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  1. #1
    SitePoint Addict jamesglewisf's Avatar
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    How should We Respond to Terrorism?

    How should We Respond to Terrorism? What do you think? I'm especially interested in what non-U.S. citizens think. By "We" I mean the world, not the U.S.

    I heard a lot of knee-jerking today on talk radio. People were saying that we should identify those responsible, and then send in a team that kills all of them. That seems more like the response of a terrorist than a a law-abiding nation. It seems like you need a trial before the penalty. Or is it different for some reason?

    What do you think?
    Jim Lewis
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    It is VERY different.

    #1)These people in question are international military. Meaning, they are not citizens of the US so they are not protected by our constitution or any of our federal laws.

    #2)This happend in foreign waters, not the US. Again, our laws have no jurisdiction.

    #3)This was a military action against a military target. People may call them "terrorists" but they are really the army of some group somewhere, carrying out orders for their leaders. Any military action against our country is handled by the military. And, might I add, our lawyer/politicians should stay out of it and let the military leaders who are trained to handle this sort of thing do their jobs.

    #4)Finding those responsible for said military action and killing them or otherwise making war on them is a perfectly acceptable response to actions that cost this many American lives. No doubt, they were trying to sink the boat, which may still happen. We're talking about millions and millions of dollars and as many lives as possible. That's what they were going for and that's what they'll do again if not taught a lesson.

    I would like to address your understanding of the word "terrorist." Terrorism is not any act of war or military action of any kind. Terrorism does not involve military targets. Terrorism is directed at a population to make them afraid. An army is not very scared by a few bombs. But civilians are when the bombs are blowing up civilian targets. They get scared and edgy, never knowing if they'll be safe.

    It is with terrorism that terrorists further their agenda by making people scared to oppose them and eventually support them out of fear of the repercussions if they do not. I.E. More bombs.

    So, yeah, we should send in SEALS, Rangers, Force Recon, Delta and whoever else is ready. This group should be rooted out and smashed or this type of thing will happen more. They are more than willing to die for their cause. We learned that today with the bombing. These teams should be sent in with the intent to make them do just that, die for their cause.



  3. #3
    SitePoint Addict jamesglewisf's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info. You brought up a lot of things I hadn't thought of.

    I called it terrorism because that is what the President and all of the news agencies that I have seen are calling it. The Washington Times says that the Pentagon is unofficially calling it a terrorist attack. CNN says, "Pentagon officials say they believe the explosion that ripped a hole in a U.S. Navy destroyer Thursday was caused by a terrorist attack."
    "I have no reason to suspect this was anything but a senseless act of terrorism," said Adm. Vern Clark, chief of Naval Operations at the Pentagon.
    President Clinton said:
    If, as it now appears, this was an act of terrorism, it was a despicable and cowardly act. We will find out who was responsible and hold them accountable.
    If the government decides it is not terrorism, then I would agree with you. War is war. But as long as they are calling it terrorism, I would think you would handle it as such.
    Jim Lewis
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    They may call it "terrorism" but by the definition of the word and it's intent, it is clearly NOT terrorism.

    Webster's:
    Terrorism - The use of intimidation to advance one's cause or atain one's goals.

    One bomb hardly intimidates the US Navy. Nor does it further any political goals, as no one has claimed responsibility so therefore the furtherance of any kind of cause is impossible. Terrorists always claim what they did so everyone knows why it was done.

    The word terrorist has come to mean ANY person or group of people outside of the standard military of any country who acts in a military manner. They refer to most of our countries milita-men as terrorists when really, they are an army. Big difference.

    Terrorists do not intimidate countries, armies or governments. They intimidate the civilian population.


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    Serial Publisher silver trophy aspen's Avatar
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    I really liked our response to the embassy bombings.

    Find out who is responsible, and send a few cruise missles. I dont think I would want to send any troops. Just air strikes.


    Chris

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    SitePoint Zealot Fruit & Veg's Avatar
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    Quote...
    Terrorists do not intimidate countries, armies or governments. They intimidate the civilian population

    If you believe this, what is the point of terrorising civilians if they have no political or military powers?
    Of course they aim to intimidate governments. Why do the IRA bomb N.Ireland and the UK? The civilians have nothing to do with terrorism, it's the terrorists trying to gain power/land/money/whatever through violent acts rather than the correct political process.

    Terrorism is political.
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    SitePoint Addict jamesglewisf's Avatar
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    Fruit & Veg - I love your member name. I'm getting hungry just thinking about it. With all that fiber, are you still a regular Joe?

    I do agree with you. If a person launches a grenade into a subway, that is considered terrorism. If the same person launches a grenade at an army base, is that an act of war? That doesn't sound very logical to me.
    Jim Lewis
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    SitePoint Zealot Fruit & Veg's Avatar
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    It doesn't matter where the grenade lands, it's who threw it.
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    The defination of terrorism is beside the point. Fact is, an aggressive action resulted in the death of Americans. Whether or not anybody is intimidated by it, anybody's goals are attained, etc. is sooo unimportant. Not only is a hard response by the U.S. necessary, but the majority of the infrastructure of the guilty party must be destroyed. Time and time again we see tit for tat responses. The lame nature of such responses only serves to perpetuate more actions. A MASSIVE response should be taken so that NO derelict entity even THINKS about embarking on such a spineless action against American interests again.

  10. #10
    SitePoint Addict jamesglewisf's Avatar
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    Fruit & Veg - I agree totally.
    Jim Lewis
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    SitePoint Zealot Fruit & Veg's Avatar
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    Ted - I hope you mean 'A MASSIVE response' in the non-violent sense?
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  12. #12
    Your Lord and Master, Foamy gold trophy Hierophant's Avatar
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    Personally I think we should remove every man, woman and piece of equipment from the Middle Eastern region and refuse aid or help to any country within the region until they get along.

    Instead of using bombs and creating hatred towards the US, this is the most effective show we could use. Then when Iraq takes over Kuwait and marches on Isreal, they'll realize that they have no support and will have to deal with things as mature countries do.

    Oil is the only reason we are there in the first place. It has nothing to do with protecting the US's status as a sovereign nation. If we willingly give up the oil, we will jump start industries in alternate power generation with benefits that far outweigh those gained by cheap oil. It will make the country stronger and will send a simple message that we are not dealing with this load of bull anymore. The technologies exist to do this, we just have to produce them in scales of mass quantities. The only reason's we haven't is that the Oil companies have a strangle hold on the American Political Elite.

    Its either that or get involved in another senseless war that is starting over there as we speak.
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  13. #13
    Serial Publisher silver trophy aspen's Avatar
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    Not all the countries over there ask to be attacked or invaded. I think we should stand up for those countries.

    I have no problems with a mickey mouse war like Desert Storm. I would like to avoid if at all possible ground troops but send all the missiles and air strikes you want.

    We cannot separate ourselves from the world. A war in the middle east would affect us even if we didn't get involved. What if Saddam started invading countries. Kuwait, Iran, etc until his power grows to such a size where he can actually threaten US soil?

    Oil does have alot to do with it but we would have more than oil problems if that happened.

    Hitler invaded poland and we did nothing, it was in europe it didn't concern us. We've learned our lesson since then.

    chris

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    I disagree totally with saying that terrorism has nothing to do with civilians. How can you say the civilian population has no power? The civilians in any country far outnumber the government population.

    It is the terrorist who seeks to use fear to make the people scared, and therefore oppose the government in opposing the terrorist. Any government is afraid of it's people when the people decide to start taking any kind of action, even if out of fear.

    Propoganda is not aimed at governments, it is aimed at civilians.

    You bring up N. Ireland as an example. Perfect. Almost 100% of the targets bombed in N. Ireland have been civilian targets. Shopping centers, markets and restaurants. It makes people afraid to live their lives, and therefore the people put pressure on the government to find a way to make peace, and thereby accomplish the goals of the terrorist.

    There is a huge diference between hitting a military target with military weapons and hitting a civilian target with a car bomb. One is a military action, the other is a terror action. Two completely different goals and results. No governmet is intimidated by one bomb or grenade or whatever. But civilians are VERY intimidated by a bomb in the marketplace or town square. That is the purpose and meaning of terrorism, and the definition is very relevant.

    How can the basic meaning of a word be meaningless when it is the definition that makes a word what it is?

  15. #15
    SitePoint Addict jamesglewisf's Avatar
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    Looks like I got a pretty good debate going. This is fun.
    Jim Lewis
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    I love it.

    I like to debate for the sake of it. Everyone learns something in the process!


  17. #17
    SitePoint Enthusiast Daniel's Avatar
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    Ok well I thought I better add my little bit to this, as I have lived in Northern Ireland all my life.

    You seem to have the wrong ideas about terrorism in Northern Ireland. The last large terrorist bomb was the Omagh bombing, which was last year.

    Yes, we do still have bombs, in fact I have just heard on the BBC Northern Ireland news that a car bomb exploded last night about 500 metres from my house.... that's the closest explosion ever. There was also a petrol bomb attack on a house in the west of the city early this morning.

    Car bombs, petrol bomb attacks and so-called "knee cappings" are regular occurances here in Belfast. However they are not carried out on random people. Over here it is a game of tit-for-tat; if someone is a suspected member of the IRA they will be shot by a member of the LVF; that person will then be tracked down by the IRA again.... and so it goes on. You may remember that a few weeks ago there was a huge split between the rival loyalist paramilitary groups... resulting in a lot of violence.

    The "normal" person living in Belfast doesn't care one bit about all this terrorist activity--yes, everybody is either "protestant" or "catholic" in their views, but at the end of the day people just get on with their lives. Nobody lets terrorist activity influence their political views. It is ignored by all except for those involved.
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  18. #18
    Your Lord and Master, Foamy gold trophy Hierophant's Avatar
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    Originally posted by aspen
    Not all the countries over there ask to be attacked or invaded. I think we should stand up for those countries.

    I have no problems with a mickey mouse war like Desert Storm. I would like to avoid if at all possible ground troops but send all the missiles and air strikes you want.

    We cannot separate ourselves from the world. A war in the middle east would affect us even if we didn't get involved. What if Saddam started invading countries. Kuwait, Iran, etc until his power grows to such a size where he can actually threaten US soil?

    Oil does have alot to do with it but we would have more than oil problems if that happened.

    Hitler invaded poland and we did nothing, it was in europe it didn't concern us. We've learned our lesson since then.

    chris
    I never said ignore the region, I said pull our people and equipment out so it wasn't in danger. Just like we can truly fight a war from hundreds if not thousands of miles away, we can monitor the situation from a larger distance.
    We seem to monitor China fairly well and don't have troops on their soil. I can garantee that the U.S. Military knows the exact location of every Iraqi military unit from within their strategic command centers in Florida, Washington D.C., and California.

    Decreasing our economic reliance on the whims of Rogue states and Oil cartels would be good for the entire country. Or would you rather continue to watch prices rise as they currently are?

    It is dangerous when you try to read in more than what is actually said.
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  19. #19
    will code HTML for food Michel V's Avatar
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    I get disgusted by some point of views. Really disgusted.
    Is that the average american's thought about terrorism ? And the average response ?

    I live in Corsica, a country strangely acquired by France 2 centuries ago and since then abused, depreciated & socially destroyed by the french governors.
    I am not against acts of terrorism against France by Corsican rebel organisations. It doesn't harm the population, just the french government's offices. And if you hear about french or corsican civilians' assassination, then you might know it wasn't anybody's death but a political assassination.

    And if i lived as a child now in Iraq, even though i have wicked Saddam as a tyran, i would really hate America for the economic repression that makes me long for food and that killed a whole part of my family with their coward bombings & missiles.


    If you want to bring peace to the world, then stop intimidating the world. What you call "defending the american interests" or "monitoring" is simply IMPERIALISM.

    Some of you there forget that when USA saves a country from invasion, or helps it economically through the IMF, that country is then ENSLAVED to USA's money.

    I don't know what's the worse for you (and especially for aspen & heavy): killing some dozens of your dear Marines every year, or making thousands of children die of hunger every month. Then the little bombs against your imperial army are not coward acts, just desperate acts.


    Before i opened my eyes on these facts, i thought as a westerner that US army's zero-deads war was great: hey, winning a war without pouring blood, ain't that cool ? But i had to realize that zero-deads was only for US side.


    Talk about cowards now.
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  20. #20
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    Hey, I agree Shin Ma!

    I DO think we are practicing imperialism and it makes me SICK! We send our sons and daughters all over the world for the problems of other nations that have nothing to do with us. I can understand a little help, but becoming the world leader is wrong. But, greed is the word of the day. Nothing happens without the lure of money.

    Wars happen, people die, lands are taken over. This is how the world has ALWAYS worked and always will. Countries get taken over, all the people killed, and the stronger nation rules there until someone else decides they want the land or revenge or whatever, and the process begins again. The US cannot hope to stop this process. As soon as UN troops pull out of any of these countries we've "helped" the fighting will begin again until someone wins or loses.

    No country is immune, including the US, and we will be part of this process soon enough. History proves this fact to us.

    As far as terrorism goes, I did not necessarily say it was a bad thing in all circumstances. It is sometimes very effective to intimidate the politicians/civilians of your enemies/oppressors. As I said, people get intimidated, governments do not. That does not mean that some people within that government are immune from the itimidation. But, bombing a destroyer ship is a military act, not an act of terrorism. For, you cannot intimidate the whole US Navy with one bomb.

    That said, I still think that any attack on one of our military targets should be worthy of the destruction of the very people who made the order. But, it will not happen. I am sure the US already knows who made the bomb and knew it was coming. Corruption is rampant.

  21. #21
    SitePoint Wizard westmich's Avatar
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    Heavy, in regards to your first reply:
    Our should (and does for the most part) hold itself accountable to its own laws. Our military reports directly to our elected leaders (politicians/lawyers). For the military to take action independent of those elected leaders, of the people, would go against everything this country stands for.

    Shin Ma, the United Nations, not the USA, is taking action against Iraq. Action that could be ended at any time by Saddam. Is it wrong to repress a nation into preventing it from creating nuclear weapons that would be used as soon as possible in bringing about a 'Holy War'?
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  22. #22
    Carpe Chicken Chicken's Avatar
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    Originally posted by westmich
    Shin Ma, the United Nations, not the USA, is taking action against Iraq[/B]
    I live in the U.S. and I suppose I'll be the first one to point out that this statement, while technically correct, isn't quite right. Do you suppose there'd be sanctions if the U.S. didn't want them imposed?

    Unfortuantely politics affects many people in ways it shouldn't. Leaders decide things based on what (in theory) is good for the country's people, but not for the individual person within the country. Just realize that they (those political big-wig types) didn't ask *me* if I wanted to sanction Iraq.

    On another note, the images of the soldier being stabbed and thrown out the window and then beaten sickened me. I think Israel's response was too light. I don't think blowing up stuff solves much, but... I don't know. That war and the disagreements in that area might go on for another 5,000 years unless one of them blows up the other. Maybe they'll blow eachother up?

    Ok, now I'm just babbling like a brook...

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    Chicken, I did not mean that our military is not protected or governed by our laws. I mean the group who did this is not protected by our laws.

    Military action on foreign soil is not regulated by US law, it is regulated by international treaty agreements that most countries have agreed to. This group is probably not part of any treaty organization and is therefore not protected by such. Any and all means should be taken to eradicate them for what they did. Such is the way of things.

    That's what armies do. They kill people and blow up things. They should not run from one bomb, but should pursue the group responsible, and destroy them and their leadership. They had no problems at all killing 12 of our men. I'm sure our men would have no problem with killing them.

  24. #24
    SitePoint Wizard jumpthru's Avatar
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    Originally posted by jamesglewisf
    How should We Respond to Terrorism? What do you think? I'm especially interested in what non-U.S. citizens think. By "We" I mean the world, not the U.S.

    I heard a lot of knee-jerking today on talk radio. People were saying that we should identify those responsible, and then send in a team that kills all of them. That seems more like the response of a terrorist than a a law-abiding nation. It seems like you need a trial before the penalty. Or is it different for some reason?

    What do you think?
    I aggree to just go kill em'. Like the leader of cuba, should just be shot. That simple.

    BTW, I haven't even heard the story you are reffering too on the news yet...

  25. #25
    SitePoint Addict jamesglewisf's Avatar
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    Hey everybody, thanks for keeping this debate civil. It is very interesting to hear everybody's viewpoints without all of the stupid name calling.

    jumpthru, just go to http://cnn.com and read all about it. 17 servicemen on the USS Cole were killed by two suicide bombers.

    The next day, the British Embassy in Yemen had a grenade lobbed at it. It's not completely accurate to say people are only mad at the US.
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