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 Post subject: The wicked beard is dead
PostPosted: Mon May 02, 2011 3:38 am 
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So apparently Osama was killed in a CIA raid of some sort very recently, and everyone's pretty pleased about that. Reports claim we have the body and apparently have done DNA checking against his sister to verify his identity. Really, about bloody time, huh?


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PostPosted: Mon May 02, 2011 6:20 am 
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like it's really going to solve anything. people celebrating in the street that we have sought and killed an individual. humility is a lost virtue.

If it does any good it'll be about bettering relations with pakistan.

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PostPosted: Mon May 02, 2011 7:21 am 
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Surlent wrote:
Really, about bloody time, huh?


so what's the british perspective on all this?

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PostPosted: Mon May 02, 2011 8:02 am 
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@Commodore: Yeah, it's really scary to see the mob mentality in the celebrating crowds shown on the news. Osama was a murderer, but we're not much better if we're that exuberant in our hatred. It just doesn't seem healthy.

Any timing-related conspiracy theories? My mom pointed out that the royal honeymoon (Prince William, Kate) was delayed for unspecified reasons -- they got word of this before the rest of the public, and were being cautious about a retaliatory terrorist attack. But how much advance notice did they receive? According to Wikipedia (ever reliable, I know) there was speculation that it happened several days ago, not early in the morning on May 1.

Why the conflicting info? Maybe they just wanted to be absolutely sure they killed Osama (they needed more time) but wanted to appear in compliance with Muslim law (burial within 24 hours). Maybe they wanted to maximize the media impact? CNN claiming burial at sea -- very nice and quick, leaves no spot for al-Qaida pilgrimage. But is it too quick and convenient? We have to trust the US military to tell the truth (at least, until the truth gets leaked).

The reality is probably boring, but I've got a hyperactive imagination.


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PostPosted: Mon May 02, 2011 7:50 pm 
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good that it took news away from that stupid birth certificate. No president in history has ever been under such scrutiny, and now people are asking for his high school and college grades. Racism parading as patriotism.

I hope this shores up obama's reelection, though I really hope he doesn't rub our noses it it. Did anyone else see him try to hide his smile as he delivered the solemn news?

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PostPosted: Mon May 02, 2011 8:21 pm 
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A lot of people think this practically guarantees his re-election. Such things are really beyond me though. I guess I didn't consider how this would make us as a country look. Easy to get caught up in the moment I guess. Even 4chan was going crazy, with music and animated gifs and entire threads full of USA! and such. On the one hand, there's little denying that some justice was done in this act; hundreds of lives avenged and all, and the national pride was hit pretty hard that day; the reaction is understandable. But the more I think about it the more unsettling it seems; I have no idea how an Arabic mind will take all this and I don't know how this affects the situation there, really, though I do hope, as Commodore said, that it can help us better our relationships over there somehow. Now I feel bad for feeling good, and that makes me wonder about me. I suppose we'll just have to see how things play out.


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PostPosted: Wed May 04, 2011 2:05 am 
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Commodore wrote:
like it's really going to solve anything. people celebrating in the street that we have sought and killed an individual. humility is a lost virtue.

If it does any good it'll be about bettering relations with pakistan.


Remember how much people complained about all the effigies and flags burned by the muslims?

Surlent, why, in your opinion, did Osama hate us? Why is there a lot of hostility towards America from certain muslims?

I'm kind of shocked at how reasonably well the news was believed by certain folks. I'm trying to figure out how, in their mind, the president was lying about his birth certificate but telling the truth about this. I guess the possible reprisals justify their world view? I don't know.


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PostPosted: Thu May 05, 2011 1:01 am 
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Seventh Shade wrote:
I'm kind of shocked at how reasonably well the news was believed by certain folks. I'm trying to figure out how, in their mind, the president was lying about his birth certificate but telling the truth about this.


Besides by having a bias against Obama?

One possible reason for believing one thing but not the other is that the one thing is so much more outrageous than the other. Obama might have been born in another country? Well, Clinton had an affair with an intern and deceived us about it. That's normal, everyday deceit about normal, everyday things. We expect that from a politician!

In contrast, consider Osama bin Laden. He perpetrates crime on a grand scale, has plenty of resources, and is incredible with getaways and vanishing acts. He's like Rastapopoulos, the ever-present villain. And suddenly, the US claims they caught Osama off-guard and killed him? Presenting no evidence except their word? Why, that's so crazy, it has to be true!


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PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2011 12:17 am 
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ultimately it means big things for our relationship with the mideast, the consequences, whatever they may turn out to be, will last for a while.

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PostPosted: Wed May 11, 2011 8:42 am 
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What do I think is the reason they hate us? I'm not entirely sure. I know that there is a lot of propaganda that goes out, promoting us as the "great Satan" and talking about how slutty everyone here is, among other things. I know they're kinda touchy about that whole us helping their least favorite race and country on the whole planet thing too. I also know that in general they despise Christians; I receive reports from the Voice of the Martyrs feeds quite often of some Muslim inhumanity towards Christian groups in that area. Building off of that, they seem to realize that historically America and Americans have embraced Christianity of some sort as part of our identity and so they equate "American" with "Christian". Given that, I sometimes wonder if some of the harsh treatment Christians receive there is due to how negatively they perceive Americans, whom they deem Christian. Regardless, I also know that a lot of groups deem us "imperialistic" (despite making no attempts at land-grabbing to the best of my knowledge) or otherwise invaders, and that might have something to do with it too. It's easy to speak in generics, but it's very difficult to understand the heart of the average person or citizen.

I have a friend I talk to from time to time who was born in Jordan and immigrated/fled to America many years ago to escape a dangerous Muslim father. He has since converted from Islam to Christianity, and from there, unfortunately, to Mormonism. Anyway, he has some very interesting perspectives on the issue, especially given his mixed heritage of Middle Eastern from his father and British from his mother, and it's interesting to have some first-hand testimony about the culture and attitudes, and some of my thoughts on the subject have been formed by this. I'll have to remember to ask him more about this next time around.

Politics and all that isn't really my thing, and I'm not always good at keeping up to date, so maybe I'm missing something. I dunno. But those are more or less my thoughts at the moment, coherent or not.


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PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2011 3:22 pm 
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Surlent wrote:
What do I think is the reason they hate us? I'm not entirely sure. I know that there is a lot of propaganda that goes out, promoting us as the "great Satan" and talking about how slutty everyone here is, among other things.


dude, we're super fucking puritanical.

If they hated promiscuity and scantily clad women, they'd concentrate on europe.

no.

they hate us because we do things like this. osama is dead, so we throw a big fucking party and say "fuck you you goddamn sandniggers america is the best always the best and you cant do shit about it. this guy tried to do some shit and we FUCKED HIM UP!!!1!1!!!2 Yeah, you want a piece of us next?!" and then we go pillage some other nation in that part of the world, looking for treasure and riches (natural resources), all under the flag of us "helping" out.


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PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2011 4:22 am 
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In all fairness to Europe, there have been more terrorist attacks there than in the US.

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PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2011 8:07 pm 
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That's true, but in all fairness to Europe, there's a lot more countries there, too.


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PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2011 9:55 am 
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There are about as many countries in Europe as states in the US. I'm not exactly sure, but I think that's about right.

Regarding sluttiness: I live in The Netherlands and I guess we're considered to be one of the sluttiest, most liberal nations in the world. From what I gather, this isn't the most important reason we get negative attention from radical islamic groups, though it is a thorn in the eye of salafist groups.

On international policy, we tend to side with bigger western countries to an extend that confirms our loyalty and allows our government to say we've done our part - the most obvious example is our involvement in Afghanistan. I believe our involvement has been mentioned by Osama Bin Laden in one of his video messages.

Then there's the matter of Geert Wilders, a politician that challenges islam in a way comparable to a right-wing talkradio-host. He lives under constant threat. Theo van Gogh, a film-maker that made a film critical of the treatment of women in Islam, was murdered. According to the murderer, who was part of a homegrown radical islamic group, the reason for the killing was the slandering of Muhammad's name.

There have been terrible attacks in countries like the UK and Spain, both involved in Iraq. In my country, speech seems to be the root of most of the threats: free speech that is regarded as hate-speech or blasphemy.

We have a bit of a weird history with free speech: there have been important lawsuits against two of our most notable post-war writers, about passages that were deemed offensive to Christians. Gerard Reve, himself a converted Catholic, was not persecuted - based on the Freedom of Religion rather than Freedom of Speech (he wrote about intercourse with God taking the form of a donkey - apparently you can only write this if it coincides with your religious beliefs). The other novelist, W.F. Hermans, got off because the insulting frases were contributed to the character in his novel rather than to himself. To summarize: speech has been protected by Freedom of Religion and artistic freedom (to the extend that it's unclear whether the artist is voicing his opinion or using an opinion to characterize) rather than Freedom of Speech. There currently is a trail against Geert Wilders for hate-speech and insulting groups.

I think terrorism (and speculations of it's causes) has become highly politicized - both the left and the right use it to make the point they want to make. The left will shout that America's wars (that they generally opposed anyway) are the root cause, the way Bush and Cheney have used terrorism and the fear/anger it inspired to drag the US and several other countries into TWO wars in the middle east. In the Netherlands, the debate concentrates on free speech/insulting/hate-speech, and it's equally politicized.

Regarding opinions on America/the West in the Arab world - that's highly unclear. From what I've read, the more educated the people, the more consideration for US policy and the bigger the desire for western-style (though conditional) freedom and democracy. In Afghanistan, amongst the illiterate, hate of the US is enormous. But it also seems that most of these people think the US is in Afghanistan to battle Islam and spread Christianity. So lack of access to the internet, to free press and free speech in combination with anti-American propaganda, seems to inspire a lot of anti-Americanism. Personally, I think more so than actual American policy. But I'll admit I'm not that well-informed.

Antisemitism is another factor. The idea that there's an international conspiracy of Jewish powermongers (the elders of Zion) is still widespread in the middle-east, particularly there were terrorist groups have a base. Though there seems to be a connection with literacy and education there, too.

I think it's difficult for the West not to be either hated or reveared. Whenever anything happens in the world, the West, and most imporantly, the United States, gets criticized for being too involved or not being involved enough. That is not to say that nothing's 'our' fault. It's just hard not doing anything wrong when living up the the expectations of the entire world.

About Obama: I'm a big fan. Of course, being Dutch, I think I'm baised towards liberalism, which helps a lot in this case (health care, don't ask don't tell, etc). The opposition to Obama seems to have some racist elements, but it also makes for good comedy (Jack: YOUR president, who, by the way, is KENIAN and smokes CIGARETTES - I love 30 Rock). Also: Donald Trump. That guy is unintentionally hilarious. NEVER let him become your president. Please.

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Last edited by RobertP on Tue May 17, 2011 10:32 am, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2011 10:22 am 
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I wrote a lot, but I just had one more thought.

Europe has a history of colonialism, but for some reason, America is usually regarded the 'imperialist nation'. Even though the US generally supports decolonization and national sovereignity.

Speaking of which: I've never understood the US relation with Puerto Rico. It seems to be the one exception. It's regarded US territory, but it's citizens have no vote in US elections? I know it's a bit off-topic, but can anyone explain this to me?

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