Posts Tagged ‘terrorism’

Another Look Back

September 11, 2011

Here we are, ten years past the tragedy that was visited on us on 9/11/2001.

It was a far different 2001 than that visualized by Stanley Kubrick in his famous film”2001: a Space Odyssey” but far more realistic.

I keep waiting for the “healing” to begin, to put us beyond that which we are being constantly reminded of, constantly commemorating. I would like to move through an early September without the constant reminders of horrors all to human to ever possibly forget.

So, in our effort to bring some meaning to the senselessness of the thousands that died that day we have taken a war to the Middle East and killed so many thousands more to repay someone who we have finally wreaked our vengeance on…

Does the story have any sort of a happy ending? And should it?

Or are we supposed to carry the pain with us always and ensure that others come to know the depths of our suffering by doing unto them?

Seeing how we have been so readily able to move beyond the tribulations of a nation torn apart by the “Civil War” – (NOT!) – I fully expect this commemoration to carry forward for another century, at least, while we still tear the scabs open and reawaken the wounds. And as the blood flows freely again, we can somehow feel some solace for our loss.

So many of the Civil War commemoration protesters today cat-call the Rebel-biased lamenters with that famous phrase: “You lost. Get over it!”

As humans, we do not seem to be able to “get over” such large scale tragedies.

So, while others lament at the foolish sentiment wasted by the Rebel-lovers during the current Civil War Sesquicentennial, let us all take a moment to remember the cause of our righteous indignation against an innocent people half a world away.

Have a thoughtful 9/11.

Advertisements

the Al Qaeda Era Draws to a Close

May 3, 2011

Oh, if it were only true!

But if anyone has been following any of my blogs thus far, you’ll know I have spoken about the whole terrorism thing before. It isn’t quite what we think it is.

As I mentioned in “Yankee Go Home” (Jan. 1, 2010), the reasons so many around the world think so little of us has nothing to do with the more benevolent side of our society. And, no, they do not dislike us because we are rich and they aren’t wealthy.

No, they dislike us for entirely different reasons. Our condescension and manipulation in their lives does far more ill than the good that comes from tossing them a few shekels in aid money.

I remember the reaction from the media talking-heads when, just after the 9/11 attacks, many people in the Middle East were celebrating our misfortune.

Now the media is showing our reaction to the head of Al Qaeda being killed, and you know what? It’s the same reaction!

Where’s the difference? Other than our egos proclaiming, “they celebrated for evil and we celebrate for the triumph of righteousness”…

Hmm…

Like I said, it’s the same thing. Only the viewpoint has altered slightly.

But it sure doesn’t make us seem any different than them now, does it?

A year ago (Apr. 29, 2010 – We are a Christian Nation? – NOT!), I mentioned that we don’t really seem to be a very Christian nation in spite of what the “moral majority” may think.

And I think this pretty much sums it up.

More Lessons from the Middle East

June 3, 2010

[this article was written a couple of years ago but – as with all things Mid-East – seems rather timeless]

Now that the conflict is winding down in the latest Middle East conflict, let us take a moment to review what, if anything, might be learned from the weeks-long debacle.

The Lebanese army is moving into the south of Lebanon where they have not been since 1967. And why hasn’t the Lebanese army been in South Lebanon? Because the area has been controlled by Hezbollah.

Controlled by a terrorist group?

Perhaps Hezbollah is more than “just a terrorist organization” like the administration has been selling us… or rather telling us.

And what is Hezbollah doing during the cease fire? Building up stronger resistance? Harrassing the Israeli, Lebanese, and UN troops? No, they are helping rebuild the ravaged south.

Hmmm… I thought “governments” did that, not “terrorist organizations”.

Which brings us to the Palestine question. Their local “terrorist organization” seems to be a political party: Hamas.

The hippie/yippie movement in the sixties against the Republican Party were a rather militant branch of the Democratic Party. Could we then suppose that the Democrats were a “terrorist organization” just because some members were militant?

So I think both Hamas and Hezbollah are getting a bad rep because of our LABELLING them “TERRORISTS”. Just because our government decides someone is a terrorist, does it make them one?

In a war, one does NOT send military squads into the opposing territory and kidnap non-combatants. Such a move would be labelled terrorism by any definition. Yet that is exactly what Israel has done to the Palestinian government officials.

Their claim that Hamas is a terrorist organization does not hold up. In this instance Israel is the terrorist organization!! They decry the kidnapping of an Israeli soldier as an act of terrorism and then kidnap more than two dozen parliament and cabinet officers! Why are we allied to that terrorist organization?

One final note: many Lebanese interviewed on returning to the South knew exactly who to blame for the war. Israel? No. Hezbollah? Hell, no!

They blamed George W. Bush and the United States of America.

Winning the War on Terrorism?

May 27, 2010

Our President claims (just like the former occupant on the throne) that we are winning the war on terrorism… either he is completely deluded, or is reading some news reports we are not privy to.

Actually, not only are we losing the war, but we are making it WORSE!

The claim relies on the fact that we have not been attacked directly since 9/11. But what our fearless leaders seem to have forgotten is that the war on terrorism is an international war, not one being waged only on the home front… at least that was the rationale used when deciding to attack Afghanistan and Iraq.

But on the international stage, the war on terrorism is NOT ‘winding down’ or getting close to being won. It is FAR WORSE today than when the 9/11 attacks occurred. MORE terrorists are being created as a direct result of our current foreign policies than existed before 9/11!!

So, far from “winning the war on terrorism”, we are LOSING… Big time!

What will They Search if…?

April 5, 2010

After the famous “shoe-bomber” episode, airport security had all prospective passengers remove their shoes for examination. Now, after the “liquid-bombers” scenario, they are checking all liquids brought onto airplanes.

Quite a typical knee-jerk reaction. And the shoe search continues years after the one shoe threat was thwarted. How long they will continue the madness, no one knows. But what if something REALLY bizarre happens?

What will happen, I wonder, if a terrorist attempts to bring a bomb on a plane secreted in one of his/her private orifices?

You might think it funny, but smugglers through the centuries have transported contraband in this manner. It is probably only a matter of time before the terrorists think of such a system. And once the plan is discovered, how will airport security handle it?

As unfunny as it sounds, I imagine there would be widespread (pardon the pun) body cavity searches implemented at airports. But how many people would submit to the indignity of having their internals poked and prodded by some functionary? How long would such search procedures be in place?

How far are we or this paranoid administration willing to go to protect our “security”?

And how is this “knee-jerk” mentality actually keeping us safe, anyway?

They claim that the inconveniences we must suffer are but a small price to pay for our security. But if the terrorists see what security measures we have in place, won’t they simply come up with a plan to circumvent it? And, in that case, all the security checking in the world is NOT going to keep us secure.

A better system of security had better be arrived at shortly, or we will never be secure by playing ‘catch-up’.

But, meanwhile, drop your pants and spread!

Terrorism Is Not Really the Problem

March 12, 2010

Most people see the largest problem facing a peaceful world is the presence of terrorism. They think everything would be rosy, if the Islamic extremists and jihadists would stop making trouble.

What a joke!

Historically speaking (and some of the history is fairly recent), many groups of terrorists have been plying their trade for centuries, and very many of those groups were terrorizing long before Islam was created. One such (Israel) was covered in my earlier entry on “Terrorism in the Middle East in the Twentieth Century”.

Although are government has “declared war on terrorism”, it is one of those useless sound bites that don’t really amount to much. Besides, the terrorism is not the problem, but merely a symptom resulting from the problem. (You see this a lot in our society – even beyond the medical arena – symptoms alone are treated while the disease continues unabated.)

The problem is US! Not each of us individually, but the collective whole of how our country operates in the world at large, and it is not a pleasant legacy our brand of capitalism is leaving to the remainder of the world. Most foreigners see Americans as fat, lazy, and cruel dominators of the rest of the world.

Islam also sees us as the primary supporters of Israel’s takeover of Palestine, uprooting a civilization that has been there for many centuries and turning them into homeless wanderers… much like the Israelites were for centuries before, and not through anything other than their own doing!

So, to handle the terrorism, you would first have to address the issues they are fighting against. I do not mean to give in to their desires, but a genuine offer of negotiated settlement could go a long way to ending the grievances.

And the terrorism we currently face.

Terrorism in All but Name

February 27, 2010

After years of tormenting the Palestinians, Israel very quickly started wars on two borders. The kidnapping of Israeli citizens was the fuse that ignited the war, and Israel says it will not treat with terrorists, especially for an “exchange of prisoners”.

Their stance would be admirable if the facts would just get out of the way.

Israel has refused to accept a Palestinian state, or to acknowledge its right to exist. And yet they refuse to treat with Palestine for the same refusal. It seems that it is okay if they behave like that, but definitely not okay if the Palestinians do it.

And what are these prisoners the Palestinians (and now the Lebanese) want released? Are they asking for the release of terrorists? Political prisoners? No, they only want the release of women and children being held illegally in Israel prisons without formal charges. That’s the reason Israel wants to go to war.

Well, that and the reason that they really don’t need an excuse in their attempt to wipe the Palestinians from the face of the earth.

Who is being the terrorist here?

And, as usual, our administration sides with the Israeli terrorist government, and drawing more rebuke on us by countries around the world as well as the Vatican. Yet we continue to send them over a billion dollars a day… sounds like a very serious drug problem doesn’t it? We’ve got it bad and we can’t shake it.

Israel (not Jews, mind you) may yet be the death of us.

How Many Sides can a War Have?

January 31, 2010

Most people think of the conflict in Iraq as a war between us and them. Unfortunately, the problem is not nearly that clear.

Many of the Muslim inhabitants of Iraq would love to see the U.S. forced out of their country. Many of the combatants are Al Qaeda, but quite a few are just Iraqi patriots.

And then there is the blood-letting going on beyond where the American forces are. I am sure most have heard of the fighting going on (and most of it more bloody than that in which our troops are engaged) between the Sunni and Shiite factions of Islam.

But beyond these conflicts with Muslims killing Christians, or Shiite killing Sunni, there is yet further hostilities going on. It seems the Shiites, and the Sunnis, have several different branches and each of these are struggling for the dominance of their sect.

So, there are plenty of varieties of war going on in Iraq. Sunnis can be found fighting Americans, Shiite, or even other Sunni factions. Shiites can be found fighting Americans, Sunni, or even other Shiite factions. All three can be found fighting Al Qaeda factions, and two (Sunni and Shiite) can be found fighting against the new Iraqi government.

And the problem is getting even more complicated with our Peace-nik President expanding the war in Afghanistan.

There is really nothing new to this factionalism except for the presence of the American forces there. If we would simply vacate the region, they could get down to their centuries-old violence without our presence.

Some prefer to call it “cut and run”… I call it getting our unwelcome presence out of a conflict we have nothing to do with.

Do you recall the old definition of insanity: “Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results“.

I wonder if Obama can get on the short list for the Noble Prize in that category? (Or has he already been announced the winner?)

Another Illegal Administration

January 7, 2010

I heard a lot of groans about how the 2004 election was “stolen”. After looking over the evidence, it is obvious it was stolen. But so what? That is only the tip of the iceberg in the illegal actions taken by the previous administration… and condoned by a Democrat-controlled Congress. And five years after that travesty of a mock election, the now Democratic White House does not seem to be anxious to change anything.

America has proudly been the staunch defender of human rights worldwide, for generations… until now.

We have steadfastly denounced offensive military actions by the dictators of the world… until now.

Torture of captives and political prisoners has always been denounced by our leaders… until now.

Detaining political prisoners without due process has been declaimed from on high… until now.

The President swears an oath to uphold the Constitution, and pays dearly when he slips… until now.

And the American people, as guaranteed, have always been the ultimate decider… until now.

Practically any one of these should have been enough to have Bush removed, and yet he continued his blithe captaincy of the ship of state in very rocky and shark-infested waters until the bitter end of his term. And it is sad that the Democrats under the questionable abilities of Speaker Pelosi have fought off all attempts to have the man impeached (why? I suppose so their man could continue the same abuse off powers when he came to the office in 2008). But the saddest part of all, perhaps the most frightening of all, is that these huge crimes are only the tip of the iceberg, and I am certain we will be discovering for years to come the crimes George W. Bush and Dick Cheney have committed while in office.

And how has this been allowed to happen? Fear! When 9/11 occurred, our wonderful leaders pointed the finger and claimed Al Qaeda done it! Bin Laden denied any involvement in the action (and further investigations point the finger more squarely on this administration having done it themselves!), but we declared “war on terror” and advanced into Afghanistan to grab Bin Laden. Now we have gone into Iraq to fight terror but have succeeded only in spreading it further!

Whenever Bush needed something more from the American people, we heard more of the fear message. And the will of Congress and the people bow before the fear. One by one, we allowed the government (Republican President and Democratic Congress) to infringe on our freedoms. Once the power has been given away, do we really expect these people to give us back the power? Are you nuts?! Of course they won’t!

Human Rights commissions in Europe and those attached to the U.N. have denounced the governments of two countries in recent months for “war crimes”, “crimes against humanity”, and “human rights violations”: the United States and Israel. And that does not bode well for a universal form of democracy, does it? It seems more like a highly polarized political agenda. (The announcement of either should not surprise anyone. For more on Israel, see my previous post… same ol’ same ol’.)

Just like Lincoln’s goal of “ending slavery” only expanded it, Bush’s reported goal of “spreading democracy” will in actuality end it. I’m afraid that establishing “puppet governments” in the Middle East and refusing to recognize democratically elected governments (like Hamas) points to the extinction of democracy rather than its spreading.

Telling others how to govern is not democracy. It is creating a “territorial status” for these foreign nations under the guise of independent operations.

Its time for this nation to wake up, don’t you think?

Or our grandchildren will have to live without the freedoms we have so easily relinquished. Future generations will pay for our crimes of omission.

Terrorism in the Middle East in the 20th Century

January 5, 2010

This is not going to be a documentary history, just a short overview. (a complete listing of terrorism in Palestine 1944-48 can be found at http://www.doublestandards.org/unbunche.html)

Terrorist activity in the Middle East had been going on for centuries, but on a very small scale much like terrorist activities in other parts of the world as well: Europe, Africa, America. But early in the 20th Century, the terrorist activities began to increase. Armed bands attacked villages, usually at night, burning, looting, raping, killing; all the usual terrorist things. And they were not just bandits or hoodlums, but ideologists working toward a political agenda.

The terrorist attacks continued for years and escalated into bombings. Untold thousands died. Political authorities tried in vain to stem the tide, but it did no good. The violence continued, even through the second world war. Finally, having had enough (especially after a high government official was assassinated), the government swooped in and arrested thousands of the terrorists. The populace felt secure only for a short time, however, as the terrorists were soon released and the territory mandated to them.

Imagine how the victims felt when the terrorists were not punished, but were rewarded for their criminal activities. Still, there was some solace as the victims now learned from their oppressors how to do terrorist activities.

So the Palestinians began to balance horror for horror against their former terrorists, the Israelis. But, having been at it longer and having powerful allies (meaning US, financing their terrorist actions), the Israelis continue to “out-terror” the terrorists. Israel demanded recognition, and having gotten it still continue their genocide of the Palestinians but now as a “state supported” – and therefore “legal” or political – terrorism.

Now we indulge our superiority by declaring a fallacious war on terrorism while continuing to send hundreds of billions of dollars every year to the largest state supported terrorist organization in the world.

It does not look like terror in the Middle East in the 21st Century will fare any differently.