The war on terror, self defeating or a neccesity?

Is the war on terrorism simply not working?

  • Frankly no, the neocon strategy is inneffective.

    Votes: 12 38.7%
  • Yes, stay the course, you'll see

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • We need a new approach, Iraq and Afghanistan have shown this.

    Votes: 5 16.1%
  • We must oppose terror by violent means, or there will be more terror!

    Votes: 2 6.5%
  • Terror must be fought by intelligence agencies not by overt force, if it is to succeed.

    Votes: 9 29.0%
  • Other: please explain if you would.

    Votes: 3 9.7%
  • If you think I'm answering that question you've got another think coming:)

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    31
  • Poll closed .
  • #1

Main Question or Discussion Point

http://news.independent.co.uk/world/middle_east/article2311307.ece [Broken]

How the war on terror made the world a more terrifying place
New figures show dramatic rise in terror attacks worldwide since the invasion of Iraq
By Kim Sengupta and Patrick Cockburn
Published: 28 February 2007

Innocent people across the world are now paying the price of the "Iraq effect", with the loss of hundreds of lives directly linked to the invasion and occupation by American and British forces.

An authoritative US study of terrorist attacks after the invasion in 2003 contradicts the repeated denials of George Bush and Tony Blair that the war is not to blame for an upsurge in fundamentalist violence worldwide. The research is said to be the first to attempt to measure the "Iraq effect" on global terrorism. It found that the number killed in jihadist attacks around the world has risen dramatically since the Iraq war began in March 2003. The study compared the period between 11 September 2001 and the invasion of Iraq with the period since the invasion. The count - excluding the Arab-Israel conflict - shows the number of deaths due to terrorism rose from 729 to 5,420. As well as strikes in Europe, attacks have also increased in Chechnya and Kashmir since the invasion. The research was carried out by the Centre on Law and Security at the NYU Foundation for Mother Jones magazine.
Edit: Please do not post entire articles, it is a copyright violation.

I think the article speaks for itself, its certainly something that has been voiced alot, ie is fighting terror aggressively the best way to reduce terrorism? Is there anything positive to come out of Iraq? Etc, etc...

I don't want to introduce any bias or voice an opinion, I'm sure plenty of people will have one though?:smile:
 
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Answers and Replies

  • #2
russ_watters
Mentor
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Other: heavily biased poll choices.

And the article has some blatantly obvious flaws:

-It counts terrorists actions in the middle of the war zones.
-The timeperiods are different lengths.
-It ignores the fact that the primary goal of the "war on terror" is to protect American civilians.
-They exclude some terrorist groups specifically (anti-Israel terrorism) and utterly ignore others (how is African sectarian violence any different from Iraqi?).

These flaws are so bad, it can't be anything other than intentional dishonesty on the part of the reporters.
 
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  • #3
Other: heavily biased poll choices.
OK, it's a poll, no one takes them that seriously anyway, I am more interested in peoples opinions; the poll is for fun, but if you want to take it to heart or exceedingly seriously that's up to you.
 
  • #4
J77
1,076
1
It certainly doesn't seem to have made the world a safer place... and now Iraq will probably be left in the same state as Afghanistan when it's time to move onto a new target... it's seems like a cock-up from where I've been sitting.
 
  • #5
23
0
Though I agree the invasion of Iraq was mismanaged at best, it's very hard to say "what if". Every person will have their own idea of what the world would seem like the US behaved differently largely based on "wishful thinking".
 
  • #6
EL
Science Advisor
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-It ignores the fact that the primary goal of the "war on terror" is to protect American civilians.
Or more precisely, the primary goal of the "war on terror" is to give American civilians the impression they are being protected.
 
  • #7
Kurdt
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
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You have to admire the planning. Remove the leader of Iraq that had kept insurgents in check for decades and posed no significant threat to any western country. Send in your own troops and watch them get slaughtered as they anger the indiginous people by comitting diabolical acts against Iraqi civilians and suffered reprisals from insurgents who now had no sanctions upon them from the Iraqi government (or at least none that work). The terrorists have certainly instilled some terror in people.
 
  • #8
Though I agree the invasion of Iraq was mismanaged at best, it's very hard to say "what if". Every person will have their own idea of what the world would seem like the US behaved differently largely based on "wishful thinking".
What if they had never invaded Afghanistan or Iraq, but had just gone after Osamah?

I think most people know the answer to that question. And most people know the rise in terrorism is a direct result of those two wars. As ye reap so shall ye sow. Is all I can say.

Before 911, neocons were labelled as nuts and were highly controversial, there ideas of aggressive self interest were dismissed as stupid and unlikely to work; after 911 they gained credence, now we know the whole idea of fighting terror by attacking countries is completely absurd at best, but that is the only advantage I can see, having to learn this lesson the hard way;to reiterate for idiots and or neocons: it's mind numbingly self defeating and stupid to try and quell terrorism by throwing oil on the fire.

Since Terrorism springs from hatred, kicking bees nests will achieve what exactly?
 
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  • #9
23
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What if they had never invaded Afghanistan or Iraq, but had just gone after Osamah?

I think most people know the answer to that question. And most people know the rise in terrorism is a direct result of those two wars.
While I tend to agree with this statement, it is pure speculation nonetheless - I would phrase it "most people assume the rise in terrorism is a direct result of those two wars." There are so many unknowns it is impossible to tell what would have been if the US taken a less aggressive strategy. Would Qaddafi have warmed up to the west? Would Syria have pulled its military out of Lebanon? Would radical Muslim leaders not find other grievances, such as the Danish cartoons or the Pope's speech to fuel their followers' hatred?
 
  • #10
Kurdt
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While I tend to agree with this statement, it is pure speculation nonetheless - I would phrase it "most people assume the rise in terrorism is a direct result of those two wars." There are so many unknowns it is impossible to tell what would have been if the US taken a less aggressive strategy.
No assumptions are needed since for example, the 7th of July bombings in London were commited by people who clearly stated that British involvement in Afghanistan and Iraq was their motivation. there have been numerous other warnings from terrorist groups to countries with troops in those two aforementioned countries.
 
  • #11
russ_watters
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What if they had never invaded Afghanistan or Iraq, but had just gone after Osamah?
How could we go after Osama without invading Afghanistan?
 
  • #12
How could we go after Osama without invading Afghanistan?
You can't what I mean is we didn't have to become bogged down in a war with Afghani rebels like we are now, the priority mission could have been to go after Osamah and everything else was a secondary consideration. Go in,hopefully kill Osama destroy Al-qaeda, and then leave. I think this conflict may well parallel the Russian conflict, it has all the hallmarks. I could even have been a small scale covert operation using special forces to target Al Qaeda, in kill out. No one questions the justification of Afghanistan only the results.
 
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  • #13
russ_watters
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You can't what I mean is we didn't have to become bogged down in a war with Afghani rebels like we are now, the priority mission could have been to go after Osamah and everything else was a secondary consideration. Go in,hopefully kill Osama destroy Al-qaeda, and then leave.
And do this without taking-down the Taliban? Would that even be possible (to invade a country without engaging the army of the country you are invading)? And even if we could have, wouldn't that leave us worse-off than we are now, given that the Taliban was a terrorist government?

Right now the primary concern is that the Taliban is reconstituting itself - you seem to be suggesting we shouldn't have deposed them in the first place.
 
  • #14
baywax
Gold Member
1,940
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And do this without taking-down the Taliban? Would that even be possible (to invade a country without engaging the army of the country you are invading)? And even if we could have, wouldn't that leave us worse-off than we are now, given that the Taliban was a terrorist government?

Right now the primary concern is that the Taliban is reconstituting itself - you seem to be suggesting we shouldn't have deposed them in the first place.
Since it is obvious that the idea of democracy will not be eradicated by the disposition of a group that supports the idea I don't see how eradicating a group that supports the ideals of "Al Quanda" will have any effect toward ridding the world of those ideals.

I'd suggest using the example of democracie's positive features to woo supporters of the "Al quada" ideals away from violent protest to basically render the group powerless rather than expending so much energy by fighting and trying to eleminate them when actions like these obviously fuel them and the support of their cause in an alarming fashion.
 
  • #15
150
0
Side note on the conversation above, fighting them makes them stronger (Al Qaeda).
there would be no war against terrorism if the USA was not there in the first place, cause if u look to the root of the problem, it was the USA who created Taliban and their leader Osama bin Laden, it was the USA who created Saddam Hussain and covered the crimes he did against his people, it was USA who helped Syria with their allies (Joumblatt, Geagea, and hariri) to invade lebanon and massacre the resisting population. in the final massacre thousands were slaughtered in cold blood and the US covered those crimes. Here again we see the USA again forcing countries with leaders the people don't want, in Lebanon they want to force the criminals on the people, in Iraq they want to force an american government on the people there, in Afghanistan they want to force a tribesman on a whole country...and so on...The usa bred a lot of dictatoring countries in the name of world peace and now we see the peace that was promised. now they are forcing new kinds of dictatorships, democratic dictatorship like in Lebanon or iraq, they say they are voted by the ppl, but in truth they are not. this will create more turmoil in the future, and more trouble for the us. if usa wants peace in the region they have to stop interfering and the resonance of crime would go lower by itself.
 
  • #16
150
0
BTW another point i forgot to mention, how come the USA claims that they want to fight Al Qaeda and in Lebanon they back the people who let them out of the jails and back in our country? we have a group of al qaeda in Lebanon who slaughtered 11 military personnel and many christian families in the north of Lebanon, and first thing hariri did when he gained power is to let the criminals out. not to mention that he also released Geagea, a notorious criminal who feels a sense of pride after neutralising some family and has the nerve to boast massacres he made in which children and women died..those are the leaders the USA prefers to put in Lebanon !?!? what kind of democracy or peace they want?
 
  • #17
960
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BTW another point i forgot to mention, how come the USA claims that they want to fight Al Qaeda and in Lebanon they back the people who let them out of the jails and back in our country? we have a group of al qaeda in Lebanon who slaughtered 11 military personnel and many christian families in the north of Lebanon, and first thing hariri did when he gained power is to let the criminals out. not to mention that he also released Geagea, a notorious criminal who feels a sense of pride after neutralising some family and has the nerve to boast massacres he made in which children and women died..those are the leaders the USA prefers to put in Lebanon !?!? what kind of democracy or peace they want?
You know better than I that the recent war in Lebanon was not about 2 Israeli soldiers, or missiles attacks--just how many died as a result of missile attacks? We were spoiling for an attack, and how better than by proxy?

Unfortunately, we will defend to the bitter end anyone if its in our capatilistic interests--in fact lets speak frankly, the US military most days functions as an enforcer of the right for whatever US corporation has an economic interest there. Afghamistan might have been an exception, but we were full of bloodlust at the time, and of course had aided and abetted the Taliban when they were busy fighting the Soviets. Just as we supported Suddam and provided the nerve gas whose use led to his execution. What I think is ne more step on the reprehensible scale is when we allow Coca Cola and the like to do their own para-military ops.

But i digress, the only surefire antedote to terrorism is to recognize legitimate grievances where they exist, and to openly debate our foreign policy. For those born here, how many articles have you seen which look at a historical perspective evenhandedly while considering fallout from the continued support, blank check, we give Israel? There is something very fishy there. None of our allies has ever received such preferential treatment. None. Where does all this good will come from that we can veto after veto any alleged misdeed deemed sanctionable by the UN? I am not unsympathetc to the plight of their people, but we watch genocide occur in regions of Africa on an equal scale, and argue about language!@#$#%

To cross a few threads here, in the early and middle ages of TV, there was something known as a documentary, even a white paper, whose sole purpose seemed to be about education on political affairs. Most of the stuff nowadays is aired sun morning and consists of moderate leftists slinging mud at moderate rightests. Wow what an education.
 
  • #18
150
0
hahahaha...i could have never said the story better than you did, seems everywhere i go americans are all thinking on the same track, but what happens at presidential elections? where do all those people go? i mean you're smart, americans are educated.don't they ever ask themselves why their country condemns a massacre of Albanians in Jugoslavija and give praise to the same massacre done by israeli's !! wherever i meet americans they seem to agree to this pt, but what happens at the polls? really?
 
  • #19
23
0
No assumptions are needed since for example, the 7th of July bombings in London were commited by people who clearly stated that British involvement in Afghanistan and Iraq was their motivation. there have been numerous other warnings from terrorist groups to countries with troops in those two aforementioned countries.
You assume they would not have been "motivated" by some other event.
 
  • #20
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You know better than I that the recent war in Lebanon was not about 2 Israeli soldiers, or missiles attacks--just how many died as a result of missile attacks?
I suppose you wouldn't mind the residents of the northern half of your country living in shelters while their cities are bombarded.
Your "sensitivity" seems to be distributed quite unevenly.
 
  • #21
Kurdt
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You assume they would not have been "motivated" by some other event.
So we take their actual stated reasons for the attack ignore them and assume they were motivated by something else they did not want to disclose? Doesn't sound very logical to me.
 
  • #22
And do this without taking-down the Taliban? Would that even be possible (to invade a country without engaging the army of the country you are invading)? And even if we could have, wouldn't that leave us worse-off than we are now, given that the Taliban was a terrorist government?

Right now the primary concern is that the Taliban is reconstituting itself - you seem to be suggesting we shouldn't have deposed them in the first place.
Yep. Should of gone for the real target not the Taliban, that's precisely what I'm suggesting, a lighting strike by special force units. I don't see what the problem is with the idea?
 
  • #23
23
0
So we take their actual stated reasons for the attack ignore them and assume they were motivated by something else they did not want to disclose? Doesn't sound very logical to me.
Those bombings were quite clearly the work of an experienced terror organisation. It would have been nearly impossible for these men to organise and execute such a large scale bombing on their own. It is their operators' nature that should be scrutinised, as they are nothing more than disposable pawns, who also state they believe they will be entered into "the gardens of paradise". In their statements they mention places and events that Britain's current population has little control over, such as Chechnya and Kashmir, in the same breath as Iraq and Afghanistan - it certainly seems as if one is no more important than the other. They also demand the release of all Muslim prisoners in British prisons. Is it your opinion that the British people should yield to these demands?
 
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  • #24
baywax
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Yep. Should of gone for the real target not the Taliban, that's precisely what I'm suggesting, a lighting strike by special force units. I don't see what the problem is with the idea?
I totally agree here. The sole purpose should be to "de-flower" a trend and render any "pollenation" of its ideals impossible. And not to provide an example of violence, degredation and lack of compassion with large scale operations.

Of course if the undesirable ideals have merit and are beneficial to the common good of all people it will be impossible to stop. That kind of ideal will never be erased since it resembles a "law" of nature.

That's why I say that if knocking off a Democratic leader and group of democracts hasn't been able to stop Democracy (which, ideally, works well for people), what makes you think doing the same thing to an extremist leader and group will have the desired effect of stopping their actions?
(the answer being that the integrity of the extremist's ideals is probably flawed and is destined to discontinue anyway).
 
  • #25
960
0
Well thats exactly what GWB and the neocons argue for in their in their natl security memo/manifesto--a preemptive shot to the brain of anyone who harbors motives against the USA. Before the Hydra has 100 head, behead. I'm the biologist here on a physicist's forum--heck anyone knows that to make a plant grow faster, pinch their leaves.
 

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