison is a little thin, it isn't without merit and the objection to point #1 is, simply put, shortsighted and self-contradictory. Ie:
Here, fascism is nationalistic whereas violent Islamists are not only stateless.... [snip] They can't be fascists because they want to erase the divisions between nations.
Say what? That's as direct a self-contradiction as there can be. Paraphrased: 'Islamists are stateless because they want the world united in a single Islamic state.'

But nationalism exists even locally: Point #1 mentions flags and key symbolism in promoting the cause. Case-in-point: http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/pictures/GOT08D.htm
http://www.guardian.co.uk/gallery/im...885621,00.html

Essentially, Islamic fascism is trans-national (unfortunately, the word "transnationalism" is already taken, otherwise I'd coin it for this purpose...). It is fiercely nationalistic local organizations with a larger unifying purpose.
The caliphate pre-dates any notion of the nation-state.
Islam is only 1500 years old. What do you call those things tha existed before then, like the Egyptian and Roman empires? Surely they qualify as nation-states?
They may have mottos, slogans, symbols, songs, and other paraphernalia, but nation is not the theme.
That's a cop-out. Translation: 'all the components are the same, but they are different because we applied a different name to the phenomena'. Uh, no.

In any case:
Quote Quote by SOS
The debate of whether fascism is a correct term to describe Islamic terrorists has been ongoing and ultimately is a matter of opinion. IMO there are too few similarities and the terms "radicals" or "extremists" are more appropriate.
I'll agree with that. They are certainly closely related, but the trans-national charcteristic makes the comparison a little problematic. Certainly, Bush picked the term for its emotional impact. He's not wrong, he's just being a politician.
Skyhunter
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#23
Aug24-06, 10:10 AM
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Quote Quote by russ_watters
In any case: I'll agree with that. They are certainly closely related, but the trans-national charcteristic makes the comparison a little problematic. Certainly, Bush picked the term for its emotional impact. He's not wrong, he's just being a politician.
Until the Saudis objected.

http://209.157.64.201/focus/f-news/1684675/posts

In a statement after its weekly meeting, the Saudi Cabinet "warned against labeling Muslims with accusations of terrorism and fascism."

Bush didn't repeat the reference to "Islamic fascists" at the State Department today, referring instead to "individuals that would like to kill innocent Americans to achieve political objectives."
A clear indicator of where his priorities lie.
Astronuc
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Aug25-06, 10:01 PM
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Ahmed Rashid, Reporting on Islamist Groups
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/s...toryId=5702969
Fresh Air from WHYY, August 24, 2006 · Before most Americans had heard of the Taliban, Pakistani journalist Ahmed Rashid wrote a book about them. After the Sept. 11 attacks, it became a best-seller. Rashid's recent reporting for English-language newspapers involves Islamist militants in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Taliban: Militant Islam, Oil and Fundamentalism in Central Asia (Paperback) ISBN: 0300089023 (Mar 1, 2001)

Amazon.com
This is the single best book available on the Taliban, the fundamentalist Islamic regime in Afghanistan responsible for harboring the terrorist Osama bin Laden. Ahmed Rashid is a Pakistani journalist who has spent most of his career reporting on the region--he has personally met and interviewed many of the Taliban's shadowy leaders. Taliban was written and published before the massacres of September 11, 2001, yet it is essential reading for anyone who hopes to understand the aftermath of that black day. It includes details on how and why the Taliban came to power, the government's oppression of ordinary citizens (especially women), the heroin trade, oil intrigue, and--in a vitally relevant chapter--bin Laden's sinister rise to power. These pages contain stories of mass slaughter, beheadings, and the Taliban's crushing war against freedom: under Mullah Omar, it has banned everything from kite flying to singing and dancing at weddings. Rashid is for the most part an objective reporter, though his rage sometimes (and understandably) comes to the surface: "The Taliban were right, their interpretation of Islam was right, and everything else was wrong and an expression of human weakness and a lack of piety," he notes with sarcasm. He has produced a compelling portrait of modern evil. --John Miller
Taliban (Paperback) ISBN: 0330492217 (October 26, 2001)

Apparently two different books.

http://www.ahmedrashid.com/

I think people tend to forget how the Taliban came to power following the withdrawal of the Soviet forces from Afghanistan in early 1989.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soviet_...of_Afghanistan

As early as the mid-1980's, CIA and other experts were beginning to warn about 'blowback', the unintended consequences of covert operations.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blowbac...ntelligence%29
Astronuc
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Aug27-06, 02:37 PM
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It seems many/most events in the ME are somehow tied into the 'war on terror'. But some good news.

Fox News Crew Freed After Gaza Ordeal
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/s...toryId=5645822
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip August 27, 2006, 11:44 a.m. ET ∑ Militants freed two Fox News journalists on Sunday, ending a nearly two week hostage drama. One of the former captives said they were sometimes held face down in a dark garage, tied up in painful positions and forced at gunpoint to make videos and say they had converted to Islam.

Correspondent Steve Centanni, 60, of Washington, D.C., and cameraman Olaf Wiig, 36, of New Zealand, were dropped off at Gaza City's Beach Hotel by Palestinian security officials. A tearful Centanni briefly embraced a Palestinian journalist in the lobby, then rushed upstairs with Wiig behind him.
Ascetic Anchorite
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Aug29-06, 07:54 PM
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This video sums-up the terror situation perfectly:

http://video.google.com/videoplay?do...q=terror+storm
Yonoz
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#27
Aug30-06, 02:48 AM
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Quote Quote by Astronuc
It seems many/most events in the ME are somehow tied into the 'war on terror'. But some good news.

Fox News Crew Freed After Gaza Ordeal
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/s...toryId=5645822
Good for some.
The High Price of the Fox Kidnapping Release
Two Fox News journalists were freed on Sunday in Gaza after a complex deal was hammered out between the kidnappers and the Hamas-led government of Prime Minister Ismael Haniyeh. The negotiations brought an end to the two-week-long hostage ordeal, but it may complicate efforts to free another captive ó Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit ó held by Palestinian militants.

In its broadcasts, Fox News often portayed the Hamas militants as terrorists, but the kidnapping of the two journalists, sources tell TIME, had nothing to do with Fox's perceived pro-Israel stance or a serious attempt, as the captors first demanded, of swapping the pair for Muslim prisoners in the U.S. Instead, the two newsmen were more likely the victims of a vicious feud between various Palestinian militias.
This is a good glimpse into internal Palestinian politics.
Astronuc
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#28
Sep5-06, 06:24 PM
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Something to ponder -

White House Freshens Anti-Terrorism Strategy
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/s...toryId=5770630
All Things Considered, September 5, 2006 ∑ In the second of a series of planned speeches on the need to confront the threat posed by terrorism, President Bush on Tuesday described the war in Iraq in terms of the military struggles of Europe in the 20th century.

Speaking in Washington, D.C., the president said there had been progress in making the country safer in the five years since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. He also said that, even though U.S. actions have weakened al-Qaida since the Sept. 11 attacks, Americans must take seriously the words of the enemy.

Also Tuesday, the White House released a document titled the National Strategy for Fighting Terrorism, which says that America is safer than it was five years ago, but that significant threats remain.

In response to the president and the White House report, Democrats accused the president of failing the national security test. At a news conference at the Capitol, retired Gen. Wesley Clark said that the Iraq War has actually put America more at risk.

"Invading Iraq was an unnecessary war," Clark said. "It distracted us from what we were trying to accomplish in Afghanistan, and it's been counterproductive in winning the war on terror."

The White House dismissed suggestions that it is politicizing the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks as part of the fall congressional campaign. Press secretary Tony Snow says that terrorism is what Americans are talking about and that the president is simply presenting his case to the public.
But -

Book Explores Latest Jihadi Thinking
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/s...toryId=5770651
All Things Considered, September 5, 2006 ∑ Several lesser-known thinkers whose work is widely read on the Internet are more influential than Osama bin Laden in shaping the views and actions of Islamic radicals. That's the view of New Yorker writer Lawrence Wright, author of the book The Looming Tower.
I think it important to understand other peoples' points of view, something that Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, et al refuse to do. Bush sees only war and conflict, i.e. beat the opposition into submission. This is precisely the mistake that the US made in Vietnam. Bush's way is wrong!
McGyver
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Sep8-06, 11:17 AM
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Quote Quote by Skyhunter
For Bush to use that [facism] language is a sign that he is reaching out to the dittoheads, hannitized, and savaged wing-nuts in an attempt to energize the rabid base for the mid-terms.

As Alexandra mentioned in another thread, and I paraprase;

One must correctly identify a problem if one is to have any chance at all of solving it.
Precisely. Perhaps someone in the Bush White House can explain why this key figure now in the news, was arrested after and thought complicit then in the 911 attacks, but was mistakenly released:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/14733525/
Astronuc
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Sep8-06, 11:40 AM
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Assessment from abroad -

'War on terror' loses clear direction
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/5319522.stm
In the five years since 9/11, a clear-cut and well-supported "war on terror" declared by President Bush has become confused and divisive.

Whereas Le Monde declared the day after 9/11: "We are all Americans now", a placard at a demonstration in London recently read: "We are all Hezbollah now".

American policy has had successes. The quick war in Afghanistan after 9/11 (now flaring up again in the south) toppled the Taleban and has denied al-Qaeda its training bases, which were important to it (base is what the word Qaeda means).

Al-Qaeda has lost much of its leadership. It has not toppled governments as it had hoped. Western forces have not left the Middle East, and in particular the government of Saudi Arabia, guardian of Mecca, which is probably Osama Bin Laden's ultimate target, stands.

Yet Western and other publics are left in fear, and rightly so. Al-Qaeda is no invention. Its impact - or that of its sympathisers - was seen not only in New York and Washington but in Bali, Madrid, London, Morocco, Istanbul and elsewhere.


The power of fear

Fear is a powerful motivating factor. Fear after 9/11 led to the Bush doctrine of the pre-emptive strike.

But this doctrine has not been endorsed by all.

Doubts, divisions and defections have developed among American allies. For many around the world, sympathy for the United States has changed into suspicion and, for some, even into hatred. The prisons at Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib, the treatment of prisoners, secret prisons and rendition flights all added to this feeling.
Astronuc
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#31
Sep24-06, 06:16 PM
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Iraq War Fueling Terrorism, Intelligence Report Says
by Debbie Elliott and Mary Louise Kelly

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/s...toryId=6135344
All Things Considered, September 24, 2006 ∑ A new assessment by U.S. intelligence agencies finds that the threat of terrorism has grown since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and that the war in Iraq has spawned a new generation of violent Islamic extremists. In other words, the Iraq war made the overall terrorism problem worse.

The leaked report, a National Intelligence Estimate, represents the consensus view of 16 U.S. spy agencies. It was produced by the National Intelligence Council, a thinktank of the U.S. intelligence community.

The document is still classified but it reportedly paints Iraq as a breeding ground for Islamist radicals.

It's the first formal report that assesses the global trend of terrorism since the Iraq war began.

The leaked report is also expected to have political impact, with campaigns in the final six-week stretch.
It would seem that Bush and his cronies have thrown the proverbial 'gasoline on the fire' and made matters worse.

Interesting commentary in the program.
Burnsys
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#32
Sep25-06, 09:31 AM
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Great news for the bush administration, now they will have to buy more weapons, cut more civil liberties and invade a couple more countries.!!
ptabor
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#33
Sep25-06, 10:46 AM
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Quote Quote by Astronuc
....... This is precisely the mistake that the US made in Vietnam. Bush's way is wrong!
I'm going to have to respectfully disagree on a point here. I'll agree that we all need more understanding, but our failure to win the vietnam war is not related to this issue, in my opinion. It is related to our failure in avoiding the conflict in the first place, however. Ho Chi Minh asked for the support of the United States in its conflict with the imperialist french. We turned our backs, of course, and supported the french - which lead to a two decade+ involvement in a war.

Had we disregarded politics and bombed the north as extensively as we did the south, the vietnam conflict would have been winnable in so far as we could have defeated the ability of our "enemy" to fight back.

And so is the case with our modern war on "terror". A supreme lack of dialog and understanding has lead to our current situation. Understanding, to a point, will aid us in winning this war. By understanding i mean that we have to realize that not all muslims share this radical point of view and that most them aren't all that different from us westerners, on a fundamental level.

Understanding and dialog will not, however, destroy the ability of a sworn group of enemies to murder our citizens. This can only be done with rifles and bombs, in so far as those particular individuals are concerned.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying a go-it-alone f the rest of the world attitude will prevail. We'll need the support of those nations that harbor, either voluntarily or not, those that seek to kill us. But I don't see talking to those people (the extremists) as a viable option for our self defense.
turbo
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#34
Sep25-06, 11:22 AM
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Quote Quote by ptabor
Understanding and dialog will not, however, destroy the ability of a sworn group of enemies to murder our citizens. This can only be done with rifles and bombs, in so far as those particular individuals are concerned.
Before the invasion of Iraq, though, the number of potential jihadists was small, and perhaps could have been monitored and controlled. According to newspaper reports yesterday and today, not only is the number of jihadi cells exploding, they have no association with al-Qaida, apart from a shared revulsion of US activities in Iraq and elsewhere in the ME, and their diversity and lack of centralization will make them very difficult to monitor. In other words, Bush's war, with its civilian casualties, torture, and suffering has been the perfect recruiting tool for potential terrorists.

This war was and is entirely unjustified. Iraq had nothing to do with 9-11, although the administration insinuates that it did in every speech about terrorism. If Bush wanted to punish the people who allowed al-Qaida to develop and flourish, he need have looked no further than his family friends and business associates - the Bin Ladens and the House of Saud. The fact that the Bin Ladens and relatives of high-ranking Saudis in the US were not allowed to be questioned by our intelligence agencies, and were the only civilians allowed to fly in the days after 9-11 ought to tell you something. If Bill Clinton had acted in this outrageous manner, the Republican Congress would have had his head.
ptabor
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#35
Sep25-06, 12:33 PM
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turbo,

I'm sorry if you got from my post that I support our initial action in Iraq. I assure you this is not the case. If it were up to me, we would never have gone there - but it wasn't.
turbo
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#36
Sep25-06, 01:00 PM
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Quote Quote by ptabor
turbo,

I'm sorry if you got from my post that I support our initial action in Iraq. I assure you this is not the case. If it were up to me, we would never have gone there - but it wasn't.
No, I didn't think that, but the idea that the only way to deal with armed resistance is with guns and bombs is part of the monkey-trap this administration has gotten us into. They are unwilling to even consider that any foreign-policy initiatives, dialogues, etc can be useful, so they "stay the course" and continue to kill Iraqis. This generates more hatred for the US every day, and as a result, our young men and women are constantly in harm's way, and we as a country face a far greater threat from terrorism than we ever would have had the war not been started. We must develop a rational plan to deal with the violence, so the situation can be stabilized and our troops can withdraw without triggering genocide. More bombs and guns is not the way, though with the present political situation in Iraq (thanks, Bushco!) our options are far more limited than in the first few weeks after the invasion. Bush removed the strongest stabilizing force in Iraq (Saddam) without thinking through the consequences of his actions. As a result, religious fundamentalists and political opportunists have filled the power vacuum and are polarizing and radicalizing their followers. If we had set about to rebuild the damage in Iraq and restore their infrastructure as soon as possible, and had not disbanded their military and police groups, we might have had a chance at keeping a semblance of order in Iraq.

As for the often-heard comparisons to Viet Nam: a little history is in order. During WWII, the US wanted help in driving the Japanese out of French Indo-China, so they turned to a patriot who had been fighting French colonial rule for years - Ho Chi Minh. The US intelligence community affectionately called him "Uncle Ho". When they asked him what resources they could supply him, he said that he wanted 12 Colt .45 ACPs with holster rigs to give to his lieutenants as a sign of the US support for their activities. All he asked was that after the war, the French would not be allowed to reclaim his country as a colony, so the Vietnamese could live in self-determination. Despite the great debt owed to the US by the French, the US did not follow through on their promise, and allowed the French to re-occupy "French Indo-China". Ho Chi Minh was not a communist - he was a pragmatist who fell in with the enemy of his enemy to try to drive foreign occupiers out of his country. If the US had kept its promise to that little band of freedom fighters after WWII ended, Viet Nam would have been our strongest ally in the region, and that nasty destructive war would not have occured.


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