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One man's terrorist, another's freedom-fighter?

aquapub

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Many times I have heard liberals try to liken George Washington to Osama Bin Laden. As with everything, liberals say it is subjective. It is all in the eye of the beholder. England probably saw Washington and other American snipers as terrorists just like we see Al Queda.

But Washington wasn’t going to England to kill as many British civilians as possible, to incite terror-which, by definition, would have made him a terrorist.

This is not “a matter of perspective.” We were expelling tyrants from our own country and only attacking soldiers.

This is just another feature of the unending liberal crusade to make everything subjective-even patriotism-so that no one has to have any depth, be measurable, or have anything expected of them.

As usual, in this comparison, we were right, Al Queda is wrong. We are nothing like them, and it is okay to assert America’s morally superior high ground on this and a whole host of other issues without apology.
 

shuamort

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I, personally, haven't seen anyone equate G Washington to Osama. But if I did, heavy smackdown would ensue. That is a preposterous notion.
 

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I've never heard anyone try to compare George Washington to Osama Bin Laden and if they did, then its a bad comparison. I actually thought this was gonna be an intelligent topic until it became obvious you were just bashing liberals. You should change the topic name to 'Liberals are evil devils;comparing George Washington to Osama'
 

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aquapub said:
Many times I have heard liberals try to liken George Washington to Osama Bin Laden. As with everything, liberals say it is subjective. It is all in the eye of the beholder. England probably saw Washington and other American snipers as terrorists just like we see Al Queda.

But Washington wasn’t going to England to kill as many British civilians as possible, to incite terror-which, by definition, would have made him a terrorist.

This is not “a matter of perspective.” We were expelling tyrants from our own country and only attacking soldiers.

This is just another feature of the unending liberal crusade to make everything subjective-even patriotism-so that no one has to have any depth, be measurable, or have anything expected of them.

As usual, in this comparison, we were right, Al Queda is wrong. We are nothing like them, and it is okay to assert America’s morally superior high ground on this and a whole host of other issues without apology.
You are right. We are nothing like them......and, unfortunately, many still don't understand the fundamentalist mentality.

Here are some excerpts of a true story, as told by Carlos Alberto Montaner, the Spanish language's most read writer :


"Shortly before Franco's death, in 1975, Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi delivered to a Spanish senator $50,000 to help him liberate the province of Andalusia from Madrid's tyrannical control. Gadhafi dreamed of restoring an Islamic state in southern Spain that would recreate the glory of Granada, the last Moorish redoubt in the Iberian peninsula, seized by the Catholic monarchs in 1492.

The senator - who at the time was a rebellious youth - pocketed the $50,000 and forgot the whole thing. But the reason this story is interesting is not the Spanish politician's roguish rip-off; it's Gadhafi's fevered memory. To the Libyan colonel, Granada was not a remote episode that occurred half a millennium earlier when Columbus discovered America, but a living and ongoing insult against Islam that deserved to be avenged by blood and fire.
No forgiveness.

There is something terribly sick in a culture that neither forgives nor forgets, that looks permanently toward the past, convinced that all the truths have already been inscribed in a sacred book that determines who are the infidels who must be vanquished or exterminated.

Within that moral aberration lies the infinite capacity of Muslim Arabs to inflict harm to others and to themselves without the slightest vestige of remorse. That's something that has nothing to do with the existence of Israel or the position of the United States, as exemplified by the periodic massacres in Sudan, Algiers, Syria, Jordan or Saddam Hussein's Iraq."
 

Claiminglight

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aquapub said:
Many times I have heard liberals try to liken George Washington to Osama Bin Laden. As with everything, liberals say it is subjective. It is all in the eye of the beholder. England probably saw Washington and other American snipers as terrorists just like we see Al Queda.

But Washington wasn’t going to England to kill as many British civilians as possible, to incite terror-which, by definition, would have made him a terrorist.

This is not “a matter of perspective.” We were expelling tyrants from our own country and only attacking soldiers.

This is just another feature of the unending liberal crusade to make everything subjective-even patriotism-so that no one has to have any depth, be measurable, or have anything expected of them.

As usual, in this comparison, we were right, Al Queda is wrong. We are nothing like them, and it is okay to assert America’s morally superior high ground on this and a whole host of other issues without apology.
Am I to understand that all liberal thought is immoral? Thank God you told me! Now I can tell my friends who call me weird for living in a cottage and drinking from mead from a goblet to screw off!

In all seriousness- there is some truth to the idea that Osama's action are based on his beliefs. While he may be psychotic by America's standards, he is clearly considered a hero by his supporters. Why, you may wonder?

Well, we embody everything that they detest. A culture that believes that women should be covered to preserve their chastity can be (I assume) accepting of an African tribe who views female nudity as natural. After all- there hasn't been any terrorist attacks on African villages.

On the other hand, I challenge you to type any exclusively female body part into a search engine. You know well enough what you'll find. America has a wealth of pornography and every piece of it shows a disregard for the tenants of their faith.

It's not that these people, or their leader, despise the idea of having another point of view. Instead, they hate people who utterly defile their moral codes. Our hate for them follows much the same pattern.
 
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Claiminglight said:
Am I to understand that all liberal thought is immoral? Thank God you told me! Now I can tell my friends who call me weird for living in a cottage and drinking from mead from a goblet to screw off!

In all seriousness- there is some truth to the idea that Osama's action are based on his beliefs. While he may be psychotic by America's standards, he is clearly considered a hero by his supporters. Why, you may wonder?

Well, we embody everything that they detest. A culture that believes that women should be covered to preserve their chastity can be (I assume) accepting of an African tribe who views female nudity as natural. After all- there hasn't been any terrorist attacks on African villages.

On the other hand, I challenge you to type any exclusively female body part into a search engine. You know well enough what you'll find. America has a wealth of pornography and every piece of it shows a disregard for the tenants of their faith.

It's not that these people, or their leader, despise the idea of having another point of view. Instead, they hate people who utterly defile their moral codes. Our hate for them follows much the same pattern.
The nazis hated U.S. culture as well, what's your point? There was no moral equivalency b/w us and them and I'm sick of people trying to make it seem like it's a cultural misunderstanding, its not, it's a blatant attempt by radical Islamics with a nazi heritage to form a pan Islamic arab state. Theirs is an act of conquest ours is an act of liberation. As it was in during ww2 it is today, those seeking tyranical rule and subjugation of the masses against the free peoples of the world. So you may ask me do I hate their culture, and ideas? My answer would be, as surely as I hate nazis.
 
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Claiminglight

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Trajan Octavian Titus said:
The nazis hated U.S. culture as well, what's your point? There was no moral equivalency b/w us and them and I'm sick of people trying to make it seem like it's a cultural misunderstanding, its not, it's a blatant attempt by radical Islamics with a nazi heritage to form a pan Islamic arab state. Theirs is an act of conquest ours is an act of liberation. As it was in during ww2 it is today, those seeking tyranical rule and subjugation of the masses against the free peoples of the world. So you may ask me do I hate their culture, and ideas? My answer would be, as surely as I hate nazis.
Don't get me wrong- I hate the terrorist's culture and ideas as well. But, you have acknowledged something important. They do indeed have a culture. They have ideas.

I don't want to put words in your mouth, so please clarify this for me before I comment any further. Do you think that everyone involved in their movement is stark-raving mad? Is there at least one who was capable of weighing out what they considered to be the pros and cons of joining such a group?

Please don't think for a second that I agree with them. Their views diametrically oppose mine. I think that turning "evil" to "good" is the path to Heaven. They think that killing "evil" in the name of "good" is the path to heaven.

Here's the funny thing. In this regard, you seem to agree with them. They are "evil", therefor they should be killed because it is the "good" thing to do. Maybe, in a very general sense, you have more in common with them then you thought.
 

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Well, before I say anything else, I might point out that I don't see the world in such simple terms as these monolithic groups called liberal and conservative, with all resulting political discourse reduced to binary. Now, there are certainly people in the media who encourage such a simplification and whose polemic discourse allows for little else, but I'm just stubborn enough to resist the programming.

I do think it is wise to strive for objectivity, though (with the realization that nobody could possible attain it), and so I think it best to use a defintion of the concept of terrorism that is applied in a consistant fashion. With this in mind, I often see a broadening of the definition coming from both sides of the spectrum we might call "liberal" and "conservative", and when people broaden their definition to include acts that are not terrorist as being terrorist, they are serving their political objectives at the cost of objectivity.

Terrorism involves the act of targeting civilian populations in order to acheive some sort of wider objective -- murder for political gain, essentially -- and can be distinguished from guerilla war by the fact that innocent civilains are killed BECAUSE they are innocent civilians, and those who do so are not selecting military or strategic targets. Perhaps others have their own definition, but that is mine and I try to keep it consistant.

I see some on the left (authoritarian leftists, though, rather than liberals) as broadening the definition to include police actions where anybody ends up being killed for any reason. They might babble on about "state terrorism" in the situation between Israel and Hamas, for instance, but fail to substantiate any claim that the state is actually killing civillians intentionally in order to terrorise them. Seems like nonsense to me because my definition is consistant and the people who say these things are simply conforming to the party line as it were. This is not the democratic party line, certainly, but it is their party line -- one, whose genesis lies in the rhetorec of the terrorists, themselves, intended to create a false impression of moral equivalency.

From the right, I also see lines being blurred, and usually when people confuse guerilla war with terrorism, or acts that are intentionally avoiding the loss of human life as terrorist. People might (and do) call Nelson Mandela a terrorist despite the fact that his political struggle did not target people as objects of murder, and people are referred to as terrorist for releasing lab animals into the wild or torching some suvs in a car lot. Now, this is not to absolve these actions, mind you, but they are not acts of terrorism.
 

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Gardener said:
Well, before I say anything else, I might point out that I don't see the world in such simple terms as these monolithic groups called liberal and conservative, with all resulting political discourse reduced to binary. Now, there are certainly people in the media who encourage such a simplification and whose polemic discourse allows for little else, but I'm just stubborn enough to resist the programming.

I do think it is wise to strive for objectivity, though (with the realization that nobody could possible attain it), and so I think it best to use a defintion of the concept of terrorism that is applied in a consistant fashion. With this in mind, I often see a broadening of the definition coming from both sides of the spectrum we might call "liberal" and "conservative", and when people broaden their definition to include acts that are not terrorist as being terrorist, they are serving their political objectives at the cost of objectivity.

Terrorism involves the act of targeting civilian populations in order to acheive some sort of wider objective -- murder for political gain, essentially -- and can be distinguished from guerilla war by the fact that innocent civilains are killed BECAUSE they are innocent civilians, and those who do so are not selecting military or strategic targets. Perhaps others have their own definition, but that is mine and I try to keep it consistant.

I see some on the left (authoritarian leftists, though, rather than liberals) as broadening the definition to include police actions where anybody ends up being killed for any reason. They might babble on about "state terrorism" in the situation between Israel and Hamas, for instance, but fail to substantiate any claim that the state is actually killing civillians intentionally in order to terrorise them. Seems like nonsense to me because my definition is consistant and the people who say these things are simply conforming to the party line as it were. This is not the democratic party line, certainly, but it is their party line -- one, whose genesis lies in the rhetorec of the terrorists, themselves, intended to create a false impression of moral equivalency.

From the right, I also see lines being blurred, and usually when people confuse guerilla war with terrorism, or acts that are intentionally avoiding the loss of human life as terrorist. People might (and do) call Nelson Mandela a terrorist despite the fact that his political struggle did not target people as objects of murder, and people are referred to as terrorist for releasing lab animals into the wild or torching some suvs in a car lot. Now, this is not to absolve these actions, mind you, but they are not acts of terrorism.
:applaud
I'm impressed. That's a good way of putting terrorism into words. And one into which an objective viewpoint fits well.

Do you consider Al Quada to be a terrorist network? This seems like a pointless question at first- but I'm interested in your comment.
 

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Gardener said:
Well, before I say anything else, I might point out that I don't see the world in such simple terms as these monolithic groups called liberal and conservative, with all resulting political discourse reduced to binary. Now, there are certainly people in the media who encourage such a simplification and whose polemic discourse allows for little else, but I'm just stubborn enough to resist the programming.

I do think it is wise to strive for objectivity, though (with the realization that nobody could possible attain it), and so I think it best to use a defintion of the concept of terrorism that is applied in a consistant fashion. With this in mind, I often see a broadening of the definition coming from both sides of the spectrum we might call "liberal" and "conservative", and when people broaden their definition to include acts that are not terrorist as being terrorist, they are serving their political objectives at the cost of objectivity.

Terrorism involves the act of targeting civilian populations in order to acheive some sort of wider objective -- murder for political gain, essentially -- and can be distinguished from guerilla war by the fact that innocent civilains are killed BECAUSE they are innocent civilians, and those who do so are not selecting military or strategic targets. Perhaps others have their own definition, but that is mine and I try to keep it consistant.

I see some on the left (authoritarian leftists, though, rather than liberals) as broadening the definition to include police actions where anybody ends up being killed for any reason. They might babble on about "state terrorism" in the situation between Israel and Hamas, for instance, but fail to substantiate any claim that the state is actually killing civillians intentionally in order to terrorise them. Seems like nonsense to me because my definition is consistant and the people who say these things are simply conforming to the party line as it were. This is not the democratic party line, certainly, but it is their party line -- one, whose genesis lies in the rhetorec of the terrorists, themselves, intended to create a false impression of moral equivalency.

From the right, I also see lines being blurred, and usually when people confuse guerilla war with terrorism, or acts that are intentionally avoiding the loss of human life as terrorist. People might (and do) call Nelson Mandela a terrorist despite the fact that his political struggle did not target people as objects of murder, and people are referred to as terrorist for releasing lab animals into the wild or torching some suvs in a car lot. Now, this is not to absolve these actions, mind you, but they are not acts of terrorism.
So refreshing. You are quite right in your definition of terrorism (the fact that innocent civilains are killed BECAUSE they are innocent civilians).
Now, this can lead us quite far.. And once again, I agree with you. Accepting to have civilians killed for political gain is the motto. You found that in the nazi regime, in the USSR regime, in the maoist regime, in the Pol Pot regime.. and they were all terrorists in my mind.
Terrorism tries to challenge democratic people to be so afraid that they are ready to change their democratic way of life to a police-state way of life to be protected. If the people do it, the terrorists won, because they changed the way of life.. and because their goal is to establish a dictatorship, that would better be ready when they try to conquer a country (through votes or through war). If things are ready, it's easier.

Now, the whole terrorist thread that is happening in our countries (i.e. the "West") allows the govts to play "Big Brother". It makes it easier for the real terrorists to take power afterwards.

Just my (still free) 0.02€
Y
 

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Claiminglight said:
:applaud
I'm impressed. That's a good way of putting terrorism into words. And one into which an objective viewpoint fits well.

Do you consider Al Quada to be a terrorist network? This seems like a pointless question at first- but I'm interested in your comment.

Thanks, light. I guess I'd have to say that I see them as engaging in activities that are both terrorism and guerilla war. The attack on the Cole was an act of guerilla war while the attack on the wtc was terrorism. As to the latter, I don't buy the rationale offered by folks such as Ward Churchill that since some of the people who worked in the trade center were involved in capitalism that they became valid targets as a result. If this were so, we might as well all give up our right to life right now.
 

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epr64 said:
So refreshing. You are quite right in your definition of terrorism (the fact that innocent civilains are killed BECAUSE they are innocent civilians).
Now, this can lead us quite far.. And once again, I agree with you. Accepting to have civilians killed for political gain is the motto. You found that in the nazi regime, in the USSR regime, in the maoist regime, in the Pol Pot regime.. and they were all terrorists in my mind.
Terrorism tries to challenge democratic people to be so afraid that they are ready to change their democratic way of life to a police-state way of life to be protected. If the people do it, the terrorists won, because they changed the way of life.. and because their goal is to establish a dictatorship, that would better be ready when they try to conquer a country (through votes or through war). If things are ready, it's easier.

Now, the whole terrorist thread that is happening in our countries (i.e. the "West") allows the govts to play "Big Brother". It makes it easier for the real terrorists to take power afterwards.

Just my (still free) 0.02€
Y
I agree. I think the situation is different in the U.S. vrs western Europe, but the potential for home grown terrorism in the latter is great, and so is the potential for sudden change in governance. Just looking at population trends alone, where native French, Germans, Dutch and Swedes are declining in population and Muslims are expoloding in population due to high birth rates, seems to me that there is going to be quite a clash of culture in the near future unless there are better measures taken towards assimilation. Now, this is not to say that Muslims support terrorism, necessarily, but with increasing percentages of people in these countries following Islam, so too will there be the potential for clashes of culture as long as the two stay fairly well mutually exclusive. If 10 percent of French are Muslim today, that figure could rise to 20% within 20 years, and 40% within 40, and along with this rise in populataion could very well come an increase in those who wish to live under Sharia, as well as the backlash against them. If this does not result in terrorism per se, it will surely result in conflict.
 

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Gardener said:
I agree. I think the situation is different in the U.S. vrs western Europe, but the potential for home grown terrorism in the latter is great, and so is the potential for sudden change in governance. Just looking at population trends alone, where native French, Germans, Dutch and Swedes are declining in population and Muslims are expoloding in population due to high birth rates, seems to me that there is going to be quite a clash of culture in the near future unless there are better measures taken towards assimilation. Now, this is not to say that Muslims support terrorism, necessarily, but with increasing percentages of people in these countries following Islam, so too will there be the potential for clashes of culture as long as the two stay fairly well mutually exclusive. If 10 percent of French are Muslim today, that figure could rise to 20% within 20 years, and 40% within 40, and along with this rise in populataion could very well come an increase in those who wish to live under Sharia, as well as the backlash against them. If this does not result in terrorism per se, it will surely result in conflict.

Well, what you say is interesting. I live in a country where its very creation involved a cultural clash. We are now 175 years old, and still alive. We of course have a lot of problems, but we manage them. We have en electoral system that's not so far from the US, at the exception that we need coalitions to make a government. Thus, we need to make compromises. We are used to this, and we will most probably survive an increase in the muslim population.

In fact, we do have a muslim immigration that's quite important. I live in the center of the city, where most north-africans (belgians now since one or two generations) are living. They have their culture, and I have mine. They mix quite well. I don't see a problem with the scarf, they don't see a problem with my wife driving. Why should we clash? We clash only when I talk with an integrist, and they are very few.

I really think a society must evolve, and to evolve, a society needs to incorporate the bases of other societies. Keeping a society frozen and alien to integration can only lead to the death of that society.

So, we'll see what happens, but I don't think that more belgians of north-african origin (4 to 5 generations ago) can be a threath. The Italians from the 50s were not. The East-europeans from the 21st century will not be. Life is movement, and integration.. But integration works both ways.

CU
Y
 

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The tittle of this thread is certainly true. In many instances people who have been called terrorists by one side are heros to the other. I have a couple of examples. One from the old world and one from the new. Both are fairly contemporary. Both were self educated men with great intellect, both used reuthless tactics on thier enemies and both are, in their home countries, regraded as heros by the masses today. We (Americans) are so taken up with Muslims we forgot there have been others. Americans never thought much about terrorism since the Civil War until 911 but the world has been living with terrorism for many decades. Until 911 the US had given shelter to some of the worst terrorists and their organizations in modern times. I am speaking of both the ETA in Spain and the IRA in Ireland. Here are two persons you mught find interesting

Salvatore Giuliano or Turre, the Scicilan mountain bandit from my father's home town of Montelepre where today he is considered one of Sicily's great freedom fighters. He was the subject of Mario Puzzo's best novel, IMO, "The Sicilian. A far better work and closer to reality than "The Godfather" and a far more honorable man. You can read briedfly about him at:

http://www.uwgb.edu/galta/333/giuliano.htm

The other, a Brazilian of a similar stamp was Virgolino Ferreira da Silva or "Lampiao" as he is known to Brazilians.. I am quite close friends with his granddaughter Vera Fereirra, who is a journalist in the northeastern Brazilian state of Pernambuco. He has been lionized by Brazilian film and TV over the years and featured in the films of brazilian director Glauber Rocha. You can read about him here:

http://www.brazilbrazil.com/lampiao.html

The of course there is William Clarke Quantrill who is still held in refevance by many Southern stoll today and hated by Northerners for his actions during the Civil War as the learder of Quantrill's Raiders, especially known for the massacre at Lawrence KS. Here also is a brief bio.

http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=5556&pt=William Quantrill
 
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