Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Finally!

Could we, at long last, finally be seeing a shift away from the incessant "fear mongering" that we have experienced, over the past 6 years?

"In contrast to Tony Blair, the new British leader has offered no emotive sound bites, no promises of tough new laws and no talk of a “war on terror” since the failed attacks in London and Glasgow."
Obviously, until Bush is gone, this will not be the new "norm" and even then there are no guarantees, but it is refreshing to see a more leveled approach to this issue.
I heard a report yesterday that Brown intends to stop using terms like, "the War on Terror" and "Muslim Extremists". All I can say is, it's about time that a Leader started to bring us back to a more reasonable view of what we face in the world today. As it relates to the perpetrators of terrorism, his intent is to name them by affiliation, Al-Qaeda, etc.
Approaching terrorists as criminals, seems infinitely more effective to me. Isn't that how we approach this issue here? In spite of all the blustery rhetoric from Harper and Day, at the end of the day, it's an intelligence and policing issue, not a "war".
I hope his sanity will catch on and that other leaders will stop their endless rants and childish repetition of vacuous "tag lines".
We all know what is going on around the world and I have no doubt that the media will continue to inform us as events occur. Having leaders who can put those events into context, without the histrionics, is long overdue.

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi:

If it's not "the War on Terror" and "Muslim Extremists" then what is it? I know that you will not answer me directly you will answer with another question but it's worth a shot. I will not be surprised you are going to say criminals. I just would like you to know that the new PM in England is not going to pull out of Iraq or Afghanistan he will continue he said so himself. If that is not the war on terror then what is it?

Thanks:
John

knb said...

The term, "War on Terror", is a meaningless term, designed to be a rallying cry, that the "coalition of the willing" could get behind.

There is no one cohesive unit that said coalition, is at war with. There are a number of disparate groups, with different names/identities and motives.

That said, to lump it all into military terms, is misleading to say the very least. It is common knowledge that this cannot be won by military means alone.

We are fighting these various groups in different ways, here at home and abroad. By using a tabloid term like, "war on terror", insinuates that we are on a war footing at home and keeps everyone afraid.

As for the term, "Muslim Extremists", it unnecessarily paints an entire group of people with one brush. It shows a profound lack of insight as to who each of these groups are and what their aims are.

Calling each group by their name and clarifying their intent, is infinitely more honest and in my view, does not present these groups as this huge monolithic power, which they are not.

By calling them what they are, in my opinion, you diminish their power. You can more clearly illustrate that they are not part of a massive movement and show them to be the splinter groups that they are.

Anonymous said...

War on Terror? Terror isn't the enemy but merely a tactic. You don't wage war on a tactic and that should be obvious. Terrorism is a criminal act along the lines of piracy. It is most effectively fought through good police work. Most of the top al-Qaeda leaders that have been removed were captured that way. Oh sure, you can spot them and drop a 2,000 pound bomb on them, the military way, but then you transform them into martyrs and lose all the intelligence bounty you can obtain afterward.

John should define what the "war in Iraq" means to him. There was the war to topple Saddam; the war to eliminate the "dead-enders"; the war against the insurgents; the war against the terrorists; the war to put down the civil wars. It's endless and, ultimately, meaningless. You can't go into a country and fight everybody although Bush has shown you can sure try, try, try and try again. Afghanistan has now been transformed into an insurgency with a growing tinge of civil uprising. That means it's on the brink of becoming another civil war. Great.

No, it's minds that think you can fight a "war on terror" that ultimately doom the whole business to failure.

Anonymous said...

Hi KNB:

First of all "the War on Terror" is not a meaningless term it is to you because you don't agree
with it that's fine for you. Now as for "Muslim Extremists" it does not paint an entire group of people with one brush ok!
What it does is paint the EXTREMIST portion of the Muslim group with the same brush not an entire people c'mon that's stupid,you like to be political correctness and call them disparate groups, i on the other hand would like to call them for what they really are and that is Muslim Extremists it is common knowledge and you know it!!
Also i want to say one thing it is true that this can't be won by military means alone. That is why schools are being built in Afghanistan little girls for the first time are going to schools is it perfect of course not. When was the last time you mention the good things that happens in Afghanistan on your blog like school building for example? If it was for the left Nato would have never gone to Afghanistan and overthrow the taliban they would have wanted to negotiate
with them. Remember we tried that and it did not work when we ask for Osama bin Landen they refused. Simple we can't negotiate with them. Now if you can't understand this there is no use to continue our conversation.

Thanks:
John

Anonymous said...

War on Terror is one of the sound bites created by Frank Luntz, Bush and Harper's strategist.

knb said...

John, while I am grateful for the fact that in spite of you disagreeing with me, you keep your posts civil.

With respect to your final comment, I will never understand your point of view, because with respect, you only repeat standard conservative talking points.

They have no meaning and it's not just me saying this. Many who are far more conversant with the facts, who know the region, know the people and know the history, agree. (I'm not going to list them all here because I doubt you'll take the time to read them, but they are easily found on the web). I'm speaking about experts btw, not bloggers.

When I say meaningless, I mean such terms are meant to simplify and dumb down the real arguments. It's much easier to say "war on terror" than it is to dissect the intricacies of each group and fight.

"Muslim Extremist" is meant only to inflame. It has generated an awful lot of bigotry against an entire group, solely to bolster support for the "mission".

Schools, etc., are NOT being built in the area where Canadians are fighting and they are sure as hell not being built in Iraq.

Kudo's for the work being done in the north of Afghanistan, but it's apples and oranges when compared to the Panjwaii district. To suggest otherwise, is to be ill-informed.

To conclude John, it's an area that I am pretty passionate about and read as much as I can, (both sides).

For the record, when we, as a part of NATO, went to Afghanistan, I supported it. I like most people, was somewhat confused on the issue and was swept up in the mood of the day.

Since that time, I've spent time trying to understand the issues.

As it stands now, I have a different opinion, but I think we have to abide by our committment to stay until 2009, (though I'm not even sure that the mission couldn't be altered). After that, we've pulled our weight and then some and it's time to rotate out. If NATO chooses to stay, then they have to rotate another country in and imho, re-design the mission.

knb said...

anon @ 2:35, indeed it is a tactic.

I'm not quite sure how to get that across.

Perhaps we simply must realise that some simply do not want to understand the difference.

knb said...

anon @ 4:51, indeed. Maybe as time goes on, Luntz will look more like the dunce he is, to more people. Perhaps more people will realise that those who take his advice, Harper included, are more inclined to create distorted messages than they are dedicated to telling the truth.

We can live in hope.

Anonymous said...

Hi KNB:

You mentioned that you will never understand my point of view,because i only repeat standard conservative talking points. First this is what
i actually think about it.
It only seems that way because people on the right have the same opion
has i do. I did not type the article to convert you to the right of politics. I just gave my opion that's all. I could say the same thing about you,that you only repeat standard left wing talking points. I went to many left wing blogs or websites and it's almost a carbon copy of what you are saying. I'm on the Right and your on the left we will not agree that is for sure.

You also talked about
Schools,are NOT being built in the area where Canadians are fighting. I never said that they were
being built there,reason is simple the taliban are
there fighting us ( Nato ). You mentioned also about the work being done in the north of Afghanistan. That work is made possible because of Nato ( Canadian troops ) are doing in the south. Just a few years ago the Taliban controlled over 90% if not 95% not sure about that but i know it was more then 90%. Today as we speak they have been pushed down to the Panjwaii district. If nato leaves they will control the entire country again and all the good work in the north will be for not. Is that what you want i don't think so if not then how do you stop them? About schools being built in Iraq i'm not sure about it but i read somewhere that they are being built but i will have to do more reading on it. Experts i can find on the web that would agree with me just has much who would agree with you and i don't mean blogers.

Thanks:
John

Woman at Mile 0 said...

I sincerey hope this heralds real change knb

Red Tory said...

Good on Gordon Brown! What a sober and refreshing change from Tony Blair’s sanctimonious drivel. We should just treat these murderous fanatics like the criminals they are and stop legitimizing their “jihad” by acting like a bunch of arrogant jackasses in the Middle East, turning everything into some kind of ideological crusade as our own wingnuts would foolishly have us do.

Anonymous said...

Terrorism comes in different forms - street gangs and Mafia are terrorists.

To give the extremists any more stature is giving into them. They are common criminals and should be dealt with like common criminals.

In their minds, we are making them something special, almost like celebrities. We should treat them like the criminal scums they are and no more.

Anonymous said...

Hi Anonymous:

The last time i looked
street gangs and the Mafia
are not overthrowing governments all over the world so there is a huge
difference.

Thanks:
John

Anonymous said...

Do you work at being stupid John, or does it come naturally?