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News Is the War on Terrorism Worth It?

  1. Yes

    18 vote(s)
    56.3%
  2. No

    14 vote(s)
    43.8%
  1. Sep 29, 2010 #1
    Is "War on Terrorism" properly focused at the root cause?
    Are proper tools being used and in the proper way?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 29, 2010 #2

    lisab

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    Terrorism is a tactic. I don't understand how we can go to war on a tactic.

    Maybe that's just semantics.
     
  4. Sep 29, 2010 #3

    Pengwuino

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    There's a big difference between "Is the War on terrorism worth it".... whatever that means, and "Is the War on Terror being fought in a sensible way".
     
  5. Sep 29, 2010 #4

    Office_Shredder

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    It is only two letters, so I will gladly pay it if that's all the war on terror is going to cost me. There are more t's where that one came from
     
  6. Sep 29, 2010 #5
    can you be specific? "war on terror" is just a propaganda slogan.
     
  7. Sep 30, 2010 #6
    Pengwuino said it perfectly. The majority of people around the world would agree that terrorism is something we need to fight, but are our tactics working?
     
  8. Sep 30, 2010 #7
    For example, an armed fashion Radical Islamists that are chiefly in Al-Qaeda and the Taliban.
     
  9. Sep 30, 2010 #8

    russ_watters

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    Yes, I think people harp on the grammatical incorrectness of "war on terror" too much in order to avoid the issue: Obviously, this is primarily a war against the Taliban and Al Qaeda. Or more broadly, a war against people who use terrorism against us. It also includes a local law enforcement component, of course (most visible at the airport). "War on terror", while grammatically incorrect is still easier to say in a soundbyte, but I doubt anyone is actually confused about what it means, despite the protests the phrase gets. 'Task which has the goal of keeping us safe from terrorism' just doesn't have as nice a ring to it.

    Either way, Proton and lisa - if you didn't know for the past 9 years what it meant, now you do: So do you have an answer?

    And by the way, if you've been confused about what the war on drugs, war on crime and war on poverty are about for the past 20 years, I can explain those to you too - probably best to start a new thread for them, though. Of course, they may be more difficult to get straight, as none include any actual war component at all.
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2010
  10. Sep 30, 2010 #9

    BobG

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    When Bush first used the phrase, the emphasis was distinctly placed on all terrorist groups worldwide and that emphasis actually had an impact.

    The [global, all-inclusive] war on terror had an immediate impact on Irish paramilitary groups in Northern Ireland. Not only was the public much less sympathetic to their actions, their funding suddenly became reduced to a trickle when their organizations were grouped with the likes of Al-Qaeda and Hamas.

    It immediately changed the views of Ghaddafi in Libya, with a real effect on Libyan actions. No one wanted to be the second country invaded in the War on Terror.

    It immediately changed the political statements of Musharraf in Pakistan, who had a very realistic fear of being the second country invaded in the War on Terror. Unfortunately, the change in Pakistani policies have been much weaker, at least partly because Pakistan's government has had much weaker control of its people.

    It even sparked significant changes in the public perception Iran wished to present to the world and even resulted in some offering of cooperation in the War on Terror. These were rebuffed, since Iran was slated to become part of the Axis of Evil.

    I still said "No", but I think Pengwuino's answer really captures my attitude about the War on Terror. We kind of saw that 9/11 gave the US 'worldwide political capital' that it could spend and we squandered it on things like Iraq. The Bush administration found it more beneficial to shift the War on Terror to a war against the Axis of Evil, which was a completely separate issue from terrorism. The War on Terror in a global sense just returned to the same basic geopolitical situation we had before 9/11.
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2010
  11. Sep 30, 2010 #10
    It is a highly sensitive and emotive debate. Yes terrorism is a tactic, but ‘War on Terror’ is an encompassing label applied to a series of tactics designed to counter the threat of that tactic, and as such, seems a perfectly sensible label to apply. It isn’t a formally declared war in the sense of international diplomacy, but the label is intended to convey the seriousness and the commitment with which the exercise is being undertaken.

    So, in response to the thread title, I would say that it isn’t a matter of evaluation. It seems to me that it is a war that the west has no choice but to fight. And I deny absolutely the suggestion that asserting that identifies me as a hawk. I am not at all hawkish, it is with genuine sadness that I recognise this truth. But I believe in liberalism, I believe in freedom of the individual and I recognise that ultimately, that is precisely what is under attack. Is that worth defending? I can brook no doubt about it.

    The heart of the debate, I think, is between those who believe that actions taken by the west to eliminate the terrorist threat risk angering the terrorists and thus provoking them into further attacks, and those who believe that it is failing to respond that would encourage the terrorist and lead to an increase in attacks. I belong in the latter group and I believe that the weight of history supports that view. We have good reasons here in Europe to know the flaws in the logic of appeasement.

    If you accept, as I do, that a response to the terrorist threat is necessary, then it is only a matter of what are the most effective tactics. It seems clear enough to me that some success at least has been achieved in denuding Al Qaeda’s capacity to operate, but I do not doubt that they continue to pose a very genuine and a very serious threat. It is difficult for those of us without the pertinent knowledge and expertise to really comment on the precise military and diplomatic tactics that produce the best result. But I do believe in the importance of keeping sight of the fact that it is not a war on a culture. It is not a war on Islam. It is a war on anyone prepared to use terrorist tactics to attack liberal freedoms in the pursuit of promoting more restrictive ideologies that seek to impose themselves on non-adherents.
     
  12. Sep 30, 2010 #11

    apeiron

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    This is back to front reasoning. The argument is that there were better ways of dealing with the problem rather than a series of military invasions of countries. Like a policing action, or a diplomatic action, or an economic action.

    Only a "war" justifies armies. It's a simple rhetorical trick that governments play and which citizens get fooled by.
     
  13. Sep 30, 2010 #12
    One fights terrorism mostly via intelligence, trustable genuine information. Those who invented the idea of "war on terror" are most definitely at the opposite of the spectrum in terms of "intelligence" and "trustable genuine information". They are the kind of people who fail to understand that behind grammatical incorrectness lies ignorance.
     
  14. Sep 30, 2010 #13
    The gov was already acquiring information, legally and not so legally, from just about everyone. Nine years later, all that information gathering hasn't had much impact.
     
  15. Sep 30, 2010 #14

    apeiron

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    Agreed. Except it is worse than that. Governments indulged in intentional misdirection to justify their actions - hoaxes like Blair's weapons of mass destruction.

    So either the decisions were ignorant, or they had wider purposes which were not being admitted. And indeed probably a mix of both given the folk involved, such as Cheney and Bush.

    No one disputes that terrorism has to be dealt with. The only question is what is effective.
     
  16. Sep 30, 2010 #15
    Very true, and deeply depressing. I think your final point is one which highlights the real difficulty here: as has been said earlier, terrorism is a tactic within the rubric of asymmetric warfare, and therefore requires customized responses based on the situation.
     
  17. Sep 30, 2010 #16

    mheslep

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    There is no War on Terror. Obama ended it, so says the fan boy Washington Post, the day he took office:
    Bush's 'War' On Terror Comes to a Sudden End
    Not modified, or gone in a different direction, but brought it to an End did the President "with a stroke of his pen".
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...012203929.html [Broken]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2017
  18. Sep 30, 2010 #17
    What is WRONG with people?! This would be pure humor if men and women weren't still dying as a result of whatever the hell we wish to call the current conflicts. I guess that writer doesn't obey conservation of momentum of concepts... :rolleyes:

    Thanks for the read however, it's sad, but interesting.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2017
  19. Sep 30, 2010 #18

    russ_watters

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    Well conspiracy theory aside, it isn't like diplomacy and international policing haven't been tried. Every president in at least the last 30 years has made a serious effort at diplomacy on the broader issue of ME peace. All I am saying is give war a chance. Heck, if done right it probably has better odds than diplomacy.
     
  20. Sep 30, 2010 #19
    i can't recall the last time we were attacked by the Taliban. and they've had plenty of opportunity to slip over either border, as both are wide open.
     
  21. Sep 30, 2010 #20

    apeiron

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    I'm guessing this is an attempt to be witty. How many people have died, how much has been destroyed, how much has been spent in a decade of the US war on terror? Please quantify what you consider to be a "reasonable chance".
     
  22. Sep 30, 2010 #21
    It is commonly called terrorism instead of war with, for example, Islamic Fascists, since most people are afraid of being being labeled as religious bigots.

    Whatever you choose to call it, it is the third greatest threat to Western Civilization. The first two being Political Correctness and Cell phones.

    Skippy
     
  23. Sep 30, 2010 #22
    You really think that these nuts are that level of threat? Compared to the economy, China, Oil use vs. Production, India-Pakistan, and more? It's one of the most frighting, but that's because of the unpredictability, it is not such a great threat.

    Lord we've come a long way from, "This great Nation will endure as it has endured, will revive and will prosper. So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself—nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance." (FDR)... and he was dealing with the greatest war in history.
     
  24. Oct 1, 2010 #23

    BobG

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    Actually, those words were from his first inaugaral address and he was dealing not with war, but with an economy even worse than ours.

    But, yes even our own economy is a bigger threat to our way of living than terrorism or Islamic Facists.
     
  25. Oct 1, 2010 #24
    I fail to see why people are talking about Iraq on a thread about the war on terror. Iraq is a seperate war from the war on terror, one declared by America and a few of its allies.

    It really has nothing to do with whats going on regarding al'qaeda and the taliban.

    To put it in simpler terms that I'm sure everyone will understand America is fighting war a AND war b, at the same time. Just because you don't agree with war b or whatever other arguments you have about war b says absolutely NOTHING about war a. Everything is different, the situation, the area, the enemy, the purpose, everything. Completely different.

    My answer to the poll was yes, I definitely support the war on terrorism and anyone who doesn't I would call a fool and slap. If people in 3rd world nations being attacked by us can see that the war on terror is worthwhile and we're clueless about it I'd say there's something wrong with the education system in your area.

    I also support the war in Iraq but that's a seperate discussion as I already pointed out.
     
  26. Oct 1, 2010 #25
    And you say it's not worthwhile meanwhile those that are getting destroyed etc. say it is? What's wrong here?
     
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