The last thing they should cut

How could anyone suggest that the US security apparatus is out of control?

The only way to ensure liberty is to have 16 agencies (that the public is told about) – a CIA, MI, DIA, MCIA, NGA, NRO, NSA, ONI, AFISRA, OICI, I&A, CGIS, FBI, DEA, INR and TFI – all overlapping, all with extraordinary special powers. A confusing and expensive mish-mash full of powerful little fiefdoms and making it more difficult to hold anyone account.

Why would anyone want to change this wonderful system? I reckon we should adopt it here.

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116 responses to “The last thing they should cut

  1. You forgot NCIS.

    But seriously, what we’re witnessing here is the steady decline of the USA as it disappears up its own arsehole.

  2. Splatterbottom

    Overkill and the chaos of competing agencies are typically American.

    But seriously, what we’re witnessing here is the steady decline of the USA as Obama tries to remake it in his alien image.

  3. That’s ridiculous. The above situation predates Obama.

  4. “in his alien image”
    Oh dear. I hope this doesn’t mean your a birther, SB.

  5. “in his alien image”
    Oh dear. I hope this doesn’t mean you’re a birther, SB.

  6. Splatterbottom

    Broggly, the alien reference is to Obama’s role as the first anti-American president. His role seems to be to piss-off America’s friends and suck up to its enemies. Actually his two decisions to cancel meetings with Rudd now looks prescient.

    Now NASA’s mission is, on the President’s instructions, to make muslims feel good about “their historic contribution to science” (sic). Way to go Hussein!

    And no, I am not a birther. Clearly Obama was born in Hawaii. The fact that he could (but chooses not to) authorise the release of his original birth certificate probably has more to do with some embarrassing detail on it which does not show up on the electronic version.

  7. Splatterbottom

    Broggly, if you want to see a true nutter, look no further than the Greens:

    The same newspaper also quotes the Greens candidate for the seat, Bob Brown, as saying there is no definite proof al-Qa’ida and Osama Bin Laden were responsible for the 2001 attacks on New York and Washington.

    “The 9/11 commission was not conclusive that al-Qa’ida was responsible,” the Western Port News quotes Mr Brown as saying.

    “There are huge questions that need to be asked — one building came down without being hit, architects say the building looked like they were brought down by controlled explosions. What happened to the bodies and plane at the Pentagon?”

    Ten Australians died in the attack on the World Trade Centre.

    The Australian was seeking comment from The Greens last night.

  8. Blast Tyrant

    But seriously, what we’re witnessing here is the steady decline of the USA as Obama tries to remake it in his alien image.

    And here we go again…

    I doubt too many of the “small government” advocates would want to see very much cut from these institutions cut.

  9. Broggly, the alien reference is to Obama’s role as the first anti-American president.

    That one sentence alone, Broggly, should tell you all you need to know about how desperate SB is to fit Obama into his silly “all Leftists want to destroy us” meme.

    An “Anti-American” President. What hysterical nonsense.

    SB may not be a birther, but he’s sticking very closely to an agenda that’s just as moronic, and which relies on just as much distortion of reality.

  10. …..and that SB believes that Obama is a leftist ought to alert you to the likelihood that SB lives in an entirely different universe than the rest of us (rational people).

  11. Splatterbottom

    Mondo, “anti-American” refers to Obama’s attempts to turn the US on its head especially in international relations. He wants to re-make the US into an entity that rejects much of what the US has traditionally stood for.

    In a sense he does represent a minor stream in US politics – the ‘blame America first’ nutjobs whose goal is to so change the US that it becomes more like a European socialist state.

  12. theres a lot of things I’d like to say about the shittyness of that Washington Post “investigation”

  13. @mondo rock:
    what about JAG? CSI:NY? Law & Order SVU? 🙂

  14. SB: ““anti-American” refers to Obama’s attempts to turn the US on its head especially in international relations”

    Undoing all of GWB’s good work in that field.

    “He wants to re-make the US into an entity that rejects much of what the US has traditionally stood for.”

    Permanent war, for example.

    And I guess there’s greater access to health services for the poor now. Traditionally, the US has never stood for that.

  15. Splatterbottom

    The things Obama seems opposed to are things like solvency, individual liberty, a sense of manifest destiny and ability to defend itself.

    Buns, I take it your reference to ‘permanent war’ is an expression of your regret that the US opposed communism and prevented the spread of this malignancy throughout the world.

  16. You take that if I don’t wholeheartedly embrace a state of endless US-led wars around the globe that I am a communist? Non sequitur much?

    “The things Obama seems opposed to are things like solvency, individual liberty, a sense of manifest destiny and ability to defend itself.”

    You’re confusing him with Bush II.

  17. He wants to re-make the US into an entity that rejects much of what the US has traditionally stood for.

    Whiat a gigantic load of horseshit.

    Obama introduces mandatory healthcare and re-engages in international diplomacy – things that a majority of American people actually support – and SB declares him an enemy of the USA.

    SB doesn’t just drink the GOP kool-aid, he bathes and showers in it too.

  18. Splatterbottom

    Buns the reason the US is involved in so much conflict is its desire to put down totalitarian regimes or to stop them spreading. If it wasn’t for their ability and willingness to do this the world would look very different and very much worse now.

    Mondo, it is not the fact of Obama’s diplomacy, but the style and intent of it. Also, his healthcare ‘reform’ is far from ideal and his recent financial reform package seemed more like a bill to let the unions off the leash.

    As for the GOP, they are hopeless bumbling fools, and don’t provide any real alternative. The Tea Party are a disorganised rabble. They seem to get that their country is being led down the sewer by Obama, but they haven’t really got beyond being a ginger group.

  19. [ability to defend itself]

    You must be joking, the US could slash it’s defence budget by 75% and still be the most formidable military in the world.

    Aaaaah I get it, you’re confusing defence with offence. You’re thinking that invading nations on the flimsiest of evidence is a defensive stance..

    [Buns the reason the US is involved in so much conflict is its desire to put down totalitarian regimes or to stop them spreading.]

    So why do they also support totalitarian regimes? In fact the US used to support Saddam Hussein, even though he was committing war crimes against Iranians at the time.

    [If it wasn’t for their ability and willingness to do this the world would look very different and very much worse now.]

    And terrorism has increased as a direct result of the so-called ‘War on Terror’. The fact that the 911 terrorists were all Saudis and all trained in Maryland USA goes straight over your head. You bought the ‘we have proof’ bullshit didn’t you SB? You bought all those idiotic lies that the Bush Admin spruiked, no doubt you believe the former head of the UK’s MI5 is lying(I’m assuming you’ve read the news today)?

    Well, now I understand why you think Obama is Leftist, you swallowed all the rubbish from the Bush Admin so yeah, Obama would appear left to you but you realise that makes you a wingnut, prone to spouting wingnut nonsense.

  20. Splatterbottom

    RobJ:

    And terrorism has increased as a direct result of the so-called ‘War on Terror’. The fact that the 911 terrorists were all Saudis and all trained in Maryland USA goes straight over your head. You bought the ‘we have proof’ bullshit didn’t you SB? You bought all those idiotic lies that the Bush Admin spruiked, no doubt you believe the former head of the UK’s MI5 is lying(I’m assuming you’ve read the news today)?

    This is brilliant, like a highly polished turd. If we fight them it only makes them angry – better to just give them what they want. What utter nonsense. Of course if you fight a war then the other side will be able to recruit more soldiers. To suggest that we would be better off not fighting terrorists, but accommodating their grievances is suicidal. Killing them is the best approach.

  21. How’s your comprehension, SB? There’s a difference between, on the one hand, acknowledging that the “war on terror” has increased terrorism (which is pretty obvious), and, on the other, “giving them what they want” or “accommodating their grievances”.

    “Killing them is the best approach.”

    How’s that working out for us? Do you think we’ll eventually kill all terrorists and that that will be the end of terrorism?

    Suicidal would be continuing to do the same thing despite an awareness that what we’re doing is creating more terrorists than it is eliminating. Suicidal and fucking stupid.

  22. Splatterbottom

    The war on terror has not increased terrorism. It has decreased it by killing terrorists. People deciding to become terrorists increases terror. If the chose to become terrorists, that is their problem. Our problem arises if we don’t kill them. At the moment we are too stupid to even to speak its name.

    By your logic, if Clinton had submitted to al Qaeda’s demands after the 1st WTC attack, or after the African embassy strikes then 9/11 would not have occurred, so that it can be said that by not submitting, Clinton increased terrorism. This is the level of stupidity to which you’ve sunk.

  23. Mondo, it is not the fact of Obama’s diplomacy, but the style and intent of it. Also, his healthcare ‘reform’ is far from ideal and his recent financial reform package seemed more like a bill to let the unions off the leash.

    You’re funny SB. You personally disagree with some of Obama’s policy positions so therefore he’s “anti-American”.

    Watertight case you’ve got there!!

  24. People deciding to become terrorists increases terror.

    Do you see any benefit at all in trying to understand what causes people to make that decision, or do you think it’s better to just wait until the decision is made and then kill them?

    It seems like such an obvious and straightforward question – I almost feel silly asking it of you – but your comments above strongly indicate that you view any analysis of the the sources of terrorism as a pointless exercise.

  25. Splatterbottom

    Mondo: “your comments above strongly indicate that you view any analysis of the the sources of terrorism as a pointless exercise.”

    Not at all. The first step is to understand the ideology they espouse. The approach of the willfully ignorant is to pretend that this ideology is irrelevant and blame ourselves.

  26. What about those who do not ascribe all blame to the West, but argue that we are nonetheless making foreign policy mistakes that are exacerbateing the problem?

    Any room for this argument SB, or is it all or nothing for you?

  27. “The war on terror has not increased terrorism. It has decreased it by killing terrorists.”

    How astonishingly naive and one-dimensional of you. And you have the nerve to call others wilfully ignorant. Do you think there is some finite number of terrorists out there or something?

    The war on terrorism HAS increased terrorism. This is hardly controversial. Even US intelligence agencies and the US government acknowledge this – and they have done so for years, based on studies done. They’re certainly in a good position – better than you, for example – to know whether or not the war on terror has increased terrorism. And they have even more interest than you in denying that it does.

    In the face of actual evidence proving the contrary, your flat, unsubstantiated assertion that the war on terror has not increased terrorism seems kind of weak.

  28. Terrorism ey? Like using hightech fighter jets to drop 500lb bombs on residential neighborhoods 1000’s of miles from home, or fire some white phosphorus in highly populated areas? Nah surely not, thats self defense. Terrorism is what others do. They kill 3000 in New York, we kill 6000 in Kabul. They are bad, we are good. Always. For. Ever.

    And hey, if the yanks wouldn’t have napalmed a million Vietnamese peasants, they’d be so much worse off now. You just gotta burn the village down to save it. Clear as plum sauce, once it comes out a splattry bottom.

  29. Splatterbottom

    Mondo:
    What about those who do not ascribe all blame to the West, but argue that we are nonetheless making foreign policy mistakes that are exacerbateing the problem?

    Any room for this argument SB, or is it all or nothing for you?”

    It is about causation and human agency, Mondo. If the local “youth” decide to beat up immodestly dressed women, is it a ‘mistake’ for women not to cover up? What is the difference?

    Every country will make mistakes in their foreign policy. The question is whether they should be blamed if a bunch of religious fanatics start murdering people as a consequence?

    Buns: “The war on terrorism HAS increased terrorism.” How does that work? Makes you wonder why 9/11 happened doesn’t it? There wasn’t a war on terror then, just the Lewinsky tail wagging the Clinton dog.

  30. “How does that work? Makes you wonder why 9/11 happened doesn’t it?”

    I said it increased terrorism. I didn’t say it didn’t exist before. Sheesh.

  31. Splatterbottom

    Yes, but how. We are talking about causation here. Exactly what is the chain of steps that results in more terrorism?

  32. How does one recruit a tame right-wing nutjob? He makes this blog much more interesting than my own! Entertainment, and all for free.

  33. [The war on terror has not increased terrorism. ]

    LOL

  34. SB forgets that the Bush Admin had to discount people who had been bound, blindfolded and shot in the back of the head in Iraq as victims of terrorism because the increase in terrorist attacks was rising without the inclusion of this stats.

    Maybe SB is just totally ignorant of that fact or maybe, just because the Iraqi victims of terrorism aren’t Aussies or Americans then they just don’t count. Maybe SB is well aware that the Bush Admin had to move the goalposts as to what constitutes a terrorist act and is just as dishonest as the Bush Admin was. Which is it SB?

  35. Splatterbottom

    RobJ, the point I am concerned with is that of causation. The reason terrorists poured in to Iraq after the coalition of the willing defeated Saddam was to fight. The decision to do so by murdering civilians was a result of their hideous ideology.

    Shermozle I am not right wing. I think through the issues logically, and sometimes end up on one side or the other. I try to set to rights the ideologues here who decide the issues based on their ideology long before the begin thinking. Here’s a clue: if you always end up on one side, say the left side, of issues under discussion it is time to engage your brain.

  36. SB the best that can be said about the Bush Admin is that its incompetence enabled the sept 11 attacks. It was as responsible for them as Al Queada on that level, and 4000 alphabet agencie and all the private suckholes that jumped on the bandwagon won’t change that.

    If terrorists were a real threat then we would already be screwed. They would have hit our infrastructure where it is most vulnerable, and society would have collapsed by now. There would be no internet, global trade would be stuffed – there would have been chaos.

    The fact that they haven’t done that is revealing in itself. These people aren’t stupid – their “allies” the Taliban are very effective at attacking the weaknesses in the coalition in Afghanistan – they are charging people for power and providing courts of “justice” as an alternative to the Kharzai regime as we speak. Thats a real threat to it.

    It has no legitimacy and the Taliban are building their own by providing the services the state should, or co-opting them.

    These people aren’t stupid.

    So why for the past 9 years haven’t they attacked the most vulnerable and important infrastructure?

    Cos they aren’t a real threat.

    There are guards at military bases, and the like, but no guards at the spots Australia’s communications with the rest of the world depend on.

  37. “The reason terrorists poured in to Iraq after the coalition of the willing defeated Saddam was to fight. “

    That is, where there wasn’t a terrorist problem once the US invaded with no post invasion planning all of a sudden terrorism exploded in Iraq, even this week there have been multiple car bombings in Iraq.

    “Shermozle I am not right wing. I think through the issues logically

    How can you not be right wing but claim Obama is a ‘leftist’? And as for your logic you claim that terrorism has decreased as a result of the (so-called) War on Terror when in fact it’s increased.. Fuzzy logic?

    Again SB, I’ll remind you that the terrorists that attacked New York were from Saudi Arabia, they trained in the US, prior to being in the US they were in Germany. So we in invaded Afghanistan, because Bin Laden was (is?) there and then invaded Iraq which had absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with the attacks on New York and was not a threat (did not have WMD). Of course you’d rather believe the asinine bullshit from renowned liars such as Bush, Blair and Howard. You are very naive (or dishonest).

    Educate yourself:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_terrorist_incidents

    Just start clicking on each year from 2001 and then come back and tell us that terrorism isn’t increasing. Don’t forget to click back from 2001 to see how ridiculous your claim is:

    The war on terror has not increased terrorism”

    You can scream ‘correlation does not equal causation’ as much as you like but the former head of MI5 disagrees with you and her credentials are far superior to yours.

  38. I am not right wing. I think through the issues logically,

    SB, from where I am standing it seems many of your arguments are warped by logical fallacies, you know the ones like A implies B, A is false, therefore B is false.

    Your inability to recognise you might be wrong, coupled with this self-important believe your thought process is free of ideology, gives the random reader here at Lefty’s a complete different picture of your intellectual achievements to the one you have of yourself.

    If you’d stop for a second to be a hypocrit you’re in with a chance to recognise that F16’s blowing wedding parties to smitherines in mountainous Afghani tribal regions, wiping out entire families, is terrorism, just as the actions of a lone suicide bomber on a London bus are.

  39. Blast Tyrant

    SB is getting more and more hilarious.

    The things Obama seems opposed to are things like solvency, individual liberty, a sense of manifest destiny and ability to defend itself.
    The Defense budget for the US has continued to increase under Obama. As for solvency etc – what are you even babbling about?

    Buns the reason the US is involved in so much conflict is its desire to put down totalitarian regimes or to stop them spreading.
    This is just fantasy land nonsense – the concept that the US is run by a bunch of nice guys just trying to help the world is ridiculous.

    The Shah of Iran, Saddam before Kuwait, Mubarak, the House of Saud, Baby and Papa Doc, Pinochet, Suharto, Marcos, The Argentinian Junta, Apartheid South Africa, etc, etc, etc.
    US has always been a belligerent regime regardless of whether it’s run by the Democrats or the Republicans.
    It has always been willing to use external dictators instead of it’s own troops to suppress a foreign population when necessary.

    the US opposed communism and prevented the spread of this malignancy throughout the world
    The US opposed Stalinism because it was a threat not to the world, but to US interests, US business, US markets. That’s all.

  40. Blast Tyrant

    If you’d stop for a second to be a hypocrit you’re in with a chance to recognise that F16′s blowing wedding parties to smitherines in mountainous Afghani tribal regions, wiping out entire families, is terrorism, just as the actions of a lone suicide bomber on a London bus are.

    Indeed it is Juan – but SB will never stop. He’ll still be muttering about terrorists and commies on his death bed.

  41. You’ve clearly convinced yourself you’re not right wing, SB, but you won’t convince anyone here. We get to read what you write, remember. I can see why anyone right wing would want to pretend that they’re not, though: so they don’t have to be associated with and apologise for all of the dishonest right wing nutbag commentary out there from the likes of Albrechtsen, Bolt, Akerman, etc. And in the US, Coulter, Beck, O’Reilly, Limbaugh, etc.

    The US really puts Australia in the shade in the field of right wing lunatics, doesn’t it?

  42. Splatterbottom

    Jules: “

    If terrorists were a real threat then we would already be screwed. They would have hit our infrastructure where it is most vulnerable, and society would have collapsed by now. There would be no internet, global trade would be stuffed – there would have been chaos.

    You mean you think that you would be a more effective terrorist?

    The fact that they haven’t done that is revealing in itself. These people aren’t stupid – their “allies” the Taliban are very effective at attacking the weaknesses in the coalition in Afghanistan – they are charging people for power and providing courts of “justice” as an alternative to the Kharzai regime as we speak. That’s a real threat to it.

    Good point. Their idea is to create chaos and then offer a solution. It only takes a relatively small number of people to blow up the schools and hospitals and terrorise the populace to bring civil society to an end. It is no good building more schools and hospitals if you don’t kill the terrorists first.

    There are guards at military bases, and the like, but no guards at the spots Australia’s communications with the rest of the world depend on.

    You can’t guard everything. It is more realistic to gain intelligence attack funding and command and control.

    there wasn’t a terrorist problem once the US invaded with no post invasion planning all of a sudden terrorism exploded in Iraq, even this week there have been multiple car bombings in Iraq.

    Right, the US didn’t expect the huge influx of terrorists that came to Iraq for jihad, and initially they didn’t deal with it at all well. Eventually they worked it out.

    How can you not be right wing but claim Obama is a ‘leftist’?

    In the spectrum of US politics Obama is on the left. That is a matter of fact rather than ideology.

    And as for your logic you claim that terrorism has decreased as a result of the (so-called) War on Terror when in fact it’s increased.. Fuzzy logic?

    My argument is that the causes of terror are ideological – the desire to implement a particular political system based on a hideous ideology. Fighting terrorism doesn’t increase terrorism. There is now less terrorist activity in Iraq. I allow for human agency in these matters, and the decision to murder civilians is a decision taken by rotten and immoral people as a result of their particular (in this case religious) beliefs. It is their choice not to take other measures against the things they dislike.

    You can scream ‘correlation does not equal causation’ as much as you like but the former head of MI5 disagrees with you and her credentials are far superior to yours.

    Ad hominem isn’t a logical argument.

    Juanmoment: “your arguments are warped by logical fallacies, you know the ones like A implies B, A is false, therefore B is false.

    My argument is that A doesn’t cause B. I have asked a couple of times for people to state how they see the causation working, but no one has been willing to do so.

    F16′s blowing wedding parties to smithereens in mountainous Afghani tribal regions, wiping out entire families, is terrorism, just as the actions of a lone suicide bomber on a London bus are.

    I attribute different significance to these sorts of actions, based on the intent of the actors, and the objective of the said actions in the overall scheme of things. If one is an accidental event in the process of bringing democracy to people, and the other is a deliberate attack on civilians as part of a larger plan to implement a fascist regime then I judge them differently. Get a bit of perspective man.

  43. Bolt on Manningham-Buller:

    What Manningham-Buller is suggesting is that any time Britain acts on a threat to international security by standing against one of the many Islamist terror groups or Muslim dicatatorships, her country faces punishment from an enemy within.

    Yes, it’s brutal when put like that. But this is precisely the calculation Britain’s leaders – and not just Brtiain’s – will make in assessing any future military engagements.

    Now let’s be clear here (pay attention SB you may learn something), Iraq (that’s the nation Manningham-Buller is talking about) was a SECULAR dictatorship under Hussein, and there were no ‘Isalmist terror groups’, but yeah Bolt has a better handle in UK Intelligence issues than the former boss of MI5…….Riiiiiiiiight! He’s more expert than any other expert on any subject, unless of course they are right wing ‘experts’ like say Monkton (LOL)!

    I guess I understand why the likes of SB have such a warped view of the world, they are sucked in by the utter bullshit trotted out by the likes of Bolt.

  44. Every country will make mistakes in their foreign policy. The question is whether they should be blamed if a bunch of religious fanatics start murdering people as a consequence?

    Well, they shouldn’t be blamed for the actions of the fanatics of course, but they most certainly should be held to account for the mistakes they make.

    By insisting that the only legitimate target for criticism is the terrorists, you are facilitating a cover up of your own government’s blunders. You are giving our politicians a free pass from any accountability for their own mistakes – no matter how craven those mistakes might be.

    Surely you can see how this approach is tremendously counter-productive to our future safety and prosperity?

  45. Blast Tyrant

    If one is an accidental event in the process of bringing democracy to people, and the other is a deliberate attack on civilians as part of a larger plan to implement a fascist regime then I judge them differently.

    Um, what’s the difference between the Taliban and the Northern Alliance Warlords?
    Apart from the fact that one groups is willing to do business with US corporations and the other is more reluctant.

  46. “You mean you think that you would be a more effective terrorist?”

    I’ll leave that to ASIO to judge, but it seems obvious to me that there are more useful targets than military installations. eg I once read an online article/blogpost by a guy claiming to be in the Sydney Cave Clan.

    He claimed there was no threat because CC members had access to all the infrastructure in Sydney via their underground maps etc, and not only did no one ever explore using these access points (which had no security) – even the security services weren’t interested in them.

    I can’t find it these days, but it was a real article, and I think it was on a Sydney CC website.

    Then … well I’m not that keen on explaining how to bring down western society with a few shovels, axes and laptops, but the CC article was referring to infrastructure like water, power, gas and the like, not the massive nodes in the international communication networks circa 2001 – 2005 that had absolutely no protection.

    (And probably still have bugger all.)

    That sort of threat might not effect the military immediately but it would cause chaos in all major cities, especially in Europe and the US, and that chaos would be ongoing and spectacular. Not to mention markets etc etc.

    Then what – who cares about the middle east when New York is burning and its the inhabitants of the place that are tearing it apart?

    If they hate our way of life so much … thats how to destroy it.

    You can’t guard everything, but if there’s a real threat you should at least guard the important stuff.

    “Good point. Their idea is to create chaos and then offer a solution. It only takes a relatively small number of people to blow up the schools and hospitals and terrorise the populace to bring civil society to an end. It is no good building more schools and hospitals if you don’t kill the terrorists first.”

    Its no good doing anything like that if your govt is so corrupt and compromised that the “terrorists” can provide the services you should more effectively, and without the corruption, and in fact can co opt the services you try to provide with ease.

    This is happening in Afghanistan now. And we have the joke of watching Khazai accuse the UN of being corrupt and incompetent. (Tho he may ave a point, but pots and kettles and all that.)

    The Taliban is doing a better job at providing access to justice, power and water in Afghanistan right now. How are we sposed to compete with that when we are a foreign force supporting an illegitimate govt?

    We have failed to provide an option for the Afghan people, and thats why we (ie everyone in the west/nato effort) are failing.

    This is because when it was most important we focused our effort in Afghanistan (March 03) we instead concentrated our efforts somewhere else on something that had nothing to do with the original problem. That Obama sure is stupid hey.

    BTW Remember what Osama’s demands were post sept 11?

    Israel out of Palestine and the US out of Saudi?

    When did the US cave in to those demands and withdraw from Saudi?

    2003.

    That bloody Obama.

    He has alot to answer for.

  47. Splatterbottom

    RobJ, as a general proposition, Bolt makes a good point. It is true that Iraq was a secular democracy, but it did harbour terrorists, and Saddam funded foreign terrorists. I think the Iraq war was a mistake. And I wouldn’t take much notice of UK intelligence. It has long been riddled with commos and traitors.

    Mondo: “ Well, they shouldn’t be blamed for the actions of the fanatics of course, but they most certainly should be held to account for the mistakes they make.

    Agreed. In this thread I am merely resisting the idea that counter-terrorist measures cause terrorism, and the implication that moral responsibility for terrorist actions should be shifted to those who fight them.

    BT: My distinction is not between particular groups, but between particular methods of operation.

  48. “Fighting terrorism doesn’t increase terrorism. There is now less terrorist activity in Iraq.”

    Both of these things aren’t true. How would you go about proving there is less terrorism in Iraq now than before the US invasion in 2003? Please substantiate that claim, if you can.

    As far as your claim that fighting terrorism doesn’t cause terrorism is concerned, are you not aware that terrorist attacks have increased since the war on terror began? Obviously, correlation does not equal causation, but when actual terrorists explicitly state that US action in Iraq has driven them to terrorism, it gets hard to deny the causal relationship. Read here about the Times Square car bomb guy who said his actions were the result of his anger about the war on terror:

    http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/2010/06/22/terrorism/index.html

    Then there’s experts around the globe who readily acknowledge this obvious reality – that the war on terror causes terrorism – from the CIA, to the head of MI5, Mick Keelty, Gareth Evans, and even the US government. I’m pretty sure you don’t know more about the causes of terrorism than actual experts. Pointing that out is not an ad hominem, either.

    So (a) there’s been an increase in the number of terrorist attacks globally since the war on terror began; and (b) there have been explicit statements from actual terrorists that they are driven to their actions by what the US is doing in Iraq or elsewhere. Can’t spell it out much more clearly for you than that, SB. It’s ridiculous that you have to have someone explain these things in the internet age. Just google “war on terror” + “counter-productive” (or similar) if you want more info on this. We all know Al Qaeda uses the war in Iraq as a recruitment tool. Come on, SB. This is not exactly controversial stuff.

  49. In this thread I am merely resisting the idea that counter-terrorist measures cause terrorism, and the implication that moral responsibility for terrorist actions should be shifted to those who fight them.

    In principle I agree with you.

    In practice, however, I struggle to honestly describe the US occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan as “counter-terrorist measures”. They are more realistically described, in my view, as wars fought for US strategic and economic advantage.

    As such I see no problem with identifying them as a legitimate cause of increased global terrorism.

  50. Bush administration admits Iraq invasion is creating terrorists:
    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_and_americas/article711133.ece

  51. “t is true that Iraq was a secular democracy”

    You mean a secular dictatorship, why does Bolt have to mislead if he has a good point?

    “but it did harbour terrorists”

    There was a No Fly Zone over the North and South of the nation, Saddam couldn’t have squashed terrorists in Mosul even if he wanted to, show m e the links between Hussein and al Qaeda!

    . And I wouldn’t take much notice of UK intelligence. It has long been riddled with commos and traitors.

    Basically what you’re saying is that you’re right and Manningham Buller is wrong. No offence but Ii believe Manningham Buller before you, unless of course you want to share your credentials. There’s bugger all wrong with UK Intel, it has a great rep, thing is politicians distort that intel, surely you understand this?

    “ounter-terrorist measures cause terrorism, ”

    Depends on the method of counter terrorism, infiltration and the use of special forces and regular units to capture or kill terrorists is effective, ‘shock and awe’ isn’t, too much collateral damage, to much alienation and killing of the people we profess to want to help.

  52. Blast Tyrant

    BT: My distinction is not between particular groups, but between particular methods of operation.

    Yes – so what exactly is the difference between the particular methods of operation that mean the NA should be supported and the Taliban exterminated?

  53. Blast Tyrant

    “. And I wouldn’t take much notice of UK intelligence. It has long been riddled with commos and traitors.”

    Speaking of ad hominem…

  54. Splatterbottom

    RobJ, I meant dictatorship. Zarkawi was in Baghdad at the time of the invasion. Saddam had other terrorist mates like Abu Nidal as well.

    Of course you can prefer an obviously incorrect view (such as that of Manningham-Buller). That is hardly surprising! My point is that ad hom arguments don’t prove anything.

    “Shock and awe” was used against Saddam’s army and worked quite well. As you say it doesn’t work so well against terrorists.

  55. “RobJ, I meant dictatorship. Zarkawi was in Baghdad at the time of the invasion. ”

    So? There were terrorists in the US too, and Germany 9and every other nation on the planet), give us some evidence that Hussein was sheltering Zarqawi, I mean that he was in Iraq means absolutley nothing. You’re making the claim, the onus is on you to prove it.

    “Of course you can prefer an obviously incorrect view”

    Riiiiight. She’s wrong and the proven liars (Blair, Bush et al) wer right, the trollomnist is right. In your universe maybe.

    You bitch and moan about ad hominem attacks but that doesn’t prevent you from making them, here’s a text book example:

    “And I wouldn’t take much notice of UK intelligence. It has long been riddled with commos and traitors.”

    Hypocrite… Unless of course you can name the current ‘commos’ and traitors within MI5, backed up with evidence of course, after all you’d likely call anyone left of Obama a ‘commo’.

  56. SB, Read this:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abu_Musab_al-Zarqawi#Alleged_links_to_al-Qaeda

    From the link:

    “US conclusion

    A CIA report in late 2004 concluded that there was no evidence Saddam’s government was involved or even aware of this medical treatment, and found no conclusive evidence the regime had harbored Zarqawi.”

    But you still believe it.. LOL

  57. “Of course you can prefer an obviously incorrect view”

    You skipped over the part where you explain (a) how his view is “obviously incorrect”; and (b) why anyone here would care for your opinion about the causes of terrorism ahead of the opinions of actual experts. You certainly come across as someone quite full of himself and have an obvious superiority complex, but surely your head is not so big that you purport to know more than experts – people who have devoted their entire working lives to studying terrorism – who agree virtually to a man that the Iraq invasion has caused more terrorism.

  58. Splatterbottom

    RobJ, Zarqawi was in Iraq conducting terrorist activities against the Kurds, which would have suited Saddam just fine. He also had freedom of movement within the country. I do not know what the report was, but I don’t think it is the last word on this issue. It is certainly not proof that Zarqawi had no link to Saddam, or that Saddam did not approve of and at least permit his activities.

    Buns, you haven’t given any basis for believing that that view is correct. In fact you haven’t even bothered to explain the way in which government policy causes terrorism. Terrorists choose to be terrorists. There are plenty of other ways to express displeasure with a government’s foreign policy.

    As to your “experts”, I prefer reasoned argument than arguments based on the alleged authority of some expert. You say this makes me arrogant, whereas it is merely the logical approach to take.

  59. Splatterbottom

    Jules: “ The Taliban is doing a better job at providing access to justice, power and water in Afghanistan right now. How are we sposed to compete with that when we are a foreign force supporting an illegitimate govt?

    This is a crucial issue. Of course the ‘justice’ provided by the Taliban is oppressive, but I can see that people may prefer that to total chaos. Total chaos is what the Taliban has the capacity to deliver in spades, and until they are killed off, it is very hard to improve local communities.

    The problem is that a small determined and bloodthirsty group can disrupt any society. If that society is to survive, they must develop the means to kill off their would-be oppressors. Otherwise it is back to machine-gunning uppity women in the local stadium, a Taliban specialty.

  60. You’re losing the plot SB.

    In order to maintain your ridiculous position that the Iraq invasion is a legitimate front in the war on terror you are forced to completely dismiss the published and expert opinions of MI5 and the CIA, and to assert that your own ‘common sense’ is a superior measure.

    You’re being irrational – which is understandable since your position can’t be supported rationally.

  61. [This is a crucial issue. Of course the ‘justice’ provided by the Taliban is oppressive, but I can see that people may prefer that to total chaos. Total chaos is what the Taliban has the capacity to deliver in spades, and until they are killed off, it is very hard to improve local communities.]

    Whereas the former British Foreign Secretary said that the Afghan Govt doesn’t only have to be worried about being out gunned by the Taleban but also they need to worry about being out governed by the Taleban.

    As is stands we’re supporting a disparate group who are the govt of Afghanistan who have legislated that a man may starve his wife if seh doesn’t put out!!!!

    Why are we allied with the Northern alliance again? The Taleban are pricks alright but I’d contend that elements of the NA are even worse, yet we are their allies?

    Enemy of my enemy? Will we ever learn?

    BTW If you are waiting for the Taleban to all be killed then you’ll be waiting a long time. This war WILL NOT be won militarily. The US realises and will soon start negotiating with the Taleban. Mark my words.

  62. BTW all, sorry about the square brackets…..

  63. Splatterbottom

    Mondo, as I said earlier in this thread, I think the Iraq war was a mistake. In any event, it certainly was a front in the war on terror as the terrorists poured in.

    Being irrational includes accepting ‘authority’ at face face value. It doesn’t include being sceptical about authority, especially when it seems illogical, and doubly so when those proffering the authority don’t want to provide reasons to justify it.

  64. Splatterbottom

    RobJ, the current approach is to put as much pressure on Kharzai to clean up the place. What is your solution? Give it over to the Taliban?

    This is just like Vietnam, the righteous left stabs its own soldiers in the back and when the forces of civilisation leave the people are oppressed by tyrants for the next 35 years and counting. Good outcome for the lefties – but the people we are trying to help get fucked over.

  65. Being irrational includes accepting ‘authority’ at face face value.

    That may be true, but it’s not relevant to your complete dismissal of the value of MI5 reports on UK terrorism simply because they happen to contradict your personal (and totally speculative) views. Only a fool would discount expert opinion so glibly.

    Your arrogance is clouding your ability to reason.

  66. Splatterbottom

    Mondo, as I said above the different interpretations are about cause and effect and human agency.

    Some people may disagree with government policy. Has the policy caused the disagreement?

    Further, those people may choose to express their disagreement by killing civilians. I fail to see how this means that the government policy ’caused’ the resulting terrorism.

    A proximate cause of the decision to do evil deeds is the evil belief system that enables such choices to be made, but some won’t even say its name.

  67. Blast Tyrant

    RobJ, the current approach is to put as much pressure on Kharzai to clean up the place. What is your solution? Give it over to the Taliban?

    Whilst the solution for people like SB is to give Afghanistan over to people like Ismail Khan, a man known for gang rape and throwing acid in the face of women.

    As mentioned on a previous thread – any discussion of a solution to Afghanistan should involve RAWA. Especially when people start crapping on about women’s rights as SB and the right generally do.

    Yet for people like SB, RAWA don’t even exist. Instead it’s “you must love the Taliban” and “the left stabs our own soldiers in the back”.
    The same tired old bullshit recycled over and over again.

    The US realises and will soon start negotiating with the Taleban
    They’ve already stated that they’re happy to negotiate with more ‘moderate’ sections of the Taliban. Moderate meaning their view on doing business with the US, not moderate in their view on oppressing other Afghans however.

  68. Splatterbottom

    BT: “ Whilst the solution for people like SB is to give Afghanistan over to people like Ismail Khan, a man known for gang rape and throwing acid in the face of women.

    I didn’t actually say that or anything like it did I, BT?

  69. “Buns, you haven’t given any basis for believing that that view is correct. In fact you haven’t even bothered to explain the way in which government policy causes terrorism.”

    I have, though. Re-read my posts and the linked pieces.

    Many muslims have been radicalised by the US invasion of Iraq, as a result of their perception that the war was an attack on Islam. It is beyond dispute that the Iraq invasion, Guantanamo Bay, Abu Ghraib, etc have all been great recruiting tools for Al Qaeda. Do you deny this?

    Prior to the Iraq invasion, things were relatively peaceful there. But regular suicide bombings have been occurring since the US invasion and subsequent occupation. I guess that is just a massive coincidence in your eyes.

    And I guess when Faisal Shahzad, the Times Square car bomber said in court:

    “I am part of the answer to the U.S. terrorizing the Muslim nations and the Muslim people. And, on behalf of that, I’m avenging the attack. Living in the United States, Americans only care about their own people, but they don’t care about the people elsewhere in the world when they die.”

    – he was lying? In what bizarro world was this terrorism not caused by the US’s war on terror? He expressly says it was.

    If these things and the opinions of virtually all experts don’t satisfy you that the US’s war on terror has caused more terrorism, then I can’t help you.

    Where I think you are going wrong is you think we are all trying to apportion some of the blame to the US for acts of terrorism committed by radical muslims. Nobody is trying to do that. The issue we were discussing wasn’t responsibility for terrorism, but the causes of it.

    SB: “Further, those people may choose to express their disagreement by killing civilians. I fail to see how this means that the government policy ’caused’ the resulting terrorism.”

    If you failed to see the sky was blue, that wouldn’t mean it wasn’t.

  70. Blast Tyrant

    I didn’t actually say that or anything like it did I, BT?

    Nor did anybody suggest:
    What is your solution? Give it over to the Taliban?
    Yet there you seem happy to try and put words in the mouths of other people.

  71. Blast Tyrant

    Also SB, given that you believe the solution lies in the Kharzai government – which Khan and the other NA warlords are a part of, it certainly does seem you’re happy to give Afghanistan over to a group of misogynist thugs.

    As long as the thugs are supported by the US, that’s good enough for SB.

  72. Further, those people may choose to express their disagreement by killing civilians. I fail to see how this means that the government policy ’caused’ the resulting terrorism.

    I haven’t argued that it did – although that’s mostly because you seem to treat ‘causation’ as an all or nothing concept.

    Clearly one of the primary causes of terrorism is the terrorist’s decision to engage in it – that’s just common sense. It is not rational, however, to treat that decision as though it occurred in a vacuum. People don’t just spontaneously deciding to engage in terrorism.

    If someone has a grievance against you the sensible thing is to analyse that grievance and make an objective decision about whether you think it its warranted. That person’s behaviour as a consequence of that grievance is completely irrelevant to this principle.

    You seem to believe that if the person making the complaint’s behaviour is sufficiently poor then we no longer have any obligation to consider the cause of that grievance.

    I fundamentally disagree.

  73. Splatterbottom

    Buns, I have re-read your earlier comments. They don’t make much sense to me. You acknowledge that correlation does not equal causation, but you really don’t go much past that.

    Then you say things like: “ Many muslims have been radicalised by the US invasion of Iraq

    What is this supposed to mean exactly? Does it mean that a person on hearing of the US invasion had no alternative but to start killing civilians? I can understand that a person on hearing distressing news may become angry, but if you want to know why they actually start killing civilians you would have to look at their belief system. In particular whether it sanctioned or required such action. Then you might begin to understand the cause of the terrorism.

    If you mean by “radicalised” deciding to kill civilians, then the cause of this is the belief system that sanctions or requires such a response.

    As to Faisal Shahzad, his response to US actions is his choice, based on his own hideous beliefs. We should acknowledge that people hold those beliefs, try to convince them and the wider community that those primitive violent beliefs are unacceptable, and be prepared to deal with people who act on them. What we should not do is decide foreign policy on the basis of the likely response of primitive fanatics.

    Take the case of honour killings. Are they caused by disrespectful women doing immoral things like dating the wrong person? Because that is basically your argument.

    BT, I asked a question I didn’t make a positive assertion as to your beliefs like “As long as the thugs are supported by the US, that’s good enough for SB”.

    Mondo: “ Clearly one of the primary causes of terrorism is the terrorist’s decision to engage in it – that’s just common sense. It is not rational, however, to treat that decision as though it occurred in a vacuum. People don’t just spontaneously deciding to engage in terrorism.

    I don’t believe such decisions occur in a vacuum. They occur because people have already adopted a belief system which requires or sanctions such a response. If you want to understand what causes terrorism, I would start with proximate causes such as the way people come to believe such things, who teaches them and how those teachings might be countered.

    If someone has a grievance against you the sensible thing is to analyse that grievance and make an objective decision about whether you think it its warranted. That person’s behaviour as a consequence of that grievance is completely irrelevant to this principle.

    The decision as to the best method of handling the grievance is what is at issue here. The terrorist’s behaviour is a consequence of that decision. The fact of the grievance is not what decides the response to the grievance.

    If someone is aggrieved about something, then there are different ways of dealing with it. If a person thinks it is a very serious grievance then they may even go to join a battle somewhere. But even at that level there is no compulsion on them to start killing civilians, other than that they think it is a proper way of dealing with their grievance.

    People always have grievances, and some of them should be taken seriously, but that is an entirely different question to that of what causes the response.

  74. I understand you. But you are being deliberately obtuse.

    The choices would not have been made but for the action. Nobody is denying that people who commit terrorist acts have lost all free will.

    E.g. I put my raincoat on to go outside when I saw it was raining. I made the choice to put the raincoat on. I didn’t have to do that. But I would not have put my raincoat on if it was sunny. The rain caused me to put my raincoat on, in the sense that I would not be wearing it otherwise.

  75. Splatterbottom

    In the case of the terrorist, there are many other more proximate causes that lead to the very particular response of murdering civilians. That kind of response is only likely from a person motivated by a depraved ideology.

    You can might say the rain caused you to wear your raincoat, but it was something else entirely that caused you to kill the weather forecaster.

  76. “This is a crucial issue. Of course the ‘justice’ provided by the Taliban is oppressive, but I can see that people may prefer that to total chaos. Total chaos is what the Taliban has the capacity to deliver in spades, and until they are killed off, it is very hard to improve local communities.”

    The Taliban are pretty sus.

    But really its our fault. 8 and a half fucking years we have been Afghanistan doing what?

    Securing the heroin supply? I can’t think of any other reason for this debacle.

    WTF else are we supporting a corrupt junkie president and his brother, who is one of the biggest suppliers of heroin on the planet for?

    Thats why the Taliban have garnered legitimacy when 8 years ago Afghanis were glad to see the back of them.

    Cos this whole thing looks like an exercise in dodginess. Like replacing one bunch of arseholes with another.

    And they (ordinary Afghanis) would probably be fine with the corruption if in the process we’d provided them with something resembling a functioning society, or the tools to build one.

    But we haven’t, and what a surprise.

    More terrorists in Afghanistan.

  77. Replace “denying” with “saying” in my last effort.

  78. Blast Tyrant

    BT, I asked a question I didn’t make a positive assertion as to your beliefs like “As long as the thugs are supported by the US, that’s good enough for SB”.

    I think most people would see it as a rhetorical question.
    Especially taken into the context of previous threads – such as the thread regarding the veil.
    You were quite happy to sit there waving your finger about the Left being happy to let women be oppressed when all that was stated was an opposition to banning the veil.

    And as I said earlier on the thread, based on your support for the occupation in Afghanistan and your attempted vilification of anybody opposed with things like
    This is just like Vietnam, the righteous left stabs its own soldiers in the back and when the forces of civilisation leave the people are oppressed by tyrants for the next 35 years and counting. Good outcome for the lefties – but the people we are trying to help get fucked over.

    Quite clearly, you are in support of the occupation and Kharzai’s gang of misogynist thugs.

  79. Splatterbottom

    BT: “Quite clearly, you are in support of the occupation and Kharzai’s gang of misogynist thugs.

    Quite clearly I am in support of implementing a functioning democracy in Afghanistan. The worst option is to hand the place over to the Taliban. That doesn’t mean I support corruption or the implementation of sharia law. That is much better to demanding perfection now, and if that is unachievable, handing the place over to the Taliban.

  80. Splatterbottom

    Jules: : “ If terrorists were a real threat then we would already be screwed. They would have hit our infrastructure where it is most vulnerable, and society would have collapsed by now.

    It looks like the bad guys are already on to your nefarious schemes to disrupt utilities:

    Russia says Muslim militants are behind a deadly attack on a hydro electric power plant in the volatile North Caucasus region.

  81. The decision as to the best method of handling the grievance is what is at issue here.

    That’s just not true SB – the issue here is how we in the West react to the terrorist acts against us. Do we consider the grievances of the terrorists and address them, or do we ignore those grievances and just try to kill the terrorists until they’re all dead?

    If someone is aggrieved about something, then there are different ways of dealing with it.

    Of course there are SB! There’s no conflict over whether terrorism is the wrong way to handle the grievance – everyone here agrees that it is. Nobody is defending the terrorists’ decision to resort to terrorism as a result of their grievance – you’re arguing a strawman.

    What is being argued is that it is appropriate for us to consider in what way our actions have caused the grievance that is resulting in the conflict.

    More specifically, it is being argued that commenters here should be able to argue in favour of that analysis without you immaturely accusing us of loving the terrorists and wanting to marry them.

  82. Blast Tyrant

    The worst option is to hand the place over to the Taliban.

    Really, how is that worse than handing it over to the current group of thugs?

    At least before the invasion in 2001 there was some resistance to the Taliban forming and they only had one enemy.
    Now however, that resistance has been fragmented and weakened by the devastation caused by the invasion, and the fact that so many people hate the Northern Alliance and the occupation just as much as the Taliban – now essentially they have multiple enemies.

    And of course anybody that fights the occupation or the Northern Alliance is just called as a terrorist and part of the Taliban regardless…

    For somebody who claims to be
    in support of implementing a functioning democracy in Afghanistan
    you sure have a strange way of thinking it will be achieved.

    Seriously, how naive are you to think that the US, after supporting and implementing dictatorships for decades and decades would actually have an interest in supporting a functioning democracy?
    Since when has the US become a benevolent state SB?
    Was it during the slave years, Jim Crow years or sometime in between?
    Was it when the Shah was toppled that they had a sudden change of heart and decided they no longer liked dictatorships?

    Well no that cant be correct – they’re happy with Mubarak and give him billions of dollars to oppress the Egyptians.

    I know! – it must be that the US has a special soft spot for those poor Afghans that makes you think this occupation is actually about bringing democracy even at the same time supporting dictatorships in other parts of the world.

    Wow, those lucky Afghans!

  83. Blast Tyrant

    What is being argued is that it is appropriate for us to consider in what way our actions have caused the grievance that is resulting in the conflict.

    Also that what SB might call terrorism is not necessarily what other people might call terrorism and vica versa.

  84. “And they (ordinary Afghanis) would probably be fine with the corruption if in the process we’d provided them with something resembling a functioning society, or the tools to build one.”

    Of course it is rather difficult to provide these things when you have terrorists continually killing anyone who they deem to be ‘fraternising’ with our troops and destroying any infrastructure that is built.

    The reason our troops are still ‘occupying’ Afghanistan is because they are trying to protect ordinary Afghanis from Taliban terrorists, unfortuneately we have nowhere near sufficient numbers to do this effectively and probably never will have.

    I suspect there’s no easy solutuion to this mess.

  85. [unfortuneately we have nowhere near sufficient numbers to do this effectively and probably never will have.]

    Actually I’d argue that politicians don’t have the resolve, and are now actively seeking an excuse to leave. IMO the invasion of Afghanistan was a result of a rush of blood to the head post 9/11, I cite the fact that France & Germany sent troops in support of the US but when it came down to it they weren’t prepared to fight (not the soldoers, the politicians).

    Let’s be clear about the reasons cited for the invasion:

    Get OBL
    Get Mullah Omar
    Get rid of the Taleban.

    Nine years later we haven’t acheived any of the original goals thus we’ve shifted the goalposts, it’s now about building a stable democracy, getting the Afghans trained and equiped to handle their own affairs (A noble goal IMO) thing is I totally expect NATO to hand over eventually regardless of whether the locals are ready (hopefully they will be) the people who are running this war (Leaders of NATO Nations, most notably the US) are more concerned with their prospects of re-election.

  86. Splatterbottom

    Mondo, if someone says “accommodate my grievances or I will start killing people” the last thing you do is accommodate their grievances. It is much more appropriate to jail them for extortion, or kill them if they start acting on their threat.

    It is like dealing with people who kill abortion doctors. Do you give into them and modify the abortion laws, or charge them with the various crimes they commit and deal with abortion law reform by the normal processes.

    If a father is aggrieved because his daughter dresses immodestly and kills her, how do you address his grievance. If al Qaeda requires you to end your alliance with Saudi Arabia and convert to Islam, how do you address that grievance?

    If, when the Taliban require you to get out of Afghanistan so that they can impose sharia law and run the place, and you do so, then you are responsible for the barbarism that follows. Ultimately the duty is to do the most you can to alleviate the suffering of the people. Giving in to terrorist threats rarely achieves this.

  87. Splatterbottom

    BT, I admire your fearless black and white charaterisation of matters. Your basic assumption is that the US cannot act unless it allies itself with a spotless democracy. It cannot begin to do anything if it involves supporting the lesser of two evils, even where they also try to end the corruption. And apparently they cannot have regard to the larger picture or their own self interest.

    RobJ: “Actually I’d argue that politicians don’t have the resolve

    And that is a reflection of the peoples’ distaste for the sacrifice necessary to obtain the worthwhile goals.

    Let’s be clear about the reasons cited for the invasion:
    Get OBL
    Get Mullah Omar
    Get rid of the Taleban.

    The original goals also included setting up a regime that would ensure that the Taliban and al Qaeda could not in future use Afghanistan as a base for their activities. Karsai was involved from quite early in the process, long before the first election, and long before he started down the road to corruption.

  88. [The original goals also included setting up a regime that would ensure that the Taliban and al Qaeda could not in future use Afghanistan as a base for their activities.]

    Yeah, accompanied with television images of the carpet bombing of terrorist training camps.. A regime, any regime, fuck it we’ll even use war criminals from the NA as long as it isn’t the Taleban, even General Dostum, but not the Taleban.

    “before he started down the road to corruption.”

    He may have always been corrupt. The US allied with him because he wasn’t Taleban (well he was ’til he fell out with them and it appears that he may become Taleban again soon (or at least ally with them), I think he’ll do anything for power) That’s why he got the support, not necessarily because he’s a good bloke.

    But it’s nothing new for the US and it’s allies to back utter pricks to go after other pricks (Hussein, Pinochet, Gualtieri etc etc etc etc)

    “And that is a reflection of the peoples’ distaste for the sacrifice necessary to obtain the worthwhile goals.”

    Agreed…

  89. “Karsai was involved from quite early in the process, long before the first election, and long before he started down the road to corruption.””

    Since the 80’s in fact when he was Mujahideen, fighting the Soviets.

  90. “Your basic assumption is that the US cannot act unless it allies itself with a spotless democracy. It cannot begin to do anything if it involves supporting the lesser of two evils, even where they also try to end the corruption.”

    Considering the US’s undisputable history of supporting dictators and tyrants over democratic elected governments whenever it suits it’s interests to do so, it is amazing that anyone takes the US seriously when it trumpets its supposed commitment to democracy in Iraq and Afghanistan (like they wouldn’t trash democratically elected governments in those countries down the track if they felt it served their interests).

    They can’t have it both ways, unless they’re content to be viewed as the hypocrites they are.

  91. (like they wouldn’t trash democratically elected governments in those countries down the track if they felt it served their interests).

    Exactly, a recent example, insisting that the Palestinaians had free and fair elections then spitting the dummy when Hamas won, by spitting the dummy I mean arming Fatah and sending them into Gaza (to get their arses kicked mind you)

    When will there be free and fair elections in the West Bank?

    It is quite amazing that anyone believes the US when they say they’re doing things for the sake of anyone or anything but their own interests. If the US’s interests are of benefit then great but otherwise they have absolutley no qualms whatsoever in using violence when it suits their interest. This is undeniable, just read a history book.

  92. Yeah SB thats the point, in places like Nigeria and Chechnya infrastructure has been under attack for ages and is carefully protected (well, in Russia, sometimes). Cos there are “terrorists” in those places trying to fuck shit up.

    Meanwhile in the more than 10 years since Osama declared war on the west how many attacks on critical infrastructure? Not very many.

    “The original goals also included setting up a regime that would ensure that the Taliban and al Qaeda could not in future use Afghanistan as a base for their activities. Karsai was involved from quite early in the process, long before the first election, and long before he started down the road to corruption.”

    You’re joking right. The heroin drought in Australia ended within months of the invasion of Afghanistan. And when did Karzai start down this process exactly, do you have a date? Cos even if you don’t at least you acknowledge he is corrupt. Now what are we doing putting our soldiers lives on the line to defend this?

    They deserve more respect than that.

    And actually I think you’ll find Karzai and his family were “corrupt” for a long time. Selling heroin through Bosnia with the aid of the Taliban and NATO.

    Might not have been Bosnia, but it was one of those countries in the balkans when all sorts of stuff, including people actually get trafficked. For slavery, usually sexual in western brothels.

    (Were trafficked this was in the late 90s.)

    History commons dot org.

    Its all in there somewhere.

  93. ugh, another SB bait and switch derailment

    anyone read the Washington Post investigation?

  94. Splatterbottom

    Got a link, Karl?

    I have learned a bit in this thread (RAWA), but not enough to believe that policy causes terrorism.

  95. Keep clinging to your beliefs in the face of the evidence. Choose to keep your head up your arse.

  96. Blast Tyrant

    BT, I admire your fearless black and white charaterisation of matters
    I don’t see things in black or white. I’m just throwing it back at you.

    You consistently throw black and white accusations at the left for not caring about womens rights when people oppose banning the veil,
    Loving terrorists for condemning the crimes of Isreal and suggesting the left are happy for a country to be under the control of the Taliban or Saddam if we don’t support those occupations.

    If you speak in such black and white terms, why should anybody else bother adding grey?

    Your basic assumption is that the US cannot act unless it allies itself with a spotless democracy. It cannot begin to do anything if it involves supporting the lesser of two evils

    Urm, there is a great big difference with a flawed democracy and the dictatorships the US historically supports.
    And who exactly are you trying to suggest is a “lesser evil”?
    Mubarak? He is both a dictator and the greater of two evils.
    The Northern Alliance? Again – a collection of dictators and the greater of two evils (as difficult a task as that is compared to the Taliban).

    Who else? – The Shah, Baby Doc and Papa Doc,
    Suharto, Pinochet?

    Gavin: The reason our troops are still ‘occupying’ Afghanistan is because they are trying to protect ordinary Afghanis from Taliban terrorists

    Garbage.
    The reason Coalition troops still occupy Afghanistan is because it’s central to US economic interests – which are tied to the interests of the other Coalition nations.

  97. Mondo, if someone says “accommodate my grievances or I will start killing people” the last thing you do is accommodate their grievances.

    That’s nonsense SB. If the grievance is legitimate, then it is legitimate regardless of whether it is accompanied by threats of violence. It is irrational to vary the standard by which we measure our own independent behaviour by reference to how violent those complaining about it are.

    It is like dealing with people who kill abortion doctors. Do you give into them and modify the abortion laws

    I’m glad you raised this example SB. Of course we don’t give in to their demands, but their violence does not preclude a review of whether their grievance is valid. If it did then every time somebody suggested that there is merit to the ‘Right to Life’ argument then I could scream at them that they are giving in to the terrorists.

    Do you see the parallel here? When someone asks whether there is any merit to terrorist grievances against the US you accuse them of giving in to the terrorists. Yet you would not apply the same logic if someone asked whether there is any merit to the grievances of abortion clinic terrorists.

    Be honest SB – you wouldn’t, would you?

    If it makes sense to treat the actual grievances of abortion clinic terrorists as a separate issue to the violence they are unleashing then why doesn’t it make sense to apply the same standard to Islamic terrorists?

  98. Splatterbottom

    BT: “ accusations at the left for not caring about womens rights when people oppose banning the veil

    I opposed banning the niqab, if you had bothered to read what I said on that thread.

    The reason Coalition troops still occupy Afghanistan is because it’s central to US economic interests – which are tied to the interests of the other Coalition nations.

    I’m pretty sure Obama would love to get the troops out of Afghanistan, but he can’t bring himself to leave the country in ruin.

    Mondo: “If it makes sense to treat the actual grievances of abortion clinic terrorists as a separate issue to the violence they are unleashing then why doesn’t it make sense to apply the same standard to Islamic terrorists?

    That is precisely my point, Mondo. First you deal with the terrorist, then you deal with the grievance as you would any other grievance.

  99. That is precisely my point, Mondo. First you deal with the terrorist, then you deal with the grievance as you would any other grievance.

    Huh?

    Are you saying that the Right to Life argument should be ignored until all those who support it through violent means are killed or imprisoned? You seem to have invented some sort of political order or operations whereby it is invalid to look at any grievance before its violent supporters have been ‘dealt with’.

    You really are twisting yourself up in knots just to preserve your right to idiotically label those advocating review of US foreign policy as terrorist lovers.

    Regardless, I look forward to the next abortion debate you’re involved in . I can’t wait to use your logic to accuse all those arguing a pro-life position of having given in to the terrorists.

  100. Splatterbottom

    Mondo: “Are you saying that the Right to Life argument should be ignored until all those who support it through violent means are killed or imprisoned?

    You must have started Friday afternoon drinks early! Your comment is befuddled. The issue or grievance is separate to the terrorism. You deal with the terrorists as terrorists, and deal with the issue in the ordinary course through lobbying, negotiation, and parliament. What you don’t do is let the terrorists drive the agenda through their vile acts.

  101. So now do you see the dilemma for the US, mondo? It can’t ever withdraw from Iraq and Afghanistan, because to do so would be to cave to the terrorists. How convenient. Luckily, the US has no intention of (fully) withdrawing anyway.

    No, instead the US stays in the Middle East until either (a) all “terrorists” everywhere are killed or imprisoned indefinitely, and there is no more terrorism, or (b) “terrorists” eventually realise how tough and uncompromising the US is, and give up. I’m sure either of those things will happen any day now.

    U-S-A! U-S-A!

  102. The issue or grievance is separate to the terrorism. You deal with the terrorists as terrorists, and deal with the issue in the ordinary course through lobbying, negotiation, and parliament.

    So you agree that the US should be considering and addressing the grievances of Islamic terrorists at the same time it is fighting the terrorism itself.

    Excellent – you have come full circle SB and we are now in full agreement.

  103. Splatterbottom

    Not quite Mondo. Causation is not admitted, and the fact that some nutter wants to kill everybody to get attention should not impact the ‘ordinary course’ considerations. But I suspect that in reality we are not that far apart.

  104. Blast Tyrant

    BT: “ accusations at the left for not caring about womens rights when people oppose banning the veil”

    I opposed banning the niqab, if you had bothered to read what I said on that thread.

    Uh yeah, i did read that. What’s your point SB?
    I didn’t say you supported the ban.
    I said that you accused the Left of leaving womens rights in the gutter when the Left opposed the ban.

    Do you dispute this? Do I need to go back to the thread and grab your actual quotes?

  105. Wikileaks has released a couple of documents about the Afghan War.

    http://wardiary.wikileaks.org/

  106. SB, you’d be enjoying the Wikileaks? Learning about how your leaders have been lying to you and how you sucked up all the lies.

  107. You even regurgitate some of those lies here:

    “Buns the reason the US is involved in so much conflict is its desire to put down totalitarian regimes or to stop them spreading.

    LOL!

  108. You even regurgitate some of those lies here:

    “Buns the reason the US is involved in so much conflict is its desire to put down totalitarian regimes or to stop them spreading.”

    LOL!

  109. Only the gullible will be surprised by the Afghanistan war docs.

  110. Splatterbottom

    RobJ, most US wars are against totalitarian regimes, like WWII, the various wars against communist regimes, the Balkan wars, Iraq and Afghanistan.

    Nawagadj, the Wikileaks concept is a very good one, although it is not exactly clear what new info the Afghan docs reveal. I was pleasantly surprised to hear that troops are employed to hunt down and kill Taliban leaders.

  111. Though, SB, it has also run plenty of proxy wards against democratic governments.

    The confused and changeable concept of ‘Taliban’ and all its various permutations continues to be the all purpose explanation for this misguided and futile little disaster.

  112. proxy wars too !

  113. Splatterbottom

    Wow, Nawagadj, if you turn an enemy into a confused and changeable concept, then there is no reason to fight is there? Quick, go tell those people that it was a confused and changeable concept that burned down their school or threw acid in their faces, or planted the IED that killed their brother, or shot their father for trying to live a civilised life.

  114. Or gunned down those defenceless teenage girls in the field or those unarmed old men coming back from the shops. No, wait, that wasn’t the Taliban.
    http://www.theage.com.au/world/delete-them-or-we-will-delete-you-how-us-marines-tried-to-hide-a-bloodbath-20100727-10tqg.html?autostart=1

    You can see why the US government is so angry about these leaks. They can’t afford people finding out the sorts of things that are really going on in Iraq and Afghanistan.

  115. The problem, SB, is if you don’t know who is enemy is, it’s pretty hard to fight a war.

    The ‘taliban’ has long ceased to have any precise meaning, except as a label for the Coalition to use as a defence for the use of lethal force.

  116. Pingback: US Public Enemy #2 (Wikileaks) protected by Public Enemy #3 (internet pirates) | An Onymous Lefty

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