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I guess that answers the "are we safer" question

Discussion in 'Other Off Topic Forum' started by Slim, Dec 22, 2003.

  1. Slim

    Slim Formula 3

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    richard
    Last week the question was posed as to if we are safer now. Our government has now chimed into the thread to say "uh, sorry, but...no, you're not."

    I was shocked by two things in Tom Ridge's announcemnt. One was that the government's position is that we are at a greater risk right now than at any point since 9/11. You mean they've accomplished nothing? I can't help but think that if our resources hadn't been spent on a war against Iraq that we could have made at least some progress on the war against terror to make us safer today. What has been going on for the last two years?

    The second thing he said that was surprising was when he mentioned that what accounts for our danger is "al-Qaida's continual desire to carry out attacks on our homeland".

    What was that sentence doing in there? That sounds more like something you'd hear on NPR than from the Bush Adminitstration! Is he saying the "desire" to harm us is what we should fear the most? That perhaps that eliminating that "desire" is what we should be working on rather than ineffectual attemps to destroy all their training facilities, capture all their leaders, cut of their funding? Has he figured out that all it really takes is one guy and $50 worth of stuff to kill thousands and that since we'll never eliminate every single terrorist, and never cut off every last dollar, that what we should instead try to eliminate is the desire to do us harm?

    I hope someone out there was listening to him and that they work in a little bit of that sort of thinking into our war on terror. After all, if two years of the current tactics have gotten us nowhere, might as well try to mix things up at least a tad.

    Be safe out there over the holidays everyone.

    -Slim
     
  2. jordan747_400

    jordan747_400 F1 Veteran
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    Good points Slim, but what could we really do to eliminate their desire to harm us? Sounds good on paper but I dont htink thats really even possible unfortunately...They hate us.
     
  3. wax

    wax Four Time F1 World Champ
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    Bear in mind, this is the busiest travel time of the year - certainly will be in the last 2 1/4 yrs. since that fateful day.

    Remember the "immediate gratification" of 9/11 for those with ill will towards western civilization's combination of moral turpitude and financial leeway which was most obvious in the US? Whether or not Iraq was invaded, the US is, as it was on 9/11 - the prize target of destruction, since in the minds and proclamations of those who, in the name of moral superiority, the US is the epitome of destruction of morals. The Great Satan.

    Combine the above aspects, add a dwindling population of those who are already readily equipped either financially or with weaponry or the skills such as possessed by the pilot/hijackers on 9/11 - and you have a Ground Zero.

    Last, but not least, Cockroaches are most active when it is dark - or - when exposed and cornered. As long as cockroaches which are known to exist aren't trapped, they're considered a threat to health and peace of mind.
     
  4. SRT Mike

    SRT Mike Two Time F1 World Champ

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    Non sequitor reasoning.

    There have been no attacks since 9/11 on our soil, I believe. By your rationale, if they didn't say anything, we would be safer. Part of our increased safety is the government checking terrorists and keeping the public appraised of the situation. They have seen more "chatter" and hence are passing along the word. Assume we never went into Iraq, and also did not beef up our security post 9/11. Would there have been more attacks than there have been (which is zero). Answer from most would be an undisputed yes. Therefore we ARE safer now.

    How would you eliminate their desire to harm us? Folks think it comes from our meddling in their affairs, but it doesn't. If we meddle they hate us. If we don't meddle, they hate us. They just hate us period. Kissing up to terrorists who want to destroy us, not because we struck first, but because they believe we are an infestation that must be cleansed just won't work.

    I read this post as someone just looking for something to attack. It's easy to take shots at the wording or perceived message that was given. The bottom line is there have been no attacks here since 9/11, although many have tried. We are obviously safer, period.
     
  5. Slim

    Slim Formula 3

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    Apparently, the head of homeland security does not agree with you. You'll have to forgive me for taking his word for it.

    (btw, sure, since 9/11 we haven't had any attacks. We didn't have any before that either. Thomas Kean's report, due in May, sounds like it is going to be a good exposition of what our government - in this administration and the last - failed to do that cost those 2800 people their lives that day. )

    If they hate us when we mettle (naturally), and hate us when we don't (not as clear), then perhaps there is just simply something about "us" that is hateable? After all, like I've often said, nobody hates Norway!

    It's just so frustrating...and that's why my original post read like someone looking for something to attack. I just want to see some progress made and get on with all that good stuff, you know, the life, liberty, and the persuit of happiness (or property if you prefer).
     
  6. FLATOUTRACING

    FLATOUTRACING F1 Rookie

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    Mike,

    We seem to agree on many things but this isn't one of them. It's easy to lump all the Middle Eastern terrorists into one big group but there are distinct variations. There certainly are many people and groups that hate us period!!! No matter what!! But there are just as many people who hate us because of our incesant meddling in the Middle East and our relationship with Saudi Arabia.

    I am sure the majority of racical extremists hate us and have twisted the Koran and Islam to argue that they must kill us all, but most of them, up until recently weren't about to travel half way around the world to attack us. If we were in their back yard they would come after us but if we weren't they stayed put.

    Not so anymore. We have meddled so long in Middle Eastern politics that they all hate us. We supported both sides of the Iran/Iraq war, sometimes at the same moment. We are in complete cahoots with the Saudi Royal family, have backed Isreal for half a century against the Palestinians and have had our hand in other people's coookie jar in the Middle East for a long time.

    And we have hung plenty of people in the Middle East out to dry and now those people are angry.

    And as for making things secure in the US, some of you are living in fairy land. If Isreal, which is 100 times smaller than the US and devotes 10 times more money on homeland defense against terrorists can't do it what makes you think the US can secure it's borders against terrorists?

    I lived in Hamburg in the 70's when the Bader Meinhoff gang was blowing up shopping malls and my father's side of the family is from Belfast. I've grown up around terrorists and even the crude and poorly fincanced ones are still dangerous and hard to keep out.

    It's like all those security systems people put in their houses. Any cop will tell you that none of them are foolproof. yeah most will stop your run of the mill burglar, but the professional ones .... forget they are going to get in no matter what.

    I hope I am wrong and that we are in a safer situation but living in Ireland and Germany I know first hand that it's impossible to stop all the nutcases all of the time.

    Regards,

    Jon P. Kofod
    1995 F355 Challenge #23 (for sale)
    www.flatoutracing.net
     
  7. wax

    wax Four Time F1 World Champ
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    Slim - there has been progress made. It's like comparing a headache or a minor cut - you can't "see" a headache get better, but the minor cut you can see. Which was worse, though - the headache or the scratch? The headache.

    Another analogy: If somebody gets a minor fracture in an accident, they'll get a larger settlement than someone who has headaches around the clock for three years and scars on their head, to boot. Been there, done that. Really.

    Point is - some folks think the proof is in the "seeing" - others already can "see." I believe you feel the proof is in the "seeing."
     
  8. WILLIAM H

    WILLIAM H Three Time F1 World Champ

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    I really think that this is the war that Nostradamus predicted would last 50 years. From the way its going & the way these cowards hide, I dont doubt it
     
  9. ART360

    ART360 Guest

    Mike:

    Jon is right. Some of them hate us because we exist, but a whole bunch more hate us for what we have done in the Middle East. I know this discussion isn't PC, but an awful lot of this is over our blind support of the current Israeli government's behavior towards the Palestinians. This has been brewing for quite a while, and not all of what we believe is true about those issues. On the Arab side, they have even more disinformation leading them to believe terrible things about us and the Israelis. That breeds hatred.

    The solutioon is more difficult: seperate the parties under terms that from the outside appear to be fair.

    Art
     
  10. LouB

    LouB Formula 3

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    "The solutioon is more difficult: seperate the parties under terms that from the outside appear to be fair. "

    Art, for once I totally agree with you. Osama has clearly stated they hate us for two main reasons, our biased tilt towards Israel and our presence on the sacred soil of Saudi arabia. Despit relentless left wing attacks on everything he does, Bush is getting us out of Saudi Arabia, trying like hell to make progress for a new Palestinian state thats reasonably fair but somehow I think that won't be enough. They will still hate and try to distroy us because we are a threat to their medival way of life and total religeous contol of the state and their people and their drive to convert the world to Islam.

    The only hope is to keep the pressure on big time and kill them as they pop up.
    Its a waste of time to try and "understand them". We didn't waste time trying to "understand" the Germans or Japanese in WW2.
     
  11. Modificata

    Modificata F1 Rookie
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    I agree with a lot of what Jon has said.

    I dont think that the US is any safer, and in fact you now probably have more enemies than you have ever had. If someone wanted to detonate a bomb in the US, or go on a killing spree whats stopping them? I still remember when I was living in the US that I was too young to go into a club, but old enough to legally buy a gun. Whats that all about!

    The only way to solve this problem in to go to the root of the problem. Before half of you say you are by trying to kill off Al Qaeda, i'll say you are wrong. Al Qaeda did state that their anti US policy is due the US foreign policy. Something that a lot of people outside of Al Qaeda will agree with. So if the aim is to wipe out al qaeda, then what is the stratergy for all the new groups that will spring up in their place to fight the same point?
     
  12. Mark(study)

    Mark(study) F1 Veteran
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    Quote "we are a threat to their medival way of life and total religeous contol of the state and their people and their drive to convert the world to Islam."Quote

    They have a deep hate..medival Islam can't win while half the world is living under another system that seems to offer sooo much, and fly in the face of their hardcore ideas, that just don't work.



    Slim- I would have a heck of a time keeping you safe in jail. I'd have to spend all my time fighting for you. You'd be like...."Mark don't fight, if we are nice to the rapest, they won't rape me."
    And
    "Mark, you don't have to fight for my food and phone time, if I give the gangs and bullys my things they will like me and become my friends."

    Slim-if you were my friend, I would have to be a one-man a$$-kicking machine to keep you alive in prison.

    You can't be nice to 'Evil'

    ( I have never been to jail, but won't want to go with my best friend slim)

    PS I am just making a joke, sorry to tease :) but there is a logic to my joking around.
     
  13. Mark(study)

    Mark(study) F1 Veteran
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    You are wrong. The leaders of Al Qaeda say the reason for the fight is US policy....but that is just bluster... to excite young kids to join their cult and blow themselfs up or crash an airplane to their death.

    The leaders of Al Qaeda want POWER, they want a 10th Centery State (back to the good old times for their glory days of that society)
    The leaders of Al Qaeda always have some problem.... its the- blame someone else for your poverty' scheme.

    If you blame the USA you are falling for their mind-control trick.

    Al Qaeda is playing the American game of "keeping up with the Jone's"

    We have a Ferrari and they have a mule.
    We have a big house they have a cave.
    We have a computer they have a guy with no shoes to take notes.

    Al Qaeda will always have an excuse until we kill them or they kill us.
    Don't fall for their excuses, Look at the core- The leaders of Al Qaeda want POWER, they want a 10th Centery State
     
  14. LouB

    LouB Formula 3

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    Mark---bingo! right on target!

    You don't search for "root causes" when the thug is coming at you with a gun. You kill him before he kills you.
     
  15. ART360

    ART360 Guest

    Lou:

    When it gets to that point you are correct. But if it gets to that point, you're too late.

    Art
     
  16. Mark(study)

    Mark(study) F1 Veteran
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    We are safer! You are missing the big picture.

    -We got hit while we were sleeping.
    -Now the USA has won the last 5 battles.
    -Now Al Qaeda has to strike or they look dead.

    Sometimes winning a war, causes your enemy to make a desperation strike or last gasp. If they don't do something soon…. Arabs are starting to see that the USA is trying to fix Iraq, and we saved Kuwait, and we are fixing Afghanistan, and Libya has crumbled away from WMD's. Next Israeli is going to put a fence up and separate the territories. There will be fewer killings and that will cool the rhetoric further. At some point the Arab people will shift.

    The bad guys have to act fast, things don't look to good for them.

    People that see this rise in the threat level as proof that we are not safer… don't understand military strategy. We attack and that puts pressure on the enemy to attack back, when they stick their heads up you kill them. Shortens the war. But you can't go without ever being attacked. Actually accelerating the pace is a good sign. Our Enemy can't wait because we are slowly winning with our progress around the world. At some point more Arabs will like the rebuilding from the USA more than the bombings from Al Qaeda
     
  17. davem

    davem F1 Veteran
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    All terrorists are alike. They want to fight, kill, whatever. We could pull out of Saudi Arabia, distance ourselves from Israel. Then what?? Osama tells his followers "great job guys we did it, hey i hear Wal-Mart is hiring!"
    These people are addicted and theres no 12 step program!
     
  18. Slim

    Slim Formula 3

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    Sure, if the come at you, you kill them. If you are in jail, you fight back and protect yourself. But at some point you need to get smart and figure out how to stay out of jail in the first place. (i.e. stop putting yourself in dangerous situations with psychopaths).

    Maybe this current crop is totally insane and all we can do is capture or kill them. Well, if so, we're not doing a very good job. We've got 150k guys messing around in Iraq instead. They should go after the current terrorists, but also figure out how to stop the recruiting of those to replace them.
     
  19. wax

    wax Four Time F1 World Champ
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    That's like telling a black man that if he would simply stop being black, he'd stop being profiled by cops.
     
  20. Mark(study)

    Mark(study) F1 Veteran
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    We are at war against Al Qaeda and their members come from ALL of these Arab countries. For Bush's people plotting a long-term strategy, Iraq is the key to fixing the entire Arab world. Did you see Libya cave last week?

    1940 When we took out Hitler in WWII, first we attacked the French in Africa, to cut off the oil to Germany. Militarily the quickest way to get from point "A" to point "B" is not always a straight line.

    By hitting Iraq we just got the attention of every terror strong-man in the Arab world ( and we couldn't fix the Arab world while Sadam was in power working against us with his blustering rhetoric) Soooo we have now changed the balance of power.

    I am playing chess and I think Iraq was a good move.
    You are playing checkers if you think we should have only hunted Osama and let our jets, ships, and tanks sit while a handful of special agents hunt for the right intelligence in the bad-lands of Packastan.
     
  21. ART360

    ART360 Guest

    Mark I generazlly agree with your logic most of the time, you're one of the smartest guys on this board. However, I think you're wrong about this one. I do not believe there was one Iraqi who we caught in Al Qaeda, not one. We chose to attack them in a war of conquest, not in any manner related to their support of bin Laden. There is not a single item of evidence linking Hussein, Iraq to anything to do with Taliban or Bin Laden, no one item. There are some rumours, but even our President, who'd love a connect, had to deny same when asked.

    No, what we've done is to validate the premises of the radical arabs that we are on a holy war against them (read the arab press a little and you can see how they spin this issue).

    The end result is that we've managed to convert thousands of arabs into people who will, given the opportunity, cause hurt to America. Will this show soon: probably not, but it will show as the opposition gets organized, buys better weapons, and groups to effectively resist American occupation of their homeland.

    This was a war of conquest driven by loons (neo-cons) whose predictions to this point have proven incorrect. In my personal life, when a person who predicts what will occur is wrong repeately, I start to ignore those thoughts from them. As a country we should have the same attitude.

    Art
     
  22. SRT Mike

    SRT Mike Two Time F1 World Champ

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    Jon,

    Perhaps I came across as being too firm on my stance that they "hate us just because of who we are". I agree that much of the angst is because we meddle in their affairs, but I disagree that it's predominantly about whether we support the Russians or the Mujahadeen, or the Israelis or Palestinians. I think a lot of it is just our "meddling" period. Problem is we are a world power who NEEDS to secure our global economy. We NEED oil and cheap resources to function. Can we really sever ties with these countries who we, in all honesty, rely on for so much? I don't think we can.

    For those that support stopping our "meddling", are those people willing to let our country slip into a depression or severe recession, or give up our global involvement in affairs to "protect" ourselves?

    As an example of what I'm talking about, lets look at our military bases. Arabs are NOT happy we have bases in ANY of their countries. They usually refer to it as "Americans on Arab soil". They don't want us there period. But we can't secure our interests worldwide if we DON'T have bases in these places. So should we weaken our global defense forces so that we're no longer "meddling"? I think that would be a foolish and short sighted move. And if you agree that it IS necessary for us to have bases worldwide, then we simply cannot EVER "not meddle" so long as we agree we need bases in these places.

    It goes a lot deeper than just bases... we have to pick sides in conflicts to secure our interests. As an example, if we didn't intervene after Iraq went into Kuwait (no meddling, remember?) then most agree Iraq would have gone on to invade Saudi Arabia. And how long until Israel gets hit? Do we keep on keeping to ourselves? What about when Iraq and Turkey go to war? What if it spills over into Uzbekistan or Kazakstan? Can we honestly always just not meddle in their affairs? Look at the Taliban in Afghanistan. We lived through it... but people are already talking about how badly we handled it. These regional warlords in Afghanistan are NOT nice people. But in 20 years people will talk about how we are bastards because we supported these warlords in the late 90's early 00's, but now we are against them. Well, I know and you know that these warlords WANTED our help to oust the Taliban, and it was a lot better to have locals fighting locals (lest we be seen even moreso as occupiers and dominating invaders). Just like the Mujahadeen WANTED our help against the Russians - and we helped them to prevent the spread of communism. Was that the right decision back then? I still think it WAS!

    I think if we STOP trying to influence world affairs, we will be a LOT worse off than we are today.

    Art does have a point regarding the Palestinian/Israeli situation. But I will go out on a limb and say the Palestinians are not helping their cause by using Arafat as their champion. Maybe if they found someone respectable who actually can be taken seriously by the rest of the world, it would be different. And I still think Khaddafi needs a bullet in his brain.
     
  23. SRT Mike

    SRT Mike Two Time F1 World Champ

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    You are dead wrong there... do you realize how many terrorists we are killing? Literally thousands... but it isn't on the news every day. I have some friends involved in operations in Pakistan and Afghanistan, and we are literally devastating these terorrists. Iraq took center stage so it gives the impression we're slipping on terorrism, but we're not.

    You are absolutely right, however, that we need to eliminate their recruiting efforts. We can do that by continually killing every terrorist (short sighted - more are born and signing up than we can kill), or we can eliminate the desire to BE a terrorist. We can do that by, as some are suggesting, stopping our "meddling" in their affairs. Problem is I don't think we can do that without seriously harming our defenses and our economy. The other option is to drag these people, kicking and screaming, into the 20th century. As long as they are whipping their women, killing one another and everyone else in the world, and acting like barbarians, we can't really hope to just leave them alone and let them leave us alone.

    I read a story once about the value of a life. I believe the current figure is around $1.4MM (could be wrong). The important part was that the value of one's life increases as the society they life in prospers. So the value of a life in the USA is 1.4MM but some peasant in Afghanistan it's worth less. I don't mean literally, I mean the monetary value of that person not existing. I watched a farmer in Afghanistan standing next ot his donkey saying if the Americans were coming to kill him, he didn't mind, because his life was pretty bad anyway. I think thats why so many sane rational Arabs are willing to blow themselves up. Because basically their standard of living is a lot lower. I think it's a lot harder to recruit Americans to be suicide bombers in Kandahar than it is to recruit Arab men to be suidice bombers in Tel Aviv. A big part of the reason is they don't exactly live high on the hog like we do. Maybe giving these people a hand up into modern civilization will help.

    We gotta do something, because at some point one of these countries will buy or develop nukes, then it's game over. Are we genuinely afraid of the Japanese today? I don't think anyone is - they are some of the smartest and hardest working folks in the world. Back in the 40's, they were seen as brainwashed, ready to die for their cause and their leaders JUST LIKE THE ARABS WE FEAR TODAY. How did we eliminate that problem? By bringing them into the 20th century. Why in the heck would anyone want to mess with something we already KNOW works????? Especially in favor of something that might not?!?!
     
  24. SefacHotRodder

    SefacHotRodder F1 World Champ

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    this is all i need when i'm flying to the uk on saturday :(
     
  25. Mark(study)

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    Art- its slow, but we will see results that will snowball

    (CNN) -- Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi acknowledged Monday that the war in Iraq may have played a role in his decision to dismantle his country's weapons of mass destruction programs. Asked about his decision, Gadhafi acknowledged that the Iraq war may have influenced him, but he insisted he wanted to focus on the "positive."
    He said the world is a changed place in which his country can feel safe without weapons of mass destruction.

    Gadhafi told CNN that he hopes other nations will follow his action, And that he will push the idea to other rogue nation leaders.
     

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