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    (Original post by SamTheMan)
    Anyway, I was describing terrorists as cruel and unhuman cowards whose only aim is to kill the biggest number of innocent civilians.
    *Yawn* ...You and the rest of the world. No-one seems to have anything fresh or profound to say anymore. I am always hearing last night's news: the stories, phrases, and all those BBC buzz-words *shudder*. These debates therefore become rather obtuse, especially when you can predict peoples' responses almost word-for-word.
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    I've seen so many threads where people think terrorists are mentally ill in some way or are products of the devil or something, creating mass hysteria its ridiculous.

    But this thread seems different, so this is how I see it.

    America is a super power, it is pushy, it is going around the world preaching democracy ect ect. Alot of countries feel threatened by this, but what people dont' understand is: what if the middle east was a super power preaching Islam? How would we feel? I'll say now, its just how they are feeling now, we are killing their people and threatning their culture, and somehow we expect them not to fight back.

    This is a war. Blair wanted a war, Bush wanted a war against terrorism, well they've got one, but this is different type of warfare, their warfare, because they can't afford big warships and artillary. They're breaking all the rules of warfare, but they're just hitting back.

    I'm not condoning revenge or terrorism, I personally think both parties are as bad as one another because they both kill. But I don't understand how we can expect to go into a country like that and gain no consequence. It's just upsetting to see how people who maybe/probably didn't want the war are also suffering, innocent people in other words.

    What does everyone else think.
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    (Original post by Tomorrow2Day)
    Sure, look at the "terrorist" (Thatcher's words), leader of "one of the more notorious terrorist groups" (CIA), Nelson Mandela.
    Look at the US bombing of Afghanistan - it meets perfectly the definition of terrorism, yet is generally accepted as legitimate and justified.
    Terrorism just means political violence - it is legitimised because it is the only possible expression of a legitimate cause against a repressive authority. Where the goals of the terrorist are legitimate and non-violent means unable to reach those goals, terrorism is legitimised, perhaps even necessitated.
    This is what I had a discussion about wih a guy on this forum and he proved me wrong that the US werem't terrorist when I said they were. His winning point was that the US DONT want civilian deaths and aviod them whilst terrorist aim to kill civilains. ie) For the US innocent deaths is a tragedy whilst it is an achievment for the terrorists.

    Which I stick by my point, I think the word 'terrorist' is given to those who can't afford proper warfare and have to achieve their aims in a different way, when in fact the US is causing just as much if not more terror. :confused: But I agree with you.
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    The US Army manuals define terrorism as "the calculated use of violence or the threat of violence to attain goals that are political, religious or ideological in nature...through intimidation, coercion or instilling fear."

    The US told Afghanistan they'd continue to be bombed until they handed over all the "terrorists" they were hiding (they refused to supply any incriminating evidence of the guilt of the individuals to the Afghan government). That's terrorism by the US definition.

    The idea that the US doesn't target civilians is simply false - the US went to war - it bombed towns in Iraq and Afghanistan - flushing out and killing terrorists and soldiers but also killing civilians.

    Likewise, the US has had no qualms about killing civilians in South America to ensure elections there produced the "correct" results - free market governments that would maintain US interests.

    Again, in pre-war Iraq, the US prevented the acquisition of vaccinations and clean water under the devastating sanctions regime (and yes, the deaths there are the responsibility of the US and UK, not the UN Security Council as a whole). Without those vaccinations and that clean water, half a million Iraqi children died.

    All that aside though, civilian deaths are not the hallmark of a terrorist activity. When the IRA bombs military bases in Ireland (or bombed) it was committing a terrorist act - the civilian/combatant distinction is not relevant. That would be a "war on intentional civilian murder". This is a "war on terror".
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    (Original post by Tomorrow2Day)


    Again, in pre-war Iraq, the US prevented the acquisition of vaccinations and clean water under the devastating sanctions regime (and yes, the deaths there are the responsibility of the US and UK, not the UN Security Council as a whole). Without those vaccinations and that clean water, half a million Iraqi children died.
    Not true, though often alleged. The equipment and materials used to purify water and make vaccines are just as well adapted to make biological and chemical weapons. Saddam Hussein refused to accept the- very strict- controls required of him before they were supplied.
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    (Original post by Weejimmie)
    Not true, though often alleged. The equipment and materials used to purify water and make vaccines are just as well adapted to make biological and chemical weapons. Saddam Hussein refused to accept the- very strict- controls required of him before they were supplied.
    Why and how would you believe something so ridiculous? Did you also believe that Matrix Churchill were selling the Iraqis "machine tools" and US firms were selling them "farming equipment"?

    A few points from an article by a journalist who spent years researching the sanctions regime -

    "Among the goods that the United States blocked last winter: dialysis, dental, and fire—fighting equipment, water tankers, milk and yogurt production equipment, printing equipment for schools. The United States even blocked a contract for agricultural—bagging equipment, insisting that the U.N. first obtain documentation to “confirm that the 'manual' placement of bags around filling spouts is indeed a person placing the bag on the spout.”"

    "A couple of months later, a Syrian company asked the committee to approve a contract to mill flour for Iraq. Whereas Iraq ordinarily purchased food directly, in this case it was growing wheat but did not have adequate facilities to produce flour. The Russian delegate argued that, in light of the report the committee had received from the UNICEF official, and the fact that flour was an essential element of the Iraqi diet, the committee had no choice but to approve the request on humanitarian grounds. The delegate from China agreed, as did those from France and Argentina. But the U.S. representative, Eugene Young, argued that “there should be no hurry” to move on this request: the flour requirement under Security Council Resolution 986 had been met, he said; the number of holds on contracts for milling equipment was “relatively low”; and the committee should wait for the results of a study being conducted by the World Food Programme first. Ironically, he also argued against the flour—milling contract on the grounds that “the focus should be on capacity—building within the country”—even though that represented a stark reversal of U.S. policy, which consistently opposed any form of economic development within Iraq. The British delegate stalled as well, saying that he would need to see “how the request would fit into the Iraqi food programme,” and that there were still questions about transport and insurance. In the end, despite the extreme malnutrition of which the committee was aware, the U.S. delegate insisted it would be “premature” to grant the request for flour production, and the U.K. representative joined him, blocking the project from going forward."

    "In a June 23, 1991, Washington Post article, Pentagon officials stated that Iraq's electrical grid had been targeted by bombing strikes in order to undermine the civilian economy. “People say, 'You didn't recognize that it was going to have an effect on water or sewage,'” said one planning officer at the Pentagon. “Well, what were we trying to do with sanctions-help out the Iraqi people? No. What we were doing with the attacks on infrastructure was to accelerate the effect of the sanctions.” "

    "Last year the United States blocked contracts for water tankers, on the grounds that they might be used to haul chemical weapons instead. Yet the arms experts at UNMOVIC had no objection to them: water tankers with that particular type of lining, they maintained, were not on the “1051 list”—the list of goods that require notice to U.N. weapons inspectors. Still, the United States insisted on blocking the water tankers—this during a time when the major cause of child deaths was lack of access to clean drinking water, and when the country was in the midst of a drought. Thus, even though the United States justified blocking humanitarian goods out of concern over security and potential military use, it blocked contracts that the U.N.'s own agency charged with weapons inspections did not object to. And the quantities were large."
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    Source, tomorrow2Day? If correct, this is interesting.
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    Harper's Magazine, November 2002
    Article entitled "Cool War" by Joy Gordon, a lecturer at Fairfield University
    http://www.harpers.org/CoolWar.html?pg=1

    Another good article (by a different writer) is available here:
    http://www.fff.org/freedom/fd0401c.asp

    Choice quotes from this include:

    "A January 22, 1991, Defense Intelligence Agency report titled “Iraq Water Treatment Vulnerabilities” noted,

    Iraq depends on importing specialized equipment and some chemicals to purify its water supply, most of which is heavily mineralized and frequently brackish to saline.... Failing to secure supplies will result in a shortage of pure drinking water for much of the population. This could lead to increased incidences, if not epidemics, of disease.... Unless the water is purified with chlorine, epidemics of such diseases as cholera, hepatitis, and typhoid could occur.
    • The U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency estimated in early 1991 that “it probably will take at least six months (to June 1991) before the [Iraqi water treatment] system is fully degraded” from the bombing during the Gulf War and the UN sanctions. "

    "A Washington Post analysis published on June 23, 1991, noted that Pentagon officials admitted that, rather than concentrating solely on military targets, the U.S. bombing campaign “sought to achieve some of their military objectives in the Persian Gulf War by disabling Iraqi society at large” and “deliberately did great harm to Iraq’s ability to support itself as an industrial society.” "

    "In an estimate not substantively disputed by the Pentagon, the [Harvard] team projected that “at least 170,000 children under five years of age will die in the coming year from the delayed effects” of the bombing. "

    "Denis Halliday, the UN administrator of the oil-for-food program, resigned in 1998 to protest the ravages the sanctions were continuing to inflict on Iraqis. Halliday complained, “We are in the process of destroying an entire country” and denounced the sanctions as “nothing less than genocide.” Hans von Sponeck, his replacement, served two years before resigning in protest in early 2000, denouncing the sanctions as a “criminal policy.” "
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    (Original post by soulsussed)
    I've seen so many threads where people think terrorists are mentally ill in some way or are products of the devil or something, creating mass hysteria its ridiculous.

    But this thread seems different, so this is how I see it.

    America is a super power, it is pushy, it is going around the world preaching democracy ect ect. Alot of countries feel threatened by this, but what people dont' understand is: what if the middle east was a super power preaching Islam? How would we feel? I'll say now, its just how they are feeling now, we are killing their people and threatning their culture, and somehow we expect them not to fight back.

    This is a war. Blair wanted a war, Bush wanted a war against terrorism, well they've got one, but this is different type of warfare, their warfare, because they can't afford big warships and artillary. They're breaking all the rules of warfare, but they're just hitting back.

    I'm not condoning revenge or terrorism, I personally think both parties are as bad as one another because they both kill. But I don't understand how we can expect to go into a country like that and gain no consequence. It's just upsetting to see how people who maybe/probably didn't want the war are also suffering, innocent people in other words.

    What does everyone else think.
    i have never in my life agreed with something more than this.ever. i wont add anything because you have completely and utterly summed up what the situation is. they wanted a ****ing war. they have now got a ****ing war.
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    (Original post by Tomorrow2Day)
    Harper's Magazine, November 2002
    Article entitled "Cool War" by Joy Gordon, a lecturer at Fairfield University
    http://www.harpers.org/CoolWar.html?pg=1

    Another good article (by a different writer) is available here:
    http://www.fff.org/freedom/fd0401c.asp

    Choice quotes from this include:

    "A January 22, 1991, Defense Intelligence Agency report titled “Iraq Water Treatment Vulnerabilities” noted,

    Iraq depends on importing specialized equipment and some chemicals to purify its water supply, most of which is heavily mineralized and frequently brackish to saline.... Failing to secure supplies will result in a shortage of pure drinking water for much of the population. This could lead to increased incidences, if not epidemics, of disease.... Unless the water is purified with chlorine, epidemics of such diseases as cholera, hepatitis, and typhoid could occur.
    • The U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency estimated in early 1991 that “it probably will take at least six months (to June 1991) before the [Iraqi water treatment] system is fully degraded” from the bombing during the Gulf War and the UN sanctions. "

    "A Washington Post analysis published on June 23, 1991, noted that Pentagon officials admitted that, rather than concentrating solely on military targets, the U.S. bombing campaign “sought to achieve some of their military objectives in the Persian Gulf War by disabling Iraqi society at large” and “deliberately did great harm to Iraq’s ability to support itself as an industrial society.” "

    "In an estimate not substantively disputed by the Pentagon, the [Harvard] team projected that “at least 170,000 children under five years of age will die in the coming year from the delayed effects” of the bombing. "

    "Denis Halliday, the UN administrator of the oil-for-food program, resigned in 1998 to protest the ravages the sanctions were continuing to inflict on Iraqis. Halliday complained, “We are in the process of destroying an entire country” and denounced the sanctions as “nothing less than genocide.” Hans von Sponeck, his replacement, served two years before resigning in protest in early 2000, denouncing the sanctions as a “criminal policy.” "
    You don't find this at all in national newspapers. The properganda is immense, I don't read newspapers anymore because its like brainwashing. Has anyone seen the thread 'Will this country become Muslim?' The first post reminded me so much of an article I read in the daily mail.
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    (Original post by soulsussed)
    You don't find this at all in national newspapers. The properganda is immense, I don't read newspapers anymore because its like brainwashing.
    What do you read instead, if anything?
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    This kind of attack is unjustifiable. It was an attack on civilian targets and intended to cause terror and disorder among a civilian population. But its all too easy to get lost in a frenzy of condemnation that leads to one of the common symptoms of a war - dehumanising the other side. There was no justification for what was done, but there will have been reasons. The bombers were not monsters. They were most probably young men whose heads were filled with propaganda and carefully manipulated anger. More war and more violence will not prevent this from happening again - it will simply create more of these cannon fodder, fuelling division and a cycle of retaliation.
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    (Original post by wanderer)
    This kind of attack is unjustifiable. It was an attack on civilian targets and intended to cause terror and disorder among a civilian population. But its all too easy to get lost in a frenzy of condemnation that leads to one of the common symptoms of a war - dehumanising the other side. There was no justification for what was done, but there will have been reasons. The bombers were not monsters. They were most probably young men whose heads were filled with propaganda and carefully manipulated anger. More war and more violence will not prevent this from happening again - it will simply create more of these cannon fodder, fuelling division and a cycle of retaliation.
    Any killing is an act you can not justify. Do you not think we are all under propaganda, and we all of us are having anger provoked and manipulated in us? You have to remember we're dealing with a different kind of people who behave and react differently, its not fair to assume things we know nothing about.
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    (Original post by JonD)
    What do you read instead, if anything?
    How do you mean? If I am reading something that is bias I make myself aware of that and go to another source with the opposite point of view. Then I discuss it, or keep the thoughts with an open mind. I draw any conclusions on that, I don't like reading the papers because they are very one sided and I feel like I'm being brain washed.
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    (Original post by wanderer)
    More war and more violence will not prevent this from happening again - it will simply create more of these cannon fodder, fuelling division and a cycle of retaliation.
    So by this statement you mean that they are wrong by striking back, by gaining revenge, or we would be wrong now to fight back?
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    There is a distinction to draw up between civilians and innocent civilians. Clearly from our point of view the victims of the bombings were innocent, just as were the victims of 9/11.

    However from the point of view of someone threatened by the US super-capitalism, anyone who is employed in the financial sector is no longer innocent. American style capitalism is a threat to us all, it is a threat to the British style of life. We have the means to avoid it by economic strength and individuality of our own. We also have rational enough viewpoints to see that an attack on civilians, whether innocent or not is wrong. I'm currently living in the US and people are expected to work all year round with next to no holiday time. On the TV there are preachers telling people that the welfare system is the work of satan. They are purely motivated by the individualistic urge that some fundamentalist forms of Christianity and cut-throat capitalism share. Here the right wingers believe that it is right that the people who can't provide for themselves rot.

    These Islamic extremists are wrong and very much so, however they are not trying to kill innocent people. If they were they'd be able to do something far more horrific.


    If you cite feeling empathy for someone who you want to kill as a reason for not feeling empathy, then you're totally mixed up. You should see it as a reason not to kill. Unfortunately sometimes killing is the right thing to do, the people who actually pull the triggers should just have to deal with the consequences, with the only comfort being the fact that they were right.
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    Any killing is an act you can not justify
    I disagree, there are plenty of acts of killing that can be justified.
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    (Original post by soulsussed)
    How do you mean? If I am reading something that is bias I make myself aware of that and go to another source with the opposite point of view. Then I discuss it, or keep the thoughts with an open mind. I draw any conclusions on that, I don't like reading the papers because they are very one sided and I feel like I'm being brain washed.
    So you do what most people do, go to sources which you're confident will reinforce your prejudices?
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    i cant be bothered to read the whole thread but have already read some of the arguments being put forward.

    OK now, Nelson Mandela was called a terrorist. I think the problem with terrorism is that people have not at first defined what is a terrorist or what constitutes terrorism. In my honest opinion, terrorism is where a group of people (or person) goes out of their way to kill INNOCENT people with total disregard for lives in their pursuit of their goals. This applies EVERYWHERE in my opinion. So if a country were to engage in killing innocent people to achieve their aims they would be committing terrorism. I dont know enough about Nelson Mandela to say whether he was a terrorist or not but judging by what is the common consensus he isnt UNLESS he did kill innocents with intention. Those that kill in a targeted fashion to kill "guilty" people who HAVE taken positive steps to commit "crimes" against them (not what some Islamic terrorists say when they say merely being a member of western society is enough to be killed) are not terrorists PROVIDED (this is very important also) they are ONLY killing them as a LAST resort.

    Those are my personal beliefs. As such with the above mentioned criterion to classify and define terrorism, i believe TERRORISM TO WRONG EVERY TIME no matter what the cause.

    Mandeep
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    (Original post by ArthurOliver)
    So you do what most people do, go to sources which you're confident will reinforce your prejudices?
    Quite the opposite, please point out my prejudices as I gain as much information from both sides before making any judgement.
 
 
 

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