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Author Topic: Bin Laden be Dead  (Read 8368 times)

Ben-Dan

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Re: Bin Laden be Dead
« Reply #90 on: May 07, 2011, 09:01:59 AM »
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Maybe I missed it because I did skim over some parts. But, there's far more semi-legitimate sounding grievances there than the Bush squad ever gave for attacking Iraq.

 aaaaaaaaaa

Done with this thread now.

Hard to argue with an emotional response to something. I think you may have misinterpreted the significance I attach to that statement. Any grievances one might have against America does NOT justify a terrorist attack against innocent civilians! Further, one could easily compile a list of grievances against the world's superpower (ex., the world financial crisis), but attack us for other sinister motives. But, if one is going to ascribe a motive to someone for their actions, it is worth looking at their own statement of their own motives. If one is unwilling to do that, it would be difficult to be objectively informed on the topic.
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Ben-Dan

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Re: Bin Laden be Dead
« Reply #91 on: May 07, 2011, 09:22:26 AM »
Starting to feel a bit out on a limb, but, I just ran across an article by Noam Chomsky, in which he says much of the same thing I have. [If you don't know who Chomsky is he's America's greatest linguist, which perhaps enables him to better disentangle political rhetoric, and is Institute Professor emeritus in the MIT Department of Linguistics and Philosophy.]

http://www.guernicamag.com/blog/2652/noam_chomsky_my_reaction_to_os/

Here's an excerpt:

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We might ask ourselves how we would be reacting if Iraqi commandos landed at George W. Bush’s compound, assassinated him, and dumped his body in the Atlantic. Uncontroversially, his crimes vastly exceed bin Laden’s, and he is not a “suspect” but uncontroversially the “decider” who gave the orders to commit the “supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole” (quoting the Nuremberg Tribunal) for which Nazi criminals were hanged: the hundreds of thousands of deaths, millions of refugees, destruction of much of the country, the bitter sectarian conflict that has now spread to the rest of the region.



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Mimi

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Re: Bin Laden be Dead
« Reply #92 on: May 07, 2011, 11:22:22 AM »
Not emotional, but immature.  I deleted it soon after I wrote it because it was dumb.  Suffice to say, I just think there is a lot of context missing from the post I quoted. 

piglet

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Re: Bin Laden be Dead
« Reply #93 on: May 07, 2011, 11:40:33 AM »
Well Chomsky may indeed be a brilliant linguistic and king of his field,but unfortunately he is far from being an impartial observer, and his politics stink IMHO.
Just because he says something does not make it God's truth. And of course the Christian religion doesn't have a monopoly on morality far from it (Pizarro, conquest of South America if we continue with that) but their record in the modern period is a bit better. I think if you google the Al Qaida stand on Christianity etc you will find that they DO want to eliminate all kaffars. We may like to see them as just "the other side" and as moral as us, but unfortunately it's a whole different mindset (for example Palestinians cheering on their rooves on 9/11)
News items like this one http://www.cbn.com/cbnnews/world/2010/November/Al-Qaeda-in-Iraq-Threatens-Attacks-on-Christians-/are standard fare over here. BTW the Pal Authority has made sure most Christians who used to live in the West Bank have been driven away.And I don't think that trying to convert people by knocking on their door is quite the same as crashing a plane into a building or blowing them up.
http://www.persecution.org/category/countries/middle-east/west-bank-and-gaza/
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kitano

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Re: Bin Laden be Dead
« Reply #94 on: May 07, 2011, 12:25:29 PM »
I think Chomsky goes a bit far in that one. For the president of a country there is a cost to not acting as well as acting. American foreign policy has been pretty crappy, and they do have responsibility for a lot of bad, but it tends to be from an arrogance or not caring about others, something which can be fixed with the system. Al Qaeida follows beliefs that cant' be changed because they think it's gods work

They are more like those people in USA who go and murder abortion doctors than corrupt governments. Maybe I'm being a hypocrite but I don't mind them being shot tbh

piglet

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Re: Bin Laden be Dead
« Reply #95 on: May 07, 2011, 01:59:05 PM »
Right on Kitano. If anyone really wants to know how different BL's ideology is from ours, in the west you can read this http://www.usnwc.edu/getattachment/4f6818d4-232f-4ce5-a2c0-fb9fe9dd2493/World-According-to-Usama-Bin-Laden,-The---Hashim,-
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Calach Pfeffer

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Re: Bin Laden be Dead
« Reply #96 on: May 07, 2011, 04:03:53 PM »
I think it's worrying that the US projects power.  But then, I think it's worrying that any nation does, or any group.  But I also think it's a mistake to class all power as fundamentally immoral.  It's a fine thing to assert that all people everywhere have only one moral constraint, do no harm.  But it's inadequate for describing what humans are and do.  Destructive power and constructive power are, well, how does one produce a objective distinction between the two?  Both cause change in the environment.  Both produce evaluated outcomes, but it is people who do the evaluating.  Maybe one could start saying something about whether or not the outcomes are objectively consistent with the environment, but in the environment are evaluated things already, etc and it it gets complex--not unsolvable, but definitely complex.

Now, in a perfect world... and I use that phrase only to point out that given the environment as it exists--we are animals on a physical world--a perfect world is, if it ever exists, a constructed thing.  Power was deployed to build it.  And since perfection never arrives, true morality is a question of how to understand the deployment of power during construction.

By the bye, utilitarianism is an extreme answer to such questions, and a false one.  Something else intervenes to provide more substantial evaluations and make utilitarian answers alone formally inadequate.  Therein lies some rub, probably.


So, umm, yeah.  There is something available other than mere patriotism if we do want to talk about just how immoral it was to kill a man who did represent quite a number of other people's faith and hope for this world.  I don't know what the other thing is though exactly.

Ben-Dan

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Re: Bin Laden be Dead
« Reply #97 on: May 07, 2011, 04:38:30 PM »
We may like to see them as just "the other side" and as moral as us, but unfortunately it's a whole different mindset (for example Palestinians cheering on their rooves on 9/11)

I don't argue that they are as moral as us, but that we are as immoral as them. There were people cheering and waving flags after the news of Osama's assassination. On both sides we see ordinary people cheering on the evil other being vanquished.

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And I don't think that trying to convert people by knocking on their door is quite the same as crashing a plane into a building or blowing them up.

When it comes to blowing people up you can't beat Hiroshima. However one kills people the more dead there are the more serious the slaughter. 200,000 dead is more than 3,000 however you slice it, and whatever spin one puts on it. Those 200,000 Iraqis who were killed weren't killed by knocks on the door.

When one has lived in China for a while one becomes familiar with the hatred of the Japanese. But can I hate the Japanese with them after Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the internment camps? Can I automatically see my own people as the most virtuous when we inflicted genocide on the Native Americans and kept slaves? What people are not guilty of atrocities? As long as we keep telling ourselves that some other people are essentially different, or extremists different from our own extremists, we're going to have to keep on fighting. Other people aren't the enemy, the idea that there are "other people" is the enemy.
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Ben-Dan

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Re: Bin Laden be Dead
« Reply #98 on: May 07, 2011, 05:22:38 PM »
Al Qaeida follows beliefs that cant' be changed because they think it's gods work

Yeah, it's a problem when people start thinking they are doing the work of God. But, unfortunately, we in America had the same lunacy manifest in our sovereign President. Bush was constantly talking about God and the "evil doers" and making everything into a contest between the righteous US and the evil THEM. It was fundamentalism vs. fundamentalism 24/7.

Here's some classic Bush quotes to jog the memory:

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“… The war that awaits us will be a monumental struggle of good versus evil… It will be long and dirty… Those who attacked us have chosen their own destruction… Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists… God is on our side… God bless America” [President Bush,
after the attacks of 11th September, 2001].

Someone get me a bucket…

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“Anyone who is not with us is against us”; “we know that God is not neutral”; “We are at the start of a military attack which will be very long. Military intervention in Afghanistan is just the start of the war against terror. For many years, and all around the world, we are going to have to fight against evil. It is our mission, and we are sure that we will win” [Bush speaking to the military that were destined for Afghanistan, 21st November 2001].

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"God told me to strike at al Qaida and I struck them, and then he instructed me to strike at Saddam, which I did, and now I am determined to solve the problem in the Middle East. If you help me I will act, and if not, the elections will come and I will have to focus on them."

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This crusade, this war on terrorism is going to take a while.

Can't get much more religious than that.

In this corner = Christian Fundamentalism. & in this corner = Islamic Fundamentalism. Are you ready to ruuuuummmmmbleeee?





« Last Edit: May 07, 2011, 05:30:10 PM by Ben-Dan »
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Mimi

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Re: Bin Laden be Dead
« Reply #99 on: May 08, 2011, 05:35:53 AM »
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When it comes to blowing people up you can't beat Hiroshima. However one kills people the more dead there are the more serious the slaughter. 200,000 dead is more than 3,000 however you slice it, and whatever spin one puts on it.

There is so much more that matters beyond the numbers.  So, so much more.  Hundreds of thousands of Iraqis were dying or "disappearing" during Hussein's rule.  It is unfair to blame all of those deaths on the US government (there is no possible way to attach them all to Bush as he didn't act alone, our system of checks and balances is nothing like the dictatorship of a international terrorist organization), to assume that 0 Iraqis would have been killed in the past 8 years if we hadn't shown up. 

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Those 200,000 Iraqis who were killed weren't killed by knocks on the door.


What is your point?  That the US (and the UK, and Australian) soldiers in Iraq weren't being guided by manic religious fervor? (Correct).  Or that they
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were
being guided by their religious views, which you believe are not as kind as piglet made out in her post? That is a pretty hefty accusation to make of people who followed the rules of engagement in a legal military operation. 

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In this corner = Christian Fundamentalism. & in this corner = Islamic Fundamentalism. Are you ready to ruuuuummmmmbleeee?

Again, there is mountains of context missing.  If you could line up Islamic Fundametalism ad Christian Fundamentalism in terms of the human rights violations they are currently perpetuating and, most importantly, the POWER each has... well, no way they would be in the same fighting class.  Not even close.

If Bush was TRULY the American equivalent of an Islamic fundamentalist leader, there would have been much greater changes made under his leadership... which would still be going on. 




Pashley

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Re: Bin Laden be Dead
« Reply #100 on: May 08, 2011, 06:41:05 AM »

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In this corner = Christian Fundamentalism. & in this corner = Islamic Fundamentalism. Are you ready to ruuuuummmmmbleeee?

Again, there is mountains of context missing.  If you could line up Islamic Fundametalism ad Christian Fundamentalism in terms of the human rights violations they are currently perpetuating and, most importantly, the POWER each has... well, no way they would be in the same fighting class.  Not even close.

"currently", yes. But if you count the Crusades (which in Al Qaeda doctrine are still going on, via US support for Israel), the Inquisition (some historians claim that in the "burning times", the Church murdered 9 million), Oliver Cromwell, the Hundred Year's War, and so on then it is not at all clear.

Some of that is still current, too; the troubles in Ireland are not over and they are at least partly based on religion.
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Mimi

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Re: Bin Laden be Dead
« Reply #101 on: May 08, 2011, 07:06:42 AM »
Right.  The current state of things is almost a mirror of what is was previously, what with Europe being mired in the uber-religious, grotesquely unjust dark ages and the Middle East being the center of both scientific development and economic prosperity.  But, Bush's (and Falwell's and Robertson's) brand of evangelical protestant fundamentalist Christianity hasn't been around for that long.  Neither has Osama's, for that matter.  Fundamentalism in both religions is a recent, reactionary thing. 

Now, if you were going to line up Christianity and Islam themselves, over the whole history of the world, I bet Christianity is responsible for much more evil.  Currently, most of Christianity is much more moderate and modern, which leaves most of the crazies in the Fundamentalist camp, which is relatively powerless.

Ben-Dan

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Re: Bin Laden be Dead
« Reply #102 on: May 08, 2011, 08:02:09 AM »
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There is so much more that matters beyond the numbers.  So, so much more.  Hundreds of thousands of Iraqis were dying or "disappearing" during Hussein's rule.

Many of those were children dying because of sanctions which prevented the country from attaining chemicals needed to purify water.

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 It is unfair to blame all of those deaths on the US government (there is no possible way to attach them all to Bush as he didn't act alone, our system of checks and balances is nothing like the dictatorship of a international terrorist organization), to assume that 0 Iraqis would have been killed in the past 8 years if we hadn't shown up.

That isn't the total number of Iraqis that have died since the invasion, it's the number who died as a direct consequence of it, so, yes we can blame the US government and it's president for the consequences of launching an unnecessary war. The number injured is astronomical. Now, about 100,000 of those dead were civilian. For the civilian part you can check this website: http://www.iraqbodycount.org/ Here's a site about Wikileaks documentation of the number of Iraqi dead http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/wikleaks-dumps-thousands-classified-military-documents/story?id=11949670[/quote] At wikipedia you can see various sources putting the deaths as high as 600,000 to over a million. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Casualties_of_the_Iraq_War

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What is your point?  That the US (and the UK, and Australian) soldiers in Iraq weren't being guided by manic religious fervor? (Correct). Or that they were being guided by their religious views, which you believe are not as kind as piglet made out in her post? That is a pretty hefty accusation to make of people who followed the rules of engagement in a legal military operation.

I'm not sure what your argument is here. Who says it was a "legal military operation"? I believe the logic of the war was if we don't attack them first they'll attack us. Does it matter what the UN says about it? The United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan told the BBC that the US-led invasion of Iraq was an illegal act that contravened the UN charter.

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Again, there is mountains of context missing.  If you could line up Islamic Fundametalism ad Christian Fundamentalism in terms of the human rights violations they are currently perpetuating and, most importantly, the POWER each has... well, no way they would be in the same fighting class.  Not even close.

I'm not sure what you mean by that or what evidence you have to support your claim. I was pointing out that George W. Bush was also a fundamentalist and invoked the name of God to justify his actions. There's no question about whether Al Qaeda has killed more Christians or the Bush Administration has killed more Muslims (Bush has a smashing victory there), but I don't really think it's about that.

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If Bush was TRULY the American equivalent of an Islamic fundamentalist leader, there would have been much greater changes made under his leadership... which would still be going on.

The question isn't really about who is more fundamentalist – you can be a villain without having any religious beliefs – but who caused more damage to the world and who is responsible for more deaths. There's no contest there. Also, he made about as many changes as an under-qualified, fundamentalist, unelected president could have. Obviously taking the country to war was a big change, and they are still going on. American citizen's rights have been diminished with the USA Patriot Act. He made tax cuts for the ultra wealthy. His environmental record is disastrous. The economy tanked… We got Guantanamo…
« Last Edit: May 08, 2011, 08:44:41 AM by Ben-Dan »
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piglet

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Re: Bin Laden be Dead
« Reply #103 on: May 08, 2011, 10:51:06 AM »
Ben Dan I think you are disregarding the fact that the US did not and does not kill people just because they are Muslims and want to make them Christian. They had reason to believe that there was a real threat (and I believe that there still is if we put Iran into the equation) whereas the Muslim extremists (take a look at what is going down in Britain and Europe right now) want to bring Jihad to the countries which have allowed them equal rights and citizenship to install a theocracy there.
In other words they are abusing the democratic system in order to defeat democracy. That's what I find most worrying.
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Just Like Mr Benn

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Re: Bin Laden be Dead
« Reply #104 on: May 08, 2011, 11:37:39 AM »
It's fine to claim that a sizable segment of a group believe something. It's true that on a worldwide scale, many Muslims, when asked for their opinions on certain issues, state beliefs roughly in line with what piglet alledges.

However, it's fallacious to attribute actions solely to individual beliefs. Perhaps Muslim terrorists act from the belief that non-Muslims are somehow less. Perhaps they act from the belief that Israel's crimes against humanity must be avenged. Perhaps neither of these. Let's be honest, it's probably a mixture of lots of non-unified beliefs.

The same goes for Bush. Did he act out of Christian fundamentalism, a wish to make his pals rich, greed for oil, racism, political ideology or a wish to protect the american people? You may not think that all of those things were factors. He'd be one messed up hombre if they were, but I think his actions had a mixture of beliefs behind them.

I'm no fan of Islam, and like Piglet I find the beliefs of around half the Muslims in the world deeply worrying. But I'm also aware that nearly all Muslims believe in Family, giving to the poor and submission to what they believe to be the morally correct way of living.

So Piglet, I'm happy to take you on in a hatred of Islam pissing contest any time you like, but I have a question. Do you think that Arabs, because of their culture, religion, history, actions and beliefs are basically 'less' than what what you seem to perceive as civilised people?

I've got to tell you, I don't. It's not that I'm a cultural relativist that thinks that all cultures are equal. I teach Cultural Communiation, and frankly I think my British culture's a lot better than China's. But believing that an entire race or culture is somehow less, like African slaves and aboriginal groups, is very dangerous, albeit very convenient if you've taken a fancy to where they're living.