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  • #46
    Originally posted by jazzcyclist
    I'm really surprised at the percentage of yes's. I'm guessing that you folks have a much narrower definition of terrorism than I do.
    Or perhaps there are a lot more passivists on this board than I suspected. By the way, how many of you folks would ever condone torture?

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    • #47
      Originally posted by jazzcyclist
      Originally posted by jazzcyclist
      I'm really surprised at the percentage of yes's. I'm guessing that you folks have a much narrower definition of terrorism than I do.
      Or perhaps there are a lot more passivists on this board than I suspected. By the way, how many of you folks would ever condone torture?
      First you have to define torture.Having said that if we have a guy who is directly responsible for 3000 innocent dead and he gives up information that saves lives by pouring water on his face ..., Let me put it this way, if i murder 3000 innocent people you have my permission to pour water on MY face, deal?
      phsstt!

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      • #48
        Originally posted by SQUACKEE
        Originally posted by jazzcyclist
        Originally posted by jazzcyclist
        I'm really surprised at the percentage of yes's. I'm guessing that you folks have a much narrower definition of terrorism than I do.
        Or perhaps there are a lot more passivists on this board than I suspected. By the way, how many of you folks would ever condone torture?
        First you have to define torture.Having said that if we have a guy who is directly responsible for 3000 innocent dead and he gives up information that saves lives by pouring water on his face ..., Let me put it this way, if i murder 3000 innocent people you have my permission to pour water on MY face, deal?
        Even the Inquisition learned that torture produces false confessions and false information. You inflict something very painful, especially repeatedly, they'll say anything you want to hear.
        "A beautiful theory killed by an ugly fact."
        by Thomas Henry Huxley

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        • #49
          I've actually given this some long thought and find myself completely conflicted. When Jack is doing it, I understand it's to save lives. But I know that I cold not torture someone, therefore I cannot be a hypocrite and allow someone else do what I myself could not do. I guess the bottom line is that if my family's lives were dependent on me extracting info from someone else, I'd do it.

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          • #50
            Originally posted by Pego
            Even the Inquisition learned that torture produces false confessions and false information. You inflict something very painful, especially repeatedly, they'll say anything you want to hear.
            Exactly . . .

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            • #51
              Originally posted by Marlow
              I've actually given this some long thought and find myself completely conflicted.
              I think that most people who give these questions serious thought, inevitably become conflicted, because people have a hard time giving their enemies the same moral latitude that they give themselves. For example, let's say that Saddam did have nuclear weapons when we invaded Iraq in 2003. Would it have been terrorism if he had retaliated by doing to New York and Washington D.C. what we did to Hiroshima and Nagasaki? Is it torture when our enemies torture our soldiers if they are able to get information that saves the lives of its soldiers or citizens? Why isn't Nat Turner a terrorist? Not only was slavery the law of the land, but it was constitutional at the time he led his slave rebellion, and he did kill scores of innocent people during that rebellion. How is he different than an abortion clinic bomber? What about violent covert actions that are carried out by our CIA agents in foreign countries against countries that we are not at war with? Are these spooks terrorists? Are actions that are sanctioned and carried out by governments exempt from the terrorist label? If so, that would also exempt the bombing of Pan Am 103 from the terrorist label, since it was ordered by Muammar al-Gaddafi himself, the internationally recognized head-of-state of Libya.

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              • #52
                Originally posted by Pego
                Even the Inquisition learned that torture produces false confessions and false information. You inflict something very painful, especially repeatedly, they'll say anything you want to hear.
                I think torture if most effective when you are looking for specific information that you know your victim has, but it's not a good tool to use to just go on a fishing expedition.

                Comment


                • #53
                  Originally posted by jazzcyclist
                  Originally posted by Marlow
                  I've actually given this some long thought and find myself completely conflicted.
                  I think that most people who give these questions serious thought, inevitably become conflicted, because people have a hard time giving their enemies the same moral latitude that they give themselves. For example, let's say that Saddam did have nuclear weapons when we invaded Iraq in 2003. Would it have been terrorism if he had retaliated by doing to New York and Washington D.C. what we did to Hiroshima and Nagasaki? Is it torture when our enemies torture our soldiers if they are able to get information that saves the lives of its soldiers or citizens? Why isn't Nat Turner a terrorist? Not only was slavery the law of the land, but it was constitutional at the time he led his slave rebellion, and he did kill scores of innocent people during that rebellion. How is he different than an abortion clinic bomber? What about violent covert actions that are carried out by our CIA agents in foreign countries against countries that we are not at war with? Are these spooks terrorists? Are actions that are sanctioned and carried out by governments exempt from the terrorist label? If so, that would also exempt the bombing of Pan Am 103 from the terrorist label, since it was ordered by Muammar al-Gaddafi himself, the internationally recognized head-of-state of Libya.
                  I am reminded here of Justice Potter Stewart's declaration (paraphrased) "I cannot define pornography, but I know it when I see it."

                  I think that individually, I would be able (at least to my own satisfaction) define terrorism, without being able to categorize it.
                  "A beautiful theory killed by an ugly fact."
                  by Thomas Henry Huxley

                  Comment


                  • #54
                    Originally posted by Pego
                    I am reminded here of Justice Potter Stewart's declaration (paraphrased) "I cannot define pornography, but I know it when I see it."

                    I think that individually, I would be able (at least to my own satisfaction) define terrorism, without being able to categorize it.
                    Unless you are willing to outline your definition with some types of objective criteria, then the word becomes meaningless, and what you're left with is "whatever my side does is not terrorism and whatever the other side does is". There is a tendency in American media, especially FOX News, to refer to all acts of Arab/Muslim violence against westerners as terrorism, even when those acts are directed at western military forces and even when they are acting in self-defense in their own country. I've witnessed this in news coverage of Afghanistan and Iraq, but it's more common in news reports from Israel, Lebanon and Palestine.

                    For example, the bombing of the Marine barracks in Beirut by Hezbollah in 1983 is always referred to as an act of terrorism, despite the fact that only military personnel were targeted and they were acting in self-defense in their homeland. Here's how Colin Powell summed it up in his autobiography, My American Journey:
                    Against Weinberger’s protest, McFarlane, now in Beirut, persuaded the President to have the battleship U.S.S. New Jersey start hurling 16-inch shells into the mountains above Beirut, in World War II style, as if we were softening up the beaches on some Pacific atoll prior to an invasion. What we tend to overlook in such situations is that other people will react much as we would. When the shells started falling on the Shiites, they assumed the American “referee” had taken sides against them. And since they could not reach the battleship, they found a more vulnerable target, the exposed Marines at the airport.
                    I also routinely hear pundits and anchormen refer to killing of Israeli soldiers in the West Bank as terrorism despite the fact that U.N. Resolution 242 passed unanimously and every nation in the world, including the U.S., considers the West Bank to be under an illegal military occupation.

                    Then we have the 2006 Israel-Hezbollah War which was studied extensively by the U.S. Army War College. Of course there is no doubt that Hezbollah started the war, and even Hassan Nasrallah had to publicly apologize to the Lebanese people, saying that he would not have snatched the two Israeli soldiers if he had known that Israel would react the way they did, but this has nothing to do with the conduct of the war itself. The conclusion of the USAWC is that the reason that Hezbollah was so effective against the Israeli Defense Forces is that it more resembles a conventional army than a guerrilla army or a terrorist group. And since Israel has become so accustomed to fighting terrorist groups and guerrilla armies, it was woefully unprepared to take on a conventional army, that was better prepared than any Arab army that Israel had ever fought in its history. Here are the best casualty figures that I've been able to find:
                    • Israeli soldiers 120
                      Israeli civilians 39
                      Hezbollah soldiers 250
                      Lebanese civilians 1000+

                    Based on the casualty figures of the war, and U.N. reports which cited Israel for indiscriminate bombing, you have to wonder under which criteria could Hezbollah be considered a terrorist organization and the IDF not.

                    Personally I view terrorism the same way I view war. It's a necessary evil, but sometimes it is necessary. I believe that the actions of Nat Turner, Nelson Mandela, the French Maquis, some of the actions of the IRA, pre-2000 Hezbollah and some of the actions of the PLO were morally justifiable. Even Shimon Peres once reluctantly conceded in an interview that if the Palestinians had never resorted to violence, perhaps their cause wouldn't even be on the geopolitical map. I also would have no problem nuking a city of an enemy country that I'm at war with under certain circumstances, but feel that what Truman did was premature and unnecessary.

                    Comment


                    • #55
                      Originally posted by jazzcyclist
                      There is a tendency in American media, especially FOX News, to refer to all acts of Arab/Muslim violence against westerners as terrorism
                      I saw a grocery store tabloid with a headline (paraphrasing):

                      "Secrets of the Muslim World. Learn More About the Enemy!"

                      Comment


                      • #56
                        Which IRA actions do you feel were morally justifiable?

                        Comment


                        • #57
                          Originally posted by gm
                          Which IRA actions do you feel were morally justifiable?
                          Certainly a violent response was in order after Bloody Sunday on January 30, 1972. This is when 27 peaceful civil rights protesters were shot down in cold blood by the British military. Originally the British said that they only fired after the protesters fired on them, but from the beginning, the Catholic protesters denied that there were any weapons fired from within their ranks. After more than a 30-year and $400-million investigation by the British government into the events of the day, it was finally concluded that the protesters were indeed shot down in cold blood like they said from the beginning.

                          Did you know that as late as the 1960's, Catholics in Northern Ireland were still being denied the right to vote, to live where they wanted and to work in certain jobs because of their religious faith? Does that sound familiar? Why do you think NORAID was so successful at raising funds in the U.S. among Irish-Americans? Why do you think IRA leaders like Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness were always so well-received by the most prominent Irish-American politicians on both sides of the aisle? W.E.B. Du Bois summed it up this way:
                          No people can more exactly interpret the inmost meaning of the present situation in Ireland than the American Negro. The scheme is simple. You knock a man down and then have him arrested for assault. You kill a man and then hang the corpse.
                          By the way, I also condone the actions of the Deacons for Defense of which my father's best friend, A.Z. Young, was a founding member.

                          Comment


                          • #58
                            Originally posted by jazzcyclist
                            Certainly a violent response was in order after Bloody Sunday on January 30, 1972.
                            Hey, let's kill some of them, cuz they killed some of us - That'll teach 'em right! (Rich irony)

                            As GB2 found out, trying to avenge terrorism can be an expensive ($$ and lives) business. Cutting off one head sprouts two more venomous heads. There's no good answer to it, except eternal vigilance.

                            Comment


                            • #59
                              Originally posted by Marlow
                              Originally posted by jazzcyclist
                              Certainly a violent response was in order after Bloody Sunday on January 30, 1972.
                              Hey, let's kill some of them, cuz they killed some of us - That'll teach 'em right! (Rich irony)

                              As GB2 found out, trying to avenge terrorism can be an expensive ($$ and lives) business. Cutting off one head sprouts two more venomous heads. There's no good answer to it, except eternal vigilance.
                              Did they not have the right of self-defense? Does a government have a right to slaughter its citizens with impunity? When the official law enforcement officers are also the terrorists, do people owe them the same respect and deference that they would give law enforcement officers who are acting in good faith, but just made a mistake. In the U.S. during the Jim Crow era, many law enforcement officers were also card-carrying members of the Ku Klux Klan. Should their badge have given them a license to kill with impunity? The Deacons for Defense answered with an emphatic "NO". As A.Z. Young asked his fellow Deacons in the movie about his life, "We killed bad White folks in Europe because our government said they were bad, so why shouldn't we kill bad White folks here at home?"

                              Comment


                              • #60
                                Originally posted by jazzcyclist
                                1. Did they not have the right of self-defense?
                                2. Does a government have a right to slaughter its citizens with impunity?
                                3. When the official law enforcement officers are also the terrorists, do people owe them the same respect and deference that they would give law enforcement officers who are acting in good faith, but just made a mistake.
                                4. As A.Z. Young asked his fellow Deacons in the movie about his life, "We killed bad White folks in Europe because our government said they were bad, so why shouldn't we kill bad White folks here at home?"
                                1. During the riot, yes. Afterwards, no. That's just murder (as was what the Brits did there)
                                2. It does it all the time with the Death Penalty.
                                3. Nope, but they may also not take the law into their own hands. That's called anarchy.
                                4. Because it's OK in war, and not in Peace.

                                It's a matter of a little thing called the law. Just because a government commits atrocities doesn't mean we all should. Now . . . if a government continues to show malice towards its constituency, we have the right to overthrow it. That is what yesterday (4ofJ) was about. If you want to start a revolution, go for it. Good luck with that.

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