Setanta
 
Reply Tue 26 Nov, 2002 09:13 am
An ostensible "support network" for Richard Reid, known as the Shoe Bomber, has allegedly been ferreted out by French authorities, who have made arrests. Here is an article on the subject in The Times.

This suggests that police in the west do have the resources to track down and break up terrorist "cells." What are your thoughts? Is the soi-disant war on terrorism winable in any meaningful context? Outside of pacifying Afghanistan, is there anything constructive, anything lasting which can be accomplished?
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Type: Discussion • Score: 4 • Views: 14,702 • Replies: 159
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Phoenix32890
 
  1  
Reply Tue 26 Nov, 2002 09:19 am
The war on terrorism reminds me of the little Dutch boy with his finger in the dike. There is absolutely no way to stop all the individual terrorist cells. It is like a aggressive metatastic cancer. As soon as you destroy one site, another pops up.

IMO, we need to follow the money trail, and cut this cancer off at the knees!
0 Replies
 
fishin
 
  1  
Reply Tue 26 Nov, 2002 11:59 am
I don't think you can "win" this type of thing in this type of sequence. Reid was arrested Dec 22nd of last year. Now, 11 months later they pick up 5 associates. That leaves an awful big gap in time for those associates to do who knows what. If they each recruited 1 new member every 2 months during that then there are now 50 more that will need to be picked up.

To win this type of "war" you have to be able to break these guys fast when they pick them up so that they can get the next domino in the chain. They only got this cell because Reid finally talked as a part of his plea bargin.
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JoanneDorel
 
  1  
Reply Tue 26 Nov, 2002 12:27 pm
Ditto Phoenix, follow the money. And I agree with fishin. The way this is all setting up I cannot help but think of Viet Nam, instead of body counts we get arrests. A shadow enemy that is so motivated how could we ever win anything. Look at Israel all that power and skill and they have lived with terrorism for years and still cannot stop the attacks.
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cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Tue 26 Nov, 2002 04:32 pm
Setanta, If history is any indication of our future, there is no hope whatsoever of all terrorism disappearing from the human landscape. What is possible is that warring factions can some day become allies, but others will take its place to continue the human war. Confused c.i.
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cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Tue 26 Nov, 2002 04:36 pm
Phoenix, Your thesis is right on the money! ** Or is that "follow the money trail?" The unfortunate reality is that the logistics makes that an almost unachieveable goal. As you opined, a finger in the dike is an ineffective solution to such a huge problem. c.i.
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BillW
 
  1  
Reply Tue 26 Nov, 2002 04:49 pm
Remeber that the colonist were considered terrorist way back when. Before the build up for the Iraq war and even 9/11 there was not a whole lot of movement in many countries against the USA. Today, these movements are coming forward.

There is more than one to combat this problem. War is honor and too fight a just war gives honor to both sides. The last thing I wish to see is to make the actions of the terrorists honorable!
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steissd
 
  1  
Reply Sat 7 Dec, 2002 08:55 am
It sounds sad, but mankind has to learn how to live with permanent threat of terror, regardless of its being Muslim or any other. Attractiveness of terror stems from its seemingly providing easy and quick solution to the complicated problems. It is necessary to learn not to give up to the terrorists' demands, to act decisively on their neutralization, this will keep terror in more or less tolerable framework (if it is possible to tolerate death of innocent people at all). And, surely, mass destruction technologies should be kept out of access of terror organizations and rogue regimes. This refers not only to the known nuclear-biologic-chemical triad, but to the combat nanotechnologies as well.
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Tantor
 
  1  
Reply Sun 8 Dec, 2002 03:23 pm
If you can not win a war on terror, how come the Red Army Faction and Baader Meinhoff gang are out of action? The fact is that terrorists who make any urban location their base will ultimately be caught. Terrorists can only avoid getting caught by keeping their cells small and not taking too much action. Once they get too big and/or commit crimes they are inevitably tracked down.

Terror tactics are tactics of weakness. They do not really destroy the centers of power, but rather simply annoy them. They are basically political theatre rendered in blood.

America has done a pretty good job of destroying Al Qaeda. We now occupy the country they made their home. We have killed thousands of them and scattered the rest. We have captured half their leaders, a cravenly bunch who are eager to talk to save their own skins. Their remaining leadership is hiding somewhere, afraid to show themselves. They are no longer able to recruit and train thousands of terrorists in a safe country.

Al Qaeda operations are now degraded to scattered groups occassionally launching a truck bomb.

Here are the cold facts: In WWII, Japan launched 3000 suicide attacks on the US. We occupied Japan and made them into a democracy. Al Qaeda has only launched a handful of suicide attacks on us. They are not nearly as smart nor organized nor fanatical as the Japanese were. We are going to win the battle with Al Qaeda. You are going to see Mullah Omar and Osama Bin Laden in manacles in an American court. With any luck, we will alll see their heads in jars at the Sep 11 Museum at the new World Trade Center.

Tantor
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Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Sun 8 Dec, 2002 03:32 pm
Tantor wrote:
We now occupy the country they made their home.
Tantor



Question
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msolga
 
  1  
Reply Sun 8 Dec, 2002 03:39 pm
Tantor

I don't think say, Baader Meinhoff & Al Qaeda are exactly in the same league. Quite different in terms of size, world-wide networks, impact of their actions & support from those they "represent". What we are experincing now is a whole new ball game.
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Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Sun 8 Dec, 2002 03:43 pm
Well, Baader Meinhoff and Red Army Fraction just had about 50 members plus some dozens supporters.
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Tantor
 
  1  
Reply Sun 8 Dec, 2002 04:13 pm
Hmmm. Fifty members sounds big for the typical Al Qaeda deployment. It looks like the Sep 11 team only had a couple dozen members. It seems to me that Al Qaeda is actually weaker locally than the Baader Meinhoff gang. As I recall, the BM gang got help from the IRA and the Soviets via East Germany. The BM gang sounds to me like an especially large deployment of Al Qaeda. Their demise foretells what will happen to the equivalent Al Qaeda cells.

Tantor
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Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Sun 8 Dec, 2002 04:16 pm
Tantor

Fifty member = ALL of them. There weren't any more, not thousands to kill, no country to occupy.
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Tantor
 
  1  
Reply Sun 8 Dec, 2002 04:42 pm
Walter,

My point is that the BM gang was about double the size of the typical Al Qaeda cell. An AQ cell has some support from its central location but mostly they are on their own (the Sep 11 skyjackers were an exception). AQ tells its cells that they should support themselves through petty theft and such. By contrast, BM got funded from hostile nations. The BM gang actually got better support from the Soviet Union than the typical AQ cell gets.

Throw out the ideology, and the BM gang looks bigger, better organized, better funded, better supported than the typical AQ cell. My prediction is that the typical AQ cell will meet the same fate as the BM gang.

Tantor
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Sun 8 Dec, 2002 04:52 pm
Tantor

Speaking of "throwing of the ideology":


Tantor wrote:

The BM gang actually got better support from the Soviet Union than the typical AQ cell gets.
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Sun 8 Dec, 2002 08:39 pm
Tantor

But BM wasn't part of an organised (or loosley organised) international network. It was small & localized compared to how Al Qaeda & it's sympathisers/affiliates operate. From NY, to Bali, to Kenya, etc.
Quite a different situation & much more difficult to contain.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Mon 9 Dec, 2002 04:12 pm
No one has here mentioned a much more important distinction between the AQ and BM or the Red Army Faction--recruitment base. Neither of the two earlier group was able to recruit from a base of literally millions. The muslim world has made the US in particular and the west in general a target. Muslims have traditional homelands from the pillars of Hercules to the easternmost end of Indonesia. Most muslims in this vast strip of territory are poor, and feel exploited. Likely they are routinely exploited to a faretheewell. The fact that the US and west are not necessarily at fault in that exploitation does not signify. AQ may be presently scattered and disorganized, but by no means is this evidence that they are destroyed, or even doomed. Evidence by historical analogy needs to meet far stricter standards than that of a comparison of BM and AQ.
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cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Mon 9 Dec, 2002 05:19 pm
Not to get off the subject or anything, but what do you all think about the 12,000 page report to the UN from Iraq? Bogus or honest? War or peace? c.i.
0 Replies
 
dyslexia
 
  1  
Reply Mon 9 Dec, 2002 05:25 pm
c.i. the most interesting thing to come out so far re the UN report is that it contains (reportedly) a listing of all the sources from which they acquired whatever WMD they may have/had.
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