Terrorism Discussion V2

Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by Ender Sai, Mar 7, 2005.

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  1. DarthQuellonis Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 22, 2005
    star 4
    Oblivious to change in counter-insurgency operations. In conventional strategic warfare, they are most likely the best in the world.
  2. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 8
    Quellonis, ignorance and arrogance are simply a beautiful recipe for a headlong colision with reality. Simply put, I work in international relations and can tell you no, black and white is simply not the case. I recently moved into a role that's part of the whole-of-government counter-terrorism approach, and I can safely say not a single person there thinks in blacks and whites. Nor do the droves of academics I've studied think that way either. Which means experience and expertise make you flat out wrong.

    Al-Qaeda's back is broken, and you misunderstood it from the beginning. UBL was only ever as dangerous as the people willing to die for him, and his idea relies upon a large chunk of disaffected angry youths with little prospects to be seduced by it. This wasn't some real-life SPECTRE, it was a training consultancy which used a Qutbist holy war ideology to indoctrinate disenfranchised youth into hating America and equating it's downfall, and withdrawl from Saudi Arabia, as instruction from God.

    You sir, want to hand them a victory on a plate.

    It's not just that you don't understand UBL and his cronies nearly as well as you think. It's that you assume withdrawl will basically cause them to dissipate into thin air. I wish I could hold that kind of youth-like optimism and hope, but reality isn't an episode of the West Wing. It's a much crueller mistress. Given that Osama bin Laden's speeches, which are widely distributed through the Muslim world, point directly to the Soviet Union's withdrawl from Afghanistan and subsequent collapse as proof their jihad can topple empires and thus proof they can humble and break the US, your plan would not pacify them. It would merely spurn them on.

    A point I have made here numerous times, and made in my thesis, is how economic development can help. I wouldn't have time to cite the billions of sources which point to poverty and employment as ideal recruiting conditions, as in the Arab world if you don't go to work you go to the Mosque. What I note is that for the past 15 years, Saudi Arabian per capita GDP has dropped significantly and unemployment has risen sharply. So, to, has the willingness of Saudis to join Islamist causes risen. Contrast that with Ireland, where per capita GDP has soared as unemployment dipped, and violence dipped with it.

    That's not to say poor people = terrorists, to preempt your inevitable reply. It says that when people have an ideology driving extremism and essentially nothing to live for, they're more willing to die for a cause (which provides a sense of belonging). As we saw with Ireland, the IRA footsoldiers dried up as people got jobs, material possessions and a sense of purpose. They're somewhat pathetic, terrorist organisations with no terrorists.

    Quellonis, I am sorry but you simply do not understand this like you think you do. I have read the Qu'ran, I've read Signposts, and I've studed UBL intensely. Even reading Peter Bergen's "Holy War Inc" allows one an uncomfortable degree of empathy.

    You need to broaden your research and open your mind, or you're doomed to sound like an overconfident fool.

    E_S
  3. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2000
    star 9
    Right, which is why US & allied special forces exterminated roughly 30,000 Taliban in the first six months of Afghanistan. Also handily explains why US forces have complete freedom of movement over just about all of Iraq.

  4. Jediflyer Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 5, 2001
    star 5
    Oblivious to change in counter-insurgency operations

    Umm, I'm pretty sure they are developing new tactics all the time.

    Yep, a quick google search turned up this.

  5. DarthQuellonis Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 22, 2005
    star 4
    So I guess you can justify the suicide bombing renewal in Afghanistan as the good old counter-insurgency manuel working?

    So I guess you can justify with your thesis the people who will forever remain with bin Ladin, which are devoted and hiding amongst the millions that live in the Middle East?

    So I guess you can say I am an over-confident fool when I question our tactics?

    So I guess you are going against the strategic influence of the ancient Sun Tzu?

    So I guess you can say the $300 billion price-tag on effective "technology" and "strategy" as you would likely put it.

    So I guess you can say the some 30,000 casualties of some sort are justified?

    So I guess you can justify the fact this man is still on the loose: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abu_Ayyub_al-Masri

    So I guess you can justify the fact this man is still on the loose: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Osama_bin_Ladin

    So I guess you can justify the fact this man is still on the loose: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ayman

    See, we need to reform, to fight the extremists. The more time we waste sitting and watching some damn TV news broadcast about how we have won the "War on Terror" is the more time we don't second-guess what we think is reality.

    Yes, I have read those books, yes I have seen the reports, but there is one thing I don't see. Someone that finally utilizes all these "perfect" so called strategies, to "win." You see, until I see results, until I see that there is no longer an active military presence in Iraq and Afghanistan, until al-Qaida is almost completely destroyed, then all this stuff everyone says about the "The Insurgency", "War on Terror", etc. etc. etc. is:

    1. Not working

    2. Stubborn

    3. Undiscovered

    4. Ramblings

    Just based on those four options, you see that about 25% of the stuff you read or hear could be accurate or useful, while 75% could be utter ****.

    So let's not break out the "Master" Thesis statements, and the best selling counter-terrorism manuel, and argue when we could try a different approach on some matters.
  6. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2000
    star 9
    Stop trying to cover for Russia's pathetic attempts at counter-insurgency. And clearly, your junior high school education owns their college education.
  7. Jediflyer Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 5, 2001
    star 5
  8. DarthQuellonis Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 22, 2005
    star 4
    Did you answer my question? Boba, why don't you detail exactly what you would do, instead of for the last time critiquing my views?
  9. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2000
    star 9
    Because you string together some fancy-sounding concepts that flatly don't work, ignore when others post and show that you're clearly wrong, and then down the fact, yes, it's a fact-that your education & experience level aren't remotely similar to myself, flyer, and Ajay.
  10. DarthQuellonis Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 22, 2005
    star 4
    Why don't you answer the question? I am trying to have a reasonable conversation here.
  11. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    Whoa, this went downhill rather quickly.

    Let's try and be nicer to each other in here.

    Geez, who would have thought that terrorism would be such a controversial topic....
  12. DarthQuellonis Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 22, 2005
    star 4
    DarthBoba, then why would some terrible thing like this be happening in Iraq, if we are "solving" the problems of terrorism. http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061015/ap_on_re_mi_ea/iraq

    You may or may not agree with my opinion, but how can you defend the deaths of such innocent people? By saying that it is the Iraqi army's fault?

    PPOR
  13. Jack_the_Ripper Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Oct 12, 2006
    I am against terrorism and for killing terrorists. Someone debate me.
  14. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 8
    If you want to troll Jack, I will get annoyed.

    If you, however, seriously hold the belief that that policy works, I pity your inability to learn from history and to see outside the square.

    Israel almost exclusively followed that policy, and to what end? Sure, you may get that warm feeling in your gut seeing the IDF send a rocket into a Palestinian neighborhood, killing 20 (2 of which were terrorists) but you cannot say that works. Why not, you claim, as you pause Splinter Cell in disbelief..?

    Because they've been doing this since 1967, and there's no end in sight. If they do that, some angry little man will wear a suicide vest and with all the cowardice he can muster, run into a cafe and detonate himself.

    So, the IDF retaliates by sending a rocket into a Palestinian neighborhood, killing 25, 4 of whom were terrorists.

    So an angry youth responds by blowing up an ice-cream parlour, killing 18, wounding 12 and seriously maiming 5.

    So, the IDF retaliates...

    And so on, and so forth.

    Well, you say, waving your flag, thumping your chest with nationalist pride, and putting down your copy of Rainbow Six to pick up a Bible, that is because they done'd kill insufficient numbers of those freedom-hatin', cave-dwellin' terrarists! [face_flag]

    Nope, it's because killing terrorists full stop, as and ends and a means, does not work.


    E_S
  15. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 8
    Quellonis,

    How is your state solving the problems of terrorism in Chechnya, by reverting to the default Russian position of oppressing the **** outta dissenters and crushing human rights with unrestrained glee?

    E_S
  16. IceHawk-181 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 1, 2004
    star 4
    Ender, you were putting up a sound intellectual argument about terrorism.

    Right until you fell back on the Intellectual Elitism that so often pervades Graduate-level education and assaulted Jack as an ignorant nationalistic bible-thumping redneck.

    Though the ad Hominem may have been meant in jest, I find it interesting you chose that particular discriminatory classification.


    Beyond that however, I would be forced to agree with you on many points.
    Terrorism as a global phenomenon never seems to fully develop in free and successful capitalist societies; it most often finds its home in the somewhat repressive and economically downtrodden states.

    Consider Iran, the apparent engine behind much of the insurgent violence in Iraq.
    The nation enjoys a double-digit unemployment rate with literally 40% of its population living below the poverty line.

    This is not a successful nation when one measures the well being of its citizens.

    Is it a coincidence that an impoverished populace with heavy fundamentalist influence is supportive of anti-western movements, including terrorism?

    Economic development is a primary key to the winning of any military conflict; it is literally an investment in a peaceful future. (ref, Japan, Germany, WWII)

    A key to victory over terrorism in the Iraqi conflict is the development of a successful economic system capable of providing employment to its populace and rising a person? standard of living.

    That being said, one must also eliminate the destructive forces preventing consolidation and security.

    The active insurgency groups must be routed and eliminated, with a strategy developing to prevent the replenishment of their ranks.

    The question is, would an average Iraqi man chose to join a faltering and retreating terrorist organization where is will assuredly die when a good job and the possibility of a successful future are the second option?


    Killing the terrorists is not the strategy, but a tactical aspect of an overall plan.
  17. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 8
    Of course it was in jest, IceHawk.

    But even killing them; the goal shouldn't be that. That's a last resort - not out of some overwhelming desire to preserve life, but rather because if we're killing them, they have to exist and we've failed.

    Half - no, more - of these movements wouldn't exist if they didn't have large numbers of people to die for them. Osama bin Laden's not a scary guy. He's only dangerous if people are willing to die for his ideals - if they're not, he's another pissed off rich kid rebel.

    No, our goals should be management and reduction, not having the single best killing techniques available. If a quarter of the money spent on Iraq in it's misguided place in the War on Terror had been spent on infrastructure development in Saudi Arabia, Syria and North Africa; and promoting reformists in Iran, would we be better off? I'd like to think so.

    E_S
  18. ShaneP Ex-Mod Officio

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2001
    star 6
    Quell
    So I guess you can say the $300 billion price-tag on effective "technology" and "strategy" as you would likely put it.

    Umm, more like 500 billion...as of now. When all is said and done, I think we'll be looking at almost a trillion $ operation.

    edit: changed million to correct Billion. BILLION. Geesh....:rolleyes:
  19. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 8
    Shane; Freedom isn't free. It costs a hefty ******* fee. And if you don't chip in your buck-oh-five, who will?

    E_S
  20. ShaneP Ex-Mod Officio

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2001
    star 6
    That "buck o five" needs three zeroes behind it.
  21. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 8
    (It's from Team America! [face_shhh])

    E_S
  22. ShaneP Ex-Mod Officio

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2001
    star 6
    Ahhh, a classic. [face_plain]

    Was that from the theme song?

  23. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    The main lyric to the actual theme can't be repeated here, but the "Buck-o-Five" song is a classic in its own right....


    But those songs make someone "...lonely, so very lonely..." and that's for another thread.
  24. IceHawk-181 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 1, 2004
    star 4
    Funding infrastructure development is not the key to removing terrorism from the global stage, nor is it a viable option with the Middle Eastern nations.

    Were we to provide funding to improve the infrastructure in these nations we would be forced to do so in conjunction with the governments in those states.

    It is more likely that, had America invested billions in the economies of these states we would be facing a Syria, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and (had this been Bush or Clinton?s stratagem) an Iraq with more powerful conventional military forces in the hands of men who, without the funding and technology, choose to blow themselves and civilians up in marketplaces.

    The terrorists that exist today have declared war upon all civilization, to the point that in their minds a 22-year old man with an M-16 and a four-year old girl with a teddy bear are equally legitimate targets.

    These people are a threat to the very existence and foundation of civilization.

    Persons willing to murder children and use a machete to sever a civilian?s head for the mere shock factor of the videotape are beyond reproach.

    Those that have chosen to execute these actions and those that sanction and support these actions need to be killed, simply put.

    No manner of economic well-being will be likely to convince them otherwise.

    Our goal is to kill these people to a man and take all measures to prevent the rise of any more like them.

    Improved economics is one manner of undermining the pull of terrorism, however we still must address the violent militants, the perversion of the Islamic faith, the States that condone, support, and utilize terror, the social imperatives that encourage hatred of western culture, as well as the notion that these people are revolutionary freedom fighters.

    One could hope the world would be better off if only everyone had a good job an economic life, but the reality is that faith is the more pressing issue.

    We can undermine and hopefully prevent the spread in the faith of terrorism and its goals, however we will never convince a man of faith to abandon that to which he has sworn his life.

    To think that improved economics alone will solve any problem is as naïve as assuming simply wiping out the current generation will be effective.


    We must prevent the creation of new fundamentalists, and we must eliminate the ones that exist.
  25. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 8
    No.

    What you fail to do, and I love how conservatives rely so heavily on doomy predictions about ignoring history and repeating it when wanting to blow the bejesus outta Saddam but not in this case, is to understand how this problem works.

    Terrorism is, and will be, symptomatic of the modern age. In any case, an ideologue is going to need to lead a movement, and that movement requires footsoldiers.

    Is it more important to kill UBL and 100 al-Qaeda fighters, or to dry the resource well up?

    If you kill the 100, how do you not make a martyr out of them and inspire others to follow their lead, a la London bombings? Force has been shown as a categoric failure when employed as a deterrant, from the death penalty in the US to Israel CT policy.

    If you can work around the problems which allow recruitment to thrive, then it's easily to isolate and neutralise a terrorist group.

    Consider; Saudi Arabia. Per capita GDP in the kindgom from 1991 to 2006 has dropped at what can only be called an impressive rate. Unemployment is rampant, Wahabbi ideologues unchecked, and dissatisfaction with the House of Saud is growing. For they have squandered their oil wealth not on their people, and their country, but their palaces and their army.

    What benefit, then, does your bellicose plan have other than being telegenic for the 14-second attention span of the American market?

    How does your solution work in Saudi Arabia? Do you merely kill them when they pop up, treating the symptoms rather than dealing with the cause? Bear in mind, Saudis made up the lion's share of 9/11 hijackers.

    I'm genuinely concerned to hear this, since no respectable counter-terrorist academic (i.e not Alan Dershowitz or any other post-9/11 newborn expert) or policy specialist advocated extermination as a viable, suggessful, strategic solution.

    E_S
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