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Patriot Day: Remembering 9-11
Posted: 12 September 2007 02:27 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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brennen,

I think you are generalizing and misrepresenting me entirely way too much. I am more than aware of the many reasons people join the military (family tradition, school money, learn new skills, a sense of patriotism, etc). And I more than aware at the many excuses one tells themselves when they go along with a crime like the Iraq War. I have seen and heard them all.

The two reasons wattaquestion cited are not uncommon. But one doesnt need to dig much deeper to see that they are superficial and do nothing to change the situation for the better. The simple fact is that the war is wrong. Fundamentally wrong. It is illegal, unjustified and immoral. It was built on lies and alterior motives and these were apparent BEFORE it began. To conjur up excuses on why one would participate simply do not change the fact that it should not have been conducted. All it does to make excuses for participating is enable it. It should not have been waged and the soldiers conducting it should cease their involvement. Simple as that.

There is a strong sense of apologia when one thinks that helping the younger guys cope with the crimes they are commiting should take precedent over a strong, principled opposition to participating. Similarly, there is no “reason” in participating. What does that even mean? How do you help bring “reason” to a crime unless you refuse to participate?

Again, I do not doubt that soldiers take the idea of what they are doing seriously. In my encounters with military personnel - whether family, friends or whatever - I have noticed that most take it seriously. Most think they are serving us or protecting us, etc. They should be more informed. They should know about the US Constitution, the item they have sworn to protect from enemies both foreign and domestic. Article VI clearly says, “all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land.” We are a signatory to the UN Charter, which makes it our “supreme law of the land.” The war on Iraq was a clear violation of the UN Charter. International law is the “supreme law of the land” in the US. I don’t care why someone joins the military; I dont care what excuses they come up with to justify their participation in violating their own oath; I don’t care of their fear of being ostracized or whether doing the right thing would harm their relationships with spouses, family, friends or fellow soldiers; I simply do not care if the wrong thing to do is the easiest. Furthermore, I do not need “direct experience” to see and understand these things. I realize the complexities of why folks join or the problems they face with doing the right thing, yadda yadda yadda. But difficulties and excuses are set aside in my opinion. It’s the example we applied to Nazi Germany and others and we should not shrink from applying it to ourselves. In fact, that is precisely what Robert Jackson said at the Nuremberg Trials: “If certain acts of violation of treaties are crimes, they are crimes whether the United States does them or whether Germany does them, and we are not prepared to lay down a rule of criminal conduct against others which we would not be willing to have invoked against us.”

And elsewhere: “We must never forget that the record on which we judge these defendants is the record on which history will judge us tomorrow. To pass these defendants a poisoned chalice is to put it to our own lips as well.”

I could do the same and make excuses on why I should “support our troops” and that is easier then to say with strong principles and conviction that I am opposed to what they are doing, that they are undermining our security and their own oaths to protect the consitition, and that they ought to resist. Im not sure if you realize this but its not fashionable to say such things. But im convinced it is the right thing to do and say.

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Posted: 12 September 2007 02:38 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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TA,

I’m sorry if you feel poorly used here. I’m not misrepresenting you, I’m challenging the soundness of your logic, the psychological validity of your conclusions, and the fairness of your judgement. You feel that the reasons soldiers give, and that I cite, for their participation in what we both agree is a wrong and immoral war are “superficial” and insufficient moral or practical justifications. I disagree. I think the idea that swearing an oath to defend the constitution means refusing to participate in something that is counter to constitutional principles is a great ideal. But I think your dismissal of what leads individuals to see the situation differently and act contrary to what you and I see as the constitutional and moral requirements of the situation is too harsh and not realistic.

Anyway, it is a shame that we have to fight over every effing detail here when we already agree on the basic premise that the war is wrong and needs to be ended. You find chastising the troops for their participation in it appropriate, I think it inappropriate and in any case unhelpful. I’d rather just leave that aside as a difference and move forward. It is, after all, a relatively small part of your original post, and though I took pains to point out what I agreed with at the beginning of my response, we seem to have ignored all that and focused on bickeringu. Too typical of the forum and human behavior in general, sadly.

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Posted: 12 September 2007 03:06 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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Brennen,

That’s all good and fine. I agree that we agree more than we disagree. I just want to be clear on my reasoning and logic. I apply the same standards to troops that I do myself and others: do what is right even if its the hardest thing to do. I don’t think it is harsh at all nor unrealistic. Furthermore, I dont think viewing their sworn oaths, clear statements of the constitution or the UN Charter or Chemical Weapons Conventions (referring to as White Phosphorus was used in Fallujah for “shake and bake” missions) or Geneva Convention are a matter of perspective. It is pretty cut and dry.  They have sworn to protect the constitution - not the President - from enemies foreign and domestic. That our constitution says treaties signed are the supreme law of the land is equally cut and dry. How we have violated international laws in reference to the war in Iraq is also pretty cut and dry. So the conclusion that they should honor their oaths and resist these unlawful orders is not harsh or unrealistic by any sense. We can find plenty of fables and examples where the moral is clear: do what is right, even if the wrong thing is the easiest thing to do.

I have no particualr disliking of soldiers. I am frankly tired of reading about them sitting on IED’s. And I am equally tired of reading about the effects experienced on the receiving end of our weapons.

I really hope you read up on General Smedley Butler. There is a soldier I really respect. One of America’s most decorated soldiers who looked back on his actions and - far from being a pacifist - helped organize resistance within America’s soldiers. He commanded great respect from the military and he spoke about honestly about war and urged soldiers to resist participating while also fighting for social rights for the poor workingmen. You know I like quotes so I want to share two of his with you and then I want to share something that William Blum wrote in this months Anti-Empire report because it is good example of what I have been saying.

Smedley Butler:

“I was a high class muscleman for Big Business, for Wall Street and for the Bankers,” Butler said. “In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism.”

In a speech in 1933, Butler said the following:

“I helped make Mexico, especially Tampico, safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street. The record of racketeering is long. I helped purify Nicaragua for the international banking house of Brown Brothers in 1909-1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for American sugar interests in 1916. In China I helped to see to it that Standard Oil went its way unmolested.”

“The general public shoulders the bill. This bill renders a horrible accounting. Newly placed gravestones, Mangled bodies. Shattered minds. Broken hearts and homes. Economic instability. Back-breaking taxation for generations and generations.”

William Blum [ http://www.zmag.org/content/showarticle.cfm?SectionID=51&ItemID=13751 ]:

Okay, Bush ain’t gonna get out of Iraq no matter what anyone says or does short of a) impeachment, b) a lobotomy, or c) one of his daughters setting herself afire in the Oval Office as a war protest. A few days ago, upon arriving in Australia, “in a chipper mood”, he was asked by the Deputy Prime Minister about his stopover in Iraq. “We’re kicking ass,” replied the idiot king.[1] Another epigram for his tombstone.

And the Democrats ain’t gonna end the war. Ninety-nine percent of the American people protesting on the same day ain’t gonna do it either, in this democracy. (No, I’m sorry to say that I don’t think the Vietnam protesters ended the war. There were nine years of protest—1964 to 1973—before the US military left Vietnam. It’s a stretch to ascribe a cause and effect to that. The United States, after all, had to leave sometime.)

Only those fighting the war can end it. By laying down their arms and refusing to kill anymore, including themselves. Some American soldiers in Iraq have already refused to go on very dangerous combat missions. Iraq Veterans Against the War, last month at their annual meeting, in St. Louis, voted to launch a campaign encouraging American troops to refuse to fight. “Iraq Veterans Against the War decided to make support of war resisters a major part of what we do,” said Garrett Rappenhagen, a former U.S. Army sniper who served in Iraq from February 2004 to February 2005.

The veterans group has begun organizing among active duty soldiers on military bases. Veterans have toured the country in busses holding barbeques outside the base gates. They also plan to step up efforts to undermine military recruiting efforts.

Of course it’s a very long shot to get large numbers of soldiers into an angry, protesting frame of mind. But consider the period following the end of World War Two. Late 1945 and early 1946 saw what is likely the greatest troop revolt that has ever occurred in a victorious army. Hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of American soldiers protested all over the world because they were not being sent home even though the war was over. The GIs didn’t realize it at first, but many soon came to understand that the reason they were being transferred from Europe and elsewhere to various places in the Pacific area, instead of being sent back home, was that the United States was concerned about uprisings against colonialism, which, in the minds of Washington foreign-policy officials, was equated with communism and other nasty un-American things. The uprisings were occurring in British colonies, in Dutch colonies, in French colonies, as well as in the American colony of the Philippines. Yes, hard to believe, but the United States was acting like an imperialist power.

In the Philippines there were repeated mass demonstrations by GIs who were not eager to be used against the left-wing Huk guerrillas. The New York Times reported in January 1946 about one of these demonstrations: “‘The Philippines are capable of handling their own internal problems,’ was the slogan voiced by several speakers. Many extended the same point of view to China.”[2]

American marines were sent to China to support the Nationalist government of Chang Kai-shek against the Communists of Mao Tse-tung and Chou En-lai. They were sent to the Netherlands Indies (Indonesia) to be of service to the Dutch in their suppression of native nationalists. And American troop ships were used to transport the French military to France’s former colony in Vietnam. These and other actions of Washington led to numerous large GI protests in Japan, Guam, Saipan, Korea, India, Germany, England, France, and Andrews Field, Maryland, all concerned with the major slowdown in demobilization and the uses for which the soldiers were being employed. There were hunger strikes and mass mailings to Congress from the soldiers and their huge body of support in the States. In January 1946, Senator Edwin Johnson of Colorado declared “It is distressing and humiliating to all Americans to read in every newspaper in the land accounts of near mutiny in the Army.”[3]

On January 13, 1946, 500 GIs in Paris adopted a set of demands called “The Enlisted Man’s Magna Charta”, calling for radical reforms of the master-slave relationship between officers and enlisted men; also demanding the removal of Secretary of War Robert Patterson. In the Philippines, soldier sentiment against the reduced demobilization crystalized in a meeting of GIs that voted unanimously to ask Secretary Patterson and certain Senators: “What is the Army’s position in the Philippines, especially in relation to the reestablishment of the Eighty-sixth Infantry Division on a combat basis?”[4]

By the summer of 1946 there had been a huge demobilization of the armed forces, although there’s no way of knowing with any exactness how much of that was due to the GIs’ protests.[5]

If this is how American soldiers could be inspired and organized in the wake of “The Good War”, imagine what can be done today in the midst of “The God-awful War”.

Iraq Veterans Against the War could use your help. Go to: http://www.ivaw.org/

[ Edited: 12 September 2007 03:09 PM by truthaddict ]
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Posted: 12 September 2007 04:44 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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truthaddict - 12 September 2007 09:50 AM

yeah, their warcalls were, “we did this to have the caliphate.” sorry, but no. You are completely overplaying the religious card and ignoring the bigger issues that drive them.

the biggest recruitment tool for al qaeda and other “terrorist” groups has been social, economic and political issues.

I guess that is why Osama bin Laden is a poor uneducated…wait!  He isn’t!  He’s a millionaire with an engineering background! 

Well at least we know the 19 9/11 hijackers were poor, uneducated…wait!  They weren’t!  Most were educated and came from well-to-do backgrounds.

Well at least the attempted suicide bombers in London and Glasgow were poor, uneducated…wait!  They weren’t!  Some were doctors and medical students! 

Sorry, truthaddict.  You are wrong on this one. 

Serious analysts of the situation believe bin Laden wanted to set into motion a series of events that he honestly believed would hasten a return of the caliphate. Granted, the killing of American Infidels was a nice added bonus for bin Laden.  And while he was at it he might as well try to get Islam a foothold in the United States.  Look at his own words to Americans on the subject:

“The first thing that we are calling you to is Islam.”
Convert!  And it’s his very first demand!  Nothing about U.S. foreign policy!

The second thing we call you to, is to stop your oppression, lies, immorality and debauchery that has spread among you.”
You know all the things that “progressive” U.S. liberals stand for, such as same-sex marriage, women’s rights, right to choose, etc?  Those domestic issues piss off bin Laden and his minions just as much as any U.S. foreign policy.  Should people in the U.S. abandon those things since they help cause terrorism? 

Then there was the terrorism manual, kept by Islamic cleric Abu Hamza, and dedicated to Osama bin Laden.  It calls for Muslims to carry out their “religious duty” to Allah and kill Jews, “infidels” and lapsed Muslims as part of the fight against enemies of Islam.  This struggle went toward establishing a “world caliphate” under Sharia law, even at the White House in Washington.

Marc Sageman, forensic psychiatrist at the Foreign Policy Research Institute, studied 400 al Q’aeda members.  Three quarters of this sample were upper or middle class. 90% came from caring, intact families. 63% attended college.  73% were married with the vast majority having children.  Three quarters were professionals or semiprofessionals including engineers, architects, civil engineers and scientists.

”When I was still a member of what is probably best termed the British Jihadi Network - a series of British Muslim terrorist groups linked by a single ideology - I remember how we used to laugh in celebration whenever people on TV proclaimed that the sole cause for Islamic acts of terror like 9/11, the Madrid bombings and 7/7 was Western foreign policy.  By blaming the Government for our actions, those who pushed this “Blair’s bombs” line did our propaganda work for us. More important, they also helped to draw away any critical examination from the real engine of our violence: Islamic theology...And though many British extremists are angered by the deaths of fellow Muslim across the world, what drove me and many others to plot acts of extreme terror within Britain and abroad was a sense that we were fighting for the creation of a revolutionary worldwide Islamic state that would dispense Islamic justice.

—Hassan Butt, reformed Jihadist in an article entitled “I Was a Fanatic”

Butt is describing the “Useful Idiot” tactic used by so many Islamo fascists.

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Posted: 12 September 2007 05:06 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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rocinante,

I am not and have not been disputing the religious aspects of their violence and their cause, but I do dispute how you overplay the religious aspect and down play the socio-political factors that drive their religious agendas.

As I pointed to previously, take Iran. In 1953 they had a secular democratic government and in 1979 they had an extremist theocracy. It is quite obvious that the socio-political issues - or the suppression of public forums to deal with these - were what elevated the stature of religious fundamentalism.

I recall bin ladens messages - especially the Letters to America - being heavily ladened with political comments about troops in Saudi Arabia, support for brutal dictators, Israel, etc.

I recall the London bombers making a tape talking about the Iraq War

I recall a would-be bomber caught in Jordan a couple of years ago who said her family was killed in US bombings in Iraq and she wanted revenge.

even that last quote of yours got to it. The last part you didnt put in italics, in particular.

Sure, they were motivated to “dispense Islamic justice” but that would require some injustices for them to provoke them. What are the injustices that they seek to make right by “dispensing Islamic justice”????

Its the same injustices that they responded to when the Soviets invaded Afghanistan and where they learned their militant skills.

Its the same injustices that they responded to in the aid of Kosovar Muslims.

Its the same injustices they responded to when US forces were stationed in Saudi Arabia.

Again, I am not dismissing that religious views have anything to do with the violence, but you are overstating them way too much. Go back through all of UBL’s letters to America and all the tapes released and when Peter Bergen or Robert Fisk were meeting privately to inteview bin Laden you will see that their violence is aimed at political, social and economic injustices.

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Posted: 12 September 2007 05:10 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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Letter to America:

http://observer.guardian.co.uk/worldview/story/0,11581,845725,00.html

“As for the first question: Why are we fighting and opposing you? The answer is very simple:

(1) Because you attacked us and continue to attack us.”

While you certainly can find religious sentiments dripping throughout the letter you cannot miss the social and political grievances that they are using their religious extremism to respond to.

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Posted: 12 September 2007 05:19 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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Rocinante - 12 September 2007 04:44 PM

“The first thing that we are calling you to is Islam.”
Convert!  And it’s his very first demand!  Nothing about U.S. foreign policy!

Funny, that you said it had “nothing about US foreign policy.” Because that was such an obviously false statement to anyone who read the letter.

What you were quoting is the very letter I just referenced above. The “calling” to Islam was the second question (what do they want us to do). The first question was why do they fight us. The answer was dripping with examples of “US foreign policy.”

What does the second thing they call for in regards to the second question? For the US to end its “oppression.”

And you can go on and on and on with that letter.

Did you even bother to read the letter before you wrote that it had “nothing about US foreign policy”? I advise that you do so before you continue putting your foot in your mouth.

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Posted: 12 September 2007 05:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
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Rocinante - 12 September 2007 04:44 PM

You know all the things that “progressive” U.S. liberals stand for, such as same-sex marriage, women’s rights, right to choose, etc?  Those domestic issues piss off bin Laden and his minions just as much as any U.S. foreign policy.

I didnt include your question that followed because I found it irrelevant with what Im about to say.

True, those “domestic issues piss off bin Laden” but that is not why they are attacking us. If you want to use that letter to answer that why, which I have no problem with, then just read above. I already quoted it. They are attacking us because we are attacking them. Then he lists off a bunch of “foreign policy” examples of where we are attacking them.

Again, I dont deny they are religious extremists, but it is clear that our actions towards them are provoking their attacks against us. Amseterdam has legalized prostitution, but they dont have our foreign policy. No wonder they were not attacked on 9-11.

Also, if they attacked us over cultural issues that offended their religious sensibilities then why didnt they attack Las Vegas? Why did they attack the three symbols of American power and not the Coors beer brewing factory or some dildo manufacturing store? They attacked the Pentagon, World Trade Center and were going for a target in DC. If that is not a political statement then I dont know what it is…

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Posted: 12 September 2007 06:29 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
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truthaddict - 12 September 2007 05:26 PM

Also, if they attacked us over cultural issues that offended their religious sensibilities then why didnt they attack Las Vegas? Why did they attack the three symbols of American power and not the Coors beer brewing factory or some dildo manufacturing store? They attacked the Pentagon, World Trade Center and were going for a target in DC. If that is not a political statement then I dont know what it is…

The WTC could not be considered political.  Those were civilians who had nothing to do with U.S. foreign policy. 

Al-Q’aeda, despite desiring a return to the 7th Century, still has a somewhat fundamental grasp of 21st Century media.  If they attacked the dildo store, then they would not have gotten the press they did by attacking the big 9/11 targets.  Also, the U.S. would not likely send in the military for a blown up dildo store.  :grin:  They wanted the U.S. to respond after 9/11.  They were not stupid enough to think the U.S. would just sit back and do nothing after 9/11!  They knew what they were doing.  They carefully picked their targets for specific reasons.  They carefully planned it to happen early in the morning to maximize media coverage so it would last all day.  They may be fundamentalist nutjobs, but they are media savvy.  And they have long range goals. 

Besides, you have placed me in an impossible position akin to trying to prove a negative.  The professional, trained al-Q’adea went after the big targets trying to provoke a U.S. military response for their own purposes.  But how do you know that the smaller, copycat jihadists have not since tried to blow up the dildo store or any other place in Las Vegas but were caught before they could carry out their plots?  You don’t.  And neither do I.  So they may very well have attempted to go after more “sinful” targets, but may have been busted before they got a chance to carry it out.  The feds don’t spill the beans about every plot they may have uncovered or prevented post-9/11.  What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.  What happens in the intelligence community also stays in the intelligence community.  We won’t know the true scope of everything going on in this arena (on both sides) for a generation or more.  Certain secret aspects of WWII are still coming out after over 60 years!

[ Edited: 12 September 2007 06:32 PM by Rocinante ]
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Posted: 13 September 2007 11:15 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
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rocinante,

the point is that politics is at the root of this, not their extremist religious views.

Like bin Laden said, they attack and oppose us for what we do to them, not what we do amongst ourselves.

furthermore, there choice of targets spells it out loud and clear. US embassies in Africa, USS Cole, World Trade Center, Pentagon, DC, London, Madrid.

the WTC is an economic symbol, with the other two being the political and military. this is so obvious that it’s absurd to have to point this out.

furthermore, as already mentioned,  the London bombers made it clear why the did what they did: UK support in the Iraq and Afhganistan war/occupation.

the same is true with the Madrid bombings or attacks on US apache helicopter workers in Saudi Arabia.

I agree that these guys hold some dangerous religious views, but what breeds those and aids their support and recruitment has been the oppressive social, economic and political climate. When people dont have a peaceful way of expressing themselves or a political forum to participate in they will turn to those who offer them a voice. Radical Islam is providing what they cant do in the social, political arena because of oppressive governments propped up by the US government and private corporations. If we want to deal a lethal blow to the Umma then ending our belligerence would go a long way and there is no better way to avoid another 9-11 than just that.

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Posted: 13 September 2007 05:17 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]
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truthaddict - 13 September 2007 11:15 AM

the point is that politics is at the root of this, not their extremist religious views.

Like bin Laden said, they attack and oppose us for what we do to them, not what we do amongst ourselves.

Boy, you’ve got some bad luck when it comes to timing!  :grin:  Shortly after you posted that, we get the audio of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed confessing of his “shared responsibility” of a failed plot to kill Pope John Paul II.  And we all know how many troops the Vatican has sent to the Middle East and all Pope’s strong defense of this Iraq war and all previous Middle East military missions.  rolleyes

And on the same day we also get this lovely audio of what some of his brothers-in-arms would do to über conservative pro-war hawks Madonna and Britney Spears. 

Like I said earlier, you may have some good points about some U.S. foreign policy needing to be fixed or changed, but recall that 9/11 happened before Iraq.  And bin Laden was able to recruit thousands during the Clinton years, long before Bush.  But even if the United States adopted a pure Pat Buchanan-style isolationist policy, these nutjobs would still try to kill Americans.  They will find any excuse.  An excuse, not a legitimate reason. 

Just because you happen to hold certain views about U.S. foreign policy, you feel those views can be validated by believing, “They’ll leave us alone if only we’d do things this way…”  Sorry.  I don’t buy it, even if you happen to be right about those views.  The Arab Muslim culture once nearly dominated the world.  Their current back-burner status to the dominate Western culture combined with their views of “dishonor” brewed in an environment that, among other things, holds women and non-believers to be less than property, has led them to believe that they need to regain their once dominate position, not by embracing certain Western ideals such as freedom and equal rights for women, but by doing what was done back in the 7th Century when they were on top of the world.  The more people in the West that reject Islam only means, in their minds, they must push Islam on us even harder!  Right now in history, the U.S. just happens to be on the top of the totem pole, so we are going to get the most slings and arrows because of that place, no matter what we do…unless, of course, we all just submit to Islam like they insist.  After all, Islam means “submission.”  Well I’ve got news for them.  This Infidel will never submit!

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Posted: 13 September 2007 05:55 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]
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the pentagon censored the information about why they did it (referring to what was released today)....

i realize Iraq came after 9-11, but read his letter and it is obvious why they attack us. i mean, it was obvious even before the letter.

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Posted: 14 September 2007 09:09 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]
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“The Pentagon has released a censored audiotape of suspected Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed—deleting a part officials said could be used to recruit future terrorists.

“The tape of Mohammed’s 40-minute hearing before a U.S. military proceeding in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, was edited to exclude a 10-minute passage about the kidnap and beheading of U.S. journalist Daniel Pearl and Mohammed’s explanation for why Islamic militants are waging jihad against the United States, as well as information the government said was classified.”

yeah, real bad timing for me. the Pentagon censored his “explanation for why Islamic militants are waging jihad against the United States” really embarassed me.

the realities of the consequences of our foreign policy in that region is not an excuse, they most certainly are a legitimate grievance. whether legitimate grievances are exploited - and they most certainly are - by certain groups is not even the issue. if you seriously think that it is okay to do what we do in the region - ie the wars, occupations, support of aggression and oppressive tyrannies - then you ought to consider if the roles were reversed.

your lame monologue on “never submitting” and denying the role our actions play in formenting hatred and violence was absolutely pathetic. it looks like you will look for any excuse to deny our responisbility. An excuse, not a legitimate reason. Sorry, but I wasnt impressed by your BS.

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Posted: 14 September 2007 10:20 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]
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I think we are in the hard task to guess other’s intention. Of course, I cannot be sure what makes Bin Laden (or anyone else) want the destruction of USA. But I’d say that:
. The religious claims aren’t to took too seriously, just as any other claims: sometimes the people lie in order to manipulate others. I guess Bin Laden is not unaware of some manipulation techniques and how good religion is to manipulate people.
. Not only the arabs hate the US, here a lot of people hates US for good and bad reasons. I remember in 9/11 I was entering the office late, and I found all my colleagues in the meeting room, looking the CNN in the projector. Some of them were really happy… poors? no… in the 5% best paid of this country… uneducated? no… a matemathician, a couple of engineers and some with phd in computer science (in US universities, of course) religious? well, most atheistics and some very light christians. Based on this fact, I guess religion makes the difference in the way they act, not in the way they think.
. Add the sense of humilliation (based or not in reallity, or based on things we find understandable or not) to a dangerous religious view… and there is a big trouble.

If the west leaves the arabs alone the attack will end?. I don’t know, and I don’t know if it possible because we need oil, not only the US, the rest of the world.

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Posted: 14 September 2007 01:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]
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Joined  2006-11-28

I’m with Rocinante on this one. Yes, America does and has done a lot of stupid, immoral things abroad, and yes this exacerbates hatred of us. The Iraq war itself is the most egregious example, and I’m sure it has broadened the support for Islamic extremism and anti-US terrorism more than anything Bin Laden or his mates could have done. But there is a core of xenophobia and a desire to bring all the world under Allah’s will as they see it in muslim extremists (not unlike that in Christian extremists), and religion is a significant part of their motivation. We can respond a hell of a lot better to them that we have and undermine their support among more rational people, but ultimately they will hate us for irrational reasons as people frequently hate others, and denying that doesn’t further the cause of a more sane foreign policy. Reality is complex, and you have to deal with even those parts of it that don’t fit one’s own POV or agenda.

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Militant Agnostic: I don’t know, and neither do you!

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