Will the West win the war on terror ?

Discussion in 'General Global Topics' started by germanguy, Nov 17, 2009.

  1. germanguy
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    germanguy VIP Member

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    What actually is the War on Terror ?

    For what the US, NATO and other Allies are fighting and against who this war is fought ?

    I would like to throw some thoughts into the arena:

    1.
    The main enemy of western societies at the very moment are Islamic terrorists.
    So far several thousand died while 9/11, several hundred in Spain and in the UK.
    Several attempeted terrorist attacks were prevented.
    In Germeny i.E. two large nail bombs in commuter trains did not explode, also a terrorist cell was arrested before they were able to begin their attacks.

    2.
    Internal security in the western states was severely tightened.
    Internet traffic is logged, civil rights are either suspended or severely restrained.

    3.
    After invading Iraq, the internal situation there spiraled downwards.
    It is only now, that a certain progress is beeing made. Notwithstanding, the decline of Iraq as a local power automatically gave Iran a larger weight in the region.

    4.
    Afghanistan has been liberated from the Taliban, but at the moment it is not yet decided, if this will last.

    5.
    There is a movement, especially in the Arabic World, of political motivated Islam, which tries to form itself as the leading ideology of the muslim world.
    This ideology stresses the predominance of Muslims and a very strict interpretation of Islam.

    Now:
    The problems we are facing in this war, are on several levels:
    First we have to beat insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan.
    Second, we must ensure, that the strong muslim minorities in Europe and the US do not get radicalized by this war.
    Third, we must try to uphold our fundamental principles as THE West.


    To the First problem:

    As far as I can see, the history of warfare against insurgency or terrorism is rather mixed.

    Political motivated terrorism in Western Europe died out mostly after the fall of the Wall in 1989. There are still remaining problems like the ETA in Spain, the conflict between the Palestinians and Israel, some leftist terrorist groups in South America.

    And there is Al Quaida, a network of terror groups, providing information, logistics and the ideology.

    Succesful in fighting terror so far have been i. E. the British in Northern Ireland, Germany against the RAF and the Syrians against the muslim brotherhood

    The british were succesful simply for two reasons:
    1. The war against the IRA was mostly led by police methods.
    2. The juridical proceedings were made by the normal court system.

    1.
    The British Army did never come to Northern Ireland with gunships, heavy artillery or tanks. The heaviest piece of material used was the an armoured Range Rover.
    Also, british troops were ordered to safe human lives wherever possible.
    Also, a very professional police force had excellent knowledge of the local conditions and was supported efficiently by the British Army.

    Therefore the largest number of victims in these "Troubles" came from the British Army.
    The life of terrorists and of civilians was spared where it was possible.
    This does not mean, that there were no rather brutal counter terrorist operations, ordered kills, killing by snipers etc. But in general the British played by the rules. The IRA did not.
    Guess who had the better press in the long run.
    To act like that was possible, because the british Army did not crack under these conditions. This is perhaps, because the British Army is historically very disciplined or has a long tradition of excellent service. Whatever the cause, they continued to act as a coherent and disciplined force.

    2.
    Although there were cases of misuse of the law, of bend and twisted rules, suspende rights etc., in no way the due process of law was ever questioned or changed.
    Also in this, the British sticked to the rules.
    Additionally, the british society did not panic under terrorist bombings, but continued to do support the policy of the government.

    Germany and the RAF

    The RAF was a group of far-left students, who decided to ignite the spark of revolution by terror. The methods were attacks on so-called "pillars of the system" like high-ranked public servants, politicians, important businessmen and US and NATO officials.
    They also kidnapped key-figures to press free prisoners.

    They were covertly supported by eastern intelligence services during the Cold War and by other leftist terror groups in Europe or in the Middle East. Therefore they formed a powerful network, killing hundreds of people in Europe.

    In 1979 - in the so-called "German Autumn" - palestinian terrorists kidnapped a german Lufthansa plane with 79 german tourists in order to press free the first generation of RAF terrorists in prison.
    After a long odyssee the plane ended in Mogadiscio and was stormed by a newly formed german police SWAT team, the GSG 9. These killed three of four terrorists and freed the hostages. Also in the same time, the president of the Employers Union- a very important public figure - was kidnapped. His two bodyguards killed. After the failure in Mogadiscio and the refusal of the government to free the prisoners to exchange him, the man was killed as well. The terrorists in prison committed then suicide.

    This was - so to say- the german 9/11.

    The Federal Government risked a lot by not fulfilling the request of the terrorists.
    Any failure would have been desastrous and situation was very heated. Debated were a lot of options as reaction, including martial law.
    I still remember that in this time police was at every corner, that there were police APCs at street corners in the then capital of Bonn (a small and sleepy university town and before 1989 the provisorical capital) and an atmosphere of fear and threat.

    Martial law did not happen and it proved, that methodical police work, the clever use of SWAT teams and the total refusal to see the terrorists as anything but simple criminals dried out this threat in the long run. It had still cost only in germany 34 human lives.
    Also, the RAF produced an atmosphere of constant alarm and fear for nearly 10 years, what was even worse.

    Assad in Syria / Massacre of Hama

    You also can do otherwise:

    When in the Syrian city of Hama the muslim brotherhood formed a nest of resistance against the Baath-Party of President Assad (yes, the brother party of Iraq Dictator S. Hussein. Baathist Partys are directly opposed to political Islam), Assad solved the problem using brute force.

    Syrian Air Force destroyed the outgoing streets and from the 2nd of February 1982 on for some days the Syrian Army shelled the city with heavy artillery.
    Then infantry went in and started to kill possible opponents and arrested other "possible threats to internal security". I think the last were freed in 2000, after the death of Assad (the older).

    About 30.000 people died by this massacre.

    It is a total tabu to talk about this in Syria and nearly nobody in the west actually noticed it.
    Nevertheless, the Assads still rule in Syria, political Islam is present there or has found no base and Assads are already welcomed in the Western World again.

    It is an example how to crush successfully a possible terrorist threat. But a very cruel one.

    These are therefor perhaps only this two extremal ways to fight a war on terror:

    You either do it the long and painful way.
    Which requires iron nerves for your troops, an iron will not to follow the example of the terrorists and a public which does not bow to terror because of fear.

    I do not believe that a lot of societies in the West are able to do this.

    Or you do it the Assad way as in Hama.
    For this you also need to have troops which have the balls to do it. And a political leadership with the balls to do so.
    And perhaps you need a public so opressed by fear and terror, that nobody questions this method.

    As the war on terror will be on our agenda for the next years, we have to discuss this seriously.

    What do I prefer ? That I know.
    And what do you prefer ?

    Regards
    the germanguy
     
  2. editec
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    editec Mr. Forgot-it-All

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    We are fighting an idea.

    Guns don't kill ideas.

    Better ideas do.
     
  3. germanguy
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    germanguy VIP Member

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    So we should start to show everybody what the idea is we are standing for.
    Unity, Justice and Freedom ?
    I doubt that any poor guy at the wrong side of a barrel gets this.


    Regards
    the germanguy
    _____________________________
    Guns do not kill people.
    People kill people.

    But Guns help !
    _____________________________
     
  4. mightypeon
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    mightypeon Active Member

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    War on Terror is about as stupid as declaring war on the Blitzkrieg, War on bad weather or War on Sexism.
    Terror is a tactic, a tactic that the Western World uses too.
    Secondly, lets look at the worst case: Osama Bin laden somehow manages to create a Theocracy in Afghain-Iran-Irakistan.
    This basically means that these countries will be off even worse than before, Theocracys simply dont work at all. The only quasi theorcracy that kinda worked was Spain, and that was only because they got filthy rich by robbing another Theocracy (Atzecs) of their gold.
     
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  5. tigerbob
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    tigerbob Increasingly jaded.

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    Damn, what movie was that from...?
     
  6. 52ndStreet
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    52ndStreet VIP Member

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    The War on Terror will not be won in our liftime, this is another one of those 100 years Wars.
    I think the British and the French fought a War like this a few hundred years ago.
    The War on Terror may never be won.To many potential Terrorists throughout the world.!!
     
  7. tigerbob
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    tigerbob Increasingly jaded.

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    And every few years someone gets pissed about something new and, hey presto, a new terrorist organization.
     
  8. longriver
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    longriver BANNED

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    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    From Global Times Forum

    The whole concept of "victory" over terrorism is particularly unrealistic: how do you "defeat" a noun? There have been "terrorists" (of one form or another) for, what, 2,000 years and there will most likely be "terrorists" for another 2,000 years, assuming the human race lasts that long. As you noted, "terrorism" is simply "another form of war" usually used by those too weak to fight with "conventional" means. The reasons groups engage in terrorist acts -- struggle for power and influence (or land), revenge, religious idealism, etc -- show no signs of ending any time soon...certainly not in our lifetimes. I don't agree that terrorists only seek "to eventually gain political power" or effect "political change" (as in removing/replacing a government). I doubt that any terrorist seriously thinks they could gain political power in the US. Trying to influence our policies, definitely; gain "political power"...no way. The previous claims that "terrorists hate our freedoms" or "terrorists threaten our way of life" were just so much self-serving political nonsense.


    The possibility of stopping all terrorist acts...if someone wants to give up their life...is very slim to nonexistent. (It's been "proven" in Russia, Israel, and any number of places that even "strong" police/military actions...even beyond what our society would accept...will NOT stop all terrorism.) It's not necessarily a "failure"...of anyone (the intelligence community, law enforcement, etc); it's just the world we live in. Fortunately, "suicide bomber" is not a long-term career. The chances of any particular residential neighborhood in America suffering a terrorist attack rank almost certainly somewhere around the risk of an elephant stampede; for one thing, such an attack would not produce the "big bang" effect terrorists clearly seek to cause.
     
  9. elvis
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    elvis BANNED Supporting Member

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    I thought Obama said the war on terror was over, anyway.
     

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