Osama Bin Laden killed by US in Pakistan

  • #351
rootX
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Interesting article:

And they ask how could the death of Bin Laden, the man who inspired so many suicide attacks with such dreadful results in Pakistan, provoke not celebrations - but angry, anti-American protests in Karachi.

Since 9/11 the US has provided Pakistan - or more accurately the Pakistani military - with more than $20bn (£12bn) in aid. It's a huge sum which some believe has prevented the country from slipping into bankruptcy.

...

The US offered billions of dollars worth of debt relief in return for Pakistani restraint.

But Islamabad went ahead anyway and matched India's tests.

A few days after the Pakistani tests a government minister explained one of the reasons that decision was taken.

"We are a now nuclear state," he said. "So no-one can let us go bust. We may have turned down billions of dollars. But many more billions will follow."

How right he was.

The problem is that Pakistan is preparing for American defeat in Afghanistan. In fact, it has been doing so for nearly a decade. Within weeks of America's 2001 invasion of Afghanistan, Pakistan concluded the Americans could not win there.

With the US now preparing to pull out, leaving behind a strong Taliban movement, Pakistan's generals feel their assessment has been fully vindicated.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-south-asia-13318673
 
  • #352
Ivan Seeking
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Interesting article:

We invaded their country. Of course they're ticked. But I thought this part was more interesting.

...while some people may have gone onto the streets to protest against the American action, very few voiced sympathy for Bin Laden.

And, as ever, the vast majority of Pakistanis were not protesting at all but were at home trying to cope with challenges faced by poor people everywhere: feeding their children and hopefully educating them, too.
 
  • #353
Ivan Seeking
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Earlier, I have been reading that Al Qaeda does not depend on centralized model under one leader.

That's pretty vague. Who do you mean when you say "Al Qaeda"; anyone who says they are Al Qaeda? Does this include each and every anti-American nut sitting in his garage? If they are not acting under a central authority then they are not one organization, rather disparate groups of people who pose far less of a threat than a well-financed, well-coordinated group acting under a central command.
 
  • #354
fuzzyfelt
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Navy SEAL dog.

:smile:

While such details don't matter any more but his wife was unconscious so it was his daughter.

Couldn't there be more than one wife?
 
  • #355
OmCheeto
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I remarked a while back on facebook that maybe bin Laden's strategy was a mistake, as a lone person was responsible for more change in 3 months than he had been responsible for in over a decade.

A couple of days ago, I decided that bin Laden may have recognized this himself, and told his followers to divulge his whereabouts. Or perhaps someone else had the same revelation, and decided that "his was not the path".

MohamedBouazizi.jpg


Someone posted on Al Jazeera something along a similar line of thought:
http://english.aljazeera.net/indepth/opinion/2011/05/20115272712668919.html"

Indeed, what must have been most crushing for bin Laden was the rise of the so-called Arab Spring. The very people in the Arab world whose concerns bin Laden claimed most importantly to represent have revealed the utter fallacy at the heart of Sheikh Osama's message.

The al-Qaeda leader had long professed that the only means of liberation for the Muslims was to strike at the Western powers who propped up their repressive leaders, and thereby to undo the vast US-led conspiracy to subjugate them. What the Arab youth have shown is that the means of their liberation is in their own hands, and has always been. Indeed, they have shown that in the face of their moral example, the Western world, more often than not, will be forced to support them.

Robert Grenier, retired CIA.
 
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  • #356
Ivan Seeking
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A couple of days ago, I decided that bin Laden may have recognized this himself, and told his followers to divulge his whereabouts. Or perhaps someone else had the same revelation, and decided that "his was not the path".

Someone posted on Al Jazeera something along a similar line of thought:

He doesn't suggest that Bin Laden or anyone near him purposely gave up his whereabouts.

But it is true in any event that with the Arab awakening and the death of the charasmatic leader who saw himself as indispensable, Al Qaeda is but a shadow of its former self - soon to be tossed into the trash bin of history as nothing but a bad memory.

Between his speech and Cairo, which is credited with helping along the Arab awakening, and now getting Bin Laden, Obama will likely be credited as the President who defeated terrorism - along with a street vendor in Tunisia, and a lot of brave protesters in Tunisia and Egypt.
 
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  • #357
Ivan Seeking
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Remember that Nobel Prize that he "didn't deserve"? I suspect it will be seen as proper in retrospect.
 
  • #358
Newai
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Remember that Nobel Prize that he "didn't deserve"? I suspect it will be seen as proper in retrospect.

You mean to say that the committee will then be recognized for anticipating Obama's claimed success for obl's demise?
 
  • #359
OmCheeto
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Remember that Nobel Prize that he "didn't deserve"? I suspect it will be seen as proper in retrospect.

He was definitely the right person at the right time.

But back to that dead dude:
http://english.aljazeera.net/indepth/opinion/2011/05/20115783235763346.html" [Broken]

Though al-Qaeda will be temporarily re-energised by the killing of bin Laden, it will not be enough to build up the sort of momentum and broad-based sympathy that they enjoyed at the height of the US-led occupation of Iraq. ...

Most of the victims of al-Qaeda related violence since 9/11 have been the Muslims of bin Laden's cherished umma. ...

It is unlikely that the re-imagining of bin Laden in the wake of his death can re-invent al-Qaeda's track record of shameful and ultimately pointless bloodshed.

Dr Alia Brahimi, Research Fellow at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Frankly, I don't know how anyone could have been a follower of bin Laden, except in a weird, "Go Yankee's", kind of baseball way.

disclaimer: I am not a follower of baseball, so my use of "Yankee's" should be used only in the loosest "Go Cub's", kind of sense.
 
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  • #360
rootX
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That's pretty vague. Who do you mean when you say "Al Qaeda"; anyone who says they are Al Qaeda? Does this include each and every anti-American nut sitting in his garage? If they are not acting under a central authority then they are not one organization, rather disparate groups of people who pose far less of a threat than a well-financed, well-coordinated group acting under a central command.

I cannot find the link I posted near the beginning talking about how leadership was passed down to lower levels (but that article did not provide any evidence). In addition, it also talked about how Al Qeada lost support all over the Middle East. Currently, I think Al Qeada is most popular among unemployed/illiterate youths or teenagers so making it just "a desperate group of like minded people".

BBC vs CNN views on what Al Qaeda is:

Al Qaeda is not an organization that commands massive resources. It doesn’t have a big army. It doesn’t have vast reservoirs of funds that it can direct easily across the world.

Al Qaeda was an idea and an ideology, symbolized by an extremely charismatic figure in Osama bin Laden. Bin Laden was this Saudi prince-like figure who had gone into the mountains of Afghanistan forsaking the riches of a multibillion-dollar fortune, fought against the Soviets, demonstrated personal bravery and then crafted a seductive message about Islam and Islamic extremism as a path to destroy the corrupt regimes of the Middle East.

History teaches us that the loss of the charismatic leader - of the symbol - is extraordinarily damaging for the organization. It is very difficult to keep such an organization together, particularly in the absence of great power backers.

In the case of al Qaeda, this is a virtual organization held together by its message and the inspiration it provided. A large part of that inspiration was bin Laden. Ayman Zawahiri may have been the brains behind the outfit, but he did not excite people. When people volunteered for jihad, they were volunteering to be bin Laden’s foot soldiers, not Ayman Zawahiri’s or Khalid Sheikh Mohammed’s. The loss of bin Laden’s personality is hugely important because it was so much part of al Qaeda’s appeal.

http://globalpublicsquare.blogs.cnn.com/2011/05/02/al-qaeda-is-dead/

People have been arguing for years that the Base (what Al Qaeda means) was a database, a network, way of putting like-minded people in touch with each other, rather than an army...
I suspect Jihadism, the reaction against the West's dominance, a most postmodern revulsion at modernism, will not go away. It may fade for a while and resurface in another guise, with another name, or under new leaders under a old banner.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-13314747

OmCheeto link above me also indicates decentralized Al Qeada.
 
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  • #361
DaveC426913
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Frankly, I don't know how anyone could have been a follower of bin Laden, except in a weird, "Go Yankee's", kind of baseball way.
Why do you not think anyone could follow him? Or at least the principles he professes?

Do you not think that perhaps the failing is yours that you cannot empathize with people who feel the West is corrupting the Middle-East (and, witout getting into it, fifty other things that the Middle East objects to about the West's intrusion)?
 
  • #362
OmCheeto
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Why do you not think anyone could follow him? Or at least the principles he professes?

Principles? hmm... I guess when I think principles, I think good things.

Osama's ideology included the idea that civilians, including women and children, are legitimate targets of jihad.

Do you not think that perhaps the failing is yours that you cannot empathize with people who feel the West is corrupting the Middle-East (and, witout getting into it, fifty other things that the Middle East objects to about the West's intrusion)?

I can totally relate. I canceled my cable 17 months ago. But I don't think it's necessary to kill the neighbor kids just because I don't like Jersey Shore.
 
  • #363
DaveC426913
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Principles? hmm... I guess when I think principles, I think good things.
Good things by whose account?

Are Westerners the arbiters of what is a good principle to the people of the Middle East?
 
  • #364
rootX
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http://ipripak.org/factfiles/ff105.pdf [Broken]

I was looking for Pakistan views and came across above a report by IPRI (Islamabad Policy Research Institute) from ~2008.

Obama lovers will love "16. Obama Breathes Fire, McCain Shows Restraint over Pakistan 19"

It goes over many 70 different topics (mainly talking about impacts on Pakistan in addition to support offered by Pakistan)
 
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  • #365
OmCheeto
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Good things by whose account?

Are Westerners the arbiters of what is a good principle to the people of the Middle East?

I would say that not killing people you disagree with is a good universal principle.

Unless of course, they are mass murderers, intent on killing more.

hmm... On the other hand, I think I'm starting to see where you are pulling me to.

pfbeingpulledtowardssomethingtricksterish.jpg

 
  • #366
Ivan Seeking
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You mean to say that the committee will then be recognized for anticipating Obama's claimed success for obl's demise?

One of the reasons he was given the award was his reaching out to the Muslim world and fundamentally changing the face of the US foreign policy [referred to by his critics as being weak and selling out the US]. He will obviously be credited with getting Bin Laden, but also for sending the right message during [preceding] a critical time of change that acted to bolster the Arab awakening, which is what will ultimately defeat terrorism as we know it. I believed when he was given the award, as I do now, that the Nobel committee recognized the signficance of his words.
 
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  • #367
DaveC426913
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I would say that not killing people you disagree with is a good universal principle.

Unless of course, they are mass murderers, intent on killing more.

I think it's more than a 'disagreement'. I think that they are experiencing the destruction of their way of life by the Western invasion. I think they feel have been forced unwillingly into a 'destroy or be destroyed' situation. I think they feel this was not their battle, but was brought to him by the encroachment of the West. They would not be the first by a long shot in history to feel this way (Mayans, Chinese, Polynesians, native N.Americans, etc.) about (originally) Europeans, but they may be the first who think they stand a chance of not being overrun by them.

We in the West are pounded with 'why are they haters' propoganda until we are almost convinced that all they are is mass murderers, going on killing sprees.



None of the above has to be true or verifiable, I'm simply objecting to idea that we could think they don't have strong beliefs principles, and that at least some of them see OBL as trying to uphold them, even if his methods are extreme.
 
  • #368
OmCheeto
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I think it's more than a 'disagreement'. I think that they are experiencing the destruction of their way of life by the Western invasion. I think they feel have been forced unwillingly into a 'destroy or be destroyed' situation. I think they feel this was not their battle, but was brought to him by the encroachment of the West. They would not be the first by a long shot in history to feel this way (Mayans, Chinese, Polynesians, native N.Americans, etc.) about (originally) Europeans, but they may be the first who think they stand a chance of not being overrun by them.

We in the West are pounded with 'why are they haters' propoganda until we are almost convinced that all they are is mass murderers, going on killing sprees.

None of the above has to be true or verifiable, I'm simply objecting to idea that we could think they don't have strong beliefs principles, and that at least some of them see OBL as trying to uphold them, even if his methods are extreme.

Ok. I agree.

But I find it odd that none of my Muslim facebook friends mentioned the killing of bin Laden. My Tunisian friend has been almost completely silent except for images he's posted since January.

pftunisa1bloodshed.jpg


pftunisia2unity.jpg


pftunisia3hope.jpg

My Kuwaiti friend, who now lives in New Jersey, is quit the chatterbox, but did not mention the killing.

I suppose there is too much going on everywhere to worry about such a now inconsequential person.

My Greek friend Zowie, though not a Muslim as far as I can tell, has lots to say. Although as you might imagine, it's all Greek to me.

She posted a 2003 documentary by John Pilger, which pretty much mirrors your comments. And hence, my agreement.
 
  • #369
turbo
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Anyone with an interest in bin Laden ought to look up some of Michael Scheuer's interviews regarding him. Scheuer started the bin Laden desk at the CIA to study his activities, associates, funding, etc. He claims that he gave Clinton's team 8-10 good opportunities to capture or kill him, but they didn't do it. He also gave Bush's team good actionable intelligence. In each case, the national security people were unwilling to act. He excoriates those same national security people because they publicly painted bin Laden as a lunatic, instead of a shrewd, calculating man with an agenda. Bin Laden had reasons for doing what he did. We might not agree with his reasons, nor the tactics he used, but it is incredibly ignorant to pretend that he didn't have reasons or to fail try to understand them. In effect, national security advisors politicized foreign policy on bin Laden, and allowed him to survive by marginalizing the importance of his capture or execution.
 
  • #370
OmCheeto
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Anyone with an interest in bin Laden ought to look up some of Michael Scheuer's interviews regarding him. Scheuer started the bin Laden desk at the CIA to study his activities, associates, funding, etc. He claims that he gave Clinton's team 8-10 good opportunities to capture or kill him, but they didn't do it. He also gave Bush's team good actionable intelligence. In each case, the national security people were unwilling to act. He excoriates those same national security people because they publicly painted bin Laden as a lunatic, instead of a shrewd, calculating man with an agenda. Bin Laden had reasons for doing what he did. We might not agree with his reasons, nor the tactics he used, but it is incredibly ignorant to pretend that he didn't have reasons or to fail try to understand them. In effect, national security advisors politicized foreign policy on bin Laden, and allowed him to survive by marginalizing the importance of his capture or execution.

I always saw him as shrewd and intelligent. It was his followers that I thought were lunatics.

I probably should have worded my earlier phrase a bit differently, such that Dave and I wouldn't get into a trivial argument. I mean really, there are illiterate people in every society that will follow a banner carrier. I just can't comprehend them.

pf_ISeeStupidPeopleEverywhere.jpg
 
  • #371
AlephZero
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That's pretty vague. Who do you mean when you say "Al Qaeda"; anyone who says they are Al Qaeda? Does this include each and every anti-American nut sitting in his garage? If they are not acting under a central authority then they are not one organization, rather disparate groups of people who pose far less of a threat than a well-financed, well-coordinated group acting under a central command.

I don't agree with your assessment of the danger there. They are not necessarily "anti-American nuts". Try the idea that they are all devotees of the same sect of Islam (which may or may not be a complete perversion of what the Prophet originally intended, but that's an irrelevant detail) whose basic objective is to restore a government that collapsed 1500 years ago and make it the rulers of the whole world. Their preferred fighting method (again based on their religious beliefs, not on military logic) is "one member, one suicide bomb".

Now, consider this thought experiment: suppose a fundamentalist sect based in the US decided their guaranteed route to the afterlife was by gunning down as many "unbelievers" as possible before killing themselves. For the sake of argument, suppose some charismatic leader had grown that group to say 1 million members under the radar of the authorities, before they started actually shooting people.

They don't need much organization. It's legal and commonplace for people to own guns. It would be just about impossible to track electronic communications to get any real information out of the background noise, and everbody has a protected right to "free speech" in any case. Their "terrorist" attacks would appear to be completely random, because that's exactly what they are. Now, devise a plan to eradicate that movement, when about 1 in 300 of the general population are fully committed members of it, but you have no idea which ones.

And I wonder why the "war on terror" in the middle east didn't seem to work out the way it was supposed to...
 
  • #372
russ_watters
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There is such a thing as a shrewd, calculating lunatic. It is a mistake to think that just because he was good at what he did that that means he was just a guy who overreacted a little to a legitimate gripe. He was a nutcase.
 
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  • #373
DaveC426913
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Now, consider this thought experiment: suppose a fundamentalist sect based in the US decided their guaranteed route to the afterlife was by gunning down as many "unbelievers" as possible before killing themselves. For the sake of argument, suppose some charismatic leader had grown that group to say 1 million members under the radar of the authorities, before they started actually shooting people.
I wonder of you meant to imply by analogy that the beliefs behind the Islam reaction to the West is anywhere near as simplistic as that one summarized paragraph. Do you really think that they have no moral compass except their own salvation?
 
  • #374
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One of the reasons he was given the award was his reaching out to the Muslim world and fundamentally changing the face of the US foreign policy [referred to by his critics as being weak and selling out the US]. He will obviously be credited with getting Bin Laden, but also for sending the right message during [preceding] a critical time of change that acted to bolster the Arab awakening, which is what will ultimately defeat terrorism as we know it . I believed when he was given the award, as I do now, that the Nobel committee recognized the signficance of his words.

(my bold)
He lit the fuse that set the Middle East on fire, that overthrew the power structure in Egypt that maintained peace with Israel, and now we'll see terrorism redefined? This sounds more like a recipe for WWIII - IMO.
 
  • #375
Referring to post #373

For some self interest is all that is needed, any others with the same viewpoint stimulates growth of a sort that could build cults/sects/cliques like that - IMO
 
  • #376
AlephZero
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I wonder of you meant to imply by analogy that the beliefs behind the Islam reaction to the West is anywhere near as simplistic as that one summarized paragraph. Do you really think that they have no moral compass except their own salvation?

If you look at the total volume of activity, I'm not sure that "reaction to the West" is an good description of the totality what is gong on. It might be better to categorize it as one relatively small sect's "reaction to everything and everybody apart from themselves", including the rest of Islam. But, "Why do you rob banks? Because that's where the money is. Why do you destroy the WTC? Because that's where the publicity is."

You could argue that none of the Abrahamic religions have any moral compass except the salvation of their believers. If you genuinely believe that everything you will experience, for an infinite period of time, is under the direct control of an omniscient and omniponent being, that doesn't leave much wriggle-room for anything apart from "salvation". You do whatever you think your god wants you to do, unless (Ref: the Bible, Psalm 14) you are a fool.

Making relative value judgements about moral compasses is dangerous here, considering the the links between a former US president and astrology, or serious presidental candidates and the church of the LDS.
 
  • #377
I think it was Nancy who used astrologists. I forgot who the Mormon official is.
 
  • #378
DaveC426913
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You could argue that none of the Abrahamic religions have any moral compass except the salvation of their believers. If you genuinely believe that everything you will experience, for an infinite period of time, is under the direct control of an omniscient and omniponent being, that doesn't leave much wriggle-room for anything apart from "salvation". You do whatever you think your god wants you to do, unless (Ref: the Bible, Psalm 14) you are a fool.
Wow. To argue thus would be to, in a single fell swoop, dismiss the entire non-atheist population of the world (including all Christianity) as zombies who, to a greater or lesser degree, simply do their God's bidding. And then dismiss that following of a God as a lack of a moral compass.

You might as well say "Every human is a mindless zombie, blindly following this silly thing called their morals. How can they possibly do right by their fellow humans when they're all caught up trying to distinguish Right from Wrong?"

Yours has got to be the most outrageous statement I have ever witnessed in seven years on PF.
 
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  • #379
AlephZero
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Wow. To argue thus would be to, in a single fell swoop, dismiss the entire non-atheist population of the world (including all Christianity) as zombies who, to a greater or lesser degree, simply do their God's bidding.
You are making the false dichotomy of equating the dogma of a religion (as defined by its Holy Books) with how most of the people who self-identify as "believing in it" relate to the dogma.

Most of them tend to ignore the stuff in the Holy Books they don't like, and think for themselves to fill in the gaps. It's the minority who don't do that who tend to cause trouble, expecially when a smart and charismatic leader shows up.

There is a sliding scale here from Wahabi to Sunni in Islam, or Ultra-Orthodox to Reformed in Judaism. Insert your own Christian examples. It's sometimes said (only partly in jest) that the greatest strength of the Church of England is that you can belong to it without believing in anything in particlar, or even in anything at all.

And then dismiss that following of a God as a lack of a moral compass.
A useful moral compass is not one that is stuck permanently in one direction, even if that direction points straight to "heaven".
 
  • #380
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If you look at the total volume of activity, I'm not sure that "reaction to the West" is an good description of the totality what is gong on. It might be better to categorize it as one relatively small sect's "reaction to everything and everybody apart from themselves", including the rest of Islam. But, "Why do you rob banks? Because that's where the money is. Why do you destroy the WTC? Because that's where the publicity is."

i don't think the trade tower was that simple. it was a center of trading. it wasn't just a building with a bunch of people in it, but in a very real way a tool of empire. also, the pentagon was hit, and the capitol was targeted. 9/11 overall was a direct attack on the US government.
 
  • #381
AlephZero
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I think it was Nancy who used astrologists.
And most smart men have figured out that the way to have a quiet life is go along with what your wife tells you to do :smile:

I forgot who the Mormon official is.
Google "Romney Mormon".
 
  • #382
DaveC426913
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You are making the false dichotomy of equating the dogma of a religion (as defined by its Holy Books) with how most of the people who self-identify as "believing in it" relate to the dogma.
You were the one that spoke unilateally about an family of religions.

No false dichotomy over here; you made a ridiculous claim (even if you tried worm out of it with 'one could argue...').
 
  • #383
DaveC426913
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This has gotten into a discussion of the merits of religions. That is forbidden here.

We can still talk about the people involved, we simply must assume their beliefs to be valid for the sake of argument. Aleph, to continue in the discussion, you will have to take as granted that the people have valid reasons for their beliefs that are beyond our pervue to question. I'm going to request that this be enforced.
 
  • #384
AlephZero
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i don't think the trade tower was that simple. it was a center of trading. it wasn't just a building with a bunch of people in it, but in a very real way a tool of empire. also, the pentagon was hit, and the capitol was targeted. 9/11 overall was a direct attack on the US government.
Yes, but the point was not the attack itself, but the reaction to it.

The reaction was not caused the people who hijkacked the planes. It was caused by the attitude of the nation that was attacked.

Check out Obama's speech when OBL was killed, and count the number of times the word "nation" occurs. It's etched into the American psyche. You might not realize how much different that is from the way most of the world thinkgs, because that's what you have grown up with all your life. But hey, I don't really know (or care) whether I'm supposed to describe myself as English, or British, or European, or what. It's just not important to me.

Compare the reaction from 9/11 to the bombings in London, Madrid, Bali, India, etc. Would it have been so "effective" to wipe out a tower block in the London financial district and target the Houses of Parliament? Of course not. The Brits have had religiously motivated terrorist attacks on their territory for at least 400 years already. Compared with the damage in WWII (and people who lived through that are still alive), one collapsed tower block is nothing much...
 
  • #385
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Closed until I have time to catch up on this thread.
 

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