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  #1  
Old 2 May 2002, 08:00
Fubar
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War on Terror

Bush has declared a "War on Terror". Now I'm sorry if I'm wrong, but as far as I know, the free world has been fighting terrorism for the last 50-100 years or so. So WTF? Why has he made it official, theres no point in my opinion.
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  #2  
Old 2 May 2002, 10:16
jcollettusa jcollettusa is offline
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Re: War on Terror

Quote:
Originally posted by Fubar
Bush has declared a "War on Terror". Now I'm sorry if I'm wrong, but as far as I know, the free world has been fighting terrorism for the last 50-100 years or so. So WTF? Why has he made it official, theres no point in my opinion.
He made it official because we were more or less taking a sit back and respond to actual incidents that happened. Now we are more proactive, meaning we are no longer passive. For example, before when a plane hi-jacking occurred we were instructing everyone to be cooperative as possible; now, we are instructing them to do whatever they can to disarm and take out the tangos. Just different days with a different approach that's all.
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  #3  
Old 2 May 2002, 12:26
airbornelawyer airbornelawyer is offline
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The problem is that terrorism is a symptom, or an instrument, not an enemy per se. Our war is primarily a war on the newest breed of Islamist terrorism.

Although there has been a nod toward a few other terrorists - the FARC in Colombia and state sponsorship of terrorism by North Korea - our focus has been that particular brand of terrorism, Islamist terrorism, and its sponsors.

Even that focus has been broadened in that Iraq, while a supporter of various terrorist groups, has never been much more than opportunistic when it comes to political Islam, or "Islamism." The Ba'athist regime in Baghdad, like the Ba'athist regime in Damascus, the PLO and PFLP, the Libyans, and the Turkish Kurdish PKK, has a secular leftist ideology, and appeals to Islamism are just a way of co-opting rivals like Hamas and Islamic Jihad, and building credibility on the "Arab street" in the wake of the collapse of the Soviet Union and its direct and indirect support of Pan-Arab Socialism.

Islamist terrorism itself comes in many forms. The Iranian-backed Shi'ite terrorist groups like Hizbullah in Lebanon have little in common with the Wahhabi-inspired terrorists of al-Qa'ida or more "traditional" Islamists like the Egyptian terrorist groups inspired by Sayyed Qutb and the Ikhwan al-Muslimuun (Muslim Brotherhood). The al-Qa'ida-backed and Wahhabi-inspired Taliban regime in Afghanistan hated the Iranians and Afghanistan's own Shi'a almost as much as it hated the Americans.

Describing the conflict more generically as a "War on Terror" seems more a political choice, to try to avoid inflaming the Muslim world any more than it is by identifying their religion with the terrorists who cloak themselves in it. It also allows us to make the case that no matter how just you believe your cause to be, and, even, no matter how just it actually is, the tactics you choose my delegitimize you nonetheless. There may be legitimate Irish beefs against the British, Palestinian beefs against the Israelis, Iraqi beefs against the Kuwaitis and Kashmiri beefs against the Indians, but that cannot permit or excuse terrorism. Germans in the 1903s had legitimate grievances against the Poles, Czechs, French and any number of other people, most of whom also had legitimate grievances against the Germans. But a resort to Nazism and the tactics of terror delegitimized them then, and a similar choice delegitimizes Arafat, Saddam and his ilk today.

Dave
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  #4  
Old 3 May 2002, 05:17
Fubar
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Okay, you say he seems to be centered on the Islamist groups. But then what about Israel and Palestine. They claim to be fighting against terrorists, but Bush hasn't shown any open support for them. Why, or rather why not? Is he trying to save face on the international chess-board of politics? If so, is this cowardly or just plain safe?

Last edited by Fubar; 3 May 2002 at 15:39.
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  #5  
Old 3 May 2002, 19:41
airbornelawyer airbornelawyer is offline
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Sometimes what's seen as "just plain safe" in the short run is cowardly in the long run. We seem to be equivocating on Israel and the Palestinians because we are afraid of eroding any Arab support for our eventual campaign against Saddam Hussein's regime. In my opinion, that is short-sighted and unprincipled, reflects a fundamental misreading of our Arab "allies," and is doomed to fail. Whether we get any Arab support for our campaign in Iraq will depend on whether the regimes in Riyadh, Kuwait, Cairo, Amman etc. fear us and respect our resolve more than they fear Saddam and their own restive populaces. Israel is a sideshow in that regard, as it was in 1990-91.

My personal opinion is that we should be seeking to engineer a regime change in Tehran first, not Baghdad. Iran is surprisingly more "democratic" than most Arab states, including our buddy Saudi Arabia. Despite the rhetoric of the regime, Iranians generally like Americans and the US. Opposition rallies draw far more people than staged pro-government and anti-Western rallies. Even Iranians that don't like the West or the US don't particularly like the mullahs in power. It is possible that a regime change there, with some overt and covert support from Western and moderate/pragmatic Muslim states, could occur peacefully.

The main reason why we did not try to get rid of Saddam in 1991 was that we had no idea who would replace him and we feared that Iraq would fall apart - Kurds in the north, Shi'ites in the south, Sunni Arabs in the center - creating a power vacuum that Iran would exploit. As much as we and the Gulf States disliked Saddam's regime, he was at least a buffer against the Iranians. Remove the Iranian threat to the Gulf States, and there is no reason to keep Saddam around.

In the longer run, a regime change in Saudi will probably prove necessary, as we cannot permit the princes there to use support for a radical interpretation of Islam to preserve their legitimacy. Wahhabism is not only inimical to US and Western interests; it is inimical to our way of life. It is inimical to the Muslim way of life as well.

In the long, long run, this is a war for the soul of Islam. That is a war the US - a predominantly secular, predominantly Christian nation - cannot lead. So we better get us some more Muslim allies to take on the Islamists.

Dave
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  #6  
Old 6 May 2002, 07:20
Robal2pl
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I thik that airborne lawyer is right...But I'd like o ask one question:
Do You think that there's such possibility that USA can be defated by terrorists...?
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  #7  
Old 6 May 2002, 10:10
Naoscaire.ie
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Robal2pl,
That depends on how you define terrorism, To the Nazi's the french underground was a terrorist organization, therefore terrorism helped defeat the Nazi's.
To the Brittish the militiamen here were terrorists therefore in the broad sense it could be said this country was founded on terrorism.

Q: When is a terrorist not a terrorist
A: When he is on the same side as a person , he is then a patriot to that particular person.

The KLA in Kosovo are a terrorist organisation, many allaied forces supported them. Was this state sponsored terrorism?

:) The history books are written by the victors therefore, No enemy force was ever defeated by terrorists but was defeated by patriots.

In this screwed up world all words can be bent to however a certain person wants to read them as seen above.

Just like this ::::

Quote:
Originally posted by airbornelawyer
. Whether we get any Arab support for our campaign in Iraq will depend on whether the regimes in Riyadh, Kuwait, Cairo, Amman etc. fear us
Main Entry: terrorism
Pronunciation: 'ter-&r-"i-z&m
Function: noun
Date: 1795
: the systematic use of terror especially as a means of coercion


-------------->
Main Entry: ter·ror
Pronunciation: 'ter-&r
Function: noun
1 : a state of intense fear
2 a : one that inspires fear
3 : violence (as bombing) committed by groups in order to intimidate a population or government

--------------> To me and you and most likely everyone here Airbornelawyers statement made sence, the only way to have respect is to appear strong...... But an Arab could/ and does use it to argue that Allied forces are terrorists.

I personally believe it is a bad idea to call this a war on terrorism. The US supported the Afghans as patriots in the 80's but now has to fight them as terrorists. You can not efectively fight an enemy who is not always your enemy.

-Naos
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  #8  
Old 9 May 2002, 08:29
Robal2pl
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Yes, it depends on the definition...but I have been thinking about present war against Al-Quaeda and its alies....
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