9/11, The War on Terror, and the things you should know

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by G4scott, Sep 11, 2003.

  1. G4scott macrumors 68020

    G4scott

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    #1
    I know this thread will get lots of nasty replies, but I guess it's just the nature of the leftists. I also hate to use quotes from Rush Limbaugh, since I know that his views and ideas are a bit extreme, and shrewd at times, but I felt they were no shrewder than comments made in a "Remembering 9/11" thread here.

    The post that caught my attention was this:

    I don't mean to offend any one person, mainly because the views expressed in this post, are also the views of many other people here.

    Be warned, if you are offended by the truth, I suggest you not read on. As you all know, these political forums can get very nasty.

    The war on terror, like any war the US has fought since WWII, is not going to be over with any time soon. If you look at World War II, you will see that we still have troops in Europe, and in Japan. We are still funneling money into them, and how many years has it been since WWII ended?

    The war on terror will cost the US $166 billion for this year and next year. Now, before you think "where will all this money come from", remember that we're spending $400 billion on a prescription drug plan that nobody wants. Now why do we oppose this war on terror, and the war in Iraq, which is a war to rid this world of a great evil, and make the world a safer place for innocent people, yet we don't oppose a prescription drug plan that really helps nobody at all, yet costs us more?

    Compared to the Marshall Plan, the cost of the war in Iraq and operations in Afghanistan is almost nothing. It will cost us $166 billion for this year and next. That's almost nothing compared to the billions we spent, and are still spending, on the Marshall plan. And people complain about $166 billion for a humanitarian effort directed towards the people of Iraq. How about over $6 trillion spent on the Great Society and the War on Poverty? They were failures, and we're still pouring money into them, yet still nobody complains. The war in Vietnam amounted to 12% of our nation's economy. Today, what we spend on all military operations, including the $166 billion in Iraq, is 0.5% of the economy.

    As for Bush's exit strategy for Iraq, tell me, when are we going to get out of Germany? When are we going to get out of Japan? When are we going to stop spending money? We're still there, and we're still putting money into them. Haiti, Bosnia? Still there.

    The war on terror and the war in Iraq is not going to bankrupt our country. We are doing this planet a favor, taking out a terrible dictator, freeing the people of Iraq, and trying to establish a democratic outpost in a backwards part of the world. And you're saying that it costs too much to do this? You're saying that the lives of all the innocent Iraqi's who died, or would've died under saddam are not worth it? You're saying that the lives we are saving by hunting down terrorists is not worth it?

    As for patriotism. Patriotism is not the act of questioning your country about every thing it does. TRUE and REAL patriotism, as defined by Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary is: "Love of country; devotion to the welfare of one's country; the virtues and actions of a patriot; the passion which inspires one to serve one's country." A true patriot stands for his country, and is willing to sacrifice for it. Whether it's sacrificing time to go through security at an airport, or little pleasures and amenities in our lives, we can all be patriotic, but questioning all of the governments motives for the sake of politics isn't exactly patriotic.

    There's an article that I'd like you to read here. In it is this line: "We vowed in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks never to forget. But those will prove to be empty words if we forget where we must continue to stand." Do you not remember what happened that day? Did we not promise to bring those responsible to justice? Are we going to let somebody kill 3000 innocent Americans, and then let them walk free 2 years later?

    You do have to make a moral decision about terrorists and people like bin laden at some point in your life. You have to decide if they are good or evil, not anywhere in between. You can't be afraid to make that decision, but many people are, because once they make a decision, and say he's evil, they have to do something about it, and that's what they're afraid to do. They are afraid of making moral decisions, because they don't want to have to do anything about it. They're afraid of being patriotic. They don't want to have to spend money, they don't want to have to take the war to the land of the enemy. America is, as Ronald Reagan said, the last, best hope of mankind because our resolve and courage are the best guarantors for freedom. There's no need for 'Victory Gardens' for this war, but Americans must cultivate strength within themselves.

    Whether you like it or not, President Bush has taken this war to the enemy. He is making this world a better place, and the price tag is NOT that high. We will not destroy America with our war on terror. We will not make our country bankrupt. Instead, we will remember what happened on September 11th, and we will remember where we stood that day, and we will continue to fight to bring those responsible to justice.

    I may be a bit extreme in quoting Rush Limbaugh about leftists, but his crudeness is as bad as yours: "You know, this is just - you people are just sourpusses, sour asses who cannot handle the fact that nobody buys your gark anymore. Nobody cares to listen to your rhetoric and nobody is influenced by it, and you people are not in the majority and you can't live with it so you've got to tear down everything decent about traditions and institutions in this country in order to get your power back."

    And yet another Limbaugh quote, that pretty much sums up leftist views on all of this: "And yet we've got a sheer, uncontrolled panic coming from these pantywaists on the left who haven't the slightest idea of what the result of the implementation of their policies would actually be. They cannot, believe me, my friends, be trusted to run this country. They cannot tell the truth; they cannot anywhere near (the truth). These expenditures are nowhere near historical highs. Nowhere near. Marshall Plan, Vietnam, you name it, nowhere near historical highs. We're not breaking the bank. We're not busting the budget. We don't need to repeal the tax cut. We need Democrats to shut the hell up and let some people who know how to fix the problems that we face do it!"


    While president Bush has many domestic issues to take care of, I trust him in office more than howard dean, al gore, and any other democrat, who will follow after clinton, and leave our country wide open to terrorist attacks.

    President Bush has exposed the truth to us. They claim for there to be more terrorists in Iraq now, so why not go hunt them down? Are we going to let them breed, and come and kill us? How do we even know that those terrorists weren't there to begin with, and that our war just uncovered them? By bringing these people out of their caves, we can rid the world of a great evil, and make it a better place for everybody.

    And if you live in the United States of America, George W. Bush is YOUR president, like it or not.

    oh yeah, and read the last line of my sig.
     
  2. patrick0brien macrumors 68040

    patrick0brien

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    #2
    -G4scott

    Very good points. Good way to cut through the smoke screens driven up on all sides - though I'd have preferred you didn't use quotes from Rush.

    But the numbers you quote are probably your best tool here.
     
  3. mcrain macrumors 68000

    mcrain

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    #3
    Two things. First, Clinton's security people were focused on Bin Laden and terrorist threats, but as soon as GWB came in, his people ignored the warnings of Clinton's people. So, who left us wide open?

    Second, GWB is a president with a great big asterick next to his name. He did not get the most votes, and he was only installed into office because of huge vote tampering in Florida, illegal votes from the military, and a Supreme Court populated with people who wanted to retire with a conservative president.

    Just because a bunch of members of the "good 'ol boys club" decided he was going to be president does NOT make him my president.
     
  4. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #4
    No one will condemn you for your views here, only if you engage in name calling and rhetorical bomb throwing. I try to keep the insults out of my posts, although I know others are not always as good about that. But that happens from both sides here. The core group that participates here is pretty good about not insulting each other simply because of their views. We do get a little defensive when trolls show up - not that I'm saying your post was trolling - but there have been many trolls from the left and right, just ignore them.
     
  5. Sayhey macrumors 68000

    Sayhey

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    #5
    G4scott,

    the logic of your post is that if one disagrees with any of the actions of this administration conducted under the name of a "war on terrorism" one is not willing to do what is necessary to defeat the terrorists. It is also to call into question the patriotism of those who do not agree. We, on the left are just anti-american, correct?

    I disagree with all of the above premises.

    Your post seems to lump together the strikes on al-Qaeda and the invasion of Iraq. This merger is convenient for those in the Bush administration who would use the 9/11 tragedy to justify the war in Iraq, but there is no logical connection or tangible proof to show that al-Qaeda's actions were tied to Saddam. We can argue the merits of the invasion again it you want, but they or the lack of same had nothing to do with a war on terror. Indeed, we have spread out our military resources with the Iraqi adventure to the point that it is hurting our ability to focus in on al-Qaeda. I believe that one of the benefits of a correction of the administration's flawed Iraqi policy would be to help us more efficiently fight bin Laden and his friends.

    It also assumes that those who "really" oppose terrorism should be willing to make the sacrifices the Bush administration has asked of us. If you mean that we should put up with long lines and security checks at the airports, then I agree. However, that doesn't mean we must sign over our civil liberities through such overreaching actions as the "Patriot Act." Part of what makes a good patriot is fighting to retain the rights this country was founded upon. The fact that I don't trust the motives of Bush, Ashcroft, et al does not make me less of a patriotic citizen.

    When I look to my country and the love that I feel for it, that love is based in its people and our history - not in an allegiance to a particular politician or political agenda. I'm willing to make sacrifices for my country and have done so in many ways, but one way I'm not willing to do is to just accept the dictates of those in power as to what is good for us. I think of that as being a responsible citizen.
     
  6. Taft macrumors 65816

    Taft

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    #6
    This analogy is quite flawed. The troops we have stationed in Germany are not fighting active combat missions Their lives aren't in danger. In fact, the only similarity between troops stationed in Germany and the actively serving troops in Iraq is that they are both overseas. The troops stationed in Germany and Japan are likely costing us about the same amount of money as our troops in the US and are in about as much danger: practically none.

    Since the end of World War II through the end of the Cold War, the troops in Germany were there partly as a counterweight to Soviet dominance. And since the end of the Cold War, they are there as a result of the agreement signed after the WWII saying that Germany couldn't amass a huge army and therefor the US would protect them. That relationship has blossomed into a long standing position of allies.

    It is disingenuous to equate such drastically different situations.

    Also, we should not be judging the merits of the Iraqi action against other recent military actions. Rather, each military action we take should be considered on its own merits. What are the reasons the US is becomming involved? Is our presence necessary? Do the benifits of our involvement outweight the risks? Those are the kinds of questions we should be asking.

    Finally, the size of the Iraqi action isn't even comparable to the action in Bosnia, etc. Another unfair comparison. And while the Vietnam war turned into a long, expensive and protracted military action, it didn't start out that way. It was supposed to be a short war, but it lasted a very long time. Comparing costs of these two wars that were fought so differently and had their motivations in completely different places is a waste of time and doesn't advance any of the points you are trying to make.

    If you want to make people believe we were right to go into Iraq, use the facts in THIS PARTICULAR CASE. Comparisons to other conflicts offers little to the conversation because you can point out as many (or more) differences as you can similarities.
     
  7. Taft macrumors 65816

    Taft

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    #7
    What you, and many other people opposing the actions of the "lefties," don't understand is that it is possible to, at the same time, be patriotic AND think Osama and terrorists are evil AND think that what we did in Iraq and Afghanistan wasn't a good idea.

    You approach the situation with an attitude of "an eye for an eye." --Don't you CARE that Osama is still at large? Shouldn't we PUNISH those responsible? Are you just going to let them walk away???--

    Many people, including myself, believe that this kind of attitude only makes things worse. Revenge is something that causes bitter rivalries and horrible conflicts. We cannot look soft on the war on terror, that much is true. But there are more ways than one to look "tough" on terror, without resorting to war.

    This anger and rage some people feel towards the terrorists is understandable. They did a horrible thing. But think for just a minute at how angry THEY must have been to resort to such vile acts. What would cause them to become so angry? How do we stop THAT?

    The source of terrorism is hate. They hate us. In fact, they have inspired hate IN US. I think that is a dangerous thing. If we act on that hate, we'll be likely to spawn more hate. It becomes a vicious circle of revenge and hatred. In fact, as horrible as it sounds, I see certain similarities between the mentality of the terrorists and those who would like to see the terrorists exterminated AT ANY COST. Both groups have been blinded by hatred and aren't looking for a solution to the underlying problem.

    Think I'm wrong?? Look at Isreal and the Palestinians. How are they going to break the circle of hatred that has been growing deeper each year? Its hard. I want to make sure we don't end up that way.

    Taft
     
  8. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #8
    taft brings up a good point, about appearing to be tough on terrorism. what proof do we have that it's working?

    there's circumstantial evidence:
    - arrests
    - some funds frozen
    - no attacks in US
    - WH claims it's made great strides
    - $$ thrown at Homeland Security

    then there's other evidence:
    - many al qaeda attacks since 9/11
    - intelligence points to an adaptable and growing al qaeda
    - endless news reports of leaky borders and accessibility to airports/planes
    - chem and nuke industries have done next to nothing to protect themselves

    so what's the reality? are we trusting bush when he says things are getting better? how many people are going to have to face up to reality once there's another attack in the US?
     
  9. Taft macrumors 65816

    Taft

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    #9
    They can't be trusted. Nobody's listening to their rhetoric. They have no influence. They are liars. They need to shut up.

    Sounds like a guy with some well reasoned, hard hitting arguments. NOT!

    We are busting the budget. Prove to me that we aren't. Come on, I dare you. Aren't the currently HUGE deficits our government is running the same as "busting the budget"???? Or is there some other "more logical" standard for determining when we are "busting the budget." I'd like to know.

    If Rush is trying to make the point that the war effort alone is not responsible for creating the huge deficit we are seeing, then he has a point (albeit a very inflammatory one). There are a lot of reasons we have a VERY LARGE budget deficit, but it is a fact that the war effort will negatively effect our budget and that we have a budget deficit.

    Those two points are irrefutable.

    And last time I checked, the "lefties" don't want to tear down all the "good" institutions of the society. That is just good old fashioned name calling. He may as well be shouting, "Malcontents! Nihilists!! Anarchists!! You don't like the country??? Get the fudge out!"

    I guess what I'm trying to say is that this rhetoric doesn't help the conversation. Its divisive. It uses unfair and misleading tactics. It wouldn't be accepted in any moderated debate. It has no place in the public forum.

    Rush is a jerk.

    Taft
     
  10. Taft macrumors 65816

    Taft

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    #10
    This is what I'm really afraid of. Any evidence that al Queda might be growing is cause for serious concern, IMO.

    Could these statistics indicate that we are actually creating more terrorsits, rather that eliminating the existing ones? That is the question that scares me the most.

    I'm for being "tough on terror," but not at the cost of feeding the machine that creates terrorists in the first place.

    Taft
     
  11. Taft macrumors 65816

    Taft

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    #11
    Re: 9/11, The War on Terror, and the things you should know

    Finally, (sorry to do this piecemeal, but I've got to work occasionally), this is a horrible, horrible lie.

    Clinton was actually very tough on terrorism, dispite conservative propoganda condemning him as "soft." In fact, a reasonable claim could be made that Bill Clinton was actually more aggressively fighting terror during his presidency than GW Bush was before Sept. 11th.

    Do you remember how much attention Bush paid to foreign relations before 9/11? Remember how he was criticized for that? Remember how his attitude changed after 9/11?

    And, lest you think I'm making all of this up, here is a report I made (which has been posted on another forum) showing how Clinton was tough on terror. Please refrain from repeating this lie without presenting some evidence refuting these facts:

    Taft
     
  12. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #12
    The Bush administration had also resumed payments to the Taliban government in exchange for their assistance in destroying the opium crops that were being grown in areas of Afghanistan. It now appears the Taliban took our money and continued cultivating and selling the opium to fund their regime.
     
  13. toontra macrumors 6502

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    #13
    Here in the UK, it was revealed today that, prior to the war, Blair was warned by the security services that a disintegration of the Iraqi regime was likely to increase the terrorist threat to the world community.

    LINK

    He seems to have chosen to ignore this, which is ironic considering the whole coalition case for war was built on fighting terrorism!
     
  14. Rower_CPU Moderator emeritus

    Rower_CPU

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    #14
    G4Scott-

    You're treading on very thin ice by saying that you expect nasty replies because it's the "nature of leftists".

    I'll be watching this thread closely...
     
  15. mcrain macrumors 68000

    mcrain

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    #15
    Hey Rower, if I were a betting man, I'd say his comment was right on, just probably not how he intended. I would guess that there will be "nasty replies" because of the "nature of the leftists." What he thought was that the "leftists" would get upset and make nasty replies, but what I see about to happen is that the "nature of the leftists" is to shove the truth in your face, which will then lead to "nasty replies." Anyone care to bet?
     
  16. G4scott thread starter macrumors 68020

    G4scott

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    #16
    Well, when you hit a beehive, the bees usually get upset... Do you want to let terrorism sit on the back burner and slowly build up while we all sit thinking we're safe? President Bush has openly attacked terrorism. Of course the terrorist threat is going to be higher, but it allows us to hunt down these terrorists and make sure that they're no longer a threat to the US or any innocent civilians.

    So, if fighting terrorism on their own front isn't the right strategy, what is? Should we wait for them to attack us again? While 9/11/01 was a terrible day, do we want to put it in the back of our minds, and forget that there are still people out there who still want to do worse, and have the capability to do it? Along with remembering what happened on September 11th, 2001, we have to do as much as we can to make sure that nothing like it ever happens again.
     
  17. cc bcc macrumors 6502

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    #17
    Well I read on, and I think that after Sayhay and Taft there is not much left of your arguments.
    Why come to a discussion forum when expressing undebatable truth?
    Personally I don't like your namecalling. I lean to the left side of the political spectrum. It's not my nature, but perhaps it's my nurture.
    I'm always looking for other people's views, but if people start off like that I'm fairly quick at stamping the tag "narrowminded" on the expressed views, by nature I might add. Experience confirms this.
     
  18. G4scott thread starter macrumors 68020

    G4scott

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    #18
    Ok, so you think the war on terror was wrong, blah blah blah...

    What would you suggest the US do to combat terrorism? I hear lots of "We shouldn't have done this and that" and "Bush wasn't really elected" and "We can't afford it", but most of it's politics. Tell me, if you were the president, what would you have done?
     
  19. groovebuster macrumors 65816

    groovebuster

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    #19
    Re: 9/11, The War on Terror, and the things you should know

    I don't know where you get your outdated information, but last time I checked I didn't see any money going from the US to Germany just like that. And something you probably don't know as well, the salary of US soldiers stationed in germany are paid with german tax money. The US army doesn't have to pay any rent for ground or facilities... So please, it is OK to have an opinon, but not having a clue what you are talking about is embarassing, don't you think?

    Dude, almost half of the people killed on 9/11 were not US citizens. I really wonder why they always seem to not count when things like that are discussed. Americans here, americans there, the poor americans, the innocent americans... All that would sound way nicer and less arrogant if people wouldn't only refer always just to the americans killed on 9/11. The other people are not humans second class...!

    groovebuster
     
  20. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #20
    considered things in addition to military action:
    1. diplomacy w/ allies and potential allies
    2. not allow politics to get in way (read: saudi arabia, pakistan)
    3. listen to my intelligence agencies
    4. figure out the root causes of terrorism
    5. fight poverty in the world
    6. adopt a respectful foreign policy
    7. invest heavily in R&D to wean us off foreign oil
    8. stop subsidies to oil industry
    9. remove politics from FBI/NSA/CIA
     
  21. cc bcc macrumors 6502

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    #21
    I haven't seen any proof that these wars are helping. All the money and lives that were spent and still being spent haven't had any positive effects, other than perhaps the nice feeling of retrobution.
    What should have been done? I don't know. Can't I disagree without knowing an alternative? Is that worse than agreeing because you don't see any alternatives?
    I've yet to see a good argument for the war, other than "What would you have done?" Sorry but that doesn't do it for me, especially at the expense of so many lives.
    And at the expense of so much money. Perhaps we should finally start investing into development, schools, industries etc. That way creating much more goodwill than yet another confirmation of the arrogant West showing of it's fireworks. Don't forget that a lot of people in Afganistan and Iraq don't know what all this is about. They don't see any good coming off of it. Information is the key to freedom, and money the key to information. And if the only information you recieve is coming from one source (eg Houssein) you can imagine why anti-western sentiment is growing.
     
  22. pseudobrit macrumors 68040

    pseudobrit

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  23. Sayhey macrumors 68000

    Sayhey

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    #23
    Now, the folks on the boards who disagree with you are bees? As in annoying insects? Perhaps instead of calling names it would be better to deal with the arguments.

    I can only speak for myself, but I never said I disagree with a "war on terror." What I said was that the Bush administration had used the 9/11 attacks to launch its own attack on Iraq. Part of the smokescreen that has been thrown up and was used as recently as last Sunday's speech was to merge the struggle against al Qaeda and the invasion of Iraq. As I said before and you have yet to respond to, I think there is no basis for that argument.

    What would I have done? First off I hope I would have paid attention to the warnings of the Clinton adminstration and paid more attention to the threat of terrorism and the need to have an activist foreign policy in the middle east (most importantly around Israeli/Palestinian issues) before 9/11.
    After 9/11, I agree with the intial moves of the Bush administration in its dealing with al Qaeda and Afghanistan. There was worldwide support for the eradication of al Qaeda, even forcing countries like Saudi Arabia and Pakistan to give lip service to the fight against bin Laden and associates. What I would have done was follow that up with a more active committment to rebuilding Afghanistan and isolating al qaeda from any supporters we could find. What I would not have done was blown that international consensus with an ill-advised, illegal "preemptive" war in Iraq. Other than that I think zim's list is pretty damn good.

    G4scott, I hope you keep posting to these boards because you raise important points (though I obviously disagree with your perspective), but I also would ask you to keep the name calling down, so the discussion can go on about the issues, not the personalities.
     
  24. patrick0brien macrumors 68040

    patrick0brien

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    #24
    -Jeez guys

    This has really become a swarm of words - good words - but I thing we're keeping our eyes on the wrong balls.

    We currently sit in the middle of a situation, we're fighting several wars, have politics out the wazoo internally and externally and a slew of other things that have been talked about and argued over ad nauseum here. We can argue and moan, and yell all we want here, but that doesn't address the issues - it just get's hackles up and wastes energy.

    The question I feel needs answering is what are we, the armchair policymakers, going to do about all of this? Where would we start?

    Can we see if we can crawl out of cynicism for a bit and actually construct something? We're smart, and international here. There's got to be something we can actually accomplish.
     
  25. mcrain macrumors 68000

    mcrain

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    #25
    Absolutly! I couldn't agree more! There IS something we, the armchair policymakers, can do to start things moving away from where we are towards a safer world and a better economy.

    VOTE REGIME CHANGE IN 2004
     

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