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  1. #11
    Minister of Propagandhi ajblaise's Avatar
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    It's not that Al Qaeda is a fantasy, but that its capabilities and reach have been greatly exaggerated for the last 8 years.

    Al Qaeda is actually a fairly small and loose-knit organization, and compared to what Nazi Germany or the USSR was, it's not even comparable as a threat.

    The promotion of Al Qaeda and Bin Laden as boogeymen in order to generate support for hawkish foreign policy probably ended when the Bush administration ended.

  2. #12
    Protocol Droid Athenian200's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ajblaise View Post
    It's not that Al Qaeda is a fantasy, but that its capabilities and reach have been greatly exaggerated for the last 8 years.

    Al Qaeda is actually a fairly small and loose-knit organization, and compared to what Nazi Germany or the USSR was, it's not even comparable as a threat.

    The promotion of Al Qaeda and Bin Laden as boogeymen in order to generate support for hawkish foreign policy probably ended when the Bush administration ended.
    Quote Originally Posted by ajblaise View Post
    It's not that Al Qaeda is a fantasy, but that its capabilities and reach have been greatly exaggerated for the last 8 years.

    Al Qaeda is actually a fairly small and loose-knit organization, and compared to what Nazi Germany or the USSR was, it's not even comparable as a threat.

    The promotion of Al Qaeda and Bin Laden as boogeymen in order to generate support for hawkish foreign policy probably ended when the Bush administration ended.
    You can say that again.

    This seems most reasonable. There was some kind of organization, but it was more like a loose gang than a real organized mob. Not a fantasy, but a seriously exaggerated reality. They always blow things out of proportion, so it's not surprising.

  3. #13
    Senior Member miked277's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ajblaise View Post
    It's not that Al Qaeda is a fantasy, but that its capabilities and reach have been greatly exaggerated for the last 8 years.

    Al Qaeda is actually a fairly small and loose-knit organization, and compared to what Nazi Germany or the USSR was, it's not even comparable as a threat.

    The promotion of Al Qaeda and Bin Laden as boogeymen in order to generate support for hawkish foreign policy probably ended when the Bush administration ended.
    true, small loose-knit terrorist organization are not comparable to nations in terms of how they threaten the US.

    but, that does not mean that they do not represent a threat. they're merely a different kind of threat. if russia lobs a nuke at the US, we can just as easily lob one right back at them. they know this, and thus the idea of mutually assured destruction motivates each side to avoid using such means.

    however, if small group of highly motivated terrorists obtain a similar weapon and decide to attack the US, we have no immediate mass-retaliatory capability -- no deterrent to disuade the small loose-knit organization from attacking.

    with this type of enemy and with the choice of over-reacting and under-reacting i would much prefer to over-react than to pretend that 9/11 was just a fluke and that al qaeda really isn't that powerful. i would rather wake up one day and find out the worry wasn't really necessary than wake one day and find out that we weren't dilligent enough.
    I'm feeling rough, I'm feeling raw, I'm in the prime of my life.

  4. #14
    Senior Member lowtech redneck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Liquid_Laser View Post
    I watched that link and the whole premise has more holes than a block of swiss cheese. For example here's an obvious question. If Al Queda wasn't behind 9/11 then who was? The Keebler Elves?
    It was the American government, in conjunction with Mossad and the Jewish WTC employees, abetted by tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of people they had to bribe to keep them quiet. Didn't you know that?

  5. #15
    Senior Member lowtech redneck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by miked277 View Post
    true, small loose-knit terrorist organization are not comparable to nations in terms of how they threaten the US.

    but, that does not mean that they do not represent a threat. they're merely a different kind of threat. if russia lobs a nuke at the US, we can just as easily lob one right back at them. they know this, and thus the idea of mutually assured destruction motivates each side to avoid using such means.

    however, if small group of highly motivated terrorists obtain a similar weapon and decide to attack the US, we have no immediate mass-retaliatory capability -- no deterrent to disuade the small loose-knit organization from attacking.

    with this type of enemy and with the choice of over-reacting and under-reacting i would much prefer to over-react than to pretend that 9/11 was just a fluke and that al qaeda really isn't that powerful. i would rather wake up one day and find out the worry wasn't really necessary than wake one day and find out that we weren't dilligent enough.
    Agreed. Even more important, the overall threat of jihadist terrorism (why not other types of terrorist groups? Because they have limited goals and are unlikely to use WMDs) is far greater than from Al-Queda alone. Islamism (the primary motivator of jihadist terrorism) is likewise a threat (albeit not one that can be addressed militarily), as it not only leads to jihadist terrorism, but also to the creation of state-supporters of terrorist organizations.

    That said, this combined threat is one that will remain with us for decades, so the utilization of certain war-time measures would, on balance, be even more detrimental to the freedoms and way of life we are trying to protect, than the jihadist threat itself.

  6. #16
    Senior Member statuesquechica's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oberon View Post
    Oh, so statuesquechica is a 'terrorism denier.'

    Fascinating.
    Please reread my post before you start questing my patriotism and start demanding I show my US flag lapel pin (don't have one, they are made in China).

    I never said anything about "terrorism", Oberon; I was referring to multiple groups that practice extremism, in different countries. I was referring directly to the content of the documentary. I also never said anything about 9/11...obviously elves don't have the capacity to do such a thing (they make cookies).

    Please try to not embellish my posts--if you have questions, then ask instead of making up things.

    The documentary also makes the point that Russia posed a threat, but the threat was also exaggerated, as the previous poster dga stated.

    Without watching the documentary none of you can understand the emphasis placed on "al Queda" by this country in order to proceed to an occupation of another country, Iraq. The organization itself was quickly losing any support within the Islamic countries because of its radical extremist views and violence. Their purpose was useful to the US in portraying the "bogeyman" and escalating fear in this country.

    I like to read various news sources, and watch documentaries that don't all originate in this country for a more complete understanding. I think it is important to understand a political party's history and influences so that I have a more complete picture.

    One last time: Don't attribute opinions or beliefs to me that I haven't stated for myself.
    I've looked at life from both sides now
    From up and down and still somehow
    It's life's illusions I recall
    I really don't know life at all

    Joni Mitchell

  7. #17
    Senior Member statuesquechica's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ajblaise View Post
    It's not that Al Qaeda is a fantasy, but that its capabilities and reach have been greatly exaggerated for the last 8 years.

    Al Qaeda is actually a fairly small and loose-knit organization, and compared to what Nazi Germany or the USSR was, it's not even comparable as a threat.

    The promotion of Al Qaeda and Bin Laden as boogeymen in order to generate support for hawkish foreign policy probably ended when the Bush administration ended.
    I've looked at life from both sides now
    From up and down and still somehow
    It's life's illusions I recall
    I really don't know life at all

    Joni Mitchell

  8. #18
    Oberon
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    Quote Originally Posted by statuesquechica View Post
    ...much stuff...
    Thank you for articulating your denial more fully.

    I suppose Saddam Hussein never gassed the Kurds either, eh? This must be a propaganda photo:

    <photo redacted>

    EDIT: chica, I've been deliberately baiting you. I'm sorry. That wasn't nice. Of course I know my reasoning has been specious; I was doing it on purpose.

  9. #19
    Senior Member lowtech redneck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dga View Post
    read From Yalta to Berlin. It is a a well done history of the cold war by a guy that lived through it and interactedwith many of the involved players. the soviet union was a threat, but an exaggerated one.
    I just read some reviews of that book, and it sounds like something I definately want to check out. Based on the reviews, though, it doesn't seem that the author presented the the Soviets as an especially exaggerated threat.

  10. #20
    Senior Member statuesquechica's Avatar
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    Oberon: I know Hussein was a bad man, after all our country gave him alot of the weapons and tools that he ultimately used to inflict heinous crimes on his own people; however, he is not the reason we invaded Iraq. He was a pawn and had outlived his usefulness to the US. Anyway, I won't fall for the bait next time.

    The documentary The Power of Nightmares (subtitled The Rise of the Politics of Fear) does a terrific job of examining historically and sociologically the different political parties and their use of fear as a tool to manipulate. I found it useful as different parties throughout history have used this method to alarming effect.

    EDIT: The documentary has been shown throughout the world and received awards, but as of this date no American channels will show this film...ain't gonna happen

    There is also some really interesting stuff in there about John Nash's (mathematical genius portrayed in A Brilliant Mind diagnosed with schizophrenia) take on game theory (to mathematically capture behavior in strategic situations) and the self-annihilation possibility when dealing with world conflict.

    Now enjoy ripping this post to shreds...I really love a vigorous debate, not so much the name calling, but to each his own.
    I've looked at life from both sides now
    From up and down and still somehow
    It's life's illusions I recall
    I really don't know life at all

    Joni Mitchell

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