Tuesday May 7, 2013, 3:31 am
Just because death and injury to the innocent comes from a bomb dropped by a pilot in a multi-million dollar aeroplane, or from an unmanned drone, or from a soldier in battle armour equipped with the latest high technology rifle or grenade, doesn't make it any less of a terrorist act than a suicide bomber or someone who leaves a rucksack filled with a home-made bomb and a timer. It is high time that the general public in the US, UK, France, etc woke up to the fact that our Governments are committing terrorist acts abroad in our name and supposedly with our blessing. Killing the innocent is always terrorism. No wonder people in so many countries abroad think that we in the West are just a complete bunch of evil hypocrites when we condone so many terrorist acts by our respective Governments. Ralph Nader is absolute right, we are creating a legacy of hatred for the West across much of the world due to our silent acceptance of the terrorist actions by our own Governments.
During the Vietnam War millions of patriotic Americans (and Brits, French etc) voiced their objections to the evil actions of the then US Governments and earned the respect of much of the rest of the world for their actions and showed that some Americans at least had stood up for freedom. Where are those patriotic Americans (and Brits and French etc etc) nowadays who protest the terrorist actions of their Government/s. They are there, but all too few. It is time for the true patriots to stand up for justice for all people and against the false patriots who are happy to just accept anything that the US (and other) Government does in their name as being acceptable, however evil those actions are. Otherwise we are doomed to an everlasting 'War on Terror'. You can never, ever, defeat terror by using terror yourself – just impossible.
Tuesday May 7, 2013, 3:31 am
Well done Ralph Nader, straight to the heart of the matter. Our horror at what happened in Boston and other such events in the US, should never blind us to the horrors done in our name by the US and other Western Governments abroad. How can it be unacceptable to us when two misguided men attempt to kill and maim a group of runners in Boston but yet it seems perfectly acceptable for our Governments and their allies to kill and maim other innocent people in other countries across the world. If our Governments were 'only' killing terrorists it is one thing but as the Governments themselves acknowledge, thousands and thousands and thousands of innocent people have been killed and maimed by their actions across the world in just the past decade alone. Yet because it is called 'collateral damage' somehow that it is meant to make the killings acceptable? Oh dear, some innocent men, women and children have been killed by our direct actions, ah well, pity, never mind, back to the 'War on Terror'! How obscene. Nowhere does it say that we have to become terrorists in order to fight terrorists, duh! Yet that is what is happening, our Governments have become terrorists under the guise of fighting terrorism.
Tuesday May 7, 2013, 8:05 am
The statements made are true, however the condemnation of them, I don't believe is correct. Instead of assaulting
the various governments, how about assaulting the terrorists world wide, do you think they care and will stop
killing people all over the world due to their ideology. No human being's death is acceptable other then natural
causes, so GIVE US A SOLUTION AS TO HOW TO CAPTURE THESE TERRORISTS AND NOT A CONDEMNATION.
John C./Houston, Tx.
Tuesday May 7, 2013, 9:12 am
John, the answer has always been there all along and is perfectly simple. The way to defeat the terrorists is called 'winning hearts and minds', that is the only way and has been proved to be right over the centuries by any Government that has the courage and intelligence to actual undertake such a policy. Even in Vietnam, the US Government paid some lip service to the concept but never really did anything about properly implementing such a policy. I am not trying to push the British side but that is exactly how the British Government managed to stop the Communist insurgency/terrorism in Malaysia in the 50's & 60's. They had troops there but the purpose of the troops was to protect the local populations and support the activities of honest locals (rather than corrupt businessmen) in their fight against the terrorists. It took some time for the policy to be implemented but that is how one wins against terrorists. One does NOT win by killing the innocent together with the guilty. How can anyone possibly support you when you are killing their parents and children and brothers and sisters when they are perfectly innocent.
It is the duty of every citizen of every country in the West, indeed anywhere, to criticise Governments who abuse their power. These citizens who criticise and complain about injustice are the true patriots of every country. It is so easy to just sit back and accept that there is no choice for Governments to do what they do. The fact is that there is always a choice and indeed the US Government has been told time and time again by all the major real experts in this field (not the armchair experts who know nothing about what goes on) that their way of conducting the war on terror will never succeed but they have chosen to ignore the advice. In my view because the defence industry has no interest in seeing an end to the war on terror and are quite happy to see it continue indefinitely – but that is another story.
Tuesday May 7, 2013, 9:16 am
The article is correct. Each of our strikes kills many others, collateral damage war makers like to call it. And in that region of the world where grudges are held thousands of years it is unsurprising that with each innocent killed that one's children become fodder to Al Qaeda. As I read it I was reminded of another statement, that until we all,, I mean the world, adopt it as our faith and our creed will mean an endless repetition of what we have done since we descended from trees and began fighting each for turf, food and slaves/wives. It is a statement well known but perhaps not as well known as this story makes it.
Chief Joseph I hope the code works if not Google the phrase or link and read an excellent commentary on the Nez Perce, whose Chief Joseph said, as must we all, "I will make war no more forever." And we'd better mean because where this path leads is to the death of us.
Tuesday May 7, 2013, 9:31 am
I can't possibly add to the article and Arthur's and Gene's statements regarding it! As a devout atheist I can only say AMEN!!
Thanks to Nancy for posting and Arthur for bringing it to my attention. In so many comments I've made on several articles here on Care2 - this about sums up what I've been so at odds with my government for, as well as the corporate terrorism that is being conducted world wide in my name as well as in the US!
I've been gradually losing any feeling of patriotism since my protests of the Vietnam war - this is a more insidious war - the "war on terrorism" - it will Never end - because it can never be defined, when 9/11 happened I knew how Bush would react, but never thought he had the audacity to lie and bring this nation into a preemptive war against an "innocent" country - I felt as a nation it should be a time to reflect on what created the hatred to perform this heinous act! -- but alas vengeance is a strong motivator!
I truly fear for our future - we have a lot of karma to cope with!
Tuesday May 7, 2013, 11:35 am
Aren't drones tools of a sort of terror that kills innocent people? Haven't we heard about innocent children who have been killed by drones? What is the difference then between a terrorist holding or using a machine gun or explosives to kill innocent people and using a drone to commit the same crime ?
Tuesday May 7, 2013, 3:52 pm
Arthur I feel what you said pretty much covers it and reflects my feelings upon it. I will add below.
“What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans and the homeless, whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or in the holy name of liberty or democracy?”
― Mahatma Gandhi
The Use of Force in International Affairs:
"If what your country is doing seems to you practically and morally wrong, is dissent the highest form of patriotism?"
The phrase was used repeatedly during the Vietnam era, and this may be when it came into general currency.
On October 15, 1969, in a speech at Columbia University, Mayor John Lindsay of New York City stated, "We cannot rest content with the charge from Washington that this peaceful protest is unpatriotic...The fact is that this dissent is the highest form of patriotism."
Wednesday May 8, 2013, 1:57 am
Neither can I add to what has already been said--well and thoroughly said.
I began my adult life protesting the Viet Nam war--to fail to protest would, I feel, be un-patriotic and simply dead wrong. War solves nothing, and breeds generations of hate and more war.
I'll stand where I've always stood--I love my country and dispise (many, not all) politicians. I object to war, either here or "there". "War" is war, whether it takes the face of stealing our liberties, our health-care, jobs, and social security, or killing and maiming with drones and other weaponry.
Wednesday May 8, 2013, 4:06 pm
Not saying you guys are wrong, but I didn't any of this chest thumping about an Imperial Presidency when George W took us into Iraq AND Afghanistan, when Clinton took us into Kosovo, when HW took us into Iraq, when Ronnie RayGun took us into Grenada and Panama, And let's not forget JFK and LBJ into Vietnam. The fault is not the President's it's the fault of CONGRESS. Congress has abrogated a lot of their responsibility to the bureaucrats and the lobbyists.
And same goes for the state legislatures. We don't elect adults to these posts. It's time we start...
Wednesday May 8, 2013, 5:28 pm
I am not a fan of the Obama administration for many reasons, and I believe that far, far too much power has been concentrated in the presidency and the U.S. federal government in general, but foreign adventurism is not the core of the problem, and neither is any blowback from it. If you want to understand what drives an organization, forget its general propaganda and look at its recruitment-calls and the populations which it targets for recruitment.
While the U.S.'s enemies may rally around this policy or that war, they are driven not by hatred of the policies, but of American values. I'm not saying "they hate our freedom". They want freedom of expression and democracy, but violently oppose the foundations upon which they are based. They want freedom of expression, but not the freedom of conscience and tolerance of subcultures which violate their ethical codes. The Western model of democracy also depends heavily upon a specific model of conflict-resolution. I think it's much healthier for all sides, for a few reasons, but it demands a trust between enemies which exists in some cultures and not elsewhere. Attempts to institute that and encourage democracy are the "immersion in tribal preferences" to which the article referred. In the end, although even the U.S.'s enemies don't technically "hate our freedom", they do fight against necessarily comes with it.
Certainly, the children of those killed by the U.S. are much easier to recruit to fight against the it, but I have yet to see numbers supporting the theory that this is a primary driver of recruitment. The recruitment-pools are defined by specific subcultures, so it is expected that multiple members, or even practically all, of a given family may be recruited as culture tends to be fairly homogenous across a given family. However, I would like to see recruitment-rates of people orphaned by Western attacks whose families had not previously been involved in organized violence compared to those of people whose families were already invovled.
Also, I think we need to go over a definition of terrorism here: The deaths of civilians, while horrible, do not necessarily make an attack "terrorist". There are multiple sorts of strikes which lead to that result. Terrorism is the strategy of generating fear in a population so that it will drive its leaders to change policies to meet terrorists' demands. This is normally done by demonstrating the ability and willingness to kill members of that population unpredictably.
While the U.S. certainly does kill civilians, can any informed person honestly believe that this is its overall strategy? Its enemies are not sensitive to the demands of the overall population whose people are killed, so that would be just about the dumbest strategy imagineable. There are several other reasons why military forces kill civilians. One is hatred-driven genocide, again really not among the U.S.'s strategies. Had it been, towns would not have been hit with a missile here and there. They would have beeen totally obliterated. Another is to gain an advantage in warfare. Such killing, or even endangerment, is normally known as a "war crime", but not terrorism. One classic example there is opening fire before making any attempt at all to identify the would-be target, to claim tactical initiative (or "momentum", or whatever people call it these days). Now we are getting into something American forces might do. Those who conduct themselves that way, however, tend to go to prison. Yet another reason is to "level the playing-field" after the other side has engaged in war-crimes. These are legal "reprisals", acts which would normally be war-crimes, but where the obligations not to commit them are lifted in response to specific other crimes for logical reasons. For example, if one side fails to wear the legally required identiication of combatants, it would be suicidal for the other side's soldiers not to fire before positively identifying enemy combatants. If the obligation not to do so are maintained, the soldiers on the ground usually abandon all obligations to protect civilians (rather than effectively commit suicide-by-enemy-fire), and a whole lot more people die, so as horrible as they are, these killings must be accepted because the alternative is more of the same. This is far more common.
Wednesday May 8, 2013, 6:12 pm
Thank you, Stephen. I agree with a lot of what you said.
I have to say that I almost feel sorry for Mr. Obama. Believing that the U.S. is over-extended in warfare in a number of Arab/Islamic countries he seemed quite hesitant to get involved and take slides in the slaughter in Syria. Yet the same countries that accuse the U.S. of imperialism, like France, Britain, Germany, have been quite annoyed with the President for not being involved enough in Syria. He has been pushed by a number of Arab countries as well to supply arms to the rebels.
Syria is an Islamic issue -- typically a Sunni-Shia battle, the type that has been ranging for hundreds and hundreds of years, but now the technology exists to blow each other away in far greater numbers than anyone could have imagined just a hundred years or so ago.
Sadly, there are quite a few hapless non-Muslim Syrian minorities that are getting caught up in the warfare. Obama should be rescuing them first and finding them refuge.
It has always been easier (and slicker) for the Arab countries to get the U.S. to do their bidding. For example, the groundwork was laid by Arab oil states for the original incursion into Iraq. The Arabs know that it's much better for them if they can get Americans to kill Muslims, because the blowback for it all will fall on Americans and not the rich Arab oil states.
As long as we are beholden to Arab oil, we will get played for fools.
Wednesday May 8, 2013, 10:26 pm
we need to pull out of all muslim countries and let them fight each other like they always have. the muslims here need to be sent to muslim countries of their choice. we cannot live together and should give up trying. it's not worth it. we don't need their oil and don't want it. we have plenty of our own. let the countries that want muslim oil deal with crazy muslim terrorists.
Thursday May 9, 2013, 1:43 am
Sorry Stephen, and others, but your analysis is completely wrong and is a gross distortion of reality. Very briefly, in the first place there has never been any evidence whatsoever that Muslims as a whole hate the US because of US culture or values, albeit some individuals do. They might not like what they see as US decadence but that does not translate into wanting to destroy the US. Nor is dislike of US culture restricted to Muslims, plenty of Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Hindus etc etc, also dislike US culture and decadence. Just as many, often the same people, also admire US entrepreneurship and freedoms and that view (ie net admiration) has tended to be the majority view around much of the world including most Muslim communities. Many Muslims, quite rightly, hated US support for Israeli terrorism but the Muslim majority used to be net pro-US. Indeed, there was great sympathy in the Muslim world for the US after 9/11 – albeit with some exceptions especially in Palestine.
That view started to change when Bush the Younger invaded Iraq and it became clear that his intention was not to protect the local people but more to exploit the situation and to generally disregard the lives of the local people. This view has been confirmed by acts such as drone strikes which kill the innocent together with the guilty. The problem is now that the extremists and politicians in the Muslim world have used US military actions as 'proof' that the US policy is to kill and destroy Muslims around the world and thus inflame passions of the people against the US. This in turn has also resulted in Christian groups in the US trying to inflame their supporters against Muslims, deliberately trying to create a climate of fear. The mass media of course, in both the US and the Muslim world, love this situation as a climate of fear increases their sales & profits & influence – which in turn makes for even more paranoia.
Thursday May 9, 2013, 1:45 am
So, here we are, a world getting fuller and fuller of paranoid Muslims and paranoid Christians who think there is some sort of a war between Christians and Muslims. Quite pathetic really but unfortunately so sad that both 'sides' allow themselves to be manipulated by the extremists. This lack of reality can be seen in the comment that terrorist recruitment from family members affected by US killing of innocents is minimal. It shows a complete lack of understanding of the Muslim world – which of course is the fundamental reason behind what hatred does exist between Muslims and Christians, ie a fundamental lack of understanding about the other 'side'. This is compounded of course by a mass media, both on the US and in Muslim countries, who like to ignore or distort facts so as to drive their particular agenda. This ends with both groups of people totally ignorant about the other and ludicrous comments about what the other 'side' believes or does not believe. The facts of the matter are that the Muslim world has a much closer concept of 'brotherhood' or 'sisterhood' than Christians do, and they have a view that all Muslims are part of one community. They might fight between themselves, as all families do, but basically their view is that an attack on one Muslim from outside their community, is an attack on all Muslims. Whereas these days a Christian usually couldn't care less whether another person being 'attacked' was a fellow Christian or not, in the Muslim world there is a much closer bond. If it was a Muslim terrorist being killed, that is not so objectionable to them but when an innocent Muslim has been killed, well, that is nearly the same as your own family member being killed. So there is clearly no doubt whatsoever that the killing of innocents is the primary driver for recruitment of terrorists, no question about it I'm afraid!
Thursday May 9, 2013, 1:47 am
The fact that the US did not intend to kill the innocent civilians is a complete non argument and is totally irrelevant. In what murder trial does the fact that you didn't mean to kill someone an excuse for letting the killer go scot free? It just doesn't happen. You might get a reduced sentence but you need to be punished. So, how many US servicemen have been punished for killing innocent civilians, precious few. No wonder the rest of the world, not just Muslims, think that the US are being a bunch of hypocrites. And talk of a 'level playing field' as if war is some sort of game, is really objectionable. Killing is never a 'game' and whilst the vast majority of people have no objections to terrorists and such-like criminals being killed it is a different matter when innocents are killed. This is repugnant to Christians outside the US as well as to Muslims. Same with splitting hairs and trying to say that a war crime is somehow different to terrorism, that is again objectionable and seems to reflect the same view that somehow war and fighting is some sort of a game. In reality there is no difference between war crimes and terrorism, it is merely a matter of scale. War crimes are merely terrorism on a larger scale and usually performed by people in 'official' positions, that's all.
On the other hand I do quite agree with the comments that it will be far better if US forces were not involved on the ground. Providing aid of various sorts is one thing but providing armed forces abroad is nothing more than a can of worms. Really, the only people who benefit is the US arms industry – which of course is the main reason that the US sent troops into Afghanistan and Iraq in the first place. The US has a large number of bright and successful and decent people who have a lot to contribute to the world in terms of innovation, technology, arts, entertainment, and a host of other things. Let those be the people the world remembers rather than the image of a drone or a soldier.
Thursday May 9, 2013, 2:05 am
Thanks Arthur for your insight and enlightening comments. I couldn't say better.Hopefully generalization regarding Muslims and, should we say,US and the west in general will come to an end soon.
Thursday May 9, 2013, 4:00 am
Alan Lambert, I'd agree generally, but Clinton in Kosovo was a mission to tnd genocide, there were extremely few deaths, none on our side, and when it was over he walked down the street unprotected to an adoring crowd who thanked him for his intervention. Need I remind you that that was a Muslim crowd? They don't hate us for our freedoms as the idiot in chief claimed.
Thursday May 9, 2013, 5:42 am
Artur while I admire your devotion to your cause I find that you use some pretty broad generalities that have been proven false or irrelevant. "Winning the Hearts and minds" was a policy in VietNam and was an abject failure. When it was attempted again in the current conflict it also failed. What we have not recognized as a country is that other countries have different values and cultures than ours. In Afghanistan we have a tribal state that wants to remain that way and not be gathered unto some sleezy politician in the capital.
if we must fight ,and we should re,member that war is biut an extension of politics by other means, then we should fight to win and use any means at our disposal to save the lives of our men and women in uniform. Turn the task over to the military, keep the political noses out of the tent, muster national support and have a strategy for end game and withdrawal.Micromanaging from the oval office is not a trait of good leadership.
Yes, being under fire is terrrorizing in the old definition of the word but war is all about killing people and breaking things. It should never be a political solution enterred into and sustained in the cavalier manner our current crop of politicians have directed.
Presidential power needs to be very limited and decalartion of war by Congress should be the mandate when our military is sent to engage.
Terrorists by the modern definition are criminals who deserve to be gunned down wherever and whenever possible and by all means available. Those that shelter them certainly realize the risks.
Thursday May 9, 2013, 6:02 am
Arthur - not to beat a dead horse, but I believe the responsibility lies with the people of the various countries.
They allow the TALIBAN, AL QUADA AND OTHER TERRORIST GROUPS TO OPERATE FREELY, they have the HATRED - NOT US. The U. S. has spent trillions of dollars in Iraq and Afghanistan, only to have civilian and
their military turn and shoot us in the back. As far as I am concerned, the U, S. should get out of the whole Middle East region and let them kill each other. When they attack any of our citizens, then let THE WRATH OF GOD BE UPON THEM. There are too many factions in their religions that have prejudice and hate for each other, so let them handle it. I assure you if it weren't for oil no Western country would have any interest in the Middle East.
Muslims as a whole still, I believe, do not hate the U.S. and are not its enemies. THe problem is, to paraphrase Mao, power flows from the barrel of a gun and not the voices of the people. The numbers I am about to use come from nowhere, but they should make the point clear: If 95% of Muslims love the U.S. and 5% hate it, but those 5% happen to be armed, then the U.S. has a serious enemy among Muslims, though obviously not including all Muslims, and mostly otherwise unarmed Islamic communities will not be able police that 5%. (I believe the numbers to be closer to 99.95% and 0.05%, leaving something on the order of 500,000 armed Islamic enemies of the West, definitely a significant enemy.)
Most Westerners fail to recognize this because we are used to four things which are simply not present throughout much of the Islamic world: First, we are used to strong governments and leaders that are able to police any group within our communities that would strike at others. Second, we are used to democracies which are widely respected and recognized throughout our societies. Third, some of us are used to having armed populations capable of rising up, whether through elections or effective rebellion, should leaders strike at others without popular support. Fourth, we have armed forces who are legally required to disobey certain types of orders, and would do so, regardless of what political leaders command. As a result, militias which strike at other communities are extremely rare in the West, but not elsewhere.
I am not saying that recruitment from families where people have been killed by U.S. forces is minimal, only that it is far from dominant, and that those groups would continue to strike at the West quite effectively without such recruitment, without those deaths, and without the Western policies and actions which supposedly drive the violence. How many orphans were there among the ranks of Jamaat ul-Fuqra in the 1980s? How about among the 9/11 hijackers? When the U.S. hit Afghanistan in 2001, al-Qaeda had already recruited and trained a large number of combatants who fought against the Norhtern Alliance and then NATO. How many of their families had the West killed before the war?
"In what murder trial does the fact that you didn't mean to kill someone an excuse for letting the killer go scot free?" If you took every legally required precaution to avoid killing, but were in a dangerous situation with the other person, all of them. I dealt with this on a professional level in Canada where, as a professional first-responder, I was legally required to provide medical assistance up to the level of my certification at need, but if those procedures were followed correctly, I would not be helf responsible for any harm up to and including death resulting from them. The is Quebec's Good Samaritan law. Killing is never a game, but the point stands: Warzones are dangerous environments and people will die. Attempts to save everyone have generally failed miserably, so now people comrpomise and try to save as many lives as they reasonably can which, unfortunately, is usually not everyone.
"War crimes are merely terrorism on a larger scale and usually performed by people in 'official' positions, that's all." That is simply wrong. Terrorism involves a specific strategy while war-crimes are about acquiring tactical or strategic advantage for another strategy. I know it can look like splitting haris, but the difference is extremely important to anyone who actually wants to stop one or the other. Imagine trying to stop drownings with better road-maintenance and lights: It doesn't matter to the victim whether he dies in a car-accident or drowns, but to anyone trying to do something about the problem, it makes a huge difference. It's the same thing here: Objections to legal reprisals will do nothing to help anyone, and action based upon those objections will just get even more people killed, while actions based upon objections to terrorism might actually do some good.
Thursday May 9, 2013, 9:42 am
Imperial Presidency? I see an imperial republican congress and military industrial complex rule.
I see Democratic presidents threatened with death and republicans in compliance.
It's an important point. My thanks.
Thursday May 9, 2013, 11:49 am
I do not have time to proofread this!
I agree that this president and his administration are out of control.
I never voted for him.
However, he is the worst president I have ever experienced in my lifetime. At present, to me, Carter was a far less harmful president and an excellent humanitarian after his presidency.
Obama, on the other hand, has taught me to hate and have absolute contempt for a president by abusing his Presidential Power for his Manipulative Muslim Gain and not for the Protection of the United States Citizens. His delusional states—possible insanity due to his lack of maturity for any type of presidential power—have me fearing what he might do next!!!
(I know about the 1.6 billion hollow point 9mm and 45 caliber rounds his administration bought for Homeland Security. I also know about the recent investment for a couple more hundred million rounds of ammunition. I know about the several upon several plus million—more like a hundred million—body bags ordered and bought for FEMA. I know about the several thousand drones he wants circulating and soaring over the United States. Christ, my coworkers and my acquaintances already believe they have seen a drone, because they are just as scared as I am! I know about him giving a speech to one of the Arab Nations in fluent Arabic and saying, “I am one of you!” He sold us out way before his reelection. He has been robbing and disarming us and arming our enemy! He is more evil than Hitler and time—very soon—will prove that I am correct!!!)
I love my country. I love the United States Constitution. I love the Bill of Rights we have for the United States! However, the 14th Amendment should have been modified when we witnessed several upon several million illegal aliens misusing the amendment by producing Anchor Babies!!! That amendment was designed for illiterate recently FREED BLACK SLAVES two years after the Civil War and NO ONE ELSE!!!!!! We also should have, several decades ago, built a Border Fence when we could have financially afforded one with our own federal money!
I have such anger and contempt towards him for dismantling our government for his own self-gratifying manipulative gain. I feel he is trying to become another Francisco Franco and, if we oppose or interfere with his agenda, I feel he will use the NDAA by locking up all the U.S. Traditionalist for standing with and supporting the government established by our Founding Fathers!
Thursday May 9, 2013, 12:05 pm
Arthur, Britain came along with the US into Iraq. Your Country is falling due to the Muslim population. In the Middle East there is no formal army and hide behind the skirts of the women that they treat like dogs and I guess you know feel about dogs. In these muslim countries there are no innocents and are brain washed into despising western culture. I still remember the laughter of those fracking muslims as they watch the news of tragedy of the WTC. When something like that happens in your country, Fort Hood, Boston Marathon - you think with favor upon them. They are all combatants there. There are no civilians! Women are suicide bombers. What about your country, trying to hold onto Ireland, instead of granting them their independence. Now many innocents have been Killed over there. You have nerve to call the US imperialist, when it was learned from Britain's imperialism. Your Blood-fest goes back way beyond ours and I wonder how many women and children killed in the revolution with the colonist. What about your great empire giving the natives in this country blankets that were contaminated with the plague. Self-Righteous! LoL
Thursday May 9, 2013, 1:03 pm
There is a radical element in every specific segment of the population, from highest to lowest levels -- always was and always will be. Until we learn to coexist and not continue trying to exterminate that which doesn't agree with our way of thinking/living, nothing will improve but rather continue escalating. The enemy's already within folks, not to worry.
Thursday May 9, 2013, 1:06 pm
I totally agree with Alan nothing new is happening here. All presidents have done the same through out history No reason to jump on this now it isn't new and Obama wasn't the first or will he be the last to do it. This was not Obamas war alone he was handed this mess by previous leaders.
Thursday May 9, 2013, 2:42 pm
Many thanks for posting this excellent article by Ralph Nader, Nancy! I agree with his comments about "blowback" 100%. Loved Arthur's comments, too. The American Empire has gone way too far---using drones on innocents and giving nothing more than excuses, bribing officials in other countries with our tax dollars, selling weapons to specific groups in other countries....only to later be attacked by those same groups with the weapons we sold them.....basically we end up funding wars fighting ourselves. Oh, what a tangled web we've woven!
Thursday May 9, 2013, 3:00 pm
Washington is full of corruption, the President is naught but a figurehead, and this country is run by the big corporations. That's it in a nutshell. Why complain about the symptoms instead of the source?
Thursday May 9, 2013, 6:46 pm
The Roman Republic held strong from 753 BC to about 500 BC when that fink leader first declared himself Cæsar and changed it to a greedy Empire. The original Empire then lived in its own filth until about 330 AD when Cæsar Constantine replaced Jupiter with the seed of today's Christianity, and the hobbled zombie termed the 'Holy Roman Empire' took about a millennium to decay to Catholicism about when Columbus got lost in the Atlantic believing himself near China. We're the fade of the Republic, not the waning Empire...
You read Glubb's work, "The Fate of Empires", too? I have a theory about that, and we may well be looking at the beginning of a change from American republic to empire, or at least some change to a pre-"outburst" stage. Although current politics suggest are conducive to the rise of a dictator (or emperor), I suspect there is a way to circumvent getting an emperor and end up with just a resurgent republic.
Thursday May 9, 2013, 9:20 pm
This is a blistering and well-deserved critique of the folly and hubris of Bush and Obama. We have been in a permanent tizzy, squandering dollars and lives in this asinine hysteria over terrorism, which really is nothing new unique, or the exclusive domain of any country, ethnic, religious or political group, or individuals. The war on terror is idiotic, and locks us into permanent war. The victors are the war profiteers, who pull all the strings. Just imagine what the world would be like if we had elected Ralph Nader. If 9/11 even would have occurred, he would have had the good sense to accept the positive regard that much of the world expressed toward us, instead of acting like the belligerent Cowboy Bush.
Friday May 10, 2013, 4:01 am
Every nation has the right to defend itself. This applies to uS as it applies to all nations including Arab and Muslim nations who had been subject to the colonial greed before and since the end of world war 1. They have been and still are subject to fascist wars, occupation,land natural resources theft. The arrogance and false allegations I find in comments of some people here just explains the hatred against Muslims in general and Arabs in particular. This kind of arrogance and hatred speech is unacceptable and is behind the reaction of Arabs and Muslims. No body mentioned the Bush allegations of George Bush against Iraq which had been proven to be Just lies. Did Us congress preach Bush when all the world discovered that he was a LIAR.? Blame but yourselves.
America created Bin Laden and the Mujahdeen and used them against USSR in Afghanistan but the magic turned against the magician.America is behind the contiuation of the Israeli occupation for more than 46 years. The political,economic and military support to Isreal is the main obstcle against peace in the Middle East,yet you blame Palestinians not the occupation. You describe Palestinians as terrorist while real terrorists are the Zionists who terrified Palestinians and kicked them out from their homes,villages,properties even before the creation of the Zionist entity in 1948.Palestinians have been subject to genocide for more than 65 years. No one blames the Zionist entity . Palestinians are the ones to blame. Wake up American before it is too late.
Friday May 10, 2013, 4:05 pm
An act of terrorism is an act of patriotism if viewed from the other side. We need to begin to hold our leaders as responsible as we hold the leaders from other countries. No leader should be exempt when they perform illegal actions.
Saturday May 11, 2013, 6:21 am
Stephen, I am glad that you accept that the majority of Muslims do not harbour ill will to the US, that is an important first step. However creating more terrorist by one's actions, which is exactly what the US is doing at the moment, is just plain stupid/short-sighted/immoral, take your pick. That is, if you are genuinely looking for a solution. I'm afraid the real reasons for the continuation' of the 'war on terror' lie in the self interest of the US armaments industry that any logical strategy. Of course there will always be recruitment for terrorists as there are a lot of psychologically impaired people in both the US and the Muslim world, indeed everywhere, and the tools for killing are ever easier to obtain. But the vast majority of people, everywhere in the world, desire nothing more than to live in peace without fear and you win by enlisting their support to defeat the terrorists Dropping bombs on innocents just acts as a recruitment for the terrorists, that is a fact of life, like it or not. Furthermore, I am sorry but trying to say that the US forces are acting as 'Good Samaritans' is ludicrous. In no way shape or form has the US been acting as a Good Samaritan abroad, at least since after WWII - and not even then. US, (and every other country's) actions abroad are purely driven by self-interest. I'm afraid you do seem to have fallen for US Government and mass media propaganda. The reality is the US is an imperial power flexing its muscles abroad, just as Britain, Russia, France, China, etc etc etc have done in their time, there is zero altruism in any Government's foreign policy. Governments though do certainly try to pretend they are altruistic, heck even Hitler claimed everything he did was for the good of everyone! Same with trying to pretend there is a difference between war crimes and terrorism, I'm sorry but this is nothing to do with drowning or car accidents, again you seem to think that there is some altruism in US actions and that excuses everything. There is not, this is killings of innocents pure and simple (albeit I accept unintentional) and for that a price needs to be paid.
Saturday May 11, 2013, 6:23 am
John Gregoire, 'winning hearts and minds' was NEVER seriously tried in Vietnam, it was merely a propoganda exercise which was never implemented in a serious way. 'Winning hearts and minds' has never, ever, failed, when it has been seriously and properly implemented, not just used as a propoganda tool. John C, I understand your frustration but what you need to remember is that from many of the Afghans point of view, the US has been stabbing their people in the back all along. The US is no innocent participant. Sorry. Russell R but it does seem to be you who has been brain washed as very little of what you say about Muslims has anything to do with reality. I do accept though that the US learnt from British Imperialism and if I was living in that period of British supremacy I would be complaining about British Imperialism too. Just because someone did something bad in the past is no excuse to copy it. Therein lies the path to madness. Also, Britain's decline is nothing whatsoever to do with Muslims, absolutely not!.
Saturday May 11, 2013, 6:25 am
Well done Abdessalam, you are 100% correct and spot on in your statements, you speak the truth. Far too often in the West we forget the real roots of the current bout of terrorism and we really need to understand reality if we are ever to come to a solution to the issue. However, both 'sides' in the Middle East have committed horrific abuses over the years and we now need to have the political will to move on and not get mired in mutual mud slinging and thus more suffering and killings and more blood shed for nothing. Governments unfortunately tend to behave like spoilt children so it is up to all of us to say to them, get off your backsides, grow up, and be serious about a political solution to the conflict – something never yet seriously attempted. Most importantly. they need to stand up to the political, religious and business interests who are more concerned about benefiting from conflict rather than achieving peace – those are the main obstacles to peace. Dropping, or setting off bombs, will never, ever, solve anything - as has been proved time and time and time again.
And I totally agree with many who say that Obama is not the first US Imperial President, nor is he anywhere near the worst. Other Presidents have been far worse but Obama is President now and he needs to significantly change US activities abroad now. And Scott J spot on, short but right to the point. Many thanks too to all those who have contributed a whole range of comments. The more the subject can be discussed (not sloganised) in the open the more we can all work towards a solution – inch by inch!
Sunday May 12, 2013, 9:33 am
There was a lot to read here, so if I am overlapping, excuse me. Heather O's comment about Obama being handed "this mess" is true. The question is, why hasn't Obama cleaned up this mess, instead odf esculating it?
He has committed Americans to stay in Afghanistan for 2 more years- why? He has expanded military attacks in Pakistan, he wants American trerops in Africa, and he has asked for additional money for the creation of missles, which even the Pentagon has stated is a waste of money.
Sorry I lost track of this conversation a while back. I got caught up in some others. I don't think the U.S. truly acts just as a "Good Samaritan", nor do I think it really should, but that is another matter. My point about the Good Samaritan law in Quebec was that one cannot be held responsible for the deaths of others, even after pulling the trigger oneself, if one does everything reasonable to prevent those deaths.
I have formally studied the effect of killing civilians on terrorist recruitment, and organized a group of students to discuss the issue and try to come up with ways to get around the problem while still effectively combatting militias. There are ways to reduce the problems, but the only tested and effective solution anybody has ever found, to combat militias without having civilian casualties assist in their recruitment, is genocide. People have been trying something new, organizing local governments and helping them to set up effective law-enforcement, and I hope it works, but it still does not completely eliminate the problem. Total withdrawal, often advocated these days as a solution, has also been tried and failed miserably: Killing civilians drives terrorist recruitment, but so do terrorists' demonstrations of success (as seen, for example, after Israel's withdrawal from Gaza). The only condition where withdrawal can succeed is where the anti-militia policy is the only thing sustaining its recruitment, and that is simply not the case. If they could not use deaths as a means to recruit, it wouldbe slower, but those militias and terrorists would still be active, just as they were before the U.S. started its "War on Terror".