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-   -   The War on Terror (https://www.mersenneforum.org/showthread.php?t=1094)

kwstone 2003-09-09 05:19

The War on Terror
 
I hope this doesn't stir up to many hot feelings, but I feel that the guy who wrote the study summarized in the newspaper article that I quote below (Daily Telegraph, 2003/09/09) is pretty near the mark. What do you think? And, if he's right, how could we approach the problem better?

[quote]The US and her allies are losing the war on terror, with al Qaida growing in power, a British academic claims.

A report for the Oxford Research Group by Professor Paul Rogers of Bradford University said that more than 350 people have been killed in attacks linked to al Qaida since September 11.

Rather than military action succeeding in crippling the terror group, al Qaida has rallied its efforts, said Prof Rogers.

"The organisation and its associates have managed to plan and often undertake a remarkable range of activities, with these collectively showing a capability that exceeds that existing before the September 11 attacks.

"On this basis alone, it is difficult to accept any claim that the war on terror is being won," said his report, which includes what was claimed to be a comprehensive list of al Qaida's terror strikes.

He added that Afghanistan was "further away from stability than ever" and that the "occupying troops" in Iraq simply represented 140,000 targets for terrorist attacks.

There was a "wide-ranging perception" that the mass murder of 3,000 people on September 11 was a real human tragedy "but took place in a world in which 5,000 children die every day from diarrhoea and related causes".

He added: "Two years after the attacks on the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon, we have to face up to an international situation in which current approaches are inappropriate and ineffective, and may be leading to more intractable problems.

"Al Qaida has grown in strength over the last two years.

"Military victory over the Taliban was achieved by the provision of large quantities of armaments to Northern Alliance forces, with these armaments subsequently cascading through warlord militias in post-war Afghanistan, strengthening the power of individual warlords and diminishing that of the putative government of Hamid Karzai."
[/quote]

cheesehead 2003-09-10 05:38

[quote="kwstone"]I hope this doesn't stir up to many hot feelings,[/quote]
IMO, a discussion of this topic in this forum will definitely get out-of-hand. I'm resisting the temptation to post several very provocative statements about it.

I think it would be best to stop right now. to just not discuss this topic on this forum.

Xyzzy 2003-09-10 06:15

:confused:

graeme 2003-09-10 12:43

Stop now
 
I'd like to second Cheesehead's stop motion.

While this is an important issue and worth discussing, I don't feel that this is a good forum for these discussions.
I've noticed on this and other forums that misunderstandings can occur even when people agree on virtuallity every point in each other's posts. For something already as controversial as this, the only possible ending is a flame war with bad feelings all round.

I would prefer TTn and his (to my mind) outlandish theories rather than such a thread (even in a "Soap Box" environment).

Graeme

cheesehead 2003-09-10 21:25

Having expressed my personal opinion about this, I will not participate further. If others choose to participate, I hope the discussion stays civil.

kwstone 2003-09-12 02:12

Perhaps I'd underestimated just how emotive a subject this is for some people.

Rather than get the Soap Box off to a bad start. I'm happy to end this thread here. There are lots of other things we can talk about. If anyone would care to continue this discussion with me personally, they can always PM me.

With apologies if I've upset anyone. :(

PageFault 2003-09-13 19:08

Why? The purpose of the soapbox is to do this stuff ... it is teh bad place ...

[QUOTE][i]Originally posted by kwstone [/i]
[B]
Rather than get the Soap Box off to a bad start. I'm happy to end this thread here. [/B][/QUOTE]

nitro 2003-09-14 16:11

[QUOTE][i]Originally posted by cheesehead [/i]
[B][quote="kwstone"]I hope this doesn't stir up to many hot feelings,[/quote]
IMO, a discussion of this topic in this forum will definitely get out-of-hand. I'm resisting the temptation to post several very provocative statements about it.

I think it would be best to stop right now. to just not discuss this topic on this forum. [/B][/QUOTE]

Why?? Do you feel that you *are* losing and don't want to admit it/face up to it? Or even perhaps that the original premise for going to war was never there in the first place?

A true test of democracy is to allow other people to say stuff that you particularly *do* find distasteful & objectionable.

Only wanting/allowing discussion to take place about stuff that you agree with is what going to war was all about in the first place.....ie Iraq was a dictatorship.

eepiccolo 2003-09-15 17:55

[QUOTE][i]Originally posted by nitro [/i]
[B]Why?? Do you feel that you *are* losing and don't want to admit it/face up to it? Or even perhaps that the original premise for going to war was never there in the first place?

A true test of democracy is to allow other people to say stuff that you particularly *do* find distasteful & objectionable.

Only wanting/allowing discussion to take place about stuff that you agree with is what going to war was all about in the first place.....ie Iraq was a dictatorship. [/B][/QUOTE]

nitro, It seems you're trying to goad cheesehead into a fight, and I think you're being disrespectful of him.

Comments like this are why people wanted the discussion to stop in the first place. It seems that a lot of people can't take criticism, and the flaming starts.

It would be good if we could discuss the war. We're not going to hear anything different here than we do from commentaries in the media.

The key to a succesful soap box is to present logical arguments, preferably with references, and to remain civil. What screws up a soap box is when people start making personal attacks, as you have to cheesehead.

nitro 2003-09-19 21:30

[QUOTE][i]Originally posted by eepiccolo [/i]
[B]nitro, It seems you're trying to goad cheesehead into a fight, and I think you're being disrespectful of him.

Comments like this are why people wanted the discussion to stop in the first place. It seems that a lot of people can't take criticism, and the flaming starts.

It would be good if we could discuss the war. We're not going to hear anything different here than we do from commentaries in the media.

The key to a succesful soap box is to present logical arguments, preferably with references, and to remain civil. What screws up a soap box is when people start making personal attacks, as you have to cheesehead. [/B][/QUOTE]

Now go back, take your blinkers off and actualy read what I wrote.

Disrespectful? Difficult to respect or otherwise someone you don't know and have never met. Your *personal* interpretation that's all....

If you don't want these sort of comments and these sort of threads then the answer is simple. DON'T HAVE A SOAPBOX IN THE FIRST PLACE, SIMPLE ISN'T IT?

The whole point of a soapbox (go look up "Hyde Park corner") is that ANYONE can 'get up on their soapbox' and say ANYTHING.

If you don't like what I'm saying then walk away. Period.

You are of course free as the mod to CENSOR my free speech, but then I think that would say ten times more about you than it ever would me.

Presuming this site is hosted in the US don't you care about the first amendment in here, or as I said earlier, does that only apply if I am saying something that you happen to agree with.

Prime95 2003-09-20 00:57

[QUOTE][i]Originally posted by nitro [/i]
[B]Presuming this site is hosted in the US don't you care about the first amendment in here, or as I said earlier, does that only apply if I am saying something that you happen to agree with. [/B][/QUOTE]

A common misconception about the first amendment - even in the US - is that it guarantees citizens the right to say anything at any time. This is not what the first amendment guarantees. It only prevents the government from passing laws that limit your right to speak out. Employers, forum moderators, any private entity may create rules that limit speech.

As of now, xyzzy has only proposed one rule:[quote]
For now, just remember to treat everyone with respect and if you have to attack someone, attack the idea, not the person...[/quote]

Re-reading your original post, I think this line is what started the "disrespectful" response: [QUOTE] Do you feel that you *are* losing and don't want to admit it/face up to it[/QUOTE]

IMO, the "do you feel that you are losing" question is certainly a legitimate line for advancing the debate. The "don't want to admit it/face up to it" part drifts into the personal attack area.

You raise an interesting point about "SoapBox". The title practically invites one to rant and rave about anything they want. But calling the forum "Civilized discussions of today's issues" is long-winded and boring.

Personally, I don't mind debating the Iraq war and the more general war on terrorism. I enjoy hearing the opinions and rationale of the opposing side on any issue. If this issue is left undiscussed because it is "too hot to handle" or "someone might be offended" then you may as well ban discussions on abortion, religion, GW Bush, Clinton, Chirac, Blair, the Middle East, etc.
That said, it isn't my forum. My opinion must not count more than anyone elses.


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