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Osama Bin Laden is Dead.


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#61 Fiddler   Members   -  Reputation: 804

Posted 02 May 2011 - 09:59 AM

So... now what?


The big boss is dead. Credits roll, triumphant music plays and the US administration returns the civil liberties it took away after 9/11. It ends unwarranted wiretapping, off-shore abductions, violent interrogations and will ceases funding terrorists. A peaceful time of prosperity and economic growth ensues. Relations with the middle east improve.

Fuck that.

Obama uses this card to get re-elected, new, harder "anti-terrorist" laws are implemented, the middle east relations continue being deliberately undermined and the US continues selling arms to terrorists. You think the people who helped Osama and Saddam rise to power will suddenly have a change of hearts? Terror is too fucking damned useful for that to happen.

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#62 DarklyDreaming   Members   -  Reputation: 363

Posted 02 May 2011 - 10:09 AM

There is no good, only degrees of evil. We have it in us to be the better men, the better generation, but sadly - we're spoiled. War is a momentum that cannot be stopped by more war - certainly not ineffectual, costly, war and to believe that killing a sinister man is something to 'celebrate' is, at best, a childish belief. You can look at this two ways: for the good of humanity and for the good of the state. Evil men deserve to die, yes. But did this really improve the world? As in so far the short term is considered: yes. In the long term? Well, no. This will only up the stakes and create an even stronger symbol of resistance. You don't stab an enemy and then turn your back; you kill it beyond any effectual resistance and lay the ground with salt. There is no such thing as 'half-war' or 'half-peace' - so, decide what you want; war or peace?

State security then? There, the truth is, that USA is not threatened by terrorism anymore than a bug is threatening to a wolf. Annoying, pestilent, and even damaging - but certainly not devastating. So, is it fair that for a killing of every american a thousand shall die? 9/11 was a tragedy and a wake up call, but to believe that more haven't died in daily terror attacks in Iraq alone is both naive and stupid. Just because it's not your country doesn't lessen those human casualties one bit.

It comes down to whether you believe in a better world or this world - they are not irreconcilable but they are very much separate. In a better world we wouldn't need the US Army to act as some sort of massive police force whenever it's considered appropriate - there are alternatives, superior alternatives, even today. Co-operation and removal of noneffective methods is way more important than throwing away civilian lives in useless invasions. It's a good thing he is dead, but I don't feel particularly cheerful over this - it's hardly going to change anything and at worst it's actually going to make things worse.
(the best news by far is the actual operation behind it - but the fact that the end result was his death and immediate burial feels a bit, well...)
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#63 d000hg   Members   -  Reputation: 722

Posted 02 May 2011 - 11:04 AM

Posted Image

Pictures like this do a great job of strengthening national stereotypes. Street-parties, waving flags and chanting "USA. USA. USA" because someone was assassinated. It's more weird than anything else.

#64 way2lazy2care   Members   -  Reputation: 782

Posted 02 May 2011 - 11:17 AM

Posted Image


I think it's fairly obvious that they are cheering for paul ryan supporting ending oil subsidies...

#65 Alpha_ProgDes   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 4688

Posted 02 May 2011 - 11:35 AM

I think it's fairly obvious that they are cheering for paul ryan supporting ending oil subsidies...

LMAO. O RLY???

edit: I just got pwn'd by the scrolling billboard. I was sure you made up that..... Who would have though he'd back such a thing [whodathought]
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#66 Prinz Eugn   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3560

Posted 02 May 2011 - 12:13 PM


No, slaughtering hundreds or thousands of innocent people based on nothing but their nationality or their belief system would lower us to the level of terrorists.

Does the vietnam war's 70% civilian casualty rate count, with it's many documented acts of genocide (2 million civilians)? Or the 2nd gulf war's 90% civilian casualty rate (400,000 civilians)?
Or what of the 500,000 Iraqi children who died as a direct result of American sanctions during the 90's (to no effect)? Isn't that basically laying siege to and killing via attrition hundreds of thousands based on nothing but their nationality...?


Would you celebrate the death of the men who ordered these acts?


Your Gulf War number is basically made up. The Vietnam one is close to the total caused by all sides (N-S Vietnam, US), however. Plus the sanctions were UN, and could have been vetoed by any country on the security council.

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#67 way2lazy2care   Members   -  Reputation: 782

Posted 02 May 2011 - 12:16 PM

LMAO. O RLY???

edit: I just got pwn'd by the scrolling billboard. I was sure you made up that..... Who would have though he'd back such a thing [whodathought]


;)

#68 trzy   Members   -  Reputation: 100

Posted 02 May 2011 - 12:55 PM


The truth is that OBL/AQ actively targeted innocent civilians. Western forces in Iraq and Afghanistan did not go out with the intention of killing innocent civilians but sometimes thses things are unavoidable, either due to mistakes/miscommunication or down to the fact that bombs cannot differentiate between Taliban and civilians or other NATO forces for that matter.

As true as this may be, it really doesn't matter. People fight with the means that they have at their disposal. It's easy to claim the high ground when you have orders of magnitudes more money to spend on the military and advanced technology, but the reality is that there are many people in the world who perceive themselves as victims of US foreign policy (and many of them really are victims of US foreign economic policy), and they fight back with whatever means they have available.


Sure they do. Which is why one has to look at what they are fighting for. Any way you slice it, Islamic terrorists are on the wrong side of history and on the wrong side of morality. No need to get into logical contortions with moral relativism here.

Perhaps a playground example is in order. Let's say a clique of huge guys bully somebody who is all by himself, and this person tries to defend himself by kicking one of them in the nuts. After that, the huge guys claim that that's no fair, they would never intentionally kick somebody in the nuts, and use that as justification for further bullying. Yes, they're right, kicking somebody in the nuts is not nice. Then again, they are so much superior in their sheer force that they can afford not to use all the tools at their disposal. So requiring the little guy to refrain from kicking them in the nuts to defend himself simply isn't fair on some level.


Inappropriate analogy. The US was not bullying Bin Laden or the Taliban. Bin Laden and those like him disagreed with the direction the world was heading and decided to get involved where they had no business, attempting to make matters worse for everyone involved.

This doesn't mean that I want to live in a world where people kick each other in the nuts. I'd much prefer a world where nobody does that. But the only way to get there is for both the huge and the small guys to agree to abide by the rules of some higher authority. In the playground case, that would be teachers, parents, or in the extreme, police et al. In the case of US vs. Terrorists, this would be some truly neutral (or should I say Lawful Neutral) international court of justice.


International courts are another debate altogether. They're a nice idea in practice but in implementation, they've failed. And despite their best intentions, the Europeans certainly have no business conducting such courts. Furthermore, international terrorism, globalization, and the proliferation of stateless elements has complicated international police work. Today's ineffective international organizations were well-suited for conducting dialog and defusing tensions during the Cold War but are utterly ineffectual today. No surprise then that nobody who matters on the world stage actually respects their opinion.

And the truth - as much as hearing this probably hurts the USians here - is that in all such situation, the big guy needs to be the one who backs down first. (How I wish right now that all those self-proclaimed Christians in the US would actually insist on US foreign policy following Christian values...)


What do you mean "back down"? Although I think our adventures in the last 10 years have been ill-advised, ineffective, and a horrifically expensive quagmire, we have every right not to accept the spread of ideologies antithetical to our values. We have every right to wipe out existential threats.

So yeah, bin Laden got what he deserved (though it sickens me to see all those pictures of celebrations in the US - come on guys! You are just as bad as the flag burners in the middle east),


Ah, siding with the fashionable, self-loathing contrarians, are we? Cheering the demise of the self-styled figurehead of Islamic terror is in no way morally comparable to cheering and advocating for the deaths of innocent civilians out of sheer frustration and spite, as middle eastern flag burners do. We're only human. Ten years, two wars, and thousands of dead later, let us have our celebration.
----Bart

#69 Antheus   Members   -  Reputation: 2397

Posted 02 May 2011 - 01:02 PM

We have every right to wipe out existential threats.


So when are Wall Street bankers being put up against the wall?

we have every right not to accept the spread of ideologies antithetical to our values.


Why are you quoting Bin Laden?

#70 trzy   Members   -  Reputation: 100

Posted 02 May 2011 - 01:12 PM


We have every right to wipe out existential threats.


So when are Wall Street bankers being put up against the wall?


When the people decide to stand up for themselves. As I recall, people on this very forum were tripping over themselves to justify the bailouts of big banks and automotive companies as soon as their favorite politician got behind them.

we have every right not to accept the spread of ideologies antithetical to our values.


Why are you quoting Bin Laden?


Why are you presuming moral equivalency between Bin Laden and ourselves? Do you believe Western values are no better than those of Islamic extremists?
----Bart

#71 Alpha_ProgDes   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 4688

Posted 02 May 2011 - 01:27 PM

The point is that "moral equivalency" is subjective. Anyone can justify that they are on the moral high right and the other is wrong.
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#72 szecs   Members   -  Reputation: 2102

Posted 02 May 2011 - 01:35 PM

The point is the death of CIVILIANS. I can't see any ways to justify that and yet, for some interesting reason the thread forgets about them and starts to talk about some Islam vs Whatever and some moral bullshit we had many times before. I'm not a pacifist, go ahead, make wars and make some more, kill people, kill some more, but not CIVILIANS!

#73 Antheus   Members   -  Reputation: 2397

Posted 02 May 2011 - 01:36 PM

When the people decide to stand up for themselves. As I recall, people on this very forum were tripping over themselves to justify the bailouts of big banks and automotive companies as soon as their favorite politician got behind them.

If people stand up, they'll go to jail.

Why are you presuming moral equivalency between Bin Laden and ourselves? Do you believe Western values are no better than those of Islamic extremists?


Values have never been better or worse. Values are determined by force and ability to apply it.

People cheering the death of an individual are not highly moral and definitely not Western. They aren't celebrating end of terror, end of war on terror, end of decaying freedoms, end of corruption, end of greed. They are celebrating a "boom headshot". Do people also cheer when criminals get executed and throw parties late in the night? I'd hope not. If they do, then it really is time to rethink "Western" morals.

There is no ideology, morality or anything higher. it's just the same images as those seen every day in other countries, except that instead of burning flags, they burn pictures of Bin Laden. There is no superiority, no moral victory. None of the things he stood up for changed, if anything they were reinforced. None of the ideologies fought against have been defeated.


Bin Laden was a dead man on 9/11. Death certificate just took a while to show up. He was a madman with an impossible plan that somehow lucked out against impossible odds. But for every one of his victims, 300 people died. That is not due process, that is a relentless vendetta at any cost. Then again, this is what was said from the beginning.



And every time you use a phone, every time approach an airport, every time you show an id, every time you use a credit card, his legacy is there. Until this changes, his death is irrelevant.

#74 trzy   Members   -  Reputation: 100

Posted 02 May 2011 - 01:40 PM

The point is that "moral equivalency" is subjective. Anyone can justify that they are on the moral high right and the other is wrong.


Of course. But everyone knows that. At some point, you have to apply some standard. Generally, the West has subscribed to a concept of "natural law", which apart from having enough universal commonality (as well as ambiguity) as to be acceptable to most cultures, has served as a good foundation on which to build prosperous, peaceful, and advanced societies. Proceeding from the direction of Enlightenment values, rather than regressing to barbaric pre-medieval tribalism, is worth making the "subjective" call that our Western value system trumps others when we find ourselves the targets of violence by opposing ideologues.
----Bart

#75 trzy   Members   -  Reputation: 100

Posted 02 May 2011 - 01:53 PM


When the people decide to stand up for themselves. As I recall, people on this very forum were tripping over themselves to justify the bailouts of big banks and automotive companies as soon as their favorite politician got behind them.

If people stand up, they'll go to jail.


Voting, petitioning leaders, disseminating information, and creating public advocacy groups will land you in jail?

Get real. I don't know what your personal position on the bailouts was, but your arguments are eerily in tune with the same kind of folks who supported them when it was politically expedient to do so (wouldn't want to be labeled a "tea bagger" after all) and, now that it is too late, complain about the evil banksters who took advantage of their brilliant "progressive" idea to meld state and private enterprise.

Values have never been better or worse. Values are determined by force and ability to apply it.


You believe what you believe because someone held a gun to your head?

People cheering the death of an individual are not highly moral and definitely not Western.


Really? Says who?

They aren't celebrating end of terror, end of war on terror, end of decaying freedoms, end of corruption, end of greed.


As far as I can tell, the celebration is largely about achieving a major milestone in the so-called War on Terror: the elimination of a leading figurehead and symbol of the enemy. People are happy Bin Laden has been brought to justice but I don't think the crowds were out to fantasize about the "headshot" moment. In fact, the cheering crowds materialized before the gory details of the operation emerged.

Do people also cheer when criminals get executed and throw parties late in the night?


No, they don't. So maybe this should clue you in on the fact that this is about more than just the assassination of some criminal. Maybe, just maybe, this was a slightly more complicated moment.


There is no ideology, morality or anything higher. it's just the same images as those seen every day in other countries, except that instead of burning flags, they burn pictures of Bin Laden. There is no superiority, no moral victory. None of the things he stood up for changed, if anything they were reinforced. None of the ideologies fought against have been defeated.


The ideologies are slowly but surely being discredited. People aren't exactly keen on living under an Al Qaeda-styled caliphate anymore.

Bin Laden was a dead man on 9/11. Death certificate just took a while to show up. He was a madman with an impossible plan that somehow lucked out against impossible odds. But for every one of his victims, 300 people died.


The vast majority at the hands of other Muslim terrorists and insurgents, by the way. So much for moral equivalence.

And every time you use a phone, every time approach an airport, every time you show an id, every time you use a credit card, his legacy is there. Until this changes, his death is irrelevant.


Now you've taken us way off topic. This is another issue altogether. You lost the argument that celebrating Bin Laden's downfall made us no better than fanatical, flag-burning throngs in the middle east, so you're shifting to our own internal problems, which are up to us to resolve.

Clever. But not clever enough.
----Bart

#76 trzy   Members   -  Reputation: 100

Posted 02 May 2011 - 01:54 PM

The point is the death of CIVILIANS. I can't see any ways to justify that and yet, for some interesting reason the thread forgets about them and starts to talk about some Islam vs Whatever and some moral bullshit we had many times before. I'm not a pacifist, go ahead, make wars and make some more, kill people, kill some more, but not CIVILIANS!


That's kind of a separate issue. I hope you're not saying Bin Laden was a civilian.
----Bart

#77 Alpha_ProgDes   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 4688

Posted 02 May 2011 - 02:11 PM

Bin Laden is dead. Great. Now, can we get all of our freedoms back and get the hell out of the middle east? If we can't then we're left with fighting his ghost which is even worse. Ghosts don't have expiration dates. Especially when you have constant reminders everywhere you're hated (ex: US bases).

trzy. We are directly responsible for the theocracy in Iran. When those people burn our flags and celebrate when something horrible happens to the US, they have damn good reason to.

Let me be clear. I'm not saying that American citizens deserve to die. Or should die. Because they don't. But given the reason that you gave for us being morally in the clear for celebrating Bin Laden's death, Iranians can properly apply that reason when they do it. Also remember the Iran Contra fiasco.
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#78 frob   Moderators   -  Reputation: 19828

Posted 02 May 2011 - 02:13 PM

I believe that it's bad karma to celebrate a person's death, regardless of what they've done.

I do however find it ironic that while America was shocked to discover that middle-eastern civillians were celebrating the destruction of the twin towers, here America is now celebrating the death of the mastermind behind the attack.


I find it rather sad. I would have much rather that the man surrendered after being caught, rather than continuing guns blazing until he died in a firefight.

I have no love for what the guy has done, but I don't think celebration is the right action by anybody. I can understand why so many are celebrating, but I can also understand why dogs eat their own vomit. I think it is an unfortunate fact that so many people are celebrating, just like it was an unfortunate fact when so many celebrated after 9/11 attacks.

Both are times that the populations should have chosen to mourn.




Perhaps the government will use this as an excuse to leave the middle-east? Maybe change the reason for war one last time? (9/11 -> Weapons of mass destruction -> Bringing down a tyrant -> Peacekeeping -> "Oh hey, our original reason for war was to take down Bin Laden, and now he's dead. Now we can leave.")


That depends on who you ask, and about which war you are discussing. If you are asking random Joe American you are quite certain to get a new response.

Please don't confuse the situation in Iraq with the situation in Afghanistan. Although they happened near the same time and many people confuse them, they are quite different. Both had very different causes.

Iraq = Started in 1990 with Iraq's Kuwait invasion, repulsion and ceasefire, decade of no-fly with a record of infractions. Followed up by UN inspection mandates requiring immediate and unconditional access to particular sites. UN expanded the program based on testimony from Iraqi expatriots, which was later shown to be false; The expanded program was followed by UN inspection teams getting locked out of locations, or in some cases locked into a room while crates of documents were removed off-site by the Iraqi government. At the same time there was an increase in surface-to-air attacks in the UN-ordered no-fly zone, discovery of UAVs that were in direct violation of the UN mandate, violations of UN sanctions, and violations of the terms of earlier cease fire. It was not so much the presence or absence of weapons, but the defiance to the weapons inspection orders and other mandates. Then there was the second invasion that resulted in the capture of Hussian and the trial by his own people.

Some officials and countless news outlets made statements about terrorists and 9/11, or trying tor take democracy to the country, but those claims were not stated by those in authority of making the military decisions behind the action in Iraq.


Afghanistan = Direct response to 9/11 with the stated goal of "dismantling Al-Quaeda and ending its use of Afghanistan as a base for terrorist operations". I don't believe this mission statement has significantly changed.

While Usama's choice to die rather than face capture does continue part of the goal, it does not complete either half of those objectives.
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#79 Alpha_ProgDes   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 4688

Posted 02 May 2011 - 02:16 PM

Iraq = Started in 1990 with Iraq's Kuwait invasion, repulsion and ceasefire, decade of no-fly with a record of infractions. Followed up by UN inspection mandates requiring immediate and unconditional access to particular sites.

Iraq invaded Kuwait because Kuwait was slant drilling in Iraq territory and wouldn't stop after Iraq repeated demands for Kuwait to stop.
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#80 trzy   Members   -  Reputation: 100

Posted 02 May 2011 - 02:19 PM

Bin Laden is dead. Great. Now, can we get all of our freedoms back and get the hell out of the middle east?


I thought Obama was supposed to lead us out of the middle east, in addition to healing the planet and controlling ocean levels with the sheer force of his will. Maybe we should get serious about electing people who will do something more decisive than playing musical chairs with the leaders of our military-intelligence complex?

trzy. We are directly responsible for the theocracy in Iran. When those people burn our flags and celebrate when something horrible happens to the US, they have damn good reason to.


The US is partially responsible for creating the circumstances that ultimately led to that, but why don't you also blame the Iranians who actually installed the theocracy? Let's apply Occam's Razor and assign blame to the ones actually pulling the trigger. They could have re-installed a socialist or created a secular democracy, or even a military dictatorship, but instead they chose theocracy and that's not America's fault. The takeaway lessons from the overthrow of Mossadegh are: use regime change more sparingly, be careful of blowback, and, for nationalists around the world, don't steal the property of investors backed by more powerful governments than your own.
----Bart




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