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Lose the war within and you lose the war as a whole

CAIRO, Egypt - A video posted Tuesday on an Islamic militant Web site showed the beheading of an American civilian in Iraq, and said the execution was carried out by an al-Qaida affiliated group to avenge the abuse of Iraqi prisoners by American soldiers. The video showed five men wearing headscarves and black ski masks, standing over a bound man in an orange jumpsuit — similar to a prisoner's uniform — who identified himself as Nick Berg, a U.S. contractor whose body was found on a highway overpass in Baghdad on Saturday. "My name is Nick Berg, my father's name is Michael, my mother's name is Susan," the man said on the video. "I have a brother and sister, David and Sarah. I live in ... Philadelphia." After reading a statement, the men were seen pulling the man to his side and putting a large knife to his neck. A scream sounded as the men cut his head off, shouting "Allahu Akbar!" — "God is great." They then held the head out before the camera.
This is what I was talking about last week when I said that these people would use the prison abuse as an excuse for murder of Americans. It's an excuse for them to act like the animals they are. This is the man who is supposedly behind the beheading. This is who we are at war with. Barbaric animals. We are not at war with each other. We are not at war with our own military. We are not at war with Rumsfeld and Bush or Kerry or Kennedy. We keep forgetting this. Self included. Let's remind ourselves. The factions of radical Muslim are no longer separate entities. Al Sadr, al Qaeda, all these people are just one big army out to get us. Oh, they wanted to get us all along, no doubt about that. But the amount of time and devotion given to the abuse scandal has renewed their energy and made them feel more powerful and righteous. This is what separates our soldiers from theirs. We may have a few rotten men and women among our own, but the ranks of al Qaeda and the ranks of the martyr brigade are made only of the worst kind of human being, from top to bottom. There are no good terrorists. I wonder if the people who thought that making sure al Jazeera knows how much the left hates our administration still think it's a good idea? Today it's Nick Berg. Who knows who it will be tomorrow. We have taken our eyes off of the prizes - peace in Iraq and Afghanistan and the eradication of Mid East terror networks. I don't think we can win this war if we keep having to separate wars at home. That scares the crap out of me. I look at this picture of Nick Berg, moments away from being slaughtered and the only phrase I can come up with is neither eloquent nor print-worthy.: We're fucked. Yea, I'm all over the place today, I know. I got hate mail from the left and hate mail from the right and more than a few people have accused me of pandering to each side. Whatever. I'm terrified for the future of the country. I fear for all of us. Update: Someone explain to me what the hell is wrong with these people? This isn't Bush's fault. This has nothing at all to do with prison abuse, either. They are just using that as an excuse. In case anyone has forgotten, al Qaeda hated us before this damn war started. And they are starting up conspiracies that it was a CIA hit. Jesuschristontoast. People are just fucking insane.

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» This is why I'm not getting too worked up anymore from Suburban Sundries Shack
Arab Terrorists behead American "for abuse". So to "repay" America for the abuses in the Abu Ghraib prison, these men saw fit to murder an American and it appears that Abu Musab al-Zarqawi either authorized or committed the beheading. That's just ... [Read More]

» The True Atrocities from annika's journal
The true atrocities are being commited by our enemies, not by us. But i pray that they will yet know the terrible retribution that awaits them. We must remain strong.Strengthen the feeble hands, steady the knees that give way; say... [Read More]

» Nick Berg from Sheila A-Stray's Redheaded Ramblings
My deepest prayers go out to Nick Berg's family - having to see stuff like this. I have a brother. The thought of having to see my brother in a video like that is beyond horrific. The article says: "the... [Read More]

» News..Sick and Sad from Adventures of an American Girl in Germany
I just read on ASV about the video showing a contractor being beheaded - it's the lead story on cnn.com. Supposedly in retaliation for the abuse at Abu Ghraib. This just makes me sick. I'm soo sad at this. This... [Read More]

» Animals from Zygote-Design
I want to write more about the American who was beheaded by Islamic extremists who videotaped the ghastly event and then broadcast it on the Internet. I want to tell you about how they made him tell his name, his hometown and his the names of his fa... [Read More]

» I'm Outraged from The World Wide Rant - v3.0
Yes, about the Iraqi prison abuse. But even moreso about this:Al Qaeda's leader in Iraq beheaded an American civilian and vowed more killings in revenge for the abuse of Iraqi prisoners, an Islamist Web site said Tuesday. A poor quality... [Read More]

» And in my flu-med-induced stupor... from it comes in pints?
I stupidly considered commenting on this. But of course, with all the worthy commentary already out there, I am not worthy.... [Read More]

» Know your enemies from protein wisdom
A very loose* paraphrase of a jaw-dropping exchange between Oliver North and Alan Colmes on "Hannity and Colmes" moments ago: North: "These masked terrorists took a long knife and sawed the head off of this young American civilian contractor, then... [Read More]

» Why do they hate us? from Spot On
I found this link to Democratic Underground over at A Small Victory. Look, think what you will about the Iraq war but these people, especially the hero of the board, Tinoire, are embarrasments not just to their country but to... [Read More]

» We Are Fucked from Garrulitas
We are fucked with a capital F. Completely and utterly fucked. Go ahead, tell me I'm overreacting. I'm going with my gut here.... [Read More]

» Nick Berg Beheading Video from Backcountry Conservative
Kevin Aylward has it on his server and a link to Northeast Intelligence Network where it also is hosted. I've also found it here. UPDATE: An AP article on the video (via Glenn Reynolds via Stephen Green.) Military Secrets also... [Read More]

» You knew that they would crawl out from a rock on this. from Random Nuclear Strikes
We need an Orkin man, the DU has now expressed largely two opinions. It’s so horrible, and it’s all Bush’s fault, he MADE them do it. It’s so horrible, the CIA black ops people did it as reverse propaganda. Michele... [Read More]

Comments

So, who is more responsible for inciting this: The idiots who took the pictures at Abu Ghraib, or the idiots at CBS who released them to a bloodthirsty Islamic world? Of course, from what we've seen, the bloodthirsty Islamic world didn't need Abu Ghraib as an excuse.

May the Islamists all roast in hell.

barcode: what about the idiots that did the abusing?

Truth to tell, I lumped them in with the picture-takers. Same group of idiots...

There are no good terrorists.

Michael Collins.
John Brown.
Nat Turner.
The French Resistance.
The International Brigades of the Spanish Civil War.
David Ben-Gurion.
Etc.
Etc.

Michele - FWIW, my first reaction on reading about this was that Al Qaeda had just made a very foolish mistake. I don't think the airing of this video is going to plunge us into further self-doubt and self-recrimination as the Wormtongues of the fringe would have us do. Rather, I think it will serve to remind us why we are fighting these animals in the first place. And (hopefully) it will reinject some resolve to finish the job. We'll see.

Michele

I love you, truly. I enjoy this site so much. But hang in there and understand the Islamo-fascist bastards DO NOT NEED AN EXCUSE. They never did. Do not let them use our own values against us!! How many writings and speeches that come from the Islamist camp must we again bring up that they are out to destroy Western civilization and they brag that they will use our own values against us. This is why CAIR is putting forth bogus stats on so-called anti-moslem bias events in the US.

You want to understand how "mainstream" media is contemptuous of the US? See how many will play this video in comparison to the salacious and gleeful printing of the Iraqi photos.

Now is the time to stop with the moral equivalency perfidy. I'll say it again, as bad as the Iraqi humiliation photos were/are, the families of Danny Pearl and Nick Berg would pick that in an instance other their loved ones beheadings.

Listen now how the world and the "Arab Street" rises up in disgust at this newest cold-blooded murder of an American.

...er.... crickets? is that what I hear?

And the ratbastards got another twofer with Nick Berg, just like they did with Dan Pearl..not just an American, but a Jew!

All I ask is stop the navel-gazing. We have a justice system, both civilian and military, to take care of the internal bad guys, let them do their job.

Robert

It will only be a mistake by AQ if the "mainstream" media plays the video. Color me cynical, but I think CBSNBCABCCNNWaPo, et al, will find all sorts of excuses for not playing it, or playing it down and burying it, just as they have footage of 9/11.

Darleen: I said that they will call this an excuse but they hate us regardless.

Josh: You know damn well what I meant. Islamic terrorist. There, better?

Meanwhile, Bibi Netanyahu is discussing cutting off water and electricity to Gaza to force the return of the body parts of the IDF soldiers killed today.

Until we get that ruthless with our enemy, taking away the humane aspects of our presence when the enemy continues to fight against the security making such things possible so they know what impact we have being there, we're lost.

It bothers me that because the video (not to mention the act itself) is so gruesome that no reputable news org will show it, news orgs like Reuters (who imply doubt by using scare quotes) and moonbats like the ones on DU and even some in our congress, will question whether the beheading was genuine, and/or question who did it and why. For the same reason, inevitably, news orgs will cover the story less than the prisoner abuse story simply because all they have to "show" is talking heads.

And I'm getting sick of the infantile counter-arguments faced by anyone who tries to put the prisoner abuse into anything resembling appropriate perspective. For example, when anyone tries to point out the real difference between abuse and murder, they're immediately accused of condoning abuse, or at least minimizing it. Arrgghhh!!!!

They did this heidious act, while chanting God is great. God is great and the Barbarians that did this, will recieve God's justice someday.
I agree, "roast in hell."

Michele

I do understand. That's why when I see such a story and hear the Islamists cry "revenge" I do not thing "we're fucked." This is no more America's fault then its the fault of a woman ending up in ER with a broken face because she didn't serve dinner on time to hubby.

When are Americans going to stop acting like they are caught in the midst of some sort of battered spouse syndrome?

But I will hold accountable for deflecting our will those voices who would rather win the White House than win the war on terror, of which Iraq has always been a part. Because they completly ignore statements from the Islamists like this:

we tell you that the dignity of the Muslim men and women in Abu Ghraib and others is not redeemed except by blood and souls.

This is jihadism at its core, the way Islamist view the world. Convert, submit or die.

Why does the Left, including Kerry, Biden, McDermott, et al, refuse to face this?

Islamic terrorist.

Is "Islamic" really the qualifier you want to put on there? 'Cause I bet I can find one of those you'll like too.

Of course, that's not really the point. And contrary to what you seem to think, I wasn't just trying to be cheeky. My point was that many conflicts have involved individuals who used tactics that easily qualify as terrorism. Look at John Brown. God's teeth, he kidnapped unarmed men and hacked them to death with broadswords. Ben-Gurion ordered terrorist bombings that killed civilians and bystanders.

In all cases, the opposition says of these men that they are animals. That they are criminals. History generally vindicates the winners.

Ranting against terrorists for their methods makes you a spectator to history; you're refusing to examine the realities of the situation, and settling for pedestrian condemnations about what civilized human beings do or don't do. Then you try to find some perfect qualifier that gives "get out of the 'bad guy' camp free" cards to all the right people.

That's the behavior of an ideologue.

It just strikes me as a terrible waste. You could be doing a lot more.

I do understand. That's why when I see such a story and hear the
Islamists cry "revenge" I do not thing "we're fucked." This is no more
America's fault then its the fault of a woman ending up in ER with a broken face because she didn't serve dinner on time to hubby.

Darleen, it is absolutely not our fault. But they will say it is our fault and it will give them more impetus to attack us, kill our soldiers, whatever it takes to appease their fake god. That's what I am talking about - they believe their own hype. Their followers believe the hype. They scream fire in a crowded theater and the followers scream louder.

Robert, I agree. We are facing an enemy unlike any other we've ever dealt with, and until these recent events, the concept of 'fighting terrorism' was difficult to grasp. This enemy is defined by their incomprehensible theology; beliefs so at odds with what we hold dear that some can't accept how very far over the line the enemy is capable of stepping, with the serene confidence that their god applauds their actions.

We can't stick pins on a map to mark ground gained in fighting this war; victory isn't measured in battles won but by the absence of flag-draped coffins. As more and more of those coffins appear, we become more unsure of our ability to best this enemy. And as is so common with human nature, we look to lay blame somewhere, anywhere.

Nick Berg's death serves as a beacon for us to see exactly where that blame belongs - not at the feet of our leaders, but squarely in those blood-stained hands thousands of miles away. I pray to God we will turn our anger and energy towards the true target, those who deserve our contempt...the supporters of Al Queda and all related factions who have sworn to continue these despicable acts upon all who have joined the fight against terrorism.

And yet those same media outlets that wouldn't dare show the murder of Nick Berg are openly salivating at the notion of showing thinly-fuzzed videos of Iraqi prisoners being sexually assaulted with objects or showing the rape video of the soldier and the female Iraqi. Why? Because it makes the current administration look bad. But they won't show the murder of Nick Berg, because they don't want to anger the American Street.

Hey, Josh? Fuck you. I'm really sick of your preaching to me. Take your holier than thou rants to your own website. I could be doing a lot more? Pardon fucking me if my anger and sadness is something you consider a waste of time. Asshole.

Joshua

What are you talking about? Last I looked, these terrorist attacks are not coming out of the beserker Presbytarian camp.

I sometimes wonder if some of the pics showing the acts of abuse are not really Photoshopped pictures created by Micah Wright.

Joshua Norton - Do you believe that there’s no difference between a resistance fighter and a terrorist?

If so, do you believe that both are justified in what they do? Or do you believe that both are wrong?

I don’t believe that they’re the same. Resistance fighters fight oppression. Terrorists fight to oppress.

Islamists hope to force Muslims to live under pre-medieval Shariah laws, a system of laws that would make Nazi Germany look like a hippie colony. Under these laws, the lives of non-Muslims and moderate Muslims are without value, slavery is allowed, conversion to a religion other than Islam is punished by death, and girls who are not married by the age of 13 can be accused of prostitution. These laws have led to ethnic cleansing in the Sudan and Nigeria.

This fundamentalism also inspires Sadr, who, in April, demanded that Iraq must follow Shariah law, or else.

Oppressive ideologies like Islamism tend to result in mass murder and genocide. The intention to establish these oppressive ideologies is one of the things that separates the resistance fighters and the terrorists.

From Andre Glucksman:

"what do extremist ideologies like the communism or Nazism of yesteryear and the Islamism of today have in common? After all, they support ostensibly very different ideals – the superior race, mankind united in socialism, the community of Muslim believers (the Umma). Tomorrow, it could be altogether different ideals: some theological, some scientific, others racist. But the common characteristic is nihilism."

"The root element is the attitude that anything goes, particularly when with regard to ordinary people: I can do whatever I want, without scruples. Goehring put it like this: my consciousness is Adolf Hitler. Bolsheviks said: man is made of iron. And the Islamists whom I visited in Algeria said that you have the right to kill little Muslim children, in order to save them."

Darleen & BarCode,

I don't buy your so called media double standard. None of the "mainstream" media showed the second picture of the Iraqi who was bit by the dog (I still haven't seen it) nor do I recall them showing the dead Iraqi on ice (I've seen it on the web). Barcode's speculation that they are going to air an unedited sodomy picture or rape video is just goofy.

My view is all the pics & videos should be made available in some age-appropriate manner so all can see the true nature of terrorism as well as the costs of war. This is not, however, the Bush Admin's view (e.g. isn't the Dover rule inconsistent with airing the Berg video) nor the view of any righty I've come across. Indeed, from your posts, I have no clue what your actual stance is on this issue. Does it change with the direction of the political wind at any given moment?

BTW - I just saw the video clip on FoxNews.com where Greg Jarrett said Fox would not be airing the gruesome portions of the Berg video. So much for a double standard.

Hey, Michele? Heh. There's nobody to be holier than over at my website. Though, it if makes you feel any better, I argue with people in the comments section there too. Hell, I range far and wide looking for people to argue with.

You're sick of me preaching to you, huh? Come on, man. Who am I supposed to preach to? People who already agree with me? What's the point of communication if not to debate and hash things out? I'll tell you what, it's a sad state of affairs when advocating a moral stance to someone who doesn't agree with it is automatically considered some kind of invasive evangelizing.

Pardon fucking me if my anger and sadness is something you consider a waste of time. Asshole.

I own that asshole thing right to the top, yo. But what's your anger and sadness worth if you only share it with people who agree with you? Anger and sadness aren't automatically self-validating. I'm sure there's some angry sad person getting ready to strap a bomb to their chest and catch a bus to an Israeli shopping mall right now as we speak. If I look at that person and say, "Shit, man, that's a damn waste," I'm not invalidating their anger and sadness. I'm saying… well, pretty much just that. Shit. That's a damn waste.

I see you going the opposite direction. You express anger and sadness and all these people come here and agree with you. If that's all you wanna do, cool. But you've said over and over again— and I've always taken you at your word —that you have an open comments engine for a reason. So here I am.

You don't like my tone or something? That's cool. But I didn't star this post out with no "fuck you". Dig? I'm just here to see if you can sell me any of your perspectives. And "there's no such thing as a good terrorist" is no kind of sell.

I take you seriously as a writer. If you don't take me seriously as a reader, then you're right: I would be better off just sitting over yonder reading my own site.

This is what I don't understand. Left-wing folks like Joshua are practically chomping at the bit for the Islamists, even though that means mandatory oppression and murder of women, gays, and atheists, among others. Apparently multiculturalism overrides all other principles.

This is what I don't understand. Left-wing folks like Joshua are practically chomping at the bit for the Islamists, even though that means mandatory oppression and murder of women, gays, and atheists, among others.

Ian S.: Careful, sunshine. You keep talking like that I'm liable to get offended.

There are plenty of radical freaky little Christian cults that are all about the murder of women, gays, and atheists among others. I can argue in defense of religious freedom without advocating for those groups. I can expound the virtues of a Catholic saint. That doesn't mean I support their policy on contraception.

I've probably said no end of things in various comments on this blog that you can disagree with honestly. There's no need whatsoever to start a debate by putting words in my mouth.

Josh - your mom quit breast feeding you too soon?

I mean WTF is your major malfunction? You go looking for people to argue with? Beinb an antisocial dick is a sad way to go through life, ask Ted Rall.

Headzero: I'm blushing.

Josh, in case you haven't noticed, I don't only "preach" to people who agree with me. Anyone can read this site, anyone can comment.

Like, you for instance. See, if I was only opening myself up to people who agree with me, you wouldn't be here, would you?

See, if I was only opening myself up to people who agree with me, you wouldn't be here, would you?

Exactly my point. So what're you all pissed off about?

It appears that the real debate here is between Michele and Headzero as to whether this is a site open to debate. Have at it!!!

I'm pissed off at you calling my expressing my rage a waste of time.

Josh, you refer to the French Resistance as "terrorists." Facts:

1)The Resistance attacked soldiers and industrial facilities, not civilians. If there were any exceptions to that, they were rare.
2)The Resistance was acting to restore the French Republic, a democratic government--not to impose a fascist dictatorship.
3)Many members of the Resistance were highly educated, deeply-humane people, some of whose instincts drove them in the direction of pacifism (Noor Inayat Khan and Francis Cammaerts, for example.) More than a little different from those who worship violence and death.

Josh,
"There are plenty of radical freaky little Christian cults that are all about the murder of women, gays, and atheists among others. I can argue in defense of religious freedom without advocating for those groups. I can expound the virtues of a Catholic saint. That doesn't mean I support their policy on contraception."

A. Those cults are nowhere near mainstream and are in fact loudly denounced by the mainstream Christian societies.

B. None of those "cults" are actively persuing the conquest of a nation, much less the annihilation of an existing one, through terrorist tactics.

C. Basic tenents of Christianity suggest you should view your fellow man as your equal, no matter if they be "misguided" in their beliefs or not (tolerance). Basic tenents of Islam suggest you are either a believer of infidel, not worthy of the same consideration as believers (intolerance). This is the concept corrupted by the extremists to justify treating those not of their kind as less than human. Case in point, killing. The Christian Ten Commandmants state clearly, "Thou shanlt not kill". Not "Thou shalt not kill believers". Not "Thou shalt kill only infidels." Basic belief, you kill a human and you miss out on the Heavenage. Now, in contrast, what is this thing about 72 virgins?
D. There is no possible way that you can twist this murder into being justifiable. There are a million things Michele posts about that are debatable. This just isn't. The only reason I can see for giving her a hard time about it is to be a prick. Job well done.

michele: Okay. Part of me wants to know why on earth you'd get pissed at me about a thing like that. But, more relevantly, I never did say that your rage and sadness were a waste of time. What I implied— and I stand by this —is that rage and sadness are no excuse for imprecision, especially on a subject as important as this is. Because, I'm fairly certain, you're wrong about all terrorists, even terrorists in Iraq, being "the worst kind of human being from top to bottom." Some of these people, like you, are reacting to rage and sadness. And not the rage and sadness of seeing someone they don't know murdered over a grainy internet feed; the rage and sadness of seeing their entire family killed by a bomb that dropped out of a U.S. airplane.

And I'm not even saying we shouldn't fight people like that. If someone like that is sighting down the barrel of a rifle at a U.S. soldier, I sincerely hope the soldier gets the drop on them. What I'm saying is that some people like that are going to survive this war, and we're going to have to make peace with them. And it is a mistake to demonize them all unconditionally now. If and when this conflict begins to die down to embers, the hatred you breed now may well fan it back into flames.

What I meant, when I said you can do more, is that I think you're basically aware of the perspective I describe. And, on some level, I even think you agree with it.

And obviously the appropriate response when someone says, "I think you're being lazy and giving into prejudice because it's less emotionally taxing than the truth," is "Fuck you." So I'll give you that one. But I wasn't saying that your rage and sadness are a waste of time, and I wasn't preaching at you just for the sake of being self-righteous. I was making a point in the hopes that you'd consider it. See above re: "the point of communication".

Ps—

Different Bill:

C. Basic tenents of Christianity suggest you should view your fellow man as your equal, no matter if they be "misguided" in their beliefs or not (tolerance). Basic tenents of Islam suggest you are either a believer of infidel, not worthy of the same consideration as believers (intolerance).

That is an appallingly selective (if sadly common) reading of "basic tenets". The Bible contains countless justifications for slavery, murder, misogyny, racism, and a host of other concepts considered fundamentally offensive by most people up to and, arguably, including genocide. Most Christians do not practice those aspects of biblical doctrine at this time. But many of them have been popular in times past and may be yet again, if some people have their way. Some current forms of Islam put the worst parts of Islamic doctrine into practice. But Islam is no more necessarily a religion of intolerance than Christianity is.

B. None of those "cults" are actively persuing the conquest of a nation, much less the annihilation of an existing one, through terrorist tactics.

That is essentially true at the present time. Of course Catholics and Protestants are still arguing about who owns Northern Ireland (often with bullets and bombs) but, I suppose, since those are mainstream religious denominations rather than "cults" they're outside the scope of this discussion.

A. Those cults are nowhere near mainstream and are in fact loudly denounced by the mainstream Christian societies.

That is a larger discussion than I'm willing to have at the moment.

They're terrorists...their behaviour is inexplicable to anyone but themselves.

Joshua - of course Catholics and Protestants are still arguing about who owns Northern Ireland (often with bullets and bombs) but, I suppose, since those are mainstream religious denominations rather than "cults" they're outside the scope of this discussion.

If you believe that the troubles in Ireland are a religious war, then you really don’t know much about terrorism or resistance fighters.

The troubles in Ireland are the result of the British policy of allowing British and Scots citizens (who happened to be protestant) to settle on Irish land and to have rights that were taken away from the native Irish (who happened to be Catholic). Catholics weren’t allowed to speak their native language or, in some cases, to go to school.

After hundreds of years of this, and after a famine that resulted from British policies took more than a million (mostly Catholic) lives, Irish resistance fighters won most of their land in the War of Independence This was also the cause of the troubles during the 70’s, a fight that was bound to fail when it turned to terrorism.

Saying that this was a war of Catholics vs. Protestants is like saying that the Polish solidarity movement was a fight between atheists and Catholics.

If you believe that the troubles in Ireland are a religious war, then you really don’t know much about terrorism or resistance fighters.

Hey Mary? Generally, I find it's bad form to tell someone what they do or don't know. You want to disagree with something I said, disagree with it. You want to tell me it's wrong, fine. But I'm not going to sit here and argue with you about whether I "know much" about terrorism or resistance fighters.

That said, there are obviously political reasons for the conflict between Catholics and Protestants in Ireland— just like there are political reasons for the conflict between Moslems an non-Moslems in the Middle East. Both conflicts split out along religious lines, but they're both political conflicts.

If you read my comment again, you'll see there's nothing in there that contradicts this notion.

Hey Joshua? Your comment:

of course Catholics and Protestants are still arguing about who owns Northern Ireland (often with bullets and bombs) but, I suppose, since those are mainstream religious denominations rather than "cults" they're outside the scope of this discussion.

That quote, and its inclusion in your list of Christian-related offenses, plus your earlier implication that terrorists and freedom fighters are interchangeable

ie:

There are no good terrorists.

Michael Collins

That, plus your reluctance to define the difference between terrorists, resistance fighters and loony reactionary cultists led me to that conclusion.

Joshua N, we've argued about this before. Terrorists are motivated by goals. Not the bomb that fell out of an American airplane that killed all their family members.

There aren't enough bombs in the inventory to account for the numbers of terrorists involved.

You'll recall I've mentioned Ben-Gurion and the Altalena affair, the one where he ordered the shelling of the ship loaded with arms for the Irgun to force them to put themselves under the legal authority of the IDF.

See, there is a difference. John Brown gets no pass for his crimes just because he thought salvery was unjust. He was right about slavery. It is irrelevant.

Josh:

. Because, I'm fairly certain, you're wrong about all terrorists, even terrorists in Iraq, being "the worst kind of human being from top to bottom." Some of these people, like you, are reacting to rage and sadness. And not the rage and sadness of seeing someone they don't know murdered over a grainy internet feed; the rage and sadness of seeing their entire family killed by a bomb that dropped out of a U.S. airplane.

So, from that I can infer that you think my rage is not as justified because I didn't know Nick Berg. Ok, fine.

Now, about that plane that dropped bombs: Which U.S. plane was it that dropped bombs on bin Laden's family? I'm not sure I heard that one before - I had no idea that was what turned him into a terrorist. Really, you learn something new every day.

Joshua: Hey Mary? Generally, I find it's bad form to tell someone what they do or don't know.

Joshua (on another thread today):

So. Ken. You know none of that stuff is true, right? I mean, you're just trying to stir up a lot of negative sentiments. I get that. But you know in some part of your mind that all that stuff you just wrote about the Left not having any loyalty to the United States and wanting to "diminish" the United States is really just a bunch of gray propaganda that can only stand because it's too vague to be argued. Right?

Joshua: What I meant, when I said you can do more, is that I think you're basically aware of the perspective I describe. And, on some level, I even think you agree with it.

You don't know anything about me, Josh. You don't know what I agree with. YOu only know what you want to say. You are an egotistical, pompous ass and you are getting more so each day.

Er, Joshua: you do know that the current ideology that is the main driving force behind the IRA is Marxism, don't you? Or do you still buy into that the-lambs-are-a-cryin'-for-the-poor-wee-dead-Catholic/Protestant-babies bullshit? Read.(And just to make you feel better, it's a link from PBS.org.)

Christians, in fact, have been involved in sectarian violence and/or human rights abuses in recent history. Only about 10 days ago, Christian tribesman in Nigeria slaughtered some 600 people, mostly Muslim, apparently for the purpose of forcing Muslims out of that part of the country. (I know the violence in Nigeria goes both ways --- I point this out only because it was an instance I was aware of off the top of my head where Christians were engaged in this type of violence). Likewise, it was Orthodox Serbs who were engaged in ethnic cleansing against Muslims in Bosnia (remember Srebrenicia) and Kosovo.

I agree that political violence with a goal of subjecting others to oppression must be confronted and opposed (e.g. Al Qaeda). I think we've been mistaken, however, in not offering alternatives to violence to those seeking to escape oppression. It seems we only become concerned about the latter when they begin or escalate in the use violence or terrorism as a means of escaping their oppression (e.g. the ANC in South Africa).

That, plus your reluctance to define the difference between terrorists, resistance fighters

The difference between terrorists and resistance fighters? Well, let's see here…

The unlawful use or threatened use of force or violence by a person or an organized group against people or property with the intention of intimidating or coercing societies or governments, often for ideological or political reasons.

That's a fairly straightforward definition. It describes the actions of resistance fighters as well as it does terrorists. Hell, it describes the American Revolution, and it surely covers the actions of Michael Collins and the pre-Republic IRA.

Dave:

Ben-Gurion and the Altalena affair

Yeah, that's great. Ben-Gurion also ordered illegal political violence during the UN Mandate. Thus, he's a terrorist.

To bring it back to Mary's point: the difference between a "terrorist" and a "resistance fighter" is that one of them is on your side.

Joshua N, we've argued about this before. Terrorists are motivated by goals. Not the bomb that fell out of an American airplane that killed all their family members.

Now this one I'll give you. Terrorists (or "resistance fighters, depending on which side of the cluster bomb you're on) are motivated by goals. And up to this point, the number of religious terrorists has been much higher than the number of political terrorists. But the more we screw up in Iraq the more "insurgents" we're going to have murdering Americans, with a general goal of "get the hell out of my country."

Whoops, sorry about that run-on line. I didn't know all those hyphens would do that. Must use preview next time.

Michele,

I'm sorry you've received hate mail. That sucks. You don't deserve any of that. I am angry at all who would lift up a hateful word against you.

I do want to say one thing in reference to your statement in which you said ...

We are not at war with Rumsfeld and Bush or Kerry or Kennedy. We keep forgetting this. Self included.

I understand your meaning, and I appreciate it. I do.

Nonetheless, John Kerry remains our Jose Zapatero. If he's elected in November we are majorly screwed in a way we can't begin to imagine now--unless perhaps we look at the holes where the World Trade Center once stood.

Kerry's promised that if he's elected he will “literally, formally” go to bed with the U.N. You know and I know what that means: more Ground Zeros for America, as surely as the sun rises.

Bedmates Kerry and Kofi would have each other to have and to hold, but all that would leave the rest of us with is bombings, burkas, and beheadings.

And so while the jihadis are our most avowed enemies, appeasers like John Kerry will forever be our greatest peril.

Joshua, have you hugged a terrorist today? Why not? Their "sadness" seems to worry you. Hugs make people happy! Go to Iraq and hug a terrorist. Do it for the Children™.

the difference between a "terrorist" and a "resistance fighter" is that one of them is on your side

Most of the ‘insurgents’ are motivated by their goal of imposing Shariah law on Iraq. They’re not on our side, and they’re not on the side of the Iraqi people.

As an Irish Catholic, the IRA is supposedly on ‘my’ side, but I’m more than glad that the organization has deteriorated. I only wish that it had been destroyed completely. If a group hopes to oppress the general population, and if they consistently target a lot of innocent people, they’re terrorists. It doesn’t matter whose side they’re on.

But that’s just my opinion. You believe that terrorists and freedom fighters are the same. So, do you approve of both throat-cutting fascist wannabes AND the French Resistance or do you disapprove of both?

Joshua, Macswain, I guess you guys are right. I guess I just haven't been to church enough to know all the ways that Christianity is using to obliterate all other religeons from the earth. Next Sunday I'll be sure to ask my preacher where I can sign up for a local terrorist (oops, freedom fighting) sect.
While I'm at it, I must confess that I've been totally blind to how my country has become the world conquesting bully that it obviously is. Do you think my local town council will have a workshop on how to become an oppressive son of a bitch any time soon?

Well Joshua, what exactly would be the point of Ben-Gurion ordering the shelling of the Altalena, which by the way nearly killed Menachim Begin?

I contend their motives were more political than religious, not less.

And not to put too fine a point on it, but I'm curious. How does an insurgent/terrorist/whatever argue "get out of my country"? when his country is Jordan, or Syria, or Iran?

or downtown New York City?

Joshua:

Islamic terrorist--Is "Islamic" really the qualifier you want to put on there? 'Cause I bet I can find one of those you'll like too.

Name one in any sort of leadership position (religious or political) who publicly denounces Berg's beheading and all Islamic fascist zealots who kill in the name of Islam, and honors Americans who have died in the cause of saving Muslim lives in Lebanon, Somalia, Bosnis, Kosovo, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Sudan, Iraq, the USA and elsewhere, and I might listen to him. But I won't like him. (And it sure as hell won't be a 'her'.)

p.s. I don't use the word 'terror' any more to refer to our war against the Islamic fascist zealots, for no other reason than the fact that it wakes up assholes like you who think they're scoring debating points wasting our time with word games.

Michele-

A suggestion: Don't link to DU anymore. They're not major thinkers, they're not serious people, and they're not worthy of the attention of anyone here. And more than that, they're certainly not worth getting pissed off over.

There are idiots in the world, we know this. I choose to ignore them and read something better.

What disgusts me is hearing the BBC, CBS and ABC saying that this was in response to the abuse at the jail. This is utter rubbish. This lot of barbarous cretins have been executing prisoners before now. Were the Italians involved in the prison events?

This is just another example of moral ambivalence by the left.

Skipping over all the pretty stuff, I'll address this point regarding "telling people what they know or don't know":

Joshua (on another thread today):

Yeah. That comment to Ken? That was irony. Believe it or not, I did actually remember what I'd written all of an hour earlier and, hey, I even saw the connection. My note to Ken was (I think obviously), not meant to convey any definite opinion about what he knew or didn't know. It was meant to convey that I thought he was full of shit. I mean, if it makes you feel better to think you "nailed" me in some kind of contradiction, have at. But that's not what I was getting at and, again, I assumed that was obvious.

As for the rest of it-- whatever. I'm an egotistical, pompous ass because...? Why exactly? As near as I can tell that's just chauvinist-speak for "you keep insisting you're right, even though I feel really strongly that you're not."

As far as me getting more pompous every day, I think that's just the result of parallax. The farther you let all this fear-mongering and partisanship push you to the right, the farther to left I appear to be, the more radical and offensive my opinions seem. I'm pretty much where I've always been. But, like I said before-- I go back and look at your archives from 2001, I see a very different person. I had a reaction to 9/11. But you're reacting to it.

Again— whatever. I'll leave you to it. I kept coming here for debates with folks like Dave in Texas and Ryan and a few others who can actually debate. But I think we're done. Thanks. It's been swell.

I saw the video..and heard it being replayed on KFI (Talk Radio) with the result that I am outraged...angered and filled with burning hate for Muslims...In my anger I just want our troops to make them suffer just as much as Nick Berg suffered as they were cutting his troat. I want to make them suffer as his family is now suffering....I want to show them absolutely no mercy. I want them to feel the wrath of a superpower. I want their high places razed to the ground. I want their religion eradicated from the Earth like the plague that it is. Islam is the black death of our time, and it is time that we wipe it from the Earth as we did smallpox and Polio. This is how I feel this is how angry that I am....those who commit these atrocities are not human, they are sub-human.

Yeah. That comment to Ken? That was irony. Believe it or not, I did actually remember what I'd written all of an hour earlier and, hey, I even saw the connection. My note to Ken was (I think obviously), not meant to convey any definite opinion about what he knew or didn't know. It was meant to convey that I thought he was full of shit. I mean, if it makes you feel better to think you "nailed" me in some kind of contradiction, have at. But that's not what I was getting at and, again, I assumed that was obvious.

Joshua, I think you misspelled "The rules don't apply to me, you stupid Nazi bitch."

HTH. HAND.

He was innocent and didn't deserve it.

Neither do the Iraqi people who are treated like second class citizens by their "courageous liberators"

If you want your oil then fair enough, but America needs to understand that the hatred against your country is justifiable to many. Your country plays pupeteer with nations around the globe (mine the UK included), it weighs in like a school bully and uses an atrociously biased media and outright lies to attempt to conceal its reasons.

The US has never done any harm to me (except maybe exposing me to a few to many bad movies) but the rhetoric that spews from your country at the minute sounds every bit as bad as that which comes from the Islamic Fundamentalists.

Have any of you listened to G.W.Bush lately? How many of you think he sounds like he has much of an idea whats going on around him? A great deal of the rest of the world sees him and his regime as Christian Fundamentalism; no less misguided than its islamic counterpart (and more openly dimwitted).

I like many used to believe in your country and held it in high regard. I hold out hope that maybe at some point in the future a line can be drawn under all of this and I can start to believe in it again. But first as a country you need to be able to elect leaders that can control their righteous indignation and stop acting like the head of the world. Signing up to the international court system would show intent to play fairly.

Then you might just find that the terror problem becomes easier to deal with and that America is once again held in high esteem internationally.

As for the oil.... I doubt you'll get hold of it by world domination: you may well have to take your place in the line instead of barging through it.

Wow, I am shocked more moral relativism! The day those who butchered Nick Berg are dead by the same method that they used on him is the day you can try to equate the prison situation. Until then....there is no comparing the two situations. Murderers of Nick Berg = Still Free and probably trying to kill more people. The prison guards = are getting courtmartialed and a full investigation has been and is ongoing.

Truly, the images that we saw that depicts the beheading of Nick Berg are nothing short of Barbaric. It is against all beleifs.
Please don't misunderstand me, I don't condone what these guys do. but I need to clarify few things for those idiots who throw Islam next to where the word terrorist shows up.
fact: Bin Laden was trained by your CIA agents.

fact: Saddam was on paid CIA payroll.

fact: Have you forgotten the images of the innocent civilians who have lost their lives in Iraq, those people you refer to as barbaric.

fact: Muslims are not out there to get you ro break western civilization.

fact: those who you call terrorists are the mere creation of your government, those like Al-Qaeda and Taliban.

fact: How could the CIA be certian that Al Zerqawi did the beheading if they can't tell from his voice or posture.

fact: where wasn;t there any blood coming out of Nick head.

fact: Arabs don't usually have white hands and look tall, especially if they are "terrorists" on the eun and can afford a BigMac or fatty foods.

fact: why did this video surface during the prison abuse Scandal. How did they know it was Nick that was beheaded. Can we have DNA?

fact: seek revenge and dig two graves. That has been the policy of Mr. Idiot Bush who can spell his last name and has no brains. he is a dummy that is manipulated by Rumsfeld, Cheney and Wolfwoitz, or the three stoogies.

fact: if the US government stops its intervention in international affairs, then people will leave you alone. but for now, yuo are tainted by your US govt reputation.

I think y'all missed the point of Berg's death. You're beating yourselves up, pissing on each other about who's right and who's relatively right and who's totally wrong.

You missed the point that Nicholas Berg was utterly unlike ANY of you. He was a fearless man who had risked his life (and lost his life) to help people. He wrote with compassion of the way prisoners were treated in Iraqi jails, which he knew because he was held there. He also spoke well of the U.S. military. Which is more than his poor father can muster right now.

But you've filled yourselves up with the kind of irrational, useless anger that is so curious in people whom, I suspect, aren't fighting this war. You possess the rage of the, forgive the expression, terminally ass-slack couch potato. If you're so worked up about it, do yourselves, me, the whole country a favor and go over there and give the rest of our soldiers a hand. You can do that by enlisting or you can do that faster by doing what Berg was trying to do. You don't have to be military to serve. You don't have to be military to assist the military effort. In fact, Oxfam has been working with US soldiers in Iraq to meet the goals that need to be met in order to win this war. Have any of you worked with Oxfam, donated to Oxfam? How about Medecins sans Frontieres? The Red Cross anyone? No, you're too busy using foul language. Great. We're gonna win this one.

The problems we're facing in Iraq are all over the Middle East. Rumsfeld was right that we need to win these people hearts and minds... but we don't have enough people doing that because you're all arguing about Ben-Gurion and calling other people names. Who cares about Ben-Gurion right now? We have a crisis situation in Iraq, no matter what side of the political divide you're on.

You haven't learned anything from Berg.

Kay,

I really beg to differ. One does not have to go to Iraq to be helping with the war effort. I think I'll stand on my own record -the same record many, many bloggers stand on - of helping to raise $14,000 for Spirit of America, a group which distibutes school supplies and other items to children in Afghanistan and Iraq. Or my work with Trooptrax or Operation Give. But hey, don't let all that stop you from preaching at me. Just because we aren't over there fighting or working with one of your favorite organizations doesn't mean we don't find some way to help out.

Our anger is completely justified and for you to say it's not just because we haven't chosen to show our support of the war in a way you deem proper, does not give you the right to deny us our anger.

You presume a lot about people you know nothing about.

I sincerely applaud your efforts. Your heart is in the right place

But the truth is that if we are going to accomplish anything over there, 14 grand isn't gonna go real far. We need a draft. A large draft, because now that we've started this, we're in it for the long haul, EVEN IF we pull out now.

My mother's family came here during WWII as refugees from Asia - all the male members of our family, grateful to the US, have served in the military, from 1939 to the present, including attendance at West Point. But we also know that our country, the US, makes some very foolish decisions sometimes. (Ask my West Point uncle what he thinks of Rumsfeld, and he will tell you that Rumsfeld is a dangerously overconfident man.) When we were about to get involved in Vietnam, my family knew it was very, very unwise. The US did not understand the depth of passion in Asia. They thought because the Vietnamese were backward and poor that it would be easy to defeat them militarily and to win their hearts and minds. But people in Vietnam were willing to blow up their own children to kill Americans. Sound familiar? It was only later, through non-military methods, that we did win the hearts and minds of the Vietnamese. It may not be the system we dreamed of implementing, but McCain has shown how we can peacefully work toward change in Vietnam.

Now we have a situation where we've started a war in Iraq, presumably linked to 9/11 and this time we REALLY don't get it. BTW, my old office at Deutsche Bank, at 130 Liberty, was completely wrecked on 9/11, and like a lot of other people who were in New York at that time, I think the 9/11-Saddam connection is, how do I say it, contrived? - and that's putting it kindly. But we're there now, the question is how are we going to deal with it effectively?

The comparison with Vietnam only goes so far. These people aren't the Vietnamese. They're not just gonna leave it at that when we once again pack up and go because we totally underestimated our enemy. You want a definition of underestimating our enemy? Try starting a ground war in Asia (this time the middle east) without a military draft.

Face it, we're overextended militarily and humanitarianly. The current administration doesn't get it. If we had enough boots on the ground in Iraq, Nick Berg would never have been murdered. How can the necessary humanitarian workers exist there after Nick Berg? Reporters don't even want to go back. From all reports, it's a hazard just trying to cross the street in Baghdad right now, let alone other parts of Iraq.

We were supposed to make it safe for Iraqis. We have no IDEA how to make it safe, largely because the current administration did not heed any of the advice for long-term planning before the war started. Fine. No use crying over spilled milk. But they STILL have no plan, other than to let our young men and women continue to get blown up.

This has to be an all-out effort. I think your heart is in the right place, but 14 grand is not gonna do it, if it even got there in the first place. This country has happily sacrificed its troops, but it hasn't made any sacrifices FOR the troops in this war. Most Americans are still sitting on their duffs, no rationing for oil (which, believe it or not, our troops are going to need more than the typical tragically overweight citizen of this country needs for his/her SUV), no understanding of how long-term this is going to be.

I'm sorry you took my words as preaching. It's not preaching, it's another facet of the reality in Iraq that I think you're missing. And we need to face that as a country. If we're there, we need a draft. If we're going to pull out, we may very well still need a draft. These people aren't going to let up for a VERY VERY VERY long time. Again, the comparison to Vietnam only goes so far: the Vietcong didn't follow us home to blow up our buildings. I'm afraid we're fucked not only because they hate us, but because we have no strategy and can't see the long-term planning (and some rationing) that this will require.

Why americans cross thousands miles to kill others?
Why people are comming from different countries to live in other's countries (palestine)?for example ariel sharon is russian.
why Russia is ocupating chechenia?
why millions die hungry and developped world is westing money in arms?
this is the big question

Reflections...