Is the United States a terrorist organization?

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by GottaBigOne, Nov 11, 2004.

  1. GottaBigOne

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    I was watching the CBS coverage of Yasser Arafat's death and they did a mini biography on him, telling about how he rose to become the leader of the palestinian people. At first they said he led the PLO resistance with violence coordinating attacks on isreali civilians, airliners and such. Then in 1988 he renounced violence and tried to lead a more passive rebellion. The palestinian people wouldn't go for this and terrorism was out of his control.

    The interesting thing about it is at the end they asked the question: Is he a terrorist? They said that if you define terrorism as the purposeful murder of civilians for political gain, as he did in the seventies and early eighties, then he is a terrorist plain and simple. Nevermind the fact that he publicly renounced the violence later, he once used terrorism, so he will always be a terrorist. Its like the joke about the guy who complains that he did all the great things like build a hospital, paint a masterpiece and such but is not remembered for those things. The punchline goes "... but, you fuck one goat...."

    So my question is this: If terrorism is defined as such, and if you engage in it once and are therefore forever a terrorist, then is the United States a terrorist organization for bombing civilian targets in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. They knew they would kill nearly half a million civilians( im not sure of the figure but I know its in the hundreds of thousands) and the reason they did kill all those civilians was to send a message to the japanese emperor. They did it so the enemy would give up. This is exactly the same reason that terrorists today use terrorism, they want to sedn a message, they know they have no chance going after our military, so they attack civilians in order to get their point across.
     
  2. Imported

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    gwinea2000: Are you serious? Seriously.
     
  3. Pecker

    Pecker Retired Moderator
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    I fuckin' denounce using a certain fuckin' curseword since it fuckin' turns off certain fuckin' people. You'll fuckin' never fuckin' hear me fuckin' say the word "fuckin'". I'm not fuckin' uncouth.

    Use the above stupidity as an example of Yassir Arafat's "I'm not a terrorist" statements. He was Ramala's "Wizard of Oz."

    Pay no attention to that terrorist behind the curtain.
     
  4. GottaBigOne

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    I'm very serious. I'm not saying I think they are, I'm making a comment on how we view those that use terrorism. We view them as evil and we don't take them seriously, we dismiss them automatically and I think thats dangerous. We have to acknowledge that they don't so the things they do for no reason, they are human, and humans do things (even horrible things) for a reason. If you feel that the United States was justified in using the atomic bomb then you must acknowledge that the terrorisms MAY be justified as well.

    On a side note: I think a very interesting thing is the fact that we do not want any other nation to posses nuclear weapons and we go to war to stop them from having them, yet we have them, and we in fact are the only nation to ever use the atomic bomb on another nation. Can you say double standard?
     
  5. jonb

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    Why start with Hiroshima? (Especially since the Bush doctrine actually makes Pearl Harbor justifiable.) Why not start with the Indian wars?

    Of course, anyone who believes in "pre-emptive war" deserves an atom bomb on their asses.
     
  6. GottaBigOne

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    I found this quote on a site i peruse, it covers a lot of issues, but mainly secular humanism. It was after a short biography of Yasser Arafat.

    "Those who call us terrorists wish to prevent world public opinion from discovering the truth about us and from seeing the justice on our faces. They seek to bide the terrorism and tyranny of their acts, and our own posture of self-defence." Yasser Arafat

    This is exactly my point. He is exactly right. We brand the people that attack us as terrorists, they are that because they use terrorist tactics, but the way we brand them this is in a very negative way, like in a way to dismiss them and their cause. Their will never be a solution to the problems we face if we dont start acknowledging that they do have a point of view, and aren't wrong about everything. they may be mistaken, but to dismiss what they say without consideration does not help to solve the problem.

    I in no way condone the attacks we suffered on sept 11. But i do see the legitimacy of some terrorist tactics, it is a vital tool for the weak to get their voices heard when the strong refuse to listen. What do you think the Boston Tea party and the entire revolutionary war was about?
     
  7. Imported

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    gwinea2000: Here's the problem: every single nation in the history of the world which has expanded in any way has taken some sort of preemptive action. Therefore, every dynasty, every world power, every major player in the world can be labeled a 'terrorist' (according to your logic.) And, in almost all cases, the reasoning is not (at least overtly) political.

    The U.S. has CERTAINLY engaged in pre-emptive affairs well before the current Iraq debacle. And, in all honesty, the purposes in those cases were much less defensible from a "citizen of the world" standpoint AND were less veiled.

    As for Hiroshima: In one sense it's certainly tragic. In another, it probably saved lives. How do you reconcile the two? I'm not sure. However, we were AT WAR WITH A COUNTRY WHICH ATTACKED US. Civilian casualties? Since when have countries at war been overly sensitive to the civilian population? It's pretty on paper, not in practice.

    If you're seriously interested in the idea of "US as Terrorist," I suggest 'Rogue States' by Noam Chomsky. Personally, I think Chomsky's a bit off his brilliant rocker, but he does make you think. Also, the famous "A Peoples History of the United States" by Howard Zinn
     
  8. GottaBigOne

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    You site that we were at war with a country that attacked us as justification for terrorist tactics. That is exactly my point. The terrorist attacks of 911 were retaliatory in nature because of our support for the state of Isreal which has been attacking and opressing the palestinian people for decades. I'm just saying that it is ridiculous to think that the terrorist will stop at nothing to destroy us, i do not believe that their goal is our total anihilation, i think they will continue to attack us until we stop supporting the opression of muslim peoples.
     
  9. Imported

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    gwinea2000:

    No, they were NOT a retaliation solely for our support for Israel. They were due in large part to our abandonment of Afghanistan after their battle with Russia in the 80's.

    As far as not believing that our "total annihilation" is not the objective, it depends on who you ask. Many currently active branches (including the Fatah group, started by Arafat) are committed to the total destruction of Israel. Why? God ordained it as a land promised to the people of Islam. In fact, when Arafat began peace talks, many considered him a traitor and branched off. The depths of the convictions of many of the Islamic Fundamentalists are extremely deep. And, when this involves a belief that any non-Arab muslim is deserving of death, well....

    I DO agree that, in some senses, we have reaped what we have sewn. Our treatment of Afghanistan (amongst others) was a ROYAL fuck-up. However, I stand by the assertion that the bombing on Hiroshima was an act of war and not of terror. THe lines between the two may be blurred. For example, the attack on Pearl Harbor (or the WTC, for that matter) could be labeled both an act of terror and a declaration of war.

    I suppose that, ultimately, it comes down to semantics.
     
  10. GottaBigOne

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    I totally agree.
     
  11. madame_zora

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    Interesting point of view, I also agree. I can see a small line of differentiation between an act of war (being done to a country we're at war with) and an act of terrorism, which would be the pre-emptive one. By that measurement, we committed acts of terrorism in Iraq. What I can't understand is why the American people have become such sheep that we just follow the leader.
     
  12. GottaBigOne

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    i really don't see the distinction when it comes to type. I think that terrorism is an act of war. I see how there is a difference in that terrorism is an act against civilians, and an act of war usually is thought of as directed toward the military of the enemy. I don't see how pre-emptive attack is terrorism. If you pre-emptively attack the miltary of the enemy, then i see it as a pre-emptive act of war.

    My main point is that it is utterly ridiculous to dismiss a people just because they use terrorism as a means to an end. I think any and all killing is horrendous and wrong, so I don't condone terrorism; I don't condone war either. Thats a idealistic point of view and it doesn't work in the real world, i understand that.
     
  13. bigenuf

    bigenuf New Member

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    And anyone naive enough in this day and age not to favor premption against those sworn to the destruction of the U.S. will have an "atom bomb on their asses" because that is the ultimate goal of these fanatics.
     
  14. BobLeeSwagger

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    The moral hair-splitting that your question raises is pretty difficult to do in a fair way. If you really get down to it, terrorism is about inflicting fear and suffering on civilians, which describes almost every war ever fought. On the other hand, Arab and Muslim countries have consistently managed to hijack the UN into proclaiming Arab suicide bombers to NOT be terrorists. Clearly, it's a very subjective definition.

    I think one factor is that "terrorism" as a term has really only been used in its current context in the last hundred years or so. Prior to that, non-uniformed combatants mostly fell under the categories of guerilla warfare or militias.

    As for Hiroshima, that's a moral dilemma that will never go away. It was definitely a terrorist attack in the sense that the explicit goal was to inflict so many casualties on civilians that Japan would realize that it should just give up. (Previous firebombings of civilian areas killed even more people though.) The old "take a life to save a life" theory comes into play here, as far more Japanese most likely would have died if the United States had to invade the main Japanese islands. And of course, the American lives are an even bigger factor in that decision. Truman himself claimed that he could never look Americans in the eye if they found out he had such a weapon and did not use it, and that they would be right to impeach him for it. (There are some similar, excellent points raised in the recent Errol Morris film "The Fog of War" that I recommend to anyone.) Japan was clearly a much more terrorizing state than the United States was and there's no doubt that if the roles had been reversed, Japan would not have hesitated to use nukes on us either.

    That opens up a bigger question though: if the U.S. had not destroyed Hiroshima and Nagasaki, when would the first use of an atom bomb have happened instead? Would it have been a bombing that ended a horrific war, like World War II? Or would it have been casually used in a less serious conflict? Did the invention of the atomic bomb condemn hundreds of millions of people worldwide to live in fear of annhilation for decades? And is THAT terrorism too? I think that in a sense, people who condemn the U.S. for being the only country to use nuclear weapons miss a larger point: that because it was the United States and because it was used to end the worst war in human history, the idea of using atomic bombs for anything less than a less resort has been almost universally demonized and therefore avoided. We set an example that, for all its terrible consequences, may somehow have prevented subsequent nuclear attacks by us or others. Wild speculation, no? :mellow:
     
  15. D_Humper E Bogart

    D_Humper E Bogart New Member

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    Well, if by "terror", you mean terrorised, it's interesting how many countries are getting nukes simply to avoid being nuked themselves.

    <!--QuoteBegin-bigenuf
    @Nov 12 2004, 02:47 AM
    And anyone naive enough in this day and age not to favor premption against those sworn to the destruction of the U.S. will have an "atom bomb on their asses" because that is the ultimate goal of these fanatics.
    [/quote]

    So why aren&#39;t you (personally) in Iraq, North Korea, Pakistan, India, China, Zimbabwe, Sudan, Israel, Iran.....

    Okay, they all don&#39;t want to destroy the US, but there are people who wouldn&#39;t cry if the country disapeared.

    See the problem?
     
  16. Imported

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    gwinea2000: OK, so here&#39;s my end thought on this:

    Terrorism involves taking action in a manner which uses the subjugation of the enemy to terror AS ITS METHOD. The inducement of terror will, hopefully, bring about the desired results.

    Example: Palestine wants Israel to concede certain lands. Their method? Kill and maim civilians in an indiscriminate manner (i.e., terrorize them) in the hopes that the Israelis will comply.

    Example: The bombing of the WTC (either time) in the hope that it will scare the US out of meddling in Middle East affairs.

    NOT terrorism: Using (militaristic?) force to take over another land for purposes of economy, boundary, or power.

    Example: The forcible seizure of Iraq by US Coalition Forces.

    Example: The expansion of the settlers across the Great Plains, eventually eradicating much of the Native American population.



    **In either case, the actions may be terrible. The implications, the motives, the instigators..... I wouldn&#39;t call Hitler a terrorist, though I would call him the most evil man I can think to name. He didn&#39;t use terror as the means to his end (though it was a biproduct.) He used force, as the US has/is. Terrorist? Look up &#39;Yasser Arafat&#39;.
     
  17. jonb

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    Actually, the whole concept of "shock and awe" is by definition terrorism. Terrorism is defined by the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language as "the unlawful use or threatened use of force or violence by a person or an organized group against people or property with the intention of intimidating or coercing societies or governments, often for ideological or political reasons."

    Since Bush broke the law by lying to Congress, I believe that qualifies Bush as a terrorist.
     
  18. jay_too

    jay_too New Member

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    Your definition of NOT terrorism is an adequate definition of agression.

    The example on eradication of the Native American population as NOT terrorist may be debatable. The use of bio-warfare on civilain populations in the U.S. is presently considered to be a terrorist act. Our Puritan forefathers brought with them one of the effective means of decimating populations [tested and proven in Ireland] of giving blankets and clothing that had belonged to victims of smallpox to Native Americans. A couple of hundred years later a similar strategy decimated many of the tribes on the Great Plains.

    The attack on the WTC has been considered an act of barbarism because of the loss of life of thousands and the attack upon one of the underpinnings of the American economy. In the 19th century government policy was to encourage the slaughter of millions of buffalo/bison in order to destroy the economy of the Plains Indians. The results of this effective campaign was the winning of the west and the starvation of millions of Native Americans. I have read estimates that the area that is now the U.S. had between 20,000,000 and 200,000,000 Native Americans at the time of first European contact. Today, the estimate of Native Americans living in the U.S. is around 3,000,000.

    I think the case could be made that what happened to Native Americans was not only genocide but terrorism.

    Yasser Arafat shared a Nobel Prize for Peace for renouncing terrorism and trying to lead his people toward a peaceful solution. He was no more successful than the two Israelis who shared the Prize in getting Israel to seek accomodation.

    Terrorist? Think Begin and the bombing of the King David Hotel on New Years 1948(?). Oh yea, there were only 450 fatalities and most of them Brits. Terrorism was the modus operandi to force Great Britain to give up the U.N. Mandate for Palestine and create an Israeli state. On both sides of the Israeli/Palestinian issue are great wrongs and acts of terrorism.

    jay
     
  19. Imported

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    gwinea2000:
    I agree to an extent. However, I tend to think of terrorism as such: The inducement of terror on a population or nation TO ELICIT THE DESIRED RESPONSE.
    While the settlers certainly killed and destroyed much of the Native Americans, I don&#39;t think they used the inducement of terror as a tactic. Instead, they just raped, robbed, pillaged, burned, and took the land they wanted. No less disturbing, but, IMO, different. They didn&#39;t use violence as a scare tactic. They used it to directly acquire the land. It wasn&#39;t FEAR that achieved their objectives -- it was the actions themselves.


    The fact that he was awarded the Nobel Peace Price is a disgrace and is a slap in the face of those who have also been honoured with the award. Arafat wrote the book on modern terrorism tactics, making airplane hijacking his personal calling card. He has kidnapped and killed women and children in the name of Palestine and is responsible for the Fatah group, which desires the eradication of the Israeli people from the face of the earth, and the Intifada. The presentation of the Nobel Peace Prize to Rabin and Arafat was a token gesture by the world (by way of Bill Clinton) in the hopes that they would work something out.

    I agree with you that BOTH sides are to blame for the years of mindless violence. But Arafat was despicable, as exemplified by his 40+ years of killing that preceded his "call for peace." It would be like Scott Peterson being commended a year from now for commenting on the horror of spousal abuse and infanticide.
     
  20. jonb

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    And the missionaries who said that if we didn&#39;t convert, they&#39;d bring more smallpox. Was THAT not terrorism? What about the Wilson regime?
     
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