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Has the idea of a War on Terror backfired ?

by grimgraphix / May 29, 2012 5:28 AM PDT
BEIRUT (AP) — A weekend massacre of more than 100 people emerged as a potential turning point in the Syrian crisis Monday, galvanizing even staunch ally Russia to take an unusually hard line against President Bashar Assad's government.

Analysts said Russia may be warning Assad that he needs to change course or lose Moscow's support, which has been a key layer of protection for the Syrian government during the uprising that began in March 2011.

Russia has grown increasingly critical of Damascus in recent months, but Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov's latest comments were unusually strong. Although he said opposition forces have terrorists among them, he put the blame for 15 months of carnage primarily on Assad's government.


From the very beginning of the Arab Spring, the governments which successfully held off their opposition have used the most vicious of tactics and justified it by saying they were fighting terrorists. Syria used this excuse from the very beginning of its civil war, and has been supported by China (which also uses this excuse for the Han-ification of Tibet) and Russia (Chechnya)... and both of these countries have repeatedly protected Syria from the rest of the world.

When does a "War on Terror" become so much hollow words, and more importantly, in the world political arena how can the US justify collateral damage (civilian deaths) and condemn other countries for claiming the same rights?

Has our Raison D'Etre for fighting the "good" fight been stolen by the bad guys, and if so, then how do we get it back?
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I think the situation in Syria illustrates.....
by Josh K / May 29, 2012 6:45 AM PDT

......that the concepts of "war on terror" and "you're either with us or against us" are not as black and white as some would like to think.

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just give it up to radicals, crowds, rioters?
by James Denison / May 29, 2012 11:05 AM PDT

government by anarchy? government by special interest engaged in violence? Those in the streets are so much less than those NOT in the streets, which speaks volumes against those in the street.

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first, your comments have nothing to do with my questions
by grimgraphix / May 29, 2012 11:22 AM PDT

second, it sounds like you are in full support of Syria's actions and the support Russia and China has given to Syria.

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sorry you are unable to make the connection
by James Denison / May 29, 2012 11:39 AM PDT

but it's fairly obvious you are equating the existing govts as the terrorist. What is actually happening used to be called a "war" and should be viewed as such, which means combatants on both sides will die.

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you are fairly oblivious to what I was talking about.
by grimgraphix / May 29, 2012 12:03 PM PDT

let me make it REAL simple so you can understand.

Good people live in the US.
Bad people attack the US.
We declare our right to defend ourselves based upon a doctrine of a war on terror.

Bad people lead a country.
People there declare they want government to change.
Bad people lead a war against their own citizens.
Bad people declare they have the right based on a doctrine of a war on terror.

What do you do when the bad people claim they have the same motivations that you do?

Simple enough for you ?

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You are being disengenuous
by James Denison / May 29, 2012 8:05 PM PDT

and you are twisting your applications. Both Syria and the US have govts. Both govts will try to maintain power. The US did it when they started a war on the southern states who objected to the US govt and seceded. Syria is doing the same on those within it's borders. Which side were you on again?

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So you are pro-dictatorship?
by Josh K / May 29, 2012 11:03 PM PDT

Bear in mind also that the current Syrian government is viciously anti-Israel.

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who started this war?
by James Denison / May 30, 2012 2:00 AM PDT

Here's a hint, it wasn't that government. It was radical Islamist. Maybe you should read some US history concerning Pensions, McArthur, Bonus Army and Washington DC. At least that Army had valid claims against our government. This is nothing new. All govts fight to maintain power. Both sides are engaged in killing. It's a war.

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And maybe you should read some US history....
by Josh K / May 30, 2012 2:18 AM PDT
In reply to: who started this war?

.....on oppressive governments and how that kind of oppression leads to rebellion.


(Hint: think the 1700s right here in the colonies)

Wink

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No
by James Denison / May 30, 2012 2:04 AM PDT

For all I care for either side they could nuke the whole lot of them, then turn what's left there over to the Kurds and call it Kurdistan instead.

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Ah,Mr Sensitive speaks.Nuke them all, God will know his own.
by Ziks511 / June 2, 2012 12:40 PM PDT
In reply to: No

The origin of that quotation was a directive from a Papal legate to the forces of Raimond of Toulouse during the little known but bloody Albigensian Crusade, against a peaceful group of Christian people in the South of France (the Cathars) who were working out Mennonite and Shaker principles 500 years early. All they wanted to do was to live in peace, worship God, and try to find salvation which they didn't see coming via the corrupt Roman Catholic church of the 14th Century. The Cathars were exterminated or forced to recant which few did.

The Cathars looked at the world, and it looked like Hell to them, and the Civil and Church powers looked like the two hands of the Devil. They wanted a different outcome than succumbing to "force majeur".

Rob

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there's no comparison

between those groups and what's happening in the Islamist countries. What's up with Libya lately?

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Anyone who can equate a minority unelected dictatorship
by Ziks511 / June 2, 2012 12:26 PM PDT

with one of the sadder anti-democratic actions by a President with an elected majority in a democracy of 140+ years standing is a lost soul.

James you are being disingenuous when you make that comparison. It is an apples and penguins argument, so far apart as to be laughable.

China and Russia may choose to see Syria as embattled, but the people were not rioting as they were in Iraq, armed with AK-47s. Initially they were marching and protesting in the same way that they did in Egypt, and the violence has been mostly one way, from the "government" toward the protesters.

Predictably it was the Hoover Administration which ordered in the Army and 6 tanks. Republicans don't really believe in democracy, they believe in oligarchy, rule by the rich.

Note the alternative procedure used a years later:
"A second, smaller Bonus March in 1933 at the start of the Roosevelt Administration was defused in May with an offer of jobs for the Civilian Conservation Corps at Fort Hunt, Virginia, which most of the group accepted. Those who chose not to work for the CCC by the May 22 deadline were given transportation home. [2] In 1936, Congress overrode President Franklin D. Roosevelt's veto and paid the veterans their bonus years early." That was a Democratic Congress that overrode Roosevelt's veto.

Rob

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So, you simply agree with me
by James Denison / June 2, 2012 1:26 PM PDT

That it's entirely predictable that governments will seek to continue their existence.

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RE: Those in the streets are so much less
by JP Bill / May 29, 2012 9:52 PM PDT
Those in the streets are so much less than those NOT in the streets.

They don't have to go in the streets...they are being killed hiding in their bedrooms.

The government is putting down an uprising that's taking place in the bedrooms of the nation?
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I'll run hide in my bedroom
by James Denison / May 30, 2012 2:03 AM PDT

and that way nobody can chase me there after I was rioting in the streets?! On a personal note I don't care about either side, so don't care which side wins, but all this labeling of "terrorism" and "terrorist" goes too far. It's a war and death and killing are to be expected. It doesn't mean it's pleasant, nor either side justified, but when it's a war, whoever wins writes the history and no matter which side wins, the other will be branded the worst.

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RE: It's a war and death and killing are to be expected
by JP Bill / May 30, 2012 3:37 AM PDT

So when the war is over..Just forget it even happened?

Memorial Day?

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from 2 of your posts
by JP Bill / May 30, 2012 12:08 PM PDT

ONLY those in the streets are dissatisfied

Those in the streets are so much less than those NOT in the streets, which speaks volumes against those in the street.

Those NOT IN THE STREETS are also dissatisfied.

I'll run hide in my bedroom and that way nobody can chase me there after I was rioting in the streets

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Above post was a response TO James
by JP Bill / May 30, 2012 12:27 PM PDT
In reply to: from 2 of your posts
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Perhaps, Grim...
by J. Vega / May 30, 2012 3:41 AM PDT

Grim, perhaps an indicator of attitudes changing can be things like the label "War On Terror" being changed to "overseas contingency operations".

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I dont view it as a change in attitudes
by grimgraphix / May 30, 2012 7:32 AM PDT
In reply to: Perhaps, Grim...

Wars are fought in the field, but they are also fought in the public arena. In order to sell his war... Bush branded his military actions as a War on Terror. It worked for him in that it made it easier to sell his war to the world community. Now, everybody is producing a knock-off of the branding. It's like buying a Prada purse on a street corner.

I see a sad irony here.

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Sounds like President Obama may have looked into changing
by Steven Haninger / May 30, 2012 9:12 AM PDT
In reply to: Perhaps, Grim...

the term 3 years ago.

When asked about the "war on terror" phrase by CNN's Anderson Cooper, Obama said, "Well you know, I think it is very important for us to recognize that we have a battle or a war against some terrorist organizations ... Words matter in this situation because one of the ways we're going to win this struggle is through the battle of hearts and minds."

Although partly symbolic, the search for new terror terminology reflects an internal government debate that predates the new administration. Critics have long decried the use of the phrase "war on terror" on the grounds that terrorism is a tactic, not an identifiable enemy. Years ago, State and Defense Department officials tried to move away from the phrase "war on terror," proposing instead to call it a "Struggle Against Violent Extremism," or SAVE.

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The War on Terror is this century's war on Piracy.
by Ziks511 / June 2, 2012 12:05 PM PDT

Neither Terrorists nor Pirates need anything but religious intolerance in the first case, and greed and easy prey in the other. Assad's tribe and co-religionists are waging war on the Sunni majority in order to maintain power. After the situation in Egypt, clearly Bashar el Assad saw the writing on the wall, and pre-emptively struck using terror tactics to frighten potential protesters. It is worthwhile to look up the Ba'ath Party which was the power base Hafez el Assad used to take over Syria, and which was the same power base and principles used by Sa'adam Hussein in Iraq. Much of their thinking was an adaptation of Nazi-ism to the Middle Eastern situation.

Bashar el Assad is from a branch of the Shia division of Islam called Alawites so there is a religious component to all this as well.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alawi

Until there is a fairly uniform military response to terror across most countries, terror will remain a attractive tactic for a small group fighting a larger group. The only solution is to make the cost so high that they look for another solution. George W. Bush had an opportunity to thoroughly cripple the Taliban and Al Qaeda in Afghanistan, and threw it away in order to attack Iraq. Now Afghanistan is not an ideal place to encourage democracy, but it was an ideal place to surround, and root out large numbers of Taliban and Al Qaeda, and to inhibit it in the long term from using terrorism to pursue its goals. Instead the necessary number of forces was bled away to Iraq, and both Taliban and Al Qaeda were able to sneak away, cross the border into Pakistan and maintain a strategic reserve with which to counter attack and prolong the Afghan War. Afghanistan might have reverted to the tribal society it has always been, with the violence confined to Aghanistan, rather than spread world wide.

Am I blaming George Bush, only in complaining here about his making a bad tactical decision when he had a chance to make a different choice. If Al Qaeda and the Taliban were sufficiently destroyed not to have interfered in the Iraq war, the Iraq war wouldn't have dragged on and on and on, and there would have been far fewer "insurgents" to worry about. They would have been afraid of US power, having already seen two groups destroyed. But with the first task left unfinished, there was no inhibition for young Yemeni or Saudi or Palestinian or Pakistani men from entering into the conflict. So far as they could see, the majority of Taliban and Al Qaeda had survived, so why shouldn't they be able to survive in Iraq?

Rob

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We needed to do it the same way Teddy Roosevelt did
by James Denison / June 2, 2012 1:28 PM PDT

when dealing with the Barbary Coast pirates. Go in and destroy them, leave them in disarray, don't waste money and time rebuilding what we destroyed. Destitute people in destitute countries have more things to deal with than terrorism across the world then.

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