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  1. #1
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    Terrorism - The Phantom Menace?

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/3755686.stm

    Recently in the UK there was an excellent documentary on the politics of fear. The general premise is that there is no such thing as Al Qaeda. The threat of terror and the war on terror really concerns manipulation of an unquestioning public (in both the west and in the fundamentalist Islamic world) to gain power.

    What evidence is there of an orangised terrorist group acting against western interests? (Bin-Laden started referencing Al Qaeda after it was coined by neo-cons.) Is the evidence linked by formal associations or is it more a case of angry excluded unassociated young muslim men who rally around an idea which is personified by a few extremeists who are furthering their own agenda of power? (9/11 and Bali being one of the few examples of the isolated exteremists having any success - neither group being linked.) The neo-con view of the world and bin-Laden's view of the world is more or less the same with both casting the other as the enemy to claim power. in the 1980's they were able to unite in Afghanistan against the Russians but there is no "other" now. The arguments and rhetoric are cyclical and do not lend themselves to easy solutions i.e. let's invade Iraq!

    After viewing the documentary I have begun to seriously doubt. Do you believe in terror? Do you believe the complicated factors concerning disparate and general threats are understood by those charged with protecting us? Does the public understand the complexities? Is it all a cynical power grab?

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by M.J.
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/3755686.stm

    Recently in the UK there was an excellent documentary on the politics of fear. The general premise is that there is no such thing as Al Qaeda. The threat of terror and the war on terror really concerns manipulation of an unquestioning public (in both the west and in the fundamentalist Islamic world) to gain power.

    What evidence is there of an orangised terrorist group acting against western interests? (Bin-Laden started referencing Al Qaeda after it was coined by neo-cons.) Is the evidence linked by formal associations or is it more a case of angry excluded unassociated young muslim men who rally around an idea which is personified by a few extremeists who are furthering their own agenda of power? (9/11 and Bali being one of the few examples of the isolated exteremists having any success - neither group being linked.) The neo-con view of the world and bin-Laden's view of the world is more or less the same with both casting the other as the enemy to claim power. in the 1980's they were able to unite in Afghanistan against the Russians but there is no "other" now. The arguments and rhetoric are cyclical and do not lend themselves to easy solutions i.e. let's invade Iraq!

    After viewing the documentary I have begun to seriously doubt. Do you believe in terror? Do you believe the complicated factors concerning disparate and general threats are understood by those charged with protecting us? Does the public understand the complexities? Is it all a cynical power grab?
    are you the biggest idiot to ever immigrate to the u.s.? no, there is no such thing as terror. go back to your regularly scheduled head in the sand posture.

  3. #3
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    I always enjoy Bill's well adjusted and cogent posts.

    I cannot say whether or not the specter is equivalent to the prevelant fear towards it, but I can say that this type of prevailing sentiment of always having a lurking danger was put forth by our founders. (Bed wetting libbies--bill likes to call them) In Federalist #8 Hamilton addresses what constant perceived dangers inevitably lead to.

    "The perpetual menacings of danger oblige the government to be always prepared to repel it; its armies must be numerous enough for instant defense. The continual necessity for their services enhances the importance of the soldier, and proportionably degrades the condition of the citizen. The military state becomes elevated above the civil. The inhabitants of territories, often the theatre of war, are unavoidably subjected to frequent infringements on their rights, which serve to weaken their sense of those rights; and by degrees the people are brought to consider the soldiery not only as their protectors, but as their superiors. The transition from this disposition to that of considering them masters, is neither remote nor difficult; but it is very difficult to prevail upon a people under such impressions, to make a bold or effectual resistance to usurpations supported by the military power."

    I recognize this is a poor excuse after Bill's well reasoned post so please do forgive.
    In the time of battle you don't rise to the occasion you resort to the level of your conditioning...

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by thatsmybush
    I always enjoy Bill's well adjusted and cogent posts.

    I cannot say whether or not the specter is equivalent to the prevelant fear towards it, but I can say that this type of prevailing sentiment of always having a lurking danger was put forth by our founders. (Bed wetting libbies--bill likes to call them) In Federalist #8 Hamilton addresses what constant perceived dangers inevitably lead to.

    "The perpetual menacings of danger oblige the government to be always prepared to repel it; its armies must be numerous enough for instant defense. The continual necessity for their services enhances the importance of the soldier, and proportionably degrades the condition of the citizen. The military state becomes elevated above the civil. The inhabitants of territories, often the theatre of war, are unavoidably subjected to frequent infringements on their rights, which serve to weaken their sense of those rights; and by degrees the people are brought to consider the soldiery not only as their protectors, but as their superiors. The transition from this disposition to that of considering them masters, is neither remote nor difficult; but it is very difficult to prevail upon a people under such impressions, to make a bold or effectual resistance to usurpations supported by the military power."

    I recognize this is a poor excuse after Bill's well reasoned post so please do forgive.
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  5. #5
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    I guess that means you are

    Quote Originally Posted by bill105
    are you the biggest idiot to ever immigrate to the u.s.? no, there is no such thing as terror. go back to your regularly scheduled head in the sand posture.
    part of the great unquestioning public

    how do you decide if what you are being told is real and genuine? do you not think there's a possiblity that even you could be manipulated? are conspiracy theories only sourced from the left? is it more head in sand to consider the poissibility you've been lied to or stay the course?

    do you really think US strategy at the moment is likely to (ever) acheive it's aim of wiping out all terrorists, whoever they may be this week?

    have you read 1984?

    if you wanna start with the personal attackes that's fine - I can play that game - maybe you could email your boyfriend Toyboy to come play too?

  6. #6
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    This has the air of sensibility, except for one big problem: I, and many others, knew about al-queda much earlier than 11 September 2001. It has been on my consciousness for nearly a decade prior to when it became a household term.

  7. #7
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    There is no doubt that there are groups of radicals out there looking to do us ill. 9/11 is ample enough proof. That said, I think the whole terrorist angle has been completely and utterly overblown and abused by those who seek to gain most from having the general public fear for their safety. I don't have any statistics to quote, but I would wager that an American's chances of being killed by terrorist attack are far less than that of perishing in an airplane crash. The average American is lazy. The majority are uncritical of any information fed to them and therefore, easily led.

  8. #8
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    Yeah there is no Mafia either! LOL!!!
    Just because I understand doesn't mean I care!
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by bill105
    i smell poopy. time to check your garanimals.
    It is a shame that you continually low brow yourself. I would have liked to know what you thought of Mr. Hamilton's assessment of a fear state and its effects on liberty.

    Oh well...
    In the time of battle you don't rise to the occasion you resort to the level of your conditioning...

  10. #10
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    clearly

    Quote Originally Posted by Duane Gran
    This has the air of sensibility, except for one big problem: I, and many others, knew about al-queda much earlier than 11 September 2001. It has been on my consciousness for nearly a decade prior to when it became a household term.
    the extremists have been around since the early 1980's - I think the argument is that it is portrayed as a cohesive shadowy network whereas in fact it is not - while there may be collective ill will towards the west most of it is general in nature and not organised in any sense of the word - the general ill will is best categorised via the excluded, poverty stircken angry young muslim men - the term Al Qaeda was created by western intelligence and only then embraced by extremists - but in fact the number of extremists who are bent on doing harm to the west is very small (in the hundreds), not joined up and no real danger - Bali and 9/11 were "successes" but both were on soft targets - the disproportionate response to 9/11 is unjustified and qithout focus

    is it harder to accept that 9/11 was a lucky strike by an unorganised lunatic fringe or that there is a shadowy network spanning the globe looking to strike at western interests wherever possible? - for me the latter is a harder concept to buy - there is no Al Qaeda - it's a tool employed by neo-cons to manipulate the public and retain power - those with the darkest mightmares have the most power...

  11. #11
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    well

    Quote Originally Posted by Live Steam
    Yeah there is no Mafia either! LOL!!!
    http://www.fbi.gov/hq/cid/orgcrime/lcn/ioc.htm

    there are apparently 3000 active members of the "mafia" in the US - so - do they exist? yes are they criminals? yes - are they a threat that endangers the very fabric of society? no

    should we invade Sicily to rid the world of this shadowy conspiracy group hell bent on illegal activities in the US and around the world?

    do you see any similarities here?

    when do you question what you are being told?

  12. #12
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    Did that documentary mention that the IRA was also a fictional terrorist group? How soon they forget. Especially since the British have been fighting terrorism in the Middle East for about 100 years. What is so difficult to believe about al Qaeda?

  13. #13
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    confused

    Quote Originally Posted by mohair_chair
    Did that documentary mention that the IRA was also a fictional terrorist group? How soon they forget. Especially since the British have been fighting terrorism in the Middle East for about 100 years. What is so difficult to believe about al Qaeda?
    where have the British been fighting terrorism in the ME for the past 100 years? it would come as a surprise to most people here...

    the IRA and Al Qaeda are not linked in the fiction stakes and it is disingenous to suggest otherwise - the IRA were/are indeed a shadowy, well organised network intent on terror - Al Qaeda is not (goes the argument) - what exactly do you think AQ is? do you really think they operate internationally with one goal and purpose and leadership structure - or is it a sloppy term for anyone who's vaguely anti-western?

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by M.J.
    where have the British been fighting terrorism in the ME for the past 100 years? it would come as a surprise to most people here...
    If it comes as a surprise, perhaps that's why they believe in stupid documentaries. Let's see. Off the top of my head, the British fought terrorists in Iraq in the early 1920s, and Palestine, India, Pakistan in the 1940s, and Egypt in the 1950s. I'm sure most British have long forgotten about the King David Hotel bombing that killed 91 people, but that was probably made up.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by M.J.
    part of the great unquestioning public

    how do you decide if what you are being told is real and genuine? do you not think there's a possiblity that even you could be manipulated? are conspiracy theories only sourced from the left? is it more head in sand to consider the poissibility you've been lied to or stay the course?

    do you really think US strategy at the moment is likely to (ever) acheive it's aim of wiping out all terrorists, whoever they may be this week?

    have you read 1984?

    if you wanna start with the personal attackes that's fine - I can play that game - maybe you could email your boyfriend Toyboy to come play too?
    Bill gets the REAL news from Newsmax and what his president tells him is so. Don't you know that by now? ;)
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  16. #16
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    I guess they exist afterall.

    U.S. May Have Found Fallujah Militant Base

    23 minutes ago
    Middle East - AP



    By TINI TRAN, Associated Press Writer BAGHDAD, Iraq - U.S. troops sweeping through Fallujah on Thursday said they believe they have found the main headquarters of the insurgent group headed by Jordanian terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.




    In video shot by an embedded CNN cameraman, soldiers walked through an imposing building with concrete columns and with a large sign in Arabic on the wall reading "Al Qaida Organization" and "There is no God but Allah and Muhammad is his messenger."

    Inside the building, U.S. soldiers found documents, old computers, notebooks, photographs and copies of the Quran.
    The rest is here: http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmp..._re_mi_ea/iraq
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Live Steam
    I guess they exist afterall.


    The rest is here: http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmp..._re_mi_ea/iraq
    Why? Because some soldiers found a building with some writing on the wall? Not saying AlQueda isn't real, but this isn't really evidence. This would be like saying you found the headquarters of the Aryan Nations because there was some graffiti mentioning them on the wall along with some racist pamphlets strewn around.
    "I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when its components fail. There is no heaven or afterlife for broken down computers; that is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark." -S. Hawking

  18. #18
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    Over your head?

    The point is not whether terrorists exist, but whether there it comprises an organized war determined to (and credibly capable of) destroying Western Civilization. Or is it just a relative handful of violent cranks?

    If the latter, operations such as the War in Iraq are just diversions --- straw-man excercises designed to manipluate public perception about the threats we face, the tactics that will deter them and our governments success in applying those tactics.

    Question for you, Steam: If GHWB, Clinton or even GWB invaded Iraq pre-9/11 and made it the central front in the War on Terror, would it have prevented 19 terrorists armed with box-cutters from killing themselves and taking thousands of Americans, four passenger jets and the WTC with them? Would they have been too afraid to attempt it because they feared swift and deciscive retribution against terrorists and rogue states that harbor them?

    Personally, I don't see how our reaction to 9/11 would have prevented 9/11 had we acted "in time". Thus, I don't see how our reaction to 9/11 will prevent future 9/11s.

  19. #19
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    It may have if we consider that they too have a central command system and a hirarchy that makes the decisions. It is hard to believe they do not. All organizations need a support system which provide intelligence, funding and operational skills. So if we had interupted their organization , as Iraq and Afghanistan have, we may very well have prevented them from putting together a successful plot that included all the logistics, funding, intelligence and manpower capable of pulling it off without screwing up or being caught.
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  20. #20
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    that's exactly the point

    Quote Originally Posted by Live Steam
    It may have if we consider that they too have a central command system and a hirarchy that makes the decisions. It is hard to believe they do not. All organizations need a support system which provide intelligence, funding and operational skills. So if we had interupted their organization , as Iraq and Afghanistan have, we may very well have prevented them from putting together a successful plot that included all the logistics, funding, intelligence and manpower capable of pulling it off without screwing up or being caught.
    your assumptions are wrong

    there is no real evidence that they are an organisation, that they exist, that they have a central command system with all the usual features such as intelligence, funding, operational skills...

    "Al Qaeda" is a few disenfranchised guys who had a lucky strike and everything since has been a concerted effort to manipulate public opinion

    BTW - drawing conclusions between graffiti and evidence of a shadowy network intent on destroying the western world are hilarious - you should get a job for the NY Post

  21. #21
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    oh you mean when Britain was

    Quote Originally Posted by mohair_chair
    If it comes as a surprise, perhaps that's why they believe in stupid documentaries. Let's see. Off the top of my head, the British fought terrorists in Iraq in the early 1920s, and Palestine, India, Pakistan in the 1940s, and Egypt in the 1950s. I'm sure most British have long forgotten about the King David Hotel bombing that killed 91 people, but that was probably made up.
    managing the colonies... - well, as an American you should know better than to lump anti-imperialist rebels in with the average common terrorist - if you have some difficulty on the subject just watch Star Wars

    seriously - your assumptions aren't based in the actual historical record

    and BTW - Pakistan and India are NOT in the Middle East - please refer to the CIA or the State Department home pages if you require an acceptable US-centric definition

  22. #22
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    There is no evidence that they are not an organized group. Prove they aren't. UBL has used the term AQ in his writings, video and audio tapes. Disenfranchised? From where? They are a group who organized outside the bounds and rules of any sovereign nation. To say they don't exist is the reason we were vulnerable in the first place. This is the same head in the sand thinking the last administration used. We experienced the damage that thinking caused. Does the IRA exist? Does the Mafia? Keep thinking the way you do. If our leaders thought as you, we would be in real trouble.

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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Live Steam
    Does the Mafia?
    And we've been so successful at routing out the Mafia, haven't we?
    "I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when its components fail. There is no heaven or afterlife for broken down computers; that is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark." -S. Hawking

  24. #24
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    Perhaps you are right.

    I think it is debatable whether Al Queda is aptly described as having a "central command system". Certainly, there is something of a centralized heirarchy of rhetoriticians, with Bin Laden acting as an undisputed mouthpiece. But again, how does this relate to 9/11, an operation that required relatively liminted logistics, funding, intelligence? They used box cutters!

    What you seem to be contending seems much more like a head in the sand mentality to me. What you are trying to do is shoehorn terrorism into a model that we already understand and can manage, i.e. the Mafia. But killing the AQ "Don" will no more stop terrorism than eliminating the Mafia bosses will eliminate vice.

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