And likewise there are not enough Muslims in the world to supply a million for every individual involved in terrorism. Are we really going to quibble about this? Not my perception. I found the stuff about facing a stark choice between silently suffering murderous injustice or "kicking back" to be pretty unequivocable. And offensive, in its endorsement of the AQ worldview. And to that point: I've been noticing an increasing disconnect between the characterizations of her that appear in your apologetics, and the reality of her posts. These people went to prison, and are almost unanimously considered sources of shame by Americans. They're openly reviled. Should more people have gone to prison, farther up the chain, and more been done to fix these issues? Undoubtedly. But that doesn't make them legitimate representatives of America-writ-large. One could make the same sorts of arguments about terrorists representing Islam - minus the elected government part - and one would be just as wrong-headed in doing so. Wasn't SAM's point in making such accusations supposed to have something to do with illustrating how offensive and spurious such a line of rhetoric is? Or is that just a sham justification she trots out when she's called on her trolling? It is when they have already been publicly repudiated, their heirs apparent trounced in an election, etc. You're talking about a cadre that went out as the least popular administration since poll numbers have been recorded. And anyway that isn't what SAM has been doing here. In this particular thread, she's treating Israeli actions in Lebanon in the 1990's as the spokesmen and representatives of the US. To the extent that there's any "speaking" going on at all in the picture; mostly it's naked assertions that America is the prime agressor and imposes intolerable injustice on everyone of Muslim faith or Arab ethnicity, everywhere. This is not "representation" or "spokesmanship" but characterization and generalization. Disrespect for the agency of others to speak for themselves is a major, ongoing part of the bad behavior SAM exhibits, and I see no reason to let it slide in this case. We're supposed to start with honest, meaningful categories of interrogation - no right-wing memes equating support for the troops in the abstract with support for imperialist designs, etc. All I've asked for there are criteria that aren't blatantly loaded. The offensive part here is the reduction of huge groups of diverse individuals to crude propaganda entities, no? The primary, obvious purpose of such (which we must assume is intended when an adult does it) is to subvert any possibility of compassion and unity, and thereby promote division, hatred and strife. To the extent that observations about relatively greater political agency amongst the American population are employed in furtherance of such charicature, then I have a problem with them: they are being used to obscure and villify. If they were made in the context of honest recognition of the range of opinions in the polity - which includes large-scale, overt resistance - i.e., the sort of stuff SAM routinely demands in analyses of Islam wrt terrorism (a demand I happily endorse, BTW) - then I would not have a problem with it. But when that specific subject comes up, what she throws at me is a mass of cheap slurs equating simple patriotism with endorsement of right wing imperialist agenda. This is not honorable, and the point she's trolling in defense of is nefarious to begin with. Which is to say, to the relative capabilities. It is badly unbalanced to the malevolence of the political agendas involved, and as such misleading in its implications in that area - which are the primary object of the rhetoric, not the question of capability. More to the point, it is badly unbalanced to the requirements for inclusive, productive discussion. That isn't to say that the balance of criticism in a good dialogue can't tend towards the USA; rather, it is necessary that participants establish a basic level of good faith that they are not simply partisans pursuing divisive tactics. And I have not seen this from SAM; rather the opposite. So what? Is promoting an equally inane discourse here supposed to fix that, or otherwise achieve anything worthwhile? Even if SAM's trollings were cleanly targetted at that subset of US posters here who exemplify such discourse and endorse the related agendas - and they pointedly are not - what would this achieve anyway? Justifying bad behavior by someone else's bad behavior doesn't result in anything but the proliferation of bad behavior. I mean, it wouldn't particularly bother me if it were confined to dealings with other trolls. But we're to the point where she pre-emptively applies it to anyone that disagrees with her about much of anything, overwhelms multiple threads simultaneously, etc. It seems clear to me that SAM wants to play that game - and only that game - and between that and her energy it ends up having a fairly definitive impact here. In purely material terms, you mean? This recurring materialist reduction of 9/11 is another problem with this thread (and others like it). In the first place we have SAM reducing the event to "a couple of buildings." But more generally we have the ignorance of the political and social aspect of the attacks, which were far more grievious as far as the great majority of people are concerned. And, for all that, obvious. Which makes the evasion of them look a lot like bad faith, to me. To wit: it isn't possible to have a 9/11 every few days because that dream has already been dead for almost a decade now. We'd have to revive it first, in order for someone to murder it again. Likewise in Iraq: they'd have to regain sovereignty in order for it to get violated again. If you're referring to the distinction between the power elites in any given polity and the masses they rule, then you clearly have a point. To the extent that you're comparing America with political Islam, I think the saliency of that difference is greatly exaggerated - frequently to the point of dishonesty, in the discourses in question. On the one hand, Americans never seem to end up getting what they thought they were voting for (and I'd note that SAM is a vocal advocate of various elite media conspiracy theories related to this), and on the other AQ is itself an all-volunteer army funded through donations. At the end of the day, I'm unshaken in my conviction that SAM's rhetoric is basically craven and destructive. If you really want to sway me, refer me to a positive discursive outcome that has resulted.