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View Full Version : Terrorism Vs. Rebellion



sKratch
07-30-2005, 01:39 AM
It's an interesting thought that's crossed my mind a few times. Do you think rebels will ever be acknowledged any more as such by the popular newsmedia and the first world governments? It seems like Iraqis who want the US out are insurgants, and the occupying forces are the freedom fighters. Would our (US) government call Southern secessionists terrorists if that situation were present today? It's as if the US enforces its perspective on the world, dictating which fighting force is legitimate and which is not. I think even the UK gave more credit to American rebels during the revolution. It's sad seeing a nation built on revolution police the world.

I've probably presented the topic of discussion terribly, and I don't mean to make it sound like it's some sort of mystical epiphany I've had either. Anyone could have come across this thought, and I hope many of you already have. In any case, it's 4:40am so I'll blame it on that. But go ahead and discuss.

RXP
07-30-2005, 02:35 AM
Who's gonna dicate standards if it isn't the US? Militant islamics? Crazy dictators? If someone doesn't dictate a little the ravishes of human nature will devour itself. There has to be a slight defeinition for there to be order surely. I don't know what I'm trying to say. I guess that you need a little facism/dicator(ism) to give you hard lines.

If the US leave it will turn into 'nam. Vietnimzation didn't work then, it won't work now. We're in for the long haul. So I guess the insurgents that you called freedom fighters aren't that. ONce the US goes it will just turn gay. That's the price you pay when you attempt regieme change. I personally think the same needs to be done in Zimbabwe. Cause I feel I can define that as a bad regieme. And any 'freedom' fighters that erupt once the current system is over-thrown are equally as dangerous because they want their country for their own ends.

wheelchairman
07-30-2005, 11:53 AM
At times, I could care less what happens to Iraqis, I'm selfish and care for my family and friends, who are fighting and dying in a war that has no gain for anyone.

Iraq will not be a democracy if America forces it down their throat. Democracy does not come from the barrel of a gun. There is no real improvement from Saddam. The numbers of insurgents number between 70-80,000, and that's the conservative estimate. They are rebels, obviously.

So what do we do in Iraq? Our continued presence there, means conflict. A continued conflict will create the status quo scenario (that long term conflict becomes profitable for both sides, and an active avoidance of peace will be common). I'd say the US should pull out, and we should bring in UN peace keeping. And let them have an election without US guns being aimed.

In general though, I ignore the word terrorist as a buzzword to get a certain reaction, used by certain politicians. The same way the opposite political spectrum would use freedom fighter, rebel, revolutionary, martyr, to get their desired effect.

And Dush, while I can see where you are coming from. It just bugs me that you keep bringing up Mugabe. Quite honestly, the only reason Zimbabwe gets any press, is because the whites are unhappy. The blacks are basically being treated the same as they were under their white rulers, well except for that circle of people around Mugabe and his family.

PsychoticAndInsomniac
07-30-2005, 12:01 PM
Iraq will not be a democracy if America forces it down their throat. Democracy does not come from the barrel of a gun. There is no real improvement from Saddam. The numbers of insurgents number between 70-80,000, and that's the conservative estimate. They are rebels, obviously.

So what do we do in Iraq? Our continued presence there, means conflict. A continued conflict will create the status quo scenario (that long term conflict becomes profitable for both sides, and an active avoidance of peace will be common). I'd say the US should pull out, and we should bring in UN peace keeping. And let them have an election without US guns being aimed

Clear and intelligent.

sKratch
07-30-2005, 02:50 PM
Not to disturb the discussion at hand, but I was hoping this would be concerned more with the semantics of modern day states and the effect it has on the way the public thinks about it. In other words, the use of certain words to make us think things they want us to think.

wheelchairman
07-30-2005, 02:55 PM
But you basically got it spot on. I'd be surprised if anyone disagreed with you.

sKratch
07-30-2005, 05:02 PM
Mmm... Maybe next time I'll leave things more open ended. But that's gotten me in some trouble before wink wink buttsecks.

SicN Twisted
08-05-2005, 07:39 AM
There's nothing I could say that sKratch and Wheelchairman haven't phrazed perfectly. So why am I posting? I guess I'm just showing support for both your comments. Terrorism is completely semantical, it doesn't even exist as a concept on it's own. By the official United States definition, any fighting force that attacks civilians as a method of coercion is a terrorist group, but that definition would label the United States as the world's leading terrorist nation, and if we can't hold ourselves to our own standards, we have no right to hold those standards to anyone else.

That's my point, Dush (I think I've just decided that we're on first name basis). If you think that the biggest superpower in the world is justified in setting standards for what's terrorism and what's freedom fighting - I guess it's might equals right or something, then shouldn't we have to hold ourselves to those same standards? But we can't - that's why there's obviously a twist on these definitions based on perspective. Any terrorist is a freedom fighter and any freedom fighter a terrorist. It's nothing more then semantics, and the definitions, as Per said (fuck, I'm getting on first name basis with everyone now), are just buzzwords. They mean nothing.

Sin Studly
08-05-2005, 10:38 AM
Terrorists are mean. Mean people suck.

Conspiracy of One
08-05-2005, 10:41 AM
Counter strike- "terrorists win"

RXP
08-05-2005, 10:49 AM
The reason the freedom fighter vs terrorist is a semantic issue is becuase there are no absolute truths in the universe. That's the philophical, jurisprudential and mathmatical debate. Someone has to define these truths otherwise there'd be no 'right' or 'wrong'. They are merely words and we could easily swap them round cause it's only our morals that say one thing is right and another is wrong. And everyone agrees on this bar some crazy divine right/natural right folks.

So that's that age old debate under guise me thinks.

And onto the Zimbabwe thing, I use it as an example because I simply don't know any others. I don't really read much into middle east or African issues at all. Most of what I talk about is from the mainstream news (TV, not even papers) But if there are other governments out there equally as bad then I say we gotta do something about it.

Democracy doesn't come from the barrel of a gun - it comes from revoultion. The same story has taken place throughout history. Absoulte Monarchy, Feudalism, bourgise rise then democracy. The guns just break the absoulte soverign stage so that the others can begin. Obviously fedualism isn't relevant anymore but there has to be a progression. It may take a while but something has to spark it. Call bombing a cataylst. People die sure. But peopel die everyday behind a curtain little peer behind. Otherwise what the hell is gonna spark the revoultion? In a modern absoultionist state you cannot break out with a revoultion from within. Technology makes that impossible.

wheelchairman
08-05-2005, 11:44 AM
You are right that, at times, the population is not enough to rise out of oppression. However, there has never been a succesful attempt at what you wish to do. The foreign element is what makes it risky. And quite honestly, it cheapens democracy in the eyes of the nationality we are trying to bring it to. The revolution has to be started by the workers and peasants of a nation itself, and only then can we help.

SicN Twisted
08-05-2005, 02:07 PM
Ah, RXP, you nailed it. here we go with the reletivism. There is no "right" or "wrong" and the whole point of the Englightenment was to invalidate "right and "wrong." Modern science has brought to us reletivity, it's all different people's perceptions. The idea of a transcendent right and wrong, be it a god or an international superpower, is a bit medieval for my tastes. But I'm not mistaken, you are saying the nation with the most power and influence has the power to legislate it's own morals?

God dammit dude, there is no right and wrong. If there's anything, there's practical and impractical. It's kind of funny that the superpower you've choses to legislate it's sense of good has become completely morally bankrupt and is the world leader in commiting acts of.. errr, acts of "wrongness."

RXP
08-05-2005, 04:05 PM
Are they morally bankrupt? I don't know many Americans (any?) bar online. But I know that they hold most of the same ideals as me. At least the average Joe does. Some may be a little racist, or a little ignorant but in the end I'd say it's all about family and friends at heart. Money makes people selfish and greedy but have you ever noticed in a crisis everyone helps each other out. I think that's the true sense of people's hearts which make up a country. But then again they also get extremely scared and selfish. After 9/11 (or the 7/7 bombings here) we lash out. I dunno where this paragraph is taking me so I'll leave it here.

Who else will decide morality? Sure America does some fucked up things but in the end it could be a lot worse and i can't see someone policing the world for anything but their own ends. It's just too utopian. What I'm saying is that democracy has to be sparked somehow, if that's for oil then fine [which is NEVER the sole reason like most hippies/students think].

Sic, you say right and wrong are relative words but your an anarchist. Even they hold some 'self evident' truths which do not need to be qualified but religously followed: the lack of soverign of any kind and self rule. These are seen as right by you, morally. They cannot be changed due to societal perception. And you obviously have morals because you claim America is morally corrupt.

If the ordinary American's heart is even loosely represented by it's government, and it's government is alot bigger than the current administration. Than IMHO it's a good thing. The scary thing is that those in power are trying to take away our rights and freedom "hacking off branches of the liberty tree" to quote E.P Thompson citing 'protecting us from terrorists' as reasons.

I'm aware when it's done for extreme selfish reasons like the proxy wars in teh cold war it's a bad thing. but if we wholeheartedly embraced a police role in the world I think we could do a lot of good for the right reasons. But it's a big ask to ask people to die for some 'god forsaken country a million miles away' [black hawk down quote!]. I often pose myself the question that would I be willing to die for another country. I used to think yes but I used to be depressed so had some weird views. I dunno if I could hold myself to my own convictions anymore. If I felt that strong abotu it I guess I'd enlist. So obviously I don't.

In my utopian society everything would just be governed by Bentham's utilitarianism but tweaked to protect minorities, "the greatest good for the greatest number". That of course would be an ideal way of deciding morals because it's relative to us.

Sorry about the lack of clarity of this post, it's literally a stream of my thoughts.

SicN Twisted
08-06-2005, 12:45 AM
Your points are very clear, but I really can't see how the US government actually sparks democracy anywhere in the world. I'm sure you know we've propped up more fascist dictatorships in Central America then we have any democracies. Fuck, the USA supported so many fascist insurgencies against democratic governments, like Pinochet, Diem, and even East Timor's dictator who created the biggest genocide since the holocaust. Ever heard of School of the Americas? I don't see how the US government have acted as moral leaders in any ways, their crimes against humanity have dwarfed Bin laden's in scale and character. American allies serve our purposes, and we don't descriminate based on human rights. What besides power justifies us to define morality, since according to even conventional western morality, America's committed grievous immoral acts rivaling the worst dictators known to man. Just because the American ideal gets through the media worldwide of defending all that's right and free in the world, but that's really just an illusion.

Now in terms of the morality of the American people, I don't doubt that many are genuinely good and live by convictions they consider noble? Americans obviously are not all murderous psychopaths, which is what we would be if we reflected our foreign policy. i still think that a superficial climate promoting blind ursuit of success, getting rich, and neo-social darwinism has definately corrupted them. the McDonalds ethic has already plagued the world, and Americans are the most obsessed with it. So no, I wouldn't call the average American immoral, but I'd call her corrupted by fast food, strip malls, censorship, and the rest of our culture mildly social darwinistic corperate culture.

RXP
08-06-2005, 01:48 AM
I understand your points. But I just keep on thinking about Milosovich. The UN didn't wanna bomb but the US and UK went ahead for good reason too. The cold war proxy wars have obviously messed things up a great deal. But we (you) were at war, that's a whole different ball game. War's dirty. Just cause it's cold doesn't make it any cleaner.

I dunno I just can't stand back and see the world do nothing will dictators ruin people's lives. The only answers I find from the opposing side is that revoultion from within but c'mon that just isn't going to happen in todays modern police states. Heck the two far leftest camps can't get anything off the ground even in countries that somewhat value free speach. And besdies yanks have tried that and it ends up with worse/bad as people replacing the over-thrown regieme.

A world police force (with the right mandate) and a protectionist free world economy would relieve so much of the worlds pain. But humans are far too selfish for this to happen. I was watching Alias last week. The finale was basically how a genuis in the c. 15th Rambaldi had written instructions on how to assemble a device which could either calm animals/insects or make them extremely violent.

Well the device got into the wrong hands. The begining was a noble end: to contaminate the water supply with this chemical so that the population would be calmer, less wars, less fighting and all round more peaceful race. But the 'evils' got a hold of it and used it for the opposite reason.

So maybe technolgy would hold hope for hte future of humanity by making everyone calmer and destorying our selfish human nature so we're all alturistic. I just know that sitting back and letting things slide by isn't going to do anyone any good apart from re-enforcing 'might is right' becuase the alpha animals will rise to power and exploit people.

SicN Twisted
08-06-2005, 12:44 PM
you're making good points but not addressing mine. I'm saying that the United States don't actually oust dictators, and when they do it's a rarity and it's only because it happens to fit their interest. I'm saying that it's much more common for the US (and the UK) to support dictators who serve their interests then to support democracy, as history proves. If ou feel for the people living under dictators, I'd recommend feeling for the thousands of people who lived under Pinochet, Noriega, Somoza, and other US backed dictators. That's my main point, our foreign policy isn't in the least bit humanitarian, so why should it be a basis for any kind of moral judgement?

RXP
08-06-2005, 02:43 PM
Hmmm I generally agree, I have no counter to that. But good intentions can go poorly when the people you used to support turn against you. There's not a lot one can do about that.

SicN Twisted
08-07-2005, 12:47 AM
Goddamn man, you still have this soft spot in your heart for government officials in general! Putting dictators in power and continually supporting them has nothing to do with people you support turning against you. It shows that morality doesn't effect the government's desisions.

Dusky - did "good" change recently? Cause a few hundred years ago, burning atheists and jews was "good," and tollerating them was "bad." Premarital sex shifted from evil good as well. If there's such a fine line, then how come it's constantly changing?

RXP
08-07-2005, 03:21 AM
It's hard to completely do a 180 from everything you've believed in the past. I went to a private schoo, my econ lessons were full of conservative ideolgy with tax = evil and free market = good. All the kids were rich too. Now i'm poor and actually have a broader education so am changing.

I do believe there's a lot of corruption out there but I still believe what America do is far far far FAR better than someone else with the kinda power they yield. Imagine of the Soviets won the cold war? Or if China was a true superpower. Power corrupts..... any state with that sorta power is going to be corrupt. It's just the degree that the yanks are isn't that bad and it's as good as we can expect from our selfish human nature. ANd I can't help but think if America falls the world will be a worse off place. At least for the short to medium term. Maybe in the longer run it would lead to a more harmonic world but I think it'd just mean those 'alphas' will rise to power exploiting people once again. BUt that's cuase I'm a social darwnist and believe the smarts to get far in politics means your inheriently selfish/ruthless. THere are exceptions of course.

"Justice is rhetoric, but it need not be empty rhetoric" that quote was in relation to c. 18th English law. I think it applies here. After a while you become prisoner of your own rhetoric because if you keep flagrantly abusing it no one will believe in it and you use your legitimization for power. The conservatives are prisoners of their own rhetoric.

MichealCorleone
08-07-2005, 03:48 AM
It's hard to completely do a 180 from everything you've believed in the past. I went to a private schoo, my econ lessons were full of conservative ideolgy with tax = evil and free market = good. All the kids were rich too. Now i'm poor and actually have a broader education so am changing.

I do believe there's a lot of corruption out there but I still believe what America do is far far far FAR better than someone else with the kinda power they yield. Imagine of the Soviets won the cold war? Or if China was a true superpower. Power corrupts..... any state with that sorta power is going to be corrupt. It's just the degree that the yanks are isn't that bad and it's as good as we can expect from our selfish human nature. ANd I can't help but think if America falls the world will be a worse off place. At least for the short to medium term. Maybe in the longer run it would lead to a more harmonic world but I think it'd just mean those 'alphas' will rise to power exploiting people once again. BUt that's cuase I'm a social darwnist and believe the smarts to get far in politics means your inheriently selfish/ruthless. THere are exceptions of course.

"Justice is rhetoric, but it need not be empty rhetoric" that quote was in relation to c. 18th English law. I think it applies here. After a while you become prisoner of your own rhetoric because if you keep flagrantly abusing it no one will believe in it and you use your legitimization for power. The conservatives are prisoners of their own rhetoric.

*school, cause, Darwinist, inherently

RXP
08-07-2005, 04:00 AM
Ignore listed.

sKratch
08-07-2005, 01:28 PM
Mmm... Good discussion. Unfortunately I don't have time for a good reply right now. Hopefully some time soon.

RXP
08-07-2005, 01:37 PM
My view is that morally good is anything that promotes Benthamite concepts and morally bad is anything that detracts from them. This is a universal moral code that is correct in any time and any planet or dimension and not dependent on society. Well of course it is dependent on society cause society determines what's good for itself. So I guess we're back to square 1.

SicN Twisted
08-07-2005, 04:29 PM
When people bring up the differences between the US and the Soviets, I have to say that the only arena in which the US was better was their domestic policies. They gave their own citizens more personal freedom and rights. When it comes to an international scale, both superpowers were guilty of committing crimes against humanity on an equal scale.

memento
11-03-2005, 06:00 AM
I just read this discussion again and cumed. Where is Sic gone? He needs to post more.

Sin Studly
11-03-2005, 07:21 AM
I read this discussion up to my first post, and then I almost pissed myself laughing and skipped to the bottom to reply. I need to post more.

sKratch
11-03-2005, 01:09 PM
I was totally just wondering where the fuck this thread just came back from. This is the first time I've checked 'politics' since probably august.