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Old 07-13-2004, 07:27 AM   #31
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Quote:
Originally posted by AcrobatMan
Human rights groups are the enemy of "future" terrorism victims.
So defending human rights is incompatible with opposing terrorism? What nonsense.
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Old 07-13-2004, 07:54 AM   #32
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Not all nonsense, the International Solidarity Movement is an example of a "human rights group" that opposes fighting terrorism (The ICRC is also makes my list). Theres nothing at all wrong with advocacy of human rights however in a liberal democracy we must balance security and liberties, sacrificing some liberties in the name of security or sacrificing security for liberties. Racial profiling, extended detention and interrogation (i.e. >48 hours for terror suspects) and other such sacrifices of our rights are made in times of war in order to provide additional security. Some human rights organizations though well meaning will oppose any sacrificing of liberties and infringements of rights and this costs lives. I don't like it but its a sad truth, we cannot live in a totally open society without being at greater risk and the flipside is that we cannot become a police state. Human rights groups keep the world in check and as much as some of their double standards and hypocracy piss me off we need them to keep us on the right path. On the flipside we need to have your Stalinist N-Korea's, Terrorists and Iraqi Baathist Regimes to remind us what we are up against and why we cannot loose.
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Old 07-13-2004, 08:40 AM   #33
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A_Wanderer:

If we would behave like you suggest (global peace through deadly force etc) we would have lost allready everything in our values that were worth fighting for.
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Old 07-13-2004, 09:13 AM   #34
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What values and freedoms would would we loose if we stand up and fight against tyranical regimes and terrorists? Peace and Harmony, acceptance and tollerance of other peoples beliefs and cultures even if they include murdering me, the High Moral Ground of standing by while other people are murdered all the while insisting that international law is on our side, appeasment of evil regimes to prevent attacks against the west. Excuse me if it offends but these are not the things that made the west great, we built and conquered, explored and created and in the end created the greatest civilization in the history of mankind, defending that civilization is not wrong and sacrifice is something that is done in every war and to suggest that by sacrificing anything that we have lost the values we are fighting for is in my opinion flat wrong.

I see nothing wrong with enforcing global peace through force (where neccissary) and defending those values to the death, I say that if we yield and fall back and don't have the will to fight against tyranny and evil then those values are lost and there is nothing worth fighting for. We are facing up to a truly evil enemy, Osama Bin Laden and his cadre of fanatics wan't each and every person who will not subscribe to their fundamentalist doctrine dead, simple as that. If those fanatics get their hands of weapons of tremendous destructive power then they will have the means to achieve that end and Western Society will be doomed. This is an ever growing threat in the world, from small movements great things come - this loose coalition of Islamist movements around the world could grow just like the Russian Revolution and when push comes to shove there may be a grave threat to the world and facing it now is saving more lives in the future.

When I look at the western world I see the greatness that it has given and the things that we must protect with our lives.
- Liberty
- Mathematics
- Electricity
- Modern Medicine
- Secularism
- Transportation
- Code of Law
- Philosophy
- Space Travel
- Democracy

I have absolutely no problem with fighting against those that would treaten my way of life and my values, when we lay down our arms and decide that it isn't worth fighting then we are doomed. Protection of liberty and the cause of freedom throughout the globe is what I see as the only way to save ourselves and make the world tollerable, this must be pursued and sometimes war is the only way to achieve it. Fascism, Communism, Islamism - these are the three foes that the liberal democratic tradion has faced and must face up to if it is to survive. The simple fact is that in order to survive the latest threat sacrifices must be made in terms of our liberties, this is a war that will not end until the Middle East is free and the fanatics are eliminated and until that day comes we must sacrifice or expect there to be concequinces.

I just must know what fundamental values are lost when trying to defend and spread liberal democratic values?



For the record I am not advocating creating a police state and I think that my previous posts make it very clear that I value the rights of the indivdual above the goals of the state, I firmly believe that we must guard agaisnt unwarrented influence from the millitary industrial complex (name the speech where thats from) and that we can maintain a relatively open society despite the treat from terrorism. I also think that fighting against terrorism and despotism should be a principle goal of the free world, we cannot stand by and let people die because we are so insistent that it is not our problem, I have a big problem standing by and ignoring, every person is a human being and they all deserve an oppertunity, this can be delivered by force and I think that it must be done, remake the world for the better because as it stands it is not a good place.

I would say that I most admire leaders such as Woodrow Wilson, JFK (his speeches are good but his short term doesn't leave much in terms of results), Truman, FDR, Eisenhower and Winston Churchill - all great men who stood up to the plate and either defended and sought to spread freedom. They stood against the real evils in this world and todays iteration of authoritarianism is Islamism, defeating this Ideology by discrediting and fighting it is no different in principle to fighting Nazism or Communism however in terms of how we fight those behind it is different. We are not becomming a police state, more freedoms have been sacrificed in past wars and we came out of it allright the only difference is that today we are so used to "peace" that people are unable to comprehend what sacrifice is.

One question, Do you believe that the western world is at war? Answer that one and I suspect that we will find out why you may not see the world in quite the same light as I.
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Old 07-13-2004, 11:44 AM   #35
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I have no problem with fighting against tyranical regimes and terrorists - i just have a problem when we treat our enemies in the way Israel treats Palestinensians or in the way the US has treated prisinors in Guantamo or Abu G.
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Old 07-13-2004, 11:59 AM   #36
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You didn't answer my question, what I advocate is the War on Terror: peace through deadly force etc., going after terrorists and terrorist sponsering regimes with force and you said that we loose the values that we fight for, I must know what values they are that western society as a whole looses when it fights terrorism (and fair game for your answer include Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo, Right of dissent, mass media manipulation or anything that has changed since 9/11 and the WoT was declared).
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Old 07-13-2004, 12:17 PM   #37
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My point was:
If we use torture on our enemies or don't give full human rights to every suspect until proven guilty (in a fair trial, no showcases) to defend our civilized society we allready lost against the terrorists.

And i think, as flawed as many international institutions are, they are still better than most uniliteral approaches.

Michael Byers (expert in International law) wrote an interesting article "Dictators in the Dock" in the Times Magazine as compares two trials of two dictators accused of genocide and war crimes.

History will show if one of these trials will stand for what we call "justice" or "revenge"

edited to add:

I'm not sure if i made my point.

From my point of view the mayor western value which has to be defended is Human Rights.
If we f**k it up while defending them there is nothing much worth defending.

btw.
Quote:
- Mathematics
that's no western invention, look at the arabs

And (i hope you don't mind that i start joking at such a serious subject) the list you are posting rememinds me when i used to play Sid Meyers "Civilization" a decade ago
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Old 07-13-2004, 12:55 PM   #38
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Allright then hypothetical case of innocent until proven guilty.

A Muslim convert travels to Afghanistan in early 2001.

He joins the Taliban and undergoes training with Al Qaeda.

Terrorist attacks occur in September and the man decides to stay in Afghanistan and is wooed by Al Qaeda, he willingly joins them and undergoes furthur training to become an operative who can carry out terrorist strikes.

October comes around and the War on Terror begins, man fights with Taliban against international forces but is captured. He admits to being part of the Taliban and is taken to Guantanamo but there is no evidence of his Al Qaeda training or anything connecting him to a terrorist plot.

Now, what do you do? There are not crimes that he can be charged with in a normal criminal court, the context is simply lacking and he could not be convicted of guilt beyond reasonable doubt. He would be let go.

Then free the man would be able to resume his plotting and then the next thing you know, bam, carbomb goes off at an Embassy in a major city, the innocent man has killed 400 people.

This is the dilemma, this is not criminal law and you cannot deal with captured combatants in the same way that criminals are dealt with. Afford them fundamental rights by all means but they should not be given full access to courts to dispute their detention or access to independent lawyers, it is a neccessary evil that some men who are involved in very suspicious actions must be detained until the full details of their actions have been determined and a proper course of action decided upon. Anything less would be laying the groundwork for another major terrorist attack because as you afford terrorists more and more rights they are able to operate around law enforcement much better and it is innocent civilians who pay the price. I would rather lock up a somebody who fought for the Taliban for 5 years than have an innocent woman die. Liberties vs. Security, that is the dillema that is being negotiated, the right choice is allways somewhere in between but I myself lean more towards sacrificing some of our liberties in the name of survival. We are all in a war whether we believe it or not, how we respond to his is what determines our fates.

I stand by mathematics, Greeks came up with geometry as well as algebra while the bedoin tribes were fighting eachother and the Arabs preserved the ancient knowledge while europe languished in the Dark Ages. Western mathamaticians came up with calculus, astronomy, physics, nuclear physics, probability (sluts of the maths world), cosmology and the subsequent complex mathematics that makes the modern world tick. There is a lot of revisionism in the humanities that tries to downgrade the contribution of western though to the world, this all ties in with the postmodernist doctrine that infects the social "sciences" of universities worldwide. I am proud of what the west has given the world and I still accept the exploitation of conquered nations happened and that it was often a bad thing but I stand by that conquering nations kill, murder and exploit and we shouldn't get all touchy feely about it. Or to use a quote from BtVS "I came, I saw, I conquered - but I felt really bad about it"

In regards to Civ, my mind drifts back to, I think it was '96 when I was playing a lot of it. Man thats a good game, balances very well with Risk.
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Old 07-13-2004, 06:45 PM   #39
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Quote:
Originally posted by A_Wanderer
When I look at the western world I see the greatness that it has given and the things that we must protect with our lives.

- Mathematics
Did you ever wonder at all why these:

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0

are called Hindu-Arabic numerals?
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Old 07-13-2004, 10:32 PM   #40
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Did you ever consider that the Greeks were doing real mathematics while the Arab world was under subjegation of the Persian empire. The plain fact is that the Arab's didn't contribute to mathermatics until the golden age of the Islamic world that began in the 7th century. They had at their disposal the knowledge of the Greeks and the Persians and they unified them. Their major origninal contributions were made well after the Greeks layed down a lot of groundwork and following the demise of Islamic centres of science and learning the major discoveries have been made in the west. So I stand by the fact that Western Civilization has given more to the field of mathematics than any other civilization on the planet.
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Old 07-13-2004, 11:02 PM   #41
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Considering how loosely "Western Civilization" is defined, not to mention the ethnocentric sensibilities of those who did the defining centuries ago, it is no wonder that Europe claims it all for themselves. Since the United States lumps itself in with "Western Civilization," merely due to its own ethnocentric past, then I guess you've effectively included the entirety of the Caucasian realm. Except Australia and New Zealand, although I'm sure they're thrown in for good measure.

Nothing exists out of a vacuum, so I'd have to wonder where the Greeks built upon their knowledge? And it doesn't take too much to look either. Pythagoras, considered the world's first true "mathematician," was Greek, yes, but he gained his knowledge from...guess who? The Persians and the Egyptians. Ancient Greek civilization apparently built upon the knowledge of ancient Egypt and of the "Babylonians," which was now part of the Persian Empire.

The only reason we exult Greco-Roman culture above others is primarily due to the humanist obsession with these cultures in the early 19th century. They created modern higher education ("humanities," anyone?) and they invented both the Renaissance (a term never used prior to the 19th century; saw it as particularly notable, due to the period's own obsession with Greco-Roman culture). But, really, nothing exists out of a vacuum. I'd be curious to know where ancient Egypt got its mathematical knowledge from, except that that is about as far back as we can go, historically. I guess we'll never know.

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Old 07-13-2004, 11:05 PM   #42
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Actually, the first mathematics was introduced in Sanskrit, in 6 BC, in India, long before the Greeks, and long before the Arabs.

It was called Ganit, and you can find proof of that in the Vedah (dated 6000 BC). The Greeks organized Mathematics into an academic discipline, but it is the people of the Indian subcontinent that have the first dateable sources.
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Old 07-13-2004, 11:32 PM   #43
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Quote:
Originally posted by anitram
Actually, the first mathematics was introduced in Sanskrit, in 6 BC, in India, long before the Greeks, and long before the Arabs.

It was called Ganit, and you can find proof of that in the Vedah (dated 6000 BC). The Greeks organized Mathematics into an academic discipline, but it is the people of the Indian subcontinent that have the first dateable sources.
Interesting. The ancient Greeks had no problem documenting where much of their knowledge came from, namely Egyptian and "Babylonian" sources. Since the world is connected, perhaps one can trace it to India somewhere down the line?

I'd have to wonder if the ancient Greeks admired those cultures to the same degree that Western culture admires them now.

This site will also be of interest to some people on this subject:

http://www-groups.dcs.st-and.ac.uk/~.../_1000_AD.html

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Old 07-14-2004, 08:23 AM   #44
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A_Wanderer:
You don't trust the legal system of the US? If there is enough evidence or at least indication than they can do something and being member of a training camp should be one indication to find out if he did anything to harm other people.
If you don't think the US courts can handle such situations (can't sentence them to sth.) send the terrorists to the ICC
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Old 07-14-2004, 11:10 AM   #45
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This is not simply a legal issue, there is no guilty beyond reasonable doubt in war. These men are all captured either in enemy territory aiding the enemy or working against the west and her allies and have been caught. This is a war and these men are prisoners, enemy combatants, who pose an ongoing threat to civilian lives and whom at the very least fought for a sickening ideology, there should be no weakening of the counterterrorism effort by opening up full avenues of appeal and open trials for these dangerous men, it is a disservice to all those that have been murdered by terrorists to go back to the bypassable and slack laws that terrorists hid behind in the 1990's and I will be ashamed at the west after the next terrorist attack if it is allowed to happen because some people today feel that the US should not do everything in its power to fight against the terrorists.

Send the prisoners to the ICC is in my opinion a very stupid thing to do, that is the equivalent of taking captured German spies in WW2 and handing them over to Switzerland, totally inconceivable because by handing terrorists to an independent actor it places US citizens at risk and a principle duty of the US president is to protect his own people from those that with them harm. In a time of war and I repeat this is a time of war countries must do everything in their power to protect their citizens, there will be plenty of oppertunity to nail out how the Military Tribunals and the gitmo detainees will be delivered appropriate justice that ensures both legal obligations and national security can be adressed. It is not simply that US courts cannot handle it, no legal system of any country is suitably equiped to deal with terrorists in a manner to ensure that potential threats can be convicted for extened periods of time on the basis of strong association and intentions combined with possession of knowledge and/or contacts related to terrorist actions.
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