TCS Daily


Realizing Anti-Qaeda

By Josh Manchester - January 3, 2007 12:00 AM

This is the second in a two-part series on stateless warfighting. The first part can be found here.

In his controversial remarks a few weeks ago, Newt Gingrich wondered whether a new kind of Geneva Convention might be necessary:

"And, I further think that we should propose a Geneva convention for fighting terrorism which makes very clear that those who would fight outside the rules of law, those who would use weapons of mass destruction, and those who would target civilians are in fact subject to a totally different set of rules that allow us to protect civilization by defeating barbarism before it gains so much strength that it is truly horrendous."

One of Al Qaeda's organizing principles is an absolute indifference to international law. If international law is reorganized to deter such groups as Al Qaeda, then it is likely that those groups will simply reorganize themselves to continue to flout international law. Being much more nimble than the states which spend years crafting treaties and conventions, Al Qaeda has the freedom to do so quite easily.

Al Qaeda is organized such that it can operate anywhere in the world if given the opportunity. Of course, its operatives have to be careful to avoid government efforts to find them, but Al Qaeda itself has no rules of its own that prevent it from crossing boundaries, whether they are geographic, administrative, bureaucratic, or even moral. In many ways then, Al Qaeda is like a virus, free to propagate wherever a suitable environment may be found, whether it be Waziristan, Somalia, southern Thailand, or the housing projects in the outskirts of London. Not only does it seek physical spaces, but it also seeks amenable minds to bend to its will. It is an opportunistic and ruthless virus.

Might we then conceive of a similar organization that serves as an antibody? What might be the characteristics of such an "Anti-Qaeda"?

One of the prerequisites would be freedom of movement: The forces of Anti-Qaeda would possess the ability, whether legal or not, to cross international borders at will.

Anti-Qaeda would be free to develop its own network of contacts throughout the world. Many of these would be within the intelligence agencies and militaries of established states. These contacts might actively feed information to Anti-Qaeda as a result of the policies of their states. Alternatively, they might do so merely out of sympathy with the goals of Anti-Qaeda, and might be approached and recruited in the same manner that foreign intelligence agencies attempt.

One way or another, money would not be an issue for Anti-Qaeda. Through some system of donations, it might raise funds directly from sympathetic people all over the world. It might receive contributions from states, though it will be hesitant to do so if strings are attached. For example, a state might fund the organization with one large endowment-like contribution, allowing it to operate as a trust in perpetuity, though without any oversight from the state.

This comes to a final characteristic about Anti-Qaeda: it would operate best in an environment of state forbearance. States might gain information about Anti-Qaeda activities that would make for evidence in prosecutions, but they might decide not to enforce the law in the case of Anti-Qaeda.

All of the above describes how an organization such as Anti-Qaeda might be imagined. But it leaves out what its purpose might be. Would it be narrowly defined, such as merely chasing terrorists? Might it be broader in scope, such as commencing military activities against states that support terrorism? The answers to these will probably depend upon the nature of relationships that Anti-Qaeda has with states in the West who will be best positioned to thwart its goals, whatever they are. In fact, whereas the critical vulnerabilities of other military forces in the past have been national will, or materiel and logistics, or doctrine, Anti-Qaeda's might be its relationships with states that can stop it.

One of the big issues for Anti-Qaeda will be to clearly define the limits of what is and is not acceptable conduct. How will its members accomplish their missions without losing their souls? In Darkness at Noon, Arthur Koestler defined this paradox quite well. An aging and disillusioned Bolshevik is lecturing his daughter, who is caught up in the Party:

. . . The Party has taught you all to be cunning, and whoever becomes too cunning loses all decency. It's no good shrugging your shoulders," he went on angrily. "It's come to this in the world now that cleverness and decency are at loggerheads, and whoever sides with one must do without the other. It's not good for a man to work things out too much. That's why it is written: 'Let your communication be, Yea, yea; nay, nay; for whatever is more than these cometh of evil.'"

There is a final question to all of this, one that is perhaps most important. In Mark Bowden's book Killing Pablo, he described the role played by a loosely organized terror group that called itself Los Pepes. Basically a conglomeration of other drug dealers and criminals whom Pablo Escobar had victimized in one way or another, Los Pepes began to slowly attack all of Pablo's supporting apparatus: they killed his lawyers, intimidated his family, killed his associates, bombed the quarters of his henchmen and so forth. The relationship between Los Pepes and the Columbian police and military units was always hazy at best. At worst, they had actively colluded together, making the Columbian government a reluctant accomplice to the crimes of Los Pepes, which in the end, did actually work toward Pablo's death.

If the West might be defined in part as a civil society built upon layers and layers of law and tradition, what does it mean if it is necessary to circumvent those laws or traditions in order to defend itself? Is this the result of an inherent problem in the genetic code of the West, or has it come about due to advances in warfare? Or is it merely a problem of political will? Moreover, if, as so many have attested, one of the goals of the West is to increase the realm of the world that is built upon the rule of law , does this strange paradox of having to shed or ignore the law in order to defend itself de-legitimize the very mission it seeks to accomplish?

If this is true, then we should be forthright, admit it and get on with it, rather than use cutouts and secrecy, obscure funding and state forbearance in order for a would-be Anti-Qaeda to slip into the night and go about its work.

Josh Manchester is a TCSDaily contributing writer. His blog is The Adventures of Chester (www.theadventuresofchester.com). Manchester would like to credit Philip Bobbitt's Bradley Lecture at the American Enterprise Institute with spurring his thinking on these topics.

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56 Comments

Changes Of Progress
We are at a time in history, when civilization is undergoing huge technological change. I think the government should work to ensure the public safety.

During the late 1960's, a movement was prevalent to guard privacy rights at almost any cost. In the early 21st century, we are all in a situation where technology can be used to protect the population. The alternative is to ignore the new inventions, or to create unsafe conditions by not allowing police to use the new tools. A greater surveillance of the population is inevitable as society changes with improvements to the standard of living.

Society must adjust to a more technologically advanced world. The right decision for the individual is to be willing sacrifice a small amount of anonymity for the greater common good of making everybody safe.

The War On Terror is a continuing fight against subversive terrorist groups that exist around the world. In 2007, a person can travel on an airline almost anywhere in the world in less than 24 hours. Isolationism can't protect us in The War On Terror. So let's use all the new tools we have to defeat terrorists, arrest criminals, and prevent crime!

short sited and missing the point
I was very disappointed to read your remarks about Los Pepes from Mark Bowden's book. The author either chose to ignore much of Bowden's point, or history itself. Los Pepes were responsible for the killing of many innocent civilians and they received support not only from the Colombian National Police (please spell Colombia correctly with an "O") but also the DEA, US Army Intelligence and the CIA. I am currently headed a FOIA suit against the CIA on behalf of the Institute for Policy Studies in an effort to discover just how close those connections were.


The biggest issue ignored here is the MAJOR blowback that the creation and support of Los Pepes caused on Colombia. Short sites policies of supporting groups willing to use methods as deplorable as those identifies as "terrorist" should be very apparent to anyone who studies history let alone who read Killing Pablo. The leaders of Los Pepes went on to become the heads of a national paramilitary alliance in Colombia responsible for the vast majority of human rights violations in that country over the following 15 years. Support and the government connection built by Los Pepes also helped propelled a rival drug cartel to greater power.


The people of Colombia are still suffering from those events. To so severely miss the obvious repercussions and blowback is almost as blind as ignoring the glaring fact that Bin Laden himself was propelled into power thanks to short sited US foreign policy in Afghanistan. Why suggest starting the whole thing all over again. The methods of such groups like Al Qaeda should never be used by legitimate governments let alone those claiming to espouse freedom and the respect for human rights. We all suffer when policymakers lose sight of this.

US and Bin Laden vs the USSR... USA vs Al Qaeda... Anti-Qaeda vs Al Qaeda... Anti-anti-Qaeda vs Anti-Qaeda.... and so on and so on.

Sincerely,


Paul Paz y Mino
Research Scholar
Institute for Policy Studies
ppaz@igc.org

wrong metafor
Good article in a way, but alqaida is not really like a virus because viruses don't have consciousness like humans do. So terrorists do it on purpose, whearas viruses by instinct alone. That's why they're also not like rabid animals either. But it's still another story here about fighing terrorism as if it were something new. As other articles have stated, there have always been terrorists around. And they mostly come out of the woodworking, when they see the society getting weak and decadent, just like the west is now. We've always know how to take out terrorists. The Brits were able to infiltrate the IRA, the commies to subversives there, the Israels re arab terrorists, and my own humble efforts with the partisans in eastern europe. Now of those guys stand a chance against trained agents. In fact, a lot of the work could and should be done sub-rosa, undercover guys going around the world taking out all support even they can find, like a whole band of 007s with licences to kill. Or like the Israeli squads who found all the Munich massacre guys. But when you see guys like Ted Turner stand up on TV like he did a few weeks ago saying, "what war on terror, there's no war"? then you know there's no political will.

to Paulpaz re los pepes
I guess you then advocate, let's see, maybe suing them, right? And I'll bet you're one of those guys who says that even if terrorists hide behind human shields, you have to abort the op, right? And you must have been really angry when James Bond blew up Dr. No's place because of all the innocent tech guys got drowned. Guys like you are the new appeasers, the new Neville Chamberlains of the lily livered west, who are going to result in the west commiting suicide to make it easier on the terrorists. I'll bet you're also one of those guys who, when upstairs at night and you hear a break in downstairs, in the interests of equality of women, sends his wife down to deal with the intruders, but wait, now your daughter has become a teenager, so she has to take her turn too. Call yourself a man?

A real man like D. fights for Hitler against his countrymen as a Quisling triggerman...
... and then accuses other peoplle of being appeasers. Take a rest, D.

metaphor war - - -
The West is like a man attacked in a dark alley by a criminal determined to slit his throat and take his wallet. The man then whips out his copy of the Marquis of Queensbury Rules as a guide to action, and considers filing a complaint against his assailant with the local boxing comission. Who is going to prevail?

Not long ago our greatest generation methodically incinerated entire cities, without overmuch worry about collateral casualties. Recall Hamburg, Dresden, Berlin, Tokyo, Hiroshima, Nakasagi(sp?), and others. But, we prevailed, and the world is better off for it.

We always have moral geniuses like Lem and paul'paz' saying that if we adopt the enemies' brutal methods we will've sunk to their level, and then they will have won. The falsity of this is juvenile blather is too obvious to belabor. One wonders which side they're on. The first rule is for the good guys to win.

A real man like l. fights for Marx or any leftwinger, against his countrymen as a Quisling triggerma
Man, what predictable, vacant nonsense from our resident troglodyte.

But then again Lemming things all socialists are good except national socialists.

Eric, its a new year but your still peddling the same wearisome cliches.

Now tell us how your little ad hominem is relevant.

Take your meds, Eric.

"2007" doesn't mean skip the lithium and listen to the voices.

Bi-polar doin't
Hear voices.

You are mixing your Mental Disorders.

He is clearly schizophrenic.

Why not figure out what works and what's proportional??
What exactly is this gloves off stuff going to mean? Much bigger concentration camps? Carpet bombing of cities, killing tens or hundreds of thousands of non-terrorists to kill a half dozen baddies? Monitoring of all US phone conversations without restraint?

Where are we talking about scorching, and what's the evidence that this will improve matters? Or is the idea we simply exterminate all Muslims?

I'm not raising rhetorical questions. I'm asking what, specifically you're calling for.

>Not long ago our greatest generation methodically incinerated entire cities, without overmuch worry about collateral casualties.

We were in a declared war against nation-states who had done the same to others. Do you really not see a distinction?

>The first rule is for the good guys to win.

YOu've yet to show how turning into bad guys would even help us win.

Who's paying Paul Paz y Mino?
In the United States, we are adversely affected by corrupt influences from Central and South America everyday. The FOIA law suit is probably an attempt to hamper U.S. efforts that fight corruption.
Look at the broken border with Mexico. It is a corridor for illegal immigration, and the transport of illegal drugs into the United States. Organizations like Institute for Policy Studies, attempt to disrupt America's efforts in The War On Drugs. Latin American groups frequently encourage illegal immigration into the United States. The Mexican Government strongly opposes the wall along the border. If illegal immigration is prevented, it will hurt the illegal drug trade. Millions of dollars are funneled into Central and South America daily from the sale of illegal drugs. Who's paying Paul Paz y Mino? It's time for patriots to work against un-american activities. Let's clean-up the problem!

What's difficult here?
Dietmar signed on as a paramilitary with the invading Germans to hunt down his fellow countrymen _who were resisting the Germans, as partisans._

Now he's lecturing everyone else about morality and manhood. I don't need a lecture from a former quisling proud of being a quisling.

But have a wonderful 2007! Why not start it by going off and f*cking yourself?

Appeasement and active collaboration
You really do shoot yourself in the foot, Dietmar, when you accuse others of being appeasers. Your "humble" actions in the war of which you are so proud - fighting the anti-N*zi resistance - are worse than appeasers. You were a collaborator.

One minute you say you were pressganged into your illegal combatant's role as a preference to being an einsatzgruppen terrorist, then you alter it to declare your pride in fighting those who wanted to expel N*zis from their country. Since conservatives and most liberals actively collaborated with (or appeased!!) the fascists, much of the resistance came from the Left. What would anyone, Jew or Gentile, Left, Right or Centre do to fight back? Join the only active opposition - the partisans! Certiainly not collaborate AGAINST the anti-fascists!

As for the rest of your post, why invent juvenile comments that don't relate to what a psoter says rather than repeating your macho bs, ad nauseum? It only impresses people like Thomas Jackson, and the increasingly similar and vacuous Superheater.

Criminals, law enforcement
The Geneva conventions recognize that soldiers fighting against us are not bad people, they're patriots fighting honorably for their country. That's why we treat them with respect.

Maybe Al Qaeda fighters aren't in this category. What does that make them? . . . Criminals. We fight them with law enforcement agencies and techniques and protocols.

Agencies: interpol, FBI, CIA, ...?

techniques: observation, detective work, wiretaps, ...

protocols: warrents, innocent until proven guilty in an open trial with access to evidence and defence council.

The "anti Al Qaeda" is the same as the anti mafia and the anti pirate.

'Dietmar's tried old theory doesn't always fit' shock!
Dietmar,

Your opinion of the Brits in dealing with the IRA is unfortunate to say the least. If you'd followed your logic, you should have been calling for the flattening of Belfast, Derry and South Armagh. The Brit strategy was classic counter-insurgency - imprisoning and killing IRA volunteers and isolating the movement, while trying to present itself as upholding common standards of democracy and justice. No doubt you would have considered this to be a strategy of appeasement and some sort of policy for puss*es!!

Your strategy would have resulted in short-term military victory (and the deaths of tens thousands of civilians - friends and enemies alike) but ultimately political defeat and disengagement. The Brits achieved victory by outmanoeuvring and isolating their opponents from potential support - an intelligent strategy.

Also, how does 'they mostly come out of the woodworking [sic], when they see the society getting weak and decadent,' relate to the conflict in Ireland? And what on earth are you talking about with regard to commies there? Do you actually know what you are commenting on?!

think a minute - - - -
Lib, does it not occur to you that that's just what we were doing on 9/11, responding to a declaration of total war with cops and timidity? This is well beyond mere crime. It's even beyond war in the normal sense. Brutal and immediate measures, not nit picking, are called for until it's stamped out.

Leftys and politically unhinged Democrats caused the S.Vietnamese to lose the Democrats' war in Nam, creating the boat people and "reeducation" cacamps for millions. Not to mention your fellow lefty, Pol Pot, are you trying to do it again? Your grandchildren will not thank you, if you succeed.

ok now I get it
If I had realized the normal level of discourse at this site I would never have wasted my time writing any kind of response.

90% of the comments on here don't even warrant a response. It hard to keep from even laughing at statements like those about IPS (and others) "hampering America's War on Drugs". In Colombia alone the US has dumped billions of US taxpayer money and never so much as made a dent on drugs coming into the US. That's because if you took the time to really LOOK at the "war on drugs" you would recognize it as a business opportunity to sell weapons and helicopters, nothing more. But hey, you go on thinking whatever you like and don't worry yourself about who is paying me. I can guarantee you that unlike the weapons and helicopters being sent to Colombia that you ARE paying for, youre NOT paying for me.

Oh... "hamper US efforts to fight corruption" is too good to pass up, too. Yea, investigatiing how the US helped train and fund a group of killers who murdered hundreds of people and were themselves part of a major drug cartel is really about STOPPING US efforts to fight corruption. Is today opposite day and no one told me?

Don't let our liberties be the first to go
You make a good point-- if the degree of danger is commensurate with the losses we measure in our civil liberties, we should consider that approach.

However I think we need to consider the scale of the danger. In this young century we have lost not quite 3,000 people to Islamist terrorists. Not a small number. But not a large one either.

In the mean time we lose a bit more than 30,000 people each and every year to handguns, whether from homicide, suicde or misadventure. Do we have a corresponding drive to limit some civil liberties in order to protect these lives at risk?

Or is it just the Moo-slems we need protecting from?

I'm not sure I'm willing to sign away all my freedoms for this. Even in WWII, when the threat was rather more serious, we didn't give up our freedoms.

Nonetheless I support common sense approaches to protecting ourselves from terror attacks-- almost none of which have yet been implemented. We have yet to see intercommunicability for disaster relief personnel, for instance, when it was the very first recommendation following 9/11. And we have yet to see material improvements in protections for urban reservoirs and water sources, refineries, seaports, chemical and hazardous waste sites and natural gas depots, all of which are totally vulnerable to only one or two people with a minimal budget.

So let's start there. Then, if those easy approaches don't work, we can see which of our liberties we want to throw overboard.

At work in the fields of the Lord
Welcome to the fun house, paulpaz. This is in fact higher than the level of discourse you'll find on many of the threads here.

If you want to help toil in the fields of ignorance, welcome and good luck. But I won't blame you if you give up and just turn to another channel. No matter how articulate or well informed your arguments, I doubt you will be changing many minds here.

Thanks, though, for trying.

"The first rule is for the good guys to win..."
But Don, the good guys have been winning and winning and winning for the past century. Anf they have just brought us to where we are now.

I would submit that what most needs to win is the rule of law. If we are to counter the enemy's death squads with out own, and accomodate our consciences to the massive numbers of civilian casualties caused by our side, what makes us morally superior to our worst enemies?

Besides, there's an order of magnitude involved. The combined activities of Al Qaeda and every other Islamist terrorist outfit on earth are as a mouse to our mighty elephant. We cause an immensely greater degree of destruiuction around the world than they do with their puny car bombings, etc. So how are we improving the situation?

Undermining the rule of law between nations is the single most harmful response we can make in the "war against terror". Because the fact of our doing so makes international cooperation break down, and promotes the very anarchy we say we are against.

Better to hold the high ground, so the billions of people in the nonaligned nations can see a clear choice between good and evil, instead of just between the mightier and weaker evils.

Please stop repeating discredited lies about Vietnam
The South Vietnamese lost the war, not the Democrats. We dropped more bombs on Vietnam than we did on Germany and Japan combined. 2 million Vietnamese died. After years of support and training and everything else, the S. Vietnames were not able to stand alone. That is not the fault of the democrats.

>creating the boat people and "reeducation" camps for millions.

The boat people were mostly ecoomic refugees: we have "boat people" from hait and Mexico coming in continuously. The reeducation camps had at most a half-million, almost all of whom survived, many of whom now live in the U.S.

>Not to mention your fellow lefty, Pol Pot, are you trying to do it agai

It was the Vietnamese who got rid of Pol Pot. After they did, the U.S. supported him.

A Common Sense Approach
What I'm saying is: the world is changing as technology advances. What made sense in the past, a degree of isolationism for example, isn't always a viable policy in the 21st century. As individuals, we should re-evaluate the extent of privacy the laws guarantee everybody. Civilization's technological achievements provide us with tools that can be used to keep people safer, fight terrorists, arrest criminals, prevent crime, and foster the improvement of society.

The Fourth Amendment
Agreed, that isolation is no longer possible. If bird flu breaks out in Bangkok, by next month it's in Salt Lake City.

And we should always be re-evaluating our laws and basic freedoms, to see what's working well and what is outmoded.

For me, fourth amendment rights are not yet outmoded. And we seem as a nation all too ready to jettison them in our panic over terrorism. Too many people just say lock'em up, and throw away the key. Not that many are saying maybe we should have a trial first, and see whether they've actually done anything.

Many in fact acknowledge our prisoners without names haven't done anything. They think they may be about to do something though, and that's enough for us. And so we begin work on building our permanent population of political prisoners.

Vigilance would have been a good starting point
"Lib, does it not occur to you that that's just what we were doing on 9/11, responding to a declaration of total war with cops and timidity?"

I can't help but point this out. Prior to 9/11 Richard Clarke, a former administration holdover, was "running around with his hair on fire" trying to get someone worked up over the threat of Islamist terrorism, which he knew was real. No one in the Bush Admin even returned his phone calls. Finally, they reassigned him to the computer crime desk, just to get rid of him.

Meanwhile what was that August 8 memo called? "Terrorists determined to use planes?" Something like that?

Yet no action was taken. And during the 9/11 Commission hearings, Condi testified that yes, Mr Bush was told about all these things. But he was not told they were "actionable intelligence"-- that is, that it was up to him to order that something be done about them.

So nothing was done. I guess this was Bill Clinton's doing.

No Subject
Roy, I take the trouble to reply thoroly, not because I think you're capable of understanding, but show any other readers that your characterization of my points is incorrect.

- - - -
But Don, the good guys have been winning and winning and winning for the past century. Anf they have just brought us to where we are now.
- - -

1) Where we are now, Roy, is in a great place. If you don't know that, you don't know much. We're richer and more advanced than ever, along with many other western developed nations that benefit from our invention of constitutional democracy and love of freedom.

- - - - -

I would submit that what most needs to win is the rule of law. If we are to counter the enemy's death squads with out own, and accomodate our consciences to the massive numbers of civilian casualties caused by our side, what makes us morally superior to our worst enemies?

- - - - -
2) This is the sophomoric 'reasoning' I discussed in my last post. We are and will be physically and morally superior because we will win a war, not of our choosing, foisted upon the rest of us by dedicated mass murderers who will and are suffering immensely along with many innocent bystanders. It's not complicated.

- - - - -

Besides, there's an order of magnitude involved. The combined activities of Al Qaeda and every other Islamist terrorist outfit on earth are as a mouse to our mighty elephant. We cause an immensely greater degree of destruiuction around the world than they do with their puny car bombings, etc. So how are we improving the situation?
- - - -

3) Closer to the truth, but it doesn't change the moral equation. When a weak but vicious party commits atrocities and starts a war, his guilt is not allayed by the fact that he is weak. He should be dealt with swiftly for the sake of justice and to discourage others with similar tendencies.

- - - -

Undermining the rule of law between nations is the single most harmful response we can make in the "war against terror". Because the fact of our doing so makes international cooperation break down, and promotes the very anarchy we say we are against.
- - - -

4) Roy, there is no, repeat, no, rule of law between nations. Each is sovereign and responsible for its own defense. Unless you're referring to treaties, which are explicitly and actively rejected and negated by the enemy. If your ancestors' reacted to threats the way you do, and recommend, you wouldn't exist.

- - - -
Better to hold the high ground, so the billions of people in the nonaligned nations can see a clear choice between good and evil, instead of just between the mightier and weaker
- - - - -

5) Arguing with you and Lem is like wrestling with a pig. Both you and the pig get muddied up; but the pig likes it.

If you find this so distasteful, why not shut up?
All of what you write circles around the point.

All you keep doing is yelling "Threat! threat!!"

The proint is, nobody denies that there's a threat. Nobody is saying we should surrender to Al Qaeda, or do nothing. The idea is that what we do be proportional to the threat, effective, and consistent with our values. But every time these ideas are brought forward, you just yell "threat! threat!!" again.

>5) Arguing with you and Lem is like wrestling with a pig. Both you and the pig get muddied up; but the pig likes it.

If it's so unpleasant, by all means find another use for your valuable time.

reality time - - - -
The South Vietnamese lost the war, not the Democrats. We dropped more bombs on Vietnam than we did on Germany and Japan combined. 2 million Vietnamese died. After years of support and training and everything else, the S. Vietnames were not able to stand alone. That is not the fault of the democrats.
- - - -
Lem, the peace treaty inluded 1) a provision by the US to aid the South with logistics, plus Naval and Air action as needed 2) a provision by the North not to invade the South.

Both promises to the South were broken, respectively, by the Democrats and by the Communists, who were backed by the Russian and Chinese empires. And you blame the South for losing the war? Please! Take some responsibility.
- - - -

>creating the boat people and "reeducation" camps for millions.

The boat people were mostly ecoomic refugees: we have "boat people" from hait and Mexico coming in continuously. The reeducation camps had at most a half-million, almost all of whom survived, many of whom now live in the U.S.

- - - -

Touche, you got me there. I was adding the boat people to the concentration camps, and other retributions. The boat people were actually and by definition political refugees fleeing for their lives, and a great many died in the process. However, to compare their suffering and that of the South to Mexico and Haiti shows you do not understand the subject, or, you are deliberately trying to mislead.
- - - - -

>Not to mention your fellow lefty, Pol Pot, are you trying to do it agai

It was the Vietnamese who got rid of Pol Pot. After they did, the U.S. supported him.
- - - -
To say that the US supported mass murderer Pol Pot, is worse than a lie. But he was a man of the left, in the mass murdering tradition of your other lefty heros Mao, Stalin and Hitler. How do you sleep at night?

Oops!
I though I was going to probably agree with you and move on; then you just had to step in it.

The South lost the war because all aid and financing to SV was severely slashed by 1974. no more weapons, food aid or medical aid to the south while the north continued to receive massive aid from Russia and China.

Who cut the purse strings (hint: dems controlled congress!!)

Boat people from vietnam were mostly political refugees buddy. Wrong again!! And the re-education camps were far more numerous than you have been led to believe. Yes, a majority survived, but many died very brutally as well. it was nearly 20 years before the Vietnamese would even consider allowing Americans any leeway to see the country. Even now, the Government is very wary of U.S. media.

You are right on Pol.

Job security and the Dermatologist...no one ever gets cured...
Chester is forever producing really well written, bad ideas.

If the sovereign governments of the world someday become too ashamed to protect us from serious "stateless" threats then we will have a much more serious problem than the threat of organized crime. Look, MI6, CIA, KGB and Mossad are not going to outsource their livelihood. They might hire individual assets but the idea that they will engage another organization to conduct intelligence gathering or special operations is just silly.

In the United States our domestic police departments seem to "make their numbers" arresting small time drug "transporters". Of course, this activity fills up our prisons with non-violent citizens and costs all of us a lot of money. There is a limit to how much more of this we can afford.

However, it is possible that federal, state and local governments will seek to justify expanded operations chasing the shadows of small terrorist groups or individuals in a paranoid manner employing Gestapo methods and intruding further into our civil liberties.

IRS already has us all scared to death with their habit of unprovoked audits and egregious misbehavior. Imagine how much more threatening routine interrogations by the FBI might be. "If you have nothing to hide, then you have nothing to fear." That's really a load. If they've got nothing then they just make stuff up.

It may be impossible to prevent most acts of terror by a small group of determined anarchists or unbalanced individuals. Just as it is practically impossible to keep individuals from crossing our borders.

It does not matter very much to the people who are harmed what motivation is declared to justify any such violence. Today's "cause celebre" will be replaced by tomorrow's. The problem is not really Communism or Islam. Cripes! Some of my Irish brothers were being terrorists because they did not like any part of their island under the sovereignty of the UK. Or maybe it was a Catholic/Protestant thing. Or maybe they just needed something to be angry about and ultimately to justify their otherwise pointless criminal behavior.

Urges regarding such behavior are a predictable part of the normal biology for a statistically significant number of us. Just like a great deal of the benign stupidity that occurs. Drunk driving, misbehavior involving automobiles (generally), drug abuse, domestic violence, compulsive gambling, playing with "unloaded" guns, unprotected casual sex, etc. There is no end to anti-social and self-destructive foolishness. Human nature.

If the role of government is to write new laws and enforce them then this is precisely what politicians and agencies will do. As external threats to sovereignty drift into history our crisis managers will find new problems to solve. Because that is what they are good at. Of course, such a target-rich arena as universal human misbehavior is very attractive for law enforcement. (Just as Michael Jackson's face was irresistable for his surgeons. "Oh, Michael, we need to fix this!")

If strong central government eventually means such severe intrusions into our personal lives that these activities become so abhorrent (to voters) that the government must hire intelligence mercenaries to watch us and private special operations (death squads) to execute citizens in the depth of night then living under weak governments and developing our own security infrastructure will start to sound better.

If my Big Brother is such a bully that he beats me up and takes my lunch money...that's when I move away. But if he trys to send his friends after me...that's when I get ugly.

Not going to happen, Chester. You're a good writer, though. Try novels!

more of the same
If we had bombed, we might have put off the end of south vietnam by another few months, killing another 100,000 Vietnamese. The bottom line was the S. Vietnamese government, even though we left it a big air force and an abundantly equipped army, folded up and blew away. If you want to talk about broken treaties, there were more than enough to go around.

>The boat people were actually and by definition political refugees fleeing for their lives, and a great many died in the process.

That's not what the Hong Kong government found when it repatriated them, after interviews. As for "a great many," 2 million Vietnamese died in the war. That's a great many.

> However, to compare their suffering and that of the South to Mexico and Haiti shows you do not understand the subject, or, you are deliberately trying to mislead.

I suggest you visit Haite before saying this.

Regarding Cambodia: the US undermined the Sihanouk government, supported the coup that widened the war into Cambodia. It is a simple fact that it was the Vietnamese who got rid of Pol Pot. Subsequently the Chinese tried to invade Vietnam, making a totally mockery of the domino rationale for the war. And it is also a fact that after Pol Pot was expelled from Cambodia, the US supported (in parallel with the Chinese and the Thai government) continued military actions against the Vietnamese-backed Cambodian government by Pol Pot and others.

Brutal and immediate measures...
Don,

What exactly is it that you want stamped out? The current anarchists or all anarchy forever? And if we continue to have anarchists generation after generation each with his own "cause celebre" regardless of your summary brutality then we must, indeed, become a nation occupied as a police state. Great for the police. Really bad for us.

In that scenerio the government tramples all over its "life, liberty, health and property" social contract with our citizens. We would thereby have the "natural right" to revolt. Fresh violence would be justified and motivated rather than discouraged.

There must be limits to the paranoia we allow the sovereign to indulge himself in. Our parents fought World War II so that we would not need to live under Imperial Japan or the German Gestapo. Strong central governments (including ours) have a really bad tendency to overreach and put citizens who are imagined threats into prison camps.

America has already bought into the idea that all these young men in prison today are keeping us safe from drugs. War on Drugs, indeed. Those are your fellow citizens in prison, and that is your money keeping them there. Are we any safer from the violence of the drug business or the threat of drugs themselves? Is there any hope that this approach will ever work? Alright, then.

Now you want them listening to your phone calls, Don? Taking brutal and immediate measures. (With or without due process.) Because you have nothing to hide...you have nothing to fear? You really don't know them very well, do you?

The rule of law
"Roy, I take the trouble to reply thoroly, not because I think you're capable of understanding, but show any other readers that your characterization of my points is incorrect."

This is one of the snippiest comments I've ever read here. I suppose we should be glad you don't post more often.

"Where we are now, Roy, is in a great place. If you don't know that, you don't know much. We're richer and more advanced than ever, along with many other western developed nations that benefit from our invention of constitutional democracy and love of freedom."

Where we are now is in a chronic state of war. For the past hundred years our technology has been harnessed in the service of assisting groups of humanity in their quest to dominate the other groups. If we are truly to make any progress we have to break this paradigm. That's what I was referring to.

"This [the notion that mankind needs to uphold the notion of the rule of law] is the sophomoric 'reasoning' I discussed in my last post. We are and will be physically and morally superior because we will win a war, not of our choosing, foisted upon the rest of us by dedicated mass murderers who will and are suffering immensely along with many innocent bystanders. It's not complicated."

The incident that propelled us into our current war without end was a suicide attack on us, perpetrated by nineteen people. This was hardly the war of the worlds. But instead of treating it as a matter on a par with other militias that commit acts of terror we decided to turn it into a war on all Islam. At least that's how many see it. It was a blunder on our part, and it is coming bak on us now in Iraq.

"When a weak but vicious party commits atrocities and starts a war, his guilt is not allayed by the fact that he is weak. He should be dealt with swiftly for the sake of justice and to discourage others with similar tendencies."

We sent quite a message when we grew bored in Afghanistan and gave up the chase for OBL, preferring instead to crush a country that had nothing to do with 9/11. Again, adherence to an international standard of behavior could have put us on the moral high ground.

It didn't happen that way. We convinced the world instead that (1) we don't hold the opinions of the rest of the world in any high regard and (2) we're militarily unable to ccupy two medium sized countries effectively. That's not a good message to send out to the world.

"Roy, there is no, repeat, no, rule of law between nations. Each is sovereign and responsible for its own defense. Unless you're referring to treaties, which are explicitly and actively rejected and negated by the enemy. If your ancestors' reacted to threats the way you do, and recommend, you wouldn't exist."

This is retrograde thinking. In 1945 the nations of the world were ready to create and adhere to a strong body of international law. As the strongest nation, we were to have led the way. Instead we've done everything in our power to subvert this rule of laws, not of men.

Currently we have abrogated virtually every international treaty the United States has ever entered into-- unilaterally and without notice. And of course the adherence to international law is just a recognition that when we sign a treaty, our word is good. Now they all know it isn't.

Even if we get a better president next time around, and he or she puts everything straight again, resetting the clock to 1999, the nations of the world will know we're only an election away from once more becoming a rogue state.

There is only law when the strongest among us agree to adhere to it. And we're not ready to do that yet. It's a shame so many more will have to die because of the intransigence of the world's only superpower.

Follow the Money!
Legal liability must be more vigorously applied.

I love your anti-Qaeda idea, but it is too much against rule of law. We need better enforcement of legal liability within current law, not Dirty Harry.

The oil-rich funders of terrorism need to be held accountable for the losses and damages which their support for terrorism entails.

Saudi Arabia should be held liable for the 3000 or so deaths in the WTC attack -- at $10 000 000 per death, or $30 billion, plus 2 times $7 billion for building construction.

Their liability needs to be proven in court -- and if the Saudi gov't refuses to pay, later enforcement costs (say $100 billion for 10 year occupation) would also be added.

different subject - - -
forest, I agree with most of what you say. I'm not so worried about my phone, or e-mail, messages being examined, tho it's not a pleasant thot. I am annoyed by the fact that the government confiscates ~half the money I make. That makes me a half-slave. I agree that drug laws are a curse on the nation, as prohibition was. Adult citizens should not be jailed and kept at my, (our) expense because they insist, against our advice, on poisoning themselves.

Now, there is no liberty without life. We (not for the first time in history and prehistory, are under attack by vicious, brutal folks who want you, me, and our friends and relatives dead. The only armed forces available to take out the enemy are "government" armed forces. When we have libertarian armed forces available, I'll go for that. But we must not sit around spouting libertarian platitudes and multiculturalism while being destroyed by the bad guys. We must take them out by whatever method, brutal or not, is effective; in order to survive. Then we can philosophize later, when we are safe. Cheers, Don

The bad guys wear black hats
Stepping away from the endless tit for tat. We lost the V war not the dems not the south US and we lost the day we got involved.

The issues here is, how would you convince the rest of the world that this group was independent, fighting the bad guys and how would it be controlled. The author hasn't even addressed these issues. Without coming up with real ways to address these issue. Then the author may as well say we will genetically engineer superman to fight crime.
Australia a close partner in the "war on terror" will not let US presidential security agents wear firearms while in country. What makes you think they would let some force outside the law to operate within it. Some of you guy’s really have a wacky worldview. Our liberal party who are the major conservative party in the Australian government has an attorney general who is a member of Amisty international. This is a man who just watched the spiritual leader of the terror group that set off the Bali bombs which killed hundreds of people get out of jail through lack of evidence. Now why was there a lack of evidence? Well the bomb maker had agreed to testify against him, but he is now in the custody of the US who refused Australia and Indonesian request to send him back so he could give evidence.

Now why would Australia endorse America secret police?

Rainbow Six
Tom Clancy has the model.

Read the first book.

Justice is well dispensed in this book.

distaste
At least there are some points which is better than the ad hominum, false logic tactic you always resort to. You have been mocked by others before on this forum for it, why continue. Also re your comment on not denying there's a threat. I just heard Ted Turner on TV a few weeks back clearly stating that he thought there was no threat, no war on terror, and he seems quite typical of liberals. It the talk of the weak and fearful.

Let God sort them out...
I agree that we should fight a war and then be done with it. We give sovereign nations the opportunity to behave and when they step over a clear line in the sand we pound the living bejesus out of them according to the Powell Doctrine and then we let them try again.

With Iraq this meant that we needed to actually capture Saddam Hussein to effect the regime change (objective) and he probably needed to actually be executed before that country has a chance to embrace a new strongman. They need a firm hand but that is none of our business. Find a nice corner of Afghanistan, keep 50,000 guys in there all the time, call it Okinawa and stay 100 years. Get off the streets. Just stop going out on missions. Tomorrow morning. No announcements. Just walk into the Ready Room wipe everything off the board and go find a cold one. And a good steak.

We cannot drive ourselves crazy over here waiting for the next Timothy McVeigh. That sort of thing is going to happen from time to time for no particular reason other than it's consistent with human nature.

This is not to say that we should not stay on top of any career anarchists large enough to be funded and building training camps or recruiting young people. Our CIA should be very good. Of course, they should execute their own (wet work) operations. And we do not need to know about it.

They should also be able to track down those morons who launch computer viruses. I hate those guys. (Is that prejudicial?). Happy New Year.

tired old theory?
Do you mean my theory that terrorists can be beaten? If so, does that mean you think they cannot be beaten? Do you then advocate a policy of capitulating to them? My example about the Brits was to complement them. They are very clever, and experienced at infiltration and outsmarting subversives and terrorists. I guess they even have some of the recent islamo-facist groups infiltrated. So I never advocated flattening of Belfast as you said. My other examples also pointed out how terrorists can be beaten. But I stand by my point about how these groups see how weak the west has become. Much of the talk around this forum is of the fearful and weak who would readily give in. Or do you mean there is really strong and courageous resistance to the guys who issued fatwas against us?

Manchester's paradox and western philosophy of government
I recently re read The Social Contract by Rousseau. He said specifically that a brief suspension of the rule of law is ok for the sake of security. But it has to be intentionally brief: Give a man the power of a tyrant for no more and no less than exactly two years. Let him whip things into shape, then retire into obscurity. It's best for the tyrant to be a guy who doesn't even want the job.

Based on that principle, Anti-Quaeda could acceptably work outside the rule of law for the sake of taking down Al-Quaeda. But Anti-Quaeda would have to be very carefully crafted in such a way that it is an exception; the moment Al-Quaeda dissolves, Anti-Quaeda dissolves and leaves no precedent for any such future exception to the rule of law we want to preserve.

I say all this not because I am comfortable with the idea. But because a philosopher said it, I would be open to considering it. The main question in my mind right now is, what would John Locke say? I always liked Locke better than Rousseau anyway, and I haven't re read Locke yet this year.

distasteful
Turner's quotes were wildly misrepresented: you look them up. And the point stands. Nobody (with the possible exception of some loons who think 9/11 was a hoax) is saying Islamic extremism is not a threat. The disagreement is over the steps to take to combat it. Reducing it a chest thumping I'm tougher than anyone contest is idiotic and irrelevant, boasting instead of thinking.

As per, it's not what I said, Dietmar
"Do you mean my theory that terrorists can be beaten? If so, does that mean you think they cannot be beaten? Do you then advocate a policy of capitulating to them?"

You're going to have to snap out of this black and white world view, Dietmar.

Your model of Germany's example in WW2 and your positive description of Germans at that time as a 'warrior race' is not something most people would see as something to emulate when fighting a very different type of war - against terrorism. Similarly, everything else you say is imbued with this martial philosophy. Anyone who doesn't adopt this thinking is variously described as a wimp, post-modernist, pacifist, communist, terrorist supporter, coward etc etc.

Maybe these 'wimps' can actually see that defeating terrorism, insurgents, national liberation movements or whatever else requires more than just greater physical force than your opponent. To refer to Ireland, this is something the Brits had in abundance (try to imagine troop numbers of 4,000,000 and paramilitary police of 2,000,000 on the streets of the States and you'll understand the occupation force in Northern Ireland.) And did they win militarily at any time in 30+ years? No. Even the Brits admitted that they couldn't win by force alone. They had to create institutions, make alliances, divide the potential supporters of the IRA, isolate the republican movement, con them, lull them into a false sense of security etc etc
Lets look at the repressive policies:
SAS shoot-to-kill squads, internment without trial, snatch squads, collusion with loyalist terrorists (some of whom, like the Shankill Butchers were as bad as Zarqawi), purpose built estates for APV access, CCTV on estates, harassment and shootings of Catholics, torture and repression, censorship, discrimination, voting restrictions, and a biased media and bi-partisan political parties. Did this defeat the IRA? Not a chance because every repressive measure led to more resistance. The Brits realised they could only use repression hand-in-hand with the softly softly approach i.e. a carrot and stick. The carrot would be policies designed to persuade the potential IRA recruits and supporters that their future lay elsewhere i.e. as part of the UK.

On every occasion in history when the Brits used only force there would be a halt to hostilities then the violence and resistance would return with a vengeance because those that had suffered would take stock and return to the field a few years down the line.

Let's break this down, Dietmar, so that it's nice and simple to understand.

You propose (almost daily) that war against terrorists shouldn't be held back by legal niceties, ethics or the need to persuade the communities that the terrorists come from that you are the 'good guys' but just to win militarily and as fast as possible. It implies that faced with overwhelming force the opposition will just pack up and go home, if they haven't already been killed. Undoubtedly this would be so. The point to be stressed, however, is that the inevitable 'collateral damage', random arrests and/or shootings, and being hostile to the local populace would only create more recruits, not less. Anything other than your strategy does not mean that it is appeasement, but rather an intelligent assessment of what is required to win in the long-term.
Carrot and stick would be more intelligent rather than shock and awe.

John Locke...
Life, liberty, health and property. If the sovereign does not perform according to this tacit social contract then the people have the right of rebellion.

Problem is, John Locke wrote this in the 17th Century when the people had some reasonable hope of pulling off a rebellion. Warfare was still an edged weapon, parade ground affair dominated by infantry and supported by horse cavalry. Rifled barrels were not even in the mix. The American Revolution and the French Revolution were not yet a twinkle in anyone's eye.

Today, the idea that civilians would think about or even want to overthrow a sovereign government is remote. The most we might ever do is to stand outside the parliament building and make noise until the government starts killing people or steps down. John Locke's posture might no longer directly apply.

Nevertheless, our government is way out of line if it trys to justify its continued expansion by inventing a "clear and present danger" that justifies spending our tax dollars to take our civil liberties away or to (whatever is anyone thinking?) hire mercenary organizations to commit any such autrocities.

Yes, a government might declare martial law. But there better be a very good reason. Or...we'll all go stand in the street and talk loud. They hate that.

to casius re appsmt
I know now, you thought the nazzzis gave us a choice like if we are conscientious objectors we can go work in the Volkswagen factory, or maybe in the old folks home, right?
I realize that mostly americans have no idea about how it was then, and don't realize the differences between colaborators etc. These guys you praise so much were actually there before the war, and were communists and didn't just want to fight germans, but wanted to make the country into a commie one. Some countries did indeed have resistance fighters who were not commie. For example I know the british went over to Norway and trained some of their guys in stuff like sabotage and silent killing etc. But that wasn't the case in most of eastern europe. So sorry I didn't committ suicide for your sake. And now I'm wonder how dissapointed you must with the Danes who just totally capitulated without a fight and without any resistance. Did you also want them to commit suicide, or just me?

re: Brits fighting
But it doesn't have to be so simple for me to understand. You think that instead of enemies to be vanquished, we have friends whose righeous grievances have not been totally adrees yet to the satisfaction of all stakeholders involved. And with more touchy feely sensitivity training for to better understand the real meaning of jihad, we may be able to, after having more talks about talks, come to an amenable agreement with those who are sorn to our destruction. But re the Brits, I said I admired their cleverness and fighting spirit, but I still think they are going soft too. And in your paragrahp above, "whenever the brits used force" is not even true either. Do you remember how they fought in the jungles of Malaya, Bornea, etc. and then effectively dealt with the intrusions and interference of the indonesians in that fight? That was about the last time the Brits really fought, and they didn't do it like with the IRA and the marquis of queensbury rule book. And the deciselvy won and it didn't create millions of backlash to come and bit them in the assss later as you suggest. So if you want to resolve to be irresolute, be decisive in your indecisivness, keep your backbone of jello, and balls of marshmellows; then you're going to lose. That's unless you let the remaining strong americans really fight.

Dietmar
Apologies for the delay.

1 - My point concerning Ireland was to point out that the Brits have effectively emerged victorious in the occupied six counties. Would they have won through sheer force? Yes, for a time, but not in the long term. Now, they have defeated their most implacable enemy - the republican movement - by guile and cunning, and a considerable degree of physical force. The republicans have been incorporated into constitutional politics and there is no thirst for a united Ireland in any part of the island. As far as the Brits are concerned, job done.

2 - YOU introduced the Brits and IRA into the discussion so I pointed to the fact that that conflict was very different from any war against Islamic extremism, hence my comment that your theory doesn't always fit in every situation. Whereas governments can negotiate with the IRA or radicals in former colonies, it is impossible to do the same with cross-border nihilists like Al-Qaida. Thus, there is little point even considering talking to them. I have NEVER said anything remotely like negotiating with OBL etc so don't put words in my mouth to deliberately distort what I've said.
The situation is different again in Iraq. The occupying forces have recognised that all insurgents, with the exception of Al-Qaida, can be negotiated with. This is evidence that talks are part of a political and military strategy. Whether this is just to gain a breathing space, to gain intelligence or to bring a group into constituitional politics matters not.

3 - Your point re: Malaya is simplistic. British counter-insurgency was part of a two-pronged policy. Military force was used to defeat the Stalinists so as to enable a moderate and more friendly leadership in the anti-colonial struggle, as in all colonies. There is a world of difference with the Irish question. In the former, Britain reailsed it had to extricate itself from a colony with the least embarrassment. (Hardly a position of strength.) In the case of the latter, Northern Ireland is part of the British state so there was no question of leaving while saving face. They had to preserve their writ in thr 6 counties because their writ in the rest of the UK would have been called into question.
(The Malayan occupation is more similar to the situation in Iraq. Both occupiers want to extricate successfully themselves but will only leave when they have guaranteed a pro-Western government is securely in power.)

4 - "That was about the last time the Brits really fought, and they didn't do it like with the IRA and the marquis of queensbury rule book."
You now seem to be saying the Brits didn't really fight in Ireland. Previously, you were congratulating them on their success but because I've demonstrated Britain didn't solely use brute force you now criticise them.
"So if you want to resolve to be irresolute, be decisive in your indecisivness, keep your backbone of jello, and balls of marshmellows; then you're going to lose."
Leaving aside your childish sniping and name-calling here's two questions for you, Dietmar:
Does Britain still occupy Irish territory?
Does Britain occupy Malayan territory?
The answers should point to the fact that political manoevering is just as important as pyhsical force.

(By the way, you congratualted the Brits on successfully infiltrating the IRA re: "We've always know how to take out terrorists. The Brits were able to infiltrate the IRA,". This is laughable. The IRA was never seriously infiltrated. One member of the Army Council, a few middle ranking volunteers and a tiny number of ordinary foot soldiers were touts. Here's a quote from a conservative commentator, Clare Hollingwoth, the Daily Telelgraph defence correspondent, speaking on the subject in 1977: "The [British] units are growing more experienced in anti-insurgency and doubtless too, their intelligence is better; but it is difficult to understand why the British Army which penetrated the Malaysian communist and rebel organisation has been unable to plant successful agents in an organisation whose members share the same round eyes, pale skins and cultural background." Every Irish nationalist knew why they coundn't - the Brits were the terrorists in their eyes!)

brtis etc.
Jeez, OK already. I only meant before that when weak liberals say terrorism can't be beaten, I said they could be. Then I just gave some examples of that, praising the brits, then said that they are also getting soft than there were before. I know all fights, places etc are different, but the point is still valid. For example, some other time i also mentioned how the brits were able to surpress the insurgency in Iraq too, with a few soldiers in short pants looking like the crocodile hunter. They also won against all the uprisings in Egypt and Sudan. I meant that it takes political will and expertise. So I meant too that I used to admire the brits but now lament they go soft. But on this site fearful appeasers keep saying that you can't win such conflicts, and those are guys who mostly never fought anywhere anyhow, but at least I had years of experience fighting ruthless dedicated terrorists so I do have some idea about that stuff. But I know I have crap English so often don't explain right.

Dietmar
Must have missed this one.

I've no idea if Americans have any idea what it was like then. I'm British.

I am aware of the situation in Germany between the wars and of the KPD and SPD's shameful capitulation before the N*zis at the start of 1933. Their lack of united action, and particularly the lack of resistance to the Brownshirt demonstration at Karl Liebnicht House, gave the German Right the green light to install old Adolf as Chancellor. I completely disagree that the KPD leadership either could or wanted to take power. Since they were merely a tool of Soviet foreign policy their policies and tactics were subject to Moscow's priorities.

I'm not suggesting that you or your ilk were given an easy choice but you certainly seem to have relished the opportunity of killing people you thought were communists. I presume the N*zis gave you the information as to who were the commies. Given that they wanted to crush any resistance, I assume they'd tell you any old c*ap about who were and who weren't Reds.

Re: Eastern Europe - most people who wanted to resist the brutality of the N*zis had to join the only fighting force willing to take on the task - the communist-led partisans. (As I've said earlier, the Right, particularly in EE, were mostly authoritarians and only too willing to collaborate with the Germans.) If people wanted to put their anti-fascism into practice that's what they did. I have nothing but admiration for those who fought against overwhelming odds against the horrfic brutality of the fascists. I raised the subject of your wartime record because you constantly harp on about people being appeasers, merely because they disagree with their govenment's policies, when your record is nothing to be proud of.

Aqui los locos plactican sin preocupacion con realidad.
Se hacen sus proprio mundo de cuentas de hadas y equivocaciones. ¡Bienvenido!

me and my ilk
I'm glad you don't think we were given an easy choice because now I don't have to worry that you're still angry at the the guys on those british owned island like jersey, or guernsey etc. didn't fight to the death either. I glad you didn't want them to committ suicide either. Also, I don't say people are appeasers merely because they disagree with their government's polices, as you said, but because they are appeasers all on their own. Also, re you saying we killed people who we only 'thought' were commies, or only what who the nazzis said were. But I guess you did miss it that those guys were around even before the germans came in and we already knew they were commies, and that they wanted all our places to be like the soviets who we also knew about. So I'm not ashamed at all, we didn't like the naziis but at least they gave us free ammo and training, and that was much preferable to suiciding ourselves. If after the war the americans would have recruited me to continue the fight, THEN I would have been a volunteer and continued the fight. But too bad they and churchill at yalta betrayed us on that, so the commies did win, and really took over for all those years. And that wrecked so many peoples lives, who are still sore about it all.

Re: you and your ilk, Dietmar
There was quite a bit of collaboration on the Channel Islands - from women fraternising with occupying troops, informing on neighbours leading to the internment in concentration camps of 'undesirables', and the use of the mythical 'friendly British bobby' to police the population on behalf of the N*zis. Shame on them!
Those that collaborated have to deal with their actions for the rest of their lives. I hope they can live with themselves.
If Operation Overlord had been successful I can well imagine a number of British politicians who would have done the occupiers' dirty work for them.

As for the areas that you operated in, perhaps you could say where this was. Since much of Eastern Europe was under authoritarian rule and Communist and even Socialist parties were outlawed, the only communists not in exile would have been operating clandestinely so how could they, or their activities, have been known to the general population? Also, assuming they were open about their activities, how would you know, beyond your immediate area, who was or wasn't a communist, trade unionist, socialist etc and who wasn't? Given that anti-Semitism, and the conflation of Jews with communism, was widespread in the region, it seems unlikely that the occupiers, local authorities, and spiteful locals wouldn't have fed you information that led to the killing of Jews. I don't know. Perhaps you have an opinion on that.

I know we've drifted off the subject somewhat but I find the period interesting. I read a book (Oskar Hippe's "... und unsere Fahn' ist rot") a couple of years ago by a revolutionary who lived through and participated in the Spartacist uprising, the resistance to the Kapp Putsch, the whole Weimar period, was imprisoned by the N*zis, became a slave labourer then was imprisoned for 7 years by the Soviets in East Germany after the war for agitating against the new occupiers. A fascinating life. I know you would disagree with his politics, as I do with yours, but it's an interesting snapshot of the period at street level. There's a few anecdotes of him fighting with dictatorial foremen, the Freikorps, the Stalhelm, police, the Black Reichswar, the N*zis and even KPD officials. I know how much you like a bit of 'rough and tumble' so, although you'd be on the other side of the barricades, you might appreciate it. ;-)

To get back to the point, how do you define 'appeasement' when related to the present situation? I'm just worndering whether I fall into the category.

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