If Osama Bin Laden had been captured and put on trial in an Islamic country by an Islamic court the US would be seen in a MUCH better light among Muslims around the world. That would also have given the majority of Muslims the opportunity to say to the world, "See, we are a civilized people who respect Islamic law and we did the right thing." The US would be seen by western countries as a nation that respected the "rule of law" and one that stands by their convictions. More moderate Muslim countries would be more inclined to work with the US to stop terrorism.
For those of you who will argue (and you know you will) that no Islamic country would have taken the chance because they would become a target for extremists, think about how much money the US sends to various predominantly Islamic countries. How much trouble would it be to say to the government of one of those countries, "Here's the deal, either you put OBL on trial in your country under Islamic law or we stop sending you money and support."
There are also countries that are predominantly Islamic but have a secular government. Turkey has Islamic courts as well as secular courts and I doubt they would be fearful of Islamic extremists. There are other countries that could/would have done it as well.
But that's in the past. We missed that opportunity and we can't get it back. We CAN however start doing that with extremist leaders NOW. Instead of sending drones to kill them and "accidently" killing hundreds of innocent civilians in the process, we could send in a covert team to capture them and take them to a country willing to try them under Islamic law. We don't need to capture every single one of them, just enough to show that the US will work with these countries where they are hiding to "do the right thing." Do that a few times and the reputation of the United States will almost certainly begin to rise in the eyes of Muslims around the world.
As a nation, we are trigger happy. Drones are easy and no American lives are in danger when we use them. They are relatively precise so we don't kill hundreds with one strike and we can use them over and over. The problem is that we start to believe that since we only kill a few innocents here and there (adding up to hundreds over time) we're doing well and we aren't pissing people off. We ARE pissing people off though and we're losing status in those countries that otherwise would be on our side.
Right now Obama has promised "justice" for the Libya killings. That justice almost certainly will be based on drone attacks to kill those who killed Americans in Libya. I propose that when they are found (and they will be) that the President sends in a team to capture them and take them to an Islamic country for trial in an Islamic court.
PLEASE do this Mr. President! You will find that it will work wonders for our reputation in countries that now believe we are on a mission to kill all Muslims.
I haven't posted in a while due to some back problems and a bit of what I like to call "Jerkitude" from a large German utility company. I've been spending all my free time either laying on my back or dealing with people who have no clue that real people are on the other end of the services they provide.
In any case, I don't want to depress anyone. lol Our Christmas is still going great and our New Year will be even better. We wish all of you a wonderful holiday season.
Calabogie (and family)
Political matters aren’t generally a good topic for conversation at a party or at work. Even within a family it’s usually not the best idea to start a discussion with, “I’m a [party affiliation] and I think the [opposing party] are a bunch of kooks!” I haven’t been on a date in decades but I can’t imagine someone bringing up politics and expecting to graduate to “relationship” status. On the interweb however that seems to be one of the best ways to ensure a long and active discussion thread. Nothing quite gets a flame war going like a good shot across the bow of the “other party”, usually referred to as “idiots” or worse.
I enjoy discussing politics and many other contentious topics, partly because I enjoy expressing myself in print, but mostly because I really do learn from most of the discussions. Sure, much of what is posted in response to a political topic is unintelligible or worse but some of it is really interesting and quite often illuminating. That’s part of the reason I post on forums that others shun. Many people simply don’t want to become involved in the ever-present flame wars and name-calling that occurs on almost every discussion forum across the interweb. I try to just ignore those sections and concentrate on the more reasonable posters who have something to say about WHY they believe as they do.
The problem is that the interweb is often simply an echo chamber (if you’ll forgive the cliché) of party politics.
The 2 major parties in the United States have learned that the simpler the message, the easier it is to have it repeated by supporters. That’s not anything new to politics and it’s not a new concept. Making it simple for followers is something that I would imagine has been used as a tool to marginalize those not “in the group” for thousands of years. What is new to politics is the ease with which “the message” can be spread. On the interweb a simple phrase such as, “socialized medicine” or “tax cuts for the rich” can spread like wildfire and be used by hundreds of thousands of people within minutes. With blogging being such a big part of the interweb and major news media sites pounding out opinion pieces as though they were honest reporting it’s even easier now since many popular political bloggers simply parrot the party line. As I said, these phrases aren’t new but they have become much more powerful in recent years. Take these short topics for example and see if you can line them up with the proper party:
“They want socialized medicine”
“They don’t care about clean air or water”
“They want to redistribute wealth”
“They’re beholden to big business”
“They hate the [class of people]”
“They aren’t helping the middle class”
Those last 2 are a bit generic and can fit into either parties marketing plan. That’s part of the beauty of it because both parties can actually use the same slogans and tactics, just by changing the pronouns.
You might ask, “What’s wrong with that Calabogie?” Well, in the first place those phrases/slogans simply aren’t true. You can generalize and say that “they’re basically true” but you’d be guilty of the same type of chicanery the 2 major parties are engaging in. Neither party believes in absolutes because if they did they’d never gain or keep public office. It’s a pretty well documented fact that independents are generally the swing vote in almost any election and independents generally don’t like to hear absolute statements.
Is that a lie? Yep, you spotted it and you may recognize that I’m doing the same thing I’m accusing the parties of doing. That part about “independents generally don’t like to hear absolute statements” is not really true but it’s a great sound-bite used by both parties. The truth is most independents (as in more than 50 percent) aren’t substantially different from a Democrat or a Republican. They simply don’t want to follow the crowd and become a member of one of those groups. Voting trends among independents follow patterns and often those patterns are either conservative or liberal, thus falling in line with one of the 2 major parties.
So you may ask, what’s the difference? Both parties are lying by generalizing but in the end most people vote the same way time after time. While that is true the real swing voters, those who will vote for either a Democrat or a Republican depending on their stance, can sometimes be swayed by these generic lies. If you hear someone is a “bad person” often enough you may begin to think it’s true. The old expression, “Where there’s smoke, there’s fire” is often a good indicator of voter sentiment. It doesn’t really matter if they actually are “bad people” or not, the accusation is usually enough to derail a campaign. Thus the party emphasis on generalities that aren’t true.
So, both political parties in the United States use the K.I.S.S. principle (Keep It Simple Stupid) to get their message out and sway voters who may be susceptible to rumor or innuendo. Why explain a complicated subject when you can simply say something like, “[Party] is for/against that!” even if that parties position is much more nuanced. A short sound-bite is often much more powerful than a complicated position paper and therefore more effective.
"He said that “although the U.S. forces are combat-equipped, they will only be providing information, advice, and assistance to partner nation forces, and they will not themselves engage LRA forces unless necessary for self-defense.”
It doesn't matter that the troops are supposed to be limited to "advising partner nations" and it doesn't matter if the rationale is "logical" in the minds of politicians or supporters. What matters is that the US has no business sending troops of any kind to any African nation, let alone multiple African nations.
Most of the governments in northern Africa are corrupt and brutal. The problem is that the "rebels" who overthrow those governments are equally corrupt and brutal. It's been that way for hundreds of years and there's no sign of it changing. There's also no logical reason to think it WILL change anytime soon. Yes, there are 1 or 2 countries that are relatively stable and peaceful among the more than 2 dozen countries located in the mid-north and north of the continent, but they are the exception and the US would never send troops there anyway.
So, why has the US sent troops into an African country with a mandate to "assist" in the eradication of one specific rebel group? Is that group worse than the groups listed at the end of this post?* Is there something the US wants in that area? Is this a mission to make the new AfriCom Army command more prominent? What exactly is the motivation behind sending troops (advisor or otherwise) into that area? Please enlighten me because in the time I spent living there I saw nothing that would justify a US military presence.
Calabogie (see list below for just a few of the groups)
Alliance of Revolutionary Forces of West Sudan
Justice and Equality Movement
Liberation and Justice Movement
National Movement for Reform and Development
Rashaida Free Lions
South Sudan Defence Forces
South Sudan Liberation Movement
Sudan Liberation Movement/Army
Sudan People's Liberation Army/Movement
Alliance for the Restoration of Peace and Counter-Terrorism
Islamic Courts Union
Rahanweyn Resistance Army
Somali National Front
Armed Forces of the North
Chadian People's Revolutionary Movement
Command Council of the Armed Forces of the North
Democratic Revolutionary Council
Liberation Front of Chad
Movement for Democracy and Justice in Chad
People's Armed Forces
Platform for Change, Unity and Democracy
Popular Front for the Liberation of Chad
Popular Movement for the Liberation of Chad
Rally for Democracy and Liberty
Union of Forces for Democracy and Development
Union of Forces for Democracy and Development–Fundamental
United Front for Democratic Change
Western Armed Forces
Bakassi Movement for Self-Determination
Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta
Niger Delta People's Volunteer Force
Niger Delta Vigilante
Operation Hurricane Barbarossa
Central African Republic
People's Army for the Restoration of Democracy (CAR)
Democratic Republic of Congo
Alliance of Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Congo
Army for the Liberation of Rwanda
Congolese Revolutionary Movement
Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda
Front for Patriotic Resistance in Ituri
Movement for the Liberation of the Congo
National Congress for the Defence of the People
Nationalist and Integrationist Front
People's Armed Forces of Congo
Rally for Congolese Democracy
Resistance Patriots of Dongo