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We are winning the war on Terror? Not.
April 16, 2005 10:58 AM   Subscribe

Don't like what the annual report on International Terrorist activity says? Just kill it--forever (never mind that the law requires it) -- The State Department decided to stop publishing an annual report on international terrorism after the government's top terrorism center concluded that there were more terrorist attacks in 2004 than in any year since 1985, the first year the publication covered. ... other current and former officials charged that Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's office ordered "Patterns of Global Terrorism" eliminated several weeks ago because the 2004 statistics raised disturbing questions about the Bush's administration's frequent claims of progress in the war against terrorism. "Instead of dealing with the facts and dealing with them in an intelligent fashion, they try to hide their facts from the American public," ...

(Previous post on their lying report on 2003's incidents here)
posted by amberglow (64 comments total)

 
Not to be a pisser, but even tho I'm a newbie I come to metafilter to kinda get away from this political crap, ya know? If I wanted to discuss this latest outrage that doesn't register since the outrage meter has been pegged so long the solenoid is toast I'd go to dailykos, atrios, calpundit, or a dozen other sites. It's not like anything that unique is going to spring forth from the mefi community.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 11:06 AM on April 16, 2005


Heywood Mogroot, Keep your pisser to yourself.

I come here all the time to read/discuss this political crap, and get annoyed when there's too much artsy-fu-fu posts.
I can read it on DailyKOS, or DU or LGF, but I know there won't be any "discussion" there. Just crazed rantings.

Also, things like this need to be brought to people's attention, no sequestered to political sites.

I await the day when Bush, Cheney, et. al. get their well deserved perp walk.
posted by Balisong at 11:22 AM on April 16, 2005


I would like to know what is considered to be a terrorist attack. If attacks on US troops in Iraq and Afghanistan by insurgents are considered "terrorist attacks" then that could explain the rise. Anecdotally, I have not noticed many attacks in recent months that I consider suprising. Attacks like the Spanish train bombing, or the attacks in Indonesia and Turkey, as well as violence in the Middle East. Maybe this is because terrorism has diminished or perhaps the Western media is concentrating more on 'local' coverage (Jacko, Schaivo), or maybe I just haven't been paying attention.
posted by gagglezoomer at 11:28 AM on April 16, 2005


Heywood Mogroot - I am a new member as well, and I joined MetaFilter for just this type of discussion. I am glad things like this are brought to my attention because I could miss it otherwise, basically what Balisong said.
posted by Mrs. Green at 11:36 AM on April 16, 2005


Jesus says, "Thanks, Red States!"
posted by Mean Mr. Bucket at 11:42 AM on April 16, 2005


FLAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAMES!!

Just waiting for y2karl to jump onboard...

What I like about posts like this (and y2karl's as well) is that this is the type of thing buried by mega-media outlets in the current political environment.

Heywood, you don't like it, then don't read it, or post to it, or think about it. Go back to Friends re-runs instead. Or look at some funny pictures of keeeerazy puppies. There, feel better?
posted by AspectRatio at 11:42 AM on April 16, 2005


Do you really think the majority of the American electorate will care? The increased terror attacks are somewhere else. I can't count how many times I've heard supporters of the so-called "war on terror" say "better we fight them there than here."
posted by blendor at 11:43 AM on April 16, 2005


No information is better than good information, particularly when it's such dour information.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 12:18 PM on April 16, 2005


I would like to know what is considered to be a terrorist attack. If attacks on US troops in Iraq and Afghanistan by insurgents are considered "terrorist attacks" then that could explain the rise.

Detroit Free Press--According to Johnson and U.S. intelligence officials familiar with the issue, the National Counterterrorism Center reported 625 "significant" terrorist attacks in 2004. The 2003 figure was 175.

The totals didn't include attacks on U.S. troops in Iraq, which President George W. Bush as recently as Tuesday called "a central front in the war on terror."

posted by amberglow at 12:25 PM on April 16, 2005


Gagglezoomer: If you haven't heard about 'em, it's half your fault and half the fault of the domestic bias of mass media. Because there have been small attacks lately in Thailand, right before their New Years, and there have been huge attacks in Lebenon (where a former prime minister was killed).
posted by klangklangston at 12:27 PM on April 16, 2005


Typical.

But I do enjoy the political discussion. Dogma aside.

Metafilter is a decent place to discuss stuff in general - which includes politics.

Do you really think the majority of the American electorate will care?
They would if they weren't being lied to and decieved about the situation.

And of course even supposedly lefty types like Bill Mahr get sucked into the "were winning in Iraq with elections, etc" and the "fight them over there" talk.

Which is in a sense a valid strategy. Not one I support, but... you would rather have a hardened presence for the enemy to attack in their back yard that boosting security at home.
It's not because anyone in the administration is gung ho civil rights, but I'm sure they have at least one general who supports this morass who mentioned to them that the key to warfare is mobility.

That said I have plenty of issues with who the 'enemy' is, and the efficacity of troop bases in Iraq, etc. etc. (since it's those bases in Saudi which pissed Osama Bin Laden off in the first place).

But limiting the scope of the information negates the advantage of being a large organization - redundancy.
If only the folks at the top know what is going on re: terror - sorry: tear - then once they die off or leave or communications are cut, etc. no one else knows what the hell the situation is.

This of course is one of the many underlying reasons for freedom of speech and the need for truth and transparancy in government. Most particularly in a republic.

And it's why totalitarian systems always fall.

So even though BushCo continues to do outrageous things we should not become numb to it. This is organizational survival.
I for one enjoy the capitolist Republic system we have (conceding we have many flaws to take care of) and I don't want to see it fall into some sort of Stalinist state.

This'd be one of those red flags that we're headed toward suicide.
posted by Smedleyman at 12:36 PM on April 16, 2005


Wait, we're making more terrorists? There's MORE terrorism? What the heck!? Nobody said THAT might happen!
posted by kevspace at 12:51 PM on April 16, 2005


Thanks for these links, amberglow.
posted by homunculus at 12:55 PM on April 16, 2005


Thanks, Red States!

Can we please kill this, finally? Didn't anybody see those purple county-by-county maps? Sigh.
posted by rustcellar at 12:55 PM on April 16, 2005


Saw this on the front page of this morning's paper and laughed out loud. They're not even trying to hide the hypocrisy any more... there's no opposition that can do anything, really, so they are acting with total impunity.

The worst part is that everybody is aware of these acts, yet so few actually understand their significance. Does Joe Six-Pack care if some report doesn't come out? Who cares? But we know that a valuable asset to those who wish to monitor the state (our right as citizens) has just been arbitrarily removed. And without Joe Six-Pack's help, we can't do anything about it other than make noises which most of America will ignore.

In order for America to see what is happening, they need to hear the voice of dissent. But they will not listen to the voice of dissent because they don't see what is happening. Our only hope, unfortunately, is an incident worthy of impeachment or a win for the D's in 2008.

On preview - the red state thing does need to stop being a rallying cry, but it still carries a ring of truth - it is urban vs rural, and we all know how the US is divided on those lines.
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 12:56 PM on April 16, 2005


Go back to Friends re-runs instead.

no, there's no need to leave MeFi. today, there's also a thread about Tony Danza's dick. with pictures.
posted by matteo at 12:58 PM on April 16, 2005


Well I think Condi was right. The report had to be banned because it was biased and incomplete. It was drafted before Condoleeza actually deployed herself to the four corners of the earth to disintegrate all terrorists, known, suspect or barely looking like suspects, plus all their relatives, friends and accountants, using the super laser beams in her stiletto leather boot heels. This happened for real, but it hasn't been reported yet, and probably will never be, because the media are all liberal conspiracists who hate Condi. (I know this because I've been told personally by reliable intelligence sources, including second cousins of Chalabi.)
posted by funambulist at 12:59 PM on April 16, 2005


The Counterterrorism Blog has more, including the law requiring the report--...Rather than run from the numbers the State Department and the Intelligence Community should seize the opportunity to really get their hands around the issue and provide Congress and the American people with a clear, apolitical assessment about the reality of the terrorist threat we face. (Note: the reporting requirement in 22 USCS is reprinted below.) ...

a clear, apolitical assessment--from this administration??? hah
posted by amberglow at 1:23 PM on April 16, 2005


Thanks for another good one AmberGlow.

Heywood Mogroot . . . There are none so blind as they who will not see.
posted by ahimsakid at 1:28 PM on April 16, 2005


and Condi just the other day, at the American Society of Newspaper Editors conference: Rice took questions from the editors, who, she noted, play a key role in sustaining democracies. “Time and time again, around the globe, we see the growth of a free media as an important indicator of whether or not a country is a vibrant democracy, and whether it's willing and ready to embrace the challenges and changes ahead of it,” she said. “The free flow of ideas and information is literally the lifeline of liberty.”
posted by amberglow at 1:31 PM on April 16, 2005


I must say, I find the "Would Joe Sixpack really care?" meme -- which seems to pop up more and more on MeFi, particularly when the subject is deeply serious -- to be utterly tiresome and exasperating.

Would Joe Sixpack really care about intellectual property rights, open-source development, poetry, art, or any of the other subjects that many MeFiers find very engaging? Would Joe Sixpack really have cared about the fate of gay people during the '50s, reports of concentration camps being built in Germany in the 1930s, or the deployment of ARPAnet? Who cares?

We care. Feel free to scroll past the next link that doesn't interest you personally. The general tone of MeFi will be more focused and less flameriffic if you do.
posted by digaman at 1:37 PM on April 16, 2005


And thanks for a great link as usual, Amberglow.
posted by digaman at 1:38 PM on April 16, 2005


Heywood: I agree wholly with your sentiment. I got here a few months ago, and it still hasn't stopped amazing me that Mefites can waste so much time on stuff like this. The saddest thing to me is that people seem to think that this is politics-- talking about the latest little scandal. The direction that this country and the world take in the future are much larger than who lied to whom about what; and even that direction won't answer more difficult questions, like "what is justice, anyhow?"

But we can't really do anything about it. What most people call politics, and what I call noise, has become a favorite national pastime, and we can't even read the comics anymore without some idiot telling us their opinion about what country we should invade or what they think about 'rights.' All you can do with noise, at a certain point, is tune it out.

posted by koeselitz at 1:39 PM on April 16, 2005


. . . by reading AND posting in a political thread? . . . huh?
posted by Boydrop at 1:44 PM on April 16, 2005


The free flow of ideas and information is literally the lifeline of liberty

But when an unexpect flow makes us look like hypocrite swine, we'll exercise our freedom in denying such free flow its free flow free of problem. Freedom Freedom Freedom Oy !
posted by elpapacito at 1:45 PM on April 16, 2005


koeselitz, please do put your money where you mouth is, and post a series of good links that directly address the larger questions. I'll be very enthusiastic about reading them.
posted by digaman at 1:51 PM on April 16, 2005


You can't spell Condoleezza without c-o-n.

Since when has this gapped tooth Uncle Tomalina ever read anything anyway?
posted by wfrgms at 1:53 PM on April 16, 2005


Koeselitz, what else would you like us to waste time on? We really need your help here, because obviously none of us can figure out what we find interesting by ourselves. Please do post something worthwhile and redeem this wretched place.


PS. There is a reason for default font size. It makes it easier for others to read.
posted by c13 at 2:10 PM on April 16, 2005


have any of you threadjackers ever heard of metatalk?
posted by mcsweetie at 2:13 PM on April 16, 2005


Well, we're new here...
posted by c13 at 2:16 PM on April 16, 2005


Can someone let me know what the Culture Media of Life is doing about the life of one Jeffrey Ake. To wit...
Ake, 47, was snatched Monday from a water treatment plant near Baghdad, according to officials at the American Embassy.

A videotape aired Wednesday by Al-Jazeera television showed Ake being held at gunpoint by at least three assailants as the Indiana man clutched what appeared to be a photo and a passport. In the video, Al-Jazeera said, Ake asked the U.S. government to withdraw from Iraq and save his life.
Maybe if he was a vegetable this would be getting more coverage, hrmm?

Compare and contrast

Results 1 - 10 of about 1,540 for Jeffrey Ake.

Results 1 - 10 of about 117,000 for Terri Schiavo.

BTW, this one, also, is not going to be counted in the 'terrorist attack' report.
posted by wah at 2:28 PM on April 16, 2005


digaman: "koeselitz, please do put your money where you mouth is, and post a series of good links that directly address the larger questions. I'll be very enthusiastic about reading them."

That isn't exactly how it works around here. The minute I find an incredible site on Plato or Spinoza or something, I'll post it, but I'm not going to go googling for any little thing I want to talk about on mefi.

But since you asked, I'll give my two cents on the links above: this whole thing is a great deal more complex than "we're fighting terrorism" or "they're stupid liars." I mean, yes, technically, they are stupid, and they are liars-- that doesn't mean that they're wrong. The truth about the matter is much harder to feel out.

Specifically, if there's more terrorism in the world today, it isn't necessarily a simple proof that the United States caused it. 'They hate us because we invaded their country' is just as dumbed-down a rhetoric as 'they hate us for our freedom.' The core of the problem is a fundamental misunderstanding between the middle east and the united states.

A good way to start to see that misunderstanding is to consider something that Osama Bin Laden, evil though he may be, said rather eloquently after 9/11; he said that the difference between Americans and Muslims was that "you love life; we love death." This is important; modern, progressive, average Americans (and, n. b., this includes conservative Christians) don't understand the position of Muslims in the world today because anything but secularism is inconcievable to them; they live in a world where 'the life to come,' the state of their soul, and their fundamental happiness is secondary, and where material goods and prosperity are primary.

We got to this point over a period of centuries. Bacon proposed the conquest of nature for the benefit of humankind; Hobbes modified Machiavelli to create a political space where that conquest could be complete through the social contract; and Spinoza, most of all, laid the foundation for the love of freedom, especially freedom of speech, and the separation of Church and state. Through Locke, Rousseau, the French Revolution, and the founding of the United States, this project of creating a people that held such preconcieved notions as to make democracy not only possible but necessary was brought near completion. After centuries of their influence, many things are alien to us now; one of these things is religious tradition. Even the religions we have maintained have, over the last few hundred years, been reinterpreted until they are hardly traditional and do not occupy any part of the public sphere.

It is therefore almost incomprehensible to us when Muslims today confront us, asking with what justification we turned away from tradition and toward the particular form of democracy we've chosen. Unless we can answer them, and unless this conflict can be resolved in a way that brings an amount of well-being to all involved, many, many people will die.

Meanwhile, arguing about some petty logistical deception is a waste of time. Every president the United States has ever had has lied, even (especially) good ones like Bill Clinton. (Our very nation is founded on the idea that politicians lie anyway, and we may as well try to make the best of it; that's the tack the Federalist Papers take, anyhow.) What's more, there is less difference between the two parties than people think, and even less difference between an evangelical Christian and a hardline atheist in the United States today. What unites us is a host of common beliefs that almost none of us have thought about or tried to explain; these common beliefs make Muslims, to take a particularly salient example, completely incomprehensible to us.
posted by koeselitz at 2:34 PM on April 16, 2005


What's more, there is less difference between the two parties than people think, and even less difference between an evangelical Christian and a hardline atheist in the United States today.

You lost me, here. Hardline atheists, if such an entity exists, aren't running the country. Don't blame atheists for this religious war. Ugh, you had such a reasoned argument until then.
posted by AlexReynolds at 2:49 PM on April 16, 2005


koselitz, I think killing a report used worldwide (and this one was, until they lied about the numbers last year) is not a petty logistical deception. Why do you characterize it as such? Shouldn't we know whether our tax dollars actually are fighting terror and making progress or not? How many lies and how much withholding of info is ok in your eyes? When does it become a pattern and a problem for a democracy?

and what Alex said.
posted by amberglow at 2:51 PM on April 16, 2005


Specifically, if there's more terrorism in the world today, it isn't necessarily a simple proof that the United States caused it.
Maybe not. But would not be too unreasonable to suppose that bombing the shit out of a country for obviously bogus reasons might play a role.

arguing about some petty logistical deception is a waste of time.

Its not some petty logistical deception. The report basically says that the government is not doing its job right. Whatever "right" may be. Regardless whether we're bombing too much or not enough, it seems not to be working. But instead of trying fix the situation, the state department is hiding the report. Is this the worst thing the government ever done? No. But it does not mean that we shouldn't discuss it.
posted by c13 at 2:56 PM on April 16, 2005


*farts in Heywood Mogroot's general direction*
posted by quonsar at 2:57 PM on April 16, 2005


Alex: Sorry. I admit that it's a stupid phrase; I fumbled. I should have said something more like "agnostics;" and that, I think, would've held. At the very least, "agnostics" will most probably be "running the country" in three years or so; at least, I expect the democrats to win. Anyhow, it's only been five years since they were in office, and they had it for two terms then. Either way, I don't think this country changes much. It would be nice if electing somebody from a different party would change the foundations of our society and our regime, but it won't.

amberglow and c13: I grant that it might be important in a marginal way. But if the United States shows itself to be a nation of liars (which wouldn't surprise me in the least, nor would it exactly displease me) it wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing; the trick right now is helping the arabs to found the best form of government they possibly can. Whether the united states or europe is better for this job is difficult for me to see; I have a feeling both are pretty sorry excuses for examples. I think the arabs will do things on their own either way; it would be nice if the United States could help, but I wonder. We want to show them we're awesome so that they'll want the kind of government we have; I don't know that that's such a good idea right now.
posted by koeselitz at 3:04 PM on April 16, 2005


'They hate us because we invaded their country' is just as dumbed-down a rhetoric as 'they hate us for our freedom.'

No it isn't. It's an actual concrete reason why these links were posted. Terrorism is up, invasions are up, and our freedoms are down.

In this case you have a direct relationship between 'invade country' and 'invaded people fight back'.

Not to mention the fact that the invasion was directly in line with OBL rhetoric on the point of the West hoping to destroy Islam and take the sweet, sweet crude that Allah decided to gift to them.
posted by wah at 3:05 PM on April 16, 2005


It amazes me how people don't use the most elementary modeling of how other people work when thinking about these statements.

Let's postulate a hypothetical super-liberal country that springs up in Africa, and is full of, say, socialists, and has the best civil rights of any country on the globe. The fundies would probably wag their fingers and get a bit red-faced about it, but seriously... why would we care how free or not-free they were? We wouldn't hate them for their freedoms, even if they had more than we do. In some ways, Canada is significantly freer than we are, but we only pretend to hate them because it's funny.

You only hate people if they're a threat. One of the best ways I can think of to be a threat is to invade someone's country. If the Canadians seized New York by force, suddenly they'd be the enemy... but their relative civil rights wouldn't enter into the equation at all.

Realistically, I'm sure we have been perceived as a vague threat by most in the Middle East... they've been rather uncomfortable with our aggressive exporting of McConsumerism and FattiesRUs. Just from memory, I'm not aware of any incidents of terrorism just because they don't like our culture. bin Laden, for instance, claims that our military bases in that area are his primary motivation in attacking. (I strongly suspect that's nowhere near the whole truth, but it certainly must be at least part of the motivation, no?)

It wasn't until we started being a military presence in that area that we turned into a threat. Invading Iraq took us from a nebulous-but-looming threat into a very immediate and scary one.

People try to remove threats. That is our nature. By doing what we are doing, we are painting a gigantic bullseye on the world map, and it is NOT centered on the Middle East.
posted by Malor at 3:23 PM on April 16, 2005


Malor: Exactly. The United States will continue to screw up, because it's in the very nature of liberal democracies to get gutted-out and corrupt like this. Sooner or later, this nation will crumble, the Arab nations will rise again and return to theocracy, having seen the failures of our consumerism and supposed "freedoms," and the world will be a better place.

So why exactly is anyone worried here? This is only bringing about the inevitable, and the inevitable is good, right?
posted by koeselitz at 3:29 PM on April 16, 2005


not funny. Especially when our own theocrats have so much power today and are grabbing for more.
posted by amberglow at 3:43 PM on April 16, 2005


So why exactly is anyone worried here? This is only bringing about the inevitable, and the inevitable is good, right?

So why worry about anything at all? We're all gonna die someday, right? Let's just behave like amoebas.

the Arab nations will rise again and return to theocracy, having seen the failures of our consumerism and supposed "freedoms," and the world will be a better place.

Frankly, I'm not sure whether you're just dumb or being a troll. I mean this without any intent at offence. I really don't see how anyone can think of Afghanistan, for example, as a "better place".
posted by c13 at 3:48 PM on April 16, 2005


Let me just say, as a liberal democrat who lives in North Idaho - I actually am neighbors with Joe Sixpack, and he really doesn't give a shit about much anything that happens, until it effects him in concrete terms. And I'm not really sure as a concerned, informed, progressive defender of the real American way of life, how to get him to wake up to these problems. However, he does have a kickass dirtbike track.
posted by stenseng at 3:53 PM on April 16, 2005


amberglow: I don't think it's funny, either. I didn't mean it as a joke, so much as a goad for a deeper response. Doesn't it seem like this whole 'democracy' project has ended up tanking? Under democratic and republican presidents, the foreign-policy stance of this country has hardly changed over the last few years; the consumerism, the materialism, the thinness of the western world is ever-present. A lot of muslims feel like this is a sign that we aren't really to be emulated; could they be right? What would constitute a better way?

I imagine (maybe I'm wrong) that you'll say that it has changed, and that it's now worse than it's ever been. But those muslims-- the ones who feel the pull of theocracy-- beg to differ, and wonder if it's something inherent in the way we've done things and the way we think. Convince me that they're wrong; convince me that democracy is better than theocracy. Being interested in medieval history, I know that Islam has produced some of the freest societies the world has ever know. Can you really blame Muslims for looking at American- and European-style democracy and wishing rather for something a little bit more like tenth-century Spain?
posted by koeselitz at 4:10 PM on April 16, 2005


Under a theocracy, i'd be killed--both for being the wrong religion and for being gay. There's the only response i need, and the impetus that drives me to fight the creeping and creepy theocracy here and for transparency and openness from our government.
posted by amberglow at 4:14 PM on April 16, 2005


koeselitz -

My take on these subjects is very nearly the opposite of yours.

Debating the nature of justice would probably result in a very interesting, likely animated discussion that I would enjoy very much, and might even go some way to solving world problems a few hundred years down the line, if someone involved in the discussion, say, becomes an influential political thinker or philosopher.

Meanwhile, Rome will burn.

We need discussion on the nature of justice. We also need to talk about specific problems of justice right in the here and now. Lots of little changes need to accumulate before the big changes happen, and if nothing is done about the littler things, they will simply sit and rot.

This *is* a discussion about the need for honesty and openness in public discourse, about what the recourses for citizens are when their leaders violate the laws, about the wisdom of current large-scale foreign policy. Just as sitting at a lunch counter was about large-scale racism. It's simply a discussion from the bottom up rather than from the top down.

Things need to happen in both directions if anything is to happen at all.
posted by kyrademon at 4:28 PM on April 16, 2005


Who cares about terrorism? Gay people are getting married... MARRIED I tell ya!
posted by clevershark at 4:37 PM on April 16, 2005


Koeselitz -- feel free to try out a theocracy for yourself and let us know how you like it.

I'm guessing that your political views must be somewhat amorphous, if you judge the political system in which you live by the reception it has with a small but highly vocal group of extremists from the Middle-East and South Asia.
posted by clevershark at 4:44 PM on April 16, 2005


Under a theocracy, i'd be killed--both for being the wrong religion and for being gay.

Not all possible theocracies, I'd wager, would do such. The one the US is creeping towards, sure.
posted by catachresoid at 4:56 PM on April 16, 2005


And I'm not really sure as a concerned, informed, progressive defender of the real American way of life, how to get him to wake up to these problems.

Hows about flying a couple airplanes into his silo?

However, he does have a kickass dirtbike track.

Heh.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 6:04 PM on April 16, 2005


Koeselitz:

Q: do you know how they ran the agnostic family out of town?
A: they burned giant question-marks on their lawn.

and why didn't you just say this in the first place? For someone who wants to discuss "something else" you sure seem eloquent about the thread at hand...
</derail>

Amberglow's piled up a string of great links here (again!). Thanks for those.

As for this topic: C.Rice making a press-stroking statement like “The free flow of ideas and information is literally the lifeline of liberty,” then turning around and aiding in pulling the plug on a Congressionally-mandated document is kinda revolting, isn't it? What's next? What's the next Congressionally- or Constitutionally-mandated item to get trashed? Miranda Rights? Habeas Corpus? EPA laws are killing American Business's ability to compete internationally, so they have to go! Yes, that's a "slippery-slope" argument, but Bush & Co. seem willing to grease the skids at every opportunity...that's why it's worth discussing.

"A Balance in All Things" (to borrow from Taoism): it goes for the personal & the political, the universal and the particular. So we discuss the big and the small, the deep and the trivial, the good, the bad, and the ugly, here on Metafilter™
posted by Al_Truist at 8:33 PM on April 16, 2005


koeselitz: Your first post is more telling then your others. You indicate the futility of even discussing political "noise". Then you proceed to define political terms and ideologies and portray your own. Very enlightening. It certainly is understandable, given your desire to live in a theocracy, that you would find discourse on any political matter a fruitless endeavor. You have negated yourself with your own words.

However, if reasonable people chose not to discuss the daily minutiae positive changes would never occur. What we say here or anywhere else does matter. Communication on any level leads us to understanding and action. I want to know what others think and I want to gather as much information as I can from as many sources as I can. It doesn't matter whether I'm talking to a child or a scholar. One does not have to rely solely on hard facts. Most reasonable people act with both their mind and their emotions. Meta fits that bill.

Politicians lie. It is the context and magnitude of the lies that must be established in order to form an opinion and to take action. Shrub and his crew have told some whoppers that have resulted in war. We are incessantly being told that we are fighting a war against terrorism, yet the facts assessing the situation are always mysteriously vague. Opinion matters. Politicians live by the poll and if enough people make noise the rods on the hill will think twice about making radical decisions. We are in it up to our eyeballs in Iraq, but there is much more going on at home.

Shrub and his minions will continue to quietly eviscerate the poor and middle classes while destroying the economy. Theocracy isn't such a far fetched idea if it weren't contrary to the Constitution and everything Americans stand for. It ain't gonna happen. I think you are going to have a long wait koeselitz unless you decide to move to a country more suited to your prefered ideology.
posted by whittenb2 at 11:05 PM on April 16, 2005


Only 17 results on this in Google News...

I guess that's the criteria for judging this report suppression a trivial matter? It sure doesn't get anywhere as much attention as Britney Spears being pregnant (1,340 hits). Let's talk about that instead. Will it a boy, or a girl?
posted by funambulist at 3:48 AM on April 17, 2005


This is one of the more disturbing news tidbits out of the States lately. And that's saying a lot.

These reports have been stating the exact opposite of what Bush has been claiming for a number of years. We Must Fight The War On Terror vs. "terrorism has been steadily declining for several decades." Now that terrorism is (finally?) on the rise, naturally Bush says that We Are Winning The War On Terror. And why bother keeping up the doublethink when you can just pull the plug on the dissenters? Damn reality-based academia always screwing things up.

Very, very telling.
posted by mek at 4:26 AM on April 17, 2005


Interestingly, the counterterrorism blog referred to in the story isn't particularly critical. For a start, it notes that 300 of the incidents from that total were in Kashmir - hardly the centre of this administration's 'War on Terror'. Second, it appears to confirm the official line that the huge jump has more to do with changes in data collection than a rise in terrorism:

In the Secretary's defense, however, the sharp jump in numbers has more to do with a change in methodololgy of counting rather that an actual surge in Islamic extremist activity.

The blog also provides some background to the methodology.

See here.
posted by pots at 5:18 AM on April 17, 2005


MILITANT ISLAMIC JIHADISTS CRASH HIJACKED PENISES INTO BRITNEY SPEARS
posted by quonsar at 6:21 AM on April 17, 2005


the Arab nations will rise again and return to theocracy,

yes, because when there is a democratic leader elected in Iran, the US of A puts in the Shaw. They can't seem to keep a military strong man OR a democracy in them Arab countries.

*removes tounge from cheek*
posted by rough ashlar at 6:54 AM on April 17, 2005


whittenb2: "koeselitz: Your first post is more telling then your others. You indicate the futility of even discussing political "noise". Then you proceed to define political terms and ideologies and portray your own. Very enlightening. It certainly is understandable, given your desire to live in a theocracy, that you would find discourse on any political matter a fruitless endeavor. You have negated yourself with your own words."

I'm trying to give a model of what it would look like if we actually discussed something real for a change. I meant to say-- I'm sorry if I was unclear-- that daily minutiae, such as what report was supressed when, is a waste of time. Such small, scandalous tidbits are only useful in rare cases-- they weren't even helpful to the Republicans trying to oust Clinton a few years ago, were they? We can discuss supressed reports with a sense of outrage until we're blue in the face; to borrow kyrademon's phrase, 'meanwhile, Rome will burn.'

People misread me when they call me a theocrat. I only believe that we have to consider our own position. Now, more than ever, we're being asked to justify our own tradition; and I think it's important that we learn to do so. Until we know the truth about regimes and about justice (and that involves rational thought, not good information) we won't be able to act effectively at all; we'll just sit around on metafilter all day and accomplish nothing.

posted by koeselitz at 8:33 AM on April 17, 2005


metafilter: sitting around all day and accomplishing nothing.

(I couldn't resist)
posted by Al_Truist at 12:26 PM on April 17, 2005


Bush: Bad Data Means Stop Publishing--from Sirotablog--a list of some of the other reports and info no longer published by this administration
posted by amberglow at 4:00 PM on April 17, 2005


Until we know the truth about regimes and about justice (and that involves rational thought, not good information).

Aha! A rationalist! I thought you guys died out in the 19th century.
posted by mek at 9:53 PM on April 17, 2005


MILITANT ISLAMIC JIHADISTS CRASH HIJACKED PENISES INTO BRITNEY SPEARS--and now she's pregnant with their demon spawn!
posted by amberglow at 4:33 PM on April 18, 2005


You bitch when they're careless and bold with the threat assessments, and you bitch when they demur.
posted by Kwantsar at 10:13 AM on April 19, 2005


... I mean, don't you feel so much more secure in your all-American gun-totin' oil-happy lifestyle now that we have wasted upward of $300 billion worth of your child's future education budget, along with 1,600 disposable young American lives and over 20,000 innocent Iraqi lives and about 10,000 severed American limbs and untold wads of our spiritual and moral currency, all to protect America from terrorism that is, by every account, only getting worse? Nastier? More nebulous? More anti-American?

Here's something funny, in a rip-your-patriotic-heart-out-and-spit-on-it sort of way: Just last week, BushCo's State Department decided to kill the publication of an annual report on international terrorism. Why? Well, because the government's top terrorism center concluded that there were more terrorist attacks in 2004 than in any year since 1985. Isn't that hilarious? Isn't that heartwarming? Your tax dollars at work, sweetheart. ...
--Mark Morford, SFGate
posted by amberglow at 5:09 PM on April 22, 2005


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