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9/11 and since, and the Bali situation

Discussion in 'The Pub' at netrider.net.au started by hornet, Nov 10, 2008.

  1. My immediate reaction as I watched the events on September the eleventh, 2001 in morbid fascination, was that this might well be the start of a world-wide outbreak of anti-Western terrorism. Those who were alive when Kennedy was assassinated no doubt felt an initial pang of fear of the same sort. Then, the immediate reaction was that the Russians had done it, and that World War Three was about to erupt.

    But the truth, 7 years down the track, is that while there have been other terrorist attrocities, and there was initially a rash of idiots sending white powder in envelopes to various Government bodies, the world as we know it has not erupted into a storm of terrorism at all. We have had a couple of big attacks, Madrid and London, but there doesn't SEEM to have been any increase in the number or impact of these sorts of acts. More terrorist acts seem to be being perpetrated by Hindu extremists than by Isalmic fanatics.

    The big question is, I guess, where these attacks all the anti-Western forces would muster, or has the so-called war on terrorism actually worked? While we sit and wait for the Islamic reprisal to the execution of the Bali bombers the Press so desperately hopes is going to happen, each passing day makes it less and less likely. (My opinion is that the Bali situation was for domestic consumption, not to 'get at' the West; they were trying to show the Indonesian Government that they couldn't protect Western tourists on their soil).

    Opinions on a plain brown envelope, please :LOL:.
  2. What happened on the 9th of november?
  3. ?? I don't know, out of hundreds of events, world-wide, to what you are referring, sorry....

    I know on the 11th of November, in 1918, the Armistice was signed, but I guess that's not it..
  4. Look at the topic dopey :wink:
  5. I think that all the efforts of the anti-terrorist efforts by the western world has merely slowed down further reprisals / attacks by true extremists and terrorists. There have still been reports over the recent years from various news sources informing us of a terrorist plots that have been intercepted and arrests made and I believe this is a harbinger of events eventually to come.
  6. Apart from the world trade centre attacks there have been terrorist bombings going on for ages.
    Even the Israelis bombed the Poms in the late 40's.
    The palestinians in the 60's 70's and early 80's bombed and attacked various targets throughout europe and the middle east.
    I remember some Muslim Extremists coordinate shootings at Rome and Vienna? airports in the late 70's early 80's.
    London and Madrid have regularly been Bombed by the IRA and Basque separatists respectively.
    The more things change the more they stay the same.
    What is interesting is that the rate of Terrorism has dropped off compared to the 70's and 80's "glory days"
    the only reason it's become a big deal is because it happened on US soil in coordinated attacks that they were not prepared for or chose to ignore due to it's "impossibility"
  7. Don't forget ETA, and the IRA, and the Basques either..

    I guess my question is less about the sources, and more about frequency, in view of the now pretty-coordinated efforts being made against terrorism.
  8. ETA are the Basques...

    What happened will always be a mystery though like the Vietnam thing, did the "Domino Effect" never happen because of US/Australian involvement or was it because it was never going to happen at all.
  9. I wonder what effect modern media has made here in respect to make the world a smaller place.
  10.  Top
  11. Just because you don't see it in the media, doesn't mean it isn't happening. And that applies to both sides of your interpretation of what constitutes a terrorist act(ie. state sponsored or otherwise). In fact, some of the real successes will probably never see the light of day. And people will just go on living their lives blissfully unaware. Such is the nature of countering a threat that can be seeded and perpetrated internally. Security of information is paramount to any such efforts. That is why things can't just be released on court order or because some civil rights group says so.

    No doubt that it has always been happening in one form or another but with the rise in the internet, the extremists have access to an audience that they have never had before. And that makes it a much bigger problem. If an extremist used to have an audience of 1000 before the internet and statistically, 1 in 100,000 who hear such messages and believe in them go on to successfully commit a terrorist act, then previously it was highly unlikely an actual event would take place. With the internet, that same extremist can now reach millions. Not only that but they can reach millions in places far away and in doing so transcend most border controls and protections. And that makes the likelihood of an act being committed much higher and makes them much more insidious.
  12. ah yes, the 'War on Terror'.

    Entering the UK recently, I came to realise what an absolute crock of shit this really is.

    Let me explain. For those that don't know me, my politics and views tend to be centre, but if I had to pick one side, it'd be just over the edge on the right. So being white, male, now the other side of 40, I'm the perfect demographic that governments are trying to appeal to with their 'tough on crime' and 'war on terror' messages.

    Back to London. I recently had to renew my UK passport (dual national). The last time I did this it cost me not too much, required a simple form and came back sooner than my Australian passport. This time, I required a more detailed form, my photo had to follow strict criteria and the passport now has some form of technology in it that somehow makes it better (looks like a chip). At Heathrow in 2002, I sauntered through passport control, with hardly a glance from the officer. This time the queue was long, the passport was closely scrutinised and there were signs everywhere about the new checks and the new technology promising to make everyone safer. Bear in mind this is the entry to the country...

    Airline checks. Shoes off. Belts off. Security officers everywhere. Constant announcements.

    The UK government want to introduce a national ID card. Ostensibly for fraud prevention, it's real purpose will be to closely track people. All email, instant messaging, mobile phone call (details, not voice) and website traffic will need to be tracked and held for a period of several years (available to security services upon request).

    I don't want to belittle or downplay the suffering or trauma caused by the various attacks in the UK during July 2005 and last year in Glasgow. However, as far as I know, there has been NO case of international terrorism in the UK. Ever. The IRA was deemed domestic. All the July bombers were 2nd generation or later. The security services knew nothing about them, had no inkling of their plans or who they were. So no amount of screening, ID cards or web traffic monitoring would have stopped them.

    I believe I have a healthy scepticism regarding governments and their apparent concern for my welfare. I don't doubt there are really bad people out there. And those same people, when given the chance WILL take it. But at the same time, I also believe there are elements of our ruling classes who seem to think they have a divine right to govern us and will use any and all tools at their disposal to maintain their position.

    It's a balancing act, but we should ensure that freedoms are not given up in the belief that their removal is required for our safety.
  13. I accept all that, cejay (I didn't start the tread to start an argument, of course) but you have to wonder what would have happened to England during the Second World War if all the sophisticated technology we have now to detect and deter, had been available then? Would the Nazi spy network have been as able as they were to get information, for example?

    I'm sure that Britain's people were under much stricter control during the War, for obvious reasons, but there was a reason for it, and it was useful and successful, or we are told it was.

    Incidentally, don't forget that tomorrow is Rembrance Day, the 90th anniversary of the signing of the treaty that ended the 'War to end al Wars' in 1918.
  14. I wasn't actually trying to start an argument, but I really do feel that a lot of the words that come from the pollies and the security services are purely there to heighten a sense of fear and maintain an element of control. The fact remains that in the UK there has been no imported terrorism, yet there are talks of all sorts of controls to keep terrorists out of the country.

    On Remembrance, do you know that the official ceremonies were started in part in response to help quell the civil unrest at the end of war. There was cynicism at the war aims and what was achieved (and at what cost) and starting the idea of remembrance was supposed to refocus the discontent. Prior to the Great War, war dead were not commemorated.
  15. I don't think a global orginised terror campaign ever existed. The implication just made good politics.

    the problem is the publicity of this "good" politics further encourages terrorism.

    Not only that, I think if the west stops drawing attention to it and chooses to fight it behind the scenes, as the British did for so long, it will largely go away. At least it will be reduced to a local problem in some countries of the world.
  16. I believe you but this is a touchy subject! :LOL:

    Has the war on terror worked? We may never know. :?

    If we accept that our government is not lying to us, then it has. I am not one of those people who think that the government is full of crap [yes they do exagerate sometimes]
  17. I don't think you have to think the gumnut is full of crap to have a healthy cynicism for what they tell us. History has shown us time and time again that people will lie and cheat their way to an objective.
  18. I was thinking about this very topic after reading a report yesterday about how Osama is reputed to be planning a much bigger event than September 11.

    My first thought was, "Where is this information really coming from?". The 'former operative' being quoted, or some security organisation?

    I don't know. I have no doubt that an organisation called Al Qaida existed before 2001 (it was already in the news) and I have little doubt it's intentions were entirely villainous. I'm not so sure it still exists, and I have strong doubts that Osama is still alive, but that is pure speculation. It could well be useful for some people to keep the threat alive.

    Two things have definitely happened since 2001. Firstly, the number of recruits to jihadist organisations has escalated massively. Fortunately, most of them have little if any contact with an organised and effective leadership, but that hasn't stopped them wreaking havoc on a local level, especially in Pakistan and Afghanistan. It's not confined to these countries, though, with recruitment going on in UK, Europe, North Africa, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Phillipines, India, the Caucasuses and Central Asia.

    Whether this huge jump in recruitment is a counter-product of the war on terror, or simply a case of idiots being inspired by September 11 is, I guess, the heart of the matter.

    The other outcome is that Western intelligence and security organisations have finally got some their shit together and built some competence in dealing with the issues. There have been glaring examples of failure and incompetence (Haneef) along with some wins (Benbrika) but there is growing evidence that at least some organisations (ie. the British) are doing a better job than their opponents.

    Nevertheless, I feel less safe now than I did five years ago. I fear there is a whole generation now who have grown up in hate, and that it's hardened into something that will take a long time to erode.
  19. Healthy cynicism is a vital part of the human condition, but let us not be like some people and assume that guvment is trying to screw us every time.
  20. They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety. - Benjamin Franklin