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User avatar #11437 - lecherouslad (10/24/2012) [-]
If the Americans forced the Ayatollahs of Iran, to "change their minds" with military action, wouldn't that make the americans the terrorists?( based on the following definition)
ter·ror·ism (noun)
1.The use of violence and intimidation in the pursuit of political aims.
#11540 to #11437 - themasterdebater (10/24/2012) [-]
WARNING: Shitstorm below
User avatar #11533 to #11437 - themasterdebater (10/24/2012) [-]
Yes, it would. In war, everyone is a terrorist
User avatar #11465 to #11437 - Ruspanic (10/24/2012) [-]
That's a very broad definition of terrorism. That definition could easily apply to standard warfare, especially wars not fought for purposes of national security.
Terrorism as I understand it typically involves directly targeting civilians/noncombatants in violent acts (and thereby spreading terror) in order to intimidate people into complying with your demands.
The threat of military force against a state is a form of intimidation, but it is not terrorism.
User avatar #11475 to #11465 - techketzer (10/24/2012) [-]
But we know that military action even aimed at a state always goes hand in hand with collateral damage and civilian casualties.

I'd say even with your definition, the lines are pretty blurred.
User avatar #11497 to #11475 - Ruspanic (10/24/2012) [-]
Well, I did say targeting civilians. Meaning intentionally. Civilians are killed in war, but they're not typically targeted - at least not by the Western rules of warfare (here "civilians" excludes civilian combatants like terrorists and guerrillas).

Now, sometimes civilians are targeted by state or military actors in order to spread fear (for instance, in suppression of dissidents or in total war), and these actions could be considered a form of terrorism.
User avatar #11499 to #11497 - techketzer (10/24/2012) [-]
If civilians are targeted, we have a clear terrorist war crime.

If they're not targeted but still killed, as I said, things get blurry.
User avatar #11502 to #11499 - Ruspanic (10/24/2012) [-]
The way I see it, terrorism is a tactic with a certain definition. Not all violence, and not all killing of civilians is terrorism - I don't think collateral damage fits that definition at all - but just because something isn't terrorism doesn't mean it's not bad.

As I said, a tactic must be intentional in order to be a tactic. The key to the tactic of terrorism is terror, which is used as a means to control or influence the actions of people or governments. People negotiate and comply with terrorists because they don't want themselves or their families to be harmed, and actually killing civilians (on purpose) makes the fear more real.
#11456 to #11437 - deathoftheparty (10/24/2012) [-]
Like it matters how we treat people who vow to blow other countries off the map
User avatar #11476 to #11456 - techketzer (10/24/2012) [-]
Falling for idiotic propaganda, self-righteous sense of superiority, blatant disregard of human life.

You're exactly what's wrong with this world.
#11484 to #11476 - deathoftheparty (10/24/2012) [-]
How are you so retarded?
User avatar #11486 to #11484 - techketzer (10/24/2012) [-]
Funny. That's what I'm asking you.

Well? Why are you?
#11487 to #11486 - deathoftheparty (10/24/2012) [-]
You think what you said is true. You're cute.
#11488 to #11487 - techketzer (10/24/2012) [-]
Of course I do; why the hell would I have said it otherwise?

Cute? Aww, thank you. :3
#11490 to #11488 - deathoftheparty (10/24/2012) [-]
You idiots really believe your fantasy land bullshit dont you?
#11492 to #11490 - techketzer (10/24/2012) [-]
...said the Yankee. Many laughs were had.
#11493 to #11492 - deathoftheparty (10/24/2012) [-]
Exactly. No argument. Good job bud. Try and educate yourself and come back later.
#11494 to #11493 - techketzer (10/24/2012) [-]
It's just like with your dick.
Just because you can't see it doesn't mean its not there.
#11496 to #11494 - deathoftheparty (10/24/2012) [-]
Are you trying to insult me? That was terrible. Just like your politics.
User avatar #11498 to #11496 - techketzer (10/24/2012) [-]
Meh, good enough for you.
Also, you should know by now I don't give a flying shit about your little opinions.
#11656 to #11498 - lecherouslad (10/25/2012) [-]
I agree with your ideas, but not your derisive dismissal of deathoftheparty, he's entitled to his opinion; and arguing with your opposition, rather than instructing, isn't an effective method of educating people.
User avatar #11716 to #11656 - techketzer (10/26/2012) [-]
I respect his right to an independent opinion. Just not his opinion.
Also, I'm not here to teach people, but for my own amusement.

What you said is undoubtedly true but it does not apply to me here.
#11489 to #11488 - deathoftheparty (10/24/2012) [-]
Because there are so many times when you can just talk a dictator down from his thrown. Yea I'm sure he'll just give up. Just like Saddam, Qaddafi, Jong-Il, Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini, and every warlord in Africa. Good idea.
User avatar #11491 to #11489 - techketzer (10/24/2012) [-]
The USA are a single state, not the world police. They have neither the obligation nor the right to interfere in the matters of other nation.
You seem to have misunderstood that.

Also, don't try to even imply the US would be a force against dictatorship in this world.
Don't even dare.
User avatar #11500 to #11491 - Ruspanic (10/24/2012) [-]
I don't see why not. Admittedly the US has done much to install or encourage pro-US dictatorships during the Cold War, because its interests conflicted with its values. But we do value democracy and our people often sympathize with the oppressed. If this sympathetic, pro-democracy sentiment can be turned into a driving force for foreign policy, the US could very well be a force against dictatorship and oppression.
I'll cite the Spanish-American War and the recent overthrow of the Libyan dictatorship as examples.
User avatar #11501 to #11500 - techketzer (10/24/2012) [-]
Is that truly what they teach you over there?
You live in a fairytale.
User avatar #11503 to #11501 - Ruspanic (10/24/2012) [-]
Please explain why you disagree.
User avatar #11505 to #11503 - techketzer (10/24/2012) [-]

Especially the recent ones explain themselves.
User avatar #11507 to #11505 - Ruspanic (10/24/2012) [-]
I'm well aware that the US was involved in many wars. This does not contradict my earlier comment.

The War in Afghanistan was and is justified for security purposes, because the Afghan Taliban government was harboring al-Qaeda. The war resulted in the end of Taliban rule in Afghanistan.
Iraq was invaded because the US and British governments had the (false) notion that Saddam Hussein had WMDs, which we were afraid could fall into terrorist hands. The war was unjustified and its motives were wrong, but it did lead to the fall of Saddam Hussein, one of the most oppressive and belligerent dictators in the region.

Going further back, the US and NATO intervened (not very effectively) in Yugoslavia in an attempt to end the bloody conflict in the region. The US fought the Gulf War at Saudi Arabia's request in order to protect Kuwait and Saudi Arabia from Iraqi aggression (and of course to protect the Saudi Arabian oil the US so needed).
The Cold War and all smaller wars, conflicts, and coups it involved saw the US support and sometimes help to install oppressive dictatorships in order to oppose Soviet influence. I will not defend these actions, except to say that the fervent anticommunism of America's foreign policy was seen as an important security interest, and that America could not afford to let the USSR become too powerful.
You said "recent," so I'll stop.

I am not saying that the US has been a force of freedom and democracy historically, or that it is so currently. I am saying it has the potential to be so, because of the values held by most of its citizens.

Elaborating on my previous example, the Spanish-American War was fought because Americans sympathized with the cause of the Cuban Revolution. The media spread propaganda ("yellow journalism") in order to turn public opinion against Spain, and eventually President McKinley was pressured into going to war to liberate Cuba. Politicians might have ulterior motives, but most Americans are basically good people.
User avatar #11508 to #11507 - techketzer (10/24/2012) [-]
"The war resulted in the end of Taliban rule in Afghanistan."
Then how comes that just recently they shot a little girl in the head for being figurehead of an education movement?

"The war was unjustified and its motives were wrong, but it did lead to the fall of Saddam Hussein, one of the most oppressive and belligerent dictators in the region."
Which the US had backed and supplied for decades prior because they profited from him.

"The US fought the Gulf War at Saudi Arabia's request in order to protect Kuwait and Saudi Arabia from Iraqi aggression"
Which they had previously tolerated when it was directed against Iran and the innocent Iraqi Kurds.

Bottom line of what I'm trying to say is that I don't blame your nation/government for fighting wars, but for its ruthless imperialist struggle for dominance.
Also, I don't blame the people. Their government is at fault.
User avatar #11513 to #11508 - Ruspanic (10/24/2012) [-]
Also on the Taliban point: Taliban rule is over. The Taliban do maintain a presence in Afghanistan and have some power over the populace due to their terrorist methods, but they are no longer in control of the government.
User avatar #11511 to #11508 - Ruspanic (10/24/2012) [-]
Imperialism is typical of great powers. Look at Britain, even well into the 20th century. The Soviet Union is another obvious example. It's not a problem inherent to the United States but rather to the nature of power in the anarchy of the international system.
The system seems to be changing, though - at least in the West. Less than 200 years ago Europe regularly fought wars for political and economic reasons and even to get revenge for past humiliation. Nowadays most wars fought by Western powers are primarily fought either for reasons of national and international security, or in the name of democracy, self-determination and human rights (or at least that's the rhetoric used to gain public support for foreign intervention, as in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and possibly Syria). The popular opinion of what constitutes a just cause for war has changed, and this is bound to impact foreign policy.

I think there's some hope for us yet.
User avatar #11516 to #11511 - techketzer (10/24/2012) [-]
"Imperialism is typical of great powers. " I realise that. Doesn't mean I can approve or tolerate it.

And no, wars still aren't fought for anything besides power and material gain.
Anyone telling you otherwise, teacher, reporter or president is a liar.

There's always hope. Naming the problem is the first step, though.

" The Taliban do maintain a presence in Afghanistan and have some power over the populace due to their terrorist methods, but they are no longer in control of the government."
Meaning they will be back in power first thing in the morning of the first day US troops are gone, no?
User avatar #11517 to #11516 - Ruspanic (10/24/2012) [-]
So you're saying wars are never fought for security reasons? I cannot say I agree.
User avatar #11728 to #11517 - techketzer (10/26/2012) [-]
Think what threatens the security of a state and the circle closes.
User avatar #11734 to #11728 - Ruspanic (10/26/2012) [-]
(Reply to your last comment)

Does it matter? Terrorists, foreign powers.
I know security is often used as an excuse to pursue imperialistic ambitions, but some things are genuine security interests.
User avatar #11742 to #11734 - techketzer (10/27/2012) [-]
The correct answer would be other imperialists. People, organisations and states that think themselves superior and pursue their interests regardless of whose rights and freedoms they violate.
That's what I mean by the circle closing here.

US imperialist interests and agendas become a threat to the national security of other nations as well as the other way round.
There is no end to this as long as governments are based on violence and might-makes-right.
User avatar #11732 to #11728 - Ruspanic (10/26/2012) [-]
Attacks on its citizens?
User avatar #11733 to #11732 - techketzer (10/26/2012) [-]
By whom?
User avatar #11438 to #11437 - duudegladiator (10/24/2012) [-]
Which is why we are doing everything in our power (that i know of) to simply use diplomacy.
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