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War on Terror

  • Sep. 29th, 2008 at 9:18 AM
Hi everybody,
I am Anil again. Thanks again for your prompt response to our query on outsourcing. Was curious to know how all of you and the average American public view the war on terror. Since 2001, the United States and the larger western world in general have been spared from attacks.
Increasingly, the debate is focusing on Pakistan, especially after the change in leadership as well as the conflict with the Taliban residing in the north-western frontier provinces escalates.
Is the war on terror as significant an issue in this election as it was in 2004 and what is the average perception about Pakistan; noticed that both, Obama and McCain, had comments to offer during the debate.


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ephom wrote:
Sep. 29th, 2008 03:58 am (UTC)
the 'war on terror' is a crime. the way bush sends out troops and spends money is just wasteful. there is just no need. we could, being the strongest country in the world, hunt down and find terrorist easily enough. its all just for show really. americans hate to admit it but seeing the military invade another country makes them feel more comfortable.
farla wrote:
Sep. 29th, 2008 04:02 am (UTC)
The "war on terror" is an ongoing disaster that's getting innocent people killed for the sake of drumming up support.

While it's not yet discredited, it's falling out of favor. I don't think that has to do with anything specific, though I wish I could say it's because people woke up to what's going on. All the "war on..." declarations inevitably fade away as people realize it's not actually changing anything, or simply grow bored hearing about it. Terrorism and questions of safety will still be more of an issue this election than they rationally should be, but nowhere near as much as it was in 2004.
blessedmisery wrote:
Sep. 29th, 2008 04:29 am (UTC)
It was foolish of us to declare the "War on Terror". You cannot fight a war against an ideology and ever hope to win, one might think we'd have learned this through the pointless "War on Drugs". Leaving that aside we cannot ever hope to pacify those who would stand against us in Afghanistan if we do not cut off their weapons and monetary supply coming from Pakistan.
hoppytoad79 wrote:
Sep. 29th, 2008 04:50 am (UTC)
What war on terror? The token number of soldiers in Afghanistan? Bush's priority hasn't been going after terrorists for years; Iraq has. In a way, there's been no choice but to invest so much in Iraq because we're the ones who went in with all guns blazing and no real plan, so it's only fair we should be the ones to clean up the mess we made. Ideally, Bush and the hawks in his administration would actually be involved in cleaning up the mess they made but nothing is ideal in the real world. Let him truly face and deal with the consequences of his 'Bring it on!' cowboy bravado and warmongering.

I've seen statements online such as 'Death to the towelheads!' so narrow-minded hate is very much alive and well in America. Some believe Obama is a Muslim, despite plenty of evidence to the contrary. The news is still nothing more than a talking head spewing a dumbed down, biased version of what executives think the news America gets should be. I watch BBC World News on my local PBS station to get my news.
akasa wrote:
Sep. 29th, 2008 05:25 am (UTC)
The war on terror was fear mongering, instilling fear in our people to allow the Bush administration to get away with murder and doing some unconstitutional things.
If he was serious about the war on terror Osama Bin Laden would be dead or imprisioned, not running around free training more terrorists and making threats. I think the fact Osama Bin Laden hasn't been captured or killed IS a point that is being spoken on mainly because HE is the reason we were ready to attack in the first place, not the imaginary WMDs.
ysabetwordsmith wrote:
Sep. 29th, 2008 05:27 am (UTC)
>> Was curious to know how all of you and the average American public view the war on terror.<<

Well, I'm not an average American, so I won't speculate on their views. I think the war on terror is stupid, destructive, and ineffective at reaching its stated goal. Observably it encourages terrorism; practically it uses terrorist tactics, employing violence and horror to force people to do things they don't want to do. But the war on terror does accomplish its hidden goals: convincing large numbers of Americans to sit passively while civil rights are destroyed and other human beings are treated abominably in the name of "patriotism."

>> Is the war on terror as significant an issue in this election as it was in 2004 <<

Yes. Until it stops, and people find better solutions, the problem will continue to worsen.

>> and what is the average perception about Pakistan; <<

Harrassing Pakistan is not going to make it behave any better. Warring for peace is like fucking for virginity. If you want people to be decent, you have to teach them how -- actually present the skills of personal interaction and responsible government -- and make sure there are enough resources for them to live. Since America is doing a crappy job of that domestically, it's even harder to do abroad. Used to be, America wasn't perfect but was far enough ahead of the curve to be able to teach stuff to other countries.

noticed that both, Obama and McCain, had comments to offer during the debate.
pennyann wrote:
Sep. 29th, 2008 05:50 am (UTC)
I don't think we've really begun the war on terror at this point. We've invaded Iraq and brought some of the terrorists to us since we were there, but we have yet to really do what is necessary to try to control global terrorism. Mainly, it will take the globe to accomplish this, and we have offended or turned off just about everyone who would really help us in the fight.

The world will someday realize that the war on terror can't be fought by the United States alone. I just hope it won't take another major attack to turn on that lightbulb.

I think until we are out of the quagmire of Iraq, there is little that is going to be able to be done in Pakistan or Afghanistan successfully or with any lasting power. The problem is, we can't leave Iraq in shambles. We made the mess and we're going to have to help clean it up, and I have a feeling that is going to take years.

I think in general though that terrorism, combating terrorism, and national security are important. Things changed on 9/11. We woke up. We never thought about people going to such lengths, and now we know what those lengths look like. Bush was asleep at the wheel, hopefully someone who is more interested in reading security memos and paying attention to what is going on will follow this administration. There are too many important issues to really say "this is important and that is not"... and I would include combating terrorism in the list (even though most of us feel the "war on terror" is a joke to date.).
rashelleym wrote:
Sep. 29th, 2008 07:37 am (UTC)
The "war on terror" seems only to be visible in the actions and deployments of American military forces, especially in Iraq and Afghanistan. Many Americans haven't yet made the connection between that ridiculous slogan and the erosion of civil liberties in the name of "homeland security". They both depend on maintaining and reinforcing a sense of fear about the future, and fear of the unknown: perpetuating common fear that's irrational yet soothing because it's common.

As an election issue, it's perhaps as significant as whether or not a candidate wears an American-flag lapel pin; a time-table for leaving Iraq and beginning to actually help the Afghanis and others resist tribal violence would be more meaningful.

Sen.McCain's bizarre assertion to the effect that Pakistan was at some point a "failed state" should have been on a par with Gerald Ford's in 1976 that the three Baltic states of the Soviet Union were free and independent. But it was barely noticed (apparently). Though more chaotic and bloodily violent than here, there is recognizably a continuous and (gasp!) increasingly democratic political tradition in Pakistan. The problem is that many Americans don't really know how to encounter such a lapse on the part of a candidate, because we don't really know anything about other countries. Despite his aura of "foreign policy expertise," Sen.McCain really seems no different in this respect. He's certainly no Dwight Eisenhower.

It seems rather obvious to me that Pakistani intelligence could locate and perhaps arrest Osama Bin Ladin at any time, if he's actually residing in the northern tribal areas. Of course, those who are his hosts would likely feel obligated to protect him. I personally feel it shows just what a farce the "war on terror" actually is, because capturing or killing the leader of the group perpetrating the 9/11 atrocity not only hasn't come to pass, neither candidate promises try to do so except as opportunity offers. (And, fortunately or unfortunately, the Presidential "finding" system may offer a vestige of legality to American violations of Pakistani sovereignty that attempt to do so.)
silentinflames wrote:
Sep. 29th, 2008 07:57 am (UTC)
Since 2001, the United States and the larger western world in general have been spared from attacks.

Um, no. Terrorist attacks since 9/11/01. One major terrorist attack is not on that list: the US invasion of Iraq.

And why would you want to only include the "western world"? Do people in Asia and Africa not count?

The so-called "war on terror" is an excuse for radical politicians to cut away constitutional rights bit by bit. You cannot fight terror with terror. And you cannot declare war on a ghost. If the US would actually care for human rights, democracy, freedom as they keep saying, it would have been an easy thing to capture bin Laden prior to 9/11, they've had plenty of opportunities. If they would care about this, they wouldn't have lifted the Taliban on the horse in the first place. If they would care about this, they would cut all contact to Saudi Arabia, one of the most despotic and oppressive regimes imaginable.

The war on terror is a bad joke. It is terror for those who accidentally get in the US's way. It is fuel poured in the terrorists' fire. It is letting the terrorists have their way.
as_she_spoke wrote:
Oct. 1st, 2008 01:08 am (UTC)
no terrorist attacks since 9/11? um how about the london bombings or the bali bombings?
silentinflames wrote:
Oct. 1st, 2008 06:26 am (UTC)
That's what I said. Follow the link in my reply to the above. :)
blessedmisery wrote:
Sep. 29th, 2008 08:10 am (UTC)
Pulled out some of the material I was expected to learn while I was in the military and found this: "Terrorism is the use of unlawful violence to inculcate fear; intended to coerce or intimidate governments or groups in pursuit of goals that are generally political, religious, or ideological"

That is the DoD(Department of Defence)definition of terrorism. The key word in that definition is "unlawful". If you take that word out the United States is very clearly commiting terrorism in the middle east. Even if you leave the word "unlawful" in the definition it brings up the very uncomfortable position of who decides what is lawful.
silentinflames wrote:
Oct. 1st, 2008 06:36 am (UTC)
Not only in the middle east. By maintaining secret prisons in Europe, by abducting people and detaining them without actually pressing charges, by the mere existence of Guantanamo Bay they also spread terror in Europe and many other parts

Even if you leave the word "unlawful" in the definition it brings up the very uncomfortable position of who decides what is lawful.of the world.

Actually, no. There are very clear definitions of what is or is not lawful if you look at international law and conventions.
blessedmisery wrote:
Oct. 1st, 2008 07:02 am (UTC)
But you see the beauty of it is (<==sarcasm) we don't give a fuck about international law and conventions.
thereal_anabel wrote:
Oct. 1st, 2008 07:57 am (UTC)
That's the problem. What moral right do Britain and America have to be a sort of global law enforcer when we show ourselves to be as corrupt and evil as the dictators we fight against? Torturing prisoners, breach of international law? Purlease! No wonder people hate us!

And it's no good saying other countries are worse. Riding in on a moral high horse (and pretending it's not about the oil) then committing atrocities just breeds more terrorists and prolongs the conflict.

The way to fight terrorism is to fight poverty and injustice.
blessedmisery wrote:
Oct. 1st, 2008 09:08 am (UTC)
"What moral right do Britain and America have to be a sort of global law enforcer"

It's called the auto veto. It allows us to act like a 13 year old playing Halo "WTF!! I pwn you bitches! Suck on that!!" to which the rest of the international community cries "hax0rz!!" and we just "lolz" at them.

The sad but true story of the UN Security Council.
thereal_anabel wrote:
Sep. 29th, 2008 08:17 am (UTC)
Since 2001, the United States and the larger western world in general have been spared from attacks.

This is incorrect. The suicide bombings in London on 7th July 2005 killed 56 people and injured 700. Then there were the the planned attacks on transatlantic flights in 2006 that led to the current limitations on liquids in carry-on luggage, and the fire bomb attack on Glasgow Airport in 2007.

The United States has indeed been spared, if you don't count attempts on transatlantic flights, but I believe Britain counts as part of "the larger western world in general".

Edited at 2008-09-29 08:38 am (UTC)
princekermit wrote:
Sep. 29th, 2008 08:27 pm (UTC)
Don't forget the Madrid Train Bombings March 11, 2004, too.
thereal_anabel wrote:
Oct. 1st, 2008 07:58 am (UTC)
Thank you. :)
princekermit wrote:
Sep. 29th, 2008 08:38 pm (UTC)

I find it interesting. You ask deeper questions than most of the other posters and get far fewer responses. Of course, you also get fewer people jumping up and down about Their Side and how evil The Other Side is, too. If you are wanting more answers, I would respectfully suggest breaking up your questions into smaller chunks.

In my observation, the War on Terror is less an issue than it was in 2004. In part, because it was the first presidential election post 9/11, it was the Monster in the Closet that the Republicans used to drive the fear vote. Now, it's being held up as a failed distracted policy to further show the dichotomy between Obama and McCain. I'm glad that Obama has reminded folks that it's not Iraq but Afghanistan that's the problem.

As far as Pakistan is concerned, I believe it's getting remarkably fuzzy. Most reports I see and hear refer to that region of Pakistan as "the tribal region" and repeatedly mention that national leaders have no control over the area. How can Islamabad be upset about US incursions against suspected terrorists when they purposefully keep their hands out of the region? Furthermore, there is no giant, bright yellow line dividing Afghanistan from Pakistan. Obviously, the terrorists hiding in the mountains don't care which side of the border they're on - any cave in a storm. Provided that the US/Coalition forces on the ground have adequate intel on the subject, I see no problem with taking the fight to the terrorists, rather than stopping at an imaginary line.
mystery_spell wrote:
Sep. 30th, 2008 10:53 pm (UTC)
The War on Terror is a very significant issue for the upcoming election.

sophia_sadek wrote:
Sep. 30th, 2008 11:28 pm (UTC)
Terrorism? What terrorism?
I personally think it's ironic that Bush fell down in rounding up Bin Laden. It was as if he didn't really want to catch the guy. Once one realizes that the Bush family has good connections with the Bin Laden family, it doesn't seem so peculiar.

On top of that, many American supporters of Bush and his policies view Clinton as being responsible for the failure to shut down Al Qaeda. The military industrial establishment depends on the pork of an eternal conflict with terrorist organizations. If they didn't exist, they would have to be invented.
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