Do you believe in terrorism?


Normally open July 4th only---the one day a year when partisan politics, religion, etc. are acceptable topics on this Board (within reason). The forum is now closed.

Is an act which meets your definition of terrorism ever morally justifiable?

Poll ended at Fri Nov 07, 2008 4:21 am

Yes
2
14%
No
12
86%
 
Total votes : 14

Postby jazzcyclist » Fri Jul 03, 2009 11:46 pm

jazzcyclist wrote: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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Postby SQUACKEE » Sat Jul 04, 2009 4:24 am

jazzcyclist wrote:
jazzcyclist wrote: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?
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Postby Pego » Sat Jul 04, 2009 6:25 am

SQUACKEE wrote:
jazzcyclist wrote:
jazzcyclist wrote: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.
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Postby Marlow » Sat Jul 04, 2009 6:30 am

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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Postby bad hammy » Sat Jul 04, 2009 6:34 am

Pego wrote: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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Postby jazzcyclist » Sat Jul 04, 2009 7:05 am

Marlow wrote: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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Postby jazzcyclist » Sat Jul 04, 2009 7:11 am

Pego wrote: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.
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Postby Pego » Sat Jul 04, 2009 12:02 pm

jazzcyclist wrote:
Marlow wrote: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.
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Postby jazzcyclist » Sat Jul 04, 2009 3:01 pm

Pego wrote: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.
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Postby Marlow » Sat Jul 04, 2009 3:25 pm

jazzcyclist wrote: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!"

:(
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Postby gm » Sat Jul 04, 2009 6:09 pm

Which IRA actions do you feel were morally justifiable?
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Postby jazzcyclist » Sun Jul 05, 2009 5:21 am

gm wrote: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.
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Postby Marlow » Sun Jul 05, 2009 6:23 am

jazzcyclist wrote: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.
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Postby jazzcyclist » Sun Jul 05, 2009 6:45 am

Marlow wrote:
jazzcyclist wrote: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?"
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Postby Marlow » Sun Jul 05, 2009 6:55 am

jazzcyclist wrote: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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Postby EPelle » Sun Jul 05, 2009 7:06 am

How is the death penalty slaughtering citizens with impunity? You are, in essence, stating that the USA, without liability for its actions, condones massacres of the people it was meant to govern, and to whom it is meant to provide life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Slaughter is a very harsh word used here. Is the government assassinating these criminals? Butchering them? I think of slaughter and I think of mass murdering folks. Hitler had people slaughtered... annihilated... wiped out... exterminated. The USA government? They're following through on a promise made to take a life for a life in felony cases -- one which folks know is abundantly clear in certain states before they decide, themselves, to snuff someone out on purpose, or to misuse force and kill someone in an unplanned fit of rage.
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Postby jazzcyclist » Sun Jul 05, 2009 7:18 am

Marlow wrote: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.

When the official law enforcement officers become outlaws, you already have anarchy. I'm not talking about a few bad cops in a system that is otherwise operating on the up-and-up. I'm talking about governments that are corrupt from the top to the bottom. During Jim Crow, the governors were just as dirty as the local cops, so you had no recourse. Haven't you ever heard of the Mississippi Sovereignty Commission? And how can you overthrow a government peacefully when you don't even have the right to vote? Wasn't it JFK who said that "those who make peaceful revolution impossible make violent revolution inevitable?" And your comment about the death penalty is absolutely silly with regards to this debate. :roll:
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Postby EPelle » Sun Jul 05, 2009 7:28 am

Though defenseless as one, it is not impossible to induce change with the power of others sympathetic to one's cause where the course of two becomes one.
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Postby Pego » Sun Jul 05, 2009 7:35 am

jazzcyclist wrote:Unless you are willing to outline your definition with some types of objective criteria, then the word becomes meaningless


Let me try a feeble attempt to narrow it down (far from a comprehensive definition).

In principle, targeting primarily civilian objects, I'd consider terrorism, targeting military installation, no.

Slave, as well as serf peasant revolts I would consider justifiable in spite of their targeting anybody they considered an enemy. I'd include Nat Turner in this category even though its scope was incomparably smaller than uprisings such as Spartacus', Razin's and Pugachov's in Russia, Dózsa's in Hungary that counted in many thousands, as compared to less than 200 or so (as I recall). BTW, according to a possibly true legend, after the army defeated Dózsa's peasants, they seated him on a hot iron throne, roasted him alive and forced his troops to eat him.

So in practical terms of today, I consider Al-Qaeda, Hamas, Hezbollah, IRA terrorist organization. While I am aware of their grievances, their methods I don't consider justifiable. Tamil Tigers seem to have fallen in the same category. The Cuban that blew up a plane and Bush's Justice Department let him go was one just as well. The Somali pirates are interested in money only, I'd call them bandits, not terrorists. There is probably a narrow line between the two.
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Postby jazzcyclist » Sun Jul 05, 2009 7:41 am

EPelle wrote:Though defenseless as one, it is not impossible to induce change with the power of others sympathetic to one's cause where the course of two becomes one.
I think I know what you're saying, but break it down to kindergarten language for me. In the case of ending Jim Crow in the U.S., change through peaceful means became possible once Dwight Eisenhower broke the longstanding taboo of using federal troops to get involved in issues that had previously been considered matters of states' rights. Make no mistake, without the threat of force by the federal government, MLK would have been just another dead protester.
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Postby EPelle » Sun Jul 05, 2009 7:51 am

Yes, but sans MLK - or, possibly as the result of a dead protester named Martin Luther King, Jr., were there no whites who would have saddled on this horse and ridden it to Washington through peaceful means and instigated change - however insignificant it could have appeared at the time?
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Postby jazzcyclist » Sun Jul 05, 2009 8:09 am

Pego wrote:Slave, as well as serf peasant revolts I would consider justifiable in spite of their targeting anybody they considered an enemy. I'd include Nat Turner in this category even though its scope was incomparably smaller than uprisings such as Spartacus', Razin's and Pugachov's in Russia, Dózsa's in Hungary that counted in many thousands, as compared to less than 200 or so (as I recall). BTW, according to a possibly true legend, after the army defeated Dózsa's peasants, they seated him on a hot iron throne, roasted him alive and forced his troops to eat him.

I agree with you that their actions are justifiable, but I also would call them terrorists, since they used violent means to revolt against a government. I suspect that just like a lot of folks, you're uncomfortable with the word "terrorist" because it has such negative connotations in our society. Like Nelson Mandela, I don't have these qualms. When Larry King asked Mandela what landed him in prison for 27 years, he had no problem admitting that he was involved in "terrorist activities". Instead of describing a specific type of act, the word "terrorist" is now used to stigmatize our enemies and justify a refusal to negotiate with them.
Pego wrote:So in practical terms of today, I consider Al-Qaeda, Hamas, Hezbollah, IRA terrorist organization. While I am aware of their grievances, their methods I don't consider justifiable. Tamil Tigers seem to have fallen in the same category. The Cuban that blew up a plane and Bush's Justice Department let him go was one just as well. The Somali pirates are interested in money only, I'd call them bandits, not terrorists. There is probably a narrow line between the two.

I agree with you on all of these points except that I don't feel that Al Qaeda's "real" grievances have any merit, so I wouldn't mention them with these other groups. Also, unlike Hamas who still targets civilians, Hezbollah seems to have advanced beyond that point. When even the U.S. Army War College says that they now behave like a regular conventional army, I don't think it's accurate to refer to this former terrorist organization as such in 2009. I guess a steady supply of the most sophisticated Iranian and Russian weapons has afforded them that luxury.
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Postby jazzcyclist » Sun Jul 05, 2009 8:14 am

EPelle wrote:Yes, but sans MLK - or, possibly as the result of a dead protester named Martin Luther King, Jr., were there no whites who would have saddled on this horse and ridden it to Washington through peaceful means and instigated change - however insignificant it could have appeared at the time?

Yes, MLK (and TV) was important when it came to creating a political climate where federal troops could be used to advance civil rights, but make no mistake, the threat of force by those troops was an absolutely essential part of the Civil Rights Movement.
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Postby SQUACKEE » Sun Jul 05, 2009 10:32 am

bad hammy wrote:
Pego wrote: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 . . .


You dont waterboard to get a confession, that would be stoopid. You waterboard to get real information that can be checked out. Which, if you believe some reports, is exactly what happened, or it didnt happen and its all a lie. I dont know what to believe so i have to believe what makes the most sense to me. It doesnt make sense that the people who have been trained to do this sort of work have no idea what they are doin.
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Postby Daisy » Sun Jul 05, 2009 10:37 am

SQUACKEE wrote: It doesnt make sense that the people who have been trained to do this sort of work have no idea what they are doin.

I thought the people trained to do this stuff didn't want to use torture?
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Postby SQUACKEE » Sun Jul 05, 2009 10:44 am

Daisy wrote:
SQUACKEE wrote: It doesnt make sense that the people who have been trained to do this sort of work have no idea what they are doin.

I thought the people trained to do this stuff didn't want to use torture?


They dont torture, its called a enhanced interview. 8-)
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Postby EPelle » Sun Jul 05, 2009 10:50 am

IRA dissidents are suspected of killing that pizza delivery man a few months back; it was big news here, and when I was in the UK. Was it an act of terrorism by the IRA?
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Postby jazzcyclist » Sun Jul 05, 2009 11:14 am

EPelle wrote:IRA dissidents are suspected of killing that pizza delivery man a few months back; it was big news here, and when I was in the UK. Was it an act of terrorism by the IRA?

I think the IRA of today has morphed into a criminal organization, similar to the Somalian pirates. Once the Good Friday Peace Accords were signed, they lost their raison d'etre. The murder of Robert McCartney was the final nail in the coffin for the IRA.
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Postby Marlow » Sun Jul 05, 2009 11:19 am

EPelle wrote:How is the death penalty slaughtering citizens with impunity? You are, in essence, stating that the USA, without liability for its actions, condones massacres of the people it was meant to govern, and to whom it is meant to provide life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Yup.

EPelle wrote:Slaughter is a very harsh word used here. Is the government assassinating these criminals? Butchering them? I think of slaughter and I think of mass murdering folks. Hitler had people slaughtered... annihilated... wiped out... exterminated. The USA government? They're following through on a promise made to take a life for a life in felony cases -- one which folks know is abundantly clear in certain states before they decide, themselves, to snuff someone out on purpose, or to misuse force and kill someone in an unplanned fit of rage.

Dead is dead.

I know I'm out here on a limb all by myself here, but state-sanctioned murder (killing someone in 'cold blood') is still murder. If I were to kill someone, and I probably could, it would be in very hot blood, and I would expect to also die in the process.
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Postby EPelle » Sun Jul 05, 2009 12:27 pm

Then why not retool the death penalty so that prisoners in death row kill each other off in hot blood?
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Postby Pego » Sun Jul 05, 2009 12:29 pm

SQUACKEE wrote:
bad hammy wrote:
Pego wrote: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 . . .


You dont waterboard to get a confession, that would be stoopid. You waterboard to get real information that can be checked out. Which, if you believe some reports, is exactly what happened, or it didnt happen and its all a lie. I dont know what to believe so i have to believe what makes the most sense to me. It doesnt make sense that the people who have been trained to do this sort of work have no idea what they are doin.


According to the CIA operatives, whose statements I saw, they got all (or vast majority) of the necessary information by "routine interrogation".
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Re:

Postby jazzcyclist » Fri Jul 02, 2010 8:19 pm

jazzcyclist wrote:
Marlow wrote: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.

how can you overthrow a government peacefully when you don't even have the right to vote? Wasn't it JFK who said that "those who make peaceful revolution impossible make violent revolution inevitable?"

I'm still waiting for an answer Mr. Anchors Away. By the way, was George Washington morally justified when he took up arms against his government?
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Re: Re:

Postby Daisy » Fri Jul 02, 2010 8:25 pm

jazzcyclist wrote:By the way, was George Washington morally justified when he took up arms against his government?

He was a traitor, then a hero and finally a president. Presumably this is not an uncommon sequence of events. And the winners always write the history books. Just ask lonewolf.
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Re: Re:

Postby Marlow » Sat Jul 03, 2010 5:50 am

Daisy wrote:
jazzcyclist wrote:By the way, was George Washington morally justified when he took up arms against his government?

He was a traitor, then a hero and finally a president. Presumably this is not an uncommon sequence of events. And the winners always write the history books. Just ask lonewolf.

The founding fathers were motivated by money, not morals. Washington and Jefferson were against slavery, but could not afford to run their estates without it. Jefferson considered his male slaves 'men', yet wrote 'all men are created equal' without batting an eye.

Interesting quote I ran across: "What did antebellum slaves think of the 4th of July?"
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Re: Re:

Postby jazzcyclist » Sat Jul 03, 2010 7:45 am

Marlow wrote:
jazzcyclist wrote:By the way, was George Washington morally justified when he took up arms against his government?

The founding fathers were motivated by money, not morals. Washington and Jefferson were against slavery, but could not afford to run their estates without it. Jefferson considered his male slaves 'men', yet wrote 'all men are created equal' without batting an eye.

I'll take that as a "no". Now what's your answer to my other question: How can you overthrow a government peacefully when you don't even have the right to vote?

Marlow wrote:Interesting quote I ran across: "What did antebellum slaves think of the 4th of July?"

Have you ever read Frederick Douglass' 1852 Fourth of July speech? Here's an excerpt:
What, to the American slave, is your 4th of July? I answer; a day that reveals to him, more than all other days in the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which he is the constant victim. To him, your celebration is a sham; your boasted liberty, an unholy license; your national greatness, swelling vanity; your sound of rejoicing are empty and heartless; your denunciation of tyrants brass fronted impudence; your shout of liberty and equality, hollow mockery; your prayers and hymns, your sermons and thanks-givings, with all your religious parade and solemnity, are to him, mere bombast, fraud, deception, impiety, and hypocrisy -- a thin veil to cover up crimes which would disgrace a nation of savages. There is not a nation on the earth guilty of practices more shocking and bloody than are the people of the United States, at this very hour.
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Re: Do you believe in terrorism?

Postby jazzcyclist » Sun Jul 04, 2010 7:15 am

Here's a good article on how the word terrorism has become meaningless in the American lexicon.
There's a great paradox in the American political landscape: the word that is used most frequently to justify everything from invasions and bombings to torture, indefinite detention, and the sprawling Surveillance State -- Terrorism -- is also the most ill-defined and manipulated word. It has no fixed meaning, and thus applies to virtually anything the user wishes to demonize, while excluding the user's own behavior and other acts one seeks to justify. All of this would be an interesting though largely academic, semantic matter if not for the central political significance with which this term is vested: both formally (in our law) and informally (in our political debates and rhetoric). . . .

The reason no clear definition of Terrorism is ever settled upon is because it's virtually impossible to embrace a definition without either (a) excluding behavior one wishes to demonize and thus include and/or (b) including behavior (including one's own and those of one's friends) which one desperately wants to exclude.

http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn ... /terrorism
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Re: Do you believe in terrorism?

Postby jazzcyclist » Mon Jul 04, 2011 7:09 pm

Here's one final question in the twilight hours of Free Speech Weekend 2011. Do you consider Nat Turner to be a terrorist?
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Re: Do you believe in terrorism?

Postby Daisy » Mon Jul 04, 2011 7:21 pm

jazzcyclist wrote:Here's one final question in the twilight hours of Free Speech Weekend 2011. Do you consider Nat Turner to be a terrorist?

At the time, yes. Was Gerry Adams a terrorist?
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Re: Do you believe in terrorism?

Postby jazzcyclist » Mon Jul 04, 2011 8:03 pm

Daisy wrote:
jazzcyclist wrote:Here's one final question in the twilight hours of Free Speech Weekend 2011. Do you consider Nat Turner to be a terrorist?

At the time, yes. Was Gerry Adams a terrorist?

Absolutely! But both Turner and Adams were justified in their actions IMO. Here's the thing. If a nation, a sub-national group or a lone individual have a legitimate grievance for which non-violent tactics have proven ineffectual, and they do not possess war-making capability, the only option left to them is terrorism. Don't ever overestimate the power of nonviolent protest. If Ghandi had faced Hitler, he would have been just another dead Indian.
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Re: Do you believe in terrorism?

Postby BillVol » Mon Jul 04, 2011 8:09 pm

Ask Nelson Mandela if he believes in terrorism.
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