I also wish news sources would be more careful about suggesting that there are autonomous killer robots in the sky. The drone didn't target anything. A remote pilot did, based on information he/she was provided.
Truck attacks, drone attacks, knife attacks - one might be forgiven for thinking these objects have developed minds of their own.
Or perhaps the insinuation is that most humans themselves are mere instruments of the cultures and institutions they're embedded in.
Or, God forbid, Iran kills 30 Saudis in Saud.
We've been exposed to so much propaganda that we instinctively know what is "worse", and who is "allowed" to kill without due process.
But it does not mean you are right: Afganistan cannot attack the US over 30 dead civillians, the US can attack Iran for some Saudi property destruction by Yemenis who are being raped by Saudi using US weaponery on them.
I meant: But it does not mean you not are right
Alternatively if Yemen rebels attack Saudi Arabia, that’s bad. If Iran does it, everybody in a thousand mile radius starts sweating.
Why is it bad? I mean, after they've been at the receiving end of Saud's war machine, why can they not retaliate? They sure did not cause as much boodshed (zero, just material damage) as the Sauds have caused them.
I agree. This separation I find problematic. How often we hear "I want to be vegan (for the animals = moral) but I cannot give up cheese/meat/etc (too convenient/tasty = practical)"
To me they are not separate. Oppression is oppression, I hate it regardless who does it or how inconvenient it is to stop it.
Why these mass murderers are allowed to flourish in our society is a continuing source of dismay for me.
Just imagine China start to playing news such like this in those concentration camps, free golden material for showing people how rightful it is to follow the lead of CCP I'd say.
While it is true the U.S. is benefiting from it's strong global influence, but it is also true that nobody wants to be threatened. If the U.S. don't want to be the good guy in this game, at least don't be the bad one.
“France knowingly harbors 911 terrorists.”
“French leaders take credit for car bombing which kills 23 civilians.”
There’s a historical reason for this discrepancy.
That war is absurd and should have stopped a long time ago. It's just fueling more terrorism. All western countries should leave the middle east, for good, forever (except maybe the odd ship to secure shipping lanes and stuff like that, but you get my point).
If you don't think that way, assuming that you're from US, you should demand an answer for each and every civilian death.
We don’t conduct missions in Afghanistan for funsies. We do it because there is no State we can lean on to stamp down on the extremists.
None of that is true in the US. People who say “hurr durr but Republicans are a white nationalist party” do so out of ignorance, because they have no idea what it’s like to have extremists actually threaten your democracy. And their ignorance is dangerous. It’s dangerous to a world that needs US leadership to overcome extremism. Their false equivalency and apologism undermines the people in countries like Bangladesh who continue to fight for liberal democracy and the rule of law.
The normalizing of imperialistic murder abroad is not an anomaly; it is a core part of US identity. The US itself is a product of imperialistic murder, its crowning achievement even.
To this day US soldiers deployed abroad use the term “indian country” to designate occupied territory where they conduct counter-insurgency operations. That term dates back to counter-insurgency operations conducted by the very same institution against Native Americans until 100 years ago. What was once abroad is now domestic - such is the nature of empire.
If X was not the USG, then the USG would care and probably go to war with any countries potentially related to, or sounding similar to, X
It's not like killing a person with certain beliefs stops the beliefs from spreading.
Also, killing people with beliefs does stop beliefs from spreading. How much of Afghanistan do the Taliban control these days, anyway?
The idea was that "possible US engagement saves more civilians than it kills", and I was reacting to that, as it is very doubtful.
I didn't say it would be ok to live under Taliban. But there are other weird islamic countries, where I wouldn't want to live either. Do you propose US making war there, too?
In fact we actually grow opium in Australia.
Suppose that was a crime. Who punishes the criminals? Maybe that is exactly what the US sees itself doing?
Unfortunately to punish war criminals, usually you have to win against them in a war.
Also I think they changed their allegiances, so they became terrorist towards US people?
Funny you ask... It was called the cold war, you might want to look it up. US was a pretty big player there.
Before cold war, there was WWII, and communist revolutions.
I don't want to defend any particular war, I just think it may all be a bit more complicated than a simple "we shouldn't have started any wars".
I found the movie fun, I think I watched it three times over the last couple years.
Here's the relevant U.S. quote, "U.S. forces conducted a drone strike..." the subject is clear and there is no equivocating about who was responsible for the drone strike.
> In 2014, former CIA and NSA director Michael Hayden said in a public debate, “We kill people based on metadata.”
> According to multiple reports and leaks, death-by-metadata could be triggered, without even knowing the target’s name, if too many derogatory checks appear on their profile. “Armed military aged males” exhibiting suspicious behavior in the wrong place can become targets, as can someone “seen to be giving out orders.” Such mathematics-based assassinations have come to be known as “signature strikes.”
Fair enough, but I would not read too much into that choice of words. For example:
“The workers had lit a bonfire and were sitting together when a drone targeted them,” tribal elder Malik Rahat Gul told Reuters by telephone from Wazir Tangi.
I don't believe that Malik Rahat Gul (or possibly, his translator) was attempting to relieve anyone of moral agency or responsibility, do you?
“The workers had lit a bonfire and were sitting together when a drone pilot targeted them,” tribal elder Malik Rahat Gul told Reuters by telephone from Wazir Tangi.
Small change, large impact on the takeaway.
I think the person I was responding to was implying that the wording was chosen to downplay what had been done. I don't think that is likely, given the identity of the only person quoted in the article to use that choice of words.
> Small change, large impact on the takeaway.
I have watched Restrepo on Netflix and found one thing interesting, that biggest thing soldiers have missed in their civilian lives is the adrenaline/joy rush of a shoot-out, no matter how dangerous it is. Paradoxically most of the interviewees are clearly suffering from some levels of PTSD, because probably you cannot be trained for when you see your friend's body/face to be blown apart.
It would be interesting to hear from someone in the military or someone with military psychology training knowledge, how this works. Seems that soldiers are fine with killing "the enemy", but seeing death of your friends gives you (understandably) PTSD.
> but military training is mostly about obeying orders
Not at all. The military wants individuals to think for themselves. Strictly obeying orders would never get the job done. In fact, the large majority of military training is industrial/trade depending on the branch. When people see bootcamp, and orders being thrown around that's less of learning to obey and more of making people into a cohesive team (breakdown, then buildup). Think about how tight a startup team is after going through hell to get a product launched. Very similar but even tighter.
> that biggest thing soldiers have missed in their civilian lives is the adrenaline/joy rush of a shoot-out, no matter how dangerous it is
A very small percentage of the military ever gets in a firefight, again depending on branch. Of course there is an adrenaline rush that comes out of being in danger (just shooting guns in general is a rush). Every time I paddle out into big surf or when I have sky dived, the chance I may die is part of the 'fun'. I've never been in a shoot-out, but from what I've read it's those experiences X 100 or more. Finally, these are the exact type of people we want fighting. The best way to survive and win is to go all in 100%. When someone is there, on the ground being shot at, the time for them to debate is over.
> Seems that soldiers are fine with killing "the enemy"
Keep in mind that the US has strict rules of engagement (mistakes are sometimes made as reports have shown). By the time a soldier is killing the enemy they are also going to be receiving fire. Effectively if they do not kill this person, this person will kill them. Seeing friends die is obviously hard because they are your friends, and because of the way teams are built people end up very close.
With all that said, the military is the execution arm of politicians. A soldier on the ground has about as much power to decide to be in or out of war as you or I. People join for a lot of reasons. Financial is a common one. But, a lot of people also join out of a duty and a draw to be of service to a country they love regardless of who is POTUS at any given time.
I think this is what concerns people so much about the drone strikes. Clearly drone strikes are one sided fire fights. And even by the government's own statistics their signal to noise kill ratio is abysmal. This is categorically different than a soldier on the ground returning fire even if we might disagree with the soldier having been sent there in the first place.
This is not a new problem though. Cruise missiles did this for years before drones. Drones are just more prolific now, and we are more likely to see the aftermath.
It’s as bleak and distressing as you can imagine. Here’s a couple to get you started:
Even being in a conventional aircraft you are largely removed from the situation because you are thousands (or tens of thousands) of feet above your target and any individual is an unrecognizable speck that your weapon system strikes after you're already well past your target.
This is a problem, for society, with modern warfare. You can sit a mile away and 'paint' a target with IR for someone else to fire a missile with, or you can call in on your radio coordinates and have artillery take out your target from even farther away, or you can effectively emulate a video game and drop a bomb on a few pixels in Afghanistan while sitting in an air conditioned trailer in Nevada. You can wage war without ever having to see the face of the enemy, you strip the enemy of their humanity making it easier to kill.
I imagine some drone operators struggle with severe depression but I imagine it's generally less than an infantrymen that was in CQB firefights in Ramadi or Fallujah or a trench in WWI.
Modern warfare allows us to be cold and calculating, it allows us to pause our humanity. It's good for a military but it's bad for civilization.
Most likely they went home, slept soundly, thinking it was a good day, god and country, etc.
His films should be interpreted as you might interpret a Malcolm Gladwell book: An entertaining, insightful, witty, and educational way of telling a story that the author wants to tell, supported by hand-picked facts and part-truths, whilst ignoring other information that might reveal a more well-rounded story.
If we assume this was not intentional, then the two most probable causes are human or technical or any combination of both.
A drone can't land, open Skype and allow an interrogator to speak with the locals in their language- it flies high, have limited visibility and the interpretation of the incoming data is based on prior intelligence.
If you look at the pictures you'll see that pine nut farmers looks the same as IS Jihadi terrorists, both use civilian clothes and sometimes they are actually the same person.
How exactly does the reporter know which people are IS fighters? Is there some notion that militants don’t ever also farm?
Also in these comments there seems to be a huge double standard. The idea the United States might accidentally kill some civilians is somehow morally outrageous, but the regular and deliberate targeting of civilians by the Taliban and the IS as they attempt to completely destabilize the Afghan government is taken as somehow normal?
The article says it explicitly: the information is sourced from Afghan officials.
You could say that this may not be the most trustworthy source in this case, and I'd agree, but on the other hand, the problem of mounting civilian casualties of US drone strikes is already a decade if not more old, was widely reported on a few years ago, and is continuously being investigated by various organizations. If what Afghan officials are saying is true, it would not the least bit surprising - and that fact is a huge problem.
> Also in these comments there seems to be a huge double standard. The idea the United States might accidentally kill some civilians is somehow morally outrageous, but the regular and deliberate targeting of civilians by the Taliban and the IS as they attempt to completely destabilize the Afghan government is taken as somehow normal?
I think no one in their right mind would say that what the ISIS or other terrorist groups are doing is anything but repugnant. They're doing evil things, that's a baseline fact, so it's unmentioned - there's nothing interesting in pointing this out. What's more interesting is where did ISIS come from and why are they doing what they're doing, and a significant part of the answer to that question is American military excursions and regular, continued murder of civilians using remote-piloted drones. ISIS may be monsters, but the US is supposed to hold itself to higher standards, not step down to the same level.
Shall we just let Israel get wiped off the map while we are at it?
Edit: “they” in my sentence is IS, and Al-Qaeda, if that wasn’t obvious.
I didn't say US is the whole reason here. But it's a big part of it.
May I recommend the following?
"Afghanistan: A Cultural and Political History" by Thomas Barfield
It is taken as normal that the "Bad Guys" are "Bad". When they do "Bad Guy Stuff", it is further justification for the "Good Guys" continuing to target them. "Normal" does not mean "OK", it just means that it is what is expected - "Bad Guys are Bad" is not news.
It is morally outrageous when the "Good Guys" do "Bad Guy Stuff", because it calls into question the whole "We are good, they are bad" story that the "Good folk at home" are told. How can we be the "Good Guys" if we are killing innocents?
It also reinforces the "We are good, they are bad" story that the "Bad Guys" are selling their folk at home. When the "Great Satan" kills your innocent friends and family when they are at work picking pine nuts, or at a wedding, it becomes easier to encourage you to take up arms against them.
In fact it really doesn't matter how we see it, but how they see it.
Every strike has a chance of producing more rebels than they kill and I have a hard time thinking the arms industry doesn't also believe that.
> Civilians dying is bad and we should avoid it, but it’s obviously not morally dispositive since we do it too.
Of course the killing of civilians is "morally dispositive." If civilians were accidentally killed in the strike our military will exhibit some accountability, and if civilians were deliberately targeted it would be a crime and it would be prosecuted.
When the Taliban kills civilians, that's the point. The civilians are the target.
Civilian deaths are an outrage but there's no moral equivalence between the parties or their actions.
> If a foreign power occupied America, Americans would do the exact same thing. In fact, that’s what Americans did during the Revolution. You can’t hope to make sense of the issue unless you morally analyze the ends for which people are fighting. Islamic State is wrong and must be stamped out because the end for which they’re fighting is wrong. Americans fighting the British to establish a Republic, by contrast, is right.
We aren't talking about the Islamic State, we're talking about the Taliban.
This just scratches the surface of how badly you misunderstand the conflict. There are a number of parties involved in the conflict in Afghanistan - including the Taliban and IS - and some of them are our allies. It is literally nothing like Americans fighting the revolution.
(in that bizarre analogy, we would be... France?)
But you are correct, killing civilians with drones isn't much different compared to other acts of terror.
Killing civilians accidentally is virtually guaranteed when engaging in military action.
So the tactics are extremely different in why they work, if they work at all. They are very different in the percentage of military vs civilians killed. They are very different in intention. The fact that they share some aspects in common doesn’t make them the same.
To your point, typically the casualty verification (which UNAMA is tasked with) takes a very long time. Here's an example of three UNAMA reports stating three widely different casualty figures for aerial operations in 2011:
- 2011 report: deaths and injuries at 305 (pg 24)
- 2012 report: deaths and injuries at 353 (pg 31)
- 2014 report: deaths and injuries at 415 (pg 94)
These reports were released years apart and reflect revised figures for 2011. It simply takes that long to verify accounts and corroborate reports, reconcile conflicting information. It will take years to get a definitive confirmation for this incident.
Here's something seen in the UNAMA reports that's more harrowing than drone weapon releases mentioned in the article. When a drone operator merely reports activity, a typical response to it is that the local forces send out a team to investigate the location. They do this at night. Vehicles pull up, spotlights come on and distorted loudspeakers come on shouting screams at people to stay inside and wait. Disoriented and confused civilians, trying to make sense of the noise, do what any normal human beings do, which is go outside to see what this is all about. At that point, even children get shot because they're contravening instructions. They become a number in a report.
This is death by process.
Guilty until proven innocent, right?
Then of course it might be the case here that civilians were targeted, by mistake or on purpose. But the parent point is quite valid.
It is baffling how poorly many people here read.
> How exactly does the reporter know which people are IS fighters?
You aren't reading carefully at all. The reporters are quoting Afghan officials. The reporters are quoting American officials. Afghan officials have indicated at least 30 civilians were killed and 40 were injured in an attack that accidentally targeted farmers and laborers. American officials "are working with local officials to determine the facts."
The reporters have not made the claim you are attributing to them.
> The idea the United States might accidentally kill some civilians is somehow morally outrageous, but the regular and deliberate targeting of civilians by the Taliban and the IS as they attempt to completely destabilize the Afghan government is taken as somehow normal?
That's a strawman, and you ought to avoid that sort of thing. (edit: although you've suckered some people into arguing about it. kudos!)
This was a horrible accident, but you have to realize there are probably some very bad people they intended to target and the US doesn't blow up random Afghan farmers for fun and games.
HN is quite the liberal community so I'm not surprised if some of the posters here think the Trump administration is more evil than the people who want to blow up the Great Satan.
Imagine that, say, China blew up 30 Americans in the US with a missile. And their reaction was, “sorry, my bad, I thought they were terrorists.”
Can you imagine the response? I think we’d have a nuclear war before the end of the day.
We wouldn’t accept this excuse in my hypothetical, so we shouldn’t accept this excuse when we’re the ones murdering dozens of innocents.
Neither of those is true of Afghanistan. The Taliban is quite capable of at least holding on, and the non-Taliban Afghani government isn't opposed to US support.
As evidence of this, President Ghani's reaction was to promise check and balances to reduce casualties, not kick the US out of the country.
The US is a military power house, and they use and abuse this power to maintain their ways of life, no matter the costs to others.
Your comparison is absurd, ignoring the politics of China launching a missile at American soil. The US War in Afghanistan is 17 years old. There were two suicide bombings just three days ago, each killing over 20 people.
Imagine a group of people who want to kill you because of where you were born. Who want to throw you off a building because you're homosexual.
When America kills terrorists, is it equally as bad as when terrorists bomb Americans or Europeans? Is killing in order to police the same as killing out of deep, radical beliefs (and hate)?
Anyway, I don’t have to imagine. There are, in fact, lots of people in this country who want to kill people for having the wrong birthplace or sexual orientation. One of them massacred twenty people just a few weeks ago.
And please journalists, stop referring to the people as "tribal this" or "tribal that". To always focus on that point is unnecessary and disrespective. A father is a father in any part of the world.
I remember in the early days of our being in Afghanistan, there were a few media pieces reporting that they remembered the last time the British were there, 100 or 150 years ago. The tone was very much that it was somehow surprising the Afghans brought this up again.
Yet Britain and the US are built on national history, myths and memories. The US has a huge national story around independence and the push west into the frontier. The UK has our tales and myths of 1940 and 1066. Scots still remember "the 45" (that's 1745). Why wouldn't Afghanistan or Iraq?
Personally, my eyes were opened quite a while ago when the US dropped one of the largest conventional bombs on some mountain region in Afghanistan where they suspected Taliban leaders to hide out. The next day some guy on Reddit wrote (loosely paraphrased) "Hey, that's were I always travel with my motorbike! Glad I wasn't there when that bomb went down..." and posted a picture of where the bomb hit, with his motorbike in the foreground.
That said, since Irish independence there has been a good degree of desired closeness between the two countries, not least the passport free freedom of movement and voting, which survived the worst of the NI violence. Looking back that can seem surprising. Record numbers of Brits have been applying for Irish passports (a remarkably high number are eligible) since the Brexit vote.
And the worst thing is: from a policy perspective (obviously not arguing about every single US citizen) that's really hard to argue with, given which countries the US has entered into armed conflicts with, which groups of people are most picked upon by politicians, etc.
But for every confict in which the USA is fighting one group of Muslims, it's doing so to protect or ally with another group of Muslims. The Afghan government are Muslims, the elected Iraqi government are Muslims, the victims of IS and the Taliban are overwhelmingly Muslims. Saudi Arabia, the west's biggest ally in the region is Muslim. We are allying with tens of millions of Muslims against groups consisting of thousands of Muslims. The west has far, far more Muslim allies than Muslim enemies.
isn't there though?
edit: added word 'Saudi'
Or maybe because one was a tactical op gone horribly wrong based on bad intel from the ground, and the other was a well planned and highly coordinated strategic op designed to destabilize international markets?
Um no, you are wrong.
_What USA does_ is terrorism. When you drop bombs on people out of nowhere, that's called terrorism. Sorry if you're an American but you've got some learning to do about the biggest terrorist organization in the world before calling others a terrorist. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vRbnPA3fd5U
This is how the cycle of violence is perpetuated.
The trouble with judging by actions is it makes everybody bad, including the judge! I suspect that's why people don't like it. Since nearly everyone believes their own intentions are good, judging by intentions preserves their own sense of goodness even if they contribute to a few killings by accident/negligence.
It is well known that drone strikes are terribly inaccurate and therefore the risk for civilian casualties is high.
If you keep punching me in the face while claiming it was your intention to punch someone else I'm going to come to the conclusion sooner rather than later that you're lying or stupid or incompetent – either way I'm going to do something about it rather than continue to let you punch me in the face.
Is it too much to ask that a lot more effort be expended in not mowing down innocent civilians while prosecuting the so-called global-war-on-terror?
I actually think I'm right of center on this issue in general, I just wish we called it as it is.
But also, the US should be held accountable for its actions.
"A U.S. drone strike intended to hit an Islamic State (IS) hideout"
I urge you to take a closer look at U.S. drone strike programs and how effective they are. It's closer to 0 than it is to 100%. The U.S. takes no responsibility for its actions in the world stage, like ever. Have you even seen US held accountable for anything?
But that ain't gonna happen, ever.
Then what does the IS represent to you? The good guys?
Only if the motive for dropping those bombs is to advance a political/ideological agenda.
We need to be very clear that "terrorism" has a very specific meaning. It's not just a group or individual who terrorises.
Which of course, nobody does.
FWIW, you and I are likely from the same country.
If one objects to calling it terrorism because they're really trying to hit the combatants only, and objects to calling it a war crime because technically there's no war with an internationally recognized nation state, then how should we call it?
There needs to be a distinction between:
* attacking civilians (terrorism)
* attacking The System, but going for softer targets and not taking its military might directly head on (guerilla war)
* attacking The System, in a Military v Military setting (regular warfare)
While there are groups that will never have the direct strength to take a head on fight, I think it's beneficial to have a category showing that they limit their targets to agents of the system rather than any random civilian.
The world as we know it, the progress in art, science, and humanities. The cures for polio, infant mortality and poverty dropping.
The website you are currently using to spread poison.
Those are all “_What USA does_”
Cut it out with this evil language.
I was not aware that curing polio is a global absolution of sins.
Point being, the US does a lot of things. Some good, some bad. You don't get to trade the good things for the bad things. There could be progress in art, science and humanities without indiscriminate drone bombings of innocent civilians worldwide.
Also USA has some of the highest infant mortality and poverty rates in the western world.
How much art was coming out of East Germany under the Soviet Union?
What other nation is deterring constant military expansion of China and Russia?
How many nations are confronting IS?
You are either naive or destructive.
In fact Russia consolidated its influence and alliances in the middle east just by exploiting American mistakes there.
Just leave. It would be a hugely popular move everywhere: among the left, the right, veterans, other countries, etc. So why not do it?
Let's be honest here, US is trying hard for last 15 years to be the most hated country anywhere, ever.
Millions of innocent civilians killed based on outright lies by US president in Iraq 2nd war (they were so glaringly obvious on UN meeting when GWB presented them that Germany and France outright rejected joining. UK couldn't care less). The consequences are felt across half of Asia and whole Europe till these days. Please tell me, what justice system in US does to a person who kills innocents without any reason? Nothing good. And if you kill millions? Good pension and CIA protection for rest of your life apparently. Plus Afghanistan, yet another battlefield where mighty US army is losing a battle with guys with AKs.
Another topic is online privacy, US could have been champion of freedom, and initially it was, but we had Snowden and stuff ain't better since then. That's plain amoral. Currently US can't claim much moral superiority over China for outsiders, like it or not.
I ain't even touching the topic of current US president because that would be for a separate thread.
To like US and its role in current politics these days requires super strong tint on ones pink glasses. Most of the world is kind of fed up and just wants to be left alone, not invaded for US version of 'freedom', oil, strategic place or whatever.
This is real world out there, where 95% of the mankind lives.
I think most americans fail to recognise how much propaganda they're constantly fed about how great the US are. From the outside it almost looks like a parody, especially since Trump is in the office.
Which the war machine needs in order to grow.
Which the politicians need in order to get elected (Some people want "strong" leaders, for this definition of strong).
And does it go the other way? Do you create violent anti-Islamists when Muslims commit terror attacks? Were the orphans of 9/11 more likely to sign up for the US military, or commit hate crimes against Muslims than their non-directly-affected peers?
Yes, of course it does. Hell, even on the recent 9/11 HN thread there were people who said they joined the military after the towers collapsed. It's only natural reaction when your nation gets attacked, and it works the same everywhere.
It's best to think of this as a single self-perpetuating process, with a strong feedback loop of hate and suffering inside. So the US bombs some Muslim countries, and eventually some group manages to pull off a 9/11 in retaliation. US reacts to this by utterly destroying several countries, and in reaction, ISIS is born. Which then US and others attempt to bomb out of existence. Rinse, lather, repeat. A kills B's people, B retaliates by killing A's people, A retaliates to retaliation by killing B's people, ...
Considering America has concentrated a large number of bombs on Afghanistan, why are they underrepresented in terrorist bombing of American targets? Why didn't the US see a spate of attacks from Cambodia in the 70s?
These are all great stories that have been talked about. But unless there is some kind of supporting evidence, these are still just stories.
Jihadists aren’t in a loop. That’s a myth. Jihad is real to them, and they are attacking non believers.
The stated motivation for the 9/11 attacks were the presence of U.S. airbases in Saudi Arabia. Not revenge for some past hurt or attack.
Why does everyone presume that what they say isn’t what they mean?
Did you read your own source? Yes, there's more to it than what OP said, but it is true that this was a motivation.
This is how religion is used to get people to do things. You can read anything you like from a religious book; you'll find justification for anything if you comb for quotes enough. This makes religion a glue, or an amplifier, not a prescriber of behavior.
Consider Christianity - the religion that gave us half of what's nice about the Western culture. That same religion using that same, unchanging book, set half of Europe aflame multiple times, for ostensibly religious reasons. When you look at it from outside it looks ridiculous, and when you study history you discover obvious political goals behind the crusades and other European wars - but then, a lot of people fighting and directing forces believed they do it because "God commands it".
It's no different with Islam. Jihad is just an excuse to get people to fight and die for political causes. If the political reasons disappear, they'll soon find an excuse to not fight, and Jihad will again become "the internal struggle".
It's so sad that you don't know this.
>Full text: bin Laden's 'letter to America'
>As for the first question: Why are we fighting and opposing you? The answer is very simple:
>(1) Because you attacked us and continue to attack us.
> Do you create violent anti-Islamists when Muslims commit terror attacks?
Yes? E.g. after the murder of Lee Rigby in the UK there was a small wave of attempted arson on mosques.
Were the founding fathers terrorists? The British sure thought so...
You can be the gatekeeper of that word all you want, just know that you're playing that role.
This exact oratory slight of hand is used constantly in media, virtue signaling through word choice.
Calling indiscriminately killing civilians something as generic as "a bombing campaign" is like calling 9/11 "a training flight gone wrong".
1. Terrorists are people with legitimate grievances
2. Terrorists are representatives of oppressed people
3. Terrorists have genuine reasons for their actions
All of these things are false. People do not turn into international, careless murderers just because they experience travesty. Terrorists exploit this concept to try to give themselves legitimacy, but the reality is that it's highly removed from the actual reality of what's happening.
You know what does create terrorists though?
1. Sanctions and
2. Funding of militias.
These are things that everyone - except for isolationists - stand behind and support.
Thanks for the 5 downvotes in 10 minutes! Feel free to help me (someone from the region who was directly caught up in not one but two American wars) understand why I should be a terrorist now. I'll also forward the comments to my cousin who was working inside a Red Cross clinic hit by a US airstrike so she also knows what to think. Thanks in advance HN!
As opposed to your elected politicians and your military having blown up his daughter at her wedding, scattering her remains over a wide enough area that it is hard even finding anything to bury.
The only way you're going to get someone mad enough for that, is if the militia you equipped happens to inflict similar cruelties, or you otherwise mess with his nation in a way that is more than just an inconvenience.
If the US imposed sanctions against my country, I'd just shrug. If the US killed my family members and I had no recourse...
You obviously do not understand that sanctions are usually a way to prepare for war with weapons. Sanctions bring up the cracks in societies that are otherwise hidden under a thin layer of comfort we call civilized behavior. With sanctions you get a black market and all that is related to it. Sanctions are a trade war at another level.
Sanctions starve people to death, literally. There is a blockade on food, medicine and your entire life savings turn to nothing. Your life becomes rations. It has such a significant effect that this even turned the non-religious Arab nationalist socialist Ba'ath party into an extremist Islamist brigade in under a decade.
These sanctions are even one the major stated reason of the 9/11 attacks by Al Qaeda - not that Saudis flying planes into the world trade center somehow represents the suffering of Iraqis.
I'm not even sure why this would be contested, I don't think you understand what sanctions are or what kind of almost-genocidal effects they have but with your comment I'm suddenly understanding the reasoning of the people downvoting me and upvoting others.
Terrorism is a political tactic coming from a power asymmetry and is labeled as such due to this power dynamic as a consequence of who controls the narrative.
The devil is always in the detail, but generally speaking terrorists are violent combatants who pursue certain political goals, but don't have a regular army, and at some point in their life unfortunately accepted the idea that it is legitimate to intentionally harm or kill civilians to reach those goals. Accepting this horrible idea is what makes them terrorists.
All three of your assertions are wrong, regardless. And you have no business judging 'appropriateness'. Of course there are criminals that take advantage of situations, I'm going to go out on a limb and suggest that they are not the types that blow themselves up to make a quick buck.
USA should better rush with million dollar offers to families, along with apologies, of course.
What about the feelings of the children and friends after 9.11, Charlie Hebdo, Bataclan, Nice, Stockholm, Trèbes, Paris, Liège and Strasbourg? I could go on. Of the 24 jihadist attacks in the EU in 2018, 10 occurred in France, four in the United Kingdom, four in the Netherlands, two in Germany and one each in Belgium, Italy, Spain and Sweden. In 2017, a total of 62 people were killed in ten completed jihadist attacks in the European Union, according to Europol figures. The number of attempted jihadist attacks reached 33 in 2017.
If a single drone strike is how you create terrorists, what is being created in Europe?
How many families were put out by 9/11? About 3000. And you call that an excuse to invade Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Somalia, Pakistan etc etc etc. So 3000 American lives, taken by Saudi Arabian citizens, cost the lives of millions across the world so that the American people can feel good about their hegemony?
Al-Qaeda won that war before the US even left their own soil. They had one aim, bring about the end of the USA, and they did it by getting your own government to strip away civil liberties overnight, and you didn't even care.
It starts with grocer's apostrophes, but before long everyone's splitting infinitives.
Usually it's measured in the ratio of civilian casualties to combatants, and as far as I remember, US is keeping this ratio exceptionally low in comparison to other conflicts.
That's the key point here: your criticism applies to any war at all. War is hell, everybody knows that. To be objective in your judgement about US though, you have to quantatively compare different conflicts to each other.
Ratio of 15-20% civilian deaths is not "exceptionally low" by any means.
> Starting in the 1980s, it was often claimed that 90 percent of the victims of modern wars were civilians.
> The Vietnamese government has estimated the number of Vietnamese civilians killed in the Vietnam War at two million, and the number of NVA and Viet Cong killed at 1.1 million—estimates which approximate those of a number of other sources. This would give a civilian-combatant fatality ratio of approximately 2:1, or 67%.
> During the First Chechen War, 4,000 separatist fighters and 40,000 civilians are estimated to have died, giving a civilian-combatant ratio of 10:1.
After all the hell and atrocities done by US in Vietnam, I absolutely do not understand how there was no strong resent towards US anymore after the war to the point of actively seeking and eliminating US targets like terrorist/spies do.
It was a humbling realization for me, and I have great respect for Vietnamese people not only for this.
"Trump Revokes Obama-Era Rule on Disclosing Civilian Casualties From U.S. Airstrikes Outside War Zones"
that's why you will see some perverts who will openly reminisce about the days after 9/11 and how we were all united, etc.
at some point, cooler heads should intervene, but fear is just too easy to engineer, apparently.
It's tempting to suggest, "or if we had done a better job with our meddling", but... no, it just doesn't work, empirically so, and we should stop doing it.
Unfortunately, pushing diplomatic solutions hard would be political suicide in the US; the "us vs. them" mentality is strong here, and I don't think most Americans would be ok with what they'd see as giving in or giving up. And even if the politics at home could work, it's unclear if all that many on the other side are interested in a diplomatic solution, given how radicalized some of them have become due to our recklessness and hubris.
What’s worse though is that it’s given us a general apathy toward the bureaucratic abuse of immigrants that happens everywhere. I live in Denmark, we have a place called Sjælsmark, which is an internment camp for immigrants who weren’t granted asylum but refused to leave. I understand why some people would go “well they could just leave”, but there are children in that camp who’ve been there for years. That would have caused a public outcry throughout danish society 25 years ago. I know because that’s exactly what happened during the Balkan wars where society as a whole cake together and did what the government failed to do, and actually integrated the “unwanted” as the decent thing to do.
After 18 years of anti-Islamic sentiment, however, we instead talked about putting the “unwanted” on a prison island to isolate them even further.
That’s what 9/11, Charlie Hebdo, Batavian and so on has done to Europe.
You actually got my point, that these wars and terror attacks have a large effect on feelings and behaviours in Europe as well.
The drone killings are anonymous, out of the sky, with no idea who the guilty party is besides a nebulous "USA" or "the West"; a vacuum of information besides a robotic, faceless apology in a press release (that is itself just more insult, more humiliation), and the knowledge that a foreign country can reach out and murder people living next door to you without consequence. The humiliation and rage and sense of powerlessness and living every day knowing that they'll do it again and nobody will do anything about it simply festers. These are key ingredients in growing terrorists. This is how you make terrorists. Humilation and anger and a sense of powerlessness and that the perpetrator will face no justice.
When some idiot boy shoots up an office in Paris there's a guilty party, a reckoning with a body (or an arrest), a name, an investigation and professional state employees actively going after someone, actively pursuing justice (very different to the state doing no more than shrugging and saying "yeah, that's the USA for you, they murder you and your neighbours, nothing we can do about it"). There is a qualitative difference; the key ingredients above aren't present. Even if the terrorist gets away, it's recognised that it was an individual(s) and that they are being pursued; someone is seeking justice on your behalf.
On the face of it, not terrorists.
That's a tough sell when (large) parts of communities are complicit, hiding, funding, supporting the individuals.
It's my impression that the primary difference is that we expect better from advanced nations and their citizens, not that there's a large difference in behavior. Denmark officially murdering people because of their sexual identity would be a shock. Saudi Arabia doing the same isn't, because we don't see SA anywhere near the level of (cultural, social, civilizational) development of Denmark. A child throwing a temper tantrum is normal, an adult doing the same raises suspicion of delayed development.
you put parentheses around the "large" but I'm still gonna pick on this.
For my part, I have yet to hear of a major jihadist attack in the west in which the perpetrators and their supporters were not completely surrounded by police and intelligence personel. In Germany we're watching a parliamentary commission pick apart what happened in the "lone wolf" case where someone drove a truck into a christmas market in Berlin.
"You can't do anything about these things!" people exclaim. They're lone wolves after all. BS. That guy, and his supporters, were in constant contact with embedded sources around their milieu. I'm not a big friend of the police state as it is, and especially of intelligence services. And this story and others like it make it really hard to still believe in incompetence and bad coordination as the sources for all the fuck-ups that lead to him succeeding in the first place, and then the crucial witnesses being conveniently deported days after.
But my real point (sorry for digressing here for a bit) is that even in this in-depth investigation, the number of active supporters was tiny. And they were not even really organized. It was more like "I have a friend here ho will help me out, and one here, and one here." Your statement (even with parentheses) does not reflect how small these "parts" are.
I'm unconvinced; I believe it's not a tough sell. This is based on my observations of to whom people ascribe these crimes. They blame individuals first. Even if they should ascribe more blame to the organisations behind those individuals, those individuals are recognised (rightly or wrongly) as the primary culprits.
When I see news reports of such things, it's individual people that are presented as the culprits. News articles and Wiki articles name the individuals involved. While they do have organisations and groups behind them, if you ask people "who did this" you don't get a nebulous set of organisations; you get a name.
That depends on who those individuals are though. The media reports and reactions do change very much if you exchange some words, like replacing "islamist radical" with "white supremacist" or "christian fundamentalist" and "mosque" with "website".
You will certainly get individual names for each attack, the difference is whether having those names concludes the investigation or not. There are exceptions to this, of course, it's just my general expression.
2) False equivalent, if you think the USA should be held to the same standards that we hold the terrorists to then effectively the USA have become terrorists as well.
3) The EU has taken its attacks so far quite well, no other countries were invaded, no mass deportations or murders of muslims or immigrants have happened. Unfortunately this bs has shifted the political climate.
Please try to argue your case better.
Wars aren’t as simple as good guys vs bad guys fighting between their own respective countries.
The US allied with the Northern Alliance after invading Afghanistan, and they had no say in whether we invaded or not.
The US asked the Taliban to extradite Osama Bin Laden, they refused, so the US invaded Afghanistan to bring him to justice and dismantle the Taliban.
The US killed Osama Bin Laden and the Taliban is just as powerful today as they were then. The conflict has also killed over 100,000 civilians, and almost the same number of US citizens have been killed in battle as on 9/11
Oh and let's not talk about how the officially stated purpose of the Taliban was to kick US armed forces out of Somalia and Saudi Arabia... We chose to get involved in Saudi Arabia's war with Pakistan in the first place! If it's a "war" then US military leadership's decisions are directly responsible for 9/11. The US military leadership has been actively endangering national security with their reckless support for Saudi Arabia's wars for decades, and continue to do so to this day.
US presidents and businessmen sold out their fellow citizens and soldiers to arm an absolute monarchy so Aramco could make money.