The War on Terrorism : an explanation for a UK football (soccer) fans.

Sepulchritude Forum: The Absinthe Forum Thru December 2001: The War on Terrorism : an explanation for a UK football (soccer) fans.
By Chevalier on Monday, December 03, 2001 - 10:15 am: Edit

This about sums it up:

A Texan with more cash than culture visits Paris for the first time. He contracts a taxi driver to show him around. The driver goes past the Louvre and says, "To your right eez zee biggest museum een zee world." "That puny thang?!" blurts the Texan. "Hell! Back in Texas, we have outhouses bigger than that!" The driver bites his tongue and moves on.

They go to Les Invalides. "Zees place, Monsieur, holds the beegest tomb een Europe: the tomb of our Emperor Napoleon I." "That?!", hollers the Texan. "Aw c'mon! The tomb of Sam Houston's stableboy's bigger than that!"

The driver, fuming, zooms by the Eiffel Tower. "Holy LBJ!" shouts the Texan. "That damn thang's HUGE!!! What the hell is it?!" "Don't know" says the driver. "Eet wasn't here yesterday."

By Geoffk on Monday, December 03, 2001 - 06:10 am: Edit

Well, I guess there must be more interest in tall buildings in the US than in England (which is possibly true, since none of the tallest are located there). Over here, most people could tell you the two or three tallest buildings in the world (they were: Petronus (Malaysia), Sears Tower (Chicago), WTC (NY) and Empire State (also NY)). I think you proved my point anyway though. Anyone who knew the NY skyline knew that there were two VERY tall buildings at one end--as tall or taller than the Empire State Building. Even if the "twin towers" or "World Trade Center" name didn't mean anything to them, they would have known what you were talking about with the tiniest bit of explanation.

If I didn't know the name of the big Arch in Paris or the proper name of the drawbridge near Big Ben, I would still recognize these landmarks with a trivial bit of explanation. WTC is just the same. People know it, even if they don't think they do.

-- Geoff K.

By Lordhobgoblin on Sunday, December 02, 2001 - 10:13 am: Edit

Geoff,

Seriously although it may have appeared in King Kong most people in the UK didn't know where the twin towers were before Sept 11th.

As for the previous attempt to blow it up, people in the UK are used to the IRA blowing things up in the UK that they would have thought 'big deal' and went about their business without giving the first incident much thought.

Yes many have heard of the WTC but they did not have any idea about it other than a load of people were protesting about it and they wouldn't have associated the WTC with the Twin Towers (which they probably never heard of). As to the Sears tower and Petronus tower, most people over here don't know where they are either (and very few will hae even heard about the Petronus tower).

The fact is that people in the UK are about as disinterested in what goes on in the USA as people in the USA are disinterested in what goes on in the UK.

The fact that the Manhattan skyline appears in many movies doesn't give people the urge to go and find out the names of the buildings making up the skyline, they couldn't give a shit. They just think "that's the New York skyline" and no more.

I'm not taking an anti USA position here and I'm a bit amused that some people on the forum seem to be upset if people outside the USA don't take as much interest in the arcitecture of the USA as they do. That's life, people have more important things to think about.

Hobgoblin

By Head_Prosthesis on Saturday, December 01, 2001 - 07:29 am: Edit

Hands on the wall and spreadem' boys, I'll be gentle but thorough... Lt. Wenchie pass me the anal-ease.

By Don_Walsh on Saturday, December 01, 2001 - 03:08 am: Edit

Time for a group hug. HP, accept our surrenders and search us all for hidden weapons.

By Dr_Ordinaire on Friday, November 30, 2001 - 10:36 pm: Edit

Chev..by any chance, the thing about being "cleansed" of "heresy" came from the ending of "1984"?

"Yes, he can be a stentorian, fire-breathing, colorfully profane Captain Haddock of a distiller. But the guy's got a sense of "how this shit works" that few of us outside the world of spooks and guns can lay claim to. It's a world that I don't like ... but it exists, Don has existed in it, it has its own logic, and now is the time for Don to speak about it. Even if he spits fire like some Thai dragon"

OK. Chev...this is going to cost you...

Don, I don't really have the standing to speak about this. These people have been massacrating(sp?) each other for eons. Even if this was against war rules, the Taliban would have done the same in a nanosecond.

Yeah, I was being PC.

By Don_Walsh on Friday, November 30, 2001 - 09:40 pm: Edit

Chevalier, neither I nor Dr O were anywhere near General Dostum's redoubt last week, so both of us have formed our positions from a combination of media input and personal analysis based on experience and predisposition (I suppose.) That our conclusions are antithetical, is clear.

You surmise that perhaps I might have a better suite of experiences to judge such a thing and, again I'd say you are right.

And Dr O is correct when he says time will tell. You can bet that the ICRC -- who were and are on the spot -- will look into this, and so will the US and UK defense ministries. The CIA, who lost a man there, will keep their own counsel.

By Chevalier on Friday, November 30, 2001 - 05:03 pm: Edit

Obviously, Don feels very strongly that your views about this war shouldn't go unchecked. Why he cares so much, I don't know. Maybe he hates to think that the people who read the Absinthe Forum could be "misled" by the "misguided". ???

Dr. Ordinaire et al, it's pretty clear to me that Don knows a lot about this sort of thing. Over the past 30 years or so, he has moved in some "inside" circles via the rough business of arms consulting, journalism, and God-knows-what else. Yes, he can be a stentorian, fire-breathing, colorfully profane Captain Haddock of a distiller. But the guy's got a sense of "how this shit works" that few of us outside the world of spooks and guns can lay claim to. It's a world that I don't like ... but it exists, Don has existed in it, it has its own logic, and now is the time for Don to speak about it. Even if he spits fire like some Thai dragon.

In any case, Dr. O, I have a hunch that Don would be disappointed if you stopped posting before being "cleansed" of your "heresy"! Perhaps he feels you're worth saving.

By Dr_Ordinaire on Friday, November 30, 2001 - 04:27 pm: Edit

Don, we are going in circles.

After all, you MAY be right. There might have been a riot and those Talibans we justly killed.

Maybe not, in which case a war crime was commited.

We will know much more once the dust settles. In the meantime, we are wasting our time fighting.

By Don_Walsh on Friday, November 30, 2001 - 03:05 pm: Edit

PLENTY of proof has been shown to the leaders of all the nations in the Coalition, and they all agree that the evidence is compelling.

NO ONE save Pakistan which created them was happy to see the Taliban take power a decade ago.

And when you take absurd positions like 'Bush and Rumsfeld are war criminals' I reserve the right to insult you and go one insulting you, because you make yourself an affront to everyone.

By Dr_Ordinaire on Friday, November 30, 2001 - 02:04 am: Edit

Don:

As much as it makes me happy to make you mad, this not the point here. NOBODY has shown ANY proof that OBL was responsible for the terrorist acts.

Yet we have bombed Afghanistan to oblivion. We have brought back the same gangsters they were happy to get rid of when the Taliban came to power.

And, Don, don't insult me. You are not stupid and neither am i.

By Don_Walsh on Friday, November 30, 2001 - 01:58 am: Edit

Dr Asshole: there is PLENTY of proof. Plenty enough to satisfy the European governments, the Saudis -- Prince Turki, their former defense minister, said that anyone who still was calling for 'proof' of OBL's guilt was blinding himself to the truth.

YOU are the one who is playing at being ignorant, you think you have a cozy little politically correct position staked out, claiming OBL is innocent and the US and its allies are war criminals, but all you are doing is making a bigger butthole of yourself.

Grow up!

By Marccampbell on Friday, November 30, 2001 - 01:55 am: Edit

George Harrison is dead and he doesn't give a shit.

By Dr_Ordinaire on Friday, November 30, 2001 - 01:51 am: Edit

Geoff:

One of these days some nasty, gifted motherfucker (the Mozart of genetic engineering) is going to gift us with a strain of smallpox that would be untreatable.

You, and Don, and all the other people who cheers for war right now would be dead within days. Me too.

By Geoffk on Friday, November 30, 2001 - 01:42 am: Edit

Suicidal??

You mean that the US won't survive the war (because of civil liberty restrictions or some other reason)? I find that a difficult position to support. The US has never had a terrorist threat like this, and we've had other, more onerous restictions on liberty during other wartimes. We still have courts and legislators to watch our backs, not to mention the (volunteer)military adn law enforcement.

Now Al-Queda bombing the towers or the Taliban harboring OBL and terrorist camps, THOSE are suicidal acts...

-- Geoff K.

By Dr_Ordinaire on Friday, November 30, 2001 - 12:52 am: Edit

I wouldn't mind the U.S. doing something stupid. I do plenty of stupid things myself.

What bothers me is that we a doing something SUICIDAL.

And there's no way back from a successful suicide...

By Geoffk on Thursday, November 29, 2001 - 11:00 pm: Edit

Lord H.

WTC is much better known than you think. For one thing, this wasn't even the first time terrorists made it a target--they tried to bomb it in 1993. Many people know about this attack, and to some exten, I'm sure that the terrorist saw 9/11 as "finishing the job". Besides that, WTC was the 3rd tallest building in the world (after Sears Tower and the Petronus towers) and the tallestin NY. I think that's pretty significant. It's also appeared in many movies (remember the King Kong poster with the ape straddeling the towers?)

Even living here, I'm not even sure what the tallest building in Tokyo is, but I know the Petrous towers in Malaysia beause it's a record setter, a movie set and a symbol. Like WTC was.

-- Geoff K.

By Heiko on Thursday, November 29, 2001 - 03:34 pm: Edit

"The United States is the biggest streetgang on the planet."

States always behave like angry little boys amongst each other - no matter how intelligent the leaders and the intellectuals of a country are, no matter how their society works: seen from the outside, a state is just like a dumb eight year old who will try to punch your nose if you take away his playthings (or something like that...)

By Mr_Rabid on Thursday, November 29, 2001 - 03:21 pm: Edit

Tavura,

We are not there because we want Bin Laden.

We want him, sure.

But we are there, attacking the primary military power in Afghanistan, because *we can't be sure they didn't do it* and also, mainly because (drumroll please)

SOMEONE has to go down for this. It doesn't matter who did it, as long as someone *might have* done it.

To do less would be to look weak, and to invite future attack.

We had to hit someone. Proof? Fuck proof. We had enough proof that the world would accept this. We don't really need to know.

Further, there are a lot of military powers around the world that we don't like. We have decided they 'harbor terrorists' and are 'just as guilty' as the Taliban.

This is a good excuse to bomb the countries we don't like. Who may or may not someday do something crappy to us.

But now, they won't, the logic runs, cause they won't be able to.

If the leader of a street gang kills himself by accident, cleaning his gun, his gang must still exact revenge on rival gangs for his death.

To do less would be to look weak. No one would believe the 'cleaning his gun' thing.

And they would use this excuse to attack *all* rival gangs that they felt they could defeat, because it is an oppurtunity to take more power and prevent future attacks.

The United States is the biggest streetgang on the planet. And it is acting now to preserve that status.

It's cold, and mean, and cruel, and I don't have a better fucking idea so I can't really be that angry with my government.

Drives me to drink, so at least there's a silver lining.

By Dr_Ordinaire on Thursday, November 29, 2001 - 02:23 pm: Edit

Tav, thank you for a reality check. LOL

By Tavarua on Thursday, November 29, 2001 - 02:22 pm: Edit

Good deal. I'm tired of this. You know what they say:

"Fighting on the internet is like running in a Special Olympics race, even if you win, you're still retarded."

By Dr_Ordinaire on Thursday, November 29, 2001 - 02:07 pm: Edit

Tav:

I'm willing to tell you are right.

"OK, when one of the World's most powerful and wanted terrorists, bin Laden, makes a statement speaking of an incident unparalleled in history, which will open the World's eyes, in the very near future."

Fine. I you can quote that statement, I'm history.

By Tavarua on Thursday, November 29, 2001 - 02:01 pm: Edit

OK, when one of the World's most powerful and wanted terrorists, bin Laden, makes a statement speaking of an incident unparalleled in history, which will open the World's eyes, in the very near future. Then two weeks later the Trade Towers are taken down by individuals linked to bin Laden's network. At this point you can be EXTREMELY naive or except the obvious.

By Dr_Ordinaire on Thursday, November 29, 2001 - 01:44 pm: Edit

Darn, Tav, you make me so mad I misspell. I meant "or the Pentagon"

By Dr_Ordinaire on Thursday, November 29, 2001 - 01:42 pm: Edit

Tav, dear fellow Forumite, would you stop raving for a minute and LISTEN?

I'm going to say this very slowly. There is yet NO proof that either the Taliban or bin Laden were involved in the bringing down of the twin towers of the Pentago.

Was that slow enough?

By Tavarua on Thursday, November 29, 2001 - 01:29 pm: Edit

Lord H.

"This war (like most things that we get involved in that region) is about oil and the financial well-being of our own people."

Nonsense. You really believe your drabble don't ya. We got into this war for one reason. They attacked us, plain and simple. We gave them ultimatums in order to resolve this without bloodshed, of which had nothing to do with oil. The fact is, if those planes had not been taken over and flown into the Towers, under the guidance of bin Asshead and supported by the Taliban, we would not be over there right now. I know how you feel about the U.S., but any country, ANY country would have acted in the same manner. There is no way around that argument. Now, if we had a supposed problem with one of their policies and invaded their country, then I might consider your argument. But the problem is, they attacked us on our own soil, killing thousands of innocent people and we reacted. Don't give me BS about our masked agenda. If we can achieve something we want, while we are at it, so be it.

"Your own government spokesmen have now said that unfortunately we may not be able to catch Bin Laden but the good news is that we will be able to finish off the Taliban."

Yea right, I give him 2 more months of above ground time, at the most. Who made this statement, I am curious?


Dr O.

"Tav, you are somewhat naive"

I am somewhat naive!!!! Damn, O.J. would have sure loved to have you on his Jury.

By Lordhobgoblin on Thursday, November 29, 2001 - 11:33 am: Edit

Louche,

Sorry to tell you that in the UK very few people indeed knew where the Twin Towers were before the recent tragedy, many people actually thought they were in Chicago (if they thought of them at all).

When you say New York and famous buildings, people over here think of the Empire State Building or Statue of Liberty.

How many people in the USA know of Canary Wharf Tower (the tallest building in the UK)?

New York = Empire State Building or Statue of Liberty
London = Big Ben or Buckingham Palace
Paris = Eiffel Tower

As for buildings in cities other than the 3 listed above most people have no idea or interest.

Can you name the tallest building in Hong Kong, Tokyo, Buenos Ares, Moscow, Berlin, Beijing, Bangkok etc etc (without using a search engine or looking it up)? Be honest. I certainly couldn't name these (and couldn't care either).

People in general have no interest in the architectural structures of foreign countries. And who can blame them? They have more important things to think about.

Hobgoblin

By Lordhobgoblin on Thursday, November 29, 2001 - 11:21 am: Edit

Tav,

Mr Rabid's post was an honest answer. Much respect Rabid.

Yes this is a war. Yes innocent people get killed in war (ours and theirs), sad but true. But as to the prime aim of our involvement in this war being to catch and punish those who attacked the twin tower! To use an expression you once used on me "Get real".

Is it just a coincidence that a cooperative government in Afgahanistan would allow the West to build a pipeline to get at Caspian oil?

Your own government spokesmen have now said that unfortunately we may not be able to catch Bin Laden but the good news is that we will be able to finish off the Taliban. We may not be able to fulfil our 'reason' for going to war but they thats good news. You don't even have to be a cynic to see through that.

Russia wants to control the oil from the Caspian and so does the West. The only way for the West to do this is to have an oil pipeline either through Iran (in your dreams!) or through Afghanistan.

This war (like most things that we get involved in that region) is about oil and the financial well-being of our own people. They have it, we want it, let's take it!

If we are prepared to topple governments to get at oil reserves then we should at least stand by our guns and say that its OK to do so. Whether its OK to do things like this or not is another argument that we can debate, but at least it would be an honest debate.

Our own governments are not noble, well-meaning, good guys who wear white hats and try to do the right thing. Lets stop pretending that they are. Lets not dress ourselves up in cloaks of righteousness, cloaks of reality would suit us better.

Hobgoblin

By Dr_Ordinaire on Thursday, November 29, 2001 - 01:13 am: Edit

Tav said:

"The take it the only "proof" you will accept is when bin Laden says "Yup, that was me, I did that, really."

Tav, you are somewhat naive. No, I would not accept as proof of bin Laden's involvement in the demolition of the twin towers his own words.

Think about it. The guy has already been tried and convicted in the newspapers. What does he have to lose? He's toast anyway. So he might as well become a hero for the Arabs. Even if he had nothing to do with it, he will claim it for himself.

I would like PROOF. Like, before bombing another country...

By Dr_Ordinaire on Thursday, November 29, 2001 - 12:57 am: Edit

LL:

About my non-profile: there is a profile, but for some reason the Forum won't show it. I have mentioned it to Kallisti, but this is a free place (as in we not paying any money) so I don't want to complain. If you that interested in my person, pray contact me at dr_ordinaire@hotmail.com

The rest of your post is just too surrealistic for me to answer.

By Louched_Liver on Wednesday, November 28, 2001 - 08:22 pm: Edit

Dr. no,
You can't "rave" about this either, because you are talking w/out proof. That "99%" bullshit sticks in my craw pal, because you offer no evidence except your own ignorance.
And Mexico and Brazil are not the purveyors of the bulk of worldwide cultural images-the U.S. is! Or France wouldn't be so pissed about it.
Is there a Mexican or Brazilian equivalent of "Men in Black"? Which grossed huge box office across the world. And which showed the twin towers prominently? Nope!

By Louched_Liver on Wednesday, November 28, 2001 - 08:13 pm: Edit

Dr. No Profile,
Think a response through you can defend. I'm up+out. Remember-death is death. And when it doesn't touch you, it's easy to dismiss. That is what separates us from the animals. We KNOW we are going to die, but rationalise a reason to go on. When it hits home, that facade, whatever it may be, is ripped down. 9/11 hit home to me, obviouly not to you. Those were 5,000 humans.

By Tavarua on Wednesday, November 28, 2001 - 08:13 pm: Edit

Dr. O, we are not carpet bombing villages of innocent civilians. We are hitting strategic military installations, vehicles, armaments, etc. in which we have established Taliban influence, i.e., weaponry, Al-Qaeda lodging, supply lines, so on and so forth. I am aware that we have fucked up on occasion, but that is the cost of war. A war that was not started by us.

"Assuming bin Laden did the towers (I have yet to see proof of that)"

The take it the only "proof" you will accept is when bin Laden says "Yup, that was me, I did that, really." Which you won't see, because the trend in the past few years, in the further pussification of terrorist activity, is that they no longer claim their atrocities. Call me an Ugly American, but I guess I am old fashion and half to believe that our Government is on the right trail and can back it up. But hell, maybe we are doing all of this to save face or for different reasons that solely benefit our own interests. Hey, that makes sense right, why not commit to "spending 10 billion dollars worth of ordnance to blow up 10 million bucks of old Soviet stuff" on a hunch.

By Dr_Ordinaire on Wednesday, November 28, 2001 - 08:09 pm: Edit

Louched, I assume you are a USAn. You might be surprised at how many people don't give a shit about the USA. I do, because I live here, but most of the rest of the world couldn't care less.

The twin towers were just two tall buildings. Can you name the tallest buildings in Mexico City or Sao Paulo, Brazil? Yet those two cities are larger than NY.

Again, I cannot rave and complain about the Holocaust or the Armenian massacre by the Turks. It's past. But now we are doing something fundamentally wrong. I will speak against that.

By Louched_Liver on Wednesday, November 28, 2001 - 08:03 pm: Edit

The difference being you need proof for 1, but not for the others? Why is that? Human suffering is worth more now? Can you prove the others had a better yield of "OK vs. Not OK" deaths?
And your ignorance of the World Trade Center=99% of the world must be the in the same boat? Please explain your #s. Or don't bandy them about.

By Dr_Ordinaire on Wednesday, November 28, 2001 - 07:55 pm: Edit

LL:

I, personally, never knew about the twin towers until the day my plane landed in NY. We are not talking about the pyramids, OK? They were just two tall buildings, OK?

The last part of your post, I just don't get it. Yes, there were other massacres in history. (You forgot to mention the Armenians)

I don't see any reason to "spout about" something that happened long ago. I rather "spout" about an atrocity that is happening right now, under our country's wing.

By Louched_Liver on Wednesday, November 28, 2001 - 07:49 pm: Edit

Grand?
You bet!
Where, pray tell did that 99% figure come from?
Say "twin towers". Then show a picture of them in the NY skyline. What's the figure for the recognition of that? Taking into account the movies, TV shows, etc... distributed world-wide. Give me another %. And back it up.
And what proof do you personally have of the Holocaust, Khmer Rouge atrocities, Stalin's pogroms? Or are they "out of sight, out of mind"? Or just not current enough to spout off about?
Just asking,
LL

By Dr_Ordinaire on Wednesday, November 28, 2001 - 07:38 pm: Edit

"but had "never heard of the twin towers before 9/11" (and who is that far out of the loop, in reality? "

LL, you might be surprised, but if before Sept. 11 you had conducted a world-wide poll, 99% of the world's population would have responded to: What are the twin towers with a: Huh?

Assuming bin Laden did the towers (I have yet to see proof of that), the people (Taliban and civilians...as in women and children) that we are killing in Afghanistan had NOTHING to do with it.

And we have given notice that after we finish with the Afghans (spending 10 billion dollars worth of ordnance to blow up 10 million bucks of old Soviet stuff) we start with Iraq.

Ain't life grand?

By Louched_Liver on Wednesday, November 28, 2001 - 07:30 pm: Edit

Etienne,
Well said!
It's a fuckin' war! Some of the wrong people die. Just like the loving Taliban may have toppled a wall on the wrong adultress. Although I'm sure all their trials were very, very fair.

By Etienne on Wednesday, November 28, 2001 - 07:24 pm: Edit

A lot of the people who died in Germany weren't Nazi.

A lot of the people who died in Vietnam weren't Viet Cong.

Nobody likes it, that's just what happens.

By Louched_Liver on Wednesday, November 28, 2001 - 07:23 pm: Edit

Dr. O,
Are you talking about the ones who were killed accidentally, not intentionally, like here, or, the ones who relished the deaths of those who were killed on Sept 11 in the "Jihad", but had "never heard of the twin towers before 9/11" (and who is that far out of the loop, in reality? The Taliban has not been in power that long to erase the memories of the movies, magazines, and television where the WTC were shown before they shut the country down. And they didn't achieve their goal to send the country back to the stone age overnight, it took years. While images of the evil west continued to enter the country. And probably did under their most oppressive reign. People are ingeneuous about getting information. The Flintstones aren't being bombed, for fuck's sake),and who were killed because they condone, and would partake in more of the same?

By Dr_Ordinaire on Wednesday, November 28, 2001 - 06:50 pm: Edit

Tav, call me uninformed if you want, BUT: the people we are killing in Afghanistan never heard of the twin towers before Sept. 11.

We-are-killing-innocent-people.

By Tavarua on Wednesday, November 28, 2001 - 04:39 pm: Edit

"But what exactly are we trying to solve",

Let me think. I know there is a reason here somewhere. Oh yea, they're fucking terrorist bastards who INTENTIONALLY target civilians to make their point and we want to send them to a buring hell. That works good enough for me.


"Th only thing we can be sure of is that in this conflict all is not what it appears to be."

That may be, but we wouldn't be doing this if they hadn't killed several thousand of our, U.S., citizens, who were only going to work. And that is the plain and simple fact.

By Mr_Rabid on Wednesday, November 28, 2001 - 04:25 pm: Edit

A country that (officially or not) does what Afghanistan did, and is attempting to acquire nuclear and biological weapons. Who's pet psychopath is a very rich man.

This is what you call an ounce of prevention.

We must make the Taliban universally unpolular in addition to killing them, so they have no future recruits.

We must make Afghanistan a nice place to live, with a stable economy and people who are happy, or at least kinda comfortable. Cause comfortable people would have locked Osama up for his own protection and tried to cure his mania, not shouted and waved thier guns at his words.

And creating a puppet state in such an unstable region will not bother us at all either if we can do it.

We need that oil, and we need to have as many friendly countries around it as we can get. And having Afghanistan as a place to put a big ass military base would be right nice too.

By Lordhobgoblin on Wednesday, November 28, 2001 - 03:40 pm: Edit

There may well be no benign solution to Afghanistan and the Taliban (as opposed to Afghani civilians) don't deserve many tears. But what exactly are we trying to solve?

Is our aim to catch (or kill) Bin Laden?

Is our aim to bring down the Taliban?

Is our aim to install a cooperative government in order to gain access to Caspian oil reserves (3.4 million barrels per day (50% of current Middle-Eastern production) by 2010 would be pretty handy as Middle-Eastern reserves diminish over future years)?

What are our aims? It's usually best to be clear of what we're trying to solve before we attempt to apply solutions.

The last conflict the West was involved in with such wooly unclear aims was Vietnam and it ended up a real dog's breakfast for all parties concerned.

Th only thing we can be sure of is that in this conflict all is not what it appears to be.

Hobgoblin

By Lordhobgoblin on Wednesday, November 28, 2001 - 03:27 pm: Edit

Chevalier,

The South Americans are teaching their children incorrectly if they tell them there is only one continent of America. Politics aside there are 2 continents, North America (including 'Central America') and South America. They are 2 distinct geological continents. Scientific facts should not be clouded by political convenience. I'll support the USA's teaching on this point.

Hobgoblin

By Dr_Ordinaire on Wednesday, November 28, 2001 - 02:45 pm: Edit

Oh, c'mon Tim... If I'm going to face "The Wrath of Don" I will surely enjoy company...

By Timk on Wednesday, November 28, 2001 - 02:31 pm: Edit

Im biting my tongue

By Dr_Ordinaire on Wednesday, November 28, 2001 - 02:25 pm: Edit

Thanks, Perrouche, I've forgoten about the basement.

Don, what you don't seem to get is the fact that if your father had been an employee at that factory in Sudan, if your brother had been killed by the Israelis....you would be a bin Laden!

We can keep bombing away, but IT WON'T WORK, DAMMIT!

This is not a bleeding heart liberal speaking. Hell, the Dr. is way to the right. I'm not opposing this out of moral outrage (which it is) but because it is a suicidal attitude.

If we keep ignoring WHY they hate us and keep thinking that we can bomb the problem away, someday something is going to happen that would make the twin towers look like dodge ball.

And, yes, you can call me an asshole. You've done worse...

By Perruche_Verte on Wednesday, November 28, 2001 - 11:52 am: Edit

"If the US bombed a compound because it was a 'possible' Al-Qaeda and Taliban C&C center, you can take it to the bank that it WAS."

Of course. They're the pros. They NEVER fuck up, do they?

Ask the kids in that basement daycare in Baghdad, or the workers at that Sudanese aspirin factory.

I know: details, details. The devil's in the details.

By Don_Walsh on Wednesday, November 28, 2001 - 11:27 am: Edit

Dr O, you are falling for the news media's waffling and the fallacy that there is ANY benign solution in Afghanistan

If the US bombed a compound because it was a 'possible' Al-Qaeda and Taliban C&C center, you can take it to the bank that it WAS.

What do you require? A Rand Macnally map entry?

A rooftop mural of Mullah Omar and OBL in a 69 position?

Come ON.

Of course if you WANT to be a fucking back seat driver, and nitpick all details in what has been a remarkably rapid campaign marked by VERY minimal civilian casulaties -- other than what the enemy killed -- feel free to proceed, but do so knowing I will call you an asshole every step of the way if you do.

You are bleeding your heart for SCUM.

By Dr_Ordinaire on Tuesday, November 27, 2001 - 08:22 pm: Edit

Somebody has to help me here. I just read on my AOL news that: "U.S. bombs Possible Leadership Place"

Yeah. Possible. May not be. Actually, it might be a nunnery (oops, no nunneries in Afghanistan). Or an orphanage. But, hell, if it is a "possible" leadership place, we bomb it!


The Northern Motherfuckers (as opposed to the Taliban Motherfuckers) are doing the same things that triggered our bombing of Yugoslavia.

Tap, tap, is anybody listening...?

By Don_Walsh on Tuesday, November 27, 2001 - 08:13 pm: Edit

Heiko, there is a Buddhist swastika, which is common all over Asia and which predates the Nazis by a few millenia.

If you look carefully at opne you will see it is not the same as the Nazi swastika, in fact they are opposites - mirror images (just as are the philosophies.)

Bali is of course a Hindu/Buddhist enclave in Islamic Indonesia.

I suspect Buddhism and its symbols will be around long after Nazism is a distant memory meaningless to most people like Catharism or Jacobism (with apologies to any Cathars of Jacobites that happen to be lurking.)

Don

Descended of Jacobites

* Catharism. A Catholic heresy in France a very long time ago

** Jacobism, Jacobites -- Scots and Irish followers of the Stuart monarchy, mostly exiles in Europe, esp France. Opponents of the Hanoverians imported to be the new British monarchy after the fall of the Cromwells. Military arm of the Jacobites: The Wild Geese. Perennial Irish mercenaries.

By Dr_Ordinaire on Tuesday, November 27, 2001 - 04:16 pm: Edit

OtherMarc, thank you for an enlightening post.

As far as to how to call the citizens of the USA, Jonathan Ott (Arty MAY have heard of him) uses the word "USANS".

It makes perfect sense.

And, my personal campaign. Instead of the clumsy, if not MCP (Male Chauvinistic Pig): "Dear Sir or Madam" how about "Gentles"?

It's gender neutral, and good ol' Willie used it first, in "Midsummer Night's Dream"

"If we shadows have offended,
Think but this, and all is mended,
That you have but slumb'red here
While these visions did appear.
And this week and idle theme,
No more yielding but a dream,
Gentles, do not reprehend,
If you pardon, we will mend."

Not to mention the fun high schoolers could have with their grammar teachers if they could quote the outrageous things Will did to the English language... There's an example right there...

By _Blackjack on Tuesday, November 27, 2001 - 04:00 pm: Edit

D'oh! You see how anti-intuitive it is? A British quadrillion is 10^24, an American Septillion!

By _Blackjack on Tuesday, November 27, 2001 - 03:59 pm: Edit

Well, we aren't the only metric dautlers. At least we don't use stones.

Now, as for the whole billion/thousand-million business, I'm sorry, but our way makes more sense. Raising it a power for each new name is clumsy. I mean, how often are you really going to need a British quadrillion (10^18, an American Quintillion). It also works better with the kilo-, mega-, giga-, tera- progrssion.

By _Blackjack on Tuesday, November 27, 2001 - 03:45 pm: Edit

What I find odd is that people from the United Aram Emirates are called "Emirians". It would be like calling people from the UK, "Kingians".

Of ourse, calling people from Saudi Arabia "Saudis" makes little more sense, especially when you consider the hostility towards the house of Saud felt by many.

It also gets confusing when you want to talk about the parts of Ireland that are in the north, but not part of Northern Ireland.

And don't get me started on the various Congos these days...

By Chevalier on Tuesday, November 27, 2001 - 02:40 pm: Edit

Well, the U.S. is a different bird.

Do you know why South Americans become upset when they hear a gringo say, "I'm an American"? Simple: South American schoolchildren are taught that the western hemisphere has only one continent: America. In that sense, an Argentine is as much an "American" as a citizen of the U.S.A.

U.S. schoolchildren, however, are taught that the western hemisphere has two continents: North America and South America. We refer to these continents as "the Americas". Oh, and the region of Central America is part of the North American continent. (I suppose because they're both above the equator, while South America is essentially below.)

South Americans call Americans "Estadounidenses", or "United Statesians". To me, this is confusing: What about citizens of the Estados Unidos de Mexico, or the Estados Unidos do Brasil, the official names of these countries? As for the argument that South Americans are also "Americans", they can only claim to be so in a continental sense; and in any case, a U.S. citizen calling himself an "American" is not referring to his continent (known to him as NORTH America), but to his country.

Some say that the U.S.A. should call itself the United States of North America. Never mind that Mexico could claim the same title -- it seems to me that when the U.S. was founded, there were no other "united states" in North America, South America, or just plain "America". We did it first, so we claim the name. Now, as for calling "soccer" what the rest of the world calls "football", that's another story. And what's with our clinging to inches, miles, gallons and pounds?

By Dengar on Tuesday, November 27, 2001 - 01:06 pm: Edit

The entire world is obsessed with football (or soccer as some would like to call it) execpt North Amerika, excluding Mexico of course!

By Heiko on Tuesday, November 27, 2001 - 06:25 am: Edit

"the country was obsessed with the British Football (Soccer) League"

Isn't the whole world obsessed with soccer?
I talked to some youths in Bali a few years ago - they had never heard of Hitler or even the second world war (we came to talk about this because one of them was wearing a big golden swastika, we tried to explain to him why it looked a little odd to us Germans). But as soon as they heard Germany, they were like "Jurgen Klinsmann!" (German soccer star) and they knew what teams he had been playing in...

By Dr_Ordinaire on Monday, November 26, 2001 - 11:36 pm: Edit

Hob said:

"But why are we fighting? Is our primary aim to get rid of the Taliban? Is our primary aim to bring Bin Laden to justice? Do oil interests have anything to do with our action? "

I think not only English socialists wonder. I ain't no peacenik. I had no problem with creaming Irak. I didn't care if it was for the oil, there was still a just cause (freeing Kuwait) and, in any case, it was a war we would obviously win. I (like many others) wish we would have gone all the way to Baghdad.

But this one? What the hell is our objective? Some days ago Rumsfeld gave a bad news/good news press conference: the bad news: we would probably not get bin Laden; the good news: we would bring the Taliban down.

Say what? BEFORE we started all this, President Bush told the Taliban in prime time: "You don't want to be bombed, give up bin Laden and the al Queda" So, as far as the U.S. was concerned, if the Taliban had given up Osama and his cronies, they could have remained in power forever.

As a matter of fact, we never had a problem with the Taliban and their unspeakable treatment of women before. We gave them 43 million bucks for declaring that: "growing opium is against the Khoran". Hey, in OUR "Jihad" against drugs, even the worst motherfuckers in the world can be our allies...

Now it is discussed the possibility of using torture and "truth serum" on terrorists. Fine with me, but in that case, as an Argentine, I expect an apology from the USA. They went into spasms of self-righteousness when the Argentine military did the same to "their" terrorists.

Don't get me wrong, I was never with the Argentine military. I'm just scared that this country is turning into the same.

If that's the case, I'm leaving. I left a totalitarian country once, I'll do it again.

By Mr_Carfax on Monday, November 26, 2001 - 08:26 pm: Edit

When I went to Cambodia late last year, the thing that continually amazed me was that the country was obsessed with the British Football (Soccer) League that would get beamed in via satellite tv- everyone seemed to know the teams and they had this bizarre complex betting system running that had the British backpackers I was with confused, so I figured I had no chance of working it out.

I think Liverpool are due to play the Thai national side in the coming weeks- when I was over visiting Don the other week there seemed to be a build up in soccer obsession developing there too.

By Lordhobgoblin on Saturday, November 24, 2001 - 05:57 am: Edit

Dengar,

Strangely I don't hate Birmingham City, although I do feel sorry for their lack of skill and success. Quite frankly they're not rivals, they don't even pose a mild threat.

Yes everyone on the planet hates Man U (except those who are stupid enough to support them).

Look forward to playing Hammarby at some stage in future years.

Hobgoblin

By Lordhobgoblin on Saturday, November 24, 2001 - 05:50 am: Edit

Don,

I am reluctant to get into another discussion with you on this issue. There is some truth in what you say and the NA are definitely not a nice bunch of blokes. But why are we fighting? Is our primary aim to get rid of the Taliban? Is our primary aim to bring Bin Laden to justice? Do oil interests have anything to do with our action?

Has the bombing brought Bin Laden closer to justice? Would we want to put him before an International Court of Justice, even if we could? Does the USA even want an International Court of Justice where citizens of any country (even from the USA) could be tried internationally for crimes?

And what about the oil interests in the region? Has the West's desire to have an oil pipeline through Afghanistan to transport the oil from the Caspian (as middle-eastern oil reserves diminish, the Caspian reserves become more and more significant.)

Terrorism exists in people's minds, you cannot bomb terrorism away. Terrorism has existed from the beginning of time, bombs (or crippling sanctions) won't stop it. Terrorism is a result of hatred. If you bomb civilians and kill their friends and families (or kill them through sanctions) they will hate you, and they will grow up wanting to kill you and more terrorism will result. I saw a debate on the BBC today where Tony Benn (a man probably more to my liking than yours) made the point that all terrorism is war and all war is terrorism. You can't defeat terrorism with terrorism, you have to tackle the causes of the hatred that lead to terrorism. Bombing will result in more hatred.

Anyway, this thread was started as a bit of a laugh and I don't want to get into another bitter row over this issue. I disagree with you as you do with me on this issue in general (although we probably do agree on some of the finer details etc) and anyway what you think or I think on this in practical terms makes no difference to what will happen.

Hobgoblin

By Don_Walsh on Saturday, November 24, 2001 - 03:44 am: Edit

Football notwithstanding, don't you (Lord H) give the US and allies a few points for (a) limiting civilian casualties and restraining the less admirable tendencies of the NA, (b) getting this done a lot faster than I expected -- admittedly the hardcore may still take some time to dig out but, the numbers seem to be tiny, (c) it isn't certain yet but it does look like the revanchists will be sitting in the back of the bus.

Some observations:

1. The NA appears perfectly willing to sit on their asses till the US runs out of bombs. Or avgas.

2. The UN has their knickers in a twist because they are not only ineffectual, but in this case they are mostly irrelevant.

3. The Pakis keep making pious pronouncements about how moderate Taliban elements need to have a place at the table. This is hogwash. The translation is: the Pakis want to still have direct influence, despite having completely muddled the last decade. They should take their billion dollars and shit up. Their time in Afghanistan is OVER.

4. Bush/Powell/Rumsfeld etc seem to have gambled a lot of Abdul Haq, and when he got whacked, decided to back the NA whole-hog, and worry about the fallout later. I could have told them Haq was a nonstarter, as he was disgracefully close to an (American) asshole named Kurt Lohbeck, a CBS stringer with known KGB ties. Like some of my friends tagged him back in the 80s in Pakistan carrying Soviet one-time pads. (Crypto gear).

5. The citizenry in Kabul certainly seems delighted to see the ass end of the TaliBang.

6. The ICRC should not be taken at face value. Those 500 or so corpses in the north could have been suicides, could be Afghans killed by Al-Qaeda when they wanted to surrender, could have been lots of things, it is hardly clear and it's the ICRC itself that is withholding details. This is smarmy.

By Dengar on Saturday, November 24, 2001 - 02:20 am: Edit

Everybody hates Man U! But aren't Birmingham City supposed to be your worst rivals?

I myself is a supporter of one of the teams of Stockholm; Hammarby. I'm bringing this up because a month ago the club won the league for the first time in it's 104 years existence! I've been a supporter for all my life and it was totally unbeliveable. Se you in Champions Leage next year! :-)

By Lordhobgoblin on Friday, November 23, 2001 - 11:18 am: Edit

I'm not a fanatical football fan myself, but when push comes I stand by my Birmingham (Birmingham UK that is) roots (I was born there and lived there for the first 3 years of my life before my mother became homesick and my parents returned to their Irish homeland).

Once a Brummy, always a Brummy. So it has to be ASTON VILLA!!

And despite comments to the contrary we're doing quite nicely, 3rd in the Premiership League table, just behind Liverpool and Leeds, and best of all ahead of those Manchester United bastards.

Next fixture is on Sunday when Villa are playing Leeds (in Leeds). It will be a good match. (Unlike many non-supporters I have a lot of time for Leeds. It's Man United, Chelsea and Tottenham I hate.)

Hobgoblin

By Etienne on Friday, November 23, 2001 - 05:29 am: Edit

Hey guys, it was only a joke! I wish I was more familiar with the English football clubs.
I thought LordH's post was funny, even though I couldn't appreciate the finer points.

By Perruche_Verte on Friday, November 23, 2001 - 05:15 am: Edit

Exactly, that's what's so dangerous.

You can argue that you maintain a certain political position because you believe it will lead to the greatest good for humankind, even if others think you're a hopeless dreamer or a murderous barbarian. You can attempt to argue your point logically. But football, or any pro sport? Now that's pure knife-in-the-teeth tribalism. Don't even bring up the subject if you want to avoid a fight.

By Dengar on Friday, November 23, 2001 - 02:21 am: Edit

Heh...actually I was talking fotball here. Really!

By Etienne on Thursday, November 22, 2001 - 05:48 pm: Edit

Easy now.... we argued about that for a week, back in September. :-)

By Dengar on Thursday, November 22, 2001 - 03:25 pm: Edit

Hob, which team do you support?

By Dengar on Thursday, November 22, 2001 - 02:58 pm: Edit

He he he...funny!

By Lordhobgoblin on Thursday, November 22, 2001 - 02:05 pm: Edit

This will probably make as much sense as a discourse in ancient Greek to most readers on this forum (probably even less so) but since there's plenty of baseball talk on this forum (which nobody on this side of the Atlantic understands) then here we go.

To anyone with a small amount of knowledge of UK soccer teams then this is quite amusing.

If you have been finding the War on Terrorism a bit hard to follow, then this should make it a bit easier;

USA: Man Utd - Utterly arrogant and motivated by greed. If they suffer the slightest injustice the whole world hears about it. Leader sees himself as bit of a visionary, most see him as bit of a tyrant.

Al Qaeda: Leeds - Thugs who like to take out opponents behind the play. Capable of upsetting just about anyone. Leader is a paranoid nutter.

UK: Aston Villa - Trying to move forward having been stuck in the past for decades. Have a leader who loves the sound of his own voice, full of rhetoric whilst ducking the important issues.

France: Arsenal - Perennial bridesmaids. Have a huge armoury but heavily criticised in the past for misfiring. More likely to bore you to death than to be a real threat to anyone. Leader has a habit of turning a blind eye.

Pakistan: Chelsea - Trying hard to be one of the big boys, but has upset a large percentage of its supporter base through its over involvement with foreigners. Could soon experience a revolt within its own ranks.

The Taliban: Liverpool - Strict disciplinarians where members are measured as much by what they wear and do as who they are. Leadership suffered a bit of a shock recently but clinging to life and always hard to beat at home. Very much a bloke's team.

India: Sunderland - A sleeping giant, not a contender at the moment but with a huge supporter base. Likes to think its opinion is worth plenty, yet is largely ignored by non-fans. Local derbies can be a bit fiery.

The Northern Alliance: West Ham - An undisciplined rabble in need of sponsorship dollars.

Israel: Tottenham - Rabid supporters tucked away everywhere and usually only become vocal when they start winning. See themselves as the chosen but in reality suffer from an over inflated sense of self. Local transport can be a bit dodgy.

Palestine: Fulham - A team currently looking for a home, had been on the periphery for many years before the mid 90s. Not regarded as a big contender but has a strong youth policy. Funded by rich Arabs.

Japan: Everton - No attack, last campaign of any note 1942. Big player financially in the 1980s, however struggling a bit these days.

Iraq: Millwall - Serious hardarses who could be on the way back. Opponents prefer to see them out of the Premiership. Most of their neighbours hate them, they know it, and they don't care.

Russia: Newcastle - Once a great superpower, recently in decay. Have chosen some real muppets as leaders.

Uzbekistan: Leicester - Stuck in the middle. Has a bit of an arsenal but light on ammunition.

Germany: Wolves - Tendency to self destruct. A strong history but off the scene of late. Unfortunate uniforms.

Australia: Southampton - Completely harmless. Not a contender. Just in it to make up the numbers. Supporters are loyal but regularly embarrassed.

Egypt: Derby - Had a crack at world dominance. Vulnerable up the middle.

Please note that no country can be associated with Middlesbrough. The closest thing was Lebanon but apparently certain parts of war torn Beirut are bordering on pleasant.


Hobgoblin
(Perhaps this could be translated into Baseball team terms for USA forumites?)

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