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No legacy is so rich as honesty


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I don't think you understand what the meaning of the word "terrorism" is. A terrorist is a person who attacks a non-military target BECAUSE it's a non-military target.

 

While I can think of several instances of non-military targets being attacked by the "good guys" it's never been that the US (or any other "good guy") has attacked civilians simply because they're civilians. We've attacked them on accident, as a by product of attacking something else, and several times through sheer idiocy. But even at our most brain-dead it wasn't like we pointed at the target and said - "There's a group of (non-military) people who really don't have anything to do with this, and will be really surprised when bombs start falling on them. Scramble!"

 

TFS

 

Q. What's the difference between a 'deliberate terrorist' and an 'accidental terrorist'?

 

Ans. the 'accidental terrorists' have been responsible for the deaths of many more innocent civilians around the globe than deliberate terrorists!

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Ans. the 'accidental terrorists' have been responsible for the deaths of many more innocent civilians around the globe than deliberate terrorists!

...which simply proves that they have more moral justification for their terrorism than the "intentional" ones who have nothing but hate and revenge in their hearts.

 

Intent is 90% of the law,

Buffy

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...which simply proves that they have more moral justification for their terrorism than the "intentional" ones who have nothing but hate and revenge in their hearts.

 

Intent is 90% of the law,

Buffy

 

Hello Buffy,

 

What you say may be true, in todays international sense (and in the jungle), but in the sense of civilised national laws there is a punishment for causing 'unintentional' death - Manslaughter. In fact there is a case going on in the UK at the moment about a summary execution by police of a 'terrorist suspect' who was entirely innocent. Hopefully this may set a precedent for collateral damage inflicted on civilians by military/political incompetence.

 

My point being that while the US and others cause the indiscriminate deaths of many innocent civilians around the globe, international condemnation for the indifference to these preventable deaths (in the Iraq war RAAF pilots had the option to veto missions if they felt that there would be unnecessary civilian casualties, If a US pilot did the same they would be locked up like the Israeli elites who refused to go on missions for the same reasons) is a substitute for the International penalty that doesn't exist.

 

I don't know about you Buffy, but I'll support the elite RAAF pilots and Israeli soldiers who refuse to (continue to) indiscriminately kill innocent civilians.

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What you say may be true, in todays international sense (and in the jungle), but in the sense of civilised national laws there is a punishment for causing 'unintentional' death - Manslaughter.
And there you have it.

 

There *are* gradations of morality in ending another person's life.

 

Or do you argue that what Jeffrey Dahmer did to his victims is exactly the same as the FBI gunning down Machine Gun Kelley or Bonnie and Clyde?

 

Is that unfair? Well, this "I don't know" sounds awfully rhetorical:

I don't know about you Buffy, but I'll support the elite RAAF pilots and Israeli soldiers who refuse to (continue to) indiscriminately kill innocent civilians.
Are *all* Americans immoral accessories to murder because of the policies of the Bush administration? If so, aren't *all* Australians fanatical supporters of John Howard's murderous Australian fascism in Iraq?

 

And getting back to the core thought of this thread, isn't this sort of "whatever America does is evil" the kind of divisive activity that makes it impossible to find a way forward? That's not honesty, that's unjustified self-righteousness.

 

Overt displays of moral superiority are rarely attractive...and rarely justified,

Buffy

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And getting back to the core thought of this thread, isn't this sort of "whatever America does is evil" the kind of divisive activity that makes it impossible to find a way forward?

Thank you. This IS the point of the thread. We all fall victim, and often unware during, to this type of behavior. It is not a fault, but it is a problem. Hence, the call for awareness.

 

 

Let's move forward. We are not all the same, but we are all together. We seem to enjoy fighting too much to give it up.

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I find it hard to classify it as anything more than a tragic decision.
Call it what you like Faith, but I've read things quite in contradiction of what you say. Also, Churchill was the first politician to have ordered gas attacks on Kurdish civilians.
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Hi Buffy,

 

There *are* gradations of morality in ending another person's life.

 

Or do you argue that what Jeffrey Dahmer did to his victims is exactly the same as the FBI gunning down Machine Gun Kelley or Bonnie and Clyde?

 

And there is a big gulf between national/state laws and international laws, not to mention that, as opposed to the Burmese military vs unarmed monks (and all other innocent casualties of war), Bonnie and Clyde and all of the other serial killers were breaking the laws of their nation and states. It's just difficult to fit the US into the international scene because, unlike much of the rest of the world, the US doesn't want to be subject to international justice and will not acknowledge the ICJ (International Court of Justice).

 

And getting back to the core thought of this thread, isn't this sort of "whatever America does is evil" the kind of divisive activity that makes it impossible to find a way forward? That's not honesty, that's unjustified self-righteousness.

 

If the US politicians continue to do what they have been doing war wise, and continue to avoid international accountability at the same time, what do you honestly think the rest of the world will think?

 

p.s. It's very disturbing that the latest 'economic paradigm' coming out of the US is that humungous budget deficits don't matter anymore. While Australia, an economy that gets tossed around the international markets like a bottle in a storm, can benefit from a low dollar and remove its deficit over time, it would be very difficult for a benchmark currency to do the same (and still remain a benchmark currency). Please note that this isn't self righteousness or cynicism (because this has happened before), when the dot com bubble burst, economists were just deciding that two consecutive quarters of negative growth didn't amount to a downturn.

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Hi Q,

 

Call it what you like Faith, but I've read things quite in contradiction of what you say. Also, Churchill was the first politician to have ordered gas attacks on Kurdish civilians.

 

I didn't know about the gassing but I did read about how the RAF dropped time delay bombs on the Kurds because the villagers would all run into the caves when they heard an aeroplane.

 

Actually Winston Churchill wasn't a politician at the time, I think he was (an Admiral?) seconded from the navy to the air force.

 

In all honesty we all have 'terrorist' acts in our own national historys, and it is a bit churlish to claim that your terrorists are worse than our terrorists or Vs a Vs.

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[buffy pulls out her gigantic, pointy red editor's pen and applies it *liberally* to Laurie's post...]

...It's just difficult to fit the US into the international scene because, unlike much of the rest of the world, the USrecent Conservative Republican Administrations doesn't want to be subject to international justice and will not acknowledge the ICJ (International Court of Justice).
The Bush Administration is *almost* as foolish to do this as it is to "redefine" the Geneva Convention, but it should be noted that the ICJ has not had a terribly good track record in doing much that has been useful, is highly politicized, and even "oppressed nations" have ignored its jurisdiction when its been convenient to do so (e.g. Iran being told to release US Embassy hostages in 1980).
If the US politiciansthe Bush Administration continues to do what they have been doing war wise, and continue to avoid international accountability at the same time, what do you honestly think the rest of the world will think?
Hasn't the world already passed judgment *without* any need for comparison to refusal to rejoin the ICJ?
p.s. It's very disturbing that the latest 'economic paradigm' coming out of the USwacko neo-cons like Dick Cheney is that humungous budget deficits don't matter anymore. ...it [is] very difficult for a benchmark currency to [remove its deficit over time] (and still remain a benchmark currency).

"Deficits don't matter" is something that even Republican's are starting to be embarrassed about. Dick is sounding like a Democrat!

 

Its also notable that the real reason that the dollar is weakening is not because of the deficits, but because the Federal Reserve Chairman and the Secretary of Commerce have been talking it down.

 

"Folly" is a kind word for this policy, and hopefully we'll see a turnaround coming soon...because :eek: not all Americans think like the idiots at the American Enterprise Institute and the Weekly Standard!

 

See? That wasn't so bad! You don't have to make yourself look ignorant in order to make a point about what's wrong in the world! :)

 

Take my edits...please. If you do then I don't have to go around saying silly things like "the mess in Iraq is largely because Australians support the Bush Administration so strongly" in order to make *my* point! :hihi:

 

Turnabout is fair play,

Buffy

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Actually Winston Churchill wasn't a politician at the time, I think he was (an Admiral?) seconded from the navy to the air force.
:hihi:

 

Regardless of whether it is relevant to the thread, your remark is off the facts; Churchill ordered the use of mustard gas against Kurdish villages as foreign secretary in the 1930s, not as an admiral.

 

In all honesty we all have 'terrorist' acts in our own national historys, and it is a bit churlish to claim that your terrorists are worse than our terrorists or Vs a Vs.
Who are you accusing of this?

 

I think you are being indiscriminately provocative, only to disrupt the thread.

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Call it what you like Faith, but I've read things quite in contradiction of what you say. Also, Churchill was the first politician to have ordered gas attacks on Kurdish civilians.

 

Well - I'm basically working from memory. I do know that I've never heard anybody say about Dresden. "The idea was to kill as many non-military personnel as possible - just to show the Germans we weren't above killing non-military personnel." At least, nobody who was in a position to know.

 

As for Churchill gassing the Kurds - I don't really know anything about that.

 

It seems like people still aren't really getting the distinction between "Terrorist" "Indiscriminate Killing" and "Collateral Damage."

 

Collateral Damage - when you kill people you actually TRIED not to kill - or killed a bunch of unrelated people as an unavoidable side effect of a legitimate military strike.

 

Indiscriminate Killing - when you really don't care who you kill - but you've got a legitimate reason for killing somebody nearby. I think this is Dresden. It's not like you set out AIMING for civilians, you just didn't try to NOT shoot them.

 

Terrorism - when you purposely try to kill someone who is not involved in a military way with your objective AND when their lack of involvement is the reason they became a target in the first place.

 

Now, how BAD is each one of these?

 

Terrorism is intellectually and morally weak. You kill people to show you're not afraid to kill people. It's a begged question. It doesn't matter WHO you kill, the point is just to kill SOMEBODY. In fact the more random the person you kill the better.

 

Indiscriminate Killing is operationally sloppy. Sometimes it's SO operationally sloppy that it rises to the level of a crime. If you bomb an entire village to try and kill one guy with an AK-47 - it's STUPID & it's EVIL but it's NOT TERRORISM.

 

Collateral Damage is tragic. If you're going to kill people, you're going to kill the WRONG people sometimes. And - in a fit of realpolitik, I'll go out on a limb and say there are some people who really do need killing - not everybody is rational.

 

So what's the solution where you keep from killing innocent people? You either don't kill anybody (which is - unfortunately - not a realistic solution) or you just try to keep the number of innocent people you kill down.

 

The cop who shoots the bystander in the crossfire with the gun-wielding madman is not morally equivalent to the gun-wielding madman - even though they've both killed innocent people.

 

TFS

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It seems like people still aren't really getting the distinction between "Terrorist" "Indiscriminate Killing" and "Collateral Damage."
I wasn't really needing an explanation of the three things and I'll avoid discussing my disagreement with you. We never get anywhere and it only drags away from the point of the thread.
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After the dispute about Faith's reply to it, I'll address Laurie's old point:

In this context your own winners of the war of independance are 'terrorists'.
I consider this not strictly true or false but simply inaccurate. The American revolution was an early example of guerrilla warfare. The were not fighting according to the same traditional unwritten rules as the British army, till then considered fair play in conflicts.

 

Guerrillas and terrorists, while sharing some aspects, differ in others and, mainly, the American revolutionaries were not attacking civilians that simply supported the British crown. For one, there was not a presence of opposing factions of civilians as in cases such as Ulster and Palestine. There were not two distinct ethnic groups, even less with differing neighborhoods and gathering places; apart form the British soldiers the opponents were mainly British government officials. I don't know any statistics of civilian support for one or the other side but perhaps attacking civilians would have made sense only if they had gone to England, hardly practical in their case.

 

The line is however somewhat arbitrary, some groups have been labeled as terrorist for attacking or bombing only things that represent the opposed government.

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Buffy,

 

Are you aware that the 'parliament' is comprised of all of the MP's elected to the place, whether it be the Australian House of Representatives, the British House of Commons or the US Congress. The government consists of a majority of the MP's in the parliament and sets the agenda for the house. When a law is brought into being it is passed by the approval of the house (not the government) and then goes onto the Senate (The Lords for the UK) and the Head of state for final approval.

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So what's the solution where you keep from killing innocent people? You either don't kill anybody (which is - unfortunately - not a realistic solution) or you just try to keep the number of innocent people you kill down.

 

The cop who shoots the bystander in the crossfire with the gun-wielding madman is not morally equivalent to the gun-wielding madman - even though they've both killed innocent people.

 

TFS

 

Hello TFS,

 

So, when did the US military decide to start tallying the number of civilians being killed in Iraq so they could keeop the number down?

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After the dispute about Faith's reply to it, I'll address Laurie's old point:I consider this not strictly true or false but simply inaccurate. The American revolution was an early example of guerrilla warfare. The were not fighting according to the same traditional unwritten rules as the British army, till then considered fair play in conflicts.

 

Guerrillas and terrorists, while sharing some aspects, differ in others and, mainly, the American revolutionaries were not attacking civilians that simply supported the British crown. For one, there was not a presence of opposing factions of civilians as in cases such as Ulster and Palestine. There were not two distinct ethnic groups, even less with differing neighborhoods and gathering places; apart form the British soldiers the opponents were mainly British government officials. I don't know any statistics of civilian support for one or the other side but perhaps attacking civilians would have made sense only if they had gone to England, hardly practical in their case.

 

The line is however somewhat arbitrary, some groups have been labeled as terrorist for attacking or bombing only things that represent the opposed government.

 

Hi Q,

 

I was referring to the considerable support given by US citizens to the IRA during their battle for independence in the 1920's. As the British are major US allies in the war against terror, and the IRA has only recently been decomissioned (and it's military wing is still outlawed), surely this illustrates my point very clearly.

 

p.s. Did you know that after the last civilian bombing by an IRA splinter group, many of the relatives of the original IRA soldiers from the 1920's added "OLD IRA' onto their headstones, at least that's what my Irish relatives tell me.

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