Osama Bin Laden is Dead

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tr0ll
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Re: Osama Bin Laden is Dead

Post by tr0ll »

Sgt. Groovy wrote:This applies on international level as well. If extrajudicial execution becomes the accepted norm for criminals who are "bad enough", the bar on what constitutes "bad enough" will become lower as time passes, never mind all the innocent people we end up executing because of bad intel.
When states engage in extrajudicial killings, they leave thems elves morally and legally open to the same actions. In particular, it is now open season on American government officials at home or anywhere else, and the only thing stopping anyone is American military power.

A separate debate is whether there is any acceptable level of "collateral damage" in the form of dead or injured people who were not the declared targets.

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Sgt. Groovy
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Re: Osama Bin Laden is Dead

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Terrorist have actually won. They brought "civilized" and "democratic" country to their level. Level of assassinations and executions.
It's more than that, really. Keep in mind that maybe counting out Vatican or Lichtenstein, the Islamic terrorists don't have the physical means to destroy any Western country. Even if they did get a hold of few nukes and leveled a city or two in Europe or US, it would not bring down the Western world and make the Caliphate to emerge from the ruins. What they are able to do, and this has been their strategy from the start, is to trick us into destroying ourselves. When bin Laden was hiding in Afghanistan after 9/11, it wasn't because it's a particularly good hiding place, it was because that way he could make the US invade the country that had already bled one superpower dry. Ten years and billions of wasted dollars later, US is still there with no end in sight, but to retreat and leave the country not much different than it was. Just about everything we have done in response to the terrorist attack has been exactly what they were hoping for. They want us to wage war on Muslim countries, killing civilians there and make Muslims hate us. They want our populations to become hostile to Muslims in our own countries. They want us to waste money on useless and draconian security policies that destroy our freedom.
A separate debate is whether there is any acceptable level of "collateral damage" in the form of dead or injured people who were not the declared targets.
So far it has been acceptable with two preconditions: 1) The dead civilians are from a different country from our own. 2) They are poorer and browner than us.

But if we accepted "collateral damage" among ourselves, it would open whole new strategies against terrorism. Say, after 9/11 the US president could have declared that the US is not a country that can be bullied into aggression, and instead of spending billions for killing Muslims abroad, he could have spent them for building mosques and otherwise making the US more friendly place for law-abiding Muslims to live in. The terrorists would probably had committed more attacks, but sooner or later they would have had to stop as there would have been no justification for attacking a country that doesn't fight back and where you can get the government to build a mosque into your backyard just by asking. There would have been more dead American civilians, but they could have been considered collateral damage in the campaign to frustrate the terrorists into quitting.
Tiedäthän kuinka pelataan.
Tiedäthän, vihtahousua vastaan.
Tiedäthän, solmu kravatin, se kantaa niin synnit
kuin syntien tekijätkin.

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johndh
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Re: Osama Bin Laden is Dead

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Sgt. Groovy wrote:What they are able to do, and this has been their strategy from the start, is to trick us into destroying ourselves.
That's an interesting way to think of it. Whether they did so intentionally or not really depends on how smart these guys are, but I certainly would not put it past them. Getting Dubya to take the bait and invade, crippled us a nation in a way that no bomb ever could. They've essentially fooled us into squandering resources on a wild goose chase and making enemies with the rest of the world. Islamic nations hate our guts, much of the rest of the world isn't fond of us in our position of self-appointed Global Super Hero Nation, and an increasing number of Americans don't like the way our country is headed either. (Present company is excluded, I'm sure. :whistle: ) That is all to say nothing of our own population of Muslims.
It's spelled "definitely", not "definately". "Defiantly" is a different word entirely.

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Viliam
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Re: Osama Bin Laden is Dead

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johndh wrote:Getting Dubya to take the bait and invade, crippled us a nation in a way that no bomb ever could. They've essentially fooled us into squandering resources on a wild goose chase and making enemies with the rest of the world. Islamic nations hate our guts, much of the rest of the world isn't fond of us in our position of self-appointed Global Super Hero Nation, and an increasing number of Americans don't like the way our country is headed either.
Do you think that without 9/11 attack, USA wouldn't participate in any war during the last decade?

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tr0ll
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Re: Osama Bin Laden is Dead

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Sgt.Groovy from your remarks about "Islamic terrorists", you seem to have misunderstood the Islamic fundamentalists, the actual terrorists, the insurgents (so-called terrorists), and the opportunists (kidnappers, pirates, drug-lords, mercenaries, petty dictators). These are only some among the diverse groups with strong and often mixed motivations involved in the hotspots around the Islamic world. None of those care how Muslims are treated in the USA itself. Ordinary people in war-torn countries might be concerned about that when applying for immigration or refugee status.

Guerilla or asymmetric warfare is indeed about suffering minimal casualties while inflicting maximal logistical and other costs on the invading army. If you look at what sort of resources are available to the people in the occupied countries, thats all they can do. They certainly do not have the ability to reach indirectly deep into the USA and cause economic or political meltdowns as you seem to think. (Unlike the Russian withdrawal and slash and burn strategy against both Napoleon and Hitler in those wars.) Such effects as are happening in USA, are due to the inevitable corruption that comes with power concentrated in too few hands - increasing repression of American people by their own government and increasing exploitation of people everywhere by unrestrained corporations. But thats another topic.
A separate debate is whether there is any acceptable level of "collateral damage" in the form of dead or injured people who were not the declared targets.
So far it has been acceptable with two preconditions: 1) The dead civilians are from a different country from our own. 2) They are poorer and browner than us.
agreed.
But if we accepted "collateral damage" among ourselves, it would open whole new strategies against terrorism. Say, after 9/11 the US president could have declared that the US is not a country that can be bullied into aggression, and instead of spending billions for killing Muslims abroad, he could have spent them for building mosques and otherwise making the US more friendly place for law-abiding Muslims to live in. The terrorists would probably had committed more attacks, but sooner or later they would have had to stop as there would have been no justification for attacking a country that doesn't fight back and where you can get the government to build a mosque into your backyard just by asking. There would have been more dead American civilians, but they could have been considered collateral damage in the campaign to frustrate the terrorists into quitting.
You completely missed the reasons that anyone would attack in the heart of an empire in the first place:
  • counter-attack by insurgents
  • retribution for religious insults (e.g. ongoing occupation of holy places)
  • revenge for previous attacks
  • frustration about lack of compensation for or share in stolen lands or resources
No one in the middle east with any strategic thinking could have wanted America to launch into its unending "War on Terror" which has predictably resulted in millions of middle eastern casualties, more poverty and more resources stolen, and even more grievous insults to religion and damage to regional cultures. The war is only benefiting an elite few (may their consciences awake).

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Maiklas3000
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Re: Osama Bin Laden is Dead

Post by Maiklas3000 »

tr0ll wrote:When states engage in extrajudicial killings, they leave thems elves morally and legally open to the same actions.
Them elves are safe in the forest.
Viliam wrote:Do you think that without 9/11 attack, USA wouldn't participate in any war during the last decade?
Perhaps the best way to think of post-Vietnam Americans is as a nest of hornets. They are pretty much pacifist, until they perceive a threat, and then they go crazy. It's a legacy of a colonist mind set, like the American revolution era motto, "Don't tread on me." This sort of frontier mentality works pretty well against rational opponents, like say timberwolves or the circa 1700's British, but can devolve into escalating violence against opponents who have adopted the same crazy strategy, like perhaps al-Qaeda.

Without 9/11, I can't see the USA having messed with Afghanistan, since I think Americans needed to be stirred into a frenzy for that to happen. Of course, the USA still would have stuck its nose into conflicts like Libya, but I would put that into a different category. Although conflicts like that in Libya are major for the affected countries, they are minor for the USA and do not represent a threat to its economy. Iraq, a vastly bigger can of worms, is a bit of a question mark, since Bush junior wanted to invade Iraq regardless, but I think without 9/11 he would not have been able to muster enough political support to do it, even with all the B.S. about WMD's. North Korea and Iran are the remaining question marks, but personally I think if the USA were not distracted by wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, then North Korea and Iran would have been less provoking, and America would have been content to saber-rattle in any case.
tr0ll wrote:Such [economic and political meltdown] effects as are happening in USA, are due to the inevitable corruption that comes with power concentrated in too few hands - increasing repression of American people by their own government and increasing exploitation of people everywhere by unrestrained corporations. But thats another topic.
Wait, are you're saying the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are not crippling the American economy?

Anyway, because I also brought up the topic of the American government repressing its citizens, I'm going to expound on this. Consider this case: Student Arrested For Ranking Female Classmates On Facebook. While the student's publishing of subjective ratings of female classmates was objectionable, his ability to state an opinion via Facebook and fliers is protected by the first amendment to the constitution. He should not have been expelled from a public school and arrested by the police. At most he should have been given a warning to not distribute fliers on school grounds. What's missing is that no one stopped to consider constitutional rights and instead the police and school operated based on their own ideas of what is right and wrong.

Another example: Online poker sites shut down by FBI. Okay, the thing is the law in question, the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA), was pushed through by the Moral Majority and the Christian Coalition. Contrary to most news reports, the bill was not a rider attached at the last minute before a vote on the Safe Port Act, an anti-terrorism measure; no, it was added after the congressional votes on the Safe Port Act. Only President George W. Bush directly voted on this rider. Now, I'm all for having the our government run by a radical religious minority or a dictator - because these systems of government have worked out so well in the past (sarcasm) - but this contradicts what our government is currently suppose to be. To add insult to injury, long before the FBI raid went down, America was sued in international court over this law, and America lost; America appealed, and lost again. The DoJ/FBI then decided to simply ignore international law. In its zeal to enforce morality laws, America has become lawless.

And then here is an example not from America but from the Philippines: Two Swedes jailed for life for Philippine Internet porn. From what I understand, this was not a case of child pornography or prostitution or sex slavery or anything like that. It was just a case of some women on webcams being paid as a voluntary employment opportunity. And the two Swedes get life in prison?! Sheesh. What does this have to do with America? A lot, actually. America was founded by religious radicals so conservative that even England couldn't stand them and told them to get lost. Then America conquered the Philippines and turned it into a colony, while American missionaries went to brainwash its inhabitants. The Philippines revolted in the Philippine-American War of 1899-1902, but that didn't stop the effect of American missionaries, who continue to go there to this day. The two porn-peddling Swedes may have violated Philippine laws, but ultimately the screwed-up Philippine laws are there because of screwed-up Puritans being encouraged to leave England in the 1600's for exile in America.

So, if I can try to tie this back to bin Laden, you have to realize that America is really two countries: the red and the blue states. Because of the concentrated political ideology of the "reds", America is a country mostly under the control of these radical religious extremists, the descendents of people too conservative for England to tolerate. In their zeal to do what's right in their ideologies, American religious radicals are prepared to trample on the constitution and international law, whether it's a war on gambling by American citizens or a war on terrorists like Osama bin Laden.

In bin Laden's case, his killing has the appearance of ignoring international law in two ways: 1) the sovereignty of Pakistan was ignored and 2) it appeared more like an assassination than a military battle. It's the first one that bothers me, but in any case what matters in the world opinion, not mine. To many, it will appear that morality superceded international law. Meanwhile on American soil, it appears that morality often supercedes constitutional rights.

It doesn't have to be this way. There are countries where people are generally happy and the government tries to be helpful rather than persecute its citizens or project its morals and military abroad. Examples that come to mind are Norway, Sweden, and Slovenia.

Hmm, I guess I sound a bit like Noam Chomsky here, but I would like to add that I am open to being told I'm wrong. I would like to be wrong.

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tr0ll
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Re: Osama Bin Laden is Dead

Post by tr0ll »

Oh yes of course the wars are a serious drain on resources and people and transform the economy in damaging ways. But that isnt why the opposition in the middle east or elsewhere is continuing to fight, though they may be happy to know it.

Some sort of intervention was due to happen in Afghanistan in 2001, because of the Taliban govt's rejection of the UNOCAL bid for the pipeline. Perhaps it would have been increased destabilization tactics or underground supplying to the former warlords. I think it is relevant to look at who was in the Whitehouse and their backgrounds, in particular PNAC. Even if you don't like conspiracy theories, well, the presidential administration is a group of people with an agenda - what was that agenda?

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