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You think you understand terrorism and the ME?

Discussion in 'Issues Around the World' started by Jedi Writer, Dec 30, 2002.

  1. Jedi Writer

    Jedi Writer Guest

    Today a suspected Muslim extremist shot and killed three American doctors at a missionary hospital in Yemen.

    Yemen has for years been a haven for wanted Muslim extremists and is the ancestral homeland of Osama bin Laden. Bin Laden enlisted thousands of Yemenis to fight alongside the Mujahadeen of Afghanistan in their U.S.-backed war against an occupation Soviet army in the 1980s. Many returned when the Soviets withdrew, and they are a powerful political force there.

    Earlier this year an explosives-laden boat rammed a French oil tanker off the coast of Yemen, killing one member of the tanker's crew, tearing a hole in the vessel and spilling some 90,000 barrels of oil. An Intelligence official in Washington has said U.S. experts believed the attack was the work of operatives with links to Al Qaeda. Statements attributed to bin Laden and his network's "political bureau" hailed the explosion on the tanker.

    The French tanker attack recalled the Oct. 12, 2000, attack on the USS Cole, which was rammed by a small, explosives-laden boat in the southern port of Aden.
    Seventeen U.S. sailors were killed in that attack, which was blamed on Al Qaeda.

    Yemen has signed on as Washington's partner in the war on terrorism launched after the Sept. 11 attacks.

    U.S. and Yemeni agents have worked together in a counter terrorism center in Yemen equipped with sophisticated intelligence-gathering facilities. The Americans also have trained Yemeni troops to fight militants. Yemen allows U.S. warships free use of its waters and U.S. warplanes use of its air space.

    Yemeni security officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, say up to 3,000 U.S.-trained Yemeni troops have been deployed recently in areas known to harbor wanted Al Qaeda members.

    In November, a CIA-operated Predator drone fired a missile that killed bin Laden's top lieutenant in Yemen, Qaed Salim Sinan al-Harethi, and five other Al Qaeda suspects in Yemen.

    Recently a North Korean ship sailing without markings and bound for Yemen was stopped and searched. It contained Scud missiles that were hidden within other cargo on board.

    Anybody see something wrong with this picture? Do you see feints within feints and motives within motives? A hundred different agendas all of which many are willing to die to accomplish.

    Do you really believe that we can be friends with the Islamic ME world and have stable legitimate long-term relations with them built on trust and goodwill?
  2. ditch

    ditch Downunder Member

    Well it doesn't look too good in the case of Yemen JW. It doesn't get a lot of press coverage outside of some very nasty bombings and murders. And these guys are on the side of the West? Wow, I'd hate to see how things were going if they were sworn enemies. Whatever intelligence gathering methods are being used, they aren't sufficient, to say the least.

    To answer your question, not in the short term. Its something to be worked towards, as unsavoury as it may sound to many. There is more benefit from working harmoniously with them than against but coperation is a two way street and at the moment the street is littered with wrecks.;)
  3. Jedi Writer

    Jedi Writer Guest

    We don't have to be friends with them for us to work together harmoniously. A partnership does not have to be a friendship. We don't even have to like each other to work successfully together. We shouldn't confuse this concept with friendship.

    Also the enemies of our enemies are definitely not necessarily our friends. Nor are the friends of our friends automatically our friends.

    Business is business and proof of this is Saudi Arabia and the U.S. We don't like them and they don't like us. They are in no way our friends. We share nothing in common except some political enemies and common business interests. Also, there is a big difference between the man in the street of the ME countries and their governments which is really who we are doing business with.

    If tomorrow the Royal Family was overthrown and Islamic fundamentalist took over the world as we know would change dramatically--even though the peoples of Saudi Arabia and the other ME countries would be the same as they were yesterday.

    It is a complete and destructive waste of time to try and be friends. It is, however, not a waste of time to be friendly with them or their governments. Friendly and friends are not the same. And having a good working relationship is miles apart from having stable legitimate long-term relations with them built on trust and goodwill?

    The latter is impossible and more importantly, unrealistic. Especially with the ever changing or turnover at the regime or governmental level--even within our own country.
  4. ditch

    ditch Downunder Member

    I believe we are agreeing here. I responded to your question and said no to friendship and trust but yes to co-operation. That is what you have gone on to say. Plenty of examples of that in the world now and it works fine without the two parties being what you would term "friends". Your Saudis example illustrates the point.
  5. -Ken

    -Ken Guest

    Friendship and trust sounds nice but as long as they hate us and we hate them, there will be no peace. Someone will always find a way of trying to hurt the other one.

    The Japanese hated (I'm sorry, I meant to say) HATED us (read your 1940's government issued propaganda) but we became friends. We can do this with the people of the Middle East but I still maintain this can not be done by picking a war with one country at a time.

    As you mentioned, the Al Qaeda are a fluid group not bound to the geographical limitations of borders. There is no occupying their capital and have them sign a surrender on a battleship. And we will not "peacefully co-exist" with them either. They see us as the force, which must be put down.

    You brought up an interesting scenario. What if the Saudi Royal family was overthrown (certainly a possibility) what happens to all those arms we have provided them? What happens to our oil supply?

    We need to find a way to form a relationship with the majority of the population of these countries directly with people that we both feel comfortable with. In this way, should regimes change, we would still be looked upon favorably. Forget the governments, some of them are the problem. If they had sunk money into educating people instead of living well above the lifestyle of the average American, maybe their populace would be further along than just the Taliban telling them what is right.

    We created these corrupt governments, we kept them in power, gave them wealth and look what they have done. They have done nothing but assure their future riches and their countries be damned. We need to understand, there could be a few people who are pissed at us for doing it, even if we had the best intentions.

    And now, we need to fix the problem.

    By the way, great piece of writing.
    Is it my imagination or are you writing with more confidence lately?
  6. Coot

    Coot Passed Away January 7, 2010

    No we didn't create these governments...in the Arab countries, the Europeans, primarily the British, were the prime mover as they had conquered most of them. As to winning the hearts and souls of these people, you'd stand a substantially better chance of dissuading a startled rattlesnake from biting you.

    It they have to be dealt with one little tinhorn country at a time, then so be it.
  7. -Ken

    -Ken Guest


    You are right. The European countries created these rotten countries. In the above case I used the word "we" as in the Western World. To them, we are the Western World. We sure act like one, at least when we all mount up and declare war.

    I still maintain that we cannot do it one country at a time, it must be the entire region at once. And, it will take a lot more than just us. We need all the weapons manufacturing countries to agree to stop selling in this area. We need all the illegal arms traders "taken out" of the business of providing lunatics with these weapons.

    And then we need the help of China, Russia and the rest of the world to commit troops, material and logistical support. Why? Because it is in ALL of our best interests. When we get finished there, we need to start with Africa (what the hell, we're there already) and go through that continent (where necessary) fixing the corruption. Again, why? Because we need these areas to be stable.

    Will it be expensive?
    Cheaper than the eventual biological release or whatever insanity these "evil doers" have in the planning stage.
  8. Sierra Mike

    Sierra Mike The Dude Abides Staff Member

    Ken, they became our friends because we beat them in legitimate combat and occupied their country for almost 10 years. We tore away their militant empire and replaced it with a democracy. We forbade them from building weapons of war, and the Japanese readily agreed, being smart enough to see pacifism, for the time being, was their only hope. Not only that, their nation was bankrupt, in worse condition than Germany.

    You want to change regimes in the Middle East, as I asked you here, it does appear that is how it will have to be done. Invade, replace, rebuild, leave.

    But the Japanese, of course, are far different from the vast majority of the Middle Easterners. The Japanese were indeed fanatics with their own version of Allah--the emperor--but they were also a reasonable, ultimately logical people who chose life over death. Try as I may, I do not see much of a corollary between kamikazes who attacked US ships and airfields by sacrificing their lives and the homicide bombers of today who blow up buses and fly jetliners into buildings. There are similarities, yes; but while the Japanese did it for their nation and their god, the MEs are doing it for false prophets and the greater glory of Allah, who may or may not approve.

    I asked you before how it could be done, and you never answered. I think you feel it can be done without resorting to military means and subourning current regimes.

    Why do you think there's an American cavalry unit in Saudi Arabia? The USAF personnel are there to maintain the no-fly zones over Iraq. Why are their US Army troops there as well?

    It's unlikely the US and the West will be looked upon favorably in the case of regime change for two reasons: we will either have actively affected it, or we will have not.

    Please tell me how a foreign nation can establish a meaningful relationship with another country's population. I very much doubt that the leadership of Saudi Arabia would appreciate American intervention in their social affairs, especially since they are the ones who are fanning anti-American sentiment on one hand while trying to yank our cranks with the other. Should we use PSYOPS? Park a couple of Navy ships off the coast and bombard Saudi airwaves with VOA transmissions? Hijack their cable and satellite TV systems and pop on infomercials about how great a friend the US is?

    Do you have an idea? Mine are absolutely doable, but quite possibly illegal under the UN, not to mention they would absolutely be in violation of sovereign rights. What would your plan be? Apparently, missionaries to the ME don't work, nor do soldiers (when they're not attacking, that is). What's your plan?

    He is indeed!

  9. yazdzik

    yazdzik Veteran Member

    Dear Friends,

    I doubt anyone seriously believes that friendship be possible.

    There is so deep difference in the underlying ethos of the lands, that even co-existence is arguably unachievable.

    Where is the common ground between systems where one is founded upon the rights and freedoms of individuals and another whose deepest and most necessary precept is that of individual submission to a higher good?

    Friendship exists among individuals, alliances among states. Even to form an alliance with a country whose underlying spiritual purpose is the assimilation of the individual will into a collective being seems to border upon the preposterous.

    Arguing that if we are nice to those whose very existence depends upon the annihilation of our culture they will then respect us is disingenuous.

    All good wishes,
  10. Sierra Mike

    Sierra Mike The Dude Abides Staff Member

    Well stated. :)

  11. -Ken

    -Ken Guest


    First, an apology. I somehow missed the post you linked to and it was not my intention to slight you.

    I have stated before and I still stand by it, we will need to recognize the countries, which are in compliance with peacefully existing with us and those who aren't. We are trying to do this now but I believe we need to go about it differently. I am having difficulty thinking of one government (Israel not included) which is doing an acceptable job of being a good world citizen.

    I would serve notice to these countries, they have thirty days (or whatever) to come under compliance. They will surrender their arms and explosives, jail their terrorists, find a peaceful and workable government or they will cease to exist. The British gave them sovereignty, they can take it away!

    As we are sure none of the countries will comply, we blockade the entire Middle East. Smugglers will be effectively dealt with and we make known, we are building a new country. Call it Persia, if you like. There is food and a new country full of freedom for those who come this way and pass evaluation.

    We then make it happen.

    One final thing, the reason the Japanese are friends with us is not because we beat them in a war. It is because we took the time to rebuild and educate them after the war. They can look at what happened and see for themselves they are better off.

    The same holds true for places we weren't as successful with. They are upset also.

    There were mistakes made at the end of WWII we are still paying for. The Middle East is one.
  12. Sierra Mike

    Sierra Mike The Dude Abides Staff Member

    Exactly what I said, if not in this rejoinder, then here. You are very much preaching to the choir about the transformation of Japan after WWII. The United States treated their fallen enemy with dignity and respect and gave them a new lease on life, so ka?

    You suggest we blockade the Middle East? Really? Aren't you also against the economic sanctions being foisted onto Iraq? I can't recall if you are or not, but this would essentially be the exact same thing, but on a regional basis. Is this what you really want?

    We will perhaps find out if the WWII paradigm of rebuilding Iraq, at the very least, is possible in this day and age. I submit we do it one state at a time, beginning with Iraq and ending with Saudi Arabia...if this course is ever selected at all.

    It will require war and the spilling of American blood. But the blood spilled will likely save the blood of millions later.


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