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  • terorist definitions

    did nto know which thread to post this.

    some thoughts by a US marine on the definition of the word "Terrorism"

    http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig7/martin-p2.html
    "Freedom cannot exist without discipline, self-discipline, and rights cannot exist without duties. Those who do not observe their duties do not deserve their rights."--Oriana Fallaci

  • #2
    A man that has done two tours in al-Anbar province and still hasn't seen an al-Qaeda terrorist? We must have killed them all.

    By the way, isn't "Ali Baba" slang for a thief. I don't understand how it translates into "bad guy."

    Comment


    • #3
      Same way Abu ghraib now translates as high-ranking cover-up, as does "doing a Tillman". It's a clear connection that shouldn't be confusing at all.

      BTW - the Marine didn't say he hadn't seen any terrorists - just not any al Qaeda terrorists. Considerable diference.

      Comment


      • #4
        Ali Baba literally means Father Ali. I read that Iraqis and CF use the name as slang for thieves because Ali Baba is a fictional character in the story Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves. What does that have to do with Abu Ghraib or Pat Tillman.

        How do you serve TWO tours in the Anbar province of all places and not see one single AQ terrorist?

        Comment


        • #5
          Sounds like the philosophy of a REMF to me.
          "If you are right, then you are right even if everyone says you are wrong. If you are wrong then you are wrong even if everyone says you are right." William Penn.

          Comment


          • #6
            some more food for thought by my favourite US politician and commentator:


            Is Terrorism a Mortal Threat?

            by Patrick J. Buchanan


            It may have been politically incorrect to publish the thoughts on the sixth anniversary of 9-11, but what Colin Powell had to say to GQ magazine needs to be heard.

            Terrorism, said Powell, is not a mortal threat to America.

            "What is the greatest threat facing us now?" Powell asked. "People will say it's terrorism. But are there any terrorists in the world who can change the American way of life or our political system? No. Can they knock down a building? Yes. Can they kill somebody? Yes. But can they change us? No. Only we can change ourselves. So what is the great threat we are facing?"

            History and common sense teach that Powell speaks truth.

            Since 9/11, 100,000 Americans have been murdered as many as we lost in Vietnam, Korea and Iraq combined. Yet, not one of these murders was the work of an Islamic terrorist, and all of them, terrible as they are, did not imperil the survival of our republic.

            Terrorists can blow up our buildings, assassinate our leaders, and bomb our malls and stadiums. They cannot destroy us. Assume the worst. Terrorists smuggle an atom bomb into New York harbor or into Washington, D.C., and detonate it.

            Horrible and horrifying as that would be perhaps 100,000 dead and wounded it would not mean the end of the United States. It would more likely mean the end of Iran, or whatever nation at which the United States chose to direct its rage and retribution.

            Consider. Between 1942 and 1945, Germany and Japan, nations not one-tenth the size of the United States, saw their cities firebombed, and their soldiers and civilians slaughtered in the millions. Japan lost an empire. Germany lost a third of its territory. Both were put under military occupation. Yet, 15 years later, Germany and Japan were the second and third most prosperous nations on Earth, the dynamos of their respective continents, Europe and Asia.

            Powell's point is not that terrorism is not a threat. It is that the terror threat must be seen in perspective, that we ought not frighten ourselves to death with our own propaganda, that we cannot allow fear of terror to monopolize our every waking hour or cause us to give up our freedom.

            For all the blather of a restored caliphate, the "Islamofascists," as the neocons call them, cannot create or run a modern state, or pose a mortal threat to America. The GNP of the entire Arab world is not equal to Spain's. Oil aside, its exports are equal to Finland's.

            Afghanistan and Sudan, under Islamist regimes, were basket cases. Despite the comparisons with Nazi Germany, Iran is unable to build modern fighters or warships and has an economy one-twentieth that of the United States, at best. While we lack the troops to invade Iran, three times the size of Iraq, the U.S. Air Force and Navy could, in weeks, smash Iran's capacity to make war, blockade it and reduce its population to destitution. Should Iran develop a nuclear weapon and use it on us or on Israel, it would invite annihilation.

            As a threat, Iran is not remotely in the same league with the Soviet Union of Stalin, Khrushchev and Brezhnev, or Mao's China, or Nazi Germany, or Imperial Japan, or even Mussolini's Italy.

            And why would Tehran, which has not launched a war since the revolution in 1979, start a war with an America with 10,000 nuclear weapons? If the Iranians are so suicidal, why have they not committed suicide in 30 years by attacking us or Israel?

            What makes war with Iran folly is that an all-out war could lead to a break-up of that country, with Persians, Azeris, Kurds, Arabs and Baluchis going their separate ways, creating fertile enclaves for al-Qaeda recruitment and training.

            In our time, Pakistan, Ethiopia and Czechoslovakia have split apart. The Soviet Union and Yugoslavia have broken up into two dozen nations. Terrorism had nothing to do with it. Tribalism had everything to do with it.

            Race, ethnicity and religion are the fault lines along which nations like Iraq are coming apart. If America ends, it will not be the work of an Osama bin Laden.
            "Freedom cannot exist without discipline, self-discipline, and rights cannot exist without duties. Those who do not observe their duties do not deserve their rights."--Oriana Fallaci

            Comment


            • #7
              Seperating grain from chaffe

              Philip Martin, the marine who wrote this 'article', is on his second tour. Marines currently do TODs of approximately 6-7 months with a few months "off" in-between, so it's doubtful Martin was in on the two major battles for Fahlujah and other periods of most intense fighting in An-bar that occurred before his first tour. Not to say he hasn't likely been in a few fire-fights, but An-bar of the past year and a half isn't what it was 2-3 years ago as far as combat intensity goes. Not the "philosophy of REMF" so much as one likely seeing the "mop-up" period of what had been a very HOT locale a couple of years ago.

              Martin also reflects the hodge-podge effect of the American educational system where reading comprehension and analysis is a bit shortchanged. Selective literalism of "liberal" indoctrination is showing here, where it appears like many of his generation he fails to see or appreciate the nuances and broad connotations of language. For example, when we Americans speak of "democracy" we don't mean a literal rule of the majority(mob) on all issues, rather it is a phrase of connotation: "representational government chosen democratically" a.k.a. a "republic". Unfortunately career politicians like to blur things and like too many of 'the public', Martin appears ill-trained to read between the lines when it comes to "political speak".

              "Terrorism", "Terrorists" are the terms used in the last few decades to avoid the 'political incorrectness' of actually labeling who/what one is fighting. Partly for the wiggle room needed when the leaders and intel community isn't really sure who was responsible and doesn't wish to display their ignorance and mostly because in the last few decades most of these attacks have been done by Islamic Extremists Jihadis and once a 'politico' says the word "Islam" in conjunction with an attack/act of violence the Liberal-Socialist part of the world hyperbolics with broad-brushing charges of genocide intended against all Muslims.

              Note that most who identify with and think in the mode of "Liberal", "socialist/communist", "libertarian", "free-thinker", etc. tend to be "anti-" status quo. Their mindset is that anything contrary to the existing system(s) has to be better, therefore they are oppossed to those aspects/institutions of the status-quo/"The System". An example is how the Liberal/Socialist/Etc.s paint the religion of the Western Culture they live in, which has provided much of our cultural value system foundation, with a broadbrush colored by the most conservative extreme of Christianity, hence "all Christians" become villified by association with what is in reality a small fraction of single percentage of Christianity.

              Because this is the blindered perspective of most "Liberals-Socialists-etcs", this is the parameters applied to issues involving any other Religion. If there were an extremist minority sect of Buddists who started bombing and throat-slitting civilians to force them to convert to Buddism and they were labeled "Buddist Terrorists" the PoliticalLeft-Liberals-Socialists-etc. would scream that any campaign against this small faction was really directed towards extermination of all Buddists. Somewhere in succumbing to Liberal Indoctrination their minds become hardwired without the ability to calibrate differential scale in regards to social-political issues, hence the tendency of Liberals-Socialists to go to hyperbolic extremes and not discerning the variations in-between. It's Black or White with no shades of Gray in-between.

              Calling them "terrorists" is a term generic and diffussing compared to the more accurate phrases of IslamicExtremists or IslamicJihadists which would generate blindered reaction from "The Left" of hyperbolic charge that it's all of Islam/Muslims that are being targeted. Probably why most Lefties/Liberals are for gun-control because they know that once they have their hand on a gun they couldn't discern a valid target from out of the mass of innocents, therefore they think no-one else could do better than them at precise aiming and shooting.

              Which is why Martin was partly right on the Marine barracks in Beirut fiassco. "Pentagon/D.C." rules of engagement meant the sentry on duty wasn't "locked and loaded" and by the time he was aware of the threat, had chambered a round and could of fired to prevent, the bomb had gone off. Political leadership and Brass in WashingtonDC didn't think our troops/Marines could be trusted to exercise clear situational judgement, so they were defanged. Something that's happened all to often since.

              Another example of what I'm trying to illustrate is the idea that any/all "terrorists"(insurgents) Martin and the other Marines might encounter in An-bar have to be AlQaeda. Martin doesn't mention AQ once in his article by the way. But more significant is how so many have bought-into the erronious concept that all IslamicJihadis must be Al Qaeda, that it's only AlQaeda we are fighting, and/or that once we kill/capture Osama bin-Laden that's "game and match", the IslamicTerrorists will stop playing and take their ball home!? Saddest and most depressing about the current GWOT (an admitted mislabel) is this wide ranging display of ignorance of who and what precisely we are fighting has narrowed upon just one facet of a major force that's multifacet in it's composition and possessed of depth in organization as well as ideological foundation. Something decades in the making upon a centuries old ideology(religion) isn't going to whither away when one man or one organization ceases to exist.

              Finally, not because it's the last point I could make here but because it's getting too late for this old geezer, Martin hoists himself upon his own petard. Note this phrase from his article;
              " ... As a Marine I am considered a lawful combatant under the Geneva Conventions. This fact is stated on the back of my military ID card."
              Not just that ID card, more importantly the Uniform he wears which clearly marks him as a military representative of a signatory nation. By contrast, this from a little later in his article;
              " ...But the fact is that when someone shoots at me (a legal combatant) or tries to use a roadside bomb (IED) against me while I'm on patrol they are not a terrorist. They become enemy combatants the moment they target other legal combatants. You can call them insurgents, anti-Iraqi forces, anti-occupation forces, freedom fighters, or Ali Baba (our most easily translated term for bad guys) but "terrorist" is not the correct term."
              Martin shows here a blurring of the edges that he claims to be objecting to, IMO.

              "Enemy combatants"? Maybe the term fits, vaguely, but are they in possession of an ID card issued by AlQaeda or Hizbollah or Iranian Revolutionary Guard, or ...???

              Are they in a Uniform clearly marking them as "combatants", "legal" or otherwise?

              When this 'enemy combatant' possessing no ID or uniform, operating in civilian clothes puts down his rifle and walks away, or finishes setting the IED and distances himself (a comrade having the cellphone with the triggering cellphones number in it's phonebook waiting to be dialed) from it, is he still an "enemy combatant" or is he now just another civilian?

              Terrorism seeks to engender a larger scale of fear by it's randomness of targets and the obscurity of those who engage in it. This is fear in the classic sense derived from the element of the unknown about who does it, when they'll do it, and where/against whom they might do it next. By not carrying ID and clear markings-uniforms that they are the "enemy combatants" (legal or illegal) and taking advantage of their 'civilian'/mufti camoflauge, the 'enemy combatants' that Martin and others are dealing with can/could be called whatever one choses including "terrorists". One thing they aren't is "soldiers", to be such one has to remain in clear marking/uniform if in a combat zone/action against the other sides soldiers.

              A rose by any other name ... still smells.
              Last edited by G David Bock; 21 Sep 07, 04:03. Reason: spellin'
              TANSTAAFL = There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch
              “War is merely the continuation of politics by other means” - von Clausewitz
              Present Current Events are the Future's History

              Comment


              • #8
                good points to the discussion.
                for sure as terrorism is a tool and not a "religion" or an "ethnicity", the correct labeling should be used, in this case "muslim fundamentalists".
                but then a lot of insurgents in Iraq dont' care about Allah, they just want to kick the occupation forces out.
                "Freedom cannot exist without discipline, self-discipline, and rights cannot exist without duties. Those who do not observe their duties do not deserve their rights."--Oriana Fallaci

                Comment


                • #9
                  Things are seldom 'simple'

                  Piero,

                  Thanks for the endorsement, admittedly a rather long-winded post but the topic isn't one that lends itself to brevity, condenses into a 10 second sound bite or bumper sticker slogan (at least for me anyway).

                  I'll agree that it would be better in the long run to apply more accurate and specific labels and avoid the broad generalization terms currently in use. I was attempting to illustrate the how and why the broad term of "Terrorism/Terrorists" has come into usage, but not defending that usage. Perhaps we should start a trend here to drop usage of GWOT - Global War On Terrorism and start using GWOIJ - Global War On Islamic Jihad, however there are still groups/NGOs (Non-Governmental Organizations) that use terrorism tactics for non-Islamic agendas and might be targeted by forces engaged in the GWOT so it may still remain valid. In Afghanistan and Iraq the focus would appear to be primarily GWOIJ, but in other parts of the world we have, for one example, environmental extremists who engage in violent actions for their cause which has no connection to Islam, but would qualify as "terrorism", and might be pursued by the same forces/agencies that also fight the Islamic derived terrorism.

                  An issue obviously worth more discussion I'd say.

                  As for:"but then a lot of insurgents in Iraq dont' care about Allah, they just want to kick the occupation forces out." Seems a rather vague observation to me.

                  Saddam did release all the criminals from prison just before his regime fell, so there are a lot of criminals still loose operating under the guise of "insurgence" basically in criminal activity not caring much for Allah. And the situation isn't helped much by a national police force/structure left intact with assorted corrupt elements that could be considered criminal. It's possible that over time many of the criminals will be arrested or killed and as the Iraqi Defense Forces gain better cohession and capability, the Iraqi government may be able to reform it's couintries civil police forces.

                  However, the gauge I've gotten from most of those who have and/or are serving in Iraq, is that the majority of "insurgents" do "care about Allah" as their desire to eject the "occupation forces" has to do with the 'insurgents' agenda for their version of politics flavored by their version of Islam to predominate the Iraqi state.

                  The Shiia factions/militias are divided (not necessarily 50/50) between those operating as proxies for Iran with the goal of most to all of Iraq being an Iranian ally OR have an agenda for an Iraqi flavored Shiia dominated/aligned government.

                  The Sunni insurgents are divided (again not necessarily 50/50) between Ba'athists holdovers from Saddam's regime opoerating with support and 'agents' from Syria, another Ba'athist regime OR mostly Wahabist flavored Jihadis who are either loosely self-identified as "Al Qaeda" or share that fundimentalist agenda for a "pure" and literal Qur'anic-Sharia application of government in Iraq. For example, many of the "foreign nationals insurgents" operating in Iraq are from the more affluent nations and social segments of Islam who have guilt about living a lifestyle different from that proscribed by Sharia and the Sunna interpretations of the fundimentalists and have come to do Jihad to save their souls.

                  Bottom line is that most of the Insurgency in Iraq is driven by religious considerations as in Islamic 'culture' ~theology/philosophy~ Religion and State are not seperate concepts but interwoven and entwined ones. For better handle on these nuances and distinctions I'd remind the reader to review the material so far presented in this thread;
                  http://www.armchairgeneral.com/forum...ad.php?t=55135
                  TANSTAAFL = There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch
                  “War is merely the continuation of politics by other means” - von Clausewitz
                  Present Current Events are the Future's History

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    And your theories/facts on Islam really only proscribe to a narrow area of the Middle East. North/sub-Saharan Africa, the Transcaucasus, South-East Asia and so on all differ in their base understanding of Islam due to the local nuances. The Koran says they're all the same, but in reality they're not. The animalist worship of the Aceh people is an example of this - they're stridently Muslim; so much so that largely secular Indonesian government has had it under lockdown for a while; but then they still revere the animal spirits and such in the area. Shia Islam is still mixed with Zoroastrianism and ancestor worship in Iran. The Chechen teip culture is much more predominant than their Islam.

                    Putting all fundamentalist parts of those societies under the same banner of extremist Islam is folly. They have similar goals, but they also have some very different ones.

                    Also, I'm not sure I'd call anyone engaging in terrorist tactics an NGO - given that the term largely refers to aid agencies.

                    edit: and please don't take this as a criticism GDB, but your posts come across as slightly condescending, like you're speaking with children. Maybe you're used to teaching or similar, but most folk here are at level of equals, even if they don't always agree. Again, it's not a bad thing, just wasn't sure if you're aware of it.
                    Now listening too;
                    - Russell Robertson, ruining whatever credibility my football team once had.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by piero1971 View Post
                      Consider. Between 1942 and 1945, Germany and Japan, nations not one-tenth the size of the United States, saw their cities firebombed, and their soldiers and civilians slaughtered in the millions.
                      These two countrys declared war on the world and the "SLAUGHTERING" of CIVILIANS was done by Germany and Japan.


                      Japan lost an empire. Germany lost a third of its territory. Both were put under military occupation. Yet, 15 years later, Germany and Japan were the second and third most prosperous nations on Earth, the dynamos of their respective continents, Europe and Asia.
                      These countries lost the WAR; they were lucky to keep anything! Their prosperous achievements were attained because of the occupation and the trillions of U.S. Dollars poured into their economies, which allowed Germany and Japan to prosper and enjoy the benefits of "FREEDOM"!

                      If not for England and the United States, RUSSIA would have been the owner of both Japan and Germany.


                      KEN
                      DO NO HARM
                      1st ID, 1/28th '67/'68 Phouc Vinh & Quan Loi
                      Skirmishes Bu Dop Dec-67, An My, Thu Duc Feb-68
                      Plt. Ldr - CIB, Purple Hearts, Silver Star
                      What we write can be considered to be a reflection of our SOUL providing others to know our CHARACTER.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        The traditional definition, at least for the US, was "10 to 12 highly educated, well-armed, well-financed individuals willing to die for their cause."

                        Although that was for a "terrorist group" it's still applicable since that's how "terrorist cells" are organized.

                        In retrospect, it seems that only muslims and areligious groups, like the Japanese Red Army Brigade were "willing to die for their cause" as the Red Army Faction, Italian Red Army Brigade, Direct Action and numerous other western groups, such as those in Central/South America, were not.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Ivan Rapkinov View Post
                          Putting all fundamentalist parts of those societies under the same banner of extremist Islam is folly. They have similar goals, but they also have some very different ones.
                          Yes, very good.

                          Not so much westerners, but Canadians, Brits and especially Americans have zero understanding.

                          Islam is tantamount to christianity in every way shape and form. Just as christianity has a division between catholicism/Eastern Orthodoxy and Protestantism, Islam has a division between Sunni and Shi'a.

                          The Shi'a are most closely akin to Eastern Orthodoxy. The Shi'a pray to saints and have shrines and holy places and relics. Just as there are Lain Rite Eastern Orthodox, and Eastern Rite Catholicism and Maronites and many others, the Shi'a have Fivers, Seveners and Twelvers, among their major sects.

                          The only real difference is that the Shi'a have no pope and no patriarchs. Each congregation is separate and exits only unto itself, although as Fivers for example, it shares the same beliefs with other Fiver congregations.

                          Just as catholics and Orthodox disdain suicide, so do the Shi'a. That's why "Shi'a Suicide Bomber" is oxymoronic.

                          The Sunni are nearly identical to Protestants. You have big-city-urban McChurch, you have big-city-urban McMosque. You have liberal Protestants, liberal Sunni, secular Protestants, secular Sunni, back-woods Protestant congregations that preach hell-fire, brimstone and damnation, back-woods Islam congregations that preach hell-fire, brimstone and damnation.

                          Just as there are Protestants that "speak in tongues" and lick snakes and dance with them, there are muslim mosques where they "speak in tongues" and lick snakes and dance with them.

                          You can attend services at a pagan-christian church and pray to the tree god and river god and cockroach god, just like you can go to a pagan-Islamic mosque and do the same.

                          You want to be a new-age Protestant, you can do that in Islam too, it's called Sufism, and it's been around about 1,500 years. You can get mystical and magical and transcend or whatever.

                          That is the diversity and richness of Islam, and despite what FAUX News wants everyone to believe, there's no manaical leader having power over all muslims and pulling the strings.

                          If Americans are unable to see that, then they will not be successful in dealings with muslim countries, and neither will their foreign policy.

                          There are some 30-odd muslim countries, of which half are democracies or democratic to some extent. Does it strike anyone as mere coincidence that the dictatorial regimes have one thing in common, namely a single cash-crop economy based on oil or some commercial crop, while the democratic countries do not?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Mircea
                            Does it strike anyone as mere coincidence that the dictatorial regimes have one thing in common
                            I agree with the above quote.

                            I do not agree with the below quote.

                            Originally posted by Mircea
                            , namely a single cash-crop economy based on oil or some commercial crop, while the democratic countries do not?
                            The one thing that all dictatorial regimes have in common is some sort of hatred spin line that can be used to rally some sort of armed support.

                            I don't believe that our problems are because of religion and/or different faiths and/or cultures. I believe the problems come when a person, organization, and/or country spins hatred to gain control of the masses. Power and control is what it's all about. Terror is used to gain this power and control.

                            Yes, Race bashing, Religious bashing, Political bashing and Nationalism bashing takes place. This is what we must stay away from.

                            Be leary of all countries and/or organizations that have their militia on parade and are activily bashing in heads and executing citizens in order to keep and/or gain control of their citizens. These folks are the TERRORISTS!

                            The air gets thick and the water muddy when we throw out Antii-"anything" and Pro-"anything".

                            There will always be two or more ways to solve our problems and/or disagreements. But once in awhile (because were humans) war is the only answer.


                            KEN
                            DO NO HARM
                            Last edited by KEN JENSEN; 30 Sep 07, 16:25.
                            1st ID, 1/28th '67/'68 Phouc Vinh & Quan Loi
                            Skirmishes Bu Dop Dec-67, An My, Thu Duc Feb-68
                            Plt. Ldr - CIB, Purple Hearts, Silver Star
                            What we write can be considered to be a reflection of our SOUL providing others to know our CHARACTER.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I take issue with the article: "What Terrorist?

                              I sent the following email to Philip Martin- the Marine whose article supposedly defines what a Terrorists is:


                              Philip – I take issue with your article titled: What Terrorists? Dtd Sep 19, 2007

                              You need to determine if Hizbollah is a non-Terrorist group or a Terrorist Group

                              Your article seems to portray this group, and any other group that attacks a LEGAL combatant as a LEGAL combatant group. If so, what country legalizes Hizbolla then; LEBANON, IRAN, IRAQ? Or possibly could the Hizbollah group be a LEGAL combatant group, per the Geneva Convention, as you are?

                              When you go out on patrol, if you happen to see a group of non-uniformed folks shooting at another group of unarmed, non-uniformed folks what would you do?

                              If, at home (USA), and a group of non-uniformed folks blew up a barracks containing your fellow Marines what would you do?

                              Keep your ARZ down youngster!

                              KEN (US ARMY – Retired for Disability – Wounds from Vietnam)
                              DO NO HARM
                              Last edited by KEN JENSEN; 06 Oct 07, 18:11.
                              1st ID, 1/28th '67/'68 Phouc Vinh & Quan Loi
                              Skirmishes Bu Dop Dec-67, An My, Thu Duc Feb-68
                              Plt. Ldr - CIB, Purple Hearts, Silver Star
                              What we write can be considered to be a reflection of our SOUL providing others to know our CHARACTER.

                              Comment

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