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Al Qaeda or the NeoCons?

post #1 of 58
Thread Starter 
Who's done more damage and ruined more lives?
post #2 of 58
I've always kind of seen them as being on the same team.
post #3 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by BRussell View Post

I've always kind of seen them as being on the same team.

They have the same world view, so I guess they are on the same team...
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post #4 of 58
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by hardeeharhar View Post

They have the same world view, so I guess they are on the same team...

I was thinking more of a measured assessment.

It could be done in the USA only or globally, but adding up lives lost, lives ruined (crippled or damaged in other ways), monetary losses and financial damages generally and finally damage to the environment, culture and knowledge.

The real difficulty is where do you draw the line, as Al Qaeda was a product of the NeoCons proxy war in Afghanistan in the '80s.
post #5 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by gastroboy View Post

I was thinking more of a measured assessment.

It could be done in the USA only or globally, but adding up lives lost, lives ruined (crippled or damaged in other ways), monetary losses and financial damages generally and finally damage to the environment, culture and knowledge.

The real difficulty is where do you draw the line, as Al Qaeda was a product of the NeoCons proxy war in Afghanistan in the '80s.

Al Qaeda, in that respect, is born of both a broken alliance with the US, a war with the former USSR, and generalized realization that the US/USSR global influence regime was having ill-effects on far flung locals.

But really, they are one and the same.
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post #6 of 58
Well, more civilians have died by orders given by neo-cons then al-Qaeda since the day before 9-11, so by that measure, the neo-cons "win"?
meh
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meh
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post #7 of 58
Saddam killed between 70 and 125 civilians each day:

http://wais.stanford.edu/Iraq/iraq_d...sein42503.html

We have only killed about 100K over 5 years, so it is quite a bit less than Saddam killed.

http://www.iraqbodycount.org/
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post #8 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by e1618978 View Post

Saddam killed between 70 and 125 civilians each day:

http://wais.stanford.edu/Iraq/iraq_d...sein42503.html

We have only killed about 100K over 5 years, so it is quite a bit less than Saddam killed.

http://www.iraqbodycount.org/

The problem is that we simply do not know how many people have died.
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post #9 of 58
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by e1618978 View Post

Saddam killed between 70 and 125 civilians each day:

http://wais.stanford.edu/Iraq/iraq_d...sein42503.html

We have only killed about 100K over 5 years, so it is quite a bit less than Saddam killed.

http://www.iraqbodycount.org/

Roughly the same kill rate. maybe Bush needs to try harder?

btw Does this include the Causalities in Gulf War 1?
post #10 of 58
Al Qaeda is/was a term coined by western intelligence agencies (most especially CIA) denoting a list of Islamic radicals and warlords in Afghanistan who were supplied with $billions in cash and advanced weaponry in order to take on the occupying Soviet military during the 1980s. It literally means "The Base", and referred to the database kept by intelligence agencies, of individuals and groups who benefitted from this funneling of weapons and hard cash. Osama bin Laden was but one of these people. President Reagan famously referred to these Islamic radicals as "being the moral equivalent of our Founding Fathers".. their efforts were largely responsible for the humiliating defeat suffered by the Soviet military in Afghanistan, which in turn was a factor in the eventual demise of the "Communist Bloc" a couple of years later.

The original "Neocons", ironically, started off embracing Marxist radicalism. With the downswing of Marxism the "neocons to be",going wherever way the wind blows (as well as requiring some place to hang their hats) jumped ship, abandoned the left and infiltrated the politically fertile area of rightwing philosophy in the US. The rest, as they say, is history.

It's also ironic that some of the very same people who covertly supported the nascent "Al Qaeda" to such a large extent in the 1980s were instrumental in writing the definitive NeoCon manifesto "Rebuilding America's Defenses" which called for all-out American domination in the Middle East, preemptive wars, a massive increase in the US military budget, the weaponization of space, the use of "biological weapons targeting specific genotypes"... a shopping list of wild, unattainable, extremist goals which could only have gotten public and official support with the aid of a "catastrophic, catalytic event" that enraged the US and world's citizenry. The Neocons got exactly what they wanted on 9/11/2001, and their agenda went into fullswing as if someone literally flicked a switch.

Those Middle Easterners must have really wanted to have had their butts kicked, beyond their wildest nightmares!

Re. who's ruined more lives? The NeoCons win hands down. With 10s of thousands of civilians dead in Afghanistan and up to 1.5 million dead in Iraq.... its hard to top that. How many people have "Al Qaeda" killed? That is hard to quantify, since "Al Qaeda" now has so many definitions, covering a multitude of radical or disaffected Islamic groups in the Middle East, and many other places around the globe. Virtually all casualties provably caused by such groups "affiliated to Al Qaeda" have been in Middle Eastern countries in which these groups operate. There is no proof that the 7/7 attacks in the UK, the Madrid train bombings, the Bali bombings, ad other notorious terrorist attacks were committed by "bona fide" Al Qaeda members.

Some folks in this thread mention Saddam Hussein. Sure, he was responsible for hundreds of thousands of Iraqi deaths, but he was no Al Qaeda member. He despised radical Islam. He likened Osama bin Laden unto a "madman", and his ego was such that any radical Islamic group that threatened Saddam's power base was targeted as an enemy. Saddam Hussein was supported by the Reagan Administration , which contained many of the current NeoCon movers and shakers, including Dick Cheney. It would be more appropriate to add Saddam's victims to those killed as a result of the NeoCon agenda.
"We've never made the case, or argued the case that somehow Osama bin Laden was directly involved in 9/11. That evidence has never been forthcoming". VP Cheney, 3/29/2006. Interview by Tony Snow
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"We've never made the case, or argued the case that somehow Osama bin Laden was directly involved in 9/11. That evidence has never been forthcoming". VP Cheney, 3/29/2006. Interview by Tony Snow
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post #11 of 58
You have argued for a different meaning of AQ in the past, SJ. Does "the base" no longer refer to a training ground from 1988?
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post #12 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by gastroboy View Post

Roughly the same kill rate. maybe Bush needs to try harder?

btw Does this include the Causalities in Gulf War 1?

This includes the time period of the 2nd gulf war, but only the people killed by Saddam.

70/day = 127K over 5 years
125/day = 228K over 5 years

We also killed a whole bunch via GW1 (~1million or so), and Iraqi sanctions (Clinton killed ~1.5 million). I don't think that the neo-cons are even in the top 5 of "all time greatest killers of Iraqi civilians", it may be that they saved more lives than they took.
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post #13 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by e1618978 View Post

This includes the time period of the 2nd gulf war, but only the people killed by Saddam.

70/day = 127K over 5 years
125/day = 228K over 5 years

We also killed a whole bunch via GW1 (~1million or so), and Iraqi sanctions (Clinton killed ~1.5 million). I don't think that the neo-cons are even in the top 5 of "all time greatest killers of Iraqi civilians", it may be that they saved more lives than they took.

How convenient for you that there is simply no way to know.
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post #14 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Harald View Post

Well, more civilians have died by orders given by neo-cons then al-Qaeda since the day before 9-11, so by that measure, the neo-cons "win"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by e1618978 View Post

Saddam killed between 70 and 125 civilians each day:

http://wais.stanford.edu/Iraq/iraq_d...sein42503.html

We have only killed about 100K over 5 years, so it is quite a bit less than Saddam killed.

http://www.iraqbodycount.org/


Many of the deaths in Iraq have been terrorism, which I suppose you could blame on the neocons, but I'd say the more proximal cause of those deaths is al Qaeda and other terrorist groups (e.g., shia vs. sunni killings).
post #15 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by midwinter View Post

How convenient for you that there is simply no way to know.

Well, that goes both ways ("the neo-cons are the biggest murderers, tru nuf!"). In the absence of good data, how can this thread even exist in a logical world? We are all just guessing, reading the tea leaves in whatever way makes us feel superior to those other folks.

IMHO, the mistake was not the invasion of Iraq, it was the shoddy work done in planning the invasion. We would be murdering Iraqis right now even if we had not invaded in 2003.
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post #16 of 58
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by e1618978 View Post

This includes the time period of the 2nd gulf war, but only the people killed by Saddam.

70/day = 127K over 5 years
125/day = 228K over 5 years

We also killed a whole bunch via GW1 (~1million or so), and Iraqi sanctions (Clinton killed ~1.5 million). I don't think that the neo-cons are even in the top 5 of "all time greatest killers of Iraqi civilians", it may be that they saved more lives than they took.

The GW1 and sanctions figures sound totally ridiculous, you will need to substantiate them.

They are more like the fatalities in the Iraq-Iran war, which you have not included into the Saddam deaths. He started that war.

I doubt that the Neo-Cons in the light of history will be seen as having saved lives. They have run 2 wars (Afghanistan & Iraq) so incompetently that they will in the end have only added to the misery of both countries with nothing much to show for it. Ruining America in the process.

The Taliban look to take back Afghanistan and who knows what mess Iraq will become after the USA stops bribing the insurgents to stop attacking and they'll feel free (with much more money and armaments) to take back up where they left off.
post #17 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by e1618978 View Post

Well, that goes both ways ("the neo-cons are the biggest murderers, tru nuf!"). In the absence of good data, how can this thread even exist in a logical world? We are all just guessing, reading the tea leaves in whatever way makes us feel superior to those other folks.

IMHO, the mistake was not the invasion of Iraq, it was the shoddy work done in planning the invasion. We would be murdering Iraqis right now even if we had not invaded in 2003.

By that logic, we're murdering everyone that we're not actively saving. What Hussein did under the OFF deal was appalling, but we certainly didn't make him do it.
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post #18 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by midwinter View Post

By that logic, we're murdering everyone that we're not actively saving. What Hussein did under the OFF deal was appalling, but we certainly didn't make him do it.

Sanctions during the 1990 killed upwards of a million children, and they would still be going on.

http://www.cnn.com/WORLD/meast/9908/06/iraq.sanctions/
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post #19 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by e1618978 View Post

Sanctions during the 1990 killed upwards of a million children, and they would still be going on.


And that's my point. The sanctions did not kill the children. What Hussein did resulted in the deaths. I say again, that by that logic, we're killing people in droves in North Korea.
Gangs are not seen as legitimate, because they don't have control over public schools.
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post #20 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by midwinter View Post

And that's my point. The sanctions did not kill the children. What Hussein did resulted in the deaths. I say again, that by that logic, we're killing people in droves in North Korea.

If we could invade North Korea without risking damage to Soeul, then I think it would be the right thing to do. Just like Iraq, our invasion would cause some civilians to die, but in the end fewer people would die, because plenty are dying right now.

But, of course, people would blame the government for the "new" deaths, while ignoring the "prevented" deaths. This is the philosophy of Batman - do no harm, even if the failure to do no harm causes greater harm. Batman could save a lot of lives if he would just kill the joker instead of returning him to the insane asylum, but he would rather have 100 people die by inaction than kill one person (I am talking about young Batman here, not the Dark Knight series batman).
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post #21 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by gastroboy View Post

Who's done more damage and ruined more lives?

Both.
post #22 of 58
After all, both al Qaeda and the neocons in the Bush administration came out of the winning side of the Cold War.They share the conviction that the world can be remade through political violence, and both are determined to do so. When Donald Rumsfeld promised shock and awe on the eve of the war on Iraq,was he not promising a replay of 9/11, except on a grander scale and in a different location? Is it just accidental that the war on terror has tended to mimic terror?
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post #23 of 58
More important to me is how many people has terrorism killed in our country since we got on the offensive? None. The best defense is a good offense. Go get em boys!!!
post #24 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by robertopod View Post

More important to me is how many people has terrorism killed in our country since we got on the offensive? None. The best defense is a good offense. Go get em boys!!!

Indeed. I have not been attacked by a bear since 2003.
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post #25 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by midwinter View Post

Indeed. I have not been attacked by a bear since 2003.

Wow. Thats an intelligent response. Bears aren't human and live off of instinct. If bears were driving planes into buildings and conspiring to kill all of us greedy americans then we would have to "off" them too. Or maybe we could form some kind of socialist "bear welfare" program. Tax the shit out of the ones who work and take care of the bears so they will love us!!!
post #26 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by robertopod View Post

Wow. Thats an intelligent response. Bears aren't human

OMG that's my new sig.
Gangs are not seen as legitimate, because they don't have control over public schools.
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post #27 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by midwinter View Post

OMG that's my new sig.

The way you were comparing war to bears, it was obvious that I needed to point that out to you. Keep it in your sig so you don't forget. And feel free to kill a bear too. They make nice rugs.
post #28 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by robertopod View Post

Wow. Thats an intelligent response. Bears aren't human and live off of instinct. If bears were driving planes into buildings and conspiring to kill all of us greedy americans then we would have to "off" them too. Or maybe we could form some kind of socialist "bear welfare" program. Tax the shit out of the ones who work and take care of the bears so they will love us!!!

More like, let taxes on the bears that do better than 95% of other working bears revert to Bear Clinton levels and give those 95% of working bears a tax break. That way, the vast majority of working bears can use their collective consumer will to drive forward the bear economy...
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post #29 of 58
It drives me nuts that no one ever remembers the anthrax attacks.
Gangs are not seen as legitimate, because they don't have control over public schools.
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post #30 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by hardeeharhar View Post

More like, let taxes on the bears that do better than 95% of other working bears revert to Bear Clinton levels and give those 95% of working bears a tax break. That way, the vast majority of working bears can use their collective consumer will to drive forward the bear economy...

Spread the wealth.
The top 5% already pay over 50 percent of the federal income taxes collected! The bottom 50% pay less than 4% of the total. The wealthy are already paying more. Everyone should pay the same percentage and the wealthy would still by far be the biggest contributors.

What do you say we do with the people that don't want to work?
post #31 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by midwinter View Post

It drives me nuts that no one ever remembers the anthrax attacks.

It has been well documented that bears mailed the anthrax that killed the 5 people in 2001.
post #32 of 58
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by robertopod View Post

Wow. Thats an intelligent response. Bears aren't human and live off of instinct. If bears were driving planes into buildings and conspiring to kill all of us greedy americans then we would have to "off" them too. Or maybe we could form some kind of socialist "bear welfare" program. Tax the shit out of the ones who work and take care of the bears so they will love us!!!

How many of the people, who sort of look like the the ones who drove the planes into the building, will you have to kill before you feel safe?
post #33 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by gastroboy View Post

How many of the people, who sort of look like the the ones who drove the planes into the building, will you have to kill before you feel safe?

I feel safe now. Knowing we are handling it on their turf and not ours. I guess we should wait for them to come again?
post #34 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by robertopod View Post

Spread the wealth.
The top 5% already pay over 50 percent of the federal income taxes collected! The bottom 50% pay less than 4% of the total. The wealthy are already paying more. Everyone should pay the same percentage and the wealthy would still by far be the biggest contributors.

What do you say we do with the people that don't want to work?

There is no such thing as spreading the wealth -- there is such a thing as spreading the burden of funding the government in a manner which corresponds to the disproportionate benefit that certain people derive from governmental programs and policies.

A flat tax doesn't work because there are fixed costs to living that scale with social class. You may think that it is fair, but in reality, taxing someone just above the poverty line 15% is going to kill their ability to survive, kill their ability to save, kill their ability to not get into debt, and kill their ability to get out of poverty because of all of these factors. So much for flat tax "fairness."

And where are these people that don't want to work?

I haven't met anyone who doesn't want to work that doesn't have millions in the bank...
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post #35 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by robertopod View Post

I feel safe now. Knowing we are handling it on their turf and not ours. I guess we should wait for them to come again?

We aren't any more safe. International terrorist attacks have increased since 9-11.
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post #36 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by hardeeharhar View Post

There is no such thing as spreading the wealth -- there is such a thing as spreading the burden of funding the government in a manner which corresponds to the disproportionate benefit that certain people derive from governmental programs and policies.

A flat tax doesn't work because there are fixed costs to living that scale with social class. You may think that it is fair, but in reality, taxing someone just above the poverty line 15% is going to kill their ability to survive, kill their ability to save, kill their ability to not get into debt, and kill their ability to get out of poverty because of all of these factors. So much for flat tax "fairness."

So what do we do with the people that don't want to work? Keep supporting them?
post #37 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by robertopod View Post

So what do we do with the people that don't want to work? Keep supporting them?

Where are these people that don't want to work?

I haven't met anyone who doesn't want to work that doesn't have millions in the bank...
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post #38 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by hardeeharhar View Post

We aren't any more safe. International terrorist attacks have increased since 9-11.

Not in America.
post #39 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by robertopod View Post

Not in America.

There have been two international terrorist attacks on the United States in its history.

These two attacks were separated by eight years (1993 and 2001). What makes you think we aren't going to be attacked again if it took al qaeda eight years to try again?

Al qaeda is in a stronger position now than they have been in the 2000s because of Bush's botched efforts in Afghanistan and the simple fact that the Iraqi battlefield has been an excellent training ground for new terrorists, which it never was when Saddam was in power.

Yeah, we're taking the battle to them alright. Training them, and expecting them not to hit back. Who was it again that equipped the Mujahideen which produced both the Taliban and al qaeda? Oh right... the US. Who gave Saddam his weapons? Right the US. Seems to me that our foreign policy in all of this has been short sighted, and Bush's wars are no exception.
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post #40 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by hardeeharhar View Post

Where are these people that don't want to work?

I haven't met anyone who doesn't want to work that doesn't have millions in the bank...

Yeah. The isn't anyone on handouts that doesn't want to work. They are all out actively seeking a job. If you have a job you probably don't meet people like that.
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