Searching for the Roots of 9/11

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  • #1
A bunch of us might want to watch this.

**********************

Thomas L. Friedman Reporting: Searching for the Roots of 9/11

Discovery Channel 30
Mar 26 09:00pm CST

The roots of Muslim rage; mistrust toward America.
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
Don't know how you folks outside of the US might get a chance to watch this show, but I saw the guy interviewed yesterday and it seemed like he has found some answers.
 
  • #3
should be interesting, i watch little to no television so i would have probably missed it. thanks for pointing it out Alias.:smile:


oh and here is some good stuff on the topic as well:


http://www.guerrillanews.com/after_math/qt_hi_a.html [Broken]
http://www.guerrillanews.com/after_math/qt_hi_b.html [Broken]
http://www.guerrillanews.com/after_math/qt_hi_c.html [Broken]
http://www.guerrillanews.com/after_math/qt_hi_d.html [Broken]
 
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  • #4
Sounds very interesting thank you for telling us alias! I have much hoework to catch up on but I have an hour so hopefully I will finish it before the program starts...
 
  • #5
Does anyone know who anything about this Tommy Friedman guy?
 
  • #6
no clue, that is why i use the ambiguous term "interesting." :wink:
 
  • #7
It totally kicked my butt. It was very revealing... to me anyway.

The problem, its cause, and the solution are at hand. (Somebody make me king and I'll knock it out real quick. :smile: )

More in another thread.
 
  • #8
i wish Bush could have seen that before making the statements about how they "hate freedom" which so many people seem to have taken to heart. i actually have been familiar with the perspective presented in the show which is why i have been generally opposed to the actions of the current administration. i am really glad you found value in it Alias and i hope others might take the time to watch it when it is broadcasted again next tuesday at 8est.
 
  • #9
THE PROBLEM and ITS CAUSE

Here is what I have learned regarding the problem.

Many Arabs and muslims hate the US.

The reasons that many Arabs and muslims hate the US are...

1. Their regimes have allowed their societies to fall behind other developing nations. The US, by and large, has supported these regimes.

2. Because their regimes have allowed them to fall behind, they suffer from humiliation, jealousy, and poverty of dignity.

3. While many muslims look up to the US and her values, they see us as two-faced when our foriegn policy doesn't appear to reflect our value system. They feel that the US is a bully and doesn't care about their plight. The US's support of Israel reinforces this.

This is what follows...

When the utopian vision of an Islamic state preached by charismatic leaders meets the rage of the hatred for the west, the result is Islamist terrorism.

Anyone care to solve this one?
 
  • #10


Originally posted by Alias
Here is what I have learned regarding the problem.

Many Arabs and muslims hate the US.

The reasons that many Arabs and muslims hate the US are...

1. Their regimes have allowed their societies to fall behind other developing nations. The US, by and large, has supported these regimes.

2. Because their regimes have allowed them to fall behind, they suffer from humiliation, jealousy, and poverty of dignity.

3. While many muslims look up to the US and her values, they see us as two-faced when our foriegn policy doesn't appear to reflect our value system. They feel that the US is a bully and doesn't care about their plight. The US's support of Israel reinforces this.

This is what follows...

When the utopian vision of an Islamic state preached by charismatic leaders meets the rage of the hatred for the west, the result is Islamist terrorism.

Anyone care to solve this one?

Do you believe any of this?
 
  • #11
All of that was straight from the horses mouth and I believe every bit of it.

Which parts do you not agree with?
 
  • #12
Originally posted by Alias
All of that was straight from the horses mouth and I believe every bit of it.

Which parts do you not agree with?

I more-or-less believe the whole thing. Frankly, if you want to get a good, balancedview of teh war, Friedman is a good place to start.
 
  • #13
i think it is important to mention that the "charismatic leaders" you are referring to are ones of small extremist factions.

as for how to solve the problem, most importantly is treating the many Arabic people who are not terrorist with respect. cutting of funding their oppressive ruling class would be a good step in the right direction. another big step in the right direction would be to work to end the conflict in Israel/Palestine. i recommend working for an resolution to push Israeli boarders back to the 1967 agreement and fill in the space between the current boarders and that with a demilitarized zone and UN regulated troops on either side to keep those boarders.
 
  • #14
Oh no! Don't ever mention Israel! The Bible says...whatever, so we have to support their terrorism!
 
  • #15
Shock and Awe

Quit bein' a detective? Zero!

I agree with most of what kyleb just said.
 
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  • #16
ya i think he should rephrase "The Bible says..." to "the misguided Bible beating fanatics say..."


while i am not one that subscribes to any particular religion, i am a man of faith and i have spent much time studding the Bible. when it comes down to it, my beliefs are much more in line with that of Jewish than Christianity, but i do find value in both and i have yet to see any justification for the current situation in the Holy Land in either the old or new Testament. well i suppose you could consider that the rapture is only supposed to come after the building of the third Temple which isn't going to happen as long a the current Mosk stands, but i really don't see any reason to egg on the apocalypse. best i can tell, the only people pushing for that are the ones who cannot find joy in this life; and while i don't normally condone suicide, i would much prefer they did that as opposed to killing others.
 
  • #17
Originally posted by kyleb
ya i think he should rephrase "The Bible says..." to "the misguided Bible beating fanatics say..."


while i am not one that subscribes to any particular religion, i am a man of faith and i have spent much time studding the Bible. when it comes down to it, my beliefs are much more in line with that of Jewish than Christianity, but i do find value in both and i have yet to see any justification for the current situation in the Holy Land in either the old or new Testament. well i suppose you could consider that the rapture is only supposed to come after the building of the third Temple which isn't going to happen as long a the current Mosk stands, but i really don't see any reason to egg on the apocalypse. best i can tell, the only people pushing for that are the ones who cannot find joy in this life; and while i don't normally condone suicide, i would much prefer they did that as opposed to killing others.

Ya, maybe I should...


There is a powerful element in the Republican Party that sees turmoil in the Middle East to be fulfilling prophesy that ends in teh destruction of teh world. So, maybe they don't mind seeing massive death and destruction, so long as it is Arabs, and not their so-called 'chosen people'...and should they really have control of anything more dangerous than a pencil?
 
  • #18
Njorl
Science Advisor
265
17
One problem with the Israel-Palestine issue is that it is not in the interest of either leader to have peace. While for Sharon, peace would just mean losing the next election, for Arafat, peace is a death sentence. While the majority of Palestinians want peace, there are enough with guns who can only accept victory. Peace is defeat. Any leader who obtains peace without victory is a traitor who will be killed.

The rest of the terrorist world is much like this. Once a culture resorts to terrorism, it is hard to make it stop. Catering to the terrorists increases it. Repressing the culture from which it springs increases it. Terrorist leaders can not compromise, because they fear the fanaticism of their followers. Annihilating the terrorists is usually not acceptable to decent people, because there is usually a grain (or more) of justice in their cause.

I think the best solution is to enhance a legitimate, powerful, non-terrorist entity to act on behalf of the culture. This is difficult, because the terrorists generally act to discredit this entity. Israel tried making Jordan the spokesmen for the Palestinians, and contributed to a civil war in Jordan. Lately, the Palestinian Authority has been given that role. We'll see how it goes. We'll see if this new prime minister has real power, and is willing to be a martyr. The world will insist that he die for peace.

Njorl
 
  • #19
Originally posted by Zero
There is a powerful element in the Republican Party that sees turmoil in the Middle East to be fulfilling prophesy that ends in teh destruction of teh world.

That has to be the stupidest thing I've ever heard. You live in a very strange world.

I think what you might be trying to say is...

There are some people on the fringe of the Christian community that sees turmoil in the Middle East to be fulfilling prophesy that ends in the destruction of the world.
 
  • #20
but the thing is that many of those fruit-loops have invaded the Republican party over the past twenty odd years.
 
  • #21
Yeah, it always creeps me out when I realize just how many people take things like Left Behind seriously. Just like when I'm confronted with the fact that some people who read Anne Coulter don't do it entirely for humor....
 
  • #22
kat
39
0
Originally posted by kyleb
i think it is important to mention that the "charismatic leaders" you are referring to are ones of small extremist factions.

as for how to solve the problem, most importantly is treating the many Arabic people who are not terrorist with respect. cutting of funding their oppressive ruling class would be a good step in the right direction. another big step in the right direction would be to work to end the conflict in Israel/Palestine. i recommend working for an resolution to push Israeli boarders back to the 1967 agreement and fill in the space between the current boarders and that with a demilitarized zone and UN regulated troops on either side to keep those boarders.

Well..A couple of things I think need to be re-thunk here..
The "charismatic leaders" I see and read are the religious leaders in most Arab countries, including our so called Allies. Have you ever perused the media on the weekend and read what the religious leaders are saying? keeping in mind that they hold a bit more weight then ours?

As for the Palestine/Israeli issue..that would be great if it were realistic. 1. Palestinians have repeatedly inferred that they would never settle for the 1967 borders, they want ROR and the Palestine that they have publicly and repeatedly declared to invision (in arabic news) includes all of the land of Israel as well. In fact it's been stated on this forum by a muslim in israel that is most certainly the case.
Also, I would never, ever, in a million years trust the UN to peacekeep unless there is already peace, Nor will Israel..they know better..they remember the UN peacekeepers who kept peace by standing there and watching while their men were publicly hung and did nothing NOTHING to stop it. Do we need to delve into the latest peacekeeping missions where the UN in essence rounded up the people like cattle and only made it easier for genocide to be committed against them? you are nuts if you think Israel will ever, ever allow UN to be Peacekeeping for them.


Back to the Discovery show, can you outline it a bit..I don't do cable, in fact I seldom do TV, it's evil you know.
 
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  • #23
I actually took notes during the program, but after going over them realized that the jist of the thing was pretty simple and to the point. I gave a real short summary earlier in this thread.

If you have a friend that is evil and also has cable, it'll air again next Tuesday at 8PM EST. Don't quote me on the time, but the date is right. Maybe they could tape it for you. It really is worth it.




Off topic....

Is my Avatar fooling anyone?
 
  • #24
Siv
Gold Member
89
5


Originally posted by Alias
Here is what I have learned regarding the problem.

Many Arabs and muslims hate the US.

The reasons that many Arabs and muslims hate the US are...

1. Their regimes have allowed their societies to fall behind other developing nations. The US, by and large, has supported these regimes.
Symptomatic or superficial statement. Why did their regimes, supported by the US, cause them to fall behind other developing nations ? And why did the US decide to support just these regimes and not others ?

2. Because their regimes have allowed them to fall behind, they suffer from humiliation, jealousy, and poverty of dignity.
Again, doesn't exactly figure but I'll let it go for now.

3. While many muslims look up to the US and her values, they see us as two-faced when our foriegn policy doesn't appear to reflect our value system. They feel that the US is a bully and doesn't care about their plight. The US's support of Israel reinforces this.
True. And I would add that what they see is mostly accurate.

This is what follows...

When the utopian vision of an Islamic state preached by charismatic leaders meets the rage of the hatred for the west, the result is Islamist terrorism.
Symptomatic treatment again. You've still not address the reason for the rage fully.

Alias, such superficial analyses wont help anything long term. Denying human nature wont get us anywhere. Humans are not noble savages soiled by bad culture. Violence and aggression are innate in us and have resulted in bloody wars throughout history. In fact, the number and frequency of wars have actually reduced now.
There is no difference between wars and terrorism. One is carried out by a bigger organization than the other, thats all. Just because one bunch of people wear uniforms and have coerced support from more parties, does not mean that what they're doing is not terrorism.
A Palestinian suicide bomber blowing up people in a restaurant is no different from a US missile blowing up an Iraqi civilian village. Both kill. Both try and influence behaviour based on terror.
The Geneva convention is the most ridiculous thing ever drafted.
How can you kill and terrorise in a civilised manner ?
The whole concept of killing, war and terror are barbaric and uncivilised. Drafting a document to specify how and when you can kill doesn't make it any more civilised.

- S.
 
  • #25


Originally posted by Alias
Here is what I have learned regarding the problem.

Many Arabs and muslims hate the US.

The reasons that many Arabs and muslims hate the US are...

1. Their regimes have allowed their societies to fall behind other developing nations. The US, to some extent(edit), has supported these regimes.

2. Because their regimes have allowed them to fall behind, they suffer from humiliation, jealousy, and poverty of dignity.

3. While many muslims look up to the US and her values, they see us as two-faced when our foriegn policy doesn't appear to reflect our value system. They feel that the US is a bully and doesn't care about their plight. The US's support of Israel reinforces this.

This follows...

When the utopian vision of an Islamic state preached by charismatic leaders meets the rage of the hatred for the west, the result is Islamist terrorism.
Siv replies...
Originally posted by Siv
Alias, such superficial analyses wont help anything long term.
Please elaborate with the details of this (superficially correct) analysis, so that we might try and solve the problem.
 
  • #26
rutwig
44
1


Originally posted by Alias
Many Arabs and muslims hate the US.
The reasons that many Arabs and muslims hate the US are...
1. Their regimes have allowed their societies to fall behind other developing nations. The US, by and large, has supported these regimes.

This is without doubt false. Many of the islamist nations have fallen behind other developing countries as a consequence of post-colonialism (this excludes the US, but not european countries like the UK, France, Spain etc), when fundamentalism regimes and internal wars destroyed the achievments of the previous colonial governments.
It would be interesting to hear which regimes were supported by the US.
The inconditional support to Israel could be at most applied to the palestinians, but not to other countries like Syria, Lebanon or Iran. That they share the same religion does not mean they constitute a brotherhood. The best example is the war in Arabia in the twenties, when Lt. Lawrence tried without success to constitute an arabic nation.
I'm more inclined to believe that they hate the US because it is the most obvious target, for being the place where money, influence, etc concentrates.
 
  • #27
Ok rutwig, is this more accurate?

The reasons that many Arabs and muslims hate the US are...

1. Their regimes (for whatever reason)have allowed their societies to fall behind other developing nations.

2. Because their regimes have allowed them to fall behind, they suffer from humiliation, jealousy, and poverty of dignity.

3. While many muslims look up to the US and her values, they see us as two-faced when our foriegn policy doesn't appear to reflect our value system. They feel that the US is a bully and doesn't care about their plight. The US's support of Israel reinforces this.

This follows...

When the utopian vision of an Islamic state preached by charismatic leaders meets the rage of the hatred for the west, the result is Islamist terrorism.

--------

While it is obvious that the US shares ONLY A PORTION of the responsibility for the plight of Arabs and muslims, the US is the LARGEST AND MOST MEANINGFUL TARGET, and therefor strategically would be the best place for them to direct their efforts.

Many of the islamist nations...
This is incorrect. The correct term is Islamic. The term Islamist describes Islamism, which is a political ideological movement not necessarily associated with every Islamic person or nation.

As for Siv's argument that my analysis is superficial, I can only say that the first step in solving the problem is to first describe the problem in a macro sort of way. And here it is.

Many Arab peoples have fallen behind the west economically.

Analysing the reasons that this has occured may or may not help in providing for a solution.

It should be obvious at this point that the solution is to pull up the Arab and muslim peoples, or to help them pull themselves up and out of their weak economies.

Any suggestions on how to do this?
 
  • #28
Njorl
Science Advisor
265
17


Originally posted by rutwig
It would be interesting to hear which regimes were supported by the US.
[/B]

Israel - Strongly supported by US from its inception.
Egypt - Supported by Soviet Union until the 70's, then supported by US, but always very independent.
Syria - Very strongly supported by Soviet Union, to such an extent that current Syrian military strength is still due to Soviet military grants.
Jordan - Originally marginal support from Soviet Union, which also tried overthrowing Jordanian monarchy. Gradually improved relations with US.
Libya - Strongly supported by Soviet Union. Now independent.
Iraq - Very independent. Though military equipment is mostly Soviet, it was through purchases, not grants. Iraq, while friendly to USSR was never a client.
Iran - Strongly supported by US until revolution.
Saudi Arabia - Strongly supported by US, but very independent.

Without US support, Israel would not exist. The Muslim countries listed above would probably have the autocratic governments much like they have now. Iran is the big variable. It is hard to say what it would be like if it were not for the US support for the Shah, and the reactionary revolution it caused.

The only autocrat the US installed was the Shah (he was briefly ousted in 1959 and re-seated by a CIA backed coup). The UN re-installed the Emir of Kuwait after Gulf War I. Of the other autocrats which are supported by the US, all would probably be able to hold power without that support anyway.

Njorl
 
  • #29
I should have been more specific with the title of this thread. What I really wanted this thread to be about was SOLUTIONS!!!!

So, come on, you bunch of smart-alecs, get with it and start coming up with some.
 
  • #30
drag
Science Advisor
1,096
1
Greetings !
No offense !
Originally posted by Njorl
One problem with the Israel-Palestine issue is that it is not in the interest of either leader to have peace. While for Sharon, peace would just mean losing the next election...
That is ridiculous.
And as for Arafat, in 2000 he could've signed the
best agreement the Paletinians were ever offered.
He also had the power to inforce it easily.
But no ! When the time came to sign he showed
who he really is - a terrorist with almost
half a century of experience. A few months
later he turned back to violence using the
same weapons the Israelis gave him to keep
the order and maintain his authority.
Originally posted by Siv
The Geneva convention is the most ridiculous thing ever drafted.
This is ridiculous. As long as individuals exist,
countries exist and most importantly religions
exist - in short, as long as humanity exists in its
current form there will be disagreements, conflicts
and wars. The Geneva convention assures (or at least
attempts to) that people will wage wars while
doing the utmost in order not to hurt the
non-combatants and their life support systems
and to protect the basic human rights
of prisoners.

Of course, when dealing with terrorists I believe
the convention should not apply. This is due to
two main reasons - because they hurt civilians
and because they may often have information
that can save lives.

Live long and prosper.
 
  • #31
Njorl
Science Advisor
265
17
Originally posted by drag
Greetings !
No offense !
quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Originally posted by Njorl
One problem with the Israel-Palestine issue is that it is not in the interest of either leader to have peace. While for Sharon, peace would just mean losing the next election...
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

That is ridiculous.
And as for Arafat, in 2000 he could've signed the
best agreement the Paletinians were ever offered.
He also had the power to inforce it easily.
But no ! When the time came to sign he showed
who he really is - a terrorist with almost
half a century of experience. A few months
later he turned back to violence using the
same weapons the Israelis gave him to keep
the order and maintain his authority.

I don't think you comprehended what I wrote. Yes, I know Arafat was offered the best deal he could ever hope to get. That does not change the fact that had he accepted it he would surely have been murdered by his own followers. The point I was making was that the best possible peace deal Arafat can make will kill him - he personally has no incentive to make peace. The Palestinians do have an incentive to make peace. Unfortunately, he is the only Palestinian in a position to do it.

Njorl
 
  • #32
drag
Science Advisor
1,096
1
Originally posted by Njorl
I don't think you comprehended what I wrote.
I was talking about this part:
Originally posted by Njorl
While for Sharon, peace would just mean losing the next election...

Live long and prosper.
 
  • #33
Also, the 2000 deal, while good, wasn't quite as sweet as some people make it out to be. You hear the 96% or whatever figure quoted a lot; but the remaining few percent contains Israeli settlements scattered across the territories, and corridors connecting them. Such a Palestine would be divided into a million pieces, with zero internal security. Israel would (rightly) refuse to let another country hold strategic strips of territory running through it; the same for proposed Palestine.

Also, the 2000 deal did not include the Right of Return; Palestinian refugees who fled Israel during the wars would not be allowed to return to their homes there. Israel will never grant this -- if it did, it would be swamped with Moslem citizens and could not remain both Jewish and democratic -- but it still sits very poorly with most Palestinians.
 
  • #34
Njorl
Science Advisor
265
17


Originally posted by Siv
There is no difference between wars and terrorism.
War is carried out by a nation. The nation as a whole, or its people can be held responsible for its conduct of the war. Terrorists often act on behalf of no entity that can be held responsible for their actions. When they do act on behalf of a larger entity, they try to hide the fact. War can be deterred by the consequences the citizens of a nation might face. There is no deterrent to terrorism.
One is carried out by a bigger organization than the other, thats all. Just because one bunch of people wear uniforms and have coerced support from more parties, does not mean that what they're doing is not terrorism.
While I agree that calling something war does not mean that it is not terrorism, not all war is terrorism. In fact, those things that are inherent to war are not terrorism.
A Palestinian suicide bomber blowing up people in a restaurant is no different from a US missile blowing up an Iraqi civilian village. Both kill. Both try and influence behaviour based on terror.

First, US missiles are not sent to inflict terror. They are not intentionally targetted to kill civilians.
If other nations object to what the US is doing, they are free to act on those objections toward the US. If the people of the US don't want that blame they can prevent their government from acting. Even in a dictatorship, if the people object to what their country does, it is incumbent upon them to make it stop. This can not be done with terrorists. Terrorists make their own individual policy decisions. They do not need to have either popular approval, or sheep-like popular assent. For this reason, they are not protected by the same international laws as soldiers.
The Geneva convention is the most ridiculous thing ever drafted.
How can you kill and terrorise in a civilised manner ?
The whole concept of killing, war and terror are barbaric and uncivilised. Drafting a document to specify how and when you can kill doesn't make it any more civilised.

- S.

The Geneva Convention was drafted because people realised that nations will be going to war for many more years. It is an attempt to reduce the hellishness of war. It is the difference between the Holocaust being a horrible anomaly and having it be the standard means of warfare. It is a document that lets officers who serve a malignent dictator know that if they commit his murders, they too will suffer, but if they conduct themselves within the rules of war, their enemies must be merciful to them.

It is important because the people you are fighting will still be there when the war is over. It makes peace possible. Nations that fight wars in flagrant violation of it make horrible peace afterward. It is particularly important that the victors abide by its restrictions. The defeated can be tried for war crimes. By convicting guilty individuals, the people as a whole can be forgiven. If the victorious have commited war crimes, and have not punished the perpetrators, the whole victorious people are held as guilty.

If the Indians and Pakistanis had not committed atrocities against eachother during their wars, or if they had proscecuted those who committed them, you would not be having such terrible difficulties in Gurjat and Kashmir.

Njorl
 
  • #35
FZ+
1,588
3
War is carried out by a nation. The nation as a whole, or its people can be held responsible for its conduct of the war. Terrorists often act on behalf of no entity that can be held responsible for their actions. When they do act on behalf of a larger entity, they try to hide the fact. War can be deterred by the consequences the citizens of a nation might face. There is no deterrent to terrorism.
Hence the futility of the War on Terror. The policy makers in Washington, London, Israel, France and the like have all made the decision, the assumption that terrorism may be tackled as a military problem. An idea of war. Something that they can handle. If we make this decision, then no distinction can be made between guerilla warfare and terrorism. Between freedom fighters and terrorism. Between WMDs and terrorism. This is the prime basis of recent world foreign policy. We didn't make it up.

A case study - the palestinian crisis. Now, it is terrorism, do we agree? But the Israeli authorities have made the direct link between this and the palestinian authorities, and indeed palestine as a whole. Hence the beseiging of Arafat etc. We have peace negotiations etc as in any war. It is convenient to call it terrorism when, for example, suspending the rights of POWs but the inherent approach of Western governments towards terrorism is to treat it as a war.

While I agree that calling something war does not mean that it is not terrorism, not all war is terrorism. In fact, those things that are inherent to war are not terrorism.
Which things are inherent to war? Please explain. Wars all depend on terrorism to a degree. Read up the dictionary definition of terrorism.

First, US missiles are not sent to inflict terror. They are not intentionally targetted to kill civilians.
If other nations object to what the US is doing, they are free to act on those objections toward the US. If the people of the US don't want that blame they can prevent their government from acting. Even in a dictatorship, if the people object to what their country does, it is incumbent upon them to make it stop. This can not be done with terrorists. Terrorists make their own individual policy decisions. They do not need to have either popular approval, or sheep-like popular assent. For this reason, they are not protected by the same international laws as soldiers.
That is not agreed with by the US defense advisors. While the weapons are not intended to kill civilians, the net goal is the same - to undermine the other's authority and governing powers. Suicide bombers are not there to kill EVERY Israeli civilian, but to destroy the morale and ability of the Israelis. In some cases, to exact revenge, albeit indirectly. The goal of bombing buildings in Baghdad that are EMPTY is not to physically kill Saddam, (though that would be a good consequence) but to destroy the image of the Iraqi government. Hence the careful application of terrorism. For a more obvious equivalence, look at the Hiroshima bombing.
As to the other point, you are not correct. Where do you think terrorist come from? Groups such as Hamas enjoy vast amounts of support from their public. The same is true for the IRA. Terrorism across the world are rarely abberations, but coinciding with some other turn in public feeling. They feed off hate. Compare that to the intonation of "leading public opinion" that has been thrown around recently. It is a sad fact that in many recent wars, various governments have been happy to shoot first and get support later.

Regarding the Geneva convention, I agree with njorl AND siv. While wars will always be a bloody and horrific thing, as is terrorism, perhaps even hopefully so, any effort to try and bring some semblence of civilisation to it cannot be bad. Wars can be won, but it is pointless without winning the peace. Ideals of reconciliation are neccessary.

But the problem is always with getting people to comply. People play dirty in wars. They always do, especially when they have to. What did you expect the Palestinian terrorists to do? Throw themselves at tanks? They do that, but it doesn't do them much good. In such a conflict, targets of opportunity will be taken. It depends on what happens afterwards. But perhaps the ideas of the Geneva convention are becoming dated. They who drew it up never forsaw the horror of vietnam, the WMDS of today, the sheer ability of anybody who is willing to conceal and distort information. And perhaps the whole idea of punishment is wrong - maybe the proceedings in S Africa, with the emphasis on forgiveness should be a better example. Perhaps enemies should be reformed, not imprisioned to nurse their wounds. I do not envy the task of those who sort these out. But some form of international commitee is needed. It's a shame the US hasn't yet signed up.
 

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