‘Spanish Sept 11th’

Discussion in 'World Events' started by weebee, Mar 12, 2004.

  1. hypewaders Save Changes Registered Senior Member

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    These digressions indicate the extensive implications of the Madrid bombings. Rarely in the resulting ruckus is it contemplated that the purpose of such attacks is always to inflame emotions, cause confusion, and upset the imperfect order of things. The clamor to affix blame seems most intense the more a nagging awareness nears the surface of collective consciousness: We are each and all to blame.

    We are the war fans. We spin history, we inject aggression into our interchanges. We savor our righteous anger, and construct complex cases illuminating the faults of those we oppose. We fund our killers, or personally kill, always with the same results: Hardship and tragedy for everyone involved.

    The solution to terrorism is to identify and remove conditions causing homocidal desperation. Because we are all killers, there is no killer's cause unworthy of our open-minded attention. Because history, right up through current events is subjective, it is important to consider other perspectives, because they are very much in play, and very much connected.

    Thoughts in Milwaukee and Medina influence events in Madrid. There are people who feel that the USA is an unwelcome and criminal intruder into their lives and lands. There are people who feel that the USA is manipulative of weaker governments. There are Americans who feel that foreign outrages and insults must be punished with scourging, and none must be allowed to challenge America's military or moral superiority. All of these people, and people with a myriad of other perspectives all share identical fundamental ethics that allow them to function in their local social environment. Dysfunctionally, these are not applied to the world at large, which is undergoing accelerating integration- this is folly.

    It is not idealism, pacifism, oversimplification, to admit that the policies and provocations that lead to wars and terrorism are evident and controllable. Gaining control over our collective ignorances and angers requires discipline and adaptation, but we and our descendants are born into an age when the vital imperative to de-escalate and control group aggression is rapidly becoming more stark.

    Spaniards, as a nation, have exhibited a more rational collective response than Americans, comparing our 9-11 with their 3-11, and the reasons are important to explore and understand. Spain is not in the pre-eminent military position of the USA. Spain has more direct and recent experience with terrorism than the USA. Spain collectively emoted grief much more passionately than Americans did. It is reasonable to expect that Spain will now do far less, even proportionate to their world position, to escalate the conflict between the West (and affiliated causes) and Islamic fundamentalists (& affiliated/co-opted causes) than has the United States in response to our disaster on 9-11.

    It's not unusual for a thread to take off on contentious tangents, but I would like for this one to stay a little on track if possible, because I think there are important lessons.
     
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  3. spidergoat Venued Serial Membership Valued Senior Member

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    So, to continue the analogy, what should the police have done to ensure the survival of the children?

    a. invade the house, arrest me, and secure the children, even if they could be killed in the process? (which is what the U.S. did)
    or
    b. ignore the situation, and hope I am kind?
    or
    ?
     
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  5. spidergoat Venued Serial Membership Valued Senior Member

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    That is exactly what you are doing!
     
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  7. Proud_Muslim Shield of Islam Registered Senior Member

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    Or your analogy is flawed since America is NOT the police man of the world.
     
  8. Proud_Muslim Shield of Islam Registered Senior Member

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    I am explaning why it happened, every actions has reasons behind it, dont you know that decetives search for the MOTIVE of any crime before they start searching for the ones who did it !!

    Again, I repeat, as long as Muslims are killed, huimilated, tortured and abused, the west will never live in peace, it is common sense really !
     
  9. spidergoat Venued Serial Membership Valued Senior Member

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    If you think the Madrid bombings are not justified, then you should also think that the reasons for it are irrational. Since you think the reasons are rational, you are justifiying the terrorist's actions.
     
  10. Eddie Registered Senior Member

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    Proud Muslim,

    "Again, I repeat, as long as Muslims are killed, huimilated, tortured and abused, the west will never live in peace, it is common sense really !"

    And that's one of the reasons why the west got rid of Saddam and his regime... Muslims were being humiliated, abused, raped, tortured and unmercifully killed by their own leader in Iraq.
     
  11. Proud_Muslim Shield of Islam Registered Senior Member

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    Well, you are trying to put words in my mouth, but you are failing miserably.

    I am noy justifying them, I am EXPLAINING them, I am explaining the MOTIVATION behind them.
     
  12. Proud_Muslim Shield of Islam Registered Senior Member

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    Let us see who was supporting the criminal saddam when he was murdering his own people:

    Watch this 1 min video clip and tell me who was shaking hand with Saddam Hussain in 1983 (the year in which Saddam massacred thousands of Shia and used chemical weapons agains Iranians)

    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article2038.htm

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 18, 2004
  13. Eddie Registered Senior Member

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    Proud Muslim,

    What type of a relationship would you like to see exist between the east and the west?

    When a representative of one country goes to speak with the a representative of another, even if they despise each other, they usually behave in public in a civil manner and engage in behaviors such as hand-shaking.
     
  14. spidergoat Venued Serial Membership Valued Senior Member

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    ..................................

    justification

    n 1: something (such as a fact or circumstance) that shows an action to be reasonable or necessary: "he considered misrule a justification for revolution" 2: a statement in explanation of some action or belief 3: the act of justifying: "the justification of barbarous means by holy ends"- H.J.Muller

    ..................................

    Everyone knows that they say they are motivated by perceived injustice by the U.S. and allies. You're saying that their motivations are rational and understandable, and, thus, justified. But their actions are totally irrational, they killed around 3000 innocent people because the "infidels" had an army base in Saudi Arabia, an army base intended to defend an arab country from the ambitions of an unjust dictator. Know this, the terrorists are NOT motivated by injustice against arabs, but by their own ambitions, they seek to unite the arab world against the west, and thus solidify their own place as rulers of a new Islamic empire.
     
  15. contrarian Registered Senior Member

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    It seems to me that the question of the justifiability of violence is at least partly dependent on the consequences of that violence. In both Afghanistan and Iraq, many innocents were killed. However, these were not by any measure peaceful regimes, innocent people were dying there in large numbers prior to the intervention of the US.

    I believe that by any measure over the next few years many, many fewer people will have died violently in those countries than would otherwise been the case. Also, both countries have a good chance at building a peaceful, productive civil society, which certainly counts in favour of the interventions.

    The ultimate problem with Madrid and terrorism in general is its lack of positive consequences. Whether its practiced by the Palestinians or Al Qaeda terrorism tends to work counter to the expressed desires of these groups. A Palestinian homeland would probably already be a reality if terrorism hadn't got in the way. Likewise, Al Qaeda's actions had to inevitably lead to some kind of intervention against them. People will not ignore deadly attacks forever.

    Cheers,
     
  16. Eddie Registered Senior Member

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    I have the same faith as you that things will only get better in the long run...
     
  17. hypewaders Save Changes Registered Senior Member

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    Contrarian and Spidergoat are perfectly entitled to your conclusions that terrorism is unjustifiable. I think ProudMuslim is attempting to clue you in on the overwhelming popular sentiments ignited not simply by terrorism, but by the entire conflict we are watching escalate. Very negative sentiments toward the US are being especially incited by the new doctrines of American response to terrorism, which is perceived as excessive, unbalanced, self-serving, and manipulative, and which carries a subtle but overshadowing threat of maximum violence.

    Acknowledging that major western invasions, regime changes, and occupations increase antagonism toward the US and affiliates does not require for you to personally share in the negative reaction. However, to deny this rising sentiment, that is extremely likely to foster greater resistance, including terrorism, is unrealistic. It is unrealistic to dismiss such sentiments as unworthy of consideration.

    Spoken or not, the reverberating subtext when Arab and Muslim protestations are dismissed outright, and when references made to American superiority, is a death-threat toward entire societies: This is a threat of unilateral escalation to unbridled total war to vanquish entire populations if necessary, if antagonistic (not necessarily mortal threats) to US interest and security. This indirect but palpable threat is often hinted at by supporters of neoconservative foreign policy, should terrorists, their supporters, and unfriendly nations not back down before the American military threat.

    The is indeed a mortal threat to the US, that may with time far surpass that of terrorism (as it is ominously described to rally support for recent US occupations). If an unknown proportion of the world community becomes actively anti-American, our empire and economy can rapidly be placed in danger of collapse. The Bush administration is currently stocking up the "Strategic Petroleum Reserve", knowing that there is a high probability of and oil market upheaval ahead- but petroleum is not the USA's only economic vulnerability. America needs more friends, and needs them more than Al-Qaeda, not only to thrive, but also to even survive as a superpower. A sole superpower in the modern context can only persist when the rest of the world voluntarily tolerates it, which is a very different dynamic than was operative during the Cold War.

    This is not at all to say that the US superpower status is impotent, or that the US is powerless to effectively suppress terrorism. There are many more effective means of uprooting terrorist organizations that threaten American lives. Most of them require a price, that for the present administration and their contributors is much more dear than the lives and limbs of US soldiers by the hundreds, and of foreign civilians by the tens of thousands. And it isn't just oil.

    The price is putting business associates and potentially even some US officials and corporations under the microscope. There is not a hot-spot on earth where the US has not had deep, overt and/or covert military and economic connections. Standard procedure has long been that the dirty laundry of partners is never brought to light, and for a very long time this has included "overlooking" all kinds of things. This has long been a point of debate between various camps in the US, over human rights in places like South America, Africa, and the Middle East. So far, Americans as a majority have been able to (callously, but comfortably) overlook horrors outside our borders, committed by the foreign affiliates of the US government and commercial interests. Now, Americans are being distracted from horrors that we might not so readily dismiss, if not for the massive smoke-and-mirrors we are subjected to by Administration mouthpieces.

    The US government has had high-level leads deep into major terrorist organizations such as Al-Qaeda for a long time (although at the same and increasingly, poor links at operational levels). During Al-Qaeda's fighting against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan, the CIA and other government organizations became quite familiar and friendly with them, including Osama Bin Laden, who was very grateful to be supplied with Stinger missiles and other goodies. This relationship included very sensitive contacts within the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which is politically far from monolithic (but that's another thread). The thickest fundamentalist and financial roots of Al-Qaeda remain to this day in Saudi Arabia- but the US government is doing almost nothing there (the reasons are worth another thread). Suffice it to say that our soldiers are dying in Iraq to prevent any pressure from being applied to a precarious and very nervous Saudi ruling elite that threatens economic and not physical terrorism on the US.

    Saudis were plying American skies, on their hush-hush journeys home after 9-11, days before the American public was allowed back in the air. Saudi connections to 9-11 were big news as the dust was still settling. Then the Shell game started. It was ruthlessly decided in Washington to completely obscure the base of "the Base" (al-Qaeda) from public attention, and "go massive" as Rumsfeld privately put it, with the grandiose plans of the Project for the New American Century, both as campaign and cover for bad company. Nothing substantive pertaining to Saudi is permitted for discussion between the US government and the press, and released documents are censored to remove all references to al-Qaeda links to the Kingdom.

    Without digressing too much further, consider that there has long been a pattern of convenient US partnerships with unsavory and even brutal personalities and governments in the Mideast and elsewhere, of which Saddam Hussein was only one example, notable because his greatest atrocities were committed first under US cooperation, and then again when the US encouraged a civil uprising and then balked.

    For the Arab world, indeed for almost the entire world outside of the US including Spain, American affiliation with despotic regimes has formed a pattern and a reputation. During the vicious days of Rios Maat, Pinochet, Marcos, the Shah, Saddam, and others, butchery that occured with American cooperation and cover was very much on peoples' minds in places like Spain, but rarely on the minds of Americans. Even to this day, Americans as a whole resist being confronted with the "postcolonialist" repression and killing that was done with tacit US government approval, for the benefit of the US interests. Ask any schoolgoing teenager outside the USA, and you can generally get a fairly complete description of American history, warts and all, that most American kids would be incapable of relating.

    This disparity of perception about the USA is very significant when it comes to the present worldwide "war" the US is so forcefully promoting and prosecuting. If Americans do not consider the implications of two divergent views, very generally the American View and that of most everyone else, then we will not be able to reliably anticipate the world's response to profound new American interventions. Pushing things too far, the US can very conceivably get dangerously boxed in by our own rhetoric and strategic mistakes, and reach a place where we cannot negotiate sudden but predictable turns of events, with devastating results.

    So Contrarian, Spidergoat, Eddie, and others who are confident that American supremacy can whip the unruly parts of the world into shape, don't be confused by thinking it is necessary for you to cast off your sentiments, and identify with or appease terrorism. There not even a requirement to become a socialist, a Muslim, an al-Qaeda sympathizer, an anti-Semite, or to change your basic political philosophy at all. There is only the need to gain a very basic overhead view of how the world is actually responding to the "War on Terror". Watch carefully and critically.

    If you sincerely believe that things are going well in Afghanistan and Iraq, and that the threat of terrorism against Americans is being reduced, you owe it to yourself to diversify your sources of information, and then re-evaluate. Things are not responding favorably. The Taliban is regaining influence in Afghanistan, and the US-installed government has a very limited and tenuous sphere of influence, probably unviable absent perpetual American troops and casualties. Iraq is lurching toward a civil war. The Arab-Israeli situation is deteriorating even more, and there is a real threat of instability in several surrounding countries. In all of the present and coming misery, there will be one looming scapegoat for all resisters, sane and insane, to collectively turn their rage upon.

    US forces are not a stabilizing influence in the Mideast. We are sowing the seeds of more terrorist attacks against us in the future, by compounding the antagonisms that have brought us to this present conflict. Spanish education and democracy have served well enough for them to choose another course, that is not in the least a capitulation to terrorists. Very likely, it is a posture and outlook that Americans could learn a great deal from studying. In the future this understanding may likely influence the ultimate fundamentals: To be, or not to be.
     
  18. contrarian Registered Senior Member

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    Hi hypewader!

    First of all, let me say that I don't think terrorism is unjustifiable, I think it is ineffective. People can( and frequently do) justify anything.

    I don't think American power can whip the rest of the world into shape, I believe that it can foster, support and, sometimes in extreme cases like Iraq install, democracy. In these cases, ultimately it is the actions of the free members of those societies to fix their own problems. Luckily the vast majority of people want peace, prosperity and freedom to control their own lives.

    As to the future of Iraq and Afghanistan, time will tell, obviously. There are no guarantees, but there are lots of encouraging signs, besides the discouraging ones.

    In re: past American malfeasance, I certainly agree that this is a serious problem. However, there is nothing we can do about the past, only about the present. Also, the tendency is to suggest that the US is the sole bad actor on the world stage. The Soviets, Chinese, French and German all had close and in many cases more substantial contacts with Iraq, for example, over longer periods of time. Pakistan had much more influence in Afghanistan for the nineties than the Americans did, by far.

    The problems in the Middle East are much bigger, more widespread and longer lasting than any American actions could possibly account for. Those problems began before America even existed as a nation.

    Cheers,
     
  19. guthrie paradox generator Registered Senior Member

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    " Also, the tendency is to suggest that the US is the sole bad actor on the world stage. The Soviets, Chinese, French and German all had close and in many cases more substantial contacts with Iraq, for example, over longer periods of time."

    Fair points. My tuppenorth is to say that the USA is the one that we think we might be better able to influence. You fly out to china and start protesting about whatever they've done wrong, youll be on the next plane out if your lucky. The USA has a reputation and rhetoric to live up to, but often it does not.
     
  20. hypewaders Save Changes Registered Senior Member

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    Contrarian: "the tendency is to suggest that the US is the sole bad actor on the world stage"

    I have not intended to give such an impression. Grandiose policies being sold to the American public as being in their security interests are not- Reason: The US has no popular mandate abroad for establishing order, especially on the scale now being attempted. The problem is not at all that the US fails in moral comparison (this is what I already tried and failed to clarify), but instead, the problem is that the US is perceived to be imposing its authority beyond acceptable boundaries of nations, cultures, and religions.

    "Those problems began before America even existed as a nation."

    I'm not sure which problems you are referring to. The Arab-Israeli conflict, and the last colonial rebellion that evicted Great Britain, for example, were both concurrant with US history. Since WW2, there has been no other outside power so deeply involved in the evolution of governments of the Mideast as the USA has been. The Arab world holds the US largely accountable for funding and abetting displacement and repression of Palestinians, and also for tolerating the misdeeds of client Arab states, for so long as their transgressions did not threaten Israel.

    In the Arab world, all major mideastern issues are closely, and mostly negatively, associated with US policies. It is entirely irrelevant to the response to US mideast intervention what the historical ranking among nations is in international transgressions. For the Arab majority the transgressions of China or the Soviet Union are irrelevant to the present conflict, because the Arab world is not confronted with interventions by China, the Soviet Union, or any other power that has wronged a weaker party. The argument by Americans that "we mean well", and "we're not so comparatively bad" does not help at all to stop the very real resentment that is only growing in the wake of new US interventions.

    It's often very difficult to clearly make this point: American value judgements do not have relevance to how American intentions are perceived in Iraq and Afghanistan. The rejection of American authority in the Mideast is the problem, and no amount of comparitive moralizing by supporters of the occupations can possily influence the outcome. Understanding this dynamic does not require taking sides in the least. All that is required is some objectivity: It's the facts on the ground, not our best wishes, that are shaping events.

    As Spain backs away from co-opting the US plan for reshaping the Mideast, they are absolutely not taking sides in the sense that President Bush insists in rhetoric like "With Us or Against Us". Spain is not embracing, appeasing, or siding with terrorism, or with Islamic militants. Spain is acknowledging that, in the words of incoming President Zapatero, the occupation of Iraq is "a disaster". Spain has come to the rational conclusion that America's "War on Terror" as applied in Iraq has been dishonest, counterproductive, and has already failed.
     
  21. contrarian Registered Senior Member

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    Couple of points in re your post here. I agree that America is widely perceived as exceeding its authority by the rest of the world. However, this widespread perception does not, in and of itself, mean that the policies are inherently mistaken or wrong. While even among Iraqis there is a lot of ambivalence about the American presence, most of them would not be too fond of the argument that there are no WMDs, so Saddam Hussein should've remained in power until world public opinion shifted in their favour(this might never have happened).The changing of regimes is certainly a high risk policy, but I think it has a good chance of working out fairly well.

    My point about the long-term nature of the problems of the Middle East is that the Middle East which was once the cradle of civilisation is undergoing a multiple century decline. This is what made them susceptible to colonisation and later machinations by other powers.

    Your statement that no other power has been as deeply involved in the Middle East as the US since WW2, is not really accurate. US involvement is the most documented and paid attention to, particularily lately with the collapse of the Soviets, but I think by any standard the old Soviets had the most. Compare the amount of Soviet weaponry to the amount of American weaponry in the Middle East, for one benchmark. However, Americans definitely had influence which was, in many cases, misused. I don't believe the influence they had was, in most cases, more than a contributory factor in the later problems these countries developped(their innate politics being the main factor).

    Nonetheless, it behooves us to recognize the difference between a policy of indifference towards and/or tolerance of dictatorship to the active support of democracy.

    Cheers,

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  22. hypewaders Save Changes Registered Senior Member

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    "I think by any standard the old Soviets had the most [mideast involvement]."

    Let's see, how about this standard: Which is the most militarized and most heavily nuclear-armed state in the mideast? Who armed them. Maybe you would prefer not to apply that standard. How about: What nation on earth is considered by an overwhelming majorityArabs to be the most menacing of all? Perhaps it's an unacceptable standard to consider too.
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2004
  23. madanthonywayne Morning in America Registered Senior Member

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    It is wrong to assume that Americans in general were unaware of the events in Spain. Spain was much talked about in the run up to the election as a cautionary tale. "The US is not Spain! We will not cowtow to these terrorists bastards..." Electing John Kerry was widely viewed as the equivilant of the Spanish electing a socialist government following the Madrid bombing. It was widely regarded as surrender. Thus the events in Spain served to energize the Republican base and were by no means ignored.
     

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