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Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by zimv20, May 9, 2006.
christian science monitor
Well, can you really be terrorists when you're actually a deposed government? How do we define terrorism?
I think this is actually something that needs to discussed at the highest levels. At the moment, all you have to do is look funny and you can be whisked away to Gitmo never to be seen again (at least, according to W's signing statements). When is the "War on Terror" going to be changed into something that can be won, or objectivized. Like, the "war to pacify Iraq". Still impossible, but at least there's a goal in there, rather than an ill-defined fight against a tactic.
I don't see what benefit the Bush administration gets by leaving the Taliban off the list?
Is it just incompetence again, or is there some other motive?
I don't fully understand either. Is it because the Bush adminstration wants people to think that they got rid of them?
Agreed, wasn't Bush's stance on the Taliban that they ARE terrorists and need to be taken out? This whole thing has gone sideways since 9/11 even happened. First they are our #1 enemy, now they're not even considered? WTF mate?
I don't think that they were ever considered terrorists, just harborors (is that a word?) of terror. I believe that we have viewed them as pseudogovernmental warlords, but nothing more.
As has been mentioned, there is a difference between terrorists and dictatorial regimes. Remember, the Taliban never committed or threatened acts of violence in order to affect change. They helped AQ do that. I guess they are sort of the unindicted co-conspirators of the bunch.
That's the point. They aren't going to make the terrorist list because they aren't terrorists, and they won't make the state sponsors since they are officially no longer in control. But, the quote that you point to does explain why they were throttled (ineffectively, because the response was too little, too late). There was no battlefield distinction. But, in developing a list of threats, the Taliban doesn't meet the qualifications.
Besides, I think much of this is a moot point, because I'm sure a survey (HA! could you imagine that?) would show that most Talibaners are AQers as well.
If they aren't "terrorists", who's carrying out the suicide attacks in Afghanistan these days?
Probably members of the Taliban. Except that just because they are member of the Taliban doesn't make the Taliban a terrorist organization. I would venture that they are doing so as members of terrorist groups.
Compare this to Ireland, but with a twist. Suppose there were several groups like the IRA. Members of the IRA blow up some UK checkpoint. Now, they are members of SF, in fact they are known more widely as being members of SF. But, just because they blew up the c-p doesn make SF a bunch of terrorists. Reports will state that "members of SF blew up the c-p", but it was members of the IRA that did it. SF is still not a terrorist group. They aid the group, provide a political refuge for their ideals, and promote the same end goal. But, SF is not going to make the US list, while the IRA will.
I think I have confused everybody, but I hope I made some sense.
I'm afraid you're trying to split too fine of a hair here.
The Taliban have used violence to further their political agenda. Of course, so has Bush, but that's another thread. The Taliban, without uniforms, have attacked US forces - something used as a baseline for determining terrorism in Iraq. The Taliban are currently engaged in attacks against both the government of Afghanistan and US troops.
Contrast that with Hamas, who AFAIK hasn't attacked an American target in years, yet are on the list of terrorist organizations - despite the fact that they have more than just a military wing.
Color me confused as to why the Taliban are not on the list.
To be fair, even in Bushspeak, terrorists do not necessarily have to attack a US target to qualify.
research how they took control of most of afghanistan. without bandying about the word "terror", whose meaning seems to depend on context, the taleban acquired power through exceptionally violent and repressive means.
Sure, but by that measure the Taliban are certainly also terrorists for killing fellow Afghans. Do I really have to go dig up stories about how horrible they were?
No, I agree with you. Just straightening out a little kink before someone else does.
Tell that to all those who fell foul of the 'Department for the Propagation of Virtue and the Suppression of Vice'
I believe the root of the mystery can be summed up in one word - Pakistan.
In many ways Afghanistan and Pakistan should be seen as a single political unit. This stems from heavy Pakistani involvement in in the Guerilla struggle against the USSR (through ISI), and also through geography and british colonial history. The latter two have conspired to make the arbitrary borders between Afghanistan, Pakistan and India confusing and destabilizing.
For Pakistan, it has subsequently felt besieged by both India and Afghanistan, and felt that to combat India, it must control Afghanistan. Unfortunately, it has failed at this task, though not from lack of trying.
The US, of course, values Pakistan as an ally, first funneilng money to the ISI in return for Pakistan's allowal of gueriila rear bases against Soviet Afghanistan and now as an ally on the WOT.
Even though Pakistani/ISI meddling has done little but hamstring the effort(s) of first, the Guerilla War, and second, Afghani reconstruction - the US values the allegiance of Pakistan above all.
Even with Pakistani madrassas and chaotic border regions being the source for a radicalized Taliban and other terrorist groups, I might imagine that the US has no choice but to continue to support the Pakistani government and hope for improvement. The alternative is that the Government will fall, and Pakistan will descend into chaos - a nightmare for the Region and US interests.
So, for the stake of stability, the US cannot afford to offend the delicate sensibilities in Pakistan and risk futher destabilizing the Pakistani government.
Or something like that. Geopolitics can be pretty messy sometimes...
But didn't they used to be terrorists, or dictators, Buddha haters or something? Weren't they harboring Osama bin Laden, or having tea with him or going to Disneyworld with him? Or were these the guys we gave guns and military training to back in the 1980s? Or was it that the Taliban was harboring bin Laden, Iraq had bin Laden's WMD's and Pakistan was where bin Laden was actually living? Or did we give money to the Taliban to curb poppy production, and look the other way when Pakistan and India got the bomb and threatened nuclear war against each other over Kashmir? Or was it that we just needed to remove a dictatorial government in Afghanistan, and bin Laden and Saddam Hussein were really in Iraq all along doing lines of cocaine off of a stockpile of nuclear and chemical weapons?
So much to keep track of these days...
It just doesnt stop with this administration, its insane that the people arent screaming about the Federal Govt. Its 100% snafu.
Exactly - but what the U.S. also needed was a big distraction from its own system of illegal prison camps and a really fast and convenient scapegoat for September 11, otherwise the Taliban would still be in power today.
Yeah, let's not forget the Bush administration was sending money to the Taliban prior to 9-11. Presumably because they were so concerned about womens rights way back when.
To effect a political or economic change in a legitimate governing body. I should have been clearer. The term terrorist has, unfortunately, been turned into a catch-all by both the left and the right - even though it really only includes a specific group/type of person. For example, today, Stalin/Pol Pot/Hitler would be called terrorists, when they were not.
I'm not sure I understand your assertion - there were prison camps before the Policing of Terror and the Taliban was used as a scapegoat for the events of Sep 11, 2001?