Saturday, December 5, 2009

Afghanistan and Party Crashers

Strange subjects to go together, I admit. But that's what makes them fun.

As we all know, President Obama has chosen to send more troops to Afghanistan; a predictable decision everyone saw coming- at least, I did. I didn't watch his entire speech (mostly because I'm sure it was full of the same kind of justification and rejustification that always comes after a decision like this) but I read the recap.

Firstly, I don't think more troops should go there. Especially not when we want to leave.

Secondly, I think we should be drawing out a lot quicker. This war has been dragging on long enough, just like Iraq. It's time we sit down, mind our own business, and let them work out their own problems. If the Taliban takes them over again, that's their problem. The minute they attack us, it becomes our problem- a problem that should be dealt with in the correct way, not with preemptive action that ignores the proper chain of command.

I'm a bit upset at Obama's lack of spine on this issue. Instead of sticking by his promise to bring the troops home from the Middle East, he caved. And he's going to keep caving. Instead of sticking by his guns, saying "No, I'm bringing these boys home like I said I would," he's taken action that will prolong both the money-guzzling and the life-guzzling wars we have going on.

Anyway, on to lighter subjects. Or a lighter subject.

It's been about two weeks ago now I guess- a couple walked right into a White House party.

Ha.

Sorry. I don't mean to laugh.

I just find it hilarious.

They went through two checkpoints. The Secret Service let them in. Twice. They then proceeded to have their pictures taken with the whos-who of Washington.

And the most hilarious quote in this entire thing- "What would have happened if they had had Anthrax or another biological weapon hidden on their person?!" (Somebody on Fox News)

Well, I'll tell you- everybody at that party, including them, would be dead.

And then nobody'd be laughing, but we'd be able to get out of having to listen to all those celebrities' and Joe Biden's gaffes.

That's not nice.

But the Salahi's didn't have any bioweapons. And they just wanted pictures taken with Obama and the other elite. I can't blame them. I also can't blame them for trying something that I'd love to try.

I mean, who doesn't want to get into the White House? And if the Secret Service will just let you in...

20 comments:

Cassie said...

Amen to what you wrote about Afghanistan. If Obama said that he would bring the troops home, then why hasn't he done it yet. And, surprise, surprise, he's choosing to spend more money!

I heard about those people who crashed the White House party. I know what you mean about wanting to try it! If bad Kyla and bad Cassie got together, it totally sounds like something that the two of them would do together. LOL!

Your friend,
Cassie

Alex said...

Although I don't support the Afganistan war, this is a difficult situation. If the taliban do take control of Afganistand, it wil become a crisis because even if they can't attack us, they most certianly will attack other European countries that have been our allies during this war. However, he is ending the Iraqi war, which if you read his speeches was all he promised to do. He never said much about the Afganistan conflict, which is all it was at the time. He has also stated that troop removal will begin in 2011, and will finish as qucikly as possible, no exceptions. He has repeated this fact again and again. No exceptions. Plus, if you really want to talk about this speech and such, it might help to actually watch the thing as I and many who I know have done. I don't really care about the party crashers though. I'm a little angry at them because because of their actions (which was just to get on a reality show) someone, or probably multiple people will lose their jobs, which is very sad in an economy like this.

Liberty said...

Frankly, I can't find it in my heart to be upset that some Secret Service or security agent will lose his/her job. They failed. With that kind of track record/ability, they deserve to lose their jobs!

Alex said...

Maybe one screwed up, maybe 5 will get fired. Tecnically, they were invited, but they're invitations were revoked, so it's not as if they were total strangers. And there may be more to the story tahn this. It's pretty hard to get past the secret service because of a screw up. Also, it's only human ot error. You may want them more because it's proven that those who mkae mistakes once as twice as likely not to make them again than the average person, so they may be more prepared next time.

Teresa said...

So, you don't think that 9/11 was an attack worthy of striking back against? The terrorists attacked us first, and not vise versa.

If the U.S. military does not get Afghanistan under control then there is a high probability that we will be attacked again by Al-Qaeda. If the Middle East is destabilized further, and Al-Qaeda is able to get a hold of the 24 nuclear warheads located in Pakistan than that would be a nightmare, and a major threat to the world. So, lets finish the mission, and then our troops can come home.

Liberty said...

Alex- I'm sorry, but the Secret Service agents, or somebody in the chain of command, messed up. If that person gets fired, it's their own fault. If a person does a faulty job, they are punished. It's as simple as that. Keeping such a person in a position would be a waste of money, and a waste of time for everyone.

Teresa- So you think we should attack a sovereign country to get one man- bin Laden? Because that is what we did. We attacked a sovereign nation with no justification other than our own imperial ideas.

The Iraq war was the same- we went in with no justification beyond vague ideas of retribution (wrongly based retribution) and 'furthering democracy'. The Afghanistan conflict is wrong, just as the Iraq war is.

Teresa said...

Liberty- So, your position is that the U.S. should not respond or defend herself against any attack? So, I guess you for the destruction of our military, or their nonexistence? There were approximately 3000 innocent lives lost that day when Al-Qaeda brought war to us, and not vise versa. Since you are being complacent with regard to our defense, you are asking for another attack to happen. It is people like you who are enabling the terrorists if their is a next attack. If people during WWII thought like you do today than we would be speaking German and the SS would still have spread far and wide.

But, I don't think that the terrorists have any rights either under our constitution or the Geneva Convention since they have no uniform, represent no country, and are not United States citizens. They are captured on the battlefield and our troops and CIA should use all the necessary means to either kill, or get intel regarding future attack plans.

http://www.teresamerica.blogspot.com/

Joyful_Momma said...

If the terrorists have no rights because they were not acting under a government, how can we be at war with them? Your logic is flawed. In WWII there was a clear enemy. We were at war with countries, not ill-defined organizations or ideologies. America got into WWII because of a clear declaration of war (not just the attack on Pearl Harbor, but an actual declaration by the Japanese government). And our Congress declared war on Japan and Germany, the Constitutional way.

And your phrase, "all necessary means" disturbs me greatly. Are you advocating torture? Do you thik it right to rape and beat and humilate other human beings to obtain information? What kind of inhumane monster can inflict that kind of suffering on another? Torture has been shown to be uneffective in any case. Coerced confessions or information are rarely accurate.

Our president sent our soldiers to fight an enemy we cannot see, terrorism is a tactic not a nation. He sent them to fight under false pretenses. And the new president seems determined to follow the same course of action.

Do 3,000 deaths of Americans justify the hundreds of thousands of civilian deaths in Afghanistan and Iraq? Do you honestly believe that is a just recompense? How long do you expect those countries will stand for our mililtary to ravage them? Do you expect them to endure the destruction of their lives and property indefinitely? Would you stand for it? Or would you be calling for an attack on the country causing the damage?

Who enabled Osama bin Laden and his terrorist organization? Would you be surprised to know that it was the US? Well it was. We gave them those weapons and money. Years ago we enabled them because then they were our allies...they didn't like the Soviets. Now they have found fault with us and we are upset.

We are in this mess because of an interventionist foreign policy and more of the same will not get us out of it.

Teresa said...

@Jofful MaMa
Al-Qaeda are the people (terrorists) who spread terrorism. They are not only located in one nation so we must take the fight head on to their main breeding ground which is in Afganistan and Pakistan. If you are not comfortable with "all necessary means" than I'll know at least one person to blame for yours and others complete incompetence in NOT giving our soldiers the necessary means to fight and defeat the enemy, and thus might as well be aiding our enemy. This is not some game. It is about life and death. This is about saving as many lives as possible by preventing another 9/11 type of attack.

The United States helped the Mujuhidin who were fighting against The Soviet Union, who was our enemy at the time, in order to stop the spread of communism in Afghanistan. This was during the Cold War and the Russians were our enemy back then. Al-Qaeda was a spin-off group of the Mujuhidin. So, I get it. You are taking the immoral positon that we should never help any other country ever. Your position is that we should let the killing continue even if it means letting the killing come to our shores again, like 9/11?

Joyful_Momma said...

Immoral position that we should interfere with the politics of other sovereign nations? That is immoral?! Give me a break! What difference does it make if Afghanistan was communist? That was the problem of the people in Afghanistan, not the American people's. We have no business interfering in such things. We have no business meddling with the affairs of other sovereign nations!

The mess we are in now, you readily admit is our own doing, so why be upset about it?

America needs a prime directive, you know like in Star Trek where they do not give technology to outsiders, for any reason. The reason for that is that you do not know what the results may be, as seen by our current situation! We gave technology to the Taliban and now they use it against us...surprise, surprise! A stupid decision to meddle in foreign affairs came 'round to bite us in the butt! So killing more innocent people is the logical and compassionate course of action!

And again, we cannot attack the terrorists as a whole as we are trying to do. They do not represent a country. And actually most of the 9/11 hijackers were from Saudia Arabia. Some were from Egypt, UAE, and other places. They were not from Afghanistan or Iraq. Why not go after those places? To send thousands of troops to go after so few individuals is a terrible misuse of resources. If we really wanted just Bin Laden we could have hired a hit man or sent snipers. That would have been a much better use of resources and much more effective!

Immoral is advocating people, human beings, being brutalized for information!! Torture, no matter what your motivation, is evil! Your position is immoral!! To condone the use of torture, to advocate violence against a person for the purpose of gaining information is wrong. As a christian I cannot think that Christ would be pleased with such things!! And not only is it cruel but torture does not work! There are better ways, ways that do not require harming an individual, to get information.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/coleen-rowley/torture-is-wrong-illegal-_b_77924.html

Liberty said...

"So, I guess you for the destruction of our military, or their nonexistence?"

I am of the opinion that our military is often misused by the politicians. A standing army doesn't help that situation. Am I glad we have men and woman willing to fight? Yes. Do I think that their fighting is needed? No.

"They are not only located in one nation so we must take the fight head on to their main breeding ground which is in Afganistan and Pakistan."

Their main breeding ground is everywhere. There are terrorist cells here. And if we are going into countries where they generally stay, then why aren't we attacking the Sudan? Or Syria? Or Egypt? Or the entirety of North Africa? Or Turkey? Or Iran? We have not attacked Pakistan- we let them help us! Why this selective warmongering? Doesn't seem to me like we're REALLY trying to stop terror.

We gave the Afghanis the ability to fight us. The Taliban rose out of our assistance. al Qaeda did as well. We basically created these terrorist organizations. It is our fault. And there is nothing we can do about it. They are not a country we can randomly attack, and attacking an entire country to get at a few terrorists is dumb, not to mention economically foolish.

Teresa said...

@Joyful Mama and @Liberty

You two continue to keep your heads in the sand. I will live in reality. You have not a clue as to what it has taken to keep this country free and how this country was founded.

The terrorists are everywhere, but they are trained in Afghanistan and Pakistan and then sent out to honor Allah and kill the innocent. Therefore, Afghanistan & Pakistan is the main breeding ground for terrorism. If we can stop it there, then we can minimize the spread of terrorism around the world.

Teresa said...

First, you are buying into Human International's and the ACLU's perversion of what they believe to be torture is. That's ludicrous. EIT's are not true torture, or torture in any sense of the word. Gaining information using the necssary means to stop a terrorist attack is not evil. Evil is allowing many Americans or other innocent people to die by doing nothing because of so-called morality. Morality does not allow people to die out of ignorance.

Joyful_Momma said...

Torture according to Webster's dictionary: 1 a : anguish of body or mind : agony b : something that causes agony or pain
2 : the infliction of intense pain (as from burning, crushing, or wounding) to punish, coerce.

If the individuals being interrogated are in any way being coerced that fall under the dictionary definition of torture. Just because our methods are not as bad as those in other countries does not make it right. You obviously did not read the article I posted. It talks about the unreliability of EIT. Coercive testimony is not reliable. And extrodinary rendition (sending detainees to countries where we KNOW they do torture) is wrong and makes us culpable for whatever is done to those we sent.

You are the one with your head in the sand, blindly believing the rhetoric spouted by the Republicans. Believing that just because something done to prisoners isn't medival type torture that it isn't torture is at best naivete and worst willful ignorance.

You said, "Evil is allowing many Americans or other innocent people to die " but killing hundreds of thousands of innocents in pursuit of terrorists is okay?

Teresa said...

The soldiers are not killing innocent people on purpose. The terrorists are killing innocent people on purpose. There is a big difference between the two. There are and always have been unintended consequences or casualties that go along with war.

There was no burning, crushing, or wounding with the EIT's. I am not talking about Abu-Grain's abuse. That is totally different than the methods used in accordance with the use of EIT's. Plus, agony refers to-
ag·o·ny (g-n)
n. pl. ag·o·nies
1. The suffering of intense physical or mental pain.
2. The struggle that precedes death.
3. A sudden or intense emotion: an agony of doubt.
4. A violent, intense struggle.

None of these occurred under the use of EIT's.

Keep on having your head in the sand. I live in reality, and not your utopian dream world, that doesn't exist.

Liberty said...

So you don't count playing on the deepest fears of another human as 'mental agony'. Think of your deepest, greatest fear in the natural world. Now imagine said fear being put into a small box with you. I think that would count as mental agony.

Have you ever read 1984? In the end of that book, the main character is taken to the most notorious torture chamber there is- but it isn't even a torture chamber. They merely exposed these people to their greatest, deepest fear- and the people told them what they wanted to hear. The most heinous, horrible things would come out of the victims' mouth- but they merely said it to get away from their fear.

Such a 'confession' or such 'evidence' is not evidence- it is a coerced reaction, based on what the victim thinks we want to hear. If we want to hear that al Qaeda is going to kill millions in Seattle, then so be it. That's what we'll get. If we want to hear that bin Laden is dead, I'm pretty sure that's what we'll hear.

Torture, of any variety, even 'intensive interrogations' (just a nice synonym, kind of like 'enemy combatant' instead of 'soldier' so we can avoid the inconvenient niceties) is wrong, and it is unreliable- notoriously so. Nothing will change that.

You continue to ignore our point. If this is truly an upfront war on terror, then why are we being so selective in who we attack? Why are we not attacking Saudi Arabia, or Pakistan, or Syria? Those countries all have a KNOWN history of past and present terrorist activity, including the training camps you so detest.

Yes, war kills. It even kills civilians. But can you really justify the deliberate dropping of bombs on cities? On buildings? Because our military has. And I do not think we can pardon the loss of civilians in an unjust, preemptive attack we had no right to make.

We went into Afghanistan under false pretenses. It does not matter if we went in to get a few terrorists, we are still destroying Afghanistan. We are killing the civilians. We are not killing the terrorists. What have we accomplished beyond creating havoc? We don't even know where bin Laden or any of his cronies are! We can't trace them!

The nature of al Qaeda is such that it is untraceable. bin Laden never stays in any place long enough to create any sizeable impact in the area. His finances and other resources are spread out all over the globe. He communicates with his many operatives through word-of-mouth and obscure internet sources that are ultimately untraceable. No part of al Qaeda knows about any other part.

We cannot fight it in a conventional sense. It is akin to the British marching out to fight the Indians, ignorant (willfully ignorant) that they will get slaughtered because the conventional tactics of that time would not work with the Indians. They were too nomadic, their battle tactics too different.

It is the same with al Qaeda and other terrorist organizations. We cannot fight them with conventional tactics. They are not like a country; we do not know where they are. They have no base. They have no clear-cut borders or territory. They are merely there, and they are everywhere. We cannot fight them with a show of force, ravishing a country that supposedly harbors them, or did in the past.

I do not believe in a utopia. But I do believe in a world where we don't go fighting senseless wars, destroying the infrastructures of countries that are none of our concern, killing civilians for absolutely no reason, all in the quest of an elusive ideology.

Teresa said...

Our troops only bomb places when there is a high probability, or a decent amount of evidence, that an enemy target is located there. If civilians die, than that is horrible, but that is the price for us to be able to keep our freedom.

I believe that we should just start with Afghanistan and Pakistan because those places are where terrorism is bred, or starts and then has spread elsewhere. If we just went after terrorists in other places and didn't rtake care of where they became terrorists, or where the terrorism training starts than there is no point to trying to stop terrorism. I am definitely for the U.S. and NATO forces going into Somalia and Syria because terrorism has spread to those regions from Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Liberty said...

"If civilians die, than that is horrible, but that is the price for us to be able to keep our freedom."

This war is not about our freedom. This is about imperialism and our perverted views of our own importance. This war is about how we think we have the right to dictate to other countries how they handle their business.

This war was entered into on the false belief that we can fight terrorism by invading sovereign nations. It was started on the mistaken idea that we can even fight these organizations- which we can't, for reasons I outlined above.

"I believe that we should just start with Afghanistan and Pakistan because those places are where terrorism is bred, or starts and then has spread elsewhere."

Actually, no. Terrorism is MUCH more than just Muslim-based. And if you say that jihad (which is what the current terrorism claims to be propogating) started in Afghanistan/Pakistan, you would be mistaken. Islam, and its atmosphere of jihad, began in Saudi Arabia. So why are we not attacking Saudi Arabia?

Terrorism has been around since the beginning of time. We are never going to be able to stop it.

People in Britain and other European countries are really getting fed up with our attitude of selfish arrogance. We think we are the first country to ever be attacked by terrorists. The British have such a frequency of terrorist attacks that they practically ignore them now. No misguided, idiotic 'war on terror'- because they know it will not work.

You cannot fight an ideology.

"...Somalia and Syria because terrorism has spread to those regions from Afghanistan and Pakistan."

Sorry to break it to you, but terrorism is all over. It is not a localized problem originating in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Bin Laden, the man we're supposedly chasing has contacts/has lived in Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, Syria, Sudan, the UAE, Indonesia, the Phillipines, Kenya, and dozens of other countries. There are even suspicions he has personally been to the US or Britain- and his organization definitely has contacts both here and all over Europe. How do we fight that?

"I believe that we should just start with Afghanistan and Pakistan because those places are where terrorism is bred..."

So we're going to just start there? Where are we going to go next? Are we going to just take over the entire Middle East?

You still have not answered my primary question- Saudi Arabia is a known center of terrorist activity. Sudan is as well. Syria, Egypt, Pakistan, all have known terrorist connections. So why are we not going after them? Why are we being so selective in our war on terror?

Is it, perhaps, because we don't want to cut off our supplies of oil? Is it, perhaps, because we must have some sort of ally over there? Is it, perhaps, because we can endure repressive dictatorships so long as they cooperate with our arrogant opinions of ourselves?

Teresa said...

Look at what I actually said.

"They are not only located in one nation so we must take the fight head on to their main breeding ground which is in Afganistan and Pakistan."

"The terrorists are everywhere, but they are trained in Afghanistan and Pakistan and then sent out to honor Allah and kill the innocent. Therefore, Afghanistan & Pakistan is the main breeding ground for terrorism. If we can stop it there, then we can minimize the spread of terrorism around the world.

I believe that we should just start with Afghanistan and Pakistan because those places are where terrorism is bred, or starts and then has spread elsewhere. If we just went after terrorists in other places and didn't rtake care of where they became terrorists, or where the terrorism training starts than there is no point to trying to stop terrorism. I am definitely for the U.S. and NATO forces going into Somalia and Syria because terrorism has spread to those regions from Afghanistan and Pakistan."

I never said that terrorism is a localized problem. I was pointing out where the most problematic or influential places that breed terrorism.

The war on terror is global.

But since you stated "Terrorism has been around since the beginning of time. We are never going to be able to stop it. "

I guess your solution is for us to give up, let the terrorists rule the world, and then the innocent can either live under their rule or die. Giving up is not an option. For if we give up like you want us to do, than we will lose against the war on terror.

Freedom is not free. And, that is what exactly what you want our freedom to be. You think that peace can combat violence even if that threat and that violence smacks you right in the face, like on 9/11. If the terrorists won't change and be peaceful and we do not kill them and defeat them head on , then they will conquer the world and the world will be under a tyrannical empire full of terrorists like none other that have come before any peoples in past history.

Liberty said...

I think you are still missing the point.

Terrorism is a mindset, not a governmental entity. You cannot combat it with guns. You cannot change an ideology with guns.

The British tried it during the Revolutionary War. Didn't work. Nazi Germany tried it. Nada. Neither got any results.

I do not think peace can combat violence. But I do not think that guns and conventional warfare will do anything against such an organization as al Qaeda or the Taliban.

Your entire premise is based on a mistaken idea of what terrorism is.

Terrorism is not a country. Terrorism is a tactic. Radical Islam is an ideology. The ideology uses the tactic.

You cannot fight terrorism. It is a tactic. It is just like you do not fight a flanking maneuver- you fight the army. But in this case, the 'army' is not even an 'army'. It is a group of decentralized people, spread out all over the world, fitting in to whatever circumstances they are in. You cannot fight them with conventional warfare.

That is why this 'war on terror' is so misguided. It is like the 'war on drugs'- a waste of money, a waste of time, and a waste of manpower. You will not combat drugs just by sending a few people to jail, because there will always be more people willing to take their place. It is cyclical- the more we try to punish these people, the stronger they become.

What we are doing is an Inquisition against Muslims. We are fighting a crusade against their beliefs. The Romans tried to stamp out Christianity- it didn't work. The movement merely grew stronger. We cannot fight a religion, an ideology, with guns. It has never worked, it never will.

The terrorists, ultimately, just want us to leave them alone. We could resolve this entire conflict with absolutely zero bloodshed by just leaving. The Middle East can take care of itself. I feel quite confident Israel could defend herself quite, quite easily.

"I guess your solution is for us to give up, let the terrorists rule the world, and then the innocent can either live under their rule or die."

Oh, the terrorists want to do that? I must have them confused with our politicians. I thought that's what they wanted to do. Dear me.

Since our declared motto in Iraq was to spread democracy, I'm a bit confused. Since we want to free Afghanistan from the Taliban, I'm even more confused.

Sounds to me like you have us and the terrorists mixed up.

You're also approaching this with a mistaken idea of what terrorism is. The terrorists do not want to rule; their skill set is not in that area. They are all about making a bang, professing their religion for all to see. They're not big on the ruling part of things.

"If the terrorists won't change and be peaceful and we do not kill them and defeat them head on , then they will conquer the world and the world will be under a tyrannical empire full of terrorists like none other that have come before any peoples in past history."

So, the terrorists are evil and tyrannical?

But what about our soldiers who go in and drop bombs on buildings that they KNOW have civilians in them?

What about the hundreds of thousands of Afghani and Iraqi civilians that have died in these wars?

Does the cost justify the end result, that is looking ever more elusive every day?

For that matter, what is the end result supposed to be? I highly doubt bin Laden is even IN Afghanistan anymore- anybody with a bit of sense would have hightailed it out of there the minute he knew soldiers were coming. He's probably living it up in Morocco.

Afghanistan is an unjust war. We cannot go into a sovereign country and kill its civilians, destroy its infrastructure, and completely demolish its law and order merely to capture a few outlaws. That would be akin to killing the entirety of New York City to get at a couple thousand people who are actually hiding underground, so they escape.

Yes. I totally see how the ends justify the means in this case.