Mentor
Originally posted by Zero
I'll say this: any 'celebration' could easily be staged for propaganda purposes, and I wouldn't put it past the media or the government to bribe some locals into putting on a show.
Its not so easy for the US to stage a celebration when the celebrations are so disorganized and spontaneous and the US clearly does not have a tight grip on the populous.

Zero
Originally posted by russ_watters
Its not so easy for the US to stage a celebration when the celebrations are so disorganized and spontaneous and the US clearly does not have a tight grip on the populous.
Two words: ice water.

Mentor
Originally posted by Zero
Two words: ice water.
So ice water is bribery? Intersting. Do you think they would actually be GRATEFUL for that hypothtical glass of ice water? Cajolery is not coersion. Even if you could prove (you can't) that they were cajoled into celebrating, thats not even in the same league with *KILLING* people who don't participate in a celebration.

Zero
I keep hearing reports that the 'celebrations' were spun by the media to appear larger than they really were, and the common Iraqi wants American soldiers to go home.

Alias
What the 'common Iraqi' wants is not nearly important as what the common Iraqi needs. What they need is a government. And tough toenails, we're not leaving until we get their new government well underway.

Or, maybe we should give them what they want and just leave them to their own devices. That's not very smart or humane.

Zero
Originally posted by Alias
What the 'common Iraqi' wants is not nearly important as what the common Iraqi needs. What they need is a government. And tough toenails, we're not leaving until we get their new government well underway.

Or, maybe we should give them what they want and just leave them to their own devices. That's not very smart or humane.
Yeah, but America doesn't do policing or nation-building, remember? Look at Afghanistan...or don't, because it is an ugly sight.

Alias
We can't raise Afganistan up out of the stone-age they have been in for thousands of years. Things are as good there as they have ever been. Proove that is not the case.

As far as Iraq goes, we are helping them to police themselves, and we will help them to build their nation to a point they can take over.

Sure Bush said he wasn't in to nation building. Then 9/11 happened. Now his administration realizes that the only effective course of action is to act as gentlemanly as a gentleman nation should act, kill as many known terrorists as we can, attack whatever dangerous regimes we can (with minimal casualties, yes, on the US side), and scare the holy crap out of anyone thinking of terrorizing the US or it's allies.

He has done a fine job. Look at Syria crapping their pants.

Zero
Oh, so you are saying that Bush's plan is to fight terrorism with terror? Good call. Afghanistan is pretty much worse off than it was 4 years ago...different warlords, same problems, with a severely disrupted infrastructure. That's an improvement, simply because it has the Shrub seal of approval? Do you not think about the spin you are fed, and just swallow it whole?

Alias
Originally posted by Zero
Oh, so you are saying that Bush's plan is to fight terrorism with terror? Good call.
Yes. That's part of the plan. There are certain types of people that only respond to fear. Moamar Kadhafi is a perfect example. The US stopped his terrorist activities by killing some of his close family members, thus scaring the crap out of him. Haven't heard a peep from him since.
Afghanistan is pretty much worse off than it was 4 years ago...different warlords, same problems, with a severely disrupted infrastructure.
I might believe you if you could back that statement up with some facts.
That's an improvement, simply because it has the Shrub seal of approval?
It's a vast improvement. Al Qaeda has been rendered nutless and scattered to the four corners of the Earth.
Do you not think about the spin you are fed, and just swallow it whole?
I think you're the expert in that regard.

damgo
Taliban Reviving Structure in Afghanistan

...There is little to stop them. The soldiers and police who were supposed to be the bedrock of a stable postwar Afghanistan have gone unpaid for months and are drifting away. At a time when the United States is promising a reconstructed democratic postwar Iraq, many Afghans are remembering hearing similar promises not long ago. Instead, what they see is thieving warlords, murder on the roads, and a resurgence of Taliban vigilantism.

It's like I am seeing the same movie twice and no one is trying to fix the problem,'' said Ahmed Wali Karzai, the brother of Afghanistan's president and his representative in southern Kandahar. What was promised to Afghans with the collapse of the Taliban was a new life of hope and change. But what was delivered? Nothing. Everyone is back in business.''

There have been no significant changes for people,'' he said. People are tired of seeing small, small projects. I don't know what to say to people anymore.''

When the Taliban ruled they forcibly conscripted young men. Today I can say 'we don't take your sons away by force to fight at the front line,''' Karzai remarked. `But that's about all I can say.''

Today most Afghans say their National Army seems a distant dream while the U.S.-led coalition continues to feed and finance warlords for their help in hunting for Taliban and al-Qaida fighters.
http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/international/AP-Reviving-Taliban.html [Broken]
Still Paying for Past Support of Taliban, Pashtuns Flee South Toward Safety

Families fleeing harassment, beatings and extortion in northern Afghanistan arrive almost weekly at an impromptu refugee camp here, seeking shelter in patched tents on a dusty lot beside the city's animal market.
...
Despite a series of efforts by government commissions, and promises from the leaders of the north to stop the violence, the harassment continues, deepening the ethnic divisions in the region and adding to the quarter of a million displaced people already in southern Afghanistan.
...
Wali Jan's plight illuminates the enormous problem Afghanistan still has with half a million internally displaced people, the bulk of them - more than 300,000 - living in the south. About 25,000 of those have fled political repression, according to Peter Deck, the officer in charge of displaced people for the United Nations assistance mission in Kandahar.
http://www.nytimes.com/2003/04/12/international/asia/12REFU.html

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damgo
While assessing the status of al Qaeda is obviously difficult, they ain't been 'rendered nutless.' Some recent analyses I've seen:
Al Qaeda: one year on

Although it is true that the ousting of the Taliban has certainly ended the training of Al-Qaeda's foot-soldiers in Afghanistan – and this is no small achievement – what has not been stopped is the group's ability to raise funds or operate its international network of sleeper cells and safe houses. In fact, in the view of many within the Western intelligence community, Al-Qaeda is probably stronger now than it was before 11 September.

The reasons for this are complex, but key factors include the enormous growth in grassroots support for the group throughout much of the Islamic world.
...
Another key political mistake has been to focus on secondary distractions, such as the ‘axis of evil’, while soft-peddling on the principal sponsors of Al-Qaeda: Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. The unpalatable truth is that these two ‘allies’ of the West have played an undeniable role in the growth of Bin Laden's group into an international terrorist network.
Jane's Intelligence, http://www.janes.com/security/international_security/news/jid/jid020905_1_n.shtml

Zero
When talking about terrorists, you have to throw away your normal perceptions. Being driven underground makes a terrorist group MORE effective, not less. Killing terrorist leaders makes terrorists MORE dangerous, not less.

Alias
Originally posted by Zero
When talking about terrorists, you have to throw away your normal perceptions. Being driven underground makes a terrorist group MORE effective, not less. Killing terrorist leaders makes terrorists MORE dangerous, not less.
You don't seriously believe that? Your last two statements are exactly the opposite of the truth. What makes a terrorist dangerous is cash, and influential leadership. Take away his cash, his leadership, and force him to hide and he becomes impotent. Whether or not he is pissed off is irrelevant to his ability to terrorize at that point.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot, Obey the Evil One George Bush! All hail George Bush!

Zero
Originally posted by Alias
You don't seriously believe that? Your last two statements are exactly the opposite of the truth. What makes a terrorist dangerous is cash, and influential leadership. Take away his cash, his leadership, and force him to hide and he becomes impotent. Whether or not he is pissed off is irrelevant to his ability to terrorize at that point.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot, Obey the Evil One George Bush! All hail George Bush!
Which just goes to show that you don't know nearly as much as you think you do. The points of terrorism are A)cheap, improvised attack, B) small, independent cells that can act without instruction from centralized leadership, and C)ability to act under the radar of law enforcement and military.

Alias
Okay, you're right in theory. But terrorists without money can't purchase suicide bomber vests. They also can't buy plane tickets or get fake passports. The low profile idea is only effective if it is funded. Even when it is funded, most of these idiots can't pour piss out of a boot on their own. They just don't have the skills... unless they can afford to buy those too.

Zero
Originally posted by Alias
Okay, you're right in theory. But terrorists without money can't purchase suicide bomber vests. They also can't buy plane tickets or get fake passports. The low profile idea is only effective if it is funded. Even when it is funded, most of these idiots can't pour piss out of a boot on their own. They just don't have the skills... unless they can afford to buy those too.
You still don't understand terrorism, although you seem receptive to understanding. As far as funding; a box cutter costs \$1, a speeding truck full of fertilizer bomb costs abut 2-3 grand. Molotov cocktails in a crouded theater are nearly free. Any 'idiot' can do those, and spread terror.

Alias
A box cutter costs about a dollar, but flight training, plane tickets, forged documents and logistical control cost quite a bit.

A truck packed with fertilizer is not so expensive, but it has only happened once in this country and for some reason the boiling masses of terrorists that the Bush administration has created with it's hegemonistic(sp?) actions, don't seem to be interested in that method. Surely they could have scraped up the funds by now.

So where are all the molotov cocktails in movie theaters? What do you think is the reason why we don't see this all over the place?

Zero
Originally posted by Alias
A box cutter costs about a dollar, but flight training, plane tickets, forged documents and logistical control cost quite a bit.

A truck packed with fertilizer is not so expensive, but it has only happened once in this country and for some reason the boiling masses of terrorists that the Bush administration has created with it's hegemonistic(sp?) actions, don't seem to be interested in that method. Surely they could have scraped up the funds by now.

So where are all the molotov cocktails in movie theaters? What do you think is the reason why we don't see this all over the place?
Well, it certainly doesn't seem like any panic is justified, now does it? So why is the administration acting like terrorism is a constant threat? There is NOTHING you can do to stop terrorism, after all...

Alias
Originally posted by Zero
Well, it certainly doesn't seem like any panic is justified, now does it? So why is the administration acting like terrorism is a constant threat? There is NOTHING you can do to stop terrorism, after all...
Forgive me if this post wanders a bit.

I do not think that panic is the correct response. Also, I wouldn't say that 'panic' is an accurate characterization of the administrations response.

Most importantly, your statement about there being nothing you can do to stop terrorism is patently FALSE.

The correct response to any problem is to first accurately define the problem. Based on that information, you troubleshoot. Once the problem and it's causes are understood, you can implement 'the solution', or pick from a 'range of solutions'.

Terrorists are the result of oppressive governments. Oppressive governments are the cause, terrorists are the result. When governments stop treating people like sh|t, people will stop acting like sh|t.

So the solution is to rehabilitate, imprison, or kill terrorists and terrorist governments, and then to prevent terrorist governments from forming. There need be no limiting rules in this solution.(edit)Although sometimes some limiting rules are desireable.(/edit)

Terrorism, at least Islamist terrorism, is a constant threat, and will continue to be as long as there are Islamic countries with oppressive(or idiotic - see Palestine) governments.

It just happens to be that in the past, we believed the threat level to be rather low and acted accordingly. 911 taught us that the threat level is actually much higher, and the risk associated with not acting proactively are too great.

So we strike out at terrorists and terrorist countries preemptively. Although preemptive is probably the wrong word. It's like being in a boxing match and being the first one to throw a punch. They don't call it a preemptive punch. And it doesn't matter if the terrorist in the boxing ring with us is guilty of crimes against us or not. If he is a terrorist against anyone, he deserves to have his ass kicked, and we're the best ones to do the job.

Also, we should use every dirty trick in the book, and invent some new ones, when dealing with terrorists and oppressive governments.
Yes, yes, I know. The US was an accomplice to many of the crimes that oppressive governments have committed in the past. But it's never too late to change. Just because you taught someone to steal doesn't mean you can't some day change your ways, join the police force and arrest that same person.

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Zero
You start out ok:

The correct response to any problem is to first accurately define the problem. Based on that information, you troubleshoot. Once the problem and it's causes are understood, you can implement 'the solution', or pick from a 'range of solutions'.
Then you proceed to incorrectly define both the problem and the solution. Close, but no cigar. There are no such things as 'terrorist governments'.

Zero
Just because you taught someone to steal doesn't mean you can't some day change your ways, join the police force and arrest that same person.
Too bad America's choice for the past 30 years has been to hire another thug to deal with the problems created by the last one.

Alias
Originally posted by Zero
You start out ok:

Then you proceed to incorrectly define both the problem and the solution. Close, but no cigar. There are no such things as 'terrorist governments'.
So you don't like my definition. What do you call Saddam Hussein's regime if not a "terrorist government".

Alias
Originally posted by Zero
Too bad America's choice for the past 30 years has been to hire another thug to deal with the problems created by the last one.
I agree, it is a pretty stupid thing to do. But people, and governments can change. I'm optimistic.

Mentor
Originally posted by Alias
So you don't like my definition. What do you call Saddam Hussein's regime if not a "terrorist government".
Not to mention the Taliban. A government of the terrorists, by the terrorists, and for the terrorists. Others would include Lybia (they may be changing), Syria, and Iran.

I would define a "terrorist government" as one who sponsors terrorism as the primary (or just a major) part of their foreign policy.