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War on Terror

With the recent attacks on London and last year's attacks on Madrid in view, what success are we having in the 'war on terror'? Our biggest allies are still dealing with large scale coordinated terrorist attacks in their capitals while terrorists are attacking Iraqi citizens at will. Isn't it time for a reevaluation of our tactics? I fail to see the correlation between the war in Iraq and the war on terror although the Bush administration continues to maintain that the fighting in Iraq has furthered the causes of the global war on terror. How is the world any safer as a result of our war on terror?

I fail to see the

I fail to see the correlation between the war in Iraq and the war on terror although the Bush administration continues to maintain that the fighting in Iraq has furthered the causes of the global war on terror.

There is no correlation. No weapons of mass destruction (the reason Congress gave the thumbs up on the invasion), Saddam wasn't in any way tied with 9/11, al-Qaeda, or bin Laden, and terrorism levels have not changed since Bush's personal war. I was okay with the war in Afghanistan, but Iraq had nothing to do with any of the WTC attacks.

How is the world any safer as a result of our war on terror?

It isn't. At least, I don't feel any safer. Do you?

you can spend all day

you can spend all day killing ants in your home. you can try all day trying to patch any entrances they have. you can dig up their hills. until you stop leaving cookies and crumbs laying around, they'll keep on coming.

the answer to terrorism isn't in fighting the terrorists, it's in solving what makes them terrorists in the first place. the problem isn't the terrorists, the problem is american foreign and economic policies. going out and fighting them is just making the problem even bigger.

i do not sympathize with terrorism, though i sometimes sympathize with them. how would i react if i were one of them?

until bush and america realizes that this is not a war of good verses evil, but rather a war between two different evils, nothing is going to get better.

finally someone says what we're all thinking!

i'm glad we're taking the opportunity today to equate america with al-qaeda! that observation has been long overdue, in my opinion. in fact, america is far worse than al-qaeda, not just "a different evil" as tyler durden claims. not only were we so repeatedly mean as to practically force an attack on our own soil that killed nearly 3,000 innocent civilians, we have also caused the formerly peaceful muslim religion to suddenly (& unexpectedly) turn to WORLDWIDE VIOLENCE!

they attacked madrid, killing or injuring thousands--because of AMERICA! they have kidnapped (and are still kidnapping) innocent civilians & government leaders from practically every nation and beheading them in iraq--because of AMERICA! and now they attack great britain--again, OUR FAULT!

this is a perfect time--in the face of this tremendous bombing - slash - cry - for - help from the muslim world--to show that WE are willing to make amends!

let's release the illegally-held persons in the guantanamo bay gulags (or at least treat them like they should be treated--like the fellow members of civilization that they are!).

let's pull out of iraq! leave the country alone and watch the terrorist bombing cease immediately. just watch--it will happen!

in fact, let's stop our american imperialism completely. no more messing with iran, no more messing with iraq, syria, egypt, or anyone in the middle east. stop trying to undermine their leaders, stop making them feel inferior!

terrorism levels have not changed since Bush's personal war

indeed, mr. marbles! while there has not been a single attack on the country mr. bush is president of, you are right that terrorism has occurred in other nations throughout the world. you will notice that bush is not personally president of these nations. this is unfortunate. he needs to be held accountable, dammit.

SOMEONE HOLD HIM ACCOUNTABLE!!!

thank you, marbles and durden, for beginning a thread that speaks to the highest levels of human logic.

to sum it up: it is us, not them!

*indeed, farker.

surely you will want to take credit for that quote. sorry for leaving you out.

Let's be honest here...

Terrorism would have ended had we all signed this petition from MoveOn.org after September 11th.

Re-evaluation

Isn't it time for a reevaluation of our tactics?

It's true. Is bombing and killing the terrorists the worst possible thing we can do? Ain't the worst possible thing we can do is to CALL THEM NASTY NAMES?!

Seriously though, with all the criticism of the war, I hadn't heard many intelligent alternatives being raised for discussion until I read this thread and someone mentioned changing the policies that cultivate terrorism.

I, for one, think that the unilateralism/isolationist policy was a major cause of 9/11. We sort of looked the other way while government sponsored terrorism became the rule of law in the Middle East, which is why I think it was a good move to go in and shut down two of the most dangerous of those governments.

If you could go back in time, how would you have prevented 9/11?

Or, if you became president today, how would you have prevented the atrocities in London?

Anything I say is going to

Anything I say is going to be followed by some variation of 'hindsight is 20/20'.

I'm still interested in hearing the alternatives. You said here that military action was not the only solution. How, then, could we have stopped these countries from harboring terrorists?

I agree with j r van zep. Apparently 10 backpack bombs will buy you an election in Spain. And while that might be good for Spain in the short run, that kind of appeasement only encourages the terrorists to keep trying.

The only thing we can do now is to move forward and not do anything that allows Al Qaeda to recruit more suicide bombers.

Could you be more specific? I don't think suicide bombers are as driven by ideology as you think. In these poorer countries, other reasons make a lot more sense.

...prove to the world that we are not imperialistic... decrease our dependency in middle eastern oil... make it clear that our forces will leave Iraq shortly.

These are the policies that inspire terrorists? I'm underwhelmed. If we were so imperialistic and dependent on their oil, why did we not keep the oil fields after the FIRST gulf war?

Of course we want to get out of Iraq, but it would be irresponsible to leave before the country is secure. If that's not the real reason we're not setting a deadline, then please enlighten us as to what the ulterior motives might be.

we can look at the formation of the Jewish state and the ensuing war as evidence that the removal of American forces will not definitively lead to the complete collapse of Iraqi sovereignty.

If I were an Iraqi, this would not help me sleep at night ("Hey, it probably won't be any worse than Israel!"). I think we're trying to leave them with something better than that.

Pacifism doesn't work

MrMarbles writes:

Your definition of liberated is the presence of an election? Just so you know- on June 25th Iran also had an election. The election was to choose a succesor to the last president who was elected in 1997. Sorry, but elections do not constitute freedom.

You are right - elections alone don't define freedom. The abscence of totalitarian power does, in part. Saddam was totalitarian. He had all power over his state. Now, and under the forming Iraq constitution, power will be distributed among the people and their leaders. There is very little distribution of power in Iran.

MrMarbles writes:

The conventional definition of terrorism which this administration uses- mainly the car bomb and suicide bomber sort- did not exist in Iraq before the invasion.

What existed in Iraq before our invasion was worse than rogue terrorism. It was terrorist totalitarianism. There was nothing rogue or detached about it. Saddam and his military and secret police murdered hundreds of thousands of innocent Kurds and many other civilians. I for one thought the WMD issue was secondary in invading Iraq. I much more thought that it would be wonderful for Iraq to be free of such a ruthlessly, brutal, truly genocidal dictator.

MrMarbles writes:

The fact that Iraqis are free or not free really doesn't have anything to do with anything. ..But even if the election was a good measure of freedom- its irrelevant. The topic at hand is the war on terror.. The relative freedom of Iraqi citizens just doesn't matter.

I'll just change one word of one of those sentences to put this in it's proper, dispassionate light: "The fact that Americans are free or not free really doesn't have anything to do with anything."

As I will later show, this must actually be your point of view. If you don't give pittance for citizens in another state who suffer under brutal tyrants, you must ultimately not give pittance to the United States, who revolted from under the rule of England in our nation's birth specifically because that ruler weilded far too much power.

What effect does [the war on terror] have on the various terror groups' ability to attack us? It doesn't.

There is no logic there. If someone attacks me, and I fight back, and win the fight, that effects their ability to fight: they lost, they can't fight anymore.

And as far as saving countless Kurdish and Shiite lives? [link to a report about a terrorist attack on Iraqi security forces]

Are you actually saying that the insurgency forces would not be killing Kurds and Shiites if we never invaded Iraq? On the contrary, and as I pointed out, Saddam mass-murdered Kurds (at least, to my knowing) before we invaded. That logic doesn't work. The fact is that Saddam sought control by terror independent of anything the US did. And by the way, Al-Qaeda promised revenge for our invasion of Iraq, which shows that there is an affinity - Saddam and Al-Qaeda are sympathetic to each other, at the least - and the huge influx of terrorists into Iraq post war shows that they feel a stake in Iraq - so let's let them gather there, and take them out. It's a trap for them, and they're stupid to fall into it. And if they flee, let's hunt them down and destroy them. They are an enemy of civilization.

Tyler Durden writes:

..the problem isn't the terrorists, the problem is american foreign and economic policies. going out and fighting them is just making the problem even bigger.

Refer to my description of Saddam. Your argument doesn't hold.

i do not sympathize with terrorism, though i sometimes sympathize with them.

As if you could separate a terrorist from his doctrine of genocide? As if going about murdering innocent civilians could be seen in any good light? That's nuts. That's just plain nuts. Actually, I'm very frightened by that stance.

how would i react if i were one of them? until bush and america realizes that this is not a war of good verses evil, but rather a war between two different evils, nothing is going to get better.

As I will later show, and this apparently needs illuminating to you - America is a democracy. If you can really equate democracy and terrorism, you can't give much place for saying that you are pro-American in any way, which I also find very, very scary.

MrMarbles writes:

After four years we have caused the deaths of thousands of innocent Iraqis, not to mention almost two thousand American soldiers. And we have yet to fulfill our stated objectives. It doesn't matter that some good things have come of our war- there are a lot of dead people as a result and we aren't being successful at t to do. When we go to war we should be sure of what we are doing and we should hold the sanctity of human life above all else despite what has been done to us.

Sure, there have been misfires and civilian casualties. How can't there be when the enemy roosts in a city? But you, and uncounted other pacifist far-left wingers contradict yourselves in this facade of compassion. You never mention the hundreds of thousands of Kurds and others that Saddam murdered. It is as simple as this: if you had true compassion, those lives would be so important to you that you would support risking our own lives to defend the Iraqis from the possibility of further onslaught. After a ruler enacts genocide it can only be a matter of time before they strike en masse again - but opponents of Saddam within his country were silently dissapearing all the time! His secret police butchered and murdered opponents. And he definately had an enmity for America. This is not a person you leave in power.

This argument goes against things travis says in the same way.

Going back to MrMarbles' last comment: why doesn't it matter that some good has come out of the war? And isn't one of our stated objectives to guide the Iraqi people into building a democracy? Are you saying that democracy isn't worth dying for? And what of holding the sanctity of human life above all else despite what has been done to us? If in "what has been done to us" you refer to 9/11, and where I have shown the sympathies between Al-Qaeda and Saddam, are you really saying that we should not defend life? If you really hold life sacred in any way, far from idly not caring at all about Saddam's uncounted murders, you would be willing to give your life to defend other's from the very real worldwide risk of terrorist attacks, and to support your troops in doing so. But it's clear what your perspective is: the lives of Americans are worth more than the lives of victims of genocidal foreign dictators. In saying this, at least we can really pinpoint where your values lie.

Farker said:

there needs to be a replacement government [in Iraq] that works, and there isn't.

Do you expect democracy to take hold instantly in a region that has been void of it for as long as most anyone knows? The United States' own revolution took, I think, like, time. So revolutions elsewhere, I would expect, should take time, too.

Rusty wrote:

On one hand, you [MrMarbles] say [violence] will stop in Iraq if we leave, and on the other you say nothing has changed since Bush's personal war. Absolutely rediculous rhetoric.

Rusty is dead-on in picking apart bad logic. First, the pacifist says violence will stop if we pull out of Iraq. Next, he blames violence on the US invasion, saying nothing has changed since we invaded. Never mind that this dismisses free elections and an emerging democratic constitution - to say that nothing has changed is to say that things were in a state of needing change before we became involved. Things did need to chang in Iraq - terror on the Iraqi people - and on US CIA operatives - was occuring in Iraq long before we were involved; so that it must be completely illogical to say the terrorists will stop their course if we stop ours. Terror happened long before we got there, and as stated, independent of anyting we did. I know a common argument is that we caused terror ourselves because we are so awful and deserve the brutality brought on us. I can't argue with that insofar as it simply dismisses reality. But one reality I will bring into this is that America is a democracy, and while we've made a lot of awful mistakes, democracy is still infinitely more desireable than the brutal dictatorships that pacifists tolerate, enable, and worse sympathise with. We are dealing with: faulty reasoning.

Farker said:

You know what's scary, is that Bush used the WMD accusations to get an okay from Congress to go into Iraq. None were there. When reporters asked him about this, he said, "We would have gone in anyway." That sounds personal to me. I seriously doubt Congress would have okay'd it under those circumstances. That, to me, constitutes lying.

The intelligence reports of many world nations at the time indicated WMDs. Bush was pretty much putting forward what was in the world intelligence climate at the time; there wasn't much dissent from this view. There was no lie in it. There remains no hard conlusion on the WMD issue and yet leftists weild the issue so vehemently as if conclusive. I believe Bush's comment that he'd have gone to war anyway shows he considered even any amount of risk that there were WMDs intolerable. What would you do as president if terrorists breached your nation's security, and you felt in that as if you had failed your top job of defending the nation? I would take war to any nation that was an arguable risk to that security, and I for one am very glad that Bush did. America and the world are safer, and Iraq is emerging as a free nation - and as someone else has pointed out - waves of democracy are occuring throughout the middle east because of it. In my view it is nothing short of a modern miracle.

So the assertion that Bush has overstepped his bounds is simply nuts. By the way, the US legislative post-invasion investigation of Iraq stated that Saddam had been more dangerous than we believed. But back to before the Iraq invasion - the Bush administration responded to world intelligence reports in the interest of defending America by ousting Saddam - and secured the support of the Senate to do so. The Senate had all of the same information that Bush had, and they voted us to war; the sum of our leaders brought us here, not Bush alone. Naturally, the many Democrats who believe they can agree with everyone and remain happy later turned their backs on the war and the President.
The Senate independently supported Bush in going to war, and the Senate represented America in doing so - so that America still operates as a democracy.

MrMarbles wrote:

[Bush] declared a 'global war on terrorism' and that no one would be allowed to continue with terrorist actions anywhere in the world. He should be held accountable for the statements he made.

Take a hard look at this statement in light of everything else MrMarbles has been saying. MrMarbles has extensively put forward the view that Bush has pursued a wrong course in the war on terror. He never bothers debating whether Saddam is a terrorist; if in fact Saddam were, then our fight might be just - unless MrMarbles is going to say we shouldn't have taken the fight to Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan, which is an argument that doesn't work. As established, Saddam enacted terror on his citizens; by that standard alone, he is a terrorist. Yet also, as expressed, Al-Qaeda and Saddam are in strong sympathy; Saddam is still more the terrorist. So here, MrMarbles is saying that Bush should be made to account for the apparently bad statements bringing America to battle the terrorist Saddam. More concisely, MrMarbles is saying it is bad to fight Saddam. Since Saddam is a terrorist, the logic of this is to say it is bad to fight terrorism. Let me define what a terrorist is: a person who enacts genocide. Genocide does not distinguish military from citizen, it holds everyone of some certain or many ethnicities worthy of annihilation. Al-Zarqawi, resident terror commander of Iraq made it very clear after the Iraq election what he and his followers are about:

We have declared a fierce war on this evil principle of democracy and those who follow this wrong ideology..

As established by painful necessity, America is a democracy. Al-Zarqawi openly declares war on democracy, which encompasses many more nations than just the United States of America. This is who MrMarbles thinks we should not fight, folks. And from so many comments flying around saying America is the problem, it really seems like all these contrary folks might think it a good idea to declare war on America.

I totally agree with j r van jep's last comment.

MrMarbles wrote:

If we change those conditions and do our best to change the way the Muslim world sees us- then maybe these confused young men will be able to choose to stand for something other than Islamist ideology.

MrMarbles, you contradict yourself (again) here. You reamed into someone by misrepresenting their words as standing against all Islam. They were standing against a warped fringe of a fringe of Islam that is terrorist. Now here, you propose changing the world so that kids won't be recruited to "Islamist ideology". The phrase you should have used was "Terrorist ideology".

And how do you propose changing the world? Smiling at terrorists really hard and waiting for them to change? You utterly lack recognition of one fact: Nothing but war will stop terrorists from doing what they do. Change of policy, negotiations, appeasement, and love do not work here. Terrorists are set on destroying democracy and any of a hundred other random targets of their absolutely set hatred, a hatred so deep as destroying their own lives just to destroy others. Removing a terrorist from this world is the only way to stop him.

Iraq and al-Qaeda

In the past I have posted a couple of documents detailing a connection between Iraq and al-Qaeda. I'm not going to go so far as to say that Iraq had a part of the 9/11 attacks, but they did have a mutually beneficial relationship.

http://www.adnki.com/index_2Level.php?cat=Terrorism&loid=8.0.169852178&par=0

http://freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1182042/posts

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/969032/posts

http://www.cnn.com/2003/US/02/05/sprj.irq.alqaeda.links/

i'm sorry for impersonating a hysterical liberal

narfnarf: well put

to clarify, i was being sarcastic.

i guess my pretended hysterics were so like the typical liberal rant that some couldn't tell the difference.

i don't blame them.

Self-contradictions, bad semantics, dodging points

I should apologize for my former condescending, MrMarbles. I said that you lack compassion. That isn't fair - your arguments are based in not wanting people to die, which is compassionate. My argument is that you ignore overwhelming evidence that destroying the lives of terrorists is the only thing that will stop them, while also holding against arguments that we could do this another way based on 20/20 retrospectives of what might or might not have happened in other wars. The reality I know is that America was attacked and I'm angry as hell about it, and it opened my eyes to the fact of brutal and genocidal dictators in this world, and ever since I have been gung-ho for throwing down every tyrant this planet has to offer - militarily.

That said, your rebuttal doesn't hold.

I said that there was not much dissent to the view the Bush administration put forth of the security situation in Iraq. In response you site dissent from Israel, Russia, France, an independent American organization, and a few folks in American government. I couldn't comment on Israel. I can say that France had no interest in the war because they had made a lot of profit selling weapons to Saddam: their interest was in concealing their shame, not in securing peace or fighting terror. I don't know about Russia. As for an independent American organization: whoopty-do. One will say one thing, one will say another. Who to decide is worth listening to is a hard issue. My point, as it remains, is that the predominant international security climate indicated weapons of mass destruction. I found an article listing many nations who’s intelligence indicated the same thing: I wish I could find it again. But my point itself, as I also said, is secondary: I never gave so much a hoot about the WMD issue as I did that a genocidal tyrant had power running amok for far too long, and I thought he should be ousted, by gun. I think the same of many tyrants world-wide, but the political will of most of the world seems not to favor such liberal interventionism.

Me:

On one hand, you say it will stop in Iraq if we leave, and on the other you say nothing has changed since.

MrMarbles:

I'm not sure how you got that one confused.

You never expressed the former as applied to Iraq. I inferred it where you applied it to history:

MrMarbles:

And seriously- How many people died in the World War could have lived if the other countries in the world had listened to Wilson and toned down the Versailles treaty?

Here you argue that lives would have been saved if the response to the Versailles treaty was different. It's easy to guess that you view the UN situation around pre-invasion Iraq is similar: that if the world appeased and was nicer, Iraq wouldn't be such a problem. But I admit it was a guess. Really, I confused this vaguely not useful view with an impossible one you put forward:

MrMarbles:

What effect does [the Iraq invasion] have on the various terror groups' ability to attack us? It doesn't. And as far as saving countless Kurdish and Shiite lives? How about these 9 people (link to a report of terror attacks on Iraqi security forces) who died 6 days ago? I'd be able to find more recent stories but..

Here you say that invading Iraq hasn't affected the terrorists' abilities to attack us, or to destroy civilian lives. It isn't clear whether you mean civilians weren't being killed before we invaded (an idea I extensively denounced as false), that insurgents will kill civilians whether we interfere or not (despairing, and insulting to the cause of liberty), or that they will stop killing civilians if we leave (which denies the fact that terrorists seek power by murder, period). Absurdly, of these three irrational extrapolations, you leave out the fourth: that we can prevent more killings by killing the killers - via military intervention. All that aside, you haven't rebutted my blow to your argument: that in fact the insurgent stance is weakened because we attacked them and are winning the Iraq war, big time. Especially big time in terms of efficiency and scale of our own losses in comparison to every other war we have fought.

You propone a fixed timetable for withdrawal that is flexible. That is impossible. If it's set, it isn't flexible. If it's flexible, it isn't set. And saying “maybe we’ll pull out by such-and-such date” would be spineless and mamby-pamby.

Outrageously, after making retrospective predictions on a history that might have gone differently with Versailles, you hold against me for making predictions from the present:

Prove that more Iraqis would be dead today under Saddam's regime than have been killed during our occupation. Just because you'd like to believe it doesn't mean hundreds of thousands would have died in the past three years.

You ask me to prove that more Iraqis wouldn't be killed by Saddam if we hadn't invaded; the inference is that my argument is groundless because it can't be proven: so you won't let me argue in terms of speculations. But you yourself tread the same ground of speculations with Versailles! You won't allow your debate opponents to do the very thing that you do, and when others called you on this tactic you essentially said you didn’t really mean it. Then why say it to begin with? Either you mean it or you don’t. I very much mean my speculations, and they could be wrong, but I believe that they are serious enough to back our nation’s war in Iraq. No one has guarantees of what will or will not happen. In truth it infuriates me when people demand them. There aren't any.

Semantics, MrMarbles: Your definition of Terrorism is correct. My opinion of the very common definition of Terrorist is that it is too narrow; that it does not recognize a terrorist for who he truly is. For me the semantic does not encompass the self-description Al-Zarqawi puts out, which bears re-examination:

Al-Zarqawi said:

We have declared a fierce war on this evil principle of democracy and those who follow this wrong ideology..

Al-Zarqawi declares war on the principle of democracy. This principle of democracy lives in the heart of every American who swears allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, with Liberty and Justice for all. It is for this reason that every American, military and civilian, is targeted by the terrorist for murder. We see, where Iraq insurgents behead American civilians, that this is true. Then clearly, the terrorists we face in Iraq target everyone of the American affiliation or ethnicity – and Iraqi civilians; insurgents bombed civilians in the elections: terrorists have a policy of genocide - against America, and all democracies, the emerging democracy in Iraq, and all civilians of all democracies.

More semantics: the definitions you provide for Islamist, in the context of your remarks, do worse things than condescend. You say that Islamists recruit young kids to train them in terrorism. The definitions you provide for Islamist broadly describe the whole religion of Islam. But the majority of Islam preaches peace and denounces the acts of terrorists.

MrMarbles wrote:

The only thing we can do now is to move forward and not do anything that allows Al Qaeda to recruit more suicide bombers.

The alternative term you offer for achieving that objective is not the only possibility. And in my view, what we are presently doing is the only way to achieve that objective. There are loud arguments in history that the only way to deal with murderous enemies of civilization is to murder them before they continue murdering others. Would you actually say that Hitler would have stopped with Europe? Or that he would have never attacked if the world was nicer to Germany after World War I? Invading nationalism should be militarily humiliated, and it was. Germany could have chosen a different path: they were "..dupes of pretended Patriots". Hitler's doctrine was to annihilate every Jew. The risk of that doctrine should never have been borne for a moment. I believe America should have gotten involved in World War II much sooner. We turned away boats of Jewish immigrants to their later doom back in Europe. Our error was not engaging Germany soon enough.

In the Book of Mormon, Helaman and Moroni advocate war in the name of defending lives and liberty. Strictly speaking, where you say we should hold the right to life as tantamount, this principle makes an exception; to say that an enemy who destroys life is not worthy of life himself: he has no innocence at all, it is just to extinguish his life because he is a risk to the life of others. Or that is my extrapolation of the principle as I see it; it is clear that the Book of Mormon offers justification for war in defense of life. My opinion is that such defense of life - and further of political liberty - is what the US is undertaking in Iraq. I am not saying that the Mormon church endorses this war. I am saying that I combine a principle in the Mormon church, with my perhaps uninformed, or perhaps not uninformed, view of what is happening in Iraq, to forge my personal support for the US war against terrorists in Iraq - and everywhere else we may yet have to take terrorists down.

You say that you support war in defense of lives, but looking back at history you offer no examples of such wars as you support. I am left to guess: do you hold the impossible view that all war can and should be avoided? I reiterate the point you dodge: some intend to wage war no matter what - to murder on the basis of ethnicity or nationalism or whatever else - and there is nothing anyone can do to change that. The originators of the war decide of themselves to so act, and they alone are accountable, no one else is. Among these are the terrorists we face down in Afghanistan and Iraq, and which we should continue facing down for as long as it takes. We cannot know when the terrorists will be stopped. So far as any of us should be concerned, we should battle them until the end of the world. I believe that this is why Bush said in his first address to the nation after 9/11 that on 9/11 the sun went down on a different world.

I am distressed that you are going to school in a political science program in New York, surely a program sympathetic to your views? New York is a haven of liberal thought and media - from day one of the invasion, the New York Times spat out article after article indicating the US' supposed heavy losses and imminent loss of the war. This was simply not the case, and again, absolutely not in contrast to former wars we have waged. Bill O'Reilly received an email from a trooper describing the losses of Saddam's forces as piles of body parts knee-deep filling a street, and uncounted truckloads deporting the carcasses. O'Reilly reported on this and took the New York Times to task on it. The NYT we-are-losing bubble burst with the toppling of the Saddam statue. Why would the NYT report so ridiculously negatively on the progress of our troops? Was it not possible for them to get the same kind of indications as to the real progress of the war as Bill O'Reilly? Surely it was possible. So I ask: were they writing news, or slanting news to an agenda? And if so, what agenda? Would they actually rather have the story be that terrorists and genocidal dictators win? Do they think that America is the bad guy, and that it would be, um, somehow virtuous, praiseworthy, or of good report (or newsworthy) if America toppled to its knees and collapsed? The far left is not your friend, and you'll find little but bad news among them.

I ask you again to take a hard look at this fact: the terrorist wishes to destroy life, and nothing will change his death wish. So it is requisite that we fulfill his death wish much, much sooner than he hopes. And to that cause, let us refer to Winston Churchill:

Never, never, never believe any war will be smooth and easy, or that anyone who embarks on the strange voyage can measure the tides and hurricanes he will encounter. The statesman who yields to war fever must realize that once the signal is given, he is no longer the master of policy but the slave of unforeseeable and uncontrollable events.

Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just!

overwhelming evidence

OVERWHELMING evidence that MILITARY ACTION is the ONLY SOLUTION to stopping (not temporarily warding off, or temporarily appeasing--but STOPPING) terrorism.

Here's a few examples...

Adolf Hitler/Axis Powers
Osama Bin Laden
Saddam Hussein
The Taliban
The Central Powers (WWI)
Slobadam Milosevich
Napoleon Bonaparte

Whoa... not sure I agree

Whoa... not sure I agree with you (both you and tyler) 100% there. I don't believe America or its policies are responsible for terrorism, anymore than say, you'd be responsible for killing someone if you manufactured a gun that someone else used. I wholeheartedly understand how other nations and individuals could get plenty pissed at us, what we stand for, what we do, etc, but there is NO excuse for executing innocent civilians, bombing non-military structures, and otherwise terrorizing people. Ever. Terrorists are pansies. They aren't out fighting for freedom or peace. And being Muslim has nothing to do with it... religious fanatics have used their religion to start and fight wars since the beginning of time. Muslim terrorists hardly represent Muslims.

But it is true, Bush should be accountable for everything Iraq. I realize that a lot of good things have come of this war. The vast majority of Iraqi's are better off without Saddam... but there needs to be a replacement government that works, and there isn't. We shouldn't have invaded. The US is like a big cop to the rest of the world. It's ridiculous. I totally agree that we should stop interfering with those who don't want interference. Why are we spending blood and money on ungrateful nations? You know what's scary, is that Bush used the WMD accusations to get an okay from Congress to go into Iraq. None were there. When reporters asked him about this, he said, "We would have gone in anyway." That sounds personal to me. I seriously doubt Congress would have okay'd it under those circumstances. That, to me, constitutes lying.

I doubt it. Terrorists

I doubt it. Terrorists aren't interested in peace. Ever. They want their way. They want to be feared, and in control. I think the real solution is tightening up border control, decreasing American presence in other countries, and actually catching those responsible for 9/11. We (Americans) tend to go to aid other nations, and instead of thanking us, they piss and moan about how we're not doing enough. I say let them deal with their own problems, and the Mexican and Canadian borders need real protection. It is way too easy for anyone to get into America. It's the law-abiding ones who have a hard time with it.

Racial Profiling

The most obvious solution would be to racially profile Arabs wherever they are found.

A quote from Jihad al-Khazen, an op-ed columnist for the London-based pan-Arab Al-Hayat newspaper. Quoted from here.

"Actions that governments take to fight terrorism are totally justified because protecting life is a lot more important than protecting civil liberties."

speak for yourself!

i'm glad we're taking the opportunity today to equate america with al-qaeda! that observation has been long overdue, in my opinion. in fact, america is far worse than al-qaeda, not just "a different evil" as tyler durden claims. not only were we so repeatedly mean as to practically force an attack on our own soil that killed nearly 3,000 innocent civilians, we have also caused the formerly peaceful muslim religion to suddenly (& unexpectedly) turn to WORLDWIDE VIOLENCE!

propaganda at its finest. Where do you come up with this?

they attacked madrid, killing or injuring thousands--because of AMERICA! they have kidnapped (and are still kidnapping) innocent civilians & government leaders from practically every nation and beheading them in iraq--because of AMERICA! and now they attack great britain--again, OUR FAULT!

shouldn't you also be typing "YOUR FAULT" if you are going to use that logic. It is "YOUR FAULT" that innocent civilians are being beheaded? "YOUR FAULT" (An American) that Britain was attacked. And maybe you aren't from the U.S. You are likely living here, which still makes it "YOUR FAULT." Your logic is terrible.

let's release the illegally-held persons in the guantanamo bay gulags (or at least treat them like they should be treated--like the fellow members of civilization that they are!).

legally-held. they are legally held. When people say it is illegal, it is based on some bit of "why are they being held," which the government doesn't always tell. I am willing to be that you haven't read or researched much about any of these issues other than what you are told in a few books or on a few completely biased Web sites. Why do I say that? Because it is the same correlated message we all hear day in and day out. the SAME MESSAGE! same wording . . .

a puppeteer's puppet.

let's pull out of iraq! leave the country alone and watch the terrorist bombing cease immediately. just watch--it will happen!

let's pull out of iraq! leave the country, and watch the country become the world capital for terrorist cultivation. Just watch. It will happen. Just watch. BALONEY! Terrorism didn't just show up out of nowhere. Its been around, and it will continue. To say that terrorist bombings will cease because the U.S. leaves Iraq is rediculous. USS Cole, previous WTC Attacks, Attacks on U.S. embassies (ALL BEFORE the U.S. Entered Iraq).

in fact, let's stop our american imperialism completely. no more messing with iran, no more messing with iraq, syria, egypt, or anyone in the middle east. stop trying to undermine their leaders, stop making them feel inferior!

Thank you for telling us all how these countries feel. I am glad to know that you personally know that they feel inferior.

terrorism levels have not changed since Bush's personal war

Thank you for validating all of my points. You shot your whole argument down with this one. On one hand, you say it will stop in Iraq if we leave, and on the other you say nothing has changed since Bush's personal war. So, why would things change at all (according to your statements . . . depending on which one we are reading) if the U.S. leaves Iraq.?

to sum it up: it is us, not them!

to sum it up, it is YOU, not them! Absolutely rediculous rhetoric.

I, for one, think that the

I, for one, think that the unilateralism/isolationist policy was a major cause of 9/11. We sort of looked the other way while government sponsored terrorism became the rule of law in the Middle East, which is why I think it was a good move to go in and shut down two of the most dangerous of those governments.

But even the use of "unilateralism/isolationist" policy only makes sense to those who have the opinion that it is what it is. In other words, for those who have tagged the policy that type of policy would say it is a major cause. But, I guarantee the Bushies of the world wouldn't call it unilateralism/isolationist policy. Neither would the Dems. You really believe the view the U.S. in that light? No way. The Dems might say it because they don't have power, but the second they regain power, it no longer carries that name.

Funny though how election time is all about jobs, healthcare, education, and such and how all of it is driven by capitalism, which drives POLICY!

>?

1. At one point THERE WERE WMDs. (It is a fact acknowledged by the whole world including the UN--Saddam used them on the Kurds.)
2. This is not "Bush's Personal War." (The war in Iraq is being fought by a coalition made up of many nations who see the danger in allowing a blatently EVIL and possibly CRAZY dictator up to his own devices.)
3. The war in Iraq has had an enormous impact on the war on terror. The people of Iraq are now a liberated people (you might just say "we forced" our ideals on them but the facts speak for themselves -8,000,000 Iraqis voted in their election-), Libya has fallen (once Ghadaffi saw that we meant business in taking out dictators such as himself), Syria has bowed out of Lebanon (thus taking a great deal of pressure off of the area and helping to allow stability and autonomy that Lebanon has not had in who knows how many years), etc etc etc.

I feel that the war was more than justified for many reasons...and I sure do feel a lot safer knowing that Saddam Hussein is out of power.

no

How dare you call this a "war between two evils"????????
Osama Bin Laden attacked and killed thousands of INNOCENT Americans at the world trade center. This was not some reaction to bad US policy--we never did anything to Osama Bin Laden (except buy Saudi's oil and send BILLIONS of dollars in aid to several of the different Arab/Muslim countries in the Middle East.) What Osama Bin Laden did was PURE evil--and the United States started the war on terror to find him (and all those like him) and take them out so as to protect the innocent from anymore of their attacks.
As for Iraq, it is a similar scenario. You have Saddam Hussein (killing hundreds of thousands, torturing, oppressing, and attacking his neighbors) an EVIL dictator being taken out by a concerned and freedom loving nation. When the United States took control of Iraq, we did NOT rape the women, steal the oil, and ruin the infostructure--we REBUILT THE COUNTRY, AND ASSISTED IN SETTING UP A FREE IRAQ.
(I fail to see how this is Evil vs. Evil but rather GOOD (The United States and it's freedom loving coalition) vs. EVIL (Saddam Hussein -evil dictator- and Osama Bin Laden -TERRORIST-).

LOL

Terrorism would not have ended.

"Peace for our time"--Chamberlain.

Signing a petition would have stopped Al-Qaida as well as Neville Chamberlain's negotiations and statements stopped Adolf Hitler.

APPEASEMENT DOESN'T WORK. Standing up to evil is the ONLY answer. In Osama Bin Laden and Co.'s case...military action was the ONLY solution. (He had destroyed our battle ships-we peacefully went on, he blew up our embassies in Africa-we peacefully tried to deal with him, then he attacked us on our own soil-and we're NOT GONNA TAKE IT ANYMORE.

Why is this so complicated? Can you liberal-pacifist-idealists not learn ANYTHING from history?

Oh, and by the way--eliminating/destroying/KILLING the terrorists is not playing into their hands--in fact, in completely disables them from attacking again.

BTW...Liverpool FC and England rock argentina/boca

Sarcasm is the weapon of the

Sarcasm is the weapon of the ignorant. And, quite frankly, it bothers and offends me- and I am not easily offended. I am being quite serious in my opposition to the policies being advanced by the Bush administration. I would appreciate it if you would take these points into valid consideration.



Despite the fact that Mr. Bush is not president of the United Kingdom- he declared a 'global war on terrorism' and that no one would be allowed to continue with terrorist actions anywhere in the world. He should be held accountable for the statements he made. And I maintain that if we continue with our Treaty of Versailles-like obstinance that we will inevitably have (and already have had) consequences like the consequences of Versailles. And human life is too valuable for us to go on like this.

Anything I say is going to

Anything I say is going to be followed by some variation of 'hindsight is 20/20'. So I decline. The only thing we can do now is to move forward and not do anything that allows Al Qaeda to recruit more suicide bombers. To prove to the world that we are not imperialistic. There are many ways we can do this. Many responsible energy policies to decrease our dependency on middle eastern oil. Additionally, we need to make it clear that our forces will leave Iraq shortly. The insistence of the Bush administration that setting a deadline will cause terrorists to wait until that day so that they can take over- it's poorly formed ideology. The presence of a deadline won't influence them any more than the idea that we will leave someday. Further- we can look at the formation of the Jewish state and the ensuing war as evidence that the removal of American forces will not definitively lead to the complete collapse of Iraqi sovereignty.

We're not setting a deadline

We're not setting a deadline because the Republican administration is using the natural inclination of American citizens to stand behind a war time president.


What would I do differently? Many things. I wouldn't have overthrown the Iranian republic to aid British Petroleum. I wouldn't have given weapons to Afghanistan in the eighties. I would have developed a responsible energy policy in the seventies so that we weren't dependent on Middle Eastern oil so that the invasion of Kuwait wasn't such a big deal and didn't require us to go to war. I would have put more into the intelligence gathering capability. Basically- I wouldn't have meddled in the middle east at all.

I could go on but it's late

  1. Pinky writes:
    The intelligence reports of many world nations at the time indicated WMDs...there wasn't much dissent from this view... There remains no hard conlusion on the WMD issue...

    So the assertion that Bush has overstepped his bounds is simply nuts. By the way, the US legislative post-invasion investigation of Iraq stated that Saddam had been more dangerous than we believed.



    Not so much. The ISG(Iraqi Survey Group) of the CIA had this to say about Iraq's capability to develop nuclear weapons:

    Iraq Survey Group (ISG) discovered further evidence of the maturity and significance of the pre-1991 Iraqi Nuclear Program but found that Iraq’s ability to reconstitute a nuclear weapons program progressively decayed after that date.



    And they had this to say about chemical weapons:

    There are no credible indications that Baghdad resumed production of chemical munitions thereafter [1991], a policy ISG attributes to Baghdad’s desire to see sanctions lifted, or rendered ineffectual, or its fear of force against it should WMD be discovered.



    Here's an article written for the Institute of Science and International Security on 10 March 2003- just before the invasion- that details dissent about Iraq's nuclear program from the Department of Energy and the IAEA, who- in my opinion are a little bit more qualified to determine the state of the Nuclear program in Iraq than Colin Powell. My favorite portion of this article? Here goes:

    My surprise became concern when I was told that this dispute had not been mediated by a competent, impartial technical committee, as it should have been according to accepted practice. I became dismayed when a knowledgeable government scientist told me that the administration could say anything it wanted about the tubes while government scientists who disagreed were expected to remain quiet.




    Here's another article which details dissent provided by the intelligence services of Russia and France. So when you wrote that the international intelligence community generally supported the Bush administration's claim that Saddam had nuclear capability in 2003- I will give you the benefit of the doubt and hope that you were speaking out of ignorance and that you weren't blatantly lying.

  2. Rusty writes:
    On one hand, you say it will stop in Iraq if we leave, and on the other you say nothing has changed since Bush's personal war.


    I'm not sure how you got that one confused. So let's take it real slow. There were terrorist attacks on US citizens in the years leading up to 9/11. In the eighteen years from the Beirut bombing to the 9/11 attacks - roughly 3300 Americans or western allies were killed by Islamist terrorists. In the aftermath of the 9/11 atrocities Bush promised to wage a war on terror to prevent these attacks from happening any more. And here I quote his State of the Union speech of 2003:

    In all these efforts, however, America's purpose is more than to follow a process -- it is to achieve a result: the end of terrible threats to the civilized world.

    Yet in the four years since Operation Enduring Freedom began over 490 Americans or western allies have been killed. That's an average of 184 deaths per year before we began the war on terror and 122 deaths per year after. If we take average of 1983- 2000 and not 1983- 2001 it drops to 30 deaths per year. So now that we have established that terrorist attacks have not dropped in intensity because of the war on terror, let's address what will happen if our troops were not in Iraq. Actually- I'm pretty sure I haven't written that I want the troops out now. For all Bocajuniors' talk of strawmen you'd think that you'd learn to not do it. I do not feel that we need to withdraw our troops now. We have occupied a foreign country and despite the fact that Saddam isn't killing them - Iraqis are still dying at an alarming rate. We are responsible for this and as such we should continue to aid them until such time as our help is no longer needed. I am addressing the faults in our policy of not setting a deadline. Our policy of constructing permanent military bases in Iraq. Our policy failures with respect to training the Iraqi army and quelling the insurgency. A deadline is flexible. It doesn't mean that we are forcibly going to be out of the country by that date. It does mean that we are working towards it and that if we don't meet it we can hold our leaders responsible for failing to meet it. It's a goal. I'm all for making goals. As is the Bush administration. But apparently only when the people who have to meet that goal are poor African nations. For all the Republican spewing about responsibility that poor people need to take for their situation they seem to be rather reluctant to take responsibility for their own actions.

  3. Pinky writes:
    Are you actually saying that the insurgency forces would not be killing Kurds and Shiites if we never invaded Iraq? On the contrary, and as I pointed out, Saddam mass-murdered Kurds (at least, to my knowing) before we invaded



    Prove that more Iraqis would be dead today under Saddam's regime than have been killed during our occupation. Just because you'd like to believe it doesn't mean hundreds of thousands would have died in the past three years. The most liberal number of total murders during Saddam's twenty four year long regime is 600,000. Over his twenty-four year regime that comes out to about 25000 deaths per year. Since 1988 saw the deaths of 100,000 Kurds- that means the average isn't a good measure of how many would have been killed in 2003-5. So as far as I can tell- if we still weren't in Iraq- Iraqis would be about as well off on that account. As far as torture goes- what with Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo they're not doing much better than under Saddam.

  4. NarfNarf attempts unsuccessfully to define terrorist:
    Let me define what a terrorist is: a person who enacts genocide



    Sorry- but not so much:


    Terrorism: The unlawful use or threatened use of force or violence by a person or an organized group against people or property with the intention of intimidating or coercing societies or governments, often for ideological or political reasons.

    Genocide: The systematic and planned extermination of an entire national, racial, political, or ethnic group.

  5. Narfnarf writes:

    They were standing against a warped fringe of a fringe of Islam that is terrorist. Now here, you propose changing the world so that kids won't be recruited to "Islamist ideology". The phrase you should have used was "Terrorist ideology".



    jr van zep made an attack against Islam from 700 AD. I made a comment that it is easy for islamists to recruit suicide bombers because of our foreign policy. Apparently you don't know the difference between the terms Islam/muslim and islamist. Islamist refers to fundamentalist anti-democratic fringe groups. Islam refers to the religion as a whole. Don't lecture me on contradictions when you don't even understand the terms I'm using.

  6. Narfnarf writes:
    I for one thought the WMD issue was secondary in invading Iraq. I much more thought that it would be wonderful for Iraq to be free of such a ruthlessly, brutal, truly genocidal dictator.



    Well that may be what you thought, or it may be what you think you thought- but here's what President Bush thought:

    But let there be no misunderstanding: If Saddam Hussein does not fully disarm, for the safety of our people and for the peace of the world, we will lead a coalition to disarm him
    -State of the Union, 2003



    The conditions placed upon Saddam were disarmament not compliance with human rights conventions.

Ar har

travis:

thank you, and lol.

you ignore overwhelming

you ignore overwhelming evidence that destroying the lives of terrorists is the only thing that will stop them,

can you please give us one piece of evidence?

I am distressed that you are

I am distressed that you are going to school in a political science program in New York, surely a program sympathetic to your views? New York is a haven of liberal thought and media




I'm distressed that you think you know where I go to school. You don't. I actually attend BYU. And no- the program isn't sympathetic to my views. I'm further distressed that you think that New York is a haven for liberal thought when the mayor(Bloomberg) is Republican, the former mayor(Giuliani) is Republican, the governor(Pataki) is Republican. The state senate majority leader(Bruno) is Republican. Further- I didn't grow up in New York, it's just that my parents live there now. I grew up in Texas and New Jersey. I went camping with Christine Todd Whitman(a republican governor of New Jersey and former head of the EPA under George W.) and George W. was the commencement speaker at my sister's college graduation. So no- New York has very little influence on my opinions. And as to your claim about casualties and comparing them to previous wars- our technology has improved so drastically since the last conventional war we fought that it is foolish for anyone to deduce that this war has been more successful solely because fewer soldiers have died. It's like comparing the civil war with the Great War based on the number of soldiers killed. The technology was so drastically different that the comparison loses all sense of meaning. And your claim about the NYT claiming the war was going to be lost imminently until Bill O'Reilly called them on it? I didn't find any evidence of it. In a search of the New York Times on LexisNexis from March 17 2003 to May 3 2003 I couldn't find an article that predicted a loss for American forces. I didn't have time to read word for word but I did go through a great deal of them tonight. So if you could give me an example of one of these articles, that would be great.

I do not claim that all war is preventable. I merely think that we should do all in our power to attempt to prevent it. If we still have to go to war- then that's the way things go. But we did what was right and attempted to avoid it. That's all I ask. And in this case- I do not think that we exhausted all of those options available to us. I have more to say but it's late and I'm tired.

Mahmoud Abbas

Mahmoud Abbas

you have to be kidding

The Central Powers were terrorists? give me a break.

I guess the best argument in your favor would be the example of Turkey and the Armenians, but WWI didn't do anything to stop that.

I'm sorry, but your examples are terribly bad and your definition of terrorism too vague at something like "anyone who had a conflict with the U.S. or history regards as a not very nice ruler."

Apologies, clarifications, thank you

I'd have sworn I posted something earlier which now isn't here..

Anyway, my apologies to MrMarbles for drawing an assumption about his education based on his hometown.

The arguement about the New York Times I pulled straight from Bill O'reilly's book "Who's Watching Out For You?"

Re exploring every alternative before going to war: the United States did explore every alternative. The UN passed thirteen resolutions against Saddam's human rights and weapons violations, and Saddam was still giving the world the runaround! Two reasons the UN didn't approve the war were France and Germany's objections - which figures because they made a lot of money selling arms to Saddam, they had something to hide! There are indications also that Israel and Russia may have things to hide - that they sold arms to Yugoslavia before the policy of genocide became clear in that catastrophy (three links on this - [1] - [2] - [3]). They couldn't have opposed involvement there because they weren't part of NATO, but they are part of the UN, and I wouldn't put it past them, given arms-deals to yugoslavia, to sympathize with a French or German view of this war.

Thank you j_r_van_zep for the list - being a list of leaders and armies who attacked other militaries or citizens unprovoked; such ought not to be appeased: the risk to civilization is too great, and such should be thrown down militarily. The difference between a militant and terrorist tyrant, I think, is that a militant attacks militaries, whereas a terrorist attacks civilians also. But both attack unprovoked and should not be appeased in any way.