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Emperor
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist with Finglongers

From: Cell 53, East Wing
Insane since: Jul 2001

posted posted 05-30-2004 14:24

I have been curious about this for a while - they come and go and nothing (thanlkfully) happens and no one seems to get arrested. I have been pondering if they are just being used to heighten our state of anxiety and help build support for The War Against Terror and I have been curious about the type of intelligence used - if this article is to be believed the answer is pretty poor:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/5087301/

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Emps

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Jestah
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: Long Island, NY
Insane since: Jun 2000

posted posted 05-30-2004 15:58

This administrations willingness to rely on very unreliable sources is very troubling for me. As I said in the Chalabi thread, I think this administration just looks for someone who will confirm what they want to do - even if those people are convinced criminals or the laughing stock of the international intelligence community.

I realize most conservative voters, even on this forum, feel we don't need international help to do anything but I think sooner or later they're going to realize that wecan't police the world by ourself and they're going to want international support. With our intelligence blunders, I don't know how anyone outside of the US could take us serious. Its sad, but we'd probably be more creditable if we were throwing darts at scenarios on the wall rather then relying on our informents.

Bandwagon American Since 9/11/01

Bugimus
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: New California
Insane since: Mar 2000

posted posted 05-31-2004 02:22

Emps, I wonder about that too. The feeling around here is that the alerts are made but there is nothing we are supposed to do about it. They say there is a likelihood that we'll be attacked but they don't give specific information and when people ask what they should do they are told to go about their normal business. I'm not sure what good these alerts do other than to give the government a way of covering its ass in the case of an actual attack. They will be able to say they warned the public even if the warning was inactionable.

Administrations of any of our governments have no choice but to trust their own intelligence agencies. It was known that our intelligence services in this country were in bad shape. This is not the fault of one administration but it was falling apart for quite some time. I think now they are on the path of trying to fix some of the problems in the system but I've heard that at best we won't expect our services to be what they need to be for at least 5 years. That's a long time to wait when we are clearly being targeted by terrorists. I can only hope we don't get hit too hard before we can reduce the threats that face us.

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Ramasax
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: PA, US
Insane since: Feb 2002

posted posted 05-31-2004 22:10
quote:
Jestah said: I realize most conservative voters, even on this forum, feel we don't need international help to do anything but I think sooner or later they're going to realize that wecan't police the world by ourself and they're going to want international support.



So Jestah, when you say international support, what you really mean is the UN right?

----

As far as the alerts go, I'd rather know than not know. If they turn out to be wrong, good. Better that than another 9/11. Is it not good to keep your citizens informed to an extent concerning any threat?

There are thousands of terrorist websites out there which threaten us everyday. Take this site for instance: http://www.globalislamicmedia.com - If this link is inappropriate, feel free to remove it.

quote:
I am reposting the Berg beheading clip for for EOM and Daleel's personal viewing pleasure. This is how real Muslims do it, not the sniveling we are going to bomb you Xmas, I mean Feb2, I mean this summer. When the Mujahideen do strike it will be massive and kill millions. It won't be posted in roll you own Homeland Security Terrorist Enquirer Site Scanner. It will just be. And it is coming. Make no mistake. Washington, LA, D.C., Arab toast, and brought to you by satellite. And so EOM, this Berg's for you



quote:
Words out on the Underground that summer is to be a high pro time for terrorist hits. Hotspots include London tubes for as Sarin hit to be followed by Nukes and a spectacular four jet attack on the Vegas strip - fireworks included, and flaming gamblers jumping from Luxor windows. High tech weapons and mini nukes are moving quickly by speedboat, utility vans, and little suitcases. Cells in place are waiting on an upcoming Brother Osama tape to be out in the next few weeks. Better stock up on gas masks and avoid subway and train travel on the holidays.



Would it be right to discard any threat like the above until we prove it false? They are simply doing their jobs by keeping the public aware of such threats. If a side effect is that it increases the support for the war on terror, then so be it, but I can hardly believe that is their motivation.

Ramasax

Lacuna
Maniac (V) Inmate

From: the Asylum ghetto
Insane since: Oct 2002

posted posted 06-01-2004 00:55

ramasax: i see your point, but what's the use of saying "hey... something might happen... but don't worry, just go on about your business. we don't want you to do anything any differently than what you're doing now"
the government is just doing it to cover their own asses....that's it! besides, after so many "alerts" people will/have become jaded to the whole thing. it's that whole crying wolf thing, imo. eventually, people will stop paying attention and that's when they'll finally be specific....
it's not that i don't want to know... cuz i do. i would just perfer that they actually have something a lil less vague to alert us to.

as for that site, i'm sure if you bothered trying, you could find just as many sites that are anti-islamic spouting the same kind of bullshit threats. it's all in what you want to see, my friend.

DL-44
Maniac (V) Inmate

From: under the bed
Insane since: Feb 2000

posted posted 06-01-2004 02:53
quote:
it's all in what you want to see, my friend.



bingo.

It goes back to what I've told you many times, Ram, about condemning their propaganda while embracing your own...

Ramasax
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: PA, US
Insane since: Feb 2002

posted posted 06-01-2004 06:26
quote:
Lacuna said: ramasax: i see your point, but what's the use of saying "hey... something might happen... but don't worry, just go on about your business. we don't want you to do anything any differently than what you're doing now"
the government is just doing it to cover their own asses....that's it!



I disagree. While that may play a small role their reasons for informing us are so that the public can help them, be on the lookout for conspicuous things, however obvious, and to help identify the people on the posters. To keep us on edge, as I believe we should be, the nature of this enemy definately calls for it. Sure, go on about your daily lives, but be alert about it. The public needs to be involved. The boy who cried wolf thing could become a problem over time and more than likely has, but we saw what happened when we don't pay attention. Due to the nature of the enemy, the eyes and ears of the "normal" person is very important in this. Wouldn't you agree?

Another good reason I think to give these alerts to the public is to let the terrorists know we may be onto them, possibly making them apprehensive about their missions.

quote:
eventually, people will stop paying attention and that's when they'll finally be specific....



Yes, we do tend to forget rather quickly just how real the threat is. Sad.

Can they be specific? Terrorists are anything but stupid, and they know how to use propaganda in a very effective manner. I think we are all well aware of that. For every real threat, there are perhaps thousands, tens of thousands, which are false. If they could be specific with a when and where, they would be. If they had that kind of information, we would not have much to worry about. Thing is, nothing is for certain. Except maybe that they will strike again, that is one thing I believe we can count on. Their motivation all but guarantees it.

quote:
as for that site, i'm sure if you bothered trying, you could find just as many sites that are anti-islamic spouting the same kind of bullshit threats. it's all in what you want to see, my friend.



I actually have looked at a few sites on the other end of the spectrum, that road is irrelevant though. While all of the anti-Islamic sites are just nutcases and bigotrous statements, pro-terror sites are much more. There is a distinct difference because the other side actually has proven it will carry through with those threats. You don't see terrorist westerners commiting suicide bombings against the Arab world in the name of God.

There is more to this specific site than meets the eye also. Global Islamic Media (GIM) is believed to have ties to Al-Queda. The Northeast Intelligence Network, a group of private investigators, retired detectives, etc... has done a good bit of research on them. They have found many links. You can question the veracity of such claims all you want, but you cannot exclude the possibility, not when the stakes are so high. Go here to see things they have converted from Arabic posted to the GIM yahoo group, if you wish to investigate further than what the media says of course : http://www.homelandsecurityus.com/gim/default.asp

The Internet is a very useful tool to terrorists. Aside from websites and web based message boards they also use chatrooms and newsgroups. Many of the messages in the newsgroups are posted anonymously and coded with PGP. I don't know a lot about PGP, except that I hear it is damn near impossible to crack. I for one hope the government, the NSA or somebody, has the ability to crack it, else we may never be successful in thwarting future attacks.

Many of these could be nothing at all, but this will give you an idea:

alt.anonymous.messages


One thing I found rather interesting in my browsing of many of these pro-terrorist websites, besides their incessant hate for westerners, is to find that they are primarily hosted in the US and UK. Out of about 100 sites I looked into, 85 of them are in those 2 countries. Should the hosts in question be forced to shut them down, or no? I am not sure what to think, because ultimately they are a source of intelligence. There is that thing about free speech, but should free-speech be provided to those not of the US who support those who wish to kill us? I'd like some other people's thoughts here.

Anyways, sorry for rambling on.

DL, it is all propaganda right? So which propaganda do you embrace? The side that wishes to kill you and end western civilization, or the side which protects it? I don't know about you but I like my way of life, democracy, and everything that comes along with it and I would choose that to being a dirty Kuffir second-class citizen in a religion controlled state.

Ramasax

(Edited by Ramasax on 06-01-2004 06:33)

Lacuna
Maniac (V) Inmate

From: the Asylum ghetto
Insane since: Oct 2002

posted posted 06-01-2004 07:39

ramasax, i think what dl is getting at (and he'll correct me if i'm wrong ) is that it's fine to trudge through that stuff as long as you openmindedly (is that a word?) trudge through both sides and sift through it and form your own opinion. it's easy to spew regurgitated b.s......

quote:
The boy who cried wolf thing could become a problem over time and more than likely has, but we saw what happened when we don't pay attention.



i disagree with that statement....
it's not that 'we' weren't paying attention... the powers that be weren't paying attention, and the ones that were, were too busy having a pissing match with each other to be bothered to do their jobs adequately. though, that depends on who you believe. i believe our government knew "something" was going to happen...but like all these loverly lil alerts they put out....they had no specifics.

it's fine and dandy to ask the public for a hand in keeping an eye out for the men on the posters and i'd even go as far to say it's ok to ask that they look for 'suspicious' activity. but you can't ask a nation of people to 'look for the enemy' when you don't know what the enemy looks like.

quote:
There is a distinct difference because the other side actually has proven it will carry through with those threats. You don't see terrorist westerners commiting suicide bombings against the Arab world in the name of God.


really? by our own definition, anyone who funds or gives aid to any kind of terrorist activity, is a terrorist themselves.
i'd like to remind you that 'terrorism' has been happening LONG before it visited the shores of our country. our government has been picking and choosing one terror group to defend and one to label as 'the enemy' the whole time it's been happening in the rest of the world. do you really believe that we haven't had our hand (or at least our nose) in some of the 'terror' stuff that happens over there? you don't think that some of these groups might view our government's actions in various parts of the world as terroristic?

as for the websites... like i said in my last post, it's all in what you want to see.

i have more to say, but i'm sick and am afraid that i'm starting to drift off topic a bit. the only enemy i'm concerned with fighting at the moment are the terrorist flu germs blazing through my system. will post more later....

WebShaman
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: Happy Hunting Grounds...
Insane since: Mar 2001

posted posted 06-01-2004 11:25

I'm not sure why the alarm levels are personally being broadcast publically - I know that the Military uses various levels to denote danger. I assume that the Homeland Security department uses these levels to notify local Police and Authority type institutions. I'm sure that there are guidelines and rules put in place for each "level" of threat.

What I am not sure of, is why it has to be publically broacasted...seems kind of silly. The only thing I can think of, is that is serves as a warning to terrorists, that we are on the "ready", so to speak. Maybe it is supposed to serve as a deterrant.

Whether or not it is effective, I don't have the slightest clue. I guess it is much to early to tell, actually.

I must admit, I don't know much about the Homeland Security Agency. I don't really know what jurisdiction it has, and over whom, when. Does anyone here know? Does anyone here actually work for Homeland Security?

WebShaman | Asylum D & D | D & D Min Page

Bugimus
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: New California
Insane since: Mar 2000

posted posted 06-01-2004 15:16

Lacuna said:

quote:
it's not that 'we' weren't paying attention... the powers that be weren't paying attention, and the ones that were, were too busy having a pissing match with each other to be bothered to do their jobs adequately. though, that depends on who you believe. i believe our government knew "something" was going to happen...but like all these loverly lil alerts they put out....they had no specifics.

I am of the opinion that it wasn't a matter of the public not paying attention but rather not *wanting* to acknowledge the threat. I had heard for years before 9/11 that is was only a matter of time before something big happened over here. Then one day a bomb goes off in the WTC parking garage and I thought this is it. But what did we do about it? What did the public demand as a result? We basically did nothing and went back to basking in our 90s "tech bubble". I believe our representatives in the government knew that little could be done about a problem the public didn't want to deal with.

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WebShaman
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: Happy Hunting Grounds...
Insane since: Mar 2001

posted posted 06-01-2004 16:48

I think its similiar to Pearl Harbor - arrogance combined with ignorance. It is often how America has dealt with the rest of the world. A "sleeping giant", that shouldn't be awoken. Once awoken, look out.

WebShaman | Asylum D & D | D & D Min Page

Jestah
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: Long Island, NY
Insane since: Jun 2000

posted posted 06-01-2004 17:51
quote:
So Jestah, when you say international support, what you really mean is the UN right?



No, I mean international support.

Bandwagon American Since 9/11/01

Ramasax
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: PA, US
Insane since: Feb 2002

posted posted 06-01-2004 18:33
quote:
Lacuna said: ramasax, i think what dl is getting at (and he'll correct me if i'm wrong ) is that it's fine to trudge through that stuff as long as you openmindedly (is that a word?) trudge through both sides and sift through it and form your own opinion. it's easy to spew regurgitated b.s......



*sigh* I have sifted and have formed my own opinion. Nothing I said above is regurgitated, and quite frankly I would appreciate that if you do disagree with me you don't automatically bring out that line of defense. I would continue on the rest of your post, but I see a dreaded circular motion forming. It is ok to disagree here so long as we all understand the threat is real.

And yes, openmindedly is a word.

quote:
Jestah said: No, I mean international support.



So the 30 or so countries in the coalition isn't international? Or do you mean FULL international support, including those countries who support terrorism? I am having a hard time determining what you mean by "international support" if you aren't referring to the UN.

Ramasax

Bugimus
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: New California
Insane since: Mar 2000

posted posted 06-01-2004 19:17

Jestah, according to that definition we have international support for invading Iraq. I didn't realize you thought so

But seriously, I think what it comes down to is that you're saying that as long as the French and the Germans, and probably a little less so the Russians and Chinese, agree with anything that's what matters to you. If this is not what you mean by "international support" then I'm all ears.

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Jestah
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: Long Island, NY
Insane since: Jun 2000

posted posted 06-01-2004 19:53
quote:
So the 30 or so countries in the coalition isn't international? Or do you mean FULL international support, including those countries who support terrorism? I am having a hard time determining what you mean by "international support" if you aren't referring to the UN.



Oh, I guess I must be mistaken. I was under the impression that it was the United States that made up damn near all of the troops in Iraq. Would you be so kind as to list exactly how many other troops these other 29 countries have provided?

quote:
Jestah, according to that definition we have international support for invading Iraq. I didn't realize you thought so



Oh, I guess I must be mistaken. I was under the impression that it was the United States that made up damn near all of the troops in Iraq. Would you be so kind as to list exactly how many other troops these other 29 countries have provided?

Bandwagon American Since 9/11/01

Jestah
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: Long Island, NY
Insane since: Jun 2000

posted posted 06-01-2004 19:54

Why don't you guys list the countries one by one and put the number next to them. It should help in proving your point.

Bandwagon American Since 9/11/01

Lacuna
Maniac (V) Inmate

From: the Asylum ghetto
Insane since: Oct 2002

posted posted 06-01-2004 20:22
quote:
*sigh* I have sifted and have formed my own opinion. Nothing I said above is regurgitated, and quite frankly I would appreciate that if you do disagree with me you don't automatically bring out that line of defense. I would continue on the rest of your post, but I see a dreaded circular motion forming. It is ok to disagree here so long as we all understand the threat is real.


obviously, i should have made myself clear that the 'you' that i was referring to was just a general 'you' not you-ramasax-you. i think it's good advice for anyone.... didn't realize you were feeling bitter and would take it personally.

quote:
I am of the opinion that it wasn't a matter of the public not paying attention but rather not *wanting* to acknowledge the threat.



i would agree with that to an extent, since i can't really recall alot of the details of the first bombing of the wtc. i'm sure i was of the thought "that's happening in new york and doesn't affect me, in montana". though, in my own defense, i was in my early twenties and i *was* invincible!

quote:
I believe our representatives in the government knew that little could be done about a problem the public didn't want to deal with.


but....isn't that what they're paid to do...deal with things that the public can't/won't deal with?
even if they'd have started these lil alerts back then, would it have changed anything that's happened? i know it's rather difficult to speculate about 'what if's', but i don't think it probably would have. maybe i'm just being synical, but it seems to me that there has always been an elusive "someone" out there that's going to get us (korea, russia, iran etc) and our government has no problem with funneling fear into the public about such threats. maybe because of that everyone became jaded? i really feel that all these alerts are going to hurt us in the long run.

edit*
thought i'd throw this in for jestah:
CBC News: List of Countries with Troops in Iraq

there's also several blogs that have lists as well

(Edited by Lacuna on 06-01-2004 20:35)

DL-44
Maniac (V) Inmate

From: under the bed
Insane since: Feb 2000

posted posted 06-01-2004 20:49

For teh record, Ramasax -

I would prefer not to embrace anyone's propaganda.

I would prefer that people be able to look at the available information from at least a somewhat objective position, and form their opinions based on reasonable fact rather than emotional and dogmatic bullshit.

Obviously this is a problem at many levels, on any side of the political merry-go-round.

Jestah
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: Long Island, NY
Insane since: Jun 2000

posted posted 06-01-2004 20:53

Thanks Lacuna.


So, assuming those #s are relatively up-to-date, the US & UK make up roughly 80% of all military personnel in Iraq. Boy, do I feel silly. Afterall, looking at that list we have all of the global-power houses. Lets see, theres Macedonia, Moldova, and even Mongolia.



Bandwagon American Since 9/11/01

Bugimus
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: New California
Insane since: Mar 2000

posted posted 06-01-2004 21:37

Jestah, first of all, I had no idea your definition of "international support" was narrowly defined as the number of troops sent to Iraq. I do not dispute that the US and the UK are primary troop providers. But when has that ever been in dispute

My definition of international support looks a lot like that list that Lacuna posted. I would very much like to see the "power houses" of Germany, France, Russia, and China helping out with this effort. Of course, France doesn't have many troops to contribute even if they wanted to but that's another issue. I would also like to see the UN get back into Iraq and start helping with the rebuilding effort. Hussein is gone and now it is a matter of whether or not we're going to give this new Iraq a chance or give it up to the radicals or almost as worse a bloody ethnic civil war.

France's foreign minister, bless his heart, vowed to NEVER send any troops to Iraq. That means that all this stuff that Kerry has been saying about building consensus is out the window because they want none of it.

So, Jestah, what would you like to see happen now? What do you see as the options before us? I see basically two options at this point, 1) stay the course and help get this "new" country off to a good start or 2) pull back considerably or altogether and let the chips fall where they may. Do you see any other options? I would very much like to know how you view the future from here, especially if your party takes the next election.

Lacuna said:{quote]but....isn't that what they're paid to do...deal with things that the public can't/won't deal with?[/quote]Yes, indeed it is what they should have done. However, they are politicians and as such keep in mind getting re-elected. I believe that had they advocated taking military action against any of the nations where radical Islamic terrorists spawn would have been met with very poor public support. I just don't think any politicians wanted to commit political suicide at the time. And you have to remember that we did have 8 long years of Clinton and he was known for being particularly flexible as the polling winds would blow.

In contrast, I see Dubya sticking with his Iraq policy, even if the polling figures turn way South on him. He may just be the type to take the hit because he really is standing firm on rebuilding Iraq. But we'll in November won't we. It will be very interesting to see how things turn out.

Oh, I should mention that Clinton did try to get Bin Laden and I am glad he did that. I think that he might have wanted to do something but I just think his foreign policy skills were basically non-existant and I had no confidence in the people in his administration on that score either. It's the way it goes. We elected him to handle domestic affairs because we figured the Cold War was won and there wouldn't be any serious threats for some time. We relaxed our foreign policy as a result and the rest is history. I do recognize that it is usually a trade off situation when it comes to national leadership.

It would have taken far more effort to really strike at the source of Islamic terror. It would most certainly have entailed military interventions. It would have taken much of what we have done in Afghanistan for instance. But there are so many reasons why it was not possible then due to the political climate it would take a lot more words to outline it.

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(Edited by Bugimus on 06-01-2004 21:50)

Jestah
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: Long Island, NY
Insane since: Jun 2000

posted posted 06-02-2004 00:08
quote:
Jestah, first of all, I had no idea your definition of "international support" was narrowly defined as the number of troops sent to Iraq. I do not dispute that the US and the UK are primary troop providers. But when has that ever been in dispute



Bugimus, by international support, I mean people doing something. Woo - fucking - who, theres a few third-world countries out there that have formally endorsed the United States and United Kingdom in their efforts. Thats not exactly what I'd call international support. It's sad that you'd look at a list headlined by Albania contributing less then a 100 non-combative troops and suggest that there was international support.

quote:
My definition of international support looks a lot like that list that Lacuna posted.



I just don't understand the raw dishonesty involved with partisan politics. If Bill Clinton or John Kerry announced a list made up of third-world countries and suggested that they'd built an international coalition, I'd laugh. Yet, here you are suggesting that a list where Mongolia, Latvia, and Georgia are actually major players is your definition of international support. Why be so loyal when a president has failed so miserably? Pres. Bush did not build international support. Why make yourself look foolish claiming he did when his list includes these countries? Honestly.

Bandwagon American Since 9/11/01

(Edited by Jestah on 06-02-2004 00:10)

Bugimus
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: New California
Insane since: Mar 2000

posted posted 06-02-2004 00:56

Did you intentionally dodge the very difficult question of what we should do from this point on? Any chance of outlining that for us? I've explained where I see this whole thing going over the next few years. I would very much like to see your vision.

quote:
I just don't understand the raw dishonesty involved with partisan politics.

Shouldn't you be learning how politics work in your classes? You are a polysci major aren't you?

You seem to have a very interesting view of international support. Many countries can only afford to contribute a token military presence because that's all they have. The fact that so many nations support the effort speaks for itself. And this list is probably not complete since there are a few other nations who are not even willing to admit they are helping. I can certainly understand why given their circumstances. No, if a nation didn't even send physical help but only humanitarian or monetary help, that counts in my book.

I'm really not trying to be dishonest about this. If you look at this closely, one would have to ask why you say there isn't any support when clearly there is. I understand you want that to mean thousands of troops, fine, you can have that opinion. I'm just trying to figure out what would satisfy you on this issue. Can you point to a circumstance where there was sufficient international support in your estimation? Bosnia? Gulf War I? Somalia? Which ones qualify in your book?

I also find it interesting that you speak of all of the countries on that list except for the US & UK as "third world". Do their opinions not count as much to you? What is it about the Germans, French, Russians, & Chinese that constitute "true" support? What if we just had the Germans and not the French, is that still a no go? But just to go back a bit, since when are...

  • Italy
  • Poland
  • Ukraine
  • Netherlands
  • Japan
  • Australia
  • Romania
  • South Korea
  • Denmark
  • Norway
  • New Zealand
  • Georgia


...classified as third world nations?

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Ramasax
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: PA, US
Insane since: Feb 2002

posted posted 06-02-2004 05:28
quote:
DL-44: I would prefer that people be able to look at the available information from at least a somewhat objective position, and form their opinions based on reasonable fact rather than emotional and dogmatic bullshit.


Thanks for the clarification DL.

You see, I have looked the available information, left, right, anti-US, pro-US, etc, you name it... I have formed my position based on my personal assesment of everything. Is it perhaps that I do not come to the same "objective" conclusions as you that is at issue here? I mean, there are a few here that seem to be extreme left, and you do not criticize them with the "propaganda" line.

In any case DL, honestly I do appreciate what you are trying to convey here, and as it is advice, I do take it seriously. Perhaps I sometimes misread your delivery is all.
----

Bugs, well said.

I am still waiting to hear what you, Jestah, consider international support besides, to quote you, "people doing something. Woo - fucking - hoo."

What are your stipulations to make this truly "international?"

I can't help but think my initial assessment was right, that when you say "international" you are saying "UN." God knows you have whined about it often enough.

Support does not just come down to troops, as Bugs stated above. The US and the UK are the primary troop and monetary providers in the operation. Newsflash, there is really nothing new here. We are the big dogs on the block, defenders of democracy, protector's of those less fortunate, all that jazz?

Sure, we are not perfect and have done plenty of horrible things in the past, I'll never argue that. Not many nations, if any, that have held our stature can say they haven't. But America has always been right up there when it comes to helping the less fortunate in this world, we do a LOT of good things, and I believe in time people, perhaps even you, will see that Iraq is one of them. There is far too much focus on the negative here on your part, and I am beginning to think it all comes down to your absolute distaste for one man, or at least one party.

Back to my point though. Just because the 30 other countries involved do not send as many troops, does that take away from the sacrifices or commitment of these so-called "third world countries?" Do they not count? Even if they simply supported it verbally, that is still support, and their voice definately matters. In the end, whichever way you want to spin it, semantic ramblings aside, we do in fact have international support.

Ramasax

(Edited by Ramasax on 06-02-2004 05:31)

WebShaman
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: Happy Hunting Grounds...
Insane since: Mar 2001

posted posted 06-02-2004 11:40
quote:
and I believe in time people, perhaps even you, will see that Iraq is one of them.



Nice to see your opinion framed a bit more positively (without attacking anyone...whoops! On the Warpath after Jester, it seems...*sigh*)

One question (and this goes to Bugs, as well, we did this with the WMD in Iraq, back then...) - What if things don't get better? What if they become worse, much worse?

What would your reaction to that be? And who would be to blame for it? And what type of possible consequences, could come of it?

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Emperor
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist with Finglongers

From: Cell 53, East Wing
Insane since: Jul 2001

posted posted 06-02-2004 13:52

My concern is that by issuing warnings based on poor sources (as I mentioned above) or from completely unrelated incidents:

http://edition.cnn.com/2004/US/06/01/fbi.propane.reut/

that they:

1. Will be like the boy who cried wolf and people will no longer be interested or keep an eye out for suspicious activity.

2. That they are using this for their own ends to keep us at a higher state of anxiety while they use this to push through laws, commit acts, etc. which erode our freedoms.

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Emps

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White Hawk
Bipolar (III) Inmate

From: the other side...
Insane since: May 2004

posted posted 06-02-2004 14:55

Completely beside the point of this debate, but I felt like (partially) answering Jestah...

quote:
Would you be so kind as to list exactly how many other troops these other 29 countries have provided?


In April, the recorded numbers were (approx.):

1 United States 120,000
2 Britain 11,000
3 Italy 3,000
4 Poland 2,400
5 Ukraine 2,000
6 Spain 1,300
7 Netherlands 1,100
8 Australia 1,000
9 South Korea 675 plus 3000 on the way
10 Denmark 496
11 Bulgaria 470
12 Thailand 443 plus 30 on the way
13 Romania 400
14 Honduras 370
15 El Salvador 360
16 Dominican Rep. 300
17 Hungary 300
18 Japan 250 plus 750 on the way
19 Nicaragua 230
20 Singapore 200
21 Mongolia 180
22 Azerbaijan 150
23 Norway 150
24 Portugal 130
25 Latvia 120
26 Lithuania 105
27 Philippines 95 plus 175 on the way
28 Czech Rep. 92
29 Albania 70
30 Georgia 70
31 Slovakia 69 plus 120 on the way
32 New Zealand 60
33 Estonia 55
34 Macedonia 28
35 Kazakhstan 25
36 Moldova 25



Intriguing numbers! Trying to find the latest.... can't access certain sites from work (I can, but I'd get hassle if I messed with the boss's precious firewall), so I'll post later, maybe?

_______________________________

Seek not truth with deceitful intent...
...for that way lies the seed of dissent.
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Bugimus
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: New California
Insane since: Mar 2000

posted posted 06-02-2004 15:22

WS,

They are getting better, be thankful for that. But "what if" they don't, eh? Honestly, I believe so very strongly in toppling the oppression of the Arab countries that I would say we should be prepared to fight this out even in the face of much worse conditions. The reason I say that is partly because once you back down in the face of such aggression, it only fuels the aggressors that much more and it will not end until they get what they want.

I know there are some who are scratching their heads and asking aren't we the aggressors? Umm... no. I'm referring to the Islamic extremists and their stated goals of restoring Arab dominancy in the world. There was a time when they were the dominant culture and I think they miss that terribly. Of course, a few things have changed. In the hay day Jews and Christians were considered "people of the book" and afforded a tolerable second class status but Al Qaeda has now decreed that anyone who opposes them is worthy of death. Xians and Jews are now lumped in with all the other infidels like the Buddhists and Hindus. Basically, WS, we can't afford to lose in this effort.

Who to blame? I blame Islamic extremists. I admire their dedication to their cause but I detest their methods and their ideology. It is the essence of what we detest in free society. They want to establish their version of Islamic law on the entire world by force as necessary. Bin Laden actually said that if we all converted to Islam that would be the only way to avoid all this bloodshed. Think about that! Here we are in 2004 and we are being told to accept Islam or die, we are back in the 7th century for gosh sakes!!!

If by who to blame you mean, whose tactics are to blame if our common goal of fighting this extremism goes badly, well then we need to blame Bush. Don't be surprised to hear me say that please. This is his administration and he bears the responsibility for what we do now. You can also blame his supporters too because we feel he is doing what is best. But who else is there to blame in a free society but the elected leadership and ultimately those who elected it? That's the way it goes.

But like I said above, things are getting better and I believe we will see a steady stabilization occurring in Iraq. The new government is taking better shape than I could have imagined it would. There is very good promise there and I believe the Iraqis are steadily going to assume the role of ridding the country of these foreign fighters and start to quell the Al Sadrs in their midst.

The new government has representations of all the major ethnic and religious groups in Iraq and I like very much how they chose leadership not specifically favored by the US and especially how the interim government disbanded yesterday sooner than planned. I think this shows a good indication of independence and I hope it continues.

I ran across this article yesterday as well which is significant because it is from an Arab think tank in Egypt which acknowledges some very good developments: Arab Report: Iraq Situation Improving

Emps,

I feel it is extremely difficult to stop terrorist attacks from occurring here once they have gotten into the country. It is precisely because of the freedoms we have that makes it so. If we had a police state, it might be a little less difficult but it could still be done. The fact is that this is a huge country with countless targets waiting to be hit.

I'm considering your two points on this matter. If they do become just like the boy who cried wolf, then they will lose their potential to be used to curtail our freedoms. If people don't take them seriously then it will be harder for the lawmakers to use them simply as a means to crack down on completely unrelated activities. So maybe the two will actually cancel each other somewhat.

I'm going to go back to a stance I've taken when we've discussed the Patriot Act. Since we are in a time of war, some freedoms will be curtailed as has always been the case in this country. I think this is justified, expected, and accepted *provided* that the curtailments are rolled back once the threat has been eliminated. So far, in our history we have a good track record on this and I don't see why that should change now.

The objection and danger in this case will be that this is a harder war to determine victory. When will it end? We do not fight a single country or group of countries with clearly defined borders. We fight an organized foreign force that spans as many as 60 countries and is very flexible in how it operates. Personally, I believe this will take a decade at the very least. I don't know if the public has the stomach for it, I doubt it. But we have to do our best to stay the course in order to virtually eliminate terrorism as a political tool by use in today's world. I want it gone and I think we can make that happen if we all work together on this.

Bottom line, I share your concern about the warnings becoming like the boy who cried wolf, but I don't think they will be used solely as a means to permanently take us one step closer to a police state.

: . . DHTML Slice Puzzle : . . . : Justice 4 Pat Richard : . .

WebShaman
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: Happy Hunting Grounds...
Insane since: Mar 2001

posted posted 06-02-2004 15:48

Thanks for answering the questions Bugs.

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DL-44
Maniac (V) Inmate

From: under the bed
Insane since: Feb 2000

posted posted 06-02-2004 17:41

To clarify further, Ram -

quote:
So which propaganda do you embrace? The side that wishes to kill you and end western civilization, or the side which protects it?



The problem arises when you narrow the choices down so tight. Why must those be the only choices? Why must anyone in the middle east be lumped together, when there are some very clear distinctions between some significant groups of people?

Why must it be simply "us vs. them", and we have to destroy them before they destroy us?

Why can't we look at what our policies and actions in that region have done (and are doing) to propagate the very hatred of the "western world" that you speak of?
Now, obviously there are some groups that will simply *never* be happy with our actions, no matter what we do. But that can't be used as an excuse for adopting the same unreasonable mob mentality that those groups have.

As for the original topic - I feel that the terror alerts are relatively useless, but they are at least *something* to give an indication of what the people in charge feel the situation is. I certainly think they have capitalized on them for purpose of increasing support for this alleged "war on terror", but I can't see anything overly sinister in that...

(Edited by DL-44 on 06-02-2004 17:49)

Fig
Paranoid (IV) Mad Scientist

From: Houston, TX, USA
Insane since: Apr 2000

posted posted 06-02-2004 18:02

i have a good friend who was in the air force during 9/11 and has served in iraq. let's just say that while the idea of "nothing ever happens and no one gets arrested" does sound comforting, there's a whole lot more that's been avoided that we have heard nothing about.

chris


KAIROSinteractive | tangent oriented

WebShaman
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: Happy Hunting Grounds...
Insane since: Mar 2001

posted posted 06-03-2004 10:46

Bugs, if things are "getting better" in Iraq (and Afghanistan), then why this Soldiers ready to get out must stay in?

Why are 115,000 Army soldiers not enough? Now, I know that Iraq (and Afghanistan) are a lot of country, but if things are, as you say, getting better, then it would logically mean that demand for troop levels should actually be going down...and not increasing!

I find that belief with "things are getting better", combined with the actual fact that the Army is struggling to keep troop levels at a desired level are somewhat at odds with one another.

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